2009 Rocky Mountain Teacher Fair

Standard Contracts

After the charter application is approved by the local board of education, the two parties (the school founding group and the authorizer), must agree to the contract terms. State statute states that the parties have ninety days to fully execute the charter contract. A fully executed contract is one that is signed by both parties. The contract is the formal agreement between the school and the authorizer, and is the "charter" under which the school will operate. It outlines each party's rights and obligations, including reporting expectations.

In advance of negotiating the terms of the contract, the founding group should take time to review any standard contract used by the authorizer. CSI and several school districts use a standard contract. If the district has not adopted a standard contract, a contract from another charter school in the same district may be used as a template. Reviewing the contracts from other charter schools both within the same school district, and in other districts, may help the founding group prepare for contract negotiations.

It is also wise to review the Sample Contract Language and accompanying narrative provided on this web site and here. More information on the development, purpose, and use of the Sample Contract Language can be found in the narrative. Even if the district uses its own standard contract that does not incorporate the sample language, the narrative includes a number of points to consider when negotiating the terms of any charter contract.

Regardless of whether the contract is based on the Sample Contract Language, a standard contract adopted by the authorizer, or based on another resource, the school should always consult an attorney with charter school law experience before signing any contract.

Please contact the League at startacharter@coloradoleague.org for a list of Colorado Legal Counsel that specialize in various aspects of charter school law.

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