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BILL AS INTRODUCED 2007-2008

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H.308

Introduced by Representative Clark of Vergennes

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Education; charter schools

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to authorize local school boards and public postsecondary institutions to grant a charter to operate a public charter school.

AN ACT RELATING TO CHARTER SCHOOLS

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  16 V.S.A. chapter 8 is added to read:

CHAPTER 8.  CHARTER SCHOOLS

§ 351.  CHARTER SCHOOLS

(a)  The school board of a town, city, or incorporated school district; the University of Vermont; or any of the Vermont state colleges may grant a charter to operate a school to a person, group of persons, business, or postsecondary institution.

(b)  An applicant who receives a charter shall provide education services to students accepted into the school, shall receive tuition for its students from public school districts in accordance with this chapter, and shall operate in accordance with the charter granted to it. 

(c)  A charter school shall not be subject to provisions of laws regulating public schools except for those in this chapter; those related to health, safety, and civil rights requirements; requirements of the federal government relating to public schools; requirements related to disbursement and accounting of funds; requirements related to an annual report to the community pursuant to subdivision 165(2) of this title; the requirement to assess student performance using a method or methods of assessment developed under subdivision 164(9) of this title; and section 557 of this title.

§ 352.  APPLICATION FOR A CHARTER

(a)  Each town, city, and incorporated district school board; the University of Vermont; and each of the Vermont state colleges shall develop a process for receipt and review of applications for a school charter.

(b)  In addition to other information that may be required by a chartering authority, a complete application for a charter shall provide the following information:

(1)  A description of the educational program of the proposed school, including how parents will be involved in the education of their children.

(2)  The measurable pupil achievements to be accomplished and the method by which progress in meeting pupil achievement is to be measured.

(3)  The governance structure of the school, names of prospective board members, and complete biographical sketches for each.

(4)  The qualifications to be met by individuals employed by the school.

(5)  The procedures that the school will follow to ensure the health and safety of pupils and staff.

(6)  The manner in which an annual audit of the financial and programmatic operations of the school is to be conducted.

(7)  The standards and procedures, consistent with subchapter 4 of chapter 25 of this title, by which pupils may be disciplined, suspended, or expelled.

(c)  No later than 30 days after receiving an application for a school charter, a chartering authority shall either grant or reject or suggest modifications to an application and condition granting of a charter on mutual agreement between the applicant and the chartering authority to a modified application.

(d)  A charter shall be granted for up to five years.  The chartering authority may revoke a charter if the charter school has not fulfilled any conditions imposed in the charter or if the charter school has violated any provision of its charter.

§ 353.  TEACHERS

Charter school teachers shall be eligible to participate in the teachers’ retirement system under chapter 55 of this title under the same terms and conditions as licensed public school teachers, and service in a school with charter school status shall be creditable service.  However, whether the provisions of chapter 57 of this title shall apply to teachers and administrators working in a charter school shall be determined by the provisions of the charter.

§ 354.  TUITION; FINANCES

(a)  The district in which a student resides shall pay the tuition for a student accepted into a charter school.  The tuition shall be the amount of the per-pupil general state support grant for that year.

(b)  A charter school may not require any tuition fee from the student or parents and may not charge a fee for any required activity or program.

(c)  A charter school shall not be eligible for capital construction or capital debt service aid from the state.

(d)  A school district sending students to a charter school and the charter school shall be subject to the provisions of section 826 of this title, as it relates to charging and paying of tuition and other costs for special education programs and services.

Sec. 2.  APPROPRIATION; START-UP FUNDS

The amount of $500,000.00 is appropriated to the commissioner of education to award grants to charter schools for the purpose of helping with initial start-up costs.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us