Measuring Up



weight: 4 | possible total: 16

7. Performance-Based Charter Contracts Required

7A. Being created as a separate document from the application and executed by the governing board of the charter school and the authorizer. 7B. Defining the roles, powers, and responsibilities for the school and its authorizer. 7C. Defining academic and operational performance expectations by which the school will be judged, based on a performance framework that includes measures and metrics for, at a minimum, student academic proficiency and growth, achievement gaps, attendance, recurrent enrollment, postsecondary readiness (high schools), financial performance, and board stewardship (including compliance). 7D. Providing an initial term of five operating years (or a longer term with periodic high-stakes reviews. 7E. Including requirements addressing the unique environments of virtual schools, if applicable.

How well do states’ laws align to this component of the model law?

State

Charter Law Description

Score

Alaska

Alaska law requires charter contracts, but the requirements only concern school roles, powers, and responsibilities and don’t address authorizer roles, powers, and responsibilities. The law requires the contract to provide specific levels of achievement for the school's education program, but does not require a more detailed performance framework. Alaska law also provides that contracts may be for a term of no more than 10 years. It does not mandate that contracts include requirements addressing the unique environments of virtual schools.

8

Arizona

Arizona law provides that an authorizer of a charter school may contract with a public body, private person or private organization for the purpose of establishing a charter school.

Arizona law requires all such contracts to include elements from the application regarding the roles and responsibilities of charter schools, but does not require the inclusion of requirements regarding the role of the authorizers.

The law does not require contracts to include detailed performance expectations against which schools are to be judged. In implementing their oversight and administrative responsibilities, however, Arizona law requires authorizers to ground their actions in evidence of the charter holder’s performance in accordance with the performance framework adopted by the authorizer, which shall include the academic performance expectations of the charter school and the measurement of sufficient progress toward the academic performance expectations, the operational expectations of the charter school, including adherence to all applicable laws and obligations of the charter contract, and intervention and improvement policies.

Renewal requirement policies for those approved or currently overseen by the ASBCS include more detailed performance contracts, but these policies do not apply to other authorizers nor are they codified in Arizona law or the Arizona Administrative Code.

Arizona law provides that the initial charter term is 15 years, but requires authorizers to review charters at five-year intervals using a performance framework adopted by the authorizer.

Arizona law does not require that contracts include requirements addressing the unique environments of virtual schools.

8

Arkansas

Arkansas law requires that the charter must be in the form of a written contract signed by the state commissioner of education and the chief operating officer of the charter school, but there is no requirement that the charter school governing board sign it.

Arkansas law includes a long list of charter contract contents focused on school responsibilities, but nothing regarding roles and responsibilities of the authorizer.

Arkansas law specifies that the charter contract provides that the continuation or renewal of the charter is contingent on acceptable student performance on assessment instruments adopted by the state board and on compliance with any accountability provisions specified within the charter. It also provides that the charter contract must establish the level of student performance that is considered acceptable for continuance and renewal, but it does not define academic and operational performance expectations by which the school will be judged based on a performance framework with a minimum set of essential measures and metrics.

Arkansas law provides that the initial term of a charter is five years.

It does not require charter contracts to include provisions addressing the unique environments of virtual schools.

8

California

California law includes a small number of the model law’s provisions for performance-based charter contracts.
California law states that the charter petition becomes the charter. The law does not require a separately negotiated and executed charter contract that defines the roles, powers, and responsibilities for the school and its authorizer and includes clear performance terms and provisions based on a performance framework as recommended in the model law. In practice, most of the charter schools and authorizers in the state execute a memorandum of understanding that covers administrative and operational understandings, but the educational goals in the charter remain as stated in the petition.

California law provides that an initial charter may be granted for up to five years.

California law provides for accountability requirements specific to virtual charter schools.

4

Colorado

Colorado law requires a charter contract to be negotiated and executed between each charter school and its authorizer, based upon the approved charter application. The law specifies some administrative issues that contracts must address, but does not require clear articulation of the respective roles and responsibilities of charter schools and authorizers.

The law requires charter contracts to provide a description of the charter school’s measurable annual targets for the measures used to determine the levels of attainment of the performance indicators specified in state law and procedures for taking corrective action if student performance at the school falls below the described targets.

Colorado law requires that charter terms must be for at least four years. The law permits an authorizer and a charter school to agree to extend the length of a charter contract beyond five academic years for the purpose of enhancing the terms of any lease or financial obligation, but does not require periodic high-stakes reviews in such cases.

The law does not require contracts to include requirements addressing the unique environments of virtual schools.

8

Connecticut

Connecticut law includes none of the model law's provisions for performance-based charter contracts. Connecticut law provides that a charter may be granted for a period of up to five years.

0

Delaware

Upon approval of a charter school application, the law requires the state department of education to present applicants seeking a charter from the state with a charter contract that clearly defines the respective roles, powers, and responsibilities of the school and the approving authority and incorporates the provisions of the performance agreement entered into between the charter school and its approving authority pursuant to state regulations. The law provides that other approving authorities may choose to present applications they approve with such a charter contract. The law also states that where a charter contract is utilized, both the school and the approving authority shall execute the charter contract.

For state-authorized pubic charter schools, Delaware regulation provides that following charter approval, but not later than a date established by the state department of education, the applicant must enter into a performance agreement approved by the state department of education with the assent of the state board of education, which shall address the organizational, academic and financial performance expectations of the applicant during the term of the charter. The regulations require the state department of education, with the assent of the state board of education, to establish and publish a performance framework that shall be used to assess the school’s compliance with its performance agreement.

For an applicant proposing to serve students at risk of academic failure, regulations provide that the school’s performance agreement shall specify what, if any, portion of the performance framework shall or shall not apply to the school or whether the performance framework shall be modified to more appropriately measure the performance of the school.

The above provisions do not apply to charters authorized by local school boards.

Delaware law provides an initial term of four operating years.

Laws and regulations do not provide that charter contracts define the roles, powers, and responsibilities for the school and its authorizer.

8

District of Columbia

The law requires a charter agreement that is separate from the charter application.

The law requires that charter terms must be granted for 15 years, with a high-stakes review every five years to determine whether a charter should be revoked for reasons stated in the law.

The law does not require that the charter agreement define the roles, powers, and responsibilities for the school and its authorizer, does not require that the charter agreement define academic and operational performance expectations by which the school will be judged based on a performance framework, and does not require that the charter agreement include provisions addressing the unique environments of virtual schools.

8

Florida

Florida law requires the creation of charters signed by the governing board of the charter school and the authorizer. State board regulations have established a model contract form that all sponsors must use.

Florida law broadly requires that the charter agreement address the terms, conditions, and major issues involved in the operation of the school. It specifically defines a range of obligations of the school and certain functions of the authorizer, such as annual review of long term agreements, role in creating financial recovery plans, renewal, and modifying the charter agreement.

Florida law requires the charter to address the current incoming baseline standard of student academic achievement, the outcomes to be achieved, and the method of measurement that will be used. It does not require that charter contracts define academic and operational performance expectations by which the school will be judged based on a performance framework.

Florida law provides that initial charter terms are for four or five years, with several exceptions. In order to facilitate access to long-term financial resources for charter school construction, the law allows charter schools that are operated by a municipality or other public entity to be eligible for up to a 15-year charter, subject to approval by the district school board. It also provides that a charter lab school is eligible for a charter for a term of up to 15 years. In addition, to facilitate access to long-term financial resources for charter school construction, the law allows charter schools that are operated by a private, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) status corporation to be eligible for up to a 15-year charter, subject to approval by the district school board. Finally, the law provides that a school which meets the requirements to be defined as a “high performing” school shall receive a modification of its charter to a term of 15 years. The law makes such long-term charters subject to annual review and provides that they may be terminated during the term of the charter.

State law requires that contracts address the unique environments of virtual schools.

12

Georgia

Georgia law defines the charter as a performance-based contract between the petitioner and authorizer, utilizing terms set forth in the charter law and the petition and approved by the authorizer.

The law requires the petition to define the roles, powers, and responsibilities of schools but not authorizers. These items are incorporated into the contract.

The law requires the petition to generally define academic and operational performance expectations, which are incorporated into the contract. However, it does not require the contract to more specifically define academic and operational performance expectations by which the school will be judged based on a performance framework.

Under Georgia law, charters are issued for a minimum of five years (unless applicants seek a shorter term), and may not exceed 10 years.

The law does not require contracts to include provisions addressing the unique environment of virtual schools.

8

Hawaii

Hawaii’s law clearly states that the charter is a separate document signed by the governing board and the authorizer that defines the responsibilities of both parties. The law also requires the contract contain a detailed performance framework including every item specifically mentioned in the model law.

The law is silent on the length of the initial charter contract (although it notes that charters can be renewed for additional terms up to five years each time).

There are no specific requirements for charter schools engaged in “virtual education” (as it is called in the law).

8

Idaho

Idaho law requires the authorized chartering entity and the governing board of the approved public charter school to execute a performance certificate that clearly sets forth the academic and operational performance expectations and measures by which the public charter school will be judged and the administrative relationship between the authorized chartering entity and public charter school, including each party's rights and duties.

Idaho law requires the performance certificate to be based upon a performance framework that clearly sets forth the academic and operational performance indicators, measures, and metrics that will guide the authorizer’s evaluations of each public charter school.

Idaho law requires the Idaho law requires that an initial charter shall be granted for a term of three operating years.

The law does not requires contracts to include provisions addressing the unique environments of virtual schools.

8

Illinois

Illinois law provides that a certified charter proposal constitutes a binding contract and agreement between the charter school and a local school board under the terms of which the local school board authorizes the governing body of the charter school to operate the charter school, including the roles, powers, and responsibilities of the charter school and the pupil performance standards to be achieved by the charter school. But such contracts are not required to be separate contracts signed by both legal parties, to define the roles, powers, and responsibilities of authorizers, and to define academic and operational performance expectations by which the school will be judged based on a performance framework.

Illinois law provides that a charter may be granted for not less than five years and not more than 10 years.

It does not require contracts to include provisions addressing the unique environments of virtual schools.

8

Indiana

Indiana law requires a “charter” (which serves as the “charter contract”).

Indiana law requires the charter to define the roles, powers, and responsibilities for the school and its authorizer.

Indiana law requires the charter to set forth the methods by which the charter school will be held accountable for achieving the educational mission and goals of the charter school, including evidence of improvement in assessment measures (including the state tests and end of course assessments), attendance rates, graduation rates if appropriate, increased numbers of Core 40 diplomas and other college and career ready indicators including advanced placement participation and passage, dual credit participation and passage, and International Baccalaureate participation and passage if appropriate, increased numbers of academic honors and technical honors diplomas if appropriate, student academic growth, financial performance and stability, and governing board performance and stewardship, including compliance with applicable laws, rules and regulations, and charter terms.

The law requires a charter school to set annual performance targets in conjunction with the charter school’s authorizer that are designed to help each school meet applicable federal, state, and authorizer expectations.

The law requires that minimum standards for renewal and the standards to avoid closure imposed by authorizers on the charter school in the charter school agreement must include a requirement that the charter school not fall within the application of a state law for chronically low-performing public schools.
Indiana law provides that a charter may be granted for not less than three years. In practice, most charters have seven-year terms.

The law does not include requirements addressing the unique environments of virtual schools.

12

Iowa

Iowa law lacks most of the model law’s provisions for performance-based charter contracts. Instead of requiring that a charter contract be created as a separate document from the application, Iowa law indicates that the charter school application constitutes a contract agreement between the local school board and the state board of education. Such applications must detail the operations of the school, but are not required to contain details regarding the role and responsibility of the authorizer (other than the provision of school facilities and the support services the school district will provide).

Regulations further add that an approved application must be part of the contract for the operation of the charter school, and that the terms of the contract must also outline the reasons for revocation or nonrenewal of the school.

Iowa law requires the application/contact to include performance goals and objectives by which the school’s student achievement will be judged, the measures to be used to assess progress, and the current baseline status with respect to the goals.

At a minimum, Iowa law requires the terms of the contracts to be for four years.

4

Kansas

Kansas law lacks most of the model law’s provisions for performance-based charter contracts. However, Kansas law provides that operating terms for charter schools are five years.

4

Louisiana

Louisiana law and state board of education policy established through formal rulemaking define the requirements for charter contracts, covering many performance, financial, and operational criteria.

The law and policy provide that the charter contract represents the legal agreement between the state board of education and the school, which defines the rights and responsibilities of the parties. The law and policy also require charter schools authorized by districts to operate pursuant to the rights and responsibilities laid out in a charter contract.

The law and policy provide that charter contracts must include specific student performance, financial, and legal and contractual standards that must be met by the charter operator during the term of the charter contract.

Under Louisiana law, initial charters are issued for four years, and may be extended for the maximum initial term of five years contingent on a performance evaluation made after the third year.

Nothing specific to virtual schools is required to be noted in the contract.

12

Maine

Maine law defines the charter contract as a performance-based contract for a fixed term between a charter school and an authorizer that describes performance expectations, provides operational responsibilities, and outlines the autonomy and accountability for each party for the contract.

Statute requires that the charter contract define academic and operational performance expectations by which a school will be judged based on a performance framework that includes measures and metrics for, at a minimum, student academic proficiency and growth, achievement gaps, attendance, recurrent enrollment, postsecondary readiness (high schools), financial performance, and board stewardship (including compliance).

Statute provides that the initial charter term must be five years. The law also includes requirements specific to virtual charter schools.

16

Maryland

Maryland law includes none of the model law's provisions for performance-based charter contracts.

0

Massachusetts

Massachusetts does not have a performance contract per se, relying instead on promises made in the charter application against the application criteria, the statement of assurances signed by the founding group, and criteria defined separately in the Common School Performance Criteria for charter schools.

Massachusetts law provides that charter contract terms are for five years.

8

Michigan

Per statute, authorizers must issue a contract for each approved charter school, with a copy of that contract being sent to the state superintendent of public instruction, along with a copy of the application.

Michigan law requires each contract to contain educational goals and how they will be assessed using at least the state assessment program, methods to monitor the school’s compliance with applicable laws, a process for amending the contract, all matters set forth in the application, the renewal process and standards which must include student growth as a major factor, procedures and grounds for revoking the contract, description of and address for the physical plant, and requirements and procedures for financial audits.

However, the law does not require the contract to include details regarding the responsibilities for each authorizer and define academic and operational performance expectations by which the school will be judged based on a performance framework.

The law provides that the initial charter term may be up to 10 years, with a mandatory review at least every seven years.

Statute does require some additional contract provisions for cyber schools.

12

Minnesota

Per statute, a written contract is required as signed by the authorizer and the charter school’s board of directors with details including a declaration that the charter school will carry out the primary purpose for charter schools in state law and how the school will report its implementation of the primary purpose, a declaration of the additional purpose or purposes for charter schools in state law that the school intends to carry out and how the school will report its implementation of those purposes, the operations of the school, specific outcomes students are to achieve, the criteria, processes, and procedures that the authorizer will use to monitor and evaluate the fiscal, operational, and academic performance consistent with state law, for contract renewal the formal written performance evaluation of the school that is a prerequisite for reviewing a charter contract under state law, the specific conditions for contract renewal that identify performance under the primary purpose for charter schools in state law as the most important factor in determining contract renewal, the additional purposes for charter schools in state law related performance obligations contained in the charter contract as additional factors in determining contract renewal, and the plan for the orderly closing of a school, if a charter is terminated.

Minnesota law requires the initial contract may be for up to five years.

A virtual charter school must follow the same statutory provisions, including approval by the state commissioner, as all other public school districts wishing to operate an online program or school. Thus, such charter schools must go through two sets of approvals, one for being a charter school and one for operating an online program or an online school. However, the law does not require charter contracts to include requirements addressing the unique environments of virtual schools.

12

Mississippi

Statute defines a charter contract to be a fixed term, renewable contract between a charter school board and an authorizer that outlines the roles, powers, responsibilities, and performance expectations for each party. It also requires such contracts to contain a performance framework that details the academic and operational performance indicators, including all those included in the model law.

The initial contract must be granted for a term of five years.

The law does not require charters to include requirements addressing the unique environments of virtual schools.

12

Missouri

The law does not require that a charter contract be created as a separate document from the application and executed by the governing board of the charter school and the authorizer. Under Missouri law, the charter application is the “proposed contract.” If approved, the application becomes the charter contract.

The law requires the application/contract to define the responsibilities of the charter school and the authorizer.

The law requires the application/contract to contain a description of the charter school's pupil performance standards and academic program performance standards. According to the law, the charter school program shall be designed to enable each pupil to achieve such standards and shall contain a complete set of indicators, measures, metrics, and targets for academic program performance, including specific goals on graduation rates and standardized test performance and academic growth.

Missouri law provides that the term of charter agreements must be five years.

The law does not include requirements addressing the unique environments of virtual schools.

8

Nevada

Nevada law requires charter contracts be executed by the governing body of a charter school and the authorizer of the charter school and include a description of the administrative relationship between the authorizer and the charter school, including, without limitation, the rights and duties of the authorizer and the charter school.

If the authorizer is the State Public Charter School Authority or a college or university within the Nevada System of Higher Education, law and regulation provide that a written charter contract must set forth the responsibilities of the authorizer and the charter school with regard to the provision of services and programs to pupils with disabilities who are enrolled in the charter school in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. This provision does not apply to charters authorized by local school boards.

The law requires charter contracts to define academic, financial, and organizational performance expectations by which the school will be judged based on a performance framework

The law provides that a written charter contract must be for a term of six years.

The law does not include requirements addressing the unique environments of virtual schools.

12

New Hampshire

New Hampshire law requires the use of a charter contract and provides a detailed list of required contractual items that focus on the responsibilities for the school but do not cover the roles and responsibilities of the authorizer.

It requires the contract to include academic and other learning goals and objectives as well as achievement tests to be used to measure pupil academic and other goal achievement for specific subject areas, but does not include a more robust list of academic and operational performance expectations based on a performance framework.

New Hampshire law provides that the initial charter contract is for a five-year term.

It does not include requirements addressing the unique environments of virtual schools.

8

New Jersey

State rules include the definition of a charter agreement to be a written agreement between a charter school and the state commissioner that sets forth criteria the school must satisfy, including, but not limited to, measurable performance goals and indicators in the school’s performance framework (with such performance framework elements detailed to include all pieces from the model law except recurrent enrollment). There is no specific requirement that the contract state that the roles, powers, and responsibilities for both parties be defined.

The law provides that the initial term of a charter is for four years.

The law does not include requirements addressing the unique environments of virtual schools.

8

New Mexico

According to New Mexico law, authorizers must enter into a contract with the governing body of the applicant charter school within 30 days of approval. The law requires the charter contract to be legally binding and serve as the final authorization for the charter school. The law requires the charter contract to specify the authorizer’s duties to the charter school, including the process and criteria used to annually monitor and evaluate the charter school. The law requires the contract to include any dispute resolution processes agreed to by both parties.

New Mexico law requires the final approved charter contract to define the academic and operational performance expectations by which the school will be judged, based on a performance framework that includes measures and metrics for, at a minimum, student academic proficiency and growth, achievement gaps, attendance, recurrent enrollment, postsecondary readiness (high schools), financial performance, and board stewardship (including compliance).

According to New Mexico law, a charter school may be approved for an initial term of six years; provided that the first year shall be used exclusively for planning and not for completing the application.

The law does not include requirements addressing the unique environments of virtual schools.

12

New York

Under New York law, successful applicants must enter into a formal charter agreement with their authorizer. The law provides that such contacts must explicitly include the elements identified in the section of the New York Charter Schools Act relating to applications, including the roles and responsibilities of the school and of the authorizer, student achievement goals, and methods to determine if students have attained the skills and knowledge specified in those goals. Statute requires that the contracts for any schools approved detail specific academic performance expectations.

In practice, charter schools in New York are generally held accountable for additional academic and operational expectations incorporated by their authorizer into the charter agreement. This practice is consistent with New York charter law, which states that the charter agreement shall include any other terms or conditions, not inconsistent with law, agreed upon by the applicant and the charter entity. The SUNY Trustees, for example, utilize a particularly comprehensive charter agreement.

New York law provides that the initial term may not exceed five operating years.

12

North Carolina

North Carolina law provides that a charter school must operate under the written charter contract signed by the authorizer and the applicant that incorporates the information provided in the application, as modified during the charter approval process, and any terms and conditions imposed on the charter school by the state board of education. It also provides that no other terms may be imposed on the charter school as a condition for receipt of local funds.

North Carolina law allows the state board of education to grant the initial charter for a period not to exceed 10 years and requires the state board of education to review the operations of each charter school at least once every five years to ensure that the school is meeting the expected academic, financial, and governance standards.

State board policy includes requirements addressing the unique environments of virtual schools.

The law does not define the roles, powers, and responsibilities for the school and its authorizer and does not define academic and operational performance expectations by which the school will be judged based on a performance framework.

Although this information is not counted within this analysis (since these provisions are not codified in state law or state board policy), the state’s charter application includes many aspects of the model law’s charter contract requirements, including clear definitions regarding the roles, powers, and responsibilities for the school and its authorizer. In addition, each application must state the measureable academic goals of the schools, but it does not need to address each of the performance metrics identified in the model law.

8

Ohio

Ohio law requires a contract between the authorizer and the governing board of the charter school that articulates, among other things, the focus of the curriculum, the academic goals to be achieved, the method of measurement that will be used to determine progress toward the academic goals, and the duties and responsibilities of both the charter school governing board and the authorizer.

Under Ohio law, each contract entered into between a sponsor and governing board of the community school shall not exceed 5 years.

While the law requires the charter contract to articulate the academic goals to be achieved and the method of measurement that will be used to determine progress toward the academic goals, it does not require the charter contract to define academic and operational performance expectations by which the school will be judged based on a performance framework that includes measures and metrics for a wide range of indicators. It also doesn’t require charter contracts to include provisions addressing the unique environments of virtual schools.

8

Oklahoma

Oklahoma law requires the authorizer and charter school governing board to enter into a written contract, but the requirements only concern school roles, powers, and responsibilities and don’t address authorizer roles, powers, and responsibilities.

The law does not explicitly require performance expectations or responsibilities to be incorporated in the contract.

Oklahoma law provides that a charter contract may not be longer than five years.

It does not require contracts to include requirements addressing virtual schools.

8

Oregon

Oregon law requires the execution of a legally binding “charter” that is separate from the charter proposal. It provides that the charter is based on the proposal, but that the authorizer and the charter governing body may agree to change or exclude elements in developing the charter.

The law does not require charter contracts to define the roles, powers, and responsibilities for the school and its authorizer and to define academic and operational performance expectations by which the school will be judged based on a performance framework.

Oregon law provides that an initial charter term may not exceed five years.

The law requires contracts to include specific provisions addressing the unique environments of virtual charter schools.

8

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania law requires a “written charter” as signed by the authorizer and the board of trustees of the charter school, with such written charter incorporating the school’s application.

Statute is clear that the written charter must contain the provisions of the application as to what the charter school is to do, but does not include the responsibilities of the authorizer. It also only generally mentions the need for “performance standards set forth in the written charter” within the revocation section instead of defining academic and operational performance expectations by which the school will be judged based on a performance framework.

Pennsylvania law provides that initial charters can be no less than three years and not more than five years.

Pennsylvania law requires contracts to include provisions addressing the unique environments of virtual schools.

8

Rhode Island

Regulations detail charter contract requirements, including the creation of a final charter contract document which details various things including: the power to operate as a local education agency or as a public school within another local education agency; the obligations of the authorizer; and academic and operational performance expectations (including student academic goals, post-secondary readiness for high schools, organizational performance including financial issues, student and teacher attrition, and parent and student satisfaction).

Regulations state that charter contracts are granted for a fixed term not to exceed five years (which means there is no guarantee of at least five years).

12

South Carolina

South Carolina law provides that a charter application constitutes an agreement between the charter school and the authorizer. It requires that a charter contract between the charter school and the authorizer must be executed and must reflect all provisions outlined in the applications as well as the roles, powers, responsibilities, and performance expectations for each party to the contract. However, it does not require that contracts define academic and operational performance expectations by which the school will be judged, based on a performance framework.

South Carolina law provides an initial term of 10 years with annual reviews.

The law does not require contracts to include provisions addressing the unique environments of virtual schools.

12

Tennessee

Tennessee law requires the approval of a written agreement signed by the school and the authorizer, but the agreement only includes school roles, powers, and responsibilities. It does not address authorizer roles, powers, and responsibilities.

Tennessee law requires that the term of charter agreements be 10 years. It also provides that an interim review of a charter school must be conducted by its authorizer under guidelines developed by the state department of education in the fifth year of a charter school's initial period of operation and also in the fifth year following any renewal of a charter agreement. Such guidelines must require a charter school to submit to the authorizer a report on the progress of the school in achieving the goals, objectives, pupil performance standards, content standards and other terms of the approved charter agreement.

Tennessee law does not require charter contracts to define academic and operational performance expectations by which the school will be judged based on a performance framework.

8

Texas

Texas law provides that a district-authorized charter must be in the form and substance of a written contract signed by the president of the board of trustees granting the charter and the principal or equivalent chief operating officer of the school for which the charter is granted.

Texas law provides that a charter for a state-authorized charter school shall be in the form of a written contract signed by the state commissioner of education and the chief operating officer of the school.

Texas law requires that contracts define the roles, powers, and responsibilities for the school but not the authorizer.

Texas law provides that each charter for a state-authorized charter school must, among other things, provide that continuation of the charter is contingent on the status of the charter as determined by state law, specify the academic, operational, and financial performance expectations by which a school operating under the charter will be evaluated (which must include applicable elements of the performance frameworks adopted under state law), specify any basis on which the charter may be revoked, renewal of the charter may be denied, or the charter may be allowed to expire, and specify the standards for evaluation of a school operating under the charter for purposes of charter renewal, denial of renewal, expiration, revocation, or other intervention in accordance with state law. This law does not apply to district authorizers.

The law requires the commissioner to develop and by rule adopt performance frameworks that establish standards by which to measure the performance of an open-enrollment charter school. The law specifies that the performance frameworks shall be based on national best practices that charter school authorizers use in developing and applying standards for charter school performance. The law provides that In evaluating an open-enrollment charter school, the commissioner shall measure school performance against an established set of quality standards developed and adopted by the commissioner. Each year, the law requires the commissioner to evaluate the performance of each open-enrollment charter school based on the applicable performance frameworks adopted. This law does not apply to district authorizers.

The law provides that a charter granted by a local school board expires 10 years from the date the charter is granted unless the specified goals are substantially met as determined by the local school board. The state board of education charter application stipulates a charter will be granted for five years with a possible renewal of 10 years. The state education agency treats the charter application as an administrative rule.

Texas law contains express provisions regarding contracts with virtual school providers, though the provisions are quite broad.

12

Utah

Utah law requires a written contractual agreement to be executed following the approval of a charter application. The law sets forth a list of major issues to be addressed in the charter contract, including the roles, powers, and responsibilities for the school.

However, the law does not require the contract to address the roles, powers, and responsibilities of the authorizer, define academic and operational performance expectations by which the school will be judged based on a performance framework, and include requirements addressing the unique environments of virtual schools. It also does not limit the duration of charter terms. As such, charters do not expire in Utah but they may be revoked.

Overall, many of the pieces for performance-based charter contracts have been implemented for schools authorized by the state charter school board, but these pieces are not required of all authorizers nor are they codified in Utah law or rule.

4

Virginia

Virginia law lacks most of the model law’s provisions for performance-based charter contracts. Instead of requiring that a charter contract be created as a separate document from the application, Virginia law provides that an approved charter application constitutes an agreement and the application’s terms are the terms of a contract between a public charter school and its authorizer.

Virginia law provides that the contract between the public charter school and its authorizer must reflect all agreements regarding the release of the public charter school from school division policies. It provides that such contract between the public charter school and its authorizer must reflect all requests for release of the public charter school from state regulations.

4

Washington

Statute defines a charter contract to be a fixed term, renewable contract between a charter school board and an authorizer that outlines the roles, powers, responsibilities, and performance expectations for each party. It also requires such contracts to contain a performance framework that details the academic and operational performance indicators, including all those included in the model law.

The initial contract must be granted for a term of five years.

The law does not require charters to include requirements addressing the unique environments of virtual schools.

12

Wisconsin

Under Wisconsin law, charter contracts exist as separate documents from the application and are between the authorizer and governing board of a charter school, but the requirements only concern school roles, powers, and responsibilities and don’t address authorizer roles, powers, and responsibilities. The law also doesn’t require contracts to include academic and operational performance expectations based on a performance framework and doesn't include requirements addressing the unique environments of virtual schools.

Wisconsin law requires an initial charter term of five years.

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Wyoming

Wyoming law lacks most of the model law’s provisions for performance-based charter contracts. However, Wyoming law requires an approved charter application to serve as the basis for a contract between the charter school and the school district. The law also provides that initial charter contracts may be granted for a term up to five years and permits a charter school and its authorizer to agree to extend the length of the charter beyond five years for the purpose of enhancing the terms of any lease or financial obligation.

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