SB 534
Modifies provisions relating to charter schools
LR Number:
Last Action:
1/9/2020 - Second Read and Referred S Education Committee
Journal Page:
Calendar Position:
Effective Date:
August 28, 2020

Current Bill Summary

SB 534 - Current law defines a charter school as an independent public school, and sets forth the areas in which a charter school may be operated, which entities are eligible to sponsor charter schools, and how changes in a school district's accreditation status shall affect charter schools.

This act repeals such provisions, and defines a charter school as a semi-autonomous public school that may be operated in any school district, sponsored only by the school board of the district or by a special administrative board for the district. This act shall not affect charter contracts that are in effect on the effective date of this act until the expiration of such contract.

Current law provides that the charter school shall select the method for election of officers based on the class of corporation selected. Under this act, the method for election of officers of the charter school shall be mutually agreed to by the charter and sponsoring school board.

This act also repeals provisions relating to the expenses associated with sponsorship of charter schools, and provides that the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education shall monitor each school board's sponsorship and ensure the school board meets certain requirements set forth in the act. Current law permits the Department to withhold a sponsor's funding if such sponsor is found to be in material noncompliance with its sponsorship duties. This act repeals this provision.

If the State Board removes the authority to sponsor a currently operating charter school, the State Board, rather than the Missouri Charter Public School Commission, shall become the sponsor of the school for the remainder of the term of the charter contract. The State Board shall not be authorized to renew the contract. Further, the state and the sponsoring district shall not be liable for any outstanding liability or obligations of the charter school. This act does not exempt the charter sponsor or resident district from liability.

(Section 160.400)

This act repeals provisions setting forth the application and approval process for charter school sponsors, and instead provides that the Department shall exercise sponsorship oversight and monitoring to ensure that local school districts only sponsor charter schools that meet criteria set forth in the act, and do so by way of a procedure that complies with the process outlined in the act.

(Section 160.403)

Any person, group or organization seeking to establish a charter school shall submit the proposed charter to the local school board or special administrative board, rather than to a charter sponsor. This act repeals the provision requiring a charter to include a legally binding performance contract that outlines the obligations and responsibilities of the school and sponsor, and also repeals all contract requirements. Instead, a charter shall include a contract that outlines the responsibilities of the school to provide students with a free, accessible, non-sectarian, quality education that is delivered subject to the same basic safeguards and standards as other district schools, including certain standards set forth in the act.

A charter school may be approved, under this act, only if the sponsor determines the charter is both necessary to meet the needs of students in the district and will meet those needs in a manner that improves the local public school system. Charter schools may be authorized or expanded only after a district has assessed the impact of the proposed charter school on local public school resources, programs and services, and other elements set forth in the act. The impact analysis shall be independent, developed with community input, and be publicly available.

If a proposed charter is denied by a sponsor, the charter may be submitted to the State Board, who may only consider appeals of approvals or denials on the grounds that the sponsor's process for approving a charter was not properly followed or that the approval or denial was arbitrary or illegal. This act repeals current provisions setting forth charter school requirements, and charter school sponsor requirements.

The charter of a charter school may be amended by mutual agreement of the governing body of the charter school and the sponsor, rather than at the request of the governing body and upon approval of the sponsor. This act also repeals provisions relating to when the sponsor and governing board shall review the school's performance, management and operations, and requires the sponsor and governing board to do so as provided in the charter contract.

This act repeals the provisions requiring the Department to calculate an annual performance report for each charter school, and requiring the Joint Committee on Education to create a committee to investigate facility access and affordability of charter schools.

(Section 160.405)

This act repeals all provisions relating to high-quality charter schools.

(Section 160.408)

A charter school shall enroll, under this act, all pupils residing in the district in which it operates as provided in the contract, provided that charter schools operating under contracts in effect on the effective date of this section may enroll pupils as provided in the charter and contract in effect on the effective date of this act.

This act repeals provisions setting forth exceptions to the admissions process set forth in current law, as well as provisions requiring charter school students who have been enrolled for a full academic year to be counted in the performance of the charter school on statewide assessments.

This act further repeals the provision requiring a charter school to make available a copy of the written copy of any contract between a charter school and an educational management company.

(Section 160.410)

Provisions relating to state aid for workplace charter schools are repealed under this act, in addition to certain provisions setting forth the amount of state aid charter schools shall receive from the Department. Any dispute between the school district and a charter school as to the amount owing to the charter school shall be resolved as provided in the contract, rather than by the Department.

This act prohibits a charter school from being operated by a management company or any entity other than the charter school board and the chief administrative officer, and repeals provisions setting forth the requirements for proposal requests.

(Section 160.415)

Provisions allowing the Department to obtain information regarding the financial condition of a charter school, and outlining the determination for whether a charter school shall be identified as experiencing financial stress are repealed under this act.

A sponsor shall be required to promptly notify the governing board of a charter school if such school is experiencing financial stress. Current law requires a sponsor to notify the board by November first. Upon receiving such notification, the charter school and sponsor shall mutually agree to a revised budget and education plan that shall meet certain requirements set forth in the act.

Provisions allowing a sponsor to make suggestions to improve a plan are repealed, along with provisions allowing the Department to withhold any payment aid due to a charter school until compliance with current law.

(Section 160.417)

Current law allows a charter school to employ non-certificated instructional personnel provided certain conditions are met. This act repeals such provision and requires a charter school to employ certificated personnel under the same requirements applicable to instructional personnel of the district.

(Section 160.420)

Under this act, the Missouri Charter Public School Commission shall be prohibited from approving or renewing any charter for sponsorship on or after the effective date of this act.

The Commission shall be abolished 30 days after the date of the last expiration of existing charter contracts effective on the effective date of this act, for charter schools sponsored by the Commission on the effective date of this act.

(Section 160.425)



No Amendments Found.