HB662 - CHARTER SCHOOLS AND SCHOOL FUNDING - Stoll, Steve
HB662 CHARTER SCHOOLS AND REVISIONS TO LOCAL AND STATE FUNDING FOR SCHOOLS.
Sponsor: Stoll, Steve (103) Effective Date:00/00/00
CoSponsor: LR Number:1538-01
Last Action: COMMITTEE: EDUCATION - ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY
HB662
Next Hearing:Hearing not scheduled
Calendar:Bill currently not on calendar
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Available Bill Summaries for HB662
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Available Bill Text for HB662
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Available Fiscal Notes for HB662
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BILL SUMMARIES

INTRODUCED

HB 662 -- Charter Schools and School Funding

Sponsor:  Stoll

This bill makes many changes to school laws, permitting the
creation of charter schools, revising the way school funds are
allocated, and also specifying school districts' fiscal and
academic responsibilities.

FUNDING THE FOUNDATION FORMULA.  The priority for transfer of
excursion gambling boat proceeds is changed to specify that the
first $50 million will be transferred to the state school moneys
fund to the extent necessary to fund lines 1 to 10 of the school
aid formula fully.  Two additional priorities are added: (1)
transfer of the next $10 million to the school building
revolving fund, and (2) transfer of the remainder for
distribution through foundation entitlements.  School districts
with a graduation rate more than 5 percentage points above the
state average are rewarded point-for-point on the line 14 free
and reduced lunch calculation, now referred to as line 14a.

DIRECTING FUNDS TO AREAS WITH MORE THAN 20 PERCENT OF STUDENTS
IN POVERTY.  A new line is added to the school aid formula (line
14b) that is keyed to a district's poverty concentration ratio.
Districts with a poverty concentration ratio over 70% must meet
fiscal efficiency standards or face a deduction of aid.  Line
14b funds are prorated based on savings derived from diminished
desegregation payments as compared to fiscal year 1997.

Moneys currently directed toward reduction of class size for at--
risk  children are specifically tagged for their applicability
to kindergarten through grade 8.   Districts receiving at least
$100,000 from the new line 14b formula must submit a biennial
personnel assignment plan to the Department of Elementary and
Secondary Education (DESE), detailing how the students will have
contact with tutors, teachers, and counselors.

FLEXIBILITY IN DEALING WITH ACADEMICALLY OR FINANCIALLY FAILING
OR ACADEMICALLY DEFICIENT SCHOOLS.  School boards in districts
with graduation rates below 65 percent must review their schools
for academic deficiency and may suspend or terminate
certificated staff and administrators, pursuant to the
provisions for teacher dismissal, with responsibility for the
school.  The board may reconstitute the school with new staff or
sponsor a charter school.  If a district lapses, DESE must
appoint an administrative board composed of 2 district residents
and an experienced administrator, to hear recommendations for
reassigning portions of the lapsed district and maintain fiscal
oversight.  The administrative board has the authority of a
board of education for operating the former school district; the
board's authority expires 3 full school years following its
appointment, unless extended.  The administrative board may
sponsor a charter school.

SCHOOL BUDGETS. School districts must publish their budgets and
include the fiscal ratio of efficiency, the fund balances
required to avoid tax anticipation borrowing, and calculation of
the percentage of current operating costs expended for tuition
and teacher compensation/retirement, as well as other factors.
District audits must contain statements about the accuracy of
reporting of teacher compensation figures and whether teachers'
funds are being correctly used.  Districts may borrow from the
teachers', incidental or capital projects funds to meet
obligations in one of those funds; the full amount must be
repaid within the same fiscal year.  The school building
revolving fund, currently a loan and grant program, is narrowed
to a loan program, with an additional criterion that allows
districts at or near the limit of their bonded indebtedness to
apply for loans.  The priority ranking for such loans is
restructured to give greatest priority, after replacement of
damaged buildings, to districts with a high growth rate.
Interest on the loans is keyed to the priority ranking, with
damage-replacement loans bearing the lowest interest rates.

PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOLS.  New provisions define charter schools
as independent publicly supported schools, operating as
nonprofit corporations under a contract with a sponsor.  Charter
schools will receive local and state aid from the district of
residence but not transportation aid, although a district may
transport charter pupils and receive transportation aid for them.

In the city of St. Louis, in Jackson, Clay, Platte, Buchanan,
and St. Louis counties, and in any district in which the
graduation rate is less than 60%, either the local school
district or the State Board of Education may sponsor a charter
school.  In all other districts, only the local district board
or 2 or more districts operating cooperatively may sponsor a
charter school.  Charter schools must meet or exceed the state's
academic standards and must specify goals, objectives, and pupil
performance standards, and describe the nature and extent of
parental and community involvement in the school.  Charter
schools may affiliate with colleges, universities, community
colleges, and community-based nonprofit entities, although all
charter schools must operate in a nonsectarian manner.  Such
schools may also be restricted to one grade or age group and may
choose to emphasize one learning philosophy or certain subject
areas.  Charter schools must not limit admission based on
ethnicity, language proficiency, or athletic ability, among
other factors, but may restrict admission based on gender.

Charter school applicants who are denied a charter by their
local school district have the right to appeal their
applications to the State Board of Education, who may decide to
act as sponsor.  The state board may deny a school-district
sponsored charter application only if the application fails to
meet statutory requirements.  Sponsors may revoke charters, but
the termination of a charter school must occur only at the end
of a school year.  Reprisals against school district employees
involved in charter applications are prohibited.
Noncertificated personnel used in instructional positions in
charter schools are subject to a cap.  Background checks must be
conducted before hiring any employee.

A "Fund for Charter Schools and Alternative Educational
Opportunities" is established, deriving its moneys from those
deducted as penalties for a low fiscal instructional ratio of
efficiency under line 14b of the foundation formula.  These
moneys, as well as any other federal, state, public or private
funds, will be available for loans or grants.

LIMITED SCHOOL CHOICE.  School districts in Jackson, Clay, and
Platte counties, and St. Louis County and the city of St. Louis
may enroll nonresident students and will be entitled to the
greater of state aid that would be paid the district if the
student were counted as a resident or the state aid paid to the
student's district of residence.

OPTIONS FOR LOCAL EDUCATION AND PROPERTY TAX RELIEF.  Voters in
the city of St. Louis, Kansas City and Jackson County may enact
an education sales or earnings tax if the city or county
government places the issue on the ballot.  If such a tax is
enacted, the state board of education must calculate an
equivalent tax rate to be considered in calculating state aid.
If specified on the ballot, a portion of the revenues may be
used for a tax rate rollback.  Tax revenues must be distributed
to each district based on the district's share of total school
membership; revenues follow students to charter schools or to
the district attended.

ENDING TENURE FOR ST. LOUIS CITY PRINCIPALS.  The bill removes
the right to tenure of principals in the city of St. Louis,
specifying that principals removed from their positions do
retain tenure as teachers.

TUITION ASSISTANCE.  A "Missouri Tuition Assistance Program" is
created for districts with a graduation rate lower than 60%.
Students may apply at any age if they:

(1) are citizens or permanent residents of the United States and
legal residents of Missouri for 2 years preceding enrollment;

(2) sign a letter of commitment to graduate from high school;

(3) graduate from an accredited Missouri high school; and

(4) enroll and are accepted at any Missouri approved public or
private institution within 2 years of graduation from high
school.

A student's parent or guardian must also sign a commitment to
participate in a program to foster parental involvement in
education.

GENERALLY.  Definitions are added for current operating costs,
fiscal instructional ratio of efficiency, graduation rate, and
poverty concentration ratio.  Definitions for district adjusted
gross income per return and state adjusted gross income per
return are changed to reflect what was reported in the third,
rather than the second, preceding year; similarly,  the
definition of the operating levy for school purposes is changed
to reflect the values from the second year preceding the fiscal
year of equalization.  Definitions of free and reduced lunch
eligible pupil count and guaranteed tax base are changed to
incorporate both the second and third preceding years' figures;
the school aid formula is similarly changed to calculation of
lines 3 to 9 on the average of the second and third previous
years' amounts.  The ability of school districts to estimate
their eligible pupil count is also broadened to allow estimation
based on pupils in the second and third preceding years.  Fines
from concentrated animal feeding operations will be deducted
from the line 3 calculation.  The tuition rate is to be
calculated on the lesser of the per-pupil cost of maintaining
the district's grade level grouping, which is the only criterion
under current law, and the product of the equalized adjusted
operating levy multiplied by the guaranteed tax base per
eligible pupil.


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