SB 618 - This act allows charter schools to be operated in any school district which enrolls 2,800 or more students, and has at least one school attendance center that has received a score of 68% or less on its annual performance report (APR) for two of the three most recent APR's available as of the date in which the charter school applies to open such school in the school district. When a charter school is allowed to operate under such provision, it shall serve the same grade levels as the school attendance center that received the 68% or less APR score. Additionally, the person, group, or organization seeking to establish the charter school shall submit the proposed charter to the local school board before the charter school submits its proposed charter to any other sponsor. The act gives the local school board 60 days to consider the proposed charter and accept or decline the sponsorship. If the local school board declines to sponsor the charter school or does not respond within the specified time, any other authorized sponsor may enter into a sponsorship agreement.
Charter schools shall give enrollment preference to resident students that reside in the attendance area of the school attendance center with an APR of 68% or less. Charter schools may enroll nonresident students so long as such enrollment does not displace a resident student. Each school district that has one or more of its resident students attending such a charter school as nonresident students shall pay to the charter school, for each student, 90% of its average per-student expenditure.
Charter schools may renew for a five-year term unless the charter school's APR score, other than a charter school in which 50% or more of the school's students were previously considered dropouts, is below the average of the APR scores of all non-selective grade-level-equivalent school attendance centers in the school district in which the charter school is located for two of the three consecutive years immediately before a decision whether to renew is made. In that case such renewal shall be for two years. If the charter school's APR continues to be lower for another one out of two years, the charter school term shall not be renewed. Such renewal application shall include a financial audit performed by the State Auditor, with costs paid for by the charter school.
If a local school board sponsors a charter school, the initial term may be up to fifteen years, and may be renewed for a three-year term.
This act also requires all members of any governing board of any charter school to be subject to Missouri income tax, except that, any member serving a term as of August 28, 2018, may serve the remainder of his or her term even if such member is not a resident taxpayer of the state of Missouri. The act also requires charter schools to meet all state and federal requirements and the same academic performance standards required of seven-director school districts.
The provisions of this act shall become effective on July 1st following the school year in which the school foundation formula is fully funded.
This act is similar to HCS/HB 2247 (2018) and HCS/HB 634 (2017).