(1) The purposes of the charter application submitted under RCW 28A.710.130
are to present the proposed charter school's academic and operational vision and plans, and to demonstrate and provide the authorizer with a clear basis for evaluating the applicant's capacities to execute the proposed vision and plans. An approved charter application does not serve as the school's charter contract.
(2) Within ninety days of approval of a charter application, the authorizer and the governing board of the approved charter school must execute a charter contract. The contract must establish the terms by which the charter school agrees to provide educational services that, at a minimum, meet basic education standards, in return for a distribution of public funds that will be used for the purposes established in the contract and in this and other applicable statutes. The charter contract must clearly set forth the academic and operational performance expectations and measures by which the charter school will be evaluated and the administrative relationship between the authorizer and charter school, including each party's rights and duties. The performance expectations and measures set forth in the charter contract must include, but need not be limited to, applicable federal and state accountability requirements. The performance provisions may be refined or amended by mutual agreement after the charter school is operating and has collected baseline achievement data for its enrolled students.
(3) If the charter school is authorized by a school district board of directors, the charter contract must be signed by the president of the applicable school district board of directors and the president of the charter school board. If the charter school is authorized by the commission, the charter contract must be signed by the chair of the commission and the president of the charter school board. Within ten days of executing a charter contract, the authorizer must submit to the state board of education written notification of the charter contract execution, including a copy of the executed charter contract and any attachments.
(4) A charter contract may govern one or more charter schools to the extent approved by the authorizer. A single charter school board may hold one or more charter contracts. However, each charter school that is part of a charter contract must be separate and distinct from any others and, for purposes of calculating the maximum number of charter schools that may be established under this chapter, each charter school must be considered a single charter school regardless of how many charter schools are governed under a particular charter contract.
(5) An initial charter contract must be granted for a term of five operating years. The contract term must commence on the charter school's first day of operation. An approved charter school may delay its opening for one school year in order to plan and prepare for the school's opening. If the school requires an opening delay of more than one school year, the school must request an extension from its authorizer. The authorizer may grant or deny the contract extension depending on the school's circumstances.
(6) Authorizers shall establish reasonable preopening requirements or conditions to monitor the start-up progress of newly approved charter schools, ensure that they are prepared to open smoothly on the date agreed, and ensure that each school meets all building, health, safety, insurance, and other legal requirements for school opening.
(7) No charter school may commence operations without a charter contract executed in accordance with this section.