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CASI August 2022 Charter Chat Resource Page

Information and resources from the August 2022 Charter Chat, presented by the Charter Authorizer Support Initiative (CASI).

Charter Chat Topics

  1. Legislative Updates
  2. Program Hot Topics
  3. Fiscal Hot Topics
  4. Q&A from Previous Charter Chats and CASI Email
  5. Q&A from the August Charter Chat


Legislative Updates (As of August 31, 2022)

  • Legislative Process Bills go through a two-year legislative process External link opens in new window or tab.. This is the last year for a bill to complete the process. The legislature returned from recess on August 1, 2022.
  • Bill Updates
    • Assembly Bill (AB) 2774 External link opens in new window or tab. Amended and withdrawn by member - This bill would reconfigure the Local Control Funding Formula unduplicated count. Currently, students who qualify for free and reduced-priced meals, English learners, and homeless and foster youth are included in the unduplicated counts for supplemental and concentration funds. If AB 2774 is approved, students in the lowest academic performance category (Red on the California Schools Dashboard) for both English Language Arts and Math would also be identified for additional funding.
    • AB 2484 External link opens in new window or tab. Held under submission - This bill proposed that if a charter school closes, the district in which it is located would be responsible for the distribution of assets if there is no other entity available. The charter school would also have to update the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) prior to closure and report the number of displaced students to the California Department of Education (CDE). The bill would additionally impose new Charter School Facility Grant requirements regarding leasing property owned by a related party.
    • Senate Bill (SB) 1343 External link opens in new window or tab. Read third time. Refused passage - This bill proposed that a charter school, authorized after January 1, 2023, would be required to participate in the California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS) and/or the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS). The bill had been amended to exclude existing charter schools.
    • SB 189 External link opens in new window or tab. On June 30, 2022, Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 189 (Chapter 44, Statutes of 2022) which added Government Code (GC) Section 11133 to allow state bodies covered by the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act (Act) to hold public meetings covered by the Act via web and/or audio teleconferencing through June 30, 2023.
  • To follow current legislation at the California Legislative Information External link opens in new window or tab. website:
    • Under "Quick Bill Search," select either "Bill Number" or "Keyword(s)"
    • Enter the bill number or keyword, respectively
    • Once the desired bill is located, click "Add to My Favorites." This will prompt the user to create a profile and receive email updates on the status of the desired bill.

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Program Hot Topics

  • Williams Visits and Instructional Materials FAQs If you have joined our previous CASI Charter Chats, you have heard that Williams Monitoring now applies to charter schools. After having conducted several Williams visits to charter schools, a few questions have come up which may be helpful to other authorizers and counties conducting Williams visits.
    • Are charter schools required to use the State adopted curriculum?
      No. Charter schools must utilize their board approved curriculum which was contained in their authorized charter. This curriculum must address the California State standards, but they are not required to utilize the State adopted textbook curriculum.
    • Can an online curriculum be used?
      Yes, as long as it is included in the charter and has been approved by the Charter School’s board.
    • Are charter schools required to display the Uniform Complaint Procedures (UCP)?
      No, charter schools are still not subject to the monitoring, complaint, and posting requirements for Williams complaints through the UCP unless they have opted in.
    • More information is available at Williams Monitoring and Charter Schools FAQs
  • Independent Study - Impacts due to AB 181 effective June 30, 2022 Governor Newsom signed the Education Omnibus Budget Trailer Bill (AB 181) on June 30, 2022, which was effective immediately and included significant changes to independent study (IS) requirements.  These changes directly impact board policies and IS agreements between families and local educational agencies (LEA), which must be legally compliant for the LEA to collect attendance apportionment for students participating in IS.  While charter schools were not required to offer IS last year, if a charter school did, they must now comply with the changes enacted in AB 181 and their IS policy must be updated to match the new requirements. Some of these requirements include:
    • Students with exceptional needs may now participate in IS and the individualized education program (IEP) team may not decline a student’s request for IS based on the student’s inability to work independently, the need for adult support, or the need for special education or related services;
    • Signatures on the IS agreement are no longer required from all persons who have direct responsibility for providing assistance to the pupil. However, in addition to the student, parent, guardian or caregiver (if the student is less than 18) and the certificated employee supervising independent study, agreements must now be signed by the “certificated employee designated as having responsibility for the special education programming of the pupil.”
    • Tiered reengagement strategies have also been modified.  Now strategies are triggered if any of the following occur:
      • The student fails to generate attendance for more than 10 percent of the required minimum instructional time over four continuous weeks of the LEA’s approved instructional calendar
      • The student does not participate in synchronous instructional offerings for more than 50 percent of the scheduled times in a school month, or
      • The student is in violation of the written agreement
  • Charter School Renewals - EC sections 47605 External link opens in new window or tab., 47607 External link opens in new window or tab., and 47607.2 External link opens in new window or tab.
    While renewals for charter schools have been extended for two years, that does not mean they should be forgotten.  Renewals will start up again on July 1, 2023. That is very soon.  As best practices, authorizers should start looking at their renewal protocols, gathering academic data, reviewing annual report data, and meeting with the charter schools that will be up for renewal to discuss procedures and processes. Since the California School Dashboard has not been produced for the last two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of verified data may need to be utilized to establish the growth aspects of the renewal criteria. Also, be aware that schools may have made changes to their programs and those changes may be included in the renewal petitions. Additional resources can be found on the Santa Clara County Office of Education Charter Schools Department External link opens in new window or tab. website.

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Fiscal Hot Topics

  • Unaudited Actuals Reporting unaudited actuals is the process of closing out the previous fiscal year accounts and preparing a report to submit for auditing. Charter schools that do not report in the Standardized Account Code Structure (SACS) format must use the Alternative Form. Unaudited actuals must be completed by charter schools and submitted to their authorizing agencies by September 15, 2022. Authorizers then review and need to submit the forms to their county offices for review, who will then submit the forms to the CDE by October 15, 2022.

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Q&A from Previous Charter Chats and CASI Email

What are the requirements for charter schools and universal prekindergarten (UPK) and transitional kindergarten (TK)?
  • Do charters have to offer TK? No. Charter schools are not required to offer TK. The California Department of Education’s (CDE) position was previously expressed differently.
  • What is the ratio for TK during recess and lunch? The statute requires that starting July 1, 2022, a school district or charter school shall maintain an average ratio of at least one adult (which may be the teacher) for every 12 pupils during instructional time, which for TK students at a school district includes recess if students are engaged in educational activities required of them and under the immediate control and supervision of a certificated employee (Education Code [EC] Section 46115). The law is silent with respect to whether the ratio must be maintained during lunch and recess that is not being counted towards instructional time. For additional guidance on ratios for TK, please email the School Fiscal Services Division at PASE@cde.ca.gov.
  • Can a charter school offer TK as part of an independent study program? Yes. However, the independent study program that the local educational agency is providing would have to meet the requirements of independent study in order to be eligible for funding (Article 5.5 of Chapter 5 of Part 28 of the EC, commencing with EC Section 51745).
  • Do charter schools not offering TK have to return UPK Planning and Implementation funds allocated pursuant to EC Section 8281.5? If charter schools are not offering TK and are not creating plans for UPK implementation, they are required to return the UPK Planning and Implementation funding. Please email UPKPlanningGrant@cde.ca.gov to advise the CDE of this intent.
  • For more information, see Universal Prekindergarten and Charter Schools FAQs.
Can you provide an update on the August Advisory Commission on Charter Schools (ACCS) meeting and any recommendations from the ACCS to the State Board of Education (SBE)?
  • At the August 11, 2022, ACCS meeting, the ACCS considered two additional appeals of denials of charter petitions under the “abuse of discretion” standard under Assembly Bill (AB) 1505 that were discussed in the July Charter Chat.
    • As a reminder, the role of the ACCS is not to determine whether an abuse of discretion occurred, but to recommend to the SBE whether there is sufficient evidence to hear the appeal or to summarily deny review of the appeal based on the documentary record.
    • Caliber: High School The Caliber: High School (CHS) charter petition was denied by the Vallejo City Unified School District and the Solano County Board of Education. The CDE recommended that the ACCS issue a recommendation to the SBE to summarily deny the CHS appeal. The ACCS first voted down a motion to recommend that the SBE hear the appeal, then voted to recommend the CDE staff recommendation that the SBE summarily deny the appeal.
    • Mayacamas Charter Middle School The Mayacamas Charter Middle School (MCMS) charter petition was denied by the Napa Valley Unified School District and the Napa County Board of Education. The CDE recommended that the ACCS issue a recommendation to the SBE to hear the MCMS appeal. This recommendation is based upon the CDE’s review of MCMS’ appeal and the documentary record, which set out sufficient evidence to hear the appeal. The ACCS voted to recommend the CDE staff recommendation that the SBE hear the appeal.
  • The SBE Meeting at which the ACCS recommendations will be considered will be held September 14–15, 2022.

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Q&A from the August Charter Chat

For charter petition renewals, if the California School Dashboard is not released at the time of renewal review, can an authorizer determine their own performance categories?

No. Renewals are bound by Education Code sections 47605 External link opens in new window or tab. , 47607 External link opens in new window or tab. , and 47607.2 External link opens in new window or tab..

What are the Brown Act requirements for charter school governing boards?

Senate Bill (SB) 98 External link opens in new window or tab. took effect on June 29, 2020, and held that charter schools would be bound by the same governance transparency laws as districts.  During the COVID-19 state of emergency, all governing board meetings shifted to virtual meetings and Brown Act requirements were temporarily suspended.  As schools are back in-person, many boards are contemplating transitioning to in-person meetings. However, with that transition, come all of the requirements which are contained in Education Code Section 47604.1 External link opens in new window or tab.:

  • If a Charter Board only has one site, the board meeting must be held at the site.
  • If a Charter Board has more than one site and operates in only one county, then the charter must establish two-way communication at each site for the board meeting.
  • If a Charter Board has more than one school and operates in only one county:
    • The meeting must be held within the physical boundaries of the county, and
    • Two-way communication must be established at every school for the Board meeting.
  • If a Charter Board has more than one school and operates in different counties:
    • The Board meeting must be held in the physical boundary of the county in which the most students reside,
    • Two-way communication must be established at every site for the Board meeting, and
    • The meeting must be recorded and posted to the school’s website.
  • If a Charter Board operates a nonclassroom-based school that does not have a facility or operates more than one resource center:
    • The meeting must be held within the physical boundaries of the county in which the most students reside, and
    • Two-way communication must be established at every resource center for the Board meeting.

On June 30, 2022, Governor Newsom signed SB 189 into law which created Government Code (GC) 11133, and is in effect until June 30, 2023:

GC 11133 External link opens in new window or tab. states:

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, and subject to the notice and accessibility requirements in subdivisions (d) and (e), a state body may hold public meetings through teleconferencing and make public meetings accessible telephonically, or otherwise electronically, to all members of the public seeking to observe and to address the state body.

(b) (1) For a state body holding a public meeting through teleconferencing pursuant to this section, all requirements in this article requiring the physical presence of members, the clerk or other personnel of the state body, or the public, as a condition of participation in or quorum for a public meeting, are hereby suspended.

(2) For a state body holding a public meeting through teleconferencing pursuant to this section, all of the following requirements in this article are suspended:

  • (A) Each teleconference location from which a member will be participating in a public meeting or proceeding be identified in the notice and agenda of the public meeting or proceeding.
  • (B) Each teleconference location be accessible to the public.
  • (C) Members of the public may address the state body at each teleconference conference location.
  • (D) Post agendas at all teleconference locations.
  • (E) At least one member of the state body be physically present at the location specified in the notice of the meeting.

(c) A state body that holds a meeting through teleconferencing and allows members of the public to observe and address the meeting telephonically or otherwise electronically, consistent with the notice and accessibility requirements in subdivisions (d) and (e), shall have satisfied any requirement that the state body allow members of the public to attend the meeting and offer public comment. A state body need not make available any physical location from which members of the public may observe the meeting and offer public comment.

(d) If a state body holds a meeting through teleconferencing pursuant to this section and allows members of the public to observe and address the meeting telephonically or otherwise electronically, the state body shall also do both of the following:

  • (1) Implement a procedure for receiving and swiftly resolving requests for reasonable modification or accommodation from individuals with disabilities, consistent with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 United States Code Sec. 12101 et seq.), and resolving any doubt whatsoever in favor of accessibility.
  • (2) Advertise that procedure each time notice is given of the means by which members of the public may observe the meeting and offer public comment, pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (e).

 

(e) Except to the extent this section provides otherwise, each state body that holds a meeting through teleconferencing pursuant to this section shall do both of the following:

  • (1) Give advance notice of the time of, and post the agenda for, each public meeting according to the timeframes otherwise prescribed by this article, and using the means otherwise prescribed by this article, as applicable.
  • (2) In each instance in which notice of the time of the meeting is otherwise given or the agenda for the meeting is otherwise posted, also give notice of the means by which members of the public may observe the meeting and offer public comment. As to any instance in which there is a change in the means of public observation and comment, or any instance prior to the effective date of this section in which the time of the meeting has been noticed or the agenda for the meeting has been posted without also including notice of the means of public observation and comment, a state body may satisfy this requirement by advertising the means of public observation and comment using the most rapid means of communication available at the time. Advertising the means of public observation and comment using the most rapid means of communication available at the time shall include, but need not be limited to, posting such means on the state body’s internet website.

 

(f) All state bodies utilizing the teleconferencing procedures in this section are urged to use sound discretion and to make reasonable efforts to adhere as closely as reasonably possible to the otherwise applicable provisions of this article, in order to maximize transparency and provide the public access to state body meetings.

(g) This section shall remain in effect only until July 1, 2023, and as of that date is repealed.

Can CASI share charter school web page review tools?

The Santa Clara County Office of Education currently reviews their charters’ websites for the following criteria, also available as a Google Website Review Worksheet External link opens in new window or tab. (XLSX):

  • Uniform Complaint Procedures (UCP)
  • The charter school complaint form regarding not serving all students who wish to attend
  • Suspension/expulsion policy
  • Parent/student handbook
  • Title IX policy
  • Suicide prevention policy
  • A copy of school lottery application
  • School admission requirements
  • Lottery preferences and procedures
  • Board meeting calendar
  • Board meeting agendas (one click on front of website to current agenda)
  • Board minutes/recordings where applicable
  • School Accountability Report Card
  • The most recent Local Control and Accountability Plan (in the correct format and in one document which includes the budget overview for parents)
  • The federal addendum (if applicable)
  • School contact information (address, phone numbers, and email addresses)

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Questions:   Charter Authorizer Support Initiative | CASI@cde.ca.gov | 916-322-6029
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, September 13, 2022
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