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SB-179 Education finance: Charter Authorizing Support Team program.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 09/07/2021 07:22 PM
SB179:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  September 07, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 179


Introduced by Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review

January 08, 2021


An act relating to the Budget Act of 2021. An act to add Section 47609 to the Education Code, relating to education finance, and making an appropriation therefor, to take effect immediately, bill related to the budget.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 179, as amended, Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review. Budget Act of 2021. Education finance: Charter Authorizing Support Team program.
The Charter Schools Act of 1992 authorizes the establishment, operation, and governance of charter schools. Existing law requires a petition to establish a charter school to include reasonably comprehensive descriptions of certain things, including the manner in which annual, independent financial audits shall be conducted, and the manner in which audit exceptions and deficiencies shall be resolved to the satisfaction of the chartering authority.
The bill would establish the Charter Authorizing Support Team program to be administered by the County Office Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team, as an initiative to expand uniform charter school authorizing and oversight practices. The bill would specify the goals and proposed activities of the program, including the appointment of a 12-member advisory board with designated membership and responsibilities. The bill would require the Legislative Analyst’s Office to submit to the Governor and the appropriate education policy and budget committees, on or before December 1, 2026, an evaluation of the program. The bill would appropriate $250,000 from the General Fund to the State Department of Education for allocation to the Kern County Office of Education to facilitate the program.
This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as a bill providing for appropriations related to the Budget Bill.

This bill would express the intent of the Legislature to enact statutory changes relating to the Budget Act of 2021.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NOYES   Fiscal Committee: NOYES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 47609 is added to the Education Code, immediately following Section 47608, to read:

47609.
 (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) The Charter Accountability Resource and Support Network established a successful model for building strong charter school authorizing practices in California, with small charter school authorizers in mind.
(2) The strength of the Charter Accountability Resource and Support Network was in the collaboration, commitment, and coordination of resources for training and support between and among the expertise of regional lead county offices of education.
(3) Extending the Charter Accountability Resource and Support Network model and funding will provide essential resources to continue the positive momentum gained to date and strengthen the ability of chartering authorities to exercise their statutory charter authorization and oversight responsibilities.
(b) (1) The Charter Authorizing Support Team program is hereby established, to be administered by the County Office Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team, as an initiative to expand uniform charter school authorizing and oversight practices in the state.
(2) (A) The program shall develop high-quality fiscal, academic, and governance oversight and monitoring tools for uniform charter school authorizing practices. The program shall employ the proposed values and principles to be developed by the advisory board for quality charter school authorizing practices, as provided in subdivision (e), as guidance. The program shall share and update developed tools and materials, as needed, to help strengthen charter school authorizing practices, with a special focus on charter authorizers with an average daily attendance of fewer than 2,500 pupils.
(B) Materials and trainings provided for in this section shall ensure consistent and transparent charter school authorizing processes across the state. The trainings shall be related to subjects including, but not limited to, the charter school petition review and appeal process, memorandum of understanding development, charter school oversight practices, the charter renewal process, and the charter school intervention and charter revocation process.
(c) Responsibilities of the County Office Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team shall include all of the following:
(1) Acting as the fiscal agent for the program.
(2) (A) Collaborating with leading chartering authorities, county offices of education, and subject matter experts in the development and dissemination of high-quality charter school authorizing and oversight tools and best practices to ensure statewide consistency.
(B) Consulting with the state board in the development of high-quality charter school authorizing tools and best practices.
(3) Creating and maintaining an online database of materials and resources that can be adapted for use by chartering authorities.
(4) Facilitating an annual statewide conference for chartering authorities.
(5) Establishing and facilitating an advisory board, as provided in subdivision (e), to provide input on the development and full implementation of services provided by the program.
(6) Providing information, as requested, to the Legislative Analyst’s Office for purposes of subdivision (f) to measure the program’s continual improvement and program fidelity, and to document the program’s impact.
(7) Providing technical assistance and support to school districts and county offices of education when they have questions on the charter school petition review and appeal process, the charter renewal process, the charter school intervention and charter revocation processes, memorandum of understanding development, and the charter oversight process by and through all of the following:
(A) Establish and staff a help desk to respond to inquiries from chartering authorities and facilitate the connection between need and resources.
(B) Establish a community listserv for chartering authorities to ask each other questions, gather information, and generate feedback.
(C) Identify and maintain a list of school district and county office of education personnel designated as responsible for charter school authorizing or charter oversight activity. Chartering authorities shall be invited and encouraged to attend regional meetings and trainings to build their knowledge and expertise.
(D) Provide professional learning on best practices for the charter school petition review and appeal process, the charter renewal process, adherence to timelines, and memorandum of understanding development.
(E) Provide professional learning on best practices for the charter school intervention and charter revocation process.
(F) Provide professional learning on best practices for the charter oversight process, including ongoing monitoring and site reviews.
(d) In order to guide the preparation of materials and resources and provide professional learning opportunities consistent with its responsibilities, the program shall do all of the following:
(1) Seek input from chartering authorities across the state to determine the type of charter school materials, resources, training, and support needed in order to build the capacity of chartering authorities.
(2) Provide program data to assist in evaluating the effectiveness of the program in improving the quality of charter school authorizing practices.
(3) Offer outreach to chartering authorities that have not previously participated in program trainings or conferences.
(e) (1) An advisory board shall be appointed by the board of directors of the County Office Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team, to be composed of 12 members, including five experienced professionals from chartering authorities, two teacher representatives, two representatives from other organizations with expertise in charter school authorizing, one charter school representative, one representative of the department, and the Chief Executive Officer of the County Office Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team, or their designee.
(2) The board of directors of the County Office Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team shall establish bylaws for the advisory board that, at a minimum, provide for all of the following:
(A) The role and functions of the advisory board.
(B) The process and qualifications for appointment as an advisory board member. At least one of the five experienced professionals from chartering authorities required in this subdivision shall be from a chartering authority with an average daily attendance of fewer than 2,500 pupils.
(C) The terms of advisory board members.
(D) The selection of a chairperson and vice chairperson, and the establishment of subcommittees.
(E) Meetings, including the frequency of meetings.
(F) The rules of order.
(G) The process for amending bylaws.
(3) Notwithstanding any other law, the advisory board shall be subject to the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act (Article 9 (commencing with Section 11120) of Chapter 1 of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code).
(4) The advisory board shall develop values and principles for charter school authorizing and oversight that will provide guidance for preparation of materials and resources, professional learning opportunities, and conference materials. The values and principles developed by the advisory board shall include, but are not limited to, all of the following:
(A) That the actions and decisions of effective chartering authorities are guided by all of the following values:
(i) Responsibility: the duty to serve the state’s pupils and the public.
(ii) Integrity: adherence to moral and ethical principles in all aspects of charter school authorizing and oversight.
(iii) Fairness: impartial and just treatment of all stakeholders.
(iv) Knowledge: understanding of charter school law and practice.
(B) In complying with the requirements of this part, chartering authorities shall consider all of the following foundational principles:
(i) Through charter school approval and oversight, chartering authorities serve the interests of pupils and the public.
(ii) Chartering authorities hold charter schools accountable for results in exchange for the substantial autonomy the law grants to charter schools.
(iii) Accountability for results includes maintaining high standards for performance in academics, finance, personnel management, operations, and governance.
(iv) Standards for performance include ensuring access and pursuing achievement for all pupils.
(f) On or before December 1, 2026, the Legislative Analyst’s Office shall complete and submit to the Governor and the appropriate education policy and budget committees of the Legislature an evaluation of the program. The Legislative Analyst’s Office shall evaluate the program’s effectiveness in administering training programs, outreach, and the participation of chartering authorities that have not participated in trainings and conferences during previous years, and make recommendations regarding the continuation of funding.

SEC. 2.

 For the 2021–22 fiscal year, the sum of two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) is hereby appropriated from the General Fund to the State Department of Education for allocation to the Kern County Office of Education to facilitate the Charter Authorizing Support Team program pursuant to Section 47609 of the Education Code. These funds shall be available for encumbrance until June 30, 2024.

SEC. 3.

 This act is a bill providing for appropriations related to the Budget Bill within the meaning of subdivision (e) of Section 12 of Article IV of the California Constitution, has been identified as related to the budget in the Budget Bill, and shall take effect immediately.
SECTION 1.

It is the intent of the Legislature to enact statutory changes relating to the Budget Act of 2021.