SB 0510 Revises charter school laws
LR Number:2001S.08P Fiscal Note:2001-08
Last Action:05/09/01 - Referred H Education-Elementary & Secondary Committee Journal page:H1796
Title:SS SCS SBs 510, 512 & 133
Effective Date:Various
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Current Bill Summary

SS/SCS/SBs 510, 512 & 133 - HIRING OF RETIRED STAFF - The act permits the rehiring of retired teachers for up to two years without loss of benefits in a school district with a shortage of teachers or by a charter school. The limit on hiring retired teachers is ten percent of teaching staff or five teachers, whichever is greater. Any district with shortage of non- certified staff or a charter school may hire Non-Teachers Retirement System retirees for up to two years without loss of benefits. The retirement system shall determine the actuarial cost of all such rehiring, and the cost shall be paid by the district.

FUNDING FOR CHARTER SCHOOL SPONSORS - This section creates a Charter School Sponsor Oversight Fund, with grant funding administered by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, with funds to be prorated if necessary when funds are inadequate. Funds shall be transferred annually by the State Treasurer, based upon the number of charter schools and charter school enrollment the previous year. Approved sponsors shall receive, from the Fund, twenty-three thousand four hundred dollars per school sponsored the previous year plus one-half of one percent of per pupil operating revenues for each student enrolled in such school the previous year.

CHARTER SCHOOL LOCATIONS - Charter schools may be operated in the currently authorized territories, even if the existing school district no longer exists or includes that territory. Clarifies that charter schools may be sponsored by a public 4-year college or university in a county containing an eligible school district, even if the college or university is not in the school district. The Mayor of a city in which charter schools may be sponsored to sponsor charter schools.

ALLOWED SPONSORS OF CHARTER SCHOOLS - This act would allow the University of Missouri-Rolla campus to sponsor charter schools in St. Louis City and Kansas City Missouri School District.

PROCESS FOR CHARTERING A SCHOOL - The act revises the procedure and timeline for chartering a school. A charter school proponent shall provide the local school district and the State Board of Education with copies of the charter school application within five days of submitting the application to the proposed sponsor. A charter application must be provided to a proposed sponsor at least 11 months prior to the proposed starting date for the school. The sponsor's decision of approval or denial must be made within 90 days of filing the proposed charter rather than the current 60 days; if the charter is denied, written notice must be served on the State Board of Education within 5 days. The State Board has 60 days to deny or grant a proposed charter and shall provide reasons for denial in writing, if applicable.

ACCREDITATION OF CHARTER SCHOOLS - The act adds a portion of SB 53 which requires the State Board of Education to establish school-level accreditation standards for charter schools. Charter schools in Kansas City Missouri School District shall demonstrate compliance with the standards or prove equivalent accreditation from a private accrediting agency.

CHARTER SCHOOL BOARDS - Sponsors must perform criminal background checks on the members of the Board of Directors of any nonprofit corporation applying to establish a charter school, prior to granting or renewing a charter. No member of a charter school board may be employed by the charter school nor have a significant interest in any entity employed by or contracting with the board.

ACCOUNTABILITY FOR PERFORMANCE - Sponsors must provide documentation establishing compliance with charter school laws. Charter schools are required to employ the Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) tests. Charter schools shall provide all information needed to confirm compliance with all requirements of the charter and all charter school laws.

PUBLIC REPORTING - Charter schools are required to publish audits and financial reports. Public reporting shall include results of background checks of charter board members. A charter may be revoked for failure to provide necessary compliance information, or the sponsor may require specified remedial action of the school. Charter schools must make available the charter and public report card to the parent of guardian of any pupil eligible to seek to enroll at the school. Reasonable fees may be charged for such copies.

LEGAL LIABILITY - Charter school board members, officers and employees who willfully violate charter school laws or neglect to perform any duty in the charter school laws are guilty of a misdemeanor as other public school employees are under current law. A charter school board may participate in the Missouri Public Entity Risk Management Fund to the same extent as a school board.

KANSAS CITY PUBLIC SCHOOL RETIREMENT SYSTEM - The act adds provisions similar to SB 975 from 2000 pertaining to the Kansas City Public School Retirement System (KCPSRS). The act expands the law to include charter schools in KCPSRS and makes provisions for KCPSRS to continue if the district lapses. If the district lapses, KCPSRS shall not be transferred to or merged with another system without prior approval of such action by the KCPSRS Board of Trustees. Purchase of credit for prior service is allowed for charter school employees. Retired employees may not work for either a charter school or the district, except for part-time work provided in this section.

CHILD CARE FACILITIES ON SCHOOL GROUNDS - Child care facilities operating on public school property shall comply with safety, health and fire requirements applicable to school districts, rather than applicable provisions of Chapter 210, RSMo.

The act contains penalty provisions.