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0210emsca4

TO:

EMSC Committee

FROM:

John B. King Jr.

SUBJECT:

Charter Schools: Proposed Second  Renewal Charter for the New Covenant Charter School

DATE:

February 2, 2010

STRATEGIC GOAL:

Goals 1 and 2

AUTHORIZATION(S):

 

 

SUMMARY

 

Issues for Decision

Should the Regents approve the staff’s recommendation concerning the proposed second renewal to the charter for the New Covenant Charter School (Albany)? 

  

Background Information

We received a request on November 19, 2009 from the Board of Trustees of the State University of New York (“SUNY”) to approve and issue a second renewal charter for the New Covenant Charter School (“the School”) up through and including July 31, 2010.  The Schools initial charter went into effect by operation of law on September 17, 1999. The Schools first renewal charter went into effect by operation of law on September 15, 2004. The School currently serves 625 students in grades K-6 and the renewal maintains this enrollment.

On October 8, 2009, the Albany City School District (“the District”) held the required public hearing on this proposed second renewal charter. There were no attendees and no comments generated at the hearing.  Additionally, the Voorheesville Central School District submitted a letter in support of the approval of the Schools renewal.  The letter asserts “the fact that they have made consistent, steady, and significant progress forward is more of a testament to their bringing children to higher achievement levels than if they suddenly, magically achieved such a high rate of passage on carefully designed instruments.” 

A general concern raised by SED staff was the inability to ascertain the educational and fiscal soundness of the school.

Staff recommend that the Board of Regents return the proposed second renewal charter to SUNY.

                             

Recommendation

VOTED:  That the Board of Regents returns the proposed second renewal charter of the New Covenant Charter School to the Trustees of the State University of New York for reconsideration, and with the following comments and recommendations: that the resubmission provides: (1) information regarding all provisions of the School’s second renewal charter (including its educational program) that have been changed, if any, since its initial charter was issued; (2) specific fiscal information including: a narrative that explains the budget, a budget that includes an escrow account for possible dissolution, and an explanation of the depreciation/deferred fees and capital expenditures; (3) specific information regarding the activities used to serve students with disabilities; (4) specific information regarding the activities used to serve English language learners; and (5) a curriculum to address and be aligned with all 28 New York State Learning Standards.

Timetable for Implementation

The Regents action for the New Covenant Charter School is effective immediately.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New York State Education Department

Summary of Proposed Renewal Charter

 

Name of Charter School:  New Covenant Charter School

 

Address:  50 North Lark Street, Albany, NY 12210

Board of Trustees President:  Jacqueline Brace

                                                                Charles A. Rogers, Sr.

 

District of Location:  Albany                      

 

Charter Entity:  SUNY Trustees

 

Institutional Partner(s):  None

Management Partner(s): Victory Schools Inc.

Grades Served:        K-6       

Projected Enrollment: 625

 

  Renewal Application Highlights

 

Evidence of Educational Soundness/ Attainment of Educational Objectives

 

·       For the School’s performance on State assessments, see Attachment 1.

  • The district of location (the Albany City School District) had a greater percentage of students scoring at or above Level 3 on the Grades 3, 4, and 5 State assessments in ELA for the 07-08 school year.
  • The School has not met or come close to meeting its academic accountability goals as outlined in its charter for ELA.
  • The School did achieve its academic accountability goal for mathematics in the 08-09 school year.
  • The School did not provide curriculum to address the revised math standards.
  • The School has consistently underperformed the local school district.
  • CSI notes, in its own Renewal Report dated January 7, 2009, “the School has not met or come close to meeting its academic Accountability Plan goals during the Accountability Period.”
  • The School did not provide a curriculum that addresses and is aligned to all 28 of the New York State Learning Standards.
  • There has been a high degree of administrator turnover at the school having 5 principals during the renewal period and 12 throughout the entire operational period.

 

Evidence of Fiscal Soundness/Projected Fiscal Impact

 

  • The School’s budget does not demonstrate fiscal soundness with a deficit of       $1,134,795 for the year ending 2008 and a deficit of $666,374 for the year ending 2009.
  • CSI notes, in its own Renewal Report dated January 7, 2009, “the most recent financial statements show the School is struggling financially.  The school has a working capital deficit of $2.979 million and the school’s net assets deficit is $4.833 million.”

 

Projected 2009-10 Fiscal Impact of New Covenant Charter School on the

Albany City School District

School Year

Number of Students

Projected Impact

2009-2010

625

3.44%

Projected 2009-10 Fiscal Impact of All Charter School

The Albany City School District

School

2009-10

Achievement Academy CS

1.65%

Albany Community CS

1.86%

Albany Leadership CHS for Girls

0.00%

Albany Preparatory CS

0.83%

Brighter Choice CMS Boys

0.00%

Brighter Choice CMS Girls

0.00%

Brighter Choice  CS for Boys

1.29%

Brighter Choice CS for Girls

1.24%

Green Tech High CS

0.96%

Henry Johnson CS

1.51%

Kipp Tech Valley CS

1.65%

New Covenant CS

3.44%

Total Projected Impact

14.42%

 *Assumes a 3.0 percent annual increase in the district’s budget and a 4.5 percent annual increase in the average expense per pupil.  Projections are subject to fluctuation in actual enrollments, FTE enrollments, AOE, and district budgets.  Further assumes all students will come from the district of location (with exceptions noted), and that all other charter schools will still be in operation from 2009-10 forward.

 

Evidence of Parent and Student Satisfaction and Community Support

 

  • The Public Hearing was on October 8, 2009.  There were no attendees.
  • A letter for support of the school was received by the Superintendent of the Voorheesville Central School District.

 

 

Attachment 1

 

2007-2008 and 2008-09

Grades 3-6 State ELA and Math Assessments

Percent of New Covenant Charter School Students at Levels 3 – 4

As Compared with the Albany City School District

Grades 3-6 ELA

 

2007-08

2008-09

 

Level 3

Level 4

Level 3

Level 4

Grade 3

       

New Covenant CS

39.1

3.6

58.3

3.9

Albany City Schools

51.7

8.2

54.1

7.3

Grade 4

       

New Covenant CS

41.7

1

51.4

1.9

Albany City Schools

47.1

4.3

62.1

5

Grade 5

       

New Covenant CS

56.9

3.9

72

10

Albany City Schools

57.8

3.9

60.9

8.5

Grade 6

       

New Covenant CS

55.9

0

65.9

4.9

Albany City Schools

44.9

1.2

57.2

5.2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grades 3-6 Math

 

2007-08

2008-09

 

Level 3

Level 4

Level 3

Level 4

Grade 3

       

New Covenant CS

67.6

1.9

75

15

Albany City Schools

62.3

11.2

68.7

13.2

Grade 4

       

New Covenant CS

58.7

10.9

52.4

2.9

Albany City Schools

55.5

10.4

53.4

21.1

Grade 5

       

New Covenant CS

64.7

13.7

75.5

16.3

Albany City Schools

51

7.5

58.4

11.1

Grade 6

       

New Covenant CS

52.9

14.7

58.5

29.3

Albany City Schools

48

10.5

46.8

13

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