Bill Summary for S 8 (2011-2012)
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TO REMOVE THE CAP ON THE NUMBER OF CHARTER SCHOOLS.Intro. by Stevens
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House committee substitute makes the following changes to 4th edition.
Increases the membership of the Public Charter Schools Commission (Commission) to 13 members (was, 11) with two additional appointments by the Governor. Clarifies that the Commission is subject to the Public Records and Open Meetings laws. Authorizes the State Board of Education to veto any decision of the Commission by a two-thirds vote (was, three-fourths).
Provides that a charter school application indicate the number of students to be served and sets the minimum number at 50; however, permits a charter school to serve fewer than 50 students if the application presents a compelling reason for doing so. Requires that a school seeking a charter from the Commission make efforts to ensure that transportation is not a barrier to attendance for any student who resides within three miles of the charter school in a household with an income below 185% of the federally defined poverty level. Requires that the application include the school’s plan for providing food services. Directs the school to develop a plan for food services which ensures that lack of food services is not a barrier for any student enrolled in the charter school who resides in a household with an income below 185% of the federally defined poverty level. Requires that for charters granted after July 1, 2011, (1) that efforts are made to develop transportation plans for students residing in a household within three miles of the school in which the household income is below 185% of the federal poverty level and (2) that plans are developed for food service for enrolled students residing in a household with a household income below 185% of the federal poverty level.
Provides that up to 50 new charters may be granted each calendar year, not including renewals of existing charters.
Requires that the charter set out measurable academic and operational performance standards that the charter school must meet to earn charter renewal, including the type of objective and verifiable data the Commission will review to evaluate the charter school’s performance. Specifies standards to be included.
Provides that enrollment growth up to 20% of current enrollment (was, 10%) is not a material revision of a charter application and does not require the prior approval of the Commission. Enrollment growth greater than 20% requires the approval of the Commission based on the specified factors.
Permits a charter school to charge any fees that are charged by the local school administrative unit (LEA) in which the charter school is located. Prohibits charter schools from employing a teacher whose certification has been revoked by the State Board of Education (SBE). Provides that a charter school may give enrollment priority to the children of other full time employees in addition to the children of the charter school’s teachers and teacher assistants and the charter school principal.
Requires state and county funds used to purchase real property to be remitted back to the source of the funds, after all liens on the property are satisfied, upon dissolution of the charter school or nonrenewal of the charter.
Directs the Commission to develop criteria for identifying adequate performance by a charter school and to identify charter schools with inadequate performance. Requires that charter schools identified with inadequate performance must develop school improvement plans approved by the Commission and that failure to demonstrate improvement under the plan is cause for termination or nonrenewal.
Clarifies that if a student attends a charter school, then the LEA in which the student resides is to transfer the per pupil share of the local current expense fund, as defined in GS 115C-426, to the charter school that the student attends. Provides that the amount transferred is not to include special funds of individual schools established under GS 115C-448. Makes a conforming change to GS 115C-448. Permits state funds and county funds provided to charter schools to be used for any purpose identified under the capital outlay fund (GS 115C-426(f)).
Amends GS 115C-426 to eliminate the use of other funds to account for sales tax revenues distributed using the ad valorem method and sales tax refund and eliminates the exclusion of interest income from the local current expense appropriation. Effective when the act becomes law.
Requires the Department of Public Instruction to report annually by October 15, beginning in 2012, on charter school programs and policies that could improve the public schools to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee, and to send that report to local boards of education.
Changes the date for appointments to the Commission to be made by August 1, 2011 (was, by October 1, 2011). Except as otherwise indicated, effective July 1, 2011.