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The National Charter School Resource Center at the South Carolina Charter School Conference. Abner Oakes March 2010. Agenda Welcome, introductions, agenda, your cell phone Overview of the National Charter School Resource Center Focus on facilities, one of our priority areas

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The national charter school resource center at the south carolina charter school conference

The National Charter School Resource Center

at the South Carolina Charter School Conference

Abner Oakes

March 2010


The national charter school resource center at the south carolina charter school conference

  • Agenda

  • Welcome, introductions, agenda, your cell phone

  • Overview of the National Charter School Resource Center

  • Focus on facilities, one of our priority areas

  • Questions and answers

  • Next steps, evaluation, finish


The national charter school resource center at the south carolina charter school conference

About NCSRC

The U.S. Department of Education is committed to promoting effective practices, providing technical assistance, and disseminating the resources critical to ensuring the success of charter schools across the country. To that end, the Education Department, under a contract with Learning Point Associates, has developed the National Charter School Resource Center (NCSRC).


The national charter school resource center at the south carolina charter school conference

A national center for charter schools

is needed now because…


The national charter school resource center at the south carolina charter school conference

The public charter school movement continues to expand.

  • Since the 2007–08 school year, the charter school student population has grown 11 percent, and the number of charter schools has grown 8 percent.

  • Today, a record 14 school districts have more than 20 percent of their public school students enrolled in public charter schools.

  • More than 1.5 million students attend more than 4,900 public charter schools (2009–10).

  • Nationally, the average public charter school has been open 6.2 years.

  • Sources: National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (2009a, 2009c)


The national charter school resource center at the south carolina charter school conference

  • The U.S. Department of Education is investing in public charter schools.

  • Estimated awards* by the federal Charter Schools Program in FY 2010:

    • $172,949,000 for new and continuation awards under 84.282A State Educational Agency and 84.282B&C Non-State Educational Agency programs

    • $23,082,000 for continuation awards under 84.282D State Charter School Facilities Incentive Grant and 84.354A Credit Enhancement for Charter School Facilities programs

    • $50,000,000 for new awards under 84.282M Charter Management Organizations and Other Not-For-Profit Entities

    • $10,000,000 for national activities, including approximately $3,500,000 for new awards under 84.282N, National Leadership Activities 

  • *These budget estimates are subject to change. Source: E. Pfeltz (personal communication, January 19, 2010)


The national charter school resource center at the south carolina charter school conference

  • Expanding the reach of high-quality public charter schools is a strategy promoted by the U.S. Department of Education.

    • “So, I'm a big supporter of these successful charter schools and so is the president. That's why one of our top priorities is a $52 million increase in charter school funding in the 2010 budget. We also want to change the law and allow federally funded charters to replicate.

    • —Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education (Remarks at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools Conference, June 22, 2009)


The national charter school resource center at the south carolina charter school conference

And in South Carolina?

  • There are 39 public charter schools (2009–10).

  • Since the 2007–08 school year, the charter school student population has grown 19 percent, with a 34.5 percent growth in the number of charter schools.

  • In South Carolina, 2.9 percent of all public schools students are enrolled in public charter schools (2008–09).

  • The average public charter school in South Carolina has been open 5.3 years (2009–10).

  • Sources: National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (2008, 2009b)


The national charter school resource center at the south carolina charter school conference

Our Mission

The National Charter School Resource Center (NCSRC) serves as a national center to provide on-demand resources, information, and technical assistance to support successful planning, authorizing, implementation, and sustainability of high-quality charter schools; to share evaluations on the effects of charter schools; and to disseminate information about successful practices in charter schools.


The national charter school resource center at the south carolina charter school conference

About Learning Point Associates

Learning Point Associates is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping educators and policymakers improve student learning by equipping them with knowledge and strategies that meet their needs and produce results.

Website: www.learningpt.org


The national charter school resource center at the south carolina charter school conference

  • Whom do we serve?

    • Charter school leaders and their staff

    • National and local charter school intermediary and support organizations

    • State education agency (SEA) personnel who oversee charter school activity


The national charter school resource center at the south carolina charter school conference

First Polling Question:

  • Where do you currently get answers to questions or technical assistance on charter school-related issues?

    • The state’s charter school organization (CSO)

    • The federal Charter Schools Program office

    • Your SEA

    • Charter school operators

    • National groups, such as the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools

    • Other


The national charter school resource center at the south carolina charter school conference

  • Priority Areas

  • Assistance to SEA personnel who oversee charter school activity

  • Quality authorizing of charter schools

  • Charter school facilities

  • Charter school leadership

  • Successful charter models for turning around low-performing schools under Title I School Improvement


The national charter school resource center at the south carolina charter school conference

Second Polling Question:

  • Which of the following four priority areas is of most interest to you?

    • Enhancing charter school leadership (i.e., principals and teachers).

    • Ensuring rigor on charter school authorizing.

    • Increasing information about and access to funding for charter school facilities.

    • Helping charters and charter management organizations (CMOs) with turnaround work.


The national charter school resource center at the south carolina charter school conference

  • Facilities: Facts and Figures

  • A 2005 study by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, Progress Analytics Institute, and Public Impact found that funding disparities between charter schools and other public schools ranged from 4.8 percent to 39.5 percent and that charter schools’ access to local and capital funding was the primary driver of the funding gap.

  • Source: Batdorff et al. (2005)


The national charter school resource center at the south carolina charter school conference

  • Facts and Figures (continued):

  • A 2008 report prepared by WestEd for the U.S. Department of Education noted that charter schools receive about 78 cents for every dollar that traditional public schools receive. In addition, while traditional public schools may allocate all of their per-pupil funding for instructional programming, charter schools also must use these dollars to cover the costs of facilities.

  • Source: Office of Innovation and Improvement (2008)


The national charter school resource center at the south carolina charter school conference

State Policy Considerations: Payments

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools identifies the following as components of a strong charter school policy for equitable access to capital funding and facilities:

  • Per-pupil facilities allowances, which annually reflect actual average district capital costs

  • A state grant program for charter school facilities

  • A state loan program for charter school facilities

  • Source: Ziebarth (2010)


The national charter school resource center at the south carolina charter school conference

  • State Policy Considerations: Buildings

  • Right of first refusal to purchase or lease at fair or below-market value a closed, unused, or underused public school facility or property

  • Prohibition of facility-related requirements stricter than those applied to traditional public schools

  • Source: Ziebarth (2010)


The national charter school resource center at the south carolina charter school conference

  • State Policy Considerations: Leverage

  • Equal access to tax-exempt bonding authorities—or allow charter schools to have their own bonding authority

  • Equal access to existing state facilities programs available to noncharter public schools

  • A mechanism to provide credit enhancement for public charter school facilities

  • Source: Ziebarth (2010)


The national charter school resource center at the south carolina charter school conference

  • Upcoming NCSRC Activities on Facilities

  • Development of a “Facilities 101” course of study—face-to-face and online

  • Half-day face-to-face delivery of course in Philadelphia, May 25—at no cost

  • Full-day face-to-face delivery of course in Chicago, June 28, to precede the National Charter Schools Conference—again at no cost


The national charter school resource center at the south carolina charter school conference

  • Some of NCSRC’s Services

  • Presentations at state and national charter school conferences

  • National and state-level convenings and meetings

  • Monthly e-newsletter and other publications

  • Conference calls and webinars with SEA personnel

  • Website: final iteration available at end of March

  • Just-in-time technical assistance: Ask the Expert


The national charter school resource center at the south carolina charter school conference

Final Polling Question:

  • Which of our work and activities interest you the most?

  • Ask the Expert service

  • Content expertise, such as with facilities

  • Our website’s resources

  • Technical assistance

  • None at the moment


The national charter school resource center at the south carolina charter school conference

Questions? Comments? Ideas?


The national charter school resource center at the south carolina charter school conference

References

Batdorff, M., Finn, C. E., Hassel, B., Maloney, L., Osberg, E., Speakman, S., et al. (2005). Charter school funding: Equity’s next frontier. Washington, DC: Thomas B. Fordham Institute. Retrieved March 22, 2010, from http://www.edexcellence.net/doc/Charter%20School%20Funding%202005%20FINAL.pdf

National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. (2008). Schools overview 2008–09: South Carolina [Website]. Retrieved March 22, 2010, from http://www.publiccharters.org/dashboard/schools/page/overview/state/SC/year/2008

National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. (2009a). Public charter school dashboard [Website]. Retrieved March 22, 2010, from http://www.publiccharters.org/dashboard/home

National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. (2009b). Schools overview 2009–10: South Carolina [Website]. Retrieved March 22, 2010, from http://www.publiccharters.org/dashboard/schools/page/overview/state/SC/year/2010


The national charter school resource center at the south carolina charter school conference

National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. (2009c). Top 10 charter communities by market share. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved March 22, 2010, from http://www.publiccharters.org/files/publications/MarketShare_P4.pdf

Office of Innovation and Improvement. (2008). Making charter schools more affordable: State-driven policy approaches. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved March 22, 2010, from http://www2.ed.gov/admins/comm/choice/charterfacilities/charterfacilities.pdf

Ziebarth, T. (2010). How state charter laws rank against the new model public charter school law. Washington, DC: National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. Retrieved March 22, 2010, from http://www.publiccharters.org/files/publications/DB-ModelLaw_Report_01-12-10.pdf


The national charter school resource center at the south carolina charter school conference

Contact Information

Abner Oakes

National Charter School Resource Center

1100 17th Street NW, Suite 500

Washington, DC 20036-4632

Phone: 877-277-2744

Fax: 202-223-8939

E-Mail: [email protected]


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