Session of 1999
By Representatives O'Connor, Faber, Farmer, Horst and Morrison

  9             AN  ACT concerning schools and school districts; providing an appeal to
10             the state board of education from denial by a board of education of a
11             petition for establishment or continuation of a charter school; confer-
12             ring the power of local control on boards of education; amending
13             K.S.A. 72-8205 and K.S.A. 1998 Supp. 72-1906 and 72-1907 and re-
14             pealing the existing sections.
16       Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Kansas:
17             Section  1. K.S.A. 1998 Supp. 72-1906 is hereby amended to read as
18       follows: 72-1906. (a) The state board of education shall design and pre-
19       scribe the format of a petition for establishment of charter schools. The
20       petition shall be designed in a manner that will provide for inclusion of
21       a description of the key elements of the charter under which the school
22       will be operated. The board of education of a school district may adopt
23       policies and procedures for receiving, reviewing and screening petitions.
24             (b) A petition for the establishment of a charter school may be pre-
25       pared and submitted to the board of education of a school district by or
26       on behalf of a school building or school district employees group, an
27       educational services contractor, or any other person or entity. Any such
28       petition shall be submitted by not later than December 1 of the school
29       year preceding the school year in which the charter school is proposed
30       to be established.
31             (c) The board of education of a school district shall receive and review
32       each petition for establishment or continuation of a charter school and
33       may grant or renew a charter for operation of the school. The charter
34       must contain the following key elements:
35             (1) A description of the educational program of the school, including
36       the facilities that will be used to house the program;
37             (2) a description of the level of interest and support on the part of
38       school district employees, parents, and the community;
39             (3) specification of program goals and the measurable pupil outcomes
40       consonant with achieving the goals;
41             (4) explanation of how pupil performance in achieving the specified
42       outcomes will be measured, evaluated, and reported;
43             (5) the governance structure of the school, including the means of

HB 2460


  1       ensuring accountability to the board of education;
  2             (6) a description of qualifications to be met by persons employed by
  3       the district for assignment to the charter school;
  4             (7) procedures that will be followed to ensure the health and safety
  5       of pupils and staff;
  6             (8) criteria for admission of pupils, including a description of the lot-
  7       tery method to be used if too many pupils seek enrollment in the school;
  8             (9) manner in which annual financial and program audits will be
  9       conducted;
10             (10) pupil suspension and expulsion policies, to the extent there is
11       deviation from districtwide policies;
12             (11) manner of pupil participation in the Kansas assessment program;
13             (12) terms and conditions of employment in the charter school;
14             (13) specification of the manner in which contracts of employment
15       and status of certificated employees of the district who participate in the
16       operation of the school will be dealt with upon nonrenewal or revocation
17       of the charter or upon a decision by any such employees to discontinue
18       participation in the operation of the school;
19             (14) identification of school district policies, state board of education
20       rules and regulations, and statutory requirements from which waiver is
21       sought in order to facilitate operation of the school and explanation of
22       the reasons such waivers are being requested; and
23             (15) the proposed school budget.
24             (d) In addition to satisfying a board of education with regard to the
25       key elements contained in the charter, a charter school must comply with
26       the following requirements in order to qualify for establishment or
27       continuation:
28             (1) The school must be focused on outcomes or results and must
29       participate in the quality performance accreditation process unless a spe-
30       cific request documenting the reasons for deviation from the process is
31       submitted to and approved by the board of education and the state board
32       of education;
33             (2) pupils in attendance at the school must be reasonably reflective
34       of the racial and socio-economic composition of the school district as a
35       whole;
36             (3) pupils may not be charged tuition; and
37             (4) compliance with applicable health, safety, and access laws must
38       be assured.
39             (e) If, upon receipt of a petition for establishment or continuation of
40       a charter school, a board of education finds the petition to be incomplete,
41       the board may request the necessary information from the petitioner.
42       After receiving a satisfactory petition, the board of education shall give
43       notice of the time, date and place for the holding of a public hearing on

HB 2460


  1       the petition and shall rule on the petition within 30 days after the public
  2       hearing is held. If the board of education approves the petition, the board
  3       shall notify the petitioner and the state board of education within 30 days
  4       after the approval or by February 1 of the school year preceding the
  5       school year in which the charter school is proposed to be established,
  6       whichever is earlier. After being notified by a board of education of the
  7       approval of a petition, the state board shall determine whether the charter
  8       school is in compliance with applicable state and federal laws and rules
  9       and regulations. If the charter school is found to be in compliance with
10       such laws and rules and regulations, the state board shall approve estab-
11       lishment of the charter school. If the charter school is not in compliance
12       with such laws and rules and regulations, establishment of the school shall
13       not be approved until the state board's objections have been satisfied. If
14       the state board receives notification of the approval of petitions by boards
15       of education for establishment of more than 15 charter schools that are
16       found to be in compliance with applicable state and federal laws and rules
17       and regulations, the state board shall select and approve establishment of
18       the 15 charter schools deemed to possess the greatest potential for suc-
19       cessful operation. The state board shall notify boards of education and
20       petitioners for the establishment of a charter school of the approval
21       thereof by not later than April 1 of the school year preceding the school
22       year in which the charter school is proposed to be established.
23             (f) If, upon receipt of a petition for establishment or continuation of
24       a charter school, a board of education denies the petition upon a finding
25       that the petition is not satisfactory or that the school does not qualify for
26       establishment or continuation, does not offer specific suggestions for im-
27       provement of the petition or qualification of the school and does not per-
28       mit a revised petition to be submitted, the petitioner may appeal the de-
29       cision to the state board of education within 30 days after receipt of the
30       decision by filing a notice of appeal with the state board and the board
31       of education. Within 30 days after receipt of the appeal notice, the state
32       board shall schedule an appeal hearing. The hearing must be held within
33       30 days after receipt of the appeal notice and must be conducted at a
34       location in the affected school district. The state board shall render its
35       decision on the appeal within 60 days after the hearing. If the state board
36       finds that the petition reflects a clear understanding of the source of low
37       pupil performance, identifies specific solutions including a staff develop-
38       ment plan and contains an appropriate evaluation plan and that the
39       board's decision to deny the petition was contrary to the best interests of
40       the pupils, school district, or community, the state board shall issue an
41       order to the board of education with instruction to the board for approval
42       and establishment or renewal of the charter school.
43             (f) (g) If a charter school that has been approved for establishment

HB 2460


  1       has sought waiver from any school district policy, or state board of edu-
  2       cation rules and regulations, or statutory requirements, the board of ed-
  3       ucation of the school district in which the charter school will be estab-
  4       lished may consider the reasons for which the waivers have been
  5       requested. If the board of education determines that the reasons for seek-
  6       ing such waivers are meritorious and legitimately related to successful
  7       operation of the charter school, the board of education may grant waiver
  8       of school district policy and may make application, on behalf of the charter
  9       school, to the state board of education for waiver of state board rules and
10       regulations or statutory requirements. The state board may consider the
11       application for waiver and approve, deny, or amend and approve the ap-
12       plication. Upon approval or amendment and approval of the application,
13       the charter school may operate under the terms and conditions of the
14       waiver. The manner and method of exercising the rights and performing
15       the responsibilities, duties and functions provided for under any school
16       district policy, or state board rules and regulations, or statutory require-
17       ments that are waived under authority of this subsection shall be pre-
18       scribed in the charter and governed thereby.
19             Sec.  2. K.S.A. 1998 Supp. 72-1907 is hereby amended to read as
20       follows: 72-1907. (a) Whenever a charter school has been approved for
21       establishment or continuation by the board of education of a school dis-
22       trict and the state board of education, no other approval shall be required
23       for a period of three school years. The board of education may consider
24       renewal of the operational status of the charter school at the conclusion
25       of such three-year period and may either renew the charter and continue
26       operation of the school, subject to approval by the state board of educa-
27       tion, or nonrenew the charter and discontinue operation of the school.
28       The board of education shall revoke the charter of a school if the school:
29             (1) Materially violates provisions contained in the charter;
30             (2) fails to meet or pursue the educational objectives contained in the
31       charter;
32             (3) fails to comply with fiscal accountability procedures as specified
33       in the charter; or
34             (4) violates provisions of law that have not been waived by the state
35       board of education.
36             (b) Prior to nonrenewing or revoking a charter, a board of education
37       shall hold a hearing on the issues in controversy. Spokespersons for the
38       charter school shall be provided the opportunity to present information
39       refuting the basis upon which the nonrenewal or revocation is premised.
40       At least 30 days notice must be provided to representatives of the charter
41       school prior to the hearing. Within 60 days after the hearing, the board
42       of education shall announce its decision on the nonrenewal or revocation
43       issue. The board may abandon the proposed nonrenewal or revocation,

HB 2460


  1       nonrenew or revoke the charter, or continue recognition of the charter
  2       contingent upon compliance with specified conditions. The decision of a
  3       board of education to nonrenew or revoke a charter is not subject to
  4       appeal; however, the to the state board of education as provided in sub-
  5       section (f) of K.S.A. 1998 Supp. 72-1906, and amendments thereto. Char-
  6       ter school authorities may renew procedures for authority to operate a
  7       charter school.
  8             Sec.  3. K.S.A. 72-8205 is hereby amended to read as follows: 72-
  9       8205. (a) The board of education shall meet at least once each month. At
10       some time during the month of July of each year, the board shall adopt
11       a resolution specifying a regular meeting time of the board and such
12       resolution shall specify the regular hour of commencement of the meet-
13       ing, as well as the day of the week and the week of the month. Such
14       resolution shall also provide that if the regular meeting date occurs on a
15       Sunday or on a legal holiday or on a holiday specified by the board, such
16       regular meeting shall be held on the day following commencing at the
17       same hour. Such resolution shall also specify the regular meeting place
18       of the board and may specify that any regular meeting may be adjourned
19       to another time and place. Special meetings may be called at any time by
20       the president of the board or by joint action of any three members
21       thereof. Written notice, stating the time and place of any special meeting
22       and the purpose for which called, shall, unless waived, be given each
23       member of the board at least two days in advance of the special meeting
24       and no business other than that stated in the notice shall be transacted
25       at such meeting. A majority of the full membership of the board shall
26       constitute a quorum for the purpose of conducting any business of the
27       school district, and the vote of a majority of the full membership of the
28       board shall be required for the passage of any motion or resolution. Any
29       member who abstains from voting shall be counted as having voted
30       against the motion or resolution. If a member announces a conflict of
31       interest with regard to the issue, the member may leave the meeting until
32       the voting on the issue is concluded and the member who abstains from
33       voting thereby shall not be counted as having voted.
34             (b) Except as otherwise provided in the unification acts, the board of
35       education shall have and may exercise the same powers and authorities
36       as were immediately prior to this act conferred uniformly upon boards of
37       education in cities of the first class, and, in addition thereto, the powers
38       and authority expressly conferred by law including the power of local
39       control to determine local affairs and government as provided under sub-
40       section (e).
41             (c) The board of education shall have authority to prescribe courses
42       of study for each year of the school program and provide rules and reg-
43       ulations for teaching in the school district and general government

HB 2460


  1       thereof, and to approve and adopt suitable textbooks and study material
  2       for use therein subject to the plans, methods, rules and regulations for-
  3       mulated and recommended by the state board of education.
  4             (d) The board of education may provide legal counsel at district ex-
  5       pense to any members of the board of education, or school district officers
  6       or employees who are sued in situations relating to and arising out of the
  7       performance of their office or employment. No teacher or other employ-
  8       ment contract shall make reference to or incorporate the provisions of
  9       this subsection, nor shall the provisions of this subsection be construed
10       as any part of the consideration of employment of any teacher, officer or
11       other employee of the board.
12             (e)  (1) The board of education may transact all school district busi-
13       ness and adopt policies that the board deems appropriate to perform its
14       constitutional duty to maintain, develop and operate local public schools,
15       subject to the following limitations:
16             (A) School districts shall be subject to all acts of the legislature and
17       all rules and regulations of the state board of education which apply to
18       all unified school districts.
19             (B) School districts may not consolidate or alter school district bound-
20       aries except as provided by law.
21             (C) School districts may not affect the courts located therein.
22             (D) School districts shall be subject to acts of the legislature prescrib-
23       ing limits of indebtedness.
24             (E) School districts shall be subject to all acts of the legislature con-
25       cerning elections.
26             (F) School districts may levy and collect taxes only in conformity with
27       acts of the legislature which specifically confer such authority.
28             (G) In the exercise of the power and authority conferred by this sub-
29       section, the home rule power conferred on cities and counties shall not be
30       superseded or impaired without the consent of the governing body of each
31       city or county which may be affected.
32             (H) School districts may not adopt policies which modify, diminish
33       or reinterpret state or federal laws which affect school district employees.
34             (I) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this act, school districts
35       shall not adopt policies which interfere with the public policy of this state
36       set forth in subsection (b) of K.S.A. 1998 Supp. 38-141, and amendments
37       thereto.
38             (2) The power and authority conferred on school districts by this sub-
39       section shall not be construed to relieve any other unit of government of
40       its duties and responsibilities which are prescribed by law, nor to create
41       any responsibility on the part of a school district to assume the duties or
42       responsibilities which are required of another unit of government.
43             (3) School districts shall exercise the powers of local control conferred

HB 2460


  1       by this subsection by resolution of the board of education.  
  2       Sec.  4. K.S.A. 72-8205 and K.S.A. 1998 Supp. 72-1906 and 72-1907
  3       are hereby repealed.
  4        Sec.  5. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its
  5       publication in the statute book.