AN ACT

 

1Amending the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), entitled "An 
2act relating to the public school system, including certain 
3provisions applicable as well to private and parochial 
4schools; amending, revising, consolidating and changing the 
5laws relating thereto," in terms and courses of study, 
6further providing for agreements with institutions of higher 
7education; in opportunities for educational excellence, 
8further providing for definitions and for concurrent 
9enrollment agreements; and extensively revising and adding 
10charter school provisions.

11The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
12hereby enacts as follows:

13Section 1. Section 1525 of the act of March 10, 1949 
14(P.L.30, No.14), known as the Public School Code of 1949, added 
15July 4, 2004 (P.L.536, No.70), is amended to read:

16Section 1525. Agreements with Institutions of Higher
17Education.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the

1contrary, a school district, charter school, regional charter 
2school, cyber charter school or area vocational-technical school
3may enter into an agreement with one or more institutions of
4higher education approved to operate in this Commonwealth in
5order to allow [resident] students to attend such institutions
6of higher education while the [resident] students are enrolled
7in the school district, charter school, regional charter school, 
8cyber charter school or area vocational-technical school. The
9agreement may be structured so that high school students may
10receive credits toward completion of courses at the school
11district, charter school, regional charter school, cyber charter 
12school or area vocational-technical school and at institutions
13of higher education approved to operate in this Commonwealth.

14Section 2. The definitions of "concurrent student" and
15"school entity" in section 1602-B of the act, added July 13,
162005 (P.L.226, No.46), are amended to read:

17Section 1602-B. Definitions.

18The following words and phrases when used in this article
19shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
20context clearly indicates otherwise:

21* * *

22"Concurrent student." A student who is enrolled in a school
23district, a charter school, a regional charter school, a cyber 
24charter school, an area vocational-technical school, a nonpublic
25school, a private school or a home education program under
26section 1327.1 and who takes a concurrent course through a
27concurrent enrollment program.

28* * *

29"School entity." A school district, a charter school, a 
30regional charter school, a cyber charter school or an area

1vocational-technical school.

2* * *

3Section 3. Section 1613-B of the act is amended by adding a
4subsection to read:

5Section 1613-B. Concurrent enrollment agreements.

6* * *

7(c) Charter schools, regional charter schools and cyber
8charter schools.--Charter schools, regional charter schools and
9cyber charter schools shall have the power and authority to
10enter into a concurrent enrollment agreement with an institution
11of higher education, and appropriate credit shall be awarded to
12students concurrently enrolled under the agreement.

13Section 4. Section 1703-A of the act, amended June 29, 2002
14(P.L.524, No.88), is amended to read:

15Section 1703-A. Definitions.--As used in this article,

16"Administrator" shall include an employe of a charter school
17entity, including the chief administrator of a charter school
18entity and any other employe, who by virtue of the employe's
19position is responsible for taking official action of a
20nonministerial nature with regard to contracting or procurement,
21administering or monitoring grants or subsidies, managing or
22regulating staff, student and school activities or any activity
23where the official action has an economic impact of greater than
24a de minimis nature on the interests of any person.

25"Appeal board" shall mean the State Charter School Appeal
26Board established by this article.

27"Assessment" shall mean the Pennsylvania System of School
28Assessment test, the Keystone Exam or another test established
29by the State board to meet the requirements of section 2603-
30B(d)(10)(i) and required under the No Child Left Behind Act of

12001 (Public Law 107-110, 115 Stat. 1425) or its successor
2Federal statute.

3"At-risk student" shall mean a student at risk of educational
4failure because of limited English proficiency, poverty,
5community factors, truancy, academic difficulties or economic
6disadvantage.

7"Charter school" shall mean an independent public school
8established and operated under a charter from the local board of
9school directors and in which students are enrolled or attend. A
10charter school must be organized as a public, nonprofit
11corporation. Charters may not be granted to any for-profit
12entity.

13"Charter school entity" shall mean a charter school, regional
14charter school or cyber charter school.

15"Charter school foundation" shall mean a nonprofit
16organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue
17Code of 1986 (Public Law 99-514, 26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(3)), that
18provides funding, resources or otherwise serves to support a
19charter school entity, either directly or through an affiliated
20entity.

21"Chief administrator" shall mean an individual appointed by a
22board of trustees to oversee and manage the operation of a
23charter school entity. The term shall not include a professional
24staff member under this article.

25["Chief executive officer" shall mean an individual appointed
26by the board of trustees to oversee and manage the operation of
27the charter school, but who shall not be deemed a professional
28staff member under this article.]

29"Cyber charter school" shall mean an independent public
30school established and operated under a charter from the

1Department of Education and in which the school uses technology
2in order to provide a significant portion of its curriculum and
3to deliver a significant portion of instruction to its students
4through the Internet or other electronic means. A cyber charter
5school must be organized as a public, nonprofit corporation. A
6charter may not be granted to a for-profit entity.

7"Department" shall mean the Department of Education of the
8Commonwealth.

9"Educational management service provider" shall mean a
10nonprofit charter management organization, for-profit education
11management organization, school design provider, business
12manager or any other partner entity with which a board of
13trustees of a charter school entity contracts to provide
14educational design, business services, comprehensive management
15or personnel functions or to implement the charter. The term
16shall not include a charter school foundation.

17"Immediate family member" shall mean a parent, spouse, child,
18brother or sister.

19"Local board of school directors" shall mean the board of
20directors, School Reform Commission or other governing authority
21of a school district in which a proposed or an approved charter
22school is located.

23"Nonrelated" shall mean an individual who is not an immediate
24family member.

25"Regional charter school" shall mean an independent public
26school established and operated under a charter from more than
27one local board of school directors and in which students are
28enrolled or attend. A regional charter school must be organized
29as a public, nonprofit corporation. Charters may not be granted
30to any for-profit entity.

1"School district of residence" shall mean the school district
2in this Commonwealth in which [the parents or guardians of a
3child reside] a child resides as determined under section 1302 
4and 22 Pa. Code § 11.11(a)(1) (relating to entitlement of 
5resident children to attend public schools).

6"School entity" shall mean a school district, intermediate
7unit, joint school or area vocational-technical school.

8"Secretary" shall mean the Secretary of Education of the
9Commonwealth.

10"State board" shall mean the State Board of Education of the
11Commonwealth.

12Section 4.1. The act is amended by adding a section to read:

13Section 1704-A. Charter School Funding Advisory
14Commission.--(1) The Governor shall immediately convene a
15Statewide advisory commission, to be known as the Charter School
16Funding Advisory Commission, to examine the financing of charter
17schools, regional charter schools and cyber charter schools in
18the public education system. The commission shall examine how
19charter school, regional charter school and cyber charter school
20finances affect opportunities for teachers, parents, pupils and
21community members to establish and maintain schools that operate
22independently from the existing school district structure as a
23method to accomplish the requirements of section 1702-A. The
24Office of the Budget and the department shall provide
25administrative support, meeting space and any other assistance
26required by the commission to carry out its duties under this
27section.

28(2) The commission shall consist of the following members:

29(i) <-Three Four members of the Senate appointed by the
30President pro tempore of the Senate, in consultation with the

1Majority Leader of the Senate and the Minority Leader of the
2Senate, with two appointees from the majority party and <-one
3appointee <-two appointees from the minority party.

4(ii) <-Three Four members of the House of Representatives
5appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, in
6consultation with the Majority Leader of the House of
7Representatives and the Minority Leader of the House of
8Representatives, with two appointees from the majority party and
9one appointee <-two appointees from the minority party.

10(iii) The secretary or a designee.

11(iv) To represent the interests of charter school entities,
12the following members, who shall be appointed by the Governor:

13(A) One member who shall represent charter schools.

14(B) One member who shall represent regional charter schools.

15(C) One member who shall represent cyber charter schools.

16(D) One member who shall be a teacher in a charter school
17entity.

18(E) One member who shall be a parent of a child attending a
19charter school entity.

20(v) To represent the interests of school districts, the
21following members, who shall be appointed by the Governor:

22(A) One member who shall be a teacher in a public school
23that is not a charter school entity.

24(B) One member who shall represent school administrators.

25(C) Two members who shall represent school board members.

26(D) One member who shall be a business manager of a school
27district.

28(vi) One member who shall represent an institution of higher
29education and who shall be appointed by the Governor.

30(3) Members of the commission shall be appointed within

1twenty (20) days of the effective date of this section. Any
2vacancy on the commission shall be filled by the original
3appointing authority. The commission shall select a chairman and
4vice chairman from among its membership at an organizational
5meeting. The organizational meeting shall take place not later
6than forty-five (45) days following the effective date of this
7section.

8(4) The commission shall hold meetings at the call of the
9chairman. The commission may also hold public hearings on the
10matters to be considered by the commission at locations
11throughout this Commonwealth. All meetings and public hearings
12of the commission shall be deemed public meetings for the
13purpose of 65 Pa.C.S. Ch. 7 (relating to open meetings). Ten
14(10) members of the commission shall constitute a quorum at any
15meeting. Each member of the commission may designate another
16person to represent that member at meetings of the commission.

17(5) Commission members shall receive no compensation for
18their services but shall be reimbursed by the department for all
19necessary travel and other reasonable expenses incurred in
20connection with the performance of their duties as members.
21Whenever possible, the commission shall utilize the services and
22expertise of existing personnel and staff of State government.
23The department may utilize undistributed funds not expended,
24encumbered or committed from appropriations for grants and
25subsidies made to the department, not to exceed three hundred
26thousand dollars ($300,000), to carry out this section.

27(6) The commission shall have the following powers and
28duties:

29(i) Meet with current charter school entity operators,
30school district personnel and representatives of institutions of

1higher education within this Commonwealth.

2(ii) Review charter school entity financing laws in
3operation throughout the United States.

4(iii) Explore the actual cost of educating a child in a
5cyber charter school.

6(iv) Evaluate and make recommendations on the following:

7(A) Consideration of establishing a higher education
8authorizer of charter school entities.

<-9(a.1) Consideration of establishing an independent State
10level board to authorize charter school entities and support
11charter school quality and accountability through performance
12monitoring and technical assistance.

13(B) Appropriate assessment of fees on charter school
14entities for potentially funding a higher education authorizer
15of charter school entities, including review of independent
16authorizer fees and structures throughout the United States.

17(C) The process by which charter school entities are funded
18under section 1725-A, including the continuation of school
19district deductions for food services and for retirement
20contributions paid to the Public School Employees' Retirement
21System and addressing other potential funding inequities.

22(v) Issue a report pursuant to paragraph (7).

23(7) The commission shall, no later than March 31, 2014,
24issue a report of its findings and recommendations to the
25Governor, the President pro tempore of the Senate, the Majority
26Leader of the Senate, the Minority Leader of the Senate, the
27chairman and minority chairman of the Appropriations Committee
28of the Senate, the chairman and minority chairman of the
29Education Committee of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of
30Representatives, the Majority Leader of the House of

1Representatives, the Minority Leader of the House of
2Representatives, the chairman and minority chairman of the
3Appropriations Committee of the House of Representatives and the
4chairman and minority chairman of the Education Committee of the
5House of Representatives. The recommendations of the commission
6shall not take effect unless the recommendations are approved by
7an act of the General Assembly enacted after the effective date
8of this section.

9Section 5. Section 1715-A of the act, amended or added June
1019, 1997 (P.L.225, No.22) and July 9, 2008 (P.L.846, No.61), is
11amended to read:

12Section 1715-A. Charter School Entity Requirements.--(a) 
13Charter [schools] school entities shall be required to comply
14with the following provisions:

15(1) Except as otherwise provided in this article, a charter
16school entity is exempt from statutory requirements established
17in this act, from regulations of the State board and the
18standards of the secretary not specifically applicable to
19charter [schools] school entities. Charter [schools] school 
20entities are not exempt from statutes applicable to public
21schools other than this act.

22(2) A charter school entity shall be accountable to the
23parents, the public and the Commonwealth, with the delineation
24of that accountability reflected in the charter. Strategies for
25meaningful parent and community involvement shall be developed
26and implemented by each school.

27(3) A charter school entity shall not unlawfully
28discriminate in admissions, hiring or operation.

29(4) A charter school entity shall be nonsectarian in all
30operations.

1(5) (i) [A] Subject to subparagraph (ii), a charter school
2entity shall not provide any religious instruction, nor shall it
3display religious objects and symbols on the premises of the
4charter school[.] entity.

5(ii) It shall not be a violation of this paragraph for a
6charter school entity to utilize a sectarian facility:

7(A) if the charter school entity provides for discrete and
8separate entrances to buildings utilized for school purposes
9only;

10(B) if the religious objects and symbols within the portions
11of the facility utilized by the school are covered or removed to
12the extent reasonably feasible; or

13(C) in which the unused portion of the facility or its
14common areas contain religious symbols and objects.

15(6) A charter school entity shall not advocate unlawful
16behavior.

17(7) A charter school or regional charter school shall only
18be subject to the laws and regulations as provided for in
19section 1732-A, or as otherwise provided for in this [article]
20act.

21(7.1) A cyber charter school shall only be subject to the
22laws and regulations as provided for in section 1749-A, or as
23otherwise provided for in this act.

24(8) A charter school entity shall participate in [the
25Pennsylvania State Assessment System as provided for in 22 Pa.
26Code Ch. 5 (relating to curriculum), or subsequent regulations
27promulgated to replace 22 Pa. Code Ch. 5,] assessments in the
28manner in which the school district in which the charter school
29entity is located is scheduled to participate.

30(9) A charter school entity shall provide a minimum of one

1hundred eighty (180) days of instruction or nine hundred (900)
2hours per year of instruction at the elementary level, or nine
3hundred ninety (990) hours per year of instruction at the
4secondary level. Nothing in this clause shall preclude the use
5of computer and satellite linkages for delivering instruction to
6students.

7(10) Boards of trustees and contractors of charter [schools]
8school entities shall be subject to the following statutory
9requirements governing construction projects and construction-
10related work:

11(i) The following provisions of this act:

12(A) Sections 751 and 751.1.

13(B) Sections 756 and 757 insofar as they are consistent with
14the act of December 20, 1967 (P.L.869, No.385), known as the
15"Public Works Contractors' Bond Law of 1967."

16(ii) Section 1 of the act of May 1, 1913 (P.L.155, No.104),
17entitled "An act regulating the letting of certain contracts for
18the erection, construction, and alteration of public buildings."

19(iii) The act of August 11, 1961 (P.L.987, No.442), known as
20the "Pennsylvania Prevailing Wage Act."

21(iv) The "Public Works Contractors' Bond Law of 1967."

22(v) The act of March 3, 1978 (P.L.6, No.3), known as the
23"Steel Products Procurement Act."

24(11) Trustees of a charter school entity shall be public
25officials[.] for the purposes of 65 Pa.C.S. Ch. 11 (relating to 
26ethics standards and financial disclosure) and shall file a 
27statement of financial interests for the preceding calendar year 
28with the State Ethics Commission and either the local board of 
29school directors in the case of a charter school or regional 
30charter school, or the department in the case of a cyber charter
 

1school, not later than May 1 of each year that members hold the 
2position and of the year after a member leaves the position. All 
3members of the board of trustees of a charter school entity 
4shall take the oath of office as required under section 321 
5before entering upon the duties of their office.

6[(12) A person who serves as an administrator for a charter
7school shall not receive compensation from another charter
8school or from a company that provides management or other
9services to another charter school. The term "administrator"
10shall include the chief executive officer of a charter school
11and all other employes of a charter school who by virtue of
12their positions exercise management or operational oversight
13responsibilities. A person who serves as an administrator for a
14charter school shall be a public official under 65 Pa.C.S. Ch.
1511 (relating to ethics standards and financial disclosure). A
16violation of this clause shall constitute a violation of 65
17Pa.C.S. § 1103(a) (relating to restricted activities), and the
18violator shall be subject to the penalties imposed under the
19jurisdiction of the State Ethics Commission.]

20(b) An individual who serves as an administrator for a
21charter school entity shall be a public employe for the purposes
22of 65 Pa.C.S. Ch. 11 and shall file a statement of financial
23interests for the preceding calendar year with the board of
24trustees not later than May 1 of each year that the person holds
25the position and of the year after the person leaves the
26position.

27(c) (1) No individual who serves as an administrator for a
28charter school entity may receive compensation from another
29charter school entity or from an educational management service
30provider, unless:

1(i) The administrator has submitted a sworn statement to the
2board of trustees of the charter school entity and the sworn
3statement details the work for the other entity and includes the
4projected number of hours, rate of compensation and projected
5duration.

6(ii) The board of trustees of the charter school entity has
7reviewed the sworn statement under subclause (i) and agreed, by
8resolution, to grant permission to the administrator.

9(2) A copy of the sworn statement under clause (1)(i) and
10the resolution by the board of trustees granting the permission
11under clause (1)(ii) shall be provided to, and kept on file
12with, the charter school entity and the local board of school
13directors or, in the case of a cyber charter school, the
14department.

15(3) No administrator of a charter school entity or immediate
16family member of the administrator may serve as a voting member
17of the board of trustees of the charter school entity that
18employs the administrator.

19(4) (i) No administrator of a charter school entity may
20participate in the selection, award or administration of a
21contract if the person has a conflict of interest as that term
22is defined in 65 Pa.C.S. § 1102 (relating to definitions).

23(ii) An administrator who knowingly violates this clause
24commits a violation of 65 Pa.C.S. § 1103(a) (relating to
25restricted activities) and shall be subject to the penalties
26imposed under the jurisdiction of the State Ethics Commission.

27(iii) Any contract made in violation of this clause shall be
28voidable by the board of trustees of the charter school entity.

29(5) An administrator shall be immediately dismissed upon
30conviction for an offense graded as a felony, an infamous crime,

1an offense pertaining to fraud, theft or mismanagement of public
2funds or any crime involving moral turpitude.

3Section 6. Section 1716-A(c) of the act, added June 19, 1997
4(P.L.225, No.22), is amended and the section is amended by
5adding subsections to read:

6Section 1716-A. Powers of Board of Trustees.--* * *

7(b.1) (1) For a charter school or regional charter school
8chartered after the effective date of this subsection, an
9individual shall be prohibited from serving as a voting member
10of the board of trustees of the charter school or regional
11charter school if the individual or an immediate family member
12receives compensation from or is employed by or is a member of
13the local board of school directors who participated in the
14initial review, approval, oversight, evaluation or renewal
15process of the charter school or regional charter school
16chartered by that board.

17(2) An employe of the school district that chartered a
18charter school or regional charter school may serve as a member
19of the board of trustees of the charter school or regional
20charter school without voting privileges.

21(b.2) (1) No member of the board of trustees of a charter
22school entity may participate in the selection, award or
23administration of any contract if the member has a conflict of
24interest as that term is defined in 65 Pa.C.S. § 1102 (relating
25to definitions).

26(2) Any member of the board of trustees of a charter school
27entity who in the discharge of the person's official duties
28would be required to vote on a matter that would result in a
29conflict of interest shall abstain from voting and follow the
30procedures required under 65 Pa.C.S. § 1103(j) (relating to

1restricted activities).

2(3) A member of the board of trustees of a charter school
3entity who knowingly violates this subsection commits a
4violation of 65 Pa.C.S. § 1103(a) and shall be subject to the
5penalties imposed under the jurisdiction of the State Ethics
6Commission.

7(4) A contract made in violation of this subsection shall be
8voidable by a court of competent jurisdiction, if the suit is
9commenced within ninety (90) days of the making of the contract.

10(5) No member of the board of trustees of a charter school
11entity shall be compensated for duties on the board of trustees.

12(b.3) A member of the board of trustees of a charter school
13entity shall be automatically disqualified and immediately
14removed from the board of trustees upon conviction for an
15offense graded as a felony, an infamous crime, an offense
16pertaining to fraud, theft or mismanagement of public funds, any
17offense pertaining to his official capacity as a member of the
18board of trustees or any crime involving moral turpitude.

19(c) The board of trustees shall comply with [the act of July
203, 1986 (P.L.388, No.84), known as the "Sunshine Act."] 65
21Pa.C.S. Ch. 7 (relating to open meetings).

22(d) (1) (i) The board of trustees of a charter school
23entity shall consist of a minimum of five (5) nonrelated voting
24members.

25(ii) If a charter school entity has fewer than five (5)
26nonrelated voting members serving on its board of trustees on
27the effective date of this subsection, the charter school entity
28shall, within sixty (60) days, appoint additional members to the
29board of trustees to meet the minimum requirements of this
30section.

1(2) Within one (1) year of the effective date of this
2subsection, at least one member of the board of trustees of a
3charter school entity shall be a parent of a child currently
4attending the charter school entity. The board of trustees
5member required by this paragraph shall be eligible to serve
6only so long as the child attends the charter school entity.

7(e) (1) A majority of the voting members of the board of
8trustees shall constitute a quorum. If less than a majority is
9present at any meeting, no business may be transacted at the
10meeting.

11(2) The affirmative vote of a majority of all the voting
12members of the board of trustees, duly recorded, shall be
13required in order to take official action on the subjects
14enumerated under subsection (a).

15Section 7. The act is amended by adding a section to read:

16Section 1716.1-A. Payment of Indebtedness by Charter School 
17Entities.--(a) The board of trustees of a charter school entity 
18shall supply the secretary and, in the case of a charter school 
19or regional charter school, the local board of school directors 
20a list of the amount of rental payments which are guarantees for 
21school building debt or bonds that become due during the fiscal 
22year together with the amount paid on each item of indebtedness. 
23Any charter school entity that elects to issue debt shall hold 
24in escrow an amount sufficient to pay the annual amount of the 
25sum of the principal maturing or subject to mandatory redemption 
26and interest owing by the charter school entity or sinking fund 
27deposit due by the charter school entity.

28(b) (1) In any case where the board of trustees of a
29charter school entity fails to pay or to provide for the payment
30of:

1(i) any indebtedness at date of maturity or date of
2mandatory redemption or on any sinking fund deposit date; or

3(ii) any interest due on such indebtedness on any interest
4payment date or on any sinking fund deposit date in accordance
5with the schedule under which the bonds were issued,

6the bank or trustee for the bonds shall notify the board of
7trustees of its obligation and shall immediately notify the
8secretary and, in the case of a charter school or regional
9charter school, the local board of school directors.

10(2) The secretary shall withhold any payment due the charter
11school entity in any amount necessary to fully fund the amount
12held in escrow by the charter school entity which shall be equal
13to the sum of the principal amount maturing or subject to
14mandatory redemption and interest owing by the charter school
15entity or sinking fund deposit due by the charter school entity
16and shall require payover of the amount withheld to the bank or
17trustee acting as the sinking fund depositary for the bond issue
18from the escrow account.

19Section 8. <-Sections 1717-A(c), (d), (e) and (f) and 1719-A 
20of the act, added June 19, 1997 (P.L.225, No.22), are amended to 
21read: <-Section 1717-A(c), (d), (e) and (f) of the act, added June 
2219, 1997 (P.L.225, No.22), are amended and the section is 
23amended by adding subsections to read:

24Section 1717-A. Establishment of Charter School.--* * *

25(c) An application to establish a charter school shall be
26submitted to the local board of school directors of the district
27where the charter school will be located by [November 15]
28October 1 of the school year preceding the school year in which
29the charter school will be established except that for a charter
30school beginning in the 1997-1998 school year, an application

1must be received by July 15, 1997. In the 1997-1998 school year
2only, applications shall be limited to recipients of fiscal year
31996-1997 Department of Education charter school planning
4grants.

5(d) Within forty-five (45) days of receipt of an
6application, the local board of school directors in which the
7proposed charter school is to be located shall hold at least one
8public hearing on the provisions of the charter application,
9under [the act of July 3, 1986 (P.L.388, No.84), known as the
10"Sunshine Act."] 65 Pa.C.S. Ch. 7 (relating to open meetings).
11At least forty-five (45) days must transpire between the first
12public hearing and the final decision of the board on the
13charter application except that for a charter school beginning
14in the 1997-1998 school year, only thirty (30) days must
15transpire between the first public hearing and the final
16decision of the board.

17(e) (1) Not later than seventy-five (75) days after the
18first public hearing on the application, the local board of
19school directors shall grant or deny the application. For a
20charter school beginning in the 1997-1998 school year, the local
21board of school directors shall grant or deny the application no
22later than sixty (60) days after the first public hearing.

23(2) A charter school application submitted under this
24article shall be evaluated by the local board of school
25directors based on criteria, including, but not limited to, the
26following:

27(i) The demonstrated, sustainable support for the charter
28school plan by teachers, parents, other community members and
29students, including comments received at the public hearing held
30under subsection (d).

1(ii) The capability of the charter school applicant, in
2terms of support and planning, to provide comprehensive learning
3experiences to students pursuant to the adopted charter.

4(iii) The extent to which the application considers the
5information requested in section 1719-A and conforms to the
6legislative intent outlined in section 1702-A.

7(iv) The extent to which the charter school may serve as a
8model for other public schools.

9(3) The local board of school directors, in the case of an
10existing school being converted to a charter school, shall
11establish the alternative arrangements for current students who
12choose not to attend the charter school.

13(4) A charter application shall be deemed approved by the
14local board of school directors of a school district upon
15affirmative vote by a majority of all the directors. Formal
16action approving or denying the application shall be taken by
17the local board of school directors at a public meeting, with
18notice or consideration of the application given by the board,
19under [the "Sunshine Act."] 65 Pa.C.S. Ch. 7.

20(5) Written notice of the board's action shall be sent to
21the applicant, the department and the appeal board. If the
22application is denied, the reasons for the denial, including a
23description of deficiencies in the application, shall be clearly
24stated in the notice sent by the local board of school directors
25to the charter school applicant.

26(f) At the option of the charter school applicant, a denied
27application may be revised and resubmitted to the local board of
28school directors. Following the appointment and confirmation of
29the Charter School Appeal Board under section 1721-A, the
30decision of the local board of school directors may be appealed

1to the appeal board. When an application is revised and
2resubmitted to the local board of school directors, the board
3may schedule additional public hearings on the revised
4application. The board shall consider the revised and
5resubmitted application at the first board meeting occurring at
6least forty-five (45) days after receipt of the revised
7application by the board. For a revised application resubmitted
8for the 1997-1998 school year, the board shall consider the
9application at the first board meeting occurring at least thirty
10(30) days after its receipt. The board shall provide notice of
11consideration of the revised application under [the "Sunshine
12Act."] 65 Pa.C.S. Ch. 7. No appeal from a decision of a local
13school board may be taken until July 1, 1999.

14* * *

<-15(j) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 696(i) or any
16other provision of law to the contrary, a school reform
17commission considering an application to establish a charter
18school in a school district of the first class shall comply with
19subsection (e)(5).

20(k) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 696(i) or any
21other provision of law to the contrary, a charter school
22applicant may appeal a decision of a school reform commission to
23deny an application to establish a charter school in a school
24district of the first class to the Charter School Appeal Board.
25Subsections (g), (h) and (i) shall apply to an appeal under this
26subsection.

27Section 8.1. Section 1719-A of the act, added June 19, 1997
28(P.L.225, No.22), is amended to read:

29Section 1719-A. Contents of Application.--[An] (a) The 
30department shall create a standard application form for charter
 

1school applicants seeking to establish a charter school entity 
2and for existing charter school entities seeking renewal of 
3their charters. The form shall be published in the Pennsylvania 
4Bulletin and posted on the department's publicly accessible 
5Internet website. The form shall include all of the following
6information:

7(1) The identification of the charter school applicant.

8(2) The name of the proposed charter school entity.

9(3) The grade or age levels served by the school.

10(4) [The proposed governance structure of the charter
11school, including a description and method for the appointment
12or election of members of the board of trustees.] An 
13organization chart clearly presenting the proposed governance 
14structure of the school, including lines of authority and 
15reporting between the board of trustees, administrators, staff 
16and any educational management service provider that will 
17provide management services to the charter school entity.

18(4.1) A clear description of the roles and responsibilities
19of the board of trustees, administrators and any other entities,
20including a charter school foundation, shown in the organization
21chart.

22(4.2) A clear description of the method for the appointment
23or election of members of the board of trustees.

24(4.3) Standards for board of trustees performance, including
25compliance with all applicable laws, regulations and terms of
26the charter.

27(4.4) If the charter school entity intends to contract with
28an educational management service provider for services, all of
29the following:

30(i) Evidence of the educational management service

1provider's record in serving student populations, including
2demonstrated academic achievement and demonstrated management of
3nonacademic school functions, including proficiency with public
4school-based accounting, if applicable.

5(ii) A draft contract stating all of the following:

6(A) The officers, chief administrator and administrators of
7the educational management service provider.

8(B) The proposed duration of the service contract.

9(C) Roles and responsibilities of the board of trustees, the
10school staff and the educational management service provider.

11(D) The scope of services, personnel and resources to be
12provided by the educational management service provider.

13(E) Performance evaluation measures and timelines.

14(F) The compensation structure, including clear
15identification of all fees to be paid to the educational
16management service provider.

17(G) Methods of contract oversight and enforcement.

18(H) Investment disclosure or the advance of moneys by the
19educational management service provider on behalf of the charter
20school entity.

21(I) Conditions for renewal and termination of the contract.

22(iii) Disclosure and explanation of any existing or
23potential conflicts of interest between the members of the board
24of trustees and the proposed educational management service
25provider or any affiliated business entities, including a
26charter school foundation qualified as a support organization
27under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (Public Law 99-514, 26
28U.S.C. § 1 et seq.).

29(5) The mission and education goals of the charter school
30entity, the curriculum to be offered and the methods of

1assessing whether students are meeting educational goals.

2(6) The admission policy and criteria for evaluating the
3admission of students which shall comply with the requirements
4of section 1723-A.

5(7) Procedures which will be used regarding the suspension
6or expulsion of pupils. Said procedures shall comply with
7section 1318.

8(8) Information on the manner in which community groups will
9be involved in the charter school entity planning process.

10(9) The financial plan for the charter school entity and the
11provisions which will be made for auditing the school under
12[section] sections 437 and 1728-A, including the role of any 
13charter school foundation.

14(10) Procedures which shall be established to review
15complaints of parents regarding the operation of the charter
16school entity.

17(11) A description of and address of the physical facility
18in which the charter school entity will be located and the
19ownership thereof and any lease arrangements.

20(12) Information on the proposed school calendar for the
21charter school entity, including the length of the school day
22and school year consistent with the provisions of section 1502.

23(13) The proposed faculty, if already determined, and a
24professional development and continuing education plan for the
25faculty and professional staff of [a] the charter school entity.

26(14) Whether any agreements have been entered into or plans
27developed with the local school district regarding participation
28of the charter school entity's students in extracurricular
29activities within the school district. Notwithstanding any
30provision to the contrary, no school district of residence shall

1prohibit a student of a charter school entity from participating
2in any extracurricular activity of that school district of
3residence: Provided, That the student is able to fulfill all of
4the requirements of participation in such activity and the
5charter school entity does not provide the same extracurricular
6activity.

7(15) A report of criminal history record, pursuant to
8section 111, for all individuals identified in the application
9who shall have direct contact with students and a plan for 
10satisfying the proper criminal history record clearances 
11required for all other staff.

12(16) An official clearance statement regarding child injury
13or abuse from the Department of Public Welfare as required by 23
14Pa.C.S. Ch. 63 Subch. C.2 (relating to background checks for
15employment in schools) for all individuals identified in the 
16application who shall have direct contact with students and a 
17plan for satisfying the proper official clearance statement 
18regarding child injury or abuse required for all other staff.

19(17) How the charter school entity will provide adequate
20liability and other appropriate insurance for the charter school
21entity, its employes and the board of trustees of the charter
22school entity.

23(18) Policies regarding truancy, absences and withdrawal of
24students, including the manner in which the charter school
25entity will monitor attendance consistent with section 1715-A(a)
26(9). The charter school entity's policy shall establish, to the
27satisfaction of the local board of school directors or, in the
28case of a cyber charter school, to the satisfaction of the
29department, that the charter school entity will comply with
30sections 1332 and 1333, including the institution of truancy

1proceedings when required under section 1333.

2(19) How the charter school entity will meet the standards
3included in the performance matrix developed by the State Board
4of Education under section 1731.2-A.

5(20) Indicate whether or not the charter school entity will
6seek accreditation by a nationally recognized accreditation
7agency, including the Middle States Association of Colleges and
8Schools or another regional institutional accrediting agency
9recognized by the United States Department of Education or an
10equivalent federally recognized body for charter school
11education.

12(b) A local board of school directors may not impose
13additional terms, develop its own application or require
14additional information outside the standard application form
15required under subsection (a).

16Section 9. Section 1720-A of the act, amended July 9, 2008,
17(P.L.846, No.61), is amended to read:

18Section 1720-A. Term and Form of Charter.--(a) (1) Upon
19approval of a charter application under section 1717-A, a
20written charter shall be developed which shall contain the
21provisions of the standardized charter application under section 
221719-A and which shall be signed by the local board of school
23directors of a school district, by the local boards of school
24directors of a school district in the case of a regional charter
25school or by the chairman of the appeal board pursuant to
26section [1717-A(i)(5)] 1717-A(i)(9) and the board of trustees of
27the charter school or regional charter school. This written
28charter, when duly signed by the local board of school directors
29of a school district, [or] by the local boards of school
30directors of a school district in the case of a regional charter

1school or by the chairman of the appeal board, and the charter 
2school or regional charter school's board of trustees, shall act
3as legal authorization for the establishment of a charter school
4or regional charter school. This written charter shall be
5legally binding on both the local board of school directors of a
6school district and the charter school or regional charter
7school's board of trustees. [Except as otherwise provided in
8subsection (b), the charter shall be for a period of no less
9than three (3) nor more than five (5) years and may be renewed
10for five (5) year periods upon reauthorization by the local
11board of school directors of a school district or the appeal
12board.] If the charter school or regional charter school 
13contracts with an educational management service provider, a 
14contract shall be executed once the charter is approved. A
15charter will be granted only for a school organized as a public,
16nonprofit corporation.

17(2)  The following shall apply to all charters granted by a
18school district:

19(i)  An initial charter executed pursuant to section
201720-A(a)(1) shall be for a period of five (5) years.

21(ii)  Prior to the effective date of the regulations
22implementing the performance matrix as required pursuant to
23section 1731.2-A, a charter may be renewed for five (5) year
24periods upon reauthorization by the local board of school
25directors or other governing body of a school district or the
26appeal board.

27(iii)  Upon the effective date of the regulations
28implementing the performance matrix as required pursuant to
29section 1731.2-A, the following shall apply:

30(A)  For charter schools and regional charter schools that

1have satisfied the academic quality benchmark established by the
2State Board of Education pursuant to section 1731.2-A, a charter
3may be renewed for ten (10) year periods upon reauthorization by
4the local board of school directors or other governing body of a
5school district or the appeal board.

6(B)  For charter schools and regional charter schools that
7have not satisfied the academic quality benchmark established by
8the State Board of Education pursuant to section 1731.2-A, a
9charter may be renewed for five (5) year periods upon
10reauthorization by the local board of school directors or other
11governing body of a school district or the appeal board.

12[(b) (1) Notwithstanding subsection (a), a governing board
13of a school district of the first class may renew a charter for
14a period of one (1) year if the board of school directors
15determines that there is insufficient data concerning the
16charter school's academic performance to adequately assess that
17performance and determines that an additional year of
18performance data would yield sufficient data to assist the
19governing board in its decision whether to renew the charter for
20a period of five (5) years.

21(2) A one-year renewal pursuant to paragraph (1) shall not
22be considered an adjudication and may not be appealed to the
23State Charter School Appeal Board.

24(3) A governing board of a school district of the first
25class does not have the authority to renew a charter for
26successive one (1) year periods.]

27(c) (1) A charter school or regional charter school may
28request amendments to its approved written charter by filing a
29written document describing the requested amendment with the
30local board of school directors.

1(2) Within twenty (20) days of its receipt of the request
2for an amendment, the local board of school directors shall hold
3a public hearing on the requested amendment under 65 Pa.C.S. Ch.
47 (relating to open meetings).

5(3) Within twenty (20) days after the hearing, the local
6board of school directors shall grant or deny the requested
7amendment. Failure by the local board of school directors to
8hold a public hearing and to grant or deny the amendment within
9the time period specified in this subsection shall be deemed an
10approval.

11(4) An applicant for an amendment shall have the right to
12appeal the denial of a requested amendment to the appeal board
13provided for under section 1721-A.

14Section 10. Section 1721-A(a) and (e) of the act, added June
1519, 1997 (P.L.225, No.22), are amended to read:

16Section 1721-A. State Charter School Appeal Board.--(a) The
17State Charter School Appeal Board shall consist of the Secretary
18of Education and [six (6)] the following members who shall be
19appointed by the Governor by and with the consent of a majority
20of all the members of the Senate. [Appointments by the Governor
21shall not occur prior to January 1, 1999.] The Governor shall
22select the chairman of the appeal board to serve at the pleasure
23of the Governor. The members shall include:

24(1) A parent of a school-aged child enrolled in a charter 
25school entity.

26(2) A school board member.

27(3) A certified teacher actively employed in a public
28school.

29(4) A faculty member or administrative employe of an
30institution of higher education.

1(5) A member of the business community.

2(6) A member of the State Board of Education.

3(7) An administrator of a charter school entity.

4(8) A member of the board of trustees of a charter school
5entity.

6The term of office of members of the appeal board, other than
7the secretary, shall be for a period of four (4) years or until
8a successor is appointed and qualified, except that, of the
9initial appointees, the Governor shall designate two (2) members
10to serve terms of two (2) years, two (2) members to serve terms
11of three (3) years and two (2) members to serve terms of four
12(4) years. A parent member appointed under paragraph (1) shall 
13serve a term of four (4) years, provided the member's child 
14remains enrolled in the charter school entity. Any appointment
15to fill any vacancy shall be for the period of the unexpired
16term or until a successor is appointed and qualified.

17* * *

18(e) Meetings of the appeal board shall be conducted under 
19[the act of July 3, 1986 (P.L.388, No.84), known as the 
20"Sunshine Act."] 65 Pa.C.S. Ch. 7 (relating to open meetings). 
21Documents of the appeal board shall be subject to the [act of 
22June 21, 1957 (P.L.390, No.212), referred to as the Right-to-
23Know Law] act of February 14, 2008 (P.L.6, No.3), known as the 
24"Right-to-Know Law".

25Section 11. Section 1722-A(a), (b) and (d) of the act,
26amended November 17, 2010 (P.L.996, No.104), are amended and the
27section is amended by adding a subsection to read:

28Section 1722-A. Facilities.--(a) A charter school entity
29may be located in an existing public school building, in a part
30of an existing public school building, in space provided on a

1privately owned site, in a public building or in any other
2suitable location.

3(b) The charter school entity facility shall be exempt from
4public school facility regulations except those pertaining to
5the health or safety of [the pupils] students.

6(d) Notwithstanding any other provision of this act, a
7school district [of the first class] may, in its discretion,
8permit a charter school or regional charter school to operate
9its school at more than one location.

10* * *

11(f) (1) Alcoholic beverages shall not be available for
12consumption, purchase or sale in any charter school entity
13facility.

14(2) If, in the case of a charter school or regional charter
15school, the local board of school directors reasonably believes
16that alcoholic beverages have been made available for
17consumption, purchase or sale in the charter school or regional
18charter school facility, the local board of school directors
19shall notify the department.

20(3) If alcoholic beverages have been made available for
21consumption, purchase or sale in a charter school entity
22facility, the secretary shall order the following forfeitures
23against the charter school entity:

24(i) A fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000) for the first
25violation.

26(ii) A fine of five thousand dollars ($5,000) for the second
27or subsequent violation.

28(4) The charter school entity may appeal the order of the
29secretary under 2 Pa.C.S. Chs. 5 (relating to practice and
30procedure) and 7 (relating to judicial review).

1Section 12. Section 1723-A(a) and (d) of the act, amended or
2added June 26, 1999 (P.L.394, No.36) and July 9, 2008 (P.L.846,
3No.61), are amended to read:

4Section 1723-A. Enrollment.--(a) All resident children in
5this Commonwealth qualify for admission to a charter school
6entity within the provisions of subsection (b). If more students
7apply to the charter school entity than the number of attendance
8slots available in the school, then students must be selected on
9a random basis from a pool of qualified applicants meeting the
10established eligibility criteria and submitting an application
11by the deadline established by the charter school entity, except
12that the charter school entity may give preference in enrollment
13to a child of a parent who has actively participated in the
14development of the charter school [and] entity, to siblings of
15students presently enrolled in the charter school entity and to 
16siblings of students selected for enrollment during the lottery 
17process. First preference shall be given to students who reside
18in the district or districts in which the charter school entity 
19is physically located.

20* * *

21(d) (1) Enrollment of students in a charter school, 
22regional charter school or cyber charter school <-or expansion of 
23a charter school, regional charter school or cyber charter 
24school into additional grade levels shall not be subject to a
25cap or otherwise limited by any past or future action of a board
26of school directors, a board of control established under
27Article XVII-B, a special board of control established under
28section 692 or any other governing authority[, unless agreed to
29by the charter school or cyber charter school as part of a
30written charter pursuant to section 1720-A].

1(2) The provisions of this subsection shall apply to a
2charter school, regional charter school or cyber charter school
3regardless of whether the charter was approved prior to or is
4approved subsequent to the effective date of this subsection.

5Section 13. Section 1725-A of the act, amended or added June
619, 1997 (P.L.225, No.22), June 22, 2001 (P.L.530, No.35) and
7June 29, 2002 (P.L.524, No.88), is amended to read:

8Section 1725-A. Funding for Charter [Schools] School 
9Entities.--(a) Funding for a charter school entity shall be
10provided in the following manner:

11(1) There shall be no tuition charge for a resident or
12nonresident student attending a charter school entity.

13(2) [For non-special education students, the charter school
14shall receive for each student enrolled no less than the
15budgeted total expenditure per average daily membership of the
16prior school year, as defined in section 2501(20), minus the
17budgeted expenditures of the district of residence for nonpublic
18school programs; adult education programs; community/junior
19college programs; student transportation services; for special
20education programs; facilities acquisition, construction and
21improvement services; and other financing uses, including debt
22service and fund transfers as provided in the Manual of
23Accounting and Related Financial Procedures for Pennsylvania
24School Systems established by the department. This amount shall
25be paid by the district of residence of each student.] For non-
26special education students, the charter school entity shall 
27receive for each student enrolled the following, which shall be 
28paid by the school district of residence of each student by 
29deduction and transfer from all State payments due to the school 
30district of residence as provided for under clause (5):

1(i) Subject to clause (ii), no less than the budgeted total
2expenditure per average daily membership of the prior school
3year, as defined in section 2501(20), minus the budgeted
4expenditures of the district of residence for nonpublic school
5programs; adult education programs; community/junior college
6programs; student transportation services; for special education
7programs; facilities acquisition, construction and improvement
8services; and other financing uses, including debt service and
9fund transfers as provided in the Manual of Accounting and
10Related Financial Procedures for Pennsylvania School Systems
11established by the department.

12(ii) Beginning in the 2013-2014 school year and through and
13including the 2014-2015 school year, the following:

14(A) For each student enrolled in a charter school or
15regional charter school, no less than the budgeted total
16expenditure per average daily membership of the prior school
17year, as defined in section 2501(20), minus the budgeted
18expenditures of the district of residence for nonpublic school
19programs; adult education programs; community/junior college
20programs; student transportation services; special education
21programs; facilities acquisition, construction and improvement
22services; and other financing uses, including debt service and
23fund transfers as provided in the Manual of Accounting and
24Related Financial Procedures for Pennsylvania School Systems
25established by the department.

26(B) For each student enrolled in a cyber charter school, no
27less than the budgeted total expenditure per average daily
28membership of the prior school year, as defined in section
292501(20), minus the budgeted expenditures of the district of
30residence for nonpublic school programs; adult education

1programs; community/junior college programs; student
2transportation services; special education programs; facilities
3acquisition, construction and improvement services; other
4financing uses, including debt service and fund transfers as
5provided in the Manual of Accounting and Related Financial
6Procedures for Pennsylvania School Systems established by the
7department; food services; and the full employer's share of
8retirement contributions paid to the Public School Employees'
9Retirement System.

10(2.1) The amount under clause (2) shall be calculated by
11each school district on a form prescribed by the secretary in
12accordance with this section. The secretary, upon receipt of a
13school district's calculation, shall review the school
14district's calculation and may request supporting documentation
15from the school district regarding its calculation. If the
16secretary finds an error or discrepancy in a school district's
17calculation, the secretary shall require the school district to
18correct the calculation and require the school district to
19notify affected charter school entities.

20(3) [For special education students, the charter school
21shall receive for each student enrolled the same funding as for
22each non-special education student as provided in clause (2),
23plus an additional amount determined by dividing the district of
24residence's total special education expenditure by the product
25of multiplying the combined percentage of section 2509.5(k)
26times the district of residence's total average daily membership
27for the prior school year. This amount shall be paid by the
28district of residence of each student.] For special education 
29students, the charter school entity shall receive for each 
30student enrolled the same funding as for each non-special
 

1education student as provided under clause (2), plus an 
2additional amount determined by dividing the total special 
3education expenditure of the school district of residence by the 
4product of:

5(i) the combined percentage of section 2509.5(k) applicable
6to the school year; and

7(ii) the total average daily membership of the school
8district of residence for the prior school year.

9(3.1) The following apply:

10(i) The amount under clauses (2) and (3) shall be paid by
11the school district of residence of each student by deduction
12and transfer from all State payments due to the school district
13of residence as provided under clause (5).

14(ii) If a charter school entity disputes the accuracy of a
15school district's calculation under clauses (2) and (3), the
16charter school entity shall file a notice of the dispute with
17the secretary, who shall hold a hearing to determine the
18accuracy of the school district's calculation within thirty (30)
19days of the notice.

20(iii) The secretary shall determine the accuracy of the
21school district's calculation and make any necessary billing
22adjustment within thirty (30) days of the hearing.

23(iv) The school district shall bear the burden of production
24and proof with respect to its calculation under this clause.

25(v) The school district shall be liable for the reasonable
26legal fees incurred by a charter school entity if the charter
27school entity is the substantially prevailing party after a
28hearing under this section. The charter school entity shall be
29liable for the reasonable legal fees incurred by the school
30district if the school district is the substantially prevailing

1party after a hearing under this section.

2(vi) All decisions of the secretary under this clause shall
3be subject to appellate review by Commonwealth Court.

4(4) [A charter school may request the intermediate unit in
5which the charter school is located to provide services to
6assist the charter school to address the specific needs of
7exceptional students. The intermediate unit shall assist the
8charter school and bill the charter school for the services. The
9intermediate unit may not charge the charter school more for any
10service than it charges the constituent districts of the
11intermediate unit.] A charter school entity may request the 
12intermediate unit or school district in which the charter school 
13entity is located to provide services to assist the charter 
14school entity to address the specific needs of non-special 
15education and special education students. The intermediate unit 
16or school district shall assist the charter school entity and 
17bill the charter school entity for the services. The 
18intermediate unit may not charge the charter school entity more 
19for any service than it charges the constituent districts of the 
20intermediate unit. Nothing under this clause shall preclude an 
21intermediate unit or school district from contracting with a 
22charter school entity to provide the intermediate unit or school 
23district with services to assist the intermediate unit or school 
24district to address specific needs of non-special education and 
25special education students.

26(5) [Payments shall be made to the charter school in twelve
27(12) equal monthly payments, by the fifth day of each month,
28within the operating school year. A student enrolled in a
29charter school shall be included in the average daily membership
30of the student's district of residence for the purpose of

1providing basic education funding payments and special education
2funding pursuant to Article XXV. If a school district fails to
3make a payment to a charter school as prescribed in this clause,
4the secretary shall deduct the estimated amount, as documented
5by the charter school, from any and all State payments made to
6the district after receipt of documentation from the charter
7school.] Beginning in the 2013-2014 school year, the following 
8apply:

9(i) Payments shall be made to the charter school entity in
10twelve (12) equal monthly payments, according to the established
11monthly unipay schedule within the operating school year or any
12subsequent school year.

13(ii) Except as provided for in subclause (v), payments shall
14be made directly by the secretary deducting and paying to the
15charter school entity the estimated amount, as documented by the
16charter school entity, from:

17(A) all State payments due to the school district of
18residence; or

19(B) if no payments are due to the school district of
20residence, from all State payments reasonably expected to be due
21in the next established monthly unipay schedule, after receipt
22of documentation from the charter school entity as to its
23enrollment.

24(iii) At least thirty (30) days prior to the scheduled
25payment date each month, a charter school entity shall provide
26to the department and to the school district of residence of
27each student enrolled in the charter school entity documentation
28of the charter school entity's enrollment, on a form to be
29developed by the secretary within sixty (60) days of the
30effective date of this section. The form, which shall be

1developed in consultation with representatives of charter school
2entities and school districts, shall require the charter school
3entity to provide to the department and to the school district
4of residence of each student enrolled in the charter school
5entity, documentation of each student's current enrollment in
6the charter school entity and current residence in the school
7district, including the following information:

8(A) Student's name.

9(B) Student's home address.

10(C) Name and telephone number of student's parent or
11guardian.

12(D) Student's date of birth.

13(E) Student's grade level.

14(F) Type of school in which student was previously enrolled.

15(G) Student's date of enrollment.

16(H) Whether each student is being educated under an
17individualized education plan under the Individuals with
18Disabilities Education Act (Public Law 91-230, 20 U.S.C. § 1400
19et seq.).

20(I) The tuition amount due on account of each student.

21(J) The total amount due from the school district for that
22month.

23(K) Copies of the actual documents used by the charter
24school entity to verify each student's residence in the school
25district.

26The secretary shall not make payments under this section until
27the charter school entity provides the department and the school
28district or residence with a completed form and accompanying
29documentation as required under this clause. A charter school
30entity may make only one (1) payment request per month under

1this clause. After a charter school entity makes a payment
2request under this clause, any necessary corrections or
3adjustments may be made in the next subsequent monthly payment
4request.

5(iv) The secretary's obligation to make payments under this
6section is mandatory and ministerial, except that payments made
7pursuant to this section shall not be given priority over
8payments required pursuant to sections 633 and 785 and 53
9Pa.C.S. § 8125(b) (relating to security for tax anticipation
10notes and sinking fund), or an agreement pursuant to which the
11Commonwealth is required to make payment to a holder of debt
12issued by or on behalf of a school entity. If payments required
13under sections 633 and 785 and 53 Pa.C.S. § 8125(b) preclude the
14timely payment of funds to a charter school entity under section
151725-A or will cause the board of school directors of a school
16district to fail to pay or provide for payment under this
17subsection, nothing shall preclude the secretary from
18withholding funds from any and all State payments made to the
19school district for the operating school year or for any
20subsequent operating school year.

21(v) If there are insufficient State payments due to a school
22district in the established monthly unipay schedule to cover all
23charter school entity deductions and transfers, the school
24district shall be responsible for paying the unpaid balance
25directly to the charter school entity not more than ten (10)
26days following the established monthly unipay schedule.

27(vi) A student enrolled in a charter school entity shall be
28included in the average daily membership of the student's school
29district of residence for the purpose of providing basic
30education funding payments and special education funding under

1Article XXV.

2(6) [Within thirty (30) days after the secretary makes the
3deduction described in clause (5), a school district may notify
4the secretary that the deduction made from State payments to the
5district under this subsection is inaccurate. The secretary
6shall provide the school district with an opportunity to be
7heard concerning whether the charter school documented that its
8students were enrolled in the charter school, the period of time
9during which each student was enrolled, the school district of
10residence of each student and whether the amounts deducted from
11the school district were accurate.] The following apply:

12(i) Within thirty (30) days after the payment is made to the
13charter school entity as described under clause (5), a school
14district may notify the secretary that the estimated amount, as
15documented by the charter school entity, is inaccurate.

16(ii) Within thirty (30) days of the notice by the school
17district under subclause (i), the secretary shall provide the
18school district with a hearing concerning whether the charter
19school entity documented that students were enrolled in the
20charter school entity, the period of time during which each
21student was enrolled in the charter school entity, the school
22district of residence of each student enrolled in the charter
23school entity and whether the amounts deducted from or paid by
24the school district were accurate.

25(iii) The burden of proof and production at the hearing
26shall be on the school district. A hearing shall not be held
27before the secretary deducts and transfers to the charter school
28entity the amount estimated by the charter school entity.

29(iv) The secretary shall determine the accuracy of the
30amount documented by the charter school entity and make any

1necessary payment adjustment within thirty (30) days of the
2hearing.

3(v) The school district shall be liable for the reasonable
4legal fees incurred by a charter school entity if the charter
5school entity is the substantially prevailing party after a
6hearing under this section. The charter school entity shall be
7liable for the reasonable legal fees incurred by the school
8district if the school district is the substantially prevailing
9party after a hearing under this section.

10(vi) All decisions of the secretary under this section shall
11be subject to appellate review by Commonwealth Court.

12(vii) Supersedeas shall not be granted to the secretary or
13any party to the proceeding on an appeal from the decision of
14the secretary under this section; and, absent a court order, the
15secretary shall not hold any payments in escrow.

16[(b) The Commonwealth shall provide temporary financial
17assistance to a school district due to the enrollment of
18students in a charter school who attended a nonpublic school in
19the prior school year in order to offset the additional costs
20directly related to the enrollment of those students in a public
21charter school. The Commonwealth shall pay the school district
22of residence of a student enrolled in a nonpublic school in the
23prior school year who is attending a charter school an amount
24equal to the school district of residence's basic education
25subsidy for the current school year divided by the district's
26average daily membership for the prior school year. This payment
27shall occur only for the first year of the attendance of the
28student in a charter school, starting with school year 1997-
291998. Total payments of temporary financial assistance to school
30districts on behalf of a student enrolling in a charter school

1who attended a nonpublic school in the prior school year shall
2be limited to funds appropriated for this program in a fiscal
3year. If the total of the amount needed for all students
4enrolled in a nonpublic school in the prior school year who
5enroll in a charter school exceeds the appropriation for the
6temporary financial assistance program, the amount paid to a
7school district for each qualifying student shall be pro rata
8reduced. Receipt of funds under this subsection shall not
9preclude a school district from applying for a grant under
10subsection (c).

11(c) The Commonwealth shall create a grant program to provide
12temporary transitional funding to a school district due to the
13budgetary impact relating to any student's first-year attendance
14at a charter school. The department shall develop criteria which
15shall include, but not be limited to, the overall fiscal impact
16on the budget of the school district resulting from students of
17a school district attending a charter school. The criteria shall
18be published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. This subsection shall
19not apply to a public school converted to a charter school under
20section 1717-A(b). Grants shall be limited to funds appropriated
21for this purpose.]

22(d) It shall be lawful for any charter school entity to
23receive, hold, manage and use, absolutely or in trust, any
24devise, bequest, grant, endowment, gift or donation of any
25property, real or personal and/or mixed, which shall be made to
26the charter school entity for any of the purposes of this
27article.

28(e) It shall be unlawful for any trustee of a charter school
29entity or any board of trustees of a charter school entity or
30any other person affiliated in any way with a charter school

1entity to demand or request, directly or indirectly, any gift,
2donation or contribution of any kind from any parent, teacher,
3employe or any other person affiliated with the charter school
4entity as a condition for employment or enrollment and/or
5continued attendance of any pupil. Any donation, gift or
6contribution received by a charter school entity shall be given
7freely and voluntarily.

8(f) A charter school entity may not provide discounts to a
9school district or waive payments under this section for any
10student.

11Section 14. <-Section 1728-A Sections 1728-A and 1729-A(a), 
12(b) and (c) of the act, added June 19, 1997<-, (P.L.225, No.22),
<-13is are amended to read:

14Section 1728-A. Annual Reports and Assessments.--(a) (1)
15The local board of school directors shall annually assess
16whether each charter school or regional charter school is
17meeting the goals of its charter and shall conduct a
18comprehensive review prior to [granting a five (5) year renewal
19of the charter] renewing the charter pursuant to section 1720-
20A(a)(2). The local board of school directors shall have ongoing
21access to the records and facilities of the charter school or 
22regional charter school to ensure that the charter school or 
23regional charter school is in compliance with its charter and
24this act and that requirements for testing, civil rights and
25student health and safety are being met.

26(2) Ongoing access to a charter school's or regional charter
27school's records shall mean that the local board of school
28directors shall have access to records such as financial
29reports, financial audits, aggregate standardized test scores
30without student-identifying information and teacher

1certification and personnel records.

2(3) Charter schools and regional charter schools shall
3comply fully with the requirements of the Family Educational
4Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (Public Law 90-247, 20 U.S.C. §
51232g) and associated regulations. No personally identifiable
6information from education records shall be provided by the
7charter school or regional charter school to the school district
8except in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and
9Privacy Act of 1974.

10(b) In order to facilitate the local board's review and
11secretary's report, each charter school or regional charter 
12school shall submit an annual report no later than August 1 of
13each year to the local board of school directors and the
14secretary in the form prescribed by the secretary.

15[(c) Five (5) years following the effective date of this
16article, the secretary shall contract with an independent
17professional consultant with expertise in public and private
18education. The consultant shall receive input from members of
19the educational community and the public on the charter school
20program. The consultant shall submit a report to the secretary,
21the Governor and the General Assembly and an evaluation of the
22charter school program, which shall include a recommendation on
23the advisability of the continuation, modification, expansion or
24termination of the program and any recommendations for changes
25in the structure of the program.]

26(d) A charter school entity shall form an independent audit
27committee of its board of trustees members which shall review at
28the close of each fiscal year a complete certified audit of the
29operations of the charter school entity. The audit shall be
30conducted by a qualified independent certified public

1accountant. The audit shall be conducted under generally
2accepted audit standards of the Governmental Accounting
3Standards Board and shall include the following:

4(1) An enrollment test to verify the accuracy of student
5enrollment and reporting to the State.

6(2) Full review of expense reimbursements for board of
7trustees members and administrators, including sampling of all
8reimbursements.

9(3) Review of internal controls, including review of
10receipts and disbursements.

11(4) Review of annual Federal and State tax filings,
12including the Internal Revenue Service Form 990, Return of
13Organization Exempt from Income Tax and all related schedules
14and appendices for the charter school entity and charter school
15foundation, if applicable.

16(5) Review of the financial statements of any charter school
17foundation.

18(6) Review of the selection and acceptance process of all
19contracts publicly bid pursuant to section 751.

20(7) Review of all board policies and procedures with regard
21to internal controls, code of ethics, conflicts of interest,
22whistle-blower protections, complaints from parents or the
23public, compliance with 65 Pa.C.S. Ch. 7 (relating to open
24meetings), finances, budgeting, audits, public bidding and
25bonding.

26(e) The certified audit under subsection (d) and the annual
27budget under subsection (g) are public documents and shall be
28made available on the charter school entity's publicly
29accessible Internet website, if available, and, in the case of a
30charter school or regional charter school, on the school

1district's publicly accessible Internet website.

2(f) A charter school entity may be subject to an annual
3audit by the Auditor General, in addition to any other audits
4required by Federal law or this article.

5(g) A charter school entity shall annually provide the
6department and, in the case of a charter school or regional
7charter school, shall annually provide the school district, with
8a copy of the annual budget for the operation of the charter
9school entity that identifies the following:

10(1) The source of funding for all expenditures.

11(2) Where funding is provided by a charter school
12foundation, the amount of funds and a description of the use of
13the funds.

14(3) The salaries of all administrators of the charter school
15entity.

16(4) All expenditures to an educational management service
17provider.

18(h) (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a
19charter school entity and any affiliated charter school
20foundation shall make copies of its annual Federal and State tax
21filings available upon request and on the charter school
22entity's or foundation's publicly accessible Internet website,
23if available, including Internal Revenue Service Form 990,
24Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax and all related
25schedules and appendices.

26(2) The charter school foundation shall also make copies of
27its annual budget available upon request and on the foundation's
28or the charter school entity's publicly accessible Internet
29website within thirty (30) days of the close of the foundation's
30fiscal year.

1(3) The annual budget shall include the salaries of all
2employes of the charter school foundation.

<-3Section 15. Section 1729-A(a), (b) and (c) of the act, added
4June 19, 1997 (P.L.225, No.22), are amended to read:

5Section 1729-A. Causes for Nonrenewal or Termination.--(a)
6During the term of the charter or at the end of the term of the
7charter, the local board of school directors may choose to
8revoke or not to renew the charter based on any of the
9following:

10(1) One or more material violations of any of the
11conditions, standards or procedures contained in the written
12charter signed pursuant to section 1720-A.

13(2) Failure to meet the requirements for student performance
14[set forth in 22 Pa. Code Ch. 5 (relating to curriculum) or
15subsequent regulations promulgated to replace 22 Pa. Code Ch. 5] 
16on assessments or failure to meet any performance standard set
17forth in the written charter signed pursuant to section [1716-A]
181720-A.

19(3) Failure to meet generally accepted standards of fiscal
20management or audit requirements.

21(4) Violation of provisions of this article.

22(5) Violation of any provision of law from which the charter
23school entity has not been exempted, including Federal laws and
24regulations governing children with disabilities.

25[(6) The charter school has been convicted of fraud.]

26* * *

27(b) [A member of the board of trustees who is convicted of a
28felony or any crime involving moral turpitude shall be
29immediately disqualified from serving on the board of trustees.]
30If, after a hearing under this section, a local board of school
 

1directors or, in the case of a cyber charter school, the 
2department, proves by a preponderance of the evidence that an 
3administrator or board member of a charter school entity has 
4violated this article, the terms and conditions of the charter 
5or any other law, the local board of school directors or, in the 
6case of a cyber charter school, the department may require the 
7charter school entity to replace an administrator or board of 
8trustees member in order to obtain renewal of the charter. The 
9local board of school directors or, in the case of a cyber 
10charter school, the department may refer its findings to the 
11district attorney with jurisdiction or to the Office of Attorney 
12General for prosecution if the local board of school directors 
13or, in the case of a cyber charter school, the department 
14discovers or receives information about possible violations of 
15law by any person affiliated with or employed by a charter 
16school entity.

17(c) Any notice of revocation or nonrenewal of a charter
18given by the local board of school directors of a school
19district shall state the grounds for such action with reasonable
20specificity and give reasonable notice to the [governing] board
21of trustees of the charter school or regional charter school of
22the date on which a public hearing concerning the revocation or
23nonrenewal will be held. The local board of school directors
24shall conduct such hearing, present evidence in support of the
25grounds for revocation or nonrenewal stated in its notice and
26give the charter school or regional charter school reasonable
27opportunity to offer testimony before taking final action.
28Formal action revoking or not renewing a charter shall be taken
29by the local board of school directors at a public meeting held
30pursuant to [the act of July 3, 1986 (P.L.388, No.84), known as

1the "Sunshine Act,"] 65 Pa.C.S. Ch. 7 (relating to open 
2meetings) after the public has had thirty (30) days to provide
3comments to the board. All proceedings of the local board
4pursuant to this subsection shall be subject to 2 Pa.C.S. Ch. 5
5Subch. B (relating to practice and procedure of local agencies).
6Except as provided in subsection (d), the decision of the local
7board shall not be subject to 2 Pa.C.S. Ch. 7 Subch. B (relating
8to judicial review of local agency action).

9* * *

10Section <-16 15. The act is amended by adding sections to
11read:

12Section 1729.1-A. Evaluation of Educators.--(a) All
13applications by a charter school entity for a charter or for the
14renewal of a charter shall include a system of evaluation for
15educators that <-includes has been preapproved by the department
16as being rigorous and as including both of the following:

17(1) At least four (4) rating categories of educator
18performance.

19(2) Multiple measures of student performance which shall
20include, but may not be limited to, value-added assessment
21system data made available by the department under section 221
22and student performance on the most recent assessments for which
23results have been released by the department and may include
24goals specific to the mission of the charter school entity's
25charter.

26(b) Nothing in this section shall preempt the powers of a
27board of trustees under section 1716-A(a) nor affect the intent
28of the General Assembly provided in section 1702-A(3) and (4).

<-29(c) For purposes of this section, the term "educator" shall
30include all professional employes who are certified as teachers

1and noncertified staff members who teach in a charter school
2entity.

3Section 1729.2-A. Multiple Charter School Organizations.--
4(a) Establishment shall be as follows:

5(1) Subject to the requirements of this section and 15
6Pa.C.S. Pt. II Subpt. C (relating to nonprofit corporations),
7two (2) or more charter schools may consolidate into a multiple
8charter school organization if both of the following apply:

9(i) The department approves the consolidation as proposed in
10the application form submitted to the department pursuant to
11subsection (c).

12(ii) Each school district that granted the initial charter
13of any charter school included in the proposed consolidation
14approves, by a majority vote of the local board of school
15directors, a resolution approving the consolidation as proposed
16in the application submitted to the local board of school
17directors pursuant to subsection (c). If a local board of school
18directors does not adopt a resolution under this clause
19approving or rejecting the proposed consolidation within forty-
20five (45) days after receipt of the application, the school
21district will be deemed to have approved the consolidation.

22(2) The multiple charter school organization shall be:

23(i) granted legal authority to operate two (2) or more
24individual charter schools under the oversight of a single board
25of trustees and a chief administrator who shall oversee and
26manage the operation of the individual charter schools under its
27organization; and

28(ii) subject to all of the requirements of this article
29unless otherwise provided for under this section.

30(3) Nothing under this section shall be construed to affect

1or change the terms or conditions of any individual charter
2previously granted that is consolidated under this section.

3(b) (1) A charter school that, within either of the most
4recent two (2) school years, has failed to meet the requirements
5for student performance set forth in 22 Pa. Code Ch. 4 (relating
6to academic standards and assessment), accepted standards of
7fiscal management or audit requirements or performance standards
8set forth by the matrix established under section 1731.2-A shall
9not be eligible to consolidate with another charter school
10unless the consolidation includes a charter school demonstrating
11that it has satisfied such requirements for the most recent two
12(2) school years.

13(2) This section shall not apply until the effective date of
14the regulations implementing the performance matrix required
15under section 1731.2-A.

16(c) The department shall develop and issue a standard
17application form that multiple charter school organization
18applicants must submit to the department and to the local board
19of school directors of each school district that granted the
20initial charter of any charter school included in the proposed
21consolidation. The application form shall contain the following
22information:

23(1) The name of the multiple charter school organization.

24(2) The names of the charter schools seeking consolidation
25under this section.

26(3) A copy of the approved charter of each charter school
27seeking to consolidate under this section.

28(4) An organizational chart clearly presenting the proposed
29governance structure of the multiple charter school
30organization, including lines of authority and reporting between

1the board of trustees, chief administrator, administrators,
2staff and any educational management service provider that will
3play a role in providing management services to the charter
4schools under its jurisdiction.

5(5) A clear description of the roles and responsibilities
6for the board of trustees, chief administrator, administrators
7and any other entities, including a charter school foundation,
8shown in the organizational chart.

9(6) A clear description of the method for the appointment or
10election of members of the board of trustees.

11(7) Standards for board of trustees performance, including
12compliance with all applicable laws, regulations and terms of
13the charter.

14(8) Enrollment procedures for each individual charter school
15included in its charter.

16(9) Any other information as deemed necessary by the
17department.

18(d) A multiple charter school organization may:

19(1) Participate in the assessment system in the same manner
20in which a school district participates, with its individual
21charter schools participating in the assessment system in the
22same manner as individual schools within school districts. All
23data gathered for purposes of evaluation shall be gathered in
24the same manner in which data is gathered in the case of school
25districts and individual schools within school districts.
26Nothing in this paragraph shall alter the manner in which
27charter school performance on assessments is measured as
28required under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (Public Law
29107-110, 115 Stat. 1425), or its successor Federal statute.

30(2) Add existing charter schools to its organization by

1obtaining the approval of the department and of the school
2district that granted the initial charter of each charter school
3proposed to be added under subsection (a)(1).

4(3) Allow students enrolled in an individual charter school
5to matriculate to another individual charter school under its
6oversight so as to complete a course of instruction in an
7educational institution from kindergarten through grade twelve
8or otherwise in the best interests of the student.

9(e) A multiple charter school organization shall be regarded
10as the holder of the charter of each individual charter school
11under its oversight and each previously or subsequently awarded
12charter shall be subject to nonrenewal or revocation by the
13local board of school directors that granted the initial charter
14in accordance with this act. The nonrenewal or revocation of the
15charter of an individual charter school under the oversight of a
16multiple charter school organization shall not affect the status
17of a charter awarded for any other individual charter school
18under the oversight of the multiple charter school organization.

19(f)  For purposes of this section, the term "charter school"
20shall include a regional charter school.

21Section 1731.1-A. Fund Balance Limits.--Fund balance limits
22shall be as follows:

23(1) For the 2013-2014 school year and each school year
24thereafter, a charter school entity shall not accumulate an
25unassigned fund balance greater than the charter school entity
26unassigned fund balance limit, which will be determined as
27follows:

28 

29Charter School Entity

30Total Budgeted Expenditures

Maximum Unassigned Fund
Balance as Percentage of
Total Budgeted Expenditures

1Less than or equal to $11,999,999

12%

2Between $12,000,000 and $12,999,999

11.5%

3Between $13,000,000 and $13,999,999

11%

4Between $14,000,000 and $14,999,999

10.5%

5Between $15,000,000 and $15,999,999

10%

6Between $16,000,000 and $16,999,999

9.5%

7Between $17,000,000 and $17,999,999

9%

8Between $18,000,000 and $18,999,999

8.5%

9Greater Than or Equal to $19,000,000

8%

10(2) Any unassigned fund balance in place on June 30, 2013,
11that exceeds the charter school entity unassigned fund balance
12limit shall be refunded on a pro rata basis within ninety (90)
13days to all school districts that paid tuition to the charter
14school entity on behalf of students enrolled in the 2011-2012
15and 2012-2013 school years. The funds in excess of the
16unassigned fund balance limit may not be used to pay bonuses to
17any administrator, board of trustees member, employe, staff
18member or contractor and may not be transferred to a charter
19school foundation. If a charter school entity uses funds in
20excess of the unassigned fund balance limit to pay bonuses to
21any administrator, board of trustees member, employee, staff
22member or contractor or transfers such funds to a charter school
23foundation, the charter school entity shall pay the department a
24penalty equal to one percent (1%) of its unassigned fund
25balance.

26(3) For the 2013-2014 school year and each school year
27thereafter, any unassigned fund balance in place on June 30,
282014, and on June 30 of each year thereafter in excess of the
29charter school entity unassigned fund balance limit shall be
30refunded on a pro rata basis within forty-five (45) days to all

1school districts that paid tuition to the charter school entity
2in the prior school year.

3(4) By September 30, 2013, and August 15 of each year
4thereafter, each charter school entity shall provide the
5department and all school districts that paid tuition to the
6charter school entity in the prior school year with information
7certifying compliance with this section. The information shall
8be provided in a form and manner prescribed by the department
9and shall include information on the charter school entity's
10estimated ending unassigned fund balance expressed as a dollar
11amount and as a percentage of the charter school entity's total
12budgeted expenditures for that school year.

13(5) As used in this section, "unassigned fund balance" shall
14mean that portion of the fund balance of a charter school entity
15or of a charter school foundation that provides funding or
16resources or otherwise serves to support the charter school
17entity, directly or through an affiliated entity, that is:

18(i) available for expenditure or not legally or otherwise
19segregated for a specific or tentative future use; and

20(ii) held in the General Fund accounts of the charter school
21entity or the charter school foundation.

22Section 1731.2-A. Performance Matrix.--The following shall
23apply:

24(1) Within eighteen (18) months of the effective date of
25this section, the State Board of Education shall develop a
26standard performance matrix to evaluate charter school entity
27performance and shall promulgate regulations pursuant to the act
28of June 25, 1982 (P.L.633, No.181), known as the "Regulatory
29Review Act," to implement this section.

30(2) The performance matrix may assess performance by

1utilizing objective criteria, including, but not limited to:
2student performance on assessments; annual growth as measured by
3the Pennsylvania Value-Added Assessment System; attendance;
4attrition rates; graduation rates; other standardized test
5scores; school safety; parent satisfaction; accreditation by a
6nationally recognized accreditation agency, including the Middle
7States Association of Colleges and Schools or another regional
8institutional accrediting agency recognized by the United States
9Department of Education or an equivalent federally recognized
10body for charter school education; and other measures of school
11quality, including measures for assessing teacher effectiveness.

12(2.1)  In developing the performance matrix, the State Board
13of Education shall determine an academic quality benchmark the
14satisfaction of which shall qualify a charter school entity for
15a ten (10) year renewal term pursuant to section 1720-A(a)(2) or
161745-A(f)(3). The academic quality benchmark shall be included
17in the regulations required under clause (1).

18(3) In developing the performance matrix, the State Board of
19Education may contract for consulting services with an entity
20that has experience in developing performance matrices if the
21services are procured through a competitive bidding process.

22(4) Neither the department nor any local board of school
23directors or other school district governing authority may
24develop a separate performance matrix for the evaluation of a
25charter school entity.

26(5) (i) A local board of school directors or other school
27district governing authority shall utilize the standard
28performance matrix as a primary factor in evaluating new and
29renewal charter school and regional charter school applicants
30and in annual monitoring and evaluation of charter schools and

1regional charter schools.

2(ii) The department shall utilize the standard performance
3matrix as a primary factor in evaluating new and renewal cyber
4charter school applicants, in evaluating consolidation
5applications under section 1729.2-A and in annual monitoring and
6evaluation of cyber charter schools.

7(6) (i) In developing the performance matrix and
8promulgating the regulations required under clause (1), the
9State Board of Education shall convene and consult with a
10Statewide advisory committee which shall consist of
11representatives of the department and a minimum of seven (7)
12representatives from charter schools, regional charter schools,
13cyber charter schools, school district personnel and
14institutions of higher education with experience in the
15oversight of charter schools. Members of the committee shall be
16selected to be representative of the urban, rural and suburban
17areas of this Commonwealth.

18(ii) The Statewide advisory committee required to be
19convened under subparagraph (i) shall be convened not later than
20thirty (30) days after the effective date of this section and
21shall meet regularly to fulfill requirements of this paragraph.

22(7) The department shall distribute the performance matrix
23to all school districts and shall publish the matrix on the
24department's publicly accessible Internet website.

25Section <-17 16. Section 1732-A of the act, amended June 29,
262002 (P.L.524, No.88), is amended to read:

27Section 1732-A. Provisions Applicable to Charter Schools and 
28Regional Charter Schools.--(a) Charter schools and regional 
29charter schools shall be subject to the following:

30(1) Sections 108, 110, 111, 321, 325, 326, 327, 431, 436,

1443, 510, 518, 527, 708, 736, 737, 738, 739, 740, 741, 752, 753,
2[755,] 771, 776, 777, 808, 809, 810, 1109, 1111, 1112(a),
31205.1, 1205.2, 1205.3, 1205.4, 1205.5, 1301, 1302, 1303, 1310,
41317, 1317.1, 1317.2, 1317.3, 1318, 1327, 1330, 1332, 1333,
51303-A, 1513, 1517, 1518, 1521, 1523, 1531, 1547, 2014-A,
6Article XIII-A and Article XIV.

7(2) Act of July 19, 1957 (P.L.1017, No.451), known as the
8"State Adverse Interest Act."

9(3) Act of July 17, 1961 (P.L.776, No.341), known as the
10"Pennsylvania Fair Educational Opportunities Act."

11(4) Act of July 19, 1965 (P.L.215, No.116), entitled "An act
12providing for the use of eye protective devices by persons
13engaged in hazardous activities or exposed to known dangers in
14schools, colleges and universities."

15(5) Section 4 of the act of January 25, 1966 (1965 P.L.1546,
16No.541), entitled "An act providing scholarships and providing
17funds to secure Federal funds for qualified students of the
18Commonwealth of Pennsylvania who need financial assistance to
19attend postsecondary institutions of higher learning, making an
20appropriation, and providing for the administration of this
21act."

22(6) Act of July 12, 1972 (P.L.765, No.181), entitled "An act
23relating to drugs and alcohol and their abuse, providing for
24projects and programs and grants to educational agencies, other
25public or private agencies, institutions or organizations."

26(7) Act of December 15, 1986 (P.L.1595, No.175), known as
27the "Antihazing Law."

28(8) 65 Pa.C.S. Ch. 7 (relating to open meetings).

29(9) 65 Pa.C.S. Ch. 11 (relating to ethics standards and
30financial disclosure).

1(b) Charter schools and regional charter schools shall be
2subject to the following provisions of 22 Pa. Code:

3[Section 5.216 (relating to ESOL).

4Section 5.4 (relating to general policies).]

5(1) Chapter 4 (relating to academic standards and
6assessments).

7(2) Chapter 11 (relating to pupil attendance).

8(3) Chapter 12 (relating to students).

9(4) Section 32.3 (relating to assurances).

10(5) Section 121.3 (relating to discrimination prohibited).

11(6) Section 235.4 (relating to practices).

12(7) Section 235.8 (relating to civil rights).

13(8) Chapter 711 (relating to charter school services and
14programs for children with disabilities).

15(c) (1) The secretary may promulgate additional regulations
16relating to charter schools and regional charter schools.

17(2) The secretary shall have the authority and the
18responsibility to ensure that charter schools and regional 
19charter schools comply with Federal laws and regulations
20governing children with disabilities. The secretary shall
21promulgate regulations to implement this provision.

22Section <-18 17. The act is amended by adding a section to
23read:

24Section 1733-A. Effect on Existing Charter School
25Entities.--(a) Within one (1) year of the effective date of
26this section, a charter school entity established under section
271717-A, 1718-A or 1745-A prior to the effective date of this
28section shall amend the current charter through the amendment
29process under section 1720-A(c) or 1745-A(f)(5) as needed to
30reflect the requirements of this article. Any renewal that takes

1effect after June 30, 2013, shall be for the term specified
2under section 1720-A(a)(2) or 1745-A(f)(3).

3(b) A charter school entity approved after the effective
4date of this section shall be in full compliance with this
5article.

6(c) Within sixty (60) days of the effective date of this
7section, each charter school entity shall demonstrate, to the
8satisfaction of the local board of school directors or, in the
9case of a cyber charter school, to the satisfaction of the
10department, that the charter school entity is in compliance with
11sections 1332 and 1333, including the institution of truancy
12proceedings when required under section 1333.

13Section <-19 18. Sections 1741-A(c), 1742-A and 1745-A, 1745-A 
14and 1749-A(a) and (c) of the act, added June 29, 2002 (P.L.524,
15No.88), are amended to read:

16Section 1741-A. Powers and duties of department.

17* * *

18(c) Documents.--Documents of the appeal board shall be
19subject to the act of [June 21, 1957 (P.L.390, No.212), referred
20to as the Right-to-Know Law.] act of February 14, 2008 (P.L.6, 
21No.3), known as the "Right-to-Know Law."

22Section 1742-A. Assessment and evaluation.

23The department shall:

24(1) Annually assess whether each cyber charter school is
25meeting the goals of its charter and is in compliance with
26the provisions of the charter and conduct a comprehensive
27review prior to granting a [five-year] renewal of the charter
28for the period specified in section 1745-A(f)(3).

29(2) Annually review each cyber charter school's
30performance on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment

1test, standardized tests and other performance indicators to
2ensure compliance with 22 Pa. Code Ch. 4 (relating to
3academic standards and assessment) or subsequent regulations
4promulgated to replace 22 Pa. Code Ch. 4.

5(3) Have ongoing access to all records, instructional
6materials and student and staff records of each cyber charter
7school and to every cyber charter school facility to ensure
8the cyber charter school is in compliance with its charter
9and this subdivision.

10Section 1745-A. Establishment of cyber charter school.

11(a) Establishment.--A cyber charter school may be
12established by an individual; one or more teachers who will
13teach at the proposed cyber charter school; parents or guardians
14of students who will enroll in the cyber charter school; a
15nonsectarian college, university or museum located in this
16Commonwealth; a nonsectarian corporation not-for-profit as
17defined in 15 Pa.C.S. § 5103 (relating to definitions); a
18corporation, association or partnership; or any combination of
19the foregoing. Section 1327.1 shall not apply to a cyber charter
20school established under this subdivision.

21(b) Sectarian entities.--No cyber charter school shall be
22established or funded by and no charter shall be granted to a
23sectarian school, institution or other entity.

24(b.1) Local board of school directors or intermediate
25unit.--

26(1) A cyber charter school may be established by a local
27board of school directors or an intermediate unit if the
28procedures and requirements of this article are satisfied.

29(2) Nothing in this article shall be construed to
30preclude a school district or an intermediate unit from

1offering instruction via the Internet or other electronic
2means, except that the instruction shall not be recognized as
3a cyber charter school under this article unless the school
4district or intermediate unit establishes a cyber charter
5school pursuant to subsections (a) and (b.1)(1).

6(c) Attendance.--Attendance at a cyber charter school shall
7satisfy requirements for compulsory attendance, subject to 
8penalties for violation of compulsory attendance requirements 
9under section 1333.

10(d) Application.--An application to establish a cyber
11charter school shall be submitted to the department by October 1
12of the school year preceding the school year in which the cyber
13charter school proposes to commence operation.

14(e) Grant or denial.--Within 120 days of receipt of an 
15application, the department shall grant or deny the application. 
16The department shall review the application and shall hold at 
17least one public hearing under 65 Pa.C.S. Ch. 7 (relating to 
18open meetings). At least 30 days prior to the hearing, the 
19department shall publish in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and on the 
20department's [World Wide Web site] publicly accessible Internet 
21website notice of the hearing and the purpose of the 
22application.

23(f) Evaluation criteria.--

24(1) A cyber charter school application submitted under
25this subdivision shall be evaluated by the department based
26on the following criteria:

27(i) The demonstrated, sustainable support for the
28cyber charter school plan by teachers, parents or
29guardians and students.

30(ii) The capability of the cyber charter school

1applicant, in terms of support and planning, to provide
2comprehensive learning experiences to students under the
3charter.

4(iii) The extent to which the programs outlined in
5the application will enable students to meet the academic
6standards under 22 Pa. Code Ch. 4 (relating to academic
7standards and assessment) or subsequent regulations
8promulgated to replace 22 Pa. Code Ch. 4.

9(iv) The extent to which the application meets the
10requirements of section 1747-A.

11(v) The extent to which the cyber charter school may
12serve as a model for other public schools.

13(2) Written notice of the action of the department shall
14be sent by certified mail to the applicant and published on
15the department's [World Wide Web site] publicly accessible 
16Internet website. If the application is denied, the reasons
17for denial, including a description of deficiencies in the
18application, shall be clearly stated in the notice.

19(3) Upon approval of a cyber charter school application,
20a written charter shall be developed which shall contain the
21provisions of the charter application and be signed by the
22secretary and each member of the board of trustees of the
23cyber charter school. The charter, when duly signed, shall
24act as legal authorization of the establishment of a cyber
25charter school. The charter shall be legally binding on the
26department, the cyber charter school and its board of
27trustees. The charter [shall be for a period of no less than
28three years nor more than five years and may be renewed for a
29period of five years by the department.] term shall be as 
30follows:

1(i)  An initial charter granted pursuant to this
2section shall be for a period of five years.

3(ii)  Prior to the effective date of the regulations
4implementing the performance matrix as required pursuant
5to section 1731.2-A, a charter may be renewed for five
6year periods upon reauthorization by the department.

7(iii)  Upon the effective date of the regulations
8implementing the performance matrix as required pursuant
9to section 1731.2-A, the following shall apply:

10(A)  For cyber charter schools that have
11satisfied the academic quality benchmark established
12by the State Board of Education pursuant to section
131731.2-A, a charter may be renewed for ten year
14periods upon reauthorization by the department.

15(B)  For cyber charter schools that have not
16satisfied the academic quality benchmark established
17by the State Board of Education pursuant to section
181731.2-A, a charter may be renewed for five year
19periods upon reauthorization by the department.

20(4) The decision of the department to deny an
21application may be appealed to the appeal board.

22(5) (i) A cyber charter school may request amendments
23to its approved written charter by filing with the
24department a written document describing the requested
25amendment.

26(ii) Within 20 days of its receipt of the request
27for an amendment, the department shall hold a public
28hearing on the requested amendment under 65 Pa.C.S. Ch. 7
29(relating to open meetings).

30(iii) Within 20 days after the hearing, the

1department shall grant or deny the requested amendment.
2Failure by the department to hold a public hearing and to
3grant or deny the amendment within the time period
4specified shall be deemed an approval.

5(iv) An applicant for an amendment shall have the
6right to appeal the denial of a requested amendment to
7the appeal board provided for under section 1721-A.

8(g) Denied application.--A cyber charter school applicant
9may revise and resubmit a denied application to the department.
10The department shall grant or deny the revised application
11within 60 days after its receipt.

12(h) Appeal.--If the department fails to hold the required
13public hearing or to approve or disapprove the charter, the
14applicant may file its application as an appeal to the appeal
15board. The appeal board shall review the application and make a
16decision to approve or disapprove the charter based on the
17criteria in subsection (f).

<-18Section 20. Section 1749-A(a) and (c) of the act, added June
1929, 2002 (P.L.524, No.88), are amended to read:

20Section 1749-A. Applicability of other provisions of this act
21and of other acts and regulations.

22(a) General requirements.--Cyber charter schools shall be
23subject to the following:

24(1) Sections 108, 110, 111, 321, 325, 326, 327, 431,
25436, 443, 510, 518, 527, 708, 736, 737, 738, 739, 740, 741, 
26752, 753, [755,] 771, 776, 777, 808, 809, 810, 1109, 1111,
271112(a), 1205.1, 1205.2, 1205.3, 1205.5, 1301, 1302, 1303,
281310, 1317, 1317.2, 1318, 1327, 1330, 1332, 1333, 1303-A,
291513, 1517, 1518, 1521, 1523, 1525, 1531, 1547, 1602-B, 1613-
30B, 1702-A, 1703-A, 1704-A, 1714-A, 1715-A, 1716-A, 1716.1-A,

11719-A, 1721-A, 1722-A, [1723-A(a) and (b)] 1723-A(a), (b) 
2and (d), 1724-A, 1725-A, 1727-A, 1728-A(d), (e), (f), (g) and 
3(h), 1729-A, 1729.1-A, 1730-A, 1731-A(a)(1) and (b), 1731.1-
4A, 1731.2-A, 1733-A and 2014-A and Articles [XII-A,] XIII-A
5and XIV.

6(1.1) Act of July 19, 1957 (P.L.1017, No.451), known as
7the State Adverse Interest Act.

8(2) The act of July 17, 1961 (P.L.776, No.341), known as
9the Pennsylvania Fair Educational Opportunities Act.

10(3) The act of July 19, 1965 (P.L.215, No.116), entitled
11"An act providing for the use of eye protective devices by
12persons engaged in hazardous activities or exposed to known
13dangers in schools, colleges and universities."

14(4) Section 4 of the act of January 25, 1966 (1965
15P.L.1546, No.541), entitled "An act providing scholarships
16and providing funds to secure Federal funds for qualified
17students of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania who need
18financial assistance to attend postsecondary institutions of
19higher learning, making an appropriation, and providing for
20the administration of this act."

21(5) The act of July 12, 1972 (P.L.765, No.181) entitled
22"An act relating to drugs and alcohol and their abuse,
23providing for projects and programs and grants to educational
24agencies, other public or private agencies, institutions or
25organizations."

26(6) The act of December 15, 1986 (P.L.1595, No.175),
27known as the Antihazing Law.

28(7) 65 Pa.C.S. Ch. 7 (relating to open meetings).

29(8) 65 Pa.C.S. Ch. 11 (relating to ethics standards and
30financial disclosure).

1* * *

2(c) Existing charter schools.--

3(1) The charter of a charter school approved under
4section 1717-A or 1718-A which provides instruction through
5the Internet or other electronic means shall remain in effect
6for the duration of the charter and shall be subject to the
7provisions of Subdivision (b).

8(2) In addition to subsections (a) and (b), the
9following provisions of this subdivision shall apply to a
10charter school approved under section 1717-A or 1718-A which
11provides instruction through the Internet or other electronic
12means:

13(i) Section 1743-A(c), (d), (e), (f), (g), (h) and
14(i).

15(ii) Section 1744-A.

16(iii) Section 1748-A.

17Section <-21 19. The addition of section 1725(a)(2)(ii)
<-181725-A(a)(2)(ii) shall expire at the end of the 2014-2015 school
19year.

20Section <-22 20. This act shall take effect as follows:

21(1) The amendment or addition of the following
22provisions of the act shall take effect immediately:

23(i) Section 1704-A.

24(ii) Section 1725-A(a)(1), (2), (2.1), (3) and (4),
25(b), (c), (d), (e) and (f).

26(iii) Sections 1731.1-A.

27(iv) Section 1731.2-A.

28(v) Section 1732-A.

29(vi) Section 1749-A.

30(2) The amendment of section 1725-A(a)(5) and (6) of the

1act shall take effect in 90 days.

2(3) This section shall take effect immediately.

3(4) The remainder of this act shall take effect in 60
4days.

 

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