e-agenda.NET
Special Meetings
Agenda Item #9


Title
CS3 - Charter Application for Mavericks High of Palm Beach County

Description

 I.            Overview

On August 2, 2010, the Department of Charter Schools received an application from Mavericks High School of Palm Beach County ("Mavericks") to open a charter school in the School District of Palm Beach County in August, 2011.

Maverick’s High School of Palm Beach County ("Applicant") proposes to serve a maximum of 550 for grades nine through grade twelve for five years commencing the fall of 2011.

The mission of Maverick’s High School of Palm Beach County is to retrieve students who have dropped out of their traditional school and provide an education offering an innovative, self-paced, contemporary, and individualized instructional program that results in a high school diploma, continuing education or a suitable vocation.

Its application was written utilizing the Model Florida Charter School Application (see Exhibit "A-1").  Thereafter, designated School District of Palm Beach County ("District") reviewers evaluated their application using the "Florida Charter School Application Instrument" (see Exhibit "A-2"). 

The District's staff reviewers of charter school applications have been trained how to evaluate the Model Florida Charter School Application utilizing the Florida Charter School Application Evaluation Instrument on May 13, 2010 (see Exhibit "B").

The District’s charter application process was explained to applicants including Mavericks during the New Applicants' Workshop held on May 27, 2010 (see Exhibit "C").

Mavericks had two due process opportunities to meet and clarify their application.  Two reviews of the application were conducted using the required Florida Charter School Application Evaluation Instrument ("Evaluation").  The second review included an Applicant Interview as outlined in Step 5 of the Overview of the Florida Charter School Application Process (see Exhibit "D").

In conclusion, their application is being recommended for denial because the District’s reviewers evaluated their application twice with the following final determinations:

  • Section 6 – Exceptional Students rating - Partially Meets the Standard
  • Section 18 – Budget rating -  Does Not Meet the Standard

Based on the foregoing facts, Mavericks failed to meet the requisite statutory requirements as stated in F.S. 1002.33(6).           

 

II.  Applicant’s Founding Governing Board

The members of the Founding Board are: Mr. Chas Berle, Ms. Jennifer Russell, Mr. Steven Bracy, and Mr. Frank Biden.

III.        Applicant Attended the Charter School Application Training

Mavericks' representatives attended the District’s charter school orientation conducted on May 27, 2010.  The meeting is not mandatory but is supplementary to the Florida Department of Education's mandatory applicant training to make applicants aware of the District's procedures.

IV.        District’s Application Evaluation using Florida Charter School Application Evaluation Instrument and Due Process Meetings with the District’s Reviewers

September 16, 2010 – Application reviewed 1st time by District reviewers – Step #5 of the District’s Application Process

January 10, 2011 – Application reviewed 2nd time by District reviewers – Step #5 of the District’s Application Process

V.           District’s Reviewers Evaluation Ratings of Mavericks’ Application

The applicant received the Interview Summary (see Exhibit "E") and the letter on January 10, 2011 (see Exhibit "F").  Designated District staff reviewed the 20 sections (see Exhibit "G") of Mavericks’ application that were uploaded for the Board Workshop, tentatively scheduled for February 2, 2011.  Each section of the Evaluation Instrument received one of the following ratings:  Meets the Standard, Partially Meets the Standard, or Does Not Meet the Standard.  The following ratings indicated that their application did not meet the statutory requirement set forth in F.S. 1002.33(6):

VI.       Details Concerning Each of the Evaluation Instrument Ratings for Mavericks

The evaluators for the two sections listed below were in attendance.

Section 6 – Exceptional Students rating - Partially Meets the Standard

Section 18 – Budget rating -  Does Not Meet the Standard

 

The Founding Board members of Mavericks failed to meet the following statutory requirements as outlined in the Model Florida Charter Application.

  1. Section 6 – Exceptional Students

The Exceptional Students section should demonstrate an understanding of the requirements of the school to serve all students and provide a concrete plan for meeting the broad spectrum of educational needs and providing all students with a quality education.

Statutory Reference(s):

 

F.S. 1002.33(16)(a)(3)

 

Florida Charter School Application Evaluation Instrument Criteria:

 

A response that meets the standard will present:

Describe how the school will comply with the state and federal requirements for serving students with disabilities, including the procedures that will be utilized for identifying students with special needs, developing Individualized Education Plans and 504 Plans, and providing a full range of services.

Identify the staffing plan for the school’s special education program, including the number and qualifications of staff.

Describe how the school will serve gifted and talented students.

 

Describe how the school’s effectiveness in serving exceptional education students will be evaluated.

 

District’s Reviewer’s Questions:

 

Please clarify your explanation and use of the RTI Process.

 

Clarify the student support team. Term no longer used.

 

Clarify continuum of services for ESE students.

 

Clarify 6.1.4 504 plans and appropriateness of subsections

 Section 18 - Budget

The Budget section should provide financial projections for the school over the term of its charter.

Statutory Reference(s):

F.S. 1002.33(6)(a)(5); F.S. 1002.33(6)(b)(2)

Florida Charter School Application Evaluation Instrument Criteria:

 

A response that meets the standard will present:

Budgetary projections which are consistent with all parts of the application, including the school’s mission, educational program, staffing plan and facility.

A realistic assessment of the projected sources of revenue and expenses that ensure the financial viability of the school.

VII.            District’s Reviewer’s Response:

 

The application lacks meaningful detail; demonstrates lack of preparation; or otherwise raises substantial concerns about the applicant’s understanding of the application in concept and/or ability to meet the requirement in practice.

The budgetary projections are not consistent within the application, specifically the Education Service providers, Employment and Facility sections.  The assessment of the projected sources of revenue and expenses that ensure the financial viability of the school is not realistic.

Not a clear delineation of cost for services provided by Mavericks in Education Florida, LLC as an Educational Service Provider “EMO”.  The budget included an annual management fee of 12% during the five year requested charter term.  The fee structure included on page 149, section 11.4.2 states that a percentage of all FEFP revenue will be charged to the school. The draft management agreement, page 8, section 12 does not include fees to be charged to the school.

The staffing plan presented with the application does not correlate with the budget.  The budget does not include the following necessary personnel: Guidance & Career Counselor, Enrollment Coordinator, Resource Officer, and Student Reporting & Accountability Coordinator.

Other costs not allocated in the budget include utilities, property insurance, interest expense, etc.

The repayment of the debt is not allocated according to the management agreement.  According to page 6 of the Appendix I, section 4, "the term of repayment shall in no event exceed the end of the scholastic year in which the first advance is made by Mavericks".  This means that all advances made for start-up must be paid in the first fiscal year.  The same will happen with the advance in the first fiscal year.  A repayment of $272,850, plus interest should be recorded in the first year of operation and be reflected as such in the budget.

According to Section 11-ESP, subsection 11.4.2, the applicant states that "such amount advanced by Mavericks shall be evidenced in a Promissory Note bearing interest at 10% per annum". Explain where in the budget the Interest expense of at least $27, 285 is included.

The charter school application, Section 11-ESP requires the applicant to provide financial data for existing charter schools operated by the management company.  Also, Section 3 - Educational Program Design, subsection 3.6 requires an applicant did not include financial data, as required in the application, for the four existing schools by Maverick in Education, LLC. District staff requested by a public request the Annual Financial Audit for the Osceola, Pinellas and Miami-Dade counties.  It was noted that the school operated in Pinellas met on the conditions under 218.503(1) and must prepare a financial corrective action plan with the Department of Education.  For the two charter schools in Miami-Dade, the schools show positive unreserved fund balances of $546 for the North Miami Campus and $5,598 for the South Miami Campus.  The South Miami Campus transferred $160,000, earmarked for the students in the North Campus. All four existing schools contain deficiencies in their Accounting Policies and Procedures, Segregation of Duties, Depreciation Recordkeeping and Accounting Software (I.T. controls).

The District prepared an analysis to reflect missing personnel and other operational costs.  The net result is a loss putting the charter school at risk for being in financial emergency.

Consequently, the Founding Board members of Mavericks failed to meet the following statutory requirements as outlined in the Model Florida Charter School Application.

A copy of Mavericks' application is attached for your review.

VIII.            Appeal Rights of Mavericks

Pursuant to F.S. 1002.33(5)(c):  "An applicant may appeal any denial of that applicant’s application or failure to act on an application to the State Board of Education no later than thirty (30) calendar days, after receipt of the sponsor’s decision or failure to act and shall notify the sponsor of its appeal ..."



Recommendation
I recommend that the School Board deny the application of Mavericks High of Palm Beach County and authorize the Superintendent or designee to sign all related contracts and documents.

My Contact
Janice S. Cover/(coverj@palmbeach.k12.fl.us)
Juanita W. Edwards

Financial Impact
There is no financial impact to the District.


Attachment:  Exhibit G - Mavericks.pdf
Attachment:  Application - Mavericks.pdf
Attachment:  Exhibit A-1 - Mavericks.pdf
Attachment:  Exhibit F - Mavericks.pdf
Attachment:  Exhibit B - Mavericks.pdf
Attachment:  Notification Letter - Mavericks.pdf
Attachment:  Exhibit E - Mavericks.pdf
Attachment:  Exhibit A-2 - Mavericks.pdf
Attachment:  Exhibit C - Mavericks.pdf
Attachment:  Exhibit D - Mavericks.pdf