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Answer
  
1
  
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.

Accountability
2
  
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.
Accountability
3
  

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.

Accountability
4
  
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.
Accountability
5
  
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.
Accountability
6
  
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.
Accountability
7
  
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.
Accountability
8
  
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.
Accountability
9
  
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.
Accountability
9
  
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.
Accountability
1
  

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 Education
2
  

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 Education
3
  

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 Education
4
  

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 Education
5
  

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 Education
6
  

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 Education
1
  

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 Programs
2
  

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 Programs
3
  

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

https://www.fns.usda.gov/school-meals/school-day-just-got-healthier-toolkit

Child Nutrition Programs
4
  

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

Child Nutrition Programs
5
  
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 Programs
6
  
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 Programs
1
  

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 Certification
2
  

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 Certification
3
  

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 Certification
4
  
  • 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 Certification
5
  

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 Certification
6
  

​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 Certification
7
  

​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 Certification
8
  

​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 Certification
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