LBE-AR - Public Charter Schools
Revised/Reviewed: 1/6/11, 8/7/12, 7/17/14, 12/12/14, 5/25/16; 12/14/22
b. “Public charter school” means an elementary or secondary school offering a comprehensive instructional program operating under a written agreement entered into between the district and an applicant.
c. “Virtual public charter school” means a public charter school that provides online courses, but does not primarily serve students in a physical location as described in Oregon Administrative Rule (OAR) 581-026-0300.
d. “Remote and necessary school district” means a school district that offers kindergarten through grade 12 and has: (a) an average daily membership (ADM), as defined in Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 327.006, in the prior fiscal year of less than 110; and (b) a school that is located, by the nearest traveled road, more than 20 miles from the nearest school or from a city with a population of more than 5,000.
e. “Sponsor” means the district or Board.
b. An applicant shall submit a complete proposal for sponsorship of a public charter school by the Board, including items outlined in ORS 338.045, and any additional requirements as are required in the Board’s application for sponsorship, to the district office no later than January 31 for a September starting date. The applicant shall also submit a copy of the same proposal to the State Board of Education.
c. The district will complete the review process as outlined in Section 3 below.
d. As part of the proposal, each member of the proposed public charter school’s governing body must provide an acknowledgment of understanding of the standards of conduct and the liabilities of a director of a nonprofit organization, as described in ORS Chapter 65, if the public charter school is organized as required by ORS 338.035(2)(a)(B) and (C).
(2) If after given a reasonable opportunity the applicant does not complete the required elements, the Board may disapprove the proposal.
(4) A good faith disapproval is not a denial for purposes of requesting a review by the State Board of Education under ORS 338.075.
c. The Board must evaluate a proposal in good faith using the following criteria:
(2) The demonstrated financial stability of the proposed public charter school including the demonstrated ability of the school to have a sound financial management system that
(3) is in place at the time the school begins operating and meets requirements of ORS 338.095(1);
(4) The capability of the applicant, in terms of support and planning, to provide comprehensive instructional programs;
(5) The capability of the applicant, in terms of support and planning, to provide comprehensive instructional programs to students identified as academically low achieving;
(6) The adequacy of the information provided as required in the proposal criteria;
(7) Whether the value of the public charter school is outweighed by any directly identifiable, significant and adverse impact on the quality of the public education of students residing in the district in which the public charter school will be located.
(8) Whether there are arrangements for any necessary special education and related services for students with disabilities;
(9) Whether there are alternative arrangements for students, teachers and other school employees who choose not to attend or who choose not to be employed by the public charter school; and
(10) The prior history, if any, of the applicant in operating a public charter school or in providing educational services.
(2) If denied, the notice must include the reasons for the denial with suggested remedial measures. The Board shall provide a reasonable opportunity for the applicant to amend and resubmit the proposal. The Board must either approve or deny the resubmitted proposal within 30 days of receipt. The Board may, with good cause, request an extension in the approval process timelines from the State Board of Education.
b. The charter agreement shall be legally binding and must be in effect for a period of not more than five years but may be renewed by the Board.
c. The Board and the public charter school may amend a charter agreement through joint agreement.
d. The agreement shall incorporate the elements of the approved proposal, will address the requirements outlined in OAR 581-026-0100(2) and any additional requirements that may apply to the public charter school including, but not limited to, the following:
(2) English language learners (ORS 336.079);
(3) Student conduct (ORS 339.250);
(4) Alcohol and drug abuse policy and plan (ORS 336.222);
(5) Oregon Report Card (ORS 329.115);]
(6) Employment status of public charter school employees pursuant to ORS 338.135;
(7) Student enrollment, application procedures and whether the public charter school will admit nonresident students and on what basis pursuant to ORS 338.125.
(8) Transportation of students shall comply with ORS 338.145;
(9) The plan for performance bonding or insuring the public charter school sufficient to protect the public charter school and the district from loss and liability and comply with Oregon law. Documentation shall be submitted prior to agreement approval.
5. Public Charter School Operation
b. Upon application by the public charter school, the State Board of Education may grant a waiver of certain public charter school law provisions if the waiver promotes the development of programs by providers, enhances the equitable access by underserved families to the public education of their choice, extends the equitable access to public support by all students or permits high quality programs of unusual cost. This waiver request must specify the reasons the public charter school is seeking the waiver and further requires the public charter school to notify the sponsor if a waiver is being considered.
In addition to the other requirements for a public charter school, a virtual public charter school must comply with additional requirements pursuant to ORS 338.120.
b. The public charter school shall be audited annually in accordance with the Municipal Audit Law. After the audit, the public charter school shall forward a copy of the annual audit to ODE and the following to the sponsoring district:
(2) Any statements from the public charter school that show the results of operations and transactions affecting the financial status of the public charter school during the preceding annual audit period for the school; and
(3) A balance sheet containing a summary of the assets and liabilities of the public charter school as of the closing date of the preceding annual audit period for the school.
d. The public charter school shall submit to the district quarterly financial statements that reflect the school’s financial operations. The report shall include, but not be limited to, revenues, expenditures, loans and investments.
b. The district shall conduct:
(2) A review of public charter school staff credentials to ensure that public charter school staff are properly licensed and/or registered with TSPC.
(3) A collection and review of all deliverables specified in the agreement.
(4) A review of data to ensure the public charter school is making progress on reasonable, measurable written goals for academic, financial, and operational performance.
(5) A review to ensure the public charter school is providing appropriate services to students who qualify, e.g., English learner supports.
b. The Board and the public charter school shall follow the timeline listed below, unless a different timeline has been agreed upon by the Board and the public charter school:
(2) Within 45 days after receiving a written renewal request from a public charter school, the Board shall hold a public hearing regarding the renewal request;
(3) Within 30 days after the public hearing, the Board shall approve the charter renewal or state in writing the reasons for denying charter renewal;
(4) If the Board approves the charter renewal, the district and the public charter school shall negotiate a new charter agreement within 90 days unless the district and the public charter school agree to an extension of the time period. Notwithstanding the time period specified in the charter agreement, an expiring charter agreement shall remain in effect until a new charter agreement is negotiated;
(5) If the Board does not renew the charter agreement, the public charter school board may address the reasons stated for denial of the renewal and any remedial measures suggested by the district and submit a revised request for renewal to the Board;
(6) If the Board does not renew the charter agreement based on the revised request for renewal the public charter school may appeal the Board’s decision to the State Board of Education for a review of whether the Board used the process required by Oregon law in denying the charter agreement renewal pursuant to ORS 338.065(6).
(7) The Board shall base the charter agreement renewal decision on a good faith evaluation pursuant to ORS 338.065(8) and shall base the renewal evaluation described primarily on a review of the public charter school’s annual performance reports, annual audit of accounts and annual site visit and review as required by ORS 338.095 and any other information mutually agreed upon by the public charter school board and the Board.
(2) Failure to meet the requirements for student performance as outlined in the charter agreement.
(3) Failure to correct a violation of federal or state law that is described in ORS 338.115.
(4) Failure to maintain insurance as described in the charter.
(5) Failure to maintain financial stability.
(6) Failure to maintain, for one or more consecutive years, a sound financial management system described in the proposal submitted under ORS 338.045 and incorporated into the written charter under ORS 338.065.
(7) Failure to maintain the health and safety of the students.
(2) If the grounds for termination include failure to maintain financial stability or failure to maintain a sound financial management system, the Board and the public charter school may agree to develop a plan to correct deficiencies. The plan to correct deficiencies will follow a process outlined in ORS 338.105.
(3) The public charter school may request a hearing with the Board in relation to a termination or a plan to correct deficiencies. The request must be made in writing and delivered to the business address of the district.
(4) Following a hearing, a decision reached by the Board to terminate may be appealed by the public charter school to the State Board of Education.
(2) Within 10 days of receiving the request for a hearing, the Board must hold a hearing on the termination.
(3) If the Board acts to terminate the charter following the hearing, the public charter school may appeal the decision reached by the Board to the State Board of Education.
(4) The public charter school will remain closed during the appeal process at the discretion of the Board unless the State Board of Education orders the Board not to terminate and to re-open the public charter school.
e. If a charter agreement is terminated or a public charter school is dissolved, assets that were obtained with grant funds will be dispersed according to the terms of the grant. If the grant is absent any reference to ownership or distribution of assets of a terminated, closed or dissolved public charter school, all assets will be given to the State Board of Education for disposal.
1 The term “disapprove” is used for a proposal that is rejected due to being incomplete. See ORS 338.055(1)(c).
2 A determination of whether an impact is directly identifiable, significant and adverse may include, but is not limited to student enrollment, student-teacher ratios, staff with requisite licensure or endorsement, student learning and performance, specialty programs, financial considerations, and maintenance capabilities.
3 Student enrollment shall be voluntary. A public charter school may not limit student enrollment based on ethnicity, national origin, race, religion, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, income level, the terms of an individualized education program, proficiency in the English language or athletic ability but may limit admission within a given age group or grade level. A public charter school must select students through an equitable lottery selection process if the number of student applicants exceeds the capacity of a program, class, grade level or building. A public charter school may implement a weighted lottery that favors historically underserved students and may give priority for admission to students when in accordance with ORS 338.125(3)(c) (as amended by HB 2954 (2021)).
4 The district Board will hear this appeal as established through Board policy.