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Finances » Standardized Description and Rational for Each Automatic Waiver

Standardized Description and Rational for Each Automatic Waiver

Automatic Waivers for Charter Schools

The General Assembly enacted the Colorado Charter Schools Act of 1993 (Act), C.R.S. 22-30.5-
101 et seq., to encourage new and innovative methods of educating students by allowing for
public charter schools which would have greater control over decisions related to educational
programming in exchange for increased accountability for performance. C.R.S. 22-30.5-102.
Consistent with this legislative intent, the Act allows charter schools to request waivers from
certain state statutes and rules. There are two types of waivers: automatic and non-automatic
waivers. Automatic waivers are automatically granted to charter schools upon the establishment
and renewal of a charter contract, whereas non-automatic waivers require rationale and
replacement plans.

Pursuant to C.R.S. 22-30.5-104(6)(b), the State Board of Education has promulgated rules that
list the automatic waivers for all charter schools. 1 CCR 301-35, 2217-R-3.01. In promulgating
the list of automatic waivers, the State Board of Education considers the overall impact and
complexity of the requirements specified in the statute and the potential effects that waiving the
statute may have on the practices of a charter school.

Pursuant to C.R.S. 22-44-305(2), the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) and the
Colorado Charter School Institute (CSI), working with the Colorado League of Charter Schools
(CLCS), developed the following standardized description and rationale for each of the statutes
included on the list of automatic waivers.

C.R.S. 22-1-112 School Year – National Holidays. This statute sets a state school year and
national holiday schedule. A waiver of this statute authorizes a charter school to develop its own
school calendar that fits its unique needs.

C.R.S. 22-32-109(1)(f) Local Board Duties Concerning Selection of Staff and Pay. This
statute authorizes each school district to employ and compensate all personnel required to
maintain the operations and carry out the educational program of the district. A waiver of this
statute allows a charter school to hire its own staff and set compensation structures independent
from the district.

C.R.S. 22-32-109(1)(t) Determine Educational Program and Prescribe Textbooks. This
statute authorizes each school district to determine its educational programs and prescribe
textbooks for such programs. A waiver of this statute enables a charter school to choose its own
educational program and textbooks in accordance with its charter application as approved by its
authorizer.

C.R.S. 22-32-110(1)(h) Local Board Powers – Terminate Employment of Personnel. This
statute authorizes each school district to terminate the employment of personnel. A waiver of
this statute permits a charter school to terminate its own personnel.

C.R.S. 22-32-110(1)(i) Local Board Duties – Reimburse Employees for Expenses. This
statute authorizes each school district to reimburse employees for work-related expenses. A
waiver of this statute permits a charter school to adopt its own policies and procedures for employee expense reimbursement.

C.R.S. 22-32-110(1)(j) Local Board Powers – Procure Life, Health, and Accident
Insurance. This statute authorizes each school district to obtain insurance coverage for its
employees. A waiver of this statute permits a charter school to negotiate and procure its own
group life, health, or accident insurance coverage for its employees.

C.R.S. 22-32-110(1)(k) Local Board Powers – Policies Related to In-service Training and
Official Conduct. This statute authorizes each school district to adopt written policies relating
to employee efficiency, in-service training, professional growth, official conduct, and welfare of
employees. A waiver of this statute permits a charter school to adopt its own policies in these
areas.

C.R.S. 22-32-110(1)(ee) Local Board Powers- Employ Teachers’ Aides and Other Noncertified
Personnel. This statute authorizes each school district to employ teachers’ aides and
other non-licensed personnel. A waiver of this statute permits a charter school to employ its own
teachers’ aides and other non-licensed personnel.

C.R.S. 22-32-126 Employment and Authority of Principals. This statute authorizes each
school district to employ licensed principals. A waiver of this statute permits a charter school to
employ its own, possibly non-licensed, principals.

C.R.S. 22-33-104(4) Compulsory School Attendance. This statute requires each school district
to adopt a written policy setting forth attendance requirements. A waiver of this statute permits a
charter school to adopt its own attendance requirements in accordance with applicable laws and
regulations (e.g., C.R.S. 22-33-104; 1 CCR 301-78).

C.R.S. 22-63-301 Teacher Employment, Compensation, and Dismissal Act – Grounds for
Dismissal. This statute sets forth the grounds under which a school district may dismiss a
teacher. A waiver of this statute permits a charter school to exercise at-will employment and
establish its own grounds for teacher dismissal, provided that employment decisions are made in
accordance with applicable laws and regulations (e.g., anti-discrimination laws).

C.R.S. 22-63-302 Teacher Employment, Compensation, and Dismissal Act – Procedures for
Dismissal of Teachers. This statute sets forth the state procedures for teacher dismissal. A
waiver of this statute permits a charter school to exercise at-will employment and determine its
own procedures for teacher dismissal, provided that decisions are made in accordance with
applicable laws and regulations.

C.R.S. 22-63-401 Teacher Employment, Compensation, and Dismissal Act – Teachers
Subject to Adopted Salary Schedule. This statute authorizes each school district to adopt a
teacher salary schedule. A waiver of this statute permits a charter school to create its own salary
schedule that fits its unique needs.
C.R.S. 22-63-402 Teacher Employment, Compensation, and Dismissal Act – Certificate
Required to Pay Teachers. This statute authorizes each school district to pay only licensed
teachers. A waiver of this statute permits a charter school to pay non-licensed teachers, provided
that the school has a waiver from C.R.S. 22-63-201 (relating to the requirement to employ
licensed teachers).

C.R.S. 22-63-403 Teacher Employment, Compensation, and Dismissal Act – Payment of
Salaries upon Termination. This statute requires that upon the dismissal of a teacher and prior
to the end of that teacher’s employment contract, each school district must pay the pro rata share
of salary installments due and payable under the employment contract for the period during
which no services are required to be performed. Consistent with the at-will nature of charter
school employment, a waiver of this statute enables a charter school to terminate a teacher’s pay
upon dismissal, provided that decisions are made in accordance with applicable laws and
regulations.

For additional questions about this school’s waivers, please use the following contact:

Name: ________________________
Contact Information: _________________________