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AB-3167 Charter schools: Charter Authorizers Regional Support Network Program.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 06/19/2018 04:00 AM
AB3167:v96#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  June 18, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  May 25, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 02, 2018

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 3167


Introduced by Assembly Member O’Donnell
(Principal coauthor: Assembly Member Quirk)
(Coauthor: Assembly Member Bonta)

February 16, 2018


An act to add Section 47609 to the Education Code, relating to charter schools.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 3167, as amended, O’Donnell. Charter schools: Charter Authorizers Regional Support Network. Network Program.
Existing law, the Charter Schools Act of 1992, provides for the establishment and operation of charter schools and authorizes the governing board of a school district, a county board of education, and the State Board of Education to approve a petition for the establishment of a charter school and to act as a chartering authority.
This bill would, contingent upon an appropriation made for these purposes, establish the Charter Authorizers Regional Support Network Program, to be administered by the Alameda County Office of Education, as an initiative to expand uniform charter school authorizing and oversight practices, as provided. The bill would require the Alameda County Office of Education to, among other things, award grant funds to 11 regional lead county offices of education to be used to improve the quality of school district and county office of education charter school authorizing activity. The bill would require a regional lead county office of education to use its grant funds for specified activities. The bill would require the Alameda County Superintendent of Schools to appoint an advisory board, to consist of specified members, to develop values and principles for charter school authorizing and oversight that will provide guidance for regional lead county offices of education, trainings, and conference materials, as provided. The bill would also require the Legislative Analyst’s Office, on or before December 1, 2020, to complete and submit to the Governor and the appropriate education policy and budget committees of the Legislature an evaluation of the program. To the extent the provisions of this bill, upon implementation, would impose additional requirements on the Alameda County Office of Education, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
This bill would make legislative findings and declarations as to the necessity of a special statute for the Alameda County Office of Education.
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 reimbursement.
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 the statutory provisions noted above.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) The Charter Authorizers Regional Support Network, a project of the Alameda County Office of Education funded by a grant awarded by the United States Department of Education, established a successful model for building strong charter school authorizing practices in California, with small charter school authorizers in mind.
(b) The strength of the Charter Authorizers Regional Support Network lies in the collaboration, commitment, and coordination of resources for training and support between and among the expertise of regional lead county offices of education.
(c) Extending the Charter Authorizers Regional Support Network funding will provide essential resources to continue the positive momentum gained to date and strengthen the ability of school districts to exercise their statutory charter school authorization and oversight responsibilities.

SEC. 2.

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

47609.
 (a) (1) The Charter Authorizers Regional Support Network Program is hereby established, to be administered by the Alameda County Office of Education, as an initiative to expand uniform charter school authorizing and oversight practices in California.
(2) (A) The program shall expand the network of assistance and support through a regional network structure, and further develop 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 (f), 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 small charter school authorizers.
(B) Materials and trainings provided for in this section shall ensure consistent and transparent charter school authorizing processes across the state. Those trainings shall be related to subjects including, but not limited to, the charter school petition review and appeal processes, charter school oversight practices, the charter renewal process, and the charter school intervention and charter revocation processes.
(C) Trainings provided for in this section shall also include providing best practices in the use of technology to support oversight and monitoring processes for charter school authorizers.
(b) Responsibilities of the Alameda County Office of Education shall include all of the following:
(1) Acting as the fiscal agent for the grant.
(2) Developing and implementing a selection process, in consultation with the department, to choose 11 regional lead county offices of education to receive grant awards.
(3) (A) Collaborating with leading charter school authorizers and county offices of education in the development and dissemination of quality charter school authorizing tools and best practices to ensure statewide consistency.
(B) The Charter Authorizers Regional Support Network may consult with the state board in the development of quality charter school authorizing tools and best practices.
(4) Creating and maintaining an online database of materials that can be adapted for use by charter school authorizers.
(5) Facilitating at least four meetings per year of regional lead county offices of education, and conducting an annual statewide conference for charter school authorizers.
(6) (A)Facilitating at least two meetings per year of the advisory board described in subparagraph (B) subdivision (f) to provide input on the development and full implementation of services provided by this grant.

(B)An advisory board shall be appointed by the Alameda County Superintendent of Schools, to be composed of a total of 12 members, including five experienced professionals from charter school authorizers, 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 Alameda County Superintendent of Schools, or his or her designee. Notwithstanding any other law, the advisory board shall be subject to the Ralph M. Brown Act (Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 54950) of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 5 of the Government Code).

(7) Providing information, as requested, to the Legislative Analyst’s Office for purposes of subdivision (f) (g) to measure the program’s continual improvement and program fidelity, and to document the program’s impact.
(c) The Charter Authorizers Regional Support Network shall award grant funds to 11 regional lead county offices of education. Allocation of grant funds for each regional lead county office of education shall be used to improve the quality of school district and county office of education charter school authorizing activity within its designated region.
(d) A regional lead county office of education shall use its allocation for the following activities, including, but not limited to, all of the following:
(1) Providing technical assistance and support on charter school petitions and oversight to all school districts and county offices of education in the region. Technical assistance includes, among other things, any of the following:
(A) Identifying and maintaining a list of school district and county office of education personnel designated as responsible for charter school authorizing activity and all charter school sites in the region. Charter school authorizers shall be invited and encouraged to attend region regional meetings and trainings to build their knowledge and expertise.
(B) Technical assistance with the charter school petition review process, including best practices for charter school petition review, adherence to timelines, and memorandum of understanding development.
(C) Technical assistance with oversight, including best practices for ongoing monitoring and site reviews.
(2) Collaborating with the Charter Authorizers Regional Support Network to develop templates for charter school petition reviews and oversight, consistent training modules and presentations, and memorandums of understanding.
(3) Seeking input from charter school authorizers in the region to determine the type of charter school authorizer training and support needed, and building the capacity of charter school authorizers through training.
(4) Providing at least four in-person meetings or trainings of charter school authorizing personnel in school districts and county offices of education in the region each year, in order to provide an equitable opportunity for participation in geographically diverse locations within the region.
(5) Participating in the Charter Authorizers Regional Support Network annual statewide conference and any other Charter Authorizers Regional Support Network statewide meetings.
(6) Providing program data to assist in evaluating the effectiveness of the Charter Authorizers Regional Support Network in improving the quality of charter school authorizing practice.
(7) Providing outreach and financial incentives to charter school authorizers that have not previously participated in Charter Authorizers Regional Support Network trainings or conferences.
(e) When awarding grants pursuant to this section, the Charter Authorizers Regional Support Network shall give special consideration to all of the following:
(1) County offices of education with strong charter school authorizing infrastructure already in place.
(2) County offices of education that represent 11 distinct geographic regions throughout the state.
(3) County offices of education that have previously participated in the Charter Authorizers Regional Support Network.
(f) (1) An advisory board shall be appointed by the Alameda County Superintendent of Schools, to be composed of a total of 12 members, including five experienced professionals from charter school authorizers, 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 Alameda County Superintendent of Schools, or his or her designee. Notwithstanding any other law, the advisory board shall be subject to the Ralph M. Brown Act (Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 54950) of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 5 of the Government Code).
(2) The advisory board shall develop values and principles for charter school authorizing and oversight that will provide guidance for regional lead county offices of education, trainings, 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 charter school authorizers are guided by all of the following values:
(i) Responsibility: the duty to serve California’s children 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, charter school authorizers should look to the following foundational principles:
(i) Through charter school approval and oversight, charter school authorizers serve the interests of pupils and the public.
(ii) Charter school authorizers 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, operations, and governance.
(iv) Standards for performance include ensuring access and pursuing achievement for all pupils.

(f)

(g) On or before December 1, 2020, 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 Charter Authorizers Regional Support Network Program. The Legislative Analyst’s Office shall evaluate the program’s effectiveness in administering training programs, outreach, and the participation of charter school authorizers that have not participated in trainings and conferences during previous years, and make recommendations regarding the continuation of funding.

(g)

(h) This section shall be implemented only upon an appropriation in the annual Budget Act or other statute for these purposes.

SEC. 3.

 The Legislature finds and declares that a special statute is necessary and that a general statute cannot be made applicable within the meaning of Section 16 of Article IV of the California Constitution because of the Alameda County Office of Education’s experience and expertise operating the Charter Authorizers Regional Support Network.

SEC. 4.

 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.