It is important that the charter public schools authorized by Central Michigan University (CMU) have a clear understanding of their expectations of them and the role CMU has as a charter public school authorizer. The Governor John Engler Center for Charter Schools (Center) and the CMU Board of Trustees have adopted policies that outline their standards and provide guidelines for charter public schools as they enter into agreements with third-party educational service providers. Whether opening a new charter school or administering an existing charter school, the Center encourages reviewing the following policies to develop an awareness of the types of policies it has developed.
As educational service providers (ESP) or management companies began to play a more significant role in the charter school sector, The Center developed policies outlining requirements to be satisfied before charter public school boards and ESPs enter into a final agreement. Specifically, these policies address the roles and responsibilities of the ESP and the charter public school board as they relate to contract development and negotiations. All ESP agreements must be in compliance with these policies before the final agreement is executed. The Center reserves the right to disapprove the proposed agreement if it is not in compliance with its policies. Conversely, it does not approve any ESP agreements.
ESP Information Sheet (.pdf)
In 1994, the Central Michigan University Board of Trustees adopted its first set of chartering policies. In 1998, the Board rescinded and revised these initial policies to reflect the changes of the Michigan Supreme Court charter school law ruling of 1997.
In addition to reflecting the legislative changes, the Board took the opportunity to incorporate testing requirements and other standards. Through these policies, The Center developed an internal monitoring and oversight system that is nationally renowned.
The following outlines the policies currently utilized by Central Michigan University and The Center to evaluate, assess, monitor and reauthorize charter public schools.
BE IT RESOLVED, That the chartering policies for public school academies adopted by the Board of Trustees at its July 21, 1994, meeting are rescinded;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the following chartering policies are adopted.
a. Recognizing that public school academy board members are public officials and have primary responsibility for the academy's governance and operation, an academy's board of directors shall have not less than five nor more than nine members.
b. To ensure that public school academies are open and accessible to all interested parties, each academy must legally notice and reasonably inform the public of its application period and enrollment procedures.
c. Believing competitive comparisons and benchmarking information are necessary for raising standards and driving continuous improvement, the charter schools office shall ensure that each public school academy contract contains clear, measurable performance standards.
d. To assess the academic performance of public school academies, the charter schools office shall institute an educational monitoring system that, among other things, requires public school academies to annually administer a nationally recognized norm-referenced achievement test to each grade or grouping level.
e. To assess the organizational viability of public school academies, the charter schools office shall institute a financial monitoring system that, among other things, requires public school academies to submit an annual budget, quarterly financial statements, and an annual independent financial audit.
f. To effectively perform the university's oversight responsibilities, the charter schools office shall assess an annual oversight fee of three percent of funds paid to each public school academy according to the terms of the State School Aid Act.
g. Striving to make the renewal process for public school academies straightforward, the charter schools office shall institute a charter renewal process, guided by the following core questions:
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the president or the president's designee is authorized to develop and implement additional policies necessary for administering the university's charter schools program.