(1) The authorizer shall grant an initial charter to each qualified applicant for a term of five (5) operating years. The term of the charter shall commence on the charter school's first day of operation. An approved charter school may delay its opening for one (1) school year in order to plan and prepare for the school's opening. If the school requires an opening delay of more than one (1) school year, the school must request an extension from the authorizer. The authorizer may grant or deny the extension depending on the particular school's circumstances.
(2)(a) The authorizer and the governing board of the approved charter school shall execute a charter contract that clearly sets forth the academic and operational performance expectations and measures by which the charter school will be judged and the administrative relationship between the authorizer and charter school, including each party's rights and duties. The performance expectations and measures set forth in the charter contract must include, but need not be limited to, applicable federal and state accountability requirements. The performance provisions may be refined or amended by mutual agreement after the charter school is operating and has collected baseline achievement data for its enrolled students.
(b) The charter contract must be signed by the chairman of the authorizer board and the president of the charter school's governing board.
(c) A charter school may not commence operations without a charter contract executed in accordance with this section and approved in an open meeting of the authorizer board.
(3) The authorizer may establish reasonable preopening requirements or conditions to monitor the start-up progress of a newly approved charter school and to ensure that the school is prepared to open smoothly on the date agreed and that the school meets all building, health, safety, insurance and other legal requirements before the school's opening.
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