Brighton Collegiate has had a tumultuous past with several cases of inappropriate contact between a staff member and a student. The most recent situation resulted in the Dec. 2009 resolution by the district Board of Education to assume operations at Brighton Collegiate.
A couple of years ago the district nearly revoked the school's charter. Ultimately, the charter school was put on a corrective action plan, which among a number of things, meant the school adopted policies and conducted professional development training to ensure all staff knew there was zero tolerance on inappropriate contact with students. In November, the Brighton Collegiate principal terminated the staff member in question and adhered to the policies. But it wasn't enough for the Brighton school board that had lost its tolerance for problems at the charter school.
In early December the charter school board went to court to regain their right to operate the school. The judge ruled in favor of the district.
Which leads to the impetus for HB 1345. Without there being an understanding of what constitutes a good enough reason to take over a charter school, many want to see clear and specific criteria along with an outside party to objectively determine the validity of such action. This bill provides for the Commissioner of Education to appoint a fiduciary representative to take over the school upon request of the authorizer.
The bill details under what situations there will be intervention, including excessively high administrator salaries. Further, the bill explains the process for review and a timeline for how long the charter school will be taken over prior to another review.
The 14-page bill creates a new section of the Charter Schools Act: Part 6. The bill has been assigned to the House Education committee.