2016 Delaware Charter School Inspection Shows Severe Lack Of Transparency
Many Delaware charter schools failed a recent inspection on financial, organizational, and governance transparency. No charter school received a perfect score on this inspection. The ones who failed did so miserably.
Delaware law is very clear about what charter schools are required to do. Other public meeting laws in Delaware, which have been supported through legal opinions on FOIA complaints, are very clear as well. Last night, I went through every single charter school website to look for eight things: Their monthly financial information was up to date (July 2016), they posted their last annual audit (2015), they posted their IRS 990 Tax Form (as a non-profit), they posted their board agenda for their most recent meeting, they posted their board minutes (based on when they had their last meeting and were able to approve those minutes), they put an agenda up for their Citizens Budget Oversight Committee, they put up the minutes for their CBOC meetings, and a Delaware Department of Education representative was present at those CBOC meetings.
Most of the Delaware charter schools failed this inspection. One of them (considered to be a very successful charter school) didn’t pass any category. Some charter schools feel as though they don’t have to meet during the summer and prepare for the new school year. There was no charter school that received a perfect score. I understand things slow down in the summer, but not meeting is inexcusable in my book. Some charters need to do a lot of work on their websites. Hunting and pecking to find information is not in the vein of transparency.
The most disturbing aspect is the apparent lack of oversight coming from the Delaware Department of Education. More specifically, the Charter School Office. They may monitor the charters, and I’m glad a DOE representative is attending most of their CBOC meetings, but where is the public transparency of that monitoring? Jennifer Nagourney worked very hard to get this aspect turned around with charters. I would hate to see her hard work disappear.
The way CBOC laws are written, quarterly meetings are okay. But some charters meet monthly. I’m not going to dink you if you don’t meet every single month. I think districts and charters should have monthly CBOC 2016 Delaware Charter School Inspection Shows Severe Lack Of Transparency – Exceptional Delaware: