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Education Laws and Regulations

603 CMR 1.00:
Charter Schools

Section:
1.01:
1.02:
1.03:
1.04:
1.05:
1.06:
1.07:
1.08:
1.09:
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1.12:
1.13:
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1.08: Reporting Requirements and Ongoing Review

(1) Annual Report: A charter school shall submit an annual report to the Board and the local school committee and make available to every parent or guardian of its enrolled students and to every parent or guardian who expresses interest in enrolling in that charter school. Each charter school shall make the annual report available on its website. A network, as defined by 603 CMR 1.00, may submit a combined annual report provided that information for each school is reported discretely within the annual report to ensure that it complies with M.G.L. c. 71, § 89; 603 CMR 1.00; and any guidelines issued by the Department. The annual report shall be issued no later than August 1st of each year for the preceding school year. The annual report shall include the following information:

(a) a financial statement setting forth by appropriate categories the unaudited revenue and expenditures for the year just ended, and a balance sheet setting forth the charter school's assets, liabilities, and fund balances or equities;
(b) a capital plan identifying future planned capital projects and the amounts held in reserve for such projects;
(c) a report on the school's implementation of its recruitment and retention plan for the relevant year;
(d) an updated recruitment and retention plan for the upcoming school year that complies with guidelines issued by the Department;
(e) projections of income and expenses for the upcoming school year;
(f) discussion of progress made toward achievement of the goals of the charter and accountability plan;
(g) evidence that the charter school is developing or has provided models for replication and best practices in education; and
(h) such other information as the Board may require in guidelines.

(2) Site Visits: The Department may send evaluation teams to visit each charter school on an annual or on an as-needed basis to corroborate and augment the information provided in the annual report. The Department may conduct other site visits as necessary. Site visit teams may also gather any other evidence relevant to the school's performance. The written reports from these site visits shall become part of the charter school's record, along with any response that the school submits.

(3) Financial Audits: In accordance with M.G.L. c. 71, § 89, every charter school shall have an independent audit conducted of its accounts, consistent with generally accepted government auditing standards and any guidelines issued by the Department. Audits shall be filed annually by November 1st with the Department and the Office of the State Auditor. Districts are required to assist Horace Mann charter schools to the fullest extent possible in providing them in a timely fashion with the financial, payroll, and personnel records required for a complete audit. A network, as defined by 603 CMR 1.00, may submit a combined annual independent audit report, provided that each entities' financials are discretely presented within the audit report to ensure that it complies with M.G.L. c. 71, § 89; 603 CMR 1.00; and any guidelines issued by the Department.

(4) End of Year Financial Report: Every charter school shall submit an end of year financial report based on audited financial figures in accordance with guidelines issued by the Department.

(5) Enrollment Reports: Every charter school shall file a pre-enrollment report annually in accordance with deadlines established by the Department. Every charter school must keep accurate records related to enrollment including, but not limited to, applications for admission, the lottery process, and wait lists. The Department will report to districts the aggregate number of students who are selected for admission for the upcoming school year from their districts and the total enrollment for each charter school. No charter school shall receive tuition payments that exceed the total enrollment for that charter school as it was reported to the Department in the school's pre-enrollment report. In their pre-enrollment reports, charter schools must notify the Department of:

(a) the school's total enrollment for the subsequent academic year; and
(b) the projected number of students selected for admission, by grade and district of residence, for the subsequent academic year.

(6) Waitlist Reports: In accordance with M.G.L. c. 71, § 89 (n); 603 CMR 1.05; and any guidelines established by the Department, every charter school shall submit to the Department, no later than June 1st, the list of students who entered the lottery but did not gain admission. The information provided must include, but is not limited to, students' names (first, middle, last), dates of birth, towns of residence, and grades. Every charter school must update this waitlist data as required by the Department.

(7) Enrollment Claim Forms: Each charter school shall submit reports of actual enrollment as of October 1st and March 1st. The reports shall be filed in accordance with guidelines and deadlines established by the Department.

(8) Additional Information and Reports: In addition to the requisite submissions as articulated in 603 CMR 1.00, charter schools must supply any additional information, data, or reports required by the Department or Board.

(9) Compliance: Every charter school shall submit written documentation related to compliance with building, health, safety, and insurance requirements and related to all such inspections and approvals are current.

(10) Investigations: Every charter school shall notify the Department in writing of all significant matters within two business days. Significant matters include, but are not limited to, all communications made or received by or on behalf of the school with any government audit, investigative, or law enforcement agency.

(11) Notification of New Circumstances: The charter school shall notify the Department in writing immediately of any change in circumstances that may have a significant impact on a charter school's ability to fulfill its goals or mission as stated in its charter. These include, but are not limited to:

(a) changes in individuals holding school leadership positions, such as an executive director or principal;
(b) a delay in implementing a minor or major amendment;
(c) changes in location of the school's facilities within the same municipality and documentation of the school's compliance with state and federal laws, including, but not limited to, all fire, health, and safety laws and accessibility requirements for new facilities or renovations to existing facilities;
(d) changes in officers of the school's board of trustees;
(e) individuals resigning from the board of trustees;
(f) changes in general contact information (phone number, mailing address, and email) for the school and the school's board of trustees; and
(g) significant decreases in enrollment (more than 10% lower than any previously reported figure).

(12) Signatory Authorization: All information supplied to the Board, the Commissioner, or the Department by the charter school shall be signed by an individual with signatory authority. All such information is submitted under penalty of perjury.

Regulatory Authority:
M.G.L. c. 69, § 1B; c. 69, §§ 1J and 1K, as amended by St. 2010, c. 12, § 3; c. 71, § 38G.



Last Updated: September 24, 2015
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