Charter schools. Authorizes the establishment of charter schools in Virginia. Individuals or organizations may initiate the charter application process by submitting to the local school board a proposed agreement for the operation of a charter school. Each charter application must include a school mission statement; goals and performance standards; evidence of parental, teacher, and pupil support; a statement of need; a description of standards, which must meet or exceed the Standards of Quality (SOQ); a proposed budget; and a description of governance and other related matters. While a charter contract releases the school from state regulations, including the Standards of Accreditation, these public, nonsectarian, nonreligious, non-home-based schools are subject to the SOQ, the Standards of Learning, applicable state and federal anti-discrimination laws, and court-ordered desegregation plans. A charter school may be created as a new school or through the conversion of all or part of an existing public school.
While the local school board would have authority to approve, deny, revoke, or decline to renew a charter, the applicant or governing body of an existing charter school may request a public hearing and may appeal an unfavorable decision by the school board to the circuit court having jurisdiction in the school division.
Teachers and administrators serving at a charter school need not be licensed by the Board of Education. Licensed personnel in the charter school may participate in VRS; all charter personnel are eligible for membership in any state or local benefits program offered to public school employees. The local school board delegates authority over personnel matters, including hiring, termination, and grievance procedures, to the charter school.
State and local funds for a charter school would equal 100 percent of the required state and local shares for SOQ. The proportionate share of state and federal money for disabled pupils and special education personnel as well as state and federal categorical aid must also go to the charter school. From funds appropriate for the purpose, the Superintendent of Public Instruction shall award grants to establish charter schools.
Enrollment is open to any child residing in the school division; nonresident students may also enroll if the charter permits. Students enrolled in a charter school are included in the division's average daily membership. Admissions and equitable selection policies and procedures would give enrollment preference to pupils residing in the division.
Charter schools may contract for the use of facilities, maintenance, operations, and other services. Any charges for services contracted with the school division must not exceed cost. The charter school may not be charged rent for the use of school division facilities.Full text:
01/23/95 Senate: Presented & ordered printed LD6675812 pdf
01/23/95 Senate: Presented & ordered printed LD6675812
01/23/95 Senate: Referred to Committee on Education and Health
02/08/95 Senate: Left in Education and Health