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Student Body ActivityDave Sokola, who is trying to hang on to his seat in the 8th Senatorial District against Meredith Chapman, has long been a defender of Newark Charter School. Back when it was ruled that Wilmington School District would be dissolved and its students bused to the more affluent suburbs, many wealthy sought to keep their children separate.  Most put them in parochial and private schools costing up to $20,000 a year…

But some wanted to escape black culture and could not afford $20,000 a year. Charter Schools were born to fill that gap. A charter is a school that is not bound by the Federal and State regulatory bodies.  They cherry picked their students, and if they do it correctly, they get themselves an all-white school.  Newark Charter in its early years had only one minority student.

Dave Sokola frequently uses this line.  “People need a choice if they are not happy with the quality of their schools”.  Many people interpret that as being not happy academically. But that line takes a whole new sinister tone, when you interpret it racially.

In searching Newark Charter School’s purchases one sees some interesting things. First, in fairness I should say Newark Charter along with Wilmington Charter have the best rankings in the state.  They also have the lowest levels of low incomes, Blacks, Hispanics, Special Ed, Non English Speaking. Something public schools cannot control.

There is a reason for their good scores and the Online Checkbook shows it…. Here are a few of their perks….

BERMUDA INSTITUTE OF OCEAN SCIENCE…………… $44,400

BOATHOUSE SPORTS………………………………………..$3380

CAMDEN AQUARIUM………………………………………..$3108.15

COLONIAL PA PLANTATION………………………………..$1200

CREATIVE COMPETITIONS………………………………….$162

CUTTING EDGE ENTERTAINMENT………………………..$600

DEERFIELD COUNTRY CLUB MGMT………………………$7000

DELAWARE 87’ERS…………………………………………..$5387

DELAWARE NATURE SOCIETY……………………………..$4772

DNREC P AND R SUPPORT…………………………………..$1652

GETTYSBURG FOUNDATION………………………………..$433

HERSHEY ENTERTAINMENT………………………………..$5690.50

HISTORIC ODESSA…………………………………………….$1425

INFLATABLES R FUN INC…………………………………….$450

LIVING CLASSROOM NATIONAL CAPITOL REG………….$5700

MARYLAND SCIENCE CENTER………………………………$5593

MEDIEVAL TIMES………………………………………………$8131.65

MR JOYNER ENTERTAINMENT………………………………$7718

ORIGINAL WORKS YOURS INC……………………………….$2919

PHILADELPHIA ORCHESTRA…………………………………$624

STANLEY M AND ROBERT D HART………………………….$15,194.51

STAR ARMY AND NAVY……………………………………….$4062

Sullivan Specialties…………………………………………….$6478

THE ERITREAN EXODUS……………………………………….$300

THE FRANKLIN INSTITUTE…………………………………… $4381

THE GRAND OPERA HOUSE……………………………………$1350

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Ok, there is a lot of good going on here.  First: exposure to a lot of things is happening simultaneously.  It is no wonder this school scores well. Their students are given  the full breadth of opportunity to pursue and grow.  Secondly a lot of this money is funneled back into the local economy providing jobs and paying bills in each of our neighborhoods.

But like me I am sure the shock will hit most of you rather hard, when you glimpse the scope of how charters spend YOUR money. but this charter according to tests, is getting results for all its money spent; and one can see why that if someone has their child in this school, they will defend charters vociferously……. (And just in case you couldn’t guess so far) this was not written to force any changes to Newark Charter’s liberal use of money…..

I show you this because it explains exactly why Charters are bad for society as a whole and why we need to remove Charters completely from our educational lexicon…

All this money, all of it….. used to come from Christina School District… A district whose enrollment has lost 4000 students since 2005, all of them sucked up by surrounding charter schools. Today this district  stands at 43.8% low income and 39.6% Afro American….  It is just 30% white compared to Newark Charter, which is 65% white and has only 11.1% Afro American and 7.9% low income….  It also only has 2,140 Charter students compared to 15,556 public students for Christina…

What we have here….are two school districts…. that are indeed separate….. but they ARE not equal………………..

This is exactly what Brown vrs Board of Education was set up to avoid. This is exactly what the entire busing arrangement set upon Wilmington and New Castle County, was set up to avoid. The disclosure of this gross inequity, should make every Wilmington Council person livid, breathing fire.  It should make every Delawarean recognize the real impetus behind the Charter movement is indeed, racial. And it should make every Delaware legislator realize that any support for Delaware’s Charter Schools as they are, is support for entrenched racism.

Let me put it as blunt as I can.   We have teachers in Bancroft buying pencils out of pocket so their students have something with which to write ….(the school supplies none; the parents can’t supply any)… while the money that used to come to that school is insteadn now lavishly spent on being “entertained” (by Mr. Joyner @ $7718)…..

It is not that what is going on in Newark Charter is so wrong,… no it truly is wonderful (for those students)!… The problem is that all the money for those great things going on there, is being paid for by the likes of Bancroft, Bayard, Brader, Brennan, Brookside, Christiana, Glasgow, Newark High et al.

This illustrates precisely the HUGE problem with charters… by design they take from the poor and give to the rich… Now, even if Newark Charter School were all Black, the same problem would still occur, because it’s a charter. The money would still remain concentrated in the Charter and yes, some blacks would get to excel; but it would come as a high cost to all those other ones who could not escape their public schools…. They are doomed to fail through no fault of their own.

Charters do not work for society because they take money from the surrounding schools, making all those schools around them poorer, while collecting all the wealthy students into one pocket and giving those a great experience.

We are right back in 1950’s again… The two experiences are not equal and that is unconstitutional.

And here is the shame of Dave Sokola’s efforts and of his derogatorily remarks towards Wilmington predominantly Afro American schools and their personnel,… He says they are failing and need taken over (by friends of his who will earn excessive salaries), because “those schools” don’t compare anywhere close to the quality of those students at Newark Charter… The achievement gap is wide.

Yet if Bayard just had the $142,079 listed above for Newark Charter’s excessive recreation, imagine how broader the environment of all those inner city students would be?  One should ask, why don’t they have that money?

If Christina School District, just had the $20,000,000 it loses to charters every year, just imagine how that extra $1285 per student, could help?  (One class of 20 = $25,700)  One should ask, why don’t they have that money?

Obviously. Charters need to go. But to kill charters in Delaware, you must first remove Dave Sokola from the 8th Senatorial District and replace him with Meredith Chapman. The DSEA needs to shift some resources behind removing him and the LEA’s should work hard for that same goal….

Charters are racist… No, they are not run by racists… Not filled by racists…. Not supported by racists… But the idea that a good school which can manipulate who enters, which gets the lion’s share of resources while the neighboring schools surrounding it go hungry, have no resources, are punished, closed, whose teachers are fired for poor alleged results,…. is nothing more…nothing less…. than the perpetuation of systemic racism…

Charters run themselves exactly like a racist “private” schools, yet do so with the taxpayers’ money.  Not fair.  If you are Afro American and pay taxes, your own money is supporting the keeping of your race down as long as charter schools remain anywhere near your house.

WE NEED TO REMOVE CHARTERS COMPLETELY FROM DELAWARE SOIL.. (or come up with different funding, such as line items for each school in the state budget).. They are separate. They are not equal….

 

 

 

 

 

All of Delaware was on their seats… the normally passive auditor’s office was on fire…. Investigating charter schools up and down the state, finding malfeasance here, corruption there, criminal activity everywhere….  and just like a close basketball game between two top Delaware female school’s teams, down to the wire at the last second, a 3 pointer gets lofted and the ball arcs through the air and all eyes turn to the basket and watch, … watch… wait for it… watching… huh?   No ball?  Their eyes try to follow its intended arc back to the now famous player who shot it…. and no one is there!

That properly describes the charter school audit that was underway in the state of Delaware performed by the Auditor’s office of the State of Delaware….

The State Auditor is an elected official.  His job is to audit the state of Delaware to make sure all is kosher.  But, there appears to be another part of his job… which is to protect those who don’t want a prying eye to close to what they are doing…

An audit was underway.  Wilmington Charter was investigated. Everyone was very curious what was to be announced….

Then nothing. Nothing.  Finally when traced back to the auditor’s office, the audit “was stopped” by the elected auditor, Tom Wagner, and the chief investigator was put on disciplinary leave.  As determined in the post below, that cause for the leave, was exposed as one “being too good at their job”….

We hear this stuff happens all the time… “Stop the investigation immediately because it is my friend you are investigating” is something all auditors hear… In fact, since such is so prevalent in business society, it is the “why” behind why Delaware (originally a Dupont subsidiary) elected to have an auditor RESPONSIBLE TO THE PEOPLE, be in charge….

Does anyone here remember Tom Wagner? Before the last election, Tom was laughably known for doing nothing for 4 years, then just before election, publishing one or two audits showing some malfeasance in the state, and getting elected to another term… It worked. He is the longest continuous termed elected state officer around today.  However, since the last election we have seen much more relevant investigations.  The Charter School ones particularly put an end to the myth that Charter Schools were better than Public Schools… They showed with receipts for a Mercedes Benz and other lavish purchases, that YES, charter schools were better than Public Schools, IF YOUR GOAL WAS TO LIVE HIGH ON THE HOG… As for the students… no benefit, just untraceable harm.

But the last election scared Tom, and we thought he was finally rising to the call his office demanded…..

Till now.

HE STOPPED AN AUDIT THAT WAS GOING TO EXPOSE CORRUPTION, MALFEASANCE, AND CRIMINAL ACTIVITY IN OUR CHARTER SCHOOLS…….

Did you get that?  He “stopped” it…   Just pulled the plug. Made it disappear like that basketball shot from beyond the 3 point line… and… the star player too, disappeared…

But can you believe that?  Imagine if you were jumped in a parking lot, and fighting off three thugs and the police arrive, and you hung on till they got there and they just look at you and the three thugs and say,  carry on, don’t mind us?

Imagine if you are a battered housewife, beaten by your husband to an inch of your life, and in your fog, you hear police arrive and in that far away echo chamber hear your husband say he’s helping you digest, and have them walk away?

Imagine if you are a child being predatorized in a Lewes’ psychiatrist’s office and the cops walk in, see what is going on, and turn and walk out, doing nothing?

That is what this is like… To be honest, it is truly unbelievable to accept that this happens in Delaware… Sure, New Jersey. Sure, New York. Sure, Los Vegas.  But Dover???  In Delaware???…. What we see here, right before us, in the Delaware’s State Auditor’s office,is nothing different from crooked cops being paid hush money to look the other way…  This is really sick.

This IS really sick… and this time YOU, I think, really have to get mad and take action…. There are sicknesses and there are symptoms.  Sometimes we deal with the symptoms because we don’t have time to deal with the sickness… Then, something happens and we have no choice but take the drastic action required to get healed….  Like chemo.

There is a tumor in the state of Delaware. One that has festered and we’ve fought the symptoms for too long… No matter how much it hurts, we have finally come to the point, where we need to take the necessary actions to excise it….

Can you believe it?  He PULLED the audit……

 

If you are looking for blatant racism anywhere in this country, you need look no further than our Charter School organization….

Pictures speak 1000s of words.

Charter Prejudice

Although the Charter Schools are spinning the data shows they are close to Public Schools in their suspension rates, look at the categories…..

We’ve all heard that more Blacks are suspended than whites.  But did you know that more blacks are suspended in Charter Schools than are in public?… Ok, so is that is possibly due to zero tolerance?

But fewer whites are suspended in Charters than are suspended in public schools… And even FEWER Hispanics  are suspended in Charters than in our public school system….

How can that be?  Double standards?

Prejudice is alive and well in our charter schools.  Which is why, pro-charter by any Afro-American legislator, is becoming a political no-no, a contradiction in terms… You cannot be supportive of your race and vote pro-charter which ADDS to the amount of prejudice in this world and HURTS the public schools which is the most effective tool today we have to combat that…

ANY SUPPORT for charter schools by any Afro American, hits the youth of their race twice in the head with a baseball bat.

 

This bill will pass. As with any legislation there is good and bad mixed together and the good for some is bad for others and the bad for others is good for some…  So it will always be.

But as a parent fighting for a child’s right to have a decent education, this bill undoes a lot of bad stapled to the No Child Left Behind which incidentally continues until a newer version of ESEA gets passed….

Common Core is dead… States now make their curriculum, not the FEDs…. We can choose to continue the Smarter Balanced if we want, we don’t have to keep it… or… we can go back to the DCAS which was a giant improvement over the Smarter Balanced in educating children correctly. Or we can use SAT’s for our graduation requirement… Bottom line is that we decide it… Parents fighting corporate entities… not corporate entities ignoring teachers, parents, administrators, and elected representative officials and using the Fed’s directive to go it alone.

There is a lot of good.  Early childhood education money for one… Restrictions on the US Secretary of Education’s power for two. And a general acceptance of local control over educational needs as a third….

But with the good, comes the bad… In order to get the good some bones had to be thrown to round up enough dogs for passage… One of those is to the Charter Industry.

And to be true, many people still believe the myth that Charters can do it better and that the difference between a charter and public schools is that when a Charter  fvcks up, it gets shut down… Everyone cheers and goes, yea, yea… and does not think of how it devastates those students trying to learn in the charter school their parents put them in based on false promise no charter can fulfill

This ESEA is a gift for charter corporations…  The purpose of this bill among other things is to:  “increase the number of high-quality charter schools to students across the United States..” to the tunes of ….

‘‘(1) $270,000,000 for fiscal year 2017;
‘‘(2) $270,000,000 for fiscal year 2018;
‘‘(3) $300,000,000 for fiscal year 2019; and
‘‘(4) $300,000,000 for fiscal year 2020.’’.

This is the new Race to The Top… Any state needing funding can apply through grants for this money.  Or… they can choose not to… depending upon their “state legislatures”….

it’s a carrot with no stick.. but if one chooses the carrot, one has to pay the price….

States to receive these grants… have to provide to charter schools support for facilities financing in an amount more nearly commensurate to the amount states typically provide for traditional public schools;

States must spend 12.5% of the allotment to support charter school “facility” assistance.

These grants will be awarded to states which …

‘‘(A) open and prepare for the operation of new charter schools;
‘‘(B) open and prepare for the operation of replicated high-quality charter schools; or
‘‘(C) expand high-quality charter schools;

and “provide technical assistance to eligible applicants and authorized public chartering agencies”

A state receiving these funds must spend 90% of them on sub-grants to charter organizations.  As you can see, this is free federal money being handed out to charter organizers…  One can startup a charter for profit with no skin in the game.

The good news is that all subgrants issued at the state level must undergo a peer review to be approved.  That peer review has to be positive.

Three grants have to be granted by the Secretary.  Implied is that more is better but no less than three have to be granted and the money for the first two years, will be designated before the first year begins…

The US Secretary in order to continue the funds for years 3 and 4,  must evaluate each state after the two years and see if all the  criteria are met. Some of those criteria are:

The state must prove how fast and aggressively they are opening up charter schools.

The state must market and broadcast effectively to all the availability of free federal money and assistance if one wishes to open a charter school.

The state must make sure every charter gets the maximum amount of funding it is allowed to receive.

Ensure every eligible applicant receives a subgrant under this bill.

And here is the kicker:… Is required to demonstrate funds for continuing the aggressive charter program will be available in years after this funding has ceased….

On the bright side, the state will now HAVE to do audits yearly of every charter and must also be more heavily involved in micromanaging charters, at least those charters who get the free money…

Each state receiving grants has to give Charters equity with public schools when deciding future educational policy decisions affecting the whole state.

Things tipping favor to one state versus another….

The flexibility of the state’s charter school law..

The ambitiousness of the state towards granting new charters.

The likelihood the applicants will succeed in establishing long term charters.

The state must allow at least one “private” entity to run a charter.

The state must ensure equitable funding for charters the same as public.

The state must help charters out with facilities’ costs by giving them either state property, partial funding of facility costs, the ability to pass bonds and levies upon the general population for charter improvement, or low cost or no cost leasing privileges….

These funds can be used as start up costs before the first child walks through the doors, training staff, school leaders, professional development,

Facilitating financing by identifying potential lending sources, encouraging private lending, and other similar activities that directly promote lending to charter applicants.

Facilitating the issuance of bonds by charter schools, or by other public entities for the benefit of charter schools, by providing technical, administrative, and other appropriate assistance (including the recruitment of bond 4 counsel, underwriters, and potential investors and the consolidation of multiple charter school projects within a single bond issue).

Of note lately for a state to receive this money, it must provide annual financing, on a per-pupil basis, for charter school facilities…

Secondly, next come the terms (very similar) for making subgrants to current and existing charters to allow for growth and expansions. However this is only conducive to a private charter management organization. (Sorry Red Clay)…

And that traces the money. Within the ESEA (pages 518-574) there is much more verbiage regarding  the do’s and don’ts which sound reflectively similar to Delaware’s HB 165 Earl Jacques.

Bottom line, is this is a huge gift of life support to what was written off as a dying enterprise only days before.  It is geared primarily to KIPP and provides them free money to move into any area they wish, provided that state is conducive to them setting up shop….

Your job and mine, is to make sure Delaware is not conducive to them setting up shop here on our soill..  no matter what Sokola, Jacques, Markell or Godowski insist…. And who knows, with a very angry populace watching every move each charter makes, maybe our state’s excursion into charterdom may miraculously beat all the odds-of-failure with which every other state’s charters  have been beset ….

But then again… perhaps not. Being wiser we should choose to “opt out” of charters.

 

 

 

 

 

We are opting out of state mandated tests.

We are served up a spectacle of Presidential debaters living in bubbles saying nothing of substance.

Our media ignores the one person who is mouthing things of substance; basically the problems 99% of us face in balancing our paycheck against our expenses…. One is too low, the other is too high… They should be reversed.

Our Arctic Ice Cap is dangerously low, our entire global climate is reeling.

A seven billion person planet  freaks out and cannot handle a meager 1 million refugees from just 0.3% of its land mass.

The globe has never been richer…. EVER…. yet 99% of its people live in poverty.

Our own children are pawns in a grand scheme to eliminate public education and fix it so investors get rich off it.

Our corporate media simply doesn’t tell the truth anymore.  One has to turn to comedians to get real information.

A raspy brash loudmouth Jew with crazy hair calls out an Evangelist University of higher learning for not following the very laws laid down by Jesus Christ. An act very similar to that of another Jew a little under 2000 years ago who also challenged the religious authorities of HIS time.

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That was today.  Meanwhile almost 50 million of our country lives in poverty, often while working too jobs… and everyone shrugs and thinks that’s ok.  The only thing worth discussing is Planned Parenthood and punishing Iran.

Is this really America then?  Are we no longer the land of opportunity emblazoned on the Statue of Liberty’s bottom?

Something has got to give, right?

It starts with you…. when you get mad enough to do something… that’s when it changes… 

You can… if you think about it…. start by going to Dover … 12:30 pm…. to protest the Smarter Balanced Assessment.   Because it is all connected… it is all about big money doing what it wants over your objections… It’s all about getting you out of their way….

The study was performed by the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability.   Indiana was the target state. It was performed with no bias, but as an effort to study whether vouchers and charters  were effective…

The study sought to answer two questions:

First, does the actual documented track record of existing voucher programs demonstrate that those programs in fact achieved the desired goal of enhancing student achievement? Here, the short and clear answer is no.

Second, can voucher programs be expected to enhance student performance or improve public education systems, based on the education reforms implemented in the nations that currently rank in the top five in the world in reading, math, and science under PISA? Again, based on the evidence, the answer is no.

This should kill any talk of instituting vouchers and coupled with the now readily available knowledge that parents are voting with their feet and pulling out children from charters to PUT THEM BACK INTO PUBLIC SCHOOLS, should sound the death-knoll of the entire Charter School Movement…..

Other key findings…..

 None of the independent studies performed of the most lauded and long standing voucher programs extant in the U.S.—Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Cleveland, Ohio; and Washington, D.C.— found any statistical evidence that children who utilized vouchers performed better than children who did not and remained in public schools.

 After controlling for school type and student demographics, a comprehensive study commissioned by the administration of Republican President George W. Bush found that students who attend traditional, K-12 public schools outperform students who attend both charter schools and private religious schools, irrespective of denomination.

 One probable consequence of the Indiana Choice Legislation, therefore, will be the diversion of public, taxpayer dollars away from the state’s higher performing public education system to lower performing private religious schools. Because of this, the Indiana Voucher Legislation may actually diminish student achievement in the state over time.

 The nations that have been most successful in improving student achievement over time have focused on systems-based reforms that build capacity of the overall education system and have eschewed reforms based on competition and choice. Meanwhile, nations that have taken the competition choice path to education reform have failed to realize enhanced student achievement. Indiana School Choice Scholarship Program.

 The Indiana Choice Legislation fails to comport with the capacity-building education reform model that has been implemented in nations that have successfully enhanced student achievement over time. Instead, the Indiana Choice Legislation adopts the competition/choice model of education reform that has failed to enhance student performance in other nations globally.

 According to the annual financial report of the Indiana Department of Education, Indiana spent $115 million on its voucher program in the 2014-2015 school year. In context, that means over $115 million of public, taxpayer money annually will be diverted from potentially enhancing student achievement by following the evidence-based strategy of building capacity in the state’s public school system, and instead used to subsidize students attending private schools.  Because the Indiana Choice Legislation prohibits the state from regulating the “curriculum content” at private schools that accept vouchers, public taxpayer money will be spent on education of uncertain quality.

 Subsidizing individual decisions that do not generate a public good or service—even legitimate ones well within the rights of, in this case, the parents making them—is an inappropriate use of public money. The Indiana School Expenditure Deduction is particularly difficult to justify from a public policy standpoint for two reasons. First, it is not means tested and hence is using public revenue to pay for private economic transactions that in all likelihood would have taken place anyway. Second, it diverts revenue from public education to assist children in attending private schools that have been found by the Lubienski study to underperform traditional public schools.

 Because white children as a percentage of voucher recipients in the 2014-2015 school year exceed the next largest racial group by more than 44 percentage points, Indiana’s voucher program will likely lead to increased racial stratification within Indiana’s K-12 public schools.  The School Expenditure Deduction will cause local governments across Indiana to lose up to $1.4 million annually in Local Option Income Tax revenue, thereby constraining their ability to provide police, fire, trash collection and other core local services to constituents. This is difficult to justify, given that the public revenue spent to subsidize private decisions under the School Expenditure Deduction serves no identifiable public interest.

It is time to stop hiding behind the tired charade that the DOE is discriminating.  You were lucky that it worked once.

Instead, it is time to use these two schools to challenge the real argument underlying these closures….

Is it fair and constitutionally viable to use bogus test scores to affect any decision affecting a child over his lifetime…..

If the test was fair… you would not have a case…  But there is massive piles of uncontestable evidence showing that standardized tests are not a fair assessment of what a child knows…

And to close schools on something so prejudicial, is against the law…  It is a violation of CIvil Rights that rich white students can go to Newark and Wilmington Charter Schools, but poor, impoverished blacks cannot learn at a remedial school designed to help them catch up…. where, of course the scores will be low.

These tests are the equivalent of kicking people out of a 2000 m race because they aren’t in the top third after the first lap…

A lawsuit challenging standardized tests, has a far greater chance of winning…. because….. all the evidence is there.

April 1st deadline.  Schools under Formal Review for insignificant Enrollment.

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Prestige 59%,

Freire 35%,

Delaware Design Lab 46%

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Exploding yet another myth by the Charter School’s proponents… (They blah, blah, blah, over at Kilroy’s comments all the time). You see the public doesn’t want Charter Schools.  Those people who make money off Charter Schools want charter schools…. (If you have a building, and a charter school takes it over, you get over $2 million a year for the rent; whereas, right now, it is costing you money) …..

It is a myth Just like the one where “the people” wanted Citizen’s United.  Just like where the people wanted a “power plant for jobs”. Just like where the people wanted the Smarter Balanced Assessment.  Just like where the people want a non-union entity to takeover the port of Wilmington, just like where the people want to pay more to support Bloom boxes being made at the Chrysler Plant.  …..

The people don’t want charter schools!  Some do, but those tiny few can’t overrule the rest of us…. “We, the people” now, can they?  Especially when it is clear that for every Charter Student that goes forward, 4 regular students suffer severely to make that happen…….

If we must have charter schools for political pressure reasons only (to take care of my buddy Rich, over there), then they must be funded out of the General Fund  as a line item on our budget and leave the existing funds for public schools (which We, the people, do support), alone….

Synopsis:  This bill removes the per-student funding to all Charter schools and allows them to be funded in the same manner as the Vocational Technical School Districts.

Section 1. Amend §509-518 of Title 14 of the Delaware Code by making insertions as shown by underlining and deletions as shown by strikethrough as follows:

(For an easier read of the new law, please jump to a cleaned up code version (without the deletions) which is a much easier read.)

§ 509 School financing.

(a) Charter schools shall be eligible for public funds under procedures established by this section. Notwithstanding that this Code may establish procedures for the funding of a public school choice program and that such program may include charter schools among those schools which students may choose,

(b) A charter school shall receive a payment with respect to each of its students equal to:  in the exact same manner as do the Vocational Technical School Districts within Delaware

(1) From the State on or before November 30, the entire yearly funding equivalent to ofpublic charter school‘s Division I staffing, including fractional funding of partial units, excluding  funding for a Superintendent, Division II– All Other Costs and Energy funding, minor capital improvements and school building maintenance funding, will be  generated by the annual student unit count conducted on September 30 of each year in accordance with Department of Education regulations. by the General Assembly as a line item in its previous fiscal year’s budget, ending June 30th of that same year.  Minor capital improvements shall continue to be funded in the same manner as the Vocational Technical School Districts. In the case of Division III — Equalization, a charter school shall not receive from the State an any amount that is determined by the weighting of the Division III per unit values that would have been generated by its students had they been counted in and that amount, shall remains and stay within each student’s  their district of residence. In addition A charter school shall not receive a prorated portion of any other funds appropriated to the Department of Education that are is intended to be allocated on a student, employee or school state share. For accounting purposes only and not for the purposes of calculating such funding, shall each charter school student shall be counted in a separately reported unit count of at the charter school, which makes note of that child’s district of residence,  and though not physically counted for any purposes in the student’s district of residence, that money which in that child’s district was originally allocated per that student must now remain in the designated home district of that child’s residence. For any other partially funded unit generated at a charter school, the charter school is free to negotiate the use of such unit with the chartering district, and other public school districts, in order to purchase central custodial, administrative, clerical, direct teaching or educationally related services. If such an agreement is not negotiated, a payment based on the average State cost per unit shall be payable to both the charter school and the district issuing the charter, provided that the sum of both fractions justifies an additional unit.  The State shall advance 75% of the anticipated funding pursuant to this subsection at the beginning of each fiscal year, provided that the charter school has provided the Department of Education with a preliminary roster of its students on or before May 1 of such year, and does not maintain the status of formal review or probation. The status of formal review or probation shall prompt the Department of Education to advance a level of funding appropriate to pending administrative action. A final roster shall be due September 30. Notwithstanding the above, a charter school in its first year of operation shall receive 50% of the anticipated funding pursuant to this subsection at the beginning of the fiscal year, provided that the charter school has provided the Department of Education with a preliminary roster of its students on or before May 1 of such year. The charter school shall receive an additional 25% of the funding due pursuant to this subsection on October 1 of its first year in operation and shall receive the remaining 25% on February 1 of its first year in operation, provided that the school has completed and posted the required standardized financial report forms and the Department has reviewed those forms and determined that the school’s finances will not at that time lead the Department to submit the school for formal review pursuant to § 515 of this title. A determination that the school will be submitted for formal review shall prompt the Department of Education to advance a level of funding appropriate to pending administrative action. The percentage of funding to be provided to charter schools on July 1 and October 1 pursuant to the above may be increased in the Secretary’s discretion.

(2) From the school districts in which its students reside on or before November 30 of each year, the local cost per student (regular or special education, as the case may be), net of transportation expenses provided for pursuant to § 508 of this title. The school districts in which its students reside shall advance at least 35% of the anticipated funding pursuant to this subsection at the beginning of each fiscal year provided that the charter school has provided the school districts of residence with a preliminary roster of its students on or before May 1 of such year. This advance may be paid from Division III — Equalization funds if the district’s prior fiscal year current expense local funds balance was 20% or less pursuant to § 1507 of this title. A final roster shall be due September 30. In the event of the failure of a school district to make timely payments to a charter school as required in this paragraph, the Department of Education shall have the authority to direct transfer of such funds from future State funding allocations after the school district receives reasonable notice and an opportunity to be heard, as set forth in the rules and regulations established by the Department.

(c) If a parent or legal guardian of a student enrolled outside the district pursuant to this chapter moves during the school year to a district different from the district in which that parent’s or legal guardian’s child resided at the time of the annual unit count, the child’s first district of residence shall continue to be responsible  to receive any portions of payments allotted for that child  to the charter school for the balance of the school year pursuant to paragraph (b)(2) of this section. The child’s new district of residence shall be responsible the recipient  for all such payments revenue during succeeding years.

(d) The Department of Education shall annually calculate the local cost per student expended by each school district for each type of student for the year immediately preceding based on the formula set forth in subsection (e) of this section, adjusted by a factor necessary to fund the charter school on a basis reasonably equivalent to the current year local cost per student, which factor shall be established  and shall give that total cost along with the estimated enrollment of each Charter School to the General Assembly’s Joint Budget Committee before the completion of  the annual Appropriations Act. The Department shall annually certify each district’s local cost per student expenditure, as if all Charter students still resided within that district by September 1st of each year.

(e)  Local cost per student as used in this section shall be calculated as follows:

Total local Operating Expenditure in Preceding Fiscal Year

Total Division I Units minus

Special School Units minus

Vocational Deduct plus

Vocational Units

Number of Pupils or Pupil Minutes per Unit

Where:

Total local Operating = Sum of all expenditures

Expenditure in from local sources minus

Preceding FY local expenditures fortuition minus

local expenditures for debt service minus

local expenditures for Minor Capital Improvement

Division I Units for each= Division I Units certified by District or Special School the State Board of Education as of September 30 of each year…

Pupils or Pupil Minutes =

Number of Pupils or Pupil per Unit Minutes required for one
particular unit of funding as specified in §1703 of this Title

(f) For any student, who because of educational need requires services that are appropriately financed pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 6 of this title, either at the outset or subsequent to a decision to enroll in a charter school, the student’s district of residence shall no longer continue to remain financially responsible for such student and the charter school shall receive from such district request from the Department of Education, a payment determined in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 6 of this title, that would have been allotted to the Department of Education by the General Assembly for this purpose,  Beginning fiscal year 2015, the General Assembly will provide a charter fund of $1 million dollars to the Department of Education to be used for assisting charter students requiring additional resources to meet their educational needs.

(g) Any payment received by a charter school from the General Assembly pursuant to this section may be used for current operations, minor capital improvements, debt service payments or tuition payments.

(h) The Department of Education, in consultation with the Office of Management and Budget, shall annually publish a list of vacant and unused buildings and vacant and unused portions of buildings that are owned by this State or by school districts in this State and that may be suitable for the operation of a charter school. The Department of Education, in consultation with the Office of Management and Budget, shall make the list available to applicants for charter schools and to existing charter schools. The list shall include the address of each building, a short description of the building and the name of the owner of the building.

(i) In return for the receipt by a charter school of any special allocated  state funds allocated directly to the school for extra time, professional development, driver education or disciplinary programs, the school shall provide such programs.

(j) If after September 30  April 15th a pupil ceases to be enrolled in a charter school and is thereafter enrolled in a reorganized school district for the balance of the fiscal year, nothing contained in this section shall prevent a charter school which has received any funding for the student and the school district in which the student is subsequently enrolled from entering into an agreement providing for the proration of student funding between or among the charter school and the school district in which the student is subsequently enrolled. Funding in any subsequent fiscal year shall be as otherwise provided in this Code.   no funding transfer shall take place, since that child’s assessment is already designated towards his district of residence.

(k) A charter school shall display on its website as do all public schools, all standardized financial report forms for the current fiscal year and the final monthly standardized financial report forms for each previous fiscal year of operation. Charter schools that are required to file Internal Revenue Service Form 990 shall post the current and prior year Form 990 on the website as well.

(l) Charter schools shall have the same access to conduit bond financing as any other nonprofit organization, and no state or local government unit may impose any condition or restriction on a charter school’s approval solely because the applicant is a public charter school. It is the further intent that a charter school shall apply for conduit funding to issuers within the State unless more favorable terms may be found elsewhere.all Vocational Technical School Districts within Delaware

(m) The Department of Education shall administer a performance fund for charter schools, to be known as the “Charter School Performance Fund.” The Department of Education shall establish threshold eligibility requirements for applicants desiring to apply for funding, which shall include but not be limited to a proven track record of success, as measured by a performance framework established by the charter school’s authorizer or comparable measures as defined by the Department. The Department of Education shall also establish criteria to evaluate applications for funding, which shall include but not be limited to the availability of supplemental funding from nonstate sources at a ratio to be determined by the Department. The Department of Education shall prioritize those applications from applicants that have:

(1) Developed high-quality plans for start-up or expansion; or

(2) Serve high-need students, as defined by the Department.

The Fund shall be subject to appropriation and shall not exceed $5 million annually.

70 Del. Laws, c. 179, § 270 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 171 Del. Laws, c. 132, §§ 360, 36171 Del. Laws, c. 180, § 2671 Del. Laws, c. 354, § 38372 Del. Laws, c. 395, § 35173 Del. Laws, c. 164, §§ 9, 1075 Del. Laws, c. 88, § 16(2)75 Del. Laws, c. 89, § 42578 Del. Laws, c. 77, § 33(b)78 Del. Laws, c. 187, §§ 2, 379 Del. Laws, c. 51, §§ 3, 4.;

§ 510 State assistance.

(a) The Department of Education shall distribute information announcing the availability of the charter school program, explaining the powers and responsibilities of a charter school contained in this chapter, and describing the application process to each school district and public post-secondary educational institution, and through press releases to each major newspaper in the State.

(b) The Department of Education shall provide technical assistance to potential charter school applicants upon request.

(c) The Department of Education shall provide technical and other forms of assistance to charter schools on the same basis as to school districts.

(d) The Department of Education shall, in concert with the approving authority and the applicant, apply for available federal or foundation grants providing funding for the planning and start-up of charter schools and the Department of Education shall administer such funds as may be appropriated by the General Assembly for the purpose of assisting in the planning and start-up of charter schools.

70 Del. Laws, c. 179, § 271 Del. Laws, c. 180, § 27.;

§ 511 Approval procedure.

(a) An approved charter school application, together with such conditions imposed pursuant to subsection (l) of this section, shall be the basis for a charter granted to the charter school by the approving authority pursuant to this chapter and shall be governed by the terms of this chapter.  Charters must first receive a majority approval from the local district’s school board in whose district they are located. Upon approval of a charter school application by that district, the Department of Education shall present applicants seeking a charter from the state with a charter contract (“Charter Contract”) that clearly defines the respective roles, powers, and responsibilities of the school and the approving authority and incorporates the provisions of the performance agreement entered into between the charter school and its approving authority pursuant to CDR 14-200-275. Other approving authorities may choose to present applications they approve with such a Charter Contract. Where Once a Charter Contract is utilized has been approved by the Department, both the school Charter School and the approving authority that school’s local school district shall execute the Department of Education’s Charter Contract. Notwithstanding anything in this chapter to the contrary, the initial term of a newly approved charter shall expire at the end of the fifth  third fiscal year following the fiscal year in which the charter was initially approved, and any subsequent charter renewal term shall expire at the end of each successive fifth third fiscal year thereafter unless extended pursuant to § 514A(b) of this title. If an approved charter is modified to delay the initial opening of the school, then the expiration date of the initial term of the charter shall be adjusted accordingly.

(b)(1) Charters shall be modified by the same procedure and based on the same criteria as they are approved. When the approving authority is the Department of Education  local school district, minor modifications to a charter that are requested by the charter school only may be approved by the Secretary  District Superintendent subject to rules and regulations established by the local district’s Board of Education with the approval of the State Board. Modifications associated with the provision of student transportation services as a result of changes to the Annual Appropriations Act to § 508 of this title shall be considered a minor modification.

(2) A request for modification to increase a charter school’s total authorized enrollment by more than 15% shall be considered a major modification, regardless of whether the additional students will attend school at the current location or at a separate location.

(3) In addition to meeting the approval criteria established in § 512 of this title, an authorizer considering an application for a new charter school or for a modification as described in paragraph (b)(2) of this section in which the increased enrollment will occur less than 18 months from the date of application (an “expansion”), shall also consider the potential positive and negative impact of the proposed new school or expansion on the schools and the community from which the charter school’s new students will likely be drawn. In reviewing the impact, the authorizer shall consider all information furnished to it during the new charter school application process and may exercise its reasonable discretion in determining whether the proposed new school or expansion is contrary to the best interests of the community to be served, including both those students likely to attend the charter school and those students likely to attend traditional public schools in the community.  Local impact of the charter shall be considered during the initial application process before that district’s Board of Education, which oversees the locality in which that charter wishes to locate.

(4) Information regarding impact shall be considered in conjunction with the factors in § 512 of this title but shall not alone provide the basis for disapproval of an application for a new charter application or an expansion. The information regarding impact may, however, be among the bases for disapproval of an application or expansion if at least 1 criteria in § 512 of this title is also deemed not satisfied by the authorizer. The information regarding impact may, by itself or in combination with other factors, form the basis for conditions being placed on the approval.

(c) Charter school applications shall be submitted to a local school board or the Department for approval as an approving authority. Whenever a charter school seeks a charter from the Department as approving authority, such approval shall require the assent of both the Secretary and the State Board, as shall any action pursuant to §§ 515 and 516 of this title. The approving authority shall be responsible for approval of the charter school pursuant to this section and for continuing oversight of each charter school it approves.

(d) The Department shall make an initial secondary review of all charter school applications it receives forwarded to it by the local district Superintendents, in order to assess the completeness and viability of each such application based on the application submission criteria established in this title. Upon a finding that an application does not warrant a full review, the Department shall notify the applicant in writing of the deficiency or deficiencies and the application shall receive no further consideration. Each local district that is asked by an applicant to serve as an approving authority may, in its discretion, undertake such an initial sufficiency review and make such an initial sufficiency determination.

(e) Applicants seeking a charter approval from the Department that have submitted an application deemed by both the local distict and Department sufficient to receive a full review, shall be offered an opportunity for an interview in support of the application. Such interviews will allow the Department to assess applicant capacity, allow it to clarify information provided in the application, and gather additional information. The information gained in the interview process may be among the factors considered by the approving authority in approving or denying an application.

(f) Potential charter school applicants may engage in discussions with a potential approving authority before submitting an application for approval to establish a charter school.

(g)(1) Except as noted in paragraph (g)(2) of this section, new charter school applications shall be submitted to an their local district approving authority between November 1 and December 31 for schools to be established and prepared to admit students on or after the second August 1 thereafter.

(2) Applications by a highly successful charter school operator as described in subsection (p) of this section shall be submitted to an approving authority between November 1 and December 31 for schools to be established and prepared to admit students on or after the August 1 thereafter. The application submission dates in this subsection may be amended by agreement of the authorizer and the applicant if necessary to allow the applicant to serve students who would otherwise be displaced due to the closure of an existing charter school.

(3) Applications to renew a charter shall be submitted to the local approving authority on or before September 1 of the year immediately preceding the calendar year in which the school’s current charter term will expire., except that all applications to renew a charter that expires on or before December 31, 2012, shall be submitted to the approving authority on or before October 15, 2011.

(4) Charter school applications which propose the conversion of an existing public school, or a part thereof to charter school status must be submitted to an a local approving authority on or before October 30 if the application proposes that the newly converted charter school is to be established and prepared to admit students for the next ensuing school year.

(5) If the date for submitting an application or commencing the school’s instructional program shall fall on a weekend or state holiday, the time for such shall be continued to the first working day thereafter.

(h) Any local school board may limit the number of new charter school applications it will consider in any year or the number of charters it will grant, but within 20 working days after December 31 must hold a public meeting to decide whether or not to consider it. A local school board shall not be required to accept any new charter school applications for a charter school unless, by September 1 of each year the school board shall affirmatively vote to accept such applications.

(i) If an the local approving authority decides to consider a charter application, the local approving authority must rule on whether to approve the application at a public meeting within 90 working days after December 31.

(j) Within 5 days of deciding to consider an application, the local  approving authority shall form an accountability committee to review the charter school application. The accountability committee’s report to the local school board shall address the approval criteria set forth in § 512 of this title. The committee shall meet with the applicant in the course of its investigation and provide the applicant the opportunity to review and comment on the committee’s report 15 days before it is issued to the approving authority. The committee’s final report shall be provided to the applicant and be made available to the public.

(k) After giving 15 days public notice, the local approving authority shall hold public hearings to assist in its decision whether to approve a charter application. At least 1 such hearing shall be held prior to the issuance of the accountability committee’s final report on that application. The approving authority shall, in advance of the 15-day public notice period, post any and all charter applications under consideration on a public website maintained by the approving authority, and during this public notice period shall accept electronically submitted and written comments from the public.

(l) Subject to any limitations imposed by the local approving authority pursuant to subsection (h) of this section, if the application is found by the approving authority of the State Board to meet the criteria set forth in § 512 and complying with the approval process in § 511 of this title, it shall approve the application. The State Board’s approving authority may approve an application subject to such conditions as the approving authority, in its sole discretion, may deem appropriate to ensure the applicant’s continuing compliance with the approval criteria.

(m) If an application is made to the Department or a local board as an approving authority and the charter application is not approved, such decision shall be final and not subject to judicial review.

(n) All applications for a charter shall contain an affirmative representation by the applicant that no later than June 15 immediately preceding the authorized opening date of the school, the applicant shall secure a certificate of occupancy, either temporary or final, for the premises in which the school is to be located, provided that any temporary certificate of occupancy must permit occupancy at the premises by school staff and students for school purposes. If the charter is approved and the charter holder shall subsequently fail to obtain the necessary certificate of occupancy as required by this section, the opening of the school shall be delayed by 1 year from the date previously authorized by the approving authority and the charter shall be placed on probation subject to the terms and conditions imposed by the Department of Education with the consent of the State Board of Education. No waivers are available for this requirement.

(o) A local school board that approves an application for a charter school may do so only on the condition that the charter school is located in and provides all educational and related services, with the exception of transportation services and other K-12 noninstructional services and activities, within the boundaries of the approving local school board’s district lines. Once approved, the charter school may not subsequently change its location from the school district specified in its originally approved charter.

(p) ”Highly successful charter school operator” means an entity that currently operates or whose principals currently operate 1 or more highly successful charter schools showing sustained high levels of student growth and achievement and sustained fiscal stewardship, as further defined by Department regulation. Notwithstanding the provisions of this chapter, for purposes of this definition the phrase “charter school” shall include public schools operated under a charter regardless of whether the schools are located or organized in Delaware. A highly successful charter school operator may be authorized to operate a charter school in the timeframe provided by paragraph (g)(2) of this section provided that the application is submitted for the purpose of operating a charter school at the site of and serving students currently attending a charter school whose charter has been revoked, has not been renewed, or whose charter is on formal review and whose board has agreed to abandon their charter.

(q) The charter school application shall include a disclosure of any ownership or financial interest in the charter school, including but not limited to the building and real property to be used in the operation of the charter school, by the charter school founders and the board of directors of the proposed charter school. If the building and real property to be used in operation of the charter school are not known at the time of application, disclosures pertaining to those interests shall be made once the building and real property to be used in operation of the charter school become known. In addition, the board of directors of the charter school shall have a continuing duty to disclose such interests to the approving authority pursuant to this chapter during the terms of any charter. The charter school and the Department shall promptly disclose the information required by this subsection to any member of the public upon request.

(r) Charter school board members and founders shall be required to complete the criminal background checks in the same manner as persons seeking employment with a public school pursuant to § 8571(a) of Title 11. In addition, the authorizer shall complete a check of the Child Protection Registry established by § 921 of Title 16 for charter school founders and board members. The results of said background and Child Protection Registry checks shall be provided to the authorizer for review as part of the application process and on an ongoing basis if new board members are seated or current board members are convicted of a crime or placed on the Child Protection Registry. Any person convicted of a felony offense or of any crime against a child in this State or any other jurisdiction shall not be permitted to serve as a founder or member of a charter school board of directors. No individual shall be permitted to serve as a charter school founder or board member if the individual would not be permitted to be employed in a public school pursuant to § 8563 of Title 11 regarding the Child Protection Registry. Other crimes may be considered disqualifying, in the discretion of the authorizer. The State Bureau of Identification may release any subsequent criminal history to the authorizer. Individuals currently serving as board members of a charter school must complete a criminal background check and the Department shall complete a Child Protection Registry check for such members on or before February 1, 2012.

(s) The founder or board member shall be provided with a copy of all information forwarded to the authorizer pursuant to subsection (r) of this section. Information obtained under subsection (r) of this section is confidential and may only be disclosed to the chief officer and 1 additional person in each authorizing body.

(t) Costs associated with obtaining criminal history information and child protection registry checks shall be paid by the applicant.

70 Del. Laws, c. 179, § 270 Del. Laws, c. 425, § 34671 Del. Laws, c. 132, §§ 357-359, 371, 37271 Del. Laws, c. 180, § 2872 Del. Laws, c. 118, § 372 Del. Laws, c. 473, § 173 Del. Laws, c. 164, §§ 11-1473 Del. Laws, c. 313, §§ 1, 874 Del. Laws, c. 360, §§ 2, 3, 675 Del. Laws, c. 112, § 176 Del. Laws, c. 79, § 14076 Del. Laws, c. 280, § 39578 Del. Laws, c. 187, §§ 4-779 Del. Laws, c. 51, § 5.;

§ 512 Approval criteria.

Subject to the process prescribed in § 511 of this title, charter school applications shall be in the form established by the local approving authority and shall be approved if, after the exercise of due diligence and good faith, the local approving authority finds that the proposed charter demonstrates that:

(1) The individuals and entities submitting the application are experienced and qualified to start and operate a charter school, and to implement the school’s proposed educational program. Certified teachers, parents and members of the community in which the school is to be located must be involved in the development of the proposed charter school. At the time at which the school commences its instructional program and at all times thereafter, the board of directors must include a teacher from at least 1 of the charter schools operated by the board and at least 1 parent of a student enrolled in a charter school operated by the board;

(2) The chosen form of organization, identified in the articles of incorporation and by-laws, or the membership agreement, conforms with the Delaware General Corporation Law;

(3) The mission statement, goals and educational objectives are consistent with the description of legislative intent set forth in § 501 of this title and the restrictions on charter school operations set forth in § 506 in this title;

(4) The school has set goals for student performance and will utilize satisfactory indicators not limited exclusively to state tests, to determine whether its students meet or exceed such goals and the academic standards set by the State. The indicators shall include the assessments required for students in other public schools, although the charter school may adopt additional performance standards or assessment requirements, and shall include timelines for the achievement of student performance goals and the assessment of such performance;

(5) The school proposes a satisfactory plan for evaluating student performance and procedures for taking corrective action in the event that student performance at the charter school falls below such standards which are reasonably likely to succeed;

(6) The school’s educational program, including curriculum and instructional strategies, has the potential to improve student performance; and must be aligned to meet the Delaware Content Standards and state program requirements, and in the case of a charter high school, state graduation requirements. High school programs must provide driver education. The educational program at all charter schools must include the provision by the school of extra instructional time for at-risk students, summer school and other services required to be provided by school districts pursuant to the provisions of § 153 of this title. A previously approved charter school may continue to operate in compliance with the terms of its current approval, but its charter shall not be renewed unless the school shall submit an application for renewal in full compliance with the requirements of this subsection;

(7) The school’s educational program sets forth appropriate strategies to be employed to accommodate the needs of at-risk students and those needing special education services;

(8) The plan for the school is economically viable, based on a review of the school’s proposed budget of projected revenues and expenditures for the first 3 years, the plan for starting the school, and the major contracts planned for equipment and services, leases, improvements, purchases of real property and insurance;

(9) The school’s financial and administrative operations meet or exceed the same standards, procedures and requirements as a school district. If a charter school proposes to operate outside the State’s pension and/or benefits systems, a specific memorandum of understanding shall be developed and executed by the charter school, the approving authority, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Controller General and the Secretary of Finance to assure that the State’s fiduciary duties and interests in the proper use of appropriated funds and as a benefits and pension trustee are fulfilled and protected, the State’s financial reporting requirements are satisfied, and the interests of charter school employees are protected. All charter schools shall operate within the Delaware Financial Management System (DFMS) and be subject to all of the same policies and procedures which govern other agencies operating within such system, except that any charter school previously approved to operate outside of the DFMS may continue to so operate subject to the terms of its memorandum of understanding until such time as the school’s charter is renewed pursuant to this chapter;

(10) The assessment of the school’s potential legal liability, and the types and limits of insurance coverage the school plans to obtain, are adequate;

(11) The procedures the school plans to follow to discipline students and ensure its students’ adherence to school attendance requirements comply with state and federal law;

(12) The procedures the school plans to follow to assure the health and safety of students, employees and guests of the school while they are on school property are adequate and that the charter school will comply with applicable provisions of local, state and federal law, including the provisions of Chapter 85 of Title 11;

(13) The school shall have a satisfactory plan for timely transferring student data and records to the Department of Education;

(14) The school’s board of directors shall annually certify to the Department, on a form to be provided by the Department, that prior to the payment of any fees or other sums to any management company employed by the board, the board will insure that sufficient revenues of the school are devoted to adequately support the school’s proposed educational program. Such form of certification may require documentation of all actual or proposed expenditures by the school. Failure to provide sufficient funds to adequately support the school’s proposed education program shall be grounds for revocation of the school’s charter.

(15) The school shall have a satisfactory plan to ensure the effectiveness of its board of trustees, including governance trainings conducted for any new board members and at a minimum of once every 3 years; and

(16) The school shall have a satisfactory plan for procedures it will follow in the case of the closure or dissolution of the school, including a plan to set aside sufficient funds to cover the salaries owed to those employees who are paid over a 12-month period. For a new applicant granted under this chapter, the application shall include a reasonable plan to establish sufficient available balances pursuant to § 516(1) of this title.

70 Del. Laws, c. 179, § 271 Del. Laws, c. 180, § 2971 Del. Laws, c. 354, § 38673 Del. Laws, c. 164, §§ 15-2173 Del. Laws, c. 313, §§ 9, 1075 Del. Laws, c. 88, § 21(7)78 Del. Laws, c. 187, § 879 Del. Laws, c. 51, § 6.;

§ 513 Reporting and oversight.

(a) On or before December 1, each charter school not seeking renewal of its charter shall produce an annual report for the school year ending the previous June, which shall:

(1) Discuss the school’s progress in meeting overall student performance goals and standards;

(2) Discuss the innovation occurring at the charter school, including but not limited to the areas of curriculum development, instruction, student culture and discipline, community and parental involvement, teacher and staff development, school operations and management, and extracurricular and after-school programming; and

(3) Contain a financial statement setting forth by appropriate categories the school’s revenues and expenditures and assets and liabilities.

Each charter school seeking renewal of its charter shall produce an annual report on or before September 30. The approving authority may, in its discretion and for good cause shown, elect to accept an annual report submitted subsequent to this deadline. To ensure that such reports provide parents and approving authorities with clear and comparable information about the performance of charter schools, the Department of Education shall prescribe a uniform format for such reports, which may be supplemented by requirements set by the approving authority for schools it has chartered. The charter school shall contract to have an audit of the business and financial transactions, records, and accounts after July 1 for the prior fiscal year. The results of the audit shall be shared with the Department of Education by October 1. A charter school shall display on its website the annual report including financial statement and audit required by this subsection.

(b) The annual report shall be submitted to the approving authority, the Department and the State Board. Employees of the school and parents of students attending the school shall receive a copy free of charge, upon request. The reports shall be public records pursuant to Chapter 100 of Title 29.

(c) The Department of Education, the State Board, and the approving authority may conduct financial, programmatic, or compliance audits of a charter school. In cooperation with the Department, the approving authority shall conduct such audits no less often than every 3 years. The State Auditor shall conduct an audit of all charter school funds annually on the same basis as applied to regular school districts.

(d) The Department of Education shall notify the superintendents of all reorganized and vocational-technical school districts of receipt of new charter school applications within 30 days of the close of the application deadline. The Department of Education shall also notify the superintendent of a reorganized school district of any applications for a major charter modification submitted by a charter school with a facility located within their district.

(e) Local school boards shall notify the superintendents of all reorganized and vocational-technical school districts of receipt of new charter school applications within 30 days of the close of the application deadline.

70 Del. Laws, c. 179, § 271 Del. Laws, c. 180, § 3073 Del. Laws, c. 313, §§ 4, 1278 Del. Laws, c. 187, § 9;79 Del. Laws, c. 51, § 779 Del. Laws, c. 128, § 2.;

§ 514 State reports on the charter school program.

Annually, the Department shall prepare a report for the Governor, the General Assembly, and the State Board of Education on the success or failure of charter schools and propose changes in state law necessary to improve or change the charter school program. Such report shall contain a section comparing the per student expenditures of charter schools, considering all sources of such expenditures, with those of other public schools. Such report shall also contain:

(1) The Secretary of Education’s analysis of, recommendations relating to, and proposed changes relating to Delaware education laws, in light of the content of annual reports submitted pursuant to § 513 of this title; and

(2) The Secretary’s assessment of specific opportunities and barriers relating to the implementation of charter schools’ innovations in the broader Delaware public education school system.

70 Del. Laws, c. 179, § 271 Del. Laws, c. 180, § 3179 Del. Laws, c. 128, § 2.;

§ 514A Renewals and nonrenewals.

(a) Four years after a charter school has commenced its instructional program pursuant to this chapter and not later than every 5 years thereafter, the approving authority shall, upon notice to the charter school, review the performance of the charter school to determine its compliance with its charter and its satisfaction of the criteria set forth in this title for the purposes of renewal or nonrenewal.

(b) A charter school may be renewed for successive 5-year terms of duration. An approving authority may grant renewal with specific conditions for necessary improvements to a charter school. Where a charter school has demonstrated an outstanding record of performance, an approving authority may grant it a renewal term of 10 years. Any charter school receiving such an extended renewal term shall, at the midpoint of the 10-year charter, be subject to an annual performance and program evaluation that includes academic, financial and operations data that looks back to all of the years of the charter up to that point. If, upon this evaluation, the approving authority determines that the charter school’s level of performance is deficient by renewal standards, the approving authority may initiate the formal renewal and nonrenewal process set forth below.

(c) No later than April 30, the approving authority shall issue a charter school renewal report and charter renewal application guidance to any charter school whose charter will expire the following year. The renewal report shall summarize the charter school’s performance record to date, based on the data required by 79 Del. Laws, c. 51 and the charter contract, and shall provide notice of any weaknesses or concerns perceived by the approving authority concerning the charter school that may jeopardize its position in seeking renewal if not timely rectified. The charter school shall have 10 working days to respond to the renewal report and submit any corrections or clarifications for the report.

(d) The renewal process shall, at a minimum, provide an opportunity for the charter school to:

(1) Present additional evidence, beyond the data contained in the renewal report, supporting its case for charter renewal;

(2) Describe improvements undertaken or planned for the school; and

(3) Detail the school’s plans for the next charter term.

(e) The renewal application guidance shall include the criteria that will guide the approving authority’s renewal decisions. Renewal determinations by the Department of Education shall be based on its performance framework, the terms set forth in the Charter Contract, and shall take account of the school’s performance agreement with the approving authority, consistent with CDR 14-200-275, and with 79 Del. Laws, c. 51. Other approving authorities may choose to adopt the criteria utilized by the Department of Education. Each approving authority shall develop a rubric based on its criteria for evaluating renewal applications and shall provide this rubric to applicants as part of the renewal application guidance. The approving authority shall publish the renewal application guidance on its website and make it available in written form upon request.

(f) No later than September 30, the governing board of a charter school seeking renewal shall submit a renewal application to the approving authority pursuant to the renewal application guidance issued by the approving authority. The approving authority shall rule by resolution on the renewal application no later than 30 working days after the filing of the renewal application.

(g) In making charter renewal decisions, every approving authority shall:

(1) Ground its decisions in evidence of the school’s performance over the term of the charter contract in accordance with the performance agreement set forth in the charter contract;

(2) Ensure that data used in making renewal decisions are available to the school and the public; and

(3) Provide a public report summarizing the evidence basis for each decision.

79 Del. Laws, c. 51, § 8.;

§ 515 Oversight and revocation process.

(a) The approving authority shall be responsible for oversight of the charter schools it approves.

(b) In addition to the review required by § 514A(a) of this title, the approving authority may notify a charter school of potential violations of its charter and submit the charter to formal review to determine whether the charter school is violating the terms of its charter and whether to order remedial measures pursuant to subsection (f) of this section.

(c) The approving authority shall issue its decision within 90 working days of giving the charter school notice pursuant to this subsection (c). An accountability committee appointed by the approving authority shall conduct the initial review pursuant to subsection (b) or (c) of this section. The accountability committee’s report to the approving authority shall address the relevant criteria set forth in §§ 512 and 516 of this title. The committee shall meet with the applicant in the course of its investigation and provide the applicant the opportunity to review and comment on the committee’s report 15 days before it is issued to the approving authority. The committee’s final report shall be provided to the applicant and made available to the public.

(d) If the accountability committee reports probable grounds for remedial measures pursuant to subsection (g) of this section, the approving authority shall hold public hearings to assist in its decision whether the criteria set forth for remedial action in § 516 of this title have been satisfied, after giving the charter school 30 days notice. The school shall be given the opportunity to respond to the accountability committee’s report at the meeting. Members of the public shall be given the opportunity to comment at the meeting.

(e) If the accountability committee reports that the school has complied with its charter and the criteria set forth in § 512 of this title, the approving authority shall approve or disapprove its report at a public meeting after giving the charter school 30 days’ notice. If the approving authority disapproves the report, it shall identify the reasons for that decision with particularity. Thereafter, the approving authority shall hold a hearing, within 30 days, to decide the appropriate remedy pursuant to subsection (f) of this section.

(f) If the approving authority determines that the criteria for remedial action set forth in § 516 of this title have been satisfied, it may revoke the charter and manage the school directly until alternative arrangements can be made for students at the school or place the school on a probationary status subject to terms determined by the approving authority which are directly relevant to the violation or violations.

(g) If a local school district which is an approving authority decides to revoke the school’s charter or place the school on probationary status, the applicant may file for arbitration in writing with the American Arbitration Association in Philadelphia within 20 days of the local board’s decision stating the reasons why it believes the local board decision was in error. A copy of said filing shall be provided simultaneously with the approving authority. The parties shall select an arbitrator in accordance with the American Arbitration Association’s procedure for voluntary labor disputes, provided, however, that such arbitration shall occur in this State. The arbitrator’s fees and costs shall be borne equally by the parties. The arbitrator shall convene a hearing and determine whether the local board’s decision was in error. The arbitrator shall have 30 days to render a decision following the close of the hearing. The arbitrator’s decision shall be final and binding upon the parties.

(h) If the approving authority is the Department and it decides to revoke the school’s charter or place the school on probationary status, its decision shall be final and not subject to arbitration or judicial review.

(i) Prior to any charter school closure decision, an approving authority shall have developed and shall utilize a charter school closure protocol to ensure timely notification to parents and employees, orderly transition of students and student records to new schools, and proper disposition of school funds, property, and assets in accordance with the requirements of 79 Del. Laws, c. 51 and other applicable laws. The protocol shall specify tasks, timelines, and responsible parties, including delineating the respective duties of the school and the approving authority. In the event of a charter school closure for any reason, the approving authority shall oversee and work with the closing school to ensure a smooth and orderly closure and transition for students, parents and employees, as guided by the closure protocol.

(j) In the event of a charter school closure for any reason, all cash and cash equivalents held by or available to the school shall be distributed first to satisfy outstanding payroll obligations for employees of the school, then to the remaining creditors of the school. Remaining State General Fund appropriations for that school year shall be returned to each district in an amount proportionate to the number of students received by each district. Additional remaining State General Fund appropriations shall be returned to the general revenue fund through the State Treasury. Remaining funds received from local school districts shall be returned to each of the districts in an amount proportionate to the number of students from each district. Any remaining funds and assets will be managed by the charter, as appropriate. In the event that a charter school files for bankruptcy, the distribution of all assets will be managed by the Bankruptcy Court or otherwise in accordance with bankruptcy laws. Nothing herein shall be construed in any way to impair or preempt a lien or security interest on any asset owned by a charter school or to prevent the school from paying the costs required to close or dissolve.

(k) In the event that all state and local funds due to a charter school are paid timely as required by § 509 of this title, a charter school authorized to operate in the State must by December 31 of that fiscal year maintain an available balance sufficient to pay the minimum costs necessary to provide students with the minimum annual instructional hours required by the Department of Education during the remainder of that fiscal year as reasonably projected by the charter school. Such costs include, but are not limited to, all employee compensation required to attain the minimum annual instructional hours during the remainder of that fiscal year. Such costs also include all fixed and variable nonpayroll expenditures incurred through the final month of that school year. A school’s failure to maintain sufficient available funds by December 31 of its third year of operation shall be deemed a material violation of its charter.

70 Del. Laws, c. 179, § 270 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 171 Del. Laws, c. 180, § 3173 Del. Laws, c. 164, §§ 22, 26;74 Del. Laws, c. 360, § 479 Del. Laws, c. 51, § 9.;

§ 516 Revocation criteria.

Approved charters shall be subject to revocation or probation, after the exercise of due diligence and good faith, only for the following reasons:

(1) The school, or its representatives, has committed a material fraud on the approving authority or misappropriated federal, state or local funds; or

(2) The school fails to comply with its charter or to satisfy, in its operation of the school, the criteria set forth in § 512 of this title.

70 Del. Laws, c. 179, § 2.;

§ 517 Charter transfer to different authorizer.

Transfer of a charter, and of oversight of that public charter school, from 1 authorizer to another before the expiration of the charter term shall require a petition by the public charter school or its authorizer to the new authorizer. A petition to transfer is considered a major modification and will follow the same timelines and hearing process as a major modification.

78 Del. Laws, c. 187, § 10.;

§ 518 Oversight and revocation for multiple charter holders.

For purposes of §§ 515 and 516 of this title, each charter held by a common board of directors shall be treated separately and individually.

They are like a computer virus. They take over a district, and use it to spread themselves to the next host….

“…It’s a fairly rudimentary exercise to be frank with you…Revenue follows the student to charter schools. Fixed costs do not follow the student proportionately. So therefore, the more revenue loss you get, the fixed cost base stays the same. There’s erosion. So it’s a pretty simple model…” –Independent Auditor discussing the Metro Nashville Public Schools audit…

This is exactly why if we wish to open charter schools, they need to be independent of all revenue which follows the students.  As charter schools grow (and they do not educate the majority, only a very tiny minority of people,) the majority of students get shafted.

At 20% Charter School attendance, for every child a charter school helps, it hurts four public school children… There is no exception to this under today’s funding structure… Every charter school hurts public schools more than those public schools are already hurting right now.

Jack Markell said so himself when campaigning in 2008…. There is no way Penny Schwinn can twist this truism… It is a a fact.  There is no way Rodel can twist this truism,  It is a fact. There is no way Earl Jacques, Charter School Sower Extrodinaire, can twist this truism… Facts are facts…

4 people get hurt for every child that goes to a charter school!

Immediately we need a bill that dislocates charter school funding from public schools, and pays for them as we currently do vocational schools… LINE  ITEMS  IN  STATE  BUDGET!

This Tennessee story is interesting… The Charter Group fully thought the study would vindicate their cause and allow open season for charters to spawn… The audit showed they couldn’t have been more wrong… Since they approved the audit, they now have to live with the egg on their face….

Meaning the figures are not even close… Charter schools are the death of a public school system…  With overwhelming evidence in Nashville, Memphis, Washington DC, Chicago, Milwaukee, Cleveland, and next door in Philadelphia.,  it is a wonder that anyone in Delaware can ever support more charter schools…

They must love hurting 4 little children for every one they privatize ….. 

Imagine if we had privatized women’s suffrage and let corporations handle it.  it would be botched for sure. Imagine if we had privatized Negro Civil Rights in the 60’s and let corporations handle it.  Yeah, you know where that would lead us.  Imagine if we turned the Clean Water Act or the Clean Air act over to corporations… Yeah, you know how that would turn out…  How is the privatization of Indiana’s turnpike coming?  About as bad as our privatization of public schools.

Some things simply can’t be privatized … Public education is one…  Everyone who supports Charters is like Will Smith; an enemy of the state….