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Waivers & Policy Guidance
Below is a list of the waivers that are available to charter schools upon the establishment of a signed charter contact. A charter school is not required to submit a rationale and replacement plan for an automatic waiver.
|Automatic Waiver List (Current from 6/2/2017 to Present)|
|State Statute Citation||Description|
|22-32-109(1)(f), C.R.S.||Local board duties concerning selection of staff and pay|
|22-32-109(1)(t), C.R.S.||Determine educational program and prescribe textbooks|
|22-32-110(1)(h), C.R.S.||Local board powers-Terminate employment of personnel|
|22-32-110(1)(i), C.R.S.||Local board duties-Reimburse employees for expenses|
|22-32-110(1)(j), C.R.S.||Local board powers-Procure life, health, or accident insurance|
|22-32-110(1)(k), C.R.S.||Local board powers-Policies relating the in-service training and official conduct|
|22-32-110(1)(ee), C.R.S.||Local board powers-Employ teachers’ aides and other non-certificated personnel|
|22-32-126, C.R.S.||Employment and authority of principals|
|22-33-104(4), C.R.S.||Compulsory school attendance-Attendance policies and excused absences|
|22-63-301, C.R.S.||Teacher Employment Act- Grounds for dismissal|
|22-63-302, C.R.S.||Teacher Employment Act-Procedures for dismissal of teachers|
|22-63-401, C.R.S.||Teacher Employment Act-Teachers subject to adopted salary schedule|
|22-63-402, C.R.S.||Teacher Employment Act-Certificate required to pay teachers|
|22-63-403, C.R.S.||Teacher Employment Act-Describes payment of salaries|
|22-1-112, C.R.S||School Year-National Holidays|
Below is a standardized description and rationale document for each automatic waiver, created by CDE, that charter schools need to post on their financial transparency page.
Waiver Report: Approved Waivers by Charter School
View a list of waivers that have been approved for each charter school (PDF) (updated February 13, 2020): Includes the frequency each state waiver has been requested by charter schools.
Charter School Waiver Request Guidance
Pursuant to Colorado Revised Statute (C.R.S.) 22-30.5-104(6)(d), as amended by HB 14-1292, a school district that applies to the state board for a waiver on behalf of a charter school is "only required to provide a complete copy of the signed charter contract."
For charter schools and authorizers new to this process, the Waiver Request Guidance (PDF) document provides an overview about how charter schools can request to waive out of state statute and rule, the process to apply for these waivers, how schools and districts receive notification of approval, frequently asked questions, and more.
For non-automatic waiver request from state statute and rule, please submit to SOC@cde.state.co.us:
- An electronic, signed copy of the complete charter contract between the charter school and its authorizer, including all elements required in §22-30.5-105, C.R.S.:
- A clear start and end date of the term of the charter contract
- Signatures of both the charter school and the authorizing local board
- A list of automatic waivers the school is invoking
- A list of the non-automatic waivers from state statute and rule the school is requesting
- A rationale and replacement plan for each non-automatic waiver requested specifying the manner in which the charter school will comply with the intent of the waived statutes View a Sample Replacement Plan (PDF)
Contract Extensions: In the event that CDE already has a signed copy of the complete charter contract on file, including the current list of waivers and their replacement plans that the charter school wishes to invoke, an authorizer would only need to submit a signed board resolution to CDE to seek an extension of the existing waivers as long as the resolution states the new end date of the contract term.
In an effort to help support charter schools and their authorizers in the waiver request process, CDE is offering the following optional tools and resources:
- Sample Addendum Form (DOC): This form may be used as the appendix section within a charter contract to identify waivers requested and replacement plans for each request. Some districts have indicated that they would like to have a form they use consistently to make this process more straightforward for their staff and board.
- Optional Early Review Process: CDE staff are happy to engage in review and feedback prior to a district finalizing their contract in terms of board resolutions and signatures. Generally, this can be a review just of the waiver appendix section, whether districts use the optional sample addendum mentioned above or one of their own design, which includes identification of non-automatic waivers and a rationale and replacement plan per waiver. Please submit your request for early review and related appendices to SOC@cde.state.co.us and Paola Paga (Paga_P@cde.state.co.us). Please allow 1-2 weeks for a response.
- Optional Cover Sheet (DOC): Since charter contracts vary by authorizer, the optional cover sheet has been created for the school and/or authorizer to submit with the complete charter contract. This form allows the school/authorizer to identify the pages on which key information pertaining to the request can be located. By identifying this information on the form up front, it will enable CDE staff to verify the completeness of the contract more easily, expediting the handling of the request.
- Charter Waiver FACT Sheet (PDF) (12/28/15): Provides an overview of what areas of statute are not waivable and the process and timeline for requesting waivers.
Comparison of Waiver Laws: Provides a comparison waiver law as detailed in the Innovation Schools Act, the Charter School Act and under section 22-2-117 in the Colorado Revised Statutes for school districts.
Related Laws and Rules
State Board Rules and Regulation
School Readiness Assessments
Charter schools may choose to waive school readiness assessments, and as true for all waivers, schools are accountable for explaining how they will meet the intent of the law. Adequate replacement plans will address the following key components of the statute in their rationale and replacement plan:
- Identify how the school will assess each component of school readiness as it is defined in statute; physical well-being and motor development, social and emotional development, language and comprehension development, and cognitive and general knowledge. What is the method or methods of assessing that will be used? These assessments do not need to be tests; observation protocols, and other qualitative methods may be used.
- Briefly describe the school’s plan for providing intervention to students based on what they learn from their readiness assessment process. This may include naming a range of possible interventions or strategies, or the description of a general approach.
The charter school's authorizer has the responsibility for ensuring that the replacement plan and assessment protocols referenced in the request meet the intent of the law as "research-based and reliable instruments" (§22-7-1004(2)(a), C.R.S.) for measuring school readiness. Schools are encouraged to reach out to the Early Learning and School Readiness Office at CDE for support in generating their replacement plan for this waiver. Additional information can be found in Charter School Board and Administrator Alert 2017-002 document.
S.B. 10-191 (The Great Teachers and Leaders Bill)
Charter schools have the ability to seek a waiver for the Licensed Personnel Performance Evaluations Act through (§22-9-106, C.R.S.) which enables a charter school to develop and implement their own staff performance evaluations. It has recently come to our attention that an additional waiver is required in order for a charter school to be exempt from also having to report those performance ratings through their authorizer to CDE. This waiver is for §22-2-112(1)(q)(I), C.R.S. which outlines requirements for the Educator Preparation Program Report. Please contact Paola Paga (Paga_P@cde.state.co.us) with questions on how to obtain this waiver.
Please submit all contracts for the purpose of waiver requests to the Schools of Choice Office email address: SOC@cde.state.co.us.
*Please note: CDE does not allow ZIP files to come through our email server. Send an email to confirm receipt of your submission or to share the files via Syncplicity.
Contact Paola Paga with any questions about the waiver request process: Paga_P@cde.state.co.us