Approved Petition

IP-2019-001    

Elections BC: “Initiative to Allow Voluntary
Formation of Twenty Charter Schools”

Draft Legislation submitted to Elections BC

Draft Bill – revised on May 28, 2019

Title of Draft Legislation:

Allow The Voluntary Formation Of Up To Twenty Public Charter Schools Revision Of The School Act

Preamble:

Whereas many parents register their children in a francophone school;

And whereas registering children in a francophone school is affordable and meets the goals that these parents have for educating their children;

And whereas many parents are homeschooling their children;

And whereas other parents who would be homeschooling their children are not able to do so due to financial constraints and/or lack of teaching ability;

And whereas many parents would work together to manage a school if registering children in that school were affordable and met the goals they have for homeschooling their children;

And whereas other jurisdictions, such as Alberta, have established this type of affordable school which is available to parents and this type of school is known as a public charter school;

And whereas the 1996 BC Recall and Initiative Act establishes a framework for registered voters to propose a new provincial law or changes to an existing provincial law;

And whereas a successful initiative petition may result in an initiative vote;

And whereas the registered voters of British Columbia, as expressed in the Citizen Initiative Petition vote in favour of public charter schools, wish to allow the formation of 20 public charter schools.

And whereas the purpose of this act is to allow the voluntary formation of up to 20 public charter schools.

Therefore Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of British Columbia enacts as follows:

Revise the BC School Act Part 1 – Interpretation:

Definitions and interpretation:
By adding:
“public charter school” means
      (a) a body of students that is organized as a unit by a public charter school society for educational purposes under the supervision of a principal who is an employee of that society,
      (b) the teachers and other staff members associated with the unit and employed by that society,
      (c) and the facilities associated with the unit.

By adding the italicized words:
“operating grant” means a grant to a board or public charter school society or francophone education authority as determined under section 106.3;

Revise the BC School Act Part 2 – Students and Parents

By adding, following Section 4 – Home Education:

Section 5 – Public Charter Schools

Application
A person or society may apply to the Minister for the establishment of a public charter school to be operated by a society incorporated under the Societies Act.

Public Charter Schools
The Minister may allow the establishment of a public charter school if the Minister is of the opinion that the school will have significant support from the community as evidenced by the presentation of signatures from 100 resident electors who reside in the trustee electoral area in which the school is to be located.

Operation of public charter schools
     (1) A public charter school must be operated in accordance with the charter approved by the Minister.
     (2) The society that is named in the charter shall operate the charter school.
     (3) A public charter school shall not be affiliated with a religious faith or denomination.

Charter
A charter must include the following:
     (a) The particular teaching philosophy, vision and purpose of the school with the goals of the school written as measurable outcomes;
     (b) A description of the learning outcomes to be obtained by the students;
     (c) The period during which the school is to operate;
     (d) The name of the society that is to operate the school;
     (e) The grades to be offered at the school.

Revise the BC School Act Part 9 – General

Division 1 – Ministry of Education

By adding the italicized words:

Jurisdiction of minister
168 (2)(c) determining the general nature of educational programs for use in schools, public charter schools and francophone schools and specifying educational program guides.

Minister’s Regulations – Number of Charters
168.03 The minister may regulate the number of charters for the establishment of public charter schools in British Columbia with the initial number set at 20 charters available for this purpose.

Final Section
The Act comes into force on the date of Royal Assent.