EL(LEGAL) - CAMPUS OR PROGRAM CHARTERS
For the purpose of this policy, "parent" is the person who is indicated on the student registration form at the campus. The signature of only one parent of a student is required for a charter created by petition or a cooperative program charter. Education Code 12.051(1), .052(b), .053(b)
A district shall adopt a campus charter and program charter policy, which shall specify the:
- Process for approval of a campus charter or program charter;
- Statutory requirements with which a campus charter or program charter must comply; and
- Items that must be included in a charter application.
Education Code 12.058
Campus or Program Charter
A board may grant a charter to parents and teachers for a campus or a program on a campus.
A board shall grant or deny the charter, through a public vote, if the board is presented with a petition signed by:
- The parents of a majority of the students at that campus; and
- A majority of the classroom teachers at that campus.
A board may not arbitrarily deny a charter.
Education Code 12.052
New Campus or Contract Charter
A board may grant a charter for:
- A new district campus; or
- A program that is operated:
- By an entity that has entered into a contract with the district under Education Code 11.157 [see EEL] to provide educational services to the district through the campus or program; and
- At a facility located in the boundaries of the district.
A student's parent or guardian may choose to enroll the student at a campus or in a program charter. A district may not assign a student to the campus or program unless the student's parent or guardian has voluntarily enrolled the student.
A student's parent or guardian may, at any time, remove the student from the campus or program and enroll the student at the campus to which the student would ordinarily be assigned.
A district may not assign to the campus or program a teacher who has signed a written statement that the teacher does not agree to that assignment.
Education Code 12.0521
A board may grant a district charter to a campus.
A district charter may be granted only to one or more campuses serving in total a percentage of the district's student enrollment equal to not more than 15 percent of the district's student enrollment for the preceding school year.
The percentage limit may not prevent a district from granting a district charter to at least one feeder pattern of schools, including an elementary, middle or junior high, and high school.
A district charter may be granted to any campus that has received the lowest performance rating under Subchapter C, Chapter 39, Education Code.
Open-Enrollment Charter School
Subchapter D, Chapter 39, Education Code (related to open-enrollment charter schools) applies to a campus granted a district charter as though the campus were granted a charter under that subchapter, and the campus is considered an open-enrollment charter school.
A district charter is not considered for purposes of the limit on the number of charters for open-enrollment charter schools imposed by Education Code 12.101.
Education Code 12.0522
Cooperative Campus Charter
A board may grant a charter to parents and teachers at two or more campuses in the district for a cooperative charter program if the board is presented with a petition signed by:
- The parents of a majority of the students at each school; and
- A majority of the classroom teachers at each school.
Education Code 12.053
A board that grants a charter shall enter into a performance contract with the principal or equivalent chief operating officer of the campus or program. The performance contract must specify enhanced authority granted to the principal or equivalent officer in order to achieve the academic goals that must be met by campus or program students.
Duration of Charter
A charter granted by the board expires ten years from the date the charter is granted unless the specified goals are substantially met, as determined by the board.
Education Code 12.0531
A board may determine that a campus granted a charter will be a neighborhood school.
The principal or equivalent chief operating officer of a neighborhood school shall manage the funding provided for the school under the Education Code and any other funding provided for the school in the manner the principal or other officer determines best meets the needs of the school's students. The district in which the school is located may retain that portion of funding that the district generally withholds from a campus for costs associated with the salary of the superintendent or other district governance.
The principal or equivalent chief operating officer of a neighborhood school may use school funding to purchase from the school district in which the school is located services for the school, including bus service, facilities maintenance services, and other services generally provided by a school district to district campuses. The school shall pay for each service an amount that reflects the actual cost to the district of providing the service for the number of the school's students for which the service is provided.
Education Code 12.0532
Eligibility criteria for admission of students to the charter campus or program must give priority on the basis of geographic and residency considerations. After priority is given on those bases, secondary consideration may be given to a student's age, grade level, or academic credentials, in general or in a specific area, as necessary for the type of program offered.
The campus or program may require an applicant to submit an application not later than a reasonable deadline the campus or program establishes.
Education Code 12.065
A campus or program for which a charter is granted is exempt from the instructional and academic rules and policies of the board from which the campus or program is specifically exempted in the charter and retains the authority to operate under the charter only if students at the campus or in the program perform satisfactorily as provided by the charter. Education Code 12.054
A charter shall be in the form and substance of a written contract signed by a board president and the chief operating officer of the campus or program for which the charter is granted. Education Code 12.060
Each charter shall:
- Satisfy the requirements governing charter campuses and programs; and
- Include all information required to be in the content of the charter consistent with the information provided in the application and any modification a board requires.
Education Code 12.061
Content of Charter
Each charter granted must:
- Describe the educational program to be offered, which may be a general or specialized program;
- Provide that continuation of the charter is contingent on satisfactory student performance on state-required assessment instruments, satisfactory financial performance under state financial accountability provisions, and on compliance with other applicable accountability provisions;
- Specify any basis, in addition to a basis specified in Education Code Chapter 12, Subchapter C, on which the charter may be revoked;
- Prohibit discrimination in admission on the basis of national origin, ethnicity, race, religion, or disability;
- Describe the governing structure of the campus or program;
- Specify any procedure or requirement, in addition to those under Education Code Chapter 38, that the campus or program will follow to ensure the health and safety of students and employees; and
- Describe the manner in which an annual audit of financial and programmatic operations of the campus or program is to be conducted, including the manner in which the campus or program will provide information necessary for the district in which it is located to participate in PEIMS.
Education Code 12.059
A charter created by petition or a cooperative charter program may be revised with board approval and on a petition signed by a majority of the parents and a majority of the classroom teachers at the campus or in the program, as applicable.
A charter created without a petition may be revised with the approval of the board of trustees that granted the charter. The charter may be revised only before the first day of instruction or after the final day of instruction of a school year.
Education Code 12.062
Failure to Discharge or Refuse to Hire
A charter campus or program commits a material violation of its charter if the campus or program fails to comply with the duty to discharge or refuse to hire certain employees or applicants for employment under Education Codes 12.1059, 22.085, or 22.092. Education Code 12.0631
Applicability of Laws
A charter campus or program is subject to federal and state laws and rules governing public schools, except that the charter campus or program is subject to the Education Code and rules adopted thereunder only to the extent that the code or rule specifically provides. Education Code 12.055(a)
A charter campus or program has the powers granted to schools under the Education Code.
A charter campus or program is subject to:
- Provisions of the Education Code establishing criminal offenses;
- Prohibitions, restrictions, or requirements of the Education Code, or a rule adopted under the Education Code, relating to:
- PEIMS, to the extent necessary to monitor compliance, as determined by the commissioner;
- Criminal history records under Subchapter C, Chapter 22;
- High school graduation under Section 28.025;
- Special education programs under Subchapter A, Chapter 29;
- Bilingual education under Subchapter B, Chapter 29;
- Prekindergarten programs under Subchapter E, Chapter 29;
- Extracurricular activities under Section 33.081 (i.e., "no pass-no play");
- Health and safety under Chapter 38 (including immunizations, dyslexia and related disorders, child abuse reporting, protective eye devices, tobacco and alcohol use, steroid use, access to medical records, and referrals to outside counselors);
- Public school accountability under Subchapter B, C, D, F, and J, Chapter 39, and Chapter 39A; and
- The duty to discharge or refuse to hire certain employees or applicants for employment under Education Code 12.1059.
Education Code 12.056
Open Meetings and Public Information Acts
With respect to the operation of a campus or program charter, the governing body of the charter campus or program is considered a governmental body for purposes of Government Code Chapters 551 (Open Meetings Act) and 552 (Public Information Act). Education Code 12.057(a)
Teacher Retirement System
A district may contract with another district or an open-enrollment charter holder for services at a campus charter. An employee of the district or open-enrollment charter holder providing contracted services to a campus charter is eligible for membership in and benefits from the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) if the employee would be eligible for membership and benefits if holding the same position at the employing district or open-enrollment charter school operated by the charter holder. Education Code 12.055(b)
An employee of an independent school district who is employed on a charter campus or program who qualifies for membership in TRS shall be covered under the system in the same manner and to the same extent as a qualified employee of the independent school district who is employed on a regularly operating campus or in a regularly operating program.
An employee of a charter holder who is employed on a campus or in a program granted a charter and who qualifies for membership in TRS shall be covered under the system in the same manner and to the same extent as a qualified employee of an independent school district who is employed on a regularly operating campus or in a regularly operating program.
Education Code 12.057(b), (b-1)
A charter campus or program, and its employees and volunteers, are immune from liability to the same extent as a district, its employees, and volunteers, respectively. Education Code 12.057(c)
Placement on Probation or Revocation
A board may place on probation or revoke a charter it grants if the board determines that the campus or program:
- Committed a material violation of the charter, including by failure to comply with the duty to discharge or refuse to hire certain employees or applicants for employment, as provided by Education Code 12.0631;
- Failed to satisfy generally accepted accounting standards of fiscal management; or
- Failed to comply with law governing a charter campus or program, another law, or a state agency rule.
The action a board takes under any item above shall be based on the best interest of campus or program students, the severity of the violation, and any previous violation the campus or program has committed.
Education Code 12.063
Each board that grants a charter shall adopt a procedure to be used for placing on probation or revoking a charter it grants.
This procedure must provide an opportunity for a hearing to the campus or program for which the charter is granted and to parents and guardians of students at the campus or in the program. A hearing must be held on the campus or on one of the campuses in the case of a cooperative charter program.
Education Code 12.064