Empowerment Scholarship Account Parent Advisory Council Charter
Last revised October 13, 2020
This council is comprised of at least 10 members for the purpose of providing the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) with consultation and advice on the administration of the Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) program. The council will provide strategic advisory support in order to ensure the administrative processes of the ESA program meet the needs of students and families enrolled in the Program.
The council will provide timely and strategic consultation and advice from an ESA parent/guardian perspective. This will support ADE’s development and implementation of policies and systems that enable high quality, student-centered ESA program delivery.
The council will:
- Review and provide feedback on revisions to the ESA Parent Handbook.
- Provide consultation and advice on select policies and systems.
Members of the council are parents or family members of at least one student who is or has been previously enrolled in the ESA program. ADE will strive to recruit and appoint members who represent the various ESA eligibility categories and the entire state of Arizona.
5. ADE Staff Participation: A Council Facilitator selected by the ADE Chief of Staff will steer the council and its members, as well as manage the meetings.
Other contributors attending the meetings on an as-needed basis in a support capacity will be:
- Chief of Staff
- Deputy Chief of Staff
- Associate Superintendent, Exceptional Student Services
- Deputy Associate Superintendent, Empowerment Scholarship Account
- Communications Director
- Deputy Associate Superintendent, Legislative Affairs
A designated ADE staff member will be charged with scheduling council meetings, creating meeting agendas and distributing meeting materials. The ADE ESA Administrative Assistant (or designee) will be present at the council meetings to take and distribute meeting minutes, as well as record feedback and action items.
ADE will annually solicit applications for council members and post an application to the ESA page of the azed.gov website by April 1. The application window will close on May 1. Applicants with open accounts must be in good standing. (Note: for School Year 2020-2021, the application window will open October 15 and close November 1).
A four-member panel of ADE staff will review the submitted applications and make recommendations to the ADE Chief of Staff. The Chief of Staff will appoint at least ten members to the council based on the documentation provided in the application demonstrating the applicant meets the eligibility requirements, is available to attend council meetings, and willing to commit to one year of service on the council.
Members serve for one-year terms, beginning July 1 and ending June 30. Members may be reappointed for consecutive terms.
Resignation by any member must be in writing and submitted to the Deputy Associate Superintendent of ESA. If a council member needs to be replaced, replacement candidates will be appointed by the ADE Chief of Staff. The newly appointed member’s term starts upon appointment and ends at the end of the resigned member’s term.
10. General Council Responsibilities:
The council’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
- Active participation in meetings
- Providing timely review of materials
- Ensuring decorum is represented at all meetings
- Focus on solutions
- Ensuring timely and accurate communication with ADE
- Reviewing documentation from the perspective of the end user, identifying areas of improvement
- Providing specific and targeted feedback on agenda items and request future agenda items to discuss any issues not on the agenda
11. Meeting Procedures:
- Meetings will be run by a Council Facilitator selected by the ADE Chief of Staff.
- Each meeting will be scheduled for 2-3 hours and will be open for participation by additional ADE personnel.
- Meetings will be made open to non-council parents and stakeholders to attend and observe.
- ADE will develop the agenda in consultation with council members.
- Up to a 30-minute period of external stakeholder comment will be allotted at the conclusion of the council’s agenda to allow for feedback from additional subject matter experts and stakeholders in attendance. The purpose of the stakeholder comment period is for voices outside of the council to bring an issue or perspective to the members’ attention that they might not have considered. If the discussion is robust, the Council Facilitator may allow for additional time beyond the 30 minutes to be set aside, but the time will not exceed an hour unless approved by ADE.
- The Council Facilitator may adjourn the meeting once all agenda items have been reviewed and action items have been recorded.
12. Meeting Schedule:
- The council will meet at least three times between July 1 to June 30 of each year.
- All council members are expected to attend meetings to review and provide feedback on documentation as needed.
- A call-in option for the meeting will be made available for every meeting.
- The Council Facilitator, in consultation with the council and ADE, will determine when further meetings are needed.
- A meeting agenda will be provided and posted ten days prior to the scheduled meeting date.
- Members will be provided with materials for review five business days prior to the scheduled meeting date via email.
- If a member is unable to attend the meeting, their feedback specific to the documentation review must be submitted to the council facilitator 24 hours prior to the meeting to be considered as part of the discussion.
- Meetings will be scheduled with the commitment of receiving full participation from the council members, but if there are circumstances which may cause some absences, the meetings will only move forward with a quorum of members. A majority of members present or calling in will be considered a quorum.
- Meeting notes will be taken by a designated ADE staff member and disseminated via email to all council members no later than seven days after each meeting.
13. Review Process:
- Documentation will be presented in the meetings by the ESA team (or designee).
- All documentation will be included as an agenda item for review.
- The council will discuss each item on the agenda and provide consultation and advice to ADE.
- Before moving on to a new agenda item, the Council Facilitator will review the action items.
14. Approval Process:
- While the council members serve in an advisory capacity and will not vote to approve or deny documents or actions, ADE will record and report a summary of council feedback on each agenda item in the quarterly reports to the State Board of Education.
- Final review and approval of the ESA Parent Handbook will be made by the State Board of Education annually by May 1.
- Final approval of administrative processes or policies of ADE or the Program will be made by ADE leadership.
In addition to council meetings, ADE may utilize surveys to solicit parent feedback on administration of the ESA program. Surveys will be distributed electronically to active ESA parents.
Proposed Meeting Schedule
School Year 2020 – 2021
Tentative agenda items: ClassWallet Transition; Community Outreach Toolkit
Tentative agenda items: ESA Parent Handbook; ClassWallet Transition
Tentative agenda items: ClassWallet Transition