Bill Text: NH HB278 | 2021 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Relative to the use of unused district facilities by chartered public schools.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 7-0)

Status: (Engrossed) 2021-04-14 - Remote Hearing: 04/20/2021, 10:00 am; Links to join the hearing can be found in the Senate Calendar; Senate Calendar 20 [HB278 Detail]

Download: New_Hampshire-2021-HB278-Introduced.html

HB 278  - AS INTRODUCED

 

 

2021 SESSION

21-0446

06/04

 

HOUSE BILL 278

 

AN ACT relative to the use of unused district facilities by chartered public schools.

 

SPONSORS: Rep. Hill, Merr. 3; Rep. Ladd, Graf. 4; Rep. L. Turcotte, Straf. 4; Rep. Silber, Belk. 2; Rep. Rice, Hills. 37; Rep. Rouillard, Hills. 6; Rep. Weyler, Rock. 13

 

COMMITTEE: Education

 

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ANALYSIS

 

This bill makes unused school district facilities available to chartered public schools.

 

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

21-0446

06/04

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty One

 

AN ACT relative to the use of unused district facilities by chartered public schools.

 

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

 

1  New Subdivision; Chartered Public School Use of Unused District Facilities.  Amend RSA 194 by inserting after section 60 the following new subdivision:

Chartered Public School Use of Unused District Facilities

194:61 Unused District Facilities.

I.  In this subdivision, "unused facility" means a school building owned by a school district in which less than 10 percent of the square footage of the school building is used during a school year for direct student instruction and for which the school district has no school board-approved written plan for future use. In order to comply with this paragraph, such school board-approved plan shall include direct student academic instruction within 2 years of the plan's approval.

II. On July 1, 2021, and on July 1 every year thereafter, the superintendent of each school district shall report to the department of education each unused facility owned by the school district. The department shall establish and maintain a list of unused facilities owned by each school district and make such list available on the department's website. A school district may exclude an unused facility from the school district's annual report only once.

III. Pursuant to paragraph I, a school district shall offer an unused facility to a chartered public school for purchase or lease as follows:

(a) If a school district's school board extends an offer to purchase or lease an unused facility to a party, other than an approved chartered public school operating in this state, the contract shall include a provision which makes the purchase or lease subject to the right of first refusal by an approved chartered public school operating in this state.

(b)  If the offer to purchase or lease is accepted, the school district selling or leasing the unused facility shall notify the charter school administrator of the department of education who shall notify all approved chartered public schools in this state, as listed on the department of education's website, of the contract to purchase or lease the unused facility.  The notice provided to the charter school administrator shall contain clear language that the unused facility is available to any approved chartered public school in this state only, and shall list the offering school district's name and location, the square footage of the unused facility, the contact information of the offering school district's representative, and the expiration date of the right of first refusal which shall be 60 days after the date of the notification to the charter school administrator.

(c)  A chartered public school that fails to exercise its right of first refusal shall forfeit such right as it pertains to the specific unused facility and any future right or interest in the specific unused facility.

(d)  If the offering school district has not received an offer to purchase or lease an unused facility from a party, other than an approved chartered public school operating in this state, a chartered public school may initiate, and the school board of the offering school district shall engage in, good faith negotiations for the purchase or lease of the unused facility.

(e)  If 2 or more chartered public schools notify the offering school district indicating an interest in the unused facility to lease or purchase, the offering school district shall make the final selection of the purchaser or lessee.

(f)  The criteria used to evaluate parties interested in the purchase or lease of an unused facility shall be public information and shall not be subject to RSA 91-A.

IV.  In right of first refusal negotiations with a chartered public school, it shall be the option of the offering school district whether to sell or lease the property under consideration, at fair market value or less, for a term to be agreed upon by the parties.  A lease shall include ingress to and egress from the facility, and where a part of a facility is leased, the right to access and use of the common area shared by all tenants and users of the facility.  If a chartered public school leases the entire facility, the chartered public school may incur debt to make improvements to the facility, and the school district shall subordinate its interest in the lease to such debt.

V.  The chartered public school shall have 6 months after the date of making a written offer to complete the purchase or lease of the unused facility for a price negotiated with the school district.

VI.  During the term of a lease, a chartered public school shall be responsible for direct expenses related to the facility or any part of the facility leased, including utilities, insurance, maintenance, property taxes, and repairs.

VII.  If a chartered public school plans to sell an unused facility which it has purchased, it shall first offer the facility to the school district from which it was purchased.  Such offer shall be governed by the procedures set forth in paragraphs III, IV, and V.

2  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect upon its passage.

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