Currently the District is expecting four (4) renewal petitions due on August 21, 2015. The District and Board will have 90 days to review all four (4) petitions, as mandated by state law.
Charter Policy Mini Meetings
Mini-meetings have been identified to create an opportunity for Board Members to meet in small group settings to discuss and address key topics of importance. The August sessions focused on Charter Schools Matters. Nelson Mullins facilitated confidential and privileged discussions about the proposed charter school policy revisions.
Declassified Details of Charter Discussions
Question: Why were these meetings deemed “Privileged and Confidential”.
Nelson Mullins (outside counsel): The meeting and the discussions held during it are attorney/client privileged because the meeting and discussion were for the purpose of discussing legal advice, analysis, and interpretation.
Question: Is the mediation defined in SBOE rule 160-4-9-.05 expected to be deleted from the new SBOE rules? What about the appeals process, could it potentially place an undue financial burden on the district.
Nelson Mullins: The option to mediate between a charter petitioner and a local board regarding denial of a petition is not currently proposed to be revised. It is currently proposed that the requirement to hold a hearing when a local board elects not to renew a charter petition be removed.
Question: Conversion charters are not limited to the amount of autonomy they can request. Conversion charters were given a “Local & System Governance Decision Making Matrix” document at petitioner meetings. [Were the petitioners] told the autonomy they may request is not limited to the autonomy described in this matrix document. [Was] this matrix meant to be the starting point of a conversation about their roles and responsibilities and not a limit.
Dr. Jose Boza (Director of Charter Schools): Your understanding is correct. The document serves as a starting point. The Petitioners can also identify specific areas where autonomy is needed in order to carry out their innovation.
Question: There is a 2015 Charter School Petition Guidelines document. The “Charter School Letter of Assurances” starts on page 35. All charter petitioners are being asked to sign this. This letter of assurances is not accurate and needs to be revised. What are the district’s current instructions for conversion charter petitioners regarding the Charter Petitioner Guidelines 2015?
Dr. Jose Boza: [That] is accurate for start-ups. Conversion Charter Schools were informed during the informational sessions to use the phrase of “not applicable” below the assurance.
Question: Petitioner meetings are open to as many people that would like to attend. However, the petitioner is asked to select a few representatives to speak for the group.
Dr. Jose Boza: [That] is correct. Petitioners are asked to identify a few representatives, principal and members of the proposed governing board, to attend the Capacity Interview and Clarification session.
Question: “Arm’s Length” is a commonly used legal expression.
Nelson Mullins: Yes, the term “arm’s length” is a commonly used legal expression. It refers to when business is conducted in a formal manner, and the parties are beyond the reach of each other’s control or over-mastering influence.
School Flexibility Option
Community Engagement Sessions for each of the five Regions are being planned, with August 24 through August 28 and August 31 through September 4 as the potential window. These Community Engagement Sessions will allow stakeholders to provide input on the Charter System application before final submission to the Board for approval. In addition to planned mini-meetings with the Board on this topic, the Board of Education will also be notified of the Community Engagement Sessions.
The GADOE has an established deadline of November 1, 2015, for submission of charter petition applications that wish to begin operating as a charter district at the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year. Without a called meeting, this requires that the petition be presented to the Board at their October 5, 2015, meeting as a resolution for adoption.
The petition can be reviewed at the link below.
Related Posts and Documents
- Charter School Showdown Part I
- Charter School Showdown Part II
- 2015 Charter School Renewal Memo 7/17/2015
- Email From Lou Erste
- Hackemeyer GaDOE – LOCAL POLICIES OF DEKALB COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT RE_ CHARTER SCHOOLS
- Local & System Governance Decision Making Matrix
- Charter Petitioner’s Guidelines 2015
- Charter Policy Rewrite Attempt 1
- Charter Policy Rewrite Attempt 2
- OCGA § 20-2-2060 – CHARTER SCHOOLS ACT OF 1998
- State Memo (6/17/2014) – charters must be autonomous