Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Business Manager's Network Meeting Update

Last week the Colorado Business Manager's Network meeting revealed a LOT of new information for charter schools! Here's a synopsis:

· SB 10-001, Eliminate PERA’s Unfunded Liabilities, increases the employer’s contribution from 13.85% this year to 14.75% next year. The bill moves COLA benefit increase from March to July. It also puts a 12-month waiting period on contributors being eligible to get the benefit. In 2010 the COLA is calculated by 20% of the CPI for wage earners (-.6%). This resulted in about 90 million extra money for PERA to invest for the next year. PERA pensions are compounded annually. Highest average salary calculation remained over 3 years (5 yrs was originally proposed in the legislation). Minimum age for retirement will increase to 60 yrs of age, but is age 58 for schools if the wage earner has worked in schools for at least 10 yrs (affects people hired after Jan. 1, 2011).

· Legislative Update, Vincent Badolato, CLCS: 6.3% cut for FY 10-11. Statutory 5 million for charter school capital construction remained intact. The capital construction will now be paid monthly, instead of in one lump sum.

· HB 1036: Financial Transparency Act. Annual budgets, quarterly financials and general financial information must be posted online this coming school year. Next year additional information will be required. May be in a PDF format.

· HB 1345, Emergency Powers over Charter Schools: Commissioner has authority to intervene in an emergency situation. State board rule will define what can be an emergency. This impacts CMOs that have schools in a variety of districts.

· HB 1412, Charter School & Authorizer Standards Review Cmte. A 13-member advisory committee to make recommendation to the state board for quality standards. Authorizer standards would probably be modeled after the NACSA Principles & Standards. Appointments to the committee will be made by October 2010.

· SB 111, CSI Clean-up. Establishes a study group to consider letting charter schools develop a cooperative to become an LEA. Creates a school food authority account in the CSI fund to receive any moneys received operating as a SFA.

· SB 161, Charter School Collaboratives. Allows charter schools to apply for competitive federal and state grants without needing the consent of a charter school’s current authorizer. CSI may function as the LEA and fiscal agent for collaborative that choose to apply for grants.

· FMLA is applied to schools with more than 50 employees within a radius of 75 miles. Schools with less than that may not be covered by FMLA, but they should act as if they are covered since they wouldn’t want to be a test case. Employees who have physically worked 1250 hours are covered. Employees must be given 12 wks of leave (may be unpaid or take vacation time). Upon return must be able to resume job or comparable job. Intermittent use of the 12 wks is permitted. Notified 30 days in advance is required if the employee knows about the illness. A doctor’s note can be required if the employee is out more than 3 days. If the employee has benefits before FMLA the employer must pay the employer portion of benefits, but the employee must pay their portion.

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