Nevada Ed-Watch

The Ed-Watch series is designed to increase access to information on what decisions
are being made regarding public education in Clark County and Nevada.

State Public Charter School Authority (SPCSA)


What is the SPCSA & what are they responsible for? Considered one of Nevada’s school districts, the SPCSA sponsors and oversees public charter schools. The Authority consists of seven appointed members responsible for overseeing educational and operational standards and holding sponsored schools accountable to the academic achievement of students.

How often does the SPCSA Board meet? The SPCSA typically meets once a month, generally on Fridays.

Click here for SPCSA meeting schedule and materials.

Can community members engage at SPCSA Board Meetings? While all meetings of the SPCSA are typically held publicly at the Nevada Department of Education building in Carson City and the Nevada Department of Education building in Las Vegas (1st floor boardroom), all meetings are now held virtually due to the COVID-19 crisis. Members of the public may view the meeting online via the link on the SPCSA’s Public Notice web page and the agenda and any supporting materials can be found here. Public comment may be given on any agenda item at the beginning of the meeting, or public comment regarding any matter that is SPCSA-related may be given at the conclusion of each Board meeting. Members of the community giving public comment can utilize the following conference call line: 1-312-584-2401; extension 3952176# with a time limit of three minutes per speaker. Alternatively, public comment may be submitted in writing to, and any such public comment received prior to the meeting will be provided to the Authority and included in the written minutes of the meeting.

Click here for a list of all SPCSA Members.

Click here for a list of all SPCSA sponsored schools.

Friday, January 26, 2024

State Public Charter School Authority Board Meeting

Access the meeting agenda and playback.


What happened at this meeting?

Public Comment #1

Public comment highlights included:

  • Both support and concern for the proposed expansion of Mater Academy of Northern Nevada to a new campus for the 2024-2025 school year

Board Approved the Consent Agenda 

Consent agenda highlights include:

Consent Agenda Item 3Ci, a charter school contract amendment for Nevada Prep, was removed.

Explore consent agenda items.

SPCSA Executive Director’s Report

Highlights from the report include:

  • Introduction to new Board Member: The Board will introduce new board member Ty Whitaker, who was appointed by Governor Lombardo, at an upcoming meeting.
  • Delinquent schools PERS contributions: Nevada Prep submitted a repayment plan which has been approved. Explore Academy has signed a purchase agreement and is waiting on an appraisal. Updates on remaining schools are provided in the report memo.
  • New charter school enrollment and facilities updates: Three of five new schools proposed to open Fall 2024 have found a location: Do & Be Arts Academy of Excellence, Rooted School Las Vegas,  and Vegas Vista Academy. ThrivePoint Nevada is working to secure an additional 10,000 square feet adjacent to their office. Additional school updates are provided in the report memo.
  • TEACH Las Vegas: SPCSA staff is working closely with TEACH Las Vegas to ensure continued progress. The school has found a permanent Executive Director who will start early February.
  • Acing Accountability: Governor Lombardo’s accountability initiative commits an increase of $2.6B to K-12 education over the biennium. The initiative holds school districts and the SPCSA accountable to certain metrics, including innovative solutions. SPCSA will work with schools to develop these solutions which will be approved by the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Schools will also be required to submit reports related to vacancies, long-term subs, and student pass rates for college and career readiness courses.

Explore the report memo.

Board Heard an Update Regarding New Schools

The Board reviewed an update from Rooted Schools. Highlights include:

  • Demolition and construction is underway for the school’s permanent facility at 2401 E Tonopah Ave.
  • The school is currently in its application window and has received 44 applications. The lottery will take place February 1, 2024 with enrollment to follow.

Board Reviewed Charter School Contract Amendments

The Board approved Mater Academy of Northern Nevada’s (MANN) request to 1) expand to a new campus for the 2025-26 school year; 2) modify grade-level configuration at the Boys and Girls Club Campus from grades K-8 to K-5; and 3) add a distance education option, with the following conditions which require MANN to provide:

  • Updated, signed MOUs for the proposed partners referenced in the amendment application no later than December 1, 2024.
  • Quarterly enrollment updates for the Golden Valley Campus through the pre-opening process
  • Completion of SPCSA pre-opening process for new and expanding charter schools
  • For Distance Education, performance and student success updates as well as supplement course enrollment updates.

Explore the recommendation memo and the amendment application.

Board Reviewed Organizational Performance Framework

This item was tabled until the March 2024 meeting.

Board Heard the State of the SPCSA Presentation

The SPCSA has 81 charter school campuses sponsored by the SPCSA across five counties: Churchill, Clark, Elko, Washoe, and White Pine. About 85% are located in Clark County. SPCSA-sponsored schools encompass 61,883 students, or about 12.7% of the students in Nevada. Twenty-five new charter school campuses have been opened in the last five years, and 79% of these new campuses are currently Title I schools.

Data highlights of school performance include:

  • 73% of SPCSA schools earn a 3-star rating or better on the Nevada School Performance Framework, and 47% are rated as 4- or 5-star schools
  • SPCSA schools have an average four-year graduation rate of 83.8%, and 25 or 26 high schools exceeded the statewide graduation rate.
  • SPCSA schools tend to outperform statewide averages on the Smarter Balanced Proficiency in both ELA and math.

Additionally, new SPCSA schools that opened in recent years are more reflective of state enrollment rates, and continue to progress towards alignment with the state’s demographics. 

The presentation also reviewed the strategic goals of the organization, and progress made relating to each of those goals.

Explore the presentation.

Board Approved the SPCSA Growth Management Plan

The SPCSA Growth Management Plan includes:

  • Currently educational models, performance, and demographics of schools in the portfolio
  • Demographics and needs assessments
  • How the organization is performing against its five-year strategic goals
  • Policies, procedures, capacity, and resources of the SPCSA – what currently exists in each area, as well as proposals or ideas being pursued in service of those goals

Updates to the document were highlighted in gray. Specific changes to Section 5 were detailed, which included: having charter schools in standard practices relating to auxiliary funding (such as transportation) to expand access and equity; updating academic, organizational, and financial frameworks; updating the application process; expanding capacity of school support, authorizing, and finance and operations to enable more direct support; increasing opportunities for technical assistance; and re-evaluating at-risk funding and equitable special education funding. After board discussion, teacher pay was added to the equity update bullet point.

Explore the document.

Long-Range Calendar (next 3 months):

Agenda items over the next two SPCSA board meetings are anticipated to include:

  • Meeting in Northern Nevada with school visits
  • Board school visits
  • Board retreat
  • Strategic planning work

Public Comment #2:

There was no public comment in the boardroom or online.

The next Meeting of the SPCSA Board is scheduled for Friday, March 1, @ 9:00 a.m.

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