Saturday, April 23, 2011

Administrator's Get Legislative Update from League of Charter Schools

Today at the Administrator's Mentoring Cohort (AMC) meeting, Vinny Badolato, from the League of Charter Schools, gave the following legislative update.

1. Win: HB 1089: Collaboratives. Allows charter schools to seek competitive grants within ESEA.

2. SB 188: Moral obligation program. Charter schools go through the State Treasurer’s office to get better bond financing ratings. The bill would have increased the $400 million cap, but that was removed. The bill removes application fees to enter the program. The manager will be the Treasurer’s office. In case of a default, the Treasurer will consult with a team of impacted entities to determine how to handle the potential default.

3. Loss: HB 1055: Improve charter school access to facilities. Passed the House, assigned to Senate State Affairs where it died. Will be reconsidered for next year.

4. HB 1277: Massey’s omnibus bill. Removes unnecessary reporting requirements including

a. Access to data. Designed to eliminate district’s not providing data to their charter schools in a timely manner.

b. Additional criteria for high risk student definition. Adds “over age and under credit” to the definition. This definition is used to define Alternative Education Campuses (AECs)

c. Grant collaborative. The State Board would be able to promulgate rules to allow collaboratives to be designated as the LEA.

d. School Food Authority. Adds charter schools to the entities permitted to be School Food Authorities. Currently charter schools must access the program through one lead school and that school carries all the liability. There are 18 charter schools under one SFA this year.

e. Online reporting requirements. Eliminates annual report to CDE, which has been replaced by requirements in the Financial Transparency Act and the Education Accountability Act.

5. Budget cuts. Cut proposed now is $22.5 million less. Plus a planned mid-year distribution if the June forecast is better. There will definitely be a cut in K-12 funding again next year.

6. New bill by Senator Keith King to be introduced next week. Proposes mill levy matching funds at a quarter of a percent (CVote). Requires districts to include charter schools if they run a mill levy ballot question.

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