HB 353 - Charter Schools Act of 1997; enact

First Reader Summary

A BILL to amend Chapter 2 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to elementary and secondary education, so as to repeal Code Section 20-2-255, relating to petitions for charter school status; to enact the "Charter Schools Act of 1997"; and for other purposes.

Ashe, Kathy B (46th) Smith, Jr., Charlie (175th) Coleman, Jr., Brooks P (80th)
Sherrill, Tom (62nd) Trense, Sharon (44th) Culbreth, Ronnie (132nd)
Status Summary HC: Ed SC: Ed LA: 04/20/98 Signed by Governor
Page Numbers - 1/ 2/ 3/ 4/ 5/ 6/ 7/ 8/ 9/ 10/ 11/ 12/ 13
Code Sections - 20-2-2060/ 20-2-2061/ 20-2-2062/ 20-2-2063/ 20-2-2064/ 20-2-2065/ 20-2-2066/ 20-2-2067/ 20-2-2068/ 20-2-2069/ 20-2-2070/ 20-2-2071
House Action Senate
1/31/97 Read 1st Time 3/3/98
2/3/97 Read 2nd Time 3/12/98
2/18/98 Favorably Reported 3/12/98
Sub Committee Amend/Sub Sub
3/2/98 Read 3rd Time 3/13/98
3/2/98 Passed/Adopted 3/13/98
FSFA Comm/Floor Amend/Sub CS
3/19/98 Amend/Sub Agreed To
4/1/98 Sent to Governor
4/20/98 Signed by Governor
891 Act/Veto Number
7/1/98 Effective Date

HB 353                                              HB 353/AP 
 
      H. B. No. 353 (AS PASSED HOUSE AND SENATE) 
      By:  Representatives Ashe of the 46th, Smith of the 175th, 
      Coleman of the 80th, Sherrill of the 62nd, Trense of the 
      44th and others 
 
                        A BILL TO BE ENTITLED 
                               AN ACT 
 
 
  1- 1  To amend Chapter 2 of Title 20 of the Official Code of 
  1- 2  Georgia Annotated, relating to elementary and secondary 
  1- 3  education, so as to repeal Code Section 20-2-255, relating 
  1- 4  to petitions for charter school status; to remove a certain 
  1- 5  limitation regarding advance capital outlay funding for 
  1- 6  construction projects to consolidate or reorganize schools; 
  1- 7  to enact the "Charter Schools Act of 1998"; to provide for a 
  1- 8  short title; to provide for legislative intent; to define 
  1- 9  certain terms; to provide for the contents of charter school 
  1-10  petitions; to provide for the approval or denial of charter 
  1-11  school petitions by a local board; to provide for the 
  1-12  granting of charters by the State Board of Education; to 
  1-13  provide for the renewal of such charters; to establish 
  1-14  certain requirements with respect to the operation of 
  1-15  charter schools; to provide for the admission and enrollment 
  1-16  of students in charter schools; to prohibit certain 
  1-17  reprisals; to provide for the amendment and termination of a 
  1-18  charter and for a declaration that a charter is null and 
  1-19  void; to provide for certain duties of the State Board of 
  1-20  Education and local boards with respect to the provision of 
  1-21  funds to a charter school; to establish an Office of Charter 
  1-22  School Compliance and provide for its responsibilities; to 
  1-23  require certain reports; to provide for the continuing 
  1-24  validity of certain charters which are in effect on July 1, 
  1-25  1998; to provide for related matters; to provide for an 
  1-26  effective date and applicability; to repeal conflicting 
  1-27  laws; and for other purposes. 
 
  1-28       BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA: 
 
  1-29                           SECTION 1. 
 
  1-30  Chapter 2 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia 
  1-31  Annotated, relating to elementary and secondary education, 
  1-32  is amended by repealing Code Section 20-2-255, relating to 
  1-33  petitions for charter school status. 
 
 
 
 
 
                                 -1- 
 
 
 
  2- 1                           SECTION 2. 
 
  2- 2  Said chapter is further amended in Code Section 20-2-260, 
  2- 3  relating to the provision of capital outlay funds to local 
  2- 4  school systems under the 'Quality Basic Education Act,' is 
  2- 5  amended by striking in its entirety subsection (i) and 
  2- 6  inserting in lieu thereof a new subsection (i) to read as 
  2- 7  follows: 
 
  2- 8    "(i) Local school systems may receive capital outlay funds 
  2- 9    for construction projects to consolidate or reorganize 
  2-10    schools under an advance funding category; provided, 
  2-11    however, that each local school system is limited to one 
  2-12    project per fiscal year except when a second project is 
  2-13    required to effectuate consolidation or reorganization of 
  2-14    the schools simultaneously and that each construction 
  2-15    project meets the following conditions: 
 
  2-16      (1) A school size and organizational study has been 
  2-17      completed by the Department of Education; 
 
  2-18      (2) The local school system has adopted a comprehensive 
  2-19      plan to reorganize so that each school within the system 
  2-20      funded under this subsection shall meet or exceed the 
  2-21      minimum sizes specified in subsection (q) of this Code 
  2-22      section or contain all the students within the local 
  2-23      school system for the respective school level; provided, 
  2-24      however, that nothing contained in this subsection shall 
  2-25      be construed so as to require an existing school to 
  2-26      change its current grade configuration; 
 
  2-27      (3) The local facilities plan to implement this 
  2-28      reorganization or consolidation of schools has been 
  2-29      approved by a comprehensive survey team and the State 
  2-30      Board of Education; 
 
  2-31      (4) The project proposed for advance funding must be 
  2-32      accomplished in order for the reorganization or 
  2-33      consolidation to be implemented; provided, however, that 
  2-34      the proposed project may include renovation and 
  2-35      modification of existing facilities, as well as 
  2-36      additions to existing facilities and construction of new 
  2-37      facilities if the reorganization or consolidation cannot 
  2-38      be implemented until these activities have been 
  2-39      completed; 
 
  2-40      (5) The combined project total would otherwise require 
  2-41      more than three years of the combined annual entitlement 
  2-42      and required local participation, with said combined 
 
 
 
                                 -2- 
 
 
 
  3- 1      annual entitlement and required local participation 
  3- 2      amount estimated in accordance with the total 
  3- 3      entitlement intended for authorization by the state 
  3- 4      board; 
 
  3- 5      (6) A schedule for funding the activities required to 
  3- 6      effect the reorganization or consolidation has been 
  3- 7      developed as a part of the organizational study, 
  3- 8      incorporated into the local facilities plan, and 
  3- 9      approved by the local board of education and the state 
  3-10      board, and the funding for those activities required to 
  3-11      effect the reorganization or consolidation will be 
  3-12      scheduled over a one to five-year period; 
 
  3-13      (7) The project to be funded is not in addition to 
  3-14      projects funded for a given local school system under 
  3-15      the provisions of subsection (g) of this Code section 
  3-16      for the fiscal year in which it is to be funded; and 
 
  3-17      (8) The required local participation and all other 
  3-18      procedural requirements of this Code section are met." 
 
  3-19                           SECTION 3. 
 
  3-20  Said chapter is further amended by adding at the end thereof 
  3-21  a new Article 31 to read as follows: 
 
 
 
  3-22    20-2-2060. 
 
  3-23    This article shall be known and may be cited as the 
  3-24    'Charter Schools Act of 1998.' 
 
  3-25    20-2-2061. 
 
  3-26    It is the intent of the General Assembly to provide a 
  3-27    means whereby: 
 
  3-28      (1) Local schools may choose to substitute an academic 
  3-29      or vocational performance based contract or academic and 
  3-30      vocational performance based contract approved by both 
  3-31      state and local boards of education, called a charter, 
  3-32      for state and local rules, regulations, policies, and 
  3-33      procedures and the applicability of the provisions of 
  3-34      this title other than the provisions of this article; 
  3-35      and 
 
  3-36      (2) Private individuals, private organizations, or state 
  3-37      or local public entities (excluding home study programs 
  3-38      or schools; sectarian or religious schools; private for 
  3-39      profit schools; private educational institutions not 
 
 
                                 -3- 
 
 
 
  4- 1      established, operated, or governed by the State of 
  4- 2      Georgia; and existing private schools) may establish a 
  4- 3      local school which is subject to an academic or 
  4- 4      vocational performance based contract or academic and 
  4- 5      vocational performance based contract approved by both 
  4- 6      state and local boards of education, called a charter, 
  4- 7      which exempts the local school from state and local 
  4- 8      rules, regulations, policies, and procedures and from 
  4- 9      the provisions of this title other than the provisions 
  4-10      of this article. 
 
  4-11    20-2-2062. 
 
  4-12    As used in this article, the term: 
 
  4-13      (1) 'Charter' means an academic or vocational 
  4-14      performance based contract or an academic and vocational 
  4-15      performance based contract between the state board, a 
  4-16      local board of education, and a charter petitioner, the 
  4-17      terms of which are approved by the local board of 
  4-18      education and by the state board. 
 
  4-19      (2) 'Charter petitioner' means a local school, private 
  4-20      individual, private organization, or state or local 
  4-21      public entity which submits a petition for a charter. 
  4-22      The term 'charter petitioner' does not include home 
  4-23      study programs or schools, sectarian schools, religious 
  4-24      schools, private for profit schools, private educational 
  4-25      institutions not established, operated, or governed by 
  4-26      the State of Georgia, or existing private schools. 
 
  4-27      (3) 'Charter school' means a school that is operating 
  4-28      under the terms of a charter granted by the state board. 
 
  4-29      (4) 'Local board' means a county or independent board of 
  4-30      education exercising control and management of a local 
  4-31      school system pursuant to Article VIII, Section V, 
  4-32      Paragraph II of the Constitution. 
 
  4-33      (5) 'Local school' means a public school in Georgia 
  4-34      which is under the management and control of a local 
  4-35      board. 
 
  4-36      (6) 'Local school system' means the system of public 
  4-37      schools established and maintained by a local board 
  4-38      within its limits pursuant to Article VIII, Section V, 
  4-39      Paragraph I of the Constitution. 
 
  4-40      (7) 'Minimum state standards' means such minimum 
  4-41      standards as are established by the state board as a 
 
 
 
                                 -4- 
 
 
 
  5- 1      condition of continued state fiscal assistance to a 
  5- 2      local school system. 
 
  5- 3      (8) 'Petition' means a proposal to enter into a charter. 
 
  5- 4      (9) 'State board' means the State Board of Education. 
 
  5- 5    20-2-2063. 
 
  5- 6    A petition which is submitted by a charter petitioner to a 
  5- 7    local board or the state board under Code Section 
  5- 8    20-2-2064 shall: 
 
  5- 9      (1) Describe a plan for improvement that addresses how 
  5-10      the charter petitioner proposes to improve student 
  5-11      learning and meet minimum state standards; 
 
  5-12      (2) Outline proposed verifiable academic or vocational 
  5-13      performance based criteria or verifiable academic and 
  5-14      vocational performance based criteria that will be used 
  5-15      during the term of the charter to measure the progress 
  5-16      of the charter petitioner in improving student learning 
  5-17      and meeting minimum state standards; 
 
  5-18      (3) Describe how parents or guardians of students 
  5-19      enrolled in the school, as well as the faculty, 
  5-20      instructional staff, and the broader community, were and 
  5-21      will be directly and substantially involved in 
  5-22      developing the petition, developing and implementing the 
  5-23      improvement plan, and identifying academic or vocational 
  5-24      performance based criteria; 
 
  5-25      (4) Describe how the concerns of parents or guardians of 
  5-26      students enrolled in the school, faculty, instructional 
  5-27      staff, and the broader community will be solicited and 
  5-28      addressed in evaluating the effectiveness of the 
  5-29      improvement plan; 
 
  5-30      (5) Provide for the charter school to be subject to the 
  5-31      control and management of the local board of the local 
  5-32      school system in which the proposed charter school will 
  5-33      be located, as provided in the charter and in a manner 
  5-34      consistent with the Constitution; 
 
  5-35      (6) Provide for a governing body, the majority of the 
  5-36      members of which shall be parents or guardians of 
  5-37      students enrolled in the charter school who are not 
  5-38      employed by the school or by the local school system in 
  5-39      which the charter school is located, which shall be: 
 
 
 
 
                                 -5- 
 
 
 
  6- 1        (A) Responsible for carrying out the terms of the 
  6- 2        charter; 
 
  6- 3        (B) Subject to the control and management of the local 
  6- 4        board for that school system, as provided in the 
  6- 5        charter and in a manner consistent with the 
  6- 6        Constitution; and 
 
  6- 7        (C) Subject to the provisions of Chapter 14 of Title 
  6- 8        50 and Article 4 of Chapter 18 of Title 50; 
 
  6- 9      (7) For petitions filed by charter petitioners other 
  6-10      than a local school, specify whether the charter 
  6-11      petitioner elects that the charter school be organized 
  6-12      and operated as a nonprofit corporation under the laws 
  6-13      of this state; 
 
  6-14      (8) Provide for personnel matters involving the faculty, 
  6-15      instructional staff, and other employees of the charter 
  6-16      school including, but not limited to, employment status, 
  6-17      certification, and evaluation; 
 
  6-18      (9) Provide for financial policies and procedures 
  6-19      proposed to be followed by the charter school to assure 
  6-20      sound fiscal management and by the local board to assure 
  6-21      a predictable flow of funds to the charter school; 
 
  6-22      (10) Specify the proposed duration of the charter, not 
  6-23      to exceed five years; and 
 
  6-24      (11) Provide for the extent to which the charter school 
  6-25      will be subject to the provisions of this title and 
  6-26      state and local rules, regulations, policies, and 
  6-27      procedures; provided, however, that the provisions of 
  6-28      this article shall apply to the charter school 
  6-29      notwithstanding any provision in the charter to the 
  6-30      contrary. 
 
  6-31    20-2-2064. 
 
  6-32    (a) A charter petitioner may submit a petition to the 
  6-33    local board of the local school system in which the 
  6-34    proposed charter school will be located. The local board 
  6-35    must by a majority vote approve or deny a complete 
  6-36    petition no later than 60 days after its submission; 
  6-37    provided, however, that the local board shall not act upon 
  6-38    a petition submitted by a local school until such 
  6-39    petition: 
 
  6-40      (1) Has been freely agreed to, by secret ballot, by a 
  6-41      majority of the faculty and instructional staff members 
 
 
                                 -6- 
 
 
 
  7- 1      of the petitioning local school at a meeting called with 
  7- 2      two weeks' advance notice for the purpose of deciding 
  7- 3      whether to submit the petition to the local board for 
  7- 4      its approval; and 
 
  7- 5      (2) Has been freely agreed to by a majority of parents 
  7- 6      or guardians present at a public meeting called with two 
  7- 7      weeks' advance notice for the purpose of deciding 
  7- 8      whether to submit the petition to the local board for 
  7- 9      its approval. 
 
  7-10    The state board may mediate between the local board and a 
  7-11    charter petitioner whose petition was denied to assist in 
  7-12    obtaining approval of the petition, but such approval must 
  7-13    be obtained by majority vote of the local board. 
 
  7-14    (b) The state board may grant a charter to a charter 
  7-15    petitioner whose petition: 
 
  7-16      (1) Has first been approved by the local board of the 
  7-17      local school system in which the proposed charter school 
  7-18      will be located, pursuant to subsection (a) of this Code 
  7-19      section; 
 
  7-20      (2) For petitions submitted by a local school, has been 
  7-21      freely agreed to, by secret ballot, by a majority of the 
  7-22      faculty and instructional staff members of a petitioning 
  7-23      local school at a meeting called with two weeks' advance 
  7-24      notice for the purpose of deciding whether to submit the 
  7-25      locally approved petition to the state board; 
 
  7-26      (3) For petitions submitted by a local school, has been 
  7-27      freely agreed to by a majority of the parents or 
  7-28      guardians of students enrolled at a petitioning local 
  7-29      school present at a public meeting called with two 
  7-30      weeks' advance notice for the purpose of deciding 
  7-31      whether to submit the locally approved petition to the 
  7-32      state board; and 
 
  7-33      (4) The state board finds meets the requirements set 
  7-34      forth in Code Section 20-2-2063 and is in the public 
  7-35      interest with respect to the applicability to the 
  7-36      proposed charter school of the provisions of this title 
  7-37      and state rules, regulations, policies, and procedures; 
 
  7-38    provided, however, that the state board shall not grant a 
  7-39    charter to a home study program or school, sectarian or 
  7-40    religious school, private for profit school, a private 
  7-41    educational institution not established, operated, or 
 
 
 
                                 -7- 
 
 
 
  8- 1    governed by the State of Georgia, or an existing private 
  8- 2    school. 
 
  8- 3    (c) The initial term of a charter shall not exceed five 
  8- 4    years.  The state board may renew a charter, upon the 
  8- 5    written request of the governing body of the charter 
  8- 6    school and the local board which approved that school's 
  8- 7    charter, for the period of time specified in the request, 
  8- 8    not to exceed five years. 
 
  8- 9    20-2-2065. 
 
  8-10    (a) A charter school shall be: 
 
  8-11      (1) A public, nonsectarian, nonreligious, nonprofit 
  8-12      school which is also not home based; 
 
  8-13      (2) Subject to the control and management of the local 
  8-14      board of the local school system in which the charter 
  8-15      school is located, as provided in the charter and in a 
  8-16      manner consistent with the Constitution; 
 
  8-17      (3) If the petition which was the basis for the charter 
  8-18      so provided pursuant to paragraph (7) of Code Section 
  8-19      20-2-2063, organized and operated as a nonprofit 
  8-20      corporation under the laws of this state; 
 
  8-21      (4) Subject to all federal, state, and local rules, 
  8-22      regulations, and statutes relating to civil rights; 
  8-23      insurance; the protection of the physical health and 
  8-24      safety of school students, employees, and visitors; 
  8-25      conflicting interest transactions; and the prevention of 
  8-26      unlawful conduct; 
 
  8-27      (5) Subject to all laws relating to unlawful conduct in 
  8-28      or near a public school; and 
 
  8-29      (6) Subject to an annual financial audit in the manner 
  8-30      required of a local school. 
 
  8-31    (b) Except as provided in this article and in the charter, 
  8-32    a charter school shall not be subject to the provisions of 
  8-33    this title or any state or local rule, regulation, policy, 
  8-34    or procedure relating to schools within the applicable 
  8-35    local school system, regardless of whether such rule, 
  8-36    regulation, policy, or procedure is established by the 
  8-37    local board, the state board, or the state Department of 
  8-38    Education. 
 
 
 
 
 
                                 -8- 
 
 
 
  9- 1    20-2-2066. 
 
  9- 2      (a)(1) A charter school shall enroll any student who 
  9- 3      resides in the school district in which the charter 
  9- 4      school is located and who submits a timely application 
  9- 5      unless the number of applications exceeds the capacity 
  9- 6      of a program, class, grade level, or building.  In such 
  9- 7      case, all such applicants shall have an equal chance of 
  9- 8      being admitted through a random selection process; 
  9- 9      provided, however, that a charter school shall give 
  9-10      enrollment preference to such students who reside in the 
  9-11      attendance zone in which the charter school is located 
  9-12      and may give enrollment preference to a sibling of a 
  9-13      resident student currently enrolled in the charter 
  9-14      school. 
 
  9-15      (2) A student who resides outside the school district in 
  9-16      which the charter school is located may not enroll in 
  9-17      that school except pursuant to a contractual agreement 
  9-18      between the local boards of the school system in which 
  9-19      the student resides and the school system in which the 
  9-20      charter school is located.   Unless otherwise provided 
  9-21      in such contractual agreement, a charter school may give 
  9-22      enrollment preference to and enroll a sibling of a 
  9-23      nonresident student currently enrolled in the charter 
  9-24      school. 
 
  9-25    (b) A charter school shall not discriminate on any basis 
  9-26    that would be illegal if used by a school system. 
 
  9-27    (c) A student may withdraw without penalty from a charter 
  9-28    school at any time and enroll in another local school in 
  9-29    the school district in which such student resides.  A 
  9-30    student who is suspended or expelled from a charter school 
  9-31    as a result of a disciplinary action taken by a charter 
  9-32    school shall be entitled to enroll in a local school 
  9-33    within the local school system in which the student 
  9-34    resides, if, under the disciplinary policy of the local 
  9-35    school system, such student would not have been subject to 
  9-36    suspension or expulsion for the conduct which gave rise to 
  9-37    the suspension or expulsion.  In such instances, the local 
  9-38    board shall not be required to independently verify the 
  9-39    nature or occurrence of the applicable conduct or any 
  9-40    evidence relating thereto. 
 
  9-41    20-2-2067. 
 
  9-42    A local board of education or a school system employee who 
  9-43    has control over personnel actions shall not take unlawful 
 
 
                                 -9- 
 
 
 
 10- 1    reprisal against another employee of the school system 
 10- 2    because such other employee is directly or indirectly 
 10- 3    involved with a petition to establish a charter school.  A 
 10- 4    local board of education or a school system employee shall 
 10- 5    not take unlawful reprisal against an educational program 
 10- 6    of any school or school system because a petition to 
 10- 7    establish a charter school proposes the conversion of such 
 10- 8    educational program to a charter school.  As used in this 
 10- 9    subsection, the term 'unlawful reprisal' means an action 
 10-10    taken by a local board of education or a school system 
 10-11    employee as a direct result of a lawful petition to 
 10-12    establish a charter school which action is adverse to 
 10-13    another employee and which is not lawfully taken in 
 10-14    response to any action or behavior of such employee or is 
 10-15    adverse to an educational program of the school or the 
 10-16    school system and: 
 
 10-17      (1) With respect to such other employee, results in one 
 10-18      or more of the following: 
 
 10-19        (A) Disciplinary or corrective action; 
 
 10-20        (B) Transfer or reassignment, whether temporary or 
 10-21        permanent; 
 
 10-22        (C) Suspension, demotion, or dismissal; 
 
 10-23        (D) An unfavorable performance evaluation; 
 
 10-24        (E) A reduction in pay, benefits, or awards; 
 
 10-25        (F) Elimination of the employee's position without a 
 10-26        reduction in force by reason of lack of moneys or 
 10-27        work; or 
 
 10-28        (G) Other significant changes in duties or 
 10-29        responsibilities that are inconsistent with the 
 10-30        employee's salary or employment classification; or 
 
 10-31      (2) With respect to an educational program, results in 
 10-32      one or more of the following: 
 
 10-33        (A) Suspension or termination of the educational 
 10-34        program; 
 
 10-35        (B) Transfer or reassignment of the educational 
 10-36        program to a less favorable department; 
 
 10-37        (C) Relocation of the educational program to a less 
 10-38        favorable site within the school or school system; or 
 
 
 
 
                                 -10- 
 
 
 
 11- 1        (D) Significant reduction or termination of funding 
 11- 2        for the educational program, unless necessitated by 
 11- 3        unfunded mandates from federal or state decisions 
 11- 4        which result in a significant reduction in funds 
 11- 5        available to the local board of education and which 
 11- 6        result in a proportionate loss of funding for all 
 11- 7        schools in the system. 
 
 11- 8    20-2-2068. 
 
 11- 9    (a) The state board may declare a charter null and void if 
 11-10    a majority of the parents or guardians of students 
 11-11    enrolled at the charter school who are present at a public 
 11-12    meeting called with two weeks' advance notice and for the 
 11-13    purpose of deciding whether to request the state board to 
 11-14    declare the charter null and void vote to approve such 
 11-15    request and such majority of parents or guardians vote to 
 11-16    affirm such request at another public meeting, which 
 11-17    occurs within 30 days of the first meeting and which is 
 11-18    called with two weeks' advance notice for the purpose of 
 11-19    affirming the earlier vote. 
 
 11-20      (b)(1) The state board, after providing reasonable 
 11-21      notice to the governing body of a charter school and an 
 11-22      opportunity for a hearing, may terminate a charter 
 11-23      during its term for any of the following grounds: 
 
 11-24        (A) Failure to implement the improvement plan set 
 11-25        forth in the charter; 
 
 11-26        (B) Failure to adhere to any other term of the 
 11-27        charter. 
 
 11-28        (C) Failure to meet generally accepted standards of 
 11-29        fiscal management; 
 
 11-30        (D) A violation of applicable federal, state, or local 
 11-31        laws; or 
 
 11-32        (E) The existence of competent substantial evidence 
 11-33        that the continued operation of the charter school 
 11-34        would be contrary to the best interests of the 
 11-35        students or the community. 
 
 11-36      (2) The state board shall act upon a written request of 
 11-37      a local board for termination of a charter for a charter 
 11-38      school located within its school system within 30 days 
 11-39      of the date on which such request is submitted. If, 
 11-40      prior to making such request, the local board provided 
 11-41      reasonable notice to the governing body of a charter 
 
 
 
                                 -11- 
 
 
 
 12- 1      school and an opportunity for hearing, and determined 
 12- 2      that any of the grounds listed in paragraph (1) of this 
 12- 3      subsection had been met, such determination shall be 
 12- 4      binding on the state board. 
 
 12- 5    (c) The terms of a charter may be amended during the term 
 12- 6    of the charter upon the approval of the local board, the 
 12- 7    state board, and a majority of the governing body of the 
 12- 8    charter school or, in the case of a charter school which 
 12- 9    was formerly a local school, a majority of the faculty, 
 12-10    instructional staff, and parents or guardians present at a 
 12-11    public meeting called with two weeks' notice and for the 
 12-12    purpose of deciding whether to amend the terms of the 
 12-13    charter. 
 
 12-14    (d) A charter school shall be included in the allotment of 
 12-15    funds to the local school system in which the charter 
 12-16    school is located under Article 6 of Chapter 2 of this 
 12-17    title.  The local board and state board shall treat the 
 12-18    charter school no less favorably than other local schools 
 12-19    located within the applicable local school system with 
 12-20    respect to the provision of funds for instructional and 
 12-21    administrative programs and, where feasible, 
 12-22    transportation and building programs. 
 
 12-23    (e) The governing body of a charter school shall provide 
 12-24    an annual report to parents or guardians, the community, 
 12-25    the local board, and the state board which indicates the 
 12-26    progress made by the charter school in the previous year 
 12-27    in implementing its improvement plan. 
 
 12-28    20-2-2069. 
 
 12-29    There is established within the Department of Education an 
 12-30    Office of Charter School Compliance, the responsibilities 
 12-31    of which shall be to: 
 
 12-32      (1) Prepare charter school guidelines to be approved by 
 12-33      the state board; 
 
 12-34      (2) Distribute charter school petition information to 
 12-35      inquiring parties; 
 
 12-36      (3) Process all charter school petitions for 
 12-37      consideration by the state board; 
 
 12-38      (4) Administer any state or federal charter school 
 12-39      implementation grant program; 
 
 
 
 
 
                                 -12- 
 
 
 
 13- 1      (5) Contract with an independent party to evaluate the 
 13- 2      performance of charter schools, as such performance 
 13- 3      relates to fulfilling the terms of their charters; and 
 
 13- 4      (6) Compile information necessary to produce the annual 
 13- 5      report required by Code Section 20-2-2070. 
 
 13- 6    20-2-2070. 
 
 13- 7    The state board shall report to the General Assembly no 
 13- 8    later than November 1 of each year on the status of the 
 13- 9    charter school program. 
 
 13-10    20-2-2071. 
 
 13-11    Any charter which was granted pursuant to Code Section 
 13-12    20-2-255 and is in effect on July 1, 1998, shall continue 
 13-13    to be valid until such charter expires according to its 
 13-14    terms." 
 
 13-15                           SECTION 4. 
 
 13-16  This Act shall become effective on July 1, 1998, and shall 
 13-17  apply to petitions filed on and after that date. 
 
 13-18                           SECTION 5. 
 
 13-19  All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are 
 13-20  repealed. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                 -13- 

Clerk of the House
Robert E. Rivers, Jr., Clerk
Last Updated on 05/04/98

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