On Wednesday, May 13th, the Connecticut State Board of Education (“Board”) held its regularly scheduled monthly meeting virtually in light of COVID-19. This meeting was also televised on CT-N and is available on-demand online here. Additionally, the agenda can be found here. Finally, the submitted set of public comment can be found here.
The agenda included:
School turnaround plans pending approval for the Commissioner’s Network
The approval of Relay Graduate School of Education’s Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) Program
Actions from the Finance Advisory Committee (FAC)
The Board unanimously approved, via consent agenda, two Finance Advisory Committee (FAC) actions. One of these actions resulted in the transfer of funding from the Education Cost Sharing and State Charter School line items to the Other Expenses account. The amount transferred from the charter schools’ account was $483,138. The State Board resolution can be found here and the explanation of the transfer can be found here. It is important to note that this action will not have a financial impact on existing charters. The following rationale was provided:
“The closure of Trailblazers Academy, a state charter school in Stamford, before the 2019-20 (FY 20) school year will result in excess funding in the Charter Schools account. The total amount of account savings due to the closure is anticipated to reach approximately $1.5 million (135 Trailblazers students multiplied by the FY 20 per-student charter school grant of $11,250). Of the total savings, $200,000 previously was transferred to Other Expenses for the purpose of a grant to Stamford, to assist the town in bearing the additional educational costs incurred due to the absorption of the Trailblazers students.”
Additionally, via consent agenda, the Board unanimously approved the Relay Graduate School of Education’s Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) Program as a new educator preparation program. You can find the resolution here.
Finally, the board also unanimously approved the following for the Commissioner’s Network:
New Britain High School (granted extension in Network)
Pulaski Middle School (New Britain, plan approval)
Slade Middle School (New Britain, plan approval)
Smalley Elementary School (New Britain, plan approval)
Hartford Public High School (Hartford, plan approval)
During the update from the Department of Education’s Chief Financial Officer, it was noted that public charter schools that are eligible to receive Title I funding are also eligible to receive CARES Act education funding. The CFO noted that in Connecticut, this applies to all charter schools.
As we await news on the final set of charter schools up for renewal and an anticipated summer special legislative session, we will continue to provide you with updates as they become available.