New law for charter school administration

Criminal background checks are now required for charter school board members after Governor Markell signed HB 205 into law this morning.

The new law is part of an effort to improve charter school governance and provide more details into a school’s financial standing.  Under the legislation, charter school board members will have to undergo criminal background and child abuse registry checks.  The law also prohibits those with felony convictions or convictions for a crime against a child from serving on school boards.  Board members will also have to disclose any financial interest they may have in the charter school.

The legislation stems from problems at a pair of charter schools earlier this year.  Reach Academy for Girls and Pencader Charter High School both faced possible closure this summer after governance and finacial problems were discovered.  Both schools were spared closing, and are now operating under probation.

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