(A) The duties and responsibilities of a sponsor of a new start-up community school in a challenged school district shall be specified in a sponsorship agreement with the department and in each community school contract to which the sponsor is a party. These duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:
(1) Attend training sessions as required by the department, and assure that technical assistance is provided to the community school(s) that it sponsors;
(2) Verify by a site-visit prior to the community school's opening for instruction and provide in writing the annual assurances for each sponsored school no later than ten business days prior to the opening of a the school as required by section 3314.19 of the Revised Code.
(3) Indicate fees, if any, which may not exceed three percent of the total amount of payments for operating expenses that the community school receives from the state that will be charged each community school for technical assistance, oversight and monitoring pursuant to section 3314.03 of the Revised Code. A community school's accepting, purchasing, subscribing to, or otherwise using any additional services and the associated fees offered by a sponsor shall not be a precondition for sponsoring the community school and shall be accompanied by the written assurances of the sponsor that the additional administrative services being provided:
(a) Pose no conflict of interest in accordance with Chapters 102. and 3301. of the Revised Code, and related statutory provisions, and;
(b) Shall be obtained at the lowest and best price at or below market value, as evidenced by two written price quotations from vendors not including that of the sponsor, or;
(c) If the community school accepts the sponsor's offer to provide the additional administrative services which was not the lowest written price quotation, the sponsor has received the community's school's justification, in writing, for not selecting the lowest written price quotation, which shall be approved and adopted by the community school's governing board by resolution.
All documentation required by paragraph (A)(3) of this rule shall be provided to the department upon request;
(4) Monitor and evaluate the community school's compliance with all laws and rules applicable to the community school and with the terms of the preliminary agreement and the community school contract;
(a) Conduct comprehensive site visits to the community school as necessary, but at least twice annually while classes are in session; and
(b) Make written reports of all information obtained during site visits, and provide written reports of all site visits to the department upon request.
(5) Monitor and evaluate the academic and fiscal performance and the organization and operation of the community school at least once each fiscal year;
(6) Report the results of the evaluation conducted under paragraphs (A)(4) and (A)(5) of this rule to the parents of students enrolled in the community school, and submit a written report of the evaluation results to the department by November 30th of each year;
(7) Provide technical assistance to the community school in complying with all laws and rules applicable to the community school and with the terms of the preliminary agreement and the community school contract, and initiate intervention in a timely manner under the circumstances.
(a) The sponsor of a community school or its representative(s) shall possess, or be capable of providing access to, resources in order to monitor and provide technical assistance and shall be located within fifty miles of the location of each community school that it sponsors, or in the case of an internet- or computer-based school, within fifty miles of each community school's base of operation, in order to provide monitoring and technical assistance;
(b) A representative of the sponsor, knowledgeable in school finance (based on education or experience), shall meet with the governing authority of the community school, shall review the financial records of the school at least once every two months and shall prepare written reports, which shall be made available to the department upon request; and
(c) The sponsor shall notify the department within twenty-four hours of a community school's failure to comply with applicable state or federal laws, rules, or contractual requirements, as well as any financial difficulties, if such failure to comply or financial difficulties occur and may result in the sponsor's determination to declare the community school to be on probationary status, to suspend the operation of the community school, or to terminate the community school contract. In such circumstances, the sponsor shall provide written notice to the department within thirty days of the community school's noncompliance or financial difficulties specifying the exact nature of the problem and the plan for and status of any resolution.
(8) Comply with the financial reporting requirements as established by the department and report separately as to each individual community school's financial records that the entity sponsors in accordance with applicable accounting standards and as prescribed by all applicable sections of the Revised Code and rules of the Administrative Code;
(9) Intervene in the community school's operation to correct problems in the community school's overall performance, declare the community school to be on probationary status pursuant to section 3314.073 of the Revised Code, suspend the operation of the community school pursuant to section 3314.072 of the Revised Code, or terminate the community school contract of the community school pursuant to section 3314.07 of the Revised Code as determined necessary by the sponsor;
(10) Have in place a written plan of action to be undertaken in the event that the community school experiences financial difficulties or closes prior to the end of a school year, and submit for approval the written plan of action (including, but not limited to, the handling of facilities, equipment, materials, supplies, employees, students, school records, including student records consistent with the requirements of section 3314.44 of the Revised Code, and addressing any other obligations of the community school) to the department within ten business days of the execution of the community school contract;
(11) Notify the department in writing within twenty-four hours of the execution of each preliminary agreement and community school contract; and
(12) Submit a copy of each preliminary agreement and community school contract executed, and any amendments thereto, in the format required by the department, within ten business days of such execution to the department.
(B) The number of preliminary agreements and community school contracts that a sponsor may enter into shall be specified in the sponsorship agreement based upon the entity's capacity as demonstrated in its sponsorship application. Sponsors may seek to modify their agreement with the department to increase the number of sponsored schools. The department shall consider such proposed modifications in a timely manner.
(C) Sponsors shall not enter into a new community school contract while any community school it sponsors is declared to be unauditable pursuant to section 265.80.20 of Amended Substitute House Bill 1 of the 128th General Assembly but may enter into a new community school contract upon notification from the auditor of state that the audit reports for the previously unauditable community schools have been released.
(D) The sponsorship agreement shall specify the geographic area in which the entity shall have authority to sponsor community schools in order for it to have the capacity to provide the necessary and proper monitoring and technical assistance in accordance with the requirements of this chapter. Sponsors may seek to modify their agreement with the department to increase the geographic area of sponsorship. The department shall consider such proposed modifications in a timely manner.
(E) The term of the sponsorship agreement shall be specified in the sponsorship agreement based upon the entity's capacity as demonstrated in its sponsorship application. At least one hundred eighty days prior to the expiration of the sponsorship agreement term, the sponsor shall notify the department as to its intent regarding the renewal of its sponsorship agreement. In any case when a sponsor becomes unwilling or unable to fulfill the obligations under the sponsorship agreement, a sponsor shall notify the department at least one hundred eighty days prior to any termination of the agreement.
(F) A sponsor shall not enter into any new or successor community school contract which has a term exceeding the term of the sponsorship agreement. If the sponsorship agreement is renewed, a new term shall be specified in the renewed sponsorship agreement based upon the entity's capacity and its effectiveness as a sponsor during the original term of the sponsorship agreement.
(G) Sponsors shall respond in a timely manner to reasonable requests from the department for information, data, and documents.
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 04/19/2013
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 3301.07, 3314.015, 3314.08, Section 7 of ASHB 364 of the 124th GA
Rule Amplifies: Chapter 3314. of the Revised Code, 3314.19, 3314.44, Section 7 of ASHB 364 of the 124th GA
Prior Effective Dates: 7/7/03, 5/19/06, 4/19/08