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Chapter 18     Entire Code


ARTICLE 1. DEFINITIONS; LIMITATIONS OF CHAPTER; GOALS FOREDUCATION.

ARTICLE 2. STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION.

ARTICLE 2A. ADOPTION OF TEXTBOOKS, INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS AND LEARNING TECHNOLOGIES.

ARTICLE 2B. AREA VOCATIONAL PROGRAM.

ARTICLE 2C. HARASSMENT, INTIMIDATION OR BULLYING PROHIBITION.

ARTICLE 2D. COMMUNITY EDUCATION.

ARTICLE 2E. HIGH QUALITY EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS.

ARTICLE 2F. INCENTIVES AND RESULTS BASED SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM.

ARTICLE 2G. SCHOOL LIBRARY MEDIA IMPROVEMENT GRANT PROGRAM.

ARTICLE 2H. PUBLIC NOTICE AND PARTICIPATION IN STATE-MANDATED EDUCATIONAL REFORM.

ARTICLE 2I. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT.

ARTICLE 2J. PUBLIC AND HIGHER EDUCATION UNIFIED EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY STRATEGIC PLAN.

ARTICLE 2K. THE DIABETES CARE PLAN ACT.

ARTICLE 3. STATE SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS.

ARTICLE 4. COUNTY SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS.

ARTICLE 5. COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION.

ARTICLE 5A. LOCAL SCHOOL INVOLVEMENT.

ARTICLE 5B. SCHOOL INNOVATION ZONES ACT.

ARTICLE 5C. COMMITTEE REORGANIZATION AND COLLABORATIVE TEAM WAIVERS.

ARTICLE 5D. WEST VIRGINIA FEED TO ACHIEVE ACT.

ARTICLE 5E. INNOVATION IN EDUCATION ACT.

ARTICLE 5F. ACCESSIBILITY AND EQUITY IN PUBLIC EDUCATION ENHANCEMENT ACT.

ARTICLE 6. DRIVER EDUCATION.

ARTICLE 7. ADULT LITERACY EDUCATION PROGRAM.

ARTICLE 7A. STATE TEACHERS RETIREMENT SYSTEM.

ARTICLE 7B. TEACHERS\' DEFINED CONTRIBUTION RETIREMENT SYSTEM.

ARTICLE 7C. MERGER OF TEACHERS\' DEFINED CONTRIBUTION RETIREMENT SYSTEM WITH STATE TEACHERS RETIREMENT SYSTEM.

ARTICLE 7D. VOLUNTARY TRANSFER FROM TEACHERS\' DEFINED CONTRIBUTION RETIREMENT SYSTEM TO STATE TEACHERS RETIREMENT SYSTEM.

ARTICLE 8. COMPULSORY SCHOOL ATTENDANCE.

ARTICLE 8A. ATTENDANCE OF HOMELESS CHILDREN.

ARTICLE 9. SCHOOL FINANCES.

ARTICLE 9A. PUBLIC SCHOOL SUPPORT.

ARTICLE 9B. STATE BOARD OF SCHOOL FINANCE.

ARTICLE 9C. STATE AID FOR CONSTRUCTION, RENOVATION AND REMODELING OF SCHOOL BUILDINGS AND EQUIPPING OF THE SAME.

ARTICLE 9D. SCHOOL BUILDING AUTHORITY.

ARTICLE 9E. AIR QUALITY IN NEW SCHOOLS ACT.

ARTICLE 9F. SCHOOL ACCESS SAFETY ACT.

ARTICLE 10. FEDERAL AID AND GIFTS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES.

ARTICLE 10A. REHABILITATION SERVICES.

ARTICLE 10B. VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION FACILITIES.

ARTICLE 10C. THE SOUTHERN REGIONAL EDUCATION COMPACT.

ARTICLE 10D. COMPACT FOR EDUCATION.

ARTICLE 10E. INTERSTATE COMPACT ON QUALIFICATIONS OF EDUCATIONAL PERSONNEL.

ARTICLE 10F. DISABLED PERSONS AND PUBLIC USE BUILDINGS AND FACILITIES.

ARTICLE 10G. PROVIDING OF FOOD SERVICE IN PUBLIC OFFICE BUILDINGS BY THE WEST VIRGINIA DIVISION OF VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION.

ARTICLE 10H. ALBERT YANNI PROGRAMS OF EXCELLENCE IN VOCATIONAL-TECHNICAL EDUCATION.

ARTICLE 10I. WEST VIRGINIA SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM.

ARTICLE 10J. BLIND PERSONS\' LITERACY RIGHTS AND EDUCATION ACT.

ARTICLE 10K. WEST VIRGINIA TRAUMATIC BRAIN AND SPINAL CORD INJURY REHABILITATION FUND ACT.

ARTICLE 10L. RON YOST PERSONAL ASSISTANCE SERVICES ACT.

ARTICLE 10M. WEST VIRGINIA INDEPENDENT LIVING ACT.

ARTICLE 10N. INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ACCESS FOR THE BLIND AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED.

ARTICLE 10O. DISABILITY HISTORY WEEK.

ARTICLE 11. WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY.

ARTICLE 11A. REVENUE BONDS FOR UNIVERSITY CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS.

ARTICLE 11B. REVENUE BONDS FOR UNIVERSITY FACILITIES, BUILDINGS AND STRUCTURES.

ARTICLE 11C. WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL AND WEST VIRGINIA HEALTH SYSTEM.

ARTICLE 11D. REVENUE BONDS FOR WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY ATHLETIC FACILITIES.

ARTICLE 11E. REVENUE BONDS FOR MARSHALL UNIVERSITY ATHLETIC FACILITIES.

ARTICLE 12. STATE TEACHERS\' COLLEGES.

ARTICLE 12A. REVENUE BONDS FOR MARSHALL UNIVERSITY CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS.

ARTICLE 12B. REVENUE BONDS FOR STATE INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION -- CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS ON SYSTEM BASIS.

ARTICLE 13. WEST VIRGINIA EDGE.

ARTICLE 14. BLUEFIELD STATE COLLEGE.

ARTICLE 15. WEST VIRGINIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY.

ARTICLE 16. ANTIHAZING LAW.

ARTICLE 17. WEST VIRGINIA SCHOOLS FOR THE DEAF AND THE BLIND.

ARTICLE 18. WEST VIRGINIA SCHOOL FOR THE COLORED DEAF AND BLIND.

ARTICLE 19. EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR CHILDREN OF DECEASED SOLDIERS, SAILORS, MARINES AND AIRMEN.

ARTICLE 20. EDUCATION OF EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN.

ARTICLE 21. SPECIAL COMMUNITY-BASED PILOT DEMONSTRATION PROJECT TO IMPROVE OUTCOMES FOR AT-RISK YOUTH.

ARTICLE 22. HIGHER EDUCATION FULL-TIME FACULTY SALARIES.

ARTICLE 22A. EMINENT SCHOLARS ENDOWMENT TRUST FUND ACT.

ARTICLE 22B. STATE SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM.

ARTICLE 22C. STATE AID FOR STUDENTS ATTENDING GREENBRIER COLLEGE OF OSTEOPATHIC MEDICINE.

ARTICLE 22D. HIGHER EDUCATION STUDENT ASSISTANCE LOAN PROGRAM.

ARTICLE 22E. DISTINGUISHED PROFESSORS ENDOWMENT TRUST FUND ACT.

ARTICLE 23. ADDITIONAL POWERS, DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF GOVERNING BOARDS OF STATE INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION.

ARTICLE 24. FEES AND OTHER MONEY COLLECTED AT STATE INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION.

ARTICLE 25. TAX DEFERRED INVESTMENTS FOR TEACHERS AND OTHER EMPLOYEES.

ARTICLE 26. WEST VIRGINIA BOARD OF REGENTS.

ARTICLE 26A. STATE AUTISM TRAINING CENTER.

ARTICLE 26B. CLASSIFIED EMPLOYEE SALARY SCHEDULE AND CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM.

ARTICLE 26C. INSTITUTE FOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS.

ARTICLE 26D. INSTITUTE FOR INTERNATIONAL TRADE DEVELOPMENT.

ARTICLE 27. WEST VIRGINIA EDUCATION LOAN BOND PROGRAM.

ARTICLE 28. PRIVATE, PAROCHIAL OR CHURCH SCHOOLS, OR SCHOOLS OF A RELIGIOUS ORDER.

ARTICLE 29. GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE.

ARTICLE 30. WEST VIRGINIA COLLEGE PREPAID TUITION AND SAVINGS PROGRAM ACT.

ARTICLE 31. RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENTS FOR STATE INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION.

ARTICLE 32. SEVERABILITY.

ARTICLE 5G. PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOLs.

§18-5G-1. Legislative purpose and intent.

(a) The purpose of this article is to establish a process for the creation, governance and oversight accountability of public charter schools with a renewed the commitment to the mission, goals, and diversity of public education that benefits students, parents, teachers, and community members.

(b) Public charter schools are intended to empower new, innovative, and more flexible ways of educating all children within the public school system to:

(1) Improve student learning by creating more diverse public schools with high standards for student performance;

(2) Allow innovative educational methods, practices and programs that engage students in the learning process, thus resulting in higher student achievement;

(3) Enable schools to establish a distinctive school curriculum, a specialized academic or technical theme, or method of instruction;

(4) Provide expanded opportunities within the public schools for parents to choose among the school curricula, specialized academic or technical themes, and methods of instruction that best serve the interests or needs of their child;

(5) Provide students, parents, community members, and local entities with expanded opportunities for involvement in the public school system;

(6) Allow authorized public schools and programs within public schools exceptional levels of self-direction and flexibility in exchange for exceptional levels of results-driven accountability for student learning; and

(7) Encourage the replication of successful strategies for improving student learning.  

(c) All public charter schools established under this article are public schools and are part of the state"s public education system.

(d) The provisions of this article shall be interpreted liberally to support the purpose and intent of this section and to advance a renewed commitment by the state to the mission, goals and diversity of public education.

(e) No provision of this article may be interpreted to allow the conversion of private schools into public charter schools.

(f) An elected official may not profit or receive any monetary consideration from a charter school: Provided, That this prohibition does not apply with respect to the continued employment of an elected official who was employed by a public school prior to its conversion to a public charter school.

(g) The total number of public charter schools authorized and in operation under an approved contract in this state shall be limited to 3 pilot public charter schools until July 1, 2023.  The State Board shall report to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability by November 1, 2022, and every 3 years thereafter, on the status of the state"s public charter schools. LOCEA shall report its findings and recommendations, if any, to the Legislature during its next Regular Session.  Beginning July 1, 2023, and every 3 years thereafter, an additional 3 public charter schools may be authorized and in operation under an approved contract in this state.  The Mountaineer Challenge Academy, if converted to a public charter school, shall not count towards the limitation established by this subsection.  

§18-5G-2. Definitions.

The following words used in this article and any proceedings pursuant thereto have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates a different meaning:

(1) "Applicant" means any one or more in combination of parents, community members, teachers, school administrators, or institutions of higher education in this state who are interested in organizing a public charter school and:

(A) Have obtained 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status or have submitted an application for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status; and

(B) Have developed and submitted an application to an authorizer to establish a public charter school;

(2) "Authorizer" means the entity empowered under this article to review applications, decide whether to approve or reject applications, enter into charter contracts with applicants, oversee public charter schools, and decide whether to renew, not renew, or revoke charter contracts. Authorizers include:

(A) A county school board when the charter school or application to form a charter school includes a primary recruitment area that is wholly within the county over which the board has jurisdiction;

(B) Two or more county school boards when the charter school or application to form a charter school includes a primary recruitment area that encompasses territory in the two or more counties over which the respective boards have jurisdiction; or

(C) The West Virginia Board of Education in the following instances:

(i) The charter school or application to form a charter school or to renew a charter contract is in a county where the state board has intervened in the operation of the school system and limited the authority of the county board to act pursuant to §18-2E-5 of this code; and

(ii) The application to form a public charter school or to renew a charter contract is approved by the affected county board or boards and is forwarded it to the West Virginia Board of Education with a request that it perform to the authorizer function.

(3) "Charter application" means a proposal from an applicant to an authorizer to enter into a charter contract whereby the proposed school obtains public charter school status;

(4) "Charter contract" or "contract" means a fixed-term, renewable contract between a public charter school"s governing board and an authorizer that identifies the roles, powers, responsibilities, operational duties, accountability, and performance expectations for each party to the contract, consistent with the requirements of this article;

(5) "Conversion public charter school" means a public charter school that existed as a noncharter public school before becoming a public charter school;

(6) "County board" means a board exercising management and control of a school district.  A county board"s management and control of a public charter school is limited to only that granted under this article. In the case of a school district in which the state board has intervened and limited the authority of the county board to act pursuant to §18-2E-5 of this code, "county board" means the state board.  In the case of a multicounty vocational or technical center, "county board" means the administrative council of the multicounty center;

(7) "Education service provider" means an education management organization, school design provider, or any other partner entity with which a public charter school contracts for educational design, implementation, or comprehensive management;

(8) "Governing board" means a public charter school governing board that meets the requirements §18-5G-3 and §18-5G-7 of this code and is party to the charter contract with the authorizer;

(9) "Noncharter public school" means a public school or multicounty vocational center other than a public charter school established pursuant to this article;

(10) "Parent" means a parent, guardian, or other person or entity having legal custody over a child;

(11) "Public charter school" means a public school or program within a public school that is authorized in accordance with the provisions of this article and meets the general criteria, governance structure and statutory compliance requirements described in §18-5G-3 of this code, and other provisions of this article;

(12) "Program conversion public charter school" means a program within an existing noncharter public school that is either preexisting and converted or newly created to become a separate and discreet program governed and operated in accordance with this article within the noncharter public school;

(13) "Start-up public charter school" means a public charter school that did not exist as a noncharter public school prior to becoming a public charter school.

(14) "State board" means the West Virginia Board of Education; and

(15) "Student" means any person that is eligible for attendance in a public school in West Virginia.

§18-5G-3. Public charter school criteria, governance structure and statutory compliance requirements; applicable federal and state laws.

(a) Public charter schools authorized pursuant to this article shall meet the following general criteria:

(1) Are part of the state"s system of public schools and are subject to general supervision by the West Virginia Board of Education for meeting the student performance standards required of other public school students under §18-2E-5(d) and (e) of this code;

(2) Are subject to the oversight of the school"s authorizer for operating in accordance with its approved charter contract and for meeting the terms and performance standards established in the charter contract;

(3) Are not home school-based;

(4) Are not affiliated with or espouse any specific religious denomination, organization, sect, or belief and do not promote or engage in any religious practices in their educational program, admissions, employment policies, or operations;

(5) Are not affiliated with any organized group whose espoused beliefs attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for immutable characteristics, as identified through listings of such groups as may be made by the U. S. Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or officials having similar jurisdiction in this state;

(6) Are public schools to which parents or legal guardians choose to send their child or children;

(7) Do not charge tuition and may only charge such fees as may be imposed by noncharter public schools in this state; and

(8) Have no requirements that would exclude any child from enrollment who would not be excluded at a noncharter public school.

(b) A public charter school authorized pursuant to this article shall be governed by a board that meets the requirements established in §18-5G-7 of this code and:       

(1) Has autonomy over key decisions, including, but not limited to, decisions concerning finance, personnel, scheduling, curriculum, and instruction except as provided in this article;

(2) Has no power to levy taxes;

(3) Operates in pursuit of a specific set of educational objectives as defined in its charter contract;

(4) Provides a program of public education that:

(A) Includes one or more of the following: Prekindergarten and any grade or grades from kindergarten to grade 12 including any associated post-secondary embedded credit, dual credit, advanced placement, internship, and industry or workforce credential programs that the public charter school chooses to incorporate into its programs;

(B) May include in its mission a specific focus on students with special needs, including, but not limited to, at-risk students, English language learners, students with severe disciplinary problems at a noncharter public school, or students involved with the juvenile justice system; and

(C) May include a specific academic approach or theme including, but not limited to, approaches or themes such as STEM education, mastery-based education, early college, or fine and performing arts;

(5) Provides programs and services to a student with a disability in accordance with the student"s individualized education program and all federal and state laws, regulations, rules and policies. A charter school shall deliver the services directly or contract with a county board or another provider to deliver the services as set forth in its charter contract;

 (6) Is eligible to participate in state-sponsored or district-sponsored athletic and academic interscholastic leagues, competitions, awards, scholarships, and recognition programs for students, educators, administrators, and schools to the same extent as noncharter public schools;

 (7) Employs its own personnel as employees of the public charter school and is ultimately responsible for processing employee paychecks, managing its employees" participation in the applicable retirement system, and managing its employees" participation in insurance plans: Provided, That nothing in this subdivision prohibits the public charter school from contracting with another person or entity to perform services relating to managing its employees" participation in the retirement system or insurance plan. A county board may not require any employee of its school system to be employed in a public charter school. A county board may not harass, threaten, discipline, discharge, retaliate, or in any manner discriminate against any school system employee involved directly or indirectly with an application to establish a public charter school as authorized under this section. All personnel in a public charter school who were previously employed by the county board shall continue to accrue seniority with the county board in the same manner that they would accrue seniority if employed in a noncharter public school in the county for purposes of employment in noncharter public schools; and

(8) Is responsible for establishing a staffing plan that includes the requisite qualifications and any associated certification and/or licensure necessary for teachers and other instructional staff to be employed at the public charter school and for verifying that these requirements are met.

(c) A public charter school authorized pursuant to this article is exempt from all statutes and rules applicable to a noncharter public school or board of education except the following:

(1) All federal laws and authorities applicable to noncharter public schools in this state including, but not limited to, the same federal nutrition standards, the same civil rights, disability rights and health, life and safety requirements applicable to noncharter public schools in this state;

(2) The provisions of §29B-1-1 et seq. of this code relating to freedom of information and the provisions of §6-9A-1 et seq. of this code relating to open governmental proceedings;

(3) The same immunization requirements applicable to noncharter public schools;

(4) The same compulsory school attendance requirements applicable to noncharter public schools;

(5) The same minimum number of days or an equivalent amount of instructional time per year as required of noncharter public school students under §18-5-45 of this code;

(6) The same student assessment requirements applicable to noncharter public schools in this state, but only to the extent that will allow the state board to measure the performance of public charter school students pursuant to §18-2E-5(d) and (e) of this code.  Nothing precludes a public charter school from establishing additional student assessment measures that go beyond state requirements;

(7) The Student Data Accessibility, Transparency and Accountability Act pursuant to §18-2-5h of this code;

(8) Use of the electronic education information system established by the West Virginia Department of Education for the purpose of reporting required information;

(9) Reporting information on student and school performance to parents, policy-makers, and the general public in the same manner as noncharter public schools utilizing the electronic format established by the West Virginia Department of Education. Nothing precludes a public charter school from utilizing additional measures for reporting information on student and school performance that go beyond state requirements;   

(10) All applicable accounting and financial reporting requirements as prescribed for public schools, including adherence to generally accepted accounting principles.  A public charter school shall annually engage an external auditor to perform an independent audit of the school"s finances. The public charter school shall submit the audit to its authorizer and to the state superintendent of schools within nine months of the end of the fiscal year for which the audit is performed;

(11) A criminal history check pursuant to §18A-3-10 of this code for any staff person that would be required if the person was employed in a noncharter public school, unless a criminal history check has already been completed for that staff person pursuant to that section.  Governing board members and other public charter school personnel are subject to criminal history record checks and fingerprinting requirements applicable to noncharter public schools in this state. Contractors and service providers or their employees are prohibited from making direct, unaccompanied contact with students and from access to school grounds unaccompanied when students are present if it cannot be verified that the contractors, service providers or employees have not previously been convicted of a qualifying offense pursuant to §18-5-15c of this code;

(12) The same zoning rules for its facilities that apply to noncharter public schools in this state;

(13) The same building codes, regulations and fees for its facilities that apply to noncharter public schools in this state, including any inspections required for noncharter public schools under this chapter and the West Virginia State Fire Marshal for inspection and issuance of a certificate of occupancy for any facility used by the public charter school; and

(14) The same student transportation safety laws applicable to public schools when transportation is provided.

§18-5G-4. West Virginia Board of Education; powers and duties for implementation, general supervision and support of public charter schools; authorizer responsibilities; limit on charter schools authorized.

(a) The state board shall consult with nationally recognized charter school organizations and establish and maintain a catalogue of best practices for public charter schools applicable for all applicants, authorizers, governing board members, and administrators that are consistent with this article and nationally recognized principles and professional standards for quality public charter school authorizing and governance in all major areas of authorizing and governance responsibility in the following areas:

(1) Organizational capacity and infrastructure;

(2) Solicitation and evaluation of charter applications;

(3)  A framework to guide the development of charter contracts;

(4) Performance contracting including a performance framework;

(5) Providing transparency and avoiding all conflicts of interest;

(6) Ongoing charter school oversight and evaluation; and

(7) Charter approval, renewal, and revocation decision-making;

(b) The state board is responsible for exercising, in accordance with this article, the following powers and duties with respect to the oversight and authorization of public charter schools:

(1) Provide forms to promote the quality and ease of use for authorizers to solicit applications for public charter schools, for applicants to complete applications, and for establishing quality charter contracts that include a framework for performance standards. The forms shall be available for use and solicitations made not later than the beginning of February, 2020. The forms shall include an application deadline of August 2020 for any charter school proposing to begin operation for the 2021-22 school year. No charter school may begin operation prior to the 2021-22 school year;

(2) Provide training programs for public charter school applicants, administrators and governing board members, as applicable, that include, but are not limited to:

(i) Pre-application training programs and forms to assist in the development of high quality public charter school applications;

(ii) The required components and the necessary information of the public charter school application and the charter contract as set forth in this article;

(iii) The charter school board"s statutory role and responsibilities;

(iv) Charter school employment policies and practices; and

(v) Authorizer responsibilities for charter school contract oversight and performance evaluation;

(3) Receive and expend appropriate gifts, grants and donations of any kind from any public or private entity to carry out the purposes of this act, subject to all lawful terms and conditions under which the gifts, grants or donations are given;

(4) Apply for any federal funds that may be available for the implementation of public charter school programs;

(5) Establish reporting requirements that enable the state board to monitor the performance and legal compliance of authorizers and public charter schools; and

(6) Submit to the Governor and the Legislature an annual report within 60 days of the end of each school year summarizing:

(A) The student performance of all operating public charter schools; and

(B) The authorization status of all public charter schools within the last school year, identifying all public charter schools as:

(i) Application pending;

(ii) Application denied;

(iii) Application approved, but not yet operating;

(iv) Operating and years of operation;

(v) Renewed and years of operation;

(vi) Terminated;

(vii) Closed;

(viii) Never opened; and

(ix) Any successful innovations applied in authorized schools which may be replicated in other schools. The report shall provide information about how noncharter public schools may implement these innovations.

(c) The state board shall be the authorizer of a public charter school when a county board or boards approve the application for a public charter school and requests the state board to perform the authorizer duties and responsibilities or when an application to form a public charter school or to renew a charter contract is submitted from an applicant within a county in which the state board has intervened and limited the power of the county board to act pursuant to §18-2E-5 of this code.

§18-5G-5. State board rule relating to funding for charter school enrollment and other necessary provisions; local education agency status; authorizer oversight fee.

(a) The state board shall promulgate a rule pursuant to the provisions of §29A-3B-1 et seq. of this code setting forth requirements for public charter school funding. The rule shall include a requirement that 90 percent of the per pupil total basic foundation allowance follow the student to the public charter school, subject to the following:

(1) Notwithstanding §18-9A-1 et seq. of this code, the rule may provide for modifications to the calculations set forth in §18-9A-7 of this code regarding the allowance for student transportation and in §18-9A-9(1) of this code regarding the allowance for current expense for the purpose of making appropriate adjustments to those allowances to account for student transportation and current expense related funding a school district loses in situations where it pays money to a charter school pursuant to this subsection without a corresponding decrease in the county"s transportation and current expense related expenditures;

(2) The rule shall designate which county school district is required to pay for a student attending a public charter school, and notwithstanding the terms in the definition of "net enrollment" in §18-9A-2 of this code, shall provide that the county school district paying for the student attending a public charter school have that student included in its net enrollment for the purposes of §18-9A-1 et seq. of this code; and

(3) The rule shall require the Department of Education to follow federal requirements in ensuring that federal funding follows the student to a public charter school.

(b) The state board may promulgate a rule in accordance with §29A-3B-1 et seq. of this code, if necessary, for ensuring the accountability of public charter schools for meeting the standards for student performance required of other public school students under §18-2E-5 of this code and the accountability of authorizers for ensuring that those standards are met in the schools authorized by it. If an authorizer fails to close a charter school that does not meet the standards, the authorizer shall appear before the state board to justify its decision. The state board may uphold or overturn the authorizer"s decision and may revoke the authority of the authorizer to authorize charter schools.

(c) The school district in which the public charter school is located remains the local educational agency for all public charter schools authorized by the county board and the public charter school is a school within that local educational agency except that the public charter school is treated as a local educational agency for purposes of applying for competitive federal grants.  The state board is the local education agency for public charter schools authorized by the state board except that the public charter school is treated as a local educational agency for purposes of applying for competitive federal grants.  

(d) To cover authorizer costs for overseeing public charter schools, the state board shall establish a statewide formula for authorizer oversight funding, which shall apply uniformly to every authorizer in the state. Each public charter school shall remit to its respective authorizer an oversight fee. The oversight fee shall be drawn from and calculated as a uniform percentage of the per pupil basic foundation as provided pursuant to state board rule promulgated in accordance with this section, not to exceed one percent of each public charter school"s per-student funding in a single school year. The state board may establish a sliding scale for authorizing funding, with the funding percentage decreasing after the authorizer has achieved a certain threshold, such as after a certain number of schools have been authorized or after a certain number of students are enrolled in the authorizer"s public charter schools. The state board shall establish a cap on the total amount of funding that an authorizer may withhold from a full-time public charter school.  The state board shall annually review the effectiveness of the state formula for authorizer funding and shall adjust the formula if necessary to maximize public benefit and strengthen the implementation of this act.

(e) The state board shall promulgate a rule in accordance with §29A-3B-1 et seq. of this code to clarify, if necessary, the requirements of this article and address any unforeseen issues that might arise relating to the implementation of the requirements of this article. The rule also shall include a provision prohibiting a county board from discrimination against any district employee involved directly or indirectly with an application to establish a public charter school under this article.

(f) All state board rules required to be promulgated by this article shall be promulgated on or before January 1, 2020.

§18-5G-7. Public Charter school governing board.

(a) To ensure compliance with this article, a public charter school shall be administered by a governing board accountable to the authorizer as set forth in the charter contract. A public charter school governing board shall consist of no fewer than five members elected or selected in a manner specified in the charter application, including at least the following:

(1) Two parents of students attending the public charter school operating under the governing board; and

(2) Two members who reside in the community served by the public charter school.

(b) Members of the governing board shall:

(A) Not be an employee of the public charter school administered by the governing board;

(B) Not be an employee of an education service provider that provides services to the public charter school;

(C) File a full disclosure report to the authorizer identifying potential conflicts of interest, relationships with management organizations, and relationships with family members who are employed by the public charter school or have other business dealings with the school, the management organization of the school, or any other public charter school;

(D) Collectively possess expertise in leadership, curriculum and instruction, law, and finance; and

(E) Be considered an officer of a school district under the provisions of §6-6-7 of this code and removal from office shall be in accordance with the provisions of that section.

(c) The public charter school governing board shall:

(1) Operate under the oversight of its authorizer in accordance with its charter contract;

(2) As a public corporate body, have the powers necessary for carrying out the terms of its charter contract, including, but not limited to the power to:

(A) Receive and disburse funds for school purposes;

(B) Secure appropriate insurance and enter into contracts and leases;

(C) Contract with an education service provider, so long as the governing board retains final oversight and authority over the school;

(D) Pledge, assign, or encumber its assets to be used as collateral for loans or extensions of credit;

(E) Solicit and accept any gifts or grants for school purposes, subject to applicable laws and the terms of its charter; and

(F) Acquire real property for use as its facilities or facilities from public or private sources;

(3) Enroll students in the public charter school pursuant to §18-5G-11 of this code;

(4) Require any education service provider contracted with the governing board to provide a monthly detailed budget to the board; and

(5) Provide programs and services to a student with a disability in accordance with the student"s individualized education program and all federal and state laws, rules, and regulations. A public charter school shall deliver the services directly or contract with another provider to deliver the services.

(d) A public charter school authorized under this article may:

(1) Negotiate and contract with its authorizer or any third party for the use, operation, and maintenance of a building and grounds, liability insurance, and the provision of any service, activity, or undertaking that the public charter school is required to perform in order to carry out the educational program described in its charter contract. Any services for which a public charter school contracts with a school district shall be provided by the district at cost and shall be negotiated as a separate agreement after final charter contract negotiations;

(2) Sue and be sued in its own name;

(3) Own, rent, or lease its space;

(4) Participate in cocurricular activities to the same extent as noncharter public schools; and

(5) Participate in extracurricular activities to the same extent as noncharter public schools.

(e) The public charter school governing board is responsible for the operation of its public charter school, including, but not limited to, ensuring compliance with the public charter school criteria, governance and statutory compliance set forth §18-5G-3 of this code, the preparation of an annual budget, contracting for services, school curriculum, personnel matters, and achieving the objectives and goals of the public charter school"s program.

(f) The public charter school governing board shall comply with the provisions of §29B-1-1 et seq. of this code relating to freedom of information and the provisions of §6-9A-1 et seq. of this code relating to open governmental proceedings.

§18-5G-7. Public Charter school governing board.

(a) To ensure compliance with this article, a public charter school shall be administered by a governing board accountable to the authorizer as set forth in the charter contract. A public charter school governing board shall consist of no fewer than five members elected or selected in a manner specified in the charter application, including at least the following:

(1) Two parents of students attending the public charter school operating under the governing board; and

(2) Two members who reside in the community served by the public charter school.

(b) Members of the governing board shall:

(A) Not be an employee of the public charter school administered by the governing board;

(B) Not be an employee of an education service provider that provides services to the public charter school;

(C) File a full disclosure report to the authorizer identifying potential conflicts of interest, relationships with management organizations, and relationships with family members who are employed by the public charter school or have other business dealings with the school, the management organization of the school, or any other public charter school;

(D) Collectively possess expertise in leadership, curriculum and instruction, law, and finance; and

(E) Be considered an officer of a school district under the provisions of §6-6-7 of this code and removal from office shall be in accordance with the provisions of that section.

(c) The public charter school governing board shall:

(1) Operate under the oversight of its authorizer in accordance with its charter contract;

(2) As a public corporate body, have the powers necessary for carrying out the terms of its charter contract, including, but not limited to the power to:

(A) Receive and disburse funds for school purposes;

(B) Secure appropriate insurance and enter into contracts and leases;

(C) Contract with an education service provider, so long as the governing board retains final oversight and authority over the school;

(D) Pledge, assign, or encumber its assets to be used as collateral for loans or extensions of credit;

(E) Solicit and accept any gifts or grants for school purposes, subject to applicable laws and the terms of its charter; and

(F) Acquire real property for use as its facilities or facilities from public or private sources;

(3) Enroll students in the public charter school pursuant to §18-5G-11 of this code;

(4) Require any education service provider contracted with the governing board to provide a monthly detailed budget to the board; and

(5) Provide programs and services to a student with a disability in accordance with the student"s individualized education program and all federal and state laws, rules, and regulations. A public charter school shall deliver the services directly or contract with another provider to deliver the services.

(d) A public charter school authorized under this article may:

(1) Negotiate and contract with its authorizer or any third party for the use, operation, and maintenance of a building and grounds, liability insurance, and the provision of any service, activity, or undertaking that the public charter school is required to perform in order to carry out the educational program described in its charter contract. Any services for which a public charter school contracts with a school district shall be provided by the district at cost and shall be negotiated as a separate agreement after final charter contract negotiations;

(2) Sue and be sued in its own name;

(3) Own, rent, or lease its space;

(4) Participate in cocurricular activities to the same extent as noncharter public schools; and

(5) Participate in extracurricular activities to the same extent as noncharter public schools.

(e) The public charter school governing board is responsible for the operation of its public charter school, including, but not limited to, ensuring compliance with the public charter school criteria, governance and statutory compliance set forth §18-5G-3 of this code, the preparation of an annual budget, contracting for services, school curriculum, personnel matters, and achieving the objectives and goals of the public charter school"s program.

(f) The public charter school governing board shall comply with the provisions of §29B-1-1 et seq. of this code relating to freedom of information and the provisions of §6-9A-1 et seq. of this code relating to open governmental proceedings.

§18-5G-8. Application to establish public charter school.

(a) To establish a new public charter school, to convert an existing noncharter public school to a public charter school or establish a program conversion public charter school, an applicant shall submit a charter application to an authorizer. Charter authorizers shall accept and document the date and time of receipt of all charter applications.

(b) The application shall contain, at a minimum, the following information:

(1) A mission statement and a vision statement for the public charter school, including specialized academic focus, if any, to be promoted and advanced through the establishment of the public charter school;

(2) A detailed description of the public charter school"s proposed program;

(3) The student achievement goals for the public charter school"s program and the chosen methods of evaluating whether students have attained the skills and knowledge specified for those goals;

(4) The school"s plan for using data derived from student evaluations and assessments, including the statewide summative assessment, to drive instruction and promote continued school improvement;

(5) An explanation of how the school"s proposed program is likely to improve the achievement of traditionally underperforming students in the local school district;

(6) The proposed governance structure of the school, including a list of members of the initial governing board, a draft of bylaws that include the description of the qualifications, terms, and methods of appointment or election of governing board members, and the organizational structure of the school that clearly presents lines of authority and reporting between the governing board, school administrators, staff, any related bodies such as advisory bodies or parent and teacher councils, and any external organizations that will play a role in managing the school;

(7) Plans and timelines for student enrollment, including the school primary recruitment area and policies and procedures for conducting transparent and random admission lotteries when applications for enrollment exceed capacity that are open to the public and consistent with this article;

(8) A proposed five-year budget, including the start-up year and projections for four additional years with clearly stated assumptions;

(9) Proposed fiscal and internal control policies for the public charter school;

(10) Acknowledgement that the public charter school will participate in the state"s accountability system;

(11) A proposed handbook that outlines the personnel policies of the public charter school, including the criteria to be used in the hiring of qualified teachers, school administrators, and other school employees, a description of staff responsibilities, and the school"s plan to evaluate personnel on an annual basis;

(12) An explanation of proposed student discipline procedures, including disciplinary procedures for students with disabilities, which shall be consistent with the requirements of due process and with state and federal laws and regulations governing the placement of students with disabilities;

(13) A description of the facilities to be used by the public charter school, including the location of the school and how the facility supports the implementation of the school"s program. The school shall obtain all required occupation and operation certificates and licenses prior to the first instructional day for students;

(14) The proposed ages and grade levels to be served by the public charter school, including the planned minimum and maximum enrollment per grade per year;

(15) The school calendar and school day schedule;

(16) Types and amounts of insurance coverage to be obtained by the public charter school, which:

(A) Shall include adequate insurance for liability, property loss, and the personal injury of students comparable to noncharter public schools within the local school district operated by the county board; and

(B) May include coverage from the Board of Risk and Insurance Management pursuant to §29-12-5a of this code;

(17) A description of the food services to be provided to students attending the school;

(18) Process and procedures to be followed in the case of the closure or dissolution of the public charter school, including provisions for the transfer of students and student records to the appropriate local school district and an assurance and agreement to payment of net assets or equity after payment of debts;

(19) A code of ethics for the school setting forth the standards of conduct expected of its governing board, officers, and employees;

(20) The public charter school"s plan for successfully serving students with disabilities, students who are English language learners, bilingual students, and students who are academically behind and gifted, including, but not limited to, the school"s plan for compliance with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations;

(21) A description of cocurricular and extracurricular programs to be offered by the public charter school and how they will be funded and delivered;

(22) The process by which the school will resolve any disputes with the authorizer;

(23) A detailed start-up plan, including financing, tasks, timelines, and individuals responsible for carrying out the plan;

(24) The public charter school"s plan for notice to parents and others of enrollment in the school as an option available for students and the school"s primary recruitment area; and

(25) The public charter school"s plan for parental involvement.

(c) If the applicant intends to contract with an education service provider for educational program implementation or comprehensive management, the application shall additionally require the applicant to provide the following information with respect to the educational service provider:

(1) Evidence of success in serving student populations similar to the targeted population, including demonstrated academic achievement as well as successful management of nonacademic school functions, if applicable;

(2) Student performance data and financial audit reports for all current and past public charter schools;

(3) Documentation of and explanation for any actions taken, legal or otherwise, against any of its public charter schools for academic, financial, or ethical concerns;

(4) The proposed duration of the service contract;

(5) The annual proposed fees and other amounts to be paid to the education service provider;

(6) The roles and responsibilities of the governing board, the school staff, and the education service provider;

(7) The scope of services and resources to be provided by the education service provider;

(8) Performance evaluation measures and timelines;

(9) Methods of contract oversight and enforcement;

(10) Investment disclosure;

(11) Conditions for renewal and termination of the contract; and

(12) Disclosure and explanation any existing or potential conflicts of interest between the governing board and the proposed education service provider or any affiliated business entities.

§18-5G-9. Charter contract requirements; term of contract.

(a) Within 90 days of the approval of a charter application, the governing board and the authorizer shall negotiate and enter into a charter contract.

(b) The charter contract shall address, in detail, the following items:

(1) The term of the contract: Provided, That the contract term shall be no longer than five years;

(2) The agreements relating to each item required in the charter application and, if applicable, the agreement with an education service provider that the governing boards intends to contract with for educational program implementation or comprehensive management;

(3) The rights and duties of the authorizer and the public charter school;

(4) The administrative relationship between the authorizer and the public charter school;

(5) The process the authorizer will use to provide ongoing oversight;

(6) The specific commitments of the authorizer relating to its obligations to oversee, monitor the progress of, and supervise the public charter school;

(7) The process and criteria the authorizer will use to annually monitor and evaluate the overall academic, operating, and fiscal conditions of the public charter school, including the process the authorizer will use to oversee the correction of any deficiencies found;

(8) The process for revision or amendment to the terms of the charter contract agreed to by the authorizer and the governing board;

(9) The process agreed to by the authorizer and the governing board that identifies how disputes between the authorizer and the board will be handled;

(10) Any other terms and conditions agreed to by the authorizer and the governing board, including preopening conditions.

(c) The charter contract shall include provisions relating to the performance of the public charter school that set forth the academic and operational performance indicators, measures, and metrics to be used by the authorizer to evaluate the public charter school. At a minimum, the performance provisions shall include indicators, measures, and metrics for:

(1) Student academic proficiency;

(2) Student academic growth;

(3) Achievement gaps in both student proficiency and student growth between student subgroups, including race, sex, socioeconomic status, and areas of exceptionality;

(4) Student attendance;

(5) Student suspensions;

(6) Student withdrawals;

(7) Recurrent enrollment from year to year;

(8) Governing board"s performance and stewardship, including compliance with all applicable statutes and terms of charter contract; and

(9) Additional valid and reliable indicators requested by the public charter school.

(d) A charter contract shall include provisions for revoking the charter contract. At a minimum, these provisions shall include:

(1) The information that must be included in the authorizer"s initial decision to revoke the charter contract;

(2) Notification requirements to the governing board about the authorizer"s initial decision to revoke a charter contract and the reasons for the revocation;

(3) An opportunity and timeframe for the governing board to provide a response to the authorizer"s initial decision to revoke the charter contract;

(4) An opportunity for the governing board to submit documentation and provide testimony as to why the charter contract should not be revoked;

(5) An opportunity for a recorded public hearing, at the request of the governing board;

(6) That the authorizer shall consider the governing board"s response, testimony, and documentation, as well as the recorded public hearing, prior to rendering a final decision on the revocation of the charter contract;

(7) The information that must be included in the authorizer"s final decision if it determines to revoke the charter contract;

(8) A timeline for an authorizer to render a final decision on whether or not to revoke a charter contract;

(9) Rendering of the authorizer"s decision shall be adopted during an open meeting; and

(10) A provision that the failure of the authorizer to act on a renewal application within the designated timeframes shall be deemed approval of the application.

(e) The authorizer shall be responsible for collecting and reporting to the state board all state-required assessment and achievement data for the public charter school.

(f) The charter contract shall be signed by the chair of the governing board and the president of the county board, presidents of the county boards, or the president of the public or private institution of higher education, as applicable. A copy of the charter contract shall be provided to the State Superintendent of Schools.

(g) No public charter school may commence operations without a charter contract that meets the requirements of this section, has been properly executed, and has been approved by, as applicable, a county board, county boards, or the state board.

 §18-5G-10. Charter contract renewal; performance report by authorizer and renewal guidance; renewal application; renewal term; nonrenewal and revocation; closure and dissolution.

(a) No later than June 30 of a public charter school"s fourth year of operation under each five-year term of a charter contract, the authorizer shall issue a performance report on the public charter school. The performance report shall summarize the public charter school"s performance record to date, based on the data collected under the performance framework in section eleven of this article and the charter contract, and shall provide notice of any weaknesses or concerns perceived by the authorizer concerning the school that may jeopardize its position in seeking renewal if not timely rectified. The school and the authorizer shall mutually agree to a reasonable time period for the charter school to respond to the performance report and submit any corrections for the report.

(b) If the public charter school"s contract is expiring, the authorizer shall offer contract renewal application guidance to the school. The renewal application guidance required by this subsection shall include or refer explicitly to the criteria and standards that will guide the authorizer"s renewal decisions. These criteria and standards shall be based on the performance framework set forth in section eleven of this article, as set forth in the charter contract and consistent with this article. The renewal application guidance shall, at a minimum, require and provide an opportunity for the public charter school to:

(1) Present additional evidence, beyond the data contained in the performance report, supporting its case for charter renewal;

(2) Describe improvements undertaken or planned for the school; and

(3) Detail the school"s plans for the next charter term.

(c) No later than September 30 of a public charter school"s final authorized year of operation under a term of a charter contract, the governing board of the public charter school seeking renewal shall submit a renewal application to the authorizer pursuant to the renewal application guidance offered by the authorizer under subsection (b) of this section. The authorizer shall rule in a public meeting and by resolution on the renewal application no later than 45 days after the filing of the renewal application. In making charter renewal decisions, the authorizer shall:

(1) Ground its decisions on a thorough analysis of evidence of the school"s performance over the term of the charter contract in accordance with the terms and measures established in the performance framework set forth in the charter contract;

(2) Ensure that data used in making renewal decisions are available to the public charter school and the public;

(3) Provide a public report summarizing the evidence basis for each decision; and

(4) Include one of the following rulings:

(A) Renew the charter contract for another term of five years based on the school"s performance data and demonstrated capacities of the public charter school; or

(B) Decline to renew the charter contract. The authorizer shall clearly state in a resolution the reasons for the nonrenewal. The governing board of the school shall be granted 30 days to respond in writing to the decision and public report before that decision becomes final. The governing board shall be allowed to provide the authorizer with such arguments and supporting information as it sees fit and also shall be granted an opportunity for a recorded public hearing, at the request of the governing board. The authorizer shall consider the governing board"s response, testimony, and documentation, as well as the recorded public hearing, prior to rendering a final decision on the revocation of the charter contract. The authorizer shall render its final determination within 10 days of the close of the 30-day period.

(d) The failure of the authorizer to act on a renewal application within the designated timeframes shall be deemed an approval of the renewal application.

(e) Within 10 days of taking final action to renew, not renew or revoke a charter under this section, the authorizer shall report the action taken and reasons for the decision to the school"s governing board and the state board or affected county board, as applicable.  A copy of the report shall be submitted at the same time to the state superintendent.

(f) A charter contract may be revoked at any time or not renewed if the authorizer determines that the health and safety of students attending the public charter school is threatened or the public charter school has:

(A) Failed to comply with the provisions of this article:

(B) Committed a material violation of any of the terms, conditions, standards or procedures required under this chapter or the charter contract;

(C) Failed to meet the performance expectations set forth in the charter contract;

(D) Failed to meet generally accepted standards of fiscal management; or

(E) Violated any provision of law from which the school was not exempted.

(g) If an authorizer does not renew or revokes a charter contract, the authorizer shall clearly state in a resolution in a public meeting, the reasons for the nonrenewal or revocation.

(h) If an authorizer revokes a charter contract, the authorizer shall close the school: Provided, That when the charter is revoked or not renewed for a school that began as a conversion public charter school or program conversion public charter school, the county board of the district in which the school is located may return it to noncharter public school status.

(i) If a public charter school is closed, the authorizer shall clearly state in a resolution in a public meeting, the reasons for the closure.

(j) In the event of a public charter school closure for any reason, the authorizer shall oversee and work with the closing school to ensure a smooth and orderly closure and transition for students and parents, as guided by the closure protocol established by the state board including, but not limited to, the following:

(1) Overseeing and working with the closing public charter school to ensure timely notification to parents, orderly transition of students and student records to new schools and proper disposition of school funds, property and assets in accordance with the requirements of this chapter; and

(2) Distributing the assets of the public charter school first to satisfy outstanding payroll obligations for employees of the public charter school and then to creditors of the public charter school. Any remaining funds shall be paid to the county board. If the assets of the public charter school are insufficient to pay all parties to whom the public charter school owes compensation, the prioritization of distribution of assets may be determined by decree of a court of law.

(k) If a public charter school is subject to closure or transition, following exhaustion of any appeal allowed under §18-5G-13 of this code, an authorizer may remove at will at any time any or all of the members of the board of directors of the public charter school in connection with ensuring a smooth and orderly closure or transition. If the authorizer removes members of the board of directors such that the board of directors can no longer function, the authorizer shall be empowered to take any further necessary and proper acts connected with closure or transition of the public charter school in the name and interest of the public charter school.

§18-5G-11. Public charter school students; enrollment and eligibility; enrollment preferences; random selection lottery; enrollment discrimination prohibited; credit transfers; participation in interscholastic sports.

(a) Public charter schools are open for enrollment to all students of appropriate grade level age and all students shall be enrolled in accordance with the following:

(1) A public charter school shall provide or publicize to parents and the general public information about the public charter school as an enrollment option for students and the process for application and enrollment, including dates and timelines. If the public charter school includes in its mission a specific focus on students with special needs, including, but not limited to, at-risk students, English language learners, students with severe disciplinary problems at a noncharter public school or students involved with the juvenile justice system, it shall include the information in such publication. A public charter school"s recruitment effort shall include all segments of the student populations served by noncharter public schools of comparable grade levels;

(2) A county board shall provide or publicize to parents and the general public information about public charter schools within the county as an enrollment option to the same extent and through the same means that the county provides and publicizes information about noncharter public schools in the county;

(3) A county board may not require any student residing in the county to enroll in a public charter school, nor may it prohibit any charter school student from returning to a noncharter public school;

(4) A public charter school shall designate its primary recruitment area in its charter application and charter contract. The establishment of a primary recruitment area by a public charter school does not negate any overlapping attendance area or areas established by a county board or boards for noncharter public schools. A primary recruitment area may include territory in more than one county;

(5) The primary recruitment area shall be based on the public charter school"s estimated facility and program capacity. The capacity of the public charter school shall be determined annually by the governing board of the public charter school in conjunction with its authorizer and in consideration of the public charter school"s ability to facilitate the academic success of its students, to achieve the other objectives specified in the charter contract, and to ensure that the student enrollment does not exceed the capacity of its facility, site and programs. An authorizer may not restrict the number of students a public charter school may enroll;

(6) Public charter schools may not discriminate against any person on any basis which would be unlawful for noncharter public schools in the school district. A public charter school may not establish admission policies or limit student admissions in any manner in which a public school is not permitted to establish admission policies or limit student admissions: Provided, That this subdivision may not be construed to limit the formation of a public charter school that is dedicated to focusing its education program and services on students with special needs, including, but not limited to, at-risk students, English language learners, students with severe disciplinary problems at a noncharter public school, or students involved with the juvenile justice system;

(7) A public charter school may establish any one or more of the following enrollment preferences for:

(A) Children who reside within the school"s primary recruitment area;

(B) Students enrolled in the public charter school the previous school year and siblings of students already enrolled in the public charter school;

(C) Children with special needs, including, but not limited to, at-risk students, English language learners, students with severe disciplinary problems at a noncharter public school, or students involved with the juvenile justice system, it shall include the information in such publication; and

(D) Children of governing board members and full-time employees of the school as long as the number of students enrolled under this preference constitute no more than five percent of the school"s total student enrollment;

(8) A start-up public charter school shall enroll all students who apply and to whom an enrollment preference has been established. If the school has excess capacity after enrolling these students, the school shall enroll all other students who apply: Provided, That if the remaining applicants exceed the enrollment capacity of the program, class, grade level or building of the public charter school, the public charter school shall select students for enrollment from among all remaining applicants by a random selection lottery. The school"s lottery procedures and timelines support equal and open access for all students and take place in an open meeting;

(9) A conversion public charter school shall guarantee enrollment to all students who were previously enrolled in the noncharter public school and shall adopt and maintain a policy that gives enrollment preference to students who reside within the attendance area as established prior to the conversion of the school. If the school has excess capacity after enrolling these students and all others to whom an enrollment preference has been given, the school shall enroll all other students who apply: Provided, That if the remaining applicants exceed the enrollment capacity of the program, class, grade level or building of a public charter school, the public charter school shall select students for enrollment from among all remaining applicants by a random selection lottery. The school"s lottery procedures and timelines support equal and open access for all students and take place in an open meeting; and

(10) A program conversion public charter school shall enroll all students who apply for enrollment in the program who, at the time of authorization, are enrolled in the noncharter public school at which the program is operated. A program conversion public charter school shall adopt and maintain a policy that gives enrollment preference to students who are enrolled in the noncharter public school at which the program is operated. If the school has excess capacity after enrolling these students, the school shall enroll all other students who apply: Provided, That if the remaining applicants exceed the enrollment capacity of the program, class, grade level or building of a public charter school, the public charter school shall select students for enrollment from among all remaining applicants by a random selection lottery. The school"s lottery procedures and timelines support equal and open access for all students and take place in an open meeting.

(b) If a student who was previously enrolled in a public charter school transfers enrollment to a noncharter public school in this state, the school to which the student transfers shall accept credits earned by the student in courses or instructional programs at the public charter school in a uniform and consistent manner and according to the same criteria that are used to accept academic credits from other noncharter public schools or that consider content competency when appropriate due to differences in curriculum delivery, instructional methods and strategies, or course designations and sequence.

(c) Each public charter school shall be given access to and shall utilize the electronic education information system established by the West Virginia Department of Education, is subject to the Student Data Accessibility, Transparency and Accountability Act pursuant to section §18-2-5h of this code, and shall report information on student and school performance to parents, policy-makers and the general public in the same manner as noncharter public schools utilizing the electronic format established by the West Virginia Department of Education.

(d) Each public charter school shall certify annually to the State Department of Education and to the county board of the school district in which the charter school is located its student enrollment, average daily attendance and student participation in the national school lunch program, special education, vocational education, gifted education, advanced placement and dual credit courses, and federal programs in the same manner as school districts.

§18-5G-12. Access to public facilities.

(a) A public charter school may request usage of public facilities from the county board or other public entity in the county where the charter school is located or proposes to locate. A county board or other public entity shall make facilities available to the charter school that are either not used, in whole or in part, for classroom instruction at the time the charter school seeks to use or lease the public facility.

(b) If a charter school seeks to lease the whole or part of a public facility, the cost of the lease must be at or under current market value.

(c) During the term of the lease, the charter school is solely responsible for the direct expenses related to the public facility lease, including utilities, insurance, maintenance, repairs, and remodeling. The county school board is responsible for any debt incurred or liens that are attached to the school building before the charter school leases the public facility.

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