Say Yes Guilford Creates Pathway for Charter Schools
GREENSBORO, NC (October 6, 2016) – Say Yes Guilford has approved a pathway that would allow Guilford County charter schools to seek inclusion in the Say Yes program. The pathway is similar to the one followed by Guilford County Schools prior to Guilford County being selected as a Say Yes chapter in 2015.
Say Yes Guilford Executive Director Mary Vigue indicates that while a pathway has been created, it does not mean charter schools are now included as Say Yes members. “This decision only determines the steps that must be followed for each respective charter school to be considered for inclusion in the Say Yes Guilford program,” says Vigue. “We want to be clear, so that no one is confused about who is eligible to receive scholarships and services this academic year, this decision does not mean charter schools are now included. However, per our commitment to the Guilford County Board of Commissioners, we have established a process that charter schools can and must follow if they want to be considered.”
Based on a commitment made to the Guilford County Board of Commissioners to determine a pathway for charter school inclusion, a joint charter schools study committee that included Say Yes Guiford scholarship board, operating committee and Guilford County charter schools’ representatives was formed. The study committee developed a set of recommendations, approved by both the Say Yes Guilford scholarship board and operating committee, that outlined a course of action charter schools would need to follow before being approved for inclusion.
Because charter schools are not a school system, each school must apply as an individual institution. However, just as was required of Guilford County Schools prior to its acceptance as a Say Yes chapter, charter schools must provide academic achievement, performance, and financial/expenditure data and assist in the development of a scholarship model. The model will be based on the institution’s student demographics that indicate the level of financial endowment required to sustain a viable scholarship program for that school. Charter schools must also secure at least 40 percent of the required scholarship endowment before any participation can occur.
Each step of the pathway process will be reviewed and vetted by an oversight group composed of representatives from the Say Yes Guilford scholarship board and operating committee, and the Say Yes to Education National Office. Final approval for admission into the Say Yes Guilford chapter must be made by the Say Yes to Education National Office, the Say Yes Guilford Scholarship Board and the Say Yes Guilford Operating Committee.
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