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SCR103.........................................................by SCHROEDER CHARTER SCHOOLS - A concurrent resolution authorizing the Legislative Council to appoint a committee to undertake and complete a study of the public charter school statutes and systems. 01/21 Senate intro - 1st rdg - to printing 01/24 Rpt prt - to 10th Ord 01/25 Ref'd to Educ 02/02 Rpt out - Ref'd to St Aff
]]]] LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO ]]]] Fifty-eighth Legislature First Regular Session - 2005 IN THE SENATE SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 103 BY SCHROEDER 1 A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 2 AUTHORIZING THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL TO APPOINT A COMMITTEE TO UNDERTAKE AND 3 COMPLETE A STUDY OF THE PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOL STATUTES AND SYSTEMS AND 4 REPORT TO THE LEGISLATURE. 5 Be It Resolved by the Legislature of the State of Idaho: 6 WHEREAS, the current operation and goals of Idaho's public charter schools 7 have changed drastically since the initial authorizing legislation was passed; 8 and 9 WHEREAS, it appears that current legislation is inadequate to enforce and 10 assure accountability for both Idaho's laws and public money; and 11 WHEREAS, the charter school movement has recently been surrounded by sev- 12 eral controversies, chronicled in news stories, involving the mismanagement 13 and misuse of public money by some charter schools; and 14 WHEREAS, one of these news articles dealt with a State Police memo that 15 noted the strong possibility that public school funds were being used to pay 16 expenses of a private corporation; and 17 WHEREAS, questions have publicly been raised about possible violations of 18 Idaho's nepotism laws at some charter schools; and 19 WHEREAS, questions have been raised about employment practices at some 20 charter schools; and 21 WHEREAS, Idaho law is insufficient to prevent charter schools from being 22 exclusionary; and 23 WHEREAS, some parents of former charter school students have raised con- 24 cerns about the physical, mental and emotional atmosphere to which students 25 were subjected and the climate of fear to which both parents and students were 26 exposed; and 27 WHEREAS, one newspaper carried an article in which one charter advocate 28 noted that charter schools are able to thrive and "make money," a violation of 29 state law which mandates that schools be nonprofit; and 30 WHEREAS, state law has not addressed many areas of law which deal with 31 virtual schools, including whether they can be owned by for profit companies, 32 whether financial records of these schools are public records, and whether 33 competitive bid processes should have been used to select vendors providing 34 the services; and 35 WHEREAS, the Legislature needs to definitively answer the question of 36 whether Idaho public charter schools can spend public dollars for religious 37 instruction. 38 NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the members of the First Regular Session 39 of the Fifty-eighth Idaho Legislature, the Senate and the House of Representa- 40 tives concurring therein, that the Legislative Council is authorized to 41 appoint a committee to undertake and complete a study of Idaho statutes gov- 42 erning public charter schools and the system of charter schools which has 43 developed pursuant to the law. The study should address the public concern 44 about irregularities and possible violations of the law, as well as address 2 1 changes in the law which will improve compliance and ensure accountability of 2 providers engaged in charter schools. 3 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the committee shall report its findings, rec- 4 ommendations and proposed legislation, if any, to the Second Regular Session 5 of the Fifty-eighth Idaho Legislature.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE RS 14700 Provides for an Interim Committee to review Charter School Statutes, address public concern about legal and operational irregularities, and recommend changes to improve compliance and ensure accountability. FISCAL IMPACT Impact can vary depending upon the number of members and travel requirements. Legislative Services estimates cost at no more than $10,000 per year. Contact: Senator Gary J. Schroeder 208-332-1324 Jan Sylvester 208-884-5680 SCR 103