Charter Schools In Wisconsin - PowerPoint

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					    Wisconsin Charter
    School Conference

         Guidance for Charter
        School Developers and
          Grant Applicants
               Paula Crandall Decker, Ed.D.
                    Sharon Wendt, MSE
         Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

1                      May 10, 2005
    Charter Schools and Developers

     The purpose of this session:
      Provide basic charter school information
      Identify specific start up roles
      Review charter school grant guidelines

    What is a Charter School?

       Charter School: Charter schools are sponsor-
        created and administered, outcome-based
        public schools that operate under a contract
        between the school and the local school
        board or other entity defined by state charter
        school law (Sautter, 1993).

            Charter School Definition

       Charter schools are nonsectarian and
        operate under a written contract that
        specifies accountability for student
        achievement in exchange for a waiver of
        most state rules and regulations (Nathan,

            According to the USDE (2003), the
             intention of most charter school
                     legislation is to:

       Increase opportunities for learning and access to
        quality education for all students;
       Create choice for parents and students within the
        public school system;
       Provide a system of accountability for results in
        public education;
       Encourage innovative teaching practices;
       Create new professional opportunities for teachers;
       Encourage community and parent involvement in
        public education; and leverage improved education
        broadly. (USDE, p. 1)

        Authorizers Determined by State

       State laws that allow the creation of charters
        specify the types of agencies that are
        permitted to authorize or award a charter.
        These agencies are legally designated
        charter school authorizers. Different states
        allow different entities to authorize a charter

          Distribution of Charter Authorizer
                 by Type in Wisconsin

    Type of Authorizer                             Number of Authorizers

       Local school boards                           426
       State boards of education, state education
          agencies, chief state school officers        0
       Universities, colleges, community colleges     3
       Other, including independent or
          special charter school boards
          and municipal governments.                   1
                                                Total 430
    Note: Adapted to Wisconsin from A Decade of Public Charter Schools:
    Evaluation of the Public Charter Schools, 2000-2001 Evaluation Report,
    SRI International, p. 8.
            Top 10 reasons for Starting a New
                     charter School

       To provide opportunities for more learning and higher student
       To provide choices for parents and students;
       To allow for true site management by administrators, teachers and
       To facilitate and encourage greater parent and community
       To provide for greater accountability;
       To promote educational entrepreneurship;
       To provide greater program flexibility;
       To streamline budget and management decisions;
       To downsize large systems; and to redesign and reallocate. (p. 7)

    (Excerpt from a 2-day Wingspread Conference in
8           Wisconsin on April 3 and 4, 1996)
    Wisconsin State Statute 118.40

       Allows anyone to create a charter school;
       Specifies who can sponsor or authorize a
        charter school;
       Has no cap on the numbers that can be
       Specifies what must be included in a
       Outlines what a charter school can and
        cannot do.
          Wisconsin Charter School Law

        Must be open to all students in the district
        Must follow all federal and state health and safety
         requirements of public schools
        No pupil can be required to participate
        Can be a new school or a conversion from an
         existing public or private entity, but a school board
         cannot convert a private sectarian school to a
        Fit the definition of a charter

            Wisconsin Charter School Law

Charter schools are exempt from most state
  requirements, [ch.115-121 of Wis. Stats], however
  they MUST do the following:

        Participate in the state assessment system
        Complete the annual School Performance Report
        Count their students for membership in the LEA
        Teachers must be licensed by the DPI

     Wisconsin Charter School Growth
                          Number of
               Year     Charter Schools

              1994-96         9
              1996-97        13
              1997-98        18
              1998-99        40
              1999-00        63
              2000-01        86
              2001-02        109
              2002-03        129
              2003-04        134
              2004-05        161
     Charter School Development

                      Grant Writer


                      School Governance

     Steps to Starting a Charter School
     (USDE, 2005):

        Exploration
        Application
        Pre-Operations
        Operations
        Resources

     Stages in the Development Process

     Exploration: Surveying the Scene and Laying
       the Groundwork

        Gather basic information on WI charter
        Assemble a school design team
        Ascertain school community’s readiness
        Develop a business/strategic plan

     Investigate State Laws and Policies

        Review Wisconsin’s Charter School
        Know the 16 components required in the
         charter plan
        Review district charter start up policies and
        Identify waivers from district

     Assemble the Planning Team

     Expertise needed:
      Curriculum and Instruction
      Community Relations and Marketing
      Finance and Fund Raising
      Legal Issues, Educational Law
      Real Estate
      Student Assessment
      Writing charter school documents

     Design a Comprehensive School Plan

        Agreed upon mission and vision
        Overview of instructional program
        School Governance and administrative
        Staffing Plan
        Statement of Facilities Need
        Budget/financial plan

         Drafting/Presenting/ Getting Charter

        Legal document (see Benchmark guide)
        Key components
        Clear mission statement
        Statement of why school is needed
        Description of education program
        Learning Objectives
        Methods of Student Assessment

     Components of Charter Continued

        Financial plan and 3-5 years projected budget
        Governance or organizational model
        Personnel Policies
        Student Enrollment and Disciplinary Policies
        Facilities information
        Insurance
        Compliance with state and federal regulations
        Evaluation/monitoring agreements
        Contract Renewal/termination


        Detailed plan and timeline
        Core founding group listing of tasks and persons responsible
        Develop operating agreements/shared services
        Incorporate/file for 501(c)(3) status, recruit and install governing
        Draft by laws, policies, and identify an administrative structure
        Recruit/admit students
        Recruit/hire staff
        Purchase instructional materials
        Choose methods of student assessment
        Establish school calendar/professional development plan.

     Planning to Open

        Secure and ready facility
        Set up Support
     √   Accounting/budget
     √   Purchasing
     √   Transportation
     √   Food service
     √   Custodial
     √   Telephone services
     √   Technology/wiring


        Establish culture of school
        Clarify school’s expectations and beliefs
        Review the data for planning/guidance
        Governance Committee provides oversight
        Establish critical partners
        Refine curriculum and instruction
        Collect student performance/achievement
                      Charter School Program
                        Allowable Activities

        Grants awarded by the Secretary to eligible applicants
         or subgrants awarded by State educational agencies to
         eligible applicants are for a period of not more than 3
         years, of which the eligible applicant may use —
        (A) not more than 18 months for planning and program
        (B) not more than 2 years for the initial implementation
         of a charter school; and
        (C) not more than 2 years to carry out dissemination
         activities described in section 5204(f)(6)(B).

                    Charter School Program
                      Allowable Activities

        Post-award planning and design of the educational
         program, which may include —

        (i) refinement of the desired educational results and of the
         methods for measuring progress toward achieving those
         results; and
        (ii) professional development of teachers and other staff who
         will work in the charter school; and

                  Charter School Program Allowable

     Initial implementation of the charter school, which
         may include —

        (i) informing the community about the school;
        (ii) acquiring necessary equipment and educational
         materials and supplies;
        (iii) acquiring or developing curriculum materials; and
        (iv) other initial operational costs that cannot be met
         from State or local sources.

     The Wisconsin Charter School
            Grant Program
                      Funding levels
                      The grant application process
                      New priorities in funding, etc.
                      The reader’s benchmarks
                      Common mistakes

     Federal Grants To Wisconsin

        1996-97   $1,325,000
        1997-98   $1,956,548
        1998-99   $3,100,000
        1999-00   $4,000,000
        2000-01   $4,400,000
        2001-02   $8,750,000
        2002-03   $8,736,842
        2003-04   $9,682,211
        2004-05   $9,290,774
     Available Wisconsin Grants

     Start up Funds:
     A 3 year continuous relationship
      Planning (12-18 months)

      Implementation Year 1 (12 months)

      Implementation Year 2 (6-12 months)

     Beginning of 4th year:
      Dissemination Grant (12 to 24 months)

                 Continuous Relationship

        The length of time that an applicant can be in a
         financial relationship with the DPI is determined
         by federal law.

        If you cannot open at the absolute latest by
         semester II of the 2006-07 school year, do not
         request planning funds in 2005, as you will
         break your ―continuous contract” and therefore
         forfeit your right to future funds.

        WI Charter      Date for Next       Award          Current
     School Program       Cycle            Amounts        04-05 Total
      Type of Grants

        Planning       Aug. 1, 2005         $10,000          33
 Implementation        Aug. 1, 2005       $150, 000          32
     Implementation    Aug. 1, 2005        $150,000           11
        Renewal                          Supplemental
 Dissemination         Dec. 16, 2005    Up to $150,000*       5

     Dissemination     Dec. 16, 2005    Up to $150,000*       5
     Planning Application

        Charter School Vision
         –   Why a charter school
         –   Serves a particular need
         –   Charter School Description
        Planning Process
         –   Evidence of pre-planning
        Budget
         –   Narrative and Itemized Budget

     Implementation Application

        Charter School Program Description
         –   Detailed description of school & curriculum
         –   Support for school is evident
         –   Admissions Policy
        Charter School Needs
         –   Funds used to meet needs
         –   Educational Priorities
        Budget
         – Narrative and Itemized Budget
     Implementation Appl. (Continued)

        Charter Schools must fit the federal
         definition of a charter school
         –   Requirements are included in the application
        Charter Contract must be included with
         the application
         –   Copy must be signed

     Implementation Renewal Application

        Educational Progress
         –   Educational Programming
                 Documents student achievement
         –   Educational Priorities
                 Addresses New Wisconsin Promise and NCLB Priorities
         –   Management and Governance Model
                 Active Governance Structure
         –   Budget
                 Narrative and Itemized Budget

            Priorities in Funding and Other
                 Application Changes

      Serves children at risk as described in s.118.153 (1)
        (a), Wis. Stats.

        Supports the development of a charter school in a
         geographic area where one or more schools are
         identified for improvement, that requires corrective
         action, or restructuring under Title I, Part A of the

     Priorities in Funding and Other
     Application Changes

     The New Wisconsin Promise priorities:
      Closes the achievement gap
      Places an emphasis on building reading skills
      Promotes early learning opportunities
      Promotes educator quality
      Promotes career or technology education
      Encourages parent and community involvement
      Provides effective pupil services, special education
       and prevention programs to support learning.

     Other Application Changes

        Increase in page limits from 12 to 15
        Clarifying questions; order change
        Questions added for Implementation Applicants not
         previously awarded Charter School Planning Funds
        Eliminated duplicate questions
        Description of admissions and lottery process
        Allows attachment of up to 3 letters of support
        Fits federal definition of a charter school
        Implementation Renewal application requires
         description of governance council

         Wisconsin Charter School Program

        Informational sessions held
        Application submission by due date
        External peer review of grants
        Internal review for compliance
        State Superintendent review & approval
        Award notification
        Letter of acceptance from sub grantee to DPI
        Revisions and all assurances signed
        Signed award notice sent to sub grantees
        Mandated reporting sessions
        Renewal applications

             Readers Benchmarks

     Reviews each section and provides rating:
      Strong
      Average
      Weak
      Comments
      Overall Rating

                       Review Criteria
                     (What did the readers ask?)

        Is a charter school necessary to achieve these
        Will this most likely result in a charter?
        Is this a creative and innovative program that could
         serve as a model for others?
        Is there a focus on learner goals and outcomes, high
         academic standards and assessments?

     Common Reasons Why Charter Applications
        are Not Recommended for Funding

       No clear reason why it needs to be a
        charter school
       Inadequate planning documented
       Lack of parent or community support
       Describes a program rather than a

         Charter Planning and Implementation
                   Grant Mechanics

        Review the benchmarks
        Applications will be available by May 1, 2005
        Attach a letter of support from the school
         district or authority you are likely to charter

                             Use of Funds

     Allowable                              Not allowable
        Computers/equipment                 Any operational costs such as:
        Desks, chairs, tables, lockers       Salaries
        Curriculum materials, books          Rent
        Conferences, travel, food, etc       Leases
        Staff development                    Field Trips
        Extended contracts for curriculum  Construction
         writing/program dev.
                                              Purchase of vehicles, boats,
        Assessment/evaluation costs            trailers
        Refrigerator/stove for food          Roof repairs, boilers
                                              Accounting, administration fees,
        Renovations to bring facility up to    grant writing or over-site.
         health and safety codes after you
         have opened;
        Instructional Supplies
     Competitive Application Deadline

        Planning and Implementation grants are due
         August 1, 2005
        Mail or deliver to DPI 1 original & 7 copies of
         sub-grant application by 4:30 p.m.
        Late applications will not be accepted.

               DPI Charter Consultants

        Paula Crandall Decker (CESAs 1, 6,7,8,9, 2Rs)
    (608) 266-5728

        Sharon Wendt (CESAs 2,3,4,5,11,12,10)
    (608) 267-9111

        or 1-888-245-2732, ext.5



        Wisconsin Laws governing charter schools:

        To learn about charter schools in general, please visit:

        For specific information about starting a new charter school:

        For national resources, websites, research, please visit:

        Charter School Authorizer Resources at