New Charter Renewal Regulations Approved

November 2011

Beginning November 23, 2011, several changes to Title 5 regulations related to charter school renewals will be implemented.  The changes were proposed by the State Board of Education for the purpose of clarifying the application of the California Code Regulations 11966.4, 11966.5, 11966.6, and 11966.7 regarding the criteria, process and timelines for renewing a charter school’s charter, and the renewal denial appeal process.  Below is a summary of the key changes most relevant to chartering authorities:

  • When determining whether to approve a renewal charter petition, a school district governing board must consider the past performance of the school’s academics, finances, and operations to evaluate the likelihood of future success, along the charter school’s future plans for improvement, if any.  County boards of education must make the same evaluation when reviewing a renewal petition, whether submitted directly to the county board or on appeal from denial of the renewal.
  • A school district governing board must take action on a renewal petition within 60 days of its receipt or the charter will be automatically renewed for a five year term.  The 60-day time period may be extended for an additional 30 days only by written agreement between the charter school and district.  A similar 60-day timeline will control when a county board of education reviews a renewal petition whether on direct submission or appeal of a denial.
  • If a school district board denies a renewal petition, the charter school may appeal its non-renewal to the county board of education no later than 30 days after the district’s denial.  This deadline can be extended for 30 additional days only by written mutual agreement.  If a charter school does not submit its renewal petition to the county board within this timeframe, the petition will be deemed denied with no further administrative appeal options.

For renewal petitions submitted after November 23, 2011, it is important that chartering authorities diligently determine when its governing board has received the renewal petition to avoid a potential default approval of the charter school’s petition. 

Pursuant to the regulations, a school district/county office of education must consider a renewal petition that includes both of the following: (1) documentation that the charter school meets at least one of the academic performance criteria specified in Education Code section 47607(b); and (2) a “reasonably comprehensive description of how the charter school has met all new charter school requirements enacted into law after the charter was originally granted or last renewed.”  Therefore, a renewal petition is not deemed received by the chartering authority’s governing board for purposes of triggering the start of the 60-day period, until a determination has been made that the renewal petition meets these threshold requirements.

If you have any questions regarding any of the Title 5 regulation amendments including how they may impact your school district or county office of education, please call one of our six offices.

F3 NewsFlash prepared by Melanie A. Petersen and Bill Schuetz.
Melanie is a partner in the F3 San Diego office.
Bill is an associate in the F3 Sacramento office.

This F3 NewsFlash is a summary only and not legal advice.  We recommend that you consult with legal counsel to determine how this new law may apply to your specific facts and circumstances.  Information on a free NewsFlash subscription can be found at www.fagenfriedman.com.

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© 2011 Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost, LLP

All rights reserved, except that the Managing Partner of Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost, LLP hereby grants permission to any client of Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost, LLP to use, reproduce and distribute this NewsFlash intact and solely for the internal, noncommercial purposes of such client.

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