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  H.B. No. 1707
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to the applicability of certain laws to open-enrollment
  charter schools.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 12.1058, Education Code, is amended by
  amending Subsection (c) and adding Subsections (d), (e), (f), (g),
  (h), (i), (j), (k), (l), and (m) to read as follows:
         (c)  Notwithstanding Subsection (a) or (b), an
  open-enrollment charter school operated by a tax exempt entity as
  described by Section 12.101(a)(3) is not considered to be a
  political subdivision, local government, or local governmental
  entity unless:
               (1)  a [the applicable] statute specifically states
  that the statute applies to an open-enrollment charter school; or
               (2)  a provision in this chapter states that a specific
  statute applies to an open-enrollment charter school.
         (d)  A political subdivision shall consider an
  open-enrollment charter school a school district for purposes of
  zoning, project permitting, platting and replatting processes,
  business licensing, franchises, utility services, signage,
  subdivision regulation, property development projects, the
  requirements for posting bonds or securities, contract
  requirements, land development standards as provided by Section
  212.902, Local Government Code, tree and vegetation regulations,
  regulations of architectural features of a structure, construction
  of fences, landscaping, garbage disposal, noise levels, fees or
  other assessments, and construction or site development work if the
  charter school provides to the political subdivision the
  certification described by Subsection (e).
         (e)  To be considered a school district by a political
  subdivision in accordance with Subsection (d), the governing body
  of an open-enrollment charter school must certify in writing to the
  political subdivision that no administrator, officer, or employee
  of the charter school and no member of the governing body of the
  charter school or its charter holder derives any personal financial
  benefit from a real estate transaction with the charter school.
         (f)  An open-enrollment charter school considered a school
  district under this section shall comply with the same requirements
  imposed by the political subdivision on a campus of a school
  district.
         (g)  An open-enrollment charter school does not have the
  power of eminent domain.
         (h)  A political subdivision may not consider an
  open-enrollment charter school a school district under Section
  395.022, Local Government Code, for the purposes of the collection
  of impact fees imposed under Chapter 395, Local Government Code, by
  the political subdivision for providing capital funding for public
  water and wastewater facilities.
         (i)  A political subdivision may not take any action that
  prohibits an open-enrollment charter school from operating a public
  school campus, educational support facility, athletic facility, or
  administrative office within the political subdivision's
  jurisdiction or on any specific property located within the
  jurisdiction of the political subdivision that it could not take
  against a school district. A political subdivision shall grant
  approval in the same manner and follow the same timelines as if the
  charter school were a school district located in that political
  subdivision's jurisdiction, provided that, for a new campus, the
  charter school provide notice, in the manner provided by and to the
  persons listed in Section 12.1101, of the location of the new campus
  within 20 business days of closing on the purchase or lease of real
  property for that campus.
         (j)  This section applies to both owned and leased property
  of the open-enrollment charter school under Section 12.128.
         (k)  Except as otherwise provided by this section, this
  section does not affect the authority granted by state law to a
  political subdivision to regulate an open-enrollment charter
  school through applicable health and safety ordinances imposed by
  the political subdivision.
         (l)  In this section, "political subdivision" does not
  include a school district.
         (m)  This subsection applies only to information of a
  financial nature related to property transactions of an
  open-enrollment charter school subject to this section.  A
  nonprofit entity operating an open-enrollment charter school under
  Chapter 12 or a management company providing management services to
  the nonprofit entity is considered a governmental body for purposes
  of Chapter 552, Government Code, and financial information related
  to property transactions that is managed or possessed by the entity
  or company is subject to disclosure under Chapter 552, Government
  Code.
         SECTION 2.  Section 212.902, Local Government Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 212.902.  SCHOOL DISTRICT AND OPEN-ENROLLMENT CHARTER
  SCHOOL LAND DEVELOPMENT STANDARDS. (a) This section applies to an
  agreement [agreements] between a school district or
  open-enrollment charter school [districts] and a [any]
  municipality which has annexed territory for limited purposes.
         (b)  On request by a school district or open-enrollment
  charter school, a municipality shall enter an agreement with the
  board of trustees of the school district or the governing body of
  the open-enrollment charter school to establish review fees, review
  periods, and land development standards ordinances and to provide
  alternative water pollution control methodologies for school
  buildings constructed by the school district or open-enrollment
  charter school. The agreement shall include a provision exempting
  the district or charter school from all land development ordinances
  in cases where the district or charter school is adding temporary
  classroom buildings on an existing school campus.
         (c)  If the municipality and the school district or
  open-enrollment charter school do not reach an agreement on or
  before the 120th day after the date on which the municipality
  receives the district's or charter school's request for an
  agreement, proposed agreements by the [school] district or charter
  school and the municipality shall be submitted to an independent
  arbitrator appointed by the presiding district judge whose
  jurisdiction includes the [school] district or charter school. The
  arbitrator shall, after a hearing at which both the [school]
  district or charter school and the municipality make presentations
  on their proposed agreements, prepare an agreement resolving any
  differences between the proposals. The agreement prepared by the
  arbitrator will be final and binding upon both the [school]
  district or charter school and the municipality. The cost of the
  arbitration proceeding shall be borne equally by the [school]
  district or charter school and the municipality.
         (d)  A school district or open-enrollment charter school
  that requests an agreement under this section, at the time the
  district or charter school [it] makes the request, shall send a copy
  of the request to the commissioner of education. At the end of the
  120-day period, the requesting district or charter school shall
  report to the commissioner the status or result of negotiations
  with the municipality. A municipality may send a separate status
  report to the commissioner. The district or charter school shall
  send to the commissioner a copy of each agreement between the
  district or charter school and a municipality under this section.
         (e)  An agreement between a municipality and an
  open-enrollment charter school under Subsection (b) may require
  that:
               (1)  any revised land development standards may apply
  only while the property is used for purposes of the charter school;
  and
               (2)  any property in use subject to land development
  standards established only for an open-enrollment charter school
  must be brought into compliance with all development regulations
  applicable to non-school related commercial developments by the
  property owner after closure or relocation of the charter school.
         (f) [(e)]  In this section:
               (1)  "Land [, land] development standards" includes
  impervious cover limitations, building setbacks, floor to area
  ratios, building heights and coverage, water quality controls,
  landscaping, development setbacks, compatibility standards,
  traffic analyses, including traffic impact analyses, parking
  requirements, signage requirements, and driveway cuts, if
  applicable.
               (2)  "Open-enrollment charter school" means a school
  granted a charter under Subchapter C, D, or E, Chapter 12, Education
  Code.
         (g) [(f)]  Nothing in this section shall be construed to
  limit the applicability of or waive fees for fire, safety, health,
  or building code ordinances of the municipality prior to or during
  construction of school buildings, nor shall any agreement waive any
  fee or modify any ordinance of a municipality for an
  administration, service, or athletic facility proposed for
  construction by a school district or open-enrollment charter
  school.
         SECTION 3.  Section 552.053(b), Local Government Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         (b)  The following may be exempt:
               (1)  this state;
               (2)  a county;
               (3)  a municipality; or
               (4)  [a] school districts and open-enrollment charter
  schools [district].
         SECTION 4.  Section 12.103(c), Education Code, is repealed.
         SECTION 5.  An exemption granted to a school district under
  Section 552.053(b)(4), Local Government Code, as that subdivision
  existed before the effective date of this Act, automatically
  extends to all open-enrollment charter schools located in the
  municipality after the effective date of this Act unless the
  municipality repeals the exemption before the effective date of
  this Act.
         SECTION 6.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
  a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
  provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  If this
  Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
  Act takes effect September 1, 2023.
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 1707 was passed by the House on April
  28, 2023, by the following vote:  Yeas 101, Nays 45, 1 present, not
  voting; and that the House concurred in Senate amendments to H.B.
  No. 1707 on May 25, 2023, by the following vote:  Yeas 130, Nays 8,
  1 present, not voting.
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 1707 was passed by the Senate, with
  amendments, on May 23, 2023, by the following vote:  Yeas 25, Nays
  6.
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate   
  APPROVED: __________________
                  Date       
   
           __________________
                Governor