To be eligible for the California Public Charter Schools Grant program (PCSGP) , a charter school must demonstrate a high degree of autonomy. Under the U.S. Department of Education the Charter School Program defines a highly-autonomous charter school as a charter school that exhibits a high degree of autonomy over the curriculum, staffing, and financial decisions of the school.Criteria include:
- Governance Structure: is elected or appointed independently of the chartering authority.
- Operations: the charter school governing board or entity as described in the school's approved charter exhibits meaningful control over a majority of its operations (i.e., professional development, school year calendar, disciplinary policies and procedures, curriculum, graduation requirements, etc.)
- Staffing: the charter school retains a majority of decision-making authority over the hiring, employee assignment, and other personnel decisions and actions.
- Financial Decisions: the approved charter demonstrates that the charter school governing board or entity as described in the school's approved charter exhibits control over the development and adoption of the charter school's budget, the receipt and expenditure of funds, business management services, audit services, purchasing and contracting decisions, and other financial matters in general.
The Science and Technology Academy at Knights Landing (Sci-Tech) does demonstrate a high degree of autonomy.
Governance of the Charter School is vested in the Charter’s Governance Committee, which operates autonomously from the WJUSD Board of Trustees. Sci-Tech’s Governance Committee is comprised of the Sci-Tech Lead Teacher, one (1) community member selected by the Lead Teacher, one (1) representative from WJUSD, one (1) parent elected by parents of current Sci-Tech students, and an elected representative of the School’s staff. With the exception of the Lead Teacher and WJUSD representative, all other members of the Governance Committee are serving three-year staggered terms as determined by the Governance Committee.
Our current Governance Committee is excited to be working with the School, and is committed to providing leadership and guidance.
The Governance Committee has meaningful control over a majority of Sci-Tech’s operations, including:
(a) Preparation of Sci-Tech’s annual budget, in conjunction with the WJUSD Associate Superintendent of Business Services or designee.
(b) Review of the Sci-Tech curriculum, instructional methods/strategies, and instructional calendar.
(c) Participation in the selection, hiring, evaluation and retention of staff.