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May 1, 2012 So You Want to Start a Charter School in Michigan?

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Presentation on theme: "May 1, 2012 So You Want to Start a Charter School in Michigan?"— Presentation transcript:

1 May 1, 2012 So You Want to Start a Charter School in Michigan?

2 2 First, make sure the concept fits: Are you... committed to helping kids learn? committed to helping kids learn? excited about innovative approaches to learning? excited about innovative approaches to learning? passionate about giving families more choice in how their students are served? passionate about giving families more choice in how their students are served?

3 3 Concept check continued... Are you... willing to comply with the full state revised school code? willing to comply with the full state revised school code? willing to admit anyone who applies without exception (and hold a lottery to decide which students get it if you have more applicants than space?) willing to admit anyone who applies without exception (and hold a lottery to decide which students get it if you have more applicants than space?)

4 4 Concept check continued... Are you... ready to find and hire Highly Qualified teachers (as defined by NCLB)? ready to find and hire Highly Qualified teachers (as defined by NCLB)? prepared to accept public responsibility for bringing students to state proficiency standards even if they come to you several grades behind expectations? prepared to accept public responsibility for bringing students to state proficiency standards even if they come to you several grades behind expectations?

5 5 Concept check continued... Are you... prepared to fully serve students with special needs? prepared to fully serve students with special needs? prepared to find and use a building that meets full state revised school code requirements and can earn a current Certificate of Occupancy? (Many old school facilities do not) prepared to find and use a building that meets full state revised school code requirements and can earn a current Certificate of Occupancy? (Many old school facilities do not)

6 May 1, 2012 If all those answers were YES... Welcome to the challenge of starting a charter school!

7 7 Next step: What IS a charter? In Michigan, a charter school... is organized under the State Revised School Code is organized under the State Revised School Code as a Public School Academy [Part 6A, MCL ], or as a Public School Academy [Part 6A, MCL ], or As a Urban High Schools [Part 6C, MCL ] (Urban High Schools can include K-8 feeder schools as well), or As a Urban High Schools [Part 6C, MCL ] (Urban High Schools can include K-8 feeder schools as well), or As a School of Excellence [Part 6E, MCL ] As a School of Excellence [Part 6E, MCL ] As a Strict Discipline Academy to serve suspended, expelled or adjudicated youth [MCL b] As a Strict Discipline Academy to serve suspended, expelled or adjudicated youth [MCL b]

8 8 What IS a Michigan Charter? (cont) With one exception, a Public School Academy… gets its charter to operate from: gets its charter to operate from: a state public university anywhere in the state, a state public university anywhere in the state, the community college for its location, the community college for its location, the Intermediate School District for its location, or the Intermediate School District for its location, or the Local School District for its location. the Local School District for its location. serves any combination of Grades Pre-K through 12 as specified in the charter contract. serves any combination of Grades Pre-K through 12 as specified in the charter contract.

9 9 What IS a Michigan Charter? (cont) A Public School Academy receives state aid funding of roughly $7000 per child attending. receives state aid funding of roughly $7000 per child attending. uses these operational funds to pay for everything needed, including facility costs. uses these operational funds to pay for everything needed, including facility costs. may qualify for additional Title I, II, III, V and VI federal funding if the PSA serves at-risk children. may qualify for additional Title I, II, III, V and VI federal funding if the PSA serves at-risk children.

10 10 What IS a Michigan Charter? (cont) A Public School Academy is a Michigan, Non-Profit Corporation governed by an autonomous school board appointed by the authorizer and accountable under oath to act in the best interests of the children it serves. is a Michigan, Non-Profit Corporation governed by an autonomous school board appointed by the authorizer and accountable under oath to act in the best interests of the children it serves. is required to conduct its business at open, public meetings with agendas posted in advance. is required to conduct its business at open, public meetings with agendas posted in advance.

11 11 What IS a Michigan Charter? (cont) A Public School Academy may hire a management company (Education Service Provider) to operate all or any part of the school. may hire a management company (Education Service Provider) to operate all or any part of the school. has a fiduciary responsibility to ensure that any management services it uses are purchased at fair market value. has a fiduciary responsibility to ensure that any management services it uses are purchased at fair market value.

12 May 1, 2012 If it still looks good to you... Whats the next step? How do you get started?

13 13 Step 1: Build a competitive charter application Many authorizers use a similar Phase One application to screen applicants and select those with whom they move to a more intensive Phase Two set of negotiations. A sample Phase One application is available at under Authorizer Resources.

14 14 The application will require... Documented evidence of need: Documented evidence of need: Community Analysis Community Analysis Parent profile and preferences Parent profile and preferences An academic vision: An academic vision: Curriculum decisions Curriculum decisions Instructional design decisions Instructional design decisions A data and evaluation design: A data and evaluation design: What information will tell the board whether their goals are being met? What information will tell the board whether their goals are being met? How will it be collected? Reported? How will it be collected? Reported?

15 15 The application will also require... A business plan: A business plan: Facility plan (including obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy for the planned location and leasing costs) Facility plan (including obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy for the planned location and leasing costs) Staffing plan (including recruitment and professional development costs) Staffing plan (including recruitment and professional development costs) Operational and Management plan Operational and Management plan Equipment and Furnishings plan Equipment and Furnishings plan Budget (balanced with expected revenues) Budget (balanced with expected revenues)

16 16 Step 2: Find an authorizer Approach any eligible authorizer. Even if they decline to accept applications, their board should hear from you about why you believe a charter is needed. Use statewide authorizer websites to see when any announce that they have charters available and will evaluate the applications theyve received.

17 17 How long will it take? Experienced charter developers suggest that the planning and development process to successfully compete for a charter takes at least 8 to 12 months.

18 18 Help is Available The charter school program in Michigan has been evolving since As such, there are a number of experienced coaches and consultants available to assist you in your effort. MDEs Public School Academies unit has experienced charter consultants on staff that can help you navigate through the processes. You can call us at (517) , or us at

19 19 Financial help is available The Michigan Department of Education offers competitive federal Charter School Program Planning and Implementation grants. Application documents are posted at the website. Application documents are posted at the website. To apply for a grant, a development team must To apply for a grant, a development team must be a Michigan Non-Profit Corporation with a federal employer Identification number and a DUNS number. be a Michigan Non-Profit Corporation with a federal employer Identification number and a DUNS number. Applications are submitted and processed through the Michigan Electronic Grants System – Plus (MEGS+). Applications are submitted and processed through the Michigan Electronic Grants System – Plus (MEGS+).

20 20 How do the grants work? Successful planning subgrantees receive a total of $100,000 in two stages: Upon award, $35,000 is available for strengthening its Academic Vision and Evaluation plan. Upon award, $35,000 is available for strengthening its Academic Vision and Evaluation plan. Upon delivering those products, the grantee receives another $65,000 to strengthen the supporting business plan. Upon delivering those products, the grantee receives another $65,000 to strengthen the supporting business plan. A planning subgrantee may be eligible for implementation funds once they receive a district code. A planning subgrantee may be eligible for implementation funds once they receive a district code.

21 21 How do the subgrants work? Implementation subgrants may be awarded in the amount of up to $200,000 in each of two years. Both planning and implementation subgrants must be used within 36 months of the start date of the planning subgrant.

22 22 How do I apply for a grant? The charter school planning grant announcement and application is available at Michigan has federal funds for planning and implementation grants though 2015, so a similar amount of funds may be available next year.

23 23 Grant Eligibility Michigan PSAs may not be organized by … and shall not have any organizational or contractual affiliation with a church or other religious organization [MCL ], a church is not an eligible grant recipient. The grant applicant (like the school board) must be a non-profit with legitimate, arms-length distance from a church.

24 May 1, 2012 Best wishes for your success! Michigans kids deserve great schools!


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