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146th General Assembly
House Bill # 205

Primary Sponsor: Schooley Additional Sponsor(s):    Rep. Scott & Rep. Miro & Sen. Sokola & Sen. Sorenson & Sen. Cloutier
CoSponsors: Reps. Bolden, Carson, Gilligan, Hudson, J. Johnson, Q. Johnson, Longhurst, Mitchell, Osienski, B. Short
Introduced on : 06/21/2011
Long Title:AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO CHARTER SCHOOLS.
Synopsis:This legislation will assist the State to better ensure that charter schools being approved are of high quality, and to respond more appropriately when issues arise. To help ensure that individuals governing our charter schools have the appropriate background and qualifications, this legislation requires criminal background and child abuse registry checks for charter school board members, and it will prohibit individuals who have felony convictions or convictions for a crime against a child from serving on a charter board. Charter school board members will be required to disclose any financial interest they may have in the charter school, so that parents and others may learn and inquire about any financial arrangements benefiting a school board member. In addition, new charter schools would receive less funding at the start of the year, with the remainder of the funding provided throughout the year after a review by the Department to ensure that the finances of the school are sound. The legislation also requires an annual external audit of charter schools and adds charter schools to the Finance Recovery Team portion of the Delaware Code, which currently applies only to school districts, authorizing the Director of the Office of Management and Budget to appoint a team to assess the financial status of a charter school that is on formal review, to provide information to parents and teachers regarding status, and to make certain decisions regarding payments by the charter school.
The legislation also moves up the deadline by which charter renewal decisions must be made so that, if a charter is not going to be renewed, that decision is made prior to the school choice deadline. And it creates a mechanism for permitting a high performing charter operator to open a school that would serve students at a charter school that is slated for closure, providing greater opportunities and avoiding significant disruption for the students. Using this provision, a highly successful charter school operator could apply for a new charter to serve the students at the closing charter school, and the applicant could be permitted to begin operating in less than the 18 months currently required between the filing of the application and the opening of the charter school. To facilitate this action, the legislation adds flexibility to board composition requirements, so that governing boards continue to have teacher and parent representation but are not required to have such representation from every school for which a charter is held.
This legislation would also clarify that a request to change a charter school’s authorizer (from the Department to a district or vice-versa) or to increase by more than 15% the number of students that may be served by a charter school is a major modification. Since modifications to increase the number of students served by a school can be implemented in 7 to 8 months, the legislation allows the authorizer to consider the impact that expanding enrollment of a charter school in the shortened timeframe will have on the traditional schools from which the students will be drawn.
Current Status: Signed   On   08/19/2011
Volume Chapter78:187
Date Governor acted:08/19/2011
Full text of Legislation:
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Full text of Legislation:
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Legis.Docx   (Microsoft Word is required to view this document.)

Fiscal Notes/Fee Impact:Not Required
Committee Reports:
House Committee Report 06/22/11 F=1 M=10 U=0---->Committee Report
Senate Committee report 06/29/11 F=6 M=0 U=0----->Committee Report
Voting Reports:
House vote: () Passed 6/23/2011 5:55:51 PM------->Voting Record
Senate vote: () Passed 6/29/2011 5:42:51 PM------->Voting Record
Actions History:
Aug 19, 2011 - Signed by Governor
Jun 29, 2011 - Passed by Senate. Votes: Passed 21 YES 0 NO 0 NOT VOTING 0 ABSENT 0 VACANT
Jun 29, 2011 - Reported Out of Committee (EDUCATION) in Senate with 6 Favorable
Jun 23, 2011 - Assigned to Education Committee in Senate
Jun 23, 2011 - Passed by House of Representatives. Votes: Passed 40 YES 0 NO 0 NOT VOTING 1 ABSENT 0 VACANT
Jun 22, 2011 - Reported Out of Committee (EDUCATION) in House with 1 Favorable, 10 On Its Merits
Jun 21, 2011 - Introduced and Assigned to Education Committee in House
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