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A00781 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A781
 
SPONSOR: Pretlow
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to charter schools   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To clarify the transparency and accountability of charter schools and provide fiscal relief to the school districts where charter schools are located. OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1 describes the legislative intent behind this law to increase the transparency and accountability of charter schools and to provide fiscal relief to local school districts. Sections 2 Amends Paragraph 1 of Subdivision 1 of Section 2851 of the education law to remove for profit operators from the law and limits salaries of not for profit management companies to the comparable sala- ries of the school district. Section 3 Amends Paragraphs (d), (h), (a), and (v) of subdivision 2 of section 2851 of the education law to require that charter schools up for renewal include a.plan on how they will ensure student enrollment reflects local school district enrollment. Requires-charter schools to show how they intend to provide services to students on longterm suspen- sion or expulsion. Allows charter schools to provide instruction for 5 years before renewal of the charter. Requires the board to adopt a code of ethics in compliance with the general municipal law. Section 4 Amends Paragraph (a) of subdivision 4 of Section 2851 of the education law to re-quire a charter school applying for renewal to include disaggregated student performance data in the progress report. Section 5 Amends Subdivision 2 of Section 2852 of the education law by adding paragraphs (e) and (f) to require the approval of the application by the board of education. Section 6 Amends Subdivision 5-b of Section 2852 of the education law to require SUNY to provide an explanation why they are not making modifica- tions in a charter suggested by the Regents and removes the automatic approval of second submissions by SUNY. Section 7 Amends Subdivision 7 of Section 2852 by adding a new paragraph (c) of the education law that requires charter entities to deny a char- ter revision that would increase charter school enrollment above 5 percent of the enrollment of the School district where the charter school is located and defines the school district of location as the community school district for New York City. Section 8 Amends Subdivision 10 of Section 2852 of the education law to change the approval date from march 15 to January 15 in order for a school to open the following September. This provision gives school district more ability to plan in their budget process. Section 9 Amends Subdivision 2 of Section 2853 of the education law to require State Education Department to include chatter schools in any review or audit of state test administration and scoring. Section 10 Amends Paragraph (a) of Subdivision 3 of Section 2853 of the education law to set limits on shared space when a school district is not meeting class size targets. Section 11 Amends Subdivision 3 of Section 2853 by adding Paragraphs (e) and (f) of the education law to require charter school facility projects to follow the prevailing wage statutes and to require schools to make equitable improvements in shared facilities. Section 12 Amends Paragraphs (c) and (e) of Subdivision 1 of Section 2854 of the education law to clarify that charter school boards must have a code of ethics in conformance with the general municipal law and that charter schools are subject to audits by the charter entity. Section 13 Amends Subdivision 1 of Section 2854 of the education law by adding Paragraph (g) to require charter schools to have a code of ethics. Section 14 Amends Subdivision 2 Section 2854 of the education law and paragraphs (a) and (b) as amended by section 5 Part -D2 of chapter 57 of laws of 2007 to require the charter school to develop a plan for enroll- ing students with disabilities and limited English proficient students at the same levels as the local school district. It requires Charter schools to give a preference to students on free and reduced price lunch, students with disabilities and students with limited English proficiency when conducting a lottery. It requires charter schools to provide a report to the chartering entity indicating the number students leaving the school, why they left and when they left. It requires the charter entity to ensure the random selection process of the lottery is conducted properly. Section 15 Amends Paragraphs (b-1), (c) and (c-1) of Subdivision 3 of Section 2854 of the education law to clarify that charter schools employees are members of the local-collective bargaining unit and that charter school teachers are members of the retirement system. Section 16 Amends Subdivision 1 of section 2855 off the education law to clarify that a charter shall be revoked if a school would be subject, to registration revocation and had not met AYP in the last three years. The previous language only required growth rather than meeting AYP. It allows for revocation when the school does not meet performance targets contained in the charter and student demographics of the district of location for 2 years. Section 17 Amends Subdivision 1 of Section 2856 of the education law to require the state to reimburse school districts for the local share of charter school tuition in the June State aid payment. This provision removes charter school funding from local school districts. School districts already receive state aid for these students so the only portion not paid by the state is the local share. We may have to phase in this change due to the state fiscal crisis but I think this is a good starting point. It leaves room for compromise. It also requires charter schools to provide actual enrollment counts after the initial payment each year. Section 18 Amends Subdivisions 2 and 3 of Section 2857 of the education law to require that Charter school annual reports he placed on school district web sites. It requires the report to include disaggregated student performance data and additional financial information. It requires SED to do an annual report by December first of each year to include information on best practices. Section 19 Amends Paragraph (a) of Subdivision 7 of Section 1608 of the education law to require that school districts include charter school payments in the property tax report card. Section 20 Amends Paragraph (a) of Subdivision 7 of Section 1716 of the education law to require school districts to include charter school payments in the property tax report card. Section 21 Amends Paragraph (t) of subdivision 1 of Section 3602 of the education law to adjust the formula used to compute approved operating expenses (A0E). When the state aid formula was revised in 2007-08, cate- gorical grant programs were merged into a new Foundation Aid formula which has had the unintended consequence of artificially inflating AOE. Section 22 is the effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: New York's charter school law was enacted 14 years ago in an effort to create new learning opportunities for all students, to encourage differ- ent and innovative teaching methods and to provide parents and students with expanded choice within the public schools. Eleven years provides the state with enough information to make judgments about changes that are needed in the law to ensure the public knows how their tax dollars are being spent and to ensure public schools serving the majority of students have the resources needed to provide a quality education to all students. This legislation will clarify the transparency and account- ability of charter schools and provide fiscal relief to the school districts where charter schools are located.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2015-2016 A1618 referred to education 2013-14 A3033 referred to education 2009/2010 A10040a referred to education   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
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