February 21, 2007





SENATE BILL No. 548

_____


DIGEST OF SB 548 (Updated February 20, 2007 12:10 pm - DI 113)



Citations Affected: IC 20-20; IC 20-24; IC 20-26; IC 20-35.

Synopsis: Charter schools. Provides that a charter school may receive technology funds. Allows the employees of a charter school to participate in a private pension or retirement benefit program. Provides that a charter school may receive a grant for the operational expenses of the first semester the charter school is in operation or to repay an existing advance from the common school fund. Prohibits a school corporation from making a covenant that unneeded real property may not be sold to another educational institution. Provides that a charter school may provide special education services for a preschool child with a disability in the same manner as other public schools.

Effective: July 1, 2007.





Lubbers, Merritt




    January 23, 2007, read first time and referred to Committee on Education and Career Development.
    February 8, 2007, amended, reported favorably _ Do Pass; reassigned to Committee on Tax and Fiscal Policy.
    February 20, 2007, amended, reported favorably _ Do Pass.






February 21, 2007

First Regular Session 115th General Assembly (2007)


PRINTING CODE. Amendments: Whenever an existing statute (or a section of the Indiana Constitution) is being amended, the text of the existing provision will appear in this style type, additions will appear in this style type, and deletions will appear in this style type.
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SENATE BILL No. 548



    A BILL FOR AN ACT to amend the Indiana Code concerning education.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Indiana:

SOURCE: IC 20-20-13-3; (07)SB0548.2.1. -->     SECTION 1. IC 20-20-13-3, AS ADDED BY P.L.218-2005, SECTION 45, IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2007]: Sec. 3. As used in sections 13 through 24 of this chapter, "school corporation" includes, except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired established by IC 20-21-2-1, and the Indiana School for the Deaf established by IC 20-22-2-1, and a charter school established under IC 20-24.
SOURCE: IC 20-24-6-7; (07)SB0548.2.2. -->     SECTION 2. IC 20-24-6-7, AS AMENDED BY P.L.2-2006, SECTION 105, IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2007]: Sec. 7. (a) A charter school shall may participate in any of the following:
        (1) The Indiana state teachers' retirement fund in accordance with IC 5-10.4.
        (2) The public employees' retirement fund in accordance with IC 5-10.3.
         (3) Another employee pension or retirement fund.
    (b) Except as provided in subsection (e), 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 5-10.4.
    (c) Except as provided in subsection (e), a person who:
        (1) is a local school employee of a charter school; and
        (2) is not eligible to participate in the Indiana state teachers' retirement fund;
is a member of the public employees' retirement fund.
    (d) The boards of the Indiana state teachers' retirement fund and the public employees' retirement fund shall implement this section through the organizer of the charter school, subject to and conditioned upon receiving any approvals either board considers appropriate from the Internal Revenue Service and the United States Department of Labor.
     (e) Charter school employees may participate in a private pension or retirement program, if the organizer of the charter school offers the opportunity to participate in the program.
SOURCE: IC 20-24-12; (07)SB0548.2.3. -->     SECTION 3. IC 20-24-12 IS ADDED TO THE INDIANA CODE AS A NEW CHAPTER TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2007]:
     Chapter 12. Charter School Grant Account
    Sec. 1. As used in this chapter, "account" refers to the charter school grant account established within the state general fund under section 5 of this chapter.
    Sec. 2. As used in this chapter, "charter school" refers to a school established under this article.
    Sec. 3. As used in this chapter, "grant" refers to a grant from the account under this chapter.
    Sec. 4. As used in this chapter, "operational costs" means costs (other than construction costs) incurred by a charter school (other than a conversion charter school) during the second six (6) months of the calendar year in which the charter school begins its initial operation.
    Sec. 5. The charter school grant account is established within the state general fund.
    Sec. 6. The state board shall award grants to charter schools from money appropriated from the account for that purpose by the general assembly. The grants may be used:
        (1) for operational costs; and
        (2) to repay advances made under IC 20-49-7.
    Sec. 7. A charter school that desires to obtain a grant must submit an application to the state board on a form prescribed by

the state board after the state board consults with the department and the budget agency to determine the amount of the grant.
    Sec. 8. Priority of grants for operational costs must be on a basis determined by the state board after consulting with the department and the budget agency.
    Sec. 9. The state board, after consulting with the department and upon approval of the budget agency, shall establish the terms of a grant before the date on which the grant is made.
    Sec. 10. (a) The amount of a grant for operational costs may not exceed the amount determined under STEP THREE of the following formula:
        STEP ONE: Determine the product of:
            (A) the charter school's enrollment reported under IC 20-24-7-2(a); multiplied by
            (B) the target revenue per ADM of the school corporation in which the charter school is located, for any other charter school.
        STEP TWO: Determine the quotient of:
            (A) the STEP ONE amount; divided by
            (B) two (2).
        STEP THREE: Determine the product of:
            (A) the STEP TWO amount; multiplied by
            (B) one and fifteen-hundredths (1.15).

     (b) A charter school that receives a grant for operational costs under this section may not receive an advancement for operational costs under IC 20-49-7.
     Sec. 11. (a) The amount of a grant to repay an advance made under IC 20-49-7 may not exceed the amount that a charter school is required to repay to the charter school advancement account on the date the charter school receives the grant.
    (b) A charter school that receives a grant under this section shall use the grant to repay the charter school's obligation to the charter school account.

SOURCE: IC 20-26-7-1; (07)SB0548.2.4. -->     SECTION 4. IC 20-26-7-1, AS ADDED BY P.L.1-2005, SECTION 10, IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2007]: Sec. 1. (a) If a governing body of a school corporation determines that any real or personal property:
        (1) is no longer needed for school purposes; or
        (2) should, in the interests of the school corporation, be exchanged for other property;
the governing body may sell or exchange the property in accordance with IC 36-1-11.
    (b) Money derived from the sale or exchange of property under this section shall be placed in any school fund:
        (1) established under applicable law; and
        (2) that the governing body considers appropriate.
    (c) A governing body may not make a covenant that prohibits the sale of real property to another educational institution.
SOURCE: IC 20-35-4-9; (07)SB0548.2.5. -->     SECTION 5. IC 20-35-4-9, AS ADDED BY P.L.1-2005, SECTION 19, IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2007]: Sec. 9. (a) The budget agency and the division shall develop a funding mechanism to provide preschool special education. Each school corporation shall provide each preschool child with a disability with an appropriate special education. However, this subsection is applicable only if the general assembly appropriates state funds for preschool special education.
    (b) A school corporation may act:
        (1) individually;
        (2) in a joint school services program with other school corporations as described in section 1 of this chapter; or
        (3) upon approval by the division, through contractual agreements entered into between a school corporation and a qualified public or private agency that serves preschool children with disabilities.
    (c) The state board shall adopt rules under IC 4-22-2 governing the following:
        (1) The extent to which a school corporation may contract with another service provider as permitted under subsection (b).
        (2) The nature of the contracts.
        (3) The approval procedure required of the school corporation under subsection (b).
        (4) Other pertinent matters concerning these agreements.
     (d) A charter school may provide appropriate special education to a preschool child with a disability in the same manner as any other public school.