Idaho

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1996
Year Charter School Law Was Enacted
53
Estimated Number of Charter Schools in 2017-18
21,900
Estimated Number of Charter School Students in 2017-18
153
out of
240
Total Score

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Idaho’s law is cap-free, provides multiple authorizers, and provides a fair amount of autonomy and accountability. However, it still provides inequitable funding to public charter schools.

Potential areas for improvement include creating authorizer accountability requirements, ensuring equitable operational funding and equitable access to capital funding and facilities, and strengthening accountability for full-time virtual charter schools.

Component Scores

Are there caps on the growth of charter schools in this state?

Idaho law does not place any caps on charter school growth.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Yes
1A
No numeric or geographic limits are placed on the number of charter public schools or students.
N/A
1B
If caps exist, there is room for growth.

Are a variety of charter schools allowed?

Idaho law allows new start-ups and public school conversions.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Yes
2A
New startups.
Yes
2B
Public school conversions.

Are non-district authorizers available to which charter applicants may directly apply?

Idaho law allows the following entities to authorize charter schools: local school boards, a state charter school commission, a state public college, university, or community college, and a private, nonprofit, state-based, nonsectarian college or university that is accredited by the same organization that accredits state public colleges and universities. The law also allows the state board of education to authorize schools upon appeal if denied by an authorizer other than a local school board and to redirect denials by local school boards to the state charter school commission. The law provides that virtual charter school applications may be submitted to any authorizer except a local school board.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Yes
3A
The state allows an applicant anywhere in the state to apply directly to a non-district authorizer(s).

Is an authorizer and overall program accountability system required?

Idaho law includes a small number of the model law's provisions for authorizer and overall program accountability.While the law does not require the legislature and governor to regularly review the performance of the state charter school commission as an authorizer, they can do so at any time. In addition, the legislature and governor can remove the ability of the state charter school commission to continue authorizing (the entities that gave it that authority).
The law does not require at least a registration process for school boards to affirm their interest in chartering to the state, does not require an application process for higher education authorizing entities, does not require authorizer submission of an annual report that summarizes the agency’s authorizing activities as well as the performance of its school portfolio, does not require a regular review process by the state of local school board and higher education authorizers, does not give the state the authority to sanction local school board and higher education authorizers, and does not require a periodic formal evaluation of overall state charter school program and outcomes.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
No
4A
Registration process for school boards to affirm their interest in authorizing.
No
4B
Application process for other eligible authorizing entities (except a state charter schools commission).
No
4C
Authorizer submission of annual report.
Some
4D
The ability for the state to conduct a review of an authorizer’s performance.
Some
4E
The ability for the state to sanction an authorizer for poor performance, including suspending an authorizer’s authority to approve new schools.
No
4F
Periodic formal evaluation of overall state charter school program and outcomes.

Is there adequate authorizer funding?

Idaho law includes a small number of the model law's provisions regarding adequate authorizer funding.
The law requires each public charter school to pay an authorizer fee to its authorized chartering entity to defray the actual documented cost of monitoring, evaluation and oversight, which, in the case of public charter schools authorized by the public charter school commission, shall include each school's proportional fee share of all moneys appropriated to the public charter school commission, plus 15%. The law allows each public charter school's board of directors to direct up to 10% of the calculated fee to pay membership fees to an organization or association that provides technical assistance, training and advocacy for Idaho public charter schools.

Unless the authorized chartering entity declines payment, such fee shall not exceed the greater of:
(a) all state funds distributed to public schools on a support unit basis for the prior fiscal year, divided by the statewide number of public school students in average daily attendance in the first reporting period in the prior fiscal year; or the lesser of the result of the calculation in (a) multiplied by 4 or 1.5% of the result of the calculation in (a) multiplied by the public charter school's average daily attendance in the first reporting period in the current fiscal year.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Yes
5A
A uniform statewide formula that guarantees annual authorizer funding that is not subject to annual legislative appropriations.
No
5B
Requirement to publicly report detailed authorizer expenditures.
No
5C
Separate contract for any services purchased from an authorizer by a school.
No
5D
Prohibition on authorizers requiring schools to purchase services from them.

Are there transparent charter application, review, and decisionmaking processes?

Idaho law and regulations set forth general application elements for all charter petitions. The law includes requirements specific to conversion schools and using educational service providers.The law requires a public hearing for each charter application, but it does not require in-person interviews.

The law requires authorizers to make charter approval and denial decisions in an open meeting and provide written notice of approval or denial to each applicant, with reasons for denial stated in writing.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Yes
6A
Application elements for all schools.
Yes
6B
Additional application elements specific to conversion schools.
Yes
6C
Additional application elements specific to using educational service providers.
No
6D
Additional application elements specific to replications.
Some
6E
Requirement for thorough evaluation of each application, including an in-person interview and a public meeting.
No
6F
Application approval criteria.
Yes
6G
All charter approval or denial decisions made in a public meeting with authorizers stating reasons for denials in writing.

Are performance-based charter contracts required?

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 that an initial charter shall be granted for a term of three operating years.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Yes
7A
Being created as a separate document from the application and executed by the governing board of the charter school and the authorizer.
Yes
7B
Defining the roles, powers, and responsibilities for the school and its authorizer.
Yes
7C
Defining academic, financial, and operational performance expectations by which the school will be judged based on a performance framework.
No
7D
Providing an initial term of five operating years.

Are there comprehensive charter school monitoring and data collection processes?

The law provides that an authorized chartering entity shall continually monitor the performance and legal compliance of the public charter schools it oversees, including collecting and analyzing data to support ongoing evaluation according to the performance certificate. For each public charter school it oversees, the law requires the authorizer to be responsible for analyzing and reporting all data from state assessments in accordance with the performance framework. Regulations authorize and require chartering entities to engage in compliance monitoring to ensure that each charter school meets the terms of its charter and complies with applicable laws. The regulations address performance monitoring through annual school accreditation reports and annual reporting on educational goal attainment.
Idaho law requires charter schools to submit to their authorizer an annual audit of fiscal operations and a copy of the school’s accreditation report. It also requires charter schools to comply with the same financial reporting requirements as school districts.

The law provides that every authorized chartering entity shall have the authority to conduct or require oversight activities that enable the authorized chartering entity to fulfill its responsibilities, including conducting appropriate inquiries and investigations, so long as those activities are consistent with the intent of the state’s charter law, adhere to the terms of the performance certificate, and do not unduly inhibit the autonomy granted to public charter schools.

The law provides that each authorized chartering entity shall annually publish and make available to the public a performance report for each public charter school it oversees, in accordance with the performance framework set forth in the performance certificate. It also provides that authorized chartering entity may require each public charter school it oversees to submit an annual report to assist the authorized chartering entity in gathering complete information about each school consistent with the performance framework.

Idaho law requires authorizers to give charter schools written notice of perceived defects and reasonable opportunity to cure such defects through a corrective action plan developed by the school.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Yes
8A
Required annual school performance reports.
Yes
8B
Financial accountability for charter schools (e.g., generally accepted accounting principles, independent annual audit reported to authorizer).
Yes
8C
Authorizer authority to conduct oversight activities.
Yes
8D
Authorizer notification to its schools of perceived problems, with opportunities to remedy such problems.
Yes
8E
Authorizer authority to take appropriate corrective actions or exercise sanctions short of revocation.
No
8F
Authorizer may not request duplicative data submission from its charter schools and may not use performance framework to create cumbersome reporting requirements.

Are there clear processes for renewal, nonrenewal, and revocation decisions?

No later than November 15 of each year, the law requires the authorized chartering entity to issue a public charter school performance report and charter renewal application guidance to any public charter school whose charter will expire the following year. It requires the performance report to summarize the public charter school's performance record to date, based upon the data required by the state’s charter law and the performance certificate and provide notice of any weaknesses or concerns determined by the authorized chartering entity concerning the public charter school that may jeopardize its position in seeking renewal, if not timely rectified. The law provides the public charter school with thirty days to respond to the performance report and submit any corrections or clarifications for the report.
The law provides that the renewal application guidance shall, at a minimum, provide an opportunity for the public charter school to present additional evidence, beyond the data contained in the performance report, supporting its case for charter renewal and describe improvements undertaken or planned for the school. The law provides that the renewal application guidance shall include or refer explicitly to the criteria that will guide the authorized chartering entity's renewal decisions, which shall be based on independent fiscal audits and the performance framework set forth in the performance certificate.

No later than December 15, the law requires the governing board of a public charter school seeking renewal to submit a renewal application to the authorized chartering entity pursuant to the renewal application guidance issued by the authorized chartering entity.

The law includes a differentiated process for the renewal of high performing charter schools.

The law requires an authorized chartering entity to renew any charter in which the public charter school met all of the terms of its performance certificate at the time of renewal. It provides that an authorized chartering entity may renew or nonrenew any charter in which the public charter school failed to meet one or more of the terms of its performance certificate.

The law provides that a charter may be revoked by the authorized chartering entity if the public charter school has failed to meet any of the specific, written conditions for necessary improvements established pursuant to certain provisions of state law by the dates specified.

In making charter renewal decisions, the law requires every authorized chartering entity to ground its decisions in evidence of the school's performance over the term of the performance certificate in accordance with the performance framework set forth in the performance certificate, ensure that data used in making renewal decisions are available to the school and the public, and provide a public report summarizing the evidence basis for each decision.

Following the initial three year term, the law provides that an authorized chartering entity may nonrenew or grant renewal for an additional five years, based upon the performance of the public charter school on the performance indicators, measures and metrics contained in the performance certificate. The law provides that subsequent renewals shall be for a term of five years.

The law requires an authorized chartering entity to develop revocation and nonrenewal processes that: provide the charter holders with a timely notification of the prospect of revocation or nonrenewal and of the reasons for such possible closure, which shall be limited to failure to meet the terms of the performance certificate or the written conditions established by the authorizer; allow the charter holders a reasonable amount of time in which to prepare a response; provide the charter holders with an opportunity to submit documents and give testimony challenging the rationale for closure and in support of the continuation of the school at an orderly proceeding held for that purpose; allow the charter holders to be represented by counsel and to call witnesses on their behalf; permit the recording of such proceedings; and, after a reasonable period for deliberation, require a final determination to be made and conveyed in writing to the charter holders.

The law provides that revocation may not occur until the public charter school has been afforded a public hearing, unless the authorized chartering entity determines that the continued operation of the public charter school presents an imminent public safety issue, in which case the charter may be revoked immediately. The law provides that public hearings shall be conducted by the authorized chartering entity or such other person or persons appointed by the authorized chartering entity to conduct public hearings and receive evidence as a contested case. The law provides that notice and opportunity to reply shall include, at a minimum, written notice setting out the basis for consideration of revocation, a period of not less than thirty days within which the public charter school can reply in writing, and a public hearing within thirty days of the receipt of the written reply.

The law provides that if an authorized chartering entity revokes or does not renew a charter, the authorized chartering entity shall clearly state, in a resolution of its governing board, the reasons for the revocation or nonrenewal.

The law requires authorizers to have school closure protocols to ensure timely parent notification, orderly student and record transitions, and property and asset disposition.

The law provides that a charter contract may be transferred to any authorizing charter entity in the state, provided that the current authorizer, new authorizer, and board of the charter school agree. There is no requirement that the state approve any such transfer, though there is an opportunity to appeal to the state board of education if there is a disagreement over transferring a charter.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Yes
9A
Authorizer must issue school performance renewal reports to schools whose charter will expire the following year.
Yes
9B
Schools seeking renewal must apply for it.
Yes
9C
Authorizers must issue renewal application guidance that provides an opportunity for schools to augment their performance record and discuss improvements and future plans.
Yes
9D
Ability to have a differentiated process for renewal of high-performing charter schools.
Yes
9E
Authorizers must use clear criteria for renewal and nonrenewal/revocation.
Yes
9F
Authorizers must ground renewal decisions based on evidence regarding the school’s performance over the term of the charter contract in accordance with the performance framework set forth in the charter contract.
No
9G
Requirement that authorizers close chronically low-performing charter schools unless exceptional circumstances exist.
No
9H
Authorizers must have the authority to vary length of charter renewal contract terms based on performance or other issues.
Yes
9I
Authorizers must provide charter schools with timely notification of potential revocation or nonrenewal (including reasons) and reasonable time to respond.
Yes
9J
Authorizers must provide charter schools with due process for nonrenewal and revocation decisions (e.g., public hearing, submission of evidence).
Yes
9K
All charter renewal, nonrenewal, and revocation decisions must be made in a public meeting, with authorizers stating reasons for nonrenewals and revocations in writing.
Yes
9L
Authorizers must have school closure protocols to ensure timely parent notification, orderly student and record transitions, and property and asset disposition.
No
9M
Any transfer of charter contracts from one authorizer to another are only allowed if they are approved by the state.

Is there transparency regarding educational service providers?

Idaho law allows a charter school board to legally contract with for-profit entities “for the provision of products or services that aid in the operation of the school.” The law requires that prior to approval of the charter petition indicating the school board’s intention to contract with an educational services provider, authorized chartering entities shall conduct a thorough evaluation of the academic, financial and organizational outcomes of other schools that have contracted with the educational services provider and evidence of the educational services provider’s capacity to successfully grow the public charter school while maintaining quality management and instruction in existing schools.
The law requires contracts between the charter school board and the educational service provider to ensure the board’s right to terminate for failure to meet defined performance standards, but such contracts are not required to be approved by the school’s authorizer.
The law prevents many (but not all) conflicts of interest by prohibiting any member of a charter school board of directors from benefiting financially, whether directly or indirectly, from a contractual relationship with the school. Idaho law prohibits charter school board members, as public officers, from having an interest in any contract entered into by the board. The law generally prohibits charter school contracts from being awarded to spouses of charter school board members. The law requires that ESPs, whether for-profit or nonprofit, shall be third-party entities separate from the public charter schools with which they contract. No more than one-third (1/3) of the public charter school’s board membership may be comprised of nonprofit educational services provider representatives. Nonprofit educational services provider representatives may not be employees of the public charter school or the educational services provider and may not hold office as president or treasurer on the public charter school’s board. For-profit educational services providers may not have representatives on the public charter school’s board of directors.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Yes
10A
All types of educational service providers (both for-profit and nonprofit) are allowed to operate all or parts of schools.
Yes
10B
The charter application requires (1) performance data for all current and past schools operated by the ESP, and (2) explanation and evidence of the ESP’s capacity for successful growth while maintaining quality in existing schools.
Some
10C
A performance contract is required between the independent charter school board and the ESP, with such contract approved by the school’s authorizer.
Some
10D
School governing boards operate as entities completely independent of any ESP, individuals compensated by an ESP are prohibited from serving as voting members on such boards, and existing and potential conflicts of interest between the two entities are required to be disclosed and explained in the charter application.
No
10E
Provides that charter school governing boards must have access to ESP records necessary to oversee the ESP contract.
No
10F
An ESP must annually provide information to its charter school governing board on how that ESP spends public funding it receives when the ESP is performing a public function under applicable state law.
No
10G
Requires that similar criminal history record checks and fingerprinting requirements applicable to other public schools shall also be mandatory for on-site employees of ESPs who regularly come into contact with students.

Are the schools fiscally and legally autonomous with independent charter school boards?

Idaho law explicitly provides fiscal and legal autonomy to charter schools.
The law requires charter schools to be organized and managed as nonprofit corporations governed by a board of directors. The law deems each charter school’s board of directors to be public agents approved by their authorizer to control the charter school, while functioning independently of their authorizer except as provided in the charter.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Yes
11A
Fiscally autonomous schools (e.g., schools have clear statutory authority to receive and disburse funds; incur debt; and pledge, assign, or encumber assets as collateral).
Yes
11B
Legally autonomous schools (e.g., schools have clear statutory authority to enter into contracts and leases, sue and be sued in their own names, and acquire real property).
Yes
11C
Independent school governing boards created specifically to govern their charter schools.

Are there clear student enrollment and lottery procedures?

Idaho law provides that charter schools are open to any student in the state.The law includes anti-discrimination provisions regarding admissions.
The law allows but does not require enrollment preferences for students returning to a charter school, siblings of enrolled students, to pupils seeking to transfer from another Idaho public charter school at which they have been enrolled for at least one year provided that this admission preference shall be subject to an existing written agreement for such preference between the subject charter schools, and students living in the charter school’s attendance area. The law allows enrollment preference for founders’ children, up to 10% of school capacity.
The law requires a lottery or other random method to select students if a charter school is oversubscribed.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Yes
12A
Open enrollment to any student in the state.
Yes
12B
Anti-discrimination provisions regarding admissions.
No
12C
Required enrollment preferences for previously enrolled students within conversions and for prior-year students within charter schools.
Yes
12D
Lottery requirements.

Is there automatic exemption from many state and district laws and regulations?

Idaho law provides that charter schools are automatically exempt from most state laws and rules governing school districts. However, Idaho does not exempt charter schools from laws governing teacher and administrator evaluations, pay for performance, and classroom technology. These laws diminish charter autonomy over staffing, instructional design, and budgeting.
Idaho law requires charter school teachers to be certified, although teachers may apply for a waiver or any of the limited alternative certification options provided by the state board of education.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Some
13A
Exemptions from all laws, except those covering health, safety, civil rights, student accountability, employee criminal history checks, open meetings, freedom of information, and generally accepted accounting principles.
Some
13B
Exemption from state teacher certification requirements.

Is there an automatic collective bargaining exemption?

In Idaho, collective bargaining is required for non-charter public school teachers and must address three topics: wages, insurance or fringe benefits, and leave. Additionally, bargaining may be conducted for hours, length of prep periods, terms and conditions of employment, length of the school year, class load or size, extracurricular duties, management rights, transfers and reassignments, dismissal, evaluations, and grievance procedures. The only topic expressly excluded from bargaining is layoffs.
Idaho law provides that charter schools are exempt from district collective bargaining agreements.

Prior to the Supreme Court’s Janus v. AFSCME decision, Idaho state law prohibited unions from charging agency fees to non-union members of any collective bargaining unit. Therefore, the Supreme Court’s decision did not have any effect on unions in the state. There has not been any reactive legislation enacted.

Idaho education code states that the board of trustees for a school district or designated representatives shall enter into negotiation upon its own initiative or at the request of a local education organization representing the majority of professional employees. Upon request, the local education organization must show written evidence establishing that at least 50 percent of professional employees indicate agreement to be represented for negotiation. Idaho labor code states that when a question arises concerning representation in a collective bargaining unit, the director of the Department of Labor shall investigate and may take a secret ballot. In cases where a secret ballot is taken, the ballot shall permit a vote against representation. No election shall be held within a 12-month period of another election.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Yes
14A
Charter schools authorized by nonlocal board authorizers are exempt from participation in any outside collective bargaining agreements.
Yes
14B
Charter schools authorized by local boards are exempt from participation in any district collective bargaining agreements.

Are multischool charter contracts and/or multicharter contract boards allowed?

The law allows high-performing charter schools to replicate under a single public charter school board. However, such replication can only happen after the charter school has gone through at least one successful renewal cycle.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
No
15A
Oversee multiple schools linked under a single contract with independent fiscal and academic accountability for each school.
Yes
15B
Hold multiple charter contracts with independent fiscal and academic accountability for each school.

Is there eligibility and access to extracurricular and interscholastic activities?

Idaho law is silent regarding charter eligibility and access.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
No
16A
Laws or regulations explicitly state that charter school students and employees are eligible to participate in all extracurricular and interscholastic activities available to noncharter public school students and employees.
No
16B
Laws or regulations explicitly allow charter school students in schools not providing extracurricular and interscholastic activities to have access to those activities at noncharter public schools.

Is there clear identification of special education responsibilities?

Idaho law states that each charter school authorized by an entity other than a local school board is its own LEA. It also provides that a charter school authorized by a local school board may be designated by the local school board as an LEA with the concurrence of the public charter school board of directors; otherwise, the charter school shall be included in that district’s LEA. The law provides that the LEA (either the district or the charter school itself, as stated above) is responsible for providing and funding special education services. The law states that the funding associated with special education students shall be allocated to the charter school from federal funds and state funds.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Yes
17A
Clarity regarding which entity is the local education agency (LEA) responsible for providing special education services.
Yes
17B
Clarity regarding the flow of federal, state, and local special education funds to the designated LEA.
No
17C
Clarity regarding funding for low-incident, high-cost services for charter schools (in the same amount and/or in a manner similar to other LEAs).
No
17D
Clarity that charter schools have access to all regional and state services and supports available to traditional districts.

Is there equitable operational funding and equal access to all state and federal categorical funding?

Idaho law provides that charter schools are funded by the same state formula as district schools for operational funding, but they do not receive any local tax revenues or supplemental levies. The law limits charter school public funding to state sources and any federal dollars that schools qualify for. The state funding formula does not compensate for charters’ lack of access to local revenues.
The law entitles each charter school to receive an advance payment from the state of 25% of its estimated per-pupil funding in the summer before its first year and each subsequent year in which the school expands enrollment by at least 20 students. It also provides that subsequent payments are to be made in the same manner as for district schools.

Idaho law provides that charter schools designated as LEAs receive federal funds directly.

The law provides that charter schools must receive from the state 85% of their actual cost for student transportation, provided on a reimbursement basis in July for the previous school year.

A national study of charter school funding (University of Arkansas, Charter School Funding: Inequity Persists, 2014) found that Idaho charter schools were receiving on average $5,669 per pupil in public funds, while districts would have received $7,949 per pupil to educate those students. Thus, charter schools were receiving $2,280 – or 28.6% -- less per pupil than districts would have received to educate those students. This comparison includes all sources of funding. The gap between charter and district per-pupil funding is largely attributable to charters’ lack of access to 1) local revenues, and 2) capital and debt service funds. (See component #19 for information on capital funding).

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
No
18A
Equitable operational funding statutorily driven.
Some
18B
Equal access to all applicable categorical federal and state funding and clear guidance on the pass-through of such funds.
Some
18C
Funding for transportation similar to school districts.
No
18D
Annual report offering district and charter school funding comparisons and including annual recommendations to the legislature for any needed equity enhancements.

Is there equitable access to capital funding and facilities?

Idaho law requires the state department of education to distribute facilities funds to public charter schools for each enrolled student in which a majority of the student's instruction is received at a facility that is owned or leased by the public charter school. It provides that such funds shall be used to defray the purchase, fee, loan or lease costs associated with payments for real property used by the students or employees of the public charter school for educational or administrative purposes.
It provides that such funds shall be distributed from the moneys appropriated to the educational support program and shall be calculated as a percentage of the statewide average amount of bond and plant facility funds levied per student by Idaho school districts, as follows:

* Fiscal Year 2014: 20%
* Fiscal Year 2015: 30%
* For fiscal year 2016 and each fiscal year thereafter, this percentage shall increase by 10% each time the total appropriation of state funds for the educational support program increases by 3% or more over the prior fiscal year and shall decrease by 10% each time the total appropriation of state funds for the educational support program decreases as compared to the prior fiscal year. Provided however, that the percentage shall be no less than 20% and no greater than 50% and that the average amount of funding received per public charter school shall not exceed the average amount of funding received by each school district.

For those public charter schools that do not receive facilities funds for all enrolled students, the law allows the school to submit to the state department of education a reimbursement claim for any costs for which facilities funds may be used. The law requires the state department of education to reduce such claim by the greater of 50% or the percentage of the school's enrolled students for which the school receives facilities funds and to pay the balance. Provided however, that the total reimbursements paid to a public charter school, in combination with any facilities stipend received by the school, shall not exceed the amount of facilities funds that would have been received by the school had the school received facilities funds for all enrolled students.

Idaho law provides that charter schools are eligible for tax-exempt facilities financing using Nonprofit Facilities Revenue Bonds issued by the Idaho Housing and Financing Association.

Idaho law creates the public charter school debt reserve to assist qualifying charter schools in obtaining favorable financing for facility improvements and construction. A public charter school seeking to use the public charter school debt reserve must receive approval from the Idaho housing and finance association pursuant to the criteria set forth in the law. In 2016, the state allocated $750,000 to this fund.

The law gives school districts the authority to authorize the transfer or conveyance of any surplus district-owned property to various public entities including charter schools.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Facilities Funding
Some
19A
A per-pupil facilities allowance that annually reflects actual average district capital costs.
No
19B
A state grant program for charter school facilities.
No
19C
Equal access to existing state facilities programs available to noncharter public schools.
Access to Public Space
No
19D
A requirement for districts to provide school district space or funding to charter schools if the majority of that schools’ students reside in that district.
No
19E
Right of first refusal to purchase or lease at or below fair market value a closed, unused, or underused public school facility or property.
Access to Financing Tools
No
19F
A state loan program for charter school facilities.
Yes
19G
Equal access to tax-exempt bonding authorities or allowing charter schools to have their own bonding authority
No
19H
Pledging the moral obligation of the state to help charter schools obtain more favorable bond financing terms.
Yes
19I
The creation and funding of a state charter school debt reserve fund.
No
19J
The inclusion of charter schools in school district bonding and mill levy requests.
No
19K
A mechanism to provide credit enhancement for charter school facilities.
Other
No
19L
Charter schools allowed to contract at or below fair market value with a school district, a college or university, or any other public or for-profit or nonprofit private entity for the use of facility for a school building.
No
19M
Certain entities allowed to provide space to charter schools within their facilities under their preexisting zoning and land use designations.
No
19N
Charter school facilities exempt from ad valorem taxes and other assessment fees not applicable to other public schools.

Is there access to relevant employee retirement systems?

Idaho law requires charter schools to participate in the state retirement system.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Yes
20A
Charter schools have access to relevant state retirement systems available to other public schools.
No
20B
Charter schools have the option to participate (i.e., not required).

Are there provisions for full-time virtual charter schools?

Idaho law contains a small number of the model law’s provisions regarding full-time virtual charter schools. Specifically, the law provides that local school districts cannot authorize full-time virtual charter schools. It provides that only statewide authorizers may approve such schools.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Some
21A
An authorizing structure whereby full-time virtual charter schools that serve students from more than one district may be approved only by an authorizer with statewide chartering jurisdiction and authority, full-time virtual charter schools that serve students from one school district may be authorized by that school district, and a cap is placed on the total amount of funding that an authorizer may withhold from a full-time virtual charter school.
No
21B
Legally permissible criteria and processes for enrollment based on the existence of supports needed for student success.
No
21C
Enrollment level provisions that establish maximum enrollment levels for each year of a charter contract, with any increases in enrollment from one year to the next based on whether the school meets its performance requirements.
No
21D
Accountability provisions that include virtual-specific goals regarding student enrollment, attendance, engagement, achievement, truancy, and attrition.
No
21E
Funding levels per student based on costs proposed and justified by the operators.
No
21F
Performance-based funding whereby full-time virtual charter schools are funded via a performance-based funding system based on meeting the accountability performance provisions.