Panel Backs Changes To Charter School Agreements

CBS Miami | By Team | January 19, 2022

Tallahassee (CBSMiami/NSF) – A bill that would change the way charter school agreements are renewed or consolidated was approved by a second House committee Wednesday.

The House Secondary Education and Career Development Subcommittee unanimously approved the measure (HB 225), which faces one more committee stop before heading to the floor for a full vote.

House bill sponsor Fred Hawkins, R-St. Cloud, said the proposal is aimed at fixing “ambiguity language that exists” in state law about how charters are renewed and consolidated.

Charter schools require an agreement, known as a charter, between the school and a sponsor such as a school district or state college or university.

Under the bill, charter agreements, which typically last five years, would be required to be considered for renewal at least 90 days before the end of a school year.

Charter schools would be required to be notified about whether the renewal was approved, and the agreement would be renewed automatically “with the same terms and conditions” if no notice was given.

Currently, multiple charter agreements can be consolidated if charter schools are operated by the same governing board.

The House bill would allow charter agreements to be consolidated at any time, not just during a period in which the agreements are up for renewal.

Under the measure, requests to consolidate charter agreements would have to be approved or denied by a sponsor within 60 days and sponsors would have to provide an explanation of denials within 10 days to the schools’ governing board.

A similar Senate bill (SB 892) has not yet been heard in committee.

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