Connecticut legislative committee approves state ed department’s policy changes regarding charter school operators
According the Connecticut Post, the Connecticut legislature’s Regulations Review Committee has approved the state Department of Education’s (CDE) new regulations that prohibit people from sitting on more than one Connecticut charter school board and prohibit charter school board members from helping to run companies that manage their schools. CDE’s policy changes reflect state auditors’ concerns that sharing board members could affect the schools’ independence.
There have been at least two cases of misuse of funds since Connecticut began approving charter schools in 1997. The new regulations came as a surprise to many local charter school operators who say they thought they were already in effect. “They are rules the state Department of Education has been encouraging us to follow for some time,” said Ken Paul, director of development for Achievement First, which runs four charter schools in the state.
Source: Connecticut Post, 11/29/11, By Staff
[Editor's Note: The Connecticut Association of Boards of Education provides a model policy for school boards on approving and maintaining relations with charter schools. The policy calls for a local board of education to receive from the charter school a copy of its annual report to the state Commissioner, "which shall include the progress of its students; its financial condition, including a certified audit statement of all revenues and expenditures; and the accomplishment of its mission, purpose and specialized focus of the school."
In January 2011, Legal Clips summarized the Ohio Supreme Court's decision in Corday v. International Prep. School holding that the treasurer of a community (charter) school was a public official who could be held strictly liable to the state for lost public funds that the school accepted but was not entitled to receive. The court concluded that it was well-established under Ohio law that public officials are liable for the misuse of public funds they receive. An officer, employee or duly authorized representative of a charter school is a public official, the court decided. Moreover, the Ohio law that precludes corporate officers from being held personally liable for the debts of the corporation does not protect public officials from personal liability for lost public funds.]