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Delaware General AssemblyDelaware RegulationsMonthly Register of RegulationsDecember 2013

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14 DE Admin. Code 275
The Secretary of Education seeks the consent of the State Board of Education to amend 14 DE Admin. Code 275 Charter Schools. The amendments reflect revisions in the regulation regarding the administration of the new Performance Fund, as well as other amendments to align with specific Delaware Code revised during the 147th General Assembly.
1.1 The purpose of these regulations is to provide rules to govern the implementation of 14 Del.C. Ch. 5 (hereafter, the “Charter School Law”) 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:
1.2 These regulations establish the requirements for applying for a charter to operate a public school, renewal of the charter, modification of the charter, oversight of the charter’s performance, and for opening, operating, and closing the school, when a charter is granted by the Department of Education with the approval of the State Board of Education.
“Accountability Committee”: means any Charter School Accountability Committee established by the Department to review and report to the Department as provided in Sections 511 and 515 of the Charter School Law.
Annual Report: means a report submitted by the charter school to the approving authority, DDOE, and State Board of Education and posted publicly on the school’s website. The report shall contain the information and follow the prescribed format required by statute.
“Applicant”: means a legal entity organized under the Delaware General Corporation Law that has applied to the Department for, but not yet received, a charter to operate a charter school, or the Renewal or modification of such a charter, as the context indicates.
“Audit”: means an informal financial, programmatic, or compliance audit of a charter school.
Charter Contract”: means an agreement between the Authorizer and the Charter School. A school enters into a Charter Contract with the authorizer that clearly defines the respective roles, powers, and responsibilities for the school and approving authority and incorporates the provisions of the Performance Agreement.
“Charter Holder”: means the legal entity organized under the Delaware General Corporation Law to which a charter is issued by the Department with the approval of the State Board.
“Charter School”: means a non home based full time public school that is operated in an approved physical plant under a charter granted by, or transferred to the Department with the approval of the State Board for the personal physical attendance of all students.
"Charter School Performance Fund": means a fund established pursuant to 14 Del.C. §509(m) with eligibility guidelines and criteria to evaluate applications developed by the Department. The Fund shall be subject to appropriation as outlined in Delaware Code.
Delaware Comprehensive Assessment System (DCAS)” means the statewide assessment used to measure student achievement of the Delaware academic content standards, including an alternate assessment based on alternate achievement standards for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities.
“Department”: means the Delaware Department of Education.
Department’s Annual Charter Report: means a report prepared by the Department of Education for the Governor, General Assembly, and State Board of Education in accordance with statute that analyzes the performance, as measured by the Performance Framework, of all charter schools in the state. It also analyzes expenses as compared with traditional public schools, recommends changes in policy and innovative practices which can be replicated in other public schools. The report shall be presented on or before February 1st of each year and is posted on the Department’s public website.
“Financial Audit”: means the audit required to be conducted pursuant to 14 Del.C. §513(a).
“First Instructional Day”: means the first day a Charter School is open with students in attendance.
“Formal Review”: means the lawful investigation of a Charter School to determine whether the school is violating the terms of its charter. Formal reviews may include, but are not limited to, on site visits, inspection of educational records and other documents, and interviews of parents, Charter School employees and others with knowledge of the school’s operations and educational programs.
“Founding Board of Directors”: means the Board of Directors of an Applicant at the time the original application for a charter is filed with the Department.
"High-Need Students": means students that qualify as low economic status pursuant to Department determination.
Highly successful charter school operator”: means a charter school with sustained high levels of student achievement and sustained financial stewardship. A highly successful charter school is one which has been in operation for at least three years and which, during the three years prior to filing a charter application in Delaware, has a combined student performance which exceeds the statewide average student performance in the state in which the highly successful charter school is located based upon that state’s performance score or measure on its statewide assessment for purposes of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) or any reauthorization thereof. In addition, during the same three year period the school must have had no adverse financial findings and successfully completed any required financial audits in the state in which it is located, and be able to demonstrate that it will be economically viable.
“Parent”: means the natural or adoptive parent, or the legal guardian, of a student enrolled in the charter school. “Parent” also includes individuals authorized to act as Relative Caregivers under the provisions of 14 Del.C. §202(e)(2).
Performance Agreement: means the document which describes the academic performance expectations, identifies economic viability requirements, defines organizational responsibilities, and outlines accountability of the Charter School. An approved Performance Agreement is for a specified term and uses a uniform format as prescribed by the Department with the assent of the State Board of Education. The Performance Agreement is enforceable as part of the school’s Charter Contract.
Performance Framework: means a rubric based tool established by the Department with the assent of the State Board of Education, as amended from time to time, which contains the details, includes multiple measures, and is used by the Department to assess compliance with the Performance Agreement in the areas of academic performance, economic viability, organizational responsibilities and accountability of the Charter School. The completed frameworks will be provided to the Charter School Accountability Committee, Secretary and State Board of Education to inform their decision making.
“Performance Review”: means the process by which the Charter School’s compliance with its Performance Agreement is evaluated annually to inform renewal, major modification and formal review decisions. Compliance with the charter and the Performance Agreement, as assessed through the Performance Framework, is the basis for the Performance Review. Analysis and results will be reported in the Department’s Annual Charter Report.
“Renewal”: means the approval of an application to continue operating an existing Charter School occurs in accordance with 14 Del.C. §514A.
“Secretary”: means the Secretary of the Delaware Department of Education.
State Assessment System” means the statewide assessment used to measure student achievement of the Delaware academic content standards including an alternate assessment based on alternate achievement standards for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities, and other assessments such as, but not limited to, the National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP), a college readiness assessment, an assessment for English Language Learners (ELL), a norm-referenced assessment that may be administered or required as determined by the Department of Education.
“State Board”: means the Delaware State Board of Education.
3.8 In deciding whether to approve or disapprove any application for an original charter, a major modification of a charter, the renewal of a charter, or the formal review of a charter, the Secretary and State Board shall base the decision on the record. The record shall consist of the application and any documents filed therewith in support of the application, the Charter Contract, the Performance Review (not applicable for new applications), reports of the Accountability Committee, any response or other evidence, oral or otherwise, provided by the Applicant to the Accountability Committee prior to the issuance of its final report, any comments received at any public hearing conducted pursuant to the provisions of the Charter School Law, including comments made at any such hearing by the applicant in response to the Accountability Committee’s final report and any written or electronic comments received at or before any such public hearing during the period of public comment. In the case of the renewal, major modification, or formal review of a charter, the record shall also include performance documentation generated during the term of the charter or related to the subject of the formal review, including but not limited to, compliance with the school’s Charter Contract and Performance Agreement, renewal report, audits and performance reviews, student testing data, and parent complaint documentation. No other evidence shall be considered. Written and electronic comments must be received by the Education Associate for Charter Schools no later than the beginning of the public hearing to be included in the record Department of Education's Charter School Office during the period of public comment established for the application and published by the Department.
3.9 Applicants and Charter Holders shall make the financial disclosures relating to ownership and financial interest as required by 14 Del.C. §511(q). A charter school founder or member of a charter school board has a “financial interest” in the charter school if that person receives compensation in excess of $5,000.00 from the charter school in any calendar year. Compensation means money, thing of value, or any other economic benefit of any kind or nature whatsoever conferred on or received by a charter school founder or member of a charter school board. “Ownership” shall have the meaning commonly ascribed to it as appropriate in context. The Applicant must agree and certify that it will comply with the requirements of the State Public Education Assessment and Accountability System pursuant to 14 Del.C. §§151, 152, 153, 154, and 157 and the Department’s implementing rules and regulations including without limitation those relating to the State Assessment System. If the Applicant plans to adopt or use performance standards or assessments in addition to the standards set by the Department or the assessments administered pursuant to the State Assessment System, the application and performance agreement must specifically identify those additional standards or assessments and include a planned baseline acceptable level of performance, measurable goals for improving performance and a timetable for accomplishing improvement goals for each additional indicator or assessment. The use of additional performance standards or assessments shall not replace, diminish or otherwise supplant the Charter School’s obligation to meet the performance standards set by the Department or to use the assessments administered pursuant to the State Assessment System and must be incorporated into the Performance Agreement. The school’s plan for providing a free appropriate public education to students with disabilities in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, with 14 Del.C. Ch. 31 and with 14 DE Admin. Code 922 through 929, specifically including a plan for having a continuum of educational placements available for children with disabilities. 14 Del.C. Ch. 27 and applicable Department regulations regarding school attendance, including a plan to distribute attendance policies to each Charter School student at the beginning of each school year. Students who enroll after the beginning of the school year shall be provided with a copy of the attendance policy at the time of enrollment. 11 Del.C. Ch. 85 and 14 Del.C. §511(p), and Department regulations regarding criminal background checks for public school related employment. 14 Del.C. §4112 and applicable Department regulations regarding the reporting of school crimes.
After July 1st of each year, pursuant to 14 Del.C. §513(a) each Charter Holder shall contract to have an audit of the business and financial transactions, records, and accounts of the school, in a form and manner satisfactory to the Department, and shall provide the audit results to the Department by October 1. Each Charter School shall display the audit on its public website.
9.4.3 An application to replace, remove or permit the school to operate without an educational management organization providing administrative, managerial or instructional staff or services to the charter holder at any time before the First Instructional Day.
10.1 Charters are granted for an initial period of 4 years of operation and are renewable every 5 years thereafter.
Last Updated: December 31 1969 19:00:00.
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