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Charter Schools: LBD

  • Education Agency Relations: L
Charter Schools: LBD
Updated

The Superintendent supports efforts by parents/guardians, teachers or other interested persons or organizations interested in establishing district charter schools within the district. The Colorado General Assembly intends that School Districts give greater consideration to charter applications designed to increase educational opportunities of at-risk students. The Superintendent encourages applicants who address the specific needs identified through a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) and a Request for Proposals (RFP) Process.

In accordance with state law, district authorized charter schools are intended to:

  • Expand learning opportunities for students
  • Encourage diverse approaches to learning through the use of different, innovative, research-based or proven teaching methods
  • Provide parents/guardians and students with expanded choices in the types of educational opportunities that are available within the public school system
  • Encourage parental and community involvement with public schools

A charter school shall be a public, nonsectarian, nonreligious, non-home-based school which operates within the school district and is accountable to the Board of Education. It is subject to all federal and state laws and constitutional provisions prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability, race, creed, color, gender, national origin, religion, ancestry , sexual orientation or need for special education services. A district authorized charter school has standing to sue and be sued in its own name for the enforcement of any contract it is authorized by law to enter into.

Enrollment shall be open to any child who resides within the school district or within the state of Colorado. However no charter school shall be required to make alterations in the structure of its facility or the arrangement or function of rooms within the facility except as may be required by state or federal law. The majority of the charter school’s students must reside in the school district or in contiguous school districts. A charter school shall not charge tuition except as otherwise provided by law.

Each District authorized charter school shall be governed by its own governing body in a manner agreed to by the charter school applicant and the Board of Education. An approved district charter school application shall serve as the basis for negotiating a contract between the charter school and the Superintendent. Approval of a charter school application shall be conditional upon execution of a contract incorporating such terms and conditions regarding instruction and operation of the school as the parties agree to be necessary or advisable. The contract shall reflect all agreements between the district and the charter school including the waivers of local district policies and the waiver of statutory requirements or rules by the State Board of Education.

A District authorized charter school shall comply with all the state financial and budget rules, regulations and financial reporting requirements with which the school district is required to comply.

A charter school shall be responsible for its own operation including but not limited to preparation of a budget, contracting for services and personnel matters. Services for which a charter school contracts with the school district shall be negotiated and provided at district cost. No rent shall be charged for use of district facilities which the Board deems available for the charter school. Any moneys received by a District authorized charter school from any source that remain at the end of any budget year shall remain in that charter schools account for use by that charter school in subsequent years.

Each charter school shall have an educational program with student performance standards and curriculum that meets or exceeds district and state standards. A district charter school may not offer an online program, unless expressly written in the charter school contract except those expressly prohibited by district policy or by state law.

The superintendent encourages district charter applicants to develop an educational program to serve the needs of students considered “at risk” academically as evidenced by poor performance on the state assessments, among other things. In order to meet this programming need, the superintendent further encourages district charter applicants to use a weighted lottery system of enrollment consistent with all federal and state laws.

A charter school shall open in the fall following the date the application is approved, unless another starting time is agreed upon by the Board and applicant. The operational period for which a new District authorized charter will be for four academic years per statute. Renewal of a District authorized charter school shall be specified for five years unless a specified time has been agreed to in the Charter School Contract.