The Senate version of the Education Options Act of 2012 has now been added to the Education Options Act of 2012 Analysis page. Items particular to SB513 are indicated in red in the analysis. It is similar to HB650, with the following exceptions:
- In schools seeking innovation status “certification is not necessarily required for those full-time teachers with an advanced degree in the curricular area in which they teach, professional certification in the curricular area in which they teach, or unique expertise or experience in the curricular area in which they teach.” This is the exact language that is used in the requirements for teachers in public charter schools.
- Regarding priority schools: ”The department shall assume decision-making responsibilities on behalf of priority schools if the administrator or local board does not act to provide an appropriate intervention to address the needs of the priority schools at the end of the third year of priority status.”
- Language regarding enrollment simply states: ””The student body of a public charter school shall be inclusive and reflect the racial, gender, geographic, urban/rural, and economic diversity of the state.” In the House version, the language expressly indicates which groups may not be discriminated against.
- The Charter Application Review Council is expressly prohibited from establishing a public charter school in a system whose local board has already authorized a public charter school.
- Section 9(c)(3) creates a question in my mind. Here’s what it says: ”While any public charter school, consistent with subdivision (1) of subsection (b) of Section 8, may accept enrollment applications from any student residing in the local school system where the public charter school is to be located, any public charter school whose formation is authorized by the council must be a conversion charter school established within the low-performing priority school.” Section 9 speaks to authorizers. The Charter Application Review Council (the “Council”) is prohibited from establishing conversion charter schools in Section 11(a)(2) of both the House and Senate versions. Hypothetically, then, the practical application of this language can only look something like this: a start-up charter’s application is denied by the local board. The start-up charter appeals to the Council. The Council authorizes the charter, but according to this section, that charter must be implemented as a conversion, rather than a start-up charter. Again, this language is not in the House version. I have not spoken with the Senate bill’s author, so I cannot verify this at the time this is being written. This is a best guess of how Section 9(c)(3) may be practically applied. I hope to get clarification soon.
- Amendment #5 to SB513 stated “delete lines 13 through 22, inclusive” from page 39 of the bill. Due to inconsistent numbering of pages, I was unable to determine exactly what that amendment accomplished.
- Public charter schools will be required to report the number of mid-year transfers, withdrawals, suspensions and expulsions, and the reasons for each.
- All members of the governing board of a public charter school must be United States citizens and Alabama residents.