New York law requires schools seeking renewal to apply for it.
The law provides that renewal applications must include a report on progress towards the school’s educational objectives, financial statement, annual reports, and indications of parent and student satisfaction.
For renewal, the law references the same criteria that applies to the approval of initial charter applications – an applicant must meet applicable legal requirements, demonstrate the ability to operate in an educationally and fiscally sound manner, and show it is likely to improve student learning and achievement and further the purposes of the law. The law also requires a school to show the efforts it has undertaken to enroll and retain comparable numbers of at-risk students (that is, students that are free and reduced price lunch eligible, receiving special education services, or classified as English Language Learners) as are enrolled and retained in district schools.
New York law provides that the renewal term may not exceed five years.
New York law provides that revocation or termination may be based on insufficient student achievement, serious violations of law, material and substantial violations of the charter, violations of civil service laws relating to employee rights, or repeated failure to meet targets for the enrollment and retention of at-risk students (though, on the last one, good faith efforts by a school can insulate it from action being taken against it).
New York law requires authorizers to provide schools facing closure with a notice of intent to revoke the charter, an opportunity to be heard, and time to correct the problems identified.
Since authorizers are subject to the state open meetings law, they are therefore required to make all renewal and closure decisions within a public meeting. Statute states that charter denials must include reasons in writing.
New York law requires applicants to establish viable processes for closure and dissolution, including orderly student and record transitions, and property and asset disposition.
The law does not require authorizers to issue school performance renewal reports to schools whose charter will expire the following year and does not require authorizers to issue renewal application guidance that provides an opportunity for schools to augment their performance record and discuss improvements and future plans. In practice, authorizers issue renewal application guidance.
Generally, the law has been interpreted to not allow changing authorizers, with one exception: if a school is merging multiple schools from more than one authorizer under one governance structure, it will be consolidated to just one authorizer.