STATEHOUSE (Jan. 29, 2013) — Legislation
authored by State Sen. Dennis Kruse (R-Auburn) to clarify and improve the
process of selling unused public school buildings passed the Senate today by a
vote of 48-0.
the law on public school building sales authorizes a school corporation to sell
a vacant or unused school building after it is made available to a charter
school for at least 48 months. Senate Bill 135 would reduce that
waiting period to two years and allow school corporations to receive a waiver
to sell an unused building immediately if no charter school objects.
years ago, lawmakers passed legislation allowing charter schools to get the
first opportunity at vacant school buildings so that these facilities had a
better chance of continuing to be used for their intended purpose: the
education of our children,” Kruse said. “The intent of that legislation was
good, but since then, state leaders have seen the need to tweak the process. My
bill maintains the practice of trying to return vacant school buildings to
educational use, but it allows for exceptions when a community has a better
chance of seeing a building used for another beneficial purpose.”
135 also provides that if the charter school chooses to sell a facility after
purchasing it from a school corporation, the charter school must transfer the
profit to the original school corporation.
provision is all about accountability,” Kruse said. “It would be an abuse of
legislators’ intent if a charter school were to buy a school building at a
discounted price and then turn around and sell it for a profit. Legislators are
seeking to ensure such a scenario will never happen.”
bill now moves to the House of Representatives where it is sponsored by Reps. Matthew
Lehman (R-Berne), Phyllis Pond (R-New Haven) and Phil GiaQuinta (D-Fort Wayne).