I would appreciate those commenting please refrain from making personal attacks towards each other. The intent of this post is not to be negative towards Pencader but to highlight errors on the Delaware Department of Education in procedures associated with Pencader’s formal review. As for you Pencader folks, though there are errors on you part I want to point out errors on DE DOE’s part and how it relates to DE DOE being a disservice to Pencader.
I personal feel a DE DOE FRT should have been ordered for Pencader due to concerns of possible financial stress definded
Delaware Code Title 14, Chapter 18, Subchapter I, Subsection 1802 which declare a public school or charter being in financial destressed based on one of the following provisions. In this case (1)(c)
§ 1802. Financial Recovery Team.
Upon the recommendation of the Secretary of Education (“Secretary”) that a school district or charter school is in financial distress as provided in paragraph (1) of this section, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (“Director”), with the consent of the Controller General, may appoint a Financial Recovery Team (“Team”), and the Department of Education is hereby authorized to secure technical assistance and other resources as necessary to ensure the effective operations of the Team.
(1) For the purposes of this section a local school district or charter school shall be considered in financial distress when 1 or more of the following criteria are met:
Notice “shall” re: 1 or more.
a. The district financial position report required to be submitted on May 1, pursuant to § 1507(a) of this title, projects less than 1 month’s carryover; or
b. It is projected at any time during the course of the fiscal year that local payroll expenses will exceed projected local revenues; or
c. The charter school has been placed on formal review based, at least in part, on concerns regarding the charter school’s finances; or
d. Whenever a school district or charter school projects that it cannot fund 1 or more scheduled payroll disbursements.
(2) During any period of time when it is determined that a school district or charter school is in financial distress, the Financial Recovery Team shall be empowered to exercise, subject to the approval of the Secretary, control over the expenditure of funds appropriated to a school district or charter school as deemed necessary by the members of the Team. Control shall include, without limiting the foregoing, the right to approve the school district’s or charter school’s annual budget and any subsequent material amendment thereto, the right to approve district tax rates, the right to request drawdown of state financial assistance if applicable, the right to approve financial reporting to the local board of education or charter school board, the right to approve accounting policies, procedures and reports, the right to require a Financial Responsibility Committee be established by the local school board or charter school comprised of 1 or more members of the said board and/or residents of the district or, in the case of a charter school, parents of students attending the school. The Committee shall examine and report on the financial status of the district or charter school and shall have the right to pre-approve any obligation or contract that would require the expenditure of funds by the school district or charter school. Notwithstanding any provision of either this Code or any applicable rule or regulation to the contrary, the authority extended under this section shall apply to the expenditure of all funds received by a school district or charter school.
(3) The Financial Recovery Team shall report at least monthly to the Governor, the General Assembly, Director and the Controller General regarding the district’s or charter school’s current and projected financial position.
(4) The district or charter school shall reimburse the State for all salary and related costs of the Financial Recovery Team.
(5) Upon the recommendation of the Secretary that a school district or charter school is no longer in financial distress as defined in this section, the Director, with the consent of the Controller General, may elect to remove the members of the Financial Recovery Team.
The following has been taken from DE DOE Pencader’s Final Report Charter School Accountability Committee Report dated January 11, 2013 See my comments following the attached:
Criterion 8: Economic Viability
This criterion was deemed as “met” during the Preliminary Meeting; however, considering a new curriculum and organizational structure, the Committee had concerns about how these changes affect the school’s budget.
The Committee noted the following.
The school’s response did not describe how the new curriculum, organizational
structure, the AVID program (Advancement Via Individual Determination), and summer programs will impact the budget.
Litigation concerning special education issues is being settled and Pencader may need funds for additional services to students; however, the school could use existing teachers instead of out-sourcing these services.
The Board ought to have provided a new budget; have been more proactive; and made certain to communicate any new data.
There is not a clear plan for student recruitment. Considering recent events, Pencader needs a very clear process to recruit students and thus increase revenue to the school.
The Committee concluded that Criterion Eight is met with a condition. In the event that the charter is not revoked, Pencader shall provide a revised budget to clearly delineate how the school will remain financially viable based on existing costs, projected additional costs, any changes to the staffing structure, as well as a realistic appraisal of student recruitment efforts to increase student enrollment.