February 15, 2013





HOUSE BILL No. 1358

_____


DIGEST OF HB 1358 (Updated February 12, 2013 1:23 pm - DI 116)



Citations Affected: IC 20-24; IC 20-52; IC 36-1.5.

Synopsis: Parental initiatives for school reorganization. Establishes the following parental initiatives for school reorganization of low performing schools: (1) The conversion of an existing public school into a charter school. (2) A petition to have the state board of education consider intervention and establish a lead partner to support the operation of the school. (3). The transfer of the operation of a charter school to the school corporation in which the charter school is located. Repeals current provisions concerning the conversion of existing public schools into charter schools.

Effective: July 1, 2013.





Huston, Behning




    January 22, 2013, read first time and referred to Committee on Education.
    February 14, 2013, amended, reported _ Do Pass.






February 15, 2013

First Regular Session 118th General Assembly (2013)


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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HOUSE BILL No. 1358



    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 20-24-1-5; (13)HB1358.1.1. -->     SECTION 1. IC 20-24-1-5, AS ADDED BY P.L.1-2005, SECTION 8, IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2013]: Sec. 5. "Conversion charter school" means a charter school established under IC 20-24-11 IC 20-52-3 by the conversion of an existing school into a charter school. The term includes a new school to which students from other schools in the school corporation are assigned or transferred.
SOURCE: IC 20-24-5-5; (13)HB1358.1.2. -->     SECTION 2. IC 20-24-5-5, AS AMENDED BY P.L.91-2011, SECTION 15, IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2013]: Sec. 5. (a) Except as provided in subsections (b), (c), and (d), a charter school must enroll any eligible student who submits a timely application for enrollment.
    (b) This subsection applies if the number of applications for a program, class, grade level, or building exceeds the capacity of the program, class, grade level, or building. If a charter school receives a greater number of applications than there are spaces for students, each timely applicant must be given an equal chance of admission. The

organizer must determine which of the applicants will be admitted to the charter school or the program, class, grade level, or building by random drawing in a public meeting.
    (c) A charter school may limit new admissions to the charter school to:
        (1) ensure that a student who attends the charter school during a school year may continue to attend the charter 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 20-24-11. IC 20-52-3. During the school year in which the existing school converts to a charter school, the charter school may limit admission 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).

SOURCE: IC 20-24-11; (13)HB1358.1.3. -->     SECTION 3. IC 20-24-11 IS REPEALED [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2013]. (Conversion of Existing Public Schools Into Charter Schools).
SOURCE: IC 20-52; (13)HB1358.1.4. -->     SECTION 4. IC 20-52 IS ADDED TO THE INDIANA CODE AS A NEW ARTICLE TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2013]:
     ARTICLE 52. PARENTAL INITIATIVES FOR SCHOOL REORGANIZATION
    Chapter 1. Application
    Sec. 1. This article applies if, in the second or a subsequent year after initial placement in either of the two (2) lowest categories or designations under IC 20-31-9, a school remains in either of the two (2) lowest categories or designations.
    Chapter 2. Definitions
    Sec. 1. The definitions in this chapter apply throughout this article.
    Sec. 2. The definitions in IC 20-24-1 apply throughout this article.
    Sec. 3. "Designated school" refers to a school to which this article applies.
    Sec. 4. "Household" means a unit consisting of a student who attends a designated school and a parent of the student.
    Sec. 5. "Lead partner" means an organization that employs research based strategies to yield demonstrable and sustainable results.
    Chapter 3. Low Performing Schools; Parental Options
    Sec. 1. This chapter does not apply to an existing public elementary or secondary school, including a charter school,
that has been scheduled for closure by the governing body of the charter school or the school corporation in which the school is located.
    Sec. 2. (a) This section does not apply to a designated school that is a charter school.

     (b) An existing public elementary or secondary school that is a designated school may be converted into a charter school if:
        (1) the parents of at least fifty-one percent (51%) of the number of students who attend the designated school have signed a petition requesting the conversion; or
        (2) the governing body votes to convert an existing school within the school corporation.
    (c) The parents of at least fifty-one percent (51%) of the number of students who attend a designated school may petition the state board to place the school immediately under IC 20-31-9-4 and have the school supported by a lead partner.
    Sec. 3. (a) This section applies to a designated school that is a charter school.
    (b) An existing charter school that is a designated school may be transferred to the school corporation whose attendance area includes the location of the charter school that is a designated school. The charter school that is a designated school may be transferred to the school corporation if the parents of at least fifty-one percent (51%) of the number of students who attend the designated school have signed a petition requesting the transfer.
    Sec. 4. A petition under this chapter must satisfy the requirements set forth in IC 20-52-4.
    Chapter 4. Parental Petitions

    Sec. 1. A petition under IC 20-52-3-2 must satisfy the following requirements:
        (1) The petition must state which reorganization option the petitioners seek.
        (2) A petition for conversion into a charter school:
            (A) may include the name of a specific, existing charter school operator that proposes to operate the school and completed charter applications for the school; or
            (B) may be circulated without the name of a specific charter school operator. If the petition is circulated without the name of a charter school operator, a proposed charter school operator must be selected not later than

ninety (90) days after the petition is submitted to the state board for approval under section 4 of this chapter.
        The proposed charter school operator may be a group of parents.
        (3) A petition for operation of the school by a lead partner:
            (A) may include the name of a specific external education intervention organization that seeks to be a lead partner for the school and a proposal from the organization; or
            (B) may be circulated without the name of a specific proposed lead partner. If the petition is circulated without the name of a proposed lead partner, the lead partner must be selected not later than ninety (90) days after the petition is submitted to the state board for approval under section 4 of this chapter.
        (4) The petition may be signed only by a parent in a household and by only one (1) parent.
        (5) A parent in a household may sign the petition the number of times that equals the number of students who reside in the household and attend the designated school.
        (6) Each signature must include the signer's printed name and address.
        (7) A petition must include the requisite signatures specified in IC 20-52-3-2.
        (8) A completed petition containing the requisite signatures acquired must be submitted to the governing body. For purposes of determining the number of valid signatures required to implement the reorganization options under IC 20-52-3, the total number of students considered to be enrolled at the school is the number of student population on the date on which the petition is submitted to the governing body.
    Sec. 2. (a) A parent may not be harassed, threatened, or otherwise intimidated when circulating a petition, signing a petition, or refusing to sign a petition.
    (b) The resources of the designated school or the school corporation may not be used to support or oppose a petition.
    Sec. 3. (a) This subsection does not apply to the transfer of the operation of charter school that is a designated school to a school corporation. After the governing body receives a completed petition containing the requisite signatures, the governing body shall deliver the petition and the roster of students who attend the designated school, including the addresses and the names of the

parents of the students, to the state board. The state board shall verify:
        (1) each signature as being that of a parent in a household; and
        (2) that the number of times an adult member signed the petition does not exceed the number of students in the household who attend the designated school.
    (b) This subsection applies to the transfer of the operation of a charter school that is a designated school to a school corporation. The group circulating the petition must submit the petition to the governing body of the charter school that is a designated school. The governing body of the charter school shall deliver the petition and the roster of students who attend the charter school that is a designated school, including the adresses and the names of the parents of the students, to the state board. The state board shall verify:
        (1) each signature as being that of a parent in a household; and
        (2) that the number of times an adult member signed the petition does not exceed the number of students in the household who attend the charter school that is a designated school.
    (c) In verifying signatures under subsections (a) and (b), the state board shall accept a signature if the intent of the parent to sign can be determined.
    (d) If, after verification under subsections (a) and (b), the number of verified signatures falls below fifty-one percent (51%) of the number of students in the designated school, the group circulating the petition must be given an additional thirty (30) days to collect additional signatures and return the modified petition to the state board.
    Sec. 4. (a) If a petition that has been verified under section 3 of this chapter contains a number of signatures equal to at least fifty-one percent (51%) of the number of students in the designated school, the state board shall approve or deny the petition.
    (b) The state board shall maintain accurate records of each petition submitted under this chapter.
    (c) The state board may deny a petition if the petition has been submitted for a reason other than academic improvement or student safety.
    Chapter 5. Conversion to a Charter School
    Sec. 1. (a) After the state board has approved a petition to

convert a designated school to a charter school under IC 20-52-4-4, the charter school operator selected by the petitioning group must obtain a sponsor that approves the charter application.
    (b) If parents successfully complete a petition for a designated school that has been placed in either of the two (2) lowest categories or designations under IC 20-31-8-4 for four (4) consecutive years, the governing body may not serve as that charter school's sponsor.
    Sec. 2. Unless the petition specifies otherwise or the state board specifies a different date, the conversion of a designated school to a charter school becomes effective on the first day of the school year that begins in the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the petition was approved.
    Sec. 3. The school corporation in which the conversion charter school is located shall share all student records for the designated school with the charter school operator.
    Sec. 4. (a) A conversion charter school shall accept all students who attended the conversion charter school before its conversion and who wish to attend the conversion charter school.
    (b) Students who attended the conversion charter school before the school's conversion and who do not wish to attend the conversion charter school shall be assigned to other schools operated by the school corporation.
    Sec. 5. IC 20-24 applies to the operation of a conversion charter school.
    Chapter 6. Operation with a Lead Partner
    Sec. 1.
Unless the petition specifies otherwise or the state board specifies a different date, the operation of a designated school with the support of a lead partner becomes effective on the first day of the school year that begins in the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the petition was approved.
     Sec. 2. The school corporation in which the designated school is located shall share all student records for the designated school with the lead partner.
    Sec. 3. The lead partner shall:
        (1) hold regular community meetings, of which notice must be given throughout the school corporation, to report on the school's operation; and
        (2) issue at least two (2) reports of school progress each school year.
    Chapter 7. Transfer of the Operation of a Charter School
    Sec. 1. (a) After the state board has approved a petition to

transfer the operation of a charter school that is a designated school to the school corporation whose attendance area includes the location of the charter school that is a designated school:
        (1) notwithstanding any other law, the charter of the designated school is revoked on the date established in section 2 of this chapter;
        (2) the charter school that is a designated school and the governing body of the school corporation shall work together to resolve issues relating to the transfer of the operation of the school; and
        (3) unless the governing body of the school corporation and the charter school otherwise agree, the governing body of the school corporation whose attendance area includes the location of the charter school must offer to purchase the charter school that is a designated school, and the amount of the offer must include:
            (A) a debt relating to the charter school that is authorized by the state board under IC 20-52-8-1; and
            (B) either:
                (i) for a school building obtained by a charter school under IC 20-26-7-1, the costs for improvements made by the charter school that is a designated school to the school building, determined in the manner prescribed by the state board; or
                (ii) for a school building that was not obtained by a charter school under IC 20-26-7-1, the value of the school building based upon an appraisal of the property.
    (b) If the charter school that is a designated school refuses the offer to purchase the school building under subsection (a), the governing body of the school corporation shall provide educational service to the students of the charter school at a location determined by the governing body of the school corporation.
    Sec. 2. Unless the petition specifies otherwise or the state board specifies a different date, the transfer of the operation of a charter school that is a designated school to a school corporation becomes effective on the first day of the school year that begins in the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the petition was approved.
    Sec. 3. The charter school that is a designated school shall share all student records with the school corporation to which the operation of the school has been transferred.
    Sec. 4. (a) A conversion charter school shall accept all students

who attended the school before its conversion and who wish to attend the conversion charter school.
    (b) Students who attended the conversion charter school before the school's conversion and who do not wish to attend the conversion charter school shall be assigned to other schools operated by the school corporation.
    Chapter 8. Rules
    Sec. 1. The state board shall adopt rules under IC 4-22-2 and may adopt emergency rules in the manner provided under IC 4-22-2-37.1 to carry out this article. Rules adopted under this section must include the following:
        (1) Formats for petitions.
        (2) Petition submission requirements.
        (3) Petition signature verification processes and requirements.
        (4) Qualifications for conversion charter school operators and lead partners.
        (5) Reporting requirements to the state board and communities for conversion charter school operators and lead partners.

         (6) Requirements for the transfer of the operation of a charter school that is a designated school to a school corporation, including the types of debts that a school corporation must include in an offer to purchase a charter school building under IC 20-52-7-1.

SOURCE: IC 36-1.5-4-7; (13)HB1358.1.5. -->     SECTION 5. IC 36-1.5-4-7, AS AMENDED BY P.L.26-2012, SECTION 1, IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2013]: Sec. 7. (a) In the year before the year in which the participating political subdivisions are reorganized under this chapter:
        (1) subject to subsection (b), the fiscal bodies of the reorganizing political subdivisions shall, in the manner provided by IC 6-1.1-17, adopt tax levies, tax rates, and a budget for the reorganized political subdivision either through the adoption of substantially identical resolutions adopted by each of the fiscal bodies or, if authorized in the plan of reorganization, through a joint board established under an agreement of the fiscal bodies on which the members of each of the fiscal bodies are represented; and
        (2) if the reorganized political subdivision will have elected offices and different election districts than any of the reorganizing political subdivisions, the legislative bodies of the reorganizing political subdivisions shall establish the election districts either through the adoption of substantially identical resolutions adopted

by each of the legislative bodies or, if authorized in the plan of reorganization, through a joint board established under an agreement of the legislative bodies on which the members of each of the legislative bodies are represented.
    (b) This subsection applies to two (2) or more school corporations that participate in a reorganization in which the voters approve a plan of reorganization in a general election and the plan of reorganization provides for the reorganization to become effective for property taxes first due and payable in the immediately following calendar year. The participating school corporations may publish notices, hold public hearings, and take final action for the adoption of property tax levies, property tax rates, and a budget for the reorganized school corporation after the voters approve the plan of reorganization. The alternative schedule must comply with the following:
        (1) Each participating school corporation shall give notice by publication to taxpayers of:
            (A) the estimated budget;
            (B) the estimated maximum permissible levy;
            (C) the current and proposed tax levies of each fund; and
            (D) the amounts of excessive levy appeals to be requested;
        for the ensuing year. The notice must be published twice in accordance with IC 5-3-1 with the first publication at least ten (10) days before the date fixed for the public hearing and with the last publication not later than November 24 of the year the public question is approved by the voters.
        (2) Each participating school corporation must conduct a public hearing on the proposed tax levies, tax rates, and budget at least ten (10) days before the date the participating school corporation adopts the proposed tax levies, tax rates, and budget.
        (3) The governing body of each participating school corporation must meet to fix the tax levies, tax rates, and budget for the ensuing year before December 6 of the year the public question is approved by the voters.
        (4) The county auditor shall certify the adopted property tax levies, property tax rates, and budget for the reorganized school corporation to the department of local government finance before December 8 in the year in which the public question is approved by the voters.
The department of local government finance may adjust any other applicable time limit specified in IC 6-1.1-17 to be consistent with this section. However, the department of local government finance is expressly directed to complete the duties assigned to it under

IC 6-1.1-17-16 with respect to the submitted property tax levies, property tax rates, and budget not later than February 15 in the ensuing year.
    (c) If a school is converted into a charter school under IC 20-24-11, IC 20-52-5, the charter school must, before December 1 of each year, publish its estimated annual budget for the ensuing year in accordance with IC 5-3-1.