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SECTION 2853
Charter school organization; oversight; facilities
Education (EDN) CHAPTER 16, TITLE 2, ARTICLE 56
§ 2853. Charter school organization; oversight; facilities. 1.
Organization and legal status. (a) Upon the approval of a charter by
the board of regents, the board of regents shall incorporate the charter
school as an education corporation for a term not to exceed five years,
provided however in the case of charters issued pursuant to subdivision
nine-a of section twenty-eight hundred fifty-two of this article the
board of regents shall incorporate the charter school as an education
corporation for a term not to exceed five years in which instruction is
provided to pupils plus the period commencing with the effective date of
the charter and ending with the opening of the school for instruction.
Such certificate of incorporation shall not modify or limit any terms of
the charter approved by the board of regents. Upon approval of an
application to renew a charter, the board of regents shall extend the
certificate of incorporation for a term not to exceed five years. Upon
termination or nonrenewal of the charter of a charter school pursuant to
section twenty-eight hundred fifty-five of this article, the certificate
of incorporation of the charter school shall be revoked by the board of
regents pursuant to section two hundred nineteen of this chapter,
provided that compliance with the notice and hearing requirements of
such section twenty-eight hundred fifty-five of this article shall be
deemed to satisfy the notice and hearing requirements of such section
two hundred nineteen. It shall be the duty of the trustees of the
charter school to obtain federal tax-exempt status no later than one
year following approval of a charter school by the board of regents. For
purposes of this article, "certificate of incorporation" shall mean the
provisional charter issued by the board of regents to form the charter
school as an educational corporation pursuant to sections two hundred
sixteen and two hundred seventeen of this chapter.

(b) An education corporation organized to operate a charter school
shall have all corporate powers necessary and desirable for carrying out
a charter school program in accordance with the provisions of this
article, other applicable laws and regulations and the terms of the
charter, including all of the powers of an education corporation formed
to operate an elementary or secondary school and those powers granted
under the provisions of the not-for-profit corporation law that are made
applicable to charter schools by section two hundred sixteen-a of this
chapter. The powers of the trustees of the charter school shall include
those powers specified in section two hundred twenty-six of this
chapter.

(b-1) An education corporation operating a charter school shall be
authorized to operate more than one school or house any grade at more
than one site, provided that a charter must be issued for each such
additional school or site in accordance with the requirements for the
issuance of a charter pursuant to this article and that each such
additional school or site shall count as a charter issued pursuant to
subdivision nine of section twenty eight hundred fifty-two of this
article; and provided further that:

(A) a charter school may operate in more than one building at a single
site; and

(B) a charter school which provides instruction to its students at
different locations for a portion of their school day shall be deemed to
be operating at a single site.

(c) A charter school shall be deemed an independent and autonomous
public school, except as otherwise provided in this article, and a
political subdivision having boundaries coterminous with the school
district or community school district in which the charter school is
located. The charter entity and the board of regents shall be deemed to
be the public agents authorized to supervise and oversee the charter
school.

(d) The powers granted to a charter school under this article
constitute the performance of essential public purposes and governmental
purposes of this state. A charter school shall be exempt to the same
extent as other public schools from all taxation, fees, assessments or
special ad valorem levies on its earnings and its property, including
property leased by the charter school. Instruments of conveyance to or
from a charter school and any bonds or notes issued by a charter school,
together with the income therefrom, shall at all times be exempt from
taxation.

(e) A charter school shall not have the power to levy taxes or to
acquire property by eminent domain.

(f) The board of trustees of the charter school shall have final
authority for policy and operational decisions of the school. Nothing
herein shall prohibit the board of trustees of a charter school from
delegating decision-making authority to officers and employees of the
school in accordance with the provisions of the charter.

(g) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, no civil
liability shall attach to any charter entity, the board of regents, or
to any of their members or employees, individually or collectively, for
any acts or omissions of the charter school. Neither the local school
district, the charter entity nor the state shall be liable for the debts
or financial obligations of a charter school or any person or corporate
entity who operates a charter school.

2. The board of regents and charter entity shall oversee each school
approved by such entity, and may visit, examine into and inspect any
charter school, including the records of such school, under its
oversight. Oversight by a charter entity and the board of regents shall
be sufficient to ensure that the charter school is in compliance with
all applicable laws, regulations and charter provisions.

2-a. For schools approved by an entity described in paragraph (b) or
(c) of subdivision three of section twenty-eight hundred fifty-one of
this article, the school district in which the charter school is located
shall have the right to visit, examine into, and inspect the charter
school for the purpose of ensuring that the school is in compliance with
all applicable laws, regulations and charter provisions. Any evidence of
non-compliance may be forwarded by such school district to the board of
regents and the charter entity for action pursuant to section
twenty-eight hundred fifty-five of this article.

3. Facilities. (a) A charter school may be located in part of an
existing public school building, in space provided on a private work
site, in a public building or in any other suitable location. Provided,
however, before a charter school may be located in part of an existing
public school building, the charter entity shall provide notice to the
parents or guardians of the students then enrolled in the existing
school building and shall hold a public hearing for purposes of
discussing the location of the charter school. A charter school may own,
lease or rent its space.

(a-1) (i) For charters issued pursuant to subdivision nine-a of
section twenty-eight hundred fifty-two of this article located outside a
city school district in a city having a population of one million or
more inhabitants, the department shall approve plans and specifications
and issue certificates of occupancy for such charter schools. Such
charter schools shall comply with all department health, sanitary, and
safety requirements applicable to facilities and shall be treated the
same as other public schools for purposes of local zoning, land use
regulation and building code compliance. Provided however, that the
department shall be authorized to grant specific exemptions from the
requirements of this paragraph to charter schools upon a showing that
compliance with such requirements creates an undue economic hardship or
that some other good cause exists that makes compliance with this
paragraph extremely impractical. A demonstrated effort to overcome the
stated obstacles must be provided.

(ii) In a city school district in a city with a population of one
million or more, all charters authorized to be issued by the chapter of
the laws of two thousand ten which amended this subdivision shall be
obligated to comply with the department's health, safety and sanitary
requirements applicable to facilities to the same extent as non-charter
public schools in such a city school district.

(a-2) A charter school shall be deemed a nonpublic school for purposes
of local zoning, land use regulation and building code compliance if it
has been granted an exemption by the department pursuant to paragraph
(a-1) of this subdivision or if its charter was not issued pursuant to
subdivision nine-a of section twenty-eight hundred fifty-two of this
article.

(a-3)(1) Before a charter school may be located or co-located in an
existing public school building in a city school district in a city
having a population of one million or more inhabitants, the chancellor
shall identify which public school buildings may be subject to location
or co-location, provide the rationale as to why such public school
building is identified for location or co-location and shall make all
such information publicly available, including via the city board's
official internet website. In addition, the chancellor shall provide
widespread notice of such information including to the community
superintendent, community district education council and the
school-based management team. After a public school building has been
selected for a proposed location or co-location, the chancellor shall
develop a building usage plan in accordance with this paragraph.

(2) The building usage plan shall be developed by the chancellor for
each school that has been definitively identified for a location or
co-location. The building usage plan shall include, but need not be
limited to, the following information:

(A) the actual allocation and sharing of classroom and administrative
space between the charter and non-charter schools;

(B) a proposal for the collaborative usage of shared resources and
spaces between the charter school and the non-charter schools, including
but not limited to, cafeterias, libraries, gymnasiums and recreational
spaces, including playgrounds which assures equitable access to such
facilities in a similar manner and at reasonable times to non-charter
school students as provided to charter school students;

(C) justification of the feasibility of the proposed allocations and
schedules set forth in clauses (A) and (B) of this subparagraph and how
such proposed allocations and shared usage would result in an equitable
and comparable use of such public school building;

(D) building safety and security;

(E) communication strategies to be used by the co-located schools; and

(F) collaborative decision-making strategies to be used by the
co-located schools including the establishment of a shared space
committee pursuant to paragraph (a-four) of this subdivision.

(3) A building usage plan developed by the chancellor in accordance
with this paragraph shall be included within the educational impact
statement required by paragraph (b) of subdivision two-a of section
twenty-five hundred ninety-h of this title and be subject to the
requirements of subdivision two-a of such section prior to approval by
the board of education pursuant to paragraph h of subdivision one of
section twenty-five hundred ninety-g of this title.

(4) A building usage plan developed by the chancellor in accordance
with this paragraph may be revised and such revision shall require board
of education approval consistent with the requirements pursuant to
subdivision seven of section twenty-five hundred ninety-g of this title.

(5) The building usage plan shall be made publicly available by the
chancellor, including via the city board's official internet website,
and a copy shall also be filed with the city board, the impacted
community district education council, community boards, community
superintendent, and school based management team.

(a-4) In a city school district in a city having a population of one
million or more inhabitants, a shared space committee shall be
established in each public school building in which one or more charter
schools are located or co-located within a public school building with
non-charter public schools. The shared space committee shall be
comprised of the principal, a teacher, and a parent of each co-located
school. Such committee shall conduct regular meetings, at least four
times per school year, to review implementation of the building usage
plan developed pursuant to paragraph (a-three) of this subdivision.

(a-5) Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary, in a city school
district in a city having a population of one million or more
inhabitants, the determination to locate or co-locate a charter school
within a public school building and the implementation of and compliance
with the building usage plan developed pursuant to paragraph (a-three)
of this subdivision that has been approved by the board of education of
such city school district pursuant to paragraph (h) of subdivision one
of section twenty-five hundred ninety-g of this title and after
satisfying the requirements of subdivision two-a of section twenty-five
hundred ninety-h of this title may be appealed to the commissioner
pursuant to section three hundred ten of this chapter. Provided further,
the revision of a building usage plan approved by the board of education
consistent with the requirements pursuant to subdivision seven of
section twenty-five hundred ninety-g of this title may also be appealed
to the commissioner on the grounds that such revision fails to meet the
standards set forth in clause (B) of subparagraph two of paragraph (a-3)
of this subdivision. Following a petition for such appeal pursuant to
this paragraph, such city school district shall have ten days to
respond. The petition must be dismissed, adjudicated or disposed of by
the commissioner within ten days of the receipt of the city school
district's response.

(b) A charter school may pledge, assign or encumber its assets to be
used as collateral for loans or extensions of credit; provided, however,
that a charter school shall not pledge or assign monies provided, or to
be provided, pursuant to subdivision one of section twenty-eight hundred
fifty-six of this article in connection with the purchase or
construction, acquisition, reconstruction, rehabilitation or improvement
of a school facility.

(c) The office of general services shall annually publish a list of
vacant and unused buildings and vacant and unused portions of buildings
that are owned by the state and that may be suitable for the operation
of a charter school. Such list shall be provided to applicants for
charter schools and to existing charter schools. At the request of a
charter school or a prospective applicant, a school district shall make
available a list of vacant and unused school buildings and vacant and
unused portions of school buildings, including private school buildings,
within the school district that may be suitable for the operation of a
charter school.

(d) Notwithstanding any other provision to the contrary, in a city
school district in a city having a population of one million or more
inhabitants, the chancellor must first authorize in writing any proposed
capital improvements or facility upgrades in excess of five thousand
dollars, regardless of the source of funding, made to accommodate the
co-location of a charter school within a public school building. For any
such improvements or upgrades that have been approved by the chancellor,
capital improvements or facility upgrades shall be made in an amount
equal to the expenditure of the charter school for each non-charter
public school within the public school building. For any capital
improvements or facility upgrades in excess of five thousand dollars
that have been approved by the chancellor, regardless of the source of
funding, made in a charter school that is already co-located within a
public school building, matching capital improvements or facility
upgrades shall be made in an amount equal to the expenditure of the
charter school for each non-charter public school within the public
school building within three months of such improvements or upgrades.

(e) In a city school district in a city having a population of one
million or more inhabitants, charter schools that first commence
instruction or that require additional space due to an expansion of
grade level, pursuant to this article, approved by their charter entity
for the two thousand fourteen--two thousand fifteen school year or
thereafter and request co-location in a public school building shall be
provided access to facilities pursuant to this paragraph for such
charter schools that first commence instruction or that require
additional space due to an expansion of grade level, pursuant to this
article, approved by their charter entity for those grades newly
provided.

(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, within
the later of (i) five months after a charter school's written request
for co-location and (ii) thirty days after the charter school's charter
is approved by its charter entity, the city school district shall
either: (A) offer at no cost to the charter school a co-location site in
a public school building approved by the board of education as provided
by law, or (B) offer the charter school space in a privately owned or
other publicly owned facility at the expense of the city school district
and at no cost to the charter school. The space must be reasonable,
appropriate and comparable and in the community school district to be
served by the charter school and otherwise in reasonable proximity.

(2) No later than thirty days after approval by the board of education
or expiration of the offer period prescribed in subparagraph one of this
paragraph, the charter school shall either accept the city school
district's offer or appeal in accordance with subparagraph three of this
paragraph. If no appeal is taken, the city's offer or refusal to make an
offer shall be final and non-reviewable. The charter school may appeal
as early as issuance of an educational impact statement for the proposed
co-location.

(3) The charter school shall have the option of appealing the city
school district's offer or failure to offer a co-location site through
binding arbitration in accordance with subparagraph seven of this
paragraph, an expedited appeal to the commissioner pursuant to section
three hundred ten of this chapter and the procedures prescribed in
paragraph (a-5) of this subdivision, or a special proceeding pursuant to
article seventy-eight of the civil practice law and rules. In any such
appeal, the standard of review shall be the standard prescribed in
section seventy-eight hundred three of the civil practice law and rules.

(4) If the appeal results in a determination in favor of the city
school district, the city's offer shall be final and the charter school
may either accept such offer and move into the space offered by the city
school district at the city school district's expense, or locate in
another site at the charter school's expense.

(5) For a new charter school whose charter is granted or for an
existing charter school whose expansion of grade level, pursuant to this
article, is approved by their charter entity, if the appeal results in a
determination in favor of the charter school, the city school district
shall pay the charter school an amount attributable to the grade level
expansion or the formation of the new charter school that is equal to
the lesser of:

(A) the actual rental cost of an alternative privately owned site
selected by the charter school or

(B) thirty percent of the product of the charter school's basic
tuition for the current school year and (i) for a new charter school
that first commences instruction on or after July first, two thousand
fourteen, the charter school's current year enrollment; or (ii) for a
charter school which expands its grade level, pursuant to this article,
the positive difference of the charter school's enrollment in the
current school year minus the charter school's enrollment in the school
year prior to the first year of the expansion.

(6) An arbitration in an appeal pursuant to this paragraph shall be
conducted by a single arbitrator selected in accordance with this
subparagraph from a list of arbitrators from the American arbitration
association's panel of labor arbitrators, with relevant biographical
information, submitted by such association to the commissioner pursuant
to paragraph a of subdivision three of section three thousand twenty-a
of this chapter. Upon request by the charter school, the commissioner
shall forthwith send a copy of such list and biographical information
simultaneously to the charter school and city school district. The
parties shall, by mutual agreement, select an arbitrator from the list
within fifteen days from receipt of the list, and if the parties fail to
agree on an arbitrator within such fifteen day period or fail within
such fifteen day period to notify the commissioner that an arbitrator
has been selected, the commissioner shall appoint an arbitrator from the
list to serve as the arbitrator. The arbitration shall be conducted in
accordance with the American arbitration association's rules for labor
arbitration, except that the arbitrator shall conduct a pre-hearing
conference within ten to fifteen days of agreeing to serve and the
arbitration shall be completed and a decision rendered within the time
frames prescribed for hearings pursuant to section three thousand
twenty-a of this chapter. The arbitrator's fee shall not exceed the rate
established by the commissioner for hearings conducted pursuant to
section three thousand twenty-a of this chapter, and the cost of such
fee, the arbitrator's necessary travel and other reasonable expenses,
and all other hearing expenses shall be borne equally by the parties to
the arbitration.

4. Public and private assistance to charter schools. * (a) For
purposes of sections seven hundred one, seven hundred eleven, seven
hundred fifty-one and nine hundred twelve of this chapter, a charter
school shall be deemed a nonpublic school in the school district within
which the charter school is located. Special education programs and
services shall be provided to students with a disability attending a
charter school in accordance with the individualized education program
recommended by the committee or subcommittee on special education of the
student's school district of residence. The charter school may arrange
to have such services provided by such school district of residence or
by the charter school directly or by contract with another provider.
Where the charter school arranges to have the school district of
residence provide such special education programs or services, such
school district shall provide services in the same manner as it serves
students with disabilities in other public schools in the school
district, including the provision of supplementary and related services
on site to the same extent to which it has a policy or practice of
providing such services on the site of such other public schools.

* NB Effective until June 30, 2024

* (a) For purposes of sections seven hundred one, seven hundred
eleven, seven hundred fifty-one and nine hundred twelve of this chapter,
a charter school shall be deemed a nonpublic school in the school
district within which the charter school is located. Special education
programs and services shall be provided to students with a disability
attending a charter school in accordance with the individualized
education program recommended by the committee or subcommittee on
special education of the student's school district of residence. The
charter school may arrange to have such services provided by such school
district of residence or by the charter school directly or by contract
with another provider.

* NB Effective June 30, 2024

(b) For purposes of section thirty-six hundred thirty-five of this
chapter, a charter school shall be deemed a nonpublic school. The
charter and application therefor shall set forth the manner in which
students ineligible for transportation pursuant to section thirty-six
hundred thirty-five of this chapter shall be transported to and from
school. Any supplemental transportation provided by a charter school
shall comply with all transportation safety laws and regulations
applicable to other public schools. A school district may enter into a
contract for the provision of supplemental transportation services to a
charter school, and any such services shall be provided by the school
district at cost.

(c) A charter school may contract with the governing body of a public
college or university for the use of a school building and grounds, the
operation and maintenance thereof. Any such contract shall provide such
services or facilities at cost. A school district shall permit any
charter school granted approval to co-locate, to use such services and
facilities without cost.

(d) Private persons and organizations are encouraged to provide
funding and other assistance to the establishment or operation of
charter schools.

(e) The school district of residence of children attending a charter
school may, but is not required to, allow such children to participate
in athletic and extra-curricular activities of the district's schools.