Meeting of the Board of Regents | January 2009
THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234
Charter Schools: Proposed Revision to the Initial Charter of the Aloma D. Johnson Fruit Belt Community Charter School
January 5, 2009
Goals 1 and 2
Issue for Decision
Should the Board of Regents approve the request to revise the initial charter of the Aloma D. Johnson Fruit Belt Community Charter School (Buffalo)?
Reason for Consideration
Required by State statute, Education Law §2852.
This question will come before the EMSC Committee in January 2009 for action. It will then come before the full Board for final action in January 2009.
The New York Charter Schools Act of 1998 requires the Board of Regents (“Board”) to review applications for both new charter schools and the renewal of existing charter schools that are submitted to it in accordance with the standards set forth in subdivision two of New York State Education Law §2852. After review, the Board may either (a) approve an application and issue a charter or a renewal charter for a term of up to five years, or (b) deny the application.
In addition, New York Education Law §2852(7) provides that revisions of charter school charters shall be made only upon approval of the charter entity and the Board of Regents in accordance with the provisions of the law applicable to the issuance of charters themselves. With respect to charter schools directly chartered by the Board, it may either approve a proposed revision or deny it.
If the Board denies the application to revise an existing charter then the charter school may not implement the proposed revision(s).
We received a request to revise the initial charter of the Aloma D. Johnson Fruit Belt Community Charter School (“the School”), a Regents-authorized charter school. The School was approved by the Board of Regents on February 12, 2008.
The School seeks to decrease its student enrollment from its original anticipated enrollment of 180 students to 110 students and to change its hours of operation from 8:00 a.m.- 3:45 p.m. to 9:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. for the 2008-09 school year only. The original transportation provider contracted with by the School had to be replaced with one more reliable, which forced the School to change its schedule. As a result, the School had a shortfall in enrollment this year, but anticipates that, due to its on-going marketing and recruitment efforts, it will reach full enrollment of 240 students in grades K-3 for the 2009-10 school year. In future years, the parents will be encouraged to apply to the City School District of the City of Buffalo (the “District”) for transportation.
The District held a public hearing regarding this proposed revision on November 19, 2008. School officials made a brief presentation and responded to questions from Board of Education members about the requested revision. Board members asked the School representatives about current enrollment, why transportation was not offered originally, if the time change would affect the academic schedule, what the anticipated enrollment for 2009-10 and 2010-2011 were projected to be, and if the School would be requesting transportation from the district. The questions and concerns were addressed satisfactorily. No other public comments were made or received.
VOTED: That the Board of Regents approves the revision to the initial charter of the Aloma D. Johnson Fruit Belt Community Charter School, and the provisional charter is amended accordingly.
Reason 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 charter school.
Timetable for Implementation
Upon approval by the Board of Regents, the revision to the charter will become effective immediately.