CCSA Answers: Charter Schools Developing Partnerships with Private Entities

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February 3, 2012

Question: May charter schools develop partnerships with private entities for the purpose of licensing curriculum to be used at the charter school?

Answer: A charter school has flexibility under the Charter Schools Act to determine the educational program and curriculum delivered at the charter school. Schools use many different types of models, such as Montessori and Waldorf models, which are typically associated with private schools.

However, if your school is a nonprofit corporation and you choose to purchase or license certain curriculum from a private entity with whom a charter school official has an ownership or employment relationship, you should ensure that the charter school board approves the transaction after determining that it's in the best interest of the charter school and that no conflict of interest exists at the time of the transaction (See Corporations Code Sections 5231; 5233). Additionally, there should be sufficient separation between the charter school and the private school so that there are no concerns that the charter school is operated in whole or in part by the private school.

We suggest you consider seeking legal counsel to ensure that the relationship with the private school is legally compliant, as the determinations are highly dependent upon the factual circumstances.

Find more reference materials, resources and templates in our online Charter School Resource Library. Still can't find what you need? Contact the CCSA Help Desk with your question.