Member Meetings

Meeting Schedule, 2022-2023

Our Member Meetings will be held virtually at 11am the 2nd Monday of each month. (click "+" below for meeting recap)    

Announcements and Upcoming Events

  • School Spotlights-Vista School opened new performing arts center on Saturday, January 7, 2023. Congratulations on your new space!
  • Charter Day on the Hill, January 23, 2023
  • Training Updates: ACES (Aspiring Charter Executive Seminars) begins January 10, 2023. REGISTER HERE

American Insurance & Investment Corp. – Meeting Sponsor      

  • Jeff Hirst Appreciates partnership with charter schools and sees a shared vision of independence. Contact him at 801-364-3434. American Insurance is a private insurance option for charter schools. See their ad in Charterology which explains why charter schools prefer private insurance.

 Legislative Updates --Royce Van Tassell

  • FINANCE: Plenty of money is available for public education. Teachers will have about $6K pay increase (¾ as direct pay increase and ¼ to cover increased benefits). Appropriated across the state for district/charter schools. This will be ongoing money. In addition, there will be a healthy increase in WPU value. Legislature passed Amend. G which implemented HB357 that built into budget automatic increases in WPU designed to cover inflation. This increase is roughly 3.5%. Governor’s budget proposed another 1.5% for total of 5% increase. Note: Governor's budget contains important recommendations, but the final decision is made by legislature. Base budgets will be adopted first half next week. Amount is typically last year’s budget plus statutory-required changes (including K-12 funding for enrollment), with the value of LRF built in. If disagreement w/budget occur later, there will at least be a base budget. Stalemate over budget at end has only happened once, so there are good . We are confident that budget education amounts will go up further. Revenue looks healthy. $2,981 LRF last year, increases in past years have been in the 7-9% range. Increases are statutorily-driven based on bonding capacity. Legislative Fiscal Analyst estimates LRF $3,074 per student (up from $175 last year).

  • BILLS: There are about 20 bills that touch on education. We will watch for bills and provide a watchlist on our website
    • FILLMORE: This bill will deal with curriculum choices. Hasn’t been numbered.
    • HB61 School safety amendments, Ryan Wilcox: This bill addresses how well-prepared schools are. This seeks to establish minimum safety standards for schools. Older schools will want to pay attention for language, etc. Requires school resource officer for every secondary school, which may not be feasible for smaller schools. We know it is important for schools to have a plan, but there are individual differences in schools that will need to be worked through. Funding note not included, so need to see what passes as far as cost requirements. Bill punts everything to task force—USBE/Public safety—to work through issues and determine what needs to be done.
    • Adam Robertson, School Fees, HB175: Rep. Robertson wasn’t wrong saying we shouldn’t have school fees, but is very costly to determine. Adam is resigning, Mark Strong will be carrying same legislation to address school fee issues. 
    • SB127 Senator Millner: There were unintentional technical language issues in original bill last year that if you were using software in reading that didn’t meet that bill’s requirements that you couldn’t use that software. SB44 intended to correct that problem.
    • SJR3 Fillmore: Seeking exemptions from property tax--property used to support education or support people with a disability. This affects some charter schools leasing or having a portable that pay property tax, so releases that burden.
    • SB170: This addresses science of reading panel and curriculum choices. Decisions of specific curriculum allowed hasn’t been made. Senator Millner’s bill doesn’t touch on that. Royce suspects that authority of Science of Reading panel may be clipped-USBE may exercise authority to recommend, but not require. Royce will research if specific curriculum will be required by the USBE and return to discuss in February Member Meeting.
    • Senator Anderegg: Running a bill to make sure directory information about students will be available. Implementation side-you as a school will be send email to state board and they would send directory information for students so you do not need to go through the district.
    • School Choice Legislation: Royce has been a supporter of school choice in all forms. Royce will maintain credibility and be a supporter personally. UAPCS is officially neutral
    • Royce recommends reaching out to your board members and let them know how important it is for small schools to have the base funding they need. Ask them to support the charter-based funding including reasons why there are challenges to comply with everything.

Utah State Board of Education-Jim Moss

  • Jim Moss, Chair, Molly Hart, Vice Chair, and Jennie Earl, Second Vice Chair
  • Randy Boothe, Chair Standards and Assessment
  • Matt Hymas, Chair Law and Licensing
  • Kristen Norton, Chair Finance
  • Board-voted priortities:
    • WPU increase 6% on top of inflation ($265M) Market-rate adjustment for talent retention. 
    • All-day kindergarten expansion (by choice) half-day and full-day options for choice. Equalize those with already have a program. 
    • Reports and Requirements task force to weed through pain points of burdens of reporting. Some progress for systemic relief, but looking at consolidating grant apps and necessity of every year requirements. 
    • Expand Beverly Taylor Sorensen Arts program
    • School safety
    • Student at-risk add-on (voted to accelerate)
    • Pupil transportation
    • USBE internal needs to make sure staffing appropriate 
    • Small district and Charter school base funding-WestEd study-not relevant to charters—still in discussion mode for long-term adjustment, need to achieve parity while working for that ($8M-$5 charter/$3M small district)-need to add $150/student for charter schools. Vote on that on Thursday. 
    • Two pieces important overall: Relieve reporting and continuing paid professional preparation hours funding, recommending again for allocating $64M in budget.
  • Broader themes: Strategic plan includes early learning, effective educators and leaders, safe and healthy schools, and personal and competency-based learning. Look at what is successful since Covid. In early learning/LETRS they will be watching for results. Effective ed/leaders they want to know what worked and who did a good job. 
  • Chair Moss wants to know what can districts and charters do to work together? Central theme to encourage collaboration. 
  • He has interest and in parent engagement. How we can proactively engage parents for student success? Proactive communication best way to proceed on controversial topics. How do we innovate and have flexibility to drive innovation? (Welton, Fillmore bills last year)
  • Survey from SCSB-how do you use flexibility and innovation? Appreciated responses from charter schools and would like to explore that question and how we can share that around the state. How do we empower people closest to the kids to encourage academic success?
  • JLC-Joint Legislative Council-made up of districts-Utah School Boards Association and Utah Superintendents Association They represent the field of schools and have their own set of priorities. USBE has different recommendations from their constituents and staff. USBE has some internal priorities to support staff. Base funding important to help achieve parity between districts and charters. 
  • It is helpful to contact your USBE representative, let them know that funding would help you.
  • Jim's home base is Wasatch County but he sees good things happening anywhere. Anything you have of good things happening, reach out to Royce or Jim. Would welcome hearing from any of us.

Next Meeting

  • Monday, February 13th at 11am - Online

Member Meeting Highlights


  • Congratulations to Joylin Lincoln, UAPCS Director of Teacher Licensing (APPEL Program)! She was elected to the Alpine School District Board. We appreciate the "cross-pollination" between district and charter schools. (She's one of 4 local district board members across the state that also serve on charter school boards!)
  • UAPCS Board Elections: Rabecca Cisneros and Chris Helvey have been elected for 3 year terms. Rabecca works at Itineris High School and Chris works at Freedom Preparatory Academy.

Dan Johnson, Utah House of Representatives, District 4 & Vice Chair House Education Committee

  • Rep. Johnson has 40 years of education experience, including as a charter school director. He supports the proposed increase in teacher salaries and benefits from the governor's budget recommendations. He supports funding for mental health services ($52M).
  • He recognizes that charter schools need to be funded well. He also received the message from voters for Proposition G that legislators need to fund education well from various sources.
  • All day kindergarten funding? The governor's budget has money to fund about 95% of operational all day kindergarten costs ($41M). The USBE has recommended $53M to cover costs.
  • There was a recommended increase in the WPU of 5-6% (3.5-4% cost of living, 1.6% above cost of living adjustment). Teacher compensation increase of $6000 ($4600 pay, $1400 benefits) across the board. Funding for this is a separate line item (not in WPU) of $200M of ongoing funds, not just a one-time allotment.
  • Rep. Johnson is also working to improve teacher working conditions by looking at ways to provide more compensated time for teacher professional development, especially given additional requirements for LETRS training by K-3 teachers.

Bryan Bowles, State Charter School Board, Chair

  • Chair Bowles shared SCSB priorities:
  • Supporting schools: What can we do to help you meet your goals?
  • Working with legislators
  • Evaluating/approving new schools: Will the school be successful? Is it helping to grow choice? Is it located where there is a need?
  • School Accountability? The SCSB makes sure that schools follow laws and recommends that schools are familiar with laws and statutes. The SCSB is reticent to close schools. They recognized that all schools have issues and we need to learn from them and move on.
  • Stakeholder Survey? Jennifer Lambert, Executive Director, SCSB, will report on the results of their stakeholder survey in an upcoming director's meeting.
  • Overall charter school growth? Charter LEAs grew more last year than district LEAs. Projections used to look at new homes being built, but with housing costs on the rise, that is not as accurate a predictor since many family live in rentals. There is growth in diverse populations, including economically disadvantaged. Royce commented that K-12 growth over the next decade is predicted to be flat.
  • Chair Bowles stated that we need to do better than district schools at operating schools and identify new areas for charter schools.
  • He welcomes your emails:

Lisa Cluff, Executive Director Artworks for Kids/Friends of BTS Arts, shared a video about the Beverly Taylor Sorensen Arts Learning Program. As a public/private partnership with USBE, they support arts integrated education. They would love more charter schools to participate. Grants cover up to 80% FTE licensed arts education teacher. Many charter schools have 0.5 FTE. Program applications accepted in late January.

Please see the following handouts for more information, including the benefits of arts education:

Contact with any questions.

Please evaluate your APPEL candidate teachers twice this year (also, all new teachers need 2 evaluations in their first year, APPEL program or not). The PPAT begins in January. We recommend candidates takes PPAT this year because remediation is available if they don't pass the 36 cut score.

Questions? Email Joylin and April at

Pre-Operational Training: Construction 101

Lunchtime Administrator Training: Developing Loyalty with Parents and Students

  • Wednesday, Dec. 14th, 12 noon on Zoom
  • Zoom Link

ACES (Aspiring Charter Executive Seminars) begins January 10, 2023.   ACES Registration

Free Registration Open!  Monday, January 23, 2023

Come listen to Governor Cox!


  • Capital Tours
  • Student Performances
  • Talk with Legislators
  • Pizza Lunch!

Travel stipends will be available $100-$300/school depending on number of schools participating.

Please register before Winter Break (to help us with planning)!  Register Here

Tuesday, October 11th, 2022 – 10:30 a.m. 

  • Announcements and Upcoming Events
  • School Spotlights
    • Guadalupe Charter School. As a non-profit organization, they have three programs, the largest is the elementary charter school. They also have an early education and adult education program. Listen Thursday to Charter School Conversations with Katina Santamaria, Principal of the Guadalupe School.
  • Charter Day on the Hill
    • Monday, January 23, 2023. 
    • Registration for schools and school performances will open on November 1, 2022.
  • School Board Debates
  • APPEL PPAT Bootcamp
    • Register Here, Dates: November 15, 22, 29 & December 6, 4:30-6:30pm. Cost is $150. 
  • Training Updates
    • October 19, 12pm, Administrator Training, Effective Teacher Evaluations
    • October 25, 7pm, Pre-Operation School Training, Establishing a Governing Board

  • Utah State Senate
  • Senator Ann Millner
    • Senator Millner discussed the reasoning behind SB 127. She saw that Utah’s 3rd grade reading proficiency in 2019 was 49%, last year dropped to 44%. In a desire to set up the foundational skill of reading, SB 127 was passed. This bill has set a 5 year goal to have all Utah students well above proficiency. She sought to get the funding in place for professional development of teachers and open source materials as resources for parents and caretakers.
    • There are some unintended consequences of burdens in implementation, which she will seek to correct. This includes reading software options. She is working with the interim public education chair and committee to pass a bill to clarify the use/choice of reading software.
    • Engaging parents is a component of the bill. The bill provides for the creation of resources that will be available to parents to use for specific aspects of teaching reading. It is the intention that teachers and parents will work closely together to meet the needs of the student.
    • In response to a question as to why the LETRS program, and the significant amount of money spent on professional development of the one program, Senator Millner replied that they chose a program that met stated criteria. The main parameters included using science of reading methods that had shown effectiveness. LETRS qualified, had worked in other states, and so the program was chosen. The program used will be evaluated after the 5 year period. They chose one program so there wouldn’t be something new to train teachers on every year.  

  • Verapath & NWPS – Meeting Sponsor 
    • Greg Misener and Grant Prokop, Verapath is the financial advisor for UAPCS 401K program and Northwest Plan Services (NWPS) is the 3rd party administrator. NWPS as a multi-employer plan has a lot of flexibility in investment options and can keep costs down. NWPS is the record-keeper of the plan, working with schools and clients to make sure they can get online, make transfers, etc. They have a responsive call-center and website.
    • To contact Greg,, (385) 212-4560,
    • To contact Grant,, (206) 933-1500, 

  • UAPCS Board Candidates Candidates introduced themselves and explained why they would like to be on the UAPCS board and what skills and experience they brought to the board. Schools will be given one vote per campus cast by the chosen representative (typically the school leader or board chair). Ballots will be sent via email and open until October 31st
  • Rabecca Cisneros
  • Robyn Ellis
  • Jason Hall
  • Chris Helvey 
  • Gichin Marsden
  • Natalie Smith
  • Dr. Drew Williams
  • Charles Wood 

  • Next Meeting
    • Monday, November 14th at 11am - Online
  • Announcements and Upcoming Events
    1. School Spotlights
      1. April Thompson, Lakeview Academy Science Teacher, see the amazing post on IG here or Facebook here-scroll to September 7th post. Ms. Thompson participated in the Pathmaker Bridge program doing research at the Huntsman Cancer Institute over the summer.  
    2. Library Policy & LEA Specific Licenses – Deadline 10/1
    3. State Board of Education Debates online-all details are on our website here.
    4. UAPCS Board Elections. We have two open positions; please fill out an Intent to Run form if you are interested. We will hear from candidates at our October Member Meeting. UAPCS membership must be current to vote.
  • Role of Mentors 
    • Shannon Greer, Director of Training, presented on training opportunities and availability and purpose of mentors. See her powerpoint. If you would like a mentor, or have suggestions for mentors, please contact her at
  • Ratify Bylaws
    • Stephanie Schmidt, UAPCS Board Member, discussed updating the UAPCS Bylaws. To approve changes, a majority of UAPCS members schools present need to ratify the approved UAPCS board changes. A voting link was provided. Final votes will be reported on in next month’s member meeting.
  • Legislative Updates/Parent Outreach
    • Royce Van Tassell discussed including our parents in the discussions with lawmakers. UAPCS has created a page on our website (to go live soon!) so that parents can find who their Utah state legislators are and send an email to them. At times, UAPCS may have a pre-drafted statement regarding a particular issue that parents can send, or edit to personalize. UAPCS does not endorse any candidate, but does at times identifies issues that affect charter school students that need attention. As we thoughtfully use this tool, we ask that administrators and boards reach out to parents with the link so we can make sure that decisions favorable to charter schools are made.
  • Charter School Capital– Meeting Sponsor
    • Tony Soloranzo is willing to discuss any questions you may have about owning your school building, or any other finance needs. He can be reached at (971) 348-8992 or
  • Utah State Board of Education District 9
    • Cindy Davis appreciated the opportunity to participate and shared the following:
    • Reporting Task Force: Chair Huntsman has set up a task force to evaluate reporting requirements of LEAs with the intent to diminish those requirements. They have met once already and are meeting through December. 
    • The Law & Licensing Committee is evaluating AP and Honors courses, bullying policy, and business cases.
      • Discussion included AP/Honors question about whether a statute is driving the discussion-there is not specifically but there are funding stipulations surrounding honors and concurrent enrollment in code. AP and Concurrent enrollment classes have open enrollment, however, some of the courses leading up to those are closed enrollment, so they looking to change the rule to have continuity on those pipeline courses. The rule has more guidance than hard rule.
      • Royce brought up that at a particular university graduate program, charter schools were not approved for student teaching experiences. Cindy stated that the USBE is getting away from prescriptive requirements and moving toward competency-based certification. She was not aware of any statute or rule that would exclude charter school teaching experience.
      • Discussion on reporting requirements. The following reports were mentioned as onerous: AP/concurrent enrollment, TSSA, Grants (particularly supplemental applications), early college/gifted grants, DTL, and reports where the state has collected information and just tells you what to write. Cindy welcomes all input on specific reporting requirements.
      • Email:
      • Phone: (801) 319-4117
    • Utah State Senate
      • Senator Ann Millner was not able to meet with us today after all. We will reach out to have her at our next Member Meeting.
  • Next Meeting
    • Tuesday, October 11th at 11am - Online


  • Welcome Back to School! We can't wait to see the great things you have planned for this school year!

  • Utah House of Representatives District 74 (replacing Lowry Snow) 
  • Neil Walter         
    1. Mr. Walter has a professional background in real estate, rural issues (including water rights), and energy-related issues. 
    2. He has been involved in politics for the last 10 years, running for congress and state treasurer.
    3. He is the board chair at St. George Academy (6 years) and Vista School (6 years on board, 4 years as chair).
    4. His wife is on the board at Vista School and he has children homeschooling, in charter school, in district school, and in higher education.
    5. Mr. Walter shared that in Washington County there are issues surrounding race and CRT that surround much of the political discussion. He supports inclusion and diversity but does not support divisiveness or labeling children by historic events of which they did not participate.
    6. Mr. Walter also would like to look at the 2019 restructuring of sales/income tax around the education fund. He believes that education funding should remain as defined in the Utah constitution.
    7. Mr. Walter is interested in investigating the possibility of an intermediate maturity fund through the public treasurer’s fund that will allow schools to get a higher rate of return on money held in reserve.
    8. Mr. Walter is also interested in determining the actual value of SITLA (school land trust) lands, including oil, gas, natural resources on the land. This will aid in understanding if the fund is performing well and money allotted to schools is appropriate.
    9. Mr. Walter doesn’t plan on entering the legislature in January with a set agenda, but is interested to listen and focus on the most pertinent topics that need to be addressed.


  • Legislative Updates – Royce Van Tassell
    • Paid Professional Development Funding (HB 396)
      • Educators need to put together a plan for professional development up to 32 hours outside contract hours before your school year begins.
        1. Flexibility built in to program. No set format to use for plan. Plan definitions on Lines 77-96.
        2. Must be approved by principal.
        3. Educators need plan to use paid professional hours at beginning of year and written statement at end of year to the principal how they used paid professional hours. (lines 97-103 in bill)
        4. Summer PD should be in the fiscal year: July 1, 2022 forward.
      • Staff that is included in the paid professional hours (from the bill):
        1.  (1) Subject to legislative appropriations, the state board shall provide funding to each
           62     LEA to provide additional paid professional hours to the following educators in accordance
           63     with this section:
           64          (a) general education and special education teachers;
           65          (b) counselors;
           66          (c) school administration;
           67          (d) school specialists;
           68          (e) student support;
           69          (f) school psychologists;
           70          (g) speech language pathologists; and
           71          (h) audiologists. 
      • Funding: 80% money that has been sent to the school is based on estimates. The remaining 20% will be sent to schools after final November 15 educator counts. Money can be distributed to employees based on hourly rate for up to 32 hours outside their normal contract hours.
      • Funding may be available in next fiscal year; we will watch for legislation.
    • Library Policy update

  • ETS – Meeting Sponsor  
    • Curtis Barrett, CEO, The mission of ETS is to solve the problems technology creates to reap the benefits that technology offers.
    • ETS has been a business partner to charter schools offering the following services: IT management, software development, web design, push notifications, security, classroom projectors, and electrical work (low and high voltage).

  • Next Meeting
    • Monday, September 12th at 11am - Online
  • Announcements and Upcoming Events
    • School Spotlights-
      1. Valerie Loredo, kindergarten teacher, Athlos Academy, was awarded Teacher of the Year by the Southwest Valley Chamber of Commerce.
      2. Top 6/10 schools named by US News & World Report are Utah charter schools:
        • #1- Beehive Science and Technology Academy
        • #2 InTech Collegiate High School
        • #3 Northern Utah Academy for Math Engineering and Science (NUAMES)
        • #4 Academy for Math Engineering and Science (AMES)
        • #5 Itineris Early College High School
        • #6 Karl G Maeser Preparatory Academy
    • National Charter Schools Week – May 8th – 14th
      • Celebrate with Toolkit from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
    • Trainings
      • May 25th, How to Plan a Board Retreat, Zoom meeting
      • New Administrator BootCamp, June 7th, 9am-12pm, Davis Conference Center, Layton, UT
    • UAPCS Conference – June 7th – 8th
    • National Conference – June 19th – 22nd
      • State Night! We’ll be heading to Camden Yards for a baseball game. 
      • Watch for email for RSVP or contact if your school is attending.
  • Busy Bee Therapy Services – Meeting Sponsor
    • Stormy Hill-Stormy shared the services offered by Busy Bee. The offer direct and indirect Occupational Therapy services depending on your school’s service delivery model and the needs of your students. They offer on-site and Zoom consultations to discuss your school’s needs. Call (801) BUSY-BEE. You can contact Stormy at or Emily Colby, Outreach Specialist & Account Manager at
  • Utah State Board of Education District 12,
    1. Jim Moss- Jim discussed the happenings of the Board of Education and his philosophy of the relationship between the USBE and local schools.
    2. Funding WPU: WPU increased 6%
    3. ULEAD: This is a legislatively established clearinghouse that identifies innovative, effective, and efficient programs to improve practices in public schools across the state. Schools are encouraged to share programs with ULEAD director, MiKell Withers at Jim is the USBE liaison with ULEAD, so please cc him at
    4. Parent Engagement: This has been a hot button topic for the USBE. Jim believes that as parents engage at the local level the better. The USBE can help parents understand this and how to be involved on community councils, local school boards, etc.
    5. Funding: Priorities for USBE funding include getting money to the field for fees, transportation, etc. USBE is looking at the best use of staff to support LEAs.
    6. Licensing: It is the best interest to stop the constant change in licensing requirement and make the process predictable to teachers. With the teacher shortage, it is important to open the teaching profession to qualified talent and help them through alternate pathways of licensure.
    7. Strategic Plan Update: The strategic plan is 5 years old and needs to be reviewed. The pandemic provided opportunities to identify innovative ways to approach education.
    8. District Community Councils: Jim spoke about his experience on his local community council. When parents and school representatives can speak face to face about issues directly relating to their schools, discourse is productive because misunderstandings are resolved. The “lowest level”-the level closest to the classroom-is where discussions can be specific, detailed, and produce results. 

Utah House of Representatives District 2,

  1. Jefferson Moss: Jefferson appreciates the role that charter schools play in education. His wife is a teacher and he acknowledged the additional work that educators have dealt with through the pandemic. At the legislative session, while there were some bills to deal with “bad apples” in the profession that were overstepping bounds of classroom instruction. The bills did not pass but did convey a message that there needs to be oversight.
  2. ULEAD: This program can help reduce criticism of school choice/charter schools by showing the results from innovative programs. When we identify and share the things we’ve learned, we strengthen all schools.
  3. Education Funding and Education Innovation: Always a priority. With Education Innovation the intention is to provide autonomy to LEAs. He sponsored many education bills including innovation, paid professional hours and funding.
  4. Licensing: Licensing is not the same as employment. There needs to be baseline criteria. Talented people can be brought into the teaching profession through alternate pathways.
  5. Accountability Framework: A task force is being set up to be sure that accountability is student-based rather than aggregate-based, and is competency-focused. Chair Huntsman and Senator Ann Millner are part of this task force.
  • Discussion:
    • A director shared concern about how the “general supervision” role of the USBE/legislature has not seemed “general” but more prescriptive and “in the weeds” in schools. Rep. Jefferson Moss said that his philosophy is that educational vision, standards, and access are responsibilities of the USBE and legislature, while curriculum and pedagogy are at the local level. Implementation is local and the state supports these efforts. Rep. Moss stated that legislators need to hear directly from constituents. He suggested meeting with and building a relationship with your local legislator so they can understand your specific issues.  FIND MY LEGISLATOR
    • Board Member Jim Moss stated that the finance committee is working on consolidating legal and financial reporting to increase efficiency. He is advocating for autonomy at the local level. Member Moss requests specific examples from school leaders about what autonomy they would like to see. He would like to hear examples of what works in your schools. 
  •  Next Meeting- Monday, June 13th at 11:00am - Online

Zoom Details

 Meeting details will be send via Campaigner email prior to each meeting. 

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