as introduced - 88th Legislature (2013 - 2014) Posted on 03/04/2013 01:45pm
|Introduction||Posted on 03/04/2013|
A bill for an act
relating to education; modifying charter school provisions; amending Minnesota
Statutes 2012, section 124D.10, subdivisions 4, 4a, 11, 23.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:
Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 124D.10, subdivision 4, is amended to read:
(a) An authorizer, after receiving an application from
a school developer, may charter a licensed teacher under section 122A.18, subdivision
1, or a group of individuals that includes one or more licensed teachers under section
122A.18, subdivision 1, to operate a school subject to the commissioner's approval of the
authorizer's affidavit under paragraph (b). The school must be organized and operated as a
nonprofit corporation under chapter 317A and the provisions under the applicable chapter
shall apply to the school except as provided in this section.
(b) Before the operators may establish and operate a school, the authorizer must file
an affidavit with the commissioner stating its intent to charter a school. An authorizer
must file a separate affidavit for each school it intends to charter. The affidavit must state
the terms and conditions under which the authorizer would charter a school and how the
authorizer intends to oversee the fiscal and student performance of the charter school and to
comply with the terms of the written contract between the authorizer and the charter school
board of directors under subdivision 6. The commissioner must approve or disapprove the
authorizer's affidavit within 60 business days of receipt of the affidavit. If the commissioner
disapproves the affidavit, the commissioner shall notify the authorizer of the deficiencies
in the affidavit and the authorizer then has 20 business days to address the deficiencies.
If the authorizer does not address deficiencies to the commissioner's satisfaction, the
commissioner's disapproval is final. Failure to obtain commissioner approval precludes an
authorizer from chartering the school that is the subject of this affidavit.
(c) The authorizer may prevent an approved charter school from opening for
operation if, among other grounds, the charter school violates this section or does not meet
the ready-to-open standards that are part of the authorizer's oversight and evaluation
process or are stipulated in the charter school contract.
(d) The operators authorized to organize and operate a school, before entering into a
contract or other agreement for professional or other services, goods, or facilities, must
incorporate as a nonprofit corporation under chapter 317A and must establish a board of
directors composed of at least five members who are not related parties until a timely
election for members of the ongoing charter school board of directors is held according to
the school's articles and bylaws under paragraph (f). A charter school board of directors
must be composed of at least five members who are not related parties. Staff members
employed at the school, including teachers providing instruction under a contract with a
cooperative,new text beginnew text end and all parents or legal guardians of
children enrolled in the school are the voters eligible to elect the members of the school's
board of directors. A charter school must notify eligible voters of the school board election
dates at least 30 days before the election. Board of director meetings new text beginnew text endmust comply with chapter 13D.
(e) A charter school shall publish and maintain on the school's official Web site: (1)
the minutes of meetings of the board of directors, and of members and committees having
any board-delegated authority, for at least one calendar year from the date of publication;
(2) directory information for members of the board of directors and committees having
board-delegated authority; and (3) identifying and contact information for the school's
authorizer. Identifying and contact information for the school's authorizer must be
included in other school materials made available to the public. Upon request of an
individual, the charter school must also make available in a timely fashion financial
statements showing all operations and transactions affecting income, surplus, and deficit
during the school's last annual accounting period; and a balance sheet summarizing assets
and liabilities on the closing date of the accounting period. A charter school also must post
on its official Web site information identifying its authorizer and indicate how to contact
that authorizer and include that same information about its authorizer in other school
materials that it makes available to the public.
(f) Every charter school board member shall attend deleted text beginongoingdeleted text endnew text beginnew text end training
throughout the member's term on new text beginnew text endboard deleted text begingovernance, includingdeleted text endnew text beginnew text end training on the board's role and responsibilities, employment
policies and practices, and financial management. A new text beginnew text endboard member who does not
begin the required initial training within six months after being seated and complete that
training within 12 months of being seated on the board is new text beginnew text endineligible to
continue to serve as a board member. The school shall include in its annual report the
training attended by each board member during the previous year.
(g) The ongoing board must be elected before the school completes its third year of
operation. Board elections must be held during the school year but may not be conducted
on days when the school is closed for holidays or vacations. The charter school board of
directors shall be composed of at least five nonrelated members and include: (i) at least
one licensed teacher employed new text beginnew text endat the school or a licensed teacher providing
instruction under contract between the charter school and a cooperative; (ii) deleted text beginthedeleted text endnew text beginnew text end parent or legal guardian of a student enrolled in the charter school who is not an employee
of the charter school; and (iii) deleted text beginandeleted text endnew text beginnew text end interested community member who new text beginnew text endis not employed by the charter school and does not have a child enrolled
in the school. The board may deleted text beginbe a teacher majority board composed ofdeleted text end new text beginnew text endteachersnew text beginnew text end described in this paragraphnew text beginnew text end. The chief financial officer and the chief administrator may only serve
as ex-officio nonvoting board members and may not serve as a voting member of the
board. new text beginnew text endcharter school employees shall deleted text beginnotdeleted text end serve on the board deleted text beginunlessdeleted text endnew text beginnew text end item (i) deleted text beginappliesdeleted text end. Contractors providing facilities, goods, or services to a charter
school shall not serve on the board of directors of the charter school. Board bylaws shall
outline the process and procedures for changing the board's governance deleted text beginmodeldeleted text endnew text beginnew text end,
consistent with chapter 317A. A board may change its governance deleted text beginmodeldeleted text endnew text beginnew text end only:
(1) by a majority vote of the board of directors and new text beginnew text endthe licensed
teachers employed by the schoolnew text beginnew text end, including licensed teachers providing
instruction under a contract between the school and a cooperative; and
(2) with the authorizer's approval.
Any change in board governance new text beginnew text endmust conform with the deleted text beginboard structure
deleted text endnew text beginnew text end established under this paragraph.
(h) The granting or renewal of a charter by an authorizer must not be conditioned
upon the bargaining unit status of the employees of the school.
(i) The granting or renewal of a charter school by an authorizer must not be
contingent on the charter school being required to contract, lease, or purchase services
new text beginnew text endfrom the authorizernew text beginnew text end. Any
potential contract, lease, or purchase of service from an authorizer must be disclosed to
the commissioner, accepted through an open bidding process, and be a separate contract
from the charter contract. The school must document the open bidding processnew text beginnew text end. An authorizer must not enter into a contract to provide
management and financial services for a school that it authorizes, unless the school
documents that it received at least two competitive bids.
(j) An authorizer may permit the board of directors of a charter school to expand
the operation of the charter school to additional sites or to add additional grades at the
school beyond those described in the authorizer's original affidavit as approved by
the commissioner only after submitting a supplemental affidavit for approval to the
commissioner in a form and manner prescribed by the commissioner. The supplemental
affidavit must document that:
(1) the proposed expansion plan demonstrates need and projected enrollment;
(2) the expansion is warranted, at a minimum, by longitudinal data demonstrating
students' improved academic performance and growth on statewide assessments under
(3) the charter school is financially sound and the financing it needs to implement
the proposed expansion exists; and
(4) the charter school has the governance structure and management capacity to
carry out its expansion.
(k) The commissioner shall have 30 business days to review and comment on the
supplemental affidavit. The commissioner shall notify the authorizer of any deficiencies in
the supplemental affidavit and the authorizer then has 20 business days to address, to the
commissioner's satisfaction, any deficiencies in the supplemental affidavit. The school
may not expand grades or add sites until the commissioner has approved the supplemental
affidavit. The commissioner's approval or disapproval of a supplemental affidavit is final.
Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 124D.10, subdivision 4a, is amended to read:
(a) An individual is prohibited from serving as a
member of the charter school board of directors if the individual, an immediate family
member, or the individual's partner is deleted text beginandeleted text endnew text beginnew text end ownerdeleted text begin, employee or agent of,deleted text end or
deleted text begina contractordeleted text endnew text beginnew text end with a for-profit or nonprofit entity or deleted text beginindividualdeleted text endnew text beginnew text end with whom the charter school contracts, directly or indirectly, for professional
services, goods, or facilities. new text beginnew text endA violation of this prohibition renders a contract
voidable at the option of the commissioner or the charter school board of directors. A
member of a charter school board of directors who violates this prohibition is individually
liable to the charter school for any damage caused by the violation.
(b) No member of the board of directors, employee, officer, or agent of a charter
school shall participate in selecting, awarding, or administering a contract if a conflict
of interest exists. A conflict exists when:
(1) the board member, employee, officer, or agent;
(2) the immediate family of the board member, employee, officer, or agent;
(3) the partner of the board member, employee, officer, or agent; or
(4) an organization that employs, or is about to employ any individual in clauses
(1) to (3),
has a financial or other interest in the entity with which the charter school is contracting.
A violation of this prohibition renders the contract void.
(c) Any employee, agent, or board member of the authorizer who participates
in the initial review, approval, ongoing oversight, evaluation, or the charter renewal or
nonrenewal process or decision is ineligible to serve on the board of directors of a school
chartered by that authorizer.
(d) An individual may serve as a member of the board of directors if no conflict of
interest under paragraph (a) exists.
(e) The conflict of interest provisions under this subdivision do not apply to
compensation paid to a teacher employed by the charter school who also serves as a
member of the board of directors.
(f) The conflict of interest provisions under this subdivision do not apply to a teacher
who provides services to a charter school through a cooperative formed under chapter
308A when the teacher also serves on the charter school board of directors.
Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 124D.10, subdivision 11, is amended to read:
(a) A charter school must
employ or contract with necessary teachers, as defined by section 122A.15, subdivision 1,
who hold valid licenses to perform the particular service for which they are employed in
the school. The charter school's state aid may be reduced under section 127A.43 if the
school employs a teacher who is not appropriately licensed or approved by the board of
teaching. The school may employ necessary employees who are not required to hold
teaching licenses to perform duties other than teaching and may contract for other services.
The school may discharge teachers and nonlicensed employees. The charter school board
is subject to section 181.932. When offering employment to a prospective employee, a
charter school must give that employee a written description of the terms and conditions
of employment and the school's personnel policies.
(b) A person, without holding a valid administrator's license, may perform
administrative, supervisory, or instructional leadership duties. The board of directors shall
establish qualifications for persons that hold administrative, supervisory, or instructional
leadership roles. The qualifications shall include at least the following areas: instruction
and assessment; human resource and personnel management; financial management;
legal and compliance management; effective communication; and board, authorizer, and
community relationships. The board of directors shall use those qualifications as the basis
for job descriptions, hiring, and performance evaluations of those who hold administrative,
supervisory, or instructional leadership roles. The board of directors and an individual
who does not hold a valid administrative license and who serves in an administrative,
supervisory, or instructional leadership position shall develop a professional development
plan. Documentation of the implementation of the professional development plan of these
persons shall be included in the school's annual report.
(c) The board of directors also shall decide new text beginnew text endmatters related to the operation
of the school, including budgeting, curriculumnew text beginnew text end and operating
procedures.new text beginnew text end
new text begin new text end
new text begin new text end
new text begin new text end
new text begin new text end
Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 124D.10, subdivision 23, is amended to read:
The duration of the contract with an authorizer must be for the term contained in the
contract according to subdivision 6. The authorizer may or may not renew a contract at
the end of the term for any ground listed in paragraph (b). An authorizer may unilaterally
terminate a contract during the term of the contract for any ground listed in paragraph (b).
At least 60 business days before not renewing or terminating a contract, the authorizer
shall notify the board of directors of the charter school of the proposed action in writing.
The notice shall state the grounds for the proposed action in reasonable detail and that the
charter school's board of directors may request in writing an informal hearing before the
authorizer within 15 business days of receiving notice of nonrenewal or termination of
the contract. Failure by the board of directors to make a written request for an informal
hearing within the 15-business-day period shall be treated as acquiescence to the proposed
action. Upon receiving a timely written request for a hearing, the authorizer shall give ten
business days' notice to the charter school's board of directors of the hearing date. The
authorizer shall conduct an informal hearing before taking final action. The authorizer
shall take final action to renew or not renew a contract no later than 20 business days
before the proposed date for terminating the contract or the end date of the contract.
(b) A contract may be terminated or not renewed upon any of the following grounds:
(1) failure to meet the requirements for pupil performance contained in the contract;
(2) failure to meet generally accepted standards of fiscal management;
(3) violations of law; or
(4) other good cause shown.
If a contract is terminated or not renewed under this paragraph, the school must be
dissolved according to the applicable provisions of chapter 317A.
deleted text begin
(c) If the authorizer and the charter school board of directors mutually agree to
terminate or not renew the contract, a change in authorizers is allowed if the commissioner
approves the change to a different eligible authorizer to authorize the charter school.
Both parties must jointly submit their intent in writing to the commissioner to mutually
terminate the contract. The authorizer that is a party to the existing contract must inform
the proposed authorizer about the fiscal and operational status and student performance
of the school. Before the commissioner determines whether to approve a change in
authorizer, the proposed authorizer must identify any outstanding issues in the proposed
charter contract that were unresolved in the previous charter contract and have the charter
school agree to resolve those issues. If no change in authorizer is approved, the school
must be dissolved according to applicable law and the terms of the contract.
deleted text end
new text begin new text end
(d) The commissioner, after providing reasonable notice to the board of directors of
a charter school and the existing authorizer, and after providing an opportunity for a public
hearing, may terminate the existing contract between the authorizer and the charter school
board if the charter school has a history of:
(1) failure to meet pupil performance requirements consistent with state law;
(2) financial mismanagement or failure to meet generally accepted standards of
fiscal management; or
(3) repeated or major violations of the law.