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Meeting of the Board of Regents | June 2008

Friday, June 20, 2008 - 11:00pm

sed seal                                                                                                 







Johanna Duncan-Poitier


Charter Schools:  Proposed Revision of the Initial Charter of the KIPP Tech Valley Charter School



June 20, 2008


Goals 1 and 2






Issue for Decision


Should the Regents approve the staff’s recommendations concerning the proposed revision to the charter of the KIPP Tech Valley Charter School (“the School”) in Albany?


Reason(s) for Consideration


              Required by State statute, Education Law §2852.


Proposed Handling


This question will come before the EMSC Committee in June 2008 for action.  It will then come before the full Board for final action in June 2008.


Procedural History


The New York Charter Schools Act of 1998 requires the Board of Regents to review, in accordance with the standards set forth in Education Law §2852(2), proposed charters, renewal charters and revisions to charters and renewal charters that have been approved and submitted by other charter entities.  The Board of Regents may either approve and issue a charter, renewal charter and/or revision as proposed by the charter entity, or return the same to the charter entity for reconsideration with written comments and recommendations.   


Background Information


We received a request from the Trustees of the State University of New York (“the Trustees”) on April 2, 2008 for the KIPP Tech Valley Charter School (“the School”) to amend its initial charter.  The School, which was chartered on March 23, 2004, currently serves students in grades 5-7, and will serve grades 5-8 during 2008-09 (the final year of its initial charter).  The School seeks to decrease its student enrollment from 270 to 226 students for the 2007-08 school year and from 360 to 300 students for the 2008-09 school year.  On June 19, 2008, SUNY reported the School’s current enrollment is 223 and projected enrollment for the fall of 2008 is 300.  Based on current enrollment figures and new applications, SED staff believe the School will be able to maintain the enrollment indicated in the revision for the 2008-2009 school year.


The Albany City School District (“the District”) held a public hearing regarding this proposed revision on May 21, 2008.  No public comments were made or received at this hearing.  However, Dr. Eva Joseph submitted comments on behalf of the District in a letter dated February 28, 2008 to Ralph Rossi at the Charter School Institute. In this letter, which is available for your inspection in the Regents Office, the District makes the following points, allegations and requests:


  • Charter school enrollment fluctuations “severely inhibit and negatively impact the stability and effectiveness of Albany City School District’s own improvement efforts.”


  • “The majority of charter schools operating within the City School District of Albany are consistently under-enrolled….This excess capacity, coupled with an over saturation of charter schools themselves, has created both long and short term planning and budgetary problems for the Albany School District.”


  • The district requests, “the Charter Schools Institute review, evaluate and provide for the SUNY Board of Trustees, a capacity and space utilization plan for each of the currently approved charter school sites and charter schools.”


Staff recommend that the proposed revision be approved.




VOTED: That the Board of Regents approves the revision to the initial charter of the KIPP Tech Valley Charter School as proposed by the Trustees of the State University of New York, and the provisional charter is amended accordingly.


Reasons for Recommendation


              The proposed revision to the School’s charter, along with the other terms of the charter: (1) meets the requirements set out in Article 56 of the Education Law, and all other applicable laws, rules and regulations; (2) will permit the charter school to operate in an educationally and fiscally sound manner; (3) is likely to improve student learning and achievement and materially further the purposes set out in subdivision two of section twenty-eight hundred fifty of Article 56 of the Education Law; and (4) will have a significant educational benefit to the students expected to attend the proposed charter school.


Timetable for Implementation


The Regents action for the KIPP Tech Valley Charter School is effective immediately.