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Charter Schools Procedural Directive

Contents

General Provisions
Authority of Albuquerque Public Schools as an Authorizer
Charter/Magnet School Department
Presentations to the Board of Education
Initial Applications
Initial Application Approval, Approval with Conditions or Denial
Planning Year
Renewal Applications
Denial of Renewal Applications
Suspension of a Charter
Amendments
Assistance Provided by Albuquerque Public Schools

Mandated Assistance
Additional Assistance
Negotiated Assistance
Access to Albuquerque Public Schools
Activities
Facilities

Capital Master Plan
Reporting Requirements
Finances
Budget
Employees
Oversight of Charter Schools
Dispute Resolution
Suspension of a Locally Authorized Charter School
Revocation of a Charter of a Locally Authorized Charter School
Appeals
Definitions

 

General Provisions

The Charter Schools Act is enacted to enable individual schools to structure their educational curriculum to encourage the use of different and innovative teaching methods that are based on reliable research and effective practices or have been replicated successfully in schools with diverse characteristics; to allow the development of different and innovative forms of measuring student learning and achievement; to address the needs of all students, including those determined to be at risk; to create new professional opportunities for teachers, including the opportunity to be responsible for the learning program at the school site; to improve student achievement; to provide parents and students with an educational alternative to create new, innovative and more flexible ways of educating children within the public school system; to encourage parental and community involvement in the public school system; to develop and use site-based budgeting; and to hold charter schools accountable for meeting the department's educational standards and fiscal requirements.  

Authority of Albuquerque Public Schools as an Authorizer

A locally authorized charter school shall be a public school accredited by the New Mexico Public Education Department and shall be accountable to the Board of Education for purposes of ensuring compliance with applicable laws, rules and charter provisions.  The Board of Education may waive only locally imposed school district requirements for locally chartered charter schools.

Charter/Magnet School Department

Albuquerque Public Schools shall maintain a Charter/Magnet School Department.  The Charter/Magnet School Department shall be the primary contact and administrative office responsible for communication and operations with locally authorized charter schools.  The Charter/Magnet School Department shall have the following responsibilities:

  • Collect, organize, review, and evaluate all information related to locally authorized charter school approval and renewal
  • Prepare and present all proposed actions related to locally authorized charter schools for superintendent and Board of Education approval
  • Organize and implement all locally authorized charter school accountability visits, including annual site visits, follow-up visits related to audit findings, site visit findings, whistle blower communication, or requests from the Board of Education, superintendent and the state of New Mexico
  • Work with all Albuquerque Public Schools departments regarding any services provided to charter schools whether free of charge or at some negotiated cost to the charter school
  • Provide regular reports and updates to the superintendent and the Board of Education on all proposed and locally authorized charter schools
  • Coordinate all requests for assistance and information from, to, or about both locally authorized and state authorized charter schools

●    Satisfy all requirements of state statute including:

  • evaluate charter applications; 
  • actively pursue the utilization of charter schools to satisfy identified education needs and promote a diversity of educational choices; 
  • approve charter applications that meet the requirements of the Charter Schools Act; 
  • decline to approve charter applications that fail to meet the requirements of the Charter Schools Act or are otherwise inadequate; 
  • negotiate and execute, in good faith, charter contracts that meet the requirements of the Charter Schools Act with each approved charter school; 
  • monitor, in accordance with the requirements of the Charter Schools Act and the terms of the charter contract, the performance and legal compliance of charter schools under their authority; 
  • determine whether a charter school merits suspension, revocation or nonrenewal; and 
  • develop and maintain chartering policies and practices consistent with nationally recognized principles and standards for quality charter authorizing in all major areas of authorizing, including: 

(1)   organizational capacity and infrastructure; 

(2)   evaluating charter applications; 

(3)   performance contracting; 

(4)   charter school oversight and evaluation; and 

(5)   charter school suspension, revocation and renewal processes.

  • Coordinate a meeting at least biannually with all relevant district departments to discuss charter school issues and report those issues to the Superintendent and then to the Board of Education

Albuquerque Public Schools personnel who are assigned duties with locally authorized charter schools may include:

  • Albuquerque Public Schools Charter/Magnet Schools director/who manages Charter/Magnet Schools Department operations and supervises personnel housed in the department and who reports to the Executive Director of Equity and Access.
    • The Charter/Magnet Schools director shall be involved in any decision making process regarding charter schools by any department in the district.
    • Albuquerque Public Schools charter school manager with educational administration and curriculum experience who reports to and is supervised by the Charter/Magnet Schools director
    • Albuquerque Public Schools charter school coordinator with charter school experience who reports to and is supervised by the Charter/Magnet Schools director or manager.
    • Albuquerque Public Schools charter school business manager who will review and coordinate finance and budget of locally authorized charter schools, and who reports to and is supervised by the executive director of Accounting but will also communicate with and provide all information regarding charter schools to the Charter/Magnet Schools director
    • Albuquerque Public Schools charter school special education instructional manager who will review services and coordinate support in special education for locally authorized charter schools, and who reports to and is supervised by the executive director of Special Education but will also communicate with and provide all information regarding charter schools to the Charter/Magnet Schools director
    • Albuquerque Public Schools STARS coordinator who will collect and review required data submitted by a locally authorized charter schools who reports to and is supervised by the director of Student Information Services but will also communicate with and provide all information regarding locally authorized charter schools to the Charter/Magnet School director.
    • Albuquerque Public Schools Title I/grants coordinator who will review and coordinate support for Title I funds and grants in locally authorized charter schools, and who reports to and is supervised by the Title I director but will also communicate with and provide all information regarding charter schools to the Charter/Magnet Schools director
    • Personnel from Albuquerque Public Schools Operations, including Facilities Design and Construction, Maintenance and Operations and Transportation, who will supervise and coordinate support for applicable operations of locally authorized charter schools, and who report to and are supervised by their respective department directors but will also communicate with and provide all information regarding charter schools to the Charter/Magnet Schools director

The Charter/Magnet Schools director may request additional support from other Albuquerque Public Schools departments if necessary and approved by the assistant superintendent for student and community support.  The Charter/Magnet Schools director shall be advised of all visits to and contact made with charter schools by an Albuquerque Public Schools department and shall be copied on all reports pertaining to charter schools.

Presentations to the Board of Education

The Charter/Magnet Schools director shall provide specific data to the Board of Education at all presentations regarding locally authorized charter schools.  If the presentation concerns one locally authorized charter school, the Charter/Magnet Schools director shall provide the information for the specific locally authorized charter school for which the presentation regards.  The Charter/Magnet Schools director may seek assistance from the Research, Deployment and Accountability Department for the information.

Initial Applications

Albuquerque Public Schools has the authority to approve the establishment of a locally chartered charter school within that local district.

No later than the second Tuesday of January of the year in which an application will be filed, the organizers of a proposed charter school shall provide written notification to the commission and Albuquerque Public Schools of their intent to establish a charter school.  Failure to notify may result in an application not being accepted.

Albuquerque Public Schools shall receive, process and review any and all applications it receives for a locally authorized charter school Albuquerque Public Schools shall not charge an application fee.  Applications for initial charters shall be submitted by June 1 to be eligible for consideration for the following fiscal year; provided that the June 1 deadline may be waived upon agreement of the applicant and the chartering authority.

An application may be made by one or more teachers, parents or community members or by a public post-secondary educational institution or nonprofit organization.  Municipalities, counties, private post-secondary educational institutions and for-profit business entities are not eligible to apply for or receive a charter. 

Albuquerque Public Schools shall receive and review all applications for charter schools submitted to it.  The chartering authority shall not charge application fees. 

An application shall include:

  • the total number of grades the charter school proposes to provide, either immediately or phased; 
    • A charter school may decrease the number of grades it eventually offers, but it shall not increase the number of grades or the total number of students proposed to be served in each grade.
    • a detailed description of the charter school's projected facility needs, including projected requests for capital outlay assistance that have been approved by the director of the public school facilities authority or the director's designee; 
    • the mission statement of the charter school; 
    • the goals, objectives and student performance outcomes to be achieved by the charter school; 
    • a description of the charter school's educational program, student performance standards and curriculum that must meet or exceed the department's educational standards and must be designed to enable each student to achieve those standards; 
    • a description of the way a charter school's educational program will meet the individual needs of the students, including those students determined to be at risk; 
    • a description of the charter school's plan for evaluating student performance, the types of assessments that will be used to measure student progress toward achievement of the state's standards and the school's student performance outcomes, the time line for achievement of the outcomes and the procedures for taking corrective action in the event that student performance falls below the standards; 
    • evidence that the plan for the charter school is economically sound, including a proposed budget for the term of the charter and a description of the manner in which the annual audit of the financial and administrative operations of the charter school is to be conducted; 
    • evidence that the fiscal management of the charter school complies with all applicable federal and state laws and rules relative to fiscal procedures; 
    • evidence of a plan for the displacement of students, teachers and other employees who will not attend or be employed in the conversion school; 
    • a description of the governing body and operation of the charter school, including: 
      • how the governing body will be selected;
      • qualification and terms of members, how vacancies on the governing body will be filled and procedures for changing governing body membership; and 
      • the nature and extent of parental, professional educator and community involvement in the governance and operation of the school; 
      • an explanation of the relationship that will exist between the proposed charter school and its employees, including evidence that the terms and conditions of employment will be addressed with affected employees and their recognized representatives, if any; 
      • the employment and student discipline policies of the proposed charter school; 
      • an agreement between the charter school and the chartering authority regarding their respective legal liability and applicable insurance coverage; 
      • a description of how the charter school plans to meet the transportation and food service needs of its students; 
      • a description of both the discretionary waivers and the waivers provided for in state statute that the charter school is requesting or that will be provided from the local school board or the department and the charter school's plan for addressing and using these waiver requests; and 
      • a description of the facilities the charter school plans to use.

The director shall respond to a written request for review from a charter applicant within forty-five (45) days of the request.

Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education shall hold at least one public hearing in the school district to obtain information and community input to assist it in its decision whether to grant a charter school application.  The Board of Education may designate a subcommittee of no fewer than three members to hold the public hearing, and, if so, the hearing shall be transcribed for later review by other members of the chartering authority.  Community input may include written or oral comments in favor of or in opposition to the application from the applicant and the local community.

The Board of Education shall rule on the application for a charter school in a public meeting by September 1 of the year the application was received; provided, however, that prior to ruling on the application for which a designated subcommittee was used, any member of the chartering authority who was not present at the public hearing shall receive the transcript of the public hearing together with documents submitted for the public hearing.  If not ruled upon by that date, the charter application shall be automatically reviewed by the Secretary of Education in accordance with New Mexico state statute.  The charter school applicant and the Board of Education may, however, jointly waive the deadlines set forth in this section.

The Charter/Magnet School Department reserves the right to request and shall receive additional information from the applicant if it deems it necessary.  The Charter/Magnet School Department shall only submit an application for Board of Education consideration if the application was timely submitted and it meets all requirements outlined in this procedural directive.  The Charter/Magnet School Department shall make a recommendation regarding the application of a charter school to the Board of Education within ninety (90) days of receiving the application.  The Charter/Magnet School Department may recommend the application be approved by the Board of Education only if it has met all federal, state and district requirements. If an application has not met federal, state and district requirements, or needs clarification, the Charter/Magnet School Department may recommend the application be approved with conditions or denied by the Board of Education. 

A decision for approval, approval with conditions or denial of an application shall be rendered by the Board of Education in a public meeting by September 1 of the year the application was received.  The charter school applicant and the chartering authority may, however, jointly waive the deadlines set forth in this section.  The Board of Education may approve an applicant for an initial term of six years.  The first of these six years shall be used exclusively for planning and not completing the application.

Initial Application Approval, Approval with Conditions or Denial

The Board of Education may approve, approve with conditions or deny an application. 

The Board of Education may deny an application if:

  • the application is incomplete or inadequate;
  • the application does not propose to offer an educational program consistent with the requirements and purposes of the Charter Schools Act;
  • the proposed head administrator or other administrative or fiscal staff was involved with another charter school whose charter was denied or revoked for fiscal mismanagement or the proposed head administrator or other administrative or fiscal staff was discharged from a public school for fiscal mismanagement; or
  • the application is otherwise contrary to the best interests of the charter school's projected students, the local community or the school district in whose geographic boundaries the charter school applies to operate.
    • The best interests of Albuquerque Public Schools may include compliance of all requirements outlined in this procedural directive and  other considerations as the Board of Education deems appropriate.

If the chartering authority denies a charter school application or approves the application with conditions, it shall state its reasons for the denial or conditions in writing within fourteen (14) days of the meeting.  If the chartering authority grants a charter, the approved charter shall be provided to the applicant together with any imposed conditions.

A charter school that has received a notice from the chartering authority denying approval of the charter shall have a right to a hearing by the Secretary of Education pursuant to state statute.

Planning Year

Locally authorized charter schools authorized for an initial term shall report progress to the Board of Education and/0r the Charter/Magnet School Department at least three times during their planning year.  These reports shall include, but are not limited to:

  • Progress report on all items included in the initial application and the Planning Year Checklist.
  • Any information specifically requested by the Board of Education, superintendent or Charter/Magnet School Department
  • Any information deemed appropriate or necessary by the governing body of the locally authorized charter school

These reports shall be submitted to the Charter/Magnet School Department.  The Board of Education and Charter/Magnet School Department reserve the right to request and receive informational reports from a locally authorized charter school at any other time during their planning year.  The Charter/Magnet School Department shall deliver this report to the Board of Education.

Renewal Applications

Locally authorized charter schools may apply for renewal of their charter with the Board of Education.  The Charter/Magnet School Department shall notify locally authorized charter schools of this option in their last year of approval.  Locally authorized charter schools shall submit applications for renewal to the Charter/Magnet School Department no later than two hundred seventy (270) days prior to the date on which the current charter expires.

The Charter/Magnet School Department shall review renewal applications and determine if requirements established by federal and state statutes and district standards outlined in this procedural directive have been met.  The Board of Education shall only approve a renewal application if these requirements have been met.  A renewal application shall include:

  • a report on the progress of meeting the academic performance, financial compliance and governance responsibilities of the charter school, including achieving the goals, objectives, student performance outcomes, state standards of excellence and other terms of the charter contract, including the accountability requirements set forth in the Assessment and Accountability Act [Chapter 22, Article 2C NMSA 1978];
  • a financial statement that discloses the costs of administration, instruction and other spending categories for the charter school that is understandable to the general public, that allows comparison of costs to other schools or comparable organizations and that is in a format required by the department;
  • a copy of the charter contract executed in compliance with the provisions of Section 22-8B-9 NMSA 1978;
  • a petition in support of the charter school renewing its charter status signed by not less than sixty-five percent of the employees in the charter school;
  • a petition in support of the charter school renewing its charter status signed by at least seventy-five percent of the households whose children are enrolled in the charter school; and
  • a description of the charter school facilities and assurances that the facilities are in compliance with the requirements of Section 22-8B-4.2 NMSA 1978.

The Charter/Magnet School Department reserves the right to request and receive additional information from the renewal applicant if it deems it necessary.  The Charter/Magnet School Department shall make a recommendation regarding the renewal application of a charter school to the Board of Education within ninety (90) days of receiving the renewal application.   The Charter/Magnet School Department may recommend the application be approved by the Board of Education only if it has met all federal, state and district requirements. If an application has not met federal, state and district requirements, or needs clarification, the Charter/Magnet School Department may recommend the application be approved with conditions or denied by the Board of Education. 

A decision for approval, approval with conditions or denial of a renewal application shall be rendered by the Board of Education in a public meeting within ninety (90) days of receipt of a renewal application, or no later than one hundred eighty (180) days prior to the expiration of the contract.    If appropriate, the Board of Education may renew a locally authorized charter school for a period of five (5) years.  The Board of Education and the governing body of the charter school may agree to an approval of less than five (5) years.

Denial of Renewal Applications

The Board of Education may deny a renewal application if the Board of Education determines that that the locally authorized charter school committed any of the follow actions:

  • committed a material violation of any of the conditions, standards or procedures set forth in the charter contract;
  • failed to meet or make substantial progress toward achievement of the department's standards of excellence or student performance standards identified in the charter contract;
  • failed to meet generally accepted standards of fiscal management; or
  • violated any provision of law from which the charter school was not specifically      exempted.

Suspension of a Charter

The chartering authority shall develop processes for suspension, revocation or nonrenewal of a charter that:

  • provides the charter school with timely notification of the prospect of suspension, revocation or nonrenewal of the charter and the reasons for such action;
  • allows the charter school a reasonable amount of time to prepare and submit a response to the chartering authority's action; and
  • requires the final determination made by the chartering authority to be submitted to the department.

The Board of Education shall provide written notification of its decision regarding an application and the reasons for the decision, to the applicant within fourteen (14) days of the decision.  The governing body of the charter school may appeal the Board of Education’s decisions as outlined in the New Mexico state statute.

Amendments

A locally authorized charter school may alter its original charter during an authorization period.  Any revision or amendment to the terms of the charter shall be made only with the approval of the Board of Education and the governing body of the locally authorized charter school.  A locally authorized charter school shall apply for an amendment to its original approved charter for approval by the Board of Education for the following:

  • Increase in the total number of grades provided
  • Increase in the total number of students served in each grade
  • Any change in operations, management, ideology or practices from the original contract (material change).

Assistance Provided by Albuquerque Public Schools

Locally authorized charter schools may request or negotiate assistance from Albuquerque Public Schools for services.  Locally authorized charter schools shall submit all requests in writing to the Charter/Magnet School Department.  The Charter/Magnet School Department shall contact the appropriate district department to gather information for the locally authorized charter school concerning either the district’s ability to provide the service or alternatives that the locally authorized charter school may pursue.  The locally authorized charter school may contact the district department once the Charter/Magnet School Department has gathered information.  The Charter/Magnet School Department shall follow up on in a timely manner on the status of requests submitted.  Assistance provided by Albuquerque Public Schools may be required by law, voluntarily provided, or negotiated between Albuquerque Public Schools and the locally authorized charter school.

Mandated Assistance

Albuquerque Public Schools shall include locally authorized charter schools in the district’s application for all entitlement federal funds for which the charter has eligible students and any other federal funds that require inclusion of locally authorized charter schools.  Inclusion of locally authorized charter schools in federal competitive grants may be optional as per the requirements of the grant.  The locally authorized charter school shall meet the same requirements for accessing the federal funds as all other Albuquerque Public Schools.

Albuquerque Public Schools shall provide a locally authorized charter school with one of its facilities if that facility is not used for other educational purposes.  Refer to the “Facilities” section of this procedural directive for more information regarding facilities use.

Additional Assistance

Albuquerque Public Schools may provide, dependent on available resources and ability, the following assistance to locally authorized charter schools:

  • STARS training
  • Training the district has already created and is currently conducting for appropriate areas and staff
  • Advertisement on the Albuquerque Public Schools website for job vacancies
  • Provide links to locally authorized charter school websites on the Albuquerque Public Schools website
  • Training and assistance for renewal and application processes
  • Title I training, information and evaluation
  • Access to staff in the Charter/Magnet School Department as a resource for general knowledge, concerns and services
  • Activities participation and information.  Refer to the “Activities” section of this procedural directive for more information regarding activities.
  • Information, annual site visits and reviews for financial management which may include internal audit assistance.  Refer to the “Finances” section of this procedural directive for more information regarding finances.
  • Inclusion in the Capital Master Plan.  Refer to the “Facilities” section of this procedural directive for more information regarding facilities use
  • Summer programs
  • Inclusion in district newsletters and press releases
  • Support and information in curriculum and instruction
  • Information regarding educational research and accountability
  • Review of Educational Plan for Student Success and other NMPED required documents.
  • Information and assistance concerning grant eligibility
  • Inclusion of Native American students attending locally authorized charter schools in Native American Education programs for which the student generates funds
  • Access to the Albuquerque Public Schools whistleblower services and investigations.
  • Information regarding school safety and limited investigations for incidents
  • Access to Albuquerque Public Schools Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for filing complaints regarding equal employment

Negotiated Assistance

Albuquerque Public Schools may negotiate with locally authorized charter schools to provide goods, services, and/or cooperative efforts.  Any negotiated agreement made between Albuquerque Public Schools and the locally authorized charter school shall be included in the charter school’s charter with the district or through a memorandum of understanding.  These negotiated services shall be provided by the district at a reasonable cost mutually agreed upon by the Board of Education and the governing body of the locally authorized charter school.

  These negotiated services may include, but are not limited to:

  • Use of Albuquerque Public Schools facilities.  Refer to the “Facilities” section of this procedural directive for more information regarding facilities use 
  • Financial management assistance and support.  Please refer to the “Finances” section of this procedural directive for more information regarding finances.
  • Food services
  • Custodial Services
  • Maintenance
  • Library services
  • Media Services
  • Warehousing
  • Transportation Services
  • Background checks and fingerprinting
  • Graphics production and printing
  • Internet infrastructure and assistance
  • Online courses that are developed and provided by Albuquerque Public Schools

In the event the Charter/Magnet Schools Department begins negotiations for assistance, it shall include the Albuquerque Public Schools department that will be responsible for providing the negotiated assistance to the locally authorized charter school in all negotiations.  In the event an Albuquerque Public Schools Department responsible for providing the negotiated assistance begins negotiations for assistance, it shall include the Charter Magnet Schools department in all negotiations. Any and all negotiated assistance provided to a locally authorized charter school shall be contingent on the approval of the department that will be responsible for providing the negotiated assistance.

All negotiated assistance shall be reviewed by the chief financial officer, or his/her designee, to determine the fiscal impact on the district and the ability of the district to provide such assistance financially. 

Access to Albuquerque Public Schools

Both locally authorized and state authorized charter schools shall follow the process outlined in the “Release of Information to Post-Secondary Recruiters and School Campus Visits” procedural directive to access all Albuquerque Public School campuses for recruitment visits.  Albuquerque Public Schools shall not grant any charter school access to students for recruitment during the instructional day.

A charter school may request the use of a school facility to hold a recruitment session after the instructional day.  Any request to use a school facility from a charter school shall follow the process and requirements outlined in the “Facilities Usage” procedural directive.

Albuquerque Public Schools and its employees may release student directory information to charter schools in compliance with New Mexico state statute.  

Activities

Albuquerque Public Schools, in consultation with the New Mexico Activities Association, shall permit all charter school students in grades seven through twelve to participate in district extracurricular activities sanctioned by the New Mexico Activities Association if the student meets eligibility requirements other than enrollment in a particular public school and if the charter school does not offer such activities sanctioned by the New Mexico Activities Association or any other association.  A charter school student eligible to participate in extracurricular activities shall participate in the Albuquerque Public School assigned to the student based on attendance boundary zones.

An eligible charter school student who intends to participate in district extracurricular activities shall contact the APS Athletics Department.  The Athletic Department shall document the student’s name, the charter school he/she attends and the Albuquerque Public School assigned to the student based on the attendance boundary zones.

Upon contact made by the charter school student, Albuquerque Public Schools shall:

  • Notify the student in which school boundary zone he/she resides in
  • Gather the student’s eligibility information
  • Provide the student with the High School/Middle School Athletic/Extra-Curricular Participation Form or direct them to the location where it can be found
  • Refer the student to the school in which the school boundary zone he/she resides
  • Forward the student’s inquiry and information to the appropriate school ‘s principal, athletic director and activities director

The Albuquerque Public School that has a charter school student residing in its attendance boundary zone who intends to participate in extracurricular activities shall permit the charter school student to participate.  The Albuquerque Public School shall:

  • Confirm the charter school student’s residence
  • Comply with all activities and athletic requirements.

Facilities

Albuquerque Public Schools and locally authorized charter schools shall comply with all applicable federal and state statutes regarding facilities.  Acceptable use, maintenance, and accessibility of Albuquerque Public Schools’ facilities shall be included in the charter school contract with the district.  District facilities used by locally authorized charter schools shall meet all New Mexico Adequacy Standards for Educational Buildings. 

 

Albuquerque Public Schools shall provide a charter school with available facilities for the school's operations unless the facilities are currently used for other educational purposes.  An agreement for the use of school district facilities by a charter school may provide for reasonable lease payments; provided that the payments do not exceed the sum of the lease reimbursement rate provided in Subparagraph (b) of Paragraph (1) of Subsection I of Section 22-24-4 NMSA 1978 plus any reimbursement for actual direct costs incurred by the school district in providing the facilities; and provided further that any lease payments received by a school district may be retained by the school district and shall not be considered to be cash balances in any calculation pursuant to Section 22-8-41 NMSA 1978. 

 

The available facilities provided by a school district to a charter school shall meet all occupancy standards as specified by the public school capital outlay council.  As used in this subsection, "other educational purposes" includes health clinics, daycare centers, teacher training centers, school district administration functions and other ancillary services related to a school district's functions and operations.

 

Locally authorized charter schools shall not operate a single charter school in separate facilities at two or more locations within the district unless such operation approved by the Board of Education during the initial application process, the renewal process or by amendment.

On or after July 1, 2011, a new charter school shall not open and an existing charter school shall not relocate unless the facilities of the new or relocated charter school, as measured by the New Mexico condition index, receive a condition rating equal to or better than the average condition for all New Mexico public schools for that year or the charter school demonstrates, within eighteen months of occupancy or relocation of the charter, the way in which the facilities will achieve a rating equal to or better than the average New Mexico condition index. 

On or after July 1, 2015, a new charter school shall not open and an existing charter shall not be renewed unless the charter school: 

  • is housed in a building that is: 
    • owned by the charter school, the school district, the state, an institution of the state, another political subdivision of the state, the federal government or one of its agencies or a tribal government; or 
    • subject to a lease-purchase arrangement that has been entered into and approved pursuant to the Public School Lease Purchase Act [Chapter 22, Article 26A NMSA 1978]; or 
    • if it is not housed in a building described above, demonstrates that: 
      • the facility in which the charter school is housed meets the statewide adequacy standards developed pursuant to the Public School Capital Outlay Act and the owner of the facility is contractually obligated to maintain those standards at no additional cost to the charter school or the state; and 
      • either: 
        • public buildings are not available or adequate for the educational program of the charter school; or
        • the owner of the facility is a nonprofit entity specifically organized for the purpose of providing the facility for the charter school.  

Capital Master Plan

Albuquerque Public Schools shall include a charter school that has been renewed by its authorizer at least once and has been in full operation for five (5) or more years in its capital master plan.  Agreement to this condition by the governing body of the locally authorized charter school shall be a requirement for renewal.  Charter schools shall be evaluated and prioritized in the capital master plan using the criteria and prioritization process adopted by the Board of Education on November 20, 2009 and as subsequently amended.

Once a charter school that has been renewed by its authorizer at least once meets the requirements of the criteria established for inclusion in the capital master plan, Facilities Design and Construction shall undertake pre-programming of facilities for the locally authorized charter school. The locally authorized charter school shall then be queued in the prioritization needs assessment of the Albuquerque Public Schools Capital Master Plan along with and exactly like all other existing facilities/schools in the district for funding.

A charter school that has been renewed by its authorizer at least once shall forego its per-membership payout, as per a memorandum of understanding, for capital money at a minimum of twenty-four months, unless the charter school has agreed to an earlier date, before the commencement of construction on its capital project begins.  Failure to agree to this term may result in lowering the charter school’s priority and, therefore, delay the capital project for a charter school.

Need assessments for the next capital funding cycle shall be completed in the appropriate timeline and final priorities for voter approval shall be presented to the Board of Education for approval approximately four months prior to the general obligation bond election.  Final approved priorities set by the Board of Education shall be placed on the ballot for voter approval in the general obligation bond election.

All agreements regarding facilities and the capital master plan shall be included in the contract negotiated between Albuquerque Public Schools and the locally authorized charter school.  These agreements shall include respective roles and responsibilities in maintaining the facility.

Reporting Requirements

The Board of Education and Albuquerque Public Schools administration reserve the right to request any and all information from a locally authorized charter school at any time during its authorization period.  Locally authorized charter schools shall provide the district with any information requested by the Board of Education, superintendent, his/her designee(s) or the Charter/Magnet School Department as soon as possible but no longer than fifteen (15) business days after the initial request was made.

The Board of Education, the Charter/Magnet School Department and the Charter School Business Office shall receive financial reports, which shall include all monthly bank statements for the quarter, from locally authorized charter schools quarterly.  Financial reports may be required monthly as determined by the Charter School Business Office.  Any pertinent information from the financial reports shall be provided to the superintendent who shall report that information to the Board of Education.  The Board of Education at its discretion shall receive all annual audited financial statements and other finance-related compliance reports from locally authorized charter schools. 

The Charter/Magnet School Department may, upon request, receive a copy of all minutes of meetings held by the governing body of the locally authorized charter schools. 

The Board of Education and Charter/Magnet School Department shall receive confirmation that all governing body members of a locally authorized charter school have attended the mandatory New Mexico Public Education Department training course of governing body members.

Reports shall be submitted in writing to the Charter/Magnet School Department and the Board may request the report be made in person.  The superintendent, or his/her designee(s), shall establish requirements of information to be included in these reports.  Failure to submit any of these reports may be grounds for suspension or revocation of the locally authorized charter school.

Finances

If Albuquerque Public Schools approves and authorizes a charter school, the Board of Education and Albuquerque Public Schools administration shall have oversight of that charter school’s financial operations and reporting.  Locally authorized charter schools shall be deemed as component parts of Albuquerque Public Schools for audit purposes.  Due to their classification as component units of Albuquerque Public Schools, the Board of Education shall require quarterly financial reports, which shall include all monthly bank statements for the quarter, be submitted by the locally authorized charter school.  The governing body of a locally authorized charter school shall comply with New Mexico state statute regarding finance and audit committee requirements.

The Charter/Magnet School Department shall collaborate with the Albuquerque Public Schools Internal Auditor and the Albuquerque Public Schools Finance Department to develop specific processes for financial reporting by locally authorized charter schools, including due dates for that reporting. 

Albuquerque Public Schools may conduct internal audits of finances of locally authorized charter school by the Albuquerque Public Schools Internal Audit Department.

The Charter School Business Office shall notify the Charter/Magnet School Department when issues of non-compliance arise.  The Charter/Magnet School Department shall communicate directly to the governing body of the charter school to resolve issues of non-compliance.  The Board of Education reserves the right to hold a special meeting to discuss non-compliance issues directly with the governing body of the charter school.  If the governing body of the charter school does not resolve non-compliance issues, Albuquerque Public Schools may revoke that charter school’s charter.

Budget

To comply with New Mexico state statute, Albuquerque Public Schools shall consider locally authorized charter schools as component parts of the district.  Locally authorized charter school’s financial data shall be included in the district’s financial reporting. 

Locally authorized charter schools shall submit a balanced budget annually to the charter school business manager including all required supporting documents.  The process for creating, submitting and receiving approval or denial for a locally authorized charter school shall be as follows:

  1. The charter school business manager shall meet with representatives from the locally authorized charter school or the governing body of the locally authorized charter school to communicate details of budget input that are needed to complete the process.
  2. The locally authorized charter school shall receive budget input templates and state equalization guarantee computation worksheet from the New Mexico Public Education Department via the Operating Budget Management System.  The locally authorized charter school also shall receive additional requirements for supplemental information to be provided to the New Mexico Public Education Department. 
  3. The business manager of the locally authorized charter school shall complete and submit draft budget templates and required supplemental data to the appropriate New Mexico Public Education Department budget analyst and the Albuquerque Public Schools charter school business manager.
  4. The charter school business manager shall review the budget submitted and shall, in consultation with the governing body of the locally authorized charter school, make any necessary revisions. 
  5. The charter school business manager shall present the budgets for all locally authorized charter schools to the chief financial officer, the assistant superintendent for school and community support and the Charter/Magnet Schools director for approval. 
  6. Upon approval of the chief financial officer, the assistant superintendent for school and community support and the Charter/Magnet Schools director, the chief financial officer shall submit the budgets of all locally authorized charter schools to the superintendent for approval or denial. 
  7. Upon approval from the superintendent, the budgets for all locally authorized charter schools shall be presented to the Board of Education, at the same meeting as the presentation of the Albuquerque Public Schools budget. 
  8. Upon approval from the Board of Education, the President of the Board of Education and superintendent shall sign the appropriate required documentation. 
  9. The Albuquerque Public Schools charter school business manager shall submit the appropriate required documentation to the New Mexico Public Education Department in compliance with all deadlines.
  10. The business manager of a locally authorized charter school shall submit the charter schools’ operating templates and any additional supplemental documentation to the New Mexico Public Education Department.  It shall be the responsibility of the locally authorized charter school to respond to any inquiries or requests from the New Mexico Public Education Department regarding their budget.
  11. The Albuquerque Public Schools charter school business manager shall confirm approval of all locally authorized charter school budgets by the New Mexico Public Education Department.
  12. The Albuquerque Public Schools Finance Department shall assist locally authorized charter schools by flowing appropriate funds received by the New Mexico Public Education Department to locally authorized charter schools.

The budgets of all locally authorized charter schools shall be subject to approval or denial by the Board of Education and the New Mexico Public Education Department.

The budget for a locally authorized charter school shall include the following documents:

  • State Equalization Guarantee Revenue Estimate Worksheet
  • Location Budget Input Form
  • District checklist of required charter budget documents
  • Required New Mexico Public Education Department budget documents, including completed Operating Budget Management System Operating Budget Template
  • District approval of Charter Budget Form (PED 901 BCS-10)

Employees

Locally authorized charter schools shall comply with §22-8B-10 NMSA 1978.   Albuquerque Public Schools employees shall comply with all human resources and leave policies and procedural directives if they choose to apply for employment with a locally authorized charter school.

Oversight of Charter Schools

The Charter/Magnet School Department shall conduct an annual visit of each locally authorized charter school to review its operations, administration and provisions of its contract with the Board of Education.  The following procedures must be followed pursuant to state statute:

The Charter/Magnets School Department and Board of Education shall monitor the fiscal, overall governance and student performance and legal compliance of the charter schools that it oversees, including reviewing the data provided by the charter school to support ongoing evaluation according to the charter contract.  The Charter/Magnets School Department and Board of Education may conduct or require oversight activities that allow the Charter/Magnets School Department and Board of Education to fulfill its responsibilities under the Charter Schools Act, including conducting appropriate inquiries and investigations; provided that the Charter/Magnets School Department and Board of Education complies with the provisions of the Charter Schools Act and the terms of the charter contract and does not unduly inhibit the autonomy granted to the charter schools that it governs.

As part of its performance review of a charter school, the Charter/Magnets School Department shall visit a locally authorized charter school at least once annually to provide technical assistance to the charter school and to determine the status of the charter school and the progress of the charter school toward the performance framework goals in its charter contract.

If, based on the performance review conducted by the Charter/Magnets School Department and Board of Education, a charter school's fiscal, overall governance or student performance or legal compliance appears unsatisfactory, the Charter/Magnets School Department and Board of Education shall promptly notify the governing body of the charter school of the unsatisfactory review and provide reasonable opportunity for the governing body to remedy the problem; provided that if the unsatisfactory review warrants revocation, the revocation procedures set forth in this section shall apply.  The Board of Education may take appropriate corrective actions or exercise sanctions, as long as such sanctions do not constitute revocation, in response to the unsatisfactory review.  Such actions or sanctions by the Board of Education may include requiring a governing body to develop and execute a corrective action plan with the chartering authority that sets forth time frames for compliance.

Dispute Resolution

The Charter/Magnet School Department shall include procedures in the contract for the resolution of disputes between the locally authorized charter school and the Board of Education.   If the district has a concern with the operations, academics, fiscal management and/or administration of a locally authorized charter school that is not addressed by state statute, the contract or the statement of assurances between Albuquerque Public Schools and the locally authorized charter school, the Charter/Magnet School Department shall provide written notification to the governing body of the charter school outlining the concern and a date by which the Board of Education would like a formal response from the governing body of the charter school.  The response from the charter school shall include an action plan which outlines how the governing body of the charter school will address the concern.

If the Board of Education does not receive a response from the governing body of the charter school by the date provided or if the Board of Education deems the plan to address the concern insufficient, the Board of Education may classify the concern as a dispute and initiate steps in dispute resolution.

The Board of Education may request a formal meeting between the governing body of the charter school and the Board of Education to address the concern and attempt to reach resolution.  If the dispute cannot be resolved, the Board of Education reserves the right to suspend, revoke or deny renewal of a locally authorized charter school. 

Suspension of a Locally Authorized Charter School

The Board of Education may suspend the authority of locally authorized charter schools to control operations of the locally authorized charter school when there has been failure by the locally authorized charter school to meet requirements of federal and state statute, rules of the New Mexico Public Education Department, adequate yearly progress, contract provisions or district policies and procedural directives. The Board of Education shall only consider suspension on a case-by-case basis and after consultation with the superintendent and Charter/Magnet School Department. 

When considering suspension of a locally authorized charter school, Albuquerque Public Schools shall implement the following process:

  • The Board of Education, superintendent and Charter/Magnet School Department shall discuss concerns with a locally authorized charter school and reasons for and the purpose of a proposed suspension
    • The Board of Education, superintendent or Charter/Magnet School Department may offer alternatives to suspension which shall be taken under consideration before any decision to suspend is made
    • If the Board of Education decides to propose suspension of a locally authorized charter school, formal, written notification shall be sent from the Board of Education to the governing body of the locally authorized charter school. This notification shall include:
      • causes for prospective suspension
      • a request for an action plan from the governing body to address these concerns
      • the date by which a formal written response from the governing body shall be received by the Board of Education
      • the date of a public hearing to be conducted by the Board of Education at which the locally authorized charter school may appear and show cause why the suspension should not be put into effect
      • The governing body of the locally authorized charter school shall have thirty (30) calendar days to provide a written response to the notification of prospective suspension with a proposed action plan
        • This response may include appearance at the public hearing conducted by the Board of Education at which the locally authorized charter school may show cause why the suspension should not be put into effect
        • The Board of Education shall suspend the authority of a locally authorized charter school if its governing body fails to respond within thirty (30) calendar days of the notification of prospective suspension
        • The Charter/Magnet School Department, superintendent and Board of Education shall review the written response submitted to the Board of Education and testimony from the public hearing to determine if the action plan satisfactorily complies with specific and attendant requirements set out in the notice of prospective suspension in order to remove the cause for suspension
        • If the written response, testimony and action plan from the locally authorized charter school do not satisfactorily address causes for suspension, the Board of Education, by majority vote, may suspend the authority of the locally authorized charter school
        • Upon suspension, the Board of Education shall act in lieu of the governing body of the locally authorized charter school
          • The Board of Education shall consider retention of existing locally authorized charter school administrators and employees
          • The Board of Education shall conduct any termination or discharge of locally authorized charter school employees in accordance with the School Personnel Act
          • The Board of Education shall limit any personnel action to the authority set forth in the suspended locally authorized charter school’s policies
          • The Board of Education shall not be obligated to any locally authorized charter school employment plans or letters of intent that involve the hiring of an individual holding or seeking a certificate of waiver
          • The Board of Education shall execute all the legal authority of the governing body of the locally authorized charter school.  The Board of Education may appoint a designee to delegate authority to act in lieu of the suspended governing body of the locally authorized charter school, provided that there shall be no contract with a private entity for the management of a charter school
          • The Board of Education, or its designee, shall monitor operations and improvements of the locally authorized charter school to address causes for original suspension
          • The Board of Education may, by majority vote, remove the suspension of a locally authorized charter school once the locally authorized charter school has demonstrated satisfactory compliance with specific and attendant requirements set out in the notice of prospective suspension in order to remove the cause for suspension

To determine if there has been a failure by the locally authorized charter school to meet requirements of federal and state statutes, rules of the New Mexico Public Education Department, contract provisions or district procedural directives the Board of Education shall consider the following factors:

  • The existence of a pattern of noncompliance with requirements of any applicable federal and state statute, New Mexico Public Education Department rules, state or federal regulations, contract provisions or district procedural directives
  • The nature and severity of any identified area or areas of noncompliance with requirements of any applicable federal and state statute, New Mexico Public Education Department rules, state or federal regulations, contract provisions or district procedural directives
  • The nature and type of notice given by the Board of Education to the applicable governing body of a locally authorized charter school regarding the area or areas of noncompliance with requirements of any applicable federal and state statute, New Mexico Public Education Department rules, state or federal regulations, contract provisions or district procedural directives
  •  The opportunity to correct the area or areas of noncompliance, if correction is possible under the circumstances
  • the extent of any efforts to correct the area or areas of noncompliance by the locally authorized charter school
  • The reasons given by the locally authorized charter school for failing to comply with any applicable federal and state statute, New Mexico Public Education Department rules, state or federal regulations, contract provisions or district procedural directives leading to the proposed suspension.

The Charter/Magnet School director, and/or the superintendent may recommend, at any time during the suspension process, that the Board of Education move directly to revocation of a charter of a locally authorized charter school.  This recommendation may be made to the Board of Education if it is discovered during investigation of or communication with the locally authorized charter school that there has been grievous misconduct by the locally authorized charter school or an apparent failure to work towards resolution of the concerns of the district.  This recommendation may be made to the Board of Education when it is in the best interest of the district, the students of the locally authorized charter school, the staff of the locally authorized charter school or the community.  The Board of Education may, at any time during the suspension process upon recommendation by the Charter/Magnet School director, assistant superintendent for student and community support services and/or the superintendent, revoke the charter of a locally authorized charter school through a vote of the majority of Board members.

The Charter/Magnet School Department shall develop specific procedures for charter school suspension that shall be utilized by Albuquerque Public Schools and locally authorized charter schools in the event of prospective suspension.

Revocation of a Charter of a Locally Authorized Charter School

The Board of Education may revoke the charter of a locally authorized charter school at any time if the Board of Education determines that the locally authorized charter school committed any of the follow actions:

  • the charter school committed a material violation of any of the conditions, standards or procedures set forth in the charter;
  • the charter school failed to meet or make substantial progress toward achievement of the department’s minimum educational standards or student performance standards identified in the charter application;
  • the charter school failed to meet generally accepted standards of fiscal management;
  • the charter school violated any provision of law from which the charter school was not specifically exempted;
  • the public school capital outlay council has determined that the facilities do not meet the standards required in state statute.

The Board of Education shall provide written notification to the governing body of the locally authorized charter school within fourteen (14) days the action if it revokes its charter.  Upon revocation of the charter, the locally authorized charter school shall cease all operations within thirty (30) days of notification of the revocation unless a stay or delay of closure has been ordered by the New Mexico secretary of education or the courts. 

Upon termination of the charter of a locally authorized charter school, all assets of the locally authorized charter school shall revert to the Board of Education.  Upon termination, if any portion or all of a state-chartered charter school is financed with the proceeds of general bond obligations issued by the Board of Education, the state-chartered charter school’s facility shall revert to the Board of Education.

Appeals

Albuquerque Public Schools shall comply with all federal and state statutes regarding the right of the governing body of a locally authorized charter school to appeal a decision of the Board of Education concerning the denial, nonrenewal, suspension or revocation of a locally authorized charter school or the imposition of conditions that are unacceptable to the governing body of a locally authorized charter school or charter school applicant to the New Mexico secretary of education.  Albuquerque Public Schools shall comply with all requests for information from the secretary necessary for review of a decision made by the Board of Education concerning locally authorized charter schools or charter school applicants.  Albuquerque Public Schools shall comply with the final decision of the secretary of education concerning any appeal filed by a locally authorized charter school or charter school applicant.

Definitions

For purposes of this procedural directive, “charter school” means an existing public school within a school district that was authorized by a local school board to become a charter school prior to July 1, 2007, or a public school developed by one or more parents, teachers or community members authorized by the chartering authority to become a charter school.

For purposes of this procedural directive, “locally authorized charter school” means a charter school whose charter is approved by the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education.

For purposes of this procedural directive, “state authorized charter school” means a charter school whose charter is approved by the New Mexico Public Education Commission.

For purposes of this procedural directive, “governing body of the charter school” means the governing structure of a charter school as set forth in the school's charter.

For purposes of this procedural directive, “contract” is the binding negotiated legal document between the governing body of the charter school and the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education. 

For purposes of this procedural directive, “other educational purposes” includes health clinics, daycare centers, teacher training centers, school district administration functions and other ancillary services related to a school district's functions and operations.

Administrative Position:    Assistant Superintendent for Student and Community Support Services

Department Director:    Charter/Magnet School Department Director

References:

Board Policy Cross Ref: K.12 Charter Schools

Legal Cross Ref.:

  • 22-8B-1 NMSA 1978
  • 22-8B-4.2 NMSA 1978
  • 22-8B-5 NMSA 1978
  • 22-8B-6 NMSA 1978
  • 22-8B-7 NMSA 1978
  • 22-8B-8 NMSA 1978
  • 22-8B-12 NMSA 1978
  • 22-2C-1 NMSA 1978
  • Public School Personnel Act

Procedural Directive Cross Ref.:

Forms Cross Ref.:

NSBA/NEPN Classification: LBD

Approved: August 24, 2000
Revised: October 31, 2000
Introduced: April 9, 2010
Reviewed: April 14, 2010
Reviewed: June 28, 2010
Reviewed: July 12, 2010
Approved: July 23, 2010
Reviewed: May 17, 2016
Revised: May 20, 2016

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