Chief Sponsor: V. Lowry Snow

Senate Sponsor: ____________


8     General Description:
9          This bill amends provisions related to charter agreements and the expiration and
10     renewal of charter agreements.
11     Highlighted Provisions:
12          This bill:
13          ▸     establishes the duration of charter agreements, including renewals;
14          ▸     requires the State Board of Education to make rules regarding requirements for
15     charter authorizers and charter agreements;
16          ▸     requires charter agreements to include certain components regarding performance
17     metrics and expiration;
18          ▸     requires charter authorizers and charter schools to modify charter agreements to
19     bring agreements into compliance; and
20          ▸     makes technical changes.
21     Money Appropriated in this Bill:
22          None
23     Other Special Clauses:
24          This bill provides revisor instructions.
25     Utah Code Sections Affected:
26     AMENDS:
27          53G-5-205, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2020, Chapter 408

28          53G-5-303, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2019, Chapter 293
29     Utah Code Sections Affected by Revisor Instructions:
30          53G-5-303, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2019, Chapter 293

32     Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
33          Section 1. Section 53G-5-205 is amended to read:
34          53G-5-205. Charter school authorizers -- Power and duties -- Charter application
35     minimum standard.
36          (1) The following entities are eligible to authorize charter schools:
37          (a) the State Charter School Board;
38          (b) a local school board; or
39          (c) a board of trustees of an institution in the state system of higher education as
40     described in Section 53B-1-102.
41          (2) A charter school authorizer shall, in conjunction with the charter contract term as
42     needed:
43          (a) [annually] review and evaluate the performance of charter schools authorized by the
44     authorizer and hold a charter school accountable for the school's performance; and
45          (b) monitor charter schools authorized by the authorizer for compliance with federal
46     and state laws, rules, and regulations.
47          (3) A charter school authorizer may:
48          (a) authorize and promote the establishment of charter schools, subject to the
49     provisions in this part;
50          (b) make recommendations on legislation and rules pertaining to charter schools to the
51     Legislature and state board, respectively;
52          (c) make recommendations to the state board on the funding of charter schools;
53          (d) provide technical support to charter schools and persons seeking to establish charter
54     schools by:
55          (i) identifying and promoting successful charter school models;
56          (ii) facilitating the application and approval process for charter school authorization;
57          (iii) directing charter schools and persons seeking to establish charter schools to
58     sources of funding and support;

59          (iv) reviewing and evaluating proposals to establish charter schools for the purpose of
60     supporting and strengthening proposals before an application for charter school authorization is
61     submitted to a charter school authorizer; or
62          (v) assisting charter schools to understand and carry out their charter obligations; or
63          (e) provide technical support, as requested, to another charter school authorizer relating
64     to charter schools.
65          (4) Within 60 days after an authorizer's approval of an application for a new charter
66     school, the state board may direct an authorizer to do the following if the authorizer or charter
67     school applicant failed to follow statutory or state board rule requirements made in accordance
68     with Title 63G, Chapter 3, Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act:
69          (a) reconsider the authorizer's approval of an application for a new charter school; and
70          (b) correct deficiencies in the charter school application or authorizer's application
71     process as described in statute or state board rule, made in accordance with Title 63G, Chapter
72     3, Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act, before approving the new application.
73          (5) The state board shall, in accordance with Title 63G, Chapter 3, Utah Administrative
74     Rulemaking Act, make rules establishing minimum standards that a charter school authorizer is
75     required to apply when:
76          (a) evaluating a charter school application; or
77          (b) monitoring charter school compliance.
78          (6) The minimum standards described in Subsection (5) shall include:
79          (a) reasonable consequences for an authorizer that fails to comply with statute or state
80     board rule;
81          (b) a process for an authorizer to review:
82          (i) the skill and expertise of a proposed charter school's governing board; and
83          (ii) the functioning operation of the charter school governing board of an authorized
84     charter school;
85          (c) a process for an authorizer to review the financial viability of a proposed charter
86     school and of an authorized charter school; and
87          (d) a process to evaluate:
88          (i) how well an authorizer's authorized charter school complies with the charter
89     school's charter agreement;

90          (ii) whether an authorizer's authorized charter school maintains reasonable academic
91     standards; and
92          (iii) standards that an authorizer is required to meet to demonstrate the authorizer's
93     capacity to oversee, monitor, and evaluate the charter schools the authorizer authorizes.
94          Section 2. Section 53G-5-303 is amended to read:
95          53G-5-303. Charter agreement -- Content -- Modification.
96          (1) As used in this section, "satellite charter school" means a charter school affiliated
97     with an operating charter school, which has the same charter school governing board and a
98     similar program of instruction, but has a different school number than the affiliated charter.
99          (2) (a) A charter agreement:
100          [(a)] (i) is a contract between the charter school applicant and the charter school
101     authorizer;
102          [(b)] (ii) shall describe the rights and responsibilities of each party; [and]
103          [(c)] (iii) shall allow for the operation of the applicant's proposed charter school[.]; and
104          (iv) subject to Subsection (2)(b), is for a term of five years.
105          (b) Notwithstanding Subsection (2)(a)(iv):
106          (i) a high-performing charter school may enter into a renewal charter agreement with a
107     term of up to 10 years; and
108          (ii) the following may enter into a charter agreement with a term of less than five years:
109          (A) a low-performing charter school on renewal; and
110          (B) a new charter school.
111          (c) (i) A charter authorizer shall ensure that a charter agreement renewal is based on
112     objective performance measurements in academics, charter mission, enrollment, financial
113     viability, and governance.
114          (ii) The state board shall make rules, in accordance with Title 63G, Chapter 3, Utah
115     Administrative Rulemaking Act, to establish requirements for charter authorizers in relation to
116     charter agreements and renewals.
117          (3) A charter agreement shall include:
118          (a) the name of:
119          (i) the charter school; and
120          (ii) the charter school applicant;

121          (b) the mission statement and purpose of the charter school;
122          (c) the charter school's opening date;
123          (d) the grade levels the charter school will serve;
124          (e) (i) subject to Section 53G-6-504, the maximum number of students a charter school
125     will serve; or
126          (ii) for an operating charter school with satellite charter schools, the maximum number
127     of students of all satellite charter schools collectively served by the operating charter school;
128          (f) a description of the structure of the charter school governing board, including:
129          (i) the number of charter school governing board members;
130          (ii) how members of the charter school governing board are appointed; and
131          (iii) charter school governing board members' terms of office;
132          (g) assurances that:
133          (i) the charter school governing board will comply with:
134          (A) the charter school's bylaws;
135          (B) the charter school's articles of incorporation; and
136          (C) applicable federal law, state law, and state board rules;
137          (ii) the charter school governing board will meet all reporting requirements described
138     in Section 53G-5-404; and
139          (iii) except as provided in Part 6, Charter School Credit Enhancement Program, neither
140     the authorizer nor the state, including an agency of the state, is liable for the debts or financial
141     obligations of the charter school or a person who operates the charter school;
142          (h) which administrative rules the state board will waive for the charter school;
143          (i) minimum financial standards for operating the charter school;
144          (j) minimum standards for student achievement; [and]
145          (k) signatures of the charter school authorizer and the charter school governing board
146     members[.];
147          (l) minimum standards to measure the charter mission;
148          (m) minimum standards for the performance of the charter school governing board; and
149          (n) the date of expiration of the charter agreement.
150          (4) (a) Except as provided in Subsection (4)(b), a charter agreement may not be
151     modified except by mutual agreement between the charter school authorizer and the charter

152     school governing board.
153          (b) A charter school governing board may modify the charter school's charter
154     agreement without the mutual agreement described in Subsection (4)(a) to include an
155     enrollment preference described in Subsection 53G-6-502(4)(g).
156          (c) Except as provided in Subsection (4)(d)(ii), no later than January 1, 2023, each
157     charter school and charter school authorizer shall modify a charter agreement in effect on the
158     effective date of this bill that does not include all of the components required under Subsection
159     (3) to bring the agreement into full compliance.
160          (d) For a charter authorizer with 10 or more charter schools, the authorizer shall ensure
161     that the following percentage of the authorizer's agreements include all of the components
162     required under Subsection (3):
163          (i) no later than July 1, 2023, 20%;
164          (ii) no later than July 1, 2024, 40%;
165          (iii) no later than July 1, 2025, 60%;
166          (iv) no later than July 1, 2026, 80%; and
167          (v) no later than July 1, 2027, 100%.
168          Section 3. Revisor instructions.
169          The Legislature intends that the Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel, in
170     preparing the Utah Code database for publication, replace the reference in Section 53G-5-303
171     from "the effective date of this bill" to the bill's actual effective date.