Mt. Diablo USD News Update
Where Kids Come First
May 20, 2011
CHARTER SCHOOL INFORMATION
Over the past weeks, community members have raised questions about charter schools. Below, we have compiled the most frequently asked questions and the answers to them.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN CHARACTERISTICS OF A DEPENDENT CHARTER?
· Dependent charters are schools that have been converted from an existing public school in the district to a charter school in its entirety. Though rare, districts have opened new small high schools or programs as dependent charters.
· The authorizing board is legally responsible for the budget development, special education services, governance, debts, and other liabilities of the dependent charter.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN CHARACTERISTICS OF AN INDEPENDENT CHARTER?
· Independent charters are organized by 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations and are independent legal entities with their own governing board.
· These charters are responsible for securing their own facility but can file a Proposition 39 request to use a district facility at below market rates.
· Independent charters are responsible for their own insurance, budget, hiring, employment rights, and special education services.
WHAT WOULD THE FISCAL IMPACT BE ON OTHER DISTRICT SCHOOLS IF CLAYTON VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL (CVHS) CONVERTS TO A CHARTER?
· If any District high school converts to a charter, the district would have to pass along additional funding to that school which would then have to be cut from elsewhere in the District. In this case, if CVHS converts to a charter, the District will have to provide the school an additional $1.651 million beyond the current revenue being generated by CVHS. This is due to the following State funding formula for conversion charter schools:
Ø The State uses the amount that unified districts receive per student (currently $4,876.08*) then subtracts the Charter School funding per student amount at the high school rate (currently 5,808.00*). This $931.92 per student difference must be made up by the District budget. Therefore, with CVHS' current enrollment a conversion to a charter would create a reduction to the district budget of $1.651 million.
· Should CVHS elect to convert to a charter, the District must develop a plan for an additional $1.651 million cut to the remainder of the district. Therefore, the Superintendent will invite all district stakeholders to meet to address these cuts.
WHAT IS THE STATUS OF THE CVHS CHARTER PETITION?
· This is not a District-lead process. The details of the charter and timetable are up to the individuals developing the CVHS charter proposal.
· Should the district receive a charter proposal, it has thirty days to hold a general public hearing on the proposal. The District also has sixty days from the date of receipt of the petition to grant or deny the charter petition.
*This number assumes that the Governor's tax extensions fail to make it onto the ballot. The amount will be slightly higher if the Governor's budget is approved.