TITLE 17. EDUCATION

CHAPTER 42. CHARTER SCHOOL DEMONSTRATION PROGRAMS LAW

PART II. STATE CHARTERING AUTHORITY

 

17:3981.1  State board;  powers and duties relative to local charter authorizers

 

A. The state board shall:

 

(1) Approve a process for certifying entities as local charter authorizers as more fully specified in this Section.

 

(2) Not certify any entity as a local charter authorizer under this Section unless it is in compliance with procedures and regulations established by the state board and the entity meets all of the following requirements:

 

(a) The entity is either a state agency or a nonprofit corporation having an educational mission, including but not limited to a nonprofit corporation of a philanthropic or policy nature, a Louisiana public postsecondary education institution, or a nonprofit corporation established by the governing authority of a parish or municipality.

 

(b) The entity does not operate any charter schools.  An entity which operates charter schools may not be certified as a local charter authorizer.

 

(c) The entity has been incorporated for not less than three years.

 

(d) The entity has in its possession not less than five hundred thousand dollars in assets net of liabilities as reported to the Department of Revenue.

 

(3) Review each proposed local charter authorizer in a timely manner and determine whether each proposed local charter authorizer complies with the law and rules and whether the proposal is valid, complete, financially well-structured, and educationally sound, whether it provides for a master plan of academic excellence relative to the schools it shall oversee, whether it provides a plan for developing the capacity to authorize not fewer than five schools and assures the state board that it intends to authorize not fewer than five schools, and whether it offers potential for fulfilling the purposes of this Chapter.  The board shall engage in an application review process that complies with the latest Principles and Standards for Quality Charter School Authorizing, as promulgated by the National Association of Charter School Authorizers, and shall provide for an independent evaluation of the charter proposal by a third party with educational, organizational, legal, and financial expertise.

 

(4) Certify not more than five local charter authorizers to operate in any regional labor market area, as defined by the Louisiana Workforce Commission, at any given time.

 

(5) Approve a process by which charter schools authorized by a local charter authorizer shall be transferred to the state board as Type 2 or Type 5 charter schools should the local charter authorizer lose its certification by the state board or otherwise cease to exist.

 

(6) Monitor and evaluate the schools authorized by a local charter authorizer in accordance with the school and district accountability system.

 

B. The initial certification of a local charter authorizer shall be for a period of five years.  After the third year of operation of any charter school authorized by the local chartering authorizer, the state board shall conduct a thorough review of the authorizer's activities and the performance of the charter schools authorized by the local charter authorizer, in accordance with the school and district accountability system.  If the average performance of these charter schools is a letter grade of "C", "D", or "F" or any variation thereof, the authorizer shall be placed on probation and submit a plan for improving the performance of the schools under its authority to the state board.

 

C. (1) If the average performance of the charter schools authorized by the local charter authorizer is a letter grade of "C" or any variation thereof after the initial certification period, the state board may recertify the local charter authorizer under the condition that the local charter authorizer may not authorize any additional schools until the average performance of the charter schools authorized by the local charter authorizer is a letter grade of "A" or "B" or any variation thereof.  The local charter authorizer may maintain the charter schools it has previously approved.

 

(2) If the average performance of the charter schools authorized by the local charter authorizer is a letter grade of "D" or "F" or any variation thereof after the initial certification period, the state board shall not recertify the local charter authorizer and shall provide for the transfer of the charter schools authorized by the local charter authorizer to the state board as Type 2 or Type 5 charter schools.

 

D. After the initial certification period, the state board may grant renewal of certification for additional periods of not less than three years nor more than ten years after thorough review of the local chartering authority's activities and the performance of the charter schools authorized by the local charter authorizer.  The state board shall continue to conduct a thorough review of the authorizer's activities and the performance of the charter schools authorized by the local charter authorizer, in accordance with the school and district accountability system, every three years.

 

E. If the average performance of the charter schools authorized by the local charter authorizer is a letter grade of "C" or any variation thereof after any three-year review, the local charter authorizer may not authorize any additional schools until the average performance of those schools is a letter grade of "A" or "B" or any variation thereof.  If the average performance of the charter schools authorized by the local charter authorizer is a letter grade of "D" or "F" or any variation thereof after any three-year review, the state board shall cancel the local charter authorizer's certification and provide for the transfer of those schools to the state board as Type 2 or Type 5 charter schools.

 

F. The state board may rescind a charter approval or agreement between a local charter authorizer and a chartering group if the state board finds that in approving the applicant or entering the agreement the authorizer has failed to comply with laws and regulations, including but not limited to whether the local charter authorizer has engaged in a transparent application review process that complies with the latest Principles and Standards for Quality Charter School Authorizing, as promulgated by the National Association of Charter School Authorizers, and has provided for an independent evaluation of the charter proposal by a third party with educational, organizational, legal, and financial expertise.

 

G. The state board may rescind a charter approval or agreement between a local charter authorizer and a chartering group if the chartering group has been found by the state board to have a repeating pattern of abuse, neglect, and mistreatment of students.

 

Added by Acts 2012, No. 2, ยง 1.