State of Washington
67th Legislature
2022 Regular Session
ByRepresentatives Entenman, Dolan, Chapman, Corry, Lekanoff, Springer, Walen, Rule, Gilday, and Bateman
Read first time 01/13/22.Referred to Committee on Education.
AN ACT Relating to extending the time frame for establishing charter schools; amending RCW 28A.710.150; and creating a new section.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1. The legislature finds that the population of Washington state has become increasingly diverse over the last several decades. The legislature also finds that as the demographics of our state change, historically and currently marginalized communities still do not have the same opportunities to meet parity as their nonmarginalized counterparts across nearly every measure including education, poverty, employment, health, and more. Inequities based on race, ethnicity, gender, and other characteristics continue to be deep, pervasive, and persistent, and they come at a great economic and social cost.
The legislature finds that state government must identify and coordinate effective strategies that focus on eliminating systemic barriers for historically and currently marginalized groups and that extending the time frame for the establishment of charter schools is an important step toward promoting opportunities for communities that have not always been well-served by traditional public schools.
Sec. 2. RCW 28A.710.150 and 2016 c 241 s 115 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) A maximum of forty charter public schools may be established under this chapter ((over the five-year period commencing with April 3, 2016)), with the establishment period concluding April 3, 2027. No more than eight charter schools may be established in any year during the ((five-year))establishment period, except that if in any year fewer than eight charter schools are established, additional charter schools, equal in number to the difference between the number established in that year and eight, may be established in subsequent years during the ((five-year))establishment period.
(2)(a) To ensure compliance with the limits for establishing new charter schools, certification from the state board of education must be obtained before final authorization of a charter school.
(b) Within ten days of taking action to approve or deny an application under RCW 28A.710.140, an authorizer must submit a report of the action to the applicant and the state board of education. The report must include a copy of the authorizer's resolution setting forth the action taken, the reasons for the decision, and assurances of compliance with the procedural requirements and application elements under RCW 28A.710.130 and 28A.710.140. The authorizer must also indicate whether the charter school is designed to enroll and serve at-risk student populations. The state board of education must establish, for each year in which charter schools may be authorized as part of the timeline to be established pursuant to RCW 28A.710.140, the latest annual date by which the authorizer may submit the report. The state board of education must send to each authorizer notice of the date by which a report must be submitted at least six months before the date established by the board.
(3) Upon the receipt of notice from an authorizer that a charter school has been approved, the state board of education shall certify whether the approval is in compliance with the limits on the maximum number of charters allowed under subsection (1) of this section. If the board receives simultaneous notification of approved charters that exceed the annual allowable limits in subsection (1) of this section, the board must select approved charters for implementation through a lottery process, and must assign implementation dates accordingly.
(4) The state board of education must notify authorizers when the maximum allowable number of charter schools has been reached.
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