SB 637 - This act modifies provisions relating to charter schools.
SECTION 160.400: This act repeals the requirement that the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education provide guidance to sponsors in developing policies and procedures for the review of charter school proposals, performance frameworks, intervention, renewal, revocation, and procedures to be implemented if a charter school closes.
SECTION 160.405: Currently, a charter must be a legally binding performance contract. This act modifies this requirement so that a charter must include a legally binding performance contract.
Currently, the State Board of Education must approve a charter by December 1 of the year prior to the proposed opening date of the charter school. Instead, the State Board of Education is required to approve a charter by January 31 of the year that is the proposed opening date of the charter school.
Under current law, when a sponsor approves a charter and submits the application to the State Board of Education, it must include a statement of finding that the application meets statutory requirements. This act requires the sponsor to prepare the statement of finding.
The State Board of Education must review a charter application within sixty days of its receipt. Any charter application received on or before November 15 of the year prior to the proposed opening of the charter school must be considered by the State Board within sixty days. At the end of sixty days, the charter application will be deemed approved unless the State Board disapproves it on the grounds that it fails to meet statutory requirements or the sponsor has previously failed to meet the statutory responsibilities of a sponsor. If the State Board disapproves a charter application, it must do so in writing and identify the specific failures of the application to meet statutory requirements. The written disapproval must be immediately provided to the sponsor.
If the State Board does not renew a school's charter, the non-renewal must be based solely on the charter application's failure to comply with current law, as described in the act.
SECTION 160.417: Certain provisions governing charter schools experiencing financial stress will only apply to charter schools that have been in operation for three or more calendar years.
This act is similar to HB 1579 (2014), HB 1868 (2014), HB 1869 (2014), and provisions contained in CCS/HCS/SCS/SBs 493, 485, 495, 516, 534, 545, 595, 616 & 624 (2104).