Reporting Requirements: Revising a Charter
Charter schools operate with expanded autonomy in exchange for increased accountability. A charter school is held accountable to the language set forth in the approved initial and/or renewal charter application, which becomes part of the school’s charter. A revision is a change to the school design as set forth in the school’s charter. These revisions may include, but are not limited to, changes to the academic program, governance structure, mission, key design elements, location of the school, and/or certain policies and procedures.
Revisions to a charter may require the approval of either the SUNY Board of Trustees or the SUNY Charter Schools Institute.
Types of Charter Revisions
- Material Revisions: changes that require specific permission by the SUNY Board of Trustees or the SUNY Charter Schools Institute prior to implementation. These changes may include, as determined by the SUNY Charter Schools Institute, enrollment changes, at-risk admissions preferences, or management company changes.
- Non-Material Revisions: slight changes to the school’s educational philosophy, key design elements, mission or vision, governance or leadership structure, curriculum model, school design, school’s calendar or schedule, and/or policies and procedures.
- No Prior Approval Required: changes a school can make on its own without seeking permission from the Institute such as a change to the mission statement (charter paragraph 3.2), or a change in class size or number of students per grade (charter paragraph 3.3).
Guidelines for Requesting a Charter Revision
- When considering a revision, the school should reach out to the Institute’s Associate Counsel to determine if the revision is material or non-material and to discuss timing and submission requirements.
- Schools should plan requests for a charter revision well in advance of implementation to allow enough time for processing.
- Material and non-material revision requests must be submitted in writing with all documentation as required by the Institute.
- For schools currently due to be renewed in the current academic year and for implementation for the new charter term (if granted), revision requests may be submitted as part of the renewal application.
- For material revisions which require approval of the SUNY Trustees Charter Schools Committee, the Institute determines if the revision will be recommended. If the Institute recommends the revision and the SUNY Trustees Charter Schools Committee approves, a charter revision document will be executed revising the charter and sent to the New York State Education Department for final approval.
- The Institute reserves the right not to recommend a revision.