Jan. 11, 2021

Legislative Update: January 11, 2021

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Legislative Update

January 11, 2021

Dear Sage Oak families,

As we embark on a new year and new semester, we wanted to take a moment to update you on the continuing legislation and dialogue around non-classroom based charter schools, such as Sage Oak, and the previous passing of SB-98 and AB-1505. The California Legislature reconvened on January 4th, 2021 and new bills can be introduced until February 19th, 2021.


SB-98 recap:

  • Sage Oak, as a non-classroom based charter school, had its funding frozen for the 2020-21 school year. 
  • This funding is based on the average daily attendance (ADA) of our students as of February 29, 2020. We are currently serving 98 unfunded students.
AB-1505 recap:
  • No new non-classroom based charter schools will be permitted to open through January 2022.
  • Teachers in charter schools must hold a Commission on Teacher Credentialing certificate, permit, or other documents equivalent to what a teacher in other public schools would be required to hold. This did not impact Sage Oak since we have always required this of our teachers.
The requirements for renewing a charter school have changed; a summary of key changes are outlined below:
  1. Proper fiscal management and board governance
    • Charter schools must maintain a positive, healthy budget.
    • The Charter school governing board must follow all legal requirements and be actively involved in the decisions of the school.
    • Sage Oak maintains a healthy budget and has proper board governance.
  2. Performance-based renewal guidelines were adopted:
    • Low-performing charter schools (schools that are performing below the state average or are scoring in the two lowest performance categories on the CA Dashboard) will be looked at with more scrutiny and offered a “second look” option that gives a shorter renewal (2 years) pending improvement and assessment.
    • Mid-performing charter schools will be assessed by weighing the factors established in the California School Dashboard. This mid-range will be the category in which the majority of the charter schools fall. Sage Oak falls in this category.
    • High-performing charter schools will enjoy a streamlined renewal process due to their ongoing excellence. Renewals will be approved for an additional five to seven years.
  3. Verified data must show one year of growth for students and strong post-secondary outcomes for students.
    • Data must come from an SBE approved assessment. Examples: iReady, CAASPP, ELPAC, SAT Suite, Illuminate, Houghton Mifflin Reading Inventory, STAR by Renaissance, etc.
    • Post-secondary outcomes come from National Student Clearinghouse and include students who attend both two-year and four-year colleges after graduating from high school. 
We anticipate that we will continue to see not only budget impacts but ongoing legislative changes to non-classroom based charter schools. While we do not know exactly what changes to expect, we are hearing from sources at the state level that there are questions surrounding the way non-classroom based charter schools fund activities such as horseback riding, the role of the teacher in assigning work and awarding academic and attendance credit for students, the collection of work samples and what a representative sample of student work is, and also the frequency of teacher/student learning period meetings. 

We have included a timeline of important legislative and budget dates to keep an eye on during this next season.
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As always, Sage Oak leadership will continue to keep you informed as the session progresses.

Sincerely,

Krista Woodgrift
Executive Director