(a) Upon receipt of
a completed application, the Commissioner shall cause to be conducted an
evaluation of the applicant. Within fifteen days following receipt of a
completed application, the Commissioner shall appoint an on-site evaluation
team and shall notify the applicant in writing of the initiation of the
(b) The on-site
evaluation shall be conducted by at least one employee of the State Board of
Education and at least one other member who is knowledgeable and experienced in
the operation of an independent educational institution. The Commissioner may
appoint additional on-site evaluators as deemed necessary but in no case shall
the on-site evaluation team exceed four persons. The employee of the State
Board of Education shall serve as chairperson of the on-site evaluation team.
The Commissioner shall provide each evaluator with a copy of the submitted
(c) The applicant may
challenge any member of the on-site evaluation team for good cause shown. The
challenge shall be in writing setting forth the reasons therefor and shall be
filed with the Commissioner within seven days following receipt of notice of
the appointment of the on-site evaluation team. The Commissioner shall render a
decision within seven days of receipt of the challenge.
(d) A statement of evaluation procedures
shall be sent to the applicant accompanying the notification of appointment of
the on-site evaluation team.
The report of the on-site evaluation team shall be prepared by the chairperson
in consultation with each member of the on-site evaluation team. The report
shall include the findings of the on-site evaluation team, including
commendations and recommendation(s) for improvement, if any, and a
recommendation for exemption, conditional exemption or denial. The report shall
be submitted to the Commissioner within one hundred and twenty days of the
receipt of the completed application.
(f) The Commissioner shall review the report
of the on-site evaluation team and may consult any state agency for assistance.
The Commissioner shall submit, in writing, to the State Board of Education,
his/her recommendation concerning exemption, conditional exemption, or denial.
Following action by the State Board of Education, the applicant shall be
informed in writing of the exemption, conditional exemption, or denial of
exemption within ten days of the action.
(g) The Commissioner shall be permitted to
observe an exempted educational institution at any time upon reasonable