Are there clear processes for renewal, nonrenewal, and revocation decisions?
Wyoming law requires charter schools to submit a renewal application to their district authorizer in order to seek renewal, containing a report on the charter school’s academic performance progress and a financial statement in a format required by the state board of education. The law also requires the state superintendent to provide a uniform renewal application “form” (that includes questions, guidelines, and evaluation criteria) that all charter schools and authorizers must use.
According to Wyoming law, a charter may be revoked or not renewed by the district board if the board determines that the charter school did any of the following: committed a material violation of any of the conditions, standards or procedures set forth in the charter application; failed to meet or make reasonable progress toward achievement of the content standards or pupil performance standards identified in the charter application; failed to meet generally accepted standards of fiscal management; or violated any provision of law from which the charter school was not specifically exempted. The law also states that a charter shall not be renewed upon a determination by the district board that it is not in the interest of the pupils residing within the school district to continue the operation of the charter school.
The law allows a charter to be renewed for up to five-year terms. It permits a charter school and its authorizer to agree to extend the length of the charter beyond five years for the purpose of enhancing the terms of any lease or financial obligation.
The law does not require a public hearing or opportunity for a school to make its case prior to a revocation or non-renewal decision. However, if a school district denies renewal of a charter, the charter school board may appeal to the state loan and investment board for a de novo consideration of the renewal. The state loan and investment board shall consider the renewal and if the renewal is approved shall be the authorizer of the charter school.
The law requires authorizers to make renewal, non-renewal or revocation decisions in an open meeting and to state reasons for non-renewal or revocation in writing.
While the law does not require authorizers to have school closure protocols, it does provide that the contract between the charter school and the school district shall provide that upon closure of the charter school any charter school assets purchased with public funds shall become the property of the school district. It also provides that upon closure of the charter school, all charter school records shall be promptly delivered to the school district.
The law provides that the applicant shall have the right to determine which authorizer to apply to and may apply to a different authorizer for renewal of a charter. The state loan and investment board may reject a renewal application from an existing charter school if the renewal is to avoid necessary corrective measures, including closure of the charter school, identified by the authorizer.