47600. This part shall be known, and may be cited, as the "Charter Schools Act of 1992."
47601. It is the intent of the Legislature, in enacting this part,to provide opportunities for teachers, parents, pupils, and community members to establish and maintain schools that operate independently from the existing school district structure, as a method to accomplish all of the following:
(a) Improve pupil learning.
(b) Increase learning opportunities for all pupils, with special emphasis on expanded learning experiences for pupils who are
identified as academically low achieving.
(c) Encourage the use of different and innovative teaching methods.
(d) Create new professional opportunities for teachers, including the opportunity to be responsible for the learning program at the school site.
(e) Provide parents and pupils with expanded choices in the types of educational opportunities that are available within the public school system.
(f) Hold the schools established under this part accountable for meeting measurable pupil outcomes, and provide the schools with a method to change from rule-based to performance-based accountability systems.
Caps on numbers of charter schools allowed
47602. (a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), the total number of charter schools operating in this state in any school year shall not exceed 100, with not more than 10 charter schools in any single school district. For the purposes of implementing this section, the State Board of Education shall assign a number to each charter notice it receives pursuant to subdivision (i) of Section 47605, based on the chronological order in which the notice is received.
(b) In addition to the total number of charter schools that school districts may operate in this state pursuant to subdivision (a) and the 10 charter schools that a single school district may operate pursuant to subdivision (a), a school district that maintains an enrollment of more than 600,000 pupils in the current school year may operate 12 charter schools for a maximum of 22 charter schools in these types of school districts.
Conversion of private schools prohibited
(c) No charter shall be granted under this part that authorizes the conversion of any private school to a charter school.
47603. This part shall not be construed to prohibit any private person or organization from providing funding or other assistance to the establishment or operation of a charter school.
Charter development process
47605. (a) A petition for the establishment of a charter school within any school district may be circulated by any one or more persons seeking to establish the charter school. After the petition has been signed by not less than 10 percent of the teachers currently employed by the school district, or by not less than 50 percent of the teachers currently employed at one school of the district, it maybe submitted to the governing board of the school district for review.
(b) No later than 30 days after receiving a petition, in accordance with subdivision (a), the governing board of the school district shall hold a public hearing on the provisions of the charter, at which time the board shall consider the level of employee and parental support for the petition. Following review of the petition and the public hearing, the governing board shall either grant or deny the charter within 60 days of receipt of the petition,provided, however, that the date may be extended by an additional 30days if both parties agree to the extension. A school district governing board may grant a charter for the operation of a school under this part if it determines that the petition contains the number of signatures required by subdivision (a), a statement of each of the conditions described in subdivision (d), and descriptions of all of the following:
Required charter elements
(1) A description of the educational program of the school,designed, among other things, to identify those whom the school is attempting to educate, what it means to be an "educated person" in the 21st century, and how learning best occurs. The goals identified in that program shall include the objective of enabling pupils to become self-motivated, competent, and lifelong learners.
(2) The measurable pupil outcomes identified for use by the charter school. "Pupil outcomes," for purposes of this part, means the extent to which all pupils of the school demonstrate that they have attained the skills, knowledge, and attitudes specified as goals in the school's educational program.
(3) The method by which pupil progress in meeting those pupil outcomes is to be measured.
(4) The governance structure of the school, including, but not limited to, the process to be followed by the school to ensure
(5) The qualifications to be met by individuals to be employed by the school.
(6) The procedures that the school will follow to ensure the health and safety of pupils and staff. These procedures shall include the requirement that each employee of the school furnish the school with a criminal record summary as described in Section 44237.
(7) The means by which the school will achieve a racial and ethnic balance among its pupils that is reflective of the general population residing within the territorial jurisdiction of the school district to which the charter petition is submitted.
(8) Admission requirements, if applicable.
(9) The manner in which an annual audit of the financial and programmatic operations of the school is to be conducted.
(10) The procedures by which pupils can be suspended or expelled.
(11) The manner by which staff members of the charter schools will be covered by the State Teachers' Retirement System, the Public Employees' Retirement System, or federal social security.
(12) The public school attendance alternatives for pupils residing within the school district who choose not to attend charter schools.
(13) A description of the rights of any employee of the school district upon leaving the employment of the school district to work in a charter school, and of any rights of return to the school district after employment at a charter school.
(14) The procedures to be followed by the charter school and the entity granting the charter to resolve disputes relating to provisions of the charter.
State performance standards and assessments
(c) Charter schools shall meet the state wide performance standards and conduct the pupil assessments required pursuant to Section 60605.
Public operating principles
(d) In addition to any other requirement imposed under this part,a charter school shall be nonsectarian in its programs, admission policies, employment practices, and all other operations, shall not charge tuition, and shall not discriminate against any pupil on the basis of ethnicity, national origin, gender, or disability.
Open enrollment and admissions
Admission to a charter school shall not be determined according to the place of residence of the pupil l, or of his or her parent or guardian, within this state, except that any existing public school converting partially or entirely to a charter school under this part shall adopt and maintain a policy giving admission preference to pupils who reside within the former attendance area of that public school.
Student and staff choice
(e) No governing board of a school district shall require any employee of the school district to be employed in a charter school.
(f) No governing board of a school district shall require any pupil enrolled in the school district to attend a charter school.
Effect on sponsor district
(g) The governing board may require that the petitioner or petitioners provide information regarding the proposed operation and potential effects of the school, including, but not limited to, the facilities to be utilized by the school, the manner in which administrative services of the school are to be provided, and potential civil liability effects upon the school and upon the school district.
Preference for serving low-achieving students
(h) In reviewing petitions for the establishment of charter schools within the school district, the school district governing board shall give preference to petitions that demonstrate the capability to provide comprehensive learning experiences to pupils identified by the petitioner or petitioners as academically low achieving pursuant to the standards established by the State Department of Education under Section 54032.
Limited state role
(i) Upon the approval of the petition by the governing board of the school district, the petitioner or petitioners shall provide written notice of that approval, including a copy of the petition, to the State Board of Education.
Appeal process if charter petition is denied
(j) (1) If the governing board of the school district denies a charter, the county superintendent of schools, at the request of the petitioner or petitioners, shall select and convene a review panel to review the action of the governing board. The review panel shall consist of three governing board members from other school districts in the county and three teachers from other school districts in the county unless only one school district is located in the county, in which case the panel members shall be selected from school districts in adjoining counties.
(2) If the review panel determines that the governing board failed to appropriately consider the charter request, or acted in an arbitrary manner in denying the request, the review panel shall request the governing board to reconsider the charter request. In the case of a tie vote of the panel, the county superintendent of schools shall vote to break the tie.
(3) If, upon reconsideration, the governing board denies a charter, the county board of education, at the request of the petitioner or petitioners, shall hold a public hearing in the manner described in subdivision (b) and, accordingly, may grant a charter.
A charter school for which a charter is granted by a county board of education pursuant to this paragraph shall qualify fully as a charter school for all funding and other purposes of this part.
47606. (a) A school district may convert all of its schools to charter schools under this part only if it meets all of the following conditions:
(1) Fifty percent of the teachers within the school district sign the charter petition.
(2) The charter petition contains all of the requirements set forth in subdivisions (b), (c), (d), (e), and (f) of Section 47605 and a provision that specifies alternative public school attendance arrangements for pupils residing within the school district who choose not to attend charter schools.
(b) Not withstanding subdivision (b) of Section 47605, the district wide charter petition shall be approved only by joint action of the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the State Board of education.
Charter term, renewal, and revocation
47607. (a) A charter may be granted pursuant to Sections 47605 and 47606 for a period not to exceed five years. A charter granted by a school district governing board or county board of education may be granted one or more subsequent renewals by that entity. Each renewal shall be for a period not to exceed five years. A material revision of the provisions of a charter petition may be made only with the approval of the authority that granted the charter.
(b) A charter may be revoked by the authority that granted the charter under this chapter if the authority finds that the charter school did any of the following:
(1) Committed a material violation of any of the conditions,standards, or procedures set forth in the charter petition.
(2) Failed to meet or pursue any of the pupil outcomes identified in the charter petition.
(3) Failed to meet generally accepted accounting standards of fiscal management.
(4) Violated any provision of law.
47608. All meetings of the governing board of the school district,the review panel convened pursuant to subdivision (j) of section 47605, and the county board of education at which the granting, revocation, appeal, or renewal of a charter petition is discussed shall comply with the Ralph M. Brown Act (Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 54590) of Division 2 of Title 5 of the Government Code).
Charter "mega waiver"
47610. A charter school shall comply with all of the provisions set forth in its charter petition, but is otherwise exempt from the laws governing school districts except as specified in Sections 47611 and 41365.
47611. If a charter school chooses to participate in the State Teacher's Retirement System, all employees of the charter school who qualify for membership in the system shall be covered under the system, and all provisions of Part 13 (commencing with Section 22000) and Part 14 (commencing with Section 26000) shall apply in the same manner as if the charter school were a public school in the school district that granted the charter.
Charter school funding
47612. (a) The Superintendent of Public Instruction shall make all of the following apportionments to each charter school for each fiscal year:
(1) From funds appropriated to Section A of the State School Fund for apportionment for that fiscal year pursuant to Article 2 (commencing with Section 42238) of Chapter 7 of Part 24, an amount for each unit of regular average daily attendance in the charter school that is equal to the current fiscal year base revenue limit for the school district to which the charter petition was submitted.
(2) For each pupil enrolled in the charter school who is entitled to special education services, the state and federal funds for special education services for that pupil that would have been apportioned for that pupil to the school district to which the charter petition was submitted.
(3) Funds for the programs described in clause (i) of subparagraph(B) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 54761, and Sections 63000 and 64000, to the extent that any pupil enrolled in the charter school is eligible to participate.
(b) A charter school shall be deemed to be under the exclusive control of the officers of the public schools for purposes of Section 8 of Article IX of the California Constitution, with regard to the appropriation of public moneys to be apportioned to any charter school, including, but not limited to, appropriations made for the purposes of subdivisions (a) and (b).
(c) A charter school shall be deemed to be a "school district" for purposes of Section 41302.5 and Sections 8 and 8.5 of Article XVI of the California Constitution.
47613. Not withstanding subdivision (c) of Section 48209.11, with respect to any pupil of a charter school located within a basic aid school district of choice who attended a public school in a district other than a basic aid district immediately before transferring to the charter school, the Superintendent of Public Instruction,commencing with the 1996-97 fiscal year, shall calculate for that school an apportionment of state funds that provides 70 percent of the district revenue limit calculated pursuant to Section 42238 that would have been apportioned to the school district of residence for any average daily attendance credited pursuant to Section 48209.11.For purposes of this section, "basic aid district" means a school district that does not receive from the state, for any fiscal year in which the subdivision is applied, an apportionment of state funds pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 42238.
State study of charter schools
47616. The State Department of Education shall review the educational effectiveness of the charter school approach authorized under this part and, not later than January 1, 1999, shall report to the Legislature accordingly with recommendations to modify, expand,or terminate that approach.
47616.5. The Legislative Analyst shall contract for an interim evaluation of the effectiveness of the charter school approach authorized under this part and, on or before November 1, 1997, shall report to the Legislature and the Governor accordingly with recommendations to modify, expand, or terminate that approach. The evaluation of the effectiveness of the charter school approach shall include, but shall not be limited to, the following factors:
(a) If available, the pre- and post-charter school test scores of pupils attending charter schools and other pupil assessment tools.
(b) The level of parental satisfaction with the charter school approach compared with schools within the district in which the charter school is located.
(c) The impact of required parental involvement.
(d) The fiscal structures and practices of charter schools as well as the relationship of these structures and practices to school districts, including the amount of revenue received from various public and private sources.
(e) An assessment of whether or not the charter school approach has resulted in increased innovation and creativity.
(f) Opportunities for teachers under the charter school approach.
(g) Whether or not there is an increased focus on low-achieving and gifted pupils.
(h) Any discrimination and segregation in charter schools.
(i) If available, the number of charter school petitions submitted to governing boards of school districts and the number of those proposals that are denied, per year, since the enactment of the charter school law, including the reasons why the governing boards denied these petitions, and the reasons governing boards have revoked charters.
(j) The governance, fiscal liability and accountability practices and related issues between charter schools and the governing boards of the school districts approving their charters.
(k) The manner in which governing boards of school districts monitor the compliance of the conditions, standards, and procedures entered into under a charter.
(l) The extent of the employment of noncredentialed personnel in charter schools.
(m) An assessment of how the exemption from laws governing school districts allows charter schools to operate differently than schools operating under those laws.
(n) A comparison in each school district that has a charter school of the pupil dropout rate in the charter schools and in the noncharter schools.
(o) The role and impact of collective bargaining on charter schools.
Charter school revolving loan fund
41360. Loans may be made from moneys in the Public School District Organization Revolving Fund to newly organized elementary, highschool, or unified school districts upon application of the governing board of any such district, certified by the county superintendent of schools and approved by the Superintendent of Public Instruction for use by the district during the period from the date the action to form the district was completed and the date the district becomes effective for all purposes. Money loaned to a district pursuant to this section shall be used only to meet (a) the expenses of office rental, office supplies, postage, telephone, and telegraphing; (b)the expenses of necessary elections required by law or authorized by Section 4062; and (c) the expenses of employing, the salary of, and necessary travel expenses of officers and necessary clerical help for the governing board.
During each of the two successive fiscal years commencing with the first fiscal year of the existence of the school district for all purposes, the State Controller shall deduct from apportionments made to such school district an amount equal to one-half of the amount loaned to such school district under this section and pay the same amount into the Public School District organization Revolving Fund in the State Treasury.
41365. (a) The Charter School Revolving Loan Fund is hereby created in the State Treasury. The Charter School Revolving Loan Fund shall be comprised of federal funds obtained by the State Department of Education for charter schools and any other funds appropriated or transferred to the fund. The amount in the Charter School Revolving Loan Fund is continuously appropriated for the purposes of the fund.
From the federal Public Charter Schools Program grant funds awarded to the Department of Education for 1996-97 and appropriated in Item 6110-112-0890 of Section 2.00 of Chapter 162 of the Statutes of 1996, one hundred fourteen thousand dollars ($114,000) shall be deposited by the Superintendent of Public Instruction in the Charter School Revolving Loan Fund. Additional federal Public Charter Schools Program grant funds appropriated in Item 6110-112-0890 of Section 2.00 of Chapter 162 of the Statutes of 1996 may be transferred by the Superintendent of Public Instruction to the Charter School Revolving Loan Fund subject to approval by the Department of Finance.
(b) Loans may be made from moneys in the Charter School Revolving Loan Fund to school districts for charter schools that are not a conversion of an existing school upon application of a school district and approval by the Superintendent of Public Instruction. A loan is for use by the charter school during the period from the date the charter is granted pursuant to Section 47605 and the end of the fiscal year in which the charter school first enrolls pupils.
Money loaned to a school district for charter school pursuant to this section shall be used only to meet the purposes of the charter granted pursuant to Section 47605. The loan to a school district for a charter school pursuant to this subdivision shall not exceed fifty thousand dollars ($50,000). This subdivision does not apply to a renewal of a charter pursuant to Section 47607.
(c) During each of the two successive fiscal years commencing with the first fiscal year following the fiscal year the charter school first enrolls pupils, the Controller shall deduct from apportionments made to the school district an amount equal to one-half of the amount loaned to the school district for the charter school under this section and pay the same amount into the Charter School Revolving Loan Fund in the State Treasury.
Independent Study finance restrictions
51747.3. (a) No local education agency may claim state funding for the independent study of a pupil, whether characterized as home study or otherwise, if the agency has provided any funds or other thing of value to the pupil or his or her parent or guardian that the agency does not provide to students who attend regular classes or to their parents or guardians.
(b) Not withstanding any other provision of law, community school and independent study average daily attendance shall be claimed by school districts and county superintendents of schools only for pupils who are residents of the county in which the apportionment claim is reported, or who are residents of a county immediately adjacent to the county in which the apportionment claim is reported.
(c) The Superintendent of Public Instruction shall not apportion funds for reported average daily attendance, through full-time independent study, of pupils who are enrolled in school pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 48204.
(d) In conformity with Provisions 25 and 28 of
Section 2.00 of the Budget Act of 1992, this section is
applicable to average daily attendance reported for
apportionment purposes beginning July 1,1992. The provisions
of this section are not subject to waiver by the State Board
of Education, by the State Superintendent of
Public Instruction, or under any provision of Part 26.8
(commencing with section 47600).