BILL NUMBER: SB 322 INTRODUCED
INTRODUCED BY Senator Leno
FEBRUARY 23, 2015
An act to amend Sections 47605, 47610, and 48925 of, and to add
Section 49068.7 to, the Education Code, relating to charter schools.
LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST
SB 322, as introduced, Leno. Charter schools: pupils: suspension
and expulsion: admissions: departures.
(1) The Charter Schools Act of 1992 permits teachers and parents
to petition the governing board of a school district to approve a
charter school to operate independently from the existing school
district structure as a method of accomplishing, among other things,
improved pupil learning. Existing law exempts charter schools from
the laws governing school districts except those of the Charter
Schools Act, those establishing minimum age for public school
attendance, specified building code regulations, and other specified
Existing law enumerates the acts for which a pupil may be
suspended or expelled from school and sets forth procedures a school
district is required to follow in suspending or expelling a pupil.
This bill would require a charter school to comply with laws
governing school districts relating to the suspension and expulsion
of pupils, thereby imposing a state-mandated local program. The bill
would also make conforming changes.
(2) Existing law prohibits the governing board of a school
district from denying a petition for the establishment of a charter
school unless the governing board of the school district finds that
the petition does not contain specified information, including a
reasonably comprehensive descriptions of certain things, including
admission requirements, if applicable.
This bill would delete admission requirements from the list of
things that a petition is required to have a reasonably comprehensive
(3) Existing law requires, if a pupil is expelled or leaves a
charter school without graduating or completing the school year, the
charter school to notify the superintendent of the school district of
the pupils's last known address within 30 days, and is required to,
upon request, provide the school with certain information, including
This bill would require the charter school to notify the
superintendent of the school district within 10 days of the pupil's
departure and would require the charter school to provide the reason
for the pupil's departure. By imposing additional duties on charter
school officials, the bill would impose a state-mandated local
(4) This bill also would require each school district to draft and
implement a policy to annually collect data about teacher turnover
at each of its schools, and at each charter school it authorizes. By
imposing additional duties on school districts, and to the extent
this would impose additional duties on charter school officials, the
bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The bill would
specify that the data collected shall be subject to the California
Public Records Act.
(5) This bill would state the intent of the Legislature in
enacting its provisions, and would update references and make other
(6) The California Constitution requires local agencies, for the
purpose of ensuring public access to the meetings of public bodies
and the writings of public officials and agencies, to comply with a
statutory enactment that amends or enacts laws relating to public
records or open meetings and contains findings demonstrating that the
enactment furthers the constitutional requirements relating to this
This bill would make legislative findings to that effect.
(7) The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse
local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the
state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that
This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates
determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state,
reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to these
Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes.
State-mandated local program: yes.
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
SECTION 1. It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this
act to do all of the following:
(a) Ensure equal access to interested pupils at charter schools
and prohibit practices that discourage enrollment or
disproportionately push out segments of already enrolled pupils.
(b) Ensure that charter school discipline policies are fair and
(c) Ensure that a pupil's constitutional right to due process is
protected at charter schools.
(d) Consistent with Section 5 of Article IX of the California
Constitution, ensure that charter schools operate within the system
of common schools by remaining "... free, nonsectarian and open to
all students...," as stated in Wilson v. State Board of Education
(1999) 75 Cal.App.4th 1125, 1137-38.
(e) Gather data on pupil and teacher turnover in the charter
SEC. 2. 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 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 is met:
(A) The petition 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
charter school for its first year of operation.
(B) The petition 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 charter
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
(b) (c) 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 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
there shall be a material revision to the charter school's
(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 exists:
(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
(6) Commencing January 1, 2003, a petition to establish a charter
school may shall 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 school district, other employees of the
school 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 the 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
(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
charter school, designed, among other things, to identify those
whom the charter 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) A description, for the charter school, of annual goals, for
all pupils and for each subgroup of pupils identified pursuant to
Section 52052, to be achieved in the state priorities, as described
in subdivision (d) of Section 52060, that apply for the grade levels
served, or the nature of the program operated, by the charter school,
and specific annual actions to achieve those goals. A charter
petition may identify additional school priorities, the goals for the
school priorities, and the specific annual actions to achieve those
(iii) If the proposed charter 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 charter school
demonstrate that they have attained the skills, knowledge, and
attitudes specified as goals in the charter school's
educational program. Pupil outcomes shall include outcomes that
address increases in pupil academic achievement both schoolwide and
for all groups of pupils served by the charter school, as that term
is defined in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) of
Section 47607. The pupil outcomes shall align with the state
priorities, as described in subdivision (d) of Section 52060, that
apply for the grade levels served, or the nature of the program
operated, by the charter school.
(C) The method by which pupil progress in meeting those pupil
outcomes is to be measured. To the extent practicable, the method for
measuring pupil outcomes for state priorities shall be consistent
with the way information is reported on a school accountability
(D) The governance structure of the charter school,
including, but not limited to, the process to be followed by the
charter school to ensure parental involvement.
(E) The qualifications to be met by individuals to be employed by
the charter school.
(F) The procedures that the charter school will follow
to ensure the health and safety of pupils and staff. These procedures
shall include the requirement that each employee of the charter
school furnish the school it
with a criminal record summary as described in Section 44237.
(G) The means by which the charter 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.
(H) 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
(I) The procedures by which pupils can be suspended or
(J) 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.
(K) The public school attendance alternatives for
pupils residing within the school district who choose not to attend
(L) A description of the rights of any
an 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.
(M) The procedures to be followed by the charter school
and the entity granting the charter to resolve disputes relating to
provisions of the charter.
(N) A declaration of whether or not the
charter school shall be deemed the exclusive public school employer
of the employees of the charter school for purposes of Chapter 10.7
(commencing with Section 3540) of Division 4 of Title 1 of the
(O) A description of the procedures to be used if the
charter school closes. The procedures shall ensure a final audit of
the charter 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
(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, on a regular basis, consult with their
parents, legal guardians, and teachers regarding the charter
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 a 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
(2) (A) A charter school shall admit all pupils who wish to attend
the charter school.
(B) If the number of pupils who wish to attend the charter school
exceeds the charter 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
school 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, 10 days and shall 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. health information, and the
reason for the pupil's departure. This paragraph applies only
to pupils subject to compulsory full-time education pursuant to
(e) The governing board of a school district shall not require
any an employee of the school district
to be employed in a charter school.
(f) The governing board of a school district shall not require
any a 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 charter
school, including, but not limited to, the facilities to be used by
the charter school, the manner in which administrative
services of the charter school are to be provided, and
potential civil liability effects, if any, upon the charter
school and upon the school district. The description of the
facilities to be used by the charter school shall specify where the
charter school intends to locate. The petitioner or
petitioners also shall also 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 before 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
(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" comprehensive, " as
used in paragraph (5) of subdivision (b) (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
the petition shall, thereafter,
shall be subject to judicial review.
(5) The state board shall adopt regulations implementing this
(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, 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
(3) A charter school that is granted its charter through an appeal
to the state board and elects to seek renewal of its charter shall,
before expiration of the charter, submit its petition for renewal to
the governing board of the school district that initially denied the
charter. If the governing board of the school district denies the
charter school's petition for renewal, the charter
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.
SEC. 3. Section 47610 of the Education Code is amended to read:
47610. A charter school shall comply with this part and all of
the provisions set forth in its charter, but is otherwise exempt from
the laws governing school districts, except all of the following:
(a) As specified in Section 47611.
(b) As specified in Section 41365.
(a) All laws establishing minimum age for public school
(b) The California Building Standards Code (Part 2
(commencing with Section 101) of Title 24 of the California Code of
Regulations), as adopted and enforced by the local building
enforcement agency with jurisdiction over the area in which the
charter school is located. Charter school facilities shall
comply with this subdivision by January 1, 2007.
(e) Charter school facilities shall comply with subdivision (d) by
January 1, 2007.
(c) Sections 41365 and 47611 and Article 1 (commencing with
Section 48900) of Chapter 6 of Part 27.
SEC. 4. Section 48925 of the Education Code is amended to read:
48925. As used in this article:
(a) "Day" means a calendar day unless otherwise specifically
(b) "Expulsion" means removal of a pupil from (1) the immediate
supervision and control, or (2) the general supervision, of school
personnel, as those terms are used in Section 46300.
(c) "Governing board" means the governing board of a school
district or the governing body of a charter school.
(d) "Principal" means the principal of the school or the site
administrator of a charter school.
(e) "Pupil" includes a pupil's parent or guardian or legal
(f) "School" includes a charter school.
(g) "Schoolday" means a day upon which the schools of
the district are in session or weekdays during the summer recess.
(h) "Suspension" means removal of a pupil from ongoing
instruction for adjustment purposes. However, "suspension" does not
mean any of the following:
(1) Reassignment to another education program or class at the same
school where the pupil will receive continuing instruction for the
length of day prescribed by the governing board for pupils of the
same grade level.
(2) Referral to a certificated employee designated by the
principal to advise pupils.
(3) Removal from the class, but without reassignment to another
class or program, for the remainder of the class period without
sending the pupil to the principal or the principal's designee as
provided in Section 48910. Removal from a particular class shall not
occur more than once every five schooldays.
(e) "Pupil" includes a pupil's parent or guardian or legal
SEC. 5. Section 49068.7 is added to the Education Code, to read:
49068.7. (a) Each school district shall draft and implement a
policy to annually collect data about teacher turnover at each of its
schools, and at each charter school it authorizes.
(b) Subject to existing state and federal law regarding privacy
and personal directory information, the data collected pursuant to
this section shall be classified as public records subject to the
California Public Records Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section
6250) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code).
SEC. 6. The Legislature finds and declares that Section 5 of this
act, which adds Section 49068.7 to the Education Code, furthers,
within the meaning of paragraph (7) of subdivision (b) of Section 3
of Article I of the California Constitution, the purposes of that
constitutional section as it relates to the right of public access to
the meetings of local public bodies or the writings of local public
officials and local agencies. Pursuant to paragraph (7) of
subdivision (b) of Section 3 of Article I of the California
Constitution, the Legislature makes the following findings:
By making public the reasons for teacher turnover at charter
schools, the public's interest in charter school operation and
transparency in furthered.
SEC. 7. If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this
act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local
agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant
to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of
the Government Code.