Referred to Committee
May 2, 2012
May 2, 2012(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.
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).