Bill Summary for S 337 (2013-2014)

Printer-friendly: Click to view

Summary date: 

Jun 25 2013

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2013-2014 Session
Senate Bill 337 (Public) Filed Thursday, March 14, 2013
Intro. by Tillman, Soucek.

View: All Summaries for BillTracking:

Bill summary

House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 4th edition.

Amends GS 115C-238-29A to replace the North Carolina Public Charter Schools Board (Charter Board)with the North Carolina Charter Schools Advisory Board (Advisory Board). Locates the Advisory Board within the Department of Public Instruction (DPI). Identifies the powers and duties of the Advisory Boardas follows: (1)to make recommendations to the State Board of Education (SBE)on the adoption of rules regarding all aspects of charter school operation; (2) to review applications and make recommendations to the SBE for final approval of charter applications; (3) to make recommendations to the SBE on actions regarding a charter school, including renewals, non-renewals, and revocation of charters; and (4) to undertake any other duties and responsibilities assigned by the SBE.Requires that the Advisory Board be treated as a board for purposes of GS Chapter 138A. Deletes provisions regarding powers and duties of the previous Charter Board and makes conforming changes deletingallreferences tothe Charter Board and replacing them with Advisory Board. Provides that there be one member appointed to the 11-member Advisory Board by the SBE (was, appointed by the State Treasurer or the Treasurer's designee). Further amends the appointment of members.

Amends GS 115C-238.29B to remove the fee for initial and renewal charterschool applications.

Amends GS 115C-238.29D to return authority for granting final approval of a charter school application to the SBE (was, granted authority to the Charter Board). Requires the SBE to act by January 15 (was, March 15) of a calendar yearon all applications and appeals it receives prior to a date established by the Office of Charter Schools for receipt of applications in the prior calendar year (was, received prior to February 15 of the previous calendar year).

Amends GS 115C-238.29E to reinstate language that makes all charter schools accountable to the SBE (was, the Charter Board) for ensuring compliance with applicable laws and the provisions of their charters. Requires a charter school to operate under the written charter signed by the SBE and the applicant.

Amends GS 115C-238.29F to require that at minimum, 50% of the teachers employed by a charter school in grades kindergarten through12 must have teaching certificates (was, 75% for teachers of students in grades kindergarten through five).Requires that all teachers of core subjects in grades kindergarten through 12 be college graduates (requirement was limited to teachers of students in grades six through 12).

Removes authority granted to the CharterBoard in the previous edition regarding funding, supervision, and revocation of charters and restores that authority to the SBE.

Directs the board of directors of each charter school to adopt a policy as to whether or under what circumstancesa school personnel position job applicant will be required to undergo a criminal history background check. Prohibits a board of directorsfrom requiring an applicant topay for a criminal history check. Clarifies that the SBE's and board of directors of a charter school'simmunity from liability for negligence does not extend to gross negligence, wanton conduct, or intentional wrongdoing.

Requires that within one year orafter a charterschoolbegins operations, the school's population should reasonablyreflect the racial and ethnic composition of the populationthat the school intends to serve that is residing within the LEA where the school is located. Permits a charter school to give enrollment priority to: (1)the siblings of currently enrolled students who wereadmitted toa charter school in a previous year; (2) children of all school employees; (3) the children of the board of directors for a limited three years of operations and limits the number of these children to no more than 10% of the population or 20 students, whichever is less;(4) a student previously enrolled in the charter schoolwho left to participate in an extraordinary educational opportunity or because of a vocational opportunity for the student's parent; and (5) children of the school's principal, teachers, and teachers assistants. Specifies lottery procedures for siblings seeking admission to a charter school and clarifies the definition of siblings for the purposes of this section.

Provides that upon dissolution of a charter school or the non-renewal of a charter, all of the net assets of the charter school that were purchased with public funds are the property of the LEA in which the charter school is located (was, property of the state and returned to the General Fund).

Amends GS 115C-236.29G to declare that the SBE may terminate or not renew a charter based on a list of specified grounds (was, vested authority to not renew a charter or seek charter applicants in the Charter Board). Deletes additional changes from the previous edition regarding authority to not renew or terminate a charter and replaces the amended provisions with current law.

Amends GS 115C-238.29H, which directs an LEA to transfer the per-pupil share of the local current expense fund to a charter school when a student that would otherwise attend that LEA attendsa charter school. Requires the LEA to transfer the funds to the charter school within 30 days of receipt of the funds into the local current expense fund and to make necessary adjustments within 30 days (was, within 30 daysof certification of the average daily membership (ADM) by the SBE). Also requires a charter schoolreceiving a greater share of funds than is requiredunder this sectionto return those funds within 30 days unless the LEA and the charter school have another agreement regarding the overpayment of funds. Provides that interest at the legal rate will accruefrom the date of the delinquency on funds not transferred by either the LEA or the charter school as appropriate within the 30-dayrequirement. Provides that before beginning an action based on a failure to transfer funds as required under this section, that the complaining party givethe other party 15 days' written notice ofthe alleged violation.

Makes a conforming change, deleting amendments to GS 135-5.3(b) and GS 135-48.54(b) to remove references to the Charter Board, dissolved in this act.

Amends GS 143B-426.40A, adding a new subsection (m) to provide that thisstatute does not apply to assignments to charter schools to obtain funds for facilities, equipment, or operations under GS 115C-238.29H.

Amendsthe initial appointments to the Advisory Board by the Governorto include the vice-chair and the chair.Initial appointments also include one member appointed by the SBE to serve until June 30, 2015.

Provides that Section 7 of this act, which abolishes the North Carolina Charter School Advisory Council as established by the SBE on August 4, 2011, by Policy TCS-B-006 is effective August 1, 2013.

Amends this act's long title.