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CCSA Issues Statement Regarding Inspire Public Schools

September 18, 2019

SACRAMENTO, CA – The California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) announced today that it has rescinded the membership of Inspire Charter Schools (Inspire) and recommended the organization engage in a third-party assistance management audit as the next step to address areas of continuing concern. The decision comes after Inspire fully participated and cooperated in a months-long due-diligence process looking into their operational and governance practices, which were raised by CCSA’s internal monitoring system and member schools.  

Inspire participated in CCSA’s Non-Academic Accountability (NAA) process, guided by CCSA’s Member Council. Throughout the months-long process, Inspire’s team was transparent, cooperative, and willing to make necessary changes to their operational and governance practices. Inspire took corrective action to address many of the concerns identified during the due-diligence process. However, CCSA and the Member Council believe additional examination is needed to strengthen Inspire’s policies and capacity, and ensure all practices meet high-standards of excellence. It was also determined that those areas are beyond the scope of the Non-Academic Accountability process.  

CCSA and the Member Council decided to rescind Inspire’s membership and recommend the organization engage in a third-party management study to review school and central office structures, policies and processes, leadership capacity, and internal controls. Future consideration for CCSA membership will be based on Inspire adopting CCSA’s and the management audit firm’s recommendations, and ongoing demonstration that Inspire has addressed all operational, fiscal, and governance practices to industry standards.

“While Inspire fully cooperated in the process and made many positive changes as a result, operational concerns remain,” said CCSA President and CEO Myrna Castrejón. “CCSA and our members firmly believe that all charter schools are accountable to the families they serve and must clearly demonstrate that student learning and decision-making, structures, and practices meet high-standards of quality and meet students’ interests and educational needs.”

The Non-Academic Accountability Principles and Process Framework, adopted in September 2018, provides guidelines on how to respond to issues of concern related to operations, fiscal, and governance practices in cases where other regulatory bodies are not acting. The framework is designed to respond to the concerns that member schools or trusted partners raise with CCSA staff, or issues identified through other ongoing work.

CCSA has notified Inspire’s authorizers throughout the state of these decisions, including:

Alta Vista Elementary School District

Beaumont Unified School District

Buckeye Union Elementary School District

Dehesa Elementary School District

Lake Elementary School District

Lucerne Valley Unified School District

Maricopa Unified School District

Westside Elementary School District

Winship-Robbins Elementary School District