Print Friendly SENATE BILL NO. 1326 – Charter schools/procedures/reqrmnts
SENATE BILL NO. 1326
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CHARTER SCHOOLS - Amends existing law to eliminate certain limitations on
the number of charters granted for charter schools; to further govern the
applicability of state law; to require articles of incorporation and
bylaws, election processes, employee requirements and admission procedures
to be contained in the petition to establish a charter school; to specify
additional requirements for approval; to require approval of the format of
the contract for teachers and administrators; to further govern the charter
appeal procedure; and to authorize advance appropriations for
02/16 Senate intro - 1st rdg - to printing
02/17 Rpt prt - to Educ
]]]] LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO ]]]]
Fifty-seventh Legislature Second Regular Session - 2004
IN THE SENATE
SENATE BILL NO. 1326
BY EDUCATION COMMITTEE
1 AN ACT
2 RELATING TO CHARTER SCHOOLS; AMENDING SECTION 33-5202, IDAHO CODE, TO REVISE
3 THE STATEMENT OF LEGISLATIVE INTENT; AMENDING SECTION 33-5203, IDAHO CODE,
4 TO ELIMINATE CERTAIN LIMITATIONS ON THE NUMBER OF CHARTERS GRANTED FOR
5 CHARTER SCHOOLS; AMENDING SECTION 33-5204, IDAHO CODE, TO FURTHER GOVERN
6 THE OPERATION OF A CHARTER SCHOOL AND THE APPLICABILITY OF STATE LAW;
7 AMENDING SECTION 33-5205, IDAHO CODE, TO REQUIRE ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION
8 AND BYLAWS, ELECTION PROCESSES, QUALIFICATIONS OF EMPLOYEES AND ADMISSION
9 PROCEDURES TO BE CONTAINED IN THE PETITION TO ESTABLISH A CHARTER SCHOOL;
10 AMENDING SECTION 33-5206, IDAHO CODE, TO SPECIFY ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS
11 FOR APPROVAL AND TO REQUIRE APPROVAL OF THE FORMAT OF THE CONTRACT FOR
12 TEACHERS AND ADMINISTRATORS; AMENDING SECTION 33-5207, IDAHO CODE, TO FUR-
13 THER GOVERN CHARTER APPEAL PROCEDURE; AND AMENDING SECTION 33-5208, IDAHO
14 CODE, TO AUTHORIZE ADVANCE APPROPRIATION FOR TRANSPORTATION COSTS.
15 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:
16 SECTION 1. That Section 33-5202, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
17 amended to read as follows:
18 33-5202. LEGISLATIVE INTENT. It is the intent of the legislature to pro-
19 vide opportunities for teachers, parents, students and community members to
20 establish and maintain public charter schools which operate independently from
21 the existing school district structure but within the existing public school
22 system as a method to accomplish all of the following:
23 (1) Improve student learning;
24 (2) Increase learning opportunities for all students, with special empha-
25 sis on expanded learning experiences for students;
26 (3) Include the use of different and innovative teaching methods;
27 (4) Utilize virtual distance learning and on-line learning;
28 (5) Create new professional opportunities for teachers, including the
29 opportunity to be responsible for the learning program at the school site;
30 (6) Provide parents and students with expanded choices in the types of
31 educational opportunities that are available within the public school system;
32 (7) Hold the schools established under this chapter accountable for meet-
33 ing measurable student educational standards.
34 SECTION 2. That Section 33-5203, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
35 amended to read as follows:
36 33-5203. AUTHORIZATION -- LIMITATIONS. (1) The creation of public charter
37 schools is hereby authorized. Charter schools shall be part of the state's
38 program of public education.
39 (2) It is the intent of the legislature that the number of charter
40 schools which may be approved in each of the first five (5) years after the
41 effective date of this act be limited in number and geographic distribution in
1 accordance with the following:
2 (a) Not more than sixty (60) schools may be approved in the first five
3 (5) years after the effective date of this act, and
4 (b) Not more than twelve (12) schools may be approved in any one (1)
5 year, and
6 (c) Not more than two (2) charters per year may be granted within an edu-
7 cational classification region as established by the state board of educa-
8 tion, and
9 (d) Not more than one (1) charter may be granted for any one (1) school
10 district in a year, and
11 (e) No whole school district may be converted to a charter district or
12 any configuration which includes all schools as charter schools.
13 The legislature further finds that, notwithstanding the limitations of this
14 subsection (2), if fewer than twelve (12) charters are approved by June 1 of a
15 year, the unused allotments shall be assigned to a statewide pool for use by
16 other requesting districts. Distributions from the pool shall be made by ran-
17 dom drawing.
18 (3) A charter school may be formed by creating a new school or converting
19 an existing public school to charter status. No charter shall be granted under
20 this chapter which authorizes the conversion of any private or parochial
21 school to a charter school. No charter shall be granted to or operated by a
22 for-profit entity.
23 SECTION 3. That Section 33-5204, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
24 amended to read as follows:
25 33-5204. NONPROFIT CORPORATION -- LIABILITY -- INSURANCE. (1) A charter
26 school shall be organized and managed under the Idaho nonprofit corporation
27 act. The board of directors of a charter school shall be deemed public agents
28 servants authorized by a public school district or the state board of educa-
29 tion to control the charter school, but shall function independently of any
30 school board of trustees, except as provided in the charter, and shall be sub-
31 ject to the provisions of sections 33-506 and 33-507, Idaho Code. A charter
32 school shall be considered a public school for all purposes and shall comply
33 with the audit reporting requirements of section 33-701 6., Idaho Code, and
34 shall annually file financial and statistical reports as required in section
35 33-701 7., Idaho Code. For the purposes of section 59-1302(15), Idaho Code, a
36 charter school created pursuant to this chapter shall be deemed a governmental
37 entity. Pursuant to the provisions of section 63-3622O, Idaho Code, sales to
38 or purchases by a public charter school are exempt from payment of the sales
39 and use tax. A charter school and the board of directors of a charter school
40 are subject to the provisions of chapter 23, title 67, and chapter 3, title 9,
41 Idaho Code, in the same manner that a public school and the board of school
42 trustees are subject to those provisions.
43 (2) A charter school may sue or be sued, purchase, receive, hold and con-
44 vey real and personal property for school purposes, and borrow money for such
45 purposes, to the same extent and on the same conditions as a public school
46 district, and its employees, directors and officers shall enjoy the same immu-
47 nities as employees, directors and officers of public school districts and
48 other public schools. The approving authority of a charter school shall have
49 no liability for the acts, omissions, debts or other obligations of a charter
50 school, except as may be provided in an agreement or contract with such
51 charter school.
52 (3) Nothing in this chapter shall prevent the board of directors of a
53 charter school , operating as a nonprofit corporation, from borrowing money to
1 finance the purchase of school building facilities. Subject to the terms of a
2 contractual agreement between the board and a lender, and approval of the
3 state superintendent of public instruction, nothing herein shall prevent the
4 board from using the facility as collateral for the loan.
5 (4) Charter schools shall secure insurance for liability and property
7 SECTION 4. That Section 33-5205, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
8 amended to read as follows:
9 33-5205. PETITION TO ESTABLISH CHARTER SCHOOL. (1) Any person may request
10 the board of trustees of a school district to establish a charter school, or
11 to convert an existing school within the school district to charter status. A
12 petition to convert an existing school shall be submitted to the board of
13 trustees of the district for review after the petition has been signed by not
14 less than sixty percent (60%) of the teachers currently employed by the school
15 district at the school to be converted, and by one (1) or more parents or
16 guardians of not less than sixty percent (60%) of the students currently
17 attending the school to be converted. A petition to establish a new charter
18 school shall be submitted to the board of trustees of the district for review
19 after the petition has been signed by not less than thirty (30) qualified
20 electors of the district. Each petition submitted shall contain a copy of the
21 articles of incorporation and the bylaws of the corporation, which shall be
22 deemed incorporated into the petition. The state department of education shall
23 establish uniform guidelines for the petition process which shall serve as a
24 model for charter petitioners to follow.
25 (2) Not later than thirty (30) days after receiving a petition signed in
26 accordance with the specifications in subsection (1) of this section, the
27 board of trustees shall hold a meeting open to the public for the purpose of
28 discussing the provisions of the charter, at which time the board shall con-
29 sider the merits of the petition and the level of employee and parental sup-
30 port for the petition. Following review of the petition and the public hear-
31 ing, the board of trustees shall either grant or deny the charter within sixty
32 (60) days of receipt of the petition, provided however, that the date may be
33 extended by an additional sixty (60) days if the petition fails to meet the
34 signature requirements or fails to contain all of the information required in
35 this section , or if both parties agree to the extension.
36 (3) A board of trustees may grant a charter for operation of a school
37 under the provisions of this chapter if it determines that the petition con-
38 tains the number of signatures required, a statement of each of the conditions
39 described in subsection (4) of this section, and descriptions of all of the
41 (a) The educational program of the charter school, designed among other
42 things, to identify what it means to be an "educated person" in the
43 twenty-first century, and how learning best occurs. The goals identified
44 in the program shall include how all educational thoroughness standards as
45 defined in section 33-1612, Idaho Code, shall be fulfilled.
46 (b) The measurable student educational standards identified for use by
47 the charter school. "Student educational standards" for the purpose of
48 this chapter means the extent to which all students of the charter school
49 demonstrate they have attained the skills and knowledge specified as goals
50 in the school's educational program.
51 (c) The method by which student progress in meeting those student educa-
52 tional standards is to be measured.
53 (d) A provision by which students of the charter school will be tested
1 with the same standardized tests as other Idaho public school students.
2 (e) A provision which ensures that the charter school shall be state
3 accredited as provided by rule of the state board of education.
4 (f) The governance structure of the charter school including, but not
5 limited to, the person or entity who shall be legally accountable for the
6 operation of the school, the process to be used for holding open election
7 of the board of directors following the second year of operation, and the
8 process to be followed by the charter school to ensure parental involve-
10 (g) The qualifications to be met by individuals employed by the charter
11 school. Instructional staff shall be certified teachers as defined in sec-
12 tions 33-1001(12) and 33-1201, Idaho Code, or may apply for a waiver or
13 any of the limited certification options as provided by rule of the state
14 board of education. The administrator responsible for supervision and
15 evaluation of the teaching staff shall hold a valid Idaho school
16 administrator's certificate.
17 (h) The procedures that the charter school will follow to ensure the
18 health and safety of students and staff.
19 (i) Admission procedures, including provision for overenrollment. Initial
20 admission procedures for a new charter school, not a renewal, including
21 may provide that not more than ten percent (10%) of the available capacity
22 in each grade may be reserved for the children of the original charter
23 school founders and full-time certificated employees of the school. The
24 charter shall describe its provision for overenrollment, which specifies
25 shall specify that admission for positions not reserved will be determined
26 by lottery or other random method. If initial capacity is insufficient to
27 enroll all pupils who submit a timely application, preference shall be
28 given in the following order: first, to siblings of pupils already
29 selected by the lottery or other random method; and second, by an equita-
30 ble selection process such as by lottery or other random method. If capac-
31 ity is insufficient to enroll all pupils for subsequent school terms, who
32 submit a timely application, preference shall be given in the following
33 order: first, to pupils returning to the charter school in the second or
34 any subsequent year of its operation; second, to siblings of pupils
35 already enrolled in the charter school; and third, an equitable selection
36 process such as by lottery or other random method. In all cases where a
37 lottery or other random method is utilized, it shall be conducted by the
38 granting school district, or an independent third party mutually agreed to
39 by the granting district board and the board of the charter school.
40 (j) The manner in which an annual audit of the financial and programmatic
41 operations of the charter school is to be conducted.
42 (k) The procedures by which students can be suspended, expelled and
44 (l) A provision which ensures all staff members of the charter school
45 will be covered by the public employee retirement system, federal social
46 security, unemployment insurance and worker's compensation insurance.
47 (m) The public school attendance alternative for students residing within
48 the school district who choose not to attend the charter school if the
49 proposed charter school is a conversion of an existing school to charter
51 (n) A description of the transfer rights of any employee choosing to work
52 in a charter school and the rights of such employees to return to any non-
53 charter school in the school district after employment at a charter
55 (o) A provision which ensures that the staff of the charter school shall
1 be considered a separate unit for purposes of collective bargaining.
2 (p) The procedures to be followed by the charter school and the entity
3 granting the charter to resolve disputes relating to provisions of the
5 (q) The manner by which special education services will be provided to
6 students with disabilities who are eligible pursuant to the federal indi-
7 viduals with disabilities education act.
8 (r) The manner by which eligible students from the charter school shall
9 be allowed to participate in dual enrollment in noncharter schools within
10 the district as provided for in chapter 2, title 33, Idaho Code, and the
11 manner by which payment shall be made to the school district by the
12 charter school for dually enrolled students in curricular and extra-
13 curricular activities.
14 (s) The procedures by which the charter school shall ensure all students
15 within the granting district will have equal access to the charter school,
16 including, but not limited to: communications in native and alternate lan-
17 guage, methods by which enrollment procedures are communicated to the fam-
18 ilies within the granting district, means for providing transportation,
19 food services, and services for English language learners. The primary
20 attendance area shall be entirely within the boundaries of the authorizing
21 school district, and admission preference as described in section
22 33-5206(1), Idaho Code, shall be given to students residing in the primary
23 attendance area. The primary attendance area shall be a single unit, with
24 no exclusions of neighbors or homes within the area.
25 (4) The petitioner shall provide information regarding the proposed oper-
26 ation and potential effects of the school including, but not limited to, the
27 facilities to be utilized by the school, the manner in which administrative
28 services of the school are to be provided and the potential civil liability
29 effects upon the school and upon the district.
30 SECTION 5. That Section 33-5206, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
31 amended to read as follows:
32 33-5206. REQUIREMENTS AND PROHIBITIONS UPON APPROVAL OF A CHARTER SCHOOL.
33 (1) In addition to any other requirements imposed in this chapter, a charter
34 school shall be nonsectarian in its programs, affiliations, admission poli-
35 cies, employment practices, and all other operations, shall not charge
36 tuition, levy taxes or issue bonds, and shall not discriminate against any
37 student on any basis prohibited by the federal or state constitutions or any
38 federal, state or local law. Admission to a charter school shall not be deter-
39 mined according to the place of residence of the student, or of the student's
40 parent or guardian within the district, except that a new or conversion
41 charter school established under the provisions of this chapter shall adopt
42 and maintain a policy giving admission preference to students who reside
43 within the attendance area of that school.
44 (2) No board of trustees shall require any employee of the school dis-
45 trict to be involuntarily assigned to work in a charter school.
46 (3) Certified teachers in a charter school shall be considered public
47 school teachers. Educational experience shall accrue for service in a charter
48 school and such experience shall be counted by any school district to which
49 the teacher returns after employment in a charter school.
50 (4) No board of trustees shall require any student enrolled in the school
51 district to attend a charter school.
52 (5) Upon approval of the petition by the board of trustees, the peti-
53 tioner shall provide written notice of that approval, including a copy of the
1 petition, to the state board of education. For the purpose of implementing
2 the provisions of section 33-5203(2), Idaho Code, the state board of education
3 shall assign a number to each petition it receives. Petitions shall be num-
4 bered based on the chronological order in which notice of the approved peti-
5 tion is received by the state board of education.
6 (6) Each charter school shall annually submit a report to the local board
7 of trustees which approved its charter. In the case of a new charter school
8 whose charter was granted by the state board of education pursuant to section
9 33-5207, Idaho Code, the annual report shall be submitted to the state board
10 of education. The report shall contain the audit of the fiscal and
11 programmatic operations as required in section 33-5205(3)(j), Idaho Code, a
12 report on student progress based on the charter school's student educational
13 standards identified in section 33-5205(3)(b), Idaho Code, and a copy of the
14 charter school's accreditation report.
15 (7) Charter school teachers and administrators shall be employed annually
16 on a written contract in a form approved by the state superintendent of public
18 SECTION 6. That Section 33-5207, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
19 amended to read as follows:
20 33-5207. CHARTER APPEAL PROCEDURE. (1) If a local school board of
21 trustees grants a charter for the conversion of an existing school within the
22 school district over the objection of thirty (30) or more persons or employees
23 of the district, or denies a petition for the establishment of a new charter
24 school for any reason including, but not limited to, failure by the petitioner
25 to follow procedures or for failure to provide required information, then such
26 decisions may be appealed to the state superintendent of public instruction,
27 at the request of persons opposing the conversion of an existing school, or at
28 the request of the petitioner whose request for a new charter was denied.
29 (2) The state superintendent of public instruction shall select a hearing
30 officer within thirty (30) days to review the action of the local board of
31 trustees. The hearing officer shall, within thirty (30) days of the request
32 selection, review the charter petition and convene a public hearing regarding
33 the charter request petition. Within ten (10) days of the public hearing, the
34 hearing officer shall submit a written recommendation to the local board of
35 trustees and to the persons requesting the review.
36 (3) Within thirty (30) days following receipt of the hearing officer's
37 written recommendation, the local board of trustees shall hold a public hear-
38 ing. Within ten (10) days of this hearing, the local board of trustees shall
39 either affirm or reverse its initial decision. The board's decision shall be
40 in writing and contain findings which explain the reasons for its decision.
41 (4) If, upon reconsideration of a decision to approve the conversion of
42 an existing school to a charter school, the local school board:
43 (a) Affirms its initial decision to authorize such conversion, the
44 charter shall be granted and there shall be no further appeal.
45 (b) Reverses its initial decision and denies the conversion, that deci-
46 sion is final and there shall be no further appeal.
47 (5) If, upon reconsideration of a decision to deny establishment of a new
48 charter school, the local school board:
49 (a) Reverses its initial decision and approves the new charter school,
50 the charter shall be granted and there shall be no further appeal.
51 (b) Affirms its initial decision denying the new charter school, the
52 petitioners for the establishment of the new charter school may appeal to
53 the state board of education only if the school board's decision
1 contradicts the hearing officer's findings. The state board of education
2 shall hold a public hearing at its next regular meeting and shall may
3 approve the charter for the establishment of a new charter school if it
4 determines that the local board of trustees failed to appropriately con-
5 sider the charter request petition, or if the denial of the local board
6 acted in an of trustees was arbitrary. manner in denying the request. Such
7 hearing shall be conducted pursuant to procedures as set by the state
8 board of education.
9 (6) A charter school for which a charter is granted by the state board of
10 education shall qualify fully as a charter school for all funding and other
11 purposes of this chapter. The state board of education shall assume the role
12 of the chartering entity. Employees of a charter school authorized by the
13 state board of education shall not be considered employees of the local school
14 district nor of the state board of education.
15 (7) The finding of the state board of education shall be subject to
16 review pursuant to chapter 52, title 67, Idaho Code. Nothing in this section
17 shall prevent a petitioner from bringing a new petition at a later time.
18 (8) There shall be no appeal of a decision by a local school board of
19 trustees which denies the conversion of an existing school within that dis-
20 trict to a charter school, or which grants a petition for the establishment of
21 a new charter school.
22 SECTION 7. That Section 33-5208, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
23 amended to read as follows:
24 33-5208. CHARTER SCHOOL FINANCIAL SUPPORT. From the state educational
25 support program the state department of education shall make the following
26 apportionment to each charter school for each fiscal year based on attendance
27 figures submitted in a manner and time as required by the department of educa-
29 (1) Per student support. Computation of support units for each charter
30 school shall be calculated as if it were a separate school according to the
31 schedules in section 33-1002 6., Idaho Code, except that charter schools with
32 fewer than one hundred (100) secondary ADA shall use a divisor of twelve (12)
33 and the minimum units shall not apply. Funding from the state educational sup-
34 port program shall be equal to the total distribution factor, plus the salary-
35 based apportionment provided in chapter 10, title 33, Idaho Code.
36 (2) Special education. For each student enrolled in the charter school
37 who is entitled to special education services, the state and federal funds
38 from the exceptional child education program for that student that would have
39 been apportioned for that student to the school district in which the charter
40 school is located.
41 (3) Alternative school support. Charter schools may qualify under the
42 provisions of sections 33-1002 and 33-1002C, Idaho Code, provided the charter
43 school meets the necessary statutory requirements, and students qualify for
44 attendance at an alternative school as provided by rule of the state board of
46 (4) Transportation support. Support shall be paid to the charter school
47 as provided in chapter 15, title 33, Idaho Code, and section 33-1006, Idaho
48 Code. Each charter school shall furnish the department with an enrollment
49 count as of the first Friday in November, of charter school students living
50 more than one and one-half (1 1/2) miles from the school. For charter schools
51 in the initial year of operation, the petition shall include a proposal for
52 transportation services with an estimated first year cost. The state depart-
53 ment of education is authorized to include in the annual appropriation to the
1 charter school eighty percent (80%) of the estimated transportation cost. The
2 final appropriation payment in July shall reflect eighty-five percent (85%) of
3 the actual cost.
4 (5) Payment schedule. The state department of education is authorized to
5 make an advance payment of twenty-five percent (25%) of a charter school's
6 estimated annual apportionment for its first year of operation, and each year
7 thereafter, provided the charter school has an increase of student population
8 in any given year of twenty (20) students or more, to assist the school with
9 initial start-up costs or payroll obligations.
10 (a) For a state charter school to receive the advance payment, the school
11 shall submit its anticipated fall membership for each grade level to the
12 state department of education by June 1.
13 (b) Using the figures provided by the school, the state department of
14 education shall determine an estimated annual apportionment from which the
15 amount of the advance payment shall be calculated. Advance payment shall
16 be made to the school on or after July 1 but no later than July 31.
17 (c) All subsequent payments, taking into account the one-time advance
18 payment made for the first year of operation, shall be made to the charter
19 school in the same manner as other public schools in accordance with the
20 provisions of section 33-1009, Idaho Code.
21 A charter school shall comply with all applicable fiscal requirements of law,
22 except that the following provisions shall not be applicable to charter
23 schools: section 33-1003B, Idaho Code, relating to guaranteed minimum support;
24 that portion of section 33-1004, Idaho Code, relating to reduction of the
25 administrative and instructional staff allowance when there is a discrepancy
26 between the number allowed and the number actually employed; and section
27 33-1004E, Idaho Code, for calculation of district staff indices.
28 (6) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit any private
29 person or organization from providing funding or other financial assistance to
30 the establishment or operation of a charter school.
31 (7) Nothing in this chapter shall prevent a charter school from applying
32 for federal grant moneys.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
Section 33-5202 Amends legislative intent to allow for charters of similar methods and
curriculum within the same district.
Section 33-5203 Amends Idaho code to allow for no limit on the number of charters
granted in the state.
Section 33-5204 Clarifies the law to recognize that charter schools will be organized under
the Idaho nonprofit corporation act, but will be managed as a public
school entity, and that the board of a charter school will be subject to
provisions of Idaho code governing public school trustees. It further
identifies that while charter schools may borrow money for the purchase
of school facilities, the terms and contractual arrangements of any loan
shall be subject to review by the state superintendent of public instruction.
Section 33-5205 Amends and clarifies several sections dealing with the items to be
addressed in the charter petition, including; bylaws of the charter school,
process to be used for board elections, the process for admission
procedures, provision for oversight of methods used to randomly select
students, provision for payment for dual enrolled students, the procedures
to ensure equal access to all students, and the attendance boundaries for
the charter school.
Section 33-5206 Clarifies that charter school teachers and administrators shall be
contracted on a form approved by the state superintendent of public
Section 33-5207 Amends the appeal process to recognize the validity of the hearing
Section 33-5208 Allows for the payment of bus services in the first year of a charter
Name: Bob Henry
Name: Jon Allen
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE/FISCAL NOTE S 1326