Title 17. Education
Chapter 42. Charter School Demonstration Programs Law
Part II. State Chartering Authority
17:3982 Local school boards; duties; Orleans Parish School Board; immovable property; sale or lease
A. (1)(a)(i) Local school boards shall comply with R.S. 17:3983 and shall review and formally act upon each charter proposal received within time lines established by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education that are consistent with national best practices in charter school authorizing. Such time lines shall require, at a minimum, an annual charter application process in which local school boards are afforded at least ninety days to evaluate such applications. In conducting such review, the local school board shall determine whether each proposed charter complies with the law and rules, whether the proposal is valid, complete, financially well-structured, and educationally sound, whether it provides for a master plan for improving behavior and discipline in accordance with R.S. 17:252, whether it provides a plan for collecting data in accordance with R.S. 17:3911, and whether it offers potential for fulfilling the purposes of this Chapter. The local board shall engage in a transparent application review process that complies with the latest Principles and Standards for Quality Charter School Authorizing, as promulgated by the National Association of Charter School Authorizers, and shall provide for an independent evaluation of the charter proposal by a third party with educational, organizational, legal, and financial expertise. The local board shall send to the charter applicant, either by electronic means or hand delivery, the final evaluation and recommendations, if any, of the third-party evaluator. Such information shall be sent no later than five business days prior to the meeting at which the local board will take action on the charter proposal. Each local board shall use a common charter application developed by the state Department of Education and approved by the state board, but may request additional information from applicants as needed.
(ii) A local school board may accept charter proposals and notify charter applicants of its final decision pursuant to time lines approved by the state board. Notifications of charter proposals denied shall include written explanation of the reasons for such denial.
(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of Subparagraph (a) of this Paragraph, school boards which govern a local system that has been declared to be in academic crisis, as defined in R.S. 17:10.6, shall not consider, review, or act upon charter applications for a Type 1 charter school and shall notify the proponents of any pending Type 1 charter proposal or any newly submitted Type 1 charter proposal that the board is ineligible to act on such applications and that each such application may, therefore, be submitted to the state board as a Type 2 proposal pursuant to R.S. 17:3983(A)(2)(a)(ii).
(2) The local school board shall make public through its website, and in printed form upon request, the guidelines for submitting a charter proposal, all forms required for submission of a charter proposal, the time lines established for accepting and reviewing charter proposals in accordance with Item (1)(a)(ii) of this Subsection, the process that will be used to review charter proposals submitted to the board, and the name and contact information for a primary point of contact for charter proposals.
(3) If a charter applicant believes that a local school board has not complied with Paragraphs (1) and (2) of this Subsection in its evaluation of an application, the charter applicant may submit its proposal to the state board for its review and approval as a Type 2 charter. If the state board determines that the school board failed to comply with Paragraphs (1) and (2) of this Subsection, it shall notify the school board of that determination and may proceed with its own review of the charter application. The state board shall review each proposal according to the process set forth in R.S. 17:3981(4) and shall provide written notification of its final decision to the charter applicant pursuant to time lines established by the state board.
B. (1)(a) Local school boards shall make available to chartering groups any vacant school facilities or any facility slated to be vacant for lease or purchase up to fair market value. In the case of a Type 2 charter school created as a result of a conversion, the facility and all property within the existing school shall be made available to that chartering group. In return for the use of the facility and its contents, the chartering group shall pay a proportionate share of the local school board’s bonded indebtedness to be calculated in the same manner as set forth in R.S. 17:1990(C)(2)(a)(i). If such facilities were constructed at no cost to the local school board, then such facilities including all equipment, books, instructional materials, and furniture within such facilities shall be provided to the charter school at no cost.
(b) If the nongovernmental owner of a charter school facility that was financed, in whole or in part, through tax exempt bonds that have been paid in full wishes to dispose of the facility, he shall offer the facility, inclusive of all buildings and land, as follows:
(i) The owner shall, in accordance with applicable law, first offer to transfer title to the facility, at no cost, to the charter operator operating a school within the facility.
(ii) If the charter operator declines the offer, the owner of the facility shall next offer to transfer title to the facility, at no cost, to the school’s chartering authority. If the chartering authority is the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, the following requirements shall apply:
(aa) If the state board declines the offer, the owner shall next offer to transfer title to the facility, at no cost, to the local school board of the school system within whose geographic boundaries the facility is located.
(bb) If the state board accepts the offer and later wishes to dispose of the facility, it shall first offer to transfer title to the facility, at no cost, to the local school board of the school system within whose geographic boundaries the facility is located.
(iii) If the charter operator accepts the offer, the transfer agreement shall stipulate that if the charter operator acquires ownership of the facility pursuant to Item (i) of this Subparagraph and at any time ceases to operate a public school in the facility, the charter operator shall transfer title to the facility, inclusive of all buildings and land, at no cost, to the school’s chartering authority.
(iv) An offer by the owner of a charter school facility to transfer title to the facility pursuant to this Subparagraph shall extend for a period of not less than sixty days from the date the offer was made.
(2)(a) The Orleans Parish School Board shall make available to chartering groups, for lease or purchase up to fair market value, any school facility or other immovable property, whether improved or unimproved, that is owned by the school board and that is vacant or slated to be vacant. In the case of a Type 2 charter school created as a result of a conversion, the immovable property, including any unimproved property, and all other school board property within the existing school shall be made available to that chartering group. In return for the use of the facility and its contents, the chartering group shall pay a proportionate share of the local school board’s bonded indebtedness to be calculated in the same manner as set forth in R.S. 17:1990(C)(2)(a)(i). If such facilities were constructed at no cost to the local school board, then such facilities including all equipment, books, instructional materials, and furniture within such facilities shall be provided to the charter school at no cost.
(b) If a chartering group determines that a facility or property that was purchased from the Orleans Parish School Board pursuant to Subparagraph (a) of this Paragraph is no longer needed for an educational purpose, the group shall first offer to sell the facility or property back to the Orleans Parish School Board for an amount up to the previously paid purchase price, plus an amount up to the fair market value of improvements paid by the chartering group from nonpublic funds prior to seeking to dispose of it to any other person or entity.
Acts 1997, No. 477, § 1, eff. June 30, 1997. Amended by Acts 1999, No. 14, § 1; Acts 1999, No. 757, § 1, eff. July 2, 1999; Acts 2005, 1st Ex.Sess., No. 35, § 1, eff. Nov. 30, 2005; Acts 2009, No. 123, § 1, eff. June 26, 2009; Acts 2010, No. 334, § 1; Acts 2010, No. 722, § 1; Acts 2010, No. 756, § 2, eff. Jan. 1, 2011; Acts 2012, No. 2, § 1; Acts 2012, No. 708, § 1; Acts 2015, No. 351, § 1; Acts 2016, No. 497, § 1, eff. June 14, 2016; Acts 2017, No. 207, § 1; Acts 2019, No. 431, § 1.