2005 Legislation
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SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 103 – Public charter schools, study


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Bill Status

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

Bill Text

  ]]]]              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
  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
  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 / Fiscal Impact

                      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
           Jan Sylvester
           208-884-5680                                  SCR 103