7 LONG TITLE
8 General Description:
9 This bill modifies provisions related to the closure of a charter school.
10 Highlighted Provisions:
11 This bill:
12 ▸ amends provisions related to the closure of a charter school;
13 ▸ amends a charter school authorizer's duties;
14 ▸ grants rulemaking authority to the State Board of Education; and
15 ▸ makes technical and conforming changes.
16 Money Appropriated in this Bill:
18 Other Special Clauses:
20 Utah Code Sections Affected:
22 53A-1a-502.5, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2014, Chapter 406
23 53A-1a-504, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2015, Chapter 389
24 53A-1a-510.5, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2014, Chapter 363
26 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
27 Section 1. Section 53A-1a-502.5 is amended to read:
28 53A-1a-502.5. Approval of increase in charter school enrollment capacity --
30 (1) For the purposes of this section:
31 (a) "High growth area" means an area of the state where school enrollment is
32 significantly increasing or projected to significantly increase.
33 (b) "Next school year" means the school year that begins on or after the July 1
34 immediately following the end of a general session of the Legislature.
35 (2) The State Board of Education may approve an increase in charter school enrollment
36 capacity [
37 (a) appropriating funds for an increase in charter school enrollment capacity in the next
38 school year; or
39 (b) authorizing an increase in charter school enrollment capacity in the school year
40 immediately following the next school year.
41 (3) In appropriating funds for, or authorizing, an increase in charter school enrollment
42 capacity, the Legislature shall provide a separate appropriation or authorization of enrollment
43 capacity for a charter school proposed and approved in response to a request for applications
44 issued under Section 53A-1a-501.9.
45 (4) (a) A charter school may annually submit a request to the State Board of Education
46 for an increase in enrollment capacity in the amount of .25 times the number of students in
47 grades 9 through 12 enrolled in an online course in the previous school year through the
48 Statewide Online Education Program.
49 (b) A charter school shall submit a request for an increase in enrollment capacity
50 pursuant to Subsection (4)(a) on or before October 1 of the school year for which the increase
51 in enrollment capacity is requested.
52 (c) The State Board of Education shall approve a request for an increase in enrollment
53 capacity made under Subsection (4)(a) subject to the availability of sufficient funds
54 appropriated under Section 53A-1a-513 to provide the full amount of the per student allocation
55 for each charter school student in the state to supplement school district property tax revenues.
56 (d) An increase in enrollment capacity approved under Subsection (4)(c) shall be a
57 permanent increase in the charter school's enrollment capacity.
58 (5) (a) On or before January 1, 2017, in accordance with Title 63G, Chapter 3, Utah
59 Administrative Rulemaking Act, the State Board of Education shall, after considering
60 suggestions from charter school authorizers, make rules establishing requirements, procedures,
61 and deadlines for an expansion of a charter school.
62 (b) The rules described in Subsection (5)(a) shall include rules related to:
63 (i) an expansion of a charter school when another charter school issues a notice of
64 closure; and
65 (ii) the establishment of a satellite campus.
67 school enrollment capacity that is tentatively approved by the State Board of Education, the
68 State Board of Education shall prioritize the tentatively approved schools and expansions based
69 on approved funds.
70 (b) A charter school or expansion that is tentatively approved, but not funded, shall be
71 considered to be tentatively approved for the next application year and receive priority status
72 for available funding.
74 an increase in charter school enrollment capacity for new charter schools and expanding charter
75 schools, the State Board of Education shall give:
76 (i) high priority to approving a new charter school or a charter school expansion in a
77 high growth area; and
78 (ii) low priority to approving a new charter school or a charter school expansion in an
79 area where student enrollment is stable or declining.
80 (b) An applicant seeking to establish a charter school in a high growth area may elect
81 to not receive high priority status as provided in Subsection [
82 Section 2. Section 53A-1a-504 is amended to read:
83 53A-1a-504. Charter school application -- Applicants -- Contents.
84 (1) (a) An application to establish a charter school may be submitted by:
85 (i) an individual;
86 (ii) a group of individuals; or
87 (iii) a nonprofit legal entity organized under Utah law.
88 (b) An authorized charter school may apply under this chapter for a charter from
89 another charter school authorizer.
90 (2) A charter school application shall include:
91 (a) the purpose and mission of the school;
92 (b) except for a charter school authorized by a local school board, a statement that,
93 after entering into a charter agreement, the charter school will be organized and managed under
94 Title 16, Chapter 6a, Utah Revised Nonprofit Corporation Act;
95 (c) a description of the governance structure of the school, including:
96 (i) a list of the governing board members that describes the qualifications of each
97 member; and
98 (ii) an assurance that the applicant shall, within 30 days of authorization, provide the
99 authorizer with the results of a background check for each member;
100 (d) a description of the target population of the school that includes:
101 (i) the projected maximum number of students the school proposes to enroll;
102 (ii) the projected school enrollment for each of the first three years of school operation;
104 (iii) the ages or grade levels the school proposes to serve;
105 (e) academic goals;
106 (f) qualifications and policies for school employees, including policies that:
107 (i) comply with the criminal background check requirements described in Section
109 (ii) require employee evaluations; and
110 (iii) address employment of relatives within the charter school;
111 (g) a description of how the charter school will provide, as required by state and federal
112 law, special education and related services;
113 (h) for a public school converting to charter status, arrangements for:
114 (i) students who choose not to continue attending the charter school; and
115 (ii) teachers who choose not to continue teaching at the charter school;
116 (i) a statement that describes the charter school's plan for establishing the charter
117 school's facilities, including:
118 (i) whether the charter school intends to lease or purchase the charter school's facilities;
120 (ii) financing arrangements;
121 (j) a market analysis of the community the school plans to serve;
122 (k) a capital facility plan;
123 (l) a business plan;
124 (m) other major issues involving the establishment and operation of the charter school;
126 (n) the signatures of the governing board members of the charter school.
127 (3) A charter school authorizer may require a charter school application to include:
128 (a) the charter school's proposed:
129 (i) curriculum;
130 (ii) instructional program; or
131 (iii) delivery methods;
132 (b) a method for assessing whether students are reaching academic goals, including, at
133 a minimum, participation in the Utah Performance Assessment System for Students under
134 Chapter 1, Part 6, Achievement Tests;
135 (c) a proposed calendar;
136 (d) sample policies;
137 (e) a description of opportunities for parental involvement;
138 (f) a description of the school's administrative, supervisory, or other proposed services
139 that may be obtained through service providers; or
140 (g) other information that demonstrates an applicant's ability to establish and operate a
141 charter school.
147 Section 3. Section 53A-1a-510.5 is amended to read:
148 53A-1a-510.5. Charter school closure.
149 (1) If a charter school is closed for any reason, including the termination of a charter in
150 accordance with Section 53A-1a-510 or the conversion of a charter school to a private school,
151 the provisions of this section apply.
154 (2) A decision to close a charter school is made:
155 (a) when a charter school authorizer approves a motion to terminate described in
156 Subsection 53A-1a-510(2)(c);
157 (b) when the State Board of Education takes final action described in Subsection
158 53A-1a-510(2)(d)(ii); or
159 (c) when a charter school provides notice to the charter school's authorizer that the
160 charter school is relinquishing the charter school's charter.
161 (3) (a) No later than 10 days after the day on which a decision to close a charter school
162 is made, the charter school shall:
163 (i) provide notice to the following, in writing, of the decision:
165 school's authorizer;
168 Board of Education;
171 (F) the charter school's lease holders;
172 (G) the charter school's bond issuers;
173 (H) other entities that may have a claim to the charter school's assets;
175 schools located in that school district[
176 (J) any other person that the charter school determines to be appropriate; and
177 (ii) post notice of the decision on the Utah Public Notice Website, created in Section
179 (b) The [
180 (i) the proposed date of the charter school closure;
181 (ii) the charter school's plans to help students identify and transition into a new school;
183 (iii) contact information for the charter school during the transition.
187 (4) After a decision to close a charter school is made, the closing charter school shall:
191 (i) an office;
192 (ii) hours of operation; [
193 (iii) operational telephone service with voice messaging stating the hours of operation;
195 (iv) a designated individual to respond to questions or requests during the hours of
198 transition to closure and for a period following closure of the charter school as specified by the
199 charter school's authorizer;
201 immediately after the decision to close is made;
204 and assets that are security interests[
211 (5) The closing charter school's authorizer shall oversee the closing charter school's
212 compliance with Subsection (4).
213 (6) (a) A closing charter school shall return any assets remaining, after all liabilities
214 and obligations of the closing charter school are paid or discharged, to the closing charter
215 school's authorizer.
217 market value or assign the assets to another public school.
220 (7) The closing charter school's authorizer shall oversee liquidation of assets and
221 payment of debt in accordance with board rule.
223 (a) comply with all state and federal reporting requirements; and
224 (b) submit all documentation and complete all state and federal reports required by [
225 the closing charter school's authorizer or the State Board of Education , including documents to
226 verify [
227 and satisfaction of all financial issues.
229 dissolution is complete, the authorizer shall ensure that a final audit of the charter school is
232 Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act, the State Board of Education [
233 considering suggestions from charter school authorizers, make rules that:
234 (a) provide additional closure [
236 (b) establish a charter school closure process.