Proposed Amendments to Part 650 (Charter Schools)

P.A. 98-783, effective January 1, 2015, adds Section 27A-10.10 to the School Code, which addresses the procedures for the disposition of unspent public funds and other property and assets at the time that a charter school closes.  The new law is identical to the requirements set forth at Section 650.70(b); therefore, the rule is being modified to cross-reference the law rather than repeat the statutory requirements.  The law will have no effect on agency practice as the rules have been in place since 2012.

P.A. 98-1048, effective August 25, 2014, amended Section 27A-6(e) of the School Code regarding material revisions to a certified charter school contract.  Previously, the law required the State Board to certify any proposed material revision "as being consistent with the provisions" of the Charter Schools Law before the revision could take effect.  Under the revised statute, material revisions may go into effect immediately upon agreement by both parties to the charter contract.  If either or both parties to the charter contract have a concern that a proposed material revision may run afoul of the Charter Schools Law, however, they may request that the State Board review the revision and certify its compliance with the Charter Schools Law before it may go into effect.  Proposed modifications in Section 650.50 reflect this new process and provide detail about the timing and content of submissions.  Further changes in Section 650.50 remove from that Section discussion of the State Board's certification of charter renewal agreements.  Section 650.30 currently outlines the process for the State Board's certifying a charter school renewal.  Moreover, since the processes for certifying renewals and for certifying material revisions differ, mention of renewals in Section 650.50 is confusing and unnecessary.

New Section 650.35 provides a process for the State Charter School Commission to submit to the State Board of Education for certification reports regarding the Commission's approval of charter school applications either on appeal from a local school board’s denial of the application or through a referendum process.  The new Section acknowledges in rule that any charter application approved by the Commission must be certified by the State Board before it can take effect and states the requirements for obtaining certification.  Additionally, Section 650.35 addresses reports of renewals and of denials, revocations or non-renewals.

Finally, a more general email address for the State Charter School Commission is being provided in Sections 650.30 and 650.100.

Initial Review by State Board of Education: January 2015

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