CHAPTER 18. EDUCATION.

§18-5G-5. State board rule relating to funding for public charter school enrollment and other necessary provisions; local education agency status; authorizer oversight fee.

(a) The state board shall promulgate a rule pursuant to the provisions of §29A-3B-1 et seq. of this code setting forth requirements for public charter school funding. The rule shall include a requirement that 90 percent of the per pupil total basic foundation allowance follow the student to the public charter school, subject to the following:

(1) Notwithstanding §18-9A-1 et seq. of this code, the rule may provide for modifications to the calculations set forth in §18-9A-7 of this code regarding the allowance for student transportation and in §18-9A-9(1) of this code regarding the allowance for current expense for the purpose of making appropriate adjustments to those allowances to account for student transportation and current expense related funding a school district loses in situations where it pays money to a public charter school pursuant to this subsection without a corresponding decrease in the county’s transportation and current expense related expenditures;

(2) The rule shall designate which county school district is required to pay for a student attending a public charter school, and notwithstanding the terms in the definition of “net enrollment” in §18-9A-2 of this code, shall provide that the county school district paying for the student attending a public charter school have that student included in its net enrollment for the purposes of §18-9A-1 et seq. of this code; and

(3) The rule shall require the Department of Education to follow federal requirements in ensuring that federal funding follows the student to a public charter school.

(b) The state board may promulgate a rule in accordance with §29A-3B-1 et seq. of this code, if necessary, for ensuring the accountability of public charter schools for meeting the standards for student performance required of other public school students under §18-2E-5 of this code and the accountability of authorizers for ensuring that those standards are met in the schools authorized by it. If an authorizer fails to close a public charter school that does not meet the standards, the authorizer shall appear before the state board to justify its decision. The state board may uphold or overturn the authorizer’s decision and may revoke the authority of the authorizer to authorize public charter schools.

(c) Any public charter school authorized pursuant to this article shall be treated and act as its own local education agency for all purposes except as needed under the provisions of the Public School Support Plan for funding purposes.

(d) To cover authorizer costs for overseeing public charter schools, the state board shall establish a statewide formula for authorizer oversight funding, which shall apply uniformly to every authorizer in the state. Each public charter school shall remit to its respective authorizer an oversight fee. The oversight fee shall be drawn from and calculated as a uniform percentage of the per pupil basic foundation allowance as provided pursuant to state board rule promulgated in accordance with this section, not to exceed one percent of each public charter school’s per-student funding in a single school year. The state board may establish a sliding scale for authorizing funding, with the funding percentage decreasing after the authorizer has achieved a certain threshold, such as after a certain number of schools have been authorized or after a certain number of students are enrolled in the authorizer’s public charter schools. The state board shall establish a cap on the total amount of funding that an authorizer may withhold from a full-time public charter school. The state board shall annually review the effectiveness of the state formula for authorizer funding and shall adjust the formula if necessary to maximize public benefit and strengthen the implementation of this act.

(e) The state board shall promulgate a rule in accordance with §29A-3B-1 et seq. of this code to clarify, if necessary, the requirements of this article and address any unforeseen issues that might arise relating to the implementation of the requirements of this article: Provided, That nothing in this rule may conflict with this code. The rule also shall include a provision prohibiting a county board from discrimination against any district employee involved directly or indirectly with an application to establish a public charter school under this article.

(f) All state board rules required to be promulgated by this article shall be promulgated on or before July 1, 2021. The state board may file emergency rules if necessary to meet the July 1, 2021 deadline.

§18-5G-5. State board rule relating to funding for public charter school enrollment and other necessary provisions; local education agency status; authorizer oversight fee.