/Charter school authorizer board opens process for new charters

Charter school authorizer board opens process for new charters

To learn more about the request to submit a proposal and the grant for charter schools, there are currently 10 organizations that have signed up. The authorizer board will host a webinar to share this information. Sarah McMillian (Deputy Director of the board) stated that they expect a larger applicant pool and a better pipeline for the 2018 request for proposals cycle. “We are seeing potential for many candidates to go further than we’ve seen previously in the process,” said Sarah McMillian, Deputy Director of the board. The U.S. Department of Education granted a $15 million grant to the authorizer board to support future charter schools in their start-up costs. This included teachers and staff hiring, as well as securing facilities and technical assistance. The Mississippi currently has three charter schools, one in Jackson. An authorizer board approved the opening of a fourth in Clarksdale next year. Clarksdale Collegiate is the only school that is eligible for funding, provided they meet the requirements. Marian Shutte (Executive Director of the authorizer board) stated that the U.S. Department of Education has changed how it handles grant applications. “We are making sure our policies regarding enrollment meet the requirements of charter schools in order to receive these funds. Shutte said that they have specific roles in relation to lottery preferences and other requirements that schools must follow to receive these dollars. “So we want make sure that we’re making sure that the schools come forward and setting those enrollment policies so they can be eligible for those dollars.” In the past, the department would approve or deny all applications and require revisions. But now, they will give feedback to these agencies. Shutte said that the agencies will then decide how to incorporate the feedback. She said that the education department had “capacity concerns” in their office, which prevented entities from proceeding with the application process. “What we are working with them is a general guideline document. Shutte stated that they will approve the document and will work with all charter schools to ensure that they are in line. Shutte said that they are currently conducting interviews to find a person to manage the grants. She stated that they are interested in offering a job to someone soon. The board approved Tuesday’s release of the request for proposals 2018 from charter schools that are looking to open in the state. They noted that they had received no public comments on the draft. The 2018 request for proposals will go live on Wednesday. The deadline for the eligibility demonstration and letters of intent is March 6. The letters of intent and eligibility demonstration are due March 6.