Quality & Accountability
Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools
Code of Accountability
The Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools (PCPCS) is dedicated to choice, quality and accountability in public education. Essential to that goal is the absolute commitment of every PCPCS member to the highest standards of Academic, Financial, Operations and Governance performance. This Code of Accountability defines the specific actions that every PCPCS member commits to achieving as a member of the organization.
- Publish curriculum goals inhouse and make them readily available to charter school families, school districts, and taxpayers.
- Implement policies and procedures that will enable the school to reach its academic goals and objectives.
- Allocate resources needed for student achievement.
- Adopt an open enrollment procedure absent unless oversubscribed in which case use a public lottery enrollment.
- Set sensible annual budgets under the light of full public disclosure. Each budget will consider all long-term debt schedules and multi-year contracts.
- Maintain immediate and long-range financial plans to effectively implement the school’s educational programs.
- Empower the Board of Trustees to monitor the school for fiscal health.
- Establish a purchasing policy that provides best practices and thresholds for quotes and bids concerning ordinary operational matters. That policy will be presented to the Board of Trustees at the meeting immediately following the 100 day period and will be voted upon within 60 days.
- Submit monthly financial reports directly to the Board of Trustees and CEO through the business manager/CFO.
- Make fiscal records and annual reports available to the public.
- Not use charter school funds, credit cards, lines of credit, or any financial tool for personal gain. All expenditures reimbursed to charter school personnel will be available for public inspection.
- Not abuse public funds in any regard whatsoever.
- Pay financial obligations in a timely manner and disclose financial statements.
- Disclose salaries and expenses to parties requiring such information in the same manner that is expected from the authorizing school district.
- Hold Student Activities Funds in a separate and distinct account and only apply those funds to student activities. Adopt procedures that spell out how these funds are accepted and distributed.
- Set reasonable thresholds before large expenditures can be made.
- Establish an organizational chart that includes precise details such as who has check signing authority, who has banking privileges, and who reconciles financial transactions. The same person can hold no more than one of the aforementioned responsibilities.
- Forbid the Treasurer from being seated on the charters school’s funding committee.
- Reconcile financial accounts monthly.
- Ensure that the financial interests of Trustees do not conflict with public interests
- Create, monitor, and enforce sound comprehensive policies and procedures.
- Establish and implement processes to recruit, employ, retain, and mentor qualified professional and support staff to fulfill assigned roles and responsibilities.
- Establish and implement a process to design, evaluate, and improve professional development and ensure participation by all.
- Implement processes and plans for maintaining sites, facilities, and equipment.
- Provide and coordinate support services that meet the health, counseling, nutrition, and transportation needs of all students.
- Implement a system that regularly monitors and evaluates the success of the programs and services, success against objectives, and stakeholder satisfaction
- Provide new trustees with formal orientations to their new positions.
- That orientation will be presided by a ranking charter school administrator and two Trustees who have each served at least one-half of a full term.
- Ensure that all members of the charter school and the Board of Trustees perform their duties in a professional and ethical manner.
- Comply with all laws related to compensation and employment regulations.
- Thoroughly investigate references to determine the reputation of prospective staff and ensure applicants adhere to a high expectation. The investigation will also include criminal histories and child abuse clearances.
- Except upon occasions where there exists no alternative, the school will not engage in contractual arrangements with for-profit or nonprofit entities in which board members or school officials have financial or personal stakes. Should a situation warrant that arrangements occur, the school will notify all stakeholders and make the decisions in an open, public manner.
- Provide a stable foundation for ethical leadership. All school policies will be transparent and implemented in a fair and consistent manner.
- Ensure that the bylaws for charter advisory boards will be amended to include a Conflict of Interest Policy, Meeting Protocols and Procedures, and formal descriptions and organizational charts detailing roles and authorities within the school.