Code Section Group

Education Code - EDC

TITLE 2. ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION [33000 - 64100]

  ( Title 2 enacted by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1010. )

DIVISION 4. INSTRUCTION AND SERVICES [46000 - 65001]

  ( Division 4 enacted by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1010. )

PART 26.8. CHARTER SCHOOLS [47600 - 47663]

  ( Part 26.8 added by Stats. 1992, Ch. 781, Sec. 1. )

CHAPTER 1. General Provisions [47600 - 47604.5]
  ( Chapter 1 added by Stats. 1992, Ch. 781, Sec. 1. )

47600.
  

This part shall be known, and may be cited, as the “Charter Schools Act of 1992.”

(Added by Stats. 1992, Ch. 781, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1993.)

47601.
  

It is the intent of the Legislature, in enacting this part, to provide opportunities for teachers, parents, pupils, and community members to establish and maintain schools that operate independently from the existing school district structure, as a method to accomplish all of the following:

(a) Improve pupil learning.

(b) Increase learning opportunities for all pupils, with special emphasis on expanded learning experiences for pupils who are identified as academically low achieving.

(c) Encourage the use of different and innovative teaching methods.

(d) Create new professional opportunities for teachers, including the opportunity to be responsible for the learning program at the schoolsite.

(e) Provide parents and pupils with expanded choices in the types of educational opportunities that are available within the public school system.

(f) Hold the schools established under this part accountable for meeting measurable pupil outcomes, and provide the schools with a method to change from rule-based to performance-based accountability systems.

(g) Provide vigorous competition within the public school system to stimulate continual improvements in all public schools.

(Amended by Stats. 1998, Ch. 34, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1999.)

47602.
  

(a) (1) In the 1998–99 school year, the maximum total number of charter schools authorized to operate in this state shall be 250. In the 1999–2000 school year, and in each successive school year thereafter, an additional 100 charter schools are authorized to operate in this state each successive school year. For the purposes of implementing this section, the State Board of Education shall assign a number to each charter petition that it grants pursuant to subdivision (j) of Section 47605 or Section 47605.8 and to each charter notice it receives pursuant to this part, based on the chronological order in which the notice is received. Each number assigned by the state board on or after January 1, 2003, shall correspond to a single petition that identifies a charter school that will operate within the geographic and site limitations of this part. The State Board of Education shall develop a numbering system for charter schools that identifies each school associated with a charter and that operates within the existing limit on the number of charter schools that can be approved each year. For purposes of this section, sites that share educational programs and serve similar pupil populations may not be counted as separate schools. Sites that do not share a common educational program shall be considered separate schools for purposes of this section. The limits contained in this paragraph may not be waived by the State Board of Education pursuant to Section 33050 or any other provision of law.

(2) By July 1, 2003, the Legislative Analyst shall, pursuant to the criteria in Section 47616.5, report to the Legislature on the effectiveness of the charter school approach authorized under this part and recommend whether to expand or reduce the annual rate of growth of charter schools authorized pursuant to this section.

(b) No charter shall be granted under this part that authorizes the conversion of any private school to a charter school. No charter school shall receive any public funds for a pupil if the pupil also attends a private school that charges the pupil’s family for tuition. The State Board of Education shall adopt regulations to implement this section.

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 1058, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2003.)

47603.
  

(a) This part shall not be construed to prohibit any private person or organization from providing funding or other assistance to the establishment or operation of a charter school.

(b) This section shall become operative on July 1, 2017.

(Repealed (in Sec. 54) and added by Stats. 2012, Ch. 38, Sec. 55. (SB 1016) Effective June 27, 2012. Section operative July 1, 2017, by its own provisions.)

47604.
  

(a) A charter school may elect to operate as, or be operated by, a nonprofit public benefit corporation, formed and organized pursuant to the Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation Law (Part 2 (commencing with Section 5110) of Division 2 of Title 1 of the Corporations Code).

(b) (1) On and after July 1, 2019, a petitioner that submits a charter petition or a charter school that submits a charter renewal or material revision application shall not operate as, or be operated by, a for-profit corporation, a for-profit educational management organization, or a for-profit charter management organization. For purposes of this section, a for-profit educational management organization and a for-profit charter management organization are entities that manage or operate a charter school.

(2) (A) “Operate as, or be operated by,” as referenced in paragraph (1), means services provided by a for-profit corporation to a charter school that include any of the following:

(i) Nominating, appointing, or removing board members or officers of the charter school.

(ii) Employing, supervising, or dismissing employees of the charter school, including certificated and noncertificated school personnel.

(iii) Managing the charter school’s day-to-day operations as its administrative manager.

(iv) Approving, denying, or managing the budget or any expenditures of the charter school that are not authorized by the governing body of the charter school.

(v) Providing services to a charter school before the governing body of the charter school has approved the contract for those services at a publicly noticed meeting.

(B) A charter school shall not enter into a subcontract to avoid the requirements of this paragraph.

(c) A chartering authority that grants a charter to a charter school to be operated as or by a nonprofit public benefit corporation shall be entitled to a single representative on the board of directors of the nonprofit public benefit corporation.

(d) A chartering authority that grants a charter to a charter school to be operated as or by a nonprofit public benefit corporation is not liable for the debts or obligations of the charter school or for claims arising from the performance of acts, errors, or omissions by the charter school if the chartering authority has complied with all oversight responsibilities required by law, including, but not limited to, those required by Section 47604.32 and subdivision (m) of Section 47605.

(e) This section shall become operative on July 1, 2019.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 291, Sec. 2. (AB 406) Effective January 1, 2019. Section operative July 1, 2019, by its own provisions.)

47604.1.
  

(a) For purposes of this section, an “entity managing a charter school” means a nonprofit public benefit corporation that operates a charter school consistent with Section 47604. An entity that is not authorized to operate a charter school pursuant to Section 47604 is not an “entity managing a charter school” solely because it contracts with a charter school to provide to that charter school goods or task-related services that are performed at the direction of the governing body of the charter school and for which the governing body retains ultimate decisionmaking authority.

(b) A charter school and an entity managing a charter school shall be subject to all of the following:

(1) The Ralph M. Brown Act (Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 54950) of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 5 of the Government Code), except that a charter school operated by an entity pursuant to Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 47620) 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) regardless of the authorizing entity.

(2) (A) The California Public Records Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 6250) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code).

(B) (i) The chartering authority of a charter school shall be the custodian of records with regard to any request for information submitted to the charter school if either of the following apply:

(I) The charter school is located on a federally recognized California Indian reservation or rancheria.

(II) The charter school is operated by a nonprofit public benefit corporation that was formed on or before May 31, 2002, and is currently operated by a federally recognized California Indian tribe.

(ii) This subparagraph does not allow a chartering authority to delay or obstruct access to records otherwise required under the California Public Records Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 6250) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code).

(3) Article 4 (commencing with Section 1090) of Chapter 1 of Division 4 of Title 1 of the Government Code.

(4) (A) The Political Reform Act of 1974 (Title 9 (commencing with Section 81000) of the Government Code).

(B) For purposes of Section 87300 of the Government Code, a charter school and an entity managing a charter school shall be considered an agency and is the most decentralized level for purposes of adopting a conflict-of-interest code.

(c) (1) (A) The governing body of one charter school shall meet within the physical boundaries of the county in which the charter school is located.

(B) A two-way teleconference location shall be established at each schoolsite.

(2) (A) The governing body of one nonclassroom-based charter school that does not have a facility or operates one or more resource centers shall meet within the physical boundaries of the county in which the greatest number of pupils who are enrolled in that charter school reside.

(B) A two-way teleconference location shall be established at each resource center.

(3) (A) For a governing body of an entity managing one or more charter schools located within the same county, the governing body of the entity managing a charter school shall meet within the physical boundaries of the county in which that charter school or schools are located.

(B) A two-way teleconference location shall be established at each schoolsite and each resource center.

(4) (A) For a governing body of an entity that manages two or more charter schools that are not located in the same county, the governing body of the entity managing the charter schools shall meet within the physical boundaries of the county in which the greatest number of pupils enrolled in those charter schools managed by that entity reside.

(B) A two-way teleconference location shall be established at each schoolsite and each resource center.

(C) The governing body of the entity managing the charter schools shall audio record, video record, or both, all the governing board meetings and post the recordings on each charter school’s internet website.

(5) This subdivision does not limit the authority of the governing body of a charter school and an entity managing a charter school to meet outside the boundaries described in this subdivision if authorized by Section 54954 of the Government Code, and the meeting place complies with Section 54961 of the Government Code.

(d) Notwithstanding Article 4 (commencing with Section 1090) of Chapter 1 of Division 4 of Title 1 of the Government Code, an employee of a charter school shall not be disqualified from serving as a member of the governing body of the charter school because of that employee’s employment status. A member of the governing body of a charter school who is also an employee of the charter school shall abstain from voting on, or influencing or attempting to influence another member of the governing body regarding, all matters uniquely affecting that member’s employment.

(e) To the extent a governing body of a charter school or an entity managing a charter school engages in activities that are unrelated to a charter school, Article 4 (commencing with Section 1090) of Chapter 1 of Division 4 of Title 1 of the Government Code, the Ralph M. Brown Act (Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 54950) of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 5 of the Government Code), 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), the California Public Records Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 6250) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code), and the Political Reform Act of 1974 (Title 9 (commencing with Section 81000) of the Government Code) shall not apply with regard to those unrelated activities unless otherwise required by law.

(f) A meeting of the governing body of a charter school to discuss items related to the operation of the charter school shall not include the discussion of any item regarding an activity of the governing body that is unrelated to the operation of the charter school.

(Added by Stats. 2019, Ch. 3, Sec. 1. (SB 126) Effective January 1, 2020.)

47604.3.
  

A charter school shall promptly respond to all reasonable inquiries, including, but not limited to, inquiries regarding its financial records, from its chartering authority, the county office of education that has jurisdiction over the school’s chartering authority, or from the Superintendent of Public Instruction and shall consult with the chartering authority, the county office of education, or the Superintendent of Public Instruction regarding any inquiries.

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 1058, Sec. 4. Effective January 1, 2003.)

47604.32.
  

(a) Each chartering authority, in addition to any other duties imposed by this part, shall do all of the following with respect to each charter school under its authority:

(1) Identify at least one staff member as a contact person for the charter school.

(2) Visit each charter school at least annually.

(3) Ensure that each charter school under its authority complies with all reports required of charter schools by law, including the local control and accountability plan and annual update to the local control and accountability plan required pursuant to Section 47606.5.

(4) Monitor the fiscal condition of each charter school under its authority.

(5) Provide timely notification to the department if any of the following circumstances occur or will occur with regard to a charter school for which it is the chartering authority:

(A) A renewal of the charter is granted or denied.

(B) The charter is revoked.

(C) The charter school will cease operation for any reason.

(b) The cost of performing the duties required by this section shall be funded with supervisorial oversight fees collected pursuant to Section 47613.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 29, Sec. 17. (SB 828) Effective June 27, 2016.)

47604.33.
  

(a) Each charter school shall annually prepare and submit the following reports to its chartering authority and the county superintendent of schools, or only to the county superintendent of schools if the county board of education is the chartering authority:

(1) On or before July 1, a preliminary budget. For a charter school in its first year of operation, the information submitted pursuant to subdivision (g) of Section 47605 satisfies this requirement.

(2) On or before July 1, a local control and accountability plan and an annual update to the local control and accountability plan required pursuant to Section 47606.5.

(3) On or before December 15, an interim financial report. This report shall reflect changes through October 31.

(4) On or before March 15, a second interim financial report. This report shall reflect changes through January 31.

(5) On or before September 15, a final unaudited report for the full prior year.

(b) The chartering authority shall use any financial or other information it obtains from the charter school, including, but not limited to, the reports required by this section, to perform the duties described in subdivision (a) of Section 47604.32, including monitoring the fiscal condition of the charter school.

(c) The cost of performing the duties required by this section shall be funded with supervisorial oversight fees collected pursuant to Section 47613.

(Amended by Stats. 2019, Ch. 51, Sec. 29. (SB 75) Effective July 1, 2019.)

47604.4.
  

(a) In addition to the authority granted by Sections 1241.5 and 47604.3, a county superintendent of schools may, based upon written complaints by parents or other information that justifies the investigation, monitor the operations of a charter school located within that county and conduct an investigation into the operations of that charter school. If a county superintendent of schools monitors or investigates a charter school pursuant to this section, the county office of education shall not incur any liability beyond the cost of the investigation.

(b) A charter school shall notify the county superintendent of schools of the county in which it is located of the location of the charter school, including the location of each site, if applicable, prior to commencing operations.

(Amended by Stats. 2005, Ch. 357, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2006.)

47604.5.
  

The state board may, based upon the recommendation of the Superintendent, take appropriate action, including, but not limited to, revocation of the charter school’s charter, when the state board finds any of the following:

(a) Gross financial mismanagement that jeopardizes the financial stability of the charter school.

(b) Illegal or substantially improper use of charter school funds for the personal benefit of any officer, director, or fiduciary of the charter school.

(c) Substantial and sustained departure from measurably successful practices such that continued departure would jeopardize the educational development of the charter school’s pupils.

(d) Failure to improve pupil outcomes across multiple state and school priorities identified in the charter pursuant to subparagraph (A) of paragraph (5) of subdivision (c) of Section 47605 or subparagraph (A) of paragraph (5) of subdivision (b) of Section 47605.6.

(e) The requirements of this section shall not be waived by the state board pursuant to Section 33050 or any other law.

(Amended by Stats. 2019, Ch. 486, Sec. 1. (AB 1505) Effective January 1, 2020. Operative July 1, 2020, pursuant to Sec. 18 of Stats. 2019, Ch. 486.)

EDCEducation Code - EDC