Report 2016-141 All Recommendation Responses

Report 2016-141: Charter Schools: Some School Districts Improperly Authorized and Inadequately Monitored Out‑of‑District Charter Schools (Release Date: October 2017)

Recommendation for Legislative Action

To ensure that districts obtain community support for charter schools that they authorize, the Legislature should amend state law to further clarify the conditions prospective charter schools must meet to qualify for the geographic exception. For example, the Legislature could clarify whether prospective charter schools qualify for the exception when their petitions indicate that they will serve primarily students residing outside the authorizing district's jurisdiction.

Description of Legislative Action

Legislation has not been introduced to address this specific recommendation.

  • Legislative Action Current As-of: April 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: No Action Taken


Recommendation for Legislative Action

To ensure that districts obtain community support for charter schools that they authorize, the Legislature should amend state law to require any district that is considering authorizing an out of district charter school to notify the school's host district 30 days in advance of the board meeting at which the potential authorizing district is scheduled to make its authorization decision. The Legislature should also require the potential authorizing district to hold the public hearing within the host district's boundaries, notwithstanding restrictions in the State's Ralph M. Brown Act that would otherwise require the hearing to occur in the authorizing district.

Description of Legislative Action

Legislation has not been introduced to address this specific recommendation.

  • Legislative Action Current As-of: April 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: No Action Taken


Recommendation for Legislative Action

To reduce the need for litigation between authorizing districts and host districts, the Legislature should establish an appeals process through which districts can resolve disputes related to establishing out of district charter schools.

Description of Legislative Action

Legislation has not been introduced to address this specific recommendation.

  • Legislative Action Current As-of: April 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: No Action Taken


Recommendation for Legislative Action

To ensure charter school accountability, the Legislature should amend state law to require districts to strengthen their authorization processes by using the State Education Board's criteria for evaluating charter school petitions.

Description of Legislative Action

Legislation has not been introduced to address this specific recommendation.

  • Legislative Action Current As-of: April 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: No Action Taken


Recommendation for Legislative Action

To ensure charter school accountability, the Legislature should amend state law to require charter schools to report annually all of their school locations—including school sites, resource centers, and administrative offices—to their authorizers and Education.

Description of Legislative Action

Legislation has not been introduced to address this specific recommendation.

  • Legislative Action Current As-of: April 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: No Action Taken


Recommendation for Legislative Action

To remove the financial incentive for districts to authorize out of district charter schools, the Legislature should amend state law to prohibit districts from charging fees for additional services above the actual cost of services provided.

Description of Legislative Action

Legislation has not been introduced to address this specific recommendation.

  • Legislative Action Current As-of: April 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: No Action Taken


Recommendation for Legislative Action

To ensure that authorizers have adequate tools and guidance for providing effective financial oversight, the Legislature should require the State Education Board and Education to work with representatives from county offices of education, representatives from districts, and subject matter experts such as FCMAT, to either establish a committee or work with an existing committee to report to the Legislature recommendations on establishing a minimum reserve requirement for charter schools, defining criteria that would allow authorizers to revoke or deny renewal of schools' charters for financial mismanagement despite increases in academic achievement, and developing a template that authorizers can use to provide their charter schools with annual feedback on their financial condition.

Description of Legislative Action

Legislation has not been introduced to address this specific recommendation.

  • Legislative Action Current As-of: April 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: No Action Taken


Recommendation for Legislative Action

To ensure that districts are aware of significant issues that may impact the out of district charter schools they authorize, the Legislature should amend state law to require each district to place a district representative as a nonvoting member on each out of district charter school's governing board and allow such a representative to attend all meetings of the charter school's governing board.

Description of Legislative Action

Legislation has not been introduced to address this specific recommendation.

  • Legislative Action Current As-of: April 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: No Action Taken


Recommendation for Legislative Action

To ensure that charter schools improve the educational outcomes of their students, the Legislature should amend state law to require authorizers to annually assess whether their charter schools are meeting the academic goals established in their charters.

Description of Legislative Action

Legislation has not been introduced to address this specific recommendation.

  • Legislative Action Current As-of: April 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: No Action Taken


Recommendation #10 To: Acton-Agua Dulce Unified School District

To make certain that it authorizes only qualified petitions, Acton-Agua Dulce Unified should revise its charter school authorization policy to require the documentation of its evaluation of charter school petitions. The district should present this documentation to its governing board for its consideration.

60-Day Agency Response

AADUSD District Staff has continued to implement a rigorous review process for all charter petitions submitted for approval, renewal, or material revision. A Charter Review Matrix is used which covers all elements of Education Code 47605 and incorporates the State Board of Education's standards for assessing charter petitions contained at Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations, Section 11967.5.1. The Staff's recommendation and the completed Matrix are submitted to the Board for its review and consideration before the Board takes action.

The District's staff has begun to review and update the charter school policy to include changes in charter law and refine some of the practices and procedures regarding academic and financial oversight. The Board will be presented with these updates in May 2018.

  • Estimated Completion Date: May 2018
  • Response Date: February 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending

Per Acton-Agua Dulce Unified's response, its implementation of this recommendation is currently pending.


Recommendation #11 To: Acton-Agua Dulce Unified School District

To ensure that it has a method to hold charter schools accountable for their educational programs, Acton-Agua Dulce Unified should, as a best practice, strengthen its authorization process by using the State Education Board's criteria for evaluating petitions.

60-Day Agency Response

District Staff has continued to implement a rigorous review process for all charter petitions submitted for approval, renewal, or material revision. A Charter Review Matrix is used which covers all elements of Education Code 47605 and incorporates the State Board of Education's standards for assessing charter petitions contained at Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations, Section 11967.5.1. The Staff's recommendation and the completed Matrix are submitted to the Board for its review and consideration before the Board takes action.

The District's existing policy and practice is to provide charter schools with timely feedback and recommendations regarding academic performance. The District's annual charter school oversight report addresses academic performance. The District visits sites or participates in online classes at least annually for each charter, as well as, looks at state and benchmark data. The District is incorporating steps for working with charter schools with poor performance results.

  • Completion Date: August 2017
  • Response Date: February 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: No Action Taken

Although Acton-Agua Dulce Unified states that it fully implemented our recommendation, our audit determined that the district's charter school policy did not fully address several of the elements required by the State Education Board's criteria for evaluating petitions. In addition, the referenced Charter Review Matrix does not make any reference to the State Education Board's criteria nor does it require petitions to include all of the elements listed within the matrix. Further, the district did not provide any new evidence to support its assertion.


Recommendation #12 To: Acton-Agua Dulce Unified School District

To ensure compliance with state law, Acton-Agua Dulce Unified should immediately establish a procedure to periodically review and update its charter school policy to include all of the requirements in state law.

60-Day Agency Response

The District has revised its charter school policy to reflect recent changes and clarifications of state law, Board approval is expected this school year. Going forward AADUSD staff will annually review its policy to make any necessary updates.

  • Estimated Completion Date: Annually by July 1st
  • Response Date: February 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending

Per Acton-Agua Dulce Unified's response, its implementation of this recommendation is currently pending.


Recommendation #13 To: Acton-Agua Dulce Unified School District

To ensure compliance with state law, Acton-Agua Dulce Unified should immediately review petitions to ensure they include all of the requirements in state law at the time of their approval.

60-Day Agency Response

District Staff has continued to implement a rigorous review process for all charter petitions submitted for approval, renewal, or material revision. A Charter Review Matrix is used which covers all elements of Education Code 47605 and incorporates the State Board of Education's standards for assessing charter petitions contained at Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations, Section 11967.5.1. The Staff's recommendation and the completed Matrix are submitted to the Board for its review and consideration before the Board takes action.

  • Completion Date: January 2016
  • Response Date: February 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: No Action Taken

Although Acton-Agua Dulce Unified states that it fully implemented our recommendation, our audit determined that the district's charter school policy did not fully address several of the elements required by the State Education Board's criteria for evaluating petitions. In addition, the referenced Charter Review Matrix does not make any reference to the State Education Board's criteria nor does it require petitions to include all of the elements listed within the matrix. Further, the district did not provide any new evidence to support its assertion.


Recommendation #14 To: Acton-Agua Dulce Unified School District

To ensure compliance with state law, Acton-Agua Dulce Unified should immediately require its charter schools to submit material revisions when they add new locations.

60-Day Agency Response

The Memorandum of Understanding between the charter school and AADUSD district clearly outlines when changes to the charter are deemed to be a material revision and may not be made without prior approval by the District's Superintendent. Revisions to the charter considered to be material changes include, changes to location of facilities or lease agreements for the Charter School sites, resource centers, meeting space, or other satellite facility including the opening of a new facility; temporary locations rented for annual student testing purposes shall be exempted from this provision.

  • Completion Date: June 2016
  • Response Date: February 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: No Action Taken

The district asserts that its Memorandum of Understandings (MOU) with its charter schools align with the recommendation. However, the district's MOU with Assurance Learning Academy did not have these requirements at the time of our audit and the district did not provide evidence that its current MOU has such language. Accordingly, we note on page 25 of the audit report that Assurance Academy opened a resource center in fiscal year 2014-15 without the prior approval of its authorizing district.


Recommendation #15 To: Acton-Agua Dulce Unified School District

To ensure compliance with state law, Acton-Agua Dulce Unified should immediately track its actual costs for providing oversight and verify that its oversight fees do not exceed legal limits.

60-Day Agency Response

Our new Assistant Superintendent of Business Services is reviewing financial oversight practices and determining the best way to track oversight expenses. Once new procedures are developed, we will include the updates in the charter school policy.

  • Estimated Completion Date: May 2018
  • Response Date: February 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending

Per Acton-Agua Dulce Unified's response, its implementation of this recommendation is currently pending.


Recommendation #16 To: Acton-Agua Dulce Unified School District

To better ensure effective oversight of their charter schools' finances, Acton-Agua Dulce Unified should develop written procedures for reviewing charter schools' financial information and conducting annual oversight visits. These procedures should include relevant requirements from memorandums of understanding with the charter schools and best practices.

60-Day Agency Response

The District has initiated the process of developing a formal written document outlining the District's practices and procedures for reviewing charter schools' financial information, presenting petitioners with any financial concerns, and conducting annual oversight visits. These procedural guidelines align with the District's charter school policies regarding academic and financial oversight. The District is also in the process of implementing Epicenter, an online program developed by the National Charter Schools Institute, to help streamline and standardize charter schools' reporting of financial information to the District, and to create consistency in the metrics the District uses to analyze charter schools' financial health.

  • Estimated Completion Date: May 2018
  • Response Date: February 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending

Per Acton-Agua Dulce Unified's response, its implementation of this recommendation is currently pending.


Recommendation #17 To: Acton-Agua Dulce Unified School District

To better ensure effective oversight of its charter schools' finances, Acton-Agua Dulce Unified should develop written procedures for addressing financial concerns, such as a charter school's failure to meet the minimum reserve requirement established in the district's memorandum of understanding with the charter school.

60-Day Agency Response

The District's Assistant Superintendent of Business provides District-authorized charter schools with written feedback after completing their financial reviews, noting any areas of concern and requesting financial plans that address any projected shortfalls. The District has implemented the Auditors' recommendation to provide charter schools with more detailed recommendations to address any identified financial concerns. The District's Staff believes that it is first and foremost an independently operated charter school's responsibility to develop and present a sound financial plan for addressing any of the District's financial concerns.

  • Completion Date: January 2016
  • Response Date: February 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: No Action Taken

Although Acton-Agua Dulce Unified states that it fully implemented our recommendation, it did not provide evidence to support its assertion.

In addition, we stand by our recommendation that Acton-Agua Dulce Unified should develop written procedures for addressing financial concerns to better ensure effective oversight of its charter schools' finances. As we note on page 49 of the audit report, Acton-Agua Dulce Unified demonstrated that it generally reviewed Assurance Academy's financial reports and assessed Assurance Academy's financial condition. However, we noted that Acton-Agua Dulce Unified does not have written procedures for reviewing charter schools' financial reports. Without robust oversight processes, districts cannot ensure the consistent quality of their reviews of charter schools' financial reports. In addition, without written procedures, district staff may not always take appropriate or prompt action if charter schools' financial reports start exhibiting indicators of financial distress. Therefore, we look forward to the district's six-month response.


Recommendation #18 To: Acton-Agua Dulce Unified School District

To better ensure effective oversight of its charter schools' finances, Acton-Agua Dulce Unified should place a district representative as a nonvoting member on each charter school's governing board.

60-Day Agency Response

The District's Administration will present the District's Board with the Auditor's recommendation that the District place a non-voting member on each authorized charter school's governing board. However, the District's authorized charter schools operate as, or are operated by, non-profit public benefit corporations. The District believes that California Corporation section 5047 prohibits non-voting directors on boards of non-profit public benefit corporations. The District continues to consider alternatives to non-voting directors.

  • Estimated Completion Date: June 2018
  • Response Date: February 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending

Per Acton-Agua Dulce Unified's response, its implementation of this recommendation is currently pending.


Recommendation #19 To: Acton-Agua Dulce Unified School District

To ensure that charter schools work toward the academic goals established in their charters, Acton-Agua Dulce Unified should adopt a policy requiring it to provide its charter schools with timely feedback and recommendations regarding academic performance.

60-Day Agency Response

The District's existing policy and practice is to provide charter schools with timely feedback and recommendations regarding academic performance. The District's annual charter school oversight report addresses academic performance.

  • Completion Date: January 2016
  • Response Date: February 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: No Action Taken

Although Acton-Agua Dulce Unified states that it fully implemented our recommendation, it did not provide evidence to support its assertion. As we note on page 59 of the audit report, Acton-Agua Dulce Unified was not able to demonstrate that it regularly assessed whether its charter schools were achieving the measurable student outcomes identified in their charters and thus were on track for renewal.


Recommendation #20 To: Acton-Agua Dulce Unified School District

To ensure that charter schools work toward the academic goals established in their charters, Acton-Agua Dulce Unified should adopt an academic oversight policy that includes steps for working with charter schools with poor performance results.

60-Day Agency Response

The District is incorporating steps for working with charter schools with poor performance results into the District's written policies and procedures.

  • Estimated Completion Date: May 2018
  • Response Date: February 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending

Per Acton-Agua Dulce Unified's response, its implementation of this recommendation is currently pending.


Recommendation #21 To: Acton-Agua Dulce Unified School District

To ensure that charter schools work toward the academic goals established in their charters, Acton-Agua Dulce Unified should provide its charter schools with annual oversight reports on their academic performance.

60-Day Agency Response

The District's existing policy and practice is to provide charter schools with timely feedback and recommendations regarding academic performance. The District annually presents oversight reports to the AADUSD school board and charter schools that addresses academic performance.

  • Completion Date: January 2016
  • Response Date: February 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: No Action Taken

Although Acton-Agua Dulce Unified states that it fully implemented our recommendation, it did not provide evidence to support its assertion that it provided charter schools with timely feedback regarding academic performance after our audit period. As we note on page 60 of the audit report, Acton-Agua Dulce Unified could not demonstrate that it assessed Assurance Academy's academic performance for one of the years in our audit period.


Recommendation #22 To: Acton-Agua Dulce Unified School District

Acton-Agua Dulce Unified should maintain active memorandums of understanding with its charter schools that describe the district's oversight responsibilities and ensure the schools meet the measurable student outcomes to which they have agreed.

60-Day Agency Response

All charters authorized by AADUSD have active memorandums of understanding, These Memorandums of understanding describe the district's oversight responsibilities and monitor student outcomes to ensure students are making educational gains.

  • Completion Date: January 2016
  • Response Date: February 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: No Action Taken

Although Acton-Agua Dulce Unified states that it fully implemented our recommendation, it did not provide evidence to support its assertion. As we note on page 59 of the audit report, Acton-Agua Dulce Unified was not able to demonstrate that it regularly assessed whether its charter schools were achieving the measurable student outcomes identified in their charters and thus were on track for renewal.


Recommendation #23 To: Antelope Valley Union High School District

To ensure that it has a method to hold charter schools accountable for their educational programs, Antelope Valley Union should, as a best practice, strengthen its authorization process by using the State Education Board's criteria for evaluating petitions.

60-Day Agency Response

The AVUHSD has implemented two primary internal documents, created by California Authorizer's Regional Support Network (CARSNet) and aligned to the State Education Board's (SBE's) criteria for evaluating petitions. Document 1- The Preliminary Review Checklist, updated January of 2016, is used by the Director who oversees charters to determine whether the petition submitted is complete according to state and federal requirements before organizing the District Team Review.

Document 2-The Charter School Petition Review Checklist also updated in 2016, is used by the District Charter Review Team (DCRT) and helps organize the review by departmental areas of expertise. This document includes timelines for review and a rubric to measure how each component of the petition, either exceeds, meets or fails to meet standard, and where the component is addressed in the petition. Within the document are areas for the DCRT to document questions that can be utilized in the Capacity Interview to further determine if the Petitioners have the capacity to implement the intent of the charter. Both documents are tools the AVUHSD began using in 2016 to strengthen the authorization process and to evaluate the strength of the educational programs of the charter petitions it receives and reviews, as it pertains to Educational Programs, Measurable student outcomes, : targeted school populations, attendance, instructional minutes, what it means to be an educated person in the 21st Century, how learning best occurs, annual goals, for all pupils and for each subgroup of pupils identified, as it pertains to the state priorities, transferability of courses, measurable student outcomes, and student progress measurements. For any follow-up questions, contact Julianne Vela- Director of Categorical and Special Programs- jvela@avhsd.org -(661) 952-2249.

  • Completion Date: May 2017
  • Response Date: December 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: No Action Taken

Although the district provided us with copies of the two checklists it uses, it did not provide any evidence that it had aligned those documents with the State Board of Education's criteria. In addition, the provided checklists do not fully align with the State Board of Education's criteria. Whereas the State Board of Education requires that certain criteria be included at a minimum to ensure that charter elements are reasonably comprehensive, the district's checklist indicates that those criteria are optional.


Recommendation #24 To: Antelope Valley Union High School District

To ensure compliance with state law, Antelope Valley Union should immediately establish a procedure to periodically review and update its charter school policy to include all of the requirements in state law.

60-Day Agency Response

We are currently in the process of reviewing our Board Policies on Charter Schools to align with the California School Board Association (CSBA) sample policy language on Charter School Authorization, Charter Oversight, and Charter Renewal. District staff will conduct reviews periodically to compare AVUHSD Board Policies to CSBA, and other current resources, to ensure they are current, compliant and include all of the requirements in state law. District Staff will make revisions, as appropriate, and offer recommendations to the Board of Trustees for their review and approval. For any follow-up questions, contact Julianne Vela- Director of Categorical and Special Programs- jvela@avhsd.org -(661) 952-2249.

  • Estimated Completion Date: 4/17/2018
  • Response Date: December 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending

Per Antelope Valley Union's response, its implementation of this recommendation is currently pending.


Recommendation #25 To: Antelope Valley Union High School District

To ensure compliance with state law, Antelope Valley Union should immediately review petitions to ensure they include all of the requirements in state law at the time of their approval.

60-Day Agency Response

Currently, the AVUHSD oversees two charters, the Academies of the Antelope Valley (AAV) and Desert Sands Charter High School (DSCHS). In October of 2017, the Department of Educational Services reviewed both petitions to ensure compliance and inclusion of all requirements in state law. The AAV petition includes all requirements in state law. The DSCHS petition, approved in 2014, identifies academic goals and outcomes schoolwide, but does not sufficiently identify goals and outcomes for significant student groups or (subgroups), as required in state law. On October 25, 2017, the AVUHSD-Director of Categorical and Special Programs had a consultation meeting with Desert Sands Charter Administration to review the current petition language and to address the need to identify goals and outcomes for significant student groups as well as schoolwide in their renewal petition scheduled for submission in 18-19.(See attachments agenda and follow up). It was noted at the consultation meeting that, in practice, DSCHS has Individual Learning Plans for each student enrolled that are progress monitored monthly with targeted tutoring interventions provided based on student outcomes. A follow-up meeting with Desert Sands is scheduled for January 25, 2018 in which Desert Sands will share the most recent academic results with district representatives pertaining to goals, outcomes and academic indicators identified for each individual student group. Additionally, Desert Sands Charter High School's Local Control and Accountability Plan identifies goals and outcomes for student groups through its annual Performance gap analysis that compares "all student" data with student group data. (See attachment Desert Sands LCAP). For any follow-up questions, contact Julianne Vela- Director of Categorical and Special Programs- jvela@avhsd.org -(661) 952-2249.

  • Completion Date: October 2017
  • Response Date: December 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: No Action Taken

Although the district provided documentation demonstrating that it had consulted with the principal of Desert Sands Charter High School, it did not provide evidence to supports its assertion that it reviewed its charter schools' petitions to ensure compliance and inclusion of all requirements in state law.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

Recommendation #26 To: Antelope Valley Union High School District

To ensure compliance with state law, Antelope Valley Union should immediately require its charter schools to submit material revisions when they add new locations.

60-Day Agency Response

AVUHSD's Board Policy-Administrative Rules and Regulations language-approved May,2007, currently requires its charter schools to submit material revisions when adding new locations within the district's boundaries. AVUHSD current Charter Board Policy states the following: "If, after receiving approval of its petition, a charter school proposes to establish operations at one or more additional sites within the district's boundaries, the charter school shall request a material revision to its charter and shall notify the Board of those additional locations. (See attachment-AVUHSD Charter Board Policy and AR's) The Board shall consider approval of the additional locations at an open meeting." For any follow-up questions, contact Julianne Vela- Director of Categorical and Special Programs- jvela@avhsd.org -(661) 952-2249.

  • Completion Date: October 2017
  • Response Date: December 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: No Action Taken

Although the district's policies require charter schools to submit material revisions when establishing operations at one or more additional sites within the district's boundaries, it does not explicitly require a material revision when a charter school establishes a new location outside of the district's boundaries. In addition, the district did not require LA Online to submit a material revision when it became aware of the charter school's lease agreements for five resource centers in fiscal year 2015-16, as we note on page 25 of our report.

  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

Recommendation #27 To: Antelope Valley Union High School District

To ensure compliance with state law, Antelope Valley Union should immediately track its actual costs for providing oversight and verify that its oversight fees do not exceed legal limits.

60-Day Agency Response

In accordance with Ed.Code 47613, the AVUHSD's annual oversight fee is capped at 1% of the general purpose revenue received by the Charter School, as defined in Ed. Code 47632 and indicated in the AVUHSD Charter Board Policy -Administrative Rules and Regulations, "The district may charge for the actual costs of supervisorial oversight of a charter school not to exceed one percent of the charter school's revenue. "The AVUHSD is in the process of Charter Board Policy review that will include language in Board Policy-Administrative Rules and Regulations addressing oversight fees. Items to be addressed will include the 1% cap, the timeline for district invoicing with payments due, and the "oversight costs log template," to track oversight costs that involve monitoring and oversight of charters. The oversight costs log template sections will align with revised Board Policy and MOU Charter requirements for oversight(see attachment). For any follow-up questions, contact Julianne Vela- Director of Categorical and Special Programs- jvela@avhsd.org -(661) 952-2249.

  • Estimated Completion Date: 4/17/18
  • Response Date: December 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending

Per Antelope Valley Union's response, its implementation of this recommendation is currently pending.


Recommendation #28 To: Antelope Valley Union High School District

To better ensure effective oversight of its charter schools' finances, Antelope Valley Union should develop written procedures for reviewing charter schools' financial information and conducting annual oversight visits. These procedures should include relevant requirements from memorandums of understanding with the charter schools and best practices.

60-Day Agency Response

The AVUHSD will develop written procedures for reviewing charter schools' financial information and conducting annual oversight visits. These written procedures will be referenced in the proposed revision of the AVUHSD Board Policy-Administrative Rules and Regulations and in the AVUHSD's subsequent MOU's. The written procedures will correspond to the following documentation tools: The "Annual Oversight Checklist," aligned with Fiscal Crisis Management Assistance Team (FCMAT)-which includes sections that address fiscal and business operations as well as academics that will be used during the annual visit to the charter school; and the "Report Submission Timeline Form,"- which calendars due dates in four major categories including academics, attendance, governance and finances. The "Annual Oversight Checklist," the "Report Submission Timeline Form," along with the subsequent "MOU," language will be communicated to our respective district departments as well as the charters during regular consultations in order to share expectations for report submission, feedback and corrective action plans. Additionally, the AVUHSD will use a "Charter Budget Review Sheet," and the "California Charter School Financial Performance Measures," as additional internal district tools to guide ongoing reviews, feedback and corrective actions steps with charters. For any follow-up questions, contact Julianne Vela- Director of Categorical and Special Programs- jvela@avhsd.org -(661) 952-2249.

  • Estimated Completion Date: 4/18/2018
  • Response Date: December 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending

Per Antelope Valley Union's response, its implementation of this recommendation is currently pending.


Recommendation #29 To: Antelope Valley Union High School District

To better ensure effective oversight of its charter schools' finances, Antelope Valley Union should develop written procedures for addressing financial concerns, such as a charter school's failure to meet the minimum reserve requirement established in the district's memorandum of understanding with the charter school.

60-Day Agency Response

The AVUHSD's is in the process of developing a standard MOU with charters as a condition of approval for new petitions and renewal petitions. The revised charter MOU, once Board approved, will include written procedures for addressing financial concerns, such as failure to meet the minimum reserve requirement and significant changes in budget and enrollment that represent significant changes from assumptions and projections to actuals. The AVUHSD may include the internal use of supplementary financial tools such as the "Charter Budget Review Sheet," and the "California Charter School Financial Performance Measures," to guide financial reviews and develop timely feedback processes to charters that include corrective actions and next steps. For any follow-up questions, contact Julianne Vela- Director of Categorical and Special Programs- jvela@avhsd.org -(661) 952-2249.

  • Estimated Completion Date: 4/18/2017
  • Response Date: December 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending

Per Antelope Valley Union's response, its implementation of this recommendation is currently pending.


Recommendation #30 To: Antelope Valley Union High School District

To better ensure effective oversight of its charter schools' finances, Antelope Valley Union should place a district representative as a nonvoting member on each charter school's governing board.

60-Day Agency Response

The AVUHSD is considering an alternative option to placing a district representative as a non-voting member on the charter schools governing board. The AVUHSD may adopt similar protocol and Board Policy/ MOU language that resembles the policy and MOU language of the Los Angeles County Office of Education's Governing Board. "For all regular and special meetings of the governing board and all standing committee meetings, the Charter School shall provide the AVUHSD with written notification of the meeting, including a copy of the posted agenda, which shall be posted on the Charter School's website no less than 72 hours prior to a regular meeting and no less than 24 hours prior to a special meeting, in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act." Within ten (10) working days of board meetings, the Charter School shall provide the AVUHSD with an audio recording of the meeting and all materials provided to the governing board by its administration, contractors, or the public including approved previous meeting minutes. Once approved by the Charter School's governing board, the Charter School shall provide the AVUHSD with a copy of the minutes of the meeting within ten (10) calendar days. All policies, policy changes, and approved meeting minutes shall be posted on the Charter School's website no more than 30 days after each meeting." For any follow-up questions, contact Julianne Vela- Director of Categorical and Special Programs- jvela@avhsd.org -(661) 952-2249.

  • Estimated Completion Date: 4/17/18
  • Response Date: December 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending

Per Antelope Valley Union's response, its implementation of this recommendation is currently pending.


Recommendation #31 To: Antelope Valley Union High School District

To better ensure effective oversight of its charter schools' finances, Antelope Valley Union should provide charter schools with written feedback and recommendations for improving their financial operations after completing its financial reviews and annual oversight visits.

60-Day Agency Response

The AVUHSD will develop written procedures expressed in proposed Board Policy-Admin Rules and Regulations and subsequent MOU's that include written feedback and recommendations for improving financial operations that may include a timeline for the internal use of supplementary financial tools such as the "Annual Oversight Checklist," the "Charter Budget Review Sheet," and the "California Charter School Financial Performance Measures," to guide financial reviews and to guide the development of timely feedback communications and processes that include timelines for corrective actions and next steps for charters. For any follow-up questions, contact Julianne Vela- Director of Categorical and Special Programs- jvela@avhsd.org -(661) 952-2249.

  • Estimated Completion Date: 4/17/18
  • Response Date: December 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending

Per Antelope Valley Union's response, its implementation of this recommendation is currently pending.


Recommendation #32 To: Antelope Valley Union High School District

To ensure that charter schools work toward the academic goals established in their charters, Antelope Valley Union should adopt a policy requiring it to provide its charter schools with timely feedback and recommendations regarding academic performance.

60-Day Agency Response

The AVUHSD will develop written procedures expressed in Board Policy-Admin Rules and Regulations that include a timeline for the internal use of supplementary tools and processes such as the "Annual Oversight Checklist," and district /charter consultation visits. These tools and processes will help guide the academic progress reviews addressing the goals and outcomes of all student groups. The "annual oversight checklist," can also be used throughout the year along with the LCAP update and revision process during regularly scheduled consultation visits to guide the development of district/charter collaboration that offers timely feedback and recommendations to charters regarding academic goals and performance, in order to ensure that charter schools work toward the academic goals established in their charters.

For any follow-up questions, contact Julianne Vela- Director of Categorical and Special Programs- jvela@avhsd.org -(661) 952-2249.

  • Estimated Completion Date: 4/17/2018
  • Response Date: December 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending

Per Antelope Valley Union's response, its implementation of this recommendation is currently pending.


Recommendation #33 To: Antelope Valley Union High School District

To ensure that charter schools work toward the academic goals established in their charters, Antelope Valley Union should adopt an academic oversight policy that includes steps for working with charter schools with poor performance results.

60-Day Agency Response

The AVUHSD is currently reviewing its Charter Board Policy to include academic oversight written procedures that utilize quarterly district/charter school consultation practices to address academic goals, outcomes and performance indicators for charter schools. The performance tools (Dashboard) and academic review checklists(see attachment Annual Review Checklist)used in district/charter consultation visits will help to ensure that AVUHSD provides the necessary guidance to support charter schools in working toward their academic goals and will also help foster district collaboration processes with charters on creating next steps and recommendations when their performance results are less than anticipated. For any follow-up questions, contact Julianne Vela- Director of Categorical and Special Programs- jvela@avhsd.org -(661) 952-2249.

  • Estimated Completion Date: 4/17/2018
  • Response Date: December 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending

Per Antelope Valley Union's response, its implementation of this recommendation is currently pending.


Recommendation #34 To: Antelope Valley Union High School District

To ensure that charter schools work toward the academic goals established in their charters, Antelope Valley Union should provide its charter schools with annual oversight reports on their academic performance.

60-Day Agency Response

AVUHSD presents Charter summary reports to the Board annually and may also share those reports with their respective Charters. Proposed Charter Board Policy-Administrative Rules and Regulations as well as subsequent MOU proposed language will address the need for the AVUHSD to collaborate with charters on their performance as indicated in state and local academic reports that compare all students as well as student groups with students attending the AVUHSD. The AVUHSD will provide charters with assistance as needed for creating academic reports that help to compare how their students are performing in comparison to the students of AVUHSD. Additionally, AVUHSD may adopt written procedures aligned with proposed Board Policy and subsequent proposed MOU language that standardizes the use of tools such as the "Annual Oversight Checklist," (see attachment) aligned with FCMAT to address the charter's education program, ongoing assessment, and LCAP requirements for academic progress. The use of electronic checklists that include sections for feedback will support AVUHSD in the process of providing timelyfeedback with recommendations to ensure that charter schools work toward academic goals established in their charters. For any follow-up questions, contact Julianne Vela- Director of Categorical and Special Programs- jvela@avhsd.org -(661) 952-2249.

  • Estimated Completion Date: 4/17/2018
  • Response Date: December 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending

Per Antelope Valley Union's response, its implementation of this recommendation is currently pending.


Recommendation #35 To: Antelope Valley Union High School District

Antelope Valley Union should maintain active memorandums of understanding with its charter schools that describe the district's oversight responsibilities and ensure the schools meet the measurable student outcomes to which they have agreed.

60-Day Agency Response

The AVUHSD is currently in the process of reviewing our Board Policies and MOU's on Charter Schools to align with the California School Board Association (CSBA) sample policy language on Charter School Authorization, Charter Oversight, and Charter Renewal. Additionally, the AVUHSD has access to several template resources from CARSNet, FCMAT, LACOE and the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA), to create a standard MOU that helps to establish and foster best practices for effective charter oversight, between the charters and the AVUHSD. For new charters and all charters submitting renewal petitions, the proposed, revised MOU will be signed by the charter as a condition of approval upon petition submission. Proposed MOU language will address the annual review of compliance to the MOU in the district's annual charter report to the Board. For any follow-up questions, contact Julianne Vela- Director of Categorical and Special Programs- jvela@avhsd.org -(661) 952-2249.

  • Estimated Completion Date: 4/17/2018
  • Response Date: December 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending

Per Antelope Valley Union's response, its implementation of this recommendation is currently pending.


Recommendation #36 To: New Jerusalem Elementary School District

To make certain that it authorizes only qualified petitions, New Jerusalem should revise its charter school authorization policy to require the documentation of its evaluation of charter school petitions. The district should present this documentation to its governing board for its consideration.

60-Day Agency Response

The district will revise its charter school authorization policy to require further documentation of its evaluation of the charter school petitions. This additional documentation will be presented to the governing board.

  • Estimated Completion Date: April 2018
  • Response Date: February 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending

Per New Jerusalem's response, its implementation of this recommendation is currently pending.


Recommendation #37 To: New Jerusalem Elementary School District

To ensure that it has a method to hold charter schools accountable for their educational programs, New Jerusalem should, as a best practice, strengthen its authorization process by using the State Education Board's criteria for evaluating petitions.

60-Day Agency Response

The district will revise its authorization matrix to include all the criteria which is used by the SBE for evaluating petitions.

  • Estimated Completion Date: April 2018
  • Response Date: February 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending

Per New Jerusalem's response, its implementation of this recommendation is currently pending.


Recommendation #38 To: New Jerusalem Elementary School District

To ensure compliance with state law, New Jerusalem should immediately establish a procedure to periodically review and update its charter school policy to include all of the requirements in state law.

60-Day Agency Response

The district will establish a procedure to periodically review and update its charter school policy to ensure it includes all of the requirements in state law. This review will be submitted to legal counsel for their review.

  • Estimated Completion Date: April 2018
  • Response Date: February 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending

Per New Jerusalem's response, its implementation of this recommendation is currently pending.


Recommendation #39 To: New Jerusalem Elementary School District

To ensure compliance with state law, New Jerusalem should immediately review petitions to ensure they include all of the requirements in state law at the time of their approval.

60-Day Agency Response

The district will update its review petition policies and practices to ensure any petitions include all of the requirements in state law at the time of their approval.

  • Estimated Completion Date: April 2018
  • Response Date: February 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending

Per New Jerusalem's response, its implementation of this recommendation is currently pending.


Recommendation #40 To: New Jerusalem Elementary School District

To ensure compliance with state law, New Jerusalem should immediately require its charter schools to submit material revisions when they add new locations.

60-Day Agency Response

The district will require its charter schools to submit material revisions when adding new locations. Our policies and MOU's will reflect this requirement.

  • Estimated Completion Date: April 2018
  • Response Date: February 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending

Per New Jerusalem's response, its implementation of this recommendation is currently pending.


Recommendation #41 To: New Jerusalem Elementary School District

To ensure compliance with state law, New Jerusalem should immediately track its actual costs for providing oversight and verify that its oversight fees do not exceed legal limits.

60-Day Agency Response

The district will begin tracking actual costs for providing oversight to ensure they do not exceed legal limits.

  • Estimated Completion Date: April 2018
  • Response Date: February 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending

Per New Jerusalem's response, its implementation of this recommendation is currently pending.


Recommendation #42 To: New Jerusalem Elementary School District

To better ensure effective oversight of its charter schools' finances, New Jerusalem should develop written procedures for reviewing charter schools' financial information and conducting annual oversight visits. These procedures should include relevant requirements from memorandums of understanding with the charter schools and best practices.

60-Day Agency Response

The district will develop written procedures for reviewing charter schools' financial information when submitted. In addition, the district will make this part of the existing annual oversight visit process.

  • Estimated Completion Date: April 2018
  • Response Date: February 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending

Per New Jerusalem's response, its implementation of this recommendation is currently pending.


Recommendation #43 To: New Jerusalem Elementary School District

To better ensure effective oversight of its charter schools' finances, New Jerusalem should develop written procedures for addressing financial concerns, such as a charter school's failure to meet the minimum reserve requirement established in the district's memorandum of understanding with the charter school.

60-Day Agency Response

The district will develop written procedures for addressing financial concerns.

  • Estimated Completion Date: April 2018
  • Response Date: February 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending

Per New Jerusalem's response, its implementation of this recommendation is currently pending.


Recommendation #44 To: New Jerusalem Elementary School District

To better ensure effective oversight of its charter schools' finances, New Jerusalem should place a district representative as a nonvoting member on each charter school's governing board.

60-Day Agency Response

The district currently has a member on the board of most of the charter schools they have approved. The district will work with the remaining charter schools to place a member on their board.

  • Estimated Completion Date: April 2018
  • Response Date: February 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending

Per New Jerusalem's response, its implementation of this recommendation is currently pending.


Recommendation #45 To: New Jerusalem Elementary School District

To better ensure effective oversight of its charter schools' finances, New Jerusalem should provide charter schools with written feedback and recommendations for improving their financial operations after completing its financial reviews and annual oversight visits.

60-Day Agency Response

The district will provide written feedback and recommendations if financial issues or concerns are discovered while completing its financial reviews and/or annual oversight visits.

  • Estimated Completion Date: April 2018
  • Response Date: February 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending

Per New Jerusalem's response, its implementation of this recommendation is currently pending.


Recommendation #46 To: New Jerusalem Elementary School District

To ensure that charter schools work toward the academic goals established in their charters, New Jerusalem should adopt a policy requiring it to provide its charter schools with timely feedback and recommendations regarding academic performance.

60-Day Agency Response

The district will adopt a policy which will ensure timely feedback and recommendations regarding the charter schools' academic performance.

  • Estimated Completion Date: April 2018
  • Response Date: February 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending

Per New Jerusalem's response, its implementation of this recommendation is currently pending.


Recommendation #47 To: New Jerusalem Elementary School District

To ensure that charter schools work toward the academic goals established in their charters, New Jerusalem should adopt an academic oversight policy that includes steps for working with charter schools with poor performance results.

60-Day Agency Response

The district will adopt an academic oversight policy which will include steps for working with charter schools which show poor academic performance.

  • Estimated Completion Date: April 2018
  • Response Date: February 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending

Per New Jerusalem's response, its implementation of this recommendation is currently pending.


Recommendation #48 To: New Jerusalem Elementary School District

To ensure that charter schools work toward the academic goals established in their charters, New Jerusalem should provide its charter schools with annual oversight reports on their academic performance.

60-Day Agency Response

Annually the district will compare actual academic performance with what the goals indicated in the original charter. A report will be developed from that analysis and sent to the charter schools.

  • Estimated Completion Date: April 2018
  • Response Date: February 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending

Per New Jerusalem's response, its implementation of this recommendation is currently pending.


Recommendation #49 To: New Jerusalem Elementary School District

New Jerusalem should maintain active memorandums of understanding with its charter schools that describe the district's oversight responsibilities and ensure the schools meet the measurable student outcomes to which they have agreed.

60-Day Agency Response

The district will ensure all of the MOU's in place are thoroughly written to include the district's oversight responsibilities; including measurable student outcomes.

  • Estimated Completion Date: April 2018
  • Response Date: February 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending

Per New Jerusalem's response, its implementation of this recommendation is currently pending.


All Recommendations in 2016-141

Agency responses received are posted verbatim.