PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOLS
33-5207. Charter appeal procedure. (1) If a local school board of trustees, acting in its capacity as an authorized chartering entity, approves a petition for the conversion of an existing traditional public school within the school district over the objection of thirty (30) or more persons or employees of the district, or if an authorized chartering entity denies a petition for the establishment of a new or replication public charter school for any reason including, but not limited to, failure by the petitioner to follow procedures or for failure to provide required information, then such decisions may be appealed to the state superintendent of public instruction within thirty (30) days of the date of the written decision, at the request of persons opposing the conversion of an existing traditional public school, or at the request of the petitioner whose request for a new charter was denied.
(2) The state superintendent of public instruction shall select a hearing officer to review the action of the authorized chartering entity, pursuant to section 67-5242, Idaho Code. The hearing officer shall, within thirty (30) days of receipt of the request, review the full record regarding the charter petition and convene a public hearing regarding the charter petition. Within ten (10) days of the public hearing, the hearing officer shall submit a written recommendation to the authorized chartering entity and to the persons requesting the review. The recommendation by the hearing officer either to affirm or reverse the decision of the authorized chartering entity shall be based upon the full record regarding the charter petition, including the standards and criteria contained in this chapter and upon any public charter school rules adopted by the state board of education. The recommendation shall be in writing and accompanied by a reasoned statement that explains the criteria and standards considered relevant, states the relevant contested facts relied upon, and explains the rationale for the recommendations based on the applicable statutory provisions and factual information contained in the record.
(3) Within thirty (30) days following receipt of the hearing officer’s written recommendation, the authorized chartering entity shall hold a meeting open to the public for the purpose of reviewing the hearing officer’s written recommendation. Within ten (10) days of such meeting, the authorized chartering entity shall either affirm or reverse its initial decision. The authorized chartering entity’s decision shall be in writing and contain findings which explain the reasons for its decision.
(4) If, upon reconsideration of a decision to approve the conversion of a traditional public school to a public charter school, the local school board:
(a) Affirms its initial decision to authorize such conversion, the charter shall be approved and there shall be no further appeal.
(b) Reverses its initial decision and denies the conversion, that decision is final and there shall be no further appeal.
(5) If, upon reconsideration of a decision to deny a petition for a public charter school, the authorized chartering entity:
(a) Reverses its initial decision and approves the public charter school petition, there shall be no further appeal.
(b) Affirms its initial decision denying the public charter school petition, the board of directors of the nonprofit corporation identified in the petition may appeal to the state board of education. The state board of education shall hold a public hearing within a reasonable time after receiving notice of such appeal but no later than sixty (60) calendar days after receiving such notice, and after the public hearing, shall take any of the following actions: (i) approve or deny the petition for the public charter school, provided that the state board of education shall only approve the petition if it determines that the authorized chartering entity failed to appropriately consider the charter petition, or if it acted in an arbitrary manner in denying the petition; or (ii) in the case of a denial by the board of a local school district, redirect the matter to the public charter school commission for further review. Such public hearing shall be conducted pursuant to procedures as set by the state board of education.
(6) A public charter school for which a charter is approved by the state board of education shall qualify fully as a public charter school for all funding and other purposes of this chapter. The public charter school commission shall assume the role of the authorized chartering entity for any charter approved by the state board of education as provided in subsection (5)(b) of this section. Employees of a public charter school approved by the state board of education shall not be considered employees of the local school district in which the public charter school is located, nor of the state board of education, nor of the commission.
(7) The decision of the state board of education shall be subject to review pursuant to chapter 52, title 67, Idaho Code. Nothing in this section shall prevent a petitioner from bringing a new petition for a public charter school at a later time.
(8) There shall be no appeal of a decision by a local school board of trustees which denies the conversion of an existing traditional public school within that district to a public charter school, or by an authorized chartering entity which approves a petition for a public charter school.
[33-5207, added 1998, ch. 92, sec. 1, p. 334; am. 1998, ch. 201, sec. 2, p. 718; am. 2004, ch. 371, sec. 8, p. 1108; am. 2005, ch. 376, sec. 7, p. 1210; am. 2012, ch. 188, sec. 4, p. 501; am. 2013, ch. 343, sec. 8, p. 919; am. 2016, ch. 271, sec. 8, p. 741.]