TITLE 17. EDUCATION

CHAPTER 42. CHARTER SCHOOL DEMONSTRATION PROGRAMS LAW

PART III. CHARTERING PROCESS, REVISION, AND RENEWAL

 

17:3983  Chartering process by type;  eligibility;  limitations;  faculty approval;  parental approval

 

A. (1) Any of the following may form a nonprofit corporation for the purpose of proposing a charter as provided in this Subsection, provided that the group submitting the charter school proposal includes three or more persons holding valid and current Louisiana teaching certificates:

 

(a) A group of three or more teachers.

 

(b) A group of ten or more citizens.

 

(c) A public service organization.

 

(d) A business or corporate entity registered to do business in Louisiana pursuant to law, excluding any business or corporate entity subject to the provisions of R.S. 18:1505.2(L) as provided in R.S. 18:1505.2(L)(3).

 

(e) A Louisiana college or university, licensed by the Board of Regents, pursuant to R.S. 17:1808.

 

(f) The faculty and staff of any city or parish public school or any local school board.

 

(g) The state Department of Education, subject to the approval of the state board.

 

(2)(a)(i) Each proposal for a Type 1 or Type 3 charter school shall first be made to the local school board with jurisdiction where the school is to be located, except as provided for in Item (ii) or (iii) of this Subparagraph, by submitting a written proposal.  If, after review as required by R.S. 17:3982, the local school board denies the proposal, or if conditions placed on the proposal by the local school board, as provided in Paragraph (B)(2) of this Section, are not acceptable to the chartering group, then a proposal for a Type 2 charter school may be made to the state board.

 

(ii) A proposal for a Type 1 charter school that would otherwise be made to a local school board except that the local system is in academic crisis shall, in the discretion of the proponents of the proposal, be made to the state board as a Type 2 proposal.

 

(iii) If the local school system in which a chartering group intends to apply to operate a school has received a letter grade designation of "D" or "F" or any variation thereof, then a proposal for a Type 2 charter school may be made to the state board.

 

(b) All proposals for a Type 4 charter school shall be made to the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

 

(c) All proposals for a Type 5 charter school shall be made to the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, and such proposals may be considered by the state board only upon the recommendation of the administering agency of the Recovery School District.

 

(d) Each proposal for a Type 1B charter school shall be made to a certified local charter authorizer.  If, after review as required by R.S. 17:3981.2, the local charter authorizer denies the proposal, or if conditions placed on the proposal by the local charter authorizer, as provided in Paragraph (B)(2) of this Section, are not acceptable to those proposing the charter, then a proposal for a Type 2 charter school may be made to the state board.

 

(3)(a) The state board shall review and take action on every Type 2 and Type 4 charter application it receives.

 

(b) For Type 2 charter school proposals, the state board shall notify the local school board of the district in which the proposed charter school is to be located about the receipt of such proposal.  The local board, as well as other interested groups, shall be allowed to provide written information regarding the proposal and allowed to present information at a scheduled public meeting of the state board prior to any determination being made by the state board.

 

(c) Each proposal received by the state board shall be carefully reviewed and shall be approved only after there has been a specific determination by the board that the proposed school will be operated in compliance with all applicable state and federal laws, rules, and regulations, that the accounting and financial practices to be used are sound and in accordance with generally accepted standards for similar entities, and that the educational program to be offered will comply with all requirements of this Chapter and be based on generally accepted education research findings applicable to the pupils to be served, including but not limited to school discipline practices and policies that incorporate positive behavior interventions and supports, restorative justice, and other research-based discipline practices and classroom management strategies and otherwise conform to the model master discipline plan required in accordance with R.S. 17:252.

 

(d)(i) Not later than January 1, 2013, the state board shall create a process for authorizing multiple charter schools for qualified chartering groups that have a demonstrated record of success.  The process shall include the evaluation of performance of chartering groups that do not operate any schools in Louisiana based on the performance of schools operated in other states.

 

(ii) Chartering groups that meet the criteria established pursuant to Item (i) of this Subparagraph are eligible to apply for and be granted approval of multiple charter agreements through a single application.  Only after each such school meets specified performance targets, as determined by the chartering authority, may the chartering group open a subsequent approved school.

 

(4)(a) A local school board and a local charter authorizer may enter into any charter it finds valid, complete, financially well-structured, and educationally sound after meeting the requirements of this Chapter.  Each such charter entered into shall be reported by the local school board or local charter authorizer to the state board not less than two business days following the event.

 

(b) The state board may approve applications for charters as it has determined acceptable pursuant to R.S. 17:3981(2).

 

(c) A charter school shall begin operation by not later than twenty-four months after the final approval of the charter, unless such charter school is engaged in desegregation compliance issues and therefore must begin operation by not later than thirty-six months.  However, upon request, the chartering authority may extend the time period within which any charter school must begin operation.  If such operation does not occur, the charter for that school shall be automatically revoked although a new charter may be proposed.

 

(d) Prior to the consideration of a charter school proposal by any local school board, a local charter authorizer, or the state board, each charter applicant shall be afforded the opportunity to provide a written response to the independent evaluation conducted in accordance with R.S. 17:3981(4), 3981.2(A)(1)(a), or 3982(A)(1)(a)(i), as applicable.  Such response shall be available to the independent reviewers for consideration prior to issuing a final recommendation to the chartering authority.  However, if a proposal is not approved by the local school board or local charter authorizer and then also not approved by the state board within the same approval cycle, then the proposal shall be submitted to the local school board or a local charter authorizer for its consideration during the next approval cycle prior to being submitted to the state board.

 

(e) A charter school, once approved, shall not begin operation sooner than eight months after such approval is granted, unless the chartering authority agrees to a lesser time period.

 

(5) Repealed by Acts 2003, No. 9, § 3, eff. Nov. 6, 2003.

 

B. (1) Each application for a charter, except for a Type 4 charter school, shall be submitted to the pertinent chartering authority by a nonprofit corporation established in accordance with the laws of this state.

 

(2) Additionally, each approved charter may be approved subject to whatever other resolutory or suspensive conditions the chartering authority requires provided those entering into the charter agree with the conditions.  If the local board or local charter authorizer seeks to amend the charter agreement in a manner that is unacceptable to the charter school or if the charter school finds requested terms for charter renewal to be unacceptable, the charter school may petition the state board to convert to a Type 2 charter school.  Upon receipt of such request, the state board shall notify the local board or local charter authorizer of the request and shall permit the local board or local charter authorizer to provide a response prior to any action on such request.

 

C. (1)(a) Approval by the faculty and staff who are certified by the state board of a preexisting school proposed to be converted to a charter school requires a favorable vote of the majority of the members of such faculty and staff, voting together each with one vote, at the preexisting school at an election held for such purpose.  The number needed for approval shall be determined by the number of eligible employees assigned to such school on October first preceding the election.  The election shall be held by secret ballot.

 

(b) Such an election may be repeated in any school for approval of the same or a different charter proposal;  however, such an election may occur no more often than once in any school year.

 

(2) Approval by the parents or guardians of pupils attending a preexisting school proposed to be converted to a charter school requires a favorable vote of the majority of the parents or guardians of pupils enrolled in the school at the time of the election who are voting, provided the number of votes cast equals at least fifty percent of the number of pupils.  There shall be one vote for each pupil enrolled in the school which may be cast by one parent or guardian for each pupil.

 

D. (1) Prior to approving a charter for a Type 1 or Type 3 school, the local school board considering the proposal shall hold a public meeting for the purpose of considering the proposal and receiving public input.  Such meeting shall be held after reasonable efforts have been made by the board to notify the public of the meeting and its content.

 

(2) Prior to approving a charter for a Type 1B school, the local charter authorizer considering the proposal shall hold a public meeting for the purpose of receiving public input.  Such meeting shall be held in the geographic area to be served by the school after reasonable efforts have been made to notify the public of the meeting and its content.

 

E. (1) Approval by a local school board shall require an affirmative vote of a majority of the membership of the board.

 

(2) Approval by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education shall require an affirmative vote of at least six members.

 

(3) Approval by a local charter authorizer shall be in accordance with the conditions of its certification as established by the state board.

 

F. As it relates to Type 5 charters:

 

(1) The limitations specified in R.S. 17:3991(B)(1) and (3) and the provisions of Subparagraphs (A)(3)(a) and (4)(b) and (e) and Subsections C and D of this Section shall not apply to or limit or restrict the number of such charters.

 

(2) No proposal for operating such a charter school shall be approved nor shall such a school be operated by any person, whether a natural person or artificial entity, who or which has less than five years of significant experience, as determined by the state board, operating or working for or with a person who operates a public, private, or charter school, a public or private postsecondary institution, or a for-profit business or a non- or not-for- profit entity which provides academic instruction to students.

 

Acts 1997, No. 477, § 1, eff. June 30, 1997.  Amended by Acts 1999, No. 757, § 1, eff. July 2, 1999;  Acts 1999, No. 1339, § 1, eff. July 12, 1999;  Acts 2001, No. 991, § 1, eff. June 27, 2001;  Acts 2003, No. 9, § 1, eff. Nov. 6, 2003;  Acts 2005, 1st Ex.Sess., No. 35, § 1, eff. Nov. 30, 2005;  Acts 2008, No. 350, § 1;  Acts 2009, No. 123, § 1, eff. June 26, 2009;  Acts 2009, No. 292, § 1, eff. July 1, 2009;  Acts 2010, No. 756, § 2, eff. Jan. 1, 2011;  Acts 2010, No. 861, § 8;  Acts 2011, No. 131, § 1;  Acts 2011, No. 213, § 1, eff. June 27, 2011;  Acts 2012, No. 2, § 1.