April 13, 2017
State board directs HOPE Online to replace governing board, bring on management partner
Board approves submission of ESSA plan to U.S. Department of Education
DENVER – The Colorado State Board of Education at its April regular meeting directed HOPE Online Learning Academy, a charter school that offers blended online and classroom learning programs throughout the state, to work with a management partner and reconstitute its governing board.
Colorado’s 2009 Accountability Act requires the board to direct action to dramatically improve student academic outcomes at HOPE Online, which has received ratings in the the bottom two levels of the state’s accountability system for six consecutive years. The law gives the state board three options when dealing with poor performing charters -- replace the governing board of the charter, replace the operator of the school or revoke the charter.
The board’s decision is aligned to the pathway proposal developed by HOPE Online. The decision requires HOPE Online to reconstitute its governing board and work with a management partner to improve professional development for teachers and school leaders.
A final, written directive for HOPE Online will be developed and approved by the board later this spring.
Board OKs submission of state’s ESSA plan to the federal government
After more than a year of work creating Colorado’s implementation plan for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), CDE got approval from the state board on Thursday to submit the plan to the U.S. Department of Education. The deadline for submission is May 3 and CDE expects to deliver the document soon.
The development of the plan included significant outreach to collect feedback from Coloradans about the plan, including a statewide tour to seven sites that reached 1,500 people, 170 meetings around the state, more than 5,000 comments submitted and a hub-and-spoke committee process that held dozens of meetings to develop the plan.
“It has taken thousands of hours to put this plan together,” said Education Commissioner Katy Anthes after the vote. “We are extremely grateful for the amount of time and effort from everyone in making this a plan that all of Colorado can be proud of.”
Board approves contingency funds for six school districts, denies East Grand
The state board approved the payment of $1.6 million in contingency reserve funds to Clear Creek, Genoa-Hugo, Wiggins, Keenesburg, Platte Valley and Prairie school districts. Commencing with the 2016-17 budget year, HB16-1422 permits the State Board of Education to provide supplemental assistance from the contingency reserve fund to a school district that experiences an unusual financial burden caused by a significant reduction in the assessed value of real property in a district.
The board denied $820,562 in contingency funds to East Grand School District, which sought the money because of 15 years of nonpayment of taxes by the YMCA of the Rockies. The Colorado Court of Appeals ruled the YMCA of the Rockies is exempt from ad valorem taxes.
Thornton Elementary given innovation status
Adams 12 Five Star Schools was approved as a District of Innovation on behalf of Thornton Elementary School.
Bennett waiver request denied
The board denied a request from Bennett School District 29J to waive Kindergarten School Readiness Assessment requirements.
Additionally, the board took the following actions on rules: