BILL NUMBER: AB 401	INTRODUCED
	BILL TEXT


INTRODUCED BY   Assembly Member Ammiano

                        FEBRUARY 14, 2011

   An act to amend Section 47605 of, to add Section 47604.2 to, and
to add and repeal Section 47602.1 of, the Education Code, relating to
charter schools.



	LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


   AB 401, as introduced, Ammiano. Charter schools.
   The Charter Schools Act of 1992 authorizes any one or more persons
to submit a petition to the governing board of a school district to
establish a charter school that operates independently from the
existing school district structure as a method of accomplishing
specified goals. The act limits the maximum number of charter schools
authorized to operate in the 1998-99 school year to 250, and
authorizes an additional 100 charter schools to operate in each year
thereafter.
   This bill would limit, until January 1, 2017, the maximum total
number of charter schools authorized to operate in the state to
1,450. The bill would prohibit charter schools operated by a private
entity from employing relatives of charter school personnel, as
specified.
   The Charter Schools Act of 1992 specifies the procedures for the
submission, review, and approval or denial of a petition to establish
a standard charter school. The act authorizes the governing board of
a school district or a county board of education to deny a charter
petition if the board makes written factual findings that demonstrate
that the petition does not meet certain criteria.
   This bill would add an additional criterion relating to the
disclosure of relatives of charter school personnel, as specified.
   Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: no.
State-mandated local program: no.


THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  SECTION 1.  Section 47602.1 is added to the Education Code, to
read:
   47602.1.  (a) Notwithstanding subdivision (a) of Section 47602, in
the 2012-13 school year, and in each successive school year
thereafter, the maximum total number of charter schools authorized to
operate in this state shall be 1,450. No more than 10 percent of the
schools in a school district may be charter schools. After this
limit is reached, the governing board of the school district shall
not approve additional charter petitions. If the number of charter
schools in a school district exceeds this limit on July 1, 2012,
those charter schools may continue to operate but the governing board
of the school district shall not approve any other charter
petitions.
   (b)  This section shall remain in effect only until December 31,
2022, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted
statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2023, deletes or extends
that date.
  SEC. 2.  Section 47604.2 is added to the Education Code, to read:
   47604.2.  (a) This section applies to charter school personnel in
a charter school operated by a private entity. The following
definitions apply for purposes of this section:
   (1) "Charter school personnel" means a charter school owner,
president, chairperson of the governing body, superintendent,
governing body member, principal, assistant principal, or any other
person employed by the charter school who has equivalent
decisionmaking authority and in whom is vested the authority, or to
whom the authority is delegated, to appoint, employ, promote, or
advance persons or to recommend persons for appointment, employment,
promotion, or advancement in connection with employment in a charter
school, including the authority as a member of a governing body of a
charter school to vote on the appointment, employment, promotion, or
advancement of persons.
   (2) "Relative" means a parent, child, sibling, uncle, aunt, first
cousin, nephew, niece, spouse, father-in-law, mother-in-law,
son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law,
stepparent, stepsibling, stepchild, half brother, or half sister.
   (b) Charter school personnel shall not appoint, employ, promote,
or advance, or advocate for appointment, employment, promotion, or
advancement, in or to a position in the charter school in which the
charter school personnel are serving or over which the charter school
personnel exercise jurisdiction or control, any relative. A person
shall not be appointed, employed, promoted, or advanced in or to a
position in a charter school if the appointment, employment,
promotion, or advancement is advocated by charter school personnel
who serve in or exercise jurisdiction or control over the charter
school and who is a relative of the person or if the appointment,
employment, promotion, or advancement is made by the governing body
of which a relative of the person is a member.
   (c) For purposes of subdivision (b), a position in a charter
school includes contracts for services for the benefit of the charter
school.
   (d) The approval of budgets does not constitute "jurisdiction or
control" for purposes of subdivision (b).
  SEC. 3.  Section 47605 of the Education Code is amended to read:
   47605.  (a) (1) Except as set forth in paragraph (2), a petition
for the establishment of a charter school within a school district
may be circulated by one or more persons seeking to establish the
charter school. A petition for the establishment of a charter school
shall identify a single charter school that will operate within the
geographic boundaries of that school district. A charter school may
propose to operate at multiple sites within the school district
 , as long as   if  each location is
identified in the charter school petition. The petition may be
submitted to the governing board of the school district for review
after either of the following conditions are met:
   (A) The petition  has been   is  signed
by a number of parents or legal guardians of pupils that is
equivalent to at least one-half of the number of pupils that the
charter school estimates will enroll in the school for its first year
of operation.
   (B) The petition  has been   is  signed
by a number of teachers that is equivalent to at least one-half of
the number of teachers that the charter school estimates will be
employed at the school during its first year of operation.
   (2) A petition that proposes to convert an existing public school
to a charter school that would not be eligible for a loan pursuant to
subdivision (b) of Section 41365 may be circulated by one or more
persons seeking to establish the charter school. The petition may be
submitted to the governing board of the school district for review
after the petition  has been   is  signed
by not less than 50 percent of the permanent status teachers
currently employed at the public school to be converted.
   (3) A petition shall include a prominent statement that a
signature on the petition means that the parent or legal guardian is
meaningfully interested in having his or her child or ward attend the
charter school, or in the case of a teacher's signature, means that
the teacher is meaningfully interested in teaching at the charter
school. The proposed charter shall be attached to the petition.
   (4) After receiving approval of its petition, a charter school
that proposes to establish operations at one or more additional sites
shall request a material revision to its charter and shall notify
the authority that granted its charter of those additional locations.
The authority that granted its charter shall consider whether to
approve those additional locations at an open, public meeting. If the
additional locations are approved, they shall be a material revision
to the charter school's charter.
   (5) A charter school that is unable to locate within the
jurisdiction of the chartering school district may establish one site
outside the boundaries of the school district, but within the county
in which that school district is located, if the school district
within the jurisdiction of which the charter school proposes to
operate is notified in advance of the charter petition approval, the
county superintendent of schools and the Superintendent are notified
of the location of the charter school before it commences operations,
and either of the following circumstances exist:
   (A) The school has attempted to locate a single site or facility
to house the entire program, but a site or facility is unavailable in
the area in which the school chooses to locate.
   (B) The site is needed for temporary use during a construction or
expansion project.
   (6)  Commencing January 1, 2003, a   A 
  petition to establish a charter school may not be approved
to serve pupils in a grade level that is not served by the school
district of the governing board considering the petition, unless the
petition proposes to serve pupils in all of the grade levels served
by that school district.
   (b) No later than 30 days after receiving a petition, in
accordance with subdivision (a), the governing board of the school
district shall hold a public hearing on the provisions of the
charter, at which time the governing board of the school district
shall consider the level of support for the petition by teachers
employed by the district, other employees of the district, and
parents. Following review of the petition and the public hearing, the
governing board of the school district shall either grant or deny
the charter within 60 days of receipt of the petition, provided,
however, that the date may be extended by an additional 30 days if
both parties agree to the extension. In reviewing petitions for the
establishment of charter schools pursuant to this section, the
chartering authority shall be guided by the intent of the Legislature
that charter schools are and should become an integral part of the
California educational system and that establishment of charter
schools should be encouraged. The governing board of the school
district shall grant a charter for the operation of a school under
this part if it is satisfied that granting the charter is consistent
with sound educational practice. The governing board of the school
district shall not deny a petition for the establishment of a charter
school unless it makes written factual findings, specific to the
particular petition, setting forth specific facts to support one or
more of the following findings:
   (1) The charter school presents an unsound educational program for
the pupils to be enrolled in the charter school.
   (2) The petitioners are demonstrably unlikely to successfully
implement the program set forth in the petition.
   (3) The petition does not contain the number of signatures
required by subdivision (a).
   (4) The petition does not contain an affirmation of each of the
conditions described in subdivision (d).
   (5) The petition does not contain reasonably comprehensive
descriptions of all of the following:
   (A) (i) A description of the educational program of the school,
designed, among other things, to identify those whom the school is
attempting to educate, what it means to be an "educated person" in
the 21st century, and how learning best occurs. The goals identified
in that program shall include the objective of enabling pupils to
become self-motivated, competent, and lifelong learners.
   (ii) If the proposed school will serve high school pupils, a
description of the manner in which the charter school will inform
parents about the transferability of courses to other public high
schools and the eligibility of courses to meet college entrance
requirements. Courses offered by the charter school that are
accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges may be
considered transferable and courses approved by the University of
California or the California State University as creditable under the
"A" to "G" admissions criteria may be considered to meet college
entrance requirements.
   (B) The measurable pupil outcomes identified for use by the
charter school. "Pupil outcomes," for purposes of this part, means
the extent to which all pupils of the school demonstrate that they
have attained the skills, knowledge, and attitudes specified as goals
in the school's educational program.
   (C) The method by which pupil progress in meeting those pupil
outcomes is to be measured.
   (D) The governance structure of the school, including, but not
limited to, the process to be followed by the school to ensure
parental involvement.
   (E) The qualifications to be met by individuals to be employed by
the school.
   (F) The procedures that the school will follow to ensure the
health and safety of pupils and staff. These procedures shall include
the requirement that each employee of the school furnish the school
with a criminal record summary as described in Section 44237.
   (G) The means by which the school will achieve a racial and ethnic
balance among its pupils that is reflective of the general
population residing within the territorial jurisdiction of the school
district to which the charter petition is submitted.
   (H) Admission requirements, if applicable.
   (I) The manner in which annual, independent financial audits shall
be conducted, which shall employ generally accepted accounting
principles, and the manner in which audit exceptions and deficiencies
shall be resolved to the satisfaction of the chartering authority.
   (J) The procedures by which pupils can be suspended or expelled.
   (K) The manner by which staff members of the charter schools will
be covered by the State Teachers' Retirement System, the Public
Employees' Retirement System, or federal social security.
   (L) The public school attendance alternatives for pupils residing
within the school district who choose not to attend charter schools.
   (M) A description of the rights of any employee of the school
district upon leaving the employment of the school district to work
in a charter school, and of any rights of return to the school
district after employment at a charter school.
   (N) The procedures to be followed by the charter school and the
entity granting the charter to resolve disputes relating to
provisions of the charter.
   (O) A declaration whether or not the charter school shall be
deemed the exclusive public school employer of the employees of the
charter school for the purposes of Chapter 10.7 (commencing with
Section 3540) of Division 4 of Title 1 of the Government Code.
   (P) A description of the procedures to be used if the charter
school closes. The procedures shall ensure a final audit of the
school to determine the disposition of all assets and liabilities of
the charter school, including plans for disposing of any net assets
and for the maintenance and transfer of pupil records. 
   (Q) Full disclosure of the identity of each person who is employed
or plans to be employed by the charter school and who is a relative
of the charter school owner, president, chairperson of the governing
body, superintendent, governing body member, principal, assistant
principal, or any other person employed by the charter school who has
equivalent decisionmaking authority. For purposes of this
subparagraph, the term "relative". For purposes of this subparagraph,
a position in a charter school includes a contract for services for
the benefit of the charter school. 
   (c) (1) Charter schools shall meet all statewide standards and
conduct the pupil assessments required pursuant to Sections 60605 and
60851 and any other statewide standards authorized in statute or
pupil assessments applicable to pupils in noncharter public schools.
   (2) Charter schools shall  consult  , on a regular basis,
 consult  with their parents, legal guardians, and
teachers regarding the school's educational programs.
   (d) (1) In addition to any other requirement imposed under this
part, a charter school shall be nonsectarian in its programs,
admission policies, employment practices, and all other operations,
shall not charge tuition, and shall not discriminate against any
pupil on the basis of the characteristics listed in Section 220.
Except as provided in paragraph (2), admission to a charter school
shall not be determined according to the place of residence of the
pupil, or of his or her parent or legal guardian, within this state,
except that an existing public school converting partially or
entirely to a charter school under this part shall adopt and maintain
a policy giving admission preference to pupils who reside within the
former attendance area of that public school.
   (2) (A) A charter school shall admit all pupils who wish to attend
the school.
   (B)  However, if   If  the number of
pupils who wish to attend the charter school exceeds the school's
capacity, attendance, except for existing pupils of the charter
school, shall be determined by a public random drawing. Preference
shall be extended to pupils currently attending the charter school
and pupils who reside in the district except as provided for in
Section 47614.5. Other preferences may be permitted by the chartering
authority on an individual school basis and only if consistent with
the law.
   (C) In the event of a drawing, the chartering authority shall make
reasonable efforts to accommodate the growth of the charter school
and in no event shall take any action to impede the charter school
from expanding enrollment to meet pupil demand.
   (3) If a pupil is expelled or leaves the charter school without
graduating or completing the school year for any reason, the charter
school shall notify the superintendent of the school district of the
pupil's last known address within 30 days, and shall, upon request,
provide that school district with a copy of the cumulative record of
the pupil, including a transcript of grades or report card, and
health information. This paragraph applies only to pupils subject to
compulsory full-time education pursuant to Section 48200.
   (e) The governing board of a school district shall not require any
employee of the school district to be employed in a charter school.
   (f) The governing board of a school district shall not require any
pupil enrolled in the school district to attend a charter school.
   (g) The governing board of a school district shall require that
the petitioner or petitioners provide information regarding the
proposed operation and potential effects of the school, including,
but not limited to, the facilities to be utilized by the school, the
manner in which administrative services of the school are to be
provided, and potential civil liability effects, if any, upon the
school and upon the school district. The description of the
facilities to be used by the charter school shall specify where the
school intends to locate. The petitioner or petitioners 
shall  also  shall  be required to provide
financial statements that include a proposed first-year operational
budget, including startup costs, and cashflow and financial
projections for the first three years of operation.
   (h) In reviewing petitions for the establishment of charter
schools within the school district, the governing board of the school
district shall give preference to petitions that demonstrate the
capability to provide comprehensive learning experiences to pupils
identified by the petitioner or petitioners as academically low
achieving pursuant to the standards established by the department
under Section 54032 as it read prior to July 19, 2006.
   (i) Upon the approval of the petition by the governing board of
the school district, the petitioner or petitioners shall provide
written notice of that approval, including a copy of the petition, to
the applicable county superintendent of schools, the department, and
the state board.
   (j) (1) If the governing board of a school district denies a
petition, the petitioner may elect to submit the petition for the
establishment of a charter school to the county board of education.
The county board of education shall review the petition pursuant to
subdivision (b). If the petitioner elects to submit a petition for
establishment of a charter school to the county board of education
and the county board of education denies the petition, the petitioner
may file a petition for establishment of a charter school with the
state board, and the state board may approve the petition, in
accordance with subdivision (b). A charter school that receives
approval of its petition from a county board of education or from the
state board on appeal shall be subject to the same requirements
concerning geographic location to which it would otherwise be subject
if it received approval from the entity to which it originally
submitted its petition. A charter petition that is submitted to
either a county board of education or to the state board shall meet
all otherwise applicable petition requirements, including the
identification of the proposed site or sites where the charter school
will operate.
   (2) In assuming its role as a chartering agency, the state board
shall develop criteria to be used for the review and approval of
charter school petitions presented to the state board. The criteria
shall address all elements required for charter approval, as
identified in subdivision (b) and shall define "reasonably
comprehensive" as used in paragraph (5) of subdivision (b) in a way
that is consistent with the intent of this part. Upon satisfactory
completion of the criteria, the state board shall adopt the criteria
on or before June 30, 2001.
   (3) A charter school for which a charter is granted by either the
county board of education or the state board based on an appeal
pursuant to this subdivision shall qualify fully as a charter school
for all funding and other purposes of this part.
   (4) If either the county board of education or the state board
fails to act on a petition within 120 days of receipt, the decision
of the governing board of the school district to deny a petition
shall, thereafter, be subject to judicial review.
   (5) The state board shall adopt regulations implementing this
subdivision.
   (6) Upon the approval of the petition by the county board of
education, the petitioner or petitioners shall provide written notice
of that approval, including a copy of the petition to the department
and the state board.
   (k) (1) The state board  may  , by mutual
agreement,  may  designate its supervisorial and oversight
responsibilities for a charter school approved by the state board to
any local educational agency in the county in which the charter
school is located or to the governing board of the school district
that first denied the petition.
   (2) The designated local educational agency shall have all
monitoring and supervising authority of a chartering agency,
including, but not limited to, powers and duties set forth in Section
47607, except the power of revocation, which shall remain with the
state board.
   (3) A charter school that  has been   is
 granted its charter through an appeal to the state board and
elects to seek renewal of its charter shall  , prior to
expiration of the charter,  submit its petition for renewal
 , before the charter expires,  to the governing board of
the school district that initially denied the charter. If the
governing board of the school district denies the school's petition
for renewal, the school may petition the state board for renewal of
its charter.
   (  l  ) Teachers in charter schools shall hold a
Commission on Teacher Credentialing certificate, permit, or other
document equivalent to that which a teacher in other public schools
would be required to hold. These documents shall be maintained on
file at the charter school and are subject to periodic inspection by
the chartering authority. It is the intent of the Legislature that
charter schools be given flexibility with regard to noncore,
noncollege preparatory courses.
   (m) A charter school shall transmit a copy of its annual,
independent financial audit report for the preceding fiscal year, as
described in subparagraph (I) of paragraph (5) of subdivision (b), to
its chartering entity, the Controller, the county superintendent of
schools of the county in which the charter school is sited, unless
the county board of education of the county in which the charter
school is sited is the chartering entity, and the department by
December 15 of each year. This subdivision does not apply if the
audit of the charter school is encompassed in the audit of the
chartering entity pursuant to Section 41020.