2012 Minnesota Education Law, Chapter 239, Changes Impacting Charter Schools

This is Minnesota’s education law of 2012, which impacts charter schools. Among changes in Chapter 239, signed into law by the governor April 27, 2012, the act extends the initial authorization period allowed for charter schools, boosts transparency of charter school board operations, specifically addresses collaboration between charter schools and districts, and provides greater flexibility for charter school board member training.

The initial charter school authorization period goes from three years to five years, and charter schools are directed to publish and maintain on the school's website specific information, including minutes from board of directors' meetings and meetings of members and committees having board-delegated authority.

Regarding collaboration, a charter school and district may voluntarily enter into a two-year, renewable agreement for collaboration involving facilities, transportation, training, student achievement, assessments, and other areas, even if the charter school is not authorized by the district. Among other provisions, the district, for purposes of student assessment and reporting to the state, “may include the academic performance of the students of a collaborative charter school site operating within the geographic boundaries of the school district.”

The law also removes a requirement that charter school board member training programs be approved by the Department of Education, but directs that the school include in its annual report the training attended by board members during the previous year.