HB505 (2018) Detail

Establishing an independent commission as an additional authorizing entity for chartered public schools.










AN ACT establishing an independent commission as an additional authorizing entity for chartered public schools.


SPONSORS: Rep. Cordelli, Carr. 4; Rep. Ladd, Graf. 4; Rep. Weyler, Rock. 13; Rep. V. Sullivan, Hills. 16; Sen. Avard, Dist 12; Sen. Reagan, Dist 17


COMMITTEE: Education






This bill establishes an independent chartered public school commission with the authority to grant charters to applicants.  The bill also makes changes to the chartered public school statute relating to who may apply for a charter.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.






In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Seventeen


AN ACT establishing an independent commission as an additional authorizing entity for chartered public schools.


Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:


1  New Paragraph; Chartered Public Schools; Definitions.  Amend RSA 194-B:1 by inserting after paragraph IV the following new paragraph:

IV-a.  "Commission"  means the state chartered public school commission established in RSA 194-B:3-b.

2  Chartered Public Schools; Establishment.  Amend RSA 194-B:2, I to read as follows:

I.(a)  [Any school district legislative body may vote to designate one or more of its schools as a chartered public school] The following persons or entities may submit a chartered public school application:

(1)  A nonprofit organization including, but not limited to, a college, university, museum, service club, or similar entity.

(2)  A group of 2 or more teachers each of whom holds a valid New Hampshire teaching credential.

(3)  A group of 10 or more New Hampshire residents.

(b)  A chartered public school may be approved for operation in this state by:

(1)  A vote of the legislative body of a school district pursuant to RSA 194-B:3;

(2)  Approval of the state board of education pursuant to RSA 194-B:3-a; or

(3)  Approval of the state chartered public school commission pursuant to RSA 194-B:3-b.

3  Chartered Public School; Establishment.  Amend the section heading of RSA 194-B:3 to read as follows:

194-B:3  [Chartered Public Schools; Establishment; Application; Amendment; Procedure] Approval by School District Legislative Body.

4  Chartered Public Schools; Approval by State Board of Education.  Amend the section heading of RSA 194-B:3-a to read as follows:

194-B:3-a  [Chartered Public School] Approval by State Board of Education.

5  New Section; Chartered Public Schools; State Chartered Public School Commission.  Amend RSA 194-B by inserting after section 3-a the following new section:

194-B:3-b  Approval by State Chartered Public School Commission.

I.  The state chartered public school commission is established with statewide jurisdiction and authority to grant charters to chartered public school applicants working in collaboration with the department of education and the state board of education.  The mission of the commission shall be to authorize high-quality chartered public schools throughout the state, particularly schools designed to expand opportunities consistent with the purposes of this chapter.

II.(a)  The commission shall consist of 9 members.  Three members shall be appointed by the governor and council; 3 members shall be appointed by the president of the senate; and 3 members shall be appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives.  In making the appointments, the governor, the president of the senate, and the speaker of the house of representatives shall ensure statewide geographic and demographic diversity among commission members.  No commission member shall be a member of the state board or department.

(b)  Members appointed to the commission shall serve without compensation and shall collectively possess strong experience and expertise in public and nonprofit governance, management and finance, public school leadership, assessment, and curriculum and instruction, and public education law.  All members of the commission shall have demonstrated understanding of and commitment to charter schooling as a strategy for strengthening public education.

(c)  To establish staggered terms of office, the initial term of office for 3 commission members shall be 4 years and thereafter shall be 3 years; the initial term of office for another 3 members shall be 3 years and thereafter shall be 3 years; and the initial term of office for the last 3 members shall be 2 years and thereafter shall be 3 years.  No member shall serve more than 7 consecutive years.  The initial appointments shall be made no later than 90 days after the effective date of this chapter.

(d)  A member of the commission may be removed by a vote of 2/3 of the commission for any cause that renders the member incapable or unfit to discharge the duties of the office.  Whenever a vacancy on the commission exists, the original appointing authority shall appoint a member for the remaining portion of the term.

III.  The commission shall develop and implement an application evaluation procedure including a rating of whether the application meets, partially meets, or does not meet each criteria, the strengths and weakness of each response, and evidence for the rating.

IV.(a)  The commission shall meet with prospective charter applicants prior to the submission of an application to review the applicant's plans and highlight areas of concern or improvement for the application submission.

(b)  The proposed chartered public school application shall be presented for approval directly to the commission by the applicant.  The content of such application shall conform to the requirements set forth in RSA 194-B:3, II(a)-(bb) and II(dd).  The commission shall notify an applicant of any missing information within 30 days of the initial filing.  The applicant shall file any missing information before the commission reviews the application.

V.  The commission may forward the proposed reviewed application to the applicant, along with a written assessment detailing any suggested amendments or modifications.

VI.(a)  The commission shall either approve or deny an application using reasonable discretion in the assessment of the elements set forth in RSA 194-B:3, II (a)-(bb) and II(dd).  The commission shall notify all applicants of its decision in writing, and shall include in any notice of denial a written statement specifying the application evaluation procedure, any areas deemed deficient, the reasons for the denial, and explaining that the applicant may reapply under RSA 194-B:3 or under this section in a subsequent year.

(b)  An approved charter applicant shall sign a renewable charter contract with the commission that outlines the roles, responsibilities, and performance expectations for each contract party.

VII.  Lack of state funding alone shall not constitute grounds for the denial of an application.  Approval of an application constitutes the granting of charter status and the right to operate as a chartered public school.  

VIII.(a)  The following provisions of law shall not apply to chartered public school applications proposed under this section, or to chartered public schools granted approval for operation under this section:

(1)  RSA 194-B:3, II(cc)

(2)  RSA 194-B:3, III-IV.

(3)  RSA 194-B:3, XI.

(4)  RSA 194-B:15, II.

(b)  Except as provided in this paragraph, the provisions of RSA 194-B shall apply to chartered public schools approved for operation by the commission under this section.

IX.  In addition to funds appropriated by the general court, the commission may receive and expend gifts, grants, and donations of any kind from any public or private entity to carry out the purposes of this section.

X.  The commission may operate with resources and staff qualified to execute the daily responsibilities of a chartered public school authorizing in accordance with this chapter.

XI.  The commission may utilize expert panels including noncommission members on the review of applications.

XII.  The commission shall develop technical advice and guidelines to applicants interested in opening a chartered public school and shall offer training sessions to applicants in the areas of application and enrollment procedures, curriculum planning, budgeting and funding, special education issues, and any other area deemed relevant by the commission.

XIII.  The commission shall maintain policies and practices consistent with principles and standards of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) for quality authorizing including evaluation applications, performance contracting, performance frameworks, ongoing charter school oversight, and charter renewal decision making.

XIV.  The commission shall not accept an application to form a chartered public school from state approved nonpublic schools, including those which may reorganize in any form.

XV.  Home education programs established pursuant to RSA 193-A shall not be eligible to be a chartered public school.

XVI.  A chartered public school which has not initiated operation within 2 years of the issuance of its charter shall submit a progress report to the commission.  The commission may withdraw its approved charter if substantial progress has not been made toward opening the chartered public school.

XVII.  The commission shall develop and maintain written charter renewal criteria.  A school’s charter may be renewed by the commission whether originally approved by the commission or state board.  The renewal process shall adhere to the same timeline and process in which a new chartered public school is formed, except that:

(a)  A school’s renewal term shall be for a period of up to 10 years.

(b)  The commission may create a unique renewal application that, at a minimum, conforms with RSA 194-B:3, II(a)-(bb) and II(dd), and provides information to assess the charter school according to the written charter renewal criteria.

XVIII.  A charter grantee may petition the commission for amendment to its application, which shall be granted or denied within 30 days of the petition at the commission’s discretion.  The commission shall notify the petitioner in writing of the decision to grant or deny the proposed amendment and shall provide reasons for the decision.  

XIX.  For specific periods of time and for good cause shown, the commission may waive any deadlines applying in this section to their respective actions.  The commission may provide technical assistance to improve a chartered public school’s application or to expedite the approval process.  An applicant whose proposed application is not approved by the commission shall have the opportunity to present a revised application for reconsideration.

XX.  The commission shall submit an annual report to the governor, the president of the senate, the speaker of the house of representatives, the chairman of senate education committee, the chairman of house education committee, and the state board of education relative to:

(a)  The performance of charter schools authorized by the commission.

(b)  The authorizer’s activities and how well they comply with the provisions of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers' principles and standards for quality charter school authorizing.

XXI.  The board of trustees of a chartered public school may acquire real property by lease, purchase, lease with purchase option, gift, or otherwise.

6  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.


HB505 at GenCourtMobile

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Jan. 25, 2017 House Hearing
Feb. 21, 2017 House Exec Session
Nov. 8, 2017 House Exec Session

Bill Text Revisions

HB505 Revision: 2394 Date: Jan. 26, 2017, 3:53 p.m.


Date Status
Jan. 5, 2017 Introduced 01/05/2017 and referred to Education HJ 3 P. 16
Jan. 25, 2017 Public Hearing: 01/25/2017 10:00 AM LOB 207
Feb. 15, 2017 ==CANCELLED== Executive Session: 02/15/2017 10:00 AM LOB 207
Feb. 21, 2017 ==RESCHEDULED== Executive Session: 02/21/2017 11:00 AM LOB 207
Retained in Committee
Nov. 8, 2017 Executive Session: 11/08/2017 09:30 AM LOB 207
Jan. 3, 2018 Committee Report: Refer for Interim Study for 01/03/2018 (Vote 13-6; RC)
Jan. 3, 2018 Lay HB 505 on Table (Rep. T. Wolf): MA VV 01/03/2018 HJ 1 P. 55