According to West Virginia law, no later than June 30 of the school year before a public charter school’s final year of operation under terms of a charter contract, the authorizer shall issue a performance report on the public charter school. The performance report shall summarize the public charter school’s performance record to date and shall provide notice of any weaknesses or concerns perceived by the authorizer concerning the school that may jeopardize its position in seeking renewal if not timely rectified.
According to West Virginia law, if the public charter school’s contract is expiring, the authorizer shall offer contract renewal application guidance to the school. The renewal application guidance shall include or refer explicitly to the criteria and standards that will guide the authorizer’s renewal decisions. These criteria and standards shall be based on the performance framework as set forth in the charter contract. The renewal application guidance shall, at a minimum, require and provide an opportunity for the public charter school to:
(1) Present additional evidence, beyond the data contained in the performance report, supporting its case for charter renewal;
(2) Describe improvements undertaken or planned for the school; and
(3) Detail the school’s plans for the next charter term.
According to West Virginia law, no later than September 30 of a public charter school’s final authorized year of operation under a term of a charter contract, the governing board of the public charter school seeking renewal shall submit a renewal application to the authorizer pursuant to the renewal application guidance offered by the authorizer. The authorizer shall rule in a public meeting and by resolution on the renewal application no later than 45 days after the filing of the renewal application.
In making charter renewal decisions, the authorizer shall:
(1) Ground its decisions on a thorough analysis of evidence of the school’s performance over the term of the charter contract in accordance with the terms set forth in the charter contract, annual performance reports and any required financial audits;
(2) Ensure that data used in making renewal decisions are available to the public charter school and the public;
(3) Provide a public report summarizing the evidence basis for each decision; and
(4) Include one of the following rulings:
(A) Renew the charter contract for another term of five years based on the school’s
performance data and demonstrated capacities of the public charter school; or
(B) Decline to renew the charter contract. The authorizer shall clearly state in a resolution the reasons for the nonrenewal. The governing board of the school shall be granted 30 days to respond in writing to the decision and public report before that decision becomes final. The governing board shall be allowed to provide the authorizer with such arguments and supporting information as it sees fit and also shall be granted an opportunity for a recorded public hearing, at the request of the governing board. The governing board may be represented by counsel at the hearing and may call witnesses to testify. The authorizer shall consider the governing board’s response, testimony, and documentation, as well as the recorded public hearing, prior to rendering a final decision on the renewal of the charter contract. The authorizer shall render its final determination within 10 days of the close of the 30-day period. Any nonrenewal of a charter contract may be appealed to the state board.
The law provides that a charter contract shall include provisions consistent with this Act and setting forth under what conditions a charter contract may be non-renewed and the process by which a non-renewal may occur. At a minimum, these provisions shall include:
(1) The amount of time before non-renewal in which the authorizer shall notify the public charter school of the prospect that the charter contract may be non-renewed and the reasons for the potential non-renewal;
(2) The right to be represented by counsel at all meetings, hearings, and interactions between the governing board and the authorizer;
(3) A reasonable opportunity and timeframe of not less than 60 days for the governing board to provide a response to the proposed non-renewal;
(4) An opportunity for the governing board to submit documentation and provide testimony as to setting forth why the charter contract should be renewed;
(5) An opportunity for a recorded public hearing, at the request of the governing board;
(6) That the authorizer shall consider the governing board’s response, testimony, and documentation, as well as the recorded public hearing, prior to rendering a final decision on the nonrenewal of the charter contract;
(7) The information that must be included in the authorizer’s final decision if it determines not to renew the charter contract;
(8) A timeline for an authorizer to render a final decision on whether or not to renew a charter contract;
(9) Rendering of the authorizer’s decision shall be adopted as a resolution during an open meeting; and
(10) A provision that the failure of the authorizer to act on a renewal application within the designated timeframes shall be deemed approval of the application.
Within 10 days of taking final action to renew or not renew a charter under this section, the authorizer shall report the action taken and reasons for the decision to the school’s governing board and the state board or affected county board, as applicable. A copy of the report shall be submitted at the same time to the state superintendent.
According to West Virginia law, a charter contract may be revoked at any time or not renewed if the authorizer determines that the health and safety of students attending the public charter school is threatened or at such time following the process set forth in the charter school law if the public charter school has failed to substantially comply with the provisions of the charter school law, committed a material violation of any of the terms, conditions, standards or procedures required under this chapter or the charter contract, failed to substantially meet the performance expectations set forth in the charter contract, failed to substantially meet generally accepted standards of fiscal management, or violated any provision of law from which the school was not exempted.
The law provides that a charter contract may be revoked at any time if the authorizer determines that the health and safety of students attending the public charter school is threatened, an administrator employed by or member of the governing board over the charter school is convicted of fraud or misappropriation of funds, there is a failure to meet generally accepted standards of financial management, there is a material breach of the charter contract, there is a substantial violation of any provision of law from which the public charter school is not exempted, or there are dire and chronic academic deficiencies.
In the event of a public charter school closure for any reason, the authorizer shall
oversee and work with the closing school to ensure a smooth and orderly closure and transition for students and parents, as guided by the closure protocol established by the state board including, but not limited to, the following:
(1) Overseeing and working with the closing public charter school to ensure timely notification to parents, orderly transition of students and student records to new schools and proper disposition of school funds, property and assets in accordance with the requirements of this chapter; and
(2) Distributing the assets of the public charter school first to satisfy outstanding payroll obligations for employees of the public charter school and then to creditors of the public charter
school. Any remaining funds shall be paid to the county board. If the assets of the public charter
school are insufficient to pay all parties to whom the public charter school owes compensation,
the prioritization of distribution of assets may be determined by decree of a court of law.