Thursday, April 29, 2010

House Ed Acts on 3 Charter School Bills

It was the afternoon to hear charter school bills in the House Education committee. The first bill heard is sponsored by Speaker of the House Terrance Carroll (D-Denver). The Speaker's bill, HB 1345-Emergency Powers, addressed the issue that came up with Brighton Collegiate HS last winter when the district took over the troubled charter school. When the charter school governing board went to district court, the judge stated it wasn't his court's jurisdiction, but didn't elaborate on which entity was the appropriate venue, either.

This emergency powers bill clarifies the process should an authorizer want to step in and address address that don't necessarily fall under the "health and safety issues" for closure commonly covered in charter contracts. The bill clarifies that a district court is the appropriate venue to determine if the district takeover is appropriate. HB 1345 was unanimously approved to go to the floor of the House for second reading.

The next bill, also by Speaker Carroll, was HB 1412-Charter School and Charter School Authorizer Standards Review Committee. The bill would establish a 13-member advisory committee that will make a recommendation to the State Board of Education for rules to detail standards for both of these groups. Rep. Merrifield's amendment to change the deadline for the committee was adopted. The bill was approved 11-1 and will be on the Special Orders calendar on the floor of the House tomorrow.

The final bill, by Rep. Middleton (D-Aurora), HB 1419 was postponed indefinitely at the request of the sponsor. The bill wasn't "ready for prime time," according to the sponsor and needed additional discussion.

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