Today, the Association is publishing the first two in a series of POLICY BRIEFS on legislative changes enacted by the 2014 session of the Minnesota Legislature.

The first POLICY BRIEF is on the 2014 SAFE and SUPPORTIVE  SCHOOLS ACT. The Act is Minnesota’s new anti-bullying law which the legislature began work on in the 2013 session. The POLICY BRIEF covers the following: 1] A short history of the legislation; 2] The scope of the law; 3] Definition of terms; 4] Responsibilities of a District or Charter School; 5] The basic requirements of a district or charter school; 6] The basic requirements of a local policy; 7] Communicating the Policy; 8] Professional Development/Programming and School Climate Requirements and Recommendations; 9] Resources for Districts and Schools; 10] Authority of the Commissioner; and 11] Legal References.

The second POLICY BRIEF is on the 2014 CHARTER SCHOOL LAW changes. The Brief outlines the changes in Minnesota’s Charter School Law (MN Statutes 124D.10 and 124D.11) and in (MN Statute 127. Subd. (3) – School Payments Dates and Schedules.

POLICY BRIEFS: http://www.mncharterschools.org/resources/articles-detail.php?ID=2884


Association – News, Publications and Events


CONGRATULATIONS to: Nancy DanaExecutive Director, St. Paul City School, St. Paul; Danielle PerichPrincipal, Duluth Edison Charter School – Raleigh Campus, Duluth; and Patty Brostrom – Minnesota Transitions Charter School, Minneapolis on their election to the MACS Board of Directors for a two-year term. [ July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2016]

THANK YOU to: Kira Donnelly - Math Teacher, Great River School, St. Paul and Jeremy Harvey – Board Chair, Community of Peace Academy, St.Paul for putting themselves forward as candidates for the board. It is gratifying to see the number of folks who were willing to come forward to serve as candidates for the board.

THANK YOU to: the Member School Directors who took the time to review all of the board candidates resume’s and statements and cast their vote for the school representatives on the MACS Board of Directors.

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Member schools will be receiving a new publication this week – EMPLOYMENT RELATIONSHIPS IN CHARTER SCHOOLS – A PRIMER. The publication provides an overview of what constitutes an employment relationship, the requirements of written employment agreements and the elements and differences of the three types of employment relationships; AT-WILL, INDIVIDUAL CONTRACTS and COLLECTIVE BARGAINING CONTRACTS.

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The 6th Annual Charter School Law Conference – an event co-sponsored by the MN Association of Charter Schools (MACS), Innovative Special Education Services of MN (ISES) , Laura Tubbs Booth and Cindy Lavorato (Booth & Lavorato), and the University of St. Thomas will be held on Thursday, July 31st at the UST Campus in downtown Minneapolis. The conference has been moved up a week from its traditional date to  accommodate the growing number of schools who start are starting the school calendar earlier. ISES is handling the registrations for the conference this year.

Registration Info: http://www.isesmn.org/law_conference






Charter Schools Week Honors


Faiza Abubakr, a sophomore at Ubah Medical Academy, who earlier this year won the regional competitions for Poetry Out Loud and then won the Minnesota state competition in March. As the state winner she had the opportunity to compete in the national competition in Washington D.C.. Here is a link with more details about Poetry OUT Loud:  http://www.poetryoutloud.org/about

Najma Rage, a senior at Ubah Medical Academy, who won a Gates Millennium scholarship for 2013-2014. She is among 12 in the state of Minnesota who won this scholarship and the only Minnesota charter school student to receive this scholarship this year.

The Center for School Change 2014 Charter  Week Essay Contest Winners:

Grades K-2 – 1st PlaceAyan MohamedLearning for Leadership;  2nd PlaceRuby Derrick - North Shore Community School; Nawal Mursal - Learning for Leadership; Ladd Brueske - Seven Hills Classical Academy, and 3rd PlaceFatima Palacios Beltran - St. Paul City School; Sabrin Khalif - Hennepin Elementary School; Mason Neitzel - Cologne Academy

Grades 3-5 – 1st PlaceSridhatri Guntipally - Eagle Ridge Academy: 2nd PlaceIbrahima Diagne - College Prep Elementary; Emma Coen-Pesch - International Spanish Language Academy; Kennedy Jendro - Beacon Academy; and 3rd PlaceSahra Hashim - Higher Ground Academy; Damien Schmulske - New Heights School; Ayan Mohamed - Twin Cities International Elementary; Alaina Sherman - Lakes International Academy; Arely Garcia Gregorio - Partnership Academy.

Grades  6-8 – 1st PlacePachia Lor - Achieve Language Academy; 2nd PlaceGiana Boich - Beacon Academy; Rosalie McGough-Pose - Laura Jeffrey Academy; Javon Henry - College Prep Elementary; Shelly Eckdahl - MTS MN Connections Academy; and 3rd Place - Mauresha Bivings - Community of Peace Academy; Dallas Chue - LIFE Prep; Kelly Xiong - Noble Academy; Verdis Webb - LIFE Prep.

Grades 9-12 – 1st PlaceHannah Aasum - RiverBend Academy; 2nd PlaceFardowsa Iman - Lincoln International HS; Anna Weiters - Spectrum HS; Nikki Austin - Rochester Off Campus HS; Rahmo Mohamed - Lincoln International HS: and 3rd PlaceKelesy Talbot - MTS Pease Academy; Amina Abdi - Lincoln International HS; Tiahia Aune - Riverway Learning Community; Violet Richardson - Riverway Learning Community.



NEW REPORT: Charter School Funding Inequity

In a new report released last week, CHARTER SCHOOL FUNDING: INEQUITY EXPANDS, by the University of Arkansas – Department of Education Reform found that the funding gap between per pupil funding for charter school students and those in traditional districts has widen across the country between FY 2007 and FY 2011.

The report found that in Minnesota that on a statewide average charter schools received $1,084 or (8.4%) less in per-pupil funding than traditional school district schools. In St. Paul, charter schools received $3,793 or (23.7%) less per pupil than the district, and in Minneapolis, charter schools received $6,381 or (34.7%)  less per pupil  than the district schools.

The report points out that: “If all Minnesota districts received the same level of per pupil funding as charter schools, districts would have received $814,675.75 less in total funding …” in FY 2011.

The Full Report: http://www.uaedreform.org/charter-funding-inequity-expands/


President Obama Proclaims National Charter Schools Week

As  charter schools across Minnesota and the country celebrate National Charter Schools Week – May 4-10, 2014, President Obama has issued a proclamation that says in part:

During National Charter Schools Week, we pay tribute to the role our Nation’s public charter schools play in advancing opportunity, and we salute the parents, educators, community leaders, policymakers, and philanthropists who gave rise to the charter school sector.

As independent public schools, charter schools have the ability to try innovative approaches to teaching and learning in the classroom. This flexibility comes with high standards and accountability; charter schools must demonstrate that all their students are progressing toward academic excellence. Those that do not measure up can be shut down. And those that are successful can provide effective approaches for the broader public education system. They can show what is possible — schools that give every student the chance to prepare for college and career and to develop a love of learning that lasts a lifetime.”

The full proclamation can be found at:




A Primer on Safe and Supportive Schools Act

On April 9th, Governor Dayton signed into law the SAFE and SUPPORTIVE SCHOOLS ACT – Minnesota’s bullying prevention law. Under the law public schools (traditional  districts and charter schools) must adopt, implement and regularly review a written policy to prevent, and prohibit student bullying.  The law provides a definition of bullying and outlines the elements and components of a local policy. It also requires the commissioner to develop a state model policy which districts and schools can use as the basis of a local policy.

The Safe and Supportive Schools Act also requires MN Department of Education to establish a School Safety Technical Assistance Center to help districts and school implement the various provisions of the law. It also creates a 23-member School Safety Technical Assistance Council. The law names the Minnesota Association of Charter Schools as the organization that will select the charter school representative on the Council.

The Association is developing A PRIMER on the SAFE and SUPPORTIVE SCHOOLS ACT. The Primer will be available at the regional school directors meetings that will be held during the week of May 19th -22nd.

Congratulations – 2104 MDE Finance Award Recipients

Congratulations to the 130 Charter Schools (87% of all charters) for receiving the 2014 MN Department of Education Finance Award.  The award recognizes public schools that meet the statutory deadlines for submission of audited fiscal financial data and reporting criteria, and and have met select indicators of fiscal health and accuracy in financial reporting.