NECSN Statement on Connecticut State Board of Education Actions to Improve Charter Accountability

Posted by on 06 / 30 / 2014 0 Reactions

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Northeast Charter Schools President Bill Phillips issued the following statement after the State Board of Education's actions today.
 
For Immediate Release: June 30, 2014
Contact: Jessica Mokhiber, (518) 573-0516, jmokhiber@necharters.org
 
 
NECSN STATEMENT ON CONNECTICUT STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION ACTIONS TO IMPROVE CHARTER ACCOUNTABILITY
 
Hartford, CT – Northeast Charter Schools President Bill Phillips issued the following statement after the State Board of Education's actions today:
 
"The actions of the Commissioner and Board are entirely appropriate and we fully support them. Moreover, we appreciate their quick response.  We hope these actions are just the first steps towards modernizing Connecticut charter law regulation."
 
Earlier today, the Northeast Charter Schools Network sent its recommendations to help strengthen and improve the state’s charter school laws to the Connecticut State Department of Education for its review. Those recommendations included:
  • New digital transparency laws that require charter school board meeting schedules, agendas and minutes to be posted online.
  • Strong performance frameworks to judge the capacity and academic results of charter schools on a regular basis.
  • Clear accountability contracts that set forth the rights and responsibilities of the state and the charter school, with the National Association of Charter Authorizers guidelines as a starting point.
  • Mandatory criminal background checks for all charter school board members and employees (current law is not clear regarding employees).
  • Strict conflict of interest and anti-nepotism regulations with regular disclosure requirements that cover all employees and board members of charter schools.
  • Increased funding and staff capacity at SDE’s charter school oversight and accountability office.
  • Clear operational and programmatic flexibility, excluding areas that affect the health, safety and civil rights of students.
  • For schools that excel under these new, stricter standards, new conditions to help them grow to serve more families.
The Board met today and outlined its strategy for improving the laws and moving towards more transparency and accountability in the state’s schools and charter management organizations. The Board will now require schools to adopt anti-nepotism regulations, conflict of interest policies, and will require schools and charter management companies perform background checks on all employees.
 
The Board also appointed an education attorney to investigate the operations, finance and governance of FUSE and Jumoke Academy.
 
About the Northeast Charter Schools Network.
The Northeast Charter Schools Network is a regional advocacy organization for the more than 200 charter schools in Connecticut and New York. Its mission is to support and expand high quality charter schools in the region.
 
834 Asylum Avenue, Hartford, CT 06105
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