Senate Vote on HB 1338
(Apr 8, 2013)
Charter school administration. Provides that a charter school is eligible to receive a school safety grant. Provides that a charter school may use certain electronic meeting procedures. Replaces references to "sponsor" with "authorizer" in the charter school law. Adds definition of "education service provider". Adds certain requirements to be contained in a proposal to establish a charter school pertaining to education service providers. Provides that before a charter school authorizer may issue a charter to an organizer that has had its charter terminated or has been informed that its charter will not be renewed by the organizer's current authorizer, the authorizer must request to have the proposal reviewed by the state board of education (state board) at a hearing; that the state board shall conduct a hearing; and that the authorizer must present information at the hearing indicating that the organizer's proposal is substantively different from the organizer's current proposal with its current authorizer. Adds various charter renewal requirements. Provides that an organizer may hold more than one charter contract, but that each charter school that is part of a charter contract must be separate and distinct. Requires an authorizer to develop a charter school closure protocol. Provides that a public audit of a charter school or organizer of a charter school is limited to the use of the public money received by the organizer of a charter school or the charter school. Provides for the release to a charter school authorizer of certain covered records that are in the possession of the department of education (department) or the state board and that concern the charter school. Requires that the state pay directly to a charter school any federal or state aid attributable to a student with a disability attending the charter school. Repeals a provision that requires the city-county council of Indianapolis to approve a charter school authorized by the mayor of Indianapolis. Establishes the Indianapolis charter school board. Repeals a provision that provides a governing body must obtain approval from the department before granting a charter under which more than 50% of the students in the school corporation will attend the charter school. Requires the department, with the approval of the state board, to submit an annual report to the budget committee pertaining to virtual charter schools. Provides that if an organizer of a charter school maintains an Internet web site for a charter school, the organizer shall publish the names of the members of the charter school's governing body on the Internet web site. (Current law unconditionally requires an organizer to publish the names of the members of the governing body on the charter school's Internet web site.) Requires charter school organizers to adopt and accurately implement a single, unified accounting system for charter school organizers as prescribed by the state board and the state board of accounts. Repeals a provision pertaining to accounting and financial reporting of charter schools. Provides that a member of the state charter board may not be removed before the end of the member's full term by the member's appointing authority without cause. Provides that the state charter board must collectively possess strong experience and expertise in certain areas. Provides that the department's Internet web site must include a charter school annual report. Requires an authorizer to adopt national industry standards of quality charter school authorizing. Provides that a charter school agreement must include a requirement that a charter school not remain in the lowest category or designation of school improvement in the third year after initial placement in the lowest category or designation. Requires the state board to provide an authorizer a hearing if the authorizer fails to close a charter school that does not meet the minimum standards in the charter agreement. Provides that the state board, after providing a hearing, may close the charter school at the end of the school year. (Current law provides that the charter school may be closed on a date set by the state board.) Provides that the state board, after providing a hearing, may reduce the administrative fees that an authorizer may receive. (Eliminates the provision of current law under which the administrative fees may be reduced by no more than 50%.) Provides that if an authorizer does not correct the deficiencies that prohibit the authorizer from opening new charter schools, the state board may, with a 2/3 vote, decommission the authorizer. Provides that the decommissioned authorizer's charter schools must apply to be approved by another authorizer within 150 days. Provides for the voluntary relinquishment of authorizer status. Provides that a virtual charter school is eligible to receive new charter school startup grants. Makes conforming amendments.