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, June 21, 2024

State Public Charter School Authority Board Meeting

Access the meeting agenda and playback.


What happened at this meeting?

Public Comment

  • Nevada statutes related to eligibility for SPCSA board service.

Board Approved the Consent Agenda

Consent agenda highlights included: 

Explore the Consent Agenda.

Board Received a Presentation on New Performance Frameworks

WestEd presented draft recommendations of the new Performance Frameworks for board discussion and feedback. Some of the proposed changes include: 

  • Organizational: Moving financial indicators from the Organizational to the Financial framework; creating a compliance checklist with separate indicators to rate each checklist item and allow schools to assess standards more clearly; adding quality indicators for board governance and educational programming.
  • Financial: Additional context to better explain metrics included in the framework; moving financial indicators from the Organizational to the Financial framework; increasing Days Cash on Hand from 15 to 60 days aligned with national best practices; adding a metric for Unrestricted Fund Balance as an indicator of a school’s overall financial health.
  • Academic: Replacing the NSPF enrollment indicator with subgroup (English Language Learners, Economically Disadvantaged, Students with disabilities) performance; adjustment to points for chronic absenteeism; an option for schools to provide mission-specific narratives around goals for display only; adding geographic comparison for display only and not awarded for points; including an indicator around returning students; adding a Grade 8 math proficiency indicator. 

Explore the draft revisions for the Organizational Performance Framework, Financial Performance Framework, and the Academic Performance Framework.

SPCSA Executive Director’s Report

Highlights from the report include:

  • School Highlight: Discovery Charter School was highlighted for displaying resilience, adaptability, and ability to navigate complex situations effectively including  responsiveness to flooding/fire damage at school campuses.
  • Delinquent Schools’ PERS Contributions:  Explore Academy is currently seeking a revenue stream to pay off PERS due to a recent loan denial. Explore the memo.
  • Exceptional Enrollment and Growth Audit (EEGA): The SPCSA has completed most EEGA audits. To qualify, schools must be in good financial standing and have an enrollment growth of 25%, or be opening for the first time. Schools qualifying for an EEGA  audit include:
    • Existing schools
      • BBA: Added 96 students
      • Sage: Added 109 students
      • Strong Start: Added 73 students
      • Nevada Prep: Aiming for 364 students before next week’s audit
    • New schools in the incubation year
      • Vegas Vista: 102 students
      • Thrive Point: 159 students
      • DBAE: 53 students
      • Rooted: 23 students

These numbers represent the students schools will be paid for in their first quarter. Schools with fewer than 75 students (DBAE and Rooted) will be required to submit their enrollment plans.

Board Heard an Update Regarding New Schools Scheduled to Open in the Fall

  • Vegas Vista Academy will be located in Aguilas at 5355 Madre Mesa Dr for the 2024-25 school year, with the Certificate of Occupancy already submitted. They have secured a one-year lease with the option to extend for two more years while searching for a permanent facility. The enrollment audit shows 38 fewer students than the approved budget, but staff are working diligently to fully enroll families and reach 140 students by August 1. Additionally, the school is now officially an IB candidate.
  • Thrive Point has applied for a Certificate of Occupancy for 3802 Meadows Lane. The enrollment audit has been submitted with 159 students, falling short by two students to reach the 90% target. Of these 159 students, the goal is for 95 to qualify for alternative education. The Board is currently revising the budget to accommodate the new enrollment figure of 159 students, down from the originally budgeted 300 students.
  • Do & Be Academy of Excellence: The audit is pending with over 53 students submitted. Currently, 55 students are fully enrolled, with 16 applications in progress to reach 90 students. The school is hosting informational events, building partnerships, participating in back-to-school events, and using social media and radio ads. Negotiations with Rooted for a final lease are ongoing, with a shared Certificate of Occupancy. The school will revise the budget with EdTech if the audit confirms 53 students. Additionally, the school is applying for arts grants that they will qualify for once open.
  • Rooted School – Las Vegas:  The audit was conducted with 23 fully enrolled students, another 12 completing final paperwork, and 139 leads in the recruitment pipeline. The facility lease is progressing. Over the next month, efforts will focus on marketing, digital recruitment, lead targeting, and event canvassing. The Board aims to reach at least 40 students, recognizing this falls short of the budget. Contingency plans include applying for the Nevada Facilities Solutions credit enhancement, cost-sharing with Do & Be Academy, seeking funding from the Charter School Growth Fund, and leveraging resources from the Rooted School Foundation.

Board Approved Amendment Applications for Alpine Academy

The Board approved, with conditions, Alpine Academy’s amendment request to relocate to 1421 Pullman Dr. in Sparks, NV, and to increase its enrollment cap through the remainder of its charter term and through the 2028-2029 school year. The conditions include facilities and pre-opening requirements.

Explore the recommendation memo.

Board Approved Termination of the Charter Contract for Eagle Charter School

The board approved terminating Eagle Charter School’s charter contract due to financially owing to the Nevada Department of Education, failure to comply with fiscal management standards, and inability to present a viable budget for the 2024-2025 school year. Eagle cannot enroll new students until the matter is resolved.

The school provided updates on board recruitment, board governance, and student enrollment. 

Eagle will have 30 days to attempt to cure the Notice of Termination by completing 12 items outlined in a cure action plan by July 21, 2024.

Explore the recommendation memo.

Board Approved the Voluntary Surrender of the Charter Contract of TEACH Las Vegas

The board approved the recent decision by the TEACH Las Vegas board to surrender their charter contract and close the school. Additionally, the board appointed Josh Kern as the administrator to oversee the closure process. The board also approved the submitted closure plan and directed the SPCSA staff to collaborate with Josh Kern to ensure all closure requirements are met.

Explore the recommendation memo.

Board Approved the Financial Performance Review and Recommendations for the 2022-23 School Year

The Board approved adoption of the Financial Performance Framework results presented for the following four schools for fiscal year 2023 for all eight indicators: Equipo Academy, Explore Academy, Nevada Prep, and Pinecrest Academy of Nevada. 

The board also approved issuing a Notice of Concern to Equipo Academy and a Notice of Breach to Explore Academy.

The Board (by an 8-1 vote) further approved a motion not to issue a Notice of Breach to Nevada Preparatory Charter School per staff recommendation due to the school making significant progress. Instead, the school was approved to remain under its existing Notice of Concern, with the added requirement of providing monthly reports to SPCSA staff.

Explore the recommendation memo.

Board Approved Student Representative to the SPCSA Board in Fall 2024

The SPCSA team approved a non-voting student member on the SPCSA board to incorporate a direct student perspective into the Board’s processes, and to hear unique insights into policy, process, and environment. The student would receive an opportunity for civic engagement, enhanced understanding on policy implementation, and cultivating their own leadership skills. 

Staff recommended opening the application window in July 2024, due in August 2024 and to start their tenure in September 2024. Applicants must be a junior or senior attending an SPCSA-sponsored school, and must submit a letter of good standing signed by their principal. SPCSA leadership and either the board chair or vice-chair would select the student representative. Application questions would include name, year of graduation, school name, resume, and personal statement explaining why the student wants to serve on the SPCSA board.

Review the action memorandum.

Board Elected a New Vice Chair

Board members elected member Kurt Thigpen to serve as Vice Chair of the SPCSA Board. 

Long-Range Calendar (next 3 months):

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

  • New schools update
  • Training on the charter school application process
  • Charter application timeline

Public Comment

Public comment highlights included:

  • Support for Eagle Academy.

The next Meeting of the SPCSA Board is scheduled for Friday, July 26, @ 9:00 a.m.

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