​Charter Schools and Flexibility > FAQs: General Questions
Description
The following responses to frequently asked questions (FAQs) received by the Alabama Department of Education (ALSDE) are provided by the following ALSDE Offices: Public Charter Schools; Administrative and Financial Services; Career and Technical Education/Workforce Development; External Affairs; General Counsel; Technology and Data; and Teaching and Learning. All working FAQ documents “highlight” key questions received by the ALSDE to date and do not attempt to address all Alabama public charter school questions. Public charter school FAQ documents will be updated, as additional questions are received. NOTE: Tabs with no content will be populated as soon as the ALSDE has approved responses to FAQs received related to the tab title. Please send questions to pcs@alsde.edu.
  
Answer
  
  
  

Public charter schools shall comply with applicable federal laws, rules, and regulations regarding the qualification of teachers and other instructional staff.  In accordance with subsection (a), teachers in public charter schools shall be exempt from state teacher certification requirements. Act 2015-3, Section 9(e)(1)

 

  • Approaches to earning Alabama Educator and/or Leadership Certification for individuals working in conversion public charter schools or start-up public charter schools are the same as those for individuals in the public local education agencies (LEAs) of Alabama.

 

Educator Certification7/15/2015 10:27 AM
  

​A start-up public charter school will function as its own local education agency (LEA) and will be required to follow the special education regulations just like any other LEA. . A conversion public charter school will remain part of the existing LEA, and will work with that LEA to determine who will do what as far as implementing the requirements for special education services.

Special Education Services7/31/2015 10:21 AM
  

​If a charter school is authorized by an entity other than a traditional (school district) LEA, the State Education Agency (SEA) will be responsible for allocating Title I funds directly to the charter school pursuant to federal and state laws.  In allocating these funds, SEAs will still comply with Section 5206 -Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and ensure that funds are allocated in a timely and efficient manner for new and expanding charter schools.  If a public charter school is, under state law, part of an LEA, the LEA will allocate federal funds to the charter school on the same basis as it provides funds to its other schools.  (Section A-8; The Impact of the New Title I Requirements on Charter Schools: Non-Regulatory Guidance; July, 2004)

Federal Programs7/13/2015 3:37 PM
  

The public charter school may choose to purchase transportation services from the local school system where the public charter school is located.  The public charter school and the local school system would execute an annual service contract that contains the funding details including any service fees to be charged to the public charter school.  The public charter school may choose to contract with a private provider to provide transportation to the school's students.

 

If the public charter school decides to provide transportation services, then they would receive state funds based on the size of their operation in the same manner as traditional public schools. Additionally, they would need to meet the same requirements for staffing and monitoring as a traditional public school.

 

If a public charter school needs assistance in establishing a transportation program, help may be obtained by contacting Alabama State Department of Education's Pupil Transportation section.

 

Pupil Transportation8/25/2015 10:09 AM
  

Public charter schools have the right of first refusal to purchase or lease any closed or unused facility placed on the market by the local school system. These facilities are enumerated on the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE), Office of Public Charter Schools, webpage and are updated annually by the local school systems.

School Architect8/24/2015 2:17 PM
  

A public charter school would be categorized as a new sponsor for Child Nutrition Programs (CNP) and would be required to attend new sponsor training that is conducted one time per calendar year. New sponsor training is typically conducted in late August or early September each calendar year. New sponsors are required by federal requirements to provide a non-profit status, 501©3, W-9 Form, and Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number on the first day of new sponsor training. All sponsors must have access to computer services that will allow the sponsor to provide information and monthly meal counting and claiming to the Alabama State Department of Education, Child Nutrition Programs.

Child Nutrition Programs9/10/2015 8:27 AM
  

Yes. Schools/systems may contact their regional AMSTI site and request customized services. Services are prioritized based on need with priority and focus schools receiving the majority of support. AMSTI also provides opportunities for math and science teachers and administrators to participate in Professional Learning Communities/Professional Learning Teams (PLCs/PLTs). Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are often awarded to teachers and Professional Learning Units (PLUs) are awarded to administrators for this participation.

Instructional Services8/24/2015 2:49 PM
  
ESEA flexibility affects public charter schools (including public charter school LEAs and public charter schools within a regular LEA) in the same manner as all other LEAs and non-charter public schools.  Please click the following link http://www.alsde.edu/sec/acct/Pages/resources-all.aspx?navtext=Resources and select the “Alabama Accountability Models: Frequently Asked Questions” to obtain information about the Accountability Models.

 

Principle 1: The college- and career-ready standards that the ALSDE has adopted under Principle 1 apply to public charter schools and non-charter public schools alike as it relates to assessments.

 

Principle 2: The ALSDE and its LEAs, as appropriate, must include public charter schools in the state’s system of differentiated accountability, recognition, and support. Accordingly, the ALSDE must apply its annual measurable objectives (AMOs) to public charter school LEAs and schools. Additionally, it must include Title I-participating public charter schools in the pool of schools from which it identifies reward, priority, and focus schools. A public charter school that the ALSDE identifies as a priority or focus school must implement interventions consistent with the ESEA flexibility request.

 

Principle 3: Public charter schools and non-charter public schools must develop and implement teacher and principal evaluation and support systems that are consistent with the guidelines developed and adopted by the ALSDE.

Accountability8/24/2015 3:29 PM
  

With the passage of the Alabama School Choice and Student Opportunity Act (Act 2015-3) on March 19, 2015, public charter schools may be established in Alabama in accordance with this Act.

General Questions8/25/2015 10:45 AM
  

Yes, please go to the Universal Services Administrative Company (USAC) Web site at http://www.usac.org/sl/.

E-Rate8/31/2015 9:48 AM
  

A public charter school will maintain records on all enrolled students utilizing the state-adopted Alabama Student Information System (ASIM).  The student data reported in ASIM is essential to the calculations of Foundation Program funds.  Student residence information reported in ASIM will be essential to the calculations of state Foundation Program funding for public charter schools.

Financial Management9/1/2015 3:23 PM
  

Yes.  Public charter schools may include a specific academic approach or theme including career technical training.  However, any public charter school formed with a CTE focus must be a comprehensive school providing academics for all enrolled students on a full-time basis.

Career and Technical Education9/10/2015 8:21 AM
  
Yes. Assessment data for all public schools, including public charter schools, must be included in reports that are publicly released and submitted annually to the United States Department of Education.
Student Assessment9/10/2015 8:44 AM
  

​The act defines an at-risk student as one who has an economic or academic disadvantage that requires special services and assistance to succeed in educational programs.  The term includes, but is not limited to, students who are members of economically disadvantaged families, students who are identified as having special education needs, students who are limited in English proficiency, students who are at risk of dropping out of high school, and students who do not meet minimum standards of academic proficiency.

Act 2015-3, Section 4. (3)

Prevention and Support Services10/5/2015 8:42 AM
  

After approval of a public charter school, a certification specialist at the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) will be available to help the school’s human resource department to provide assistance with certification approaches and/or questions just as they do with local education agencies and registered private schools in Alabama.

Educator Certification7/15/2015 10:27 AM
  

​Yes.  Public charter schools are tuition-free, public schools that are open to all students.  Like all public schools, public charter schools understand their responsibility to serve all students and are committed to serving students with special needs and those who are gifted.  In fact, because public charter schools are designed to have more flexibility than traditional public schools, many are uniquely situated to provide innovative, high-quality educational services to students with unique learning needs.

Special Education Services7/31/2015 10:22 AM
  

Recipients of funds under this program should be aware of the following significant statutory requirements in addition to those in Title V, Part B, Subpart 1 (formerly Title X, Part C), of the ESEA: 

  1. The definitions set out in Title IX of ESEA that establishes general provisions for all programs authorized under ESEA.
  2. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin.
  3. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex.
  4. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability.
  5. The Age Discrimination Act of 1975 that prohibits discrimination on the basis of age.
  6. Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by public entities, including public charter schools and public school districts, regardless of whether they receive federal financial assistance.
  7. Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that requires states to make available a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to children with disabilities. 
Federal Programs7/13/2015 3:38 PM
  

​Transportation is a related service as defined by 34 CFR §300.34(c)(16) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) regulations. Pre-school or school-age students with disabilities may qualify for transportation services, if specified in their Individualized Education Program (IEP). Further, Code of Alabama, Section 16-13-233 does allow for local boards of education to provide transportation services, however it is not required.

Pupil Transportation8/25/2015 10:25 AM
  

Yes. From time to time, the Alabama Legislature will issue bonds through the Public School and College Authority (PSCA) and provide grants for capital improvements. Systems are allotted funds as established by the Legislature in Act 2015-3 normally on an ADM basis. Public charter schools also receive their portion of the Public School Fund for capital improvements and payment of capital debt.

School Architect8/24/2015 2:18 PM
  

The following link to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) website provides guidance for the regulatory compliance requirements for the meal pattern for menu planning and nutrient requirements.

http://www.fns.usda.gov/school-meals/nutrition-standards-school-meals

Child Nutrition Programs8/24/2015 2:34 PM
  

An AMSTI School is a school that receives all of the benefits of the initiative including extensive professional development, equipment, supplies, and materials, and customized at-school support by math and science specialists. Students in AMSTI Schools learn math, science, and technology through activity-based, inquiry approaches consistent with the latest research on effective math and science instruction.

Instructional Services8/24/2015 2:50 PM
  
Pursuant to the charter school law in Alabama (Act 2015-3), charter schools, as non-charter public schools, are subject to Alabama’s Accountability System. Please click the following link http://www.alsde.edu/sec/acct/Pages/resources-all.aspx?navtext=Resources and select the “Alabama Accountability Models: Frequently Asked Questions” to obtain information about the Accountability Models.
Accountability8/24/2015 3:32 PM
  

An Alabama public charter school is a public school that:

 

 

1.  Has autonomy of key decisions including, but not limited to, finance, personnel, scheduling, curriculum, instruction, and procurement.

 

 

2.  Is governed by an independent governing board that is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.

 

3.  Is established and operated under the terms of a charter contract between the governing board and its chartering authorizer.

 

4.  Allows parents to choose to send their student there.

 

5.  Admits students based on a random selection process if more students attempt to enroll for admission than can be accommodated.

 

6.  Provides an educational program that:

o Includes any grade or grades from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade.

o May include a specific academic approach or theme such as vocational and technical training; visual and performing arts; liberal arts and classical education; or science, mathematics, and technology.

o Pursues a specific set of educational objectives as defined in its charter contract, such as college or career readiness, or both.

o Operates under the oversight of its authorizer in accordance with its charter contract.

General Questions8/25/2015 3:20 PM
  

​Yes

E-Rate8/31/2015 9:49 AM
  

For each of its students, a public charter school will receive the same amount of state Foundation Program funds that would have been allocated for each public charter school student to the local school system where the student resides.

 

State funds will be distributed on a monthly schedule, which is a more frequent and regular schedule, than the stated quarterly schedule outlined in Act No. 2015-3, and is consistent with current Foundation payment schedules currently in place at the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE).

 

For each of its students, a public charter school will receive the same amount of local tax revenue that, for the then-current fiscal year, would have been allocated for each public charter school student to the local school system of each student's residence, excluding those funds already earmarked through a vote of the local school board for debt service, capital expenditures, or transportation.

 

Additionally, any local revenues restricted, earmarked, or committed by statutory provision, constitutional provision, or board covenant pledged or imposed by formal action of the local board of education or other authorizing body of government, will be excluded by the local school system of the student's residence when determining the amount of funds to be sent to the public charter school.

 

The maximum annual local tax allocation forwarded to a start-up public charter school from a local school system will not, for each student, exceed the per-student portion of the state-required Foundation Program local match for the local school system where the student resides.

 

As necessary, the ALSDE will release processes and procedures to determine the specific local revenue allocations according to the Foundation Program for each public charter school.

 

If necessary, the ALSDE will adopt rules governing how to calculate and distribute local per-student allocations, as well as any rules governing cost-sharing for students participating in specialized gifted, talented, vocational, technical, or career education programs.

 

Subsequent year funding for public charter schools will be based on the Foundation Program allocation and other state funds provided by the Alabama Legislature.

Financial Management9/1/2015 3:51 PM
  

Any child residing in the state of Alabama who meets the age/grade level eligibility requirements of the CTE-focused public charter school may be eligible to attend the school.  However, students residing within the local geographic bounds of the school district in which the charter school is established will have preferential treatment in enrolling given limited enrollment capacity.

Career and Technical Education9/10/2015 8:21 AM
  

A start-up public charter school shall function as a local educational agency (LEA); therefore, assessment data will not be included in the LEA report for any school district.

 

A conversion public charter school shall remain a part of the LEA in which the non-charter public school existed prior to its conversion to a public charter school. Assessment data for a conversion school will be included in the LEA report for the school district whose local school board is the charter authorizer.

Student Assessment9/10/2015 8:45 AM
  

​Emphasis should be placed on lesson plans, curriculum guides, and scheduling.

Copies of the Student Code of Conduct should be disseminated to the students and their parents.

 

Students and parents must sign the Student Code of Conduct and submit it back to the school.  Also, the Student Code of Conduct must be provided in more than one language.

 

The student should be governed by the Student Code of Conduct so that he/she will be knowledgeable about the policies, rules, and consequences.

 

Code of Alabama (1975), §16-28A-3, §16-1-24.1(e)(1)

Alabama Administrative Code (AAC), Chapter 290-3-1-.02(1)(c)

Prevention and Support Services10/5/2015 8:47 AM
  

Public charter schools shall be subject to the same civil rights, health, and safety requirements, including, but not limited to, state and local public health and building codes, employee finger printing and criminal background checks applicable to other public schools in the state, except as otherwise specifically provided in this act. Act 2015-3, Section 9(d)(1)

Educator Certification7/15/2015 10:27 AM
  

​Two important laws that protect the rights of students are the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  Both of these laws apply to all children with disabilities regardless of whether they receive their education at a traditional public school or a public charter school.

Special Education Services7/31/2015 10:22 AM
  

The federal law provides that a teacher who teaches core academic subjects in a charter school meets the certification requirement if he or she meets the requirements set forth in a state's charter school law regarding certification or licensure [Section 9101(23)(A)(i)].  Thus, a teacher in a charter school does not have to be licensed or certified by the state if the state's charter law does not require such licensure or certification.  All other elements of the "highly-qualified teacher" requirement apply to charter school teachers in the same way, and on the same timeline, that they apply to teachers in traditional public schools.  (Section E-2; The Impact of the New Title I Requirements on Charter Schools: Non-Regulatory Guidance; July, 2004)

Section 1111(b)(2)(K) of ESEA requires that responsibility for charter school accountability be determined by individual state charter laws.  This generally means that the charter authorizer (an entity authorized under this act to review applications, approve or reject applications, enter into charter contracts with applications, oversee public charter schools, and decide whether to renew, not renew, or revoke charter contracts) bears the responsibility for holding charter schools accountable for Title I, Part A, provisions (including the teacher-quality requirements) unless state law specifically gives the SEA direct responsibility for charter school accountability.  It is not expected that the LEA in which the charter school is located be this entity, unless it is also the charter authorizer (E-7; The Impact of the New Title I Requirements on Charter Schools: Non-Regulatory Guidance; July, 2004).

Federal Programs7/13/2015 3:40 PM
  

​If a public charter school provides transportation services all students (Kindergarten through Grade 12) whose homes are at least two miles or more from the public charter school and reside within the established boundaries of the public charter school would qualify for transportation services, unless otherwise specified by the public charter school.  

Pupil Transportation8/25/2015 10:18 AM
  

An architect or engineer must inspect the facility to insure that health and safety issues, such as fire alarms and extinguishers, egress signage, hardware, sanitary systems, and American with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements are in place. The Alabama Building Commission must be notified of this inspection and advised of any required corrective actions.

School Architect8/24/2015 2:19 PM
  

The following link to the USDA website provides resources to administer Child Nutrition Programs for organizations or schools, including public charter schools.

http://www.fns.usda.gov/healthierschoolday/school-day-just-got-healthier-toolkit

 
Child Nutrition Programs8/24/2015 2:41 PM
  

Applications to become an AMSTI School are submitted to the regional AMSTI site director within the region where the school is located. Once accepted, teachers and administrators attend two-week long Summer Institutes for two consecutive summers. Professional development at the Summer Institutes is subject- and grade-specific. Once trained, teachers are provided all of the material and equipment needed for their students to learn through hands-on, inquiry-based instruction. AMSTI specialists are also available to assist teachers in this new way of teaching. Funding is the limiting factor in accepting new schools into AMSTI.

Instructional Services8/24/2015 2:50 PM
  

Conversion public charter schools will remain part of the LEA in which they were established; therefore, the accountability data of conversion public charter schools will be reported in the LEAs in which they exist.

 

Start-up public charter schools will function as their own LEA; therefore, the accountability data of start-up public charter schools will be reported as their own LEA.

Accountability8/24/2015 3:05 PM
  

Yes. Alabama law establishes start-up and conversion public charter schools.

 

A start-up public charter school is a school that did not exist as a non-charter (traditional) public school before becoming a public charter school.

 

A conversion public charter school is a school that existed as a non-charter (traditional) public school before becoming a public charter school. A conversion charter school will adopt and maintain a policy that gives enrollment preference to students who reside in the former attendance zone of the public school before it was converted.

General Questions8/25/2015 3:21 PM
  

This information is updated annually by USAC and is available on its Web site at http://usac.org/sl/applicants/beforeyoubegin/eligible-services-list.aspx.

E-Rate8/31/2015 9:53 AM
  

The Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) will direct the proportionate share of moneys generated under federal and state categorical aid programs to public charter schools serving students eligible for such aid if permitted by applicable federal laws and regulations.

 

The state will ensure that public charter schools with rapidly expanding enrollments are treated equitably in the calculation and disbursement of all federal and state categorical aid program dollars.

 

Each public charter school that serves students who may be eligible to receive services provided through such programs will comply with all reporting requirements to receive the aid.

Financial Management9/1/2015 3:52 PM
  

No.  There is not currently any provision within Act 2015-3 that would allow students to attend a public charter school for only a portion of the day, unlike the partial day attendance for students at many of Alabama’s career and technical education centers.

Career and Technical Education9/10/2015 8:22 AM
  
All procedures put in place by the ALSDE for any public school must be followed for the administration of standardized tests. Each public charter school must develop a Test Security Plan. This plan must be reviewed and approved by the ALSDE Student Assessment Section annually. The plan must include:

 

Description of the school’s secure storage area meeting ALSDE specifications.

 

Documentation of training prior to each assessment.

 

Proof of certificated personnel.

1.  All personnel handling test materials must be certificated. This includes test administrators, room supervisors, and building test coordinators.

 

2.  Failure to follow security procedures promulgated by the Alabama State Board of Education and published in the Alabama Administrative Code (AAC), §290-4-2-.04; the Alabama Student Assessment Program Handbook for Test Administration; and the test administrator’s manuals may result in disciplinary action by the local board of education and/or revocation of the teaching certificate by the ALSDE.
Student Assessment9/10/2015 8:50 AM
  

A child over the age of 17 may withdraw from public school prior to graduation if both of the following circumstances exist:

 

Written consent is granted by the child's parent or legal guardian.

 

An exit interview is conducted where the student and the student's parent or legal guardian have been advised that withdrawal from school shall likely reduce the student's future earning potential and increase the student's likelihood of being unemployed in the future.

 

Code of Alabama (1975), §16-28-3.1

Prevention and Support Services10/5/2015 8:49 AM
  
  • For certification approaches and forms:  www.alsde.edu/EdCert
  • For individuals wanting to e-mail questions:  Click on the "Contact Us" button on the Web site listed above.
  • The telephone number for Educator Certification is 334-353-8567.  However, the "Contact Us" link at www.alsde.edu/EdCert allows input of specific information that may speed up response time.
Educator Certification7/15/2015 10:27 AM
  

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) states that students who attend public charter schools are protected under this law.  IDEA, 34 CFR, § 300.209, refers to public charter schools and their students: 

  • Students with disabilities in public charter schools and their parents retain all procedural safeguards.
  • Public charter schools are included in the local education agency (LEA) definition when established as an LEA by state law.
  • Students with disabilities in public charter schools that are part of an LEA must be served in the same manner as that LEA serves students with disabilities in its other schools, including the provision of supplementary and related services at the public charter school to the same extent to which the LEA has a policy or practice of providing such services on the site to its other public schools.  The LEA must also allocate funds to public charter schools on the same basis that it provides funds to its other public schools.
  • A public charter school that functions as its own LEA is responsible for ensuring that the requirements of IDEA are met unless state law assigns that responsibility to some other entity.
  • The state's Special Education Advisory Panel (SEAP) must include a public charter school representative.
  • The IDEA requires state educational agencies (SEAs) to implement specific procedures, including evaluations for students to determine if they are eligible for special education, to provide subsequent services, and to re-evaluate eligible students.  Under the IDEA, SEAs receive federal grant funds, which are allocated to LEAs to provide special education and related services to students with disabilities.  All states are allocated these funds and are required to follow the IDEA mandates.

 

Special Education Services7/31/2015 10:22 AM
  

In general, "highly-qualified teacher" requirements under No Child Left Behind (NCLB) are as follows:

Sections 1119(a) and 9101(23) of ESEA, as reauthorized by NCLB, establish requirements for the qualifications of teachers who teach a "core academic subject" (core academic subjects are English, reading or language arts, mathematics, science, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, arts, history, and geography).  In general, in order to be considered "highly qualified," a teacher must: 

  • Have obtained full state certification as a teacher or passed the state teacher licensing examination and hold a license to teach in the state, and may not have had certification or licensure requirements waived on an emergency, temporary, or provisional basis.
  • Hold a bachelor's degree.
  • Have demonstrated subject-matter competency in each of the academic subjects in which the teacher teaches, in a manner determined by the state.

    Under the law, all teachers hired after the first day of the 2002-2003 school year to teach core academic subjects in a program supported with Title I, Part A, funds must be highly qualified.  In addition, as a condition of receiving Title I, Part A, funds, each state must ensure that all elementary and secondary school teachers of core academic subjects in the public schools of the state are highly qualified by the end of the 2005-2006 school year.

    For more information on these requirements:
Federal Programs7/13/2015 3:41 PM
  

​Yes. If a public charter school does provide transportation services, it would be subject to the same regulations as non-charter (traditional) public schools. Code of Alabama, Section 16-27-1

Pupil Transportation8/25/2015 10:26 AM
  

Title 41 of the Code of Alabama states that the code of minimum building standards promulgated and enforced by the Building Commission shall be applicable to schoolhouses, both public and private. This entails the services of architects/engineers, submittal of plans and specifications, and inspections as required. Submittals made to the Building Commission must also be made to the ALSDE Office of Supporting Programs, School Architect’s office.

School Architect8/24/2015 2:20 PM
  

Contact the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE), Office of Supporting Programs, Child Nutrition Programs, at (334)242-8228.

Child Nutrition Programs8/24/2015 2:43 PM
  

Many schools now "buy in" to AMSTI by purchasing the equipment and resources (textbook funds may be used for this) and have their teachers agree to attend training without stipends or provide the stipends for the teachers. Once trained, schools are eligible for continued AMSTI support and refurbishment of equipment and materials. The AMSTI site director is available to assist schools in estimating costs.

Instructional Services8/24/2015 2:51 PM
  
A start-up public charter school that is its own LEA is subject to the recognition, accountability, and support provisions that apply to non-charter public schools. The ALSDE would include start-up public charter schools that act as their own LEA when it identifies reward, priority, and focus schools. A public charter school LEA that is identified as a reward school would be eligible for recognition and rewards like non-charter public schools, and a public charter school that acts as an LEA that is identified as a priority school would need to implement interventions consistent with the turnaround principles and the ALSDE’s flexibility request.
Accountability8/24/2015 3:06 PM
  
A start-up public charter school may only be established under the chartering authority of the Alabama Public Charter School Commission (Commission) or the local school board in which the public charter school is located.

 

If the local school board is not a registered authorizer, then the Commission will be the authorizer for start-up public charter schools within the boundaries of the school system.

General Questions8/25/2015 3:23 PM
  

The Universal Services Administrative Company (USAC) provides training events and training materials on its Web site. Additionally, the Alabama State Department of Education (Office of Technology and Data, E-Rate) provides multiple yearly training opportunities specific to state needs. Information can be found on these events at www.alsde.edu.

E-Rate8/31/2015 9:57 AM
  

Act No. 2015-3, Section 10(b)(1)a

In their initial year, and in subsequent years to accommodate growth as articulated in their application, funding for public charter schools will be provided from the Education Trust Fund (ETF) in the Foundation Program appropriation for Current Units.

 

 

Appropriations Act No. 2015-281, p.14

The above appropriation include funds for start-up public charter schools and start-up LEAs in the first year of operation, which will be funded at the full amount of the average Foundation Program cost per unit.  $9,609,561

 

 

The Foundation Program cost per unit for a start-up public charter school is defined as the Foundation Program (including the 10-mill match) less textbooks, divided by the Total Units.  This funding calculation is consistent with current funding procedures for non-charter (traditional) public schools when applying the Current Unit formula.  Start-up public charter schools and existing local education agencies (LEAs) will be funded, on an equal basis, out of Current Units.

 

The calculated Foundation Program cost per unit will be applied to each LEA by multiplying the number of additional units calculated for an LEA for the current school year.

 

 

In the case of a start-up public charter school, the growth or difference in Average Daily Membership (ADM) is considered the current year's ADM at school start-up minus the previous year's ADM, with the previous year's ADM equaling zero.

 

The ADM difference for each grade is divided by the applicable grade divisor.

 

 

The total of these calculations in all grades will be the number of calculated units if the total is a positive number.

 

The number of calculated Current Units will be multiplied by the average Foundation Program cost per unit and this will equal the start-up school allocation.

 

If a start-up public charter school starts school prior to October 1, it will receive a prorated allocation for the remainder of the fiscal year.

 

The remaining school year October 1- September 30 will be funded out of the current year's Current Unit allocation using a recalculated per unit amount– this equates to a start-up LEA operating from October 1 – September 30 on the remaining 10 months of a 12-month allocation.

 

For example, if school starts in August 2017, the start-up charter would receive a prorated allocation for August and September from the FY17 Current Unit allocation and the remaining ten months would be funding from the FY18 Current Unit allocation.

 

This also assumes that August and September 2017 would not be defined as the initial year but that August 2017 – September 30, 2018, would be defined as the initial year (14 months with 12 months of funding).  This is consistent with how non-charter public schools are currently funded.

 

Current Units will be paid on a monthly basis, with the months of operation prior to October 1 being paid in a lump sum prior to September 30 from the previous year's allocation.

 

Below is the method of capturing enrollment and funding for start-up charter schools.

 

Start-Up Initial Year Funding

Enrollment - Fully fund all students who are enrolled at the time of school opening – would include any student who was enrolled in a public, private, or home school the previous academic year.

 

Funding Method - Apply existing Current Unit formula.

Financial Management9/2/2015 2:48 PM
  

Public charter schools will receive state Foundation Program funds and local tax revenue funds based upon the public charter school student’s individual place of residence.  CTE-focused public charter schools may also receive any categorical funding, whether through block grants, state and federal categorical aid, special education funds, and federal Perkins Act funds.

Career and Technical Education9/10/2015 8:22 AM
  
Yes. All public schools are subject to monitoring by the ALSDE and or ACT staff.
Student Assessment9/10/2015 8:51 AM
  

No.  However, if a public school partially or entirely converts to a public charter school, enrollment preference must be given to students who reside within the former attendance zone of that public school.  After those students are enrolled, enrollment preference can be given to students already enrolled in the public charter school and their siblings.  Enrollment preference can be given to children of the public charter school founders, governing board members, and full-time employees as long as they constitute no more than 10% of the school’s student population.

Prevention and Support Services10/5/2015 8:56 AM
  

Public charter schools shall be subject to the same civil rights, health, and safety requirements, including, but not limited to, state and local public health and building codes, employee finger printing and criminal background checks applicable to other public schools in the state, except as otherwise specifically provided in this act. Act 2015-3, Section 9(d)(1)

Educator Certification7/15/2015 10:27 AM
  

​No.  Public charter schools are public schools and must comply with all federal education laws, including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504), and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  There is no provision to request a waiver from federal requirements pertaining to students with disabilities.

Special Education Services7/31/2015 10:22 AM
  

​Paraprofessional aides hired to work in programs supported with Title I, Part A, funds must have a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent.  Except for paraprofessionals who act as translators or conduct parent involvement activities, they must also have completed at least two years of study at an institution of higher education, possess at least an associate's degree, or demonstrate subject-matter competence through a formal state or local assessment [Section 1119(c)-(e)].  Note this requirement applies only to paid paraprofessionals and not to parents or other volunteers.

In addition, the United States Department of Education (USED) regulations clarify that the term "paraprofessional" applies only to individuals who provide instructional support and not to school staff who have only non-instructional duties (e.g., providing technical support for computers, providing personal care services to students, carrying out clerical functions) [34 C.F.R. Section 200.58(a)(2)].  (Section E-3; The Impact of the New Title I Requirements on Charter Schools: Non-Regulatory Guidance; July, 2004).  Paraprofessionals in Title I-supported charter schools must meet these requirements by January 8, 2006.  (http://ed.gov/policy/elsec/guid/paraguidance.doc)

Federal Programs7/13/2015 3:43 PM
  

​Yes.  School buses used to transport students in Alabama must:

Pupil Transportation8/25/2015 10:24 AM
  

Yes. The ALSDE Office of Supporting Programs, School Architect webpage contains Construction Requirements for County and City Public Schools that assist with the renovation and construction of school facilities.

School Architect8/24/2015 2:29 PM
  
Yes. New Sponsor Training will be provided by the ALSDE CNP School Program staff on Wednesday, September 16, 2015. For registration and training details, please contact the ALSDE CNP School Program staff at (334) 242-8228.
Child Nutrition Programs8/24/2015 2:44 PM
  
Additional information may be found at www.amsti.org, including contact information for the regional site that serves the region where your school is located. Additional information may also be obtained by calling the Alabama State Department of Education AMSTI Section at 334-353-9151.
Instructional Services8/24/2015 2:53 PM
  
Student progress will be measured using the same accountability indicators as non-charter public schools. The accountability indicators are Achievement, Attendance Rate, and Graduation Rate. Please click the following link http://www.alsde.edu/sec/acct/Pages/resources-all.aspx?navtext=Resources and select the “Alabama Accountability Models: Frequently Asked Questions” to obtain information about the Accountability Models.
Accountability8/24/2015 3:34 PM
  
No. Act 2015-3 states that no private or nonpublic school may establish a public charter school.
General Questions8/25/2015 3:23 PM
  

​The maximum annual local tax allocation forwarded to a conversion public charter school from a local school system will, for each student, equal the amount that would have been received by the local education agency of the student's residence for each student who now attends a conversion public charter school, minus any amounts otherwise excluded pursuant to this section.

 

Below is the method of capturing enrollment and funding for conversion schools.

 

Initial Year Conversion Funding

 

Enrollment - Fully fund all students who are enrolled at the time of school opening – would include any student who was enrolled in a public, private, or home school the previous academic year.

 

Funding Method - Receive Foundation Program allocation and other public school Education Trust Fund Appropriations.  Also eligible to receive Current Units under the current calculation for any growth experienced in ADM from the previous school year.

Financial Management9/2/2015 2:51 PM
  

All students attending a CTE-focused public charter school will be required to take the same end-of-year standardized assessments as applicable to other students in traditional public schools throughout the state.  Under Perkins IV, states are required to report annually on the core indicators of performance.  In accordance with the requirements of Perkins IV, the federal Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) negotiates annual performance levels on each of the core indicators with each state and holds the state accountable for achieving results.  The state then negotiates annual performance levels with each local education agency (LEA).  CTE-focused public charter schools will be held to the same negotiated standards as all other public LEAs in the state.

Career and Technical Education9/10/2015 8:22 AM
  

​-Grade 3: ACT Aspire Reading and Mathematics OR Alabama Alternate Assessment (AAA)

-Grade 4: ACT Aspire Reading and Mathematics OR AAA

-Grade 5: ACT Aspire Reading, Mathematics, and Science OR AAA

-Grade 6: ACT Aspire Reading and Mathematics OR AAA

-Grade 7: ACT Aspire Reading, Mathematics, and Science OR AAA

-Grade 8: ACT Aspire Reading and Mathematics OR AAA

-Grade 10: ACT Aspire Reading, Mathematics, Science, English, and Writing OR AAA

-Grade 11: ACT Plus Writing OR AAA

-Grade 12: ACT WorkKeys (Reading for Information, Applied Mathematics, and Locating Information) OR AAA

Student Assessment9/10/2015 8:53 AM
  

A public charter school shall be open to any student residing in the state.

Act 2015-3, Section 5. (a)

 

Every child between the ages of 6 and 17 years shall be required to attend a public school, private school, church school, or be instructed by a competent private tutor.  Admission to public school shall be on an individual basis on the application of the parents, legal custodian, or guardian of the child to the local board of education at the beginning of each school year, under such rules and regulations as the board may prescribe.  The parent, legal custodian, or guardian of a child who is six years of age may opt out of enrolling their child in school at the age of six years by notifying the local school board of education in writing that the child will not be enrolled in school until he or she is seven years of age.

Code of Alabama (1975), §16-28-3

 

1.  A child who is 6 years of age on or before September 2 or the date on which school begins in the enrolling school system shall be entitled to admission to the public elementary schools at the opening of such schools for that school year or as soon as practicable thereafter.

 

2.  A child whose sixth birthday falls on or before February 2, with the approval of the local board of education, may be admitted at the beginning of the second semester in school systems having semiannual promotions of pupils.

 

3.  A child whose fifth birthday falls on or before September 2 or the date on which school begins in the enrolling district is entitled to admission to the Kindergarten program at the beginning of the school year or as soon as practicable thereafter.

 

4.  Kindergarten or Grade 1 students who were enrolled in an Alabama private school, church school, or were being tutored in accordance with the Ala. Code (1975) and who seek admission to Kindergarten or Grade 1 in the public schools must meet the age requirements for admittance.

 

Code of Alabama (1975), §16-28-4 (*An opinion of the Attorney General states in effect that under the common law one's age is computed by including the day of birth so that a given age is attained the day before the birthday anniversary.)

Prevention and Support Services10/5/2015 8:54 AM
  

​All applicants for employment who will have unsupervised access to children in any Alabama public charter school must complete an Alabama State Bureau of Investigation (ASBI) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) criminal history background check through the ALSDE, consistent with the Alabama Child Protection Act of 1999, as amended, codified at Ala. Code §§16-22A-1 to -34 (1975).  This is also required by Section 9(c) (1) of the Alabama School Choice and Student Opportunity Act (Ala. Act 2015-3).

Educator Certification7/15/2015 10:27 AM
  

If you suspect that your child may have a disability, do not wait.  Write down what you know about your child's struggle with learning, request that his/her teachers and other school personnel do the same, and come together to compare notes and discuss next steps.

 

Special Education Services7/31/2015 10:22 AM
  

​No, these requirements are applicable only to paraprofessionals working in Title I programs.  (Section E-5; The Impact of the New Title I Requirements on Charter Schools: Non-Regulatory Guidance; July, 2004) 

Federal Programs7/13/2015 3:44 PM
  
It depends. There are many caveats to student participation in the USDA Child Nutrition Programs (CNP). Student participation in any CNP program is contingent on a number of criteria and must be determined on a case-by-case basis for public schools, including public charter schools. For specific information, please contact Mrs. June Barrett, Program Coordinator, Alabama State Department of Education, Child Nutrition Programs, at jbarrett@alsdeor 334-242-1988. or 334-242-1988.
Child Nutrition Programs8/24/2015 2:46 PM
  
Public charter schools will use the same data sources as non-charter public schools. Please click the following link http://www.alsde.edu/sec/acct/Pages/resources-all.aspx?navtext=Resources and select the “Alabama Accountability Models: Frequently Asked Questions” to obtain information about the Accountability Models.
Accountability8/24/2015 3:35 PM
  
An Alabama public charter school is open to any student residing in the state.
General Questions8/25/2015 3:24 PM
  

​The department will disburse state transportation funding to a public charter school on the same basis and in the same manner as it is paid to public school systems.

 

A public charter school may enter into a contract with a school system or private provider to provide transportation to the school's students.

 

Public charter schools that do not provide transportation services will not be allocated any federal, state, or local funds otherwise earmarked for transportation-related expenses.

Financial Management9/1/2015 3:52 PM
  

Public charter schools, including CTE-focused public charter schools, will have the right of first refusal to purchase or lease any closed or unused facility placed on the market from the local school system.  Public charter schools, including CTE-focused public charter schools, are also eligible to have the same rights and access to Alabama Public School and College Authority (PSCA) funding opportunities as traditional public schools.

Career and Technical Education9/10/2015 8:25 AM
  

There is no "certification" for ARI. Participants who attend either of the ARI three-day professional development sessions—Foundations for Beginning Reading or Strategic Teaching: Literacy Across All Contents—will receive a certificate stating that they have received 18 hours of professional development. This document does not certify any knowledge or skill attainment, but rather verifies that the participant has been present for 18 clock hours. These professional development sessions are offered each summer through the Regional Inservice Centers (Alabama Regional Inservice Centers (Education Directory pages 20-24).

Instructional Services9/10/2015 8:33 AM
  

Yes. All public charter school students receiving EL services must participate in the Student Assessment Program as outlined in the contents of the Alabama Student Assessment Program Policies and Procedures for Students of Special Populations http://www.alsde.edu/sec/sa/Special%20Populations/Alabama_Student_Assessment_Program_Policies_and_Procedures_for_Students_of_Special_Populations_2014.pdf. In addition to the assessments listed above, English Learners in Grades K-12 must be assessed with ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 OR Alternate ACCESS for ELLs.

Student Assessment9/10/2015 8:56 AM
  

​Yes.  Notwithstanding the stated mission of the public charter school, any student eligible for enrollment in a public school is eligible for enrollment in a public charter school.

Code of Alabama (1975), §16-28-4

Prevention and Support Services10/5/2015 8:58 AM
  

​No. Under current requirements, an applicant who has completed an Alabama State Bureau of Investigation and Federal Bureau of Investigation criminal history background check through the ALSDE and whose fingerprint results are on file with our agency is not required to complete a new criminal history background check for employment purposes.  An individual may verify that criminal history background check results are on file with the ALSDE by visiting the Educator Certification Portal at www.alsde.edu/EdCert (click "Background Clearance.").  However, the public charter school may elect to do a new criminal history check on applicants for employment pursuant to Ala. Code § 16-22A-5(a)(1975).

Educator Certification7/15/2015 10:27 AM
  
  • ​Contact your local public charter school administrator (for example, the principal or special education program coordinator).
  • Outline your areas of concern about your child's suspected disability and request an evaluation of your child. 

Follow-up with a request in order to document timelines.  Once the school has received your request for an evaluation, the LEA must consider the request in a timely manner.

The process is basically the same in both public charter and traditional public schools.  There are 13 disability areas defined in federal code.  Each disability area has specific requirements.  If a student is evaluated and qualifies for services, an IEP Team is formed and is responsible for developing a program to make sure that it enables the student to be involved in and make progress in the general education curriculum and meet the child's educational needs that result from the child's disability. 

Ultimately, your local school district has an obligation to "identify, locate and evaluate" all children with disabilities who may be eligible for special education who live within the district boundaries - not only those attending district schools, but all those who are attending public charter schools, private schools, or homeschools.

Special Education Services7/31/2015 10:22 AM
  

​No, Section 1119(1) of ESEA requires all LEAs, including charter school LEAs, to spend between 5 and 10 percent of their Title I allocations on professional development to help all teachers meet the requirements by the end of 2005-2006 school year.  If all teachers and paraprofessionals in a charter school LEA have met these requirements, the funds do not need to be reserved for professional development.  (Section E-6; The Impact of the New Title I Requirements on Charter Schools: Non-Regulatory Guidance; July, 2004)

Federal Programs7/13/2015 3:44 PM
  
Annual Measurable Objectives (AMOs) for public charter schools will be established in the same manner as non-charter public schools. The baseline year will be the first year the public charter school is in existence.  Please click the following link http://www.alsde.edu/sec/acct/Pages/resources-all.aspx?navtext=Resources and select the “Alabama Accountability Models: Frequently Asked Questions” to obtain information about the Accountability Models.
Accountability8/24/2015 3:36 PM
  
No. A parent or guardian has the right to choose to send their student(s) to a public charter school.
General Questions8/25/2015 3:25 PM
  

​Public charter schools will have the same rights and access to Alabama Public School and College Authority (PSCA) funding opportunities as non-charter public schools.

 

A public charter school will have a right of first refusal to purchase or lease at or below fair market value a closed or unused public school facility or property located in a school system from which it draws its students if the school system decides to sell or lease the public school facility or property.

 

The ALSDE will publish the names and addresses of unused facilities on its Web site in a list that is searchable at least by each facility's name and address.

Financial Management9/3/2015 8:57 AM
  

The ARI is not a program, but an ongoing professional development opportunity for a school faculty. It is a research-based, extensive teacher-training program to show teachers how to achieve high levels of literacy for all of their students. ARI professional development empowers teachers with the content knowledge, skills, and strategies necessary to be successful with all students, especially those that challenge them the most – struggling readers.

Instructional Services9/10/2015 8:34 AM
  
Yes. All students, including students with disabilities, must participate in state assessments in order to be in compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
Student Assessment9/10/2015 8:56 AM
  

Yes.  All city and county boards of education shall develop and implement local policies and procedures requiring the expulsion of students, for a period of one year, who are determined to have brought to school or have in their possession a firearm in a school building, on school grounds, on school buses, or at other school-sponsored functions.

 

Notwithstanding the foregoing, city and county boards of education and the local superintendent of education of each board may modify the expulsion requirement for a student on a case-by-case basis.  Students who are expelled for violation of this section shall not be allowed to attend regular school classes in any public school in the state during the expulsion period.  Students who are expelled from schools for firearm possession may be permitted to attend alternative schools designed to provide education services.  Discipline of students with disabilities who violate the firearm possession policies of city and county boards of education shall be determined on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

 

For the purposes of this section, the term "firearm" has the same meaning as defined in Section 921 of Title 18 of the United States Code.

 

When there are violations of the prohibition on firearms being brought to school or the possession of firearms by students, the school principal shall notify the appropriate law enforcement authority, which may include city police, county sheriffs, and the local district attorney.  In addition to notification of law enforcement officials, the school principal shall notify the parents of students who violate the firearm-free school environment.

 

Law enforcement authorities involved with students charged with firearm violations shall refer the violators to the appropriate authority in the judicial system when the action is feasible.

 

Local education agencies submitting applications for federal funds to the Alabama State Department of Education shall include in the application:

 

1.  An affidavit to affirm that the local education agency has developed and implemented a policy to provide for a gun-free environment in all its public schools.

 

2.  A description of the circumstances surrounding an expulsion imposed including:

 

a.The name of the school concerned.

b.The number of students expelled.

c.The types of weapons concerned.

 

The Alabama State Department of Education shall report the information collected from the local education agencies to the United States Secretary of Education.

Acts 1995, No. 95-756, 1768, §§1-4

Prevention and Support Services10/5/2015 9:27 AM
  

​No.  Volunteers are individuals who receive no compensation from Alabama public charter schools for services rendered.  Volunteers are not required, or even allowed, to be fingerprinted by the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE).  However, Alabama public charter schools may require their own, separate background check for volunteers.  These criminal history background checks will be conducted without the resources of the ALSDE.  The ALSDE conducts criminal history background checks pursuant to the Alabama Child Protection Act of 1999, as amended, codified at Ala. Code §§16-22A-1 to -34 (1975).  This act addresses criminal history background checks for purposes of employment or educator certification; it does not authorize criminal history background checks for volunteers.

Educator Certification7/15/2015 10:27 AM
  

​Created as an option to traditional public schools, public charter schools are designed to offer innovative educational strategies.  Unique to public charter schools is the flexibility to truly individualize the educational program, or, when appropriate, create specialized programs at the public charter school site.  Depending on a student's individual needs, offering appropriate special education services may also result in the public charter school working with a district program, a nonpublic school or agency, or another public charter school to provide a level or type of service that is not available at the individual public charter school site.

Similar to the process for serving students in a traditional public school, the Individualized Education Program Team makes a determination for the most appropriate option based on the needs of the student.  Depending on the charter school and the unique needs of the student, these services may be similar to what is offered at a traditional school, or they may be different.  In any case, charter schools are committed to providing quality and compliant special education services that are tailored to meet a student with a disability's unique needs. 

Special Education Services7/31/2015 10:22 AM
  

The Census Bureau does not collect poverty data for charter school LEAs or other types of LEAs without geographic boundaries (e.g., a regional vocational/technical school with LEA status).  As in the case of LEAs with geographic boundaries (see D-5), for each of these "special LEAs" the SEA obtains a best estimate of the numbers of children ages 5-17 and children ages 5-17 from families with incomes below the poverty line for the special LEA and subtracts these counts from each sending LEA. 

(With respect to charter schools, Section 76.791(b) of Education Department General Administrative Regulations [EDGAR], which derives from the Charter School Expansion Act of 1998, Pub. L.105-278, specifically provides that "[f]or the year the charter school LEA opens or significantly expands its enrollment, the [SEA's] eligibility determination may not be based on enrollment or eligibility data from a prior year, even if the SEA makes eligibility determinations for other LEAs under the program based on such data."  Because census poverty data are not available for special LEAs, the SEA must derive an estimate of census poverty children for each special LEA and determine from which LEAs these children came.  (Section D-6; The Improving Teacher Quality State Grants: Non-Regulatory Guidance ESEA Title II, Part A Revised; October 5, 2006)

Federal Programs7/13/2015 3:46 PM
  
The A-F Law (Act 2012-402) will apply to public charter schools the same as non-charter public schools. Please click the following link http://www.alsde.edu/sec/acct/Pages/resources-all.aspx?navtext=Resources and select the “Alabama Accountability Models: Frequently Asked Questions” to obtain information about the Accountability Models.
Accountability8/24/2015 3:38 PM
  

No. Public charter schools in Alabama may not charge tuition and may only charge student fees consistent with schools operated by local school boards in Alabama.

General Questions8/25/2015 3:25 PM
  

In the event of a public charter school closure for any reason, the assets of the school will be distributed first to satisfy outstanding payroll obligations for employees of the school, then to creditors of the school, and then to the State Treasury to the credit of the Education Trust Fund.

 

If the assets of the school are insufficient to pay all parties to whom the school owes compensation, the prioritization of the distribution of assets may be determined by decree of a court of law.

Financial Management9/3/2015 9:06 AM
  
No, the ARI targets reading achievement of Alabama students on three fronts: beginning reading, expanding reading power, and effective intervention.
Instructional Services9/10/2015 8:35 AM
  
If a charter school receives Title I funding, participation in NAEP at Grades 4 and 8 in reading and mathematics will be required.
Student Assessment9/10/2015 8:57 AM
  

PART A

Yes.

 

Preopening requirements or conditions.  Authorizers may establish reasonable preopening requirements or conditions to monitor the start-up progress of newly approved public charter schools and ensure that they are prepared to open smoothly on the date agreed, and to ensure that each school meets all building, health, safety, insurance, and other legal requirements for school opening.

Act 2015-3, Section 7. (f)

 

Applicability of other laws, rules, and regulations.

Public charter schools shall be subject to the same civil rights, health, and safety requirements, including, but not limited to, state and local public health and building codes, employee fingerprinting, and criminal background checks applicable to other public schools in the state, except as otherwise specifically provided in this act.

Act 2015-3, Section 9. (d)(1)

Prevention and Support Services10/5/2015 9:30 AM
  

​Yes.  An applicant must complete an Alabama State Bureau of Investigation and Federal Bureau of Investigation criminal history background check through the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE).  A criminal history background check submitted from the U.S. military; the Department of Human Resources; federal, state, and local law enforcement; or other agencies is not accepted.

Educator Certification7/15/2015 10:27 AM
  

​Yes.  Pursuant to both Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a local education agency (LEA), including a public charter school functioning as an LEA, may not exclude persons with disabilities, including parents and students, from the benefits of programs and activities offered at the school because of inaccessible facilities.

Special Education Services7/31/2015 10:23 AM
  

​It depends.  Those charter schools that are LEAs can apply to their SEA in the same manner as other LEAs.  However, those charter schools that are not LEAs cannot apply to the SEA for these funds.  They are treated like the other schools within their particular LEA, and teachers and other school staff may participate in program activities on the same basis as personnel in any other school.  (Section D-7; The Improving Teacher Quality State Grants: Non-Regulatory Guidance ESEA Title II, Part A Revised; October 5, 2006)

Federal Programs7/13/2015 3:47 PM
  
The Accountability Section of the ALSDE will provide annual performance reports for public charter schools the same as non-charter public schools. Please click the following link http://www.alsde.edu/sec/acct/Pages/resources-all.aspx?navtext=Resources and select the “Alabama Accountability Models: Frequently Asked Questions” to obtain information about the Accountability Models. However, pursuant to Alabama Act 2015-3, in addition to the Accountability Section reports, on or before November 1 of each year beginning in the first year after the state has had public charter schools operating for a full school year, the department shall issue to the Governor, the Legislature, and the public at large, an annual report on the state’s public charter schools, drawing from the annual reports submitted by every authorizer as well as any additional relevant data compiled by the department, for the school year ending in the preceding calendar year. The annual report shall include a comparison of the performance of public charter school students with the performance of academically, ethnically, and economically comparable groups of students in non-charter public schools. In addition, the annual report shall include the department’s assessment of the successes, challenges, and areas for improvement in meeting the purposes of this act, including the department’s recommendations as to any suggested changes in state law or policy necessary to strengthen the state’s public charter schools.
Accountability8/24/2015 3:39 PM
  
Nothing in Act 2015-3 shall be construed to prevent a public charter school from forming an athletic team and participating in interscholastic athletics in the state of Alabama. If a public charter school elects for its students to participate in athletic contests or competitions, then the school shall pursue membership in the Alabama High School Athletic Association and shall adhere to all guidelines, rules, regulations, and bylaws as other member schools.
Accountability8/25/2015 3:26 PM
  
Public charter schools in Alabama will use the same standardized tests as the other Alabama public schools to assess public charter school students.
General Questions8/25/2015 3:58 PM
  

​To cover costs for overseeing and authorizing public charter schools in accordance with Act 2015-3, a local school board serving as an authorizer may do all of the following:

Expend its own resources, seek grant funds, and establish partnerships to support its public charter school authorizing activities.

 

Charge a portion of annual per-student state allocations received by each public charter school it authorizes based on the following schedule.

 

 -If the local school board has oversight over one to three, inclusive, public charter schools:  Three percent of annual per-student state allocations.

 

-If the local school board has oversight over four to five, inclusive, public charter schools:  Two percent of annual per-student state allocations.

 

-If the local school board has oversight over six to ten, inclusive, public charter schools:  One percent of annual per-student state allocations.

 

These funds will be used to cover the costs for a local school board to provide authorizing services to its public charter schools.

Financial Management9/3/2015 9:07 AM
  
The eleven (Alabama Regional Inservice Centers Education Directory pages 20-24)) located throughout the state annually offer professional development for new hires and additional abbreviated sessions on the various literacy topics. Check with your local inservice center or contact ARI at the number listed under "Contact Us" on the Alabama State Department of Education, Alabama Reading Initiative webpage.
Instructional Services9/10/2015 8:41 AM
  

PART B

Each local board of education shall adopt a comprehensive school safety plan for each school under the authority of the board.

 

The local board or its agent shall examine the conditions and operations of each school under the authority of the local board to determine hazards to student and staff safety and shall propose changes if needed to promote the prevention of dangerous problems and circumstances.

 

In developing the plan for each school, the local board or its agent shall involve community law enforcement and safety officials including community fire and emergency management assigned to the school.

 

The board shall incorporate into the plan the following:

 

A protocol for addressing serious threats to the safety of school property, students, employees, or administrators including, but not limited to, a specific code red school safety plan.

 

A protocol for responding to emergency events that compromise the safety of school property, students, and employees.

 

Each protocol shall include procedures for responding to threats and emergency events, respectively, including such action as notification of appropriate law enforcement and emergency response personnel for assistance and informing parents of affected students.

 

The board shall update the safety plan whenever a major modification to the building requires changes in the procedures outlined in the plan and at other necessary times.  The code red school safety plan shall be reviewed and revised annually, as needed, by the local board of education in consultation with the principal, administrative staff, faculty, and employees of the school.

 

Upon request of law enforcement or safety officials, or both, the local board shall provide a copy of the current school site and safety plan, which shall be kept in a secure place and not considered public record.

Act 2009-655, p. 2015, §§1, 2; Act 2013-329, §1

Prevention and Support Services10/5/2015 9:26 AM
  

3M Cogent Systems is the sole vendor, currently, authorized to conduct fingerprinting for the ALSDE.  Applicants living in Alabama should follow the instructions regarding the fingerprinting process through 3M Cogent Systems at https://www.cogentid.com/al/index_adeNew.htm or by calling (866) 989-9316 (toll free).  The current cost of fingerprinting for Alabama residents is $49.65.  A list of fingerprint locations established in Alabama can be found on the 3M Cogent Systems Web site for Alabama at https://www.cogentid.com/al/index_adeNew.htm under the "Print Site Locations" tab.

Applicants living outside of Alabama who are unable to report to a designated fingerprint site in Alabama should access the 3M Cogent Systems Web site to register online at https://www.cogentid.com/al/index_adeNew.htm.  The applicant should contact the Educator Certification Section at (334) 353-8567 or e-mail edcert@alsde.edu to request two fingerprint cards.  Once the fingerprint cards are received, the applicant should contact his/her local law enforcement agency to be fingerprinted.  The applicant should send one completed fingerprint card and a money order or cashier's check in the amount of $57.65 made payable to 3M Cogent Systems to the following address:  3M Cogent Systems, 5025 Bradenton Ave., Suite A, Dublin, OH  43017.  The applicant should keep the second completed fingerprint card in the event a reprint notice is received from 3M Cogent Systems.

Educator Certification7/15/2015 10:27 AM
  

​Yes.  Public charter schools are open to all students, including those with special needs.  If you are interested in enrolling in a public charter school, check with the school about the application and enrollment process.  Generally, the first step is to turn in a very simple application form.  Under state law, if a public charter school receives more applications than it has spaces available, the school must hold a blind lottery.  A child with an IEP has the right to participate in the lottery or drawing in the same manner as other students.  Some public charter schools may request information about your child's IEP at the time of enrollment in order for the school to plan how they will meet your child's needs; however, a public charter school may not refuse to enroll your child based on the existence or contents of the IEP.

Special Education Services7/31/2015 10:23 AM
  

​In Section B-8; Title V, Part B, Charter School Program: Non-Regulatory Guidance, July 2004, the statute defines a charter school as a newly created public school or one adapted from an existing public school.  There is no provision or mechanism in the law that recognizes conversions of private schools into public charter schools.  On the other hand, the statute does not prevent a newly created public school from using resources previously used by a closed private school or from involving the parents and teachers who may have been involved in the closed private school.

It should be noted, however, that any newly created public school must be just that; it cannot be a continuation of a private school under a different guise.  The public charter school must be separate and apart from any private school.  It must be established as a public school and comply with applicable state and federal laws regarding public schools.  In its creation, development, and operation, the charter school must not have any affiliation "with a sectarian school or religious institution" (§5210(1)(E) of ESEA).  Because a newly created public school would not have any "previously enrolled" students, all students would need to apply for admission and would have to be selected by lottery if there are more applicants than spaces available.  Similarly, the charter school must inform the community of its public school status and have a fair and open admissions process.  (Section B-9; Title V, Part B, Charter School Program: Non-Regulatory Guidance, July 2004) 

NOTE: Act 2015-3 Section 2(c) specifically prohibits a private or nonpublic school from establishing a public charter school in Alabama.

Federal Programs8/15/2015 1:46 PM
  
Nothing in Act 2015-3 shall be construed to prevent a public charter school from forming an athletic team and participating in interscholastic athletics in the state of Alabama. If a public charter school elects for its students to participate in athletic contests or competitions, then the school shall pursue membership in the Alabama High School Athletic Association and shall adhere to all guidelines, rules, regulations, and bylaws as other member schools.
General Questions8/25/2015 3:57 PM
  

​A public charter school will adhere to generally accepted accounting principles.

 

A public charter school will annually engage an independent certified public accountant to do an independent audit of the school's finances.

 

A public charter school will file a copy of each audit report and accompanying management letter to its authorizer by June 1.

 

This audit will include the same requirements as those required of local school system pursuant to Section 16–13A–7, Code of Alabama 1975.

Financial Management9/3/2015 9:35 AM
  
As of the beginning of the 2006-2007 school year, all elementary schools had received ARI training and were considered ARI schools. Each of these elementary schools, as well as 13 secondary schools, received funding to hire a reading/literacy coach. Various secondary schools have also received training and are considered ARI schools although they do not receive funding for a school coach. In 2011, there were over 920 ARI schools in the state. Currently, ARI state and regional staff serve all schools upon request whether or not they have been designated ARI schools.
Instructional Services9/10/2015 8:35 AM
  

PART C

 

The local board shall grant access to each school under its control to law enforcement and fire department personnel to enable them to prepare for responding to threats and emergency events affecting the school.  Such access shall occur outside of student instructional hours.

 

The principal or his or her designee shall instruct and train students concerning procedures to be used for emergency drills and evacuations.  The principal or his or her designee shall ensure that all safety and security drills and procedures are conducted and performed no less than what is required by state or federal law, or both.  The doors and exits of each school may be locked from the outside but shall allow for immediate egress by those inside the building during school hours and at all school functions.  An emergency drill shall include, but not be limited to, safety, security, severe weather, fire, and code red drills.

 

In conjunction with drills or evacuations required by subsection (e), a principal or his or her designee shall instruct students in safety precautions to be taken in case of a severe weather watch, alert, or warning.  A principal or his or her designee shall designate, in accordance with standards prescribed by the local superintendent of education in conjunction with local public safety officials and the fire marshal, or appropriate local fire safety official in counties that do not have a fire marshal, appropriate locations to be used to shelter students in case of a severe weather watch, alert, or warning.

 

In the event of a perceived immediate threat to a school involving acts of violence, such as terrorism, a person possessing a firearm or a deadly weapon, or any other threat of violence, the principal, or his or her designee, may institute a code red safety alert level for the school.  In addition to the requirements of subsection (e), the principal or his or her designee shall conduct a code red school safety drill during the first six weeks of the fall and spring semesters of each school year to provide students with instruction in the procedures to follow in the case of a code red.  The principal or his or her designee shall hold an annual training session for employees of the school regarding the code red school safety plan, drills, and procedures to be conducted during a school year.

 

Appropriate disciplinary action shall be taken against any principal or his or her designee who knowingly neglects or refuses to comply with the requirements of this section.

 

This section shall be read in pari materia with other laws relating to school safety and emergency planning.

Act 2009-655, p. 2015, §§1, 2; Act 2013-329, §1

Prevention and Support Services10/5/2015 9:29 AM
  

​Yes.  Registration is required before submitting fingerprints to the ALSDE.  During fingerprint registration at the 3M Cogent Systems Web site, applicants will be asked to provide pertinent information regarding their reason for requesting a criminal history background check.  It is imperative that applicants provide complete and accurate responses to all questions during registration.  Failure to do so will result in a delay of processing the criminal history background check.  Applicants seeking employment with an Alabama public charter school, but not seeking Alabama certification or licensure, should select, "Employment in a classified position" as their "Application Type" and select the Alabama public charter school where they are seeking employment.  This will ensure that results of the criminal history background check are reported to the applicant and the correct Alabama public charter school or LEA.

Educator Certification7/15/2015 10:27 AM
  

Public charter schools are part of our public school system under the Alabama State Department of Education.  These schools also have oversight from their local authorizer, which may be the LEA where the public charter school resides or the Alabama Public Charter School Commission

Special Education Services7/31/2015 10:23 AM
  

​Yes.  Under state law, a public charter school is generally either an LEA or a public charter school within an LEA.  As such, public charter schools are eligible to be considered for support on the same basis as other schools or LEAs in the state.  Regardless of a charter school's status as an LEA or a public school, it is eligible to apply for a grant because any public or private entity may apply.  Even if a charter school does not apply for or receive a grant, its students may participate in 21st CCLC programs established through an application submitted by other organizations.  (Section F-20; 21st Century Community Learning Centers: Non-Regulatory Guidance; February 2003)

Federal Programs7/13/2015 3:48 PM
  

The Alabama School Choice and Student Opportunity Act (Act 2015-3) requires that conversion public charter schools (which are already in existence) be required to participate in the Teachers' Retirement System (TRS), while start-up public charter schools may elect to participate.

 

  • If a retiree performs work with any agency that participates in The Retirement Systems of Alabama (RSA), that work is subject to post-retirement restrictions. These restrictions require that the employment be less than full time and the earnings not exceed an annual limitation. The annual earnings limitation is currently $24,000 for the calendar year 2015 and will increase to $30,000 for the calendar year 2016.

 

  • If a retiree becomes employed with a public charter school that participates in TRS then the post-retirement restrictions will apply. If a retiree becomes employed with a public charter school that is not eligible to participate in TRS that will be viewed as private employment and is not subject to restriction or limitation.
General Questions8/25/2015 3:35 PM
  

​Yes.  Students enrolled in and attending public charter schools shall be included in all enrollment and attendance counts of students of the local school system in which the students reside.  The public charter school shall report all such data to the local school systems of residence in a timely manner.  Each local school system shall report such enrollment, attendance, and other counts of students to the department in the manner required by the department.

Act 2015-3, Section 10. (a)

 

Generally, all students are to remain in school for the full instructional day.

 

The exceptions to full day attendance include the following:

1.  A student shall remain in school for the full scholastic day except when the student is earning high school or college credit through cooperative education, clinical experiences, college-level course work, or through cooperative arrangements with a postsecondary institution.

 

2.  Exceptions may be granted for students enrolled in bona fide career technical programs and for students enrolled in college-level course work through cooperative arrangements between the high school and postsecondary institution.  This exception includes students who are IDEA-eligible and/or 504-protected if coordinated through the high school as a part of the student's educational program.

 

3.  A fifth-year senior or a student eligible to graduate during the current scholastic year may attend only the number of class periods necessary to take the courses needed to complete requirements for his/her diploma, but must have the approval of the local board of education.  [Special circumstances may warrant a special schedule with principal approval.

 

4.  The local board may establish a policy to grant exceptions in extreme situations or hardship.

Alabama Administrative Code (AAC), Chapter 290-3-1-.02(8.1)(l-1)]

Prevention and Support Services10/5/2015 9:31 AM
  

Results of the criminal history background check will be reported to the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) usually within 48 hours of initial processing.  Do not contact 3M Cogent Systems or the fingerprint locations with questions regarding individual history background results.  All inquiries should be addressed to the ALSDE, Educator Certification Section, at (334) 353-8567.

 

Educator Certification7/15/2015 10:27 AM
  

​Yes.  The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires each state to "have in effect policies and procedures to ensure that all students with disabilities residing in the state who are in need of special education and related services are identified, located and evaluated."  States develop procedures that their local education agencies (LEAs) must follow to carry out these responsibilities.  In the event a public charter school is its own LEA, the school must follow the Alabama procedures just like any other LEA.  Public charter schools are responsible for students only when they are actually enrolled in the public charter school.  It is clear that all public charter schools must conduct "child find" activities for their full student population so that students who may need special education are appropriately identified and, if necessary, referred for an evaluation.

Special Education Services7/31/2015 10:23 AM
  

A public charter school that (1) is an LEA by state law, (2) meets the definition of LEA in Section 9101(6) of NCLB, and (3) meets the requirements of Subpart 1 of Part A of Title III of NCLB could receive a subgrant.  For subgrants awarded under Section 3114(a), that would include eligibility under the formula for a subgrant of at least $10,000; for subgrants under 3114(d), a subgrant of sufficient size and scope to support an effective program.

A public charter school that is not an LEA would not be eligible to receive a subgrant, but the charter school may be included in its LEA's application on the same basis as other public schools in the district. (Section E-3; Implementation of Title III State Formula Grant Program: Non-Regulatory Guidance; 2007)

Federal Programs7/13/2015 3:49 PM
  

Any non-charter public school converting partially or entirely to a public charter school shall adopt and maintain a policy giving enrollment preference to students who reside within the former attendance area of that public school.

 

After all students who reside within the former attendance area of that public school are enrolled, enrollment shall first be opened to students residing within the local school system and then outside the local school system, as set forth in subdivision (6).

Act 2015-3, Section 5. (7)

 

A public charter school shall give enrollment preference to students enrolled in the public charter school the previous school year and to siblings of students already enrolled in the public charter school.

Act 2015-3, Section 5. (8)

 

A public charter school may give enrollment preference to children of a public charter school's founders, governing board members, and full-time employees as long as they constitute no more than 10 percent of the school's total student population.

Act 2015-3, Section 5. (9)

 

Admission to public school shall be on an individual basis on the application of the parents, legal custodian, or guardian of the child to the local board of education at the beginning of each school year, under such rules and regulations as the board may prescribe.

Code of Alabama (1975), §16-28-3

Prevention and Support Services10/5/2015 9:33 AM
  

​Typically, fingerprint results are received 48 hours after fingerprint submission.  In some cases, this will take longer.  Before a review can be completed, the Educator Certification Section may need additional information.  If an applicant has been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor, he or she should mail the following information to the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE), Educator Certification Section, following the submission of his/her fingerprints to 3M Cogent Systems:

  • A court certified copy of the case action summaries showing the judgments, convictions, and sentencing or other outcome of all charges. 
  • A notarized personal explanation regarding the circumstances surrounding each case to include the dates involved, the places of conviction, and any other factors that should be considered.

The information listed above should be mailed to the address listed below:

Alabama State Department of Education
Educator Certification Section
P.O. Box 302101
Montgomery, AL  36130-2101

Educator Certification7/15/2015 10:28 AM
  

​Yes.  Public charter schools must provide related services (e.g., speech and language therapy, occupational and/or physical therapy) as determined necessary by the student's Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team in order for the student to receive a free and appropriate education (FAPE).  All related service providers at public charter schools must comply with all professional licensure and certification requirements. 

Special Education Services7/31/2015 10:23 AM
  

Charter schools that are LEAs or public charter schools within LEAs must implement the requirements of the McKinney-Vento Act just as any other LEA or school to ensure that homeless students have access to a free, appropriate public education and to remove barriers to homeless students' access to attendance and success.  Services include those both for students who become homeless while attending a charter school as well as for homeless students who wish to enroll in a charter school.  (Subtitle VII-B of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, Title X, Part C of the NCLB; [42 U.S.C. §11432]; www.ed.gov)

The McKinney-Vento Act includes a number of requirements for LEAs that may contain public charter schools and that also apply to charter schools that are LEAs.  These requirements include the following [42 U.S.C. §11432(g)(3)]:

LEAs must:

  • Continue a homeless child's education in the school of origin or enroll a homeless child in any public school that a non-homeless student who lives in the attendance area where the family is temporarily staying can attend, according to the child's best interest.
  • Provide written note to parents or guardians related to the appeal process when the LEA sends the child to a school other than the one that the parents request.
  • Enroll a homeless child or youth immediately in school without required records.
  • Provide services to homeless students that are comparable to those offered to other students, including transportation if necessary.
  • Coordinate with local service agencies or programs that provide services to homeless children and youth.
  • Appoint a "local liaison" to ensure services are provided and coordinated.
  • Review and revise policies that may act as barriers to the enrollment of homeless children and youth.

All LEAs, and by extension charter school LEAs or public charter schools, are required to collect data on homeless students enrolled in their schools [42 U.S.C. §11432(h)(1)] on an annual basis and submit the data to the ALSDE for the Consolidated State Performance Report (CSPR) due to the U. S. Department of Education each fall.  (Information for this FAQ was summarized from a brief prepared by the National Center for Homeless Education: Supporting the Education of Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness at SERVE; http://www.serve.org/nche; Fall 2013) 

Federal Programs7/13/2015 3:51 PM
  

​1.  Expulsion from school for a period of not less than one calendar year.

 

2.  Referral to the criminal justice or juvenile delinquency system.

 

3.  The chief administrating officer of the agency could modify such expulsion requirement for a student on case-by-case basis.

Code of Alabama (1975), §16-1-24.3(a)(c)

Prevention and Support Services10/5/2015 9:34 AM
  

​In some cases an applicant's fingerprints generate characteristics of poor quality causing the Alabama State Bureau of Investigation and Federal Bureau of Investigation to reject the submission.  If the applicant's fingerprints are rejected due to poor quality, a letter will be generated and mailed to the applicant by 3M Cogent Systems.  The applicant is required to take the letter (or the applicant's REGISTRATION ID) to any of the 3M Cogent Systems fingerprint locations in Alabama for the collection of a second set of fingerprints.  If the applicant resides outside of Alabama and submitted fingerprint cards, the applicant will be required to submit a new set of fingerprint cards to 3M Cogent Systems, Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE), Cards Scan, 5025 Bradenton Ave, Suite 100, Dublin, OH  43017.  A new set of fingerprints received no later than 90 days after the first rejection will be processed at no additional cost to the applicant.  If the applicant does not submit a new set of fingerprints within 90 days, the applicant must re-register, re-pay, and be fingerprinted again.  If the second submission of the applicant's fingerprints is rejected due to the quality of the prints, the applicant will NOT receive a second rejection letter from 3M Cogent Systems.  The ALSDE will be informed and will work with the Alabama State Bureau of Investigation, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and 3M Cogent Systems to provide a solution.

Educator Certification7/15/2015 10:28 AM
  
  • A charter school's eligibility for the SRSA program (i.e., REAP-Flex and the SRSA grant program) depends upon whether the charter school is an LEA or a school within an LEA.  If a charter school is an LEA, it is eligible to participate in REAP-Flex and receive an allocation under the SRSA grant program so long as it meets the LEA-eligibility criteria.  A charter school that is a public school but not an LEA may participate in the program through its LEA, provided the LEA meets the SRSA-eligibility criteria.  (Appendix A, Question 8; Guidance on the Rural Education Achievement Program (REAP); June 2003)
  • A charter school's eligibility to participate in the RLIS program depends upon whether the charter school is an LEA or a school within an LEA.  If a charter school is an LEA, it is eligible to receive an allocation under the RLIS program so long as it meets the LEA-eligibility criteria.  A charter school that is not an LEA may participate in the program through its LEA, provided the LEA meets the RLIS-eligibility criteria.  (Appendix E, Question 4; Guidance on the Rural Education Achievement Program (REAP); June 2003) 
Federal Programs7/13/2015 3:52 PM
  

Yes.  A public charter school's Student Code of Conduct should include:

1.  Student discipline and behavior.  Code of Alabama (1975), §16-1-24.1(a), §16-28-12(b)

2.  Guidelines for corporal punishment.  Code of Alabama (1975), §16-28A-1

3.  Mandated training on mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse or neglect (documentation of training must be provided).  Code of Alabama (1975), §26-14-3

 

Rules that allow the principal or his/her designee to discreetly monitor the adult sex offender.  Code of Alabama (1975), §15-20A-17

Prevention and Support Services10/5/2015 9:36 AM
  

​"Pending" is a status commonly referenced on Alabama's online Educator Certification Portal.  "Pending" means that fingerprint results have been received but the review of the file has not been completed.  The fingerprint applicant may contact the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE), Educator Certification Section, at (334) 353-8567 to speak with a background review specialist for specific information regarding the processing of the applicant's file.

Educator Certification7/15/2015 10:28 AM
  

Yes.  All students and employees should be included in appropriate drug and alcohol-free learning programs.

Code of Alabama (1975), §16-41-2 and 3 and §16-41-7; Code of Alabama (1975), §16-40A-3

 

Proper documentation should indicate evidence that the system has adopted and implemented a program to prevent the use of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees.

Code of Alabama (1975), §16-41-3

Prevention and Support Services10/5/2015 9:37 AM
  

​The Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE), Educator Certification Section, will provide one of the following for all applicants for classified employment.

  • A letter verifying that there are no known convictions or pending charges for the applicant or employee.
  • A letter listing all known convictions and pending charges for the applicant or employee.
  • A letter indicating that a file was closed due to the applicant's failure to submit requested information during the review of their criminal history background results.

For certified applicants for employment, the ALSDE, Educator Certification Section, will provide a suitability determination in the form of a license or certification. 

Criminal history background results, and the status of certificates and licenses, can also be viewed by utilizing our Educator Certification Portal at https://www.alsde.edu/sec/ec/Pages/home.aspx.  The Educator Certification Portal is open to authorized users and members of the public as well.  For more information on gaining authorized user access to our Educator Certification Portal, contact the Office of Teaching and Leading, Educator Certification Section, at (334) 353-8567.

Educator Certification7/15/2015 10:28 AM
  

Yes.  Copy of harassment forms and policies should be in place to address bullying, harassment, violence, and threats of violence.

 

Code of Alabama (1975), §16-28B-4(c)

Code of Alabama (1975), §16-28B-8(11)

Code of Alabama (1975), §16-28B-6

Prevention and Support Services10/5/2015 9:38 AM
  

​The ALSDE, Educator Certification Section, routinely requests that applicants provide additional information regarding the results of their criminal history background check before a suitability determination is completed.  This request is made in writing and mailed to the applicant at the address provided during fingerprint registration.  In the event the applicant fails to respond to the request in a timely manner, our office will terminate the review and close the file.  Notice of this closure will be mailed to the applicant and to the Alabama public charter school designated by the applicant during fingerprint registration.  A review may be reopened after the applicant has submitted all requested information to the ALSDE, Educator Certification Section.  Applicants who have not completed a criminal history background check through the ALSDE are not eligible for employment.

Educator Certification7/15/2015 10:28 AM
  

​Yes.  Proper documentation should indicate evidence that the system has implemented suicide prevention programs.  Code of Alabama (1975), §16-28B-8

Prevention and Support Services10/5/2015 9:39 AM
  

​The Alabama State Bureau of Investigation receives and provides updated reports of criminal arrests occurring in Alabama.  Results regarding Alabama public charter school employees will be forwarded to the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE), Educator Certification Section.  This information will then be disseminated to the appropriate Alabama public charter school administrator.

Educator Certification7/15/2015 10:28 AM
  

Students enrolling in public charter schools must have Immunization Certificates or medical or religious exemptions.

Prevention and Support Services10/5/2015 10:31 AM
  

​For more information, please contact the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE), Educator Certification Section, at (334) 353-8567 or via e-mail at www.alsde.edu/EdCert (click "Contact us").

 

Educator Certification7/15/2015 10:28 AM
  

​Public charter schools must be open to any student in the state.  A public charter school shall not limit admission based on ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, income level, disability, proficiency in English language, or academic or athletic ability.

Prevention and Support Services10/5/2015 10:27 AM
  

​Yes.

Code of Alabama (1975), § 16-30A-1

Prevention and Support Services10/5/2015 10:21 AM
  

​Yes.  Public charter schools shall be subject to the same civil rights, health, and safety requirements applicable to other public schools in the state.

 

Act 2015-3, Section 9. (d)(1)

Code of Alabama (1975), §16-30A-3 (2014)

Prevention and Support Services10/5/2015 10:22 AM
  

Yes.  Medications should be stored in an appropriate locked cabinet or based on manufacturer's recommendation.

 

Code of Alabama (1975), §34-21-2(c)(21)610-X-6-.07(m)

Prevention and Support Services10/5/2015 10:23 AM
  

​Yes.  Someone must be available on site to care for the medical needs of the student.

 

Code of Alabama, (1975), §16-30A-3 (2014)

Code of Alabama (1975), §34-21-2(c)(21)

Code of Alabama (1975), §16-1-48 (2014) Anaphylaxis

Prevention and Support Services10/5/2015 10:24 AM
  

Yes.  At a minimum, all school nurses employed by conversion public charter schools shall be paid according to the State Minimum Salary Schedule for School Nurses for FY2016.

Prevention and Support Services10/5/2015 10:29 AM