THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

2589

TWENTY-FIFTH LEGISLATURE, 2010

S.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 the department of education is considering the closure of certain non-charter public schools due to departmental financial constraints. At the same time, some public charter schools face daunting obstacles such as the high cost of rent and less-than-desirable location of their facilities.

The purpose of this Act is to require the department of education to make available vacant school facilities or portions of school 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) The department shall submit a notice of vacancy of a school facility or portion of a school facility to the charter school review panel within     days of the establishment of the vacancy.

(b) The charter school review panel shall thereafter solicit applications from charter schools interested in using and occupying all or portions of the facilities of the public school, if closed, by:

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

(2) Affording each charter school an opportunity to submit 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 if it is closed;

(3) Fully considering the charter school's submission materials; and

(4) Providing a written response to each charter school's submission after the submission has been fully considered.

(c) Based on the submission materials and on other considerations, the charter school review panel shall compile a prioritized list of charter schools and submit the list to the department for final determination of which, if any, charter school 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 to carry out the purposes of this section.

(e) The department shall adopt rules, pursuant to chapter 91, necessary to carry out the purposes of this section."

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

"302B‑   Use of vacant public school facilities. (a) When a school facility or portion of a school facility becomes vacant, the department shall submit to the panel a notice of vacancy pursuant to section 302A‑  .

(b) The charter school review panel shall thereafter 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;

(2) Affording each charter school an opportunity to submit 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 if it is closed;

(3) Fully considering the charter school's submission materials; and

(4) Providing a written response to each charter school's submission after the submission has been fully considered.

(c) Based on the submission materials and on other considerations, the charter school review panel shall compile a prioritized list of charter schools and submit the list to the department for final determination of which, if any, charter school shall be authorized to use and occupy the public school facilities.

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

(e) The panel shall adopt rules, pursuant to chapter 91, necessary to carry out the purposes of this section, including but not limited to:

(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 be included on the prioritized list to be submitted to the department; and

(3) Procedures for the panel to notify charter school applicants that are granted and not granted the use of vacant school facilities."

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, 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 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) Review and approve or deny applications for the use of vacant school facilities or portions of school facilities by charter schools, pursuant to sections 302A‑   and 302B‑  ;

[(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 upon its approval.

 



 

 

Report Title:

Charter Schools; Vacant School Facilities

 

Description:

Requires the department of education to make available vacant school facilities or portions of school facilities for use by charter schools. Requires the charter school review panel to compile a prioritized list of charter schools that wish to use vacant school facilities or portions of school facilities. (SD1)

 

 

 

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