As federal education programming has shifted over the years to be more focused on high-quality outcomes for students, communities desiring a charter school have increasingly turned to already-proven, successful educational models to inspire or affiliate with new charter school projects.
Campuses reflecting these high-quality models can take on many forms, launching within a Charter Management Organization (CMO), as a contracted franchise of an Education Management Organization (EMO, sometimes for-profit), or with the support of an affiliated network of schools with similar design elements. The nature of the ties between affiliated schools and Management Organizations (MO) presents different needs and challenges that require nuanced shifts in authorizer support and oversight from that typically provided for an independent charter school.
This Authorizer Management Organization Guide provides a practical resource to assist charter school authorizer entities (Authorizers) in (1) understanding how management organizations engage with federal Charter School Program (CSP) grant funding and (2) determining how authorizers can productively and appropriately provide support and oversight to these CSP recipients to enhance and “sync-up” the ecosystem of oversight that exists around charter schools receiving CSP grant funds. It also synthesizes dozens of articles and existing resources, federal statutes and regulations, and U.S. Department of Education (ED) CSP-program materials and non-regulatory guidance to provide tips for due diligence and oversight of CMO organizations, particularly around finance, conflicts of interest, and related-party transactions that can be applied to grant oversight.
The Guide includes the following resources and tools:
- Setting the Stage
- Introduction to CSP grants for MO-affiliated charter schools
- Guide to Management Organization structures
- Practice Resources for Charter School Authorizers
- Authorizers’ role with CSP-receiving MO-affiliated campuses
- Authorizer Checklist for Due Diligence and Oversight of MO campuses in CSP programs
- Supplement: Integrating Federal Grant Compliance Considerations into Authorizer Oversight of Charter School Management Structures
Authorizers are integral to charter school oversight and this guide provides them with the resources and tools they need to ensure they are appropriately participating in, and contributing to, the oversight of funds made available by the federal Charter School Program.