The Board may authorize an application to establish and operate a charter school within the geographical boundaries (Utah Code § 53A-1a-515). To assist with the Board’s decision whether to approve an application to authorize a charter school and consistent with the guidance provided by the Board, the Board delegates to the District Administration the responsibility for developing procedures to administer the policy for submitting an application to the Board seeking authorization by the Board for establishing and operating a charter school within the geographical boundaries of the District. All charter schools authorized by the Board are required to comply with federal and state laws, rules and regulations, the terms and conditions for the operation of the charter school as set forth in a written charter agreement, and any other agreement entered into with the District.
Consistent with the guidance provided by the Board, the Board further delegates to the District Administration the responsibility for developing procedures to administer the policy for reviewing charter applications of charter schools within the geographical boundaries of the District which do not seek authorization by the Board of Education, but which seek authorization of a charter school from the State Charter School Board (Utah Code § 53A-1a-505).
II. Board Authorization of Charter School Policy
- The Board will consider various factors in considering whether to authorize a charter school application including but not limited to the following potential concerns and benefits.
- Potential Concerns:
- Direct and indirect cost to the District
- Impact on District resources
- Burden and workload on District employees
- Dilution of Board focus
- Consequences of charter failure
- Long-term sustainability
- Financial responsibility
- Perceptions of employees and community
- Indicators of high quality education
2. Potential Benefits:
- Increased high quality opportunities
- Specialized programs/opportunities
- Smaller school and classroom size
- Magnet schools
- Understanding and interacting with charter community
- Potential economic benefit to taxpayers
- Engaging community
- Perceptions of employees and community
- Breaking boundaries
- Application for Authorization by the Board of Education
- Submission of Application for Board Consideration
- An application shall conform to requirements specified by the Utah Charter School Act (Utah Code
- According to the guidance provided by the Board, the District Administration will develop District charter school application procedures which may specify when applications may be submitted for Board consideration and which will specify any information required to be included in a charter application for an application submitted to the Board for its authorization of a charter school within the geographical boundaries of the District, which may include the following:
- the charter school's proposed curriculum, instructional program or delivery methods;
- a method for assessing whether students are reaching academic goals, including, at a minimum, participation in the Utah Performance Assessment System for Students under Chapter 1, Part 6, Achievement Tests;
- a proposed calendar;
- sample policies;
- a description of opportunities for parental involvement;
- a description of the school's administrative, supervisory, or other proposed services that may be obtained through service providers; or
- other information that demonstrates an applicant's ability to establish and operate a charter school.
- According to the guidance provided by the Board, the District Administration will develop District charter school application procedures which will include minimum academic, financial, and enrollment standards and timelines setting forth the when and how an application may be submitted to the Board for its authorization.
- The Board will review and provide written notice of its acceptance or rejection of an application within forty-five (45) days after the application is received by the Board.
- Rejection of Application
- If the Board rejects the application, it shall notify the applicant in writing of the reason for the rejection.
- Upon rejection:
- the applicant may submit a revised application for reconsideration by the Board, or
- the applicant may seek a charter from the State Charter School Board under Utah Code § 53A-1a-505.
- Approval of Application
- If the Board approves the application, the applicant and the Board shall set forth the terms and conditions for the operation of the charter school in a written agreement.
- The charter agreement shall be in compliance with Utah Code § 53A-1a-508.
- The charter agreement will include the authorization period established by the Board.
- The charter agreement may be modified by mutual agreement of the Board and the governing body of the charter school.
- Approval for authorization is conditioned upon the express understanding that the governing body of a charter school, the nonprofit corporation under which the charter school is organized and managed, and the charter school are solely liable for any damages resulting from any legal challenge involving the operation of the charter school. All charter agreements will include an indemnification provision that provides that the governing body, the charter school, and any managing nonprofit corporation will fully indemnify, hold harmless, and defend the Board and District from any claims asserted against them that arise as a result of the operation of the charter school.
- The Board may authorize a charter school for an authorization period up to fifteen (15) years but not less than (3) years before reauthorization must be sought.
- Requests for Authorization by the State Charter School Board
- Application to State Charter School Board
An applicant seeking authorization of a charter school from the State Charter School Board for a charter school located in the District shall provide a copy of the application to the District either before or at the same time it files its application with the State Charter School Board.
- District Feedback
The Board authorizes the District Administration to review the application with the State Charter School Board and offer suggestions or recommendations to the Board. The Board may instruct the Administration on whether to take a position on the application and on what, if any, suggestions or recommendations to then offer the applicant or the State Charter School Board prior to the State Charter School Board acting on the application.
III. Policy Expiration
Unless extended or expressly modified by the Board, this policy will expire on July 31, 2017.