THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

2589

TWENTY-FIFTH LEGISLATURE, 2010

S.D. 2

STATE OF HAWAII

H.D. 1

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO CHARTER SCHOOLS.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that some public charter schools face daunting obstacles, including the high cost of rent and less-than-desirable locations for their facilities, while the department of education is considering the closure of certain school that are not charter schools due to financial constraints.

The purpose of this Act is to require the department of education to consider making available vacant school facilities or portions of those facilities for use by charter schools.

SECTION 2. Chapter 302A, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"302A-   Use of vacant public school facilities by charter schools. (a) When the department considers whether to close any particular public school, it shall simultaneously give reasonable consideration to making all or portions of the facilities of the public school available for the exclusive occupancy and use by a charter school, or joint occupancy and use by the charter school and the department; provided that the department may elect to use the facilities for the support of public education programs.

(b) The department shall submit a notice of possible availability of a public school to the charter school review panel as early as possible; provided that if a vacancy is established, a notice of vacancy shall be submitted to the charter school review panel no later than      days after the establishment of the vacancy.

(c) Pursuant to section 302B‑    and upon receipt of a notice pursuant to subsection (b), the charter school review panel shall solicit applications from charter schools interested in using and occupying all or portions of the facilities of the public school and submit a prioritized list of charter schools to the department for final determination of which charter school, if any, shall be authorized to use and occupy the public school facilities.

(d) Upon the selection of a charter school to use a vacant school facility or portion of a school facility, the department and the charter school review panel shall enter into necessary agreements within      days of the selection to carry out the purposes of this section.

(e) After receipt by the charter school review panel of a notice pursuant to subsection (b), if the charter school review panel does not provide a prioritized list of charter schools because no charter school has requested to use the facilities of the public school, or if the department receives the prioritized list but determines that no charter school on the list is an appropriate candidate to occupy and use the facilities, the department shall give reasonable consideration to making all or portions of the facilities of the public school, if closed, available for occupancy and use for other educational purposes. (f) The department shall adopt rules necessary to carry out the purposes of this section.

(g) For purposes of this section, "public school" means any school that falls within the definition of public schools in section 302A-101, except for charter schools."

SECTION 3. Chapter 302B, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"302B‑    Occupancy and use of facilities of public schools. (a) When the department considers whether to close any particular public school, the department shall submit a notice of possible availability of a public school or notice of vacancy of a public school to the panel pursuant to section 302A‑  (b); provided that the public school is not to be used by the department to support public education programs.

(b) Upon receipt of a notice pursuant to section 302A‑  (b), the panel shall solicit applications from charter schools interested in using and occupying all or portions of the facilities of the public school by:

(1) Promptly notifying all charter schools that the public school is being considered for closure; and

(2) Affording each charter school an opportunity to submit an application with a written explanation and justification of why the charter school should be considered for possible occupancy and use of the facilities of the public school.

(c) After fully considering each charter school's application and based on the applications received and on other considerations, the panel shall:

(1) Provide a written response to each charter school's application after each application has been fully considered; and

(2) Compile a prioritized list of charter schools and submit the list to the department for final determination of which charter school, if any, shall be authorized to use and occupy the public school facilities.

(d) Upon the selection of a charter school to use a vacant school facility or portion of a school facility, the department and the panel shall enter into necessary agreements within        days of the selection to carry out the purposes of this section; provided that any agreement between the panel and the department shall stipulate that a charter school that uses and occupies a public school facility or portion of a public school facility shall be responsible for the full or pro rata share of the repair and maintenance costs for that facility or portion of the facility, as the case may be.

(e) The panel shall adopt policies and procedures necessary to carry out the purposes of this section, including:

(1) Procedures for charter schools to apply in writing to use vacant school facilities;

(2) Criteria for the panel to use in determining which charter schools to include on the prioritized list to be submitted to the department; and

(3) Procedures for the panel to notify charter school applicants that are granted or denied the use of vacant school facilities.

(f) For purposes of this section, "public school" means any school that falls within the definition of public schools in section 302A-101, except for charter schools."

SECTION 4. Section 302A-1151, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"[[]302A-1151[]] Sale of school lands unnecessary for school purposes. The chairperson of the board of land and natural resources [is hereby requested,] may upon the recommendation and approval of the superintendent, [to] sell any state lands, including the buildings thereon, once used but no longer necessary for school purposes[.]; provided that no school facility or portion of a school facility shall be sold before that facility or portion of the facility is made available for use by the department or charter schools, pursuant to sections 302A‑    and 302B‑   ."

SECTION 5. Section 302B-3, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (i) to read as follows:

"(i) The powers and duties of the panel shall be to:

(1) Appoint and evaluate the executive director and approve staff and salary levels for the charter school administrative office;

(2) Review, approve, or deny charter applications for new charter schools in accordance with section 302B-5 for the issuance of new charters; provided that applicants that are denied a charter may appeal to the board for a final decision pursuant to section 302B-3.5;

(3) Review, approve, or deny significant amendments to detailed implementation plans to maximize the school's financial and academic success, long-term organizational viability, and accountability. Charter schools that are denied a significant amendment to their detailed implementation plan may appeal to the board for a final decision pursuant to section 302B‑3.5;

(4) Pursuant to section 302B‑   , compile and submit prioritized lists of charter schools to the department and enter into necessary agreements with the department to authorize charter schools to use and occupy all or portions of the facilities of a vacant public school;

[(4)] (5) Adopt reporting requirements for charter schools;

[(5)] (6) Review annual self-evaluation reports from charter schools and take appropriate action;

[(6)] (7) Evaluate any aspect of a charter school that the panel may have concerns with and take appropriate action, which may include probation or revocation;

[(7)] (8) Periodically adopt improvements in the panel's monitoring and oversight of charter schools;

[(8)] (9) Periodically adopt improvements in the office's support of charter schools and management of the charter school system;

[(9)] (10) Review, modify, and approve charter schools' all means of finance budget, based upon criteria and an approval process established by the panel; and

[(10)] (11) Survey all charter school facilities prior to, and in preparation for, determining recommendations to allocate non-per-pupil facilities funds to charter schools with facilities needs. The survey shall include, at minimum, for each charter school facility:

(A) The current status of the facility;

(B) Facilities costs, including all rents, leases, purchases, and repair and maintenance for lands and buildings;

(C) A prioritized list of facilities needs;

(D) Any capital improvement projects underway or scheduled; and

(E) Whether the facility is a conversion or start-up charter school, and current and projected enrollment."

SECTION 6. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 7. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2050.



 

 

 

 

Report Title:

Charter Schools; Vacant School Facilities

 

Description:

Requires the Department of Education (DOE) to consider making available vacant school facilities or portions of those facilities for use by charter schools. Requires the Charter School Review Panel to compile and submit to DOE a prioritized list of charter schools that wish to use these facilities. Effective July 1, 2050. (SB2589 HD1)

 

 

 

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