(1) In order to increase business partnerships in education, to reduce school and classroom overcrowding throughout the state, to offset the high costs of educational facilities construction, and to use due diligence and sound business practices in using available educational space, the Legislature intends to encourage the formation of partnerships between business and education by creating A Business-Community (ABC) School Program.
(2) “A Business-Community (ABC) School” means a public school that offers instruction to students from kindergarten through third grade. The school may offer instruction in any single grade level or for multiple grade levels. ABC schools shall comply with the constitutional class size requirements.
(3) Each school board shall, through advertisements in local media and other means, request proposals from area businesses to allow the operation of a business and education partnership school in facilities owned or operated by the business. The Department of Education shall require each school board to submit documentation to the department which demonstrates the board’s compliance with this advertisement requirement. Each school board shall designate a school district employee as the district’s ABC program liaison and shall provide the name and contact information of the liaison to the department by September 1 of each year.
(4) Each school district shall establish an ABC school evaluation committee.
(a) The committee shall be appointed by the school board and be composed of one school district administrator, at least one member of the business community, and at least one member of a local chamber of commerce. The school board shall provide the department with the names and contact information for each member of the committee and notify the department upon any change in membership or contact information.
(b) The committee shall meet at least quarterly and shall provide an annual report to the school board and the superintendent regarding its activities during the preceding school year.
(c) The committee’s responsibilities shall include, but need not be limited to:
1. Creating and implementing a strategic marketing plan to inform businesses about the benefits of the ABC school program.
2. Providing technical assistance to businesses seeking to implement an ABC school.
3. Informing the public of the benefits of business and education partnerships.
4. Obtaining feedback from potential business partners on how the ABC program could be improved.
5. Identifying local barriers that preclude this program from operating.
6. Developing proposal evaluation criteria and processes.
7. Sharing information on effective ABC school programs with the department and local communities.
(d) The committee shall evaluate the feasibility of each proposal, including the operating cost, number of students to be served, proposed student-to-teacher ratio, proposed number of years the satellite school would operate, and any other operational or facilities considerations the school board or committee deems appropriate.
(e) The committee shall recommend to the school board those proposals for satellite schools which the committee deems viable and worthy of being established. The school board must take official action on the recommendation of the committee within 60 days after receipt of the recommendation.
(5)(a) First priority for admission of students to an ABC school shall be given to the children of owners and employees of the host business. If additional student capacity remains after those children are admitted, the host business may designate other neighboring businesses whose owners or employees may also participate to generate a viable number of students for the school. The school board shall make the necessary arrangements to accommodate students from other school districts whose parents are associated with the host business or business partners.
(b) Parents shall be responsible for providing transportation to and from school for the students.
(6) A school district and a host business may enter into a multiyear contract for operation of an ABC school. The contract must at least include provisions relating to any cost of facilities modifications, provide for the assignment or waiver of appropriate insurance costs, specify the number of students expected to be served, provide grounds for canceling the lease, and specify the advance notice required before the school may be closed.
(a) The school board shall be responsible for providing the appropriate instructional, support, and administrative staff and textbooks, materials, and supplies. The school district may also agree to operate or contract for the operation of a before-school and after-school program using the donated facilities.
(b) The host business shall provide the appropriate types of space for operating the school. If special facilities, such as restrooms or dining, recreational, or other areas are required, the district may contribute a part of the cost of the construction, remodeling, or renovation for such facilities from capital outlay funds of the district. A multiyear lease for operation of the facility must be agreed to if the school district contributes to the cost of such construction.