What is the Charter School Board Basics Series?

In order for the board to perform its essential duties of supporting student excellence, ensuring operational soundness and building and maintaining public confidence, board members are required by the State of Minnesota to complete board training.

The targeted areas are: board governance, the board’s role and responsibilities, employment policies and practices and financial management. Required training must begin within six months of being seated and completed within 12 months of being seated on the board. (The Financial training component must be completed within 6 months of being seated.)

Because we understand the complexity of charter school oversight, we have created a series to accommodate the content mandated for Minnesota board members.

What's Included?

  • 7 Videos

  • 4 PDFs

  • 3.5 hrs

Training Curriculum

Know What's Included

  • 1
    Board Basics Series
    • New Board Member Basics
    • Practices of High Performing Boards
    • Top Pitfalls of Open Meeting Laws
    • Charter School Employment Law
    • Understanding Student Data – NWEA MAP
    • Understanding Student Data – MCA
    • Charter School Budget Basics
    • Scenario Planning During An Economic Recession
    • Elections During COVID-19
    • Student Recruitment in a Global Pandemic
  • 2
    Helpful Tools + Resources
    • Board Calendar
    • Finance Committee Charter
    • Governance Committee Charter
    • Board Goals Template
    • Academic Dashboard
    • Toolbox: Open Meeting Law Part 1
    • Toolbox: Open Meeting Law Part 2
    • Toolbox: Open Meeting Law Part 3
  • 3
    Capacitación de la Junta Encomendada por el Estado en español
    • Derecho Laboral de Las Escuelas Chárter
    • Fundamentos de Presupuesto Para Escuelas Autonmas
    • Conceptos Basicos Para Nuevos Miembros de La Junta

What You'll Learn

Learn from our local area experts on the following topics:

Charter School Employment Law


Gain an understanding of the board member's role in oversight regarding key areas of employment law. Learn about at-will employment practices as well as understanding the laws regarding employment and student data practices. Jim Martin, a leading charter school attorney at Martin Law Firm PLLC, will also guide you through areas of concern such as  discrimination, retaliation and whistle blower protection.


Charter School Budget Basics


Presented by Scott Brown and Kyle Knudsen of The Anton Group, learn the fundamentals of charter school finance. Gain an understanding of revenue streams and your responsibilities as board members to  collaboratively develop, review and properly oversee your charter school budget. 


New Board Member Basics


For individuals new to board service or charter schools, this will outline the key roles and responsibilities encapsulating fiduciary, strategic and generative aspects. Learn about key elements of practice from setting meeting norms, meeting quorum and the basics of being an effective board member. 


Practices of High Performing Boards


High performing boards are adept at partnering with school leadership as well as setting the necessary milestones to drive the organization forward. Equally as important is ensuring the board is holding themselves accountable to their work. From building an effective board calendar to assessing progress and feedback, learn more about best practices of governance principles.  


Top Pitfalls of Open Meeting Law: What Your Charter School Board Needs to Know


Learn from charter school attorney, John Cairns, who helped originate the charter school movement in our country. Gain an understanding of what your board needs to know about Open Meeting Law. From the basic understanding and purpose of the law to typical misconceptions of Open Meeting Law, John will share a few case studies to provide further clarity.


Understanding Student Data - MCA


Learn more about the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment to understand your school’s academic performance. Collaborate with school leadership to design tools to best oversee school outcomes.  Student Data Expert, Dan Wick, from EdOps and Karen Klinzing, former Assistant Deputy Commissioner of MN Department of Education team up to deliver what should be most important to board members. 


Understanding Student Data – NWEA MAP


Understanding student progress and growth is one reason why school leaders use NWEA MAP. This nationally normed test offers an abundance of information. Partner with your school leadership team to optimally utilize this resource to improve board knowledge and oversight. Experts Dan Wick and Karen Klinzing impart foundational information to guide and improve board proficiency. 


Managing Elections During COVID-19


Learn more about managing board elections during this webinar featuring a discussion with attorney Jim Martin of Martin Law. We will discuss best practices, suggestions and potential tools to ensure an effective election. We will address election issues related to the Governor's executive orders, as well as review applicable MN statutes.  


Scenario Planning During an Economic Recession


We have assembled local expert panelists-leaders in transportation, charter school finance, governance, legislation, charter school law, and human resources.  They will lead us through scenario planning and offer ways to evaluate risk and take action when the implications of the pandemic are looming and unknown.


Student Recruitment in Global Pandemic


Learn more about best steps forward for student recruitment and marketing given the current COVID environment.  How should you adapt your current marketing strategies as you adjust to the complexities of the upcoming school year?

Our Board Chat discussion features Lyman Millard, founding partner of Bloomwell Group. They have partnered with national organizations and high-performing charter schools to help them achieve amazing results. 


Understanding Open Meeting Law During COVID-19


As Charter School leadership and boards face difficult decisions during the pandemic, we need to continue to employ strong governance and be conscious of the parameters of Open Meeting Law. Please join Jim Martin (Martin Law),  Beth Finch (CharterSource), and Karen Klinzing (CharterSource) for up-to-date  information and answers to your questions. Published 3.27.20 


State Mandated Charter School Training Available in Spanish 


Employment Law, Charter School Budget Basics and New Board Member Basics available in Spanish. Please let us know if there are any questions regarding the content.  

  • Beth Finch

    CharterSource Founder

    Beth Finch

    Beth Finch, Founder, CharterSource As a founder of Lake Country Academy in Wisconsin, her areas of focus were the following: development, marketing, facilities and student recruitment. She also served 5 years as Board Chair KIPP Minnesota, part of the KIPP network of over 225 schools nationally. With over 15 years of board management experience, Beth provides boards with the foundational frameworks and systems to govern efficiently.

Meet Our Instructors

  • Karen Klinzing

    Education Leadership & Policy Consultant , CharterSource

    Karen Klinzing

    Karen has been engaged in charter schools from various perspectives over the last 20 years in Minnesota. Karen will provide a school leader and organizational perspective and bring her experience in state law regarding charter schools from when she was a legislator and an assistant/deputy commissioner.
  • Dan Wick

    Performance Data Specialist, EdOps

    Dan Wick

    Dan Wick, Performance Data Specialist for EdOps, works with multiple charter schools from Washington DC, New York to New Orleans. Prior to joining EdOps, he was a Former Harvard Strategic Data Project Fellow with New Haven Public Schools working with principals to identify at-risk students. And as an Education Pioneers Summer Fellow he was on the Uncommon Schools Data Analytics Team. Dan hails from Minnesota earning a degree from St. Olaf and a Masters in Public Affairs from the Princeton Woodrow Wilson School of Public Affairs.
  • Jim Martin

    Martin Law Firm

    Jim Martin

    Jim has over 25 years of practice in areas of employment & labor law with an emphasis in the public sector. In addition to a law degree, he has a Master’s in Industrial Relations. he served as Human Resource Director for St. Louis Park and Bloomington Districts. He also is an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota. His key focus areas are employment & labor law, investigations, policies/handbooks, hearing officer as well as providing professional development and training in the education sector.
  • Dick  Ward

    Senior Vice President, Dougherty & Company

    Dick Ward

    Dick has 28 years of experience in bond issuance and finance as an investment banker and financial advisor. He also under wrote one of the first tax exempt bonds in the country - Community of Peace Academy. He is a regular participant in charter sector support both locally and nationally - often called upon to present for the National Federation of Municipal Analysts and Bond Buyer Seminars.
  • John Cairns

    Partner, John Cairns Law, P.A.

    John Cairns

    John has 40+ years of legal experience, specializing in educational tax exempt organizations. He was instrumental in the founding of the charter school sector. His board service experience includes: Twin Cities Citizen League, Minnesota Business Partnership and also served as the Executive Director of the Minneapolis City Council.
  • Scott Brown

    Director of Operations, The Anton Group

    Scott Brown

    Scott has worked as the Controller of several large public school districts and charter schools. He has 10+ years experience in school finance. He is an Active Certified Public Accountant and licensed Member of: MNCPA, AICPA, MASBO. He also served as Board Chair of the Minnesota Lupus Foundation.