Florida Senate - 2011 SB 1550 By Senator Negron 28-00512B-11 20111550__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to the Education Savings Account 3 Program; creating s. 1002.385, F.S.; providing 4 definitions; specifying criteria for students who are 5 eligible to participate in the program; identifying 6 certain students who may not participate in the 7 program; providing that a parent may direct a 8 financial institution trustee of his or her child’s 9 account to use the funds for specified costs of 10 attending a private school or participating in a dual 11 enrollment program or to make a contribution to the 12 child’s college savings plan or a payment to a 13 contract under the Stanley G. Tate Florida Prepaid 14 College Program; requiring a financial institution to 15 transfer an account to another participating financial 16 institution upon the request of a parent as provided 17 by the Chief Financial Officer by rule; authorizing a 18 parent to direct the trustee to donate unspent funds 19 in an account when a student graduates from high 20 school or when the student’s participation in the 21 program is terminated; requiring the trustee to donate 22 the unspent funds to the student’s school district if 23 a selection is not timely made; requiring a parent to 24 apply to the Department of Education for his or her 25 child to participate in the program; specifying 26 responsibilities of a parent or student for using 27 funds in an account to attend a private school or 28 private virtual school; requiring a student who 29 participates in the program and attends a private 30 school or private virtual school to take norm 31 referenced assessment tests required by the Department 32 of Education; specifying responsibilities of a parent 33 or student for using funds in an account to hire a 34 private tutor or private tutoring program; specifying 35 responsibilities of a parent or student for using 36 funds in an account to participate in a dual 37 enrollment program; specifying eligibility criteria 38 for private schools, private tutors, private tutoring 39 programs, and private postsecondary institutions to 40 participate in the program; providing that all state 41 postsecondary institutions are eligible to participate 42 in the program; requiring that the Department of 43 Education establish an enrollment period for the 44 program, process student applications by a certain 45 date, verify the eligibility of private schools, 46 private virtual schools, private tutors, private 47 tutoring programs, and postsecondary institutions, 48 publish a list of eligible private schools, submit the 49 list to participating financial institutions by a 50 certain date, notify the participating financial 51 institutions of certain students, establish a toll 52 free hotline for certain information, establish a 53 process for reporting to the department violations of 54 law relating to the program, require participating 55 private schools, private virtual schools, private 56 tutors, private tutoring programs, and postsecondary 57 institutions to certify compliance with the 58 requirements of the program, compare the list of 59 participating students with the public school 60 enrollment lists, maintain a list of nationally norm 61 referenced assessment tests, select an independent 62 research organization that must make annual reports 63 relating to the learning gains of students in the 64 program, publish certain annual reports on its 65 website, conduct random visits to certain schools, and 66 issue a report to the Governor, the President of the 67 Senate, and the Speaker of the House of 68 Representatives; requiring that the Chief Financial 69 Officer process applications from financial 70 institutions to participate in the program, provide a 71 list of participating financial institutions to the 72 department by a certain date each year, conduct random 73 audits of participating financial institutions, revoke 74 the eligibility of a financial institutions for 75 violations of law relating to the program, and make 76 payments to the accounts of participating students in 77 specified situations; requiring financial institutions 78 to apply to the Chief Financial Officer to participate 79 in the program; providing that a participating 80 financial institution serves as a trustee for a 81 student’s account; limiting the fees that may be 82 charged by a financial institution for its services 83 under the program; requiring a financial institution 84 to make timely quarterly payments directly to a 85 private school, private tutor, private tutoring 86 program, or postsecondary institution; requiring a 87 financial institution to make timely quarterly 88 payments to a selected college savings plan or the 89 Stanley G. Tate Florida Prepaid College Program; 90 requiring a financial institution to notify the 91 department of the identity of certain students at 92 certain dates; requiring a financial institution to 93 annually notify the Chief Financial Officer of its 94 intent to continue to participate in, or intent to 95 withdraw from, the program; requiring a financial 96 institution to provide advance notice to the Chief 97 Financial Officer and parents of students 98 participating in the program before withdrawing from 99 the program; specifying criteria and procedures by 100 which the Commissioner of Education may deny, suspend, 101 or revoke a private school’s participation in the 102 program; specifying procedures by which a private 103 school may challenge the decision of the Commissioner 104 of Education to deny, suspend, or revoke the school’s 105 participation in the program; requiring the director 106 of the Division of Administrative Hearings to expedite 107 a hearing in certain situations; authorizing the 108 Commissioner of Education to order participating 109 financial institutions to immediately suspend payments 110 from a student’s account to a participating private 111 school under certain circumstances; providing for 112 appeal against a payment suspension; authorizing the 113 Office of Inspector General of the Department of 114 Education to release otherwise confidential student 115 information under certain circumstances involving 116 allegations of fraudulent activity under the program; 117 specifying a formula to be used in determining the 118 amount of annual payments made to a student’s account 119 under the program; providing for the random selection 120 of applicants to the program who are attending a home 121 education program or a private school; providing a 122 calculation to determine the number of such students 123 who may participate in the program; authorizing the 124 Legislative Budget Commission to transfer funds in 125 excess of amounts required to fully fund the accounts 126 of all participating students to the Florida Education 127 Finance Program; requiring the department and the 128 Department of Financial Services to develop an 129 agreement to assist in the administration of the 130 program; requiring the State Board of Education to 131 adopt rules for the Department of Education and the 132 Commissioner of Education to administer the program; 133 requiring the Chief Financial Officer to adopt rules 134 to administer its responsibilities under the program; 135 providing for the enrollment period and for the number 136 of eligible students for the 2011-2012 school year; 137 requiring the department to randomly select 138 participating students in specified situations; 139 authorizing the State Board of Education to adopt 140 emergency rules for the department and the 141 Commissioner of Education to implement the program; 142 providing an effective date. 143 144 WHEREAS, the Legislature finds that it has a duty to 145 provide for a high-quality education for all children residing 146 within this state, and 147 WHEREAS, the Legislature finds that it has a duty to 148 provide for the establishment, maintenance, and operation of 149 institutions of higher learning, and 150 WHEREAS, a high-quality education for children is 151 facilitated by parental involvement in educational choices for 152 their children, competition among schools and other learning 153 environments, and the measurement and evaluation of student 154 learning gains, and 155 WHEREAS, the Legislature finds that competition between 156 public schools and private schools will enhance the quality of 157 education at public schools by encouraging innovation, 158 flexibility, and efficiency, and 159 WHEREAS, providing a child with an opportunity to attend a 160 public school or with funds to pay for private schooling or 161 tutoring enables the child to access the high-quality education 162 best suited for his or her specific needs, and 163 WHEREAS, the Legislature finds that under the right to 164 religious freedom in the State Constitution, the state may not 165 prohibit a person from using private funds to pay the cost of 166 private schooling or tutoring at an institution having any 167 religious affiliation, NOW, THEREFORE, 168 169 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 170 171 Section 1. Section 1002.385, Florida Statutes, is created 172 to read: 173 1002.385 Education Savings Account Program.— 174 (1) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term: 175 (a) “Account” means an education savings account belonging 176 to a student who is participating in, or who participated in, 177 the program. Funds in an account are private funds. 178 (b) “College savings plan” means a qualified tuition plan 179 under s. 529 of the Internal Revenue Code which allows the 180 establishment of an account for a beneficiary for the purpose of 181 paying the beneficiary’s eligible college expenses. 182 (c) “Department” means the Department of Education. 183 (d) “Eligible private postsecondary institution” means a 184 private postsecondary institution that is a member of the 185 Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida and is located 186 in the state. 187 (e) “Eligible private school” means a private school that 188 offers an education to students in any grade of kindergarten 189 through grade 12, is located in this state, and meets the 190 requirements in subsection (6). 191 (f) “Financial institution” has the same meaning as defined 192 in s. 655.005. 193 (g) “Program” means the Education Savings Account Program. 194 (2) ELIGIBLE STUDENTS.— 195 (a) A student is eligible to receive funds under the 196 program if the student resides in this state and: 197 1. Is eligible to enter kindergarten or first grade; 198 2. Is the sibling of a student who participates in the 199 program and who resides in the same household; 200 3. Was counted as a full-time equivalent student during the 201 previous state fiscal year for purposes of state per-student 202 funding; or 203 4. Attends a home education program or a private school and 204 was randomly selected to participate in the program pursuant to 205 subsection (13). 206 (b) A student remains eligible for the program until he or 207 she graduates from high school and as long as the student does 208 not enroll in a public school, charter school, or a virtual 209 instruction program, excluding the Florida Virtual School, which 210 receives state funding as a result of the student’s 211 participation. 212 (3) INELIGIBLE STUDENTS.—A student may not participate in 213 the program if he or she: 214 (a) Is enrolled in a school operating for the purpose of 215 providing educational services to youth in a commitment program 216 for the Department of Juvenile Justice; 217 (b) Participates in a virtual school, correspondence 218 school, or distance learning program that receives state funding 219 for the student’s participation; 220 (c) Is enrolled in the Florida School for the Deaf and the 221 Blind; or 222 (d) Is receiving an educational scholarship pursuant to 223 chapter 1002. 224 (4) PARENT AND STUDENT OPTIONS.— 225 (a) A parent may direct the trustee to use the funds in his 226 or her child’s account, in whole or in combination, to: 227 1. Pay the tuition and fees for the child to attend an 228 eligible private school; 229 2. Pay the tuition and fees for the child to attend an 230 eligible private virtual school; 231 3. Pay a private tutor or private tutoring program 232 qualified under s. 1002.43 for supplemental educational 233 services; 234 4. Pay the cost of tuition, books, or fees for the child to 235 enroll in a dual enrollment program at a state postsecondary 236 institution; 237 5. Pay the cost of tuition, books, or fees for the child to 238 enroll in a dual enrollment program at an eligible private 239 postsecondary institution; 240 6. Contribute to the child’s college savings plan; or 241 7. Make a payment toward the purchase of a contract under 242 the Stanley G. Tate Florida Prepaid College Program in s. 243 1009.98. 244 (b) A parent may direct the trustee to transfer the account 245 to another financial institution participating in the program as 246 provided by the Chief Financial Officer by rule. 247 (c) Within 3 months after the child graduates from high 248 school or no longer participates in the program, a parent may 249 direct the trustee to donate any unspent funds in the account to 250 any institution identified in subparagraphs 1.-5. or to the 251 school district for the county in which the child last resided 252 before the child’s participation in the program was terminated. 253 If a parent fails to identify an institution to which the 254 trustee must donate the funds, the trustee shall donate the 255 funds to the school district for the county in which the child 256 last resided before the child’s participation in the program was 257 terminated. 258 (5) PARENT AND STUDENT RESPONSIBILITIES FOR PROGRAM 259 PARTICIPATION.— 260 (a) A parent must annually apply to the department on 261 behalf of the child during the annual enrollment period. As part 262 of the enrollment, the parent must identify the educational 263 option chosen to meet the compulsory attendance requirements of 264 state law whether through attendance at a private school or 265 private virtual school, enrollment in a home education program 266 under s. 1002.41, or a private tutoring program under s. 267 1002.43. 268 (b)1. If a parent elects for the child to attend an 269 eligible private school or private virtual school, the parent or 270 the child must: 271 a. Select an eligible private school or private virtual 272 school and apply for admission. 273 b. Inform the child’s school district when the parent 274 withdraws the child to attend the private school or private 275 virtual school. 276 c. Remain in attendance in the selected school throughout 277 the school year unless excused by the school for illness or 278 other good cause. 279 d. Comply with the school’s published policies. 280 e. Ensure that the child participating in the program takes 281 the nationally norm-referenced assessment tests administered by 282 the school which are required by the department. The parent may 283 also choose to have the child participate in a statewide 284 assessment test pursuant to s. 1008.22. If the parent requests 285 that the child take a statewide assessment test, the parent is 286 responsible for transporting the child to the testing site 287 designated by the school district. 288 f. Pay the balance of the school’s tuition and fees in 289 excess of the funds in the child’s account. 290 2. A parent who chooses to comply with the compulsory 291 attendance requirements by enrolling his or her child in a 292 private school or private virtual school may also choose to 293 enroll the child in a dual enrollment program through a public 294 postsecondary institution or an eligible private postsecondary 295 institution and use funds from the child’s account for such 296 purposes. The parent and child must register and apply for 297 admission during the institution’s registration or application 298 period and are responsible for paying the balance of tuition and 299 fees which is not covered by the payments from the child’s 300 account. 301 (c)1. If a parent elects for his or her child to 302 participate in a home education program, the parent and child 303 must comply with s. 1002.41. 304 2. A parent who chooses to comply with the compulsory 305 attendance requirements by enrolling his or her child in a home 306 education program may also choose to enroll the child in a dual 307 enrollment program through a public postsecondary institution or 308 an eligible private postsecondary institution and use funds from 309 the child’s account for such purpose. The parent and child must 310 register and apply for admission during the institution’s 311 registration or application period and are responsible for 312 paying the balance of tuition and fees which is not covered by 313 payments from the child’s account. 314 (d)1. If a parent elects for the child to receive an 315 education from an eligible private tutor or private tutoring 316 program, the parent and the child must comply with this chapter. 317 2. A parent who chooses to comply with the compulsory 318 attendance requirements through use of a private tutor or 319 private tutoring program may also choose to enroll his or her 320 child in a dual enrollment program through a public 321 postsecondary institution or an eligible private postsecondary 322 institution and use funds from the child’s account for such 323 purpose. The parent and child must register and apply for 324 admission during the institution’s registration or application 325 period and are responsible for paying the balance of tuition and 326 fees which is not covered by payments from the child’s account. 327 (e) If a parent elects to use any portion of his or her 328 child’s account as payment for private tutoring through an 329 eligible supplemental educational services provider, the parent 330 is responsible for payments to the provider which are not 331 covered by the child’s account. 332 (f) If a parent elects for the child to participate in dual 333 enrollment at a state postsecondary institution or an eligible 334 private postsecondary institution, the parent or the child must: 335 1. Register or apply for admission during the institution’s 336 registration or application period. 337 2. Inform the child’s school district when the parent 338 withdraws the child to attend the postsecondary institution. 339 3. Remain in attendance in the postsecondary institution 340 throughout the school year unless excused by the institution for 341 illness or other good cause. 342 4. Comply with the institution’s published policies. 343 5. Pay the balance of the postsecondary institution’s 344 tuition and fees in excess of the funds in the child’s account. 345 (g) If a parent elects to use any of the funds in the 346 child’s account to make a contribution to a college savings 347 plan, the parent must comply with all federal and state laws 348 related to contributions to college savings plan. 349 (h) If a parent elects to use any of the funds in the 350 child’s account toward the purchase of a contract under the 351 Stanley G. Tate Florida Prepaid College Program, the parent must 352 comply with all rules and requirements of the program and is 353 responsible for payments in excess of the funds in the account. 354 355 A child may return to the public school system at any time and 356 quarterly payments to the child’s account shall cease. The 357 parent of a child who chooses to return to the public school 358 system is responsible for the payment of any outstanding balance 359 owed to the private school, private virtual school, private 360 tutor, private tutoring program, state postsecondary 361 institution, or private postsecondary education institution 362 which was in excess of the funds in the account when payments to 363 the account ceased. 364 (6) EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION ELIGIBILITY AND OBLIGATIONS.— 365 (a) A private school is eligible to participate in the 366 program, whether sectarian or nonsectarian, if the school: 367 1. Is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges 368 and Schools or is eligible to participate in the Tax Credit 369 Scholarship Program or the John M. McKay Scholarships for 370 Students with Disabilities Program; and 371 2. Complies with rules adopted by the department for 372 participation in the program. 373 (b) A private virtual school is eligible to participate in 374 the program, whether sectarian or nonsectarian, if the school: 375 1. Is approved by the department to participate in the 376 school district virtual instruction program under s. 1002.45; 377 and 378 2. Complies with rules adopted by the department for 379 participation in the program. 380 (c) A private tutor or private tutoring program is eligible 381 to participate in the program if the private tutor or private 382 tutoring program: 383 1. Is qualified under s. 1002.43; 384 2. Complies with rules adopted by the department for 385 participation in the program; and 386 3. Is a supplemental educational services provider under 387 the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act. 388 (d) All state postsecondary institutions are eligible to 389 participate in the program and must comply with rules adopted by 390 the department for participation in the program. 391 (e) A private postsecondary institution is eligible to 392 participate in the program, whether sectarian or nonsectarian, 393 if the institution is a member of the Independent Colleges and 394 Universities of Florida and complies with rules adopted by the 395 department for participation in the program. 396 (7) DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION OBLIGATIONS.—The Department of 397 Education shall: 398 (a) Establish an annual enrollment period and a process in 399 which a parent may apply to enroll his or her child in the 400 program. The enrollment period shall begin by January 1 and end 401 by March 1 before the school year in which funding for the 402 child’s account is sought. All applications must be processed by 403 May 1 of each year. 404 (b) Randomly select students attending a home education 405 program, private school, or private virtual school who are 406 eligible under subparagraph (2)(a)4. to participate in the 407 program if the appropriation to the program is sufficient to 408 fully fund the accounts of all other applicants but is 409 insufficient to fully fund the accounts of all applicants who 410 are attending a home education program or private school. 411 (c) Annually verify the eligibility of private schools, 412 private virtual schools, private tutors, private tutoring 413 programs, and postsecondary institutions to participate in the 414 program and publish a list of eligible schools, tutors, tutoring 415 programs, and postsecondary institutions. 416 (d) Annually, by March 15, submit to participating 417 financial institutions a list of eligible private schools, 418 private virtual schools, private tutors, private tutoring 419 programs, and private postsecondary institutions. 420 (e) Notify participating financial institutions of students 421 who are approved to participate in the program. The notice must 422 be made annually, by May 1, after the department processes all 423 applications to participate in the program. 424 (f) Establish a toll-free hotline that provides parents and 425 private schools with information on the program. 426 (g) Establish a process by which a person may notify the 427 department of any violation of laws or rules relating to 428 participation in the program. The department shall conduct an 429 inquiry of all signed, written, and legally sufficient 430 complaints that allege a violation of this section, or must make 431 a referral to the appropriate agency for an investigation. A 432 complaint is legally sufficient if it states ultimate facts 433 showing that this section or a rule adopted under this section 434 has been violated. 435 (h) Require participating private schools and private 436 virtual schools to annually certify compliance with the 437 requirements of the program. The certification must be made in a 438 sworn and notarized statement by the head of the private school. 439 (i) Compare the list of students participating in the 440 program with the public school enrollment lists to avoid 441 duplicate payments. 442 (j) Maintain a list of nationally norm-referenced 443 assessment tests identified by the department which must be 444 administered by a participating private school or private 445 virtual school to students participating in the program. The 446 tests must meet industry standards of quality under rules of the 447 State Board of Education. 448 (k) Select an independent research organization, which may 449 be a public or private entity or university, to which 450 participating private schools and private virtual schools must 451 report the scores of participating students on the nationally 452 norm-referenced assessment tests administered by the schools in 453 grades 3 through 10. 454 1. The independent research organization must annually 455 issue a report to the department which includes: 456 a. The year-to-year learning gains of students in the 457 program; 458 b. To the extent possible, a comparison of the learning 459 gains of students in the program to the statewide learning gains 460 of public school students having backgrounds similar to those of 461 the students in the program. In order to minimize the costs and 462 time that the independent research organization requires for 463 analysis and evaluation, the department shall conduct analyses 464 of assessment data from matched students in public schools and 465 shall calculate learning gains of control groups using a 466 methodology outlined in the contract with the independent 467 research organization; and 468 c. The aggregate year-to-year learning gains of students in 469 the program in each participating private school in which there 470 are at least 30 participating students having scores for tests 471 for 2 consecutive years at that private school. 472 2. The sharing and reporting of the learning gains of 473 students pursuant to this paragraph must be in accordance with 474 s. 20 U.S.C. s. 1232g, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy 475 Act, and may be for the sole purpose of creating the annual 476 report required by subparagraph 1. The department and the 477 independent research organization shall preserve the 478 confidentiality of such information as required by law. The 479 organization may not disaggregate data in its annual report to a 480 level that will identify individual participating schools, 481 except as required under sub-subparagraph 1.c., or disclose the 482 academic level of individual students. 483 3. The department shall publish the annual report on its 484 website. 485 (l) Conduct random site visits to private schools, private 486 tutors, private tutoring programs, and private postsecondary 487 institutions participating in the program. During a site visit, 488 the department may conduct only activities to verify the 489 information reported by the schools concerning the enrollment 490 and attendance of students, the credentials of teachers, and the 491 results of criminal history record checks of teachers. 492 (m) Annually, by December 15, issue a report to the 493 Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the 494 House of Representatives describing the implementation of 495 accountability mechanisms for the program; identifying any 496 violations of a law or rule governing the program concerning the 497 enrollment and attendance of students, the credentials of 498 teachers, or the background screening of teachers; and 499 describing the corrective actions taken by the department 500 relating to violations of a law or rule governing the program. 501 (8) CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER OBLIGATIONS.—The Chief 502 Financial Officer shall: 503 (a) Process applications from financial institutions 504 applying to participate in the program. 505 (b) Provide a list of participating financial institutions 506 to the department by March 1 of each year. 507 (c) Conduct random audits of financial institutions 508 participating in the program to ensure compliance with this 509 section. 510 (d) Revoke the eligibility of a financial institution that 511 fails to comply with its obligations under this section. 512 (e) Upon notice from the department, make payments to the 513 accounts of participating students in four equal installments by 514 September 1, November 1, February 1, and April 1. 515 (9) OBLIGATIONS OF FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS.— 516 (a) A financial institution must apply to the Chief 517 Financial Officer for approval to participate in the program. 518 The Chief Financial Officer shall approve the application of a 519 financial institution if the institution agrees to: 520 1. Serve as a trustee of the funds in a student’s account. 521 2. Limit its fees imposed on each account to 3 percent or 522 less of each payment it makes from an account. 523 3. Make timely quarterly payments directly to the eligible 524 private school, private virtual school, private tutor, private 525 tutoring program, or eligible private postsecondary institution 526 selected by the parent. The amount of the quarterly payment to 527 these institutions may not exceed: 528 a. The amount of the state quarterly payment to the 529 financial institution, less the financial institution’s fees. 530 b. The reported tuition and fee schedule provided to the 531 department for the educational institution. 532 4. Make timely quarterly payments directly to a state 533 postsecondary institution selected by the parent for the payment 534 of books, tuition, and fees charged for a student’s 535 participation in a dual enrollment program. The amount of the 536 quarterly payment to these institutions may not exceed: 537 a. The amount of the state quarterly payment to the 538 financial institution, less the financial institution’s fees. 539 b. The full cost of books, tuition, and fees charged for 540 the student’s participation in the dual enrollment program. 541 5. Make timely quarterly payments directly to the selected 542 college savings plan or the Stanley G. Tate Florida Prepaid 543 College Program. The amount of such quarterly payment may not 544 exceed the amount of the state quarterly payment to the 545 financial institution, less the financial institution’s fees. 546 6. Notify the department by February 1, July 1, September 547 1, and December 1 of the identity of students who have accounts 548 with the institution under this section. 549 (b) A participating financial institution must annually 550 notify the Chief Financial Officer of its intent to continue 551 participating in or its intent to withdraw from the program. A 552 financial institution must provide 180 days’ notice to the Chief 553 Financial Officer and to the parents of students having an 554 account at the institution before it may withdraw from the 555 program. The institution must also transfer each account to 556 another participating institution selected by a parent or to 557 another participating institution randomly selected by the Chief 558 Financial Officer if the parent fails to timely make a 559 selection. 560 (10) COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION AUTHORITY AND OBLIGATIONS.— 561 (a)1. The Commissioner of Education shall deny, suspend, or 562 revoke the participation of a private school, private virtual 563 school, private tutor, or private tutoring program in the 564 program if the commissioner determines that the school, tutor, 565 or tutoring program has failed to comply with this section or 566 the rules of the department adopted under this section. However, 567 if the noncompliance is correctable within a reasonable amount 568 of time and the health, safety, or welfare of the students is 569 not threatened, the commissioner may issue a notice of 570 noncompliance that shall provide the school, tutor, or tutoring 571 program with a timeframe within which to show evidence of 572 compliance before action may be taken to suspend or revoke the 573 private school’s participation in the program. 574 2. The commissioner may deny, suspend, or revoke a private 575 school’s participation in the program if the commissioner 576 determines that an owner or operator of the private school is 577 operating or has operated an educational institution in this 578 state or another state in a manner that is contrary to the 579 health, safety, or welfare of the public. In making this 580 determination, the commissioner may consider factors, including, 581 but not limited to, acts or omissions by the owner or operator 582 which led to a previous denial or revocation of participation in 583 an education scholarship program or an education savings account 584 program; an owner’s or operator’s failure to reimburse a 585 student’s account for funds improperly received or retained by a 586 school; imposition of a prior criminal or civil administrative 587 sanction related to an owner’s or operator’s management or 588 operation of an educational institution; or the existence of 589 other types of criminal proceedings in which the owner or 590 operator was found guilty of, regardless of adjudication, or 591 entered a plea of nolo contendere or guilty to any offense 592 involving fraud, deceit, dishonesty, or moral turpitude. 593 (b) The commissioner’s determination to deny, suspend, or 594 revoke a private school’s participation in the program is 595 subject to the following: 596 1. The department must notify the private school of the 597 proposed action in writing by certified mail and regular mail to 598 the private school’s address of record with the department. The 599 notice shall state the reasons for the proposed action and 600 notice of the timelines and procedures set forth in this 601 paragraph. 602 2. The private school that is adversely affected by the 603 proposed action has 15 days following receipt of the notice of 604 proposed action to file with the clerk of the department a 605 request for a proceeding pursuant to ss. 120.569 and 120.57. If 606 the private school is entitled to a hearing under s. 120.57(1), 607 the department shall forward the request to the Division of 608 Administrative Hearings. 609 3. Upon receipt of a request referred pursuant to this 610 paragraph, the director of the Division of Administrative 611 Hearings shall expedite the hearing and assign an administrative 612 law judge who shall commence a hearing within 30 days after the 613 receipt of the formal written request from the department and 614 enter a recommended order within 30 days after the hearing or 615 within 30 days after receipt of the hearing transcript, 616 whichever is later. Each party may submit written exceptions to 617 the recommended order within 10 days after the recommended order 618 is entered. The department shall enter a final order within 30 619 days after the entry of the recommended order. The provisions of 620 this subparagraph may be waived upon stipulation by all parties. 621 (c) The commissioner may order participating financial 622 institutions to suspend payment of funds from accounts to a 623 private school if the commissioner finds that probable cause of 624 any of the following exists: 625 1. An imminent threat to the health, safety, and welfare of 626 a student. 627 2. Fraudulent activity on the part of the private school. 628 629 The commissioner’s order suspending payment pursuant to this 630 paragraph may be appealed pursuant to the same procedures and 631 timelines as the notice of proposed action set forth in 632 paragraph (b). 633 (11) AUTHORIZED RELEASE OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION. 634 Notwithstanding s. 1002.22, in incidents of alleged fraudulent 635 activity relating to participation in the program, the Office of 636 Inspector General of the department may release personally 637 identifiable records or reports of students to the following 638 persons or organizations: 639 (a) A court of competent jurisdiction in compliance with an 640 order of that court or the attorney of record in accordance with 641 a lawfully issued subpoena, consistent with the Family 642 Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. s. 1232g. 643 (b) A person or entity authorized by a court of competent 644 jurisdiction in compliance with an order of that court or the 645 attorney of record pursuant to a lawfully issued subpoena, 646 consistent with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 647 20 U.S.C. s. 1232g. 648 (c) A person, entity, or authority issuing a subpoena for 649 law enforcement purposes if the court or other issuing agency 650 has ordered that the existence or the contents of the subpoena 651 or the information furnished in response to the subpoena not be 652 disclosed, consistent with the Family Educational Rights and 653 Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. s. 1232g, and 34 C.F.R. s. 99.31. 654 (12) EDUCATION SAVINGS ACCOUNT AMOUNT.—The total amount of 655 payments to a participating student’s account for a single 656 school year shall be equal to 40 percent of the base student 657 allocation under the Florida Education Finance Program 658 multiplied by the appropriate cost factor for the educational 659 program that would have been provided for the student in the 660 district school to which he or she was assigned, multiplied by 661 the district cost differential plus the per-student share of 662 instructional materials funds and other categorical funds as 663 appropriated in the General Appropriations Act. 664 (13) RANDOM SELECTION OF PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS.—By April 1 665 of each year, the department shall randomly select applicants to 666 participate in the program who are in home education programs 667 and private schools and who did not participate in the program 668 during the prior school year. The number of spaces available for 669 these students shall equal the number of students who enrolled 670 in the program during the annual enrollment period and were 671 counted as full-time equivalent students at a public school 672 during the previous state fiscal year for purposes of state per 673 student funding. For purposes of this calculation, the number of 674 new participants in the program who were public school students 675 does not include kindergarten and first grade students and 676 siblings of other students participating in the program. 677 (14) LEGISLATIVE BUDGET COMMISSION.—Each quarter the 678 Legislative Budget Commission may transfer any funds 679 appropriated for the program in excess of amounts required to 680 fully fund the accounts of all participating students to the 681 Florida Education Finance Program. 682 (15) ADMINISTRATION; RULES.— 683 (a) The department and the Department of Financial Services 684 shall develop a cooperative agreement to assist in the 685 administration of this section. 686 (b) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules 687 necessary for the department and the Commissioner of Education 688 to administer this section, including rules relating to the 689 establishment of the enrollment period, enrollment forms, and 690 reporting requirements for financial institutions and schools. 691 (c) The Chief Financial Officer shall adopt rules necessary 692 to administer this section, including rules relating to the 693 eligibility and auditing of participating financial 694 institutions. 695 Section 2. Enrollment period for the 2011-2012 school 696 year.— 697 (1) Notwithstanding s. 1002.385(7), Florida Statutes, the 698 enrollment period to participate in the Education Savings 699 Account Program for the 2011-2012 school year is July 1 through 700 July 31. The number of students who may participate is limited 701 to the number of participants specified in the General 702 Appropriations Act. 703 (2) Notwithstanding s. 1002.385(2), Florida Statutes, the 704 students eligible to participate in the education savings 705 account program during the 2011-2012 school year are limited to 706 students identified in s. 1002.385(2)a.1. and 3., Florida 707 Statutes. 708 (3) If the Department of Education receives more 709 applications for eligible students during the enrollment period 710 for the 2011-2012 school year than the number specified in the 711 General Appropriations Act, the department shall randomly select 712 students who may participate in the program. 713 (4)(a) The State Board of Education may adopt emergency 714 rules for the department and the Commissioner of Education to 715 implement the program. 716 (b) The Chief Financial Officer may adopt emergency rules 717 to implement the program. 718 Section 3. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.