1998 Legislation
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HOUSE BILL NO. 517 – Charter schools, established


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Daily Data Tracking History

H0517..........................................................by EDUCATION
CHARTER SCHOOLS - Adds to existing law to provide authorization for the
establishment of public charter schools, to specify limitations, to require
charter schools to be organized as nonprofit corporations, to provide
limits of liability and to require insurance coverage, to address a
petitioning process to establish a charter school, to provide requirements
and prohibitions upon approval of a charter school, to provide an appeal
procedure, to address state financial support, to provide time limits for a
charter, to provide for revocation of a charter and to provide for appeal
of a revocation or nonrenewal of a charter, to describe application of
school law, accountability and exemption from state rules, to allow for
technical assistance in preparing a charter petition, to provide for
distribution of information and to require review of the educational
effectiveness of charter schools by the State Board of Education in 2004.

01/27    House intro - 1st rdg - to printing
01/28    Rpt prt - to Educ
02/10    Rpt out - rec d/p - to 2nd rdg
02/11    2nd rdg - to 3rd rdg
02/13    3rd rdg - PASSED - 61-4-5
      AYES -- Alltus, Barraclough, Barrett, Bell, Bieter, Bivens,
      Black(15), Boe, Bruneel, Callister, Campbell, Chase, Clark, Crane,
      Crow, Deal, Denney, Ellsworth, Field(13), Field(20), Gagner, Geddes,
      Gould, Hansen, Henbest, Hornbeck, Jaquet, Jones(9), Jones(22),
      Jones(20), Kellogg, Kempton, Kendell, Kjellander, Kunz, Lake,
      Linford, Loertscher, Mader, McKague, Meyer, Miller, Mortensen,
      Newcomb, Pischner, Reynolds, Richman, Robison, Sali, Schaefer,
      Stevenson, Stoicheff, Stone, Taylor, Tilman, Tippets, Watson,
      Wheeler, Wood, Zimmermann, Mr Speaker
      NAYS -- Hadley, Judd, Marley, Ridinger
      Absent and excused -- Black(23), Cuddy, Pomeroy, Stubbs, Trail
    Floor Sponsor - Tilman
    Title apvd - to Senate
02/16    Senate intro - 1st rdg - to Educ
02/26    Rpt out - rec d/p - to 2nd rdg
02/27    2nd rdg - to 3rd rdg
03/11    3rd rdg - PASSED - 34-1-0
      AYES--Andreason, Boatright, Branch, Bunderson, Burtenshaw, Cameron,
      Crow, Danielson, Darrington, Deide, Dunklin, Frasure, Geddes, Hansen,
      Hawkins, Ingram, Ipsen, Keough, King, Lee, Noh, Parry, Richardson,
      Riggs, Risch, Sandy, Schroeder, Sorensen, Stennett, Sweeney, Thorne,
      Twiggs, Wheeler, Whitworth
      Absent and excused--None
    Floor Sponsors - Schroeder,
    Deide, Riggs, Dunklin
    Title apvd - to House
03/12    To enrol
03/13    Rpt enrol - Sp signed
03/16    Pres signed
03/16    To Governor
03/19    Governor signed
         Session Law Chapter 92
         Effective: 07/01/98

Bill Text


 ||||              LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO             ||||
Fifty-fourth Legislature                 Second Regular Session - 1998

                             IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                                    HOUSE BILL NO. 517

                                  BY EDUCATION COMMITTEE

 1                                        AN ACT

16    Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:

17        SECTION 1.  That Title 33, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby  amended
18    by  the addition thereto of a  NEW CHAPTER , to be known and desig-
19    nated as Chapter 52, Title 33, Idaho Code, and to read as follows:

20                                      CHAPTER 52
21                                PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOLS

22        33-5201.  SHORT TITLE. This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the
23    "Public Charter Schools Act of 1998."

24        33-5202.  LEGISLATIVE INTENT. It is the intent of the legislature to  pro-
25    vide  opportunities  for  teachers, parents, students and community members to
26    establish and maintain public  charter  schools  which  operate  independently
27    within  the existing public school system as a method to accomplish all of the
28    following:
29        (1)  Improve student learning;
30        (2)  Increase learning opportunities for all students, with special empha-
31    sis on expanded learning experiences for students;
32        (3)  Include the use of different and innovative teaching methods;
33        (4)  Create new professional opportunities  for  teachers,  including  the
34    opportunity to be responsible for the learning program at the school site;
35        (5)  Provide  parents  and  students with expanded choices in the types of
36    educational opportunities that are available within the public school system;
37        (6)  Hold the schools established under this chapter accountable for meet-
38    ing measurable student educational standards.

39        33-5203.  AUTHORIZATION  --  LIMITATIONS.  (1)  The  creation  of   public
40    charter  schools  is  hereby  authorized. Charter schools shall be part of the


 1    state's program of public education.
 2        (2)  It is the intent of  the  legislature  that  the  number  of  charter
 3    schools  which  may  be approved in each of the first five (5) years after the
 4    effective date of this act be limited in number and geographic distribution in
 5    accordance with the following:
 6        (a)  Not more than sixty (60) schools may be approved in  the  first  five
 7        (5) years after the effective date of this act, and
 8        (b)  Not  more  than  twelve  (12)  schools may be approved in any one (1)
 9        year, and
10        (c)  Not more than two (2) charters per year may be granted within an edu-
11        cational classification region as established by the state board of educa-
12        tion, and
13        (d)  Not more than one (1) charter may be granted for any one  (1)  school
14        district in a year, and
15        (e)  No  whole  school  district may be converted to a charter district or
16        any configuration which includes all schools as charter schools.
17    The legislature further finds that, notwithstanding the  limitations  of  this
18    subsection  (2),  if fewer than twelve (12) charters are approved by October 1
19    of a year, the unused allotments shall be assigned to a statewide pool for use
20    by other requesting districts. Distributions from the pool shall  be  made  by
21    random drawing.
22        (3)  A charter school may be formed by creating a new school or converting
23    an existing public school to charter status. No charter shall be granted under
24    this  chapter  which  authorizes  the  conversion  of any private or parochial
25    school to a charter school. No charter shall be granted to or  operated  by  a
26    for-profit entity.

27        33-5204.  NONPROFIT  CORPORATION -- LIABILITY -- INSURANCE. (1)  A charter
28    school shall be organized and managed under the  Idaho  nonprofit  corporation
29    act.  The board of directors of a charter school shall be deemed public agents
30    authorized by a public school district or the state board of education to con-
31    trol the charter school. A charter school shall be considered a public  school
32    for all purposes.
33        (2)  A charter school may sue or be sued, purchase, receive, hold and con-
34    vey  real and personal property for school purposes, and borrow money for such
35    purposes, to the same extent and on the same conditions  as  a  public  school
36    district, and its employees, directors and officers shall enjoy the same immu-
37    nities  as  employees,  directors  and officers of public school districts and
38    other public schools. The approving authority of a charter school  shall  have
39    no  liability for the acts, omissions, debts or other obligations of a charter
40    school, except as may be provided  in  an  agreement  or  contract  with  such
41    charter school.
42        (3)  Charter  schools  shall  secure  insurance for liability and property
43    loss.

44        33-5205.  PETITION  TO  ESTABLISH  CHARTER  SCHOOL.  (1)  Any  person  may
45    request the board of trustees of a school  district  to  establish  a  charter
46    school, or to convert an existing school within the school district to charter
47    status.  A  petition  to  convert an existing school shall be submitted to the
48    board of trustees of the district for  review  after  the  petition  has  been
49    signed by not less than sixty percent (60%) of the teachers currently employed
50    by  the  school district at the school to be converted, and by one (1) or more
51    parents or guardians of not less than sixty percent (60%) of the students cur-
52    rently attending the school to be converted. A petition  to  establish  a  new
53    charter school shall be submitted to the board of trustees of the district for


 1    review  after the petition has been signed by not less than thirty (30) quali-
 2    fied electors of the district.
 3        (2)  Not later than thirty (30) days after receiving a petition signed  in
 4    accordance  with  the  specifications  in  subsection (1) of this section, the
 5    board of trustees shall hold a meeting open to the public for the  purpose  of
 6    discussing  the  provisions of the charter, at which time the board shall con-
 7    sider the merits of the petition and the level of employee and  parental  sup-
 8    port  for  the petition. Following review of the petition and the public hear-
 9    ing, the board of trustees shall either grant or deny the charter within sixty
10    (60) days of receipt of the petition, provided however, that the date  may  be
11    extended  by  an  additional sixty (60) days if the petition fails to meet the
12    signature requirements or fails to contain all of the information required  in
13    this section, or if both parties agree to the extension.
14        (3)  A  board  of  trustees  may grant a charter for operation of a school
15    under the provisions of this chapter if it determines that the  petition  con-
16    tains the number of signatures required, a statement of each of the conditions
17    described  in  subsection  (4) of this section, and descriptions of all of the
18    following:
19        (a)  The educational program of the charter school, designed  among  other
20        things,  to  identify  what  it  means  to  be an "educated person" in the
21        twenty-first century, and how learning best occurs. The  goals  identified
22        in the program shall include how all educational thoroughness standards as
23        defined in section 33-1612, Idaho Code, shall be fulfilled.
24        (b)  The  measurable  student  educational standards identified for use by
25        the charter school. "Student educational standards"  for  the  purpose  of
26        this  chapter means the extent to which all students of the charter school
27        demonstrate they have attained the skills and knowledge specified as goals
28        in the school's educational program.
29        (c)  The method by which student progress in meeting those student  educa-
30        tional standards is to be measured.
31        (d)  A  provision  by  which students of the charter school will be tested
32        with the same standardized tests as other Idaho public school students.
33        (e)  The governance structure of the charter  school  including,  but  not
34        limited  to, the person or entity who shall be legally accountable for the
35        operation of the school, and the process to be  followed  by  the  charter
36        school to ensure parental involvement.
37        (f)  The  qualifications  to be met by individuals employed by the charter
38        school. Instructional staff shall be certified teachers, or may apply  for
39        a  waiver  or any of the limited certification options as provided by rule
40        of the state board of education.
41        (g)  The procedures that the charter school  will  follow  to  ensure  the
42        health and safety of students and staff.
43        (h)  Admission  procedures,  including  provision for overenrollment which
44        specifies admission will be determined by lottery or other random method.
45        (i)  The manner in which an annual audit of the financial and programmatic
46        operations of the charter school is to be conducted.
47        (j)  The procedures by which  students  can  be  suspended,  expelled  and
48        reenrolled.
49        (k)  A  provision  which  ensures  all staff members of the charter school
50        will be covered by the public employee retirement system,  federal  social
51        security, unemployment insurance and worker's compensation insurance.
52        (l)  The public school attendance alternative for students residing within
53        the school district who choose not to attend the charter school.
54        (m)  A description of the transfer rights of any employee choosing to work
55        in a charter school and the rights of such employees to return to any non-


 1        charter  school  in  the  school  district  after  employment at a charter
 2        school.
 3        (n)  A provision which ensures that the staff of the charter school  shall
 4        be considered a separate unit for purposes of collective bargaining.
 5        (o)  The  procedures  to  be followed by the charter school and the entity
 6        granting the charter to resolve disputes relating  to  provisions  of  the
 7        charter.
 8        (p)  The  manner  by  which special education services will be provided to
 9        students with disabilities who are eligible pursuant to the federal  indi-
10        viduals with disabilities education act.
11        (4)  The petitioner shall provide information regarding the proposed oper-
12    ation  and  potential effects of the school including, but not limited to, the
13    facilities to be utilized by the school, the manner  in  which  administrative
14    services  of  the  school are to be provided and the potential civil liability
15    effects upon the school and upon the district.

17    (1) In addition to any other requirements imposed in this chapter,  a  charter
18    school  shall  be  nonsectarian in its programs, affiliations, admission poli-
19    cies, employment  practices,  and  all  other  operations,  shall  not  charge
20    tuition,  levy  taxes  or  issue bonds, and shall not discriminate against any
21    student on any basis prohibited by the federal or state constitutions  or  any
22    federal, state or local law. Admission to a charter school shall not be deter-
23    mined  according to the place of residence of the student, or of the student's
24    parent or guardian within the district, except that a  charter  school  estab-
25    lished  under the provisions of this chapter shall adopt and maintain a policy
26    giving admission preference to students who reside within the attendance  area
27    of that school.
28        (2)  No  board  of  trustees shall require any employee of the school dis-
29    trict to be involuntarily assigned to work in a charter school.
30        (3)  Certified teachers in a charter school  shall  be  considered  public
31    school  teachers. Educational experience shall accrue for service in a charter
32    school and such experience shall be counted by any school  district  to  which
33    the teacher returns after employment in a charter school.
34        (4)  No board of trustees shall require any student enrolled in the school
35    district to attend a charter school.
36        (5)  Upon  approval  of  the  petition by the board of trustees, the peti-
37    tioner shall provide written notice of that approval, including a copy of  the
38    petition, to the state board of education. For the purpose of implementing the
39    provisions  of  section  33-5203(2),  Idaho Code, the state board of education
40    shall assign a number to each petition it receives. Petitions  shall  be  num-
41    bered  based  on the chronological order in which notice of the approved peti-
42    tion is received by the state board of education.
43        (6)  Each charter school shall annually submit a report to the local board
44    of trustees which approved its charter. In the case of a  new  charter  school
45    whose  charter was granted by the state board of education pursuant to section
46    33-5207, Idaho Code, the annual report shall be submitted to the  state  board
47    of   education.  The  report  shall  contain  the  audit  of  the  fiscal  and
48    programmatic operations as required in section 33-5205(3)(i), Idaho  Code,  as
49    well  as  a  report  on student progress based on the charter school's student
50    educational standards identified in section 33-5205(3)(b), Idaho Code.

51        33-5207. CHARTER APPEAL PROCEDURE. (1) If a local school board of trustees
52    grants a charter for the conversion of an existing school  within  the  school
53    district over the objection of thirty (30) or more persons or employees of the


 1    district,  or  denies a petition for the establishment of a new charter school
 2    for any reason including, but not limited to, failure  by  the  petitioner  to
 3    follow  procedures  or  for failure to provide required information, then such
 4    decisions may be appealed to the state superintendent of  public  instruction,
 5    at the request of persons opposing the conversion of an existing school, or at
 6    the request of the petitioner whose request for a new charter was denied.
 7        (2)  The state superintendent of public instruction shall select a hearing
 8    officer to review the action of the local board of trustees. The hearing offi-
 9    cer shall, within thirty (30) days of the request, review the charter petition
10    and  convene  a  public hearing regarding the charter request. Within ten (10)
11    days of the public hearing, the hearing officer shall submit a written  recom-
12    mendation  to  the  local  board of trustees and to the persons requesting the
13    review.
14        (3)  Within thirty (30) days following receipt of  the  hearing  officer's
15    written  recommendation, the local board of trustees shall hold a public hear-
16    ing. Within ten (10) days of this hearing, the local board of  trustees  shall
17    either  affirm  or reverse its initial decision. The board's decision shall be
18    in writing and contain findings which explain the reasons for its decision.
19        (4)  If, upon reconsideration of a decision to approve the  conversion  of
20    an existing school to a charter school, the local school board:
21        (a)  Affirms  its  initial  decision  to  authorize  such  conversion, the
22        charter shall be granted and there shall be no further appeal.
23        (b)  Reverses its initial decision and denies the conversion,  that  deci-
24        sion is final and there shall be no further appeal.
25        (5)  If, upon reconsideration of a decision to deny establishment of a new
26    charter school, the local school board:
27        (a)  Reverses  its  initial  decision and approves the new charter school,
28        the charter shall be granted and there shall be no further appeal.
29        (b)  Affirms its initial decision denying  the  new  charter  school,  the
30        petitioners  for the establishment of the new charter school may appeal to
31        the state board of education. The state board of education  shall  hold  a
32        public  hearing  at its next regular meeting and shall approve the charter
33        for the establishment of a new charter school if it  determines  that  the
34        local  board  of  trustees  failed  to  appropriately consider the charter
35        request, or if the local board acted in an arbitrary manner in denying the
36        request.
37        (6)  A charter school for which a charter is granted by the state board of
38    education shall qualify fully as a charter school for all  funding  and  other
39    purposes  of  this chapter. The state board of education shall assume the role
40    of the chartering entity. Employees of a  charter  school  authorized  by  the
41    state board of education shall not be considered employees of the local school
42    district.
43        (7)  The  finding  of  the  state  board  of education shall be subject to
44    review pursuant to chapter 52, title 67, Idaho Code. Nothing in  this  section
45    shall prevent a petitioner from bringing a new petition at a later time.
46        (8)  There  shall  be  no  appeal of a decision by a local school board of
47    trustees which denies the conversion of an existing school  within  that  dis-
48    trict to a charter school, or which grants a petition for the establishment of
49    a new charter school.

50        33-5208.  CHARTER  SCHOOL  FINANCIAL  SUPPORT.  From the state educational
51    support program the state department of education  shall  make  the  following
52    apportionment  to each charter school for each fiscal year based on attendance
53    figures submitted in a manner and time as required by the department of educa-
54    tion:


 1        (1)  Per student support. Computation of support units  for  each  charter
 2    school  shall  be calculated according to the schedules in section 33-1002 6.,
 3    Idaho Code. Funding from the state educational support program shall be  equal
 4    to the total distribution factor, plus the salary-based apportionment provided
 5    in chapter 10, title 33, Idaho Code.
 6        (2)  Special  education.  For  each student enrolled in the charter school
 7    who is entitled to special education services, the  state  and  federal  funds
 8    from  the exceptional child education program for that student that would have
 9    been apportioned for that student to the school district in which the  charter
10    school is located.
11        (3)  Alternative  school  support.  Charter  schools may qualify under the
12    provisions of sections 33-1002 and 33-1002C, Idaho Code, provided the  charter
13    school meets the necessary statutory requirements.
14        (4)  Transportation  support.  Support shall be paid to the charter school
15    as provided in chapter 15, title 33, Idaho Code, and  section  33-1006,  Idaho
16    Code.  Each  charter  school  shall  furnish the department with an enrollment
17    count as of the first Friday in November, of charter  school  students  living
18    more than one and one-half (1 1/2) miles from the school.
19        (5)  Payment  schedule. The state department of education is authorized to
20    make a one-time advance payment of twenty-five  percent  (25%)  of  a  charter
21    school's  estimated  annual  apportionment  for its first year of operation to
22    assist the school with initial start-up costs.
23        (a)  For a state charter school to receive the advance payment, the school
24        shall submit its anticipated fall membership for each grade level  to  the
25        state department of education by June 1.
26        (b)  Using  the  figures  provided  by the school, the state department of
27        education shall determine an estimated annual apportionment from which the
28        amount of the advance payment shall be calculated. Advance  payment  shall
29        be made to the school on or after July 1 but no later than July 31.
30        (c)  All  subsequent  payments,  taking  into account the one-time advance
31        payment made for the first year of operation, shall be made to the charter
32        school in the same manner as other public schools in accordance  with  the
33        provisions of section 33-1009, Idaho Code.
34    A  charter school shall comply with all applicable fiscal requirements of law,
35    except that the following  provisions  shall  not  be  applicable  to  charter
36    schools: section 33-1003B, Idaho Code, relating to guaranteed minimum support;
37    that  portion  of  section  33-1004,  Idaho Code, relating to reduction of the
38    instructional staff allowance when there is a discrepancy between  the  number
39    allowed  and  the  number actually employed; and section 33-1004E, Idaho Code,
40    for calculation of district staff indices.
41        (6)  Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to  prohibit  any  private
42    person or organization from providing funding or other financial assistance to
43    the establishment or operation of a charter school.
44        (7)  Nothing  in this chapter shall prevent a charter school from applying
45    for federal grant moneys.

46        33-5209.  TIME LIMITS -- REVOCATION -- APPEAL. (1) A charter granted  pur-
47    suant  to  this  chapter  shall  be  valid for a period not to exceed five (5)
48    years. A charter may be granted one (1) or more  subsequent  renewals  by  the
49    original  granting  authority. Each renewal shall be valid for a period not to
50    exceed five (5) years. A material revision of the provisions  of  the  charter
51    petition may be made only with the approval of the authority which granted the
52    charter.
53        (2)  A  charter  may  be revoked by the original granting authority if the
54    authority finds that the charter school has done any of the following:


 1        (a)  Committed a material violation of any condition, standard  or  proce-
 2        dure set forth in the charter petition;
 3        (b)  Failed to substantially meet any of the student educational standards
 4        identified in the charter petition;
 5        (c)  Failed to meet generally accepted accounting standards of fiscal man-
 6        agement;
 7        (d)  Failed  to  submit required reports to the authority which authorized
 8        the charter; or
 9        (e)  Violated any provision of law.
10        (3)  A decision to revoke or not  to  renew  a  charter  may  be  appealed
11    directly  to  the  state board of education. The state board shall essentially
12    follow the procedure as provided in section 33-5207, Idaho Code.

14    STATE RULES. (1)  All public charter schools are under the general supervision
15    of the state board of education.
16        (2)  The  local  board  of  trustees  and the state board of education are
17    responsible to ensure that each charter school program approved  by  it  meets
18    the  terms  of  the  charter, and operates in accordance with the state educa-
19    tional standards of thoroughness as defined in section 33-1612, Idaho Code.
20        (3)  Each charter school is otherwise exempt from rules  governing  school
21    districts  which  have  been promulgated by the state board of education or by
22    the superintendent of public instruction, with the exception  of  state  rules
23    relating  to waiver of teacher certification as necessitated by the provisions
24    of section 33-5205(3)(f), Idaho Code.

25        33-5211.  ASSISTANCE WITH PETITIONS -- INFORMATION. (1) The state  depart-
26    ment of education shall provide technical assistance to persons or groups pre-
27    paring or revising charter petitions.
28        (2)  Upon  request, the state department of education shall distribute the
29    following information concerning the charter school whose  petition  has  been
30    approved:
31        (a)  The charter school's petition;
32        (b)  The  annual  audit  performed  at each charter school pursuant to the
33        charter school petition;
34        (c)  By not later than July 1, 2004, the written report by the state board
35        of education to the legislature reviewing the educational effectiveness of
36        charter schools.

37        33-5212.  REVIEW.  The state board of education shall  review  the  educa-
38    tional  effectiveness  of charter schools under the provisions of this chapter
39    and shall report to the legislature not later than July 1, 2004,  with  recom-
40    mendations  which  may  include  modification, expansion or termination of the
41    provisions of this chapter.

Statement of Purpose / Fiscal Impact


                           STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
                                 RS 07683
    The purpose of this legislation is to provide innovative and expanded learning opportunities for 
    students in Idaho public schools. This legislation adds a new chapter in education law allowing for the 
    establishment and maintenance of public charter schools.
                               FISCAL NOTE
    This legislation will not impact the total dollar amount appropriated to the public schools by the 
    legislature. The legislation could impact the amount distributed to individual school districts based upon 
    the number of students choosing to attend new public charter schools. The state dollars follow the 
    student moving from one school to another the same way the doll ars follow a student moving from 
    one school district to another school district within the state of Idaho. At present it is impossible to 
    predict the amount of dollar transfer that might occur.
    Charter School Interim Committee Members:
     Representative Fred Tilman- Cochair
     Senator Gary Schroeder-Cochair
          Senator Darrel Diede
            Senator Jack Riggs
         Senator Betsy Dunklin
     Representative Wayne Meyer
     Representative Lee Gagner
     Representative Pat Bieter
                 Dr. Darrell Loosle
             State Department of Education
             Phone:      208-332-6814
    H 517