Approximately 20 schools were represented at the most recent Member Council Meeting on Thursday, August 4, 2016. Attendees traveled to Austin’s Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) for the quarterly meeting held by the Texas Charter Schools Association.
Executive Director David Dunn welcomed representatives from TCSA’s member schools and opened the meeting with the first item on the agenda which was TCSA’s 2016 nomination and election process. He provided information on the current nominations and election policy and the upcoming timelines. Member Council Chair Kathleen Zimmerman encouraged others in attendance to consider serving on TCSA’s Board of Directors and spoke about how being a part of the board has benefited her school.
After board discussion ensued, General Counsel Lindsey Gordon and Christine Nishimura, the Director of Legal and Policy Services, provided numerous updates on charter school laws. Gordon spoke to the results of the school finance case, revocation litigation, and the Attorney General’s opinion on charter property. Additionally, she discussed geographic boundaries with respect to student admissions and the accountability rating appeals. Separately, Nishimura briefed meeting participants on the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and Title IX guidance on nondiscrimination policies and sexual harassment. Nishimura also provided information regarding special education (SPED), including requirements for all schools to post their SPED policies as part of Region 18's legal framework.
After a full legal briefing, meeting participants turned their attention to Laura Kelly, the Director of Quality for TCSA. Kelly announced the generation 21 approvals from the Texas Education Agency, which included Compass Rose Academy of San Antonio and Goodwater Montessori of Georgetown.
Separately, Paula Moeller, the Director of Training Services, informed member schools of several training opportunities on topics such as PEIMS, coding and reporting requirements for business managers, and a CFO summit. Webinars and on-demand trainings are also available on the Learning Zone. The Texas Charter Schools Conference will provide multiple trainings opportunities on October 3-5, so secure your spot and register today!
After a brief mention from Dunn about the on-going work of Charter Schools Now, the 501 (c)(4), Veronica Garcia, the Vice President of Government and Public Affairs, gave an overview of TCSA’s advocacy efforts including city-based regional grassroots coalitions, legislative engagement, parent/advocate trainings, and communications. She also let meeting attendees know about an upcoming Senate Education hearing on September 14th which will review H.B. 2610 (the minutes bill). Lastly, Garcia announced Wednesday, April 26, 2017, as the date for the TCSA Texas Capitol Rally. Mark your calendars!
It was a full day for member schools and TCSA staff to engage on the most current information on the work of both the association and charter school campuses. TCSA wants to thank all the members who traveled and participated in the meeting. We want to offer a special thanks to our sponsor, Preferred Meals, for providing the lunch and a special presentation by Tom Romano on the importance of healthy and nutritious meals for students.