Section 1. Authorizer.
(f) Strikes a limitation that an authorizer is only required to notify a school of its intent to withdraw as an authorizer if it has chartered multiple schools.
Section 2. Formation of School.
(f) Strikes the requirement for charter school board members to attend department of education approved training. Requires schools to include any training attended within the past year by each board in their annual report.
(k) Eliminates a provision that requires a charter school authorizer that wishes to expand the operation of a charter school to respond within 20 days to any deficiencies noted in the commissioner’s review and comment of the supplemental affidavit. Prohibits an authorizer from giving a final approval for charter school expansion until the Department completes the review and comment process.
(l) Allows charter schools to merge. The schools may negotiate a merger plan. Directs the plan to be approved by current authorizers, charter school boards and the authorizer of the merged school. The authorizer of the new charter school must submit the plan to the commissioner for review and comment.
A charter school merger plan must include:
(1) a merger budget, long-range financial plan, and a plan for the transfer of assets and liabilities;
(2) a process for transitioning responsibility of governance, administration, and operations;
(3) a statement of academic, student engagement, and organizational operations and goals;
(4) an agreement between involved authorizers on the authorizing plan.
Section 3. Charter Contract.
(12) Outlines additional terms for a charter contract including the process for renewal or termination of the school's charter based on financial, organizational, and academic competency, and goals outlined in the charter.
(13) Requires the charter to include an agreed upon dispute resolution process that includes:
(i) a written notice process and a description of the matter in dispute;
(ii) a time limit for response;
(iii) a procedure for selecting a neutral party to assist in the resolution;
(iv) a process for apportioning costs; and
(v) a process for final resolution.
Section 4. Employment and other Operating Matters.
(d) Requires a charter school board of directors to adopt and implement a performance evaluation process for employees.
Section 5. Review and Comment.
(d) Eliminates a restriction on the department of education to apply fees for administrative services to schools that it charters. Prohibits an authorizer from assessing a fee for consideration of an authorizer transfer.
Section 6. Affiliated Nonprofit Building Corporation.
(b) Requires an affiliated nonprofit building corporation to comply with Internal Revenue Service regulations for “supporting organizations.”
(d) Requires a charter school to show a net positive unreserved general fund balance for the preceding five fiscal years, instead of eight, in order to organize an affiliated nonprofit building corporation and construct a new school.
Section 7. Causes for Nonrenewal or Termination of Charter School Contract. (c) Allows charter school authorizer transfers after review and comment by the commissioner. Requires a current authorizer to inform the proposed authorizer of any unresolved issues related to the contract or oversight of the school. A new charter contract with the proposed authorizer must include a plan to resolve these issues. The transfer may go into effect after the review and comment by the commissioner.
Section 8. Extent of Specific Legal Authority. (c) Requires a charter school board to notify its authorizer of changes in insurance carrier or policy amount limits. Eliminates the requirement of a charter school board to notify the commissioner of changes in insurance carrier or policy amount limits.