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, May 17, 2024

State Public Charter School Authority Board Meeting

Access the meeting agenda and playback.

What happened at this meeting?

Public Comment

  • Concerns regarding bullying at a school campus

Board Approved the Consent Agenda

Consent agenda highlights included:

Explore the consent agenda items.

SPCSA Executive Director’s Report

Highlights from the report include:

  • School Highlight: Mater Academy of Northern Nevada incorporated an incentive to teachers and staff engaging with families.
  • Delinquent Schools’ PERS Contributions: NV Prep has an approved payment plan; Explore Academy is waiting until its audit to access funds; TEACH Las Vegas has an approved payment plan; and Eagle Charter School has not yet turned in required paperwork for PERS to allocate funds and confirm accuracy.
  • New Charter School Enrollment and Facility Update: Do & Be Arts Academy has secured a facility, and is hoping enrollment increases as a result. As of May, 34 students of a target 75 students (by the end of May) have been enrolled. Rooted School has 23 students fully enrolled and 78 starting the process. ThrivePoint Academy has 11 students enrolled and 42 starting the process. Vegas Vista Academy has 53 fully enrolled students, with 205 indicating interest.
  • Exceptional Enrollment and Growth Audit: An audit detailing the Q3 Average Daily Enrollment and FY24 budgeted enrollment and the increase for each school has been provided, so staff may monitor enrollment efforts to ensure financial and organizational viability. Explore the report.
  • New Charter School Applications Received: Capacity interviews will follow applications received, and recommendations will be brought to the Board in August for consideration.
  • Federal Grants Administered by the SPCSA: SPCSA supports sponsored schools with 40 state and federal grant programs and transportation funding, totaling approximately $153 million in funding to eligible charter schools. Review the grant update.

Board Heard an Update Regarding ThrivePoint Academy of Nevada

Enrollment for the school opened on April 29, 2024. Staff have been working with CCSD school counselors and social workers. It has deployed a marketing strategy that has increased interest, including a monthly newsletter, Google Ads, Facebook ads, social media postings, and radio interviews, and is averaging three students a day. It has also secured partnerships with multiple community organizations and has participated in several community events.

ThrivePoint Academy’s new facility at the corner of Valley View Blvd. and Meadows Ln. Its zoning permit was approved on May 14. The school has six board members.

Explore the presentation.

Trustees Heard an Update on the Federal Charter School Program Grant and the Nevada Facilities Fund

Opportunity 180 presented on two items:

The Nevada Facilities Fund is a public-private partnership that provides a dedicated facility funding resource to public charter schools in Nevada specifically serving areas that have been typically underserved. Projected savings for schools is $150,000 – $200,000 annually. It is a $100 million revolving loan fund, and payments will recycle in perpetuity. Pipeline for schools include Futuro Academy, Beacon Academy, and several others in Northern, Southern, and rural Nevada.

Opportunity 180 oversees the Great Schools for Nevada Charter School Program Grant, which aims to increase the number of high-quality new, replicated, or expanded public charter schools serving at-risk student populations, as well as support the charter sector in a variety of ways. The grant is disbursed to schools that have been awarded CSP funds; all requested budget items for reimbursement through the grant must be necessary, allowable, reasonable, and allocable. There are specific decision-making guardrails for grant sizes, as well as categorization of a grantee as high-risk and mediation efforts to ensure schools are in compliance with the federal requirements of the grant.

Explore the presentation.

Board Received an Update on Eagle Charter School

SPCSA staff presented an update on the concerns of the Authority for the operational and financial performance of Eagle Charter School:

  • Budgets were submitted for 224, 325, and 448 students. There are still concerns from SPCSA staff on revenue, timing on Pupil Centered Funding Plan payments, disparities in grants and medical benefits for the staff, and legal fees.
  • The school shared additional files on May 13; the staff will review them.

The school provided an update, as well, indicating that before and after care was not available at the school’s temporary facility. English Language Learner and IEP funding will also be addressed with projected enrollment. PERS contributions have been corrected in documentation. SPCSA Board members also inquired about governance practices, board composition, budget analysis, staffing, accountability, and future financial planning.

Explore the update memo.

Board Provided Feedback on the SPCSA Language Access Plan

Nevada Senate Bill 318 requires that state and local agencies and entities that receive public money have a Language Access Plan so they receive meaningful, timely access to the programs and services of those agencies and entities. The Plan focuses on public-facing communications and services, detailing preferred languages data, access services, procedures and implementation, and evaluation of the Plan.

Explore the Language Access Plan.

Board Discussed Updating the Charter School Application Deadline

Currently, charter school applications are submitted by the end of April, and are approved or denied at the August board meeting. Resubmissions are presented in November/December. Schools have a one or two-year incubation period. Previously, there were two cycles (submissions in January and July). Board members requested to discuss the potential of moving the application window to move to January or February, for application review in May or June.

Some of the concerns have been on schools not hitting enrollment targets based on facilities, and potentially adjusting the deadline to give schools more lead time. Considerations would be a longer incubation period, during which the school does not receive state funding, and problems if facilities are available prior to the school receiving funds.

Staff will have a possible updated timeline for the June board meeting for discussion.

Review the presentation.

Board Discussed a Student Representative on the SPCSA Board

The SPCSA team proposed having a student as a non-voting member of the SPCSA board to incorporate an authentic, student-focused perspective into the process. The proposed process would include an application period, requirement of a certain GPA and the candidate to be either a junior or senior in high school. A representative would be selected by the SPCSA leadership team. The representative would serve a one-year term, from August 2024 – July 2025.

After discussion regarding GPA requirements, attendance, transportation, and equity concerns, the Board opted to approve having a Student member, with specific criteria and application process to be brought to the June board meeting for discussion and approval.

Review the proposal.

Long-Range Calendar (next 3 months):

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

  • Eagle Charter School update
  • Board elections
  • Contract amendments
  • New schools update
  • Northern Nevada board meeting (October 4)

Explore the calendar.

Public Comment

Public comment highlights included:

  • Congratulations to graduating high school students

The next Meeting of the SPCSA Board is scheduled for Friday, June 21, @ 9:00 a.m.

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