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 5th edition.
Deletes the authority of the North Carolina Public Charter Schools Commission (created in this act) to exercise its powers and functions independently of the State Board of Education (SBE) and the Department of Public Instruction (DPI). Amends the purpose of the North Carolina Public Charter Schools Commission (Commission) to provide that the Commission is to oversee (was, authorize and oversee) high-quality public charter schools and to recommend the approval of charter applicants to the State Board of Education (was, Commission had the authority for approval of any charter applicant).
Makes conforming changes throughout regarding the powers and duties of the Commission, providing that the Commission is to make recommendations to the SBE regarding final approval of charter applications, policies affecting all aspects of charter school operation, and any actions involving a charter school including renewals, non-renewals, and revocation of charters. Adds language throughout to provide that the Commission is to act with the approval of the SBE.
Directs the Commission to submit recommendations as designated proposals to the SBE. Requires the SBE to adopt or reject a designated proposal within 95 days and provides that if the SBE does not act on a designated proposal within 95 days, the proposal is deemed to be adopted. Directs the SBE not to make any substantive changes to any designated proposal of the Commission that the SBE adopts. Requires the SBE to state with specificity its reasons for rejecting a designated proposal. Provides that the Commission may amend and resubmit a rejected designated proposal to the SBE. Prohibits the SBE from acting in an arbitrary and capricious manner in withholding approval of a designated proposal resubmitted by the Commission. Makes the SBE’s rejection of a resubmitted designated proposal subject to judicial review. Deletes provision granting the SBE the authority to veto any decision of the Commission by a two-thirds vote.
Requires that an applicant for a charter school include in its plans (1) a transportation plan for transporting any student enrolled in the charter residing within three miles of the charter school and residing in a household with income below 185% of the federal poverty level (was, transportation plan was optional); and (2) a plan for providing food services for any student enrolled in the charter school residing in a household with an income below 185% of the federal poverty level (was, directed the charter school to develop a plan for food services which ensured that lack of food services would not be a barrier for any student enrolled in the school residing in a household with an income 185% of the federal poverty level).
Authorizes the SBE (was, the Commission) to grant final approval of a charter school application upon the recommendation of the Commission. Makes conforming changes consistent with shifting the authority for final approval of a charter school application to the SBE.
Amends the academic and operational performance standards required to be set by the charter school to provide the standards are to include achievement gaps among student subgroups identified by DPI for all public schools (was, achievement gaps between student subgroups identified by federal law). Adds a standard for postsecondary readiness and success for high schools.
Deletes language that provided that a teacher employed by a charter school who returns to employment with a local school administrative unit (LEA) without a break in service is to have unused annual leave reinstated.
Requires charter schools approved after July 1, 2011, to provide transportation for students living within three miles of school in a household with an income 185% of the federal poverty level (was, directed charter schools to make efforts to develop a transportation plan). Requires charter schools approved after July 1, 2011 to provide food services for any student enrolled in the school residing in a household with an income 185% of the federal poverty level (was, directed the carter school to develop a plan for food services).
Provides for the distribution of assets, other than real property, upon the dissolution of a charter school or upon the nonrenewal of the charter, as follows: (1) directs that state funds used to purchase or improve real property (was, purchase) be remitted back to the State after all liens on the property are satisfied; (2) directs that a pro rata share of the county funds used to purchase or improve real property (was, purchase) be remitted back to the county from which the funds originated (was, county) after all liens on the property are satisfied.
Requires that if a student attends a charter school, the LEA in which the student resides must transfer an amount to the charter school equal to the per pupil share of the local current expense fund as defined by GS 115C-426 and provides that the amount transferred that consists of revenue derived from supplemental taxes is to be transferred to a charter school only if the student resides in the tax district for which the supplemental taxes are levied. Amends the fifth edition to provide that the charter school the student is attending must be located in that same county as the supplemental tax district.
Provides that if a county chooses to appropriate funds to the nonprofit tax-exempt corporations that holds the charters of its charter schools, the funds must be distributed equitably and apportioned according to the average daily membership of each charter school that has requested funds and used only for purposes identified in GS 115C-426(f). Provides that charter schools that receive fund allocations from their county government may use the funds to pay for school construction projects or to retire indebtedness for school construction projects incurred on or after January 1, 2010 (was, July 1, 2011).
Makes a conforming change deleting changes to GS 135-5.3 and GS 135-45.5 that authorized approval from the Commission with regards to the optional participation of charter schools operated by nonprofit corporations in the state retirement system and state health plan. Makes technical changes involving the renumbering of sections.