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New Mexico Statutes Chapter 22. Public Schools § 22-8B-4. Charter schools' rights and responsibilities;  operation

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A. A charter school shall be subject to all federal and state laws and constitutional provisions prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability, physical or mental handicap, serious medical condition, race, creed, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, spousal affiliation, national origin, religion, ancestry or need for special education services.

B. A charter school shall be governed by a governing body in the manner set forth in the charter contract;  provided that a governing body shall have at least five members;  and provided further that no member of a governing body for a charter school that is initially approved on or after July 1, 2005 or whose charter is renewed on or after July 1, 2005 shall serve on the governing body of another charter school.  No member of a local school board shall be a member of a governing body for a charter school or employed in any capacity by a locally chartered charter school located within the local school board's school district during the term of office for which the member was elected or appointed.

C. A charter school shall be responsible for:

(1) its own operation, including preparation of a budget, subject to audits pursuant to the Audit Act;  1  and

(2) contracting for services and personnel matters.

D. A charter school may contract with a school district, a university or college, the state, another political subdivision of the state, the federal government or one of its agencies, a tribal government or any other third party for the use of a facility, its operation and maintenance and the provision of any service or activity that the charter school is required to perform in order to carry out the educational program described in its charter contract.  Facilities used by a charter school shall meet the standards required pursuant to Section 22-8B-4.2 NMSA 1978.

E. A conversion school chartered before July 1, 2007 may choose to continue using the school district facilities and equipment it had been using prior to conversion, subject to the provisions of Subsection F of this section.

F. The school district in which a charter school is geographically located shall provide a charter school with available facilities for the school's operations unless the facilities are currently used for other educational purposes.  An agreement for the use of school district facilities by a charter school may provide for reasonable lease payments;  provided that the payments do not exceed the sum of the lease reimbursement rate provided in Subparagraph (b) of Paragraph (1) of Subsection I of Section 22-24-4 NMSA 1978 plus any reimbursement for actual direct costs incurred by the school district in providing the facilities;  and provided further that any lease payments received by a school district may be retained by the school district and shall not be considered to be cash balances in any calculation pursuant to Section 22-8-41 NMSA 1978.  The available facilities provided by a school district to a charter school shall meet all occupancy standards as specified by the public school capital outlay council.  As used in this subsection, “other educational purposes” includes health clinics, daycare centers, teacher training centers, school district administration functions and other ancillary services related to a school district's functions and operations.

G. A locally chartered charter school may pay the costs of operation and maintenance of its facilities or may contract with the school district to provide facility operation and maintenance services.

H. Locally chartered charter school facilities are eligible for state and local capital outlay funds and shall be included in the school district's five-year facilities plan.

I. A locally chartered charter school shall negotiate with a school district to provide transportation to students eligible for transportation under the provisions of the Public School Code.  The school district, in conjunction with the charter school, may establish a limit for student transportation to and from the charter school site not to extend beyond the school district boundary.

J. A charter school shall be a nonsectarian, nonreligious and non-home-based public school.

K. Except as otherwise provided in the Public School Code, a charter school shall not charge tuition or have admission requirements.

L. With the approval of the chartering authority, a single charter school may maintain separate facilities at two or more locations within the same school district;  but, for purposes of calculating program units pursuant to the Public School Finance Act,  2 the separate facilities shall be treated together as one school.

M. A charter school shall be subject to the provisions of Section 22-2-8 NMSA 1978 and the Assessment and Accountability Act.  3

N. Within constitutional and statutory limits, a charter school may acquire and dispose of property;  provided that, upon termination of the charter, all assets of the locally chartered charter school shall revert to the local school board and all assets of the state-chartered charter school shall revert to the state, except that, if all or any portion of a state-chartered charter school facility is financed with the proceeds of general obligation bonds issued by a local school board, the facility shall revert to the local school board.

O. The governing body of a charter school may accept or reject any charitable gift, grant, devise or bequest;  provided that no such gift, grant, devise or bequest shall be accepted if subject to any condition contrary to law or to the terms of the charter.  The particular gift, grant, devise or bequest shall be considered an asset of the charter school to which it is given.

P. The governing body may contract and sue and be sued.  A local school board shall not be liable for any acts or omissions of the charter school.

Q. A charter school shall comply with all state and federal health and safety requirements applicable to public schools, including those health and safety codes relating to educational building occupancy.

R. A charter school is a public school that may contract with a school district or other party for provision of financial management, food services, transportation, facilities, education-related services or other services.  The governing body shall not contract with a for-profit entity for the management of the charter school.

S. To enable state-chartered charter schools to submit required data to the department, an accountability data system shall be maintained by the department.

T. A charter school shall comply with all applicable state and federal laws and rules related to providing special education services.  Charter school students with disabilities and their parents retain all rights under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act  4 and its implementing state and federal rules.  Each charter school is responsible for identifying, evaluating and offering a free appropriate public education to all eligible children who are accepted for enrollment in that charter school.  The state-chartered charter school, as a local educational agency, shall assume responsibility for determining students' needs for special education and related services.  The division may promulgate rules to implement the requirements of this subsection.

1  NMSA 1978, § 12-6-1 et seq.
2  NMSA 1978, § 22-8-1 et seq.
3  NMSA 1978, § 22-2C-1 et seq.
4  20 U.S.C.A. § 1400 et seq.

Cite this article: - New Mexico Statutes Chapter 22. Public Schools § 22-8B-4. Charter schools' rights and responsibilities;  operation - last updated May 06, 2021 |

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