CASI November 2022 Charter Chat Resource PageInformation and resources from the November 2022 Charter Chat, presented by the Charter Authorizer Support Initiative (CASI).
Charter Chat Topics
- Program Hot Topics
- Fiscal Hot Topics
- State Board of Education Updates
- Q&A from Previous Charter Chats and CASI Email
- Q&A from the November Charter Chat
- Charter School Renewals There have been many
questions regarding charter school renewals. Please come to the CASI January Quarterly Regional Training to get answers and insights:
- Virtual: Friday, January 13, 2023, 9–11 a.m. (all welcome)
- In Person: Friday, January 20 or 27, 2023, 9 a.m.– noon (authorizers only), available in up to four locations with 10 or more intended participants each
- Register in advance at CASI January Quarterly Regional Trainings on the Road to Renewal
- Adopted Academic Progress Indicators There are efforts underway to reopen the assessment selection process for the Verified Data List. If you would like to be notified when the assessment selection process reopens, please contact the Charter Schools Division at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 2021–22 California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) Interpretation Guide (DOCX) The 2021–22 CAASPP Interpretation Guide has been released.
- Charter School Database The California Department of Education Charter School Database includes information on charter school renewal terms, site type, etc.
- Audit Reports According to California Education Code (EC) 41020(h), local educational agency (LEA) audit reports were due December 15.
- First Interim The first interim report is due December 15 for the period ending October 31.
- Nonclassroom-Based Funding Determination Requests If a charter school’s classroom-based average daily attendance (ADA) falls below 80 percent of its total ADA, it may not receive Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) funding for its nonclassroom-based or independent study ADA unless the school has an active funding determination approved by the State Board of Education (SBE).
Funding determinations are based on schools’ total expenditures for certificated employee salaries and benefits, and instruction and related services. Per regulations, charter schools may be approved by the SBE to receive 100 percent funding for their nonclassroom-based ADA, 85 percent, or 70 percent, or may be denied (which results in 0 percent funding for their nonclassroom-based ADA). Each funding level maintains specific criteria that charter schools must meet in order to be funded at that level. These criteria are designated in regulations. Most charter schools request a funding level of 100 percent. In order to be funded at this level, charter schools must meet the following three criteria:
- Spend at least 40 percent of its revenues on instructional certificated salaries and benefits,
- Spend at least 80 percent of its revenues on instruction and related services,
- Maintain a pupil-teacher ratio that does not exceed 25:1, or the equivalent ratio of pupils to full-time certificated employees for all other educational programs operated by the largest unified school district in the county.
Funding Level Percent Spent on Instructional Certificated Staff Salaries and Benefits Percent Spent on Instruction and Related Services Independent Study Pupil to Full Time Equivalent Certified Teacher Ratio 100% (full funding) ≥ 40% ≥ 80% 25:1 85% ≥ 40% ≥ 70% Not Applicable 70% ≥ 35% ≥ 60% Not Applicable 0% (denial) < 35% < 60% Not Applicable
Detailed information regarding funding determinations is available on the Nonclassroom-Based Determination of Funding web page. Questions regarding funding determinations should be emailed to the Charter Schools Division at FundingDeterminations@cde.ca.gov.
- The ACCS meeting for October was canceled due to lack of items for review.
- The SBE meeting was on November 2–3 and the agenda included student advisory board report presentations, CAASPP, and English Learner Performance Indicator (ELPI) information. There were no charter school items on the November SBE agenda.
- The December ACCS meeting was held on December 8 and the agenda and video link are available at ACCS Meeting Webcasts.
Charter Chat Q&A
In 2015, our county office of education accepted a charter school on appeal from a local district. When they came up for renewal, we contacted the original district to see if they wanted to take the school back. I was not in the charter department then and I am confused by this. Did we legally need to do that?
No. There is no statutory requirement for a county office of education which approved a charter petition on appeal to include the local district in the renewal process.
What is the maximum extension that the authorizer can provide for Audit Reports?
is no provision in law for an extension of a charter school audit as there is a school district and, therefore, no guidance on the maximum extension. However, the audit extension should be within reason. As an example, the Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) Charter Schools Department has granted 60-day extensions (February).
Are there any resources or best practices available regarding the evaluation and/or process for a charter's request for an audit extension?
The following response was developed with support from our partners at the Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team (FCMAT):
There are not any resources currently available regarding the evaluation and/or process in reviewing a charter schools request for an audit extension.However, here are some items (in no specific order) to consider should you receive a request:
- What is the reason for the request?
- How much more time is needed to complete the audit?
- Does the charter have a history of requesting an extension on their audit?
- Note: The State Controller’s Office is not likely to approve audit extensions due to issues related to Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Statement 87, the new lease accounting standard.
Additionally, it is recommended that authorizers contact both the audit firm and charter school individually regarding the extension to get a sense of why the extension is needed:
- Is it due to the charter school not providing documentation necessary to the auditors?
- Or are the auditors behind schedule for other reasons?
In the conversations with the audit firm and charter school, an authorizer may be able to get a sense of the charter’s findings in their current status, or if they’ve conducted a mid-year review, including major issues that would impact the charter financially (e.g., attendance, independent study, etc.).
Also, should you choose to not grant the extension, know that there is currently no immediate remedy if a charter school does not submit the Audit Report by December 15. At the discretion of the authorizer, this information can be included in Annual Reports or renewal decisions.
Just to confirm, site-based charter schools do NOT submit a funding determination request?
Charter schools with classroom-based average daily attendance (ADA) that exceeds 80 percent of their total ADA, do not need to submit a funding determination request. However, charter schools with classroom-based ADA to nonclassroom-based ADA ratios projected near the 80 percent threshold may obtain a funding determination to ensure against Local Control Funding Formula funding impacts should they unexpectedly fall below the 80 percent threshold.
Have any changes been made to the level of scrutiny applied to funding determination applications since the findings related to the A3 scandal?
The California Department of Education reviews all funding determination requests pursuant to California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Section 11964.4.
Just to confirm, an existing charter with a funding determination due date of February 2, 2023, would have until that date to submit to the California Department of Education their funding determination application, correct?
That is correct. Charter schools with a funding determination renewal date of February 1, 2023, must submit their funding determination request no later than February 1, 2023. However, charter schools may submit their funding determination request to the California Department of Education early/prior to that date.
As authorizers, is it acceptable to ask our schools for access to their alternative assessment systems or raw data in order to conduct a review?
Education Code 47604.3 allows authorizers to request relevant documents as part of their oversight. As an authorizer, you may request alternative assessment data or include the request in your Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).