Wednesday, January 25, 2012

New Legislation Proposed for Charter Schools

There are two bills this session that have already been introduced that will impact charter schools. They are SB 61, sponsored by Sen. Keith King and Rep. Tom Massey, concerning charter school authorizing. The other is Sb 67, by Sen. Evie Hudak and Rep. Chris Holbert, regarding the corporate status of charter schools.

SB 61 would add to the list of charter school application components, which matches the Standard Application and Review Rubric, the state model for applications. The bill also requires school districts to have a process for closing a charter school. A best practice for authorizers is also included, the stipulation that all authorizers provide each of their charter schools with an Annual Progress Report (APR). This would include Accreditation, but be broader and more specific in scope.

SB 67 is aimed at closing the ambiguous language that has been in the Charter Schools Act since its initial passage in 1993, which never defined who could be party to a charter school contract. The current law would allow even for-profit management companies to contract directly with an authorizer to operate a charter school. SB 67 would require all charter schools to incorporate, as a nonprofit, and restrict only nonprofits to being party to a charter contract.

Legislation can be tracked through the General Assembly's home page. Also, sign up for the Colorado League of Charter Schools' grassroots effort here.

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