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Published by Stefanie Knowlton
Answers to Salem-Keizer School Board questions about Sequoia Montessori School's charter application.
Answers to Salem-Keizer School Board questions about Sequoia Montessori School's charter application.

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Published by: Stefanie Knowlton on Dec 14, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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: Supplemental InformationThe following is a response to questions raised by Salem Keizer School Boardmembers at the November 8 School Board first reading of the SequoiaMontessori School charter proposal.1. Financial Concerns:Board members expressed concern about financial stability because of the statecharter grant funding.There are three separate grants that are involved:In 2008 ODE received notification of receiving the Charter School Program grant.The Charter School Program (CSP) grant, to which we currently have access,provides funding for planning, professional development, and contracts withgroups to market the school. The Salem Keizer School District is the fiscalmanager for this grant and has all records of its budget and expenditures to date.This grant is for $56,000, to date we have spent $5414.37.Generally included in the CSP grant award are the implementation phases of theCSP after a charter developer has signed a charter contract with a sponsor. In2010, the US Department of Education (USDE) abruptly scaled back the ODECSP funding. The ODE is still in discussion with the USDE to try to get thisfunding back. If the State is successful in recapturing these funds, we wouldhave access to $215,000 for implementation once we have a charter in hand andhave finished our planning stage. Timeline: Unknown, however, any fundsassociated with this grant would have to be spent by July 31, 2011.The second is the next Charter School Program grant the State will apply for inWinter/Spring 2012. This may provide implementation funding for year one($215,000) and year 2 (up to $215,000) of the school operation. Timeline: TheState plans to apply in March and will find out if they are awarded this funding inJune. In January, we believe we will find out whether Sequoia could getpreference to the new grant award since we were already awarded a charter grant. If Sequoia were able to get preference, we could access the funds byAugust 2012. If we have to reapply and were successful in our reapplication, wewould get funds in December 2012.The above description of the grant funding stream timeline was vetted throughMargaret Bates, Educational Specialist for Charter Schools at the OregonDepartment of Education.Because of the uncertainty, the Sequoia Board has determined that if implementation funding does not become available by April 2012, the school willnot open for September 2012.
 One Board member was concerned about financial stability because he did notsee evidence that the following issues were addressed in the budget. Here arethe issues cited and where their funding appears in the budget (budget isattached):
Administrative consulting
to evaluate the teachers (p.24) is addressed in line18 of the budget.
Special education
is funded through the sponsoring district as detailed on p. 35,36. This follows current state statute. The flow chart in appendix m has beencorrected to reflect that the sponsoring school is responsible for providing specialeducation services.
Salem Keizer Coalition for Equality
contracted services are accounted for inthe planning grant budget that Sequoia Montessori School is currently accessing.SKSD has all records on the budget for this account.
 Professional development
for the staff and Board are funded in the planninggrant and line 27 of the operating budget submitted to the District.
Contracts with Salem Keizer 
- The services that the school may contract backwith the Salem Keizer School District are in the budget:Board line 45Assessment and Testing line 33Mail line 46TIS line 55Telephone line 53SASI line 55Maintenance line 50Custodial line 48Utilities line 57These categories are also subject to negotiations after the application isapproved during charter negotiation and also depend on whether the schoollocates in District space.2. Concerns with financial plan based on 100% of District funding. The amountof per student state funding that the District provides the school is subject tonegotiation after the application is approved. The budget has an adequatecontingency and allows room for adjustments as needed.3. Concerns with bylaws not complying with public meetings law. SequoiaMontessori School incorporated as a public benefit non-profit corporation andwrote its bylaws accordingly. Once the school enters a charter agreement withSalem-Keizer Public Schools District, and thus becomes a public body, the Board

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