Print Friendly SENATE BILL NO. 1359 – Charter schools, bd of directors
SENATE BILL NO. 1359
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CHARTER SCHOOLS - Amends existing law to provide for membership of the
board of directors of a charter school; to provide for election of board
members following the second year of operation of the school; and to
provide that a required description in a petition for a charter school as
part of the governance structure of the charter school shall include
elections for the board of directors following the second year of operation
of the school.
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. 1359
BY EDUCATION COMMITTEE
1 AN ACT
2 RELATING TO PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOLS; AMENDING SECTION 33-5204, IDAHO CODE, TO
3 PROVIDE FOR MEMBERSHIP OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF A CHARTER SCHOOL AND
4 TO PROVIDE FOR ELECTION OF BOARD MEMBERS FOLLOWING THE SECOND YEAR OF
5 OPERATION OF THE SCHOOL; AND AMENDING SECTION 33-5205, IDAHO CODE, TO PRO-
6 VIDE THAT A REQUIRED DESCRIPTION IN A PETITION FOR A CHARTER SCHOOL AS
7 PART OF THE GOVERNANCE STRUCTURE OF THE CHARTER SCHOOL SHALL INCLUDE ELEC-
8 TIONS FOR THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS FOLLOWING THE SECOND YEAR OF OPERATION OF
9 THE SCHOOL.
10 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:
11 SECTION 1. That Section 33-5204, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
12 amended to read as follows:
13 33-5204. NONPROFIT CORPORATION -- LIABILITY -- INSURANCE. (1) A charter
14 school shall be organized and managed under the Idaho nonprofit corporation
15 act. The board of directors of a charter school shall be deemed public agents
16 authorized by a public school district or the state board of education to con-
17 trol the charter school, but shall function independently of any school board
18 of trustees, except as provided in the charter. Each charter school board of
19 directors shall include one (1) trustee or other designee representing the
20 authorizing school district, or if the state board of education is the char-
21 tering authority, one (1) member of the state board of education or other des-
22 ignee representing the state board of education. This position shall be a con-
23 tinuing member of the board of directors and is not subject to the election
24 process for members of the board of directors. After its second year of opera-
25 tion, a charter school shall hold elections for its board of directors in the
26 same manner as school district trustees are elected pursuant to chapter 4,
27 title 33, Idaho Code. Provided however, that there are no trustee zones for
28 charter schools, and qualified electors may vote for all director positions to
29 be filled. For purposes of this section, the term "qualified elector" shall
30 mean all Idaho electors who have children attending the charter school, the
31 initial founding board of directors for the charter school, current members of
32 the board of directors, and full-time employees of the charter school. A
33 charter school shall be considered a public school for all purposes and shall
34 comply with the audit reporting requirements of section 33-701 6., Idaho Code,
35 and shall annually file financial and statistical reports as required in sec-
36 tion 33-701 7., Idaho Code. For the purposes of section 59-1302(15), Idaho
37 Code, a charter school created pursuant to this chapter shall be deemed a gov-
38 ernmental entity. Pursuant to the provisions of section 63-3622O, Idaho Code,
39 sales to or purchases by a public charter school are exempt from payment of
40 the sales and use tax. A charter school and the board of directors of a
41 charter school are subject to the provisions of chapter 23, title 67, and
42 chapter 3, title 9, Idaho Code, in the same manner that a public school and
43 the board of school trustees are subject to those provisions.
1 (2) A charter school may sue or be sued, purchase, receive, hold and con-
2 vey real and personal property for school purposes, and borrow money for such
3 purposes, to the same extent and on the same conditions as a public school
4 district, and its employees, directors and officers shall enjoy the same immu-
5 nities as employees, directors and officers of public school districts and
6 other public schools. The approving authority of a charter school shall have
7 no liability for the acts, omissions, debts or other obligations of a charter
8 school, except as may be provided in an agreement or contract with such
9 charter school.
10 (3) Nothing in this chapter shall prevent the board of directors of a
11 charter school, operating as a nonprofit corporation, from borrowing money to
12 finance the purchase of school building facilities. Subject to the terms of a
13 contractual agreement between the board and a lender, nothing herein shall
14 prevent the board from using the facility as collateral for the loan.
15 (4) Charter schools shall secure insurance for liability and property
17 SECTION 2. That Section 33-5205, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
18 amended to read as follows:
19 33-5205. PETITION TO ESTABLISH CHARTER SCHOOL. (1) Any person may request
20 the board of trustees of a school district to establish a charter school, or
21 to convert an existing school within the school district to charter status. A
22 petition to convert an existing school shall be submitted to the board of
23 trustees of the district for review after the petition has been signed by not
24 less than sixty percent (60%) of the teachers currently employed by the school
25 district at the school to be converted, and by one (1) or more parents or
26 guardians of not less than sixty percent (60%) of the students currently
27 attending the school to be converted. A petition to establish a new charter
28 school shall be submitted to the board of trustees of the district for review
29 after the petition has been signed by not less than thirty (30) qualified
30 electors of the district.
31 (2) Not later than thirty (30) days after receiving a petition signed in
32 accordance with the specifications in subsection (1) of this section, the
33 board of trustees shall hold a meeting open to the public for the purpose of
34 discussing the provisions of the charter, at which time the board shall con-
35 sider the merits of the petition and the level of employee and parental sup-
36 port for the petition. Following review of the petition and the public hear-
37 ing, the board of trustees shall either grant or deny the charter within sixty
38 (60) days of receipt of the petition, provided however, that the date may be
39 extended by an additional sixty (60) days if the petition fails to meet the
40 signature requirements or fails to contain all of the information required in
41 this section, or if both parties agree to the extension.
42 (3) A board of trustees may grant a charter for operation of a school
43 under the provisions of this chapter if it determines that the petition con-
44 tains the number of signatures required, a statement of each of the conditions
45 described in subsection (4) of this section, and descriptions of all of the
47 (a) The educational program of the charter school, designed among other
48 things, to identify what it means to be an "educated person" in the
49 twenty-first century, and how learning best occurs. The goals identified
50 in the program shall include how all educational thoroughness standards as
51 defined in section 33-1612, Idaho Code, shall be fulfilled.
52 (b) The measurable student educational standards identified for use by
53 the charter school. "Student educational standards" for the purpose of
1 this chapter means the extent to which all students of the charter school
2 demonstrate they have attained the skills and knowledge specified as goals
3 in the school's educational program.
4 (c) The method by which student progress in meeting those student educa-
5 tional standards is to be measured.
6 (d) A provision by which students of the charter school will be tested
7 with the same standardized tests as other Idaho public school students.
8 (e) A provision which ensures that the charter school shall be state
9 accredited as provided by rule of the state board of education.
10 (f) The governance structure of the charter school including, but not
11 limited to, the person or entity who shall be legally accountable for the
12 operation of the school, the open election of the board of directors fol-
13 lowing the second year of operation in compliance with the provisions of
14 section 33-5204, Idaho Code, and the process to be followed by the charter
15 school to ensure parental involvement.
16 (g) The qualifications to be met by individuals employed by the charter
17 school. Instructional staff shall be certified teachers, or may apply for
18 a waiver or any of the limited certification options as provided by rule
19 of the state board of education.
20 (h) The procedures that the charter school will follow to ensure the
21 health and safety of students and staff.
22 (i) Admission procedures, including provision for overenrollment. Initial
23 admission procedures for a new charter school, not a renewal, including
24 provision for overenrollment, which specifies admission will be determined
25 by lottery or other random method. If initial capacity is insufficient to
26 enroll all pupils who submit a timely application, preference shall be
27 given in the following order: first, to siblings of pupils already
28 selected by the lottery or other random method; and second, an equitable
29 selection process such as by lottery or other random method. If capacity
30 is insufficient to enroll all pupils for subsequent school terms, who sub-
31 mit a timely application, preference shall be given in the following
32 order: first, to pupils returning to the charter school in the second or
33 any subsequent year of its operation; second, to siblings of pupils
34 already enrolled in the charter school; and third, an equitable selection
35 process such as by lottery or other random method.
36 (j) The manner in which an annual audit of the financial and programmatic
37 operations of the charter school is to be conducted.
38 (k) The procedures by which students can be suspended, expelled and
40 (l) A provision which ensures all staff members of the charter school
41 will be covered by the public employee retirement system, federal social
42 security, unemployment insurance and worker's compensation insurance.
43 (m) The public school attendance alternative for students residing within
44 the school district who choose not to attend the charter school.
45 (n) A description of the transfer rights of any employee choosing to work
46 in a charter school and the rights of such employees to return to any non-
47 charter school in the school district after employment at a charter
49 (o) A provision which ensures that the staff of the charter school shall
50 be considered a separate unit for purposes of collective bargaining.
51 (p) The procedures to be followed by the charter school and the entity
52 granting the charter to resolve disputes relating to provisions of the
54 (q) The manner by which special education services will be provided to
55 students with disabilities who are eligible pursuant to the federal indi-
1 viduals with disabilities education act.
2 (r) The manner by which eligible students from the charter school shall
3 be allowed to participate in dual enrollment in noncharter schools within
4 the district as provided for in chapter 2, title 33, Idaho Code.
5 (4) The petitioner shall provide information regarding the proposed oper-
6 ation and potential effects of the school including, but not limited to, the
7 facilities to be utilized by the school, the manner in which administrative
8 services of the school are to be provided and the potential civil liability
9 effects upon the school and upon the district.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
This proposal amends Idaho Code 33-5204 regarding how the membership of the
governing board of a charter school is determined. It is important that the founders
choose the board representing the vision and philosophy of those who labor to set up the
school, as contained in the petition. After the vision and philosophy have been
established over a two-year period, the democratic elections process will then be the
method determining governing board membership. From the beginning, the charter
school governing board would be augmented by a member of the authorizing board of
trustees or designee. Having one of the charter school board members be a representative
the board that authorized the school has been found to improve communication,
understanding and productive relations between the charter school governing board and
the authorizing board.
This bill also amends Idaho Code 33-5205 to require the charter petition to include the
provision of election of governing board members after the second year of operation,
consistent with the proposed amendment to 33-5204.
There is no fiscal impact on the state general fund.
Name: Bob West, Idaho State Department of Education
Name: Don Robertson, Idaho State Department of Education
Phone: 332-6812 S 1359