During Tuesday’s monthly meeting of the DC Public Charter School Board the body considered an update to it Administrative Fee policy. The revision, which amounted to a “tidying up” of slightly different versions of the policy, was opened for public comment on January 27, 2016 and kept open until February 25, 2016, with a public hearing held on this issue on February 22, 2016.
As background remember that the PCSB back in 2014 increased the fee it charges the charters it regulates from a half of a percent of a school’s total revenue budget to one percent. Three institutions, KIPP DC PCS, Eagle Academy PCS, and Maya Angelou PCS, submitted comments asking that certain categories of revenue be excluded from this calculation, with all three recommending that some form of competitive grants, such as those provided at the Federal and state level, not be counted as part of the one percent. KIPP had four areas where it thought the charge should be reduced, including eliminating the per pupil facility allotment from the formula.
The PCSB staff stated that it reviewed these proposals and concluded that taking out any of the suggested categories of revenue from the fee “could limit the organization’s ability to sustain current operations and flexibility to respond to urgent issues, such as school closure.” The updated Administrative Policy was then approved unanimously by the board.
During the discussion Don Soifer, PCSB vice chair, pointed out that the doubling of the fee billed to charters allowed the contribution in general funds from the city to be lowered to zero.