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SB 513 - Authorizes Charter Schools - Key Vote

Alabama Key Votes

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Legislation - Referred to Committee (House) -
Legislation - Bill Passed (Senate) (23-12) - (Key vote)

Title: Authorizes Charter Schools

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to pass a bill that increases the requirements for the establishment of public charter schools, effective December 31, 2012.

Highlights:
  • Prohibits the establishment of a public charter school in the state unless it is authorized by local law (Sec. 9).
  • Requires local law authorizing the establishment of a public charter school or a conversion public charter school in a local school system to be approved by unanimous consent of the members of a local legislative delegation representing a geographical area where a local school system is located (Sec. 9).
  • Limits the establishment of a public charter school to the area of a priority local school system (Sec. 9).
  • Defines “priority local school” as a persistently low-performing school, as declared by the State Department of Education, or a school in the bottom 5 percent of non-charter public schools in the state accountability plan (Sec. 4).
  • Prohibits any organization other than a nonprofit, nonreligious organization from submitting public charter school applications (Sec. 11).
  • Prohibits the State Superintendent of Education from registering a cumulative total of more than 20 public charter schools (Sec. 11).
  • Authorizes the following entities to approve or deny public charter school applications once the establishment of a public charter school is authorized by local law (Sec. 9):
    • The local school board that oversees a priority local school system; and
    • The Charter School Application Review Council.
  • Requires an application for approval of a public charter school to be submitted to the local school board overseeing a priority local school system (Secs. 9 & 11).
  • Prohibits the local school board from authorizing the establishment of a public charter in the following areas (Sec. 9):
    • An area that is not a priority local school system;
    • A priority system area where the board has already established one or more charter schools; and
    • A county that does not contain a municipality that is Class 3 or larger.
  • Establishes the Charter School Application Review Council that will authorize high quality public charter schools in certain circumstances and will review, once a year, rules and regulations concerning public charter schools (Sec. 6).
  • Authorizes the Charter School Application Review Council to approve the establishment of a public charter school by a majority vote if both of the following factors are met (Secs. 6 & 9):
    • A public charter school application is denied by the local school board or an application is not acted on by the local school board within 90 days of its submission; and
    • The public charter school applicant appealed the decision of the local school board to the council.
  • Prohibits any public charter school from operating until it has been registered by the State Superintendent of Education (Sec. 11).
  • Requires members of the charter school governing board to be both United States Citizens and Alabama residents (Sec. 14).
  • Requires all employees of a public charter school and any persons affiliated with businesses working in public charter schools to be subject to an immigration status and criminal background check (Sec. 10).
Legislation - Introduced (Senate) -

Title: Authorizes Charter Schools

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