2004 Legislation
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SENATE BILL NO. 1359 – Charter schools, bd of directors


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Bill Status

S1359..........................................................by EDUCATION
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

Bill Text

  ]]]]              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
  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
 16    loss.
 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
 46    following:
 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
 39        reenrolled.
 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
 48        school.
 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
 53        charter.
 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 / Fiscal Impact

                    STATEMENT  OF  PURPOSE 
                            RS 14104
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.
                          FISCAL  IMPACT
There is no fiscal impact on the state general fund.
Name:     Bob West, Idaho State Department of Education
Phone:    332-6810
Name:     Don Robertson, Idaho State Department of Education
Phone:    332-6812                                                       S 1359