Annually, by June 30, the law provides that the state board shall issue a charter school performance report and charter school contract renewal application guidance to each charter school whose charter school contract will expire during the following school budget year. The performance report shall summarize the charter school's performance record to date based on the data required by the charter school contract and by this chapter and shall identify concerns that may jeopardize renewal of the charter school contract if not remedied. The charter school shall have sixty days to respond to the performance report and submit any corrections or clarifications for the report.
The renewal application guidance shall, at a minimum, include the criteria that will be used when assessing charter school contract renewal decisions and provide an opportunity for the charter school to: present additional evidence, beyond the data contained in the performance report; describe improvements undertaken or planned for the charter school; and describe the charter school's plans, including any proposed modifications, for the next charter school contract term.
No later than October 1, the governing board of a charter school seeking renewal shall submit a renewal application to the state board pursuant to the renewal application guidance. A renewal or denial shall be approved by resolution of the state board within sixty days following the filing of the renewal application.
Unless eligible for expedited renewal under the charter school law, when reviewing a charter school contract renewal application, the state board shall do all of the following: use evidence of the school's performance over the term of the charter school contract in accordance with the applicable performance framework; ensure that data used in making renewal decisions is available to the charter school and the public; and provide a report summarizing the evidence that served as a basis for the decision.
A charter school contract may be revoked at any time or not renewed if the state board determines that the charter school did any of the following: committed a material violation of any of the terms, conditions, standards, or procedures required under the charter school contract or this chapter; failed to meet or make sufficient progress toward the performance expectations set forth in the charter school contract; failed to meet generally accepted standards of fiscal management; or violated a provision of law from which the charter school was not exempted.
The state board shall develop charter school contract revocation and nonrenewal standards and procedures that do all of the following: provide the charter school with a timely notice of the possibility of revocation or nonrenewal and of the reasons therefor; allow the charter school a reasonable period of time in which to prepare a response to any notice received; provide the charter school an opportunity to submit documents and give testimony challenging the decision to revoke the charter school contract or the decision to not renew the contract; allow the charter school the opportunity to hire legal representation and to call witnesses; permit the audio or video recording of such proceedings; and require a final decision to be conveyed in writing to the charter school.
A decision to revoke or to not renew a charter school contract shall be by resolution of the state board and shall clearly state the reasons for the revocation or nonrenewal.
If a charter school has been evaluated and graded to be in the exceptional category, or the highest rated category under a succeeding evaluation system, under the evaluation and grading required under section 256E.9, subsection 5, for the immediately preceding two school years, and the charter school is in compliance with the current charter school contract and all provisions of the charter school law, the charter school's application renewal shall be renewed for an additional period of time equal to the length of the original charter school contract or the most recent renewal of the contract, whichever is longer, unless the state board provides written notice to the charter school of the state board's rejection of the expedited renewal within sixty days of the filing of the application. The state board shall not reject an expedited renewal application unless the state board finds exceptional circumstances for the rejection or seeks material changes to the charter school contract.
Prior to any charter school closure decision, the law provides that the state board shall develop a charter school closure protocol to ensure timely notice to parents and guardians, provide for the orderly transition of students and student records to new schools, and to provide proper disposition of school funds, property, and assets in accordance with the requirements of this chapter. The protocol shall specify required actions and timelines and identify responsible parties for each such action.
In the event of a charter school closure, the law provides that the assets of the charter school shall be used first to satisfy outstanding payroll obligations for employees of the school, then to creditors of the school, then to the public school district in which the charter school operated, if applicable, and then to the state general fund. If the assets of the charter school are insufficient to pay all obligations of the charter school, the prioritization of the distribution of assets shall be consistent with this subsection and otherwise determined by the district court.