PRINTER'S NO.  1599

  

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA

  

HOUSE BILL

 

No.

1348

Session of

2011

  

  

INTRODUCED BY KILLION, PAYTON, MARSHALL, B. BOYLE, CHRISTIANA, CLYMER, COX, DAVIDSON, DELOZIER, ELLIS, GINGRICH, GROVE, KAUFFMAN, W. KELLER, MICCARELLI, MILLER, OBERLANDER, M. O'BRIEN, PICKETT, QUIGLEY, RAPP, SCHRODER, SWANGER, TRUITT, VEREB, WATERS AND WATSON, APRIL 25, 2011

  

  

REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION, APRIL 25, 2011  

  

  

  

AN ACT

  

1

Amending the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), entitled "An

2

act relating to the public school system, including certain

3

provisions applicable as well to private and parochial

4

schools; amending, revising, consolidating and changing the

5

laws relating thereto," further providing for definitions and

6

for concurrent enrollment agreements; repealing provisions

7

relating to charter schools; and providing for charter

8

schools and cyber charter schools.

9

The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

10

hereby enacts as follows:

11

Section 1.  The definitions of "concurrent student" and

12

"school entity" in section 1602-B of the act of March 10, 1949

13

(P.L.30, No.14), known as the Public School Code of 1949, added

14

July 13, 2005 (P.L.226, No.46), are amended to read:

15

Section 1602-B.  Definitions.

16

The following words and phrases when used in this article

17

shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the

18

context clearly indicates otherwise:

19

* * *

 


1

"Concurrent student."  A student who is enrolled in a school

2

district, a charter school, a cyber charter school, an area

3

vocational-technical school, a nonpublic school, a private

4

school or a home education program under section 1327.1 and who

5

takes a concurrent course through a concurrent enrollment

6

program.

7

* * *

8

"School entity."  A school district, a charter school, a

9

cyber charter school or an area vocational-technical school.

10

* * *

11

Section 2.  Section 1613-B of the act is amended by adding a

12

subsection to read:

13

Section 1613-B.  Concurrent enrollment agreements.

14

* * *

15

(c)  Charter schools and cyber charter schools.--Charter

16

schools and cyber charter schools shall have the power and

17

authority to enter into a concurrent enrollment agreement with

18

an institution of higher education, and appropriate credit shall

19

be awarded to students concurrently enrolled under the

20

agreement.

21

Section 3.  Article XVII-A heading, Subdivision heading (a),

22

sections 1701-A and 1702-A, added June 19, 1997 (P.L.225,

23

No.22), are repealed:

24

[ARTICLE XVII-A.

25

CHARTER SCHOOLS.

26

(a)  Preliminary Provisions.

27

Section 1701-A.  Short Title.--This article shall be known

28

and may be cited as the "Charter School Law."

29

Section 1702-A.  Legislative Intent.--It is the intent of the

30

General Assembly, in enacting this article, to provide pupils

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1

and community members to establish and maintain schools that

2

operate independently from the existing school district

3

structure as a method to accomplish all of the following:

4

(1)  Improve pupil learning.

5

(2)  Increase learning opportunities for all pupils.

6

(3)  Encourage the use of different and innovative teaching

7

methods.

8

(4)  Create new professional opportunities for teachers,

9

including the opportunity to be responsible for the learning

10

program at the school site.

11

(5)  Provide parents and pupils with expanded choices in the

12

types of educational opportunities that are available within the

13

public school system.

14

(6)  Hold the schools established under this act accountable

15

for meeting measurable academic standards and provide the school

16

with a method to establish accountability systems.]

17

Section 3.1.  Section 1703-A of the act, amended June 29,

18

2002 (P.L.524, No.88), is repealed:

19

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

20

"Appeal board" shall mean the State Charter School Appeal

21

Board established by this article.

22

"At-risk student" shall mean a student at risk of educational

23

failure because of limited English proficiency, poverty,

24

community factors, truancy, academic difficulties or economic

25

disadvantage.

26

"Charter school" shall mean an independent public school

27

established and operated under a charter from the local board of

28

school directors and in which students are enrolled or attend. A

29

charter school must be organized as a public, nonprofit

30

corporation. Charters may not be granted to any for-profit

- 3 -

 


1

entity.

2

"Chief executive officer" shall mean an individual appointed

3

by the board of trustees to oversee and manage the operation of

4

the charter school, but who shall not be deemed a professional

5

staff member under this article.

6

"Cyber charter school" shall mean an independent public

7

school established and operated under a charter from the

8

Department of Education and in which the school uses technology

9

in order to provide a significant portion of its curriculum and

10

to deliver a significant portion of instruction to its students

11

through the Internet or other electronic means. A cyber charter

12

school must be organized as a public, nonprofit corporation. A

13

charter may not be granted to a for-profit entity.

14

"Department" shall mean the Department of Education of the

15

Commonwealth.

16

"Local board of school directors" shall mean the board of

17

directors of a school district in which a proposed or an

18

approved charter school is located.

19

"Regional charter school" shall mean an independent public

20

school established and operated under a charter from more than

21

one local board of school directors and in which students are

22

enrolled or attend. A regional charter school must be organized

23

as a public, nonprofit corporation. Charters may not be granted

24

to any for-profit entity.

25

"School district of residence" shall mean the school district

26

in this Commonwealth in which the parents or guardians of a

27

child reside.

28

"School entity" shall mean a school district, intermediate

29

unit, joint school or area vocational-technical school.

30

"Secretary" shall mean the Secretary of Education of the

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1

Commonwealth.

2

"State board" shall mean the State Board of Education of the

3

Commonwealth.]

4

Section 3.2.  Subdivision heading (b), added June 19, 1997

5

(P.L.225, No.22), is repealed:

6

[(b)  Charter Schools.]

7

Section 3.3.  Section 1714-A of the act, amended July 4, 2004

8

(P.L.536, No.70), is repealed:

9

[Section 1714-A.  Powers of Charter Schools.--(a)  A charter

10

school established under this act is a body corporate and shall

11

have all powers necessary or desirable for carrying out its

12

charter, including, but not limited to, the power to:

13

(1)  Adopt a name and corporate seal; however, any name

14

selected shall include the words "charter school."

15

(2)  Sue and be sued, but only to the same extent and upon

16

the same condition that political subdivisions and local

17

agencies can be sued.

18

(3)  Acquire real property from public or private sources by

19

purchase, lease, lease with an option to purchase or gift for

20

use as a charter school facility.

21

(4)  Receive and disburse funds for charter school purposes

22

only.

23

(5)  Make contracts and leases for the procurement of

24

services, equipment and supplies.

25

(6)  Incur temporary debts in anticipation of the receipt of

26

funds.

27

(6.1)  Incur debt for the construction of school facilities.

28

(7)  Solicit and accept any gifts or grants for charter

29

school purposes.

30

(b)  A charter school shall have such other powers as are

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1

necessary to fulfill its charter and which are not inconsistent

2

with this article.

3

(c)  Any indebtedness incurred by a charter school in the

4

exercise of the powers specified in this section shall not

5

impose any liability or legal obligation upon a school entity or

6

upon the Commonwealth.]

7

Section 3.4.  Section 1715-A, amended or added June 19, 1997

8

(P.L.225, No.22) and July 9, 2008 (P.L.846, No.61), is repealed:

9

[Section 1715-A.  Charter School Requirements.--Charter

10

schools shall be required to comply with the following

11

provisions:

12

(1)  Except as otherwise provided in this article, a charter

13

school is exempt from statutory requirements established in this

14

act, from regulations of the State board and the standards of

15

the secretary not specifically applicable to charter schools.

16

Charter schools are not exempt from statutes applicable to

17

public schools other than this act.

18

(2)  A charter school shall be accountable to the parents,

19

the public and the Commonwealth, with the delineation of that

20

accountability reflected in the charter. Strategies for

21

meaningful parent and community involvement shall be developed

22

and implemented by each school.

23

(3)  A charter school shall not unlawfully discriminate in

24

admissions, hiring or operation.

25

(4)  A charter school shall be nonsectarian in all

26

operations.

27

(5)  A charter school shall not provide any religious

28

instruction, nor shall it display religious objects and symbols

29

on the premises of the charter school.

30

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

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1

(7)  A charter school shall only be subject to the laws and

2

regulations as provided for in section 1732-A, or as otherwise

3

provided for in this article.

4

(8)  A charter school shall participate in the Pennsylvania

5

State Assessment System as provided for in 22 Pa. Code Ch. 5

6

(relating to curriculum), or subsequent regulations promulgated

7

to replace 22 Pa. Code Ch. 5, in the manner in which the school

8

district in which the charter school is located is scheduled to

9

participate.

10

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

11

eighty (180) days of instruction or nine hundred (900) hours per

12

year of instruction at the elementary level, or nine hundred

13

ninety (990) hours per year of instruction at the secondary

14

level. Nothing in this clause shall preclude the use of computer

15

and satellite linkages for delivering instruction to students.

16

(10)  Boards of trustees and contractors of charter schools

17

shall be subject to the following statutory requirements

18

governing construction projects and construction-related work:

19

(i)  The following provisions of this act:

20

(A)  Sections 751 and 751.1.

21

(B)  Sections 756 and 757 insofar as they are consistent with

22

the act of December 20, 1967 (P.L.869, No.385), known as the

23

"Public Works Contractors' Bond Law of 1967."

24

(ii)  Section 1 of the act of May 1, 1913 (P.L.155, No.104),

25

entitled "An act regulating the letting of certain contracts for

26

the erection, construction, and alteration of public buildings."

27

(iii)  The act of August 11, 1961 (P.L.987, No.442), known as

28

the "Pennsylvania Prevailing Wage Act."

29

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

30

(v)  The act of March 3, 1978 (P.L.6, No.3), known as the

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1

"Steel Products Procurement Act."

2

(11)  Trustees of a charter school shall be public officials.

3

(12)  A person who serves as an administrator for a charter

4

school shall not receive compensation from another charter

5

school or from a company that provides management or other

6

services to another charter school. The term "administrator"

7

shall include the chief executive officer of a charter school

8

and all other employes of a charter school who by virtue of

9

their positions exercise management or operational oversight

10

responsibilities. A person who serves as an administrator for a

11

charter school shall be a public official under 65 Pa.C.S. Ch.

12

11 (relating to ethics standards and financial disclosure). A

13

violation of this clause shall constitute a violation of 65

14

Pa.C.S. § 1103(a) (relating to restricted activities), and the

15

violator shall be subject to the penalties imposed under the

16

jurisdiction of the State Ethics Commission.]

17

Section 3.5.  Sections 1716-A, 1717-A, 1718-A and 1719-A,

18

added June 19, 1997 (P.L.225, No.22), are repealed:

19

[Section 1716-A.  Powers of Board of Trustees.--(a)  The

20

board of trustees of a charter school shall have the authority

21

to decide matters related to the operation of the school,

22

including, but not limited to, budgeting, curriculum and

23

operating procedures, subject to the school's charter. The board

24

shall have the authority to employ, discharge and contract with

25

necessary professional and nonprofessional employes subject to

26

the school's charter and the provisions of this article.

27

(b)  No member of a local board of school directors of a

28

school entity shall serve on the board of trustees of a charter

29

school that is located in the member's district.

30

(c)  The board of trustees shall comply with the act of July

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1

3, 1986 (P.L.388, No.84), known as the "Sunshine Act."

2

Section 1717-A.  Establishment of Charter School.--(a)  A

3

charter school may be established by an individual; one or more

4

teachers who will teach at the proposed charter school; parents

5

or guardians of students who will attend the charter school; any

6

nonsectarian college, university or museum located in this

7

Commonwealth; any nonsectarian corporation not-for-profit, as

8

defined in 15 Pa.C.S. (relating to corporations and

9

unincorporated associations); any corporation, association or

10

partnership; or any combination thereof. A charter school may be

11

established by creating a new school or by converting an

12

existing public school or a portion of an existing public

13

school. No charter school shall be established or funded by and

14

no charter shall be granted to any sectarian school, institution

15

or other entity. No funds allocated or disbursed under this

16

article shall be used to directly support instruction pursuant

17

to section 1327.1.

18

(b)  (1)  The conversion of an existing public school or

19

portion of an existing public school to a charter school may be

20

initiated by any individual or entity authorized to establish a

21

charter school under subsection (a).

22

(2)  In order to convert an existing public school to a

23

charter school, the applicants must show that:

24

(i)  More than fifty per centum of the teaching staff in the

25

public school have signed a petition in support of the public

26

school becoming a charter school; and

27

(ii)  More than fifty per centum of the parents or guardians

28

of pupils attending that public school have signed a petition in

29

support of the school becoming a charter school.

30

(3)  In no event shall the board of school directors serve as

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1

the board of trustees of an existing school which is converted

2

to a charter school pursuant to this subsection.

3

(c)  An application to establish a charter school shall be

4

submitted to the local board of school directors of the district

5

where the charter school will be located by November 15 of the

6

school year preceding the school year in which the charter

7

school will be established except that for a charter school

8

beginning in the 1997-1998 school year, an application must be

9

received by July 15, 1997. In the 1997-1998 school year only,

10

applications shall be limited to recipients of fiscal year

11

1996-1997 Department of Education charter school planning

12

grants.

13

(d)  Within forty-five (45) days of receipt of an

14

application, the local board of school directors in which the

15

proposed charter school is to be located shall hold at least one

16

public hearing on the provisions of the charter application,

17

under the act of July 3, 1986 (P.L.388, No.84), known as the

18

"Sunshine Act." At least forty-five (45) days must transpire

19

between the first public hearing and the final decision of the

20

board on the charter application except that for a charter

21

school beginning in the 1997-1998 school year, only thirty (30)

22

days must transpire between the first public hearing and the

23

final decision of the board.

24

(e)  (1)  Not later than seventy-five (75) days after the

25

first public hearing on the application, the local board of

26

school directors shall grant or deny the application. For a

27

charter school beginning in the 1997-1998 school year, the local

28

board of school directors shall grant or deny the application no

29

later than sixty (60) days after the first public hearing.

30

(2)  A charter school application submitted under this

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1

article shall be evaluated by the local board of school

2

directors based on criteria, including, but not limited to, the

3

following:

4

(i)  The demonstrated, sustainable support for the charter

5

school plan by teachers, parents, other community members and

6

students, including comments received at the public hearing held

7

under subsection (d).

8

(ii)  The capability of the charter school applicant, in

9

terms of support and planning, to provide comprehensive learning

10

experiences to students pursuant to the adopted charter.

11

(iii)  The extent to which the application considers the

12

information requested in section 1719-A and conforms to the

13

legislative intent outlined in section 1702-A.

14

(iv)  The extent to which the charter school may serve as a

15

model for other public schools.

16

(3)  The local board of school directors, in the case of an

17

existing school being converted to a charter school, shall

18

establish the alternative arrangements for current students who

19

choose not to attend the charter school.

20

(4)  A charter application shall be deemed approved by the

21

local board of school directors of a school district upon

22

affirmative vote by a majority of all the directors. Formal

23

action approving or denying the application shall be taken by

24

the local board of school directors at a public meeting, with

25

notice or consideration of the application given by the board,

26

under the "Sunshine Act."

27

(5)  Written notice of the board's action shall be sent to

28

the applicant, the department and the appeal board. If the

29

application is denied, the reasons for the denial, including a

30

description of deficiencies in the application, shall be clearly

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1

stated in the notice sent by the local board of school directors

2

to the charter school applicant.

3

(f)  At the option of the charter school applicant, a denied

4

application may be revised and resubmitted to the local board of

5

school directors. Following the appointment and confirmation of

6

the Charter School Appeal Board under section 1721-A, the

7

decision of the local board of school directors may be appealed

8

to the appeal board. When an application is revised and

9

resubmitted to the local board of school directors, the board

10

may schedule additional public hearings on the revised

11

application. The board shall consider the revised and

12

resubmitted application at the first board meeting occurring at

13

least forty-five (45) days after receipt of the revised

14

application by the board. For a revised application resubmitted

15

for the 1997-1998 school year, the board shall consider the

16

application at the first board meeting occurring at least thirty

17

(30) days after its receipt. The board shall provide notice of

18

consideration of the revised application under the "Sunshine

19

Act." No appeal from a decision of a local school board may be

20

taken until July 1, 1999.

21

(g)  Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (e)(5),

22

failure by the local board of directors to hold a public hearing

23

and to grant or deny the application for a charter school within

24

the time periods specified in subsections (d), (e) and (f) shall

25

permit the applicant for a charter to file its application as an

26

appeal to the appeal board. In such case, the appeal board shall

27

review the application and make a decision to grant or deny a

28

charter based on the criteria established in subsection (e)(2).

29

(h)  In the case of a review by the appeal board of an

30

application that is revoked or is not renewed, the appeal board

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1

shall make its decision based on the criteria established in

2

subsection (e)(2). A decision by the appeal board under this

3

subsection or subsection (g) to grant, to renew or not to revoke

4

a charter shall serve as a requirement for the local board of

5

directors of a school district or school districts, as

6

appropriate, to sign the written charter of the charter school

7

as provided for in section 1720-A. Should the local board of

8

directors fail to grant the application and sign the charter

9

within ten (10) days of notice of reversal of the decision of

10

the local board of directors, the charter shall be deemed to be

11

approved and shall be signed by the chairman of the appeal

12

board.

13

(i)  (1)  The appeal board shall have the exclusive review of

14

an appeal by a charter school applicant, or by the board of

15

trustees of an existing charter school, of a decision made by a

16

local board of directors not to grant a charter as provided in

17

this section.

18

(2)  In order for a charter school applicant to be eligible

19

to appeal the denial of a charter by the local board of

20

directors, the applicant must obtain the signatures of at least

21

two per centum of the residents of the school district or of one

22

thousand (1,000) residents, whichever is less, who are over

23

eighteen (18) years of age. For a regional charter school, the

24

applicant must obtain the signatures of at least two per centum

25

of the residents of each school district granting the charter or

26

of one thousand (1,000) residents from each of the school

27

districts granting the charter, whichever is less, who are over

28

eighteen (18) years of age. The signatures shall be obtained

29

within sixty (60) days of the denial of the application by the

30

local board of directors in accordance with clause (3).

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1

(3)  Each person signing a petition to appeal denial of a

2

charter under clause (2) shall declare that he or she is a

3

resident of the school district which denied the charter

4

application and shall include his or her printed name;

5

signature; address, including city, borough or township, with

6

street and number, if any; and the date of signing. All pages

7

shall be bound together. Additional pages of the petition shall

8

be numbered consecutively. There shall be appended to the

9

petition a statement that the local board of directors rejected

10

the petition for a charter school, the names of all applicants

11

for the charter, the date of denial by the board and the

12

proposed location of the charter school. No resident may sign

13

more than one petition relating to the charter school

14

application within the sixty (60) days following denial of the

15

application. The department shall develop a form to be used to

16

petition for an appeal.

17

(4)  Each petition shall have appended thereto the affidavit

18

of some person, not necessarily a signer, setting forth all of

19

the following:

20

(i)  That the affiant is a resident of the school district

21

referred to in the petition.

22

(ii)  The affiant's residence, giving city, borough or

23

township, with street and number, if any.

24

(iii)  That the signers signed with full knowledge of the

25

purpose of the petition.

26

(iv)  That the signers' respective residences are correctly

27

stated in the petition.

28

(v)  That the signers all reside in the school district.

29

(vi)  That each signer signed on the date set forth opposite

30

the signer's name.

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1

(vii)  That to the best of the affiant's knowledge and

2

belief, the signers are residents of the school district.

3

(5)  If the required number of signatures are obtained within

4

sixty (60) days of the denial of the application, the applicant

5

may present the petition to the court of common pleas of the

6

county in which the charter school would be situated. The court

7

shall hold a hearing only on the sufficiency of the petition.

8

The applicant and local board of school directors shall be given

9

seven (7) days' notice of the hearing. The court shall issue a

10

decree establishing the sufficiency or insufficiency of the

11

petition. If the petition is sufficient, the decree shall be

12

transmitted to the State Charter School Appeal Board for review

13

in accordance with this section. Notification of the decree

14

shall be given to the applicant and the local board of

15

directors.

16

(6)  In any appeal, the decision made by the local board of

17

directors shall be reviewed by the appeal board on the record as

18

certified by the local board of directors. The appeal board

19

shall give due consideration to the findings of the local board

20

of directors and specifically articulate its reasons for

21

agreeing or disagreeing with those findings in its written

22

decision. The appeal board shall have the discretion to allow

23

the local board of directors and the charter school applicant to

24

supplement the record if the supplemental information was

25

previously unavailable.

26

(7)  Not later than thirty (30) days after the date of notice

27

of the acceptance of the appeal, the appeal board shall meet to

28

officially review the certified record.

29

(8)  Not later than sixty (60) days following the review

30

conducted pursuant to clause (6), the appeal board shall issue a

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1

written decision affirming or denying the appeal. If the appeal

2

board has affirmed the decision of the local board of directors,

3

notice shall be provided to both parties.

4

(9)  A decision of the appeal board to reverse the decision

5

of the local board of directors shall serve as a requirement for

6

the local board of directors of a school district or school

7

districts, as appropriate, to grant the application and sign the

8

written charter of the charter school as provided for in section

9

1720-A. Should the local board of directors fail to grant the

10

application and sign the charter within ten (10) days of notice

11

of the reversal of the decision of the local board of directors,

12

the charter shall be deemed to be approved and shall be signed

13

by the chairman of the appeal board.

14

(10)  All decisions of the appeal board shall be subject to

15

appellate review by the Commonwealth Court.

16

Section 1718-A.  Regional Charter School.--(a)  A regional

17

charter school may be established by an individual, one or more

18

teachers who will teach at the proposed charter school; parents

19

or guardians of students who will attend the charter school; any

20

nonsectarian college, university or museum located in this

21

Commonwealth; any nonsectarian corporation not-for-profit, as

22

defined in 15 Pa.C.S. (relating to corporations and

23

unincorporated associations); any corporation, association or

24

partnership; or any combination thereof. A regional charter

25

school may be established by creating a new school or by

26

converting an existing public school or a portion of an existing

27

public school. Conversion of an existing public school to a

28

regional charter school shall be accomplished in accordance with

29

section 1714-A(b). No regional charter school shall be

30

established or funded by and no charter shall be granted to any

- 16 -

 


1

sectarian school, institution or other entity.

2

(b)  The boards of school directors of one or more school

3

districts may act jointly to receive and consider an application

4

for a regional charter school, except that any action to approve

5

an application for a charter or to sign a written charter of an

6

applicant shall require an affirmative vote of a majority of all

7

the directors of each of the school districts involved. The

8

applicant shall apply for a charter to the board of directors of

9

any school district in which the charter school will be located.

10

(c)  The provisions of this article as they pertain to

11

charter schools and the powers and duties of the local board of

12

school directors of a school district and the appeal board shall

13

apply to regional charter schools, except as provided in

14

subsections (a) and (b) or as otherwise clearly stated in this

15

article.

16

Section 1719-A.  Contents of Application.--An application to

17

establish a charter school shall include all of the following

18

information:

19

(1)  The identification of the charter applicant.

20

(2)  The name of the proposed charter school.

21

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

22

(4)  The proposed governance structure of the charter school,

23

including a description and method for the appointment or

24

election of members of the board of trustees.

25

(5)  The mission and education goals of the charter school,

26

the curriculum to be offered and the methods of assessing

27

whether students are meeting educational goals.

28

(6)  The admission policy and criteria for evaluating the

29

admission of students which shall comply with the requirements

30

of section 1723-A.

- 17 -

 


1

(7)  Procedures which will be used regarding the suspension

2

or expulsion of pupils. Said procedures shall comply with

3

section 1318.

4

(8)  Information on the manner in which community groups will

5

be involved in the charter school planning process.

6

(9)  The financial plan for the charter school and the

7

provisions which will be made for auditing the school under

8

section 437.

9

(10)  Procedures which shall be established to review

10

complaints of parents regarding the operation of the charter

11

school.

12

(11)  A description of and address of the physical facility

13

in which the charter school will be located and the ownership

14

thereof and any lease arrangements.

15

(12)  Information on the proposed school calendar for the

16

charter school, including the length of the school day and

17

school year consistent with the provisions of section 1502.

18

(13)  The proposed faculty and a professional development

19

plan for the faculty of a charter school.

20

(14)  Whether any agreements have been entered into or plans

21

developed with the local school district regarding participation

22

of the charter school students in extracurricular activities

23

within the school district. Notwithstanding any provision to the

24

contrary, no school district of residence shall prohibit a

25

student of a charter school from participating in any

26

extracurricular activity of that school district of residence:

27

Provided, That the student is able to fulfill all of the

28

requirements of participation in such activity and the charter

29

school does not provide the same extracurricular activity.

30

(15)  A report of criminal history record, pursuant to

- 18 -

 


1

section 111, for all individuals who shall have direct contact

2

with students.

3

(16)  An official clearance statement regarding child injury

4

or abuse from the Department of Public Welfare as required by 23

5

Pa.C.S. Ch. 63 Subch. C.2 (relating to background checks for

6

employment in schools) for all individuals who shall have direct

7

contact with students.

8

(17)  How the charter school will provide adequate liability

9

and other appropriate insurance for the charter school, its

10

employes and the board of trustees of the charter school.]

11

Section 3.6.  Section 1720-A of the act, amended July 9, 2008

12

(P.L.846, No.61), is repealed:

13

[Section 1720-A.  Term and Form of Charter.--(a)  Upon

14

approval of a charter application under section 1717-A, a

15

written charter shall be developed which shall contain the

16

provisions of the charter application and which shall be signed

17

by the local board of school directors of a school district, by

18

the local boards of school directors of a school district in the

19

case of a regional charter school or by the chairman of the

20

appeal board pursuant to section 1717-A(i)(5) and the board of

21

trustees of the charter school. This written charter, when duly

22

signed by the local board of school directors of a school

23

district, or by the local boards of school directors of a school

24

district in the case of a regional charter school, and the

25

charter school's board of trustees, shall act as legal

26

authorization for the establishment of a charter school. This

27

written charter shall be legally binding on both the local board

28

of school directors of a school district and the charter

29

school's board of trustees. Except as otherwise provided in

30

subsection (b), the charter shall be for a period of no less

- 19 -

 


1

than three (3) nor more than five (5) years and may be renewed

2

for five (5) year periods upon reauthorization by the local

3

board of school directors of a school district or the appeal

4

board. A charter will be granted only for a school organized as

5

a public, nonprofit corporation.

6

(b)  (1)  Notwithstanding subsection (a), a governing board

7

of a school district of the first class may renew a charter for

8

a period of one (1) year if the board of school directors

9

determines that there is insufficient data concerning the

10

charter school's academic performance to adequately assess that

11

performance and determines that an additional year of

12

performance data would yield sufficient data to assist the

13

governing board in its decision whether to renew the charter for

14

a period of five (5) years.

15

(2)  A one-year renewal pursuant to paragraph (1) shall not

16

be considered an adjudication and may not be appealed to the

17

State Charter School Appeal Board.

18

(3)  A governing board of a school district of the first

19

class does not have the authority to renew a charter for

20

successive one (1) year periods.]

21

Section 3.7.  Section 1721-A of the act, added June 19, 1997

22

(P.L.225, No.22), is repealed:

23

[Section 1721-A.  State Charter School Appeal Board.--(a)

24

The State Charter School Appeal Board shall consist of the

25

Secretary of Education and six (6) members who shall be

26

appointed by the Governor by and with the consent of a majority

27

of all the members of the Senate. Appointments by the Governor

28

shall not occur prior to January 1, 1999. The Governor shall

29

select the chairman of the appeal board to serve at the pleasure

30

of the Governor. The members shall include:

- 20 -

 


1

(1)  A parent of a school-aged child.

2

(2)  A school board member.

3

(3)  A certified teacher actively employed in a public

4

school.

5

(4)  A faculty member or administrative employe of an

6

institution of higher education.

7

(5)  A member of the business community.

8

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

9

The term of office of members of the appeal board, other than

10

the secretary, shall be for a period of four (4) years or until

11

a successor is appointed and qualified, except that, of the

12

initial appointees, the Governor shall designate two (2) members

13

to serve terms of two (2) years, two (2) members to serve terms

14

of three (3) years and two (2) members to serve terms of four

15

(4) years. Any appointment to fill any vacancy shall be for the

16

period of the unexpired term or until a successor is appointed

17

and qualified.

18

(b)  The appeal board shall meet as needed to fulfill the

19

purposes provided in this subsection. A majority of the members

20

of the appeal board shall constitute a quorum, and a majority of

21

the members of the appeal board shall have authority to act upon

22

any matter properly before the appeal board. The appeal board is

23

authorized to establish rules for its operation.

24

(c)  The members shall receive no payment for their services.

25

Members who are not employes of State government shall be

26

reimbursed for expenses incurred in the course of their official

27

duties from funds appropriated for the general government

28

operations of the department.

29

(d)  The department shall provide assistance and staffing for

30

the appeal board. The Governor, through the Governor's General

- 21 -

 


1

Counsel, shall provide such legal advice and assistance as the

2

appeal board may require.

3

(e)  Meetings of the appeal board shall be conducted under

4

the act of July 3, 1986 (P.L.388, No.84), known as the "Sunshine

5

Act." Documents of the appeal board shall be subject to the act

6

of June 21, 1957 (P.L.390, No.212), referred to as the Right-to-

7

Know Law.]

8

Section 3.8.  Section 1722-A of the act, amended November 17,

9

2010 (P.L.996, No.104) and repealed in part July 4, 2004

10

(P.L.536, No.70), is repealed:

11

[Section 1722-A.  Facilities.--(a)  A charter school may be

12

located in an existing public school building, in a part of an

13

existing public school building, in space provided on a

14

privately owned site, in a public building or in any other

15

suitable location.

16

(b)  The charter school facility shall be exempt from public

17

school facility regulations except those pertaining to the

18

health or safety of the pupils.

19

(d)  Notwithstanding any other provision of this act, a

20

school district of the first class may, in its discretion,

21

permit a charter school to operate its school at more than one

22

location.

23

(e)  (1)  Notwithstanding the provisions of section 204 of

24

the act of May 22, 1933 (P.L.853, No.155), known as The General

25

County Assessment Law, all school property, real and personal,

26

owned by any charter school, cyber charter school or an

27

associated nonprofit foundation, or owned by a nonprofit

28

corporation or nonprofit foundation and leased to a charter

29

school, cyber charter school or associated nonprofit foundation

30

at or below fair market value, that is occupied and used by any

- 22 -

 


1

charter school or cyber charter school for public school,

2

recreation or any other purposes provided for by this act, shall

3

be made exempt from every kind of State, county, city, borough,

4

township or other real estate tax, including payments in lieu of

5

taxes established through agreement with the Commonwealth or any

6

local taxing authority, as well as from all costs or expenses

7

for paving, curbing, sidewalks, sewers or other municipal

8

improvements, Provided, That any charter school or cyber charter

9

school or owner of property leased to a charter school or cyber

10

charter school may make a municipal improvement in a street on

11

which its school property abuts or may contribute a sum toward

12

the cost of the improvement.

13

(2)  Any agreement entered into by a charter school, cyber

14

charter school or associated nonprofit foundation with the

15

Commonwealth or a local taxing authority for payments in lieu of

16

taxes prior to December 31, 2009, shall be null and void.

17

(3)  This subsection shall apply retroactively to all charter

18

schools, cyber charter schools and associated nonprofit

19

foundations that filed an appeal from an assessment, as provided

20

in Article V of The General County Assessment Law, prior to the

21

effective date of this subsection.

22

(4)  For purposes of this subsection, "local taxing

23

authority" shall include, but not be limited to, a county, city,

24

borough, incorporated town, township or school district.]

25

Section 3.9.  Section 1723-A of the act, amended or added

26

June 26, 1999 (P.L.394, No.36) and July 9, 2008 (P.L.846,

27

No.61), is repealed:

28

[Section 1723-A.  Enrollment.--(a)  All resident children in

29

this Commonwealth qualify for admission to a charter school

30

within the provisions of subsection (b). If more students apply

- 23 -

 


1

to the charter school than the number of attendance slots

2

available in the school, then students must be selected on a

3

random basis from a pool of qualified applicants meeting the

4

established eligibility criteria and submitting an application

5

by the deadline established by the charter school, except that

6

the charter school may give preference in enrollment to a child

7

of a parent who has actively participated in the development of

8

the charter school and to siblings of students presently

9

enrolled in the charter school. First preference shall be given

10

to students who reside in the district or districts.

11

(b)  (1)  A charter school shall not discriminate in its

12

admission policies or practices on the basis of intellectual

13

ability, except as provided in paragraph (2), or athletic

14

ability, measures of achievement or aptitude, status as a person

15

with a disability, proficiency in the English language or any

16

other basis that would be illegal if used by a school district.

17

(2)  A charter school may limit admission to a particular

18

grade level, a targeted population group composed of at-risk

19

students, or areas of concentration of the school such as

20

mathematics, science or the arts. A charter school may establish

21

reasonable criteria to evaluate prospective students which shall

22

be outlined in the school's charter.

23

(c)  If available classroom space permits, a charter school

24

may enroll nonresident students on a space-available basis, and

25

the student's district of residence shall permit the student to

26

attend the charter school. The terms and conditions of the

27

enrollment shall be outlined in the school's charter.

28

(d)  (1)  Enrollment of students in a charter school or cyber

29

charter school shall not be subject to a cap or otherwise

30

limited by any past or future action of a board of school

- 24 -

 


1

directors, a board of control established under Article XVII-B,

2

a special board of control established under section 692 or any

3

other governing authority, unless agreed to by the charter

4

school or cyber charter school as part of a written charter

5

pursuant to section 1720-A.

6

(2)  The provisions of this subsection shall apply to a

7

charter school or cyber charter school regardless of whether the

8

charter was approved prior to or is approved subsequent to the

9

effective date of this subsection.]

10

Section 3.10.  Section 1724-A of the act, added June 29, 1997

11

(P.L.225, No.22), is repealed:

12

[Section 1724-A.  School Staff.--(a)  The board of trustees

13

shall determine the level of compensation and all terms and

14

conditions of employment of the staff except as may otherwise be

15

provided in this article. At least seventy-five per centum of

16

the professional staff members of a charter school shall hold

17

appropriate State certification. Employes of a charter school

18

may organize under the act of July 23, 1970 (P.L.563, No.195),

19

known as the "Public Employe Relations Act." The board of

20

trustees of a charter school shall be considered an employer for

21

the purposes of Article XI-A. Upon formation of one or more

22

collective bargaining units at the school, the board of trustees

23

shall bargain with the employes based on the provisions of this

24

article, Article XI-A and the "Public Employe Relations Act."

25

Collective bargaining units at a charter school shall be

26

separate from any collective bargaining unit of the school

27

district in which the charter school is located and shall be

28

separate from any other collective bargaining unit. A charter

29

school shall be considered a school entity as provided for in

30

section 1161-A for the purpose of the secretary seeking an

- 25 -

 


1

injunction requiring the charter school to meet the minimum

2

requirements for instruction as provided for in this article.

3

(b)  Each charter application shall list the general

4

qualifications needed to staff any noncertified positions.

5

Professional employes who do not hold appropriate Pennsylvania

6

certification must present evidence that they:

7

(i)  Meet the qualifications in sections 1109 and 1209.

8

(ii)  Have demonstrated satisfactorily a combination of

9

experience, achievement and qualifications as defined in the

10

charter school application in basic skills, general knowledge,

11

professional knowledge and practice and subject matter knowledge

12

in the subject area where an individual will teach.

13

(c)  All employes of a charter school shall be enrolled in

14

the Public School Employee's Retirement System in the same

15

manner as set forth in 24 Pa.C.S. § 8301(a) (relating to

16

mandatory and optional membership) unless at the time of the

17

application for the charter school the sponsoring district or

18

the board of trustees of the charter school has a retirement

19

program which covers the employes or the employe is currently

20

enrolled in another retirement program. The Commonwealth shall

21

make contributions on behalf of charter school employes, and the

22

charter school shall be considered a school district and shall

23

make payments by employers and payments on account of Social

24

Security as established under 24 Pa.C.S. Pt. IV (relating to

25

retirement for school employees). For purposes of payments by

26

employers, a charter school shall be considered a school

27

district under 24 Pa.C.S. § 8329(a)(1) (relating to payments on

28

account of social security deductions from appropriations). The

29

market value/income aid ratio used in calculating payments as

30

prescribed in this subsection shall be the market value/income

- 26 -

 


1

aid ratio for the school district in which the charter school is

2

located or, in the case of a regional charter school, shall be a

3

composite market value/income aid ratio for the participating

4

school districts as determined by the department. Except as

5

otherwise provided, employes of a charter school shall make

6

regular member contributions as required for active members

7

under 24 Pa.C.S. Pt. IV. If the employes of the charter school

8

participate in another retirement plan, then those employes

9

shall have no concurrent claim on the benefits provided to

10

public school employes under 24 Pa.C.S. Pt. IV. For purposes of

11

this subsection, a charter school shall be deemed to be a

12

"public school" as defined in 24 Pa.C.S. § 8102 (relating to

13

definitions).

14

(d)  Every employe of a charter school shall be provided the

15

same health care benefits as the employe would be provided if he

16

or she were an employe of the local district. The local board of

17

school directors may require the charter school to provide the

18

same terms and conditions with regard to health insurance as the

19

collective bargaining agreement of the school district to

20

include employe contributions to the district's health benefits

21

plan. The charter school shall make any required employer's

22

contribution to the district's health plan to an insurer, a

23

local board of school directors or a contractual representative

24

of school employes, whichever is appropriate to provide the

25

required coverage.

26

(e)  Any public school employe of a school entity may request

27

a leave of absence for up to five (5) years in order to work in

28

a charter school located in the district of employment or in a

29

regional charter school in which the employing school district

30

is a participant. Approval for a leave shall not be unreasonably

- 27 -

 


1

withheld.

2

(f)  Temporary professional employes on leave from a school

3

district may accrue tenure in the non-charter public school

4

system at the discretion of the local board of school directors,

5

the same as they would under Article XI if they had continued to

6

be employed by that district. Professional employes on leave

7

from a school district shall retain their tenure rights, as

8

defined in Article XI, in the school entity from which they

9

came. No temporary professional employe or professional employe

10

shall have tenure rights as against a charter school. Both

11

temporary professional employes and professional employes shall

12

continue to accrue seniority in the school entity from which

13

they came if they return to that school entity when the leave

14

ends.

15

(g)  Professional employes who hold a first level teaching or

16

administrative certificate may, at their option, have the time

17

completed in satisfactory service in a charter school applied to

18

the length of service requirements for the next level of

19

certification.

20

(h)  (1)  Any temporary professional employe or professional

21

employe who leaves employment at a charter school shall have the

22

right to return to a comparable position for which the person is

23

properly certified in the school entity which granted the leave

24

of absence. In the case where a teacher has been dismissed by

25

the charter school, the school entity which granted the leave of

26

absence is to be provided by the charter school with the reasons

27

for such dismissal at the time it occurs, a list of any

28

witnesses who were relied on by the charter school in moving for

29

dismissal, a description of and access to any physical evidence

30

used by the charter school in moving for dismissal and a copy of

- 28 -

 


1

any record developed at any dismissal proceeding conducted by

2

the charter school. The record of any such hearing may be

3

admissible in a hearing before the school entity which granted

4

the leave of absence. Nothing in this section shall affect the

5

authority of the board of school directors to initiate

6

proceedings under Article XI if the board determines that

7

occurrences at the charter school leading to dismissal of a

8

teacher constitute adequate and independent grounds for

9

discipline under section 1122.

10

(2)  No temporary employe or professional employe who is

11

leaving employment at a charter school shall be returned to a

12

position in the public school district which granted his leave

13

of absence until such public school district is in receipt of a

14

current criminal history record under section 111 and the

15

official clearance statement regarding child injury or abuse

16

from the Department of Public Welfare as required by 23 Pa.C.S.

17

Ch. 63 Subch. C.2 (relating to background checks for employment

18

in schools).

19

(i)  All individuals who shall have direct contact with

20

students shall be required to submit a report of criminal

21

history record information as provided for in section 111 prior

22

to accepting a position with the charter school. This subsection

23

shall also apply to any individual who volunteers to work on a

24

full-time or part-time basis at the charter school.

25

(j)  All applicants for a position as a school employe shall

26

be required to submit the official clearance statement regarding

27

child injury or abuse from the Department of Public Welfare as

28

required by 23 Pa.C.S. Ch. 63 Subch. C.2. This section shall

29

also apply to any individual who volunteers to work on a full-

30

time or part-time basis at a charter school.]

- 29 -

 


1

Section 3.11.  Section 1725-A of the act, amended or added

2

June 19, 1997 (P.L.225, No.22), June 22, 2001 (P.L.530, No.35)

3

and June 29, 2002 (P.L.524, No.88), is repealed:

4

[Section 1725-A.  Funding for Charter Schools.--(a)  Funding

5

for a charter school shall be provided in the following manner:

6

(1)  There shall be no tuition charge for a resident or

7

nonresident student attending a charter school.

8

(2)  For non-special education students, the charter school

9

shall receive for each student enrolled no less than the

10

budgeted total expenditure per average daily membership of the

11

prior school year, as defined in section 2501(20), minus the

12

budgeted expenditures of the district of residence for nonpublic

13

school programs; adult education programs; community/junior

14

college programs; student transportation services; for special

15

education programs; facilities acquisition, construction and

16

improvement services; and other financing uses, including debt

17

service and fund transfers as provided in the Manual of

18

Accounting and Related Financial Procedures for Pennsylvania

19

School Systems established by the department. This amount shall

20

be paid by the district of residence of each student.

21

(3)  For special education students, the charter school shall

22

receive for each student enrolled the same funding as for each

23

non-special education student as provided in clause (2), plus an

24

additional amount determined by dividing the district of

25

residence's total special education expenditure by the product

26

of multiplying the combined percentage of section 2509.5(k)

27

times the district of residence's total average daily membership

28

for the prior school year. This amount shall be paid by the

29

district of residence of each student.

30

(4)  A charter school may request the intermediate unit in

- 30 -

 


1

which the charter school is located to provide services to

2

assist the charter school to address the specific needs of

3

exceptional students. The intermediate unit shall assist the

4

charter school and bill the charter school for the services. The

5

intermediate unit may not charge the charter school more for any

6

service than it charges the constituent districts of the

7

intermediate unit.

8

(5)  Payments shall be made to the charter school in twelve

9

(12) equal monthly payments, by the fifth day of each month,

10

within the operating school year. A student enrolled in a

11

charter school shall be included in the average daily membership

12

of the student's district of residence for the purpose of

13

providing basic education funding payments and special education

14

funding pursuant to Article XXV. If a school district fails to

15

make a payment to a charter school as prescribed in this clause,

16

the secretary shall deduct the estimated amount, as documented

17

by the charter school, from any and all State payments made to

18

the district after receipt of documentation from the charter

19

school.

20

(6)  Within thirty (30) days after the secretary makes the

21

deduction described in clause (5), a school district may notify

22

the secretary that the deduction made from State payments to the

23

district under this subsection is inaccurate. The secretary

24

shall provide the school district with an opportunity to be

25

heard concerning whether the charter school documented that its

26

students were enrolled in the charter school, the period of time

27

during which each student was enrolled, the school district of

28

residence of each student and whether the amounts deducted from

29

the school district were accurate.

30

(b)  The Commonwealth shall provide temporary financial

- 31 -

 


1

assistance to a school district due to the enrollment of

2

students in a charter school who attended a nonpublic school in

3

the prior school year in order to offset the additional costs

4

directly related to the enrollment of those students in a public

5

charter school. The Commonwealth shall pay the school district

6

of residence of a student enrolled in a nonpublic school in the

7

prior school year who is attending a charter school an amount

8

equal to the school district of residence's basic education

9

subsidy for the current school year divided by the district's

10

average daily membership for the prior school year. This payment

11

shall occur only for the first year of the attendance of the

12

student in a charter school, starting with school year

13

1997-1998. Total payments of temporary financial assistance to

14

school districts on behalf of a student enrolling in a charter

15

school who attended a nonpublic school in the prior school year

16

shall be limited to funds appropriated for this program in a

17

fiscal year. If the total of the amount needed for all students

18

enrolled in a nonpublic school in the prior school year who

19

enroll in a charter school exceeds the appropriation for the

20

temporary financial assistance program, the amount paid to a

21

school district for each qualifying student shall be pro rata

22

reduced. Receipt of funds under this subsection shall not

23

preclude a school district from applying for a grant under

24

subsection (c).

25

(c)  The Commonwealth shall create a grant program to provide

26

temporary transitional funding to a school district due to the

27

budgetary impact relating to any student's first-year attendance

28

at a charter school. The department shall develop criteria which

29

shall include, but not be limited to, the overall fiscal impact

30

on the budget of the school district resulting from students of

- 32 -

 


1

a school district attending a charter school. The criteria shall

2

be published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. This subsection shall

3

not apply to a public school converted to a charter school under

4

section 1717-A(b). Grants shall be limited to funds appropriated

5

for this purpose.

6

(d)  It shall be lawful for any charter school to receive,

7

hold, manage and use, absolutely or in trust, any devise,

8

bequest, grant, endowment, gift or donation of any property,

9

real or personal and/or mixed, which shall be made to the

10

charter school for any of the purposes of this article.

11

(e)  It shall be unlawful for any trustee of a charter school

12

or any board of trustees of a charter school or any other person

13

affiliated in any way with a charter school to demand or

14

request, directly or indirectly, any gift, donation or

15

contribution of any kind from any parent, teacher, employe or

16

any other person affiliated with the charter school as a

17

condition for employment or enrollment and/or continued

18

attendance of any pupil. Any donation, gift or contribution

19

received by a charter school shall be given freely and

20

voluntarily.]

21

Section 3.12.  Section 1726-A of the act, amended July 11,

22

2006 (P.L.1092, No.114) and July 9, 2008 (P.L.846, No.61), is

23

repealed:

24

[Section 1726-A.  Transportation.--(a)  Students who attend a

25

charter school located in their school district of residence, a

26

regional charter school of which the school district is a part

27

or a charter school located outside district boundaries at a

28

distance not exceeding ten (10) miles by the nearest public

29

highway shall be provided free transportation to the charter

30

school by their school district of residence on such dates and

- 33 -

 


1

periods that the charter school is in regular session whether or

2

not transportation is provided on such dates and periods to

3

students attending schools of the district. Transportation is

4

not required for elementary students, including kindergarten

5

students, residing within one and one-half (1.5) miles or for

6

secondary students residing within two (2) miles of the nearest

7

public highway from the charter school in which the students are

8

enrolled unless the road or traffic conditions are such that

9

walking constitutes a hazard to the safety of the students when

10

so certified by the Department of Transportation, except that if

11

the school district provides transportation to the public

12

schools of the school district for elementary students,

13

including kindergarten students, residing within one and one-

14

half (1.5) miles or for secondary students residing within two

15

(2) miles of the nearest public highway under nonhazardous

16

conditions, transportation shall also be provided to charter

17

schools under the same conditions. Districts providing

18

transportation to a charter school outside the district and, for

19

the 2007-2008 school year and each school year thereafter,

20

districts providing transportation to a charter school within

21

the district shall be eligible for payments under section 2509.3

22

for each public school student transported.

23

(a.1)  In addition to any other requirements in this section,

24

school districts of the first class shall provide transportation

25

to students who attend a charter school if they are the same age

26

or are enrolled in the same grade, grades or their grade

27

equivalents as any of the students of the school district for

28

whom transportation is provided under any program or policy to

29

the schools of the school district.

30

(b)  In the event that the Secretary of Education determines

- 34 -

 


1

that a school district is not providing the required

2

transportation to students to the charter school, the Department

3

of Education shall pay directly to the charter school funds for

4

costs incurred in the transportation of its students. Payments

5

to a charter school shall be determined in the following manner:

6

for each eligible student transported, the charter school shall

7

receive a payment equal to the total expenditures for

8

transportation of the school district divided by the total

9

number of school students transported by the school district

10

under any program or policy.

11

(c)  The department shall deduct the amount paid to the

12

charter school under subsection (b) from any and all payments

13

made to the district.

14

(d)  A school district of the first class shall submit a copy

15

of its current transportation policy to the department no later

16

than August 1 of each year.]

17

Section 3.13.  Sections 1727-A and 1728-A of the act, added

18

June 19, 1997 (P.L.225, No.22), are repealed:

19

[Section 1727-A.  Tort Liability.--For purposes of tort

20

liability, employes of the charter school shall be considered

21

public employes and the board of trustees shall be considered

22

the public employer in the same manner as political subdivisions

23

and local agencies. The board of trustees of a charter school

24

and the charter school shall be solely liable for any and all

25

damages of any kind resulting from any legal challenge involving

26

the operation of a charter school. Notwithstanding this

27

requirement, the local board of directors of a school entity

28

shall not be held liable for any activity or operation related

29

to the program of the charter school.

30

Section 1728-A.  Annual Reports and Assessments.--(a)  The

- 35 -

 


1

local board of school directors shall annually assess whether

2

each charter school is meeting the goals of its charter and

3

shall conduct a comprehensive review prior to granting a five

4

(5) year renewal of the charter. The local board of school

5

directors shall have ongoing access to the records and

6

facilities of the charter school to ensure that the charter

7

school is in compliance with its charter and this act and that

8

requirements for testing, civil rights and student health and

9

safety are being met.

10

(b)  In order to facilitate the local board's review and

11

secretary's report, each charter school shall submit an annual

12

report no later than August 1 of each year to the local board of

13

school directors and the secretary in the form prescribed by the

14

secretary.

15

(c)  Five (5) years following the effective date of this

16

article, the secretary shall contract with an independent

17

professional consultant with expertise in public and private

18

education. The consultant shall receive input from members of

19

the educational community and the public on the charter school

20

program. The consultant shall submit a report to the secretary,

21

the Governor and the General Assembly and an evaluation of the

22

charter school program, which shall include a recommendation on

23

the advisability of the continuation, modification, expansion or

24

termination of the program and any recommendations for changes

25

in the structure of the program.]

26

Section 3.14.  Section 1729-A of the act, amended or added

27

June 19, 1997 (P.L.225, No.22), July 4, 2004 (P.L.536, No.70)

28

and July 9, 2008 (P.L.846, No.61), is repealed:

29

[Section 1729-A.  Causes for Nonrenewal or Termination.--(a)

30

During the term of the charter or at the end of the term of the

- 36 -

 


1

charter, the local board of school directors may choose to

2

revoke or not to renew the charter based on any of the

3

following:

4

(1)  One or more material violations of any of the

5

conditions, standards or procedures contained in the written

6

charter signed pursuant to section 1720-A.

7

(2)  Failure to meet the requirements for student performance

8

set forth in 22 Pa. Code Ch. 5 (relating to curriculum) or

9

subsequent regulations promulgated to replace 22 Pa. Code Ch. 5

10

or failure to meet any performance standard set forth in the

11

written charter signed pursuant to section 1716-A.

12

(3)  Failure to meet generally accepted standards of fiscal

13

management or audit requirements.

14

(4)  Violation of provisions of this article.

15

(5)  Violation of any provision of law from which the charter

16

school has not been exempted, including Federal laws and

17

regulations governing children with disabilities.

18

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

19

(a.1)  When a charter school located in a school district of

20

the first class is in corrective action status and seeks renewal

21

of its charter, if the governing body of the school district of

22

the first class renews the charter, it may place specific

23

conditions in the charter that require the charter school to

24

meet specific student performance targets within stated periods

25

of time subject to the following:

26

(i)  The performance targets and the periods of time in which

27

the performance targets must be met shall be reasonable.

28

(ii)  The placement of conditions in a charter as specified

29

in this subsection shall not be considered an adjudication and

30

may not be appealed to the State Charter School Appeal Board.

- 37 -

 


1

(iii)  If the charter school fails to meet the performance

2

targets within the stated period of time, such failure shall be

3

sufficient cause for revocation of the charter.

4

(b)  A member of the board of trustees who is convicted of a

5

felony or any crime involving moral turpitude shall be

6

immediately disqualified from serving on the board of trustees.

7

(c)  Any notice of revocation or nonrenewal of a charter

8

given by the local board of school directors of a school

9

district shall state the grounds for such action with reasonable

10

specificity and give reasonable notice to the governing board of

11

the charter school of the date on which a public hearing

12

concerning the revocation or nonrenewal will be held. The local

13

board of school directors shall conduct such hearing, present

14

evidence in support of the grounds for revocation or nonrenewal

15

stated in its notice and give the charter school reasonable

16

opportunity to offer testimony before taking final action.

17

Formal action revoking or not renewing a charter shall be taken

18

by the local board of school directors at a public meeting

19

pursuant to the act of July 3, 1986 (P.L.388, No.84), known as

20

the "Sunshine Act," after the public has had thirty (30) days to

21

provide comments to the board. All proceedings of the local

22

board pursuant to this subsection shall be subject to 2 Pa.C.S.

23

Ch. 5 Subch. B (relating to practice and procedure of local

24

agencies). Except as provided in subsection (d), the decision of

25

the local board shall not be subject to 2 Pa.C.S. Ch. 7 Subch. B

26

(relating to judicial review of local agency action).

27

(d)  Following the appointment and confirmation of the appeal

28

board, but not before July 1, 1999, the charter school may

29

appeal the decision of the local board of school directors to

30

revoke or not renew the charter to the appeal board. The appeal

- 38 -

 


1

board shall have the exclusive review of a decision not to renew

2

or revoke a charter. The appeal board shall review the record

3

and shall have the discretion to supplement the record if the

4

supplemental information was previously unavailable. The appeal

5

board may consider the charter school plan, annual reports,

6

student performance and employe and community support for the

7

charter school in addition to the record. The appeal board shall

8

give due consideration to the findings of the local board of

9

directors and specifically articulate its reasons for agreeing

10

or disagreeing with those findings in its written decision.

11

(e)  If the appeal board determines that the charter should

12

not be revoked or should be renewed, the appeal board shall

13

order the local board of directors to rescind its revocation or

14

nonrenewal decision.

15

(f)  Except as provided in subsection (g), the charter shall

16

remain in effect until final disposition by the appeal board.

17

(g)  In cases where the health or safety of the school's

18

pupils, staff or both is at serious risk, the local board of

19

school directors may take immediate action to revoke a charter.

20

(h)  All decisions of the charter school appeal board shall

21

be subject to appellate review by the Commonwealth Court.

22

(i)  When a charter is revoked, not renewed, forfeited,

23

surrendered or otherwise ceases to operate, the charter school

24

shall be dissolved. After the disposition of any liabilities and

25

obligations of the charter school, any remaining assets of the

26

charter school, both real and personal, shall be distributed on

27

a proportional basis to the school entities with students

28

enrolled in the charter school for the last full or partial

29

school year of the charter school. In no event shall such school

30

entities or the Commonwealth be liable for any outstanding

- 39 -

 


1

liabilities or obligations of the charter school.

2

(j)  When a charter is revoked or is not renewed, a student

3

who attended the charter school shall apply to another public

4

school in the student's school district of residence. Normal

5

application deadlines will be disregarded under these

6

circumstances. All student records maintained by the charter

7

school shall be forwarded to the student's district of

8

residence.]

9

Section 3.15.  Sections 1730-A and 1731-A of the act, added

10

June 19, 1997 (P.L.225, No.22), are repealed:

11

[Section 1730-A.  Desegregation Orders.--The local board of

12

school directors of a school district which is operating under a

13

desegregation plan approved by the Pennsylvania Human Relations

14

Commission or a desegregation order by a Federal or State court

15

shall not approve a charter school application if such charter

16

school would place the school district in noncompliance with its

17

desegregation order.

18

Section 1731-A.  Charter School Grants.--(a)  The secretary

19

shall allocate grants for planning and start-up funding to

20

eligible applicants under section 1717-A from funds appropriated

21

for the implementation of this act.

22

(1)  Planning grant applications shall be filed on a form and

23

by a date determined by the secretary. The amount of a grant may

24

vary depending on the size and scope of the planning needed by

25

the applicant. The application shall address the manner in which

26

the applicant plans to address the criteria established for

27

charter schools in sections 1715-A and 1717-A.

28

(2)  Start-up funding grant applications shall be filed on a

29

form and by a date determined by the secretary. The applicant

30

for the charter school shall submit its application for a

- 40 -

 


1

charter when applying for the grant. A grant for start-up

2

funding may vary depending on the size and special

3

characteristics of the charter school. A start-up grant may be

4

used to meet the expenses of the charter school as established

5

in their charter and as authorized in the provisions of this

6

article.

7

(b)  The applicant shall include a copy of a letter informing

8

the local board of school directors of the school district of

9

the application for the planning grant if the location of the

10

proposed charter school is known. An applicant receiving a

11

start-up funding grant shall notify the school district or

12

districts signing the charter of receipt of this grant.]

13

Section 3.16.  Section 1732-A, Subdivision (c) heading and

14

sections 1741-A, 1742-A, 1743-A, 1744-A, 1745-A, 1746-A, 1747-A,

15

1748-A, 1749-A, 1750-A and 1751-A of the act, amended or added

16

June 29, 2002 (P.L.524, No.88), are repealed:

17

[Section 1732-A.  Provisions Applicable to Charter Schools.--

18

(a)  Charter schools shall be subject to the following:

19

Sections 108, 110, 111, 321, 325, 326, 327, 431, 436, 443,

20

510, 518, 527, 708, 736, 737, 738, 739, 740, 741, 752, 753, 755,

21

771, 776, 777, 808, 809, 810, 1109, 1111, 1112(a), 1301, 1310,

22

1317, 1317.1, 1317.2, 1318, 1327, 1330, 1332, 1303-A, 1513,

23

1517, 1518, 1521, 1523, 1531, 1547, 2014-A, Article XIII-A and

24

Article XIV.

25

Act of July 17, 1961 (P.L.776, No.341), known as the

26

"Pennsylvania Fair Educational Opportunities Act."

27

Act of July 19, 1965 (P.L.215, No.116), entitled "An act

28

providing for the use of eye protective devices by persons

29

engaged in hazardous activities or exposed to known dangers in

30

schools, colleges and universities."

- 41 -

 


1

Section 4 of the act of January 25, 1966 (1965 P.L.1546,

2

No.541), entitled "An act providing scholarships and providing

3

funds to secure Federal funds for qualified students of the

4

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania who need financial assistance to

5

attend postsecondary institutions of higher learning, making an

6

appropriation, and providing for the administration of this

7

act."

8

Act of July 12, 1972 (P.L.765, No.181), entitled "An act

9

relating to drugs and alcohol and their abuse, providing for

10

projects and programs and grants to educational agencies, other

11

public or private agencies, institutions or organizations."

12

Act of December 15, 1986 (P.L.1595, No.175), known as the

13

"Antihazing Law."

14

(b)  Charter schools shall be subject to the following

15

provisions of 22 Pa. Code:

16

Section 5.216 (relating to ESOL).

17

Section 5.4 (relating to general policies).

18

Chapter 11 (relating to pupil attendance).

19

Chapter 12 (relating to students).

20

Section 32.3 (relating to assurances).

21

Section 121.3 (relating to discrimination prohibited).

22

Section 235.4 (relating to practices).

23

Section 235.8 (relating to civil rights).

24

Chapter 711 (relating to charter school services and programs

25

for children with disabilities).

26

(c)  (1)  The secretary may promulgate additional regulations

27

relating to charter schools.

28

(2)  The secretary shall have the authority and the

29

responsibility to ensure that charter schools comply with

30

Federal laws and regulations governing children with

- 42 -

 


1

disabilities. The secretary shall promulgate regulations to

2

implement this provision.

3

(c)  Cyber Charter Schools.

4

Section 1741-A.  Powers and duties of department.

5

(a)  Powers and duties.--The department shall:

6

(1)  Receive, review and act on applications for the

7

creation of a cyber charter school and have the power to

8

request further information from applicants, obtain input

9

from interested persons or entities and hold hearings

10

regarding applications.

11

(2)  Renew the charter of cyber charter school and renew

12

the charter of a charter school approved under section 1717-A

13

or 1718-A which provides instruction through the Internet or

14

other electronic means. Upon renewal of a charter of a

15

charter school approved under section 1717-A or 1718-A, the

16

charter school shall qualify as a cyber charter school under

17

this subdivision and shall be subject to the provisions of

18

this subdivision.

19

(3)  Revoke or deny renewal of a cyber charter school's

20

charter under the provisions of section 1729-A.

21

(i)  Notwithstanding the provisions of section 1729-

22

A(i), when the department has revoked or denied renewal

23

of a charter, the cyber charter school shall be

24

dissolved. After the disposition of the liabilities and

25

obligations of the cyber charter school, any remaining

26

assets of the cyber charter school shall be given over to

27

the intermediate unit in which the cyber charter school's

28

administrative office was located for distribution to the

29

school districts in which the students enrolled in the

30

cyber charter school reside at the time of dissolution.

- 43 -

 


1

(ii)  Notwithstanding any laws to the contrary, the

2

department may, after notice and hearing, take immediate

3

action to revoke a charter if:

4

(A)  a material component of the student's

5

education as required under this subdivision is not

6

being provided; or

7

(B)  the cyber charter school has failed to

8

maintain the financial ability to provide services as

9

required under this subdivision.

10

(4)  Execute charters after approval.

11

(5)  Develop forms, including the notification form under

12

section 1748-A(b), necessary to carry out the provisions of

13

this subdivision.

14

(b)  Hearings.--Hearings conducted by the department shall be

15

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

16

(c)  Documents.--Documents of the appeal board shall be

17

subject to the act of June 21, 1957 (P.L.390, No.212), referred

18

to as the Right-to-Know Law.

19

Section 1742-A.  Assessment and evaluation.

20

The department shall:

21

(1)  Annually assess whether each cyber charter school is

22

meeting the goals of its charter and is in compliance with

23

the provisions of the charter and conduct a comprehensive

24

review prior to granting a five-year renewal of the charter.

25

(2)  Annually review each cyber charter school's

26

performance on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment

27

test, standardized tests and other performance indicators to

28

ensure compliance with 22 Pa. Code Ch. 4 (relating to

29

academic standards and assessment) or subsequent regulations

30

promulgated to replace 22 Pa. Code Ch. 4.

- 44 -

 


1

(3)  Have ongoing access to all records, instructional

2

materials and student and staff records of each cyber charter

3

school and to every cyber charter school facility to ensure

4

the cyber charter school is in compliance with its charter

5

and this subdivision.

6

Section 1743-A.  Cyber charter school requirements and

7

prohibitions.

8

(a)  Special financial requirements prohibited.--A cyber

9

charter school shall not:

10

(1)  provide discounts to a school district or waive

11

payments under section 1725-A for any student;

12

(2)  except as provided for in subsection (e), provide

13

payments to parents or guardians for the purchase of

14

instructional materials; or

15

(3)  except as compensation for the provision of specific

16

services, enter into agreements to provide funds to a school

17

entity.

18

(b)  Enrollment.--A cyber charter school shall report to the

19

department an increase or a decrease of 30% or more in its

20

anticipated enrollment set forth in the application under

21

section 1747-A(11).

22

(c)  School district.--A cyber charter school shall make

23

available upon request, either in writing or electronically, to

24

each student's school district of residence the following:

25

(1)  A copy of the charter.

26

(2)  A copy of the cyber charter school application.

27

(3)  A copy of all annual reports prepared by the cyber

28

charter school.

29

(4)  A list of all students from that school district

30

enrolled in the cyber charter school.

- 45 -

 


1

(d)  Parent or guardian.--Upon request and prior to the

2

student's first day in a cyber charter school, the cyber charter

3

school shall, either in writing or electronically, provide to

4

the parent or guardian of a student the following:

5

(1)  A list and brief description of the courses of

6

instruction the student will receive. The list shall be

7

updated annually for each grade level in which the student is

8

enrolled.

9

(2)  A description of the lessons and activities to be

10

offered both online and offline.

11

(3)  The manner in which attendance will be reported and

12

work will be authenticated.

13

(4)  A list of all standardized tests the student will be

14

required to take during the school year and the place where

15

the test will be administered, if available.

16

(5)  The meetings to be held during the school year

17

between a parent or guardian and a teacher and among other

18

school officials or parents or guardians and the manner in

19

which the parent or guardian will be notified of the time and

20

place for the meeting.

21

(6)  The address of the cyber charter school and the

22

name, telephone number and e-mail address of the school

23

administrator and other school personnel.

24

(7)  A list of any extracurricular activities provided by

25

the cyber charter school.

26

(8)  The names of the student's teachers, if available,

27

and the manner in which each teacher can be contacted by the

28

student or the parent or guardian.

29

(9)  A list of all services that will be provided to the

30

student by the cyber charter school.

- 46 -

 


1

(10)  Copies of policies relating to computer security

2

and privacy, truancy, absences, discipline and withdrawal or

3

expulsion of students.

4

(11)  Information on:

5

(i)  The cyber charter school's professional staff,

6

including the number of staff personnel, their education

7

level and experience.

8

(ii)  The cyber charter school's performance on the

9

PSSA and other standardized test scores.

10

(12)  Information regarding the proper usage of equipment

11

and materials and the process for returning equipment and

12

materials supplied to the students by the cyber charter

13

school. A parent or guardian shall acknowledge, either in

14

writing or electronically, the receipt of this information.

15

(13)  A description of the school calendar, including,

16

but not limited to, the time frame that will constitute a

17

school year and a school week, holidays and term breaks.

18

(e)  Students.--For each student enrolled, a cyber charter

19

school shall:

20

(1)  provide all instructional materials;

21

(2)  provide all equipment, including, but not limited

22

to, a computer, computer monitor and printer; and

23

(3)  provide or reimburse for all technology and services

24

necessary for the on-line delivery of the curriculum and

25

instruction.

26

The Commonwealth shall not be liable for any reimbursement owed

27

to students, parents or guardians by a cyber charter school

28

under paragraph (3).

29

(f)  Annual report.--A cyber charter school shall submit an

30

annual report no later than August 1 of each year to the

- 47 -

 


1

department in the form prescribed by the department.

2

(g)  Records and facilities.--A cyber charter school shall

3

provide the department with ongoing access to all records and

4

facilities necessary for the department to assess the cyber

5

charter school in accordance with the provisions of this

6

subdivision.

7

(h)  Offices and facilities.--A cyber charter school shall

8

maintain an administrative office within this Commonwealth where

9

all student records shall be maintained at all times and shall

10

provide the department with the addresses of all offices and

11

facilities of the cyber charter school, the ownership thereof

12

and any lease arrangements. The administrative office of the

13

cyber charter school shall be considered as the principal place

14

of business for service of process for any action brought

15

against the cyber charter school or cyber charter school staff

16

members. The cyber charter school shall notify the department of

17

any changes in this information within ten days of the change.

18

(i)  Applicable law.--Any action taken against the cyber

19

charter school, its successors or assigns or its employees,

20

including any cyber charter school staff member as defined in

21

the act of December 12, 1973 (P.L.397, No.141), known as the

22

Professional Educator Discipline Act, shall be governed by the

23

laws of this Commonwealth. If the department initiates an

24

investigation or pursues an action pursuant to the Professional

25

Educator Discipline Act involving any current or former charter

26

school staff member outside this Commonwealth, any reasonable

27

expenses incurred by the department in such investigation or

28

action shall be paid by the cyber charter school which employed

29

that staff member at the time of the alleged misconduct.

30

Section 1744-A.  School district and intermediate unit

- 48 -

 


1

responsibilities.

2

An intermediate unit or a school district in which a student

3

enrolled in a cyber charter school resides shall do all of the

4

following:

5

(1)  Provide the cyber charter school within ten days of

6

receipt of the notice of the admission of the student under

7

section 1748-A(a) with all records relating to the student,

8

including transcripts, test scores and a copy of any

9

individualized education program for that student.

10

(2)  Provide the cyber charter school with reasonable

11

access to its facilities for the administration of

12

standardized tests required under this subdivision.

13

(3)  Upon request, provide assistance to the cyber

14

charter school in the delivery of services to a student with

15

disabilities. The school district or intermediate unit shall

16

not charge the cyber charter school more for a service than

17

it charges a school district.

18

(4)  Make payments to the cyber charter school under

19

section 1725-A.

20

Section 1745-A.  Establishment of cyber charter school.

21

(a)  Establishment.--A cyber charter school may be

22

established by an individual; one or more teachers who will

23

teach at the proposed cyber charter school; parents or guardians

24

of students who will enroll in the cyber charter school; a

25

nonsectarian college, university or museum located in this

26

Commonwealth; a nonsectarian corporation not-for-profit as

27

defined in 15 Pa.C.S. § 5103 (relating to definitions); a

28

corporation, association or partnership; or any combination of

29

the foregoing. Section 1327.1 shall not apply to a cyber charter

30

school established under this subdivision.

- 49 -

 


1

(b)  Sectarian entities.--No cyber charter school shall be

2

established or funded by and no charter shall be granted to a

3

sectarian school, institution or other entity.

4

(c)  Attendance.--Attendance at a cyber charter school shall

5

satisfy requirements for compulsory attendance.

6

(d)  Application.--An application to establish a cyber

7

charter school shall be submitted to the department by October 1

8

of the school year preceding the school year in which the cyber

9

charter school proposes to commence operation.

10

(e)  Grant or denial.--Within 120 days of receipt of an

11

application, the department shall grant or deny the application.

12

The department shall review the application and shall hold at

13

least one public hearing under 65 Pa.C.S. Ch. 7 (relating to

14

open meetings). At least 30 days prior to the hearing, the

15

department shall publish in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and on the

16

department's World Wide Web site notice of the hearing and the

17

purpose of the application.

18

(f)  Evaluation criteria.--

19

(1)  A cyber charter school application submitted under

20

this subdivision shall be evaluated by the department based

21

on the following criteria:

22

(i)  The demonstrated, sustainable support for the

23

cyber charter school plan by teachers, parents or

24

guardians and students.

25

(ii)  The capability of the cyber charter school

26

applicant, in terms of support and planning, to provide

27

comprehensive learning experiences to students under the

28

charter.

29

(iii)  The extent to which the programs outlined in

30

the application will enable students to meet the academic

- 50 -

 


1

standards under 22 Pa. Code Ch. 4 (relating to academic

2

standards and assessment) or subsequent regulations

3

promulgated to replace 22 Pa. Code Ch. 4.

4

(iv)  The extent to which the application meets the

5

requirements of section 1747-A.

6

(v)  The extent to which the cyber charter school may

7

serve as a model for other public schools.

8

(2)  Written notice of the action of the department shall

9

be sent by certified mail to the applicant and published on

10

the department's World Wide Web site. If the application is

11

denied, the reasons for denial, including a description of

12

deficiencies in the application, shall be clearly stated in

13

the notice.

14

(3)  Upon approval of a cyber charter school application,

15

a written charter shall be developed which shall contain the

16

provisions of the charter application and be signed by the

17

secretary and each member of the board of trustees of the

18

cyber charter school. The charter, when duly signed, shall

19

act as legal authorization of the establishment of a cyber

20

charter school. The charter shall be legally binding on the

21

department, the cyber charter school and its board of

22

trustees. The charter shall be for a period of no less than

23

three years nor more than five years and may be renewed for a

24

period of five years by the department.

25

(4)  The decision of the department to deny an

26

application may be appealed to the appeal board.

27

(g)  Denied application.--A cyber charter school applicant

28

may revise and resubmit a denied application to the department.

29

The department shall grant or deny the revised application

30

within 60 days after its receipt.

- 51 -

 


1

(h)  Appeal.--If the department fails to hold the required

2

public hearing or to approve or disapprove the charter, the

3

applicant may file its application as an appeal to the appeal

4

board. The appeal board shall review the application and make a

5

decision to approve or disapprove the charter based on the

6

criteria in subsection (f).

7

Section 1746-A.  State Charter School Appeal Board review.

8

(a)  Jurisdiction.--The appeal board shall have the exclusive

9

review of an appeal by a cyber charter school applicant or by

10

the board of trustees of a cyber charter school on the decisions

11

of the department, including:

12

(1)  The denial of an application for a charter.

13

(2)  The denial of a renewal of a charter.

14

(3)  The revocation of a charter.

15

(4)  An appeal under section 1745-A(h).

16

(b)  Procedure.--The appeal board shall:

17

(1)  Review the decision made by the department under

18

subsection (a) on the record as certified by the department.

19

The secretary shall recuse himself from all cyber charter

20

school appeals and shall not participate in a hearing,

21

deliberation or vote on a cyber charter school appeal. The

22

appeal board may allow the department, the cyber charter

23

school applicant or the board of trustees of a cyber charter

24

school to supplement the record if the supplemental

25

information was previously unavailable.

26

(2)  Meet to officially review the certified record no

27

later than 30 days after the date of filing the appeal.

28

(3)  Issue a written decision affirming or denying the

29

appeal no later than 60 days following its review.

30

(4)  In the case of a decision by the department to deny

- 52 -

 


1

a cyber charter application, make its decision based on

2

section 1745-A(f)(1). A decision by the appeal board to

3

reverse the decision of the department and grant a charter

4

shall serve as a requirement for the secretary to sign the

5

written charter of the cyber charter school.

6

(5)  In the case of a decision by the department to

7

revoke or deny renewal of a cyber school charter in

8

accordance with section 1741-A(a)(3), make its decision based

9

on section 1729-A(a). A decision of the appeal board to

10

reverse the decision of the department to not revoke or deny

11

renewal of a charter shall serve as a requirement of the

12

department to not revoke or to not deny renewal of the

13

charter of the cyber charter school.

14

(c)  Stay.--If the department appeals the decision of the

15

appeal board, the appeal board's decision shall be stayed only

16

upon order of the appeal board, the Commonwealth Court or the

17

Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

18

(d)  Review.--All decisions of the appeal board shall be

19

subject to appellate review by the Commonwealth Court.

20

Section 1747-A.  Cyber charter school application.

21

In addition to the provisions of section 1719-A, an

22

application to establish a cyber charter school shall also

23

include the following:

24

(1)  The curriculum to be offered and how it meets the

25

requirements of 22 Pa. Code Ch. 4 (relating to academic

26

standards and assessment) or subsequent regulations

27

promulgated to replace 22 Pa. Code Ch. 4.

28

(2)  The number of courses required for elementary and

29

secondary students.

30

(3)  An explanation of the amount of on-line time

- 53 -

 


1

required for elementary and secondary students.

2

(4)  The manner in which teachers will deliver

3

instruction, assess academic progress and communicate with

4

students to provide assistance.

5

(5)  A specific explanation of any cooperative learning

6

opportunities, meetings with students, parents and guardians,

7

field trips or study sessions.

8

(6)  The technology, including types of hardware and

9

software, equipment and other materials which will be

10

provided by the cyber charter school to the student.

11

(7)  A description of how the cyber charter school will

12

define and monitor a student's school day, including the

13

delineation of on-line and off-line time.

14

(8)  A description of commercially prepared standardized

15

achievement tests that will be used by the cyber charter

16

school in addition to the Pennsylvania System of School

17

Assessment test, including the grade levels that will be

18

tested and how the data collected from the tests will be used

19

to improve instruction.

20

(9)  The technical support that will be available to

21

students and parents or guardians.

22

(10)  The privacy and security measures to ensure the

23

confidentiality of data gathered online.

24

(11)  The level of anticipated enrollment during each

25

school year of the proposed charter, including expected

26

increases due to the addition of grade levels.

27

(12)  The methods to be used to insure the authenticity

28

of student work and adequate proctoring of examinations.

29

(13)  The provision of education and related services to

30

students with disabilities, including evaluation and the

- 54 -

 


1

development and revision of individualized education

2

programs.

3

(14)  Policies regarding truancy, absences and withdrawal

4

of students, including the manner in which the cyber charter

5

school will monitor attendance consistent with the provisions

6

of section 1715-A(9).

7

(15)  The types and frequency of communication between

8

the cyber charter school and the student and the manner in

9

which the cyber charter school will communicate with parents

10

and guardians.

11

(16)  The addresses of all facilities and offices of the

12

cyber charter school, the ownership thereof and any lease

13

arrangements.

14

Section 1748-A.  Enrollment and notification.

15

(a)  Notice to school district.--

16

(1)  Within 15 days of the enrollment of a student to a

17

cyber charter school, the parent or guardian and the cyber

18

charter school shall notify the student's school district of

19

residence of the enrollment through the use of the

20

notification form under subsection (b).

21

(2)  If a school district which has received notice under

22

paragraph (1) determines that a student is not a resident of

23

the school district, the following apply:

24

(i)  Within seven days of receipt of the notice under

25

paragraph (1), the school district shall notify the cyber

26

charter school and the department that the student is not

27

a resident of the school district. Notification of

28

nonresidence shall include the basis for the

29

determination.

30

(ii)  Within seven days of notification under

- 55 -

 


1

subparagraph (i), the cyber charter school shall review

2

the notification of nonresidence, respond to the school

3

district and provide a copy of the response to the

4

department. If the cyber charter school agrees that a

5

student is not a resident of the school district, it

6

shall determine the proper district of residence of the

7

student before requesting funds from another school

8

district.

9

(iii)  Within seven days of receipt of the response

10

under subparagraph (ii), the school district shall notify

11

the cyber charter school that it agrees with the cyber

12

charter school's determination or does not agree with the

13

cyber charter school's determination.

14

(iv)  A school district that has notified the cyber

15

charter school that it does not agree with the cyber

16

charter school's determination under subparagraph (iii)

17

shall appeal to the department for a final determination.

18

(v)  All decisions of the department regarding the

19

school district of residence of a student shall be

20

subject to review by the Commonwealth Court.

21

(vi)  A school district shall continue to make

22

payments to a cyber charter school under section 1725-A

23

during the time in which the school district of residence

24

of a student is in dispute.

25

(vii)  If a final determination is made that a

26

student is not a resident of an appealing school

27

district, the cyber charter school shall return all funds

28

provided on behalf of that student to the school district

29

within 30 days.

30

(b)  Notification form.--The department shall develop a

- 56 -

 


1

notification form for use under subsection (a). The notification

2

shall include:

3

(1)  The name, home address and mailing address of the

4

student.

5

(2)  The grade in which the student is being enrolled.

6

(3)  The date the student will be enrolled.

7

(4)  The name and address of the cyber charter school and

8

the name and telephone number of a contact person able to

9

provide information regarding the cyber charter school.

10

(5)  The signature of the parent or guardian and an

11

authorized representative of the cyber charter school.

12

(c)  Withdrawal.--The cyber charter school and the parent or

13

guardian of a student enrolled in a cyber charter school shall

14

provide written notification to the student's school district of

15

residence within 15 days following the withdrawal of a student

16

from the cyber charter school.

17

Section 1749-A.  Applicability of other provisions of this

18

act and of other acts and regulations.

19

(a)  General requirements.--Cyber charter schools shall be

20

subject to the following:

21

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

22

436, 443, 510, 518, 527, 708, 752, 753, 755, 771, 776, 777,

23

808, 809, 810, 1109, 1111, 1112(a), 1205.1, 1205.2, 1301,

24

1302, 1310, 1317.2, 1318, 1330, 1332, 1303-A, 1518, 1521,

25

1523, 1531, 1547, 1702-A, 1703-A, 1714-A, 1715-A, 1716-A,

26

1719-A, 1721-A, 1722-A, 1723-A(a) and (b), 1724-A, 1725-A,

27

1727-A, 1729-A, 1730-A, 1731-A(a)(1) and (b) and 2014-A and

28

Articles XII-A, XIII-A and XIV.

29

(2)  The act of July 17, 1961 (P.L.776, No.341), known as

30

the Pennsylvania Fair Educational Opportunities Act.

- 57 -

 


1

(3)  The act of July 19, 1965 (P.L.215, No.116), entitled

2

"An act providing for the use of eye protective devices by

3

persons engaged in hazardous activities or exposed to known

4

dangers in schools, colleges and universities."

5

(4)  Section 4 of the act of January 25, 1966 (1965

6

P.L.1546, No.541), entitled "An act providing scholarships

7

and providing funds to secure Federal funds for qualified

8

students of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania who need

9

financial assistance to attend postsecondary institutions of

10

higher learning, making an appropriation, and providing for

11

the administration of this act."

12

(5)  The act of July 12, 1972 (P.L.765, No.181) entitled

13

"An act relating to drugs and alcohol and their abuse,

14

providing for projects and programs and grants to educational

15

agencies, other public or private agencies, institutions or

16

organizations."

17

(6)  The act of December 15, 1986 (P.L.1595, No.175),

18

known as the Antihazing Law.

19

(b)  Regulations.--Cyber charter schools shall be subject to

20

the following provisions of 22 Pa. Code (relating to education):

21

(1)  Chapter 4 (relating to academic standards and

22

assessment).

23

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

24

(3)  Chapter 12 (relating to students).

25

(4)  Section 32.3 (relating to assurances).

26

(5)  Section 121.3 (relating to discrimination

27

prohibited).

28

(6)  Section 235.4 (relating to practices).

29

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

30

(8)  Chapter 711 (relating to charter school services and

- 58 -

 


1

programs for children with disabilities).

2

(c)  Existing charter schools.--

3

(1)  The charter of a charter school approved under

4

section 1717-A or 1718-A which provides instruction through

5

the Internet or other electronic means shall remain in effect

6

for the duration of the charter and shall be subject to the

7

provisions of Subdivision (b).

8

(2)  In addition to subsections (a) and (b), the

9

following provisions of this subdivision shall apply to a

10

charter school approved under section 1717-A or 1718-A which

11

provides instruction through the Internet or other electronic

12

means:

13

(i)  Section 1743-A(c), (d), (e), (h) and (i).

14

(ii)  Section 1744-A.

15

(iii)  Section 1748-A.

16

Section 1750-A.  Effect on certain existing charter schools.

17

(a)  Determination.--For a charter school approved under

18

section 1717-A or 1718-A which provides instruction through the

19

Internet or other electronic means, prior to August 15, 2002,

20

the department shall determine:

21

(1)  whether the charter school is in compliance with

22

this subdivision;

23

(2)  whether the charter school has provided notification

24

of the enrollment of each existing student to the school

25

district of residence; and

26

(3)  how the charter school plans to comply with section

27

1743-A(d).

28

(b)  Notification of compliance.--Prior to August 15, 2002,

29

the department shall:

30

(1)  Notify each charter school and the chartering school

- 59 -

 


1

district of the department's determination under subsection

2

(a). The notification shall include specific requirements

3

with which the charter school has failed to comply.

4

(2)  Publish a copy of the notification on the

5

department's World Wide Web site.

6

(c)  Charter school requirement.--A charter school subject to

7

the requirements of this section shall, either in writing or

8

electronically, provide the parent or guardian of any student

9

enrolled in the charter school a copy of the department's

10

determination under subsection (b).

11

(d)  School districts.--A school district shall not renew the

12

charter of a charter school approved under section 1717-A or

13

1718-A which provides instruction through the Internet or other

14

electronic means or approve a charter for a cyber charter

15

school.

16

(e)  Renewal of charter for certain existing charter

17

schools.--Upon the expiration of its charter, a charter school

18

approved under section 1717-A or 1718-A which provides

19

instruction through the Internet or other electronic means shall

20

seek renewal of its charter from the department under this

21

subdivision. The charter shall be amended as needed to reflect

22

the requirements of this subdivision.

23

Section 1751-A.  Regulations.

24

The department may issue regulations to implement this

25

subdivision.]

26

Section 4.  The act is amended by adding an article to read:

27

ARTICLE XVII-C

28

CHARTER SCHOOLS AND CYBER CHARTER SCHOOLS

29

SUBARTICLE A

30

PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS

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1

Section 1701-C.  Scope of article.

2

This article relates to charter schools and cyber charter

3

schools.

4

Section 1702-C.  Legislative intent.

5

It is the intent of the General Assembly to provide pupils

6

and community members the ability to establish and maintain

7

schools that operate independently from the existing school

8

district structure as a method to accomplish all of the

9

following:

10

(1)  Improve pupil learning.

11

(2)  Increase learning opportunities for all pupils.

12

(3)  Encourage the use of different and innovative

13

teaching methods.

14

(4)  Create new professional opportunities for teachers,

15

including the opportunity to be responsible for the learning

16

program at the school site.

17

(5)  Provide parents and pupils with expanded choices in

18

the types of educational opportunities that are available

19

within the public school system.

20

(6)  Hold the schools established under this article

21

accountable for meeting measurable academic standards and

22

provide the school with a method to establish accountability

23

systems.

24

Section 1703-C.  Definitions.

25

The following words and phrases when used in this article

26

shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the

27

context clearly indicates otherwise:

28

"Administrator."  The term includes those employees of a

29

charter school or cyber charter school, including the chief

30

administrator of a charter school or cyber charter school and

- 61 -

 


1

all other employees, who by virtue of their positions are

2

responsible for taking or recommending official action of a

3

nonministerial nature with regard to contracting or procurement,

4

administering or monitoring grants or subsidies, managing or

5

regulating staff, student and school activities or any activity

6

where the official action has an economic impact of greater than

7

a de minimis nature on the interests of any person.

8

"At-risk student."  A student at risk of educational failure

9

because of limited English proficiency, poverty, community

10

factors, truancy, academic difficulties or economic

11

disadvantage.

12

"Authorizer."  The commission, a local board of school

13

directors or a governing board of an institution of higher

14

education that meets the requirements of section 1718-C(d)(1)

15

(iii).

16

"Charter school."  An independent public school established

17

and operated under a charter from an authorizer and in which

18

students are enrolled or attend. A charter school must be

19

organized as a public, nonprofit corporation. A charter may not

20

be granted to any for-profit entity.

21

"Charter school foundation."  A nonprofit organization, as

22

defined under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of

23

1986 (Public Law 99-514, 26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(3)), that provides

24

funding, resources or otherwise serves to support a charter

25

school or cyber charter school, either directly or through an

26

affiliated entity.

27

"Chief administrator."  An individual appointed by the board

28

of trustees to oversee and manage the operation of the charter

29

school or cyber charter school. The term shall not include a

30

professional staff member under this article.

- 62 -

 


1

"Commission."  The State Commission on Charter Schools and

2

Cyber Charter Schools.

3

"Committee."  The Charter School and Cyber Charter School

4

Funding Advisory Committee.

5

"Cyber charter school."  An independent public school

6

established and operated under a charter from the commission and

7

which uses technology in order to provide a significant portion

8

of its curriculum and to deliver a significant portion of

9

instruction to its students through the Internet or other

10

electronic means. A cyber charter school must be organized as a

11

public, nonprofit corporation. A charter may not be granted to

12

any for-profit entity.

13

"Department."  The Department of Education of the

14

Commonwealth.

15

"Educational management service provider."  A for-profit

16

education management organization, nonprofit charter management

17

organization, school design provider, business manager or any

18

other partner entity with which a charter school or cyber

19

charter school intends to contract for educational design,

20

implementation, business or comprehensive management. The term

21

does not include a charter school foundation.

22

"Fund."  The State Charter School and Cyber Charter School

23

Assessment Fund.

24

"Governing board."  The board of trustees or council of

25

trustees of an institution of higher education.

26

"History of extraordinarily low test performance."  A

27

combined average of 60% or more of students scoring in the

28

bottom measured group of 25% or below basic level of performance

29

on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment tests under 22

30

Pa. Code Ch. 4 (relating to academic standards and assessment)

- 63 -

 


1

in mathematics and reading in the most recent two school years

2

for which scores are available in those grades that have been

3

served for three years or more by the charter school or cyber

4

charter school.

5

"Immediate family member."  A parent, spouse, child, brother

6

or sister.

7

"Institution of higher education."  Any of the following:

8

(1)  A nonsectarian accredited college or university to

9

which 24 Pa.C.S. Ch. 65 (relating to private colleges,

10

universities and seminaries) applies.

11

(2)  An institution under Article XX-A.

12

(3)  A community college under Article XIX-A.

13

"Local board of school directors."  The board of directors of

14

a school district in which a proposed or an approved charter

15

school is located. The term shall include a special board of

16

control established under section 692 or a School Reform

17

Commission established under section 696.

18

"Nonrelated."  An individual who is not an immediate family

19

member.

20

"Regional charter school."  An independent public school that

21

is a charter school established and operated under a charter

22

from more than one authorizer and in which students are enrolled

23

or attend. A regional charter school must be organized as a

24

public, nonprofit corporation. A charter may not be granted to

25

any for-profit entity.

26

"School district of residence."  The school district in this

27

Commonwealth in which the parents or guardians of a child

28

reside.

29

"School entity."  A school district, intermediate unit, joint

30

school or area vocational-technical school.

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1

"Secretary."  The Secretary of Education of the Commonwealth.

2

"State board."  The State Board of Education of the

3

Commonwealth.

4

Section 1704-C.  State Commission on Charter Schools and Cyber

5

Charter Schools.

6

(a)  Establishment.--The State Commission on Charter Schools

7

and Cyber Charter Schools is established as an independent

8

administrative commission.

9

(b)  Composition.--The commission shall consist of citizens

10

of this Commonwealth who shall be appointed as follows:

11

(1)  Three members who shall be appointed by the Governor

12

by and with the consent of a majority of all of the members

13

of the Senate. The members shall include:

14

(i)  A member of the State board.

15

(ii)  A faculty member or administrative employee of

16

an institution of higher education.

17

(iii)  A school board member.

18

(2)  Four members who shall be appointed by the General

19

Assembly as follows:

20

(i)  The majority leader of the Senate shall appoint

21

an administrator or board of trustee member of a charter

22

school or cyber charter school.

23

(ii)  The minority leader of the Senate shall appoint

24

a certificated teacher actively employed in a public

25

school, including a charter school or cyber charter

26

school.

27

(iii)  The majority leader of the House of

28

Representatives shall appoint a member of the business

29

community.

30

(iv)  The minority leader of the House of

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1

Representatives shall appoint a parent of a school-aged

2

child currently enrolled in a charter or cyber charter

3

school, who shall be eligible to serve only so long as

4

the child is attending the charter school or cyber

5

charter school.

6

(c)  Terms.--

7

(1)  The members initially appointed by the Governor

8

shall serve for terms of two, three and four years,

9

respectively, the particular term of each to be designated by

10

the Governor at the time of appointment.

11

(2)  (i)  Except for subparagraph (ii), the members

12

initially appointed by the General Assembly under

13

subsection (b)(2)(i), (ii) and (iii) shall serve for

14

terms of four years and the terms of those members'

15

successors shall be four years each.

16

(ii)  Any person appointed to fill a vacancy for a

17

member appointed under subsection (b)(2)(i), (ii) and

18

(iii) shall serve only for the unexpired term or until a

19

successor is appointed and qualified.

20

(iii)  A member appointed under subsection (b)(2)(iv)

21

shall serve a term of four years as long as the member's

22

child remains enrolled in the charter school or cyber

23

charter school. The term for that member's successor

24

shall be subject to the same condition.

25

(3)  Any appointed member of the commission shall be

26

eligible for reappointment.

27

(4)  Annually at the first meeting held during the

28

calendar year, the members shall elect one of the members to

29

serve as chairperson.

30

(d)  Meetings.--The commission shall meet as needed to

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1

fulfill the purposes provided under this section. A majority of

2

the members of the commission shall constitute a quorum, and a

3

majority of the members of the commission shall have authority

4

to act upon any matter properly before the commission. The

5

commission is authorized to establish rules for its operation.

6

(e)  Compensation.--The members shall receive no payment for

7

their services. Members who are not employees of State

8

government shall be reimbursed from the fund for expenses

9

incurred in the course of their official duties.

10

(f)  Executive director.--An executive director shall be

11

appointed by the members of the commission. The executive

12

director shall be paid compensation as the commission may

13

determine. The executive director may employ personnel and

14

contract for consulting services as may be necessary and

15

authorized to carry out the purposes of this article if the

16

services are procured through a competitive bidding process.

17

Staff of the commission, other than the executive director,

18

shall be employed in accordance with the act of August 5, 1941

19

(P.L.752, No.286), known as the Civil Service Act.

20

(g)  Open meetings and documents.--Meetings of the commission

21

shall be conducted under 65 Pa.C.S. Ch. 7 (relating to open

22

meetings) and all hearings shall be conducted in accordance with

23

2 Pa.C.S. Ch. 5 Subch. A (relating to practice and procedure of

24

Commonwealth agencies). Documents of the commission shall be

25

subject to the act of February 14, 2008 (P.L.6, No.3), known as

26

the Right-to-Know Law.

27

(h)  Powers and duties.--The commission shall have the

28

following powers and duties:

29

(1)  Implement the provisions of this article and

30

promulgate regulations.

- 67 -

 


1

(2)  Serve as an authorizer for charter schools and cyber

2

charter schools.

3

(3)  Collect, develop and disseminate information,

4

policies, strategies and best practices for the effective

5

management and operation of charter schools and cyber charter

6

schools.

7

(4)  Provide technical support and assistance to charter

8

schools, cyber charter schools and authorizers, including

9

mentoring and building collaborative partnerships within the

10

community, the authorizer and the charter school.

11

(5)  Identify model charter school and cyber charter

12

school applications and provide best practices.

13

(6)  Collaborate with intermediate units and other

14

entities to make continuing education training and

15

professional development available for members of the board

16

of trustees, administrators, faculty and staff of a charter

17

school or cyber charter school.

18

(7)  Develop and issue standardized forms that shall be

19

used by all applicants, authorizers, charter schools and

20

cyber charter schools as required under sections 1721-C,

21

1726-C, 1731-C and 1735-C.

22

(8)  Receive, review and act on applications for the

23

creation of a charter school or a cyber charter school and

24

have the power to request further information from

25

applicants, obtain input from interested persons or entities

26

and hold hearings regarding applications.

27

(9)  Direct all authorizers, charter schools and cyber

28

charter schools to submit an annual report to the commission

29

no later than September 1 of each year and to publish the

30

same on the commission's Internet website on an annual basis.

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1

(10)  Oversee the performance and effectiveness of all

2

charter schools and cyber charter schools.

3

(11)  Refer to the district attorney with jurisdiction or

4

to the Office of Attorney General for prosecution if the

5

commission discovers or receives information about possible

6

violations of law by any person affiliated with or employed

7

by an authorizer, charter school or cyber charter school.

8

(12)  Fix assessment fees as required under section

9

1705-C.

10

(13)  Renew, revoke or deny renewal of a charter school

11

or cyber charter school's charter under section 1723-C.

12

(14)  Review appeals and render decisions under section

13

1724-C.

14

(15)  Oversee and enforce the timely payment to charter

15

schools and cyber charter schools as required under section

16

1728-C.

17

(16)  Provide a list of approved qualified independent

18

certified public accountants to conduct independent audits as

19

required under section 1731-C.

20

(17)  Ensure that charter schools and cyber charter

21

schools comply with Federal laws and regulations governing

22

children with disabilities.

23

(18)  Receive, review and act on charter school transfers

24

under section 1734-C(c).

25

(19)  Receive, review and act on multiple charter school

26

organization requests under section 1735-C.

27

Section 1705-C.  State Charter School and Cyber Charter School

28

Assessment Fund.

29

(a)  Establishment.--There is established the State Charter

30

School and Cyber Charter School Assessment Fund within the State

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1

Treasury.

2

(b)  Funding.--

3

(1)  Funding for the commission shall be sought each year

4

through Federal and nonprofit grants. To the extent that

5

additional revenues to fund the commission are necessary,

6

each charter school and cyber charter school shall be

7

assessed an annual fee for the purposes of financing the

8

commission. The fee shall be assessed based on the charter

9

school or cyber charter school's student population not to

10

exceed the following:

11

1 to 399 students...............

$2,500

12

400 to 999 students.............

$5,000

13

1,000 to 4,999 students.........

$10,000

14

More than 5,000 students........

$15,000.

15

(2)  The commission shall file a proposed budget annually

16

with the Appropriations Committee of the Senate and the

17

Appropriations Committee of the House of Representatives and

18

the Education Committee of the Senate and the Education

19

Committee of the House of Representatives. If the revenues

20

generated by fees in accordance with this article are not

21

sufficient to match expenditures over a two-year period or

22

are inadequate to meet the minimum enforcement efforts

23

required, the commission may set additional fees by

24

regulation in accordance with the index provided for under

25

the act of June 27, 2006 (1st Sp.Sess., P.L.1873, No.1),

26

known as the Taxpayer Relief Act, and subject to review in

27

accordance with the act of June 25, 1982 (P.L.633, No.181),

28

known as the Regulatory Review Act, so that projected

29

revenues will meet or exceed projected expenditures.

30

(c)  Fees.--Fees shall be collected annually and deposited

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1

within the fund. Money in the fund is appropriated to the

2

commission on a continuing basis for the purposes of fulfilling

3

the requirements of this article.

4

Section 1706-C.  Charter School and Cyber Charter School Funding

5

Advisory Committee.

6

(a)  Convention.--

7

(1)  The department shall immediately convene a Statewide

8

advisory committee to examine the financing of charter

9

schools and cyber charter schools in the public education

10

system. The committee shall examine how charter school and

11

cyber charter school finances affect opportunities for

12

teachers, parents, pupils and community members to establish

13

and maintain schools that operate independently from the

14

existing school district structure as a method to accomplish

15

the requirements of section 1702-C. The department shall

16

provide administrative support, meeting space and any other

17

assistance required by the committee to carry out its duties

18

under this section.

19

(2)  The committee shall consist of the following

20

members:

21

(i)  The chairman and minority chairman of the

22

Education Committee of the Senate and the chairman and

23

the minority chairman of the Education Committee of the

24

House of Representatives or their designees.

25

(ii)  The secretary or a designee.

26

(iii)  The chairman of the State board or a designee.

27

(iv)  The following members, who shall be appointed

28

by the secretary:

29

(A)  One member who shall represent charter

30

schools.

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1

(B)  One member who shall represent cyber charter

2

schools.

3

(C)  One member who shall represent teachers, who

4

may be a public school teacher, a charter school

5

teacher, a cyber charter school teacher or a

6

nonpublic school teacher.

7

(D)  One member who shall represent school

8

administrators.

9

(E)  One member who shall represent school board

10

members.

11

(F)  One member who shall represent a business

12

manager of a school district.

13

(G)  One member who shall represent a parent of a

14

child attending a charter school or cyber charter

15

school.

16

(H)  Two members who shall represent institutions

17

of higher education.

18

(3)  Members of the committee shall be appointed within

19

45 days of the effective date of this section. Any vacancy on

20

the committee shall be filled by the original appointing

21

officer or agency. The committee shall select a chairman and

22

vice chairman from among its membership at an organizational

23

meeting. The organizational meeting shall take place no later

24

than 90 days following the effective date of this section.

25

(4)  The committee shall hold meetings at the call of the

26

chairman. The committee may also hold public hearings on the

27

matters to be considered by the committee at locations

28

throughout this Commonwealth. All meetings and public

29

hearings of the committee shall be deemed public meetings for

30

the purpose of 65 Pa.C.S. Ch. 7 (relating to open meetings).

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1

Nine members of the committee shall constitute a quorum at

2

any meeting. Each member of the committee may designate

3

another person to represent that member at meetings of the

4

committee.

5

(5)  Committee members shall receive no compensation for

6

their services but shall be reimbursed for all necessary

7

travel and other reasonable expenses incurred in connection

8

with the performance of their duties as members. Whenever

9

possible, the committee shall utilize the services and

10

expertise of existing personnel and staff of State

11

government.

12

(6)  The committee shall have the following powers and

13

duties:

14

(i)  Meet with current charter school and cyber

15

charter school operators within this Commonwealth,

16

including cyber charter schools and blended programs.

17

(ii)  Review charter school and cyber charter school

18

financing laws in operation throughout the United States.

19

(iii)  Evaluate and make recommendations on the

20

following:

21

(A)  Powers and duties extended to charter

22

schools and cyber charter schools as they relate to

23

financing.

24

(B)  Funding formulas for charter schools,

25

regional charter schools and cyber charter schools,

26

including reimbursement procedures and funding under

27

Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act

28

of 1965 (Public Law 89-10, 20 U.S.C. Ch. 63 et seq.).

29

(C)  The process by which charter schools and

30

cyber charter schools are funded under section

- 73 -

 


1

1728-C.

2

(D)  Student residency as it relates to funding.

3

(E)  Special education and other special program

4

funding.

5

(F)  Charter school and cyber charter school

6

transportation.

7

(G)  Charter school and cyber charter school

8

eligibility to receive grants and funding.

9

(H)  Appropriate assessment fees on charter

10

schools and cyber charter schools.

11

(I)  Consideration of recognizing charter schools

12

and cyber charter schools for additional designations

13

as a local education agency.

14

(iv)  The committee shall, no later than November 30,

15

2012, issue a report of its findings and recommendations

16

to the Governor, the President pro tempore of the Senate,

17

the Minority Leader of the Senate, the chairman and

18

minority chairman of the Education Committee of the

19

Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the

20

Minority Leader of the House of Representatives and the

21

chairman and minority chairman of the Education Committee

22

of the House of Representatives.

23

(b)  (Reserved).

24

SUBARTICLE B

25

CHARTER SCHOOLS AND CYBER CHARTER SCHOOLS

26

Section 1714-C.  Powers.

27

(a)  Body corporate.--A charter school or cyber charter

28

school established under this article is a body corporate and

29

shall have all powers necessary or desirable for carrying out

30

its charter, including the power to:

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1

(1)  Adopt a name and corporate seal; however, any name

2

selected shall include the words "charter school" or "cyber

3

charter school."

4

(2)  Sue and be sued, but only to the same extent and

5

upon the same condition that political subdivisions and local

6

agencies can be sued.

7

(3)  Acquire real property from public or private sources

8

by purchase, lease, lease with an option to purchase or gift

9

for use as a charter school or cyber charter school facility.

10

(4)  Receive and disburse funds for charter school or

11

cyber charter school purposes only.

12

(5)  Make contracts and leases for the procurement of

13

services, including services to fulfill the duties of the

14

administrators and chief administrator for the charter school

15

or cyber charter school, equipment and supplies.

16

(6)  Incur temporary debts in anticipation of the receipt

17

of funds.

18

(7)  Incur debt for the construction of school

19

facilities.

20

(8)  Solicit and accept any gifts or grants for charter

21

school or cyber charter school purposes.

22

(9)  Enter into a concurrent enrollment agreement under

23

Article XVI-B with an institution of higher education.

24

(b)  Necessary powers.--A charter school or cyber charter

25

school shall have other powers as are necessary to fulfill its

26

charter and which are not inconsistent with this article.

27

(c)  Liability for indebtedness.--Any indebtedness incurred

28

by a charter school or cyber charter school in the exercise of

29

the powers specified under this section shall not impose any

30

liability or legal obligation upon a school entity or upon the

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1

Commonwealth.

2

Section 1715-C.  Requirements.

3

(a)  Compliance.--Charter schools and cyber charter schools

4

shall be required to comply with the following:

5

(1)  Except as otherwise provided under this article, a

6

charter school or cyber charter school shall be exempt from

7

statutory requirements established under this act, from

8

regulations of the State board and from standards of the

9

secretary not specifically applicable to charter schools and

10

cyber charter schools. Charter schools and cyber charter

11

schools shall not be exempt from statutes applicable to

12

public schools other than under this article.

13

(2)  A charter school or cyber charter school shall be

14

accountable to the parents, the public and the Commonwealth,

15

with the delineation of that accountability reflected in the

16

charter. Strategies for meaningful parent and community

17

involvement shall be developed and implemented by each

18

school.

19

(3)  A charter school or cyber charter school shall not

20

unlawfully discriminate in admissions, hiring or operation.

21

(4)  A charter school or cyber charter school shall be

22

nonsectarian in all operations.

23

(5)  A charter school or cyber charter school shall not

24

provide any religious instruction, nor shall it display

25

religious objects and symbols on the premises of the school

26

with the intention of advancing or endorsing religion. It

27

shall not be a violation of this section for a charter school

28

or cyber charter school to utilize:

29

(i)  A sectarian facility if the religious objects

30

and symbols within the portions of the facility utilized

- 76 -

 


1

by the school are covered or removed to the extent

2

reasonably feasible.

3

(ii)  A sectarian facility where the unused portion

4

of the facility or its common areas contain religious

5

symbols and objects.

6

(6)  A charter school or cyber charter school shall not

7

advocate unlawful behavior.

8

(7)  Consistent with section 220, a charter school or

9

cyber charter school shall participate in the Pennsylvania

10

State Assessment System as provided for in 22 Pa. Code Ch. 4

11

(relating to academic standards and assessment) or subsequent

12

regulations promulgated to replace 22 Pa. Code Ch. 4. A

13

charter school or cyber charter school shall be treated in

14

the same manner as a school district for the purposes of

15

measuring the charter school or cyber charter school's

16

adequate yearly progress under the No Child Left Behind Act

17

of 2001.

18

(8)  A charter school or cyber charter school shall

19

provide a minimum of 180 days of instruction or 900 hours per

20

year of instruction at the elementary level or 990 hours per

21

year of instruction at the secondary level. Attendance at a

22

cyber charter school shall satisfy requirements for

23

compulsory attendance. Nothing in this paragraph shall

24

preclude the use of computer and satellite linkages for

25

delivering instruction to students.

26

(b)  (Reserved).

27

Section 1716-C.  Board of trustees.

28

(a)  Public officials.--

29

(1)  All members of the board of trustees of a charter

30

school or cyber charter school shall be public officials and

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1

subject to 65 Pa.C.S. Ch. 11 (relating to ethics standards

2

and financial disclosure) and shall file a statement of

3

financial interests for the preceding calendar year with the

4

State Ethics Commission and the commission no later than May

5

1 of each year that members hold the position and of the year

6

after a member leaves the position.

7

(2)  All members of the board of trustees of a charter

8

school or cyber charter school shall take the oath of office

9

as required under section 321 before entering upon the duties

10

of their office.

11

(b)  Powers.--The board of trustees of a charter school or

12

cyber charter school shall have the authority to decide matters

13

related to the operation of the school, including budgeting,

14

curriculum and operating procedures, subject to the school's

15

charter. The board shall have the authority to employ, discharge

16

and contract with necessary professional and nonprofessional

17

employees, subject to the school's charter and this article.

18

(c)  Restrictions.--The following shall apply to all members

19

of the board of trustees of a charter school or a cyber charter

20

school:

21

(1)  No member of the local board of school directors of

22

a school entity shall serve on the board of trustees of a

23

charter school that is located in the member's district.

24

(2)  For all charter schools and cyber charter schools

25

chartered after the effective date of this section, an

26

individual is prohibited from serving as a voting member of

27

the board of trustees of a charter school or a cyber charter

28

school if the individual or an immediate family member

29

receives compensation from or is employed by or is a board

30

member of an authorizer who participates in the initial

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1

review, approval, oversight, evaluation or renewal process of

2

a charter school or cyber charter school chartered by that

3

authorizer with the exception of all current board members.

4

An employee of the authorizer which chartered the charter

5

school or cyber charter school may serve as a member of the

6

board of trustees without voting privileges.

7

(3)  No member of the board of trustees of a charter

8

school or cyber charter school shall participate in the

9

selection, award or administration of any contract if the

10

member has a conflict of interest, as that term is defined in

11

65 Pa.C.S. § 1102 (relating to definitions). Any member of

12

the board of trustees who in the discharge of his official

13

duties would be required to vote on a matter that would

14

result in a conflict of interest shall abstain from voting

15

and follow the procedures required under 65 Pa.C.S. § 1103(j)

16

(relating to restricted activities). A member of the board of

17

trustees who knowingly violates this section commits a

18

violation of 65 Pa.C.S. § 1103(a) and shall be subject to the

19

penalties imposed under the jurisdiction of the State Ethics

20

Commission. Any contract made in violation of this subsection

21

shall be voidable by a court of competent jurisdiction if the

22

suit is commenced within 90 days of the making of the

23

contract.

24

(4)  A member of the board of trustees of a charter

25

school or cyber charter school shall be automatically

26

disqualified and immediately removed from the board upon

27

conviction for an offense graded as a felony, an infamous

28

crime, an offense pertaining to fraud, theft or mismanagement

29

of public funds, any offense pertaining to his official

30

capacity as a board member or any crime involving moral

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1

turpitude.

2

(d)  Board structure.--

3

(1)  The board of trustees of a charter school or cyber

4

charter school shall have a minimum of five nonrelated voting

5

members. If a charter school or cyber charter school has

6

fewer than five nonrelated voting members serving on its

7

board on the effective date of this section, the charter

8

school or cyber charter school shall have one year to appoint

9

additional members to the board to meet the minimum

10

requirements of this section.

11

(2)  Within one year of the effective date of this

12

section, at least one member of the board of trustees of a

13

charter school or cyber charter school shall be a parent of a

14

child currently attending that charter school or cyber

15

charter school. The board member shall be eligible to serve

16

only so long as the child is attending the charter school or

17

cyber charter school.

18

(e)  Organization of meetings of boards of trustees.--

19

(1)  A majority of the members of the board of trustees

20

shall be a quorum. If less than a majority is present at any

21

meeting, no business shall be transacted at the meeting.

22

(2)  The affirmative vote of a majority of all the

23

members of the board of trustees, duly recorded, shall be

24

required in order to take action on the subjects enumerated

25

under subsection (a).

26

(3)  All meetings shall be subject to 65 Pa.C.S. Ch. 7

27

(relating to open meetings).

28

(f)  Refusal or neglect of duty.--

29

(1)  If a member of the board of trustees refuses or

30

neglects to perform any duty imposed upon it under this

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1

article, 25 individuals who are parents or guardians of

2

students of the charter school or cyber charter school may

3

present a petition in writing of the refusal or neglect,

4

verified by oath or affirmation, to the court of common pleas

5

in the county in which the charter school building is located

6

or, in the case of a cyber charter school, to the

7

Commonwealth Court. The petition shall set forth the facts

8

regarding the board member.

9

(2)  The court shall grant a rule upon the member of the

10

board of trustees, returnable in not less than ten days nor

11

more than 20 days from the date of issue, to show cause why

12

the member should not be removed from the board. The member

13

shall have at least five days' notice of the granting of the

14

rule. On or before the return day of the rule, the member or

15

members, individually or jointly, shall file in writing their

16

answer or answers to the petition, under oath. If the facts

17

set forth in the petition, or any material part of the

18

petition, are denied, the court shall conduct a hearing on

19

the petition. If, after the hearing or if no answer is timely

20

filed denying the facts set forth in the petition, the court

21

finds that any duty imposed on the members required under

22

this article has not been done or has been neglected by them,

23

the court shall have power to remove the member or members

24

and shall direct the commission in conjunction with the

25

school's authorizer to appoint other qualified persons to

26

serve for the duration of the removed members' unexpired

27

terms, subject to this article. The court shall impose the

28

cost of the proceedings on the petitioners, the members or

29

the authorizer or may apportion the cost among them. Any

30

person removed as a member of the board of trustees of a

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1

charter school or cyber charter school under this paragraph

2

shall not be eligible again as a board member for a period of

3

five years from the removal.

4

Section 1717-C.  Administrators.

5

(a)    Public employee.--A person who serves as an

6

administrator for a charter school or cyber charter school shall

7

be a public employee under 65 Pa.C.S. Ch. 11 (relating to ethics

8

standards and financial disclosure) and shall file a statement

9

of financial interests for the preceding calendar year with the

10

commission and the board of trustees no later than May 1 of each

11

year that he holds the position and of the year after he leaves

12

the position.

13

(b)  Duties of chief administrator.--The chief administrator

14

shall exercise the duties designated by the board of trustees,

15

including the following:

16

(1)  In accordance with established board policy and

17

bylaws, upon action by the board of trustees to approve any

18

bill or account for payment of money and to prepare and sign

19

an order for the payment of money.

20

(2)  To comply with all reporting requirements of this

21

article.

22

(3)  Notwithstanding any other provision of this article

23

and other laws, to serve as custodian of all records,

24

commissions and property of the charter school or cyber

25

charter school.

26

(4)  To receive and deposit funds in accordance with

27

established board policy consistent with this article and all

28

other laws at the end of each month to make or cause to be

29

made a report to the board of trustees of the amount of funds

30

received and the amount dispersed during the month.

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1

(5)  To perform other duties pertaining to the business

2

of the charter school or cyber charter school as required

3

under this article.

4

(c)  Restrictions.--

5

(1)  A person who serves as an administrator for a

6

charter school or cyber charter school shall not receive

7

compensation from another charter school or cyber charter

8

school or from an educational management service provider

9

except as follows:

10

(i)  The administrator has submitted a sworn

11

statement to each charter school or cyber charter school

12

board of trustees. The sworn statement shall detail the

13

work for the other entity and include the projected

14

number of hours, rate of compensation and projected

15

duration.

16

(ii)  The board of trustees shall grant permission to

17

the administrator by resolution.

18

(iii)  A copy of the sworn statement and the

19

resolution by the board of trustees approving the request

20

shall be kept on file with the charter school or cyber

21

charter school and with the commission.

22

(2)  No administrator of a charter school or cyber

23

charter school or immediate family member is permitted to

24

serve as a voting member of the board of trustees of their

25

charter school or cyber charter school.

26

(3)  No administrator of a charter school or cyber

27

charter school shall participate in the selection, award or

28

administration of a contract if he has a conflict of interest

29

as that term is defined in 65 Pa.C.S. § 1102 (relating to

30

definitions). An administrator who knowingly violates this

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1

section commits a violation of 65 Pa.C.S. § 1103(a) (relating

2

to restricted activities) and shall be subject to the

3

penalties imposed under the jurisdiction of the State Ethics

4

Commission. Any contract made in violation of this subsection

5

shall be voidable by the board of trustees of the charter

6

school or cyber charter school.

7

(4)  An administrator shall be immediately dismissed upon

8

conviction for an offense graded as a felony, an infamous

9

crime, an offense pertaining to fraud, theft or mismanagement

10

of public funds or any crime involving moral turpitude.

11

Section 1718-C.  Establishment.

12

(a)  Entities.--

13

(1)  A charter school or cyber charter school may be

14

established by any of the following:

15

(i)  An individual.

16

(ii)  One or more teachers who will teach at the

17

proposed school.

18

(iii)  Parents or guardians of students who will

19

enroll at the school.

20

(iv)  A nonsectarian college, university or museum

21

located in this Commonwealth.

22

(v)  A nonsectarian corporation not-for-profit, as

23

defined in 15 Pa.C.S. (relating to corporations and

24

unincorporated associations).

25

(vi)  A corporation, association or partnership.

26

(vii)  A combination of any of the entities listed

27

under this subsection.

28

(2)  No charter school or cyber charter school shall be

29

established or funded by and no charter shall be granted to

30

any sectarian school, institution or other entity. No funds

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1

allocated or disbursed under this article shall be used to

2

directly support instruction under section 1327.1.

3

(b)  Establishment of a charter school by conversion.--

4

(1)  A charter school may be established by converting an

5

existing public school or a portion of an existing public

6

school. The conversion of an existing public school or

7

portion of an existing public school to a charter school may

8

be initiated by any individual or entity authorized to

9

establish a charter school under subsection (a) or by the

10

school district where the existing public school is located.

11

(2)  The local board of school directors, the special

12

board of control established under section 692 or the School

13

Reform Commission established under section 696 which desires

14

to convert an existing public school or a portion of an

15

existing public school to a charter school may designate and

16

approve the existing public school or portion of an existing

17

public school that it seeks to convert to a charter school.

18

The local board of school directors, the special board of

19

control established under section 692 or the School Reform

20

Commission established under section 696 may accept

21

applications by any individual or entity authorized to

22

establish a charter school under subsection (a) to operate

23

the converted charter school. There shall be no limit on the

24

number of public schools in a school district that can be

25

converted to a charter school.

26

(3)  The authorizer shall not serve as the board of

27

trustees of an existing school which is converted to a

28

charter school under this subsection.

29

(4)  This article shall apply to an existing public

30

school converted to a charter school.

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1

(5)  In the case of an existing school being converted to

2

a charter school, the local board of school directors, the

3

special board of control established under section 692 or the

4

School Reform Commission established under section 696 shall

5

establish the alternative arrangements for current students

6

who choose not to attend the charter school.

7

(c)  Establishment of a cyber charter school by a local board

8

of school directors or intermediate unit.--A cyber charter

9

school may be established by a local board of school directors

10

or an intermediate unit if they follow the procedures and

11

requirements of this article. Nothing under this article shall

12

preclude a school district or an intermediate unit from offering

13

instruction via the Internet or other electronic means, except

14

that the instruction shall not be recognized as a cyber charter

15

school under this article.

16

(d)  Legal authorizers.--

17

(1)  The following entities shall be authorizers of a

18

charter school:

19

(i)  The commission.

20

(ii)  A local board of school directors.

21

(iii)  The governing board of an institution of

22

higher education which elects by affirmative vote of a

23

majority of all members to become an authorizer. A

24

governing board of an institution of higher education

25

that does not vote affirmatively to become an authorizer

26

shall not be subject to this article.

27

(2)  The commission shall be the authorizer of a cyber

28

charter school.

29

(e)  Initial application procedure.--

30

(1)  An application to establish a charter school or

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1

cyber charter school shall be submitted to the appropriate

2

authorizer by October 1 of the school year preceding the

3

school year in which the charter school or cyber charter

4

school proposes to commence operation.

5

(2)  Within 45 days of receipt of an application, the

6

authorizer shall hold at least one public hearing on the

7

charter application under 65 Pa.C.S. Ch. 7 (relating to open

8

meetings) and section 1720-C. At least 45 days must transpire

9

between the first public hearing and the final decision of

10

the authorizer on the charter application, during which time

11

public comment shall be received and made part of the record.

12

(3)  An application submitted under this article shall be

13

evaluated by the authorizer based on criteria, including the

14

following:

15

(i)  The demonstrated, sustainable support for the

16

charter school plan by teachers, parents, other community

17

members and students, including comments received at the

18

public hearing held under subsection (d)(2).

19

(ii)  The capability of the applicant, in terms of

20

support and planning, to provide comprehensive learning

21

experiences to students pursuant to the adopted charter.

22

(4)  Not later than 75 days after the first public

23

hearing on the application, the authorizer which received the

24

application shall grant or deny the application.

25

(5)  An application shall be deemed approved by the

26

authorizer upon affirmative vote by a majority of all members

27

of the commission, the local board of school directors or

28

members of the governing board of an institution of higher

29

education. Formal action approving or denying the application

30

shall be taken at a public meeting, with notice or

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1

consideration of the application given by the authorizer or

2

commission under 65 Pa.C.S. Ch. 7. The authorizer shall give

3

the applicant at least 48 hours written or electronic notice

4

of the meeting at which the authorizer will be considering

5

the application.

6

(6)  Written notice of the action of the authorizer shall

7

be sent to the applicant, the department and the commission.

8

If the application is denied, the reasons for the denial,

9

including a description of deficiencies in the application,

10

shall be clearly stated in the notice to the charter school

11

applicant. The written notice shall be issued by the

12

authorizer within 30 days of the denial of the application.

13

(7)  At the option of the applicant, a denied application

14

may be revised and resubmitted to the authorizer which denied

15

the application. If an application is revised and resubmitted

16

to the authorizer which denied the application, the

17

authorizer shall follow the procedures listed under

18

paragraphs (2), (3), (4), (5) and (6).

19

(8)  The decision of the authorizer to deny the

20

application again after following the procedures under

21

paragraph (7) may be appealed to the commission or to the

22

appropriate court as provided for under section 1724-C.

23

Failure by the authorizer to hold a public hearing and to

24

grant or deny the application for a charter school within the

25

time periods specified under paragraphs (2), (4), (5) and (6)

26

shall permit the applicant for a charter to file its

27

application to the commission or the appropriate court as

28

provided for under section 1724-C.

29

Section 1719-C.  Regional charter school.

30

(a)  Establishment.--

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1

(1)  A regional charter school may be established by any

2

of the following:

3

(i)  An individual.

4

(ii)  One or more teachers who will teach at the

5

proposed charter school.

6

(iii)  Parents or guardians of students who will

7

attend the charter school.

8

(iv)  A nonsectarian college, university or museum

9

located in this Commonwealth.

10

(v)  A nonsectarian corporation not-for-profit, as

11

defined in 15 Pa.C.S. (relating to corporations and

12

unincorporated associations).

13

(vi)  A corporation, association or partnership.

14

(vii)  A combination of any of the entities under

15

this subsection.

16

(2)  A regional charter school may be established by

17

creating a new school or by converting an existing public

18

school or a portion of an existing public school. Conversion

19

of an existing public school to a regional charter school

20

shall be accomplished in accordance with section 1718-C(b).

21

(3)  No regional charter school shall be established or

22

funded by and no charter shall be granted to any sectarian

23

school, institution or other entity.

24

(b)  Application.--The boards of school directors of one or

25

more school districts, or the governing board of any combination

26

of one or more authorizers, may act jointly to receive and

27

consider an application for a regional charter school. Any

28

action to approve an application for a charter or to sign a

29

written charter of an applicant shall require an affirmative

30

vote of a majority of all the directors of each of the school

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1

districts or a majority of the members of the governing board of

2

each of the initial approving authorities involved.

3

(c)  Special conditions.--The provisions of this article as

4

they pertain to charter schools and the powers and duties of

5

authorizers and the commission shall apply to regional charter

6

schools, except as provided under this section or as otherwise

7

stated under this article.

8

Section 1720-C.  Hearings.

9

All hearings held by authorizers under this article shall be

10

conducted as follows:

11

(1)  If the hearing is conducted by a local board of

12

school directors, the hearing shall be conducted in

13

accordance with 2 Pa.C.S. Ch. 5 Subch. B (relating to

14

practice and procedure of local agencies).

15

(2)  If the hearing is conducted by the commission, the

16

council of trustees of an individual institution under

17

Article XX-A, or a board of trustees of a community college

18

under Article XIX-A, the hearing shall be conducted in

19

accordance with 2 Pa.C.S. Ch. 5 Subch. A (relating to

20

practice and procedure of Commonwealth agencies).

21

(3)  If the hearing is conducted by the board of trustees

22

or other governing authority of a public nonsectarian

23

accredited college or university under 24 Pa.C.S. § 6501

24

(relating to applicability of chapter), the hearing shall be

25

conducted pursuant to established procedures consistent with

26

2 Pa.C.S. Ch. 5 Subch. A.

27

Section 1721-C.  Contents of application.

28

(a)  Charter school application.--The commission shall

29

develop and issue a standard application form that shall be used

30

by all applicants to establish a charter school. The application

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1

to establish a charter school shall include all of the following

2

information:

3

(1)  The identification of the charter applicant.

4

(2)  The name of the proposed charter school.

5

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

6

(4)  An organization chart clearly presenting the

7

proposed governance structure of the charter school,

8

including lines of authority and reporting between the board

9

of trustees, administrators, staff and any educational

10

management service provider that will play a role in

11

providing management services to the charter school or cyber

12

charter school.

13

(5)  A clear description of the roles and

14

responsibilities for the board of trustees, administrators

15

and any other entities, including a charter school

16

foundation, shown in the organization chart.

17

(6)  A clear description and method for the appointment

18

or election of members of the board of trustees.

19

(7)  Standards for board performance, including

20

compliance with all applicable laws, regulations and terms of

21

the charter.

22

(8)  If the charter school intends to contract with an

23

educational management service provider for services, the

24

charter applicant shall do all of the following:

25

(i)  Provide evidence of the education management

26

service provider's record in serving student populations,

27

including demonstrated academic achievement and

28

demonstrated management of nonacademic school functions,

29

including proficiency with public school-based

30

accounting, if applicable.

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1

(ii)  Provide a term sheet setting forth all of the

2

following:

3

(A)  The proposed duration of the service

4

contract.

5

(B)  Roles and responsibilities of the governing

6

board, the school staff and the educational

7

management service provider.

8

(C)  The scope of services and resources to be

9

provided by the educational management service

10

provider.

11

(D)  Performance evaluation measures and

12

timelines.

13

(E)  The compensation structure, including clear

14

identification of all fees to be paid to the

15

educational management service provider.

16

(F)  Methods of contract oversight and

17

enforcement.

18

(G)  Investment disclosure or the advance of

19

moneys by the educational management service provider

20

on behalf of the charter school or cyber charter

21

school.

22

(H)  Conditions for renewal and termination of

23

the contract.

24

(iii)  Disclose and explain any existing or potential

25

conflicts of interest between the members of the board of

26

trustees and the proposed educational management service

27

provider or any affiliated business entities, including a

28

charter school foundation qualified as a support

29

organization under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986

30

(Public Law 99-514, 26 U.S.C. § 1 et seq.).

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1

(9)  The mission and education goals of the charter

2

school, the curriculum to be offered and the methods of

3

assessing whether students are meeting educational goals.

4

(10)  The admission policy and criteria for evaluating

5

the admission of students, which shall comply with section

6

1726-C.

7

(11)  Procedures which will be used regarding the

8

suspension or expulsion of pupils. The procedures shall

9

comply with section 1318.

10

(12)  Information on the manner in which community groups

11

will be involved in the charter school planning process.

12

(13)  The financial plan for the charter school and the

13

provisions which will be made for auditing the school under

14

section 437, including the role of any charter school

15

foundation.

16

(14)  Procedures which shall be established to review

17

complaints of parents regarding the operation of the charter

18

school.

19

(15)  A description and address of the physical facility,

20

if already determined, in which the charter school will be

21

located and the ownership thereof and any lease arrangements.

22

(16)  Information on the proposed school calendar for the

23

charter school, including the length of the school day and

24

school year, consistent with section 1502.

25

(17)  The proposed faculty, if already determined, and a

26

professional development and continuing education plan for

27

the faculty and administrative staff of a charter school.

28

(18)  Whether any agreements have been entered into or

29

plans developed with the local school district regarding

30

participation of the charter school students in

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1

extracurricular activities within the school district.

2

Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary, no school

3

district of residence shall prohibit a student of a charter

4

school from participating in any extracurricular activity of

5

that school district of residence, provided that the student

6

is able to fulfill all of the requirements of participation

7

in such activity and the charter school does not provide the

8

same extracurricular activity.

9

(19)  A report of criminal history record, under section

10

111, for all board members, employees and volunteers

11

identified in the application who shall have direct contact

12

with students.

13

(20)  An official clearance statement regarding child

14

injury or abuse from the Department of Public Welfare as

15

required under 23 Pa.C.S. Ch. 63 Subch. C.2 (relating to

16

background checks for employment in schools) for all board

17

members, employees and volunteers identified in the

18

application who shall have direct contact with students.

19

(21)  How the charter school will provide adequate

20

liability and other appropriate insurance for the charter

21

school, its employees and the board of trustees of the

22

charter school.

23

(22)  Policies regarding truancy, absences and withdrawal

24

of students, including the manner in which the charter school

25

will monitor attendance consistent with section 1715-C(a)(8).

26

A charter school may elect to directly enforce the compulsory

27

attendance laws in accordance with this article and shall

28

notify the school district of residence of this action by

29

certified mail. If a charter school elects to directly

30

enforce the compulsory attendance laws, it shall state that

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1

in its charter application or in its notice of renewal or in

2

an amendment to its charter. If a charter school does not

3

include a statement of its election to directly enforce the

4

compulsory attendance laws in its charter application or in

5

its notice of renewal or through amendment, the school

6

district of residence of the student shall be responsible for

7

enforcing the compulsory attendance laws. A charter school's

8

election to directly enforce the compulsory attendance laws

9

or its failure to make the election shall not be a basis to

10

deny a charter application or renewal of a charter. Nothing

11

in this paragraph shall excuse a charter school from

12

complying with section 1715-C(a)(8).

13

(b)  Cyber charter school application.--The commission shall

14

develop a standard application form for cyber charter school

15

applicants. In addition to the requirements of subsection (a),

16

an application to establish a cyber charter school shall also

17

include the following:

18

(1)  The curriculum to be offered and how it meets the

19

requirements of 22 Pa. Code Ch. 4 (relating to academic

20

standards and assessment) or subsequent regulations

21

promulgated to replace 22 Pa. Code Ch. 4.

22

(2)  The number of courses required for elementary and

23

secondary students.

24

(3)  An explanation of the amount of online time required

25

for elementary and secondary students.

26

(4)  The manner in which teachers will deliver

27

instruction, assess academic progress and communicate with

28

students to provide assistance.

29

(5)  A specific explanation of any cooperative learning

30

opportunities, meetings with students, parents and guardians,

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1

field trips or study sessions.

2

(6)  The technology, including types of hardware and

3

software, equipment and other materials which will be

4

provided by the cyber charter school to the student.

5

(7)  A description of how the cyber charter school will

6

define and monitor a student's school day, including the

7

delineation of online and offline time.

8

(8)  A description of commercially prepared standardized

9

achievement tests that will be used by the cyber charter

10

school in addition to the Pennsylvania System of School

11

Assessment test, including the grade levels that will be

12

tested and how the data collected from the tests will be used

13

to improve instruction.

14

(9)  The technical support that will be available to

15

students and parents or guardians.

16

(10)  The privacy and security measures to ensure the

17

confidentiality of data gathered online.

18

(11)  The level of anticipated enrollment during each

19

school year of the proposed charter, including expected

20

increases due to the addition of grade levels.

21

(12)  The methods to be used to ensure the authenticity

22

of student work and adequate proctoring of examinations.

23

(13)  The provision of education and related services to

24

students with disabilities, including evaluation and the

25

development and revision of individualized education

26

programs.

27

(14)  Policies regarding truancy, absences and withdrawal

28

of students, including the manner in which the cyber charter

29

school will monitor attendance consistent with section

30

1715-C(a)(9).

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1

(15)  The types and frequency of communication between

2

the cyber charter school and the student and the manner in

3

which the cyber charter school will communicate with parents

4

and guardians.

5

(16)  The addresses of all facilities and offices of the

6

cyber charter school, the ownership thereof and any lease

7

arrangements.

8

(c)  Additional terms.--An authorizer may not impose

9

additional terms or require additional information outside the

10

standard application form required under subsection (a).

11

Section 1722-C.  Charter.

12

(a)  Development.--Upon approval of an application under

13

section 1718-C, a written charter shall be developed which shall

14

contain the provisions of the application required under section

15

1721-C and which shall be signed by the authorizer and the board

16

of trustees of the charter school or cyber charter school. The

17

written charter, when duly signed by the authorizer and the

18

school's board of trustees, shall act as legal authorization for

19

the establishment of a charter school or cyber charter school

20

and shall be legally binding on both the board of trustees and

21

on the authorizer. A charter will be granted only for a school

22

organized as a public, nonprofit corporation.

23

(b)  Amendments.--A charter school or cyber charter school

24

shall have the ability to request amendments to its approved

25

written charter by filing a written document describing the

26

requested amendment to the authorizer. Within 45 days of its

27

receipt of the request for an amendment, the authorizer shall

28

hold a public hearing on the requested amendment under 65

29

Pa.C.S. Ch. 7 (relating to open meetings) and section 1720-C.

30

Within 45 days after the hearing, the authorizer must grant or

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1

deny the requested amendment. Failure by the authorizer to hold

2

a public hearing and to grant or deny the amendments within the

3

time period specified shall permit the applicant for the

4

amendments to file its request for an amendment with the

5

commission or appropriate court provided for under section

6

1724-C. An applicant for an amendment shall have the right to

7

appeal the denial of a requested amendment to the commission or

8

appropriate court provided for under section 1724-C.

9

Section 1723-C.  Renewal, nonrenewal and termination.

10

(a)  Terms.--An initial written charter shall be valid for a

11

period of not less than five years and shall be renewed for ten-

12

year periods upon reauthorization by an authorizer.

13

(b)  Renewal process.--A charter school or cyber charter

14

school seeking renewal shall send an intent to renew letter to

15

the original authorizer no later than October 1 of the final

16

school year of the charter school's current charter. The

17

authorizer shall conduct a comprehensive review of the annual

18

reports and assessments required under section 1731-C, and, if

19

appropriate, renew the charter for a ten-year period. If an

20

authorizer fails to formally renew a charter upon the expiration

21

of initial or renewed charter, the charter shall be deemed to be

22

renewed for a period of ten years.

23

(c)  Authorizer review.--

24

(1)  During the term of the charter or at the end of the

25

term of the charter, the authorizer may choose to revoke or

26

not to renew the charter based on any of the following:

27

(i)  One or more material violations of any of the

28

conditions, standards or procedures contained in the

29

written charter signed under section 1722-C.

30

(ii)  Failure to meet the requirements for student

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1

performance or failure to meet any performance standard

2

set forth in the written charter signed under section

3

1722-C.

4

(iii)  Failure to meet generally accepted standards

5

of fiscal management or audit requirements.

6

(iv)  Failure to maintain the financial ability to

7

continue as an ongoing concern according to generally

8

accepted accounting principles.

9

(v)  Violation of the provisions of this article.

10

(vi)  Violation of any provision of law from which

11

the charter school or cyber charter school has not been

12

exempted, including Federal laws and regulations

13

governing children with disabilities.

14

(2)  If the health or safety of the school's pupils,

15

staff or both is at serious risk, the authorizer may take

16

immediate action to revoke a charter.

17

(3)  If a charter school is in corrective action status, 

18

as that term is defined in section 102, and seeks renewal of

19

its charter, and the authorizer renews the charter, it shall

20

collaborate with the charter school on specific conditions in

21

the charter that require the charter school to meet specific

22

student performance targets within stated periods of time

23

subject to the following:

24

(i)  The performance targets and the periods of time

25

in which the performance targets must be met shall be

26

reasonable and shall be agreed upon by both the

27

authorizer and the charter school.

28

(ii)  The placement of conditions in a charter as

29

specified under this subsection shall not be considered

30

an adjudication and may not be appealed to the

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1

appropriate court.

2

(iii)  If the charter school fails to meet the

3

performance targets within the stated period of time,

4

such failure shall be sufficient cause for revocation of

5

the charter.

6

(d)  Removal of board member or administrator.--If, after a

7

hearing under this section, an authorizer proves by a

8

preponderance of the evidence that an administrator or board

9

member has violated this article, the terms and conditions of

10

the charter, or any other violation of law, the authorizer shall

11

have the authority to require the charter school or cyber

12

charter school to replace the administrator or board member in

13

order to obtain renewal of the charter. The authorizer may refer

14

its findings to the district attorney with jurisdiction or to

15

the Office of Attorney General for prosecution if the authorizer

16

discovers or receives information about possible violations of

17

law by any person affiliated with or employed by a charter

18

school or cyber charter school.

19

(e)  Notice of revocation or nonrenewal.--Any notice of

20

revocation or nonrenewal of a charter shall state the grounds

21

for such action with reasonable specificity and give reasonable

22

notice to the board of trustees of the charter school or cyber

23

charter school of the date on which a public hearing concerning

24

the revocation or nonrenewal will be held. The authorizer shall

25

conduct the hearing under section 1720-C and present evidence in

26

support of the grounds for revocation or nonrenewal stated in

27

its notice and give the charter school or cyber charter school

28

reasonable opportunity to offer testimony and amendments under

29

section 1722-C(b) before taking final action. Formal action

30

revoking or not renewing a charter shall be taken by the

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1

authorizer at a public meeting under 65 Pa.C.S. Ch. 7 (relating

2

to open meetings) and section 1720-C after the public has had 30

3

days to provide comments to the members of the commission or the

4

local board of school directors or the governing board of an

5

institution of higher education.

6

(f)  Dissolution.--If a charter is revoked, not renewed,

7

forfeited, surrendered or otherwise ceases to operate, the

8

charter school or cyber charter school shall be dissolved. After

9

the disposition of any liabilities and obligations of a charter

10

school, any remaining assets of the school, both real and

11

personal, shall be distributed on a proportional basis to the

12

school entities with students enrolled in the charter school for

13

the last full or partial school year of the charter school.

14

After the disposition of any liabilities and obligations of a

15

cyber charter school, any remaining assets of the school shall

16

be given over to the intermediate unit in which the cyber

17

charter school's administrative office was located for

18

distribution to the school districts in which the students

19

enrolled in the cyber charter school reside at the time of

20

dissolution. School entities or the Commonwealth shall not be

21

liable for any outstanding liabilities or obligations of the

22

charter school or cyber charter school.

23

(g)  Student application.--If a charter is revoked or is not

24

renewed, a student who attended the charter school or cyber

25

charter school shall apply to another public school in the

26

student's school district of residence. Normal application

27

deadlines shall not apply. All student records maintained by the

28

charter school or cyber charter school shall be forwarded to the

29

student's district of residence.

30

Section 1724-C.  Appeal process.

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1

(a)  Review by commission.--The following shall apply:

2

(1)  For all charter schools authorized by a local board

3

of school directors or a governing board of an institution of

4

higher education, the commission shall have the exclusive

5

review of an appeal by a charter school applicant, or by the

6

board of trustees of an existing charter school, of a

7

decision made by a local board of school directors or a

8

governing board of an institution of higher education to:

9

(i)  Deny a charter under section 1718-C.

10

(ii)  Deny amendments to a charter under section

11

1722-C.

12

(iii)  Revoke or refuse to renew a charter under

13

section 1723-C.

14

(2)  In an appeal under this section, the decision made

15

by the local board of school directors or governing board of

16

an institution of higher education shall be reviewed by the

17

commission. The commission shall accept all appeals within 30

18

days of receipt of the appeal. The commission shall give due

19

consideration to the findings of the local board of school

20

directors or governing board of an institution of higher

21

education and specifically articulate its reasons for

22

agreeing or disagreeing with those findings in its written

23

decision. The commission shall have discretion to allow the

24

local board of school directors or governing board of an

25

institution of higher education and the charter school

26

applicant to supplement the record if the supplemental

27

information was previously unavailable.

28

(3)  Not later than 30 days after the date of notice of

29

acceptance of the appeal, the commission shall meet to

30

officially review the certified record.

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1

(4)  Not later than 60 days after the review conducted

2

under paragraph (2), the commission shall issue a written

3

decision affirming or denying the appeal. If the commission

4

has affirmed the decision of the local board of school

5

directors or governing board of an institution of higher

6

education, notice shall be provided to both parties.

7

(5)  In the case of a review by the commission of an

8

initial application denied by a local board of school

9

directors or governing board of an institution of higher

10

education, the decision of the commission to reverse the

11

decision of the local board of school directors or governing

12

board of an institution of higher education shall serve as a

13

requirement for the local board of school directors or

14

governing board of an institution of higher education to

15

grant the application and sign the written charter of the

16

charter school under section 1722-C. If the local board of

17

school directors or governing board of an institution of

18

higher education fails to grant the application and sign the

19

charter within ten days of notice of the reversal of the

20

decision of the local board of school directors or governing

21

board of an institution of higher education, the charter

22

shall be deemed to be approved and shall be signed by the

23

chairman of the commission.

24

(6)  In the case of a review by the commission of an

25

amendment to a written charter denied by a local board of

26

school directors or governing board of an institution of

27

higher education, the decision of the commission to reverse

28

the decision of the local board of school directors or

29

governing board of an institution of higher education shall

30

serve as a requirement for the local board of school

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1

directors or governing board of an institution of higher

2

education to grant the amendment and sign the revised charter

3

of the charter school under section 1722-C. If the local

4

board of school directors or governing board of an

5

institution of higher education fails to grant the amendment

6

and sign the revised charter within ten days of notice of the

7

reversal of the decision of the local board of school

8

directors or governing board of an institution of higher

9

education, the charter shall be deemed to be approved and

10

shall be signed by the chairman of the commission.

11

(7)  In the case of a review by the commission of an

12

application that is revoked or not renewed, the commission

13

shall review the record and have discretion to supplement the

14

record if the supplemental information was previously

15

unavailable. The commission may consider the charter school

16

plan, annual reports, student performance and employee and

17

community support for the charter school in addition to the

18

record. The commission shall give due consideration to the

19

findings of the local board of school directors or governing

20

board of an institution of higher education and specifically

21

articulate its reasons for agreeing or disagreeing with those

22

findings in its written decision. If the commission

23

determines that the charter should not be revoked or should

24

be renewed, the commission shall order the local board of

25

school directors or governing board of an institution of

26

higher education to rescind its revocation or nonrenewal

27

decision. If the local board of school directors or governing

28

board of an institution of higher education fails to rescind

29

its revocation or nonrenewal decision and sign the notice

30

within ten days of notice of the reversal of the decision of

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1

the authorizer, the renewed charter shall be deemed to be

2

approved and shall be signed by the chairman of the

3

commission.

4

(b)  Review by Commonwealth Court.--The following shall

5

apply:

6

(1)  For all charter schools or cyber charter schools

7

authorized by the commission, the Commonwealth Court shall

8

have exclusive review of an appeal by a charter school or

9

cyber charter school applicant or by the board of trustees of

10

an existing charter school or cyber charter school of a

11

decision made by the commission to:

12

(i)  Deny a charter under section 1718-C.

13

(ii)  Deny amendments to a charter as provided under

14

section 1722-C.

15

(iii)  Revoke or not renew a charter as provided

16

under section 1723-C.

17

(2)  The Commonwealth Court may follow the procedures

18

outlined under subsection (a)(2), (3), (4), (5), (6) and (7)

19

for the appeal process. If the commission fails to follow any

20

decision of the court within ten days of notice of the

21

reversal of the decision of the commission, the charter shall

22

be deemed to be approved and shall be signed by the presiding

23

judge.

24

(c)  Appellate review.--Decisions of the commission shall be

25

subject to appellate review by the Commonwealth Court.

26

(d)  Effect of appeal.--The charter shall remain in effect

27

until final disposition by the court.

28

Section 1725-C.  Facilities.

29

(a)  Location.--A charter school or cyber charter school may

30

be located in an existing public school building, in a part of

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1

an existing public school building, in space provided on a

2

privately owned site, in a public building or in any other

3

suitable location.

4

(b)  Report.--The following shall apply:

5

(1)  All school districts shall submit an annual report

6

of the unused facilities that are owned by the school

7

district that may be suitable for the operation of a charter

8

school or cyber charter school to the department no later

9

than July 1 of each year. The department, in conjunction with

10

the Department of General Services, shall compile a list of

11

unused facilities, including unused facilities owned by this

12

Commonwealth, and publish it on its Internet website by

13

September 1 of each year. As used in this paragraph, "unused

14

facility" refers to any building owned by a school district

15

or the Commonwealth that is not used by the school district

16

or the Commonwealth for its own programs or that is leased to

17

a third party for consideration. The department shall make

18

the list of unused facilities available to existing charter

19

schools, cyber charter schools and applicants. The list shall

20

include the address of each building, the name of the owner

21

of the building, a short description of the building and a

22

description of its structural condition, including full

23

disclosure on all problems associated with each building,

24

including structural issues, HVAC, plumbing, electrical,

25

mold, drinking water, insect and rodent infestation and any

26

other health or safety issue.

27

(2)  Each school district shall make any unused facility

28

available to charter schools and cyber charter schools

29

operating within that school district. The terms of the use

30

of the facility by the charter school or cyber charter school

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1

shall be subject to negotiation between the school district

2

and the school and shall be memorialized as a separate

3

agreement between all parties. The agreement shall outline

4

which party is responsible for actual costs related to the

5

facility, including maintenance, insurance and other factors.

6

No school district shall charge a charter school or cyber

7

charter school greater than fair market value price for the

8

sale, lease or rental of the existing facility or for

9

property formerly used by the school district. A charter

10

school or cyber charter school allowed to use a facility

11

under an agreement under this subsection may not sell or

12

dispose of any interest in the property without written

13

permission of the school district. A school district shall

14

give a charter school or cyber charter school using a school

15

district's unused facility at least 180 days' notice before

16

selling, leasing or otherwise disposing of the unused

17

facility to a third party.

18

(c)  Exemption from regulations.--The charter school or cyber

19

charter school facility shall be exempt from public school

20

facility regulations except those pertaining to health or safety

21

of students.

22

(d)  Multiple locations.--Notwithstanding any other provision

23

of this article, an authorizer, in its discretion, may permit a

24

charter school or cyber charter school to operate at more than

25

one location.

26

(e)  Exemption from taxation.--The following shall apply:

27

(1)  Notwithstanding section 204 of the act of May 22,

28

1933 (P.L.853, No.155), known as The General County

29

Assessment Law, all school property, real and personal, owned

30

by a charter school, cyber charter school or an associated

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1

nonprofit foundation, or owned by a nonprofit corporation or

2

nonprofit foundation and leased to a charter school, cyber

3

charter school or associated nonprofit foundation at or below

4

fair market value, that is occupied and used by any charter

5

school or cyber charter school for public school, recreation

6

or any other purposes provided for under this article shall

7

be made exempt from every type of State, county, city,

8

borough, township or other real estate tax, including

9

payments in lieu of taxes established through agreement with

10

the Commonwealth or any local taxing authority, as well as

11

from all costs or expenses for paving, curbing, sidewalks,

12

sewers or other municipal improvements, except that a charter

13

school or cyber charter school or owner of property leased to

14

a charter school or cyber charter school may make a municipal

15

improvement in a street on which its school property abuts or

16

may contribute a sum toward the cost of the improvement.

17

(2)  Any agreement entered into by a charter school,

18

cyber charter school or associated nonprofit foundation with

19

the Commonwealth or a local taxing authority for payments in

20

lieu of taxes prior to December 31, 2009, shall be null and

21

void.

22

(3)  This subsection shall apply retroactively to all

23

charter schools, cyber charter schools and associated

24

nonprofit foundations that filed an appeal from an

25

assessment, as provided under Article V of The General County

26

Assessment Law prior to the effective date of this

27

subsection.

28

(4)  For purposes of this subsection, "local taxing

29

authority" shall include a county, city, borough,

30

incorporated town, township or school district.

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1

(f)  Alcoholic beverages.--The following shall apply:

2

(1)  Alcoholic beverages shall not be available for

3

consumption, purchase or sale in any charter school facility

4

or cyber charter school facility.

5

(2)  If the secretary reasonably believes that alcoholic

6

beverages have been made available for consumption, purchase

7

or sale in any charter school facility or cyber charter

8

school facility, the department shall order the following

9

forfeitures against the charter school or cyber charter

10

school:

11

(i)  $1,000 for the first violation.

12

(ii)  $5,000 for the second or subsequent violation.

13

(3)  The charter school or cyber charter school may

14

appeal the order of the secretary under 2 Pa.C.S. Chs. 5

15

(relating to practice and procedure) and 7 (relating to

16

judicial review).

17

(g)  Construction projects and related work.--Boards of

18

trustees and contractors of charter schools and cyber charter

19

schools shall be subject to the following statutory requirements

20

governing construction projects and construction-related work:

21

(1)  The following provisions of this act:

22

(i)  Sections 751 and 751.1.

23

(ii)  Sections 756 and 757 insofar as they are

24

consistent with the act of December 20, 1967 (P.L.869,

25

No.385), known as the Public Works Contractors' Bond Law

26

of 1967.

27

(2)  Section 1 of the act of May 1, 1913 (P.L.155,

28

No.104), entitled "An act regulating the letting of certain

29

contracts for the erection, construction, and alteration of

30

public buildings."

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1

(3)  The act of August 15, 1961 (P.L.987, No.442), known

2

as the Pennsylvania Prevailing Wage Act.

3

(4)  The Public Works Contractors' Bond Law of 1967.

4

(5)  The act of March 3, 1978 (P.L.6, No.3), known as the

5

Steel Products Procurement Act.

6

Section 1726-C.  Enrollment and notification.

7

(a)  Enrollment.--The following shall apply:

8

(1)  Enrollment of students in a charter school or cyber

9

charter school shall not be subject to a cap or otherwise

10

limited by any past or future action of a local board of

11

school directors, a special board of control established

12

under section 692, a School Reform Commission established

13

under section 696 or any other governing authority of an

14

authorizer.

15

(2)  This subsection shall apply to a charter school or

16

cyber charter school regardless of whether the charter was

17

approved prior to or is approved subsequent to the effective

18

date of this subsection.

19

(3)  All resident children in this Commonwealth qualify

20

for admission to a charter school or cyber charter school as

21

set forth under paragraph (4). If more students apply to the

22

charter school or cyber charter school than the number of

23

attendance slots available in the school, students shall be

24

selected on a random basis from a pool of qualified

25

applicants meeting the established eligibility criteria and

26

submitting an application by the deadline set by the school,

27

except that the school may give preference in enrollment to a

28

child of a parent who has actively participated in

29

development of the school and siblings of students presently

30

enrolled in the school. For charter schools, first preference

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1