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Massachusetts Charter Schools

2014-2015 Pre-Enrollment, NSS "Near Cap" and Waitlist Data Information

To:Charter School Leaders and Business Managers
From:Cliff Chuang, Associate Commissioner
Date:February 14, 2014

The deadline for submitting the Charter School Pre-Enrollment Report for the 2014-2015 school year is 5:00 p.m. on Friday, March 14, 2014. The Charter School Pre-Enrollment Report is used by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (Department) to collect projected enrollment data in order to determine each charter school's first quarter tuition payment for fiscal year 2015 (FY15). This report represents the maximum number of students on which each charter school's tuition calculation will be based for the upcoming fiscal year. It is also used to notify sending school districts by April 1st, as required by law, of the number of students enrolled in charter schools for the upcoming school year. The Charter School Waitlist Report will be due in parallel with the Pre-Enrollment report on Friday, March 14, 2014 by 5:00 p.m.
Information included in this memorandum includes:
  1. Instructions for 2014-2015 Charter School Pre-Enrollment data submission
  2. Regulatory Notification of 2014-2015 "Near-Cap" Sending Districts for Commonwealth charter schools
  3. Waitlist submission
  4. Significant Expansion
  1. Instructions for 2014-2015 Charter School Pre-Enrollment data submission: The web user interface for the Charter School Pre-Enrollment web application for this year has been changed this year. Because waitlist data is now submitted separately, schools are no longer required to input this data into the Pre-Enrollment application. Once again, the school leader is required to submit the data, even if someone else enters the data. I encourage you to allow enough time prior to submission for a careful check of the data as it cannot be changed once submitted. Complete instructions are located within the Charter School Pre-Enrollment web application itself, which will be accessible through the ESE Security Portal beginning March 3, 2014. All charter schools are required to submit pre-enrollment data for the 2014-2015 school year by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, March 14, 2014.
  2. Regulatory Notification of 2014-2015 "Near-Cap" Sending Districts for Commonwealth charter schools Charter school regulations state "the Department shall notify each Commonwealth charter school no later than February 15 of any limitation on the number of students from a district that may be enrolled in charter schools for the upcoming year" (603 CMR 1.06(4)(c)). The charter school statute, M.G.L. Chapter 71, Section 89(i), stipulates that no school district's total charter school payments shall exceed 9 percent of the district's net school spending (NSS cap). Under new legislation, the charter school tuition may exceed 9 percent (up to 16% in FY15) if the school is located in a district that is in the lowest 10 percent of all statewide student performance scores. Using projected FY15 enrollment numbers for charter schools, projected FY15 tuition rates, and required FY15 NSS figures, the School Finance Unit has calculated preliminary projections of each sending district's FY15 enrollment against the 9 percent NSS cap or the 16 percent NSS cap if applicable, which is contained in the attached spreadsheet. Based on the Department's understanding of charter school growth plans for FY15, the attached analysis projects the number of "seats" that will remain for charter school enrollment in each sending district, after the FY15 enrollment process has been completed. Based on this analysis, the Department has determined that the following school districts are "near-cap" districts (if they are projected to have either less than 10 FTE seats remaining or to have charter tuition assessments above 8.50 percent of NSS or 15.5 percent of NSS (if applicable):
    98 FLORIDA
    121 HANCOCK
    154 LEVERETT
    221 OAK BLUFFS
    230 PELHAM
    253 ROWE
    263 SAVOY
    296 TISBURY
    337 WHATELY
    774 UPISLAND
    In only these districts, charter schools may exercise the option to skip over students who apply for enrollment in accordance with 603 CMR 1.06(4)(e). After charter schools have submitted their pre-enrollment data, the Department will release FY15 tuition projections in mid to late April, at which time the FTE Remaining Under NSS Cap analysis presented above, as well as the "near-cap" district list, will also be adjusted. If seats become available, charter schools should enroll students from the waitlist—some of whom may have been previously skipped—if a particular sending district is no longer on this "near-cap" list. Please note that in the event that a sending district's tuition assessment exceeds the applicable percent NSS cap, the Department will prorate equally that district's tuition assessment among all charter schools enrolling students from that district.
  3. Waitlist submission Each school will once again be required to submit their waitlist to the Department by 5:00 pm on Friday, March 14, 2014. This list will contain your school's FY15 waitlist as of your most recent lottery and should reflect an accurate student waitlist for the upcoming school year. Please note that this submission replaces the collection of aggregate waitlist data collected via the Charter School Pre-Enrollment web application in prior years. This FY15 Updated Charter School Student-Level Waitlist Report should be completed using the Excel template named FY15 Updated Charter School Waitlist that will be uploaded to the school's Charter School File Exchange dropbox within the ESE Security Portal. Once again the Department requests that each charter school provide the following data elements for each student included in their current waitlist:
    First Name Last Name Middle Name Date of Birth (MM/DD/YYYY) Town Code FY15 Grade
    As with all data collections, the Department may review a sample of the waitlist data reported by charter schools and may require certification. Therefore, please ensure that your charter school's enrollment process is clearly documented. Specifically, please be sure that you have carefully tracked the seats available at the time of the lottery (if applicable) and maintain records of all applications received.
  4. Significant Expansion After the pre-enrollment data has been collected, it will be determined if a school's enrollment falls under the definition of Significant Expansion. If so, the school will be informed and given the instructions for an additional report that must be submitted by April 30, 2014. Please feel free to contact Joanna Laghetto at 781-338-3221 or with any questions or concerns regarding the information contained in this memorandum.


Download MS EXCEL Document
FY15 NSS Near Cap Analysis

Last Updated: February 18, 2014

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