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Programs > Charter Schools > Docs
MD Charter School Law 2003


TITLE 9. MARYLAND PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOL PROGRAM

Section
9-101. Maryland Public Charter School Program.
9-102. Public school charter, defined.
9-103. Public chartering authority.
9-104. Public charter school - Application.
9-105. Public charter school - Professional staff.
9-106. Public charter school - Obligations and waiver.
9-107. Responsibilities of public chartering authority.
9-108. Rights of employees of a public charter school.
9-109. Disbursement of funds.
9-110. Public charter school policy.


§ 9-101. Maryland Public Charter School Program.

(a) Established.- There is a Maryland Public Charter School Program.

(b) Purpose.- The general purpose of the Program is to establish an alternative means within the existing public school system in order to provide innovative learning opportunities and creative educational approaches to improve the education of students.

[2003, ch. 358.]


§ 9-102. Public school charter, defined.


In this title, "public charter school" means a public school that:

(1) Is nonsectarian in all its programs, policies, and operations;

(2) Is a school to which parents choose to send their children;

(3) Is open to all students on a space-available basis and admits students on a lottery basis if more students apply than can be accommodated;

(4) Is a new public school or a conversion of an existing public school;

(5) Provides a program of elementary or secondary education or both;

(6) Operates in pursuit of a specific set of educational objectives;

(7) Is tuition-free;

(8) Is subject to federal and State laws prohibiting discrimination;

(9) Is in compliance with all applicable health and safety laws;

(10) Is in compliance with § 9-107 of this title;

(11) Operates under the supervision of the public chartering authority from which its charter is granted and in accordance with its charter and, except as provided in § 9-106 of this title, the provisions of law and regulation governing other public schools;

(12) Requires students to be physically present on school premises for a period of time substantially similar to that which other public school students spend on school premises; and

(13) Is created in accordance with this title and the appropriate county board policy.

[2003, ch. 358; 2004, ch. 25.]


§ 9-103. Public chartering authority.

(a) Primary chartering authority.- The primary public chartering authority for the granting of a charter shall be a county board of education.

(b) Secondary chartering authority.- The secondary public chartering authority for the granting of a charter shall be the State Board acting in its appeal review capacity or as the public chartering authority for a restructured school in accordance with § 9-104(a) of this title.

[2003, ch. 358; 2004, ch. 25.]



§ 9-104. Public charter school - Application.

(a) In general.-

(1) An application to establish a public charter school shall be submitted to the county board of the county in which the charter school will be located.

(2) An application to establish a public charter school may be submitted to a county board by:

(i) The staff of a public school;

(ii) A parent or guardian of a student who attends a public school in the county;

(iii) A nonsectarian nonprofit entity;

(iv) A nonsectarian institution of higher education in the State; or

(v) Any combination of persons specified in items (i) through (iv) of this paragraph.

(3) A public chartering authority may not grant a charter under this title to:

(i) A private school;

(ii) A parochial school; or

(iii) A home school.

(4) (i) Except as provided in subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph, the county board shall review the application and render a decision within 120 days of receipt of the application.

(ii) For a restructured school:

1. The county board shall review the application and render a decision within 30 days of receipt of the application;

2. The county board may apply to the State Board for an extension of up to 15 days from the time limit imposed under item 1 of this subparagraph;

3. If an extension is not granted, and 30 days have elapsed, the State Board may become a chartering authority; and

4. If an extension has been granted, and 45 days have elapsed, the State Board may become a chartering authority.

(b) Denial and appeal.-

(1) If the county board denies an application to establish a public charter school, the applicant may appeal the decision to the State Board, in accordance with § 4-205(c) of this article.

(2) The State Board shall render a decision within 120 days of the filing of an appeal under this subsection.

(3) If the county board denies an application to establish a public charter school and the State Board reverses the decision, the State Board may direct the county board to grant a charter and shall mediate with the county board and the applicant to implement the charter.

[2003, ch. 358.]



§ 9-105. Public charter school - Professional staff.


A member of the professional staff of a public charter school shall hold the appropriate Maryland certification.

[2003, ch. 358.]



§ 9-106. Public charter school - Obligations and waiver.


(a) In general.- Subject to subsection (b) of this section, a public charter school shall comply with the provisions of law and regulation governing other public schools.

(b) Waiver.- Subject to subsection (c) of this section, a waiver of the requirements under subsection (a) of this section may be sought through an appeal to the State Board.

(c) Waiver - Exceptions.- A waiver may not be granted from provisions of law or regulation relating to:

(1) Audit requirements;

(2) The measurement of student academic achievement, including all assessments required for other public schools and other assessments mutually agreed upon by the public chartering authority and the school; or

(3) The health, safety, or civil rights of a student or an employee of the charter school.

[2003, ch. 358.]



§ 9-107. Responsibilities of public chartering authority.


(a) Granting charters.- A public chartering authority may not grant a charter to a public charter school whose operation would be inconsistent with any public policy initiative, court order, or federal improvement plan governing special education that is applicable to the State.

(b) Authorizing process and application.- A public chartering authority shall ensure that the authorizing process for a public charter school and the charter application address the roles and responsibilities of the county board and the applicants and operators of the public charter school with respect to children with disabilities.

(c) Operators of school.- The public chartering authority shall ensure that, prior to opening a public charter school, the operators of the school are informed of the human, fiscal, and organizational capacity needed to fulfill the school's responsibilities related to children with disabilities.

(d) Technical assistance.- The State Board shall provide technical assistance to the operators of a public charter school to help the school meet the requirements of federal and State laws, including 20 U.S.C. § 1400, et seq. and § 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. § 794.

[2003, ch. 358.]



§ 9-108. Rights of employees of a public charter school.


(a) In general.- Employees of a public charter school:

(1) Are public school employees, as defined in §§ 6-401(d) and 6-501(f) of this article;

(2) Are employees of a public school employer, as defined in §§ 6-401(e) and 6-501(g) of this article, in the county in which the public charter school is located; and

(3) Shall have the rights granted under Title 6, Subtitles 4 and 5 of this article.

(b) Collective bargaining agreement.- If a collective bargaining agreement under Title 6, Subtitle 4 or Subtitle 5 of this article is already in existence in the county where a public charter school is located, the employee organization and the public charter school may mutually agree to negotiate amendments to the existing agreement to address the needs of the particular public charter school.

[2003, ch. 358; 2004, ch. 25.]



§ 9-109. Disbursement of funds.


(a) In general.- A county board shall disburse to a public charter school an amount of county, State, and federal money for elementary, middle, and secondary students that is commensurate with the amount disbursed to other public schools in the local jurisdiction.

(b) Surplus.- The State Board or the county board may give surplus educational materials, supplies, furniture, and other equipment to a public charter school.

[2003, ch. 358.]



§ 9-110. Public charter school policy.


(a) In general.-

(1) Each county board shall develop a public charter school policy and submit it to the State Board.

(2) The policy required under paragraph (1) of this subsection shall include guidelines and procedures regarding:

(i) Evaluation of public charter schools;

(ii) Revocation of a charter;

(iii) Reporting requirements; and

(iv) Financial, programmatic, or compliance audits of public charter schools.

(b) Contact person.- The Department shall designate a staff person to function as a contact person for the Maryland Public Charter School Program.


[2003, ch. 358.]

 

Michie Legal Resources


Page Updated: 07.16.09

 


Contact Information
Mr. Dorian Barnes, Charter Schools Coordinator
Office of School Innovations
Division of Student, Family, and School Support
Maryland State Department of Education
200 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone: (410) 767-0366
Fax: (410) 333-8010
dbarnes@msde.state.md.us
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