Request for Proposals & Charter School Application

Clarifying Question/Response to RFP 2014

Updated November 20, 2013


The RFP states that the Chief Financial Officer "must be an employee of the school." 


The Commission provided additional information on August 30, 2013, through the Questions and Answers document which included:


  • The Commission expects the Head of School and the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to report directly to the Governing Board, or
  • the Chief Financial Officer reporting to the Head Of School, who reports directly to the Governing Board.


  • Both are required by the RFP to be employees of the school and not the Educational Service Provider (ESP) and independent of any ESP


Clarifying Question:


Can the Board retain the services of a Chief Financial Officer or Chief Financial Officer through a contract and have that person or entity report directly to the Board as long as there is no reporting relationship or employment by or through the Education Management Organization (EMO)?


Answer:   Yes, providing that the conditions listed above have been met.  The Chief Financial Officer or provider of CFO services under contract must be shown to be truly independent of the EMO and not a person or service provider who has a separate business relationship with the EMO.  



Added September 26, 2013


Definition of “founders board” vs governing board.


Answer:   “The details of charter school creation and day-to-day operations fall to the school’s “founder” or “organizer.”


6.  “Governing Board” means the independent board of a public charter school that is party to the charter contract with the authorizer and whose members have been elected or selected pursuant to the school’s application.   MRS 20-A § 2401 Definitions


I assume these charter commission meetings are public?  9-12 or 1-3


Answer:  October 1, 2013  Workshop and Monthly Business Meeting

  •  The workshop and the monthly business meeting are open to the public.
  •  9 a.m. - 12 noon is the workshop on evaluation of the applications.
  •  1 p.m. - 3 p.m. is the regular MCSC monthly business meeting.



I reviewed the materials on the site as suggested, but cannot determine if the Commission has the option of accepting or rejecting a charter application on December 2?


Answer:   Maine Charter School Commission - 90-668 Chapter 002: Procedures for Commission Authorization of Public Charter Schools


Section 4.  Application Filing


1. Review for completeness


Each application received by the Commission by the application deadline must be reviewed for completeness. The completeness review must be completed by the Commission or its staff within 7 business days of the deadline for submission of the application.  The commission shall notify each applicant of the results of the completeness review in a timely fashion.


2. Standard for completeness; grounds for rejection


To be considered a complete application, the application must include all information requested in the Application and must be filed by an entity eligible to submit an application pursuant to Title 20-A section 2407, subsection 2 or 3.  The Commission shall notify the applicant of the specific errors or omissions that prevent the application from being considered complete, and shall allow the applicant to file corrections of the error or omission, as long as the corrections are filed with the Commission within 5 business days after the applicant’s receipt of the notice of error or omissions. An application is considered to be filed on the date on which the corrections are filed with the Commission. If the application is filed by an entity that is not eligible to apply or the application, after an opportunity to correct, does not contain all required information, the Commission shall reject the application.


3.  Notice to applicants


If the application is complete, the Commission shall notify the applicant that the application has been accepted and will be reviewed in accordance with this rule.


Can you please provide guidance on which Per Pupil Revenue Projection a statewide virtual school should use?


Answer:  MRS 20-A Chapter 112 Public Charter Schools § 2413 Funding is applicable to any Maine public charter school.  


Can you offer information regarding federal startup funding processes?


Answer:  MCSC has no knowledge of federal startup funding.


Added October 8, 2013


Is principal certification required in order to become the Head of School for a charter school?


Answer:  Public charter school administrators are not required to be certified, but all school staff must be fingerprinted and undergo a background check.


Added November 12, 2013


A recent news story on WCSH referenced a new rule that virtual charter schools in Maine must have a mandatory amount of “face to face” time with enrollees.   Can you clarify for me?


In a review of the Virtual RFP, I find the following sections relevant to face-to-face time with enrollees. There may be other excerpts related to this criterion within the virtual RFP. 



Paragraph 4  Bullet 3

Page 3


Answer: The virtual school must present a plan for weekly, live, synchronous interactive contact between and among instructors and students for all courses designed for middle grades and for all core courses for students enrolled in a high school program; and 


A.2 Academic Program

Applicant Instructions

Paragraphs 7 and 8

Page 11


Answer: Explain how teachers will engage with each student in weekly live (synchronous), interactive contact and provide evidence of such contact.


Answer: Describe the school’s plan to incorporate in-person social interaction among students and school staff.


Evaluation Criteria

Paragraph 7

Page 12


Answer: Provides an explanation as to how teachers will differentiate the instruction and provide weekly, interactive contact with every student and a plan to incorporate in-person social interaction among students and school staff;



B. 1 School Calendar and Daily Schedule

Applicant Instructions

Paragraph 3

Page 19


Answer: Explain how weekly live, interactive contact will occur.


D.4 Transportation

Applicant Instructions

Paragraph 2 Note:

Page 34


Note:  A virtual charter school is required to provide, or provide for, transportation services that meet at least the following student needs: transportation to and from a testing site for required state assessments, transportation required to participate in in-person meetings and activities required by the school, and transportation required by state or federal law or regulation relating to services to students with disabilities, including but not limited to transportation to evaluation appointments and transportation to receive related services under an IEP.


Evaluation Criteria

Paragraph 1

Page 34


Answer: Present a thorough, realistic and cost-effective transportation plan by proposed school, including transportation as specifically required of virtual charter schools and transportation for students with disabilities in the manner to comply with IDEA.


Updated November 13, 2013


Can you please tell us where to include the oversight fee in the budget form?


Answer: The 3% is paid to the Commission directly from the resident districts as indicated on the invoices provided by the public charter schools:

 3% for the Maine Charter School Commission should be paid to “Treasurer, State of Maine” and mailed to:   Maine Charter School Commission, 182 State House Station, Augusta ME 04333-0182.


Therefore, the 3% oversight fee is not contained within your budget.


Is there a template for the board information sheets? If not, should there be a board information sheet for each board member included in the tabs?


Answer: No, there is not a template.  A board information sheet contains:


A Board Member’s Directory information – name, address, home phone, occupation, business phone. etc.


Other info would include:

  • How long a resident of the catchment area?

  • Why do you wish to serve on the board?

  • What interests or concerns do you have regarding the name of school Public Charter School?

  • Please list any previous or present educational involvement; such as board member, budget committee, citizens committees, etc.  Indicate school or district.

  • What special qualifications do you have that will help you to be a board member?

 Yes, there should be a board information sheet for each currently-identified member under Tab 30 with the corresponding resume.


Tab 2 Special Education Procedural Safeguards and Tab 9 Procedural Safeguards --- could you elaborate on what the difference is between them?


Answer: This is a misprint.  There should only be Tab 9 Procedural Safeguards.


Each year, school administrative units must distribute an updated copy of the Procedural Safeguards to families of children identified with disabilities under the Maine Unified Special Education Regulations (MUSER). This document provides parents with information about their rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  Please provide your plan for ensuring that this document will be provided either in person, through the mail or via email each year to each parent of a student with a disability.


Updated November 20, 2013


Can the application be copied double-sided or does it need to be copied single- sided?


Answer:  The application can be provided to MCSC either single-sided or double-sided.



 // Bob Kautz

Executive Director