Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 1. Community Choice Schools Act

Community Choice School Performance And Renewal

20-11-117. Community choice school performance and renewal. (1) The performance provisions within the charter contract must be based on a performance framework that clearly sets forth the academic and operational performance indicators, measures, and metrics that will guide the authorizer's evaluations of each choice school. The performance framework must include indicators, measures, and metrics for, at a minimum:

(a) student academic proficiency;

(b) student academic growth;

(c) achievement gaps in both proficiency and growth between major student subgroups;

(d) attendance;

(e) recurrent enrollment from year to year;

(f) postsecondary readiness;

(g) financial performance and sustainability; and

(h) governing board performance and stewardship, including compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and terms of the charter contract.

(2) Each choice school, in conjunction with its authorizer, shall set annual performance targets designed to help each school meet applicable federal, state, and authorizer expectations.

(3) (a) The contract performance framework must include rigorous, valid, and reliable indicators proposed by a choice school to evaluate its performance that are consistent with the purposes of this part.

(b) The authorizer shall collect and analyze data from each choice school it oversees in accordance with the performance framework.

(c) Multiple schools operating under a single charter contract or overseen by a single governing board shall report their performance as separate, individual schools. Each school must be held independently accountable for its performance.

(4) (a) An authorizer shall monitor the performance and legal compliance of the choice schools it oversees, including collecting and analyzing data to support ongoing evaluation according to the charter contract. Every authorizer has the authority to conduct or require oversight activities that do not unduly inhibit the autonomy granted to choice schools but that enable the authorizer to fulfill its responsibilities under this part, including conducting appropriate inquiries and investigations consistent with the intent of this part, and to adhere to the terms of the charter contract. Required oversight activities may not encumber the choice school financially and may be appealed by the choice school through the commission.

(b) Each authorizer shall annually publish and provide as part of its annual report to the commission a performance report for each choice school it oversees, within the performance framework set forth in the charter contract and 20-11-112. The authorizer may require each choice school it oversees to submit an annual report to assist the authorizer in gathering complete information about each school, consistent with the performance framework.

(c) In the event that a choice school's performance or legal compliance appears unsatisfactory, the authorizer shall promptly notify the choice school of the perceived problem and provide a reasonable opportunity for the school to remedy the problem.

(d) An authorizer may take appropriate corrective action or exercise sanctions short of revocation in response to apparent deficiencies in choice school performance or legal compliance. The action or sanctions may include, if warranted, requiring a choice school to develop and execute a corrective action plan within a specified timeframe.

(5) (a) A charter contract may be renewed for successive 5-year terms, although the authorizer may vary the term based on the performance, demonstrated capacities, and particular circumstances of each choice school. An authorizer may grant renewal with specific conditions for necessary improvement to a choice school.

(b) No later than June 30 of each year, the authorizer shall issue a choice school performance report and charter renewal application guide to any choice school whose charter contract will expire the following year. The performance report must summarize the choice school's performance record to date, based on the data required by this part and the charter contract, and must provide notice of any weaknesses or concerns perceived by the authorizer concerning the choice school that may jeopardize renewal if not promptly rectified. The choice school shall respond to the performance report and submit any corrections or clarifications within 90 days.

(6) The renewal application guide must, at a minimum, provide an opportunity for the choice school to:

(a) present additional evidence, beyond the data contained in the performance report, supporting its case for charter contract renewal;

(b) describe improvements undertaken or planned for the choice school; and

(c) detail the choice school's plans for the next charter contract term.

(7) The renewal application guide must include or refer explicitly to the criteria that will guide the authorizer's renewal decisions, based on the performance framework set forth in the charter contract and consistent with this part.

(8) (a) No later than February 1 of each year, the governing board of a community choice school seeking renewal shall submit a renewal application to the authorizer pursuant to the renewal application guide issued by the authorizer. The authorizer shall rule by resolution on the renewal application no later than 30 days after the filing of the renewal application.

(b) Every authorizer shall, when considering charter contract renewal:

(i) base its decision on evidence of the school's performance over the term of the charter contract in accordance with the performance framework set forth in the charter contract;

(ii) ensure that the data used in making renewal decisions is available to the choice school and to the public; and

(iii) provide a public report summarizing the basis for each decision.

History: En. Sec. 12, Ch. 513, L. 2023.