From: Patti Harrington
Subject: Please SUPPORT HB419
Date: Fri Mar 07 16:29:02 MST 2014

Good morning, Representatives!


Your local school board members and their superintendents and business administrators SUPPORT HB419 Charter School Revisions (S. Eliason).  The bill will bring some needed organization/standards/financial oversight to charter schools – very much needed by some charter schools.  And it still honors both the oversight of the State Charter School Board and the Utah State Board of Education and reinforces the good work being done by many charter schools.

Great bill.


HB419 Charter School Revisions (S. Eliason)

Establishes requirements for charter school applications and charter school agreements.  The charter school application shall include a statement indicating that after entering into a charter agreement, the charter school will be organized and managed under Title 16, Chapter 6a, and Utah Revised Nonprofit Corporation Act.  Governing board members will be subject to background checks.  Requires the State Charter School Board to establish requirements, processes, and standards relating to charter school applications including a description of how the charter school will provide, as required by state and federal law, special education and related services, financing arrangements, a market analysis of the community the school plans to serve, a capital facility plan, and other plans related to curriculum and assessment.  Requires a board of trustees of a higher education institution, and a local school board to, before accepting a charter school application, establish requirements, processes and standards related to an application.  Beginning on July 1, 2014, a charter school shall submit any lease or other contract agreement related to the school’s facilities or financing of the school’s facilities to the school’s authorizer and an attorney for review and advice prior to entering into the lease or contract.  Allows another charter school or the local school district to apply for assumption of operation of a charter school whose charter agreement is terminated.  Allows a proposed or authorized charter school to elect to participate in state retirement programs.  Allows a charter school to weight its lottery to give a “slightly better chance of admission” to educationally disadvantaged students.  Neither the authorizer nor the state, including an agency of the state, is liable for the debts or financial obligations of the charter school or a person who operates the charter school.   The principal, teachers or parents of students at an existing public school may submit an application to the local school board to convert the school or a portion of the school to charter status.  Such application must follow a petition signed by at least two-thirds of the interested group.  If only a portion of the school is applying for charter status, the percentage is reduced to a simple majority.  The local school board may not approve an application unless students opting not to attend the charter would have access to a comparable public education alternative and current teachers choosing not to teach at the charter school would receive first preference for transfer to open teaching positions in the district.  If no positions are open, contract provisions or board policy regarding reduction in staff would apply.  No funding requested.