Section 1 Education Boards
Subd. 1 Definitions. Defines the powers and duties of education boards as the same as a school board and their responsibility as supervising performance contracts or agreements of a system including site-governed schools, area learning centers, contract alternative schools, or charter schools.
Subd. 2. Conversion to education board. Allows a school board to convert to an education board by adopting a resolution and subsequently converting all school sites to site-governed schools, or a combination of site-governed schools, area learning centers, contract alternative schools, or charter schools.
Subd. 3. Elected conversion. Allows voters to petition the county auditor for the purpose of converting a school board into an education board. Upon receipt of the petition, the proposal is to be submitted to voters at the next state general election; if the referendum passes, a school board must convert its schools by the next school year.
Subd. 4. Purpose of Education Boards. Establishes the purpose of an education board to separate school oversight from its operations. Seeks to improve school accountability by establishing education board goals including:
1. Creating schools that combine accountability for a school's performance
with site-level authority;
2. Ensuring that a variety of quality public school options are available;
3. Promoting innovation among school providers by seeking innovative models, evaluation design, and use of digital technology;
4. Assessing the needs of the community and providing learning models to address
current needs; and
5. Seeking to maximize the range of skills and expertise available for schooling.
Subd 5. Duties. Outlines additional duties and powers of an education board as:
Seeking input from families, students, the community, teachers, and administrators to determine the models of schools needed and approving school sites;
Seeking applications from district staff and publishing requests for proposals for new schools;
Approving sites as site-governed, area learning center, contract alternative, or chartered;
Developing a performance agreement with each site;
Allocating revenue as provided by law to the sites;
Providing oversight of the performance agreements; and
Holding sites accountable for the performance indicators
Subd. 6. Facilities.
(a) Directs the education board to allocate all revenues related to facility construction, purchase and maintenance for that purpose. States that facilities constructed or purchased are property of the district.
(b) Allows a board to reassign or sell a facility upon termination of the site’s contract, redistribute proceeds to other schools within the district, and retain up to 5% of proceeds for administrative costs.
(c) Allows an education board to lease a facility to a charter school that it authorizes.
Subd. 7. Relationship with school site and limit of powers. Allows an education board to set learning objectives, provide financing, and evaluate results of performance agreements. An education board cannot direct school decisions related to employment or appointment of staff, learning strategies or methods.
Subd. 8. Area Learning Centers. Provides that area learning centers shall be operated consistent with ‘state-approved alternative programs and services’ and be afforded the autonomy and revenue provided to ‘site-governed schools.’
Subd. 9. Revenue to schools. Allocates revenue to sites consistent with ‘state-approved alternative programs’ and ‘charter schools’ law, and directs 95% of all public revenue excluding facilities revenue to be allocated to the school sites. Allows schools to raise revenue through other methods, and for schools to carry-forward funds year after year.
Subd. 10. Exemption from Statute and Rules. Contract alternative schools and charter schools governed by an education board are subject to and exempt from the same laws as charter schools.
Subd. 11. Notice to commissioner. The school board must inform the commissioner of its conversion to an education board.
Sections 2 through 5: District Created Site-Governed Schools and Charter Schools
Includes ‘education boards’ in conjunction with school boards in laws relating to site-governed schools and charter schools and provides for a schools’ ability to submit a proposal to convert to a site-governed school upon the school board’s conversion into an education board.
Section 6. Citation.
Offers the act to be cited as the "Professional Empowerment Act."