The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Charter Schools - Proposed Contract with a Management Organizations for Roxbury Preparatory Charter School

Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D., Commissioner
February 14, 2014

This month, I am renewing the charter of Roxbury Preparatory Charter School (RPCS) pursuant to my delegated authority. In February 2013, the Board or Elementary and Secondary Education (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."

In 2012, the board of trustees of RPCS entered into a management relationship with Uncommon Schools. Uncommon Schools is a management organization based in New York that operates a portfolio of 38 schools in New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. RPCS would like to update and amend its management contract with Uncommon Schools.

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.

RPCS will submit the amended contract to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (Department) in March 2014. The school has indicated that it does not expect significant changes from the terms of the current contract. Prior to approval, the Department will review the technical and legal aspects of the proposed contract.

I recommend that the Board vote to authorize me to approve the contract pending satisfactory completion of our 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 Cliff Chuang, Associate Commissioner, at 781-338-3222; Jeff Wulfson, Deputy Commissioner, at 781-338-6500; or me.

Attachment: Motion