Title 17. Education

Chapter 42. Charter School Demonstration Programs Law

Part V. Operation of a Charter School

 

17:3995         Charter school funding

 

A. (1) For the purpose of funding, a Type 1, Type 3, Type 3B not acting as its own local education agency, and Type 4 charter school shall be considered an approved public school of the local school board entering into the charter agreement. Type 2 charter schools and a Type 3B charter school acting as its own local education agency shall receive a per pupil amount each year authorized by the state board each year as provided in the approved minimum foundation program formula. The per pupil amount provided to a Type 1, 2, 3, 3B, or 4 charter school shall be computed annually and shall be equal to the per pupil amount provided through the minimum foundation program formula, determined by the allocation weights in the formula based upon student characteristics or needs, received by the school district in which the student resides from the following sources based on the district’s membership count used in the minimum foundation program formula: 

 

(a) The state-funded per pupil allocation, based upon the weighted student membership count, received by the district pursuant to the most recent legislatively approved minimum foundation program formula, including all levels and allocation weights based upon student characteristics or needs as provided in the formula except any supplementary allocations for specific purposes. Supplementary allocations for specific purposes shall be provided to charter schools based solely on the funds generated by the charter school within each specific allocation. 

 

(b)(i) Local revenues received during the prior year by the school district from the following sources: 

 

(aa) Sales and use taxes, less any tax collection fee paid by the school district. 

 

(bb) Ad valorem taxes, less any tax collection fee paid by the school district. 

 

(cc) Earnings from sixteenth section lands owned by the school district. 

 

(ii) For the purposes of this Subparagraph, local revenues shall exclude any portion which has been specifically dedicated by the legislature or by voter approval to capital outlay or debt service. 

 

(iii) For the purposes of this Subparagraph, local revenues of the Orleans Parish School Board also shall exclude the amounts set forth in R.S. 17:1990(C)(2)(a)(iii) until such provisions relative to the specified amounts expire. 

 

(c) The provisions of this Paragraph permitting the calculation of the per pupil amount to be provided to a Type 1, 2, 3, 3B, or 4 charter school to exclude any portion of local revenues specifically dedicated by the legislature or by voter approval to capital outlay or debt service, shall be applicable only to a charter school housed in a facility or facilities provided by the district in which the charter school is located. 

 

(2)(a) Initial allocation of the per pupil amount required in Paragraph (1) of this Subsection shall be based on estimates provided by the state Department of Education using the most recent projected prior year local revenue data and projected pupil counts available. Allocations shall be adjusted during the year to reflect actual pupil counts and actual prior year local revenue collections. 

 

(b) In order to provide for adjustments in allocations made to Type 2 charter schools as a result of changes in enrollment, the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education may provide annually for a February fifteenth pupil membership count to reflect any changes in pupil enrollment that may occur after October first of each year. Any allocation adjustment made pursuant to this Subparagraph shall not be retroactive and shall be applicable for the period from March first through the end of the school year. The provisions of this Subparagraph relative to an allocation adjustment shall not be applicable to any Type 2 charter school that has had an increase or decrease in student enrollment of five percent or less in any school year for which the February fifteenth membership count occurs. 

 

(3) Notwithstanding Paragraph (1) of this Subsection and unless otherwise provided for in the approved minimum foundation program formula: 

 

(a) Beginning July 1, 2016, for a district with one or more Type 3B charter schools in a parish that contains a municipality with a population of three hundred thousand or more persons according to the latest federal decennial census, the total amount of minimum foundation program formula funds allocated to the local school board and to Type 1, 3, 3B, 4, and 5 charter schools that are located within the district shall be allocated using a district-level computation based on student characteristics or needs as determined by the state board. The state Department of Education shall facilitate a collaborative process that includes representatives from the Recovery School District, the Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools, any affected local school board and any organization representing its authorized charter schools, and advocates for students with disabilities in the development of the district-level allocation policy that shall take effect on July 1, 2016. 

 

(b) The local school board shall adopt a policy that establishes a process to determine the district-level funding allocation to be effective beginning July 1, 2017, and as revised in subsequent years as appropriate, based upon student characteristics or needs to distribute the total amount of minimum foundation program formula funds allocated to the local school board and to Type 1, 1B, 3, 3B, 4, and 5 charter schools that are located within the geographic boundaries of the local school system. 

 

(4)(a)(i) The state board and a local school board may annually charge each charter school they authorize a fee in an amount equal to two percent of the total per pupil amount as defined by this Subsection that is received by a charter school for administrative overhead costs incurred by the chartering authority for considering the charter application and any amendment thereto, providing monitoring and oversight of the school, collecting and analyzing data of the school, and for reporting on school performance. Such fee amount shall be withheld from the per pupil amount in monthly increments and shall not be applicable to any federal money or grants received by the charter school. Administrative overhead costs shall not include any cost incurred by the chartering authority to provide purchased services to the charter school. As provided by Subparagraph (b) of this Paragraph, a chartering authority or the Recovery School District, if applicable, may provide other services for a charter school and charge the actual cost of providing such services, but no such arrangement shall be required as a condition for authorizing the charter school. 

 

(ii) The state Department of Education may withhold and retain from state funds otherwise allocated to a local public school system through the minimum foundation program formula an amount equal to one quarter of one percent of the fee amount charged to a Type 3B charter school acting as its own local education agency pursuant to Item (i) of this Subparagraph, or a Type 1, 3, or 4 charter school acting as its own education agency pursuant to R.S. 17:10.7.1, for administrative costs incurred by the department for providing financial oversight and monitoring of such charter schools. 

 

(b) A charter school may contract with the chartering authority, or with the Recovery School District for a Type 5 charter school, for the direct purchase of specific services in addition to those included in administrative overhead costs, including but not limited to food services, special education services, transportation services, custodial and maintenance services, media services, technology services, library services, health services, and health benefits for active and retired employees. Such services shall be provided to the charter school at the actual costs incurred by the chartering authority or the Recovery School District as applicable. The amount paid by a charter school for such purchased services shall be in accordance with a written agreement entered into for this purpose by the charter school and the chartering authority or the Recovery School District as applicable. Such agreement shall be negotiated and executed prior to the beginning of each school year. Absent such an agreement as provided by this Subparagraph, the chartering authority or, if applicable, the Recovery School District shall have no authority to withhold from the charter school any funds relative to providing such services. 

 

(c) At least thirty days prior to the beginning of each fiscal year, each charter school shall be provided by its chartering authority with a projected budget detailing anticipated administrative overhead costs and planned uses for fees charged for such costs. By not later than ninety days following the end of each fiscal year, each charter school shall be provided by its chartering authority an itemized accounting of all administrative overhead costs. Additionally, by not later than ninety days following the end of each fiscal year, each charter school shall be provided by its chartering authority or the Recovery School District, if applicable, an itemized accounting of the actual cost of each purchased service provided to the charter school. 

 

(5) Within fifteen days of the receipt of any state, local, or other funding to which the charter school is entitled or which came as a result of students enrolled in the charter school, the chartering authority shall ensure that those funds are available for use by such charter schools. 

 

(6)(a) A Type 2 school which has been renewed as provided in R.S. 17:3992(A) annually shall be funded in the full amount calculated as provided for in Paragraph (1) of this Subsection. Such full funding shall be provided as a priority prior to the allocation of state funding to any other charter school funded by the state. 

 

(b) The full funding required in this Subsection shall include in any calculation all pupils enrolled pursuant to any authority of a renewed Type 2 charter to increase the enrollment of such school whether caused by increasing the number of pupils in authorized grades or by adding sequential grades pursuant to the school’s charter or other authority granted by the state board. 

 

B. For each pupil enrolled in a charter school who is entitled to special education services, any state special education funding beyond that provided in the minimum foundation program and any federal funds for special education for that pupil that would have been allocated for that pupil shall be allocated to the charter school which the pupil attends. 

 

C. Any approved charter school shall be eligible for any other federal, restricted state, and unrestricted state funding for which the school or its pupils qualify. Each charter school shall receive at a minimum their per pupil share for any state or federal grant program such as any funding provided for technology, teacher supplies, kindergarten through third grade reading and mathematics, summer school, and other remediation funding, as well as any other state or federal grant program where funding is distributed on a per pupil basis and a charter school is eligible to receive the funding under the terms of the grant. The charter school shall comply with the terms of the grant. The chartering authority shall ensure that such funds are made available for use by any charter school no less than fifteen days after the chartering authority receives such funding from the state or the federal government, provided the chartering authority applied for such funding directly. A charter school may apply for and receive funding directly from the state or federal government. 

 

D. Any approved charter school may solicit, accept, and administer donations or any other financial assistance in the form of money, grants, property, loans, or personal services for educational purposes from any public or private person, corporation, or agency and comply with rules and regulations governing grants from the federal government or from any other person or agency, which are not in contravention of the constitution and any other law. 

 

E. If any charter school fails to open and serve pupils or closes for any reason, the charter school shall refund all equipment and cash on hand which can be attributed to state or local funding to the state or to the local school district as appropriate. 

 

F. Every pupil enrolled in a charter school shall be counted in the school’s total pupil count for purposes of funding including each pupil who is pursuing a high school diploma or participating in a pre-general education development skills program as defined by policy adopted by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. No child enrolled in a prekindergarten program offered by a charter school shall be counted for purposes of funding pursuant to the provisions of Subsection A of this Section unless such funding is specifically provided for such purpose. However, such school shall be eligible for any other funding that may become available pursuant to the provisions of Subsection C of this Section for children enrolled in prekindergarten programs. 

 

G. In addition to any other funds received, each charter school created as a new school rather than as a conversion school, shall receive for each student based on average daily membership in the charter school for the first five years of its existence an amount equaling the average per student budgeted amount for each of those five years by the district in which the charter school is located for facility acquisition and construction services. The provisions of this Subsection shall apply only if and to the extent that funds are appropriated therefor by the legislature. 

 

H. Any Type 2 or 5 charter school shall be considered the local education agency for funding purposes and statutory definitions pursuant to rules adopted by the state board. 

 

I. The local school board shall remain the local education agency for any Type 1, 3, or 4 charter school, unless the charter school is authorized to act as its own local education agency, pursuant to R.S. 17:10.7.1. 

 

J. A Type 5 charter school shall have the option to remain its own local education agency for funding purposes and statutory definitions upon conversion to a Type 3B charter school pursuant to rules adopted by the state board. Pursuant to this Subsection, the state board shall adopt rules for a Type 3B charter school considered its own local education agency and such rules shall: 

 

(1) Provide for the delineation of financial and programmatic obligations of the charter school related to the receipt of funds as a local education agency. 

 

(2) Authorize the state superintendent of education to rescind the local education agency status of a charter school should the charter school fail to meet the financial and programmatic obligations approved by the state board pursuant to this Subsection. 

 

K. The State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education shall promulgate rules in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act regarding a charter school acting as its own local education agency, pursuant to R.S. 17:10.7.1. Such rules shall: 

 

(1) Delineate the financial and programmatic obligations of the charter school as related to the receipt of public funds. 

 

(2) Authorize the state superintendent of education to rescind a charter school’s authority to act as its own local education agency if the school fails to meet the financial and programmatic obligations established by the board. 

 

Acts 1997, No. 477, § 1, eff. June 30, 1997. Amended by Acts 1999, No. 757, § 1, eff. July 2, 1999; Acts 1999, No. 1210, § 1; Acts 2001, No. 988, § 1, eff. June 27, 2001; Acts 2001, No. 991, § 1, eff. June 27, 2001; Acts 2001, No. 1076, § 1, eff. June 28, 2001; Acts 2003, No. 260, § 1; Acts 2004, No. 735, § 1; Acts 2005, No. 305, § 1; Acts 2008, No. 202, § 1, eff. June 13, 2008; Acts 2008, No. 744, § 1, eff. July 6, 2008; Acts 2009, No. 292, § 1, eff. July 1, 2009; Acts 2010, No. 370, § 1, eff. July 1, 2010; Acts 2010, No. 861, § 8; Acts 2012, No. 2, § 1; Acts 2012, No. 811, § 5, eff. July 1, 2012; Acts 2013, No. 330, § 1; Acts 2015, No. 467, § 1, eff. July 1, 2015; Acts 2016, No. 91, § 1, eff. May 12, 2016; Acts 2016, No. 497, § 1, eff. June 14, 2016.