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Organization DBA Massachusetts Charter Public School Association
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years Yes


Mission StatementMORE »

The mission of the Massachusetts Charter Public School Association is to serve, support, and advocate for Massachusetts charter public schools as they strive to achieve the goals of their charters.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Massachusetts Charter Public School Association is to serve, support, and advocate for Massachusetts charter public schools as they strive to achieve the goals of their charters.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2015 to June 30, 2016
Projected Income $3,133,086.00
Projected Expense $3,029,325.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Professional Learning Opportunities

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

The mission of the Massachusetts Charter Public School Association is to serve, support, and advocate for Massachusetts charter public schools as they strive to achieve the goals of their charters.

Background Statement

The MCPSA was incorporated in 2001 and is governed by a committed board of directors consisting of democratically elected charter school leaders  and staff. Averaging a membership rate of over 98% of MA Charter Schools, MCPSA is a robust organization that has tremendous support and engagement of charter school leaders, parents, community members and other proponents of education reform in Massachusetts. Our work includes three essential areas: ongoing state advocacy for charter schools with the legislature and Department of Elementary and Secondary Education; technical assistance to member schools, including professional development opportunities to foster the sharing of best practices; and dissemination of best practices within and beyond the charter school community.

Impact Statement

Recent Accomplishments:

  1. Through our advocacy efforts over the last five years, we have significantly increased the number of charter school students statewide, with 27,228 students attending Commonwealth charter schools in 2011, and 39,560 students pre-enrolled for September 2016.

  2. In Boston, where the need is greatest, we have increased the number of charter school students from 5,749 attending charter schools in 2011, and 10,685 pre-enrolled for September 2016.

  3. Since 2011 our database of charter school supporters more than quadrupled and now includes 43,000, 75% of whom are parents.  These supporters are integral to the success of our ongoing efforts to advocate directly with state officials to increase the cap on charter school seats.

  4. In June 2015, MCPSA launched the Collaborative Parent Leadership Action Network (CPLAN), a group of parent leaders from across the state who advocate on issues inclusive of the needs of both district and charter parents.

  5. In September 2015, MCPSA launched the Massachusetts Charter School Collaborative Access Network (MassCS-CAN), a statewide charter school capacity-building network that will expand high quality services, programs, staff and specialists available to serve ELL students and students with disabilities.

  6. Since September 2015, MCPSA has worked collaboratively with charter school leaders and their staff to develop a statewide Post-Secondary Success Initiative that will raise awareness and support practice to enhance the post-secondary success of MA charter school alumni.

  7. During the 2015/16 school year, MCPSA offered 21 days of professional development training sessions/ Community of Practice meetings with 730 charter school staff members (447 unique) participating. 95% of member schools/networks participated in at least one training and 74% of member schools sent staff to three or more trainings. In post-training evaluations, 95% of participants strongly agree/agree that program delivery and facilitation was effective, 94% of participants strongly agree/agree that content was relevant to their work/added value, and 92% of attendees agreed/strongly agreed that the session they attended facilitated relationships with staff from other charter schools.

During the next several years, we envision an Association that has an enhanced capacity to lead and protect the MA charter school movement, with work that focuses on three key areas: growth of the charter school sector, quality of the charter school sector, and the impact of the charter sector on public education. Our members feel these areas represent the primary challenges and opportunities within the sector.  Organizational activities and initiatives include the following:

In order for all children in Massachusetts to have access to high quality public education MCPSA will build increased capacity to advocate for, and support:

  1. Fully-funded, high quality, autonomous charter schools;

  2. Continued expansion of charter schools to all areas of unmet need in MA;

  3. Charter schools that innovate in instructional and operational practices;

  4. A robust, high quality charter school accountability system;

  5. Implementation of adapted charter school models in district schools.

Needs Statement

We have successfully obtained a three-year (FY15-FY17) grant from a major foundation totaling $2,325,000 to support attainment of the goals and objectives listed above.  In addition, we are the recipient of a three-year (FY16-FY18) Federal Department of Education grant in the amount of $2,016,929 to develop our statewide charter school capacity-building network.  Our diverse funding base, which includes membership dues, national foundations and local donors has allowed us to strategically develop and offer programs that further the growth of the charter school movement at large and meet the individual needs of our members. Our ability to sustain our success is directly tied to increasing the number of charter schools and the ongoing investment from local and national supporters of education reform. Given our now proven track record of building high quality schools that are providing excellent educational opportunities and success for children throughout the state, we are in an excellent position to utilize anticipated additional funding.

CEO Statement

The MCPSA is the representative body of all Massachusetts charter public schools.  We have been enormously successful mobilizing charter school parents to advocate on behalf of the charter school movement.  We laser focus on providing parents the opportunities to become informed and involved. The ability to turnout thousands of  demographically diverse parents from all corners of the state is directly responsible for our efficacy.

Board Chair Statement

Since its inception in 2001, the Massachusetts Charter Public School Association (“MCPSA”) has grown as a statewide organization that has galvanized the charter school movement.  During this period of exciting growth, we are faced with the challenge of navigating a shifting landscape of diverse schools and needs, while maintaining our commitment to being staunch advocates and warriors for the entire movement.

At its core, MCPSA believes that access to high quality education is the primary determinant of student achievement. Historically, the ability to attend such a school has been the domain of a privileged few. Charter schools have begun to address this epidemic by expanding opportunities to ALL children, not just those whose parents can afford private school or relocate to affluent districts; a student's zip code should not dictate access to quality educational options. As a charter school founder, I am at once humbled and inspired to have the opportunity to work with the MCPSA as a champion of this critical movement and stalwart supporter of our member schools and their students.

The MCPSA is currently engaged in deep legislative advocacy to lift the public charter cap across the Commonwealth. Thanks to financial investments of both local and national donors, our Executive Director, Marc Kenen has been able build a growing and highly -skilled staff that ensures long-term sustainability and fulfillment of the organizational mission, while also allowing him to devote his attention to working as a dynamic advocate for education reform. As President of the Board, I am laser- focused on supporting our Board and our Executive Director as we navigate a complex political landscape in an effort to protect charter school funding structures, autonomies and potential growth that are critical to closing the opportunity gap for those most in need of great public schools in Massachusetts.

Geographic Area Served


Organization Categories

  1. Education - Charter Schools
  2. Civil Rights, Social Action, Advocacy - Professional Societies & Associations
  3. Public & Societal Benefit - Single Organization Support

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)



Professional Learning Opportunities

Since 2011, MCPSA has enhanced its capacity to support members via technical assistance and a range of professional learning opportunities.  Each year MCPSA hosts over 21 days of programming for its members; 95% of member schools participate in at least one program offering annually.

The content of our professional development programming varies according to the needs of our members, but most programming to date emphasizes the sharing of promising practices among charter school leaders and staff in various instructional and operational topics.

Budget  $1,714,948.00
Category  Education, General/Other Educational Programs
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years) At-Risk Populations
Program Short-Term Success 

Each MCPSA professional learning program has its own set of evaluative measures by which success is gauged. However, in general, the purpose of our programming is to:

  • Provide high quality opportunities for charter school leaders and staff to share promising practices and engage in ongoing professional development in a variety of instructional and operational topics that are relevant to their job functions.
  • Create strong networking opportunities that facilitate the ongoing interaction of member schools
  • Serve as a forum to discuss state policy issues that affect practice, inform MCPSA’s advocacy efforts with DESE, and provide an opportunity for engagement between DESE and the field.


The short-term success of this work is gauged by the following 5 measures:

  1. Member commitment to the Communities of Practice and other programs
  2. MCPSA effectiveness in facilitation and delivery method
  3. Relevance of content to practice and policy issues affecting member work
  4. Impact of networking opportunities inside and outside the COPs
  5. Overall effectiveness and usefulness of the Charter Knowledge Center and Virtual COPs (Intranet)

Program Long-Term Success  The goal of MCPSA’s professional learning programming is to support member schools as they strive to achieve sustained academic student success, sustained strong organizational and financial viability, and meet the goals of their charters. In addition, MCPSA will provide outlets and tools for schools to disseminate their promising practices to charter and district schools. Such work is ongoing and is best measured by indicators of the health of member schools; by 2017, our goal is for 100% of charter schools to receive clean renewals (i.e., no conditions) from the state for academic performance, organizational viability and faithfulness to their charters.
Program Success Monitored By  Our professional learning opportunities are evaluated in multiple ways including: day-of program evaluations from program participants; quarterly review of all program participant evaluation; interim assessments that seek member feedback; and annual end of year survey for all program participants. Programs operate in a cycle of continuous improvement whereby member feedback is routinely incorporated into program improvements.
Examples of Program Success 

The Dean of Students Community of Practice included participants from more than 25 charter schools who met for 2 full days in 2015-2016 to focus on engaging discussions and activities designed to support them in developing and refining supportive, mission-driven school culture and discipline practices. Participants also considered Restorative Justice practices as a means for creating strong and inclusive school communities as well as developing essential social and emotional competencies in students. Additionally, participants reviewed function based strategies for supporting and monitoring students with significant behavioral needs. MCPSA partnered with the May Institute and the PEAR Institute: Partnerships in Education and Resilience.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

As the charter school movement has grown throughout Massachusetts, one of MCPSA’s primary programmatic challenges is the need to provide differentiated services to members with diverse needs, histories, capacities and levels of achievement.  MCPSA is committed to the goal of celebrating schools that are showing high levels of success, assisting good schools in their effort to become great, and continuing to provide extra resources and support for those schools that are struggling. Massachusetts is home to some of the most successful and innovative schools in the country thus providing a unique opportunity to serve as a model for improving public education and overall reform.


CEO/Executive Director Dr. Marc Kenen
CEO Term Start July 2001
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience Dr. Kenen founded the Massachusetts Charter Public School Association in 2001.  He has thirty years of experience managing and conducting educational research and advocacy and has published research in education policy.  Before founding MCPSA, he directed the Student Center for Educational Research and Advocacy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst where for seven years he directed research, training, and advocacy on issues of education reform. He received his doctorate in Educational Policy, Research and Administration in 1993 from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.  Marc is the proud parent of four charter school graduates.
Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Erica Brown Chief of Policy and Practice Erica collaborates with the Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer in shaping MCPSA’s organizational growth and priorities. She bridges education policy and practice by advocating on behalf of the charter sector to drive state education policies while serving as the MCPSA’s programmatic leader.  Prior to joining MCPSA, Erica served as a charter school teacher and leader of City on a Hill Charter Public Schools, and was a founding steering committee member of the Boston Compact, which brings together educators from charter, district, and Catholic schools in Boston to improve education for all young people in the city. Erica holds a B.A. in English and American Literature and Language from Harvard University, and an M.A. in English Language Arts Education from Tufts University.
Oona Kingston Chief Operating Officer

Oona collaborates with the Executive Director and Chief of Policy and Practice in establishing, implementing and maintaining the infrastructure to support and sustain MCPSA’s advocacy and programmatic initiatives.   Oona brings nearly fifteen years of experience in senior leadership, organizational management, and legal advocacy and holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Mount Holyoke College and a Juris Doctor Degree from the University of Connecticut School of Law. 


Award Awarding Organization Year
National Leadership Activities Grant United States Department of Education 2015
Charter School National Leadership grant United States Department of Education 2006
Charter School National Leadership grant United States Department of Education 2001


Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? Yes
Name of state association Massachusetts Nonprofit Network

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --


As a critical part of our work, we have created and manage a statewide coalition of organizations that work closely with us. These groups include:

  • Associated Industries of Massachusetts

  • Boston Foundation

  • Boston Leaders for Education

  • Davis Foundation

  • Democrats For Education Reform

  • EMC

  • Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce

  • Lynch Foundation

  • Massachusetts Biotechnology Council

  • Massachusetts Business Roundtable

  • Massachusetts High Technology Council

  • Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education

  • Mifflin Fund

  • New Schools Venture Fund

  • Pioneer Institute

  • Smith Family Foundation

  • STAND for Children

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

MCPSA has grown from 3 to 12 staff members over the past five years.   As a virtual organization with staff and membership located throughout the state, we operate a central training and meeting space that serves as a hub for our staff as well as an invaluable resource for our members.  Although we  have been very successful in increasing our overall efficacy, our limited financial resources continue to provide restraints on the many important goals we are able to pursue.

Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 11
Number of Part Time Staff 1
Number of Volunteers 500
Number of Contract Staff 4
Staff Retention Rate % 90%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 8
Hispanic/Latino: 2
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 10
Male: 2
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Management Succession Plan No
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes
State Registration Exempt

Risk Management Provisions


Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually


Board Chair President Beth Anderson
Board Chair Company Affiliation Phoenix Charter Academy Network
Board Chair Term July 2015 - June 2017
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Amy Aaron Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School Voting
Beth Anderson Phoenix Charter Academy Network Voting
Julia Bowen Berkshire Arts and Technology Charter Public School Voting
Thabiti Brown Codman Academy Charter Public School Voting
Alexandra Buckmire Boston Renaissance Charter Public School Voting
Stephen Furtado Global Learning Charter Public School Voting
Ron Griffin Foxborough Regional Charter School Voting
Kennedy Hilario City on a Hill Charter Public Schools Voting
Caleb Hurst-Hiller Community Charter School of Cambridge Voting
Barish Icin Pioneer Charter School of Science Voting
Marc Kenen Massachusetts Charter Public School Association Exofficio
AnnMarie Little Abby Kelley Foster Charter Public School Voting
Greg Orpen Innovation Academy Charter School Voting
Jeanne Schultz Hill View Montessori Charter Public School Voting
Todd Sumner Francis W. Parker Charter Essential School Voting
Shannah Varon Boston Collegiate Charter School Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 10
Hispanic/Latino: 3
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 7
Male: 8
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % 87%
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 0%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 0%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees

  • Board Governance
  • Executive
  • Human Resources / Personnel and Finance and Marketing and Nominating and By-laws

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

One of the governance challenges facing MCPSA is the need to balance a membership-based Board of Directors while simultaneously obtaining the skills and expertise necessary to govern the organization as it grows.   Because our board members are at the very foundation of the charter school movement, we are able to ensure that our members remain empowered and invested in achieving our/their strategic goals and objectives.  This unique governance structure has contributed to an unprecedented membership rate of 98% of statewide charter schools and provided the opportunity to utilize our board to increase grassroots participation that includes parent advocacy and increased capacity. Rather than change this successful model, we have instead built a strong informal advisory committee that is able to offer additional expertise and advice as needed.

Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Total Revenue $2,163,993 $1,440,288 $1,415,880
Total Expenses $1,983,740 $1,325,351 $1,493,149

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $130,019 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified $130,019 -- --
Individual Contributions $1,194,500 $628,508 $676,333
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $11,000 $10,250 $11,659
Investment Income, Net of Losses $2,743 $4,692 $6,030
Membership Dues $806,581 $766,328 $706,677
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other $19,150 $30,510 $15,181

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Program Expense $1,714,948 $1,092,193 $1,273,161
Administration Expense $268,792 $233,158 $219,988
Fundraising Expense -- -- --
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.09 1.09 0.95
Program Expense/Total Expenses 86% 82% 85%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 0% 0% 0%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Total Assets $1,273,027 $1,033,337 $861,141
Current Assets $1,026,731 $841,731 $716,034
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $258,132 $203,368 $156,837
Total Net Assets $1,014,895 $829,969 $704,304

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy Income Only
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? 6.00

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 3.98 4.14 4.57

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

In order to develop programs that further the growth of the charter school movement and meet the individual and infinite needs of our members, we have created a diverse funding base that includes membership dues, as well as support from large foundations and individual donors.  Our ability to sustain our success is directly tied to increasing the number of charter schools (i.e., membership dues) and the ongoing investment from local and national supporters of education reform.   Given our now proven track record of building high quality schools that are providing excellent educational opportunities and success for children throughout the state, we are in an excellent position to utilize anticipated additional funding. 

Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above are per the organization's IRS Form 990s for FY15 and FY14 and per the audited financials for FY13. Please note, the asset and liability data is per the audits for all three years shown above.  Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available.


The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.

1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?


2. What are your strategies for making this happen?


3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?


4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?


5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?