What are the potential outcomes of a charter review?
After reviewing the charter review report, DC PCSB will vote whether to continue or revoke the school’s charter. The School Reform Act or SRA allows DC PCSB some discretion with this decision: If the Board finds the school has not fully met its goals or determines a school has committed a material legal violation, it may elect to revoke the school’s charter or instead grant it charter continuance (with or without conditions).
However, if the Board finds the school to have a material financial insufficiency (specifically, if the school: (1) did not adhere to generally accepted accounting principles; (2) engaged in a pattern of fiscal mismanagement; or (3) is not economically viable), the Board is required to revoke the school’s charter.
Can a school amend its charter, particularly its goals and expectations, prior to charter review?
While a school may submit a petition to amend its charter at any time, DC PCSB generally will not approve amendments to a school’s goals and expectations unless the request for a charter amendment is made more than two years prior to the beginning of a school’s 15th or 13th year of operation, or more than one year prior to the beginning of a school’s fifth, 10th, 20th or 25th year of operation review. The exception to this is if the school elects to adopt the Performance Management Framework or PMF as its charter goals and academic achievement expectations. Pursuant to the Elect to Adopt the PMF as Goals Policy (see policy here), DC PCSB may permit the revision to occur within two years of a charter school’s 15th or 13th year of operation or within one year of a charter school’s review. See the policy here. Guidelines for preparing a charter amendment petition can be found here.
What is a charter renewal?
Every DC public charter school receives a 15-year charter agreement. If a school wants to continue operating beyond these 15 years, it is required by the School Reform Act, or SRA, to submit an application to DC PCSB to renew its charter for another 15-year term. In turn, the Board is required by the School Reform Act or SRA to not renew a school’s charter if it finds that the school:
Has committed a material violation of applicable laws (including special education laws) or the terms, conditions, standards, or procedures of its charter.
Failed to meet its goals and student academic achievement expectations.
Did not adhere to generally accepted accounting principles; engaged in a pattern of fiscal mismanagement; and/or is not economically viable.