Charter School Renewal
Charter School Renewal Guidance
Note: Pursuant to Indiana Code (“IC”) § 20-24-2.2-2, the minimum standards for renewal of a charter school include a requirement that the school not remain in the lowest category or designation of school improvement for four consecutive years. Charter schools failing to meet these minimum standards are not eligible to submit a Renewal Request.
A charter school authorized by the Indiana Charter School Board (“ICSB”) may begin the charter renewal application process in the fall prior to the final year of the term of its Charter Agreement. Each school’s charter expires 45 days after the last instructional day of the current Charter. For each school seeking renewal, the ICSB will issue a decision during the final year of the term of the school’s Charter Agreement. If the Charter is renewed, the current Charter Agreement is updated with all amendments made during the life of the contract and any additional changes requested (and granted by the Board) during the Charter Renewal Application Process. The modified document becomes the official Charter Agreement for the renewal term agreed upon by the Board.
If the ICSB determines that a school should not receive a full, five-year renewal, but a shorter renewal, with or without conditions, the school will be held to the full Performance Framework (plus any conditions), until such time as the school’s Charter Agreement is again up for renewal.
The charter renewal decision is primarily based on evidence collected over the term of the Charter related to the three categories of the ICSB’s Accountability System:
1. Academic Success
2. Financial Health
3. Organizational Compliance
As this evidence already has been collected by the ICSB, the primary purpose of the Renewal Application is: (1) To present any important new or supplemental information pertaining to the three categories of the Accountability System, to enable a more comprehensive assessment of school performance; and (2) To articulate a school’s strategies and capacities for sustaining success and continuing to improve over the next charter term.
Renewal decisions are based solely on the school’s performance on the Accountability System, the Renewal Application, and an interview with the school’s governing body. In addition, the ICSB will meet with each school’s leadership to discuss particular information that the school should prepare for its renewal application, tailored to the school’s circumstances.
The ICSB does not use a formula for determining the number of areas in which an applicant meets or exceeds standard in order to make renewal decisions. Each decision is completely individual to that school.
After submission of a letter of intent to seek renewal, the ICSB will provide the school with a consolidated performance dashboard to inform the school’s preparation of its Renewal Application. This data, as well as the final report summarizing the evidence basis for ICSB’s recommendation will also be made available to the public.
The Renewal Application should be concise and complete. All supplemental documentation should be included as attachments, and be limited to information that a) meaningfully adds to or supplements the data already collected pursuant to the Accountability System, and/or illustrates or supports plans or strategies discussed in the application.
Nonrenewal Appeal Process
If the Organizer wishes to appeal a nonrenewal decision, the Organizer must indicate its intention in writing within fifteen (15) business days of the ICSB action. If an appeal is received within fifteen (15) business days of the ICSB nonrenewal decision, an informal hearing will be held by the ICSB within twenty-five (25) business days, but no sooner than five (5) business days, from the receipt of the petition to appeal the nonrenewal. ICSB staff will arrange for space and staffing, including the appointment of an independent hearing officer (“IHO”). During the hearing, ICSB staff will present the reasons and evidence supporting nonrenewal. The Organizer, in turn, may (1) present evidence; (2) have an attorney present; (3) present witnesses to testify in opposition of the reasons given for revocation; and/or (4) provide a proposed corrective action plan. The IHO will consider all evidence presented and then make a recommendation to the ICSB in a formal public meeting. The ICSB’s vote on the IHO’s recommendation is considered the “final decision” regarding the nonrenewal.
Important Renewal Documents