P.O. BOX 2120

AUGUST 25, 2000


TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Jo Lynne DeMary
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Charter School Legislation

The 2000 Virginia General Assembly session resulted in three charter school bills that directly affect school divisions and require action on the part of local school boards. House Bill 742 permits the creation of residential charter schools for at-risk students by a single school division or by two or more school divisions as a joint school. Senate Bill 411 and House Bill 785 authorize the creation of regional charter schools, emphasize that charter schools are defined as public schools, and require that each local school board provide public notice by December 31, 2000, of its intent to accept or not to accept applications for charter schools.

The full text of the bills may be viewed using the Internet and the Legislative Information System (LIS). A link to the LIS is provided through the DOE website: The link is called "Legislative Tracking" and is located at the bottom of the Home Page. The history of the bills, amendments, and the text of the final version of the bills are available by clicking on the bill number shown in the Legislative Tracking Report accessed through this link. The full text of Senate Bill 411 and House Bill 785 includes specific information about timelines for public notice and public hearings. Additional information about charter schools is located at

The attached form requires information about the status of charter schools in the division. Please complete the form and return by September 30, 2000 to Dianne B. Pollard, Department of Education, Office of Compensatory Programs, P.O. Box 2120, Richmond, Virginia 23218-2120. The report may be submitted via e-mail and is located at Complete the form and

Questions regarding charter schools should be directed to Dianne B. Pollard (, specialist, Office of Compensatory Programs at (804) 371-7583.