9 governance New brief highlights charter school oversight With roughly one in 10 K-12 public school students in California attending a charter school, California has more charter schools and more charter students than any other state. member as a contact person, and visiting the charter school at least once annually. However, more robust oversight can ensure that charter schools meet commitments to the community regarding quality, access and transparency. “Great public schools have a rigorous curriculum, provide access to every student and are responsive to community needs,” said Manuel Buenrostro, CSBA education policy analyst and author of the brief. “Authorizing boards have tremendous potential to ensure that these conditions are true for all charter schools that they oversee. Throughout the state, boards must continue to be empowered to hold the line on quality.” Once a charter school is up and running, districts and county offices of education have additional responsibilities to ensure they are complying with state and federal rules. These include Local Control and Accountability Plan submissions to the California Department of Education and making sure there are no discriminatory practices in place. For example, a 2016 report by the ACLU and Public Advocates found 20 percent of California charter schools had exclusionary admis-sion practices. Equally important, authorizing boards should ensure that their charter schools think through how the services they offer can impact student access. This may apply to how the school plans to provide special education services, the availability of subsidized school meals, transportation or participation in sports. “Given the mixed results of charter schools academically, and the number of students they serve, effective oversight of charter schools is one of the most important responsibilities of school boards and county boards of education,” said Chris Ungar, chair of the Charter Schools Task Force and CSBA Immediate Past President. “While charter schools have flexibility in how they deliver programs and services to students, there is no flexibility on their need to serve all students, provide a high-quality educational program, and be open and transparent with the public.” To read the brief, visit: www.csba.org/CharterSchoolsOversight. Those numbers are expected to grow, with charter school backers pushing for California to reach one million charter students by 2022, a 40 percent increase from the approximate 603,000 students currently enrolled in charters. The Trump administration has also said it will invest $253 million in charter school expansion. With that in mind, a new CSBA brief “Charter Schools in Focus, Issue 2: Ensuring Effective Oversight” provides strategies to help school districts and county offices of education monitor charter school quality, equity and access. School boards and county offices of education have a crucial respon-sibility to monitor the charter schools in their districts, and they serve as the initial authorizers of these publicly funded schools with largely independent operations. As such, this brief encourages boards to develop guidelines for charter oversight. Basic steps for authorizers under California’s Charter Schools Act include designating one staff Looking for the right partner for your projects? Check out CSBA’s Business Partners and Affiliates Search www.csba.org/businessdirectory for quick access to contact information for a wide variety of products and services. From architecture and facilities design to special education programs, our directory can guide you to the right partner or affiliate business.