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:

July 30, 2004

PROPOSED HANDLING:

Discussion

RATIONALE FOR ITEM:

Regents Policy Direction

STRATEGIC GOAL:

Goals 1 and 2

AUTHORIZATION(S):

 

 

SUMMARY:

 

Over the past months, the Regents EMSC-VESID Committee has spent a considerable amount of time on charter school actions.  Several critical issues repeatedly come up during the Committee's discussion.   The following issues have been identified so that the Board can give better policy direction to staff as they review new applications for charter schools and revisions to charters for existing charter schools.  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?