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LINKS OF INTEREST FOR CHARTER SCHOOLS
 

 
 

CALIFORNIA CHARTER SCHOOLS ASSOCIATION (CCSA)

The California Charter Schools Association is the membership and professional organization serving the more than 500 public charter schools in the State of California. Its mission is to increase student achievement by strengthening and expanding public charter schools throughout California.

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CHARTER SCHOOLS DEVELOPMENT CENTER (CSDC)

The goal of the CSDC is to help public education change from a highly regulated, process-based system to one that allows and encourages schools to be more creative, performance-based centers of effective teaching and learning. It aims to achieve this by providing technical assistance to the charter school reform movement in California, nationally, and internationally.

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THE US CHARTER SCHOOLS WEBSITE

This is a website where charter school developers, authorizers, and operators can meet, exchange ideas, and access a valuable resource library. The website provides a wide range of information and links to resources to guide charter schools in every phase of their development — from start-up, to expansion, to renewal.

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CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

The California Department of Education (CDE) oversees the state's diverse and dynamic public school system that is responsible for the education of more than seven million children and young adults in more than 9,000 schools. The CDE and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction are responsible for enforcing education law and regulations; and for continuing to reform and improve public elementary school programs, secondary school programs, adult education, some preschool programs, and child care programs. The CDE's mission is to provide leadership, assistance, oversight, and resources so that every Californian has access to an education that meets world-class standards. The CDE is committed to working in partnership with local schools to improve student achievement. Many charter school resources can be found on the CDE website.

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CALIFORNIA COMMISSION ON TEACHERS CREDENTIALING

The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing is an agency in the Executive Branch of the California State Government. It was created in 1970 by the Ryan Act and is the oldest of the autonomous state standards boards in the nation. The major purpose of the agency is to serve as a state standards board for educator preparation for the public schools of California, the licensing and credentialing of professional educators in the State, the enforcement of professional practices of educators, and the discipline of credential holders in the State of California.

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US DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

In fulfilling the purposes described by Congress, the Department engages in four major types of activities. It establishes policies relating to federal financial aid for education, administer distribution of those funds, and monitor their use. The Department of Education collects data and oversees research on America's schools and disseminates this information to educators and the general public. It identifies the major issues and problems in education and focuses national attention on them. The Department of Education enforces federal statutes prohibiting discrimination in programs and activities receiving federal funds and ensures equal access to education for every individual.

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CALIFORNIA ATTORNEY GENERAL

The Attorney General (AG) represents the people of California in civil and criminal matters before trial, appellate and the supreme courts of California and the United States. The Attorney General also serves as legal counsel to state officers and, with few exceptions, to state agencies, boards and commissions. Exceptions to the centralized legal work done on behalf of the state are listed in Section 11041 of the Government Code. The AG website includes many helpful resources including publications on compliance with the Brown Act and conflict of interest laws.

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CHARTER SCHOOL LEADERSHIP COUNCIL

The charter School Leadership Council has changed its name to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools to better reflect the organization's mission. Despite this change, the Alliance maintains the same leadership team and mission: increasing the number of high-performing charter schools available to America's families.
Although the new website is active immediately (www.publiccharters.org), the previous site will be operational until the end of the year.

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CHARTER SCHOOL PRESS CENTER

This website is designed to help charter schools develop positive media relationships. Sample press releases and a PowerPoint presentation on how to talk to the press are available. Also, very helpful contact lists of distribution services, national publications, and charter school and education reporters by state are provided.

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SCHOOL MATTERS

Standards & Poor’s and several partners offer this free web-based national education data service to provide in-depth information and analysis about public schools, including charters. It provides users with test scores, school spending data, and demographics for individual schools and districts across the nation. Community demographic data is also available, including local income levels, housing values, household parental status, and adult educational attainment levels. This site’s designers hope it will help transform the way education information is used by educators, policymakers, superintendents and parents. For example, educators in a given school will be able to find schools that have similar demographics with higher academic performance. This can be a useful start for schools and districts looking to develop comprehensive improvement programs and provides a first step in identifying promising practices of school reform.

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CLOSING LOW-PERFORMING SCHOOLS AND REOPENING THEM AS CHARTER SCHOOLS: THE ROLE OF THE STATE

This guide explores the role of the state in converting low-performing schools into charter schools, a strategy available to states under No Child Left Behind to address schools that miss AYP for five consecutive years. The challenges and benefits of closing a school and reopening as a charter school are explored. The author states that reopening as a charter school allows for the opportunity to enlist the interest and energy of the community in changing and improving a chronically underachieving school. Additional potential benefits of reopening a low-performing school as a charter school include new leadership, new decision-making approaches, new staff, new mission, new educational approaches, and a new culture. The state can play several roles in facilitating conversion, including: establishing criteria and process guidelines; creating an RFP process; and providing additional resources to school operators.

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THE AUTHORIZER AND CHARTER SCHOOL CLOSURES:
EXERCISING ADAPTIVE LEADERSHIP TO PROTECT THE PUBLIC INTEREST

This document addresses common issues that authorizers face in closing a charter school and provides some practical policy approaches that one authorizer, the New Jersey Department of Education, has incorporated into its school closure protocol and practices. The author advises authorizers to contemplate and plan for the possibility of a charter school’s dissolution. School dissolution plans should spell out how to transfer student records, administer personnel records, fulfill contractual obligations, liquidate assets, assess and satisfy outstanding liabilities, dissolve the board, and transition students and staff, as well as how to deal with several other issues.

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PRIMERS ON IMPLEMENTING SPECIAL EDUCATION IN CHARTER SCHOOLS

This website and Primers provide background information and resources to facilitate the successful inclusion of students with disabilities in charter schools. They are designed to help charter school leaders develop special education programs, provide support for authorizers to better assist schools they charter, and give policy and practice support for those at the state level. Helpful information on special education is available for every life stage of a charter school, from pre-authorization to renewal/non-renewal. In addition to the primers and other special education resources, a State Matrix is provided to highlight various characteristics of the states which have charter school laws.

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TESTING THE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF CHARTER SCHOOLS: A GUIDE FOR LEGISLATORS

State supreme courts and lower courts have upheld the constitutionality of charter schools despite numerous lawsuits filed by charter school opponents. This document provides summaries about major legal cases which have been fought in eleven states since 1996.

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NSBA LEGAL CLIPS

This free service of the National School Boards Association’s Office of the General Counsel provides current and informative legal clips to keep you abreast of national issues related to school law.

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BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE FOR EDUCATION

The Business Roundtable for Education is the voice of business to improve education in the San Diego region. They work in partnership with the business and educational communities on education issues.

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CALIFORNIA SECRETARY OF STATE

Including regional offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and Fresno, the Secretary of State's staff of 450 perform numerous other functions, including chaptering all bills passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor or allowed to become law without the Governor's signature; handling applications for incorporation, limited partnerships, non–profit status, and other business classifications.

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CALIFORNIA’S COALITION FOR ADEQUATE SCHOOL HOUSING (CASH)

The Coalition for Adequate School Housing (C.A.S.H.) was formed in 1978 to promote, develop, and support state and local funding for K-12 construction.

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CALIFORNIA STATE ASSEMBLY

The members of the California Assembly welcome your input on their bills. You may search the full text of California bills, resolutions, and constitutional amendments on this website.

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CALIFORNIA STATE CONTROLLER’S OFFICE

The primary function of the State Controller is to provide sound fiscal control over both receipts and disbursements of public funds; to report periodically on the financial operations and condition of both state and local government; to make certain that money due the state is collected through fair, equitable and effective tax administration; to provide fiscal guidance to local governments; to serve as a member of numerous policy-making State boards and commissions; and to administer the Unclaimed Property and Property Tax Postponement Programs.

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STATE SENATE

To be enacted into law, a measure must be approved by the appropriate policy and fiscal committees in both the 40-member Senate and 80-member Assembly, and receive enough votes from the entire membership of both houses to pass. It is then sent to the Governor who may veto the bill or sign it into law. A bill might take a year or more to move through this process. During that time, there is ample opportunity for citizens to express their opinions and concerns and to influence legislation. You may visit this website to learn more about this process or to express your opinion about any pending legislation.

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DIVISION OF STATE ARCHITECT

The Division of the State Architect (DSA) acts as California's policy leader for building design and construction, and provides design and construction oversight for K–12 schools and community colleges.

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OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATIVE LAW

The Office of Administrative Law is responsible for reviewing administrative regulations proposed by over 200 state agencies for compliance with the standards set forth in California's Administrative Procedure Act, for transmitting these regulations to the Secretary of State and for publishing regulations in the California Code of Regulations.

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OFFICE OF THE STATE FIRE MARSHALL

The Office of the State Fire Marshal (SFM) supports the mission of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF) by focusing on fire prevention. SFM provides support through a wide variety of fire safety responsibilities including: regulating buildings in which people live, congregate, or are confined; by controlling substances and products which may, in and of themselves, or by their misuse, cause injuries, death and destruction by fire; by providing statewide direction for fire prevention within wildland areas; by regulating hazardous liquid pipelines; by reviewing regulations and building standards; and by providing training and education in fire protection methods and responsibilities.

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PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT RELATIONS BOARD

The Public Employment Relations Board (PERB or Board) is a quasi-judicial administrative agency charged with administering the collective bargaining statutes covering employees of California's public schools, charter schools, colleges, and universities, employees of the State of California, employees of California local public agencies (cities, counties and special districts), trial court employees and supervisory employees of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

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OFFICE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS

The mission of the Office for Civil Rights is to ensure equal access to education and to promote educational excellence throughout the nation through vigorous enforcement of civil rights.

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EDSOURCE

EdSource was originally established as the California Coalition for Fair School Finance in 1977 by three well-known and respected community service organizations: the California Parent Teacher Association, the League of Women Voters of California, and the American Association of University Women, California chapter. Their goal was to establish a neutral, balanced, reliable source of information to explain California’s controversial Serrano v. Priest court decision mandating equity of funding among all the state’s school districts. Since that time, EdSource has broadened the public education policy topics it researches and has widened its audiences to include policymakers, researchers, K–12 and college educators, the media, parents, and the general public.

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EDUCATION AUDIT APPEALS PANEL (EAAP)

The Education Audit Appeals Panel (EAAP) is a state agency that is empowered to hear appeals for apportionment significant audit findings. The EAAP panel that hears appeals consists of one representative from each of the following: Department of Finance, Superintendent of Public Instruction, and FCMAT. The Executive Director of EAAP has independent authority to resolve audit appeals through an informal summary review process wherein s/he may reduce or waive a finding, or approve a repayment plan. EAAP is also responsible for reviewing, revising, and amending the K-12 Audit Guide.

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EDVOICE

EdVoice was established by our state's leading educational philanthropists who understand that the future of California will be shaped by the quality of education our public schools deliver. Many gave generously and worked tirelessly to pass Proposition 39, changing the rules that prevented many communities from repairing old schools and building new ones.

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