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November 8, 2007 So you want to start a charter school?

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Presentation on theme: "November 8, 2007 So you want to start a charter school?"— Presentation transcript:

1 November 8, 2007 So you want to start a charter school?

2 2 First, make sure the concept fits: Are you...  committed to helping kids learn?  excited about innovative approaches to learning?  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 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?)

4 4 Concept check continued... Are you...  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?

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

6 November 8, 2007 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 School Code as a Public School Academy under MCLA , or as a Public School Academy under MCLA , or in Detroit as one of fifteen possible Urban High Schools under MCLA (Urban High Schools can include K-8 feeder schools as well), or in Detroit as one of fifteen possible Urban High Schools under MCLA (Urban High Schools can include K-8 feeder schools as well), or As a Strict Discipline Academy to serve suspended, expelled or adjudicated youth under MCLA b As a Strict Discipline Academy to serve suspended, expelled or adjudicated youth under MCLA b

8 8 What IS a Michigan Charter? (con’t) A Public School Academy  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.

9 9 What IS a Michigan Charter? (con’t) A Public School Academy  receives “state aid” funding of roughly $7000 per child attending.  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.

10 10 What IS a Michigan Charter? (con’t) A Public School Academy  is 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.

11 11 What IS a Michigan Charter? (con’t) A Public School Academy  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.”

12 November 8, 2007 If it still looks good to you... What’s the next step? How do you get started?

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

14 14 The application will require...  Documented evidence of need: Community Analysis Community Analysis Parent profile and preferences Parent profile and preferences  An academic vision: Curriculum decisions Curriculum decisions Instructional design decisions Instructional design decisions  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: 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 they’ve received.

17 17 How long will it take? How much will it cost? Experienced charter developers suggest that the planning and development process to successfully compete for scarce charter “slots” will require between $250,0000 and $500,000.

18 18 Coaching help is available The Michigan Association of Public School Academies (MAPSA) has experienced charter developers on staff who can coach applicant teams through the Charter Application process. MAPSA: 517/

19 19 Consulting help is available The National Charter School Institute (NCSI) is located here in Michigan, and provides customized consulting to development teams. For instance, they have offered: Board governance training Board governance training Policy development assistance Policy development assistance Curriculum alignment processes Curriculum alignment processes Strategic planning facilitation Strategic planning facilitation989/

20 20 Financial help is available The Michigan Department of Education offers competitive federal “Charter School Program Start-up and Implementation” grants.  Applications for the current round of grants are due on January 10, due on January 10,  To apply for a grant, a development team must have a charter application on file with a Michigan have a charter application on file with a Michigan authorizer. authorizer.  Successful grantees will receive funds by April 1, 2008 for planning toward a Fall 2009 April 1, 2008 for planning toward a Fall 2009 school opening. school opening.

21 21 How do the grants work? Successful planning grantees receive a total of $160,000 in three stages:  Upon award, $35,000 is available for strengthening its Academic Vision and Evaluation plan. plan.  Upon delivering those products, the grantee receives another $75,000 to strengthen the receives another $75,000 to strengthen the supporting business plan. supporting business plan.  Upon receipt of a charter, a final $50,000 is available for ramp-up. available for ramp-up.

22 22 How do the grants work? Planning grantees that successfully open their PSA are eligible for two more Implementation grants of $150,000. Both planning and implementation grants must be used within 36 months of the first award.

23 23 How do I apply for a grant? A grant announcement and application for the current “Second Round” of planning grants is available at Michigan has federal funds for two more years of planning and implementation grants, so a similar amount of funds will be available next year as well.

24 24 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” (MCLA ), 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.

25 November 8, 2007 Best wishes for your success! Michigan’s kids deserve great schools!


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