Print Friendly HOUSE BILL NO. 517 – Charter schools, established
HOUSE BILL NO. 517
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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
|||| 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
2 RELATING TO PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOLS; AMENDING TITLE 33, IDAHO CODE, BY THE
3 ADDITION OF A NEW CHAPTER 52, TITLE 33, IDAHO CODE, TO PROVIDE A SHORT
4 TITLE, TO PROVIDE LEGISLATIVE INTENT, TO PROVIDE AUTHORIZATION TO CREATE
5 PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOLS AND TO SPECIFY LIMITATIONS, TO REQUIRE CHARTER
6 SCHOOLS TO BE ORGANIZED AS NONPROFIT CORPORATIONS, TO PROVIDE LIMITS OF
7 LIABILITY AND TO REQUIRE INSURANCE COVERAGE, TO PROVIDE PETITIONS TO
8 ESTABLISH A CHARTER SCHOOL, TO PROVIDE REQUIREMENTS AND PROHIBITIONS UPON
9 APPROVAL OF A CHARTER SCHOOL, TO PROVIDE AN APPEAL PROCEDURE, TO PROVIDE
10 STATE FINANCIAL SUPPORT, TO PROVIDE TIME LIMITS FOR A CHARTER, TO PROVIDE
11 FOR REVOCATION AND TO PROVIDE FOR APPEAL OF A REVOCATION OR NONRENEWAL OF
12 A CHARTER, TO PROVIDE APPLICATION OF SCHOOL LAW, ACCOUNTABILITY AND EXEMP-
13 TION FROM STATE RULES, TO PROVIDE TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE IN PREPARING A
14 CHARTER PETITION, TO PROVIDE FOR DISTRIBUTION OF INFORMATION AND TO PRO-
15 VIDE FOR REVIEW OF THE EDUCATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS OF CHARTER SCHOOLS.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
16 33-5206. REQUIREMENTS AND PROHIBITIONS UPON APPROVAL OF A CHARTER SCHOOL.
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
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
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
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-
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
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-
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.
13 33-5210. APPLICATION OF SCHOOL LAW -- ACCOUNTABILITY -- EXEMPTION FROM
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
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
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.
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
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE/FISCAL NOTE