Section IV – Charter School Oversight

  1. Performance Certificates
    1. Performance certificates for new, transfer, or renewed public charter schools shall include the current performance certificate and performance framework adopted by the PCSC.
    2. In cases of transfer from another authorizer to the PCSC, the performance certificate, including the performance framework, must be executed by the PCSC and charter holder at the time of transfer approval.
    3. Prior to PCSC consideration, PCSC staff and charter holders shall collaborate to draft those sections of the performance certificate and performance framework that are intended for individualization, including any mission-specific performance measures that may be requested by the school or required by conditions of petition approval or charter renewal.
    4. Whenever possible, PCSC staff and charter holders shall reach agreement regarding the individualized contents of the performance certificate and appendices, including the performance framework, prior to its submission to the PCSC for consideration.
    5. If agreement regarding the individualized contents of the performance certificate and appendices, including the performance framework, cannot be reached in time to meet relevant timelines, a subcommittee of three commissioners may advise or mediate the collaborative drafting process.
  2. Annual Public Charter School Performance Reports
    1. An annual performance report shall be issued by the PCSC to each school it authorizes.
    2. Annual performance reports shall be issued by November 15 to schools whose charters will expire at the end of the current school year (renewal-year schools) and by December 31 to schools whose charters will not expire at the end of the current school year (midterm schools).
    3. Annual performance reports shall provide information about schools’ statuses with regard to all applicable measures contained in the performance framework, and will provide the schools with academic, operational, and financial accountability designations based on points earned within the framework.
    4. Annual performance reports shall provide information about schools’ statuses with regard to any conditions of petition approval or charter renewal incorporated into the performance certificate.
    5. Midterm schools shall not be sanctioned on the basis of their accountability designations, except as otherwise provided in law, administrative rule, or PCSC policy, including Section III.C. The primary purpose of annual performance reports to midterm schools is to provide those schools with ample warning of any concerns that may impact renewal decision-making at the end of the performance certificate term. Midterm annual performance reports will also provide information about schools’ changing performance over time, which will be considered in the renewal year.
    6. Schools may submit corrections and clarifications to their annual performance reports within thirty (30) days of issuance of the reports. Corrections and clarifications shall be submitted to the PCSC office in writing and shall include a completed Annual Report Response Form clearly identifying each correction/clarification and documentation supporting each correction/clarification.
    7. Annual performance reports shall be published on the PCSC’s website no later than January 31.
  3. Required Reports
    1. School Leadership Updates: Each PCSC-authorized school shall submit a completed School Leadership Update Form to the PCSC office no later than July 30 of each year.Financial Reports: Each PCSC-authorized school shall submit the following financial reports:

      1. All budget worksheets submitted to the State Department of Education at the beginning of the fiscal year, including the Support Unit Calculation form, which is due to the PCSC office no later than July 30;
      2. Revised budgets, if applicable; and
      3. Quarterly balance sheets and income statements. Schools achieving honor status on the financial section of their current annual performance reports shall be exempt from first and third quarter reporting.
    2. Independent Fiscal Audits: Each PCSC-authorized school shall submit an independent fiscal audit approved by its governing board to the PCSC office no later than November 1 of each year.
    3. Mission-Specific Performance Measure Results: Each PCSC-authorized school with a performance framework that includes mission-specific performance measures shall submit relevant results data and supporting documentation for the previous school year no later than August 1, or by the alternate deadline specified in the performance certificate, if applicable.

      1. Supporting documentation must demonstrate the accuracy of the results data.
      2. Schools submitting data that is inaccurate, unverifiable, or otherwise inadequate for determining a score on the framework may receive a score of zero (0) on the affected measure(s).
    4. Other Reports as Requested: The PCSC or its staff may request additional reports on an as-needed basis in order to understand and monitor the school’s financial, operational, and academic status.
  4. Courtesy Letters
    1. Upon becoming aware of a concern regarding a school’s finances, operations, legal compliance, or academic status, PCSC staff may issue to the charter holder a courtesy letter advising the charter holder of such concern. Courtesy letters will typically be issued with regard to concerns of sufficient significance as to be noted in the school’s annual performance report.
    2. Courtesy letters shall be for the purpose of ensuring that the charter holder is aware of the concern and has maximum opportunity to seek resolution in advance of the next annual performance report or renewal consideration. Courtesy letters should not contain, nor be viewed as, sanctions against the charter school. Because they do not represent sanctions, courtesy letters will not be “removed” or “lifted” by the PCSC or its staff.
    3. Charter holders in receipt of courtesy letters are strongly encouraged to provide PCSC staff with additional information to provide clarity or document resolution of the concern.
    4. Regardless of whether or not a courtesy letter is issued or the charter holder responds, the charter holder remains responsible for the charter school’s operations and outcomes.
  5. Notice to Entities Responsible for Enforcement
    1. Pursuant to Section 33-5209C(4), Idaho Code, PCSC staff shall notify the entity responsible for administering a law it has reason to believe that a public charter school has violated. Such notice shall be in writing, and a copy shall be provided to the charter holder.
    2. In some cases of non-compliance, an entity responsible for enforcing the relevant provision of statute or administrative rule cannot be identified. In such instances, PCSC staff shall issue to the charter holder a courtesy letter ensuring the board is aware of the issue.
    3. Any sanctions against the public charter school resulting from the issuance of notice to entities responsible for legal enforcement shall be considered imposed by the entity responsible, rather than by the PCSC.
    4. Charter holders are strongly encouraged to provide PCSC staff with documentation of resolution of the concern as soon as possible in order to ensure accurate reflection of the situation in the school’s annual performance report.
    5. Regardless of whether or not a notice to entities responsible for enforcement is issued or the charter holder responds, the charter holder remains responsible for the charter school’s operations and outcomes.
  6. Written Notification of Fiscal Concern
    1. Pursuant to Section 33-5209C(3), Idaho Code, if the PCSC has reason to believe that a public charter school may not remain fiscally stable for the remainder of its performance certificate term, the PCSC shall issue to the State Department of Education written notification of concern.
    2. For purposes of this section, fiscal stability shall be defined as the ability to maintain positive cash flow and positive year-end balances while servicing all obligations, without relying on revenues intended for use in future fiscal years to cover current-year operating expenditures. For purposes of determining fiscal stability:
      1. Budgets shall be completed on an accrual basis, with year-end balances including encumbrance. That is, revenue intended for use in one fiscal year may not be used to demonstrate fiscal stability by covering expenditures that should have been paid using revenue from the previous fiscal year. (For example, teacher contracts for the 2015-16 school year must be paid entirely out of FY16 funds; payroll over the summer of 2016 should not be met using FY17 revenue.
      2. Cash flow projections shall be completed on a cash basis, showing actual cash amounts and projections with funds moving out at the appropriate, anticipated time.
    3. Written notifications of concern shall be reevaluated for continuation or removal only at the PCSC’s June regular meeting. Schools wishing to have written notifications of concern considered for removal shall provide updated fiscal status details and supporting documentation in accordance with Section I.A of this policy.