Bill Summaries: H334 CHARTER SCHOOLS & OTHER EDUCATION LAW CHANGES (NEW).

Tracking:
  • Summary date: Sep 28 2015 - More information

    AN ACT TO MAKE CHANGES TO VARIOUS CHARTER SCHOOL STATUTES AND OTHER EDUCATION STATUTES. Enacted September 23, 2015. Sections 2 through 5 and 7 are effective beginning with the 2015-16 school year. The remainder is effective September 23, 2015.


  • Summary date: Sep 10 2015 - More information

    Conference committee report makes the following changes to the 4th edition.

    Changes the act’s short and long titles.

    Amends GS 115C-218 to no longer place the North Carolina Charter Schools Advisory Board (Advisory Board) under the State Board of Education (State Board), keeping it under the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) while requiring the Advisory Board to report to the State Board. Reinstates language requiring the Governor to appoint the chair of the Advisory Board. Provides that the Office of Charter Schools (Office) is to administratively located in DPI (was, Office of the State Board of Education), adding that the Office is to be supervised, directed, and controlled by the State Board. Adds that the Executive Director’s duties includes presenting the recommendations of the Advisory Board at State Board meetings when requested. Adds to the Office’s duties any duties assigned by the State Board. Makes conforming changes.

    Deletes the provision concerning transferring duties to the Office of Charter Schools located in the Office of the State Board of Education and the related appropriation.

    Deletes the provision concerning filling vacancies on the Advisory Board.

    Requires the State Board of Education to make appointments to the Charter Schools Advisory Board for a member meeting GS 115C-218(b)(2) within 45 days of when the act becomes law.

    Deletes proposed GS 115C-2181(d) which required evaluating charter school applications to determine wither the board of directors and charter school may exhibit a higher likelihood of meeting the requirements of GS 115C-218.5(a).

    Amends GS 115C-218.1(b) to increase the minimum number of students to be served by a charter school from 65 to 80. Also adds that the charter school application must include the process for conducting a weighted lottery that reflects the mission of the school if it wants to use a weighted lottery. Applies beginning with the 2015-16 school year.

    Makes clarifying changes to GS 115C-218.45(e). Applies beginning with the 2015-16 school year.

    Amends GS 115C-218.45 to add that if the State Board has approved a procedure for a weighted lottery as part of the charter and a lottery is needed, it must be conducted according to the procedure in the charter. Applies beginning with the 2015-16 school year.

    Enacts new GS 115C-2182 to require charter school applicants to be given five business days to correct format issues or incomplete information. Requires that charter school applicants or board members be given the chance to address the Advisory Board or its committee before taking action regarding a charter school or charter school applicant. Requires the Advisory Board to make recommendations on guidance for implementation of this statute to the State Board. Requires the State Board to develop guidance for implementation by October 15, 2015. Applies beginning with the 2015-16 school year.

    Further amends GS 115C-218.5 to require (was, allow) the State Board to renew the charter upon request of the chartering entity for subsequent periods of 10 years unless one of the specified circumstances exists. Amends those circumstances to clarify that a period of less than 10 years is allowed when the school is not in compliance with specified laws and regulations at the time of the request for renewal of the charter. Amends the conditions that must exist before the State Board may approve additional enrollment growth of more than 20% to require that the charter school, at the time of the increase request, be substantially in compliance with specified laws and regulations (was, it is otherwise appropriate to approve the enrollment growth). Adds that it is not a material revision of a charter application for the school to expand to offer one grade higher or lower (was, higher) if the school meets the stated requirements, which are expanded to also include that the school has been in financial compliance as required by the State Board. Applies beginning with the 2015-16 school year.

    Amends GS 115C-218.15 to require the charter schools board of directors to adopt a conflict of interest and anti-nepotism policy and lists minimum provisions that must be included. Adds that the board of directors of the private nonprofit operating the charter school may have members that reside out of state. Allows the State Board, however, to require by policy that a majority of the board of directors and all board officers reside in state. Amends GS 115C-47 to require local board of education to adopt policies requiring that the hiring of immediate family members of any board of education member or central office staff administrator be disclosed to the board of education and be approved by the board in an open-session meeting. Effective March 1, 2016. 

    Amends GS 115C-218.50 with revised conditions on fees that charter schools may charge beginning in the 2015-16 school year. The amended statute would allow charter schools to charge those fees charged by the local school administrative unit and, upon approval by the charter school's board of directors, fees for extracurricular activities that do not exceed those charged by any school administrative unit in which 40% of the charter school's students reside. 

    Amends GS 115C-218.100(a) to require only charter schools that have elected to participate in the North Carolina Retirement System to maintain certain funds for the purpose of a voluntary or involuntary closure of the school. Requires the State Board to conduct a study and develop a policy requiring charter schools to maintain $50,000 for closure purposes, as well as criteria for granting a school a waiver of this requirement. Requires the State Board to report by February 15, 2016, to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee and repeals identical provisions from H 97, should it become law.

    Requires the State Board of Education to review the recommendations of the Charter Schools Advisory Board and carry out four actions by January 15, 2016, with report to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee by February 15. The four matters are (1) amending the process and rules for fast-track replication of high-quality charter schools through contract with certain organizations already operating charter schools; (2) making recommendations for allocating allotments for schools that increase enrollment; (3) adopting a policy for determining whether a school is in compliance with the requirements of its charter, as required by GS 115C-218.5(d)(3), (e), and (f); and (4) adopting a policy and recommendations on certain other matters related to charter schools. 

    Amends GS 115C-112.6(c), pertaining to scholarships. Current law requires a local educational agency to conduct ongoing assessments of a child's disability; the amended statute would allow a licensed psychologist with a school psychology focus to conduct an assessment of a child's continuing benefit from placement in a nonpublic school setting. The section also makes technical changes. Applies to students required to be assessed on or after January 1, 2015.


  • Summary date: Jul 23 2015 - More information

    Senate amendment makes the following changes to the 3rd edition.

    Adds a new subsection (d) amending GS 115C-218.1 to direct the State Board of Education (SBE) and the North Carolina Charter Schools Advisory Board to focus on a substantive review of the content of charter school applications to determine the likelihood of the proposed charter school meeting the requirements of GS 115C-218.5(a) (providing the findings that support the SBE granting final approval of a charter school application). Requires that the applicant receive timely notification of format issues or incomplete information and receive at least five business days to correct the defects in the application. Requires the Advisory Board to allow an applicant to address the Advisory Board regarding the application for at least 10 minutes immediately before there is any final vote on the application. Applies to initial applications for and the renewal of a charter school on or after the effective date of this act. Provides that this section becomes effective when the act becomes law and applies to initial applications for and the renewal of a charter on or after that date.

    Amends the act's long title.


  • Summary date: Jul 22 2015 - More information

    Senate committee substitute makes the following changes to 2nd edition.

    Removes a section amending GS 115C-218.1 by adding the requirement that the State Board of Education and the North Carolina Charter Schools Advisory Board evaluate charter school applications based on the content and substance of the applications to determine whether boards of directors and charter schools may exhibit a higher likelihood of meeting the requirements in GS 115C-218.5(a). Removes a section requiring the applicant have at least five days to correct format issues or incomplete information and requiring the Advisory Board to allow an applicant to address the Advisory Board for at least 10 minutes immediately before any final vote on the application. 

    Amends GS 115C-218 to move the administrative location of the North Carolina Charter Schools Advisory Board from the Department of Public Instruction to the State Board of Education. Requires the Chair of the State Board of Education to appoint a member of the State Board to serve as a nonvoting member of the Advisory Board within 45 days of the date the act becomes law. Requires that the Advisory Board elect a chair within 45 days of the the date the act becomes law and annually. Includes among the chair's duties advocating for the recommendations of the Advisory Board at meetings of the State Board.

    Amends GS 115C-218 to require that the member of the North Carolina Charter Schools Advisory Board appointed by the State Board of Education not be a current member of the State Board of Education and be a charter school advocate in North Carolina. 

    Dissolves the Office of Charter Schools within the Department of Public Instruction and amends GS 115C-218 to establish an Office of Charter Schools in the Office of the State Board of Education. Sets forth the powers and duties of the new Office of Charter Schools. Requires the State Board of Education to appoint an executive director of the Office of Charter Schools, based on the recommendation of a named search committee, within 90 days of the date the act becomes law. Requires the Department of Public Instruction to transfer to the Office of the State Board of Education $928,028 for each of fiscal years 2015-16 and 2016-17.

    Clarifies that current members of the North Carolina Charter School Advisory Board may serve the remainder of their terms, and the appointment provisions of the act apply as terms expire or as vacancies occur.    

    Removes new GS 115C-218.50(b) allowing charter schools to charge fees for extracurricular activities. 


  • Summary date: Apr 21 2015 - More information

    House committee substitute make the following changes to the 1st edition.

    Adds a section amending GS 115C-218.1 by adding the requirement that the State Board of Education and the North Carolina Charter Schools Advisory Board evaluate charter school applications based on the content and substance of the applications to determine whether boards of directors and charter schools may exhibit a higher likelihood of meeting the requirements in GS 115C-218.5(a). Requires giving the applicant at least five days to correct format issues or incomplete information. Requires the Advisory Board to allow an applicant to address the Advisory Board for at least 10 minutes immediately before any final vote on the application. Applies to initial applications for and the renewal of a charter on or after the date that the act becomes law.

    Amends GS 115C-218.5(a)(3) to allow granting a charter school application after finding, among other criteria, that granting the application would achieve the purposes in GS 115C-218, Purpose of charter schools and establishment of North Carolina Charter Schools Advisory Board (was, GS 115C-269.1).

    Amends the act's long title.

     


  • Summary date: Mar 24 2015 - More information

    Enacts new GS 115C-218.50(b) providing that charter schools can establish fees for extracurricular activities with the approval of the board of directors. Sets out limitations for the fee schedule, providing that the fees can not exceed the fees for the same extracurricular activities charged by a local school administrative unit in which 10% or more of the students enrolled in the charter school reside. Makes organizational and technical changes. 

    Effective when bill becomes law and applies beginning with the 2015-16 school year. 


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