Before entering into a contract or other agreement for professional or other services, goods, or facilities, the operators authorized to organize and operate a school must establish a board of directors composed of at least five members who are not related parties. The initial board continues to serve 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 subdivision 4.
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.
(a) The ongoing charter school board of directors shall have at least five nonrelated members and include: (1) at least one licensed teacher who is employed as a teacher at the school or provides instruction under contract between the charter school and a cooperative; (2) at least one parent or legal guardian of a student enrolled in the charter school who is not an employee of the charter school; and (3) at least one interested community member who resides in Minnesota, is not employed by the charter school, and does not have a child enrolled in the school. The board structure may include a majority of teachers under this paragraph or parents or community members, or it may have no clear majority. The chief financial officer and the chief administrator may only serve as ex-officio nonvoting board members. No charter school employees shall serve on the board other than teachers under clause (1). Contractors providing facilities, goods, or services to a charter school shall not serve on the board of directors of the charter school.
(b) An individual is prohibited from serving as a member of the charter school board of directors if: (1) the individual, an immediate family member, or the individual's partner is a full or part owner or principal with a for-profit or nonprofit entity or independent contractor with whom the charter school contracts, directly or indirectly, for professional services, goods, or facilities; or (2) an immediate family member is an employee of the school. An individual may serve as a member of the board of directors if no conflict of interest exists under this paragraph, consistent with this section.
(c) A violation of paragraph (b) 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 paragraph (b) is individually liable to the charter school for any damage caused by the violation.
(d) Any employee, agent, or board member of the authorizer who participates in initially reviewing, approving, overseeing, evaluating, renewing, or not renewing the charter school is ineligible to serve on the board of directors of a school chartered by that authorizer.
Board bylaws shall outline the process and procedures for changing the board's governance structure, consistent with chapter 317A. A board may change its governance structure only:
(1) by a majority vote of the board of directors and a majority vote of the licensed teachers employed by the school as teachers, 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 structure must conform with the board composition established under this section.
Staff members employed at the school, including teachers providing instruction under a contract with a cooperative, members of the board of directors, 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.
The board of directors also shall decide and is responsible for policy matters related to operating the school, including budgeting, curriculum programming, personnel, and operating procedures. The board shall adopt a nepotism policy. The board shall adopt personnel evaluation policies and practices that, at a minimum:
(1) carry out the school's mission and goals;
(2) evaluate how charter contract goals and commitments are executed;
(3) evaluate student achievement, postsecondary and workforce readiness, and student engagement and connection goals;
(4) establish a teacher evaluation process under section 124E.03, subdivision 2, paragraph (h); and
(5) provide professional development related to the individual's job responsibilities.
Every charter school board member shall attend annual training throughout the member's term. All new board members shall attend initial training on the board's role and responsibilities, employment policies and practices, and financial management. A new board member who does not begin the required initial training within six months after being seated and complete that training within 12 months after being seated is automatically ineligible to continue to serve as a board member. The school shall include in its annual report the training each board member attended during the previous year.
(a) Board of director meetings must comply with chapter 13D governing open meetings.
(b) A charter school shall publish and maintain on the school's official website: (1) the meeting minutes of the board of directors and of members and committees having board-delegated authority, for at least 365 days from the date of publication; (2) directory information for the board of directors and for the members of committees having board-delegated authority; and (3) identifying and contact information for the school's authorizer.
(c) A charter school must include identifying and contact information for the school's authorizer in other school materials it makes available to the public.
1991 c 265 art 9 s 3; 1993 c 224 art 9 s 4; 1Sp1995 c 3 art 9 s 2; 1998 c 397 art 2 s 2,164; 1999 c 241 art 5 s 8; 1Sp2001 c 6 art 2 s 20,21; 2009 c 96 art 2 s 41; 1Sp2011 c 11 art 2 s 29; 2012 c 239 art 2 s 10; 2013 c 116 art 4 s 1; 2015 c 21 art 1 s 18; 1Sp2015 c 3 art 4 s 3,10; 2016 c 189 art 26 s 6