Representative Sophia M. DiCaro proposes the following substitute bill:




Chief Sponsor: Sophia M. DiCaro

Senate Sponsor: Luz Escamilla


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:
17          None
18     Other Special Clauses:
19          None
20     Utah Code Sections Affected:
21     AMENDS:
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.
29          (1) For the purposes of this section:
30          (a) "High growth area" means an area of the state where school enrollment is
31     significantly increasing or projected to significantly increase.
32          (b) "Next school year" means the school year that begins on or after the July 1
33     immediately following the end of a general session of the Legislature.
34          (2) The State Board of Education may approve an increase in charter school enrollment
35     capacity [in the 2012-13 school year or thereafter] subject to the Legislature:
36          (a) appropriating funds for an increase in charter school enrollment capacity in the next
37     school year; or
38          (b) authorizing an increase in charter school enrollment capacity in the school year
39     immediately following the next school year.
40          (3) In appropriating funds for, or authorizing, an increase in charter school enrollment
41     capacity, the Legislature shall provide a separate appropriation or authorization of enrollment
42     capacity for a charter school proposed and approved in response to a request for applications
43     issued under Section 53A-1a-501.9.
44          (4) (a) A charter school may annually submit a request to the State Board of Education
45     for an increase in enrollment capacity in the amount of .25 times the number of students in
46     grades 9 through 12 enrolled in an online course in the previous school year through the
47     Statewide Online Education Program.
48          (b) A charter school shall submit a request for an increase in enrollment capacity
49     pursuant to Subsection (4)(a) on or before October 1 of the school year for which the increase
50     in enrollment capacity is requested.
51          (c) The State Board of Education shall approve a request for an increase in enrollment
52     capacity made under Subsection (4)(a) subject to the availability of sufficient funds
53     appropriated under Section 53A-1a-513 to provide the full amount of the per student allocation
54     for each charter school student in the state to supplement school district property tax revenues.
55          (d) An increase in enrollment capacity approved under Subsection (4)(c) shall be a
56     permanent increase in the charter school's enrollment capacity.

57          (5) (a) On or before January 1, 2017, in accordance with Title 63G, Chapter 3, Utah
58     Administrative Rulemaking Act, the State Board of Education shall, after consultation with
59     charter school authorizers, make rules establishing requirements, procedures, and deadlines for
60     an expansion of a charter school.
61          (b) The rules described in Subsection (5)(a) shall include rules related to:
62          (i) an expansion of a charter school when another charter school issues a notice of
63     closure; and
64          (ii) the establishment of a satellite campus.
65          [(5)] (6) (a) If the Legislature does not appropriate funds for an increase in charter
66     school enrollment capacity that is tentatively approved by the State Board of Education, the
67     State Board of Education shall prioritize the tentatively approved schools and expansions based
68     on approved funds.
69          (b) A charter school or expansion that is tentatively approved, but not funded, shall be
70     considered to be tentatively approved for the next application year and receive priority status
71     for available funding.
72          [(6)] (7) (a) Except as provided in Subsection [(5)] (6)(b) or [(6)] (7)(b), in approving
73     an increase in charter school enrollment capacity for new charter schools and expanding charter
74     schools, the State Board of Education shall give:
75          (i) high priority to approving a new charter school or a charter school expansion in a
76     high growth area; and
77          (ii) low priority to approving a new charter school or a charter school expansion in an
78     area where student enrollment is stable or declining.
79          (b) An applicant seeking to establish a charter school in a high growth area may elect
80     to not receive high priority status as provided in Subsection [(6)] (7)(a)(i).
81          Section 2. Section 53A-1a-504 is amended to read:
82          53A-1a-504. Charter school application -- Applicants -- Contents.
83          (1) (a) An application to establish a charter school may be submitted by:
84          (i) an individual;
85          (ii) a group of individuals; or
86          (iii) a nonprofit legal entity organized under Utah law.
87          (b) An authorized charter school may apply under this chapter for a charter from

88     another charter school authorizer.
89          (2) A charter school application shall include:
90          (a) the purpose and mission of the school;
91          (b) except for a charter school authorized by a local school board, a statement that,
92     after entering into a charter agreement, the charter school will be organized and managed under
93     Title 16, Chapter 6a, Utah Revised Nonprofit Corporation Act;
94          (c) a description of the governance structure of the school, including:
95          (i) a list of the governing board members that describes the qualifications of each
96     member; and
97          (ii) an assurance that the applicant shall, within 30 days of authorization, provide the
98     authorizer with the results of a background check for each member;
99          (d) a description of the target population of the school that includes:
100          (i) the projected maximum number of students the school proposes to enroll;
101          (ii) the projected school enrollment for each of the first three years of school operation;
102     and
103          (iii) the ages or grade levels the school proposes to serve;
104          (e) academic goals;
105          (f) qualifications and policies for school employees, including policies that:
106          (i) comply with the criminal background check requirements described in Section
107     53A-1a-512.5;
108          (ii) require employee evaluations; and
109          (iii) address employment of relatives within the charter school;
110          (g) a description of how the charter school will provide, as required by state and federal
111     law, special education and related services;
112          (h) for a public school converting to charter status, arrangements for:
113          (i) students who choose not to continue attending the charter school; and
114          (ii) teachers who choose not to continue teaching at the charter school;
115          (i) a statement that describes the charter school's plan for establishing the charter
116     school's facilities, including:
117          (i) whether the charter school intends to lease or purchase the charter school's facilities;
118     and

119          (ii) financing arrangements;
120          (j) a market analysis of the community the school plans to serve;
121          (k) a capital facility plan;
122          (l) a business plan;
123          (m) other major issues involving the establishment and operation of the charter school;
124     and
125          (n) the signatures of the governing board members of the charter school.
126          (3) A charter school authorizer may require a charter school application to include:
127          (a) the charter school's proposed:
128          (i) curriculum;
129          (ii) instructional program; or
130          (iii) delivery methods;
131          (b) a method for assessing whether students are reaching academic goals, including, at
132     a minimum, participation in the Utah Performance Assessment System for Students under
133     Chapter 1, Part 6, Achievement Tests;
134          (c) a proposed calendar;
135          (d) sample policies;
136          (e) a description of opportunities for parental involvement;
137          (f) a description of the school's administrative, supervisory, or other proposed services
138     that may be obtained through service providers; or
139          (g) other information that demonstrates an applicant's ability to establish and operate a
140     charter school.
141          [(4) In accordance with Title 63G, Chapter 3, Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act,
142     the State Board of Education shall make rules regarding the expansion of a charter school,
143     including establishing a satellite campus, that provide:]
144          [(a) requirements for a charter school to apply and qualify for expansion; and]
145          [(b) procedures and deadlines for the application process.]
146          Section 3. Section 53A-1a-510.5 is amended to read:
147          53A-1a-510.5. Charter school closure.
148          (1) If a charter school is closed for any reason, including the termination of a charter in
149     accordance with Section 53A-1a-510 or the conversion of a charter school to a private school,

150     the provisions of this section apply.
151          [(2) (a) As soon as possible after the decision is made to close a charter school,
152     notification of the decision, in writing, shall be provided by the charter school to:]
153          (2) A decision to close a charter school is made:
154          (a) when a charter school authorizer approves a motion to terminate described in
155     Subsection 53A-1a-510(2)(c);
156          (b) when the State Board of Education takes final action described in Subsection
157     53A-1a-510(2)(d)(ii); or
158          (c) when a charter school provides notice to the charter school's authorizer that the
159     charter school is relinquishing the charter school's charter.
160          (3) (a) No later than 10 days after the day on which a decision to close a charter school
161     is made, the charter school shall:
162          (i) provide notice to the following, in writing, of the decision:
163          [(i) its] (A) if the charter school made the decision to close, the charter [school]
164     school's authorizer;
165          [(ii)] (B) the State Charter School Board;
166          [(iii)] (C) if the State Board of Education did not make the decision to close, the State
167     Board of Education;
168          [(iv)] (D) parents of [its] students enrolled at the charter school;
169          [(v) its] (E) the charter school's creditors; [and]
170          (F) the charter school's lease holders;
171          (G) the charter school's bond issuers;
172          (H) other entities that may have a claim to the charter school's assets;
173          [(vi)] (I) the school district in which the charter school is located and other charter
174     schools located in that school district[.]; and
175          (J) any other person that the charter school determines to be appropriate; and
176          (ii) post notice of the decision on the Utah Public Notice Website, created in Section
177     63F-1-701.
178          (b) The [notification under] notice described in Subsection [(2)] (3)(a) shall include:
179          (i) the proposed date of the charter school closure;
180          (ii) the charter school's plans to help students identify and transition into a new school;

181     and
182          (iii) contact information for the charter school during the transition.
183          [(3) A closing charter school shall:]
184          [(a) present a school closure plan to its authorizer as soon as possible after the decision
185     to close is made;]
186          (4) After a decision to close a charter school is made, the closing charter school shall:
187          [(b)] (a) designate a custodian for the protection of student files and school business
188     records;
189          [(c)] (b) maintain a base of operation throughout the charter school closing, including:
190          (i) an office;
191          (ii) hours of operation; [and]
192          (iii) operational telephone service with voice messaging stating the hours of operation;
193     and
194          (iv) a designated individual to respond to questions or requests during the hours of
195     operation;
196          [(d)] (c) maintain insurance coverage and risk management coverage throughout the
197     transition to closure and for a period following closure of the charter school as specified by the
198     charter school's authorizer;
199          [(e)] (d) complete a financial audit or other procedure required by board rule
200     immediately after the decision to close is made;
201          [(f)] (e) inventory all assets of the charter school; and
202          [(g)] (f) list all creditors of the charter school and specifically identify secured creditors
203     and assets that are security interests[; and].
204          [(h) protect all school assets against theft, misappropriation, and deterioration.]
205          [(4) (a) Any assets held subject to written conditions or limitations in accordance with
206     Section 53A-1a-517 shall be disposed of in accordance with those conditions or limitations.]
207          [(b) All liabilities and obligations of the closing charter school shall be paid and
208     discharged or adequate provisions shall be made to discharge the liabilities and obligations to
209     the extent of the closing school's assets. (c) (i) The remaining assets shall be returned]
210          (5) The closing charter school's authorizer shall oversee the closing charter school's
211     compliance with Subsection (4).

212          (6) (a) A closing charter school shall return any assets remaining, after all liabilities
213     and obligations of the closing charter school are paid or discharged, to the closing charter
214     school's authorizer.
215          [(ii) The] (b) The closing charter school's authorizer [may] shall liquidate assets at fair
216     market value or assign the assets to another public school.
217          [(5) To the extent possible, all leases, service agreements, and other contracts not
218     necessary for the transition of the closing charter school should be terminated.]
219          (7) The closing charter school's authorizer shall oversee liquidation of assets and
220     payment of debt in accordance with board rule.
221          [(6)] (8) The closing charter school shall:
222          (a) comply with all state and federal reporting requirements; and
223          (b) submit all documentation and complete all state and federal reports required by [its]
224     the closing charter school's authorizer or the State Board of Education , including documents to
225     verify [its] the closing charter school's compliance with procedural requirements [as well as]
226     and satisfaction of all financial issues.
227          [(7)] (9) When the closing charter school's financial affairs are closed out and
228     dissolution is complete, the authorizer shall ensure that a final audit of the charter school is
229     completed.
230          [(8) The] (10) On or before January 1, 2017, in accordance with Title 63G, Chapter 3,
231     Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act, the State Board of Education [may] shall, after
232     consultation with charter school authorizers, make rules that:
233          (a) provide additional closure [requirements upon] procedures for charter schools [or
234     that specify elements of charter school closure plans.] ; and
235          (b) establish a charter school closure process.