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House Bill 113 — Charter and virtual schools

House Bill 113 — Charter and virtual schools

Anna Miller
March 13, 2023

Bill Description: House Bill 113 would allow school districts to authorize virtual charter schools. It would also allow charter school authorizers to “consider the student body makeup of a charter school during the certification and recertification process.”

Rating: +3

Does the bill expand the existing government monopoly on education and shrink family and student choice or agency? (-) Conversely, does the bill expand the ability for families and students to choose the educational options that best meet their needs free of government intervention or coercion? (+)

House Bill 113 would remove Idaho Code provisions that prevent district school boards from authorizing public virtual charter schools. Charter schools are schools of choice. Encouraging their growth by making it easier for them to start up will give families more educational options to choose from.

After a charter school has been authorized to operate in Idaho, its governing board is required by law to meet with the authorizing entity to develop “a performance certificate that clearly sets forth the academic and operational performance expectations and measures by which the public charter school will be judged.” House Bill 113 would amend the law to require performance expectations given in the performance certificate to “take into consideration the actual and potential at-risk makeup of the student body population … for all grade levels and economically disadvantaged students.”

House Bill 113 would also expand choice by making it easier to authorize and reauthorize virtual charter schools that serve at-risk and economically disadvantaged students. These students struggle to thrive in a traditional educational environment. Making it easier for virtual charter schools to continue to operate and serve them increases choice for these students.


Does the bill decrease barriers to entry for teachers and other education professionals or services, thus incentivizing entrepreneurship and increasing the supply of options for education services in the marketplace? (+) Conversely, does the bill create barriers to entry into the education marketplace? (-)

House Bill 113 would remove a barrier to entry by allowing local school districts to authorize virtual charter schools and clarifies that a charter school may work with a private comprehensive education service provider.


Does the bill create more transparency or accountability in public education institutions? (+) Conversely, does the bill reduce transparency and accountability in such institutions? (-)

House Bill 113 would allow charter renewal decisions to take into account agreements between virtual charter schools and education service providers that “require an education service provider to assume a virtual school’s financial risk when it does not have sufficient residual funds to pay the education service provider.” It further requires education service providers partnering with a charter school to make its audited financial statements publicly available for compliance with other federal or state laws.


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