The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
Charter Schools - Delegation to Commissioner to Approve Proposed Contracts with Education Management Organizations for Old Sturbridge Academy Charter Public School, Community Day Charter Public School-Gateway, Community Day Charter Public School-Prospect, and Community Day Charter Public School-R. Kingman Webster
Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D., Commissioner
April 7, 2017
At its meeting in February 2017, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (Board) granted a charter to Old Sturbridge Academy Charter Public School. The board of trustees of Old Sturbridge Academy Charter Public School intends to enter into a contract with Old Sturbridge, Inc. to procure educational and management services as described in its charter. Old Sturbridge, Inc. is a non-profit organization which currently operates an outdoor history museum, Old Sturbridge Village.
Additionally, in February 2017, I renewed the charters of Community Day Charter Public School-Gateway (CDCPS-Gateway) and Community Day Charter Public School-R. Kingman Webster (CDCPS-R. Kingman Webster) pursuant to my delegated authority.1 The board of trustees of CDCPS-Gateway, CDCPS-R. Kingman Webster, and Community Day Charter Public School-Prospect (CDCPS-Prospect), contracts with the Community Day Charter Management Organization for educational and management services. Community Day Care Center of Lawrence, Inc. d/b/a Community Day Charter Management Organization, is a private non-profit organization based in Massachusetts that has provided educational and management services to all three schools since they were established in 1995 (CDCPS-Prospect) and 2011 (CDCPS-Gateway and CDCPS-R. Kingman Webster). The board of trustees would like to update and amend its management contract with the Community Day Charter Management Organization.
Under the charter school statute, G.L. c. 71, § 89(k)(5), the Board must approve contracts between charter schools and the entities from which they intend to procure substantially all educational services. The contracts must include a delineation of the roles and responsibilities of the educational management organization and the school; a description of how the board of trustees of the charter school will monitor the academic performance and fiscal activity of the school; performance evaluation measures, including those for student academic performance; the total fee paid for management services; a description of the payment structure; delineation of authority over hiring and firing; and the conditions and procedures for the contract's renewal and termination.
Both boards of trustees have submitted draft contracts to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (Department). Prior to approval, the Department will review the technical and legal aspects of the proposed contracts and boards of trustees of these charter schools will vote to approve the contracts.
Previously, the Board has voted to delegate the approval of such contracts to me due to the timing of such work. Charters seeking renewal typically wait until a favorable outcome to begin the process of revising their educational services contracts. Similarly, newly granted charter schools that seek to contract with a management organization are able to begin such work after charter granting February. Because the review and eventual approval of such contracts will likely occur during the upcoming summer months, I recommend that the Board vote to authorize me to approve the contracts upon satisfactory completion of my review. Such delegation is authorized by G.L. c. 15, § 1F, para. 3, which states that:
The board may delegate its authority or any portion thereof to the Commissioner whenever in its judgment such delegation may be necessary or desirable. The Commissioner shall exercise such delegated powers and duties with the full authority of the board.
A motion for delegation is attached.
If you have any questions or require additional information, please contact Alison Bagg, Director, at 781-338-3218; Cliff Chuang, Senior Associate Commissioner, at 781-338-3222; or me.
1 In February 2013, the Board authorized the Commissioner to act on its behalf in "(a) granting charter renewals that do not involve probation; (b) approving charter amendments that do not involve changes in grade span, maximum enrollment, or districts served; and (c) removing or continuing conditions imposed on charters of charter schools; provided that the Commissioner shall report to the Board on all charter renewals, charter amendments, and conditions that have been so approved; and provided further, that the Commissioner shall notify the Board in advance of all such intended actions, and a Board member may request that the Commissioner place the charter matter(s) on the agenda of the Board for discussion and action."