§ 16-77.3-3 Process for consideration of proposed charter or expansion.
(a) If the commissioner finds the proposed charter to be incomplete, further information may be requested and required. The commissioner shall develop regulations for amending an approved charter, consistent with the provisions of this chapter and § 16-77-5.1.
(b) After having received a satisfactory, proposed charter or expansion, the commissioner will provide for a public-comment period of not less than sixty (60) days, during which he or she will hold at least two (2) public hearings on the proposed charter. These hearings will be held in the district where the proposed independent charter school is to be located. Any person may file with the commissioner comments, recommendations, and/or objections relevant to the granting of a charter.
(c) The commissioner will decide on whether or not to recommend the granting of the charter or expansion to the council on elementary and secondary education within ninety (90) days after the conclusion of the public-comment period.
(d) If the commissioner recommends the granting of the proposed charter or amendment for expansion, the matter shall be referred to the council on elementary and secondary education for a decision on whether to grant a revocable charter or expansion. The council on elementary and secondary education may grant a charter for a period of up to five (5) years. The decision of the council on elementary and secondary education, complete with reasons and conditions, shall be made available to the public and to the applicant. Charter public school approval for establishment or continuation shall be for up to a five-year (5) period. At the conclusion of each five-year (5) period, the council on elementary and secondary education may conduct a subsequent review of the independent charter school's charter. If the council on elementary and secondary education does not conduct such a review, the charter shall renew for another five-year (5) period. The commissioner, with approval of the council on elementary and secondary education, shall promulgate rules and regulations for these five-year (5) reviews.
(e) In considering a proposed charter, or an amendment to a charter for expansion, the council on elementary and secondary education shall consider all relevant information, including, but not limited to, the requirements of regulations and law.
(f) In considering a proposed charter, or an amendment to a charter for expansion, the council on elementary and secondary education shall place substantial weight on the fiscal impact on the city or town; programmatic impact on the sending school district; and the educational impact on the students in the district to ensure that the proposal is economically prudent for the city or town and academically prudent for the proposed sending school district and for all students in the sending district.
(g) The commissioner, with the approval of the council on elementary and secondary education, may grant a variance to any provision of title 16, other than those enumerated in § 16-77.3-7, and to any department of education regulation and to any school district regulation that does not affect the health and safety or civil rights of pupils in independent charter schools.
(h) All proposed charters shall be matters of public record and will be provided to members of the public upon request.
(P.L. 2010, ch. 84, § 5; P.L. 2010, ch. 107, § 5; P.L. 2016, ch. 466, § 2.)