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S1360..........................................................by EDUCATION CHARTER SCHOOLS - Amends existing law to provide that a petition for a new charter school may designate its status for funding purposes as part of the school district which grants its charter or as an independent local education agency; to provide that a petition for a new multidistrict electronic charter school shall designate the new school as an independent local education agency for funding and organizational purposes; to clarify the management of a charter school; to require a charter school to present its budget in accordance with the provisions of Section 33-801, Idaho Code; and to provide that the board of directors of a charter school is subject to the provisions of Section 33-507, Idaho Code, regarding the limitation upon authority of trustees. 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. 1360 BY EDUCATION COMMITTEE 1 AN ACT 2 RELATING TO PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOLS; AMENDING SECTION 33-5203, IDAHO CODE, TO 3 PROVIDE THAT A PETITION FOR A NEW CHARTER SCHOOL MAY DESIGNATE ITS STATUS 4 FOR FUNDING PURPOSES AS PART OF THE SCHOOL DISTRICT WHICH GRANTS ITS 5 CHARTER OR AS AN INDEPENDENT LOCAL EDUCATION AGENCY AND TO PROVIDE THAT A 6 PETITION FOR A NEW MULTIDISTRICT ELECTRONIC CHARTER SCHOOL SHALL DESIGNATE 7 THE NEW SCHOOL AS AN INDEPENDENT LOCAL EDUCATION AGENCY FOR FUNDING AND 8 ORGANIZATIONAL PURPOSES; AND AMENDING SECTION 33-5204, IDAHO CODE, TO 9 CLARIFY THE MANAGEMENT OF A CHARTER SCHOOL, TO REQUIRE A CHARTER SCHOOL TO 10 PRESENT ITS BUDGET IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 33-801, IDAHO CODE, TO PRO- 11 VIDE THAT THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF A CHARTER SCHOOL IS SUBJECT TO THE 12 PROVISIONS OF SECTION 33-507, IDAHO CODE, AND TO MAKE TECHNICAL CORREC- 13 TIONS. 14 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho: 15 SECTION 1. That Section 33-5203, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby 16 amended to read as follows: 17 33-5203. AUTHORIZATION -- LIMITATIONS. (1) The creation of public charter 18 schools is hereby authorized. Charter schools shall be part of the state's 19 program of public education. 20 (2) It is the intent of the legislature that the number of charter 21 schools which may be approved in each of the first five (5) years after the 22 effective date of this act be limited in number and geographic distribution in 23 accordance with the following: 24 (a) Not more than sixty (60) schools may be approved in the first five 25 (5) years after the effective date of this act, and 26 (b) Not more than twelve (12) schools may be approved in any one (1) 27 year, and 28 (c) Not more than two (2) charters per year may be granted within an edu- 29 cational classification region as established by the state board of educa- 30 tion, and 31 (d) Not more than one (1) charter may be granted for any one (1) school 32 district in a year, and 33 (e) No whole school district may be converted to a charter district or 34 any configuration which includes all schools as charter schools. 35 The legislature further finds that, notwithstanding the limitations of this 36 subsection (2), if fewer than twelve (12) charters are approved by June 1 of a 37 year, the unused allotments shall be assigned to a statewide pool for use by 38 other requesting districts. Distributions from the pool shall be made by ran- 39 dom drawing. 40 (3) A charter school may be formed by creating a new school or converting 41 an existing public school to charter status. No charter shall be granted under 42 this chapter which authorizes the conversion of any private or parochial 43 school to a charter school. No charter shall be granted to or operated by a 2 1 for-profit entity. 2 (4) The petition for a new charter school may designate the new school to 3 be considered for funding purposes as a charter school component of the school 4 district which grants its charter, or it may designate the new school to be an 5 independent local education agency (LEA) having the fiscal and legal responsi- 6 bilities attendant thereto. 7 (5) The petition for a new or renewal charter for a multidistrict elec- 8 tronic charter school shall designate the new school for funding and organiza- 9 tional purposes as an independent local education agency (LEA). 10 SECTION 2. That Section 33-5204, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby 11 amended to read as follows: 12 33-5204. NONPROFIT CORPORATION -- LIABILITY -- INSURANCE. (1) A charter 13 school shall be organized and managedunder the Idaho nonprofit corporation 14 act and managed subject to all statutes applicable to school districts unless 15 specifically directed otherwise in this chapter. The board of directors of a 16 charter school shall be deemed public agents authorized by a public school 17 district or the state board of education to control the charter school, but 18 shall function independently of any school board of trustees, except as pro- 19 vided in the charter. 20 (2) A charter school shall be considered a public school for all purposes 21 and shall comply with the audit reporting requirements of section 33-701 6., 22 Idaho Code, and shall annually file financial and statistical reports as 23 required in section 33-701 7., Idaho Code. A charter school shall be subject 24 to the requirements of section 33-801, Idaho Code, for purposes of presenting 25 its annual budget. For the purposes of section 59-1302(15), Idaho Code, a 26 charter school created pursuant to this chapter shall be deemed a governmental 27 entity. Pursuant to the provisions of section 63-3622O, Idaho Code, sales to 28 or purchases by a public charter school are exempt from payment of the sales 29 and use tax. A charter school and the board of directors of a charter school 30 are subject to the provisions of chapter 23, title 67, andchapter 3, title 9, 31 Idaho Code, and section 33-507, Idaho Code, in the same manner that a public 32 school and the board of school trustees are subject to those provisions. 33 ( 23) A charter school may sue or be sued, purchase, receive, hold and 34 convey real and personal property for school purposes, and borrow money for 35 such purposes, to the same extent and on the same conditions as a public 36 school district, and its employees, directors and officers shall enjoy the 37 same immunities as employees, directors and officers of public school dis- 38 tricts and other public schools. The approving authority of a charter school 39 shall have no liability for the acts, omissions, debts or other obligations of 40 a charter school, except as may be provided in an agreement or contract with 41 such charter school. 42 ( 34) Nothing in this chapter shall prevent the board of directors of a 43 charter school, operating as a nonprofit corporation, from borrowing money to 44 finance the purchase of school building facilities. Subject to the terms of a 45 contractual agreement between the board and a lender, nothing herein shall 46 prevent the board from using the facility as collateral for the loan. 47 ( 45) Charter schools shall secure insurance for liability and property 48 loss.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE RS 14101 Under present law, a charter school is considered a school within the approving school district. In Idaho, school districts are Local Education Agencies, or LEA's. Under most federal programs, the LEA is the entity which bears direct responsibility for implementing a given program, and LEA's receive their funds directly. The LEA's, in turn, decide where and how the money is to be spent, given the needs of the LEA as a whole. Under this system, the school district receives federal funds, and decides how the funds will be allocated to the programs within the district. The district's overall needs, though, may be different from those of a charter school, which can cause financial and administrative discontent between the district and the charter school. Additionally, under the federal Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA), the LEA is ultimately responsible to ensure that disabled students' needs are met throughout the district, including students attending charter schools. Many school districts do not like bearing ultimate responsibility for the charter school students' educations because the district has no authority over the charter school, other than the ability to revoke a charter for failure to comply with the law. This proposed legislation would allow a new charter school to choose to be designated its own LEA for funding purposes, which would allow federal funds to flow directly to the charter school. It also would vest charter schools with the ultimate responsibility for the federal programs they participate in, which removes a liability from the school district. The proposed amendments also clarify that charter schools, as publicly funded entities, must comply with all laws that apply to school districts, rather than the laws governing nonprofit corporations. Specific references include the requirement to hold an annual public budget hearing, which some charter schools have refused to do under the mistaken belief that they are governed by the Idaho nonprofit corporations act in all matters not addressed in the Public Charter Schools Act of 1998. Finally, the proposed amendment would clarify that members of a public charter school's board of directors are subject to the same conflict of interest provisions and prohibitions that school district trustees are subject to. FISCAL IMPACT No fiscal impact on the state general fund. Districts may see reductions in overall federal funds received because charter schools would receive funds directly, rather than through the school district. Contact Name: Bob West, Idaho State Department of Education Phone: 332-6810 Name: Don Robertson, Idaho State Department of Education Phone: 332-6812 S 1360