SB 64 Modifies provisions relating to charter schools
Sponsor: Rupp
LR Number: 0455S.01I Fiscal Note: 0455-01
Committee: Education
Last Action: 2/11/2009 - Hearing Conducted S Education Committee Journal Page:
Title: Calendar Position:
Effective Date: August 28, 2009

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Current Bill Summary

SB 64 – This act modifies provisions relating to charter schools.

SECTION 160.400: Current law provides that charter schools may only be operated in the Kansas City and St. Louis City school districts. This act allows charter schools to be operated in school districts that are not classified as accredited by the State Board of Education or in any school district that for any two of the past three years has obtained a score on its annual performance evaluation consistent with the classification of provisionally accredited or unaccredited. Charter schools may continue to operate if the district in which they are located becomes classified as accredited at a later time. In addition, charter schools may continue to operate and serve the same geographic area if a change in school district boundary lines occurs because of annexation, consolidation, or dissolution.

Any private or public four-year college or university with an approved teacher preparation program and with its primary campus in Missouri may sponsor a charter school. The mayor of St. Louis City may sponsor a charter school.

When the Department retains and remits such funds to the sponsor of a charter school, the sponsor must make an appropriate determination of the following: it must expend no less than 90% of its sponsorship funds in support of its charter school sponsorship program, or as a direct investment in the sponsored schools; have fair procedures and rigorous criteria for its application process and grant charters only to developers who show capacity for establishing and operating a quality charter school; negotiates charter school contracts that clearly articulate the rights and responsibilities of each party as described in the act; conducts contract oversight; and designs and implements a transparent and rigorous process to make merit-based renewal decisions. In addition, charter schools may expend up to ten percent of their sponsorship funds for undesignated administrative costs.

SECTION 160.405: This act removes the condition that charter schools become local educational agencies for the sole purpose of seeking direct access to federal grants when a sponsor and governing board enter into a written agreement reflecting the charter school's decision to become a local educational agency.

Current law requires charter schools to maintain a surety bond based on the school's cash flow. This act would allow charter schools to maintain an insurance policy in the amount of $500,000 or more to provide coverage in the event of employee theft.

SECTION 160.410: Charter schools whose mission includes student drop-out prevention or recovery must enroll nonresident pupils from an adjacent county who submit a timely application. Preference will be given to resident pupils over non-resident pupils if there is insufficient capacity.

This act contains provisions also contained in HCS#2/SS/SB 291 (2009). This act is similar to SB 1078 (2008), HB 2111 (2008) and contains a provision identical to SB 1027 (2008).