PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOLS
33-5206. Requirements and prohibitions of a public charter school. (1) In addition to any other requirements imposed in this chapter, a public charter school shall be nonsectarian in its programs, affiliations, admission policies, employment practices, and all other operations, shall not charge tuition, levy taxes or issue bonds, and shall not discriminate against any student on any basis prohibited by the federal or state constitution or any federal, state or local law. Public charter schools shall comply with the federal individuals with disabilities education act. Admission to a public charter school shall not be determined according to the place of residence of the student, or of the student’s parent or guardian within the district, except that a new replication or conversion public charter school established under the provisions of this chapter shall adopt and maintain a policy giving admission preference to students who reside within the contiguous and compact primary attendance area of that public charter school.
(2) No board of trustees shall require any employee of the school district to be involuntarily assigned to work in a public charter school.
(3) Certified teachers in a public charter school shall be considered public school teachers. Educational experience shall accrue for service in a public charter school and such experience shall be counted by any school district for any teacher who has been employed in a public charter school. The staff of the public charter school shall be considered a separate unit for the purposes of collective bargaining.
(4) Employment of charter school teachers and administrators shall be on written contract conditioned upon a valid certificate being held by such professional personnel at the time of entering upon the duties thereunder. Administrators may be certified pursuant to the requirements set forth in chapter 12, title 33, Idaho Code, pertaining to traditional public schools, or may hold a charter school administrator certificate. An applicant is eligible for a charter school administrator certificate if the applicant:
(a) Holds a bachelor’s degree from an accredited four (4) year institution;
(b) Submits to a criminal history check as described in section 33-130, Idaho Code;
(c) Completes a course consisting of a minimum of three (3) semester credits in the statewide framework for teacher evaluations, which shall include a laboratory component;
(d) Submits a letter from a charter school board of directors stating that the board of directors has carefully considered the applicant’s candidacy, has chosen to hire the applicant, and is committed to overseeing the applicant’s performance; and
(e) Has one (1) or more of the following:
(i) Five (5) or more years of experience administering a public charter school;
(ii) A post-baccalaureate degree and a minimum of five (5) years of experience in school administration, public administration, business administration, or military administration;
(iii) Successful completion of a nationally recognized charter school leaders fellowship; or
(iv) Five (5) or more years of teaching experience and a commitment from an administrator at a charter school in academic, operational, and financial good standing according to its authorizer’s most recent review to mentor the applicant for a minimum of one (1) year.
A charter school administrator certificate shall be valid for five (5) years and renewable thereafter. Administrators shall be subject to oversight by the professional standards commission. Certificates may be revoked pursuant to the provisions of section 33-1208, Idaho Code. Issuance of a certificate to any applicant may be refused for such reason as would have constituted grounds for revocation.
(5) No board of trustees shall require any student enrolled in the school district to attend a public charter school.
(6) Authorized chartering entities may establish reasonable pre-opening requirements or conditions to monitor the start-up progress of newly approved public charter schools and ensure that they are prepared to open smoothly on the date agreed, and to ensure that each school meets all building, health, safety, insurance and other legal requirements for school opening.
(7) Each public charter school shall annually submit the audit of its fiscal operations to the authorized chartering entity.
(8) A public charter school or the authorized chartering entity may enter into negotiations to revise a charter or performance certificate at any time. If a public charter school petitions to revise its charter or performance certificate, the authorized chartering entity’s review of the revised petition shall be limited in scope solely to the proposed revisions. Except for public charter schools authorized by a school district board of trustees, when a non-virtual public charter school submits a proposed charter revision to its authorized chartering entity and such revision includes a proposal to increase such public charter school’s approved student enrollment cap by ten percent (10%) or more, the authorized chartering entity shall hold a public hearing on such petition. The authorized chartering entity shall provide the board of the local school district in which the public charter school is physically located notice in writing of such hearing no later than thirty (30) days prior to the hearing. The public hearing shall include any oral or written comments that an authorized representative of the school district in which the public charter school is physically located may provide regarding the impact of the proposed charter revision upon the school district. Such public hearing shall also include any oral or written comments that any petitioner may provide regarding the impact of the proposed charter revision upon such school district.
(9) When a charter is nonrenewed pursuant to the provisions of section 33-5209B, Idaho Code, revoked pursuant to section 33-5209C, Idaho Code, or the board of directors of the public charter school terminates the charter, the assets of the public charter school remaining after all debts of the public charter school have been satisfied must be returned to the authorized chartering entity for distribution in accordance with applicable law.
(10) Public charter schools may contract with educational services providers subject to the following provisions:
(a) Educational services providers, whether for-profit or nonprofit, shall be third-party entities separate from the public charter schools with which they contract. Educational services providers shall not be considered governmental entities.
(b) No more than one-third (1/3) of the public charter school’s board membership may be comprised of nonprofit educational services provider representatives. Nonprofit educational services provider representatives may not be employees of the public charter school or the educational services provider and may not hold office as president or treasurer on the public charter school’s board. For-profit educational services providers may not have representatives on the public charter school’s board of directors.
(c) Public charter school board of director members shall annually disclose any existing and potential conflicts of interest, pecuniary or otherwise, with affiliated educational services providers.
(d) Charter holders shall retain responsibility for academic, fiscal and organizational operations and outcomes of the school and may not relinquish this responsibility to any other entity.
(e) Contracts must ensure that school boards retain the right to terminate the contract for failure to meet defined performance standards.
(f) Contracts must ensure that assets purchased by educational services providers on behalf of the school, using public funds, shall remain assets of the school. The provisions of this paragraph shall not prevent educational services providers from acquiring assets using revenue acquired through management fees.
(g) Charter holders shall consult legal counsel independent of the party with whom they are contracting for purposes of reviewing the school’s management contract and facility lease or purchase agreements to ensure compliance with applicable state and federal law, including requirements that state entities not enter into contracts that obligate them beyond the terms of any appropriation of funds by the state legislature.
(h) Charter holders must ensure that their facility contracts are separate from any and all management contracts.
(i) Prior to approval of the charter petition indicating the school board’s intention to contract with an educational services provider, authorized chartering entities shall conduct a thorough evaluation of the academic, financial and organizational outcomes of other schools that have contracted with the educational services provider and evidence of the educational services provider’s capacity to successfully grow the public charter school while maintaining quality management and instruction in existing schools.
(11) Admission procedures, including provision for overenrollment, shall provide that the initial admission procedures for a new public charter school or replication public charter school will be determined by lottery or other random method, except as otherwise provided herein.
(a) If initial capacity is insufficient to enroll all pupils who submit a timely application, then the admission procedures may provide that preference shall be given in the following order: first, to children of founders, provided that this admission preference shall be limited to not more than ten percent (10%) of the capacity of the public charter school; second, to siblings of pupils already selected by the lottery or other random method; third, to pupils seeking to transfer from another Idaho public charter school at which they have been enrolled for at least one (1) year, provided that this admission preference shall be subject to an existing written agreement for such preference between the subject charter schools; fourth, to students residing within the primary attendance area of the public charter school; and fifth, by an equitable selection process such as a lottery or other random method. If so stated in its petition, a new public charter school or replication public charter school may include the children of full-time employees of the public charter school within the first priority group subject to the limitations therein. Otherwise, such children shall be included in the highest priority group for which they would otherwise be eligible.
(b) If capacity is insufficient to enroll all pupils who submit a timely application for subsequent school terms, then the admission procedures may provide that preference shall be given in the following order: first, to pupils returning to the public charter school in the second or any subsequent year of its operation; second, to children of founders, provided that this admission preference shall be limited to not more than ten percent (10%) of the capacity of the public charter school; third, to siblings of pupils already enrolled in the public charter school; fourth, to pupils seeking to transfer from another Idaho public charter school at which they have been enrolled for at least one (1) year, provided that this admission preference shall be subject to an existing written agreement for such preference between the subject charter schools; fifth, to students residing within the primary attendance area of the public charter school; and sixth, by an equitable selection process such as a lottery or other random method. There shall be no carryover from year to year of the list maintained to fill vacancies. A new lottery shall be conducted each year to fill vacancies that become available. If so stated in its petition, a public charter school may include the following children within the second priority group subject to the limitations therein:
(i) The children of full-time employees of the public charter school; and
(ii) Children who attended the public charter school within the previous three (3) school years, but who withdrew as a result of the relocation of a parent or guardian due to an academic sabbatical, employer or military transfer or reassignment.
Otherwise, such children shall be included in the highest priority group for which they would otherwise be eligible.
(12) Public charter schools shall comply with section 33-119, Idaho Code, as it applies to secondary school accreditation.
(13) Public charter school students shall be tested with the same standardized tests as other Idaho public school students.
[33-5206, added 1998, ch. 92, sec. 1, p. 334; am. 1999, ch. 244, sec. 4, p. 627; am. 2001, ch. 209, sec. 1, p. 831; am. 2004, ch. 220, sec. 1, p. 658; am. 2004, ch. 371, sec. 7, p. 1107; am. 2004, ch. 376, sec. 1, p. 1120; am. 2005, ch. 376, sec. 6, p. 1209; am. 2012, ch. 188, sec. 3, p. 500; am. 2013, ch. 343, sec. 7, p. 918; am. 2016, ch. 54, sec. 1, p. 150; am. 2016, ch. 271, sec. 7, p. 739; am. 2017, ch. 249, sec. 3, p. 616; am. 2019, ch. 197, sec. 1, p. 611.]