THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234

 

TO:

The Honorable the Members of the Board of Regents

FROM:

James A. Kadamus

COMMITTEE:

Full Board

TITLE OF ITEM:

Charter School Critical Issues

DATE OF SUBMISSION:

October 18, 2004

PROPOSED HANDLING:

Discussion

RATIONALE FOR ITEM:

Regents Policy Direction

STRATEGIC GOAL:

Goals 1 and 2

AUTHORIZATION(S):

 

 

SUMMARY:

 

In November, you will continue discussion of critical issues relating to teachers, facilities, the renewal of charter schools and the delay in operation of approved charter schools.  The attached material submitted to you in October includes questions to facilitate discussion of these topics.  We will also be looking for any comments from Board members regarding recommendations to the Legislature to include in the annual report on the status of charter schools that will be submitted to the Board for approval in December.

 

In September, the Board discussed fiscal impact and educational need issues.  We did receive a clear indication that the Board wants staff to look at the cumulative fiscal impact on a district, but does not want to set a hard and fast rule on the maximum level for that impact.  The guidance received suggests that there would be significantly less concern about an application where the cumulative fiscal impact was below 5 percent, than for an application where the cumulative fiscal impact exceeded 7.5 percent.  Applicants should be given this guidance by Department staff.  However, the Board reserves the right to decide on a case-by-case basis since there may be cases where the educational need is so great that it would override fiscal impact concerns.

 

In October, the Board discussed special need populations.  The directions provided by the Board were:  (1) a charter school must have an adequate plan for addressing the needs of students with disabilities; (2) applications from charter schools for subgroups of special need populations would be considered on a case-by-case basis; and (3) applications from charter schools that have fewer than the statutory minimum of 50 students would also be considered on a case-by-case basis.  Again, applicants should be given this guidance by Department staff.

 

 

Attachment

 


 

 

THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234

 

TO:

The Honorable the Members of the Board of Regents

FROM:

James A. Kadamus

COMMITTEE:

EMSC-VESID

TITLE OF ITEM:

Charter School Critical Issues

DATE OF SUBMISSION:

September 14, 2004

PROPOSED HANDLING:

Discussion

RATIONALE FOR ITEM:

Regents Policy Direction

STRATEGIC GOAL:

Goals 1 and 2

AUTHORIZATION(S):

 

 

SUMMARY:

 

In September, the Board began discussion of charter school critical issues in order to give better policy direction to staff as they review new applications for charter schools and revisions to charters for existing charter schools.  You discussed the issue of fiscal impact and began your discussion on educational need.  Based on your discussion, I have added a seventh issue relating to delays in the operational date of approved charter schools.  In October, you will continue discussion of the remaining issues.  The critical issues are:

 

1.         Fiscal Impact

 

        What should the maximum level for the fiscal impact of an individual charter school be on a school district?

        What should the maximum level for the cumulative fiscal impact be for all charter schools in the district?

        How should the impact be determined?

        Would there be any conditions under which an application should be approved even if its approval meant that the maximum level of fiscal impact would be exceeded?

        Should there be a different threshold for fiscal impact depending upon whether the district supports or opposes the creation of charter schools?

 

2.         Educational Need

 

        Should we have a more specific definition of "educational need" within a district to justify a charter school?  For example, should there be a threshold in terms of overall student performance levels and/or its student subpopulations?

 

3.         Special Need Populations

 

        Should there be more specificity on the types of programs that a charter school must provide for students with disabilities?

        Under what conditions is it acceptable for a charter school to serve fewer than the statutory minimum of 50 students?

        Can a school be exclusively created for students with disabilities or other special need subgroups?

 

4.         Teachers

 

        Should any conditions be set relating to teacher certification or collective bargaining in the review of charter school applications?

 

5.         Facilities

 

        Should additional criteria be set with respect to the facilities to be used by charter schools?

 

6.         Renewal of Charter Schools

 

        What standards should be used for the renewal of charter schools?

        Would such standards differ for schools for which the Regents are the chartering entity?

 

7.         Delay in Operation of Approved Charter Schools

 

        Should there be a limit on revisions to charters for approved charter schools to delay the operational date?