Do you or other business managers in your charter school system need training to satisfy TEA’s 19 TAC, Chapter 100 training requirements?  Are you working toward your Charter Business Officer Certification and need high quality training hours?

TCSA will be providing a three day training to assist financial officers and business managers comply with state and federal laws.  Trainers for this event will be charter financial officers, staff from the Texas Education Agency, financial consultants, lawyers, auditors, and charter superintendents.

Topics Covered:

Day One:  Develop Your Financial Plan

  • Begin with the End in Mind
  • Budget Creation:  How to create a budget that accurately reflects the work of the charter
  • Coding Expenditures
  • Maintenance of Effort (MOE)
  • How to Avoid Buyer’s Remorse:  Legal Requirements for Charter School Procurement of Goods and Services
  • Location, Location, Location:  Legal Issues and Do’s and Dont’s for Purchase, Sale or Lease of Real Property               
  • If You Build It… Legal Requirements for Charter School Construction, Renovations, Repairs and Improvements
  • Conflicted by Conflicts?  What Conflict of Interest Laws Apply to Charter and What Do You Need to Know to Comply

Day Two:  Execute Your Financial Plan

  • Principles of Cash Flow Accounting
  • Creating systems and internal controls that meet state and federal guidelines (Requisitions, Separation of duties, Cash in Reserves)
  • Creating Financial Reports for the Board (Statement of Activity, Statement of Financial Disposition, Cash Flow Statement)
  • Complying with Human Resource Laws
  • Administration of Employee Benefits:  Compliance with the Affordable Care Act

Day Three: Evaluating Charter Financials and Compliance Reporting

  • Welcome to Charter FIRST                                                                                                   
  • EDGAR Compliance
  • Annual Financial and Compliance Report Requirements                                
  • Preparing for the Audit

Confirmed Presenters:

  • Christina Villarreal, David Marx, Tiffany Martin & Paul Moreno from TEA
  • Joe Hoffer, Ramon Medina, Bryan Dahlberg, & Jason Adelstein from Shulman, Lopez and Hoffer
  • George Fowler, Piney Woods Academy
  • Kelly Kulchthaler, Walsh Gallegos
  • Paul King, SF Productivity
  • Kimber Fuccello, Financial Consultant
  • Paula Moeller, TCSA


TCEA--Texas Computer Education Association

3100 Alvin Devane Blvd

Austin Texas

Dates: April 13-15, 2016

Time: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day

Cost: $350

Register Today






By Dr. Paula Moeller, TCSA Director of Training

Got school board members?

Of course!

But have they met their training requirements? Returning board members need six hours and new board members need 12 instructional hours of training this year!

TCSA has you covered with a six-hour Board Workshop on the Friday of the Texas Charter Schools Conference October 28-30 at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa. It's the perfect place for board members to satisfy these compliance training hours and meet the requirements outlined in the Texas Administrative Code §100.1102.

Board members who attend the entire three-day conference can receive up to 10 hours of training credit! View the full schedule by workshop or topic track by downloading the free TCSACon Mobile App.

The list of available topics and sessions include:

School Law

  • Maintaining a Legal Eye on the Charter Movement

School Finance

  • A Standardized Approach to Budgeting
  • Understanding FSP
  • Financing Facility Needs with Low-Interest Rates

Open Meetings

  • Fix Your Board Meetings, Strengthen Your Board

Accountability (reporting, student performance, human resources)

  • 10 HR Mistakes That Could Sink Your Charter
  • Academic Accountability: What Is Your Data Telling You?

Public Records

  • "Garbage In, Garbage Out" Policies That Govern PEIMS Data That Might Result in Lost Funds

Health and Safety

  • The Role of Charter Schools in High-Quality Emergency Management Programs

TCSA is an approved provider of training credit hours and board members will receive a certificate of attendance after completing the training at the conference.

Got your board members covered on training? Learn more about the TCSACon Principal Workshop and Teacher Workshop.

Click to view the full TCSACon workshop and session schedule.

By Denise Pierce, TCSA General Counsel

Denise Pierce

Denise Pierce

The new Charter FIRST rules, which went into effect August 6, establish the financial rating indicators for the 2015, 2016 and 2017 school years. The Texas Education Agency is to be applauded for its diligence. Since the TEA was required to revamp the charter financial accountability system in 2013 by HB5, the TEA has spent the last two years seeking and incorporating input from charter school operators through phone calls, face-to-face meetings, webinars and public hearings. Our members’ input was valued and incorporated, which is a hallmark of good rulemaking.

However, the timing of the rule adoption leaves less than 30 days in the 2014-15 fiscal period for charter schools with a September 1 fiscal year start dates to react or change their financial practices in order to pass or excel under the new scoring rubric for the 2015-16 rating year. Yet, for 2014-2015 rating, which is based on the 2013-2014 fiscal year data, a large number (92 percent) of schools are expected to pass.

TEA made a number of strong improvements to the 2015 financial indicators, based on suggested changes from TCSA and its member schools, such as:

  • Rating system is fairly familiar to our schools this year because it contained only seven indicators, all of which essentially are holdovers from the prior ratings system;
  • Revised the thresholds for administrative cost ratio, presumably out of recognition that most charters have small enrollment and yet need ample administrative support to capably carry the compliance burden of state and federal regulations;
  • Excluded pension expense, other post-employment benefits (OPED), and net pension liability from the total net asset balance.

As for the 15 particular indicators adopted for the 2016 and 2017 rating years, the TEA also responded positively to the concerns raised by charter operators. Chief among those, the new indicators allow charters to appeal their FIRST ratings based on errors made by the charter school. These appeals will continue to be disfavored by the agency, but at least they will not dismissed outright. Consideration will be given only to appeals that would result in a changed rating. The appeal must be submitted within 30 days after release of the preliminary ratings and must include “adequate evidence and additional information.” The rules add the specification that the appeals process is not for correcting data that has been incorrectly submitted to TEA by the charter school.

Charters should watch out for the aggressively graduated point scale between the 2016 and 2017 rating years. As seen in the graph below, the point system will make it harder to get an "A" or Superior rating in the later period. Similarly, it will be harder to receive a standard rating. Any school that receives an "F" or Substandard Achievement score will receive a strike for revocation and non-renewal purposes.

Texas Education Agency

Texas Education Agency

I’m also pleased the TEA altogether removed some of the least effective indicators from the former system, such as whether the school had a monitor assigned, the ratio of students-to-teachers, and investment earnings. And I’m looking forward to strong charter performance in future years as our schools become familiar with and match their financial practices to coincide with these new targets.

A more in-depth summary of Charter FIRST indicators will be released later this year as a legal advisory for TCSA member schools.