Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Senate charter plan: how do you apply?

Under the Senate amendments to House Bill 109, a charter school would be formed this way:
  • By October 1, a person, group, or organization submits an application to a local school board
  • The board decides on the application within 75 days, after holding a public hearing and getting advice from a review committee that includes parent, teacher, principal, business, and expert members.
  • If the board approves the application, the board and the applicant negotiate a contract within 90 days, and the charter starts receiving funds on July 1.
The application itself will be no minor project.  It must list:
  • A mission statement
  • A program description
  • The length of the charter the school wants (maximum of five years)
  • A plan for how the school will be governed
  • A plan for closing the school if necessary.
  • Student achievement standards that meet or exceed the standards set by the Kentucky Board of Education.
  • A method for seeing if students meet standards (for example, testing)
  • Corrective action procedures if students do not meet standards
  • Ages and grade levels to be served
  • An enrollment and admission policy
  • Discipline, expulsion and suspension rules
  • Plans for transportation, food service, and health services
  • The school calendar and school day schedule
  • Methods and strategies for serving students with disabilities
  • Employment policies and procedures
  • A budget
  • A plan for auditing the schools books
  • Evidence both school and district will be economically sound
  • A plan for insurance coverage
  • All requests for release of the charter school from state laws and regulations and local policies and procedures
In some cases, a charter applicant might ask to use all or part of a building that is already being used.  In that case, the application must also include  a plan for the displacement of pupils, teachers, and other employees who will not become part of the charter operation.

On the one hand, all those elements are part of running a coherent school (or any other operation that delivers major services to many people through many employees).  On the other hand, if Kentucky enacts a charter law, putting all those pieces all together in an application will be a monster-size challenge for anyone brave enough to take it on.


  1. If the Governor places Charter Schools on the agenda for a called session, will the Bill remain 109 with the original RTI/dyslexia component or can he offer a new bill for just Charter Schools?

  2. In a called session, they start over with completely new bills. The governor defines the issues on the agenda, so if he just says budget, charters can't be considered, and if he says budget and charters only, RTI and dyslexia can't be addressed.


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