FAQs: Organization & Governance

  • Who runs a charter school?
    A non-profit governing board holds the charter for the school. The governing board is responsible for ensuring that academic performance measures set forth in the charter are met. The governing board’s duties and responsibilities include school-level decision making, fiscal management, and a variety of school operations such as personnel decisions.
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  • How do charter schools choose a governing board?
    Charter schools typically select governing board members who have expertise in areas that would enable them make informed decisions on all aspects of operating a school such as education, law, finance, marketing, non-profit management or any other background that is critical to the vision of the school.
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  • How many members are on a charter school governing board?
    There is not an exact number; however, the typical charter school governing board has between seven and fifteen members.
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  • How is the governing board run?
    Each governing board is unique. However, a governing board typically has by-laws that determine the composition of the board, general operations, as well as elections, terminations, vacancies and conflicts of interests. Governing boards should meet regularly throughout the school year.
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  • What authority does the board have if the school contracts with an educational management organization (“EMO”)?
    The charter school’s governing board has the decision making authority, not the EMO. EMO representatives cannot sit on the governing board of a charter school, as this presents a conflict of interest.
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  • How does the principal fit into this structure?
    The principal oversees the charter school’s daily operations and reports issues to the governing board regarding areas identified in the charter contract. The principal may also serve as an ex-officio member of the board. As an ex-officio member of the board, the principal shall not participate in voting.
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