Meeting of the Board of Regents | January 2008
THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234
Charter Schools: Proposed Charter for the Green Dot New York Charter School
January 4, 2008
Goals 1 and 2
Issue for Decision
Should the Regents approve and issue the proposed charter of the Green Dot New York Charter School (New York City) as submitted by the Trustees of the State University of New York?
Reason(s) for Consideration
Required by the State statute Education Law §2852.
This question will come before the Regents EMSC Committee for action and then before the full Board for final action in January 2008.
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.
We received a proposed charter from the Trustees of the State University of New York (SUNY) for the establishment of the following charter school. It will be presented to you at your January 2008 meeting. The proposed charter is to establish the:
- Green Dot New York Charter School (New York City)
The Green Dot New York Charter School would be located in New York City in the borough of The Bronx, either in Community School District 7 or 8. Initially, the School will serve 115 ninth graders and grow to serve 420 students in grades 9-12 by the fourth year of the initial charter. The School’s mission “is to prepare students for success in college, leadership and life by creating a small, college-preparatory high school to foster life-long learning, cross-cultural competency, social responsibility and academic excellence, based on a belief that all students can go on to college.” It is the intent of the School to replicate and model itself on the experience of a California-based charter school operator. Several aspects of the model center on creating high expectations and extra-supports within a climate that is small, safe and personal. The Green Dot Public Schools, a non-profit charter school company, and the United Federation of Teachers Educational Foundation are providing material and other support to the School.
VOTED: That the Board of Regents approve and issue the charter of the Green Dot New York Charter School as proposed by the Trustees of the State University of New York and issue a provisional charter to it for a term of five years, ending on January 14, 2013.
Reasons for Recommendation
(1) The charter school described in the proposed charter meets the requirements set out in Article 56 of the Education Law, and all other applicable laws, rules, and regulations; (2) the applicants can demonstrate the ability to operate the school in an educationally and fiscally sound manner; and (3) approving and issuing the proposed charter 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) approving and issuing the proposed charter will have a significant educational benefit to the students expected to attend the proposed charter school.
Timetable for Implementation
The Regents action for the Green Dot New York Charter School is effective immediately.
New York State Education Department
Summary of Proposed Charter
Name of Proposed Charter School: Green Dot New York Charter School (or “the School”)
Applicant(s): Jeffrey Leeds
Anticipated Opening Date: September 2, 2008
District of Location: New York City Community School District 7 or 8, The Bronx
Charter Entity: Trustees of the State University of New York (SUNY)
Institutional Partner(s): Green Dot Public Schools and the United Federation of Teachers Educational Foundation (“the Foundation”)
Management Partner(s): N/A
Grades Served: 2008-2009: 9
Projected Enrollment: 2008-2009: 115
Proposed Charter Highlights
Jeffrey T. Leeds, the lead applicant and proposed Board President, is the president of a private equity firm which he co-founded. It is one of the largest private equity firms in the country focusing on education, information and training. Mr. Leeds is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School. He serves on several boards, including as a Trustee on the United Federation of Teachers Charter School Board in New York City.
Green Dot Public Schools, a non-profit operator of charter secondary schools in California, will assist the School in replicating their approach as a model. The support will include assistance in recruiting and hiring administrators and faculty, training and oversight of administrators and faculty, financial and other operations assistance, and curriculum development and training. The School will not be charged for these contributions.
The United Federation of Teachers Educational Foundation (“the Foundation”) will assist the School in finding a suitable facility. If space is not available in a city of New York district facility, the Foundation has pledged to provide appropriate space at the Foundation’s expense. In addition, the Foundation will provide the School with complementary administrative and operating support services, including financial management, procurement of grants, resources and services, identification of faculty, technology management, and support with human resources operations.
- The School’s mission is “to prepare students for success in college, leadership and life by creating a small, college-preparatory high school with a student-centered environment involving family, community and school to foster life-long learning, cross-cultural competency, social responsibility and academic excellence, based on a belief that all students can go on to college.”
- It is the intent of the School to replicate and model itself on the experience of an academically successful, California-based charter school operator.
- The curriculum is fully aligned with the New York State performance and learning standards.
- Several aspects of the School’s model center on creating a high expectations and extra-supports within a climate that is small, safe and personal.
- Several intervention and support strategies are employed including: a two-and-a-half to five week mandatory summer academic and expectations orientation for incoming ninth graders; Read 180, a reading intervention program, for students who test low in reading; math intervention time and personnel; a course in curriculum and study skills, required of ninth graders; and direct English language learner support.
- The required 27.5 hours of weekly instruction is met in the schedules submitted matched to the various subject requirements.
- Data-driven instruction will pervade the School with frequent formal and informal assessments featuring teacher (and student) analysis and planning for needed support and differentiated instruction.
- It is anticipated that all students who enter in ninth grade and remain with the School will pass the graduation requirements for a NYS Regents diploma.
- The School anticipates offering several AP courses once it begins enrolling 11th and 12th grade students.
- The School proposes a 184-day school year with an additional two to five-week summer program for all ninth graders.
- The School shall be governed by a Board of Trustees, comprising no less than five (5) and no more than eleven (11) members, with final authority for policy and operational decisions of the School.
- The Board officers are annually elected and comprise: a Chairperson/President, a Vice Chairperson, a Secretary, and a Treasurer.
- The Trustees, collectively, will be required to demonstrate experience in education, law, fundraising, finance, governance, education and/or community advocacy.
- The School’s by-laws and code of ethics make clear that trustees associated with Green Dot Public Schools or the United Federation of Teachers Educational Foundation will recuse themselves from voting on all issues involving Green Dot Public Schools or the United Federation of Teachers Educational Foundation, Inc., respectively.
- The Green Dot New York Charter School will serve 115 ninth grade students in the first year; the School intends to grow to serve grades 9 -12, adding a grade a year until the School reaches full capacity of 420 in Year Four of the proposed charter.
- The School expects the student body to reflect the population of the target area: 5% white; 30% black; 61% Hispanic; and 3% Asian or Other. In 2005-2006 87% of the area public school children participated in the federal free/reduced lunch program.
- The School hopes to be successful in its request for existing New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) space and has had extensive and ongoing discussions with NYCDOE.
- However, the United Federation of Teachers Educational Foundation assures the School that the Foundation will provide adequate facilities for the School in the event that NYCDOE fails to identify an appropriate facility in a public school facility. Two potential facilities have been identified as part of the contingency planning.
- The proposed first instructional year operational budget of the School is $2,166,439.
- The School anticipates raising $519,707 from private sources during the first year of the charter. In that year, the School anticipates federal revenue for CSP grants implementation in the amount of $262,500.
- An operating budget surplus of $1,913,310 in anticipated at the end of the first instructional year.
- The potential fiscal impact upon the District is represented below. Please note that these projections are based upon several assumptions, which may or may not occur: that all existing charter schools will also exist in the next five years and serve the same grade levels as they do now; that the charter schools will be able to meet their projected maximum enrollment; that all students will come from New York City and no other districts; that all students will attend everyday for a 1.0 FTE; that the District’s budget will increase at the projected rate; that the per pupil payment will increase (and not decrease); and that the per pupil payment will increase at the projected rate.
Fiscal Impact of the
Dot New York Charter School
(New York City – Community School District 7 or 8 – The Bronx)
2008-09 through 2012-13
Number of Students
*Assumes a 3 percent annual increase in the District’s budget from the base of $20.12 billion in 2007-2008; and a 4.5 percent annual increase in the average expense per pupil per year from the 2007-2008 rate of $11,023.
- The Green Dot New York Charter School will recruit candidates through teacher job fairs, newspaper ads, local colleges and universities, Board contacts, and Internet job networks. Green Dot Public Schools will assist in identifying and recommending candidates for Principal to the Trustees to consider hiring and will assist and advise the School staff on identifying and hiring for other positions.
- While each position will have varying job requirements, the school generally considers a candidate’s proven work experience, academic credentials, motivation to embrace and fulfill the school’s mission, and ability to be a strong team player in support of the educational success of every student.
- In Year One, with 115 students, the School anticipates hiring 11 full-time teachers (including special education and subject intervention specialists), one guidance and one college counselor, one Principal, one Assistant Principal, a secretary and several aides.
- By the Fifth year of the charter, with 420 students, the School would employ 25 teachers including special education and subject intervention specialists), one guidance and one college counselor, a secretary and several aides.
- The application included petitions with 224 signatures of parents who would consider enrolling their children in the School set to open in September 2008.
- On July 12, 2007, the Charter School Institute sent a letter notifying more than 190 public and independent schools in the School’s proposed community school district of the application for a charter and inviting comments.
- On October 18, 2007, the New York City Department of Education sent a letter notifying the State Education Department that a public hearing was held to discuss the proposed charter for Green Dot New York Charter School on October 18, 2007.
- No comments were received.