STOP Accelerating Charter School Replication

Accelerating Charter School Replication / Idaho House Bill 422

(HO422 —previously numbered HO386)

How Current Idaho Charter Law has Already Been Ignored in Charter School Replication of Hillsdale Barney Charters

Given the two distinctly different ways of authorizing charters in Idaho—local school board approved and independent commission approved—this changing of the law through HO422 appears to apply in practice primarily to the independent commission’s charters.

If the bill was killed in its tracks, nothing would change for any of the existing charters. They are functioning under the current law. Meanwhile, those wishing to fast-track the multiplication of their charter model—Hillsdale Barney Charters— haven’t been following current law.

Below are two ways to view this part of the current law—replication. First, is through the section number, 33-5205C. Or you can view the whole charter school law, T33CH52.

33-5205C Public Charter School Replication (T33CH52, pages 10-11)

1) Public charter schools may petition for replication, subject to the following provisions (only the first is listed here, underlining added):

a) The public charter schools must have successfully completed at least one (1) renewal cycle and be eligible for a nonconditional renewal.

Idaho Independent Charter Commission Policies Section V – Replication

A petition for a replication shall be eligible for consideration by the IPCSC [Idaho Public Charter School Commission] if all of the following are satisfied: (this is #1)

        1. The school being replicated has completed at least one (1) renewal cycle and has been renewed without conditions;

Now Let’s Look At What Actually Took Place In the First Attempt At Hillsdale Barney Charter School Replication in Idaho

Treasure Valley Classical Academy (TVCA) is a Hillsdale Barney Charter School.

August 2018 – petition approved with condition (2018 – 2024)

Opened 2019 – up for renewal June 2024 (approval is for 5 years, currently)

If this charter school is granted a nonconditional renewal on June 30th, then, BY LAW on July 1, 2024, a petition may be submitted for replication consideration as long as it meets the other requirements for replication.

Instead of waiting for completion of the renewal, this is what happened:

Idaho Novus Classical Academy

December 2022 – Commission meeting materials state in a section labeled “Petition Review Summary”, “this school would be a replication of the Treasure Valley Classical Academy (TVCA), currently in its third year of operations …”

North Idaho Classical Academy

December 14, 2023 – Commission meeting agenda includes this school under item VI as “Consideration of a New Charter Petition.” Word search of the petition document does not find the term replication used other than in reference to a service. However, in the IPCSC-Meeting-Packet-12.14.23pdf (page 73 of 81) “Petition Review Summary” it clearly states, “This proposed school is a replication of the Treasure Valley Classical Academy (TVCA) located in Fruitland, ID, currently in its fourth year of operations and up for renewal in 2024.”

These schools had their petitions approved by the Independent Commission.

What Now?

Is the New Deal in Idaho one where public/private partnerships get a pass when it comes to following the law?

Will the Idaho legislature reward the charter industry with more freedom from rules by passing HO422 Accelerating Charter Schools?

Is there more the public needs clarified before giving its silent consent for approval?

Yes, there is.