Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 1. Community Choice Schools Act

Duties Of Commission -- Oversight Of Authorizers

20-11-109. Duties of commission -- oversight of authorizers. (1) (a) The commission shall establish a statewide formula for authorizer funding to be applied uniformly to every authorizer in the state. Authorizer funding is financed through an oversight fee.

(b) The oversight fee must be calculated as a uniform percentage of the state funding allocated to each choice school and is to be paid from the choice school's budget share of the per-pupil funding, not to exceed 3% of each community choice school's state funding in a single school year.

(c) The commission may establish a sliding scale for authorizer funding, with the funding percentage decreasing after the authorizer has achieved a certain threshold after a certain number of years of authorizing, after a certain number of schools have been authorized, or for other reasons determined at the discretion of the commission.

(d) An authorizer's oversight fee may not include any costs incurred in delivering services that a choice school may purchase at its discretion from the authorizer. The authorizer shall use the funding provided under this section exclusively for the purpose of fulfilling authorizing obligations in accordance with this part.

(2) The commission is responsible for overseeing the performance and effectiveness of all authorizers established under this part.

(3) The commission shall annually review the effectiveness of the formula it established for authorizer funding and shall adjust the formula if necessary to maximize public benefit and strengthen the implementation of this part.

(4) By October 15 of each year, the commission shall communicate to every authorizer the requirements for the format, content, and submission of the annual report.

(5) Persistently unsatisfactory performance of an authorizer's portfolio of community choice schools, a pattern of well-founded complaints about the authorizer or its choice schools, or other objective circumstances may trigger a special review by the commission.

(6) In reviewing or evaluating the performance of authorizers, the commission shall apply nationally recognized principles and standards for authorizing.

(7) If at any time the commission finds that an authorizer is not in compliance with an existing charter contract, its authorizing contract with the commission, or the requirements of authorizers under this part, the commission shall notify the authorizer in writing of the identified problems and shall provide the authorizer reasonable opportunity to respond and remedy the problems.

(8) If an authorizer fails to respond and remedy the problems identified by the commission, the commission shall notify the authorizer, within a reasonable amount of time under the circumstances, that it intends to revoke the authorizer's authority unless the authorizer demonstrates a timely and satisfactory remedy for the violation or deficiencies.

(9) In the event of revocation of an authorizer's authority, the commission shall manage the timely and orderly transfer of each charter contract held by that authorizer to another authorizer in the state, with the mutual agreement of each affected choice school and proposed new authorizer. The new authorizer shall assume the existing charter contract for the remainder of the charter contract term.

(10) On or before December 1 of each year, beginning in the first year that choice schools have been in operation for a full school year, the commission shall issue to the board of public education, the education interim committee, and the public an annual report on the state's community choice schools that includes data from the annual reports submitted by every authorizer, as well as any additional relevant data compiled by the commission, for the school year ending in the preceding calendar year. The annual report must include:

(a) a comparison of the performance of choice school students with the performance of the comparable grade ranges of the choice school's students' resident district schools; and

(b) the commission's assessment of the successes, challenges, and areas for improvement in meeting the purposes of this part, including the commission's assessment of the sufficiency of funding for choice schools, the efficacy of the commission's formula for authorizer funding, and any suggested changes in state law or policy necessary to strengthen the state's community choice schools.

History: En. Sec. 7, Ch. 513, L. 2023.