CHAPTER 18. EDUCATION.

§18-5G-2. Definitions.

The following words used in this article and any proceedings pursuant thereto have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates a different meaning:

(1) “Applicant” means any one or more in combination of parents, community members, teachers, school administrators, or institutions of higher education in this state who are interested in organizing a public charter school and:

(A) Have obtained 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status or have submitted an application for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status; and

(B) Have developed and submitted an application to an authorizer to establish a public charter school;

(2) “Authorizer” means the entity empowered under this article to review applications, decide whether to approve or reject applications, enter into charter contracts with applicants, oversee public charter schools, and decide whether to renew or not renew charter contracts. Authorizers include:

(A) A county school board when the charter school or application to form a charter school includes a primary recruitment area that is wholly within the county over which the board has jurisdiction;

 (B) Two or more county school boards who must act together and function as a single authorizer in all respects under the law when the public charter school or application to form a public charter school includes a primary recruitment area that encompasses territory in the two or more counties over which the respective boards have jurisdiction: Provided, That if such two or more school boards functioning together as authorizer reject the application, then one or more of the individual county boards may approve the application, but in such instance the charter school site must be located in one of the counties where the application was approved.

(C) The West Virginia Professional Charter School Board created pursuant to §18-5G-15 of this code; or

(D) The West Virginia Board of Education in the following instances:

(i) The charter school or application to form a charter school or to renew a charter contract is in a county where the state board has intervened in the operation of the school system and limited the authority of the county board to act pursuant to §18-2E-5 of this code; and

(ii) The application to form a public charter school or to renew a charter contract is approved by the affected county board or boards and is forwarded it to the West Virginia Board of Education with a request that it perform to the authorizer function.

(3) “Charter application” means a proposal from an applicant to an authorizer to enter into a charter contract whereby the proposed school obtains public charter school status;

(4) “Charter contract” or “contract” means a fixed-term, renewable contract between a public charter school’s governing board and an authorizer that identifies the roles, powers, responsibilities, operational duties, accountability, and performance expectations for each party to the contract, consistent with the requirements of this article;

(5) “Conversion public charter school” means a public charter school that existed as a noncharter public school before becoming a public charter school;

(6) “County board” means a board exercising management and control of a school district. A county board’s management and control of a public charter school is limited to only that granted under this article. In the case of a school district in which the state board has intervened and limited the authority of the county board to act pursuant to §18-2E-5 of this code, “county board” means the state board. In the case of a multicounty vocational or technical center, “county board” means the administrative council of the multicounty center;

(7) “Education service provider” means a public or private nonprofit or for-profit education management organization, school design provider, or any other partner entity with which a public charter school contracts for educational design, implementation, or comprehensive management;

(8) A “full-time virtual public charter school” means a public charter school that offers educational services predominantly through an online program.

(9) “Governing board” means a public charter school governing board that meets the requirements §18-5G-3 and §18-5G-7 of this code and is party to the charter contract with the authorizer;

(10) “Noncharter public school” means a public school or multicounty vocational center other than a public charter school established pursuant to this article;

(11) “Parent” means a parent, guardian, or other person or entity having legal custody over a child;

(12) “Public charter school” means a public school or program within a public school that is authorized in accordance with the provisions of this article and meets the general criteria, governance structure and statutory compliance requirements described in §18-5G-3 of this code, and other provisions of this article;

(13) “Program conversion public charter school” means a program within an existing noncharter public school that is either preexisting and converted or newly created to become a separate and discreet program governed and operated in accordance with this article within the noncharter public school;

(14) “Start-up public charter school” means a public charter school that did not exist as a noncharter public school prior to becoming a public charter school.

(15) “State board” means the West Virginia Board of Education;

(16) “Student” means any person that is eligible for attendance in a public school in West Virginia; and

(17) “West Virginia Professional Charter School Board” means the board created pursuant to §18-5G-15 of this code.