7 LONG TITLE
8 General Description:
9 This bill amends charter school enrollment provisions.
10 Highlighted Provisions:
11 This bill:
12 ▸ allows a charter school to give enrollment preference to:
13 • an individual whose sibling is currently enrolled in a charter school with an
14 approved articulation agreement with the charter school in which the individual
15 is seeking enrollment; and
16 • for the 2022-2023 school year, a student who withdrew from the charter school
17 to attend an online school or home school in the 2020-2021 or 2021-2022
18 school years due to the COVID-19 emergency;
19 ▸ requires a charter school to enroll a foster child residing in the same residence with
20 a student currently enrolled in a charter school;
21 ▸ defines terms; and
22 ▸ makes technical and conforming changes.
23 Money Appropriated in this Bill:
25 Other Special Clauses:
27 Utah Code Sections Affected:
29 53G-5-303, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2019, Chapter 293
30 53G-6-502, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2020, Sixth Special Session, Chapter 9
32 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
33 Section 1. Section 53G-5-303 is amended to read:
34 53G-5-303. Charter agreement -- Content -- Modification.
35 (1) As used in this section, "satellite charter school" means a charter school affiliated
36 with an operating charter school, which has the same charter school governing board and a
37 similar program of instruction, but has a different school number than the affiliated charter.
38 (2) A charter agreement:
39 (a) is a contract between the charter school applicant and the charter school authorizer;
40 (b) shall describe the rights and responsibilities of each party; and
41 (c) shall allow for the operation of the applicant's proposed charter school.
42 (3) A charter agreement shall include:
43 (a) the name of:
44 (i) the charter school; and
45 (ii) the charter school applicant;
46 (b) the mission statement and purpose of the charter school;
47 (c) the charter school's opening date;
48 (d) the grade levels the charter school will serve;
49 (e) (i) subject to Section 53G-6-504, the maximum number of students a charter school
50 will serve; or
51 (ii) for an operating charter school with satellite charter schools, the maximum number
52 of students of all satellite charter schools collectively served by the operating charter school;
53 (f) a description of the structure of the charter school governing board, including:
54 (i) the number of charter school governing board members;
55 (ii) how members of the charter school governing board are appointed; and
56 (iii) charter school governing board members' terms of office;
57 (g) assurances that:
58 (i) the charter school governing board will comply with:
59 (A) the charter school's bylaws;
60 (B) the charter school's articles of incorporation; and
61 (C) applicable federal law, state law, and state board rules;
62 (ii) the charter school governing board will meet all reporting requirements described
63 in Section 53G-5-404; and
64 (iii) except as provided in Part 6, Charter School Credit Enhancement Program, neither
65 the authorizer nor the state, including an agency of the state, is liable for the debts or financial
66 obligations of the charter school or a person who operates the charter school;
67 (h) which administrative rules the state board will waive for the charter school;
68 (i) minimum financial standards for operating the charter school;
69 (j) minimum standards for student achievement; and
70 (k) signatures of the charter school authorizer and the charter school governing board
72 (4) (a) Except as provided in Subsection (4)(b), a charter agreement may not be
73 modified except by mutual agreement between the charter school authorizer and the charter
74 school governing board.
75 (b) A charter school governing board may modify the charter school's charter
76 agreement without the mutual agreement described in Subsection (4)(a) to include an
77 enrollment preference described in Subsection 53G-6-502(4)[
78 Section 2. Section 53G-6-502 is amended to read:
79 53G-6-502. Eligible students.
80 (1) As used in this section:
81 (a) "At capacity" means operating above the school's open enrollment threshold.
82 (b) "COVID-19 emergency" means the spread of COVID-19 that the World Health
83 Organization declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020.
84 (c) "Open enrollment threshold" means the same as that term is defined in Section
86 (d) "Refugee" means a person who is eligible to receive benefits and services from the
87 federal Office of Refugee Resettlement.
88 (e) "School of residence" means the same as that term is defined in Section 53G-6-401.
89 (2) All resident students of the state qualify for admission to a charter school, subject
90 to the limitations set forth in this section and Section 53G-6-503.
91 (3) (a) A charter school shall enroll:
92 (i) a foster child residing in the same residence as an individual who is enrolled in the
93 charter school; and
94 (ii) an eligible student other than a child described in Subsection (3)(a)(i) who submits
95 a timely application, unless the number of applications exceeds the capacity of a program,
96 class, grade level, or the charter school.
97 (b) If the number of applications described in Subsection (3)(a)(ii) exceeds the capacity
98 of a program, class, grade level, or the charter school, the charter school shall select students on
99 a random basis, except as provided in Subsections (4) through (8).
100 (4) A charter school may give an enrollment preference to:
101 (a) a child or grandchild of an individual who has actively participated in the
102 development of the charter school;
103 (b) a child or grandchild of a member of the charter school governing board;
104 (c) a sibling of an individual who was previously or is presently enrolled in the charter
106 (d) a child of an employee of the charter school;
107 (e) a student articulating between charter schools offering similar programs that are
108 governed by the same charter school governing board;
109 (f) a student articulating from one charter school to another pursuant to an articulation
110 agreement between the charter schools that is approved by the State Charter School Board;
111 (g) an individual seeking enrollment in a charter school if:
112 (i) the individual's sibling is a student enrolled in a charter school; and
113 (ii) the charter school where the individual is seeking enrollment has an articulation
114 agreement with the charter school where the sibling is enrolled that the State Charter School
115 Board approves;
117 whose school of residence is at capacity;
120 charter school to attend an online school or home school for the 2020-2021 or 2021-2022
121 school [
122 (5) (a) Except as provided in Subsection (5)(b), and notwithstanding Subsection
124 located in a high growth area as defined in Section 53G-6-504 shall give an enrollment
125 preference to a student who resides within a two-mile radius of the charter school.
126 (b) The requirement to give an enrollment preference under Subsection (5)(a) does not
127 apply to a charter school that was approved without a high priority status pursuant to
128 Subsection 53G-6-504(7)(b).
129 (6) If a district school converts to charter status, the charter school shall give an
130 enrollment preference to students who would have otherwise attended it as a district school.
131 (7) (a) A charter school whose mission is to enhance learning opportunities for
132 refugees or children of refugee families may give an enrollment preference to refugees or
133 children of refugee families.
134 (b) A charter school whose mission is to enhance learning opportunities for English
135 language learners may give an enrollment preference to English language learners.
136 (8) A charter school may weight the charter school's lottery to give a slightly better
137 chance of admission to educationally disadvantaged students, including:
138 (a) low-income students;
139 (b) students with disabilities;
140 (c) English language learners;
141 (d) migrant students;
142 (e) neglected or delinquent students; and
143 (f) homeless students.
144 (9) A charter school may not discriminate in the charter school's admission policies or
145 practices on the same basis as other public schools may not discriminate in admission policies
146 and practices.