(a) Except as provided in this article or in a charter, a charter school, or for charter systems, each school within the system, shall not be subject to the provisions of this title or any state or local rule, regulation, policy, or procedure relating to schools within an applicable school system regardless of whether such rule, regulation, policy, or procedure is established by the local board, the state board, or the Department of Education; provided, however, that the state board may establish rules, regulations, policies, or procedures consistent with this article relating to charter schools. A waiver granted pursuant to this Code section for a charter system shall apply to each system charter school within the system. In exchange for such a waiver, the charter school agrees to meet or exceed the performance based goals included in the charter and approved by the local board or, for the charter system, the system agrees to meet or exceed the system-wide performance based goals included in the charter and approved by the state board, including but not limited to raising student achievement. For a charter system, the charter shall delineate the performance based goals that the system and each school will be expected to meet as well as the criteria by which a system charter may be revoked in addition to those contained in Code Section 20-2-2068 .
(b) In determining whether to approve a charter petition or renew an existing charter, the local board and state board shall ensure that a charter school, or for charter systems, each school within the system, shall be:
(1) A public, nonsectarian, nonreligious, nonprofit school that is not home based, provided that a charter school's nonprofit status shall not prevent the school from contracting for the services of a for profit entity and that nothing in this Code section shall preclude the use of computer and Internet based instruction for students in a virtual or remote setting;
(2) Subject to the control and management of the local board of the local school system in which the charter school is located, as provided in the charter and in a manner consistent with the Constitution, if a local charter school;
(3) Subject to the supervision of the state board, as provided in the charter and in a manner consistent with the Constitution, if a state chartered special school;
(4) Organized and operated as a nonprofit corporation under the laws of this state; provided, however, that this paragraph shall not apply to any charter petitioner that is a local school, local school system, or state or local public entity;
(5) Subject to all federal, state, and local rules, regulations, court orders, and statutes relating to civil rights; insurance; the protection of the physical health and safety of school students, employees, and visitors; conflicting interest transactions; and the prevention of unlawful conduct; provided, however, that if:
(A) A facility used for a charter school is owned or operated by any state agency or entity, and such facility or equipment purchased or used by the facility meets the safety standards of the state agency or entity that owns or operates such facility; or
(B) A facility used for a charter school is owned by a local educational agency and operated utilizing standards of a state agency or entity, and such facility or equipment purchased or used by the facility meets the safety standards of the state agency or entity with respect to structural soundness and sufficient maintenance,
the facility or equipment or both shall be deemed to meet the safety requirements of this paragraph; provided, further, that in no event shall the state agency or entity or local educational agency owner or operator of a charter school with such facility or equipment be disqualified from eligibility for state grants or for federal grants awarded pursuant to state regulations due to such facility or equipment;
(6) Subject to all laws relating to unlawful conduct in or near a public school;
(7) Subject to an annual financial audit conducted by the state auditor or, if specified in the charter, by an independent certified public accountant licensed in this state; provided, however, that a separate audit shall not be required for a charter school if the charter school is included in the local school system audit conducted by the state auditor pursuant to Code Section 50-6-6 ;
(8) Subject to the provisions of Part 3 of Article 2 of Chapter 14 of this title, and such provisions shall apply with respect to charter schools whose charters are granted or renewed on or after July 1, 2000;
(10) Subject to the requirement that it shall not charge tuition or fees to its students except as may be authorized for local boards by Code Section 20-2-133 ;
(11) Subject to the provisions of Code Section 20-2-1050 requiring a brief period of quiet reflection;
(12) Subject to the provisions of Code Section 20-2-210 relating to annual performance evaluations;
(13) Subject to the provisions of Code Section 20-2-211.1 relating to fingerprint and criminal background checks; and
(14) Subject to the provisions of subsection (c) of Code Section 20-2-327 relating to individual graduation plans.
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