Citations Affected: IC 20-5.5; IC 20-7.5-1-2.
Synopsis: Charter schools. Allows a sponsor to issue a charter to an
organizer to establish a charter school. Defines a "sponsor" as: (1) the
governing body of a school corporation; (2) a state higher education
institution; or (3) the mayor of a consolidated city. Sets forth the
organization, powers, method of establishment, charter contents,
policies, oversight, and restrictions for charter schools. Provides that a
decision concerning the establishment of a charter school may not be
restrained by a collective bargaining agreement. Allows the employees
of a charter school to organize and collectively bargain. Requires 75%
of the teachers in a charter school to hold a license to teach in a public
school. Provides that if a school corporation eliminates a teaching
position in a noncharter school because of a charter school, the legal or
contractual provisions, if any, otherwise applicable to the teacher
whose contract is canceled, continue to apply to that teacher. Allows
the conversion of an existing public school to a charter school if at least
51% of the teachers and 51% of the parents approve of the conversion.
Provides that only the governing body of the school corporation in
which a conversion charter school is located may act as sponsor for the
school. Makes conforming amendments to related statutes.
Effective: Upon passage.
January 17, 2001, read first time and referred to Committee on Education.
A BILL FOR AN ACT to amend the Indiana Code concerning
SECTION 1. IC 20-5.5 IS ADDED TO THE INDIANA CODE AS
A NEW ARTICLE TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE UPON
ARTICLE 5.5. CHARTER SCHOOLS
Chapter 1. Definitions
Sec. 1. The definitions in this chapter apply throughout this article.
Sec. 2. "Board" refers to the Indiana state board of education established by IC 20-1-1-1.
Sec. 3. "Charter" means a contract between an organizer and a sponsor for the establishment of a charter school.
Sec. 4. "Charter school" means a public elementary school or secondary school established under this article that:
(1) is nonsectarian and nonreligious; and
(2) operates under a charter.
Sec. 5. "Department" refers to the department of education established by IC 20-1-1.1-2.
Sec. 6. "Elementary school" has the meaning set forth in IC 20-10.1-1-15.
Sec. 7. "Governing body" has the meaning set forth in IC 20-10.1-1-5.
Sec. 8. "Home based instruction" means instruction that:
(1) a parent establishes, organizes, and directs for education of the parent's child; and
(2) excuses a child from compulsory school attendance under IC 20-8.1-3-34.
Sec. 9. "Organizer" means a group or an entity that enters into a contract under this article to operate a charter school.
Sec. 10. "Parent" has the meaning set forth in IC 20-1-1.8-8.
Sec. 11. "Proposal" refers to a proposal from an organizer to establish a charter school.
Sec. 12. "Public school" has the meaning set forth in IC 20-10.1-1-2.
Sec. 13. "School corporation" has the meaning set forth in IC 20-10.1-1-1.
Sec. 14. "Secondary school" means a high school (as defined in IC 20-10.1-1-16 ).
Sec. 15. "Sponsor" means one (1) of the following:
(1) A governing body.
(2) A state educational institution (as defined in IC 20-12-0.5-1 ).
(3) The executive (as defined in IC 36-1-2-5 ) of a consolidated city.
Sec. 16. "Teacher" has the meaning set forth in IC 20-6.1-1-8.
Chapter 2. Description
Sec. 1. A charter school may be established under this article to provide innovative and autonomous programs that do the following:
(1) Serve the different learning styles and needs of public school students.
(2) Offer public school students appropriate and innovative choices.
(3) Afford varied opportunities for professional educators.
(4) Allow public schools freedom and flexibility in exchange for exceptional levels of accountability.
(5) Provide parents, students, community members, and local entities with an expanded opportunity for involvement in the public school system.
Sec. 2. A charter school is subject to all federal and state laws
and constitutional provisions that prohibit discrimination on the
basis of the following:
(5) National origin.
Chapter 3. Establishment
Sec. 1. A sponsor may grant a charter to an organizer to operate a charter school under this article.
Sec. 2. A sponsor may not grant a charter to a for-profit organizer.
Sec. 3. An organizer may submit to the sponsor a proposal to establish a charter school. A proposal must contain at least the following information:
(1) Identification of the organizer.
(2) A description of the organizer's organizational structure and governance plan.
(3) The following information for the proposed charter school:
(C) Governance structure.
(D) Management structure.
(E) Educational mission goals.
(F) Curriculum and instructional methods.
(G) Methods of pupil assessment.
(H) Admission policy and criteria, subject to IC 20-5.5-5.
(I) School calendar.
(J) Age or grade range of pupils to be enrolled.
(K) A description of staff responsibilities.
(L) A description and the address of the physical plant.
(M) Budget and financial plans.
(N) Personnel plan, including methods for selection, retention, and compensation of employees.
(O) Transportation plan.
(P) Discipline program.
(Q) Plan for compliance with any applicable desegregation order.
(R) The date when the charter school is expected to:
school in subsequent years; and
(2) allow the siblings of a student who attends a charter school to attend the charter school.
(d) This subsection applies to an existing school that converts to a charter school under IC 20-5.5-11. During the school year in which the existing school converts to a charter school, the charter school may limit admissions to:
(1) those students who were enrolled in the charter school on the date of the conversion; and
(2) siblings of students described in subdivision (1).
Chapter 6. Employment
Sec. 1. Individuals who work at a charter school are employees of the charter school or of an entity with which the charter school has contracted to provide services, including instructional services.
Sec. 2. Individuals must choose to be teachers at a charter school voluntarily, and a charter school shall voluntarily choose such individuals to be its teachers.
Sec. 3. Employees of a charter school may organize and bargain collectively under IC 20-7.5.
Sec. 4. The following apply to teachers in a charter school:
(1) A teacher must have a four (4) year college degree from an accredited institution.
(2) At least seventy-five percent (75%) of the teachers in a charter school must hold a license to teach in a public school.
(3) Not more than twenty-five percent (25%) of a charter school's teaching staff may be individuals who:
(A) are not licensed to teach in a public school; and
(B) possess specific knowledge or skills that are critical to the mission of the charter school.
(4) A charter school teacher described in subdivision (3) is subject to:
(A) regular performance reviews; and
(B) professional development activities;
as determined and identified by the organizer.
Sec. 5. (a) A charter school shall participate in the following:
(1) The Indiana state teachers' retirement fund in accordance with IC 21-6.1.
(2) The public employees' retirement fund in accordance with IC 5-10.3.
(b) A person who teaches in a charter school is a member of the Indiana state teachers' retirement fund. Service in a charter school is creditable service for purposes of IC 21-6.1.
preschool program is barred under federal law; or
(B) a latch key program;
if the charter school provides those programs.
(3) Except for a foreign exchange student who is not a United States citizen, enroll a pupil who is not a resident of Indiana.
(4) Be located in a private residence.
(5) Provide home based instruction.
Sec. 3. For each charter school established under this article, the charter school and the organizer are accountable to the sponsor for ensuring compliance with:
(1) applicable federal and state laws;
(2) the charter; and
(3) the Constitution of the State of Indiana.
Sec. 4. Except as specifically provided in this article and the statutes listed in section 5 of this chapter, the following do not apply to a charter school:
(1) Any Indiana statute applicable to a governing body or school corporation.
(2) A rule or guideline adopted by the Indiana state board of education.
(3) A rule or guideline adopted by the professional standards board (established by IC 20-1-1.4-2 ), except for those rules that assist a teacher in gaining or renewing a standard or an advanced license.
(4) A local regulation or policy adopted by a school corporation unless specifically incorporated in the charter.
Sec. 5. The following statutes and rules and guidelines adopted under the following statutes apply to a charter school:
(1) IC 5-11-1-9 (required audits by the state board of accounts).
(2) IC 20-1-1.5 (unified accounting system).
(3) IC 20-1-6 (special education).
(4) IC 20-5-2-3 (subject to laws requiring regulation by state agencies).
(5) IC 20-6.1-4-15 (voiding of teacher contracts when two (2) contracts are signed).
(6) IC 20-6.1-6-11 (nondiscrimination for teacher marital status).
(7) IC 20-6.1-6-13 (teacher freedom of association).
(8) IC 20-6.1-6-15 (school counselor immunity).
(9) IC 20-8.1-3 (compulsory school attendance).
(10) IC 20-8.1-5.1-13 , IC 20-8.1-5.1-15 , and IC 20-8.1-5.1-15.5
(student due process and judicial review).
(11) IC 20-8.1-7 and IC 20-8.1-8 (health and safety measures).
(12) IC 20-8.1-9-3 (exemption from school fees for eligible families and fee reimbursement).
(13) IC 20-8.1-9-5 (notice to parents concerning financial assistance).
(14) IC 20-8.1-12 (reporting of student violations of law).
(15) IC 20-10.1-2-4 and IC 20-10.1-2-6 (patriotic commemorative observances).
(16) IC 20-10.1-16 , IC 20-10.1-17 , or any other statute, rule, or guideline related to standardized testing (assessment programs, including remediation under the assessment programs).
(17) IC 20-10.1-22.4 (parental access to education records).
Chapter 9. Oversight and Revocation
Sec. 1. An organizer that has established a charter school shall submit an annual report to the department for informational and research purposes.
Sec. 2. An annual report under this chapter must contain the following information for a charter school:
(1) Results of all standardized testing.
(2) A description of the educational methods and teaching methods employed.
(3) Daily attendance records.
(4) Graduation statistics.
(5) Student enrollment data, including the following:
(A) The number of students enrolled.
(B) The number of students expelled.
(C) The number of students who discontinued attendance at the charter school and the reasons for the discontinuation.
Sec. 3. The sponsor shall oversee a charter school's compliance with:
(1) the charter; and
(2) all applicable laws.
Sec. 4. Notwithstanding the provisions of the charter, a sponsor that grants a charter may revoke the charter at any time before the expiration of the term of the charter if the sponsor determines that at least one (1) of the following occurs:
(1) The organizer fails to comply with the conditions established in the charter.
(2) The charter school established by the organizer fails to
meet the educational goals set forth in the charter.
(3) The organizer fails to comply with all applicable laws.
(4) The organizer fails to meet generally accepted government accounting principles.
(5) One (1) or more grounds for revocation exist as specified in the charter.
Sec. 5. A charter school shall report the following to the sponsor:
(1) Attendance records.
(2) Student performance data.
(3) Financial information.
(4) Any information necessary to comply with state and federal government requirements.
(5) Any other information specified in the charter.
Sec. 6. The organizer of a charter school shall publish an annual performance report that provides the information required under IC 20-1-21-8 in the same manner that a school corporation publishes an annual report under IC 20-1-21.
Chapter 10. Student Transfers From Charter Schools
Sec. 1. A public noncharter school that receives a transfer student from a charter school may not discriminate against the student in any way, including placing the student:
(1) in an inappropriate age group according to the student's ability;
(2) below the student's abilities; or
(3) in a class where the student has already mastered the subject matter.
Chapter 11. Conversion of Existing Schools Into Charter Schools
Sec. 1. An existing public elementary or secondary school may be converted into a charter school if the following conditions apply:
(1) At least fifty-one percent (51%) of the teachers at the school have signed a petition requesting the conversion.
(2) At least fifty-one percent (51%) of the parents of students at the school have signed a petition requesting the conversion.
Sec. 2. If the conditions of section 1 of this chapter are met, the teachers and parents may appoint a committee to act as organizers for the charter school.
Sec. 3. The organizers shall submit a proposal under IC 20-5.5-3 to the governing body of the school corporation in which an existing elementary or secondary school is located to convert the existing school into a charter school.
Sec. 4. Only the governing body of the school corporation in which an existing public elementary or secondary school that seeks conversion to a charter school is located may act as the sponsor of the conversion charter school.
Sec. 5. An existing public school that is converted into a charter school remains subject to an existing collective bargaining agreement unless at least fifty-one percent (51%) of the certificated staff of the school vote to remove the school from the collective bargaining agreement.
SECTION 2. IC 20-7.5-1-2 IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE UPON PASSAGE]: Sec. 2. As used in this chapter:
(a) "School corporation" means any local public school corporation established under Indiana law and, in the case of public vocational schools or schools for children with disabilities established or maintained by two (2) or more school corporations, shall refer to such schools.
(b) "Governing body"
shall mean: means:
(1) the board or commission charged by law with the responsibility of administering the affairs of the school corporation; or
(2) the body that administers a charter school established under IC 20-5.5.
(c) "School employer" means:
(1) the governing body of each:
(A) school corporation; or
(B) charter school established under IC 20-5.5; and
(2) any person or persons authorized to act for the governing body of the school employer in dealing with its employees.
(d) "Superintendent" shall mean:
(1) the chief administrative officer of any:
(A) school corporation; or
(B) charter school established under IC 20-5.5; or
(2) any person or persons designated by the officer or by the governing body to act in the officer's behalf in dealing with school employees.
(e) "School employee" means any full-time certificated person in the employment of the school employer. A school employee shall be considered full time even though the employee does not work during school vacation periods, and accordingly works less than a full year. There shall be excluded from the meaning of school employee supervisors, confidential employees, employees performing security
work and noncertificated employees.
(f) "Certificated employee" means a person:
(1) whose contract with the school corporation requires that
the person hold a license or permit from the state board of
education or a commission thereof as provided in IC 20-6.1; or
(2) employed as a teacher by a charter school established under IC 20-5.5.
(g) "Noncertificated employee" means any school employee whose employment is not dependent upon the holding of a license or permit as provided in IC 20-6.1.
(h) "Supervisor" means any individual who has:
(1) authority, acting for the school corporation, to hire, transfer, suspend, lay off, recall, promote, discharge, assign, reward, or discipline school employees;
(2) responsibility to direct school employees and adjust their grievances; or
(3) responsibility to effectively recommend the action described in
subsections subdivisions (1) through (2);
that is not of a merely routine or clerical nature but requires the use of independent judgment. The term includes superintendents, assistant superintendents, business managers and supervisors, directors with school corporation-wide responsibilities, principals and vice principals, and department heads who have responsibility for evaluating teachers.
(i) "Confidential employee" means a school employee whose unrestricted access to confidential personnel files or whose functional responsibilities or knowledge in connection with the issues involved in dealings between the school corporation and its employees would make the confidential employee's membership in a school employee organization incompatible with the employee's official duties.
(j) "Employees performing security work" means any school employee whose primary responsibility is the protection of personal and real property owned or leased by the school corporation or who performs police or quasi-police powers.
(k) "School employee organization" means any organization which has school employees as members and one (1) of whose primary purposes is representing school employees in dealing with their school employer, and includes any person or persons authorized to act on behalf of such organizations.
(l) "Exclusive representative" means the school employee organization which has been certified for the purposes of this chapter by the board or recognized by a school employer as the exclusive representative of the employees in an appropriate unit as provided in
section 10 of this chapter, or the person or persons duly authorized to
act on behalf of such representative.
(m) "Board" means the Indiana education employment relations board provided by this chapter.
(n) "Bargain collectively" means the performance of the mutual obligation of the school employer and the exclusive representative to meet at reasonable times to negotiate in good faith with respect to items enumerated in section 4 of this chapter and to execute a written contract incorporating any agreement relating to such matters. Such obligation shall not include the final approval of any contract concerning these or any other items. Agreements reached through collective bargaining are binding as a contract only if ratified by the governing body of the school corporation and the exclusive representative. The obligation to bargain collectively does not require the school employer or the exclusive representative to agree to a proposal of the other or to make a concession to the other.
(o) "Discuss" means the performance of the mutual obligation of the school corporation through its superintendent and the exclusive representative to meet at reasonable times to discuss, to provide meaningful input, or to exchange points of view, with respect to items enumerated in section 5 of this chapter. This obligation shall not, however, require either party to enter into a contract, to agree to a proposal, or to require the making of a concession. A failure to reach an agreement on any matter of discussion shall not require the use of any part of the impasse procedure, as provided in section 13 of this chapter. Neither the obligation to bargain collectively nor to discuss any matter shall prevent any school employee from petitioning the school employer, the governing body, or the superintendent for a redress of the employee's grievances either individually or through the exclusive representative, nor shall either such obligation prevent the school employer or the superintendent from conferring with any citizen, taxpayer, student, school employee, or other person considering the operation of the schools and the school corporation.
(p) "Strike" means concerted failure to report for duty, willful absence from one's position, stoppage of work, or abstinence in whole or in part from the full, faithful, and proper performance of the duties of employment, without the lawful approval of the school employer, or in any concerted manner interfering with the operation of the school employer for any purpose.
(q) "Deficit financing" with respect to any budget year shall mean expenditures in excess of money legally available to the employer.
SECTION 3. An emergency is declared for this act.