TITLE 17. EDUCATION
CHAPTER 42. CHARTER SCHOOL DEMONSTRATION PROGRAMS
17:3975 Charter schools; establishment; appeals process; requirements; limitations; renewal; amendment; revocation
A. Any local school board eligible to establish a charter school demonstration program shall:
(1) Enter into a charter for the establishment of a charter school as provided by this Chapter upon approval by a vote of at least a majority of the authorized board membership of a charter proposal that meets requirements of this Chapter.
(2) Make public any charter proposal it receives under this Chapter and consider such proposal in a public meeting after providing an opportunity for input at a public hearing.
B. (1) A charter school approved and established in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter shall be organized as a nonprofit corporation under applicable state and federal laws.
(2) Consistent with the provisions of this Chapter, a charter school and its officers and employees may exercise any power and perform any function necessary, requisite, or proper for the management of the charter school not denied by its charter, the provisions of this Chapter, or other laws applicable to the charter school.
C. The percentage of the total number of pupils enrolled in the charter school based on the October first student membership who are at risk shall be not less than the percentage of the total number of pupils enrolled in the local public school district in which the charter school is located who are at risk.
D. Admission requirements that are consistent with the provisions of an approved charter and with the provisions of this Chapter and that are related directly to a charter school's role, scope, and mission may be established. Such admission requirements shall be in the charter of such school and shall include a system for admission decisions which precludes exclusion of pupils based on race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, intellectual ability, or identification as an exceptional child as defined in R.S. 17:1943(2).
E. (1) A charter school shall enroll an eligible pupil who resides within the boundaries of the public school system in which the charter school is located and who submits a timely application unless the total number of eligible applicants exceeds the capacity of a program, class, grade level, or building.
(2) If the total number of eligible applicants exceeds the capacity of a program, class, grade level, or building, admission to the program, class, grade level, or building shall be based on an admissions lottery conducted from among the total number of eligible applicants.
F. A charter school shall conduct the pupil assessments required by the state board for pupils in other public schools pursuant to R.S. 17:24.4.
G. A charter school shall be subject to any court-ordered desegregation plan in effect for the city or parish school system.
H. A charter school shall comply with the criteria set forth in Brumfield, et. al. v. Dodd, et. al., 425 F.Supp. 528.
I. A charter school may negotiate with the local school board in whose jurisdiction it is located for use of facilities and the operation and maintenance thereof, for pupil transportation, and for other support services provided by the board to other public schools in the system.
J. (1) A charter school shall be nonsectarian in its programs, admissions policies, and employment practices.
(2) No charter school may be supported by or affiliated with any religion or religious organization or institution.
K. No person, group, or organization may submit an application to convert any private school or any home study program, as defined in R.S. 17:236, into a charter school.
L. No pupil attending a charter school shall be charged tuition or an attendance fee of any kind.
M. (1) At least seventy-five percent of the instructional staff employed by a charter school shall be certified teachers.
(2) The remaining twenty-five percent of the instructional staff shall meet at least one of the following requirements:
(a) Be authorized under law or board regulation to teach temporarily while seeking a regular teaching certificate.
(b) Have at least a bachelor's degree or at least ten years of experience, demonstrate exemplary skills in his or her field of expertise, and be providing instruction under the supervision of a certified teacher. Any individual who makes an application for employment under this Subparagraph shall be employed based on a determination of the applicant's qualifications by the charter school.
N. Except as otherwise provided in Subsection O of this Section and subject to continuation of the demonstration programs by the legislature, an approved school charter shall be valid for an initial period of five years, contingent upon the results of the reporting requirements at the end of the third year as provided in R.S. 17:3980(A)(2), and may be renewed for additional five-year periods after thorough review by the approving local school board of the charter school's operations and compliance with charter requirements. The process for renewing a school charter shall be the same as for initial charter approval. No charter shall be renewed unless the charter renewal applicant can demonstrate, using standardized test scores, improvement in the academic performance of students over the term of the charter school's existence.
O. Subsequent to approval, a school charter may be amended by the approving local school board by a vote of at least a majority of the authorized board membership when such amendment is proposed by the charter recipients and the amendment will better permit the charter school to achieve its stated objectives. No amendment shall be the basis of extending the duration of the original charter.
P. A school charter may be revoked by the local school board approving it upon a determination by a vote of at least a majority of the authorized board membership that the charter school or its officers or employees did any of the following:
(1) Committed a material violation of any of the conditions, standards, or procedures provided for in the approved charter.
(2) Failed to meet or pursue within the agreed timelines any of the academic and other educational results specified in the approved charter.
(3) Failed to meet generally accepted accounting standards of fiscal management.
(4) Violated any provision of law applicable to a charter school, its officers, or employees.
Q. A local school board shall not assign any pupil or employee to a charter school or interfere in any way with the operation and management of a charter school except as provided by the approved charter, the provisions of this Chapter, or other law applicable to the charter school or its officers or employees.
R. (1) An approved local school board may convert an existing school to a charter school if both of the following occur:
(a) At least two-thirds of the full-time faculty and instructional staff members at the school sign a petition seeking conversion.
(b) At least two-thirds of the parents present at a public meeting called for the purpose of deciding whether to initiate the petition agree to the conversion.
(2) The conversion must occur at the beginning of an academic year.
S. The state Department of Education may provide technical assistance to those interested in pursuing a charter to establish a school under this Chapter.
Added by Acts 1995, No. 192, Sec. 1, eff. June 14, 1995.