Massachusetts regulations require that charter schools seeking renewal apply for it under renewal application guidelines established by the state board of education. Regulations also require that applications for the renewal of Horace Mann charters must be submitted with the approval of the local teachers' union and the local school committee.
Massachusetts regulations provides that the renewals of high-performing charter schools are delegated to the state commissioner of education. The state commissioner of education must declare which schools he plans to invoke delegation for. The state board of education may choose to bring the school in front of the board for a vote instead.
Massachusetts regulations require the state department of education to issue guidelines describing the evaluation process to be followed in reviewing applications for charter renewal, including protocols for renewal inspections. Regulations require that the decision by the state board of education to renew a charter must be based upon the presentation of affirmative evidence regarding the success of the school's academic program; the viability of the school as an organization; and the faithfulness of the school to the terms of its charter. Regulations require the state department to gather evidence regarding these issues from the renewal application and from other information, including but not limited to, a school's annual reports, financial audits, test results, site visit reports, and renewal inspection. Regulations provide that all charter schools must be evaluated on the same performance criteria as provided in the guidelines, provided, however, that the criteria take into account each school's charter and accountability plan.
Massachusetts regulations provide that the state board may suspend or revoke a charter for cause, including but not limited to: a material misrepresentation in the application for approval of the charter; failure to comply substantially with the terms of the charter, with any of the applicable provisions in state law, or with any other applicable law or regulation; financial insolvency; misappropriation, conversion, mismanagement, or illegal withholding of funds or refusal to pay any funds that belong to any person otherwise entitled thereto and that have been entrusted to the charter school or its administrators in their fiduciary capacities; fraud or gross mismanagement on the part of charter school administrators or Board of Trustees; criminal convictions on the part of the charter school or its Board of Trustees; or failure to fulfill any conditions imposed by the state board in connection with the grant of a charter.
Massachusetts regulations require that charters that are renewed must be for five years from the expiration of the previous charter under such conditions as the state board may establish under regulation. The law does not provide authorizers with the authority to vary length of charter renewal contract terms based on performance or other issues.
Massachusetts regulations require the state board to provide charter schools with timely notification of potential revocation or non-renewal and reasonable time to respond and to provide charter schools with due process for nonrenewal and revocation.
Massachusetts regulations contain the following closure provisions:
• Charter schools must comply with the closing procedures established by the state department.
• Upon the revocation, non-renewal, or voluntary return of a commonwealth charter, title to all of the property of the charter school shall immediately vest in the Commonwealth, subject to the rights of any secured party holding a perfected security interest in the property of such charter school. Any funds remaining after the satisfaction of the charter school's obligations shall be deposited in the General Fund. This regulation shall not apply to the extent the charter school or any other interested party demonstrates that charter school property was purchased solely by, or solely with funds paid to the school by, persons or entities other than the Commonwealth, in which case ownership of the property shall be transferred to such persons or entities, unless otherwise voted by the Board of Trustees.
• Upon the revocation, non-renewal, or voluntary return of a Horace Mann charter, title to all of the property of the charter school shall immediately vest in the school district in which the school is located, subject to the rights of any secured party holding a perfected security interest in the property of such charter school. This regulation shall not apply to the extent the charter school or any other interested party demonstrates that charter school property was purchased solely by, or solely with funds paid to the school by, persons or entities other than the district or Commonwealth, in which case ownership of the property shall be transferred to such persons or entities, unless otherwise voted by the Board of Trustees.