(1) The Commissioner of Education shall allocate funds appropriated for the Classrooms First Program among the district school boards. It is the intent of the Legislature that this program be administered as nearly as practicable in the same manner as the capital outlay program authorized under s. 9(d), Art. XII of the State Constitution. Each district school board’s share of the annual appropriation for the Classrooms First Program must be calculated according to the following formula, but the share of each district shall, at a minimum, be at least equal to the amount required for all payments of the district relating to bonds issued by the state on its behalf: (a) Twenty-five percent of the appropriation shall be prorated to the districts based on each district’s percentage of base capital outlay full-time equivalent membership; and 65 percent shall be based on each district’s percentage of growth capital outlay full-time equivalent membership as specified for the allocation of funds from the Public Education Capital Outlay and Debt Service Trust Fund by s. 1013.64(3). (b) Ten percent of the appropriation must be allocated among district school boards according to the allocation formula in s. 1013.64(1)(a). (2) A district school board shall expend the funds received pursuant to this section only to:
(a) Construct, renovate, remodel, repair, or maintain educational facilities;
(b) Pay debt service on bonds issued pursuant to this section, the proceeds of which must be expended for new construction, remodeling, renovation, and major repairs. Bond proceeds shall be expended first for providing permanent classroom facilities. Bond proceeds shall not be expended for any other facilities until all unmet needs for permanent classrooms and auxiliary facilities as defined in s. 1013.01 have been satisfied; or
(c) Provide loans to other school districts for new school construction pursuant to subsection (6).
However, if more than 9 percent of a district’s total square feet is more than 50 years old, the district must spend at least 25 percent of its allocation on the renovation, major repair, or remodeling of existing schools, except that districts with fewer than 10,000 full-time equivalent students are exempt from this requirement.
(3) Each district school board that pledges moneys under paragraph (2)(b) shall notify the Department of Education of its election at a time set by the department. The Department of Education shall review the proposal of each district school board for compliance with this section and shall forward all approved proposals to the Division of Bond Finance with a request to issue bonds on behalf of the approved school districts. The Division of Bond Finance shall pool the pledges from all school districts making the election in that year and shall issue the bonds on behalf of the districts for a period not to exceed the distributions to be received under s. 24.121(2). The bonds must be issued in accordance with s. 11(d), Art. VII of the State Constitution, and each project to be constructed with the proceeds of bonds is hereby approved as provided in s. 11(f), Art. VII of the State Constitution. The bonds shall be issued pursuant to the State Bond Act to the extent not inconsistent with this section. (4) Bonds issued under this section must be validated as prescribed by chapter 75. The complaint for the validation must be filed in the circuit court of the county where the seat of state government is situated; the notice required to be published by s. 75.06 must be published only in the county where the complaint is filed; and the complaint and order of the circuit court must be served only on the state attorney of the circuit in which the action is pending. The state covenants with holders of bonds issued under this section that it will not take any action that will materially and adversely affect the rights of such holders so long as such bonds are outstanding. The state does hereby additionally authorize the establishment of a covenant in connection with the bonds which provides that any additional funds received by the state from new or enhanced lottery programs, video gaming, or other similar activities will first be available for payments relating to bonds pledging revenues available pursuant to s. 24.121(2), prior to use for any other purpose.
(5) A school district may only receive a distribution for use pursuant to paragraph (2)(a) if the district school board certifies to the Commissioner of Education that the district has no unmet need for permanent classroom facilities in its 5-year capital outlay work plan. If the work plan contains such unmet needs, the district must use its distribution for the payment of bonds pursuant to paragraph (2)(b). If the district does not require its full bonded distribution to eliminate such unmet need, it may bond only that portion of its allocation necessary to meet the needs.
(6) School districts may enter into interlocal agreements to lend their Classrooms First Program funds as provided in paragraph (2)(c). A school district or multiple school districts that receive cash proceeds may, after considering their own new construction needs outlined in their 5-year district facilities work program, lend their Classrooms First Program funds to another school district that has need for new facilities. The interlocal agreement must be approved by the Commissioner of Education and must outline the amount of the funds to be lent, the term of the loan, the repayment schedule, and any interest amount to be repaid in addition to the principal amount of the loan.