2004 Legislation
Print Friendly

SENATE BILL NO. 1443 – Charter schools, virtual, funding


View Bill Status

View Bill Text

View Statement of Purpose / Fiscal Impact

Text to be added within a bill has been marked with Bold and
Underline. Text to be removed has been marked with
Strikethrough and Italic. How these codes are actually displayed will
vary based on the browser software you are using.

This sentence is marked with bold and underline to show added text.

This sentence is marked with strikethrough and italic, indicating
text to be removed.

Bill Status

S1443............................................................by FINANCE
CHARTER SCHOOLS - Adds to and amends existing law relating to the public
charter schools to provide transportation reimbursement for public virtual
schools; to define terms; to clarify computation of support units for
charter schools formed by conversion of an existing traditional public
school; to provide funding for public virtual schools; and to provide
proper terminology.
03/11    Senate intro - 1st rdg - to printing
03/12    Rpt prt - to Fin
    Rpt out - rec d/p - to 2nd rdg
03/15    2nd rdg - to 3rd rdg
03/16    3rd rdg - PASSED - 31-4-0
      AYES -- Andreason, Bailey, Brandt, Bunderson, Burtenshaw, Calabretta,
      Cameron, Compton, Darrington, Davis, Gannon, Geddes, Goedde, Hill,
      Ingram, Kennedy, Keough, Little, Lodge, Malepeai, McKenzie, Noble,
      Pearce, Richardson, Schroeder, Sorensen, Stegner, Stennett, Sweet,
      Werk, Williams
      NAYS -- Burkett, Marley, McWilliams, Noh
      Absent and excused -- None
    Floor Sponsor - Cameron
    Title apvd - to House
03/17    House intro - 1st rdg - to 2nd rdg
03/18    2nd rdg - to 3rd rdg
    Rls susp - PASSED - 67-3-0
      AYES -- Andersen, Barraclough, Barrett, Bauer, Bayer, Bedke, Bell,
      Black, Block, Boe, Bolz, Bradford, Campbell, Cannon, Clark, Collins,
      Crow, Cuddy, Deal, Denney, Douglas, Eberle, Edmunson, Ellsworth,
      Eskridge, Field(18), Field(23), Gagner, Garrett, Harwood, Henbest,
      Jaquet, Jones, Kellogg, Kulczyk, Lake, Langford, Langhorst, Martinez,
      McGeachin, McKague, Meyer, Miller, Moyle Nielsen, Pasley-Stuart,
      Raybould, Ring, Ringo, Roberts, Robison, Rydalch, Sali, Sayler,
      Schaefer, Shepherd, Shirley, Skippen, Smith(30), Smith(24), Smylie,
      Snodgrass, Stevenson, Trail, Wills, Wood, Mr. Speaker
      NAYS -- Mitchell, Naccarato, Ridinger
      Absent and excused -- None
    Floor Sponsor - Gagner
    Title apvd - to Senate
03/19    To enrol - Rpt enrol - Pres signed
03/20    Sp signed
03/22    To Governor
04/01    Governor signed
         Session Law Chapter 370
         Effective: 04/01/04

Bill Text

  ]]]]              LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO             ]]]]
 Fifty-seventh Legislature                 Second Regular Session - 2004
                                       IN THE SENATE
                                    SENATE BILL NO. 1443
                                    BY FINANCE COMMITTEE
  1                                        AN ACT
 10    Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:
 11        SECTION 1.  That Section 33-1006, Idaho Code, be, and the same  is  hereby
 12    amended to read as follows:
 13        33-1006.  TRANSPORTATION SUPPORT PROGRAM. (1) The state board of education
 14    shall  determine  what  costs  of  transporting pupils, including maintenance,
 15    operation and depreciation of basic vehicles, insurance, payments  under  con-
 16    tract with other public transportation providers whose vehicles used to trans-
 17    port pupils comply with federal transit administration regulations, "bus test-
 18    ing,"  49 C.F.R. part 665, and any revision thereto, as provided in subsection
 19    (4)(d) of this section, or other state department of education  approved  pri-
 20    vate transportation providers, salaries of drivers, and any other costs, shall
 21    be  allowable  in  computing the transportation support program of school dis-
 22    tricts.
 23        (2)  Any costs associated with the addition of vehicle features  that  are
 24    not  part  of the basic vehicle shall not be allowable in computing the trans-
 25    portation support program of school  districts.  A  basic  vehicle  is  hereby
 26    defined  as  the cost of the vehicle without optional features, plus the addi-
 27    tion of essential safety features and features necessary for  the  transporta-
 28    tion of pupils with disabilities.
 29        (3)  Each  school  district shall maintain records and make reports as are
 30    required for the purposes of this section.
 31        (4)  The transportation support program of  a  school  district  shall  be
 32    based upon the allowable costs of:
 33        (a)  Transporting  public  school pupils one and one-half (1 1/2) miles or
 34        more to school;
 35        (b)  Transporting pupils less than one and one-half (1 1/2) miles as  pro-
 36        vided  in section 33-1501, Idaho Code, when approved by the state board of
 37        education;
 38        (c)  The costs of payments when transportation is not furnished,  as  pro-
 39        vided in section 33-1503, Idaho Code;
 40        (d)  The  transportation  program  for grades six (6) through twelve (12),
 41        upon the costs of payments pursuant to a contract  with  other  public  or
 42        private  transportation  providers  entered  into  as  provided in section
 43        33-1510, Idaho Code, if the school district  establishes  that  the  reim-
  1        bursable  costs  of transportation under the contract are equal to or less
  2        than the costs for school buses;
  3        (e)  The costs of providing transportation to  and  from  approved  school
  4        activities as may be approved by rules of the state board of education;
  5        (f)  The  employer's share of contributions to the public employee retire-
  6        ment system and to social security.
  7        (5)  The state's share of the  transportation  support  program  shall  be
  8    eighty-five  percent  (85%)  of allowable reimbursable transportation costs of
  9    the district incurred during the immediately preceding state fiscal year, pro-
 10    vided the allowable reimbursable costs do not exceed one hundred three percent
 11    (103%) of the statewide average reimbursable cost per mile or the state  aver-
 12    age reimbursable cost per student rider, whichever is more advantageous to the
 13    school  district.  If  a  school district's costs exceed the one hundred three
 14    percent (103%) limit when computed by the more advantageous  of  the  two  (2)
 15    methods, that school district shall be reimbursed at eighty-five percent (85%)
 16    of the maximum limit for whichever method is more favorable to the school dis-
 17    trict.  A  school district may appeal the application of the one hundred three
 18    percent (103%) limit on allowable reimbursable costs to  the  state  board  of
 19    education,  which  may  establish for that district a new percentile limit for
 20    allowable reimbursable costs compared  to  the  statewide  average,  which  is
 21    higher  than one hundred three percent (103%). In doing so, the state board of
 22    education may set a new limit that is greater than one hundred  three  percent
 23    (103%),  but  is  less  than the percentile limit requested by the school dis-
 24    trict. Any costs above the new level established by the state board of  educa-
 25    tion shall not be reimbursed. Such a change shall only be granted by the state
 26    board  of education if the application can be justified based on uniquely dif-
 27    ficult geographic circumstances, or extraordinary one (1)  time  circumstances
 28    outside  the district's foresight and control. An application granted based on
 29    extraordinary one (1) time circumstances shall be effective for one  (1)  year
 30    only.  An  application  based  on  uniquely difficult geographic circumstances
 31    shall be reviewed by the state board of education for  continued  validity  at
 32    least every five (5) years.
 33        (6)  School  districts that are unable to absorb the impact of the limita-
 34    tion on reimbursable expenses, through either efficiencies or the  utilization
 35    of  fund balances, may apply to the state board of education to receive a loan
 36    of moneys, not to exceed the amount of state funds lost through  the  applica-
 37    tion  of  the  limitation  on reimbursable expenses, from the public education
 38    stabilization fund. Any school district receiving such a loan shall cause  its
 39    reimbursement of state transportation moneys to be reduced by a like amount in
 40    the  subsequent  fiscal  year, and the moneys so reduced shall be deposited in
 41    the public education stabilization fund.
 42        (7)  Beginning on July 1, 2005, any  eligible  home-based  public  virtual
 43    school may claim transportation reimbursement for the prior fiscal year's cost
 44    of providing educational services to students. In order to be eligible, such a
 45    school  shall have at least one (1) average daily attendance divisor, pursuant
 46    to section 33-1002, Idaho Code, that is greater than the median divisor  shown
 47    for any category of pupils, among the actual divisors listed. For the purposes
 48    of  paragraphs  (a),  (b) and (c) of this subsection (7), "education provider"
 49    means the home-based public virtual school or an entity that has legally  con-
 50    tracted  with  the  home-based  public virtual school to supply education ser-
 51    vices. Reimbursable costs shall be limited to the costs of:
 52        (a)  Providing an internet connection service between the student and  the
 53        education provider, not including the cost of telephone service;
 54        (b)  Providing  electronic  and  computer equipment used by the student to
 55        transmit educational material between the student and the  education  pro-
  1        vider;
  2        (c)  Providing  a  toll-free telephone service for students to communicate
  3        with the education provider;
  4        (d)  Providing education-related, face-to-face visits  by  representatives
  5        of  the home-based public virtual school, with such reimbursements limited
  6        to the mileage costs set for state employee travel by the state  board  of
  7        examiners; and
  8        (e)  Any  actual  pupil transportation costs that would be reimbursable if
  9        claimed by a school district.
 10    The total reimbursement for such home-based public virtual  schools  shall  be
 11    exempt  from  the statewide average cost per mile limitations of this section.
 12    The state's share of reimbursable costs shall be  eighty-five  percent  (85%),
 13    subject  to  the  statewide cost per student rider provisions of this section.
 14    For the purposes of such home-based public virtual school, the number of  stu-
 15    dent  riders shall be the same as the number of pupils in average daily atten-
 16    dance.
 17        SECTION 2.  That Chapter 52, Title 33, Idaho Code, be,  and  the  same  is
 18    hereby  amended by the addition thereto of a NEW SECTION, to be known and des-
 19    ignated as Section 33-5202A, Idaho Code, and to read as follows:
 20        33-5202A.  DEFINITIONS. As  used  in  this  chapter,  unless  the  context
 21    requires otherwise:
 22        (1)  "Public  charter school" means a school that is authorized under this
 23    chapter to deliver public education in Idaho.
 24        (2)  "Public virtual school" means a public charter school that may  serve
 25    students in more than one (1) school district and that provides instruction to
 26    pupils  primarily  through virtual distance learning or online technologies. A
 27    building-based public virtual school primarily provides  such  instruction  at
 28    one (1) or more central building locations. A home-based public virtual school
 29    primarily provides such instruction directly to the pupil at home.
 30        (3)  "Traditional  public school" means any school existing or to be built
 31    that is operated and controlled by a school district in this state.
 32        SECTION 3.  That Section 33-5208, Idaho Code, be, and the same  is  hereby
 33    amended to read as follows:
 34        33-5208.  PUBLIC  CHARTER  SCHOOL FINANCIAL SUPPORT. Except as provided in
 35    subsection (8) of this section, fFrom the state  educational  support  program
 36    the  state  department  of education shall make the following apportionment to
 37    each public charter school for each fiscal year based  on  attendance  figures
 38    submitted in a manner and time as required by the department of education:
 39        (1)  Per  student  support.  Computation  of support units for each public
 40    charter school shall be calculated as if it were a separate  school  according
 41    to the schedules in section 33-1002 6., Idaho Code, except that public charter
 42    schools with fewer than one hundred (100) secondary ADA shall use a divisor of
 43    twelve (12) and the minimum units shall not apply. Funding from the state edu-
 44    cational support program shall be equal to the total distribution factor, plus
 45    the  salary-based  apportionment provided in chapter 10, title 33, Idaho Code.
 46    Provided however, any public charter school that is formed by  the  conversion
 47    of  an existing traditional public school shall be assigned divisors, pursuant
 48    to section 33-1002, Idaho Code, that are no lower than  the  divisors  of  the
 49    school  district  in  which the traditional public school is located, for each
 50    category of pupils listed.
 51        (2)  Special education. For each student enrolled in  the  public  charter
  1    school  who  is  entitled to special education services, the state and federal
  2    funds from the exceptional child education program for that student that would
  3    have been apportioned for that student to the school  district  in  which  the
  4    public charter school is located.
  5        (3)  Alternative school support. Public cCharter schools may qualify under
  6    the provisions of sections 33-1002 and 33-1002C, Idaho Code, provided the pub-
  7    lic  charter  school  meets the necessary statutory requirements, and students
  8    qualify for attendance at an alternative school as provided  by  rule  of  the
  9    state board of education.
 10        (4)  Transportation  support.  Support shall be paid to the public charter
 11    school as provided in chapter 15, title 33, Idaho Code, and  section  33-1006,
 12    Idaho  Code.  Each  public charter school shall furnish the department with an
 13    enrollment count as of the first Friday in November, of public charter  school
 14    students living more than one and one-half (1 1/2) miles from the school.
 15        (5)  Payment  schedule. The state department of education is authorized to
 16    make an advance payment of twenty-five  percent  (25%)  of  a  public  charter
 17    school's  estimated  annual apportionment for its first year of operation, and
 18    each year thereafter, provided the public charter school has  an  increase  of
 19    student  population  in  any  given  year  of twenty (20) students or more, to
 20    assist the school with initial start-up costs or payroll obligations.
 21        (a)  For a state public charter school to receive the advance payment, the
 22        school shall submit its anticipated fall membership for each  grade  level
 23        to the state department of education by June 1.
 24        (b)  Using  the  figures  provided by the public charter school, the state
 25        department of education shall determine an estimated annual  apportionment
 26        from  which the amount of the advance payment shall be calculated. Advance
 27        payment shall be made to the school on or after July 1 but no  later  than
 28        July 31.
 29        (c)  All  subsequent  payments,  taking  into account the one-time advance
 30        payment made for the first year of operation, shall be made to the  public
 31        charter  school  in the same manner as other traditional public schools in
 32        accordance with the provisions of section 33-1009, Idaho Code.
 33    A public charter school shall comply with all applicable  fiscal  requirements
 34    of law, except that the following provisions shall not be applicable to public
 35    charter  schools: section 33-1003B, Idaho Code, relating to guaranteed minimum
 36    support; that portion of section 33-1004, Idaho Code, relating to reduction of
 37    the administrative and instructional staff allowance when there is a  discrep-
 38    ancy  between the number allowed and the number actually employed; and section
 39    33-1004E, Idaho Code, for calculation of district staff indices.
 40        (6)  Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to  prohibit  any  private
 41    person or organization from providing funding or other financial assistance to
 42    the establishment or operation of a public charter school.
 43        (7)  Nothing  in  this  chapter shall prevent a public charter school from
 44    applying for federal grant moneys.
 45        (8)  (a) For the period July 1, 2003, through June 30,  2005,  all  public
 46        virtual  schools  shall be assigned divisors, pursuant to section 33-1002,
 47        Idaho Code, that are no higher than the  median  divisor  shown  for  each
 48        respective  category  of  pupils,  among the possible divisors listed, for
 49        each respective category of pupils that contains more than one  (1)  divi-
 50        sor. If there is an even number of possible divisors listed for a particu-
 51        lar  category  of  pupils,  then the lesser of the two (2) median divisors
 52        shall be used. For the period July 1, 2005, through  June  30,  2007,  all
 53        public  virtual  schools  shall  be assigned divisors, pursuant to section
 54        33-1002, Idaho Code, that are no higher than the  second  highest  divisor
 55        shown, among the possible divisors listed, for each respective category of
  1        pupils  that  contains  more  than one (1) divisor. The divisor provisions
  2        contained herein shall only  be applicable to  the  number  of  pupils  in
  3        average  daily  attendance  in  such public virtual schools for the period
  4        July 1, 2003, through June 30, 2004. If the number of  pupils  in  average
  5        daily  attendance  in  any particular category of pupils increases, during
  6        the period July 1, 2004, through June 30, 2005, to  a  number  above  that
  7        which  existed  in  the prior fiscal year, then those additional pupils in
  8        average daily attendance shall be assigned the divisor, pursuant  to  sec-
  9        tion  33-1002,  Idaho Code, that would have otherwise been assigned to the
 10        school district or public charter school had  this  section  not  been  in
 11        force.
 12        (b)  Each student in attendance at a public virtual school shall be funded
 13        based  upon  either  the  actual hours of attendance in the public virtual
 14        school on a flexible schedule, or the percentage of coursework  completed,
 15        whichever is more advantageous to the school, up to the maximum of one (1)
 16        full-time equivalent student.
 17        (c)  At  the discretion of the board of directors, and subject to any spe-
 18        cific limitations in its charter, all federal educational funds  shall  be
 19        administered  and  distributed  to public virtual schools that enroll stu-
 20        dents from multiple school districts in the same manner as an  independent
 21        local education agency (LEA).
 22        (9)  Nothing  in  this  section  prohibits  separate face-to-face learning
 23    activities or services.
 24        SECTION 4.  An emergency existing  therefor,  which  emergency  is  hereby
 25    declared to exist, this act shall be in full force and effect on and after its
 26    passage and approval.

Statement of Purpose / Fiscal Impact

Statement of Purpose
The purpose of this legislation is to provide both temporary and permanent solutions to funding issues faced by public virtual schools in Idaho. The temporary solution provides that public virtual schools will be funded with formula divisors that are no higher than the median divisors found in Idaho Code, for FY 2004 and FY 2005. For FY 2006 and FY 2007, the highest possible divisors that will be used are the second highest divisors.

At the same time, beginning in FY 2006, public virtual schools will become eligible to receive the state's 85% match on pupil Transportation funds. Currently, the state covers 85% of the cost of transporting children to their education, but provides nothing to public virtual schools for their cost of transporting education to children. It is a simple matter of equity that the state should provide the same 85% match for the cost of bringing children and their education together, regardless of which model is primarily used.

Public virtual schools would then receive their actual divisors beginning in FY 2008, by which time Transportation funds, in conjunction with higher instructional indexes, should make up for the loss of preferential divisors.

Fiscal Note
This legislation will result in an additional $1.6 million in costs in FY 2004 and FY 2005, through the existing public schools funding formula. In FY 2004, these costs are covered by an estimated $3.5 million in pupil Transportation savings. In FY 2005, these costs are covered by the additional support units (175 mid-term units; 200 full-term units) built into the public schools budget by JFAC.

The estimate of additional funds provided by this legislation in future fiscal years is as follows:
    FY 2006: $1.45 million
    FY 2007: $1.45 million
    FY 2008 & after: $1.04 million

It is estimated that the gradual reduction in support that would take place under this legislation will be made up by the additional dollars that will be provided through natural growth in the instructional index portion of the funding formula.


Contact: Kent Kunz Office of the Governor Telephone: 334-2100

Statement of Purpose/Fiscal Note Bill No. SB 1443