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Education Laws and Regulations

603 CMR 1.00:
Charter Schools

Section:
1.01:
1.02:
1.03:
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1.06:
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1.08:
1.09:
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1.12:
1.13:
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1.12: Conditions, Probation, Suspension, Revocation, and Non-Renewal

(1) Conditions: The Board or Commissioner may impose conditions on a school's charter for violations of law or failure to make progress with student achievement, failure to adhere to and enhance its recruitment and retention plan, failure to comply with the terms of its charter, or failure to remain viable.

(2) Probation: The Board may place a charter school on probation if in its judgment the imposition of a condition alone would be insufficient to remediate the problem. The Board may impose conditions on the school's charter that require the school to address specific areas of concern. Placing a school on probation signals concern about the school's viability and permits the Board to suspend a school's charter immediately if the school fails to remedy the causes of its probation. The Department may require a charter school on probation to establish an escrow account in an amount determined by the Department in consultation with the charter school to pay for closing, legal, and audit expenses associated with closure should that occur.

(3) Suspension or Revocation: The Board may suspend or revoke a charter for cause including, but not limited to:

(a) lack of evidence of academic success;
(b) failure to comply substantially with the terms of the charter, with any of the applicable provisions of M.G.L. c. 71, § 89, or with any other applicable law or regulation;
(c) a material misrepresentation in the application for approval or renewal of the charter;
(d) financial insolvency;
(e) misappropriation, conversion, mismanagement, or illegal withholding of funds or refusal to pay any funds that belong to any person otherwise entitled thereto and that have been entrusted to the charter school or its administrators in their fiduciary capacities;
(f) fraud or gross mismanagement on the part of charter school administrators or board of trustees, including but not limited to, mismanagement of the educational program and failure to provide a healthy and safe environment for students;
(g) criminal convictions on the part of the charter school administration or members of its board of trustees; or
(h) failure to fulfill any conditions imposed by the Board in connection with the grant or renewal of a charter.

(4) Notification: Before the Board revokes a charter, it shall notify the charter school in writing that the Board intends to revoke the charter. A vote of intent to revoke or a vote to not renew a charter shall operate as a notice of the action and does not operate as an order to show cause. In the case of a Horace Mann charter, the Board shall also notify the district in which the school is located. Except in the case of an immediate suspension, the Board shall send the notice 60 days before the revocation takes effect.

(5) Hearing: Upon receiving a notice of intent to revoke a charter, notice of non-renewal, or notice of suspension where the health, safety, or education of the school's students is at immediate risk, the school shall have the rights provided in M.G.L. c. 30A, § 13, and 801 CMR 1.00: Standard Adjudicatory Rules of Practice and Procedure. Where hearings are provided by statutes, all requests for hearings shall be in writing, addressed to the Board, and must be received within 15 days of receipt by the charter school of notice. At such hearing, the school shall bear the burden of proof and present its case first.

(6) Withhold Payment: The Board may withhold payments to any charter school that fails to comply with conditions imposed on its charter, that has been placed on probation, or whose charter has been suspended, revoked, or not renewed.

(7) General Fund: Upon the revocation, non-renewal, or voluntary return of a Commonwealth charter, title to all of the property of the charter school shall immediately vest in the Commonwealth, subject to the rights of any secured party holding a perfected security interest in the property of such charter school. Any funds remaining after the satisfaction of the charter school's obligations shall be deposited in the General Fund.

(8) Closing Procedures: Charter schools must comply with the closing procedures established by the Department. Charter schools must begin planning for closure and compliance with closing procedures immediately upon issuance of a notice of intent to revoke the school's charter, a notice of non-renewal, or a notice of suspension.

If the Commissioner determines that the board of trustees of a charter school needs additional expertise in fulfilling, or it fails to fulfill, its obligations under the closing procedures established by the Department, the Commissioner may appoint an individual or entity to assist with an orderly closure of the charter school. Such individual or entity may be paid out of the school's remaining funds, including the escrow account specified in 603 CMR 1.12.

(9) Debts and Liabilities: Upon closure of a charter school, the Commonwealth, the Board, and the Department assume no liability for any portion of any obligations, debts, or loans, or other liabilities of the board of trustees or of the charter school.

(10) Property: Upon the revocation, non-renewal, or voluntary return of a Horace Mann charter, title to all of the property of the charter school shall immediately vest in the school district in which the school is located, subject to the rights of any secured party holding a perfected security interest in the property of such charter school.

Regulatory Authority:
M.G.L. c. 69, § 1B; c. 69, §§ 1J and 1K, as amended by St. 2010, c. 12, § 3; c. 71, § 38G.



Last Updated: September 24, 2015
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