§302D-14.5 Approved charter applications; start-up period; pre-opening charter schools. (a) The authorizer may require an applicant governing board whose charter application is approved by the authorizer pursuant to section 302D-13 to satisfactorily meet pre-contracting criteria set by the authorizer before being allowed to enter into a charter contract.
(b) An approved applicant governing board that fails to satisfactorily meet the pre-contracting criteria and enter into a charter contract with its authorizer within the period initially established or subsequently extended by the authorizer shall be considered to have withdrawn its application.
(c) An applicant governing board shall not be considered an entity of the State, but shall have the authority to execute the initial charter contract; provided that the term of duration of the initial charter contract shall not exceed five years, not including the pre-opening period. Upon the execution of the initial charter contract, the applicant governing board shall become the governing board of the newly established pre-opening charter school. A pre-opening charter school that is a conversion charter school shall be a separate entity of the State from the department school from which it is converting during the start-up period.
(d) The authorizer shall establish pre-opening criteria in order to ensure that a pre-opening charter school is prepared to successfully open and operate as a charter school. Until such time as the pre-opening school satisfactorily meets such pre-opening criteria and commences operations in its first full academic year, the pre-opening charter school:
(1) Shall not be entitled to receive funding under section 302D-26, 302D-28, 302D-29, or 302D-29.5;
(2) Shall employ no employees but may engage independent contractors;
(3) Shall not be subject to the performance framework under section 302D-16; and
(4) May be granted temporary exemptions from provisions of the charter contract by the authorizer.
(e) The charter contract of a pre-opening charter school that fails to satisfactorily meet its pre-opening criteria within the start-up period initially established or subsequently extended by the authorizer shall be void. The pre-opening charter school shall thereupon be considered an approved charter applicant that has withdrawn its application.
(f) An approved applicant governing board that withdraws its application shall not be allowed to execute a charter contract unless it reapplies and has its charter application approved by an authorizer in accordance with this chapter. [L 2014, c 99, pt of §1; am L 2015, c 114, §6]