Session of 1999
SENATE BILL No. 294
By Senator Lawrence
9 AN ACT authorizing the establishment of state charter schools; repealing
10 K.S.A. 1998 Supp. 72-1903, 72-1904, 72-1905, 72-1906, 72-1907, 72-
11 1908, 72-1909 and 72-1910.
13 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Kansas:
14 Section 1. (a) The state board of education may authorize the estab-
15 lishment of nonprofit, nonsectarian, outcomes-oriented, performance-
16 based educational programs, hereinafter referred to as state charter
17 schools. The primary purpose for authorizing the establishment of state
18 charter schools shall be to provide parents and pupils with expanded op-
19 tions in choosing educational opportunities that are available within the
20 state. Additional purposes for authorizing the establishment of state char-
21 ter schools shall be to provide new opportunities for:
22 (1) Improved pupil learning;
23 (2) increased learning opportunities for pupils in special areas of em-
24 phasis in accord with themes established for state charter schools;
25 (3) creative and unconventional instructional techniques and
27 (4) new professional vistas for teachers who operate such schools or
28 who choose to work in them; and
29 (5) freedom from conventional program constraints and mandates.
30 (b) A state charter school shall have all powers necessary or desirable
31 for carrying out its educational program, including, but not limited to, the
33 (1) To adopt a name. Any name selected must include the words
34 "state charter school";
35 (2) to sue and be sued, but only to the same extent and upon the
36 same conditions that a unified school district may be sued;
37 (3) to acquire real property, from public or private sources, by pur-
38 chase, lease, lease with an option to purchase, or by gift, for use as a
39 school facility;
40 (4) to receive and expend funds for school purposes;
41 (5) to enter into contracts and leases for the procurement of services,
42 equipment and supplies;
43 (6) to solicit and accept any grants or gifts for school purposes.
44 (c) State charter schools shall operate independently from school dis-
45 tricts and boards of education of school districts. No board of education
46 shall have jurisdiction over or legal responsibility for a state charter school.
47 (d) The state board of education shall exercise general supervision
48 over state charter schools to the same extent and in the same manner that
49 the state board exercises general supervision over school districts.
50 (e) The state board of education may conduct or cause to be con-
51 ducted such financial and program audits of the operations of state charter
52 schools as may be necessary to determine whether such schools are in
53 compliance with the provisions of their charters and with the provisions
54 of law from which such schools have not been exempted by this act.
55 (f) State charter schools shall comply with all federal and state laws
56 relating to provision of special education services for exceptional children.
57 (g) State charter schools shall comply with all federal and state laws
58 relating to health and safety.
59 (h) State charter schools shall have no power, privilege or authority
60 with respect to the levy and collection of taxes or the issuance of bonds.
61 State charter schools shall not have the power of eminent domain.
62 (i) State charter schools shall be deemed to be state agencies for all
63 purposes of the Kansas tort claims act. The members of the governing
64 authority and all employees of a state charter school shall be deemed to
65 be employees of a state agency for all purposes of the Kansas tort claims
67 Sec. 2. The total number of state charter schools operating in the
68 state in any school year shall not exceed 30. No more than two state
69 charter schools may be operated in a school district in any school year.
70 The state board of education shall establish a procedure for effectuating
71 the provisions of this section by publishing information concerning the
72 number of state charter schools currently being operated, the availability
73 of an opportunity for establishment of a state charter school due to dis-
74 continuance of a previously established state charter school, and criteria
75 for determining the order in which additional state charter schools may
76 be established.
77 Sec. 3. (a) The state board of education shall design and prescribe
78 the format of a petition for establishment of state charter schools. The
79 petition shall be designed in a manner that will provide for inclusion of
80 a description of the key elements of the charter under which the school
81 will be operated.
82 (b) A petition for the establishment of a state charter school may be
83 prepared and submitted to the state board of education by or on behalf
84 of a business or corporate entity, a parent or group of parents, a college,
85 university, museum or similar entity, an educational services contractor,
86 or any other person or entity other than the board of education of a
87 unified school district. Any such petition shall be submitted by not later
88 than December 1 of the school year preceding the school year in which
89 the state charter school is proposed to be established. Before submitting
90 a petition for the establishment of a state charter school to the state board
91 of education, the petitioner shall submit the charter for operation of the
92 proposed school to the board of education of the school district in which
93 the school will be located and shall request the board of education to
94 make comments and suggestions regarding the charter of the school and
95 its operation in the school district.
96 (c) The state board of education shall receive and review each petition
97 for establishment or continuation of a state charter school and may grant
98 or renew a charter for operation of the school. The charter must contain
99 the following key elements:
100 (1) A description of the educational program of the school, including
101 the facilities that will be used to house the program;
102 (2) a description of the level of interest and support on the part of
103 the community to be served;
104 (3) specification of program goals and the measurable pupil outcomes
105 consonant with achieving the goals;
106 (4) explanation of how pupil performance in achieving the specified
107 outcomes will be measured, evaluated, and reported;
108 (5) the governance structure of the school, including the means of
109 ensuring accountability to the state board of education;
110 (6) a description of qualifications to be met by persons employed by
111 the state charter school;
112 (7) procedures that will be followed to ensure the health and safety
113 of pupils and staff;
114 (8) criteria for admission of pupils, including a description of the lot-
115 tery method to be used if too many pupils seek enrollment in the school;
116 (9) manner in which annual financial and program audits will be
118 (10) pupil suspension and expulsion policies;
119 (11) manner of pupil participation in the Kansas assessment program;
120 (12) terms and conditions of employment in the state charter school;
121 (13) specification of the manner in which contracts of employment
122 and status of employees of the school will be dealt with upon nonrenewal
123 or revocation of the charter; and
124 (14) the proposed budget of the state charter school.
125 (d) In addition to the key elements required by subsection (c) to be
126 contained in the charter, a state charter school must comply with the
127 following requirements in order to qualify for establishment or
129 (1) The school must be focused on outcomes or results and must
130 participate in the quality performance accreditation system;
131 (2) the school shall not limit admission based on ethnicity, national
132 origin, gender, income level, condition of exceptionality, proficiency in
133 English language or athletic ability, however a school may limit admission
134 to pupils within a given age group or grade level;
135 (3) pupils may not be charged tuition; and
136 (4) compliance with applicable health, safety, and access laws must
137 be assured.
138 (e) Upon receipt of a petition for establishment or continuation of a
139 state charter school, if the state board of education finds the petition to
140 be incomplete, the state board may request the necessary information
141 from the petitioner. After receiving a satisfactory petition, the state board
142 of education shall determine whether the proposed state charter school
143 will be in compliance with applicable state and federal laws and rules and
144 regulations. If the state board finds that the proposed state charter school
145 will be in compliance with such laws and rules and regulations, the state
146 board shall approve establishment of the school and notify the petitioner
147 of the approval within 30 days thereafter or by April 1 of the school year
148 preceding the school year in which the state charter school is proposed
149 to be established, whichever is earlier. If the state board finds that the
150 proposed state charter school will not be in compliance with such laws
151 and rules and regulations, establishment of the school shall not be ap-
152 proved until the state board's objections have been satisfied. If the state
153 board disapproves establishment of the school, the state board shall notify
154 the petitioner of the reasons for the disapproval and shall offer sugges-
155 tions for improvement of the petition.
156 Sec. 4. (a) There is established the advisory board on state charter
157 schools. The advisory board shall be composed of seven members as
159 (1) The commissioner of education, or the designee of the
161 (2) the chairperson of the committee on education of the senate, or
162 the designee of the chairperson;
163 (3) the chairperson of the committee on education of the house of
164 representatives, or the designee of the chairperson;
165 (4) two members of the general public, appointed by the governor;
167 (5) two members who are representative of business and industry,
168 appointed by the governor.
169 (b) Members of the advisory board who are state officers shall serve
170 ex officio for terms concurrent with their terms as state officers. Members
171 of the advisory board who are appointed by the governor shall serve at
172 the pleasure of the governor and shall hold office until their successors
173 are appointed by the governor.
174 (c) Members of the advisory board attending meetings of the board
175 or subcommittee meetings authorized by the advisory board or the state
176 board of education shall receive compensation, subsistence allowances
177 and mileage provided for in K.S.A. 75-3223, and amendments thereto.
178 The advisory board shall meet upon call of the state board of education.
179 (d) The advisory board shall:
180 (1) Advise and consult with the state board of education regarding
181 the administration of this act;
182 (2) assist the state board of education in monitoring the establishment
183 and operation of state charter schools;
184 (3) assist the state board of education in reviewing petitions for es-
185 tablishment or continuation of state charter schools, evaluate the charters
186 for operation of such schools, consider comments and suggestions made
187 by boards of education regarding state charter schools, and make rec-
188 ommendations regarding approval or disapproval of petitions;
189 (4) attend hearings held by the state board of education on nonre-
190 newal or revocation of charters and make recommendations to the state
191 board regarding its decision on the matter;
192 (5) periodically assess and evaluate the impact of the operation of
193 state charter schools upon the public education system of the state and
194 make reports thereon to the state board of education;
195 (6) perform such other duties and functions as the state board of
196 education may request.
197 Sec. 5. (a) Whenever a state charter school has been approved for
198 establishment by the state board of education, no other approval shall be
199 required for a period of five school years. The state board of education
200 shall submit budget requests for legislative appropriations for state char-
201 ter schools in the same manner and at the same time as budget requests
202 for operation of unified school districts are submitted.
203 (b) The state board of education may consider renewal of the oper-
204 ational status of a state charter school at the conclusion of a five-year
205 period of approval and may either renew the charter and continue op-
206 eration of the school, or nonrenew the charter and discontinue operation
207 of the school. The state board of education shall revoke the charter of a
208 school if the school:
209 (1) Materially violates provisions contained in the charter;
210 (2) fails to meet or pursue the educational objectives contained in the
212 (3) fails to comply with fiscal accountability procedures as specified
213 in the charter; or
214 (4) violates provisions of federal or state law from which the school
215 has not been exempted by this act.
216 (c) Prior to nonrenewing or revoking a charter, the state board of
217 education shall hold a hearing on the issues in controversy. Spokespersons
218 for the state charter school shall be provided the opportunity to present
219 information refuting the basis upon which the nonrenewal or revocation
220 is premised. At least 30 days' notice must be provided to representatives
221 of the state charter school prior to the hearing. Within 60 days after the
222 hearing, the state board of education shall announce its decision on the
223 nonrenewal or revocation issue. The state board may abandon the pro-
224 posed nonrenewal or revocation, nonrenew or revoke the charter, or con-
225 tinue recognition of the charter contingent upon compliance with speci-
226 fied conditions. The decision of the state board of education to nonrenew
227 or revoke a charter is not subject to appeal; however, the chartering au-
228 thorities may renew procedures for approval to operate a state charter
230 Sec. 6. Pupils who are enrolled in a state charter school and who
231 reside in the school district in which the state charter school is located
232 shall be provided transportation to the state charter school by the school
233 district on the same terms and conditions as transportation is provided to
234 pupils attending nonpublic schools located in the district. No school dis-
235 trict shall be required to provide transportation to a state charter school
236 for pupils who are not residents of the district. Pupils who are not pro-
237 vided transportation to a state charter school by a school district shall be
238 responsible for their own transportation to and from the state charter
240 Sec. 7. (a) Each school district shall grant a leave of absence to any
241 employee requesting such leave in order to participate in the operation
242 of a state charter school. A school district employee may request a leave
243 of absence for up to two years. At the end of the two year period, the
244 employee may make a request to the board of education that such leave
245 be extended for an additional three years, and approval for the request
246 shall not be unreasonably withheld, or the employee may return to em-
247 ployment by the school district. At the end of the fifth year, the employee
248 may either return to the employee's former position or, if the employee
249 chooses to continue participation in the operation of the state charter
250 school, resign from employment by the school district.
251 (b) No board of education shall terminate the employment of, or
252 prevent or impair the profession of, or impose any other sanction on any
253 school employee because the employee requested a leave of absence to
254 participate in the operation of a state charter school.
255 (c) All employees who are participating in the operation of a state
256 charter school and who qualify for membership in the Kansas public em-
257 ployees retirement system shall be members of the system.
258 (d) All employees who are on leave of absence from a school district
259 in order to participate in the operation of a state charter school and who
260 qualify for health insurance and other fringe benefit programs provided
261 for other employees of the school district shall be eligible to participate
262 in such programs.
263 (e) The governing authority of a state charter school may purchase
264 group life, health and accident insurance or health care services of a
265 health maintenance organization for all employees of the school. The
266 governing authority of a state charter school may purchase liability insur-
267 ance covering all or any part of the operation of the school.
268 Sec. 8. The state department of education, in conjunction with the
269 state department of administration, shall publish annually a list of vacant
270 and unused buildings and vacant and unused portions of buildings that
271 are owned by this state or by school districts in this state and that may
272 be suitable for the operation of a state charter school. The state depart-
273 ment of education shall make the list available to the public. The list shall
274 include the address and a short description of each building and shall
275 specify the ownership of the building. Availability of the building, by sale
276 or lease, for use as a state charter school shall not be unreasonably with-
277 held by the state or by the school district owning the building.
278 Sec. 9. The state board of education shall provide, upon request, any
279 person, group, or any other entity with technical advice and assistance
280 regarding the establishment and operation of a state charter school or the
281 preparation of a petition requesting authorization to establish and operate
282 a state charter school.
283 Sec. 10. At the conclusion of each school year, commencing with the
284 2002-03 school year, the state board of education shall make a report to
285 the governor and the legislature on the effectiveness of the provisions of
286 this act. The report shall include the following information:
287 (a) The number and location of state charter schools established and
288 operating in the state;
289 (b) the number of petitions for authorization to establish and operate
290 a state charter school submitted during the school year, the number of
291 such petitions that were approved, and the number of such petitions that
292 were disapproved along with the reasons for disapproval;
293 (c) an assessment and evaluation of the impact the operation of state
294 charter schools has had on the public education system of the state.
295 Sec. 11. Nothing in this act shall be construed or applied in any man-
296 ner so as to abrogate, impair or abridge the terms of any charter for
297 operation of a school executed prior to the effective date of this act, nor
298 shall anything in this act be construed or applied in any manner so as to
299 change or affect the operation and management of any charter school
300 approved and operating prior to the effective date of this act. All such
301 charters and charter schools shall be controlled by the provisions of law
302 in effect at the time of execution and approval, which laws are repealed
303 by this act.
304 Sec. 12. K.S.A. 1998 Supp. 72-1903, 72-1904, 72-1905, 72-1906, 72-
305 1907, 72-1908, 72-1909 and 72-1910 are hereby repealed.
306 Sec. 13. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its
307 publication in the statute book.