Florida Senate - 2011 SB 1620
By Senator Flores
1 A bill to be entitled
2 An act relating to K-12 educational instruction;
3 amending s. 163.3180, F.S.; conforming cross
4 references to changes made by the act; amending s.
5 1002.20, F.S.; adding statewide virtual providers to
6 the list of public school choices; amending s.
7 1002.33, F.S.; authorizing the creation of a virtual
8 charter school; requiring the virtual charter school
9 to contract with an approved statewide virtual
10 provider; providing for funding of the virtual charter
11 school; providing that specified provisions governing
12 facilities and transportation do not apply to a
13 virtual charter school; providing for a blended
14 learning charter school; defining the term; exempting
15 blended-learning charter schools from the application
16 process required of other institutions that wish to
17 become statewide or district virtual instruction
18 program providers; providing for funding; authorizing
19 the sponsoring district of a virtual charter school to
20 withhold a specified administrative fee to cover the
21 cost of oversight; amending s. 1002.34, F.S.;
22 conforming cross-references to changes made by the
23 act; amending s. 1002.37, F.S.; redefining the term
24 “full-time equivalent student” as it applies to the
25 Florida Virtual School; amending s. 1002.41, F.S.;
26 providing that home education students may enroll in
27 certain virtual education courses or courses offered
28 in the school district in which they reside; amending
29 s. 1002.45, F.S.; expanding the scope of virtual
30 education programs; providing legislative findings and
31 purpose; providing definitions; requiring the
32 Department of Education to provide an application form
33 and specifying a timeframe for posting the list of
34 providers approved to offer virtual education
35 programs; deleting the requirement that a provider’s
36 administrative office be located in this state;
37 providing additional criteria that must be met by
38 providers seeking approval to operate virtual
39 programs, including requirements for professional
40 staff, course standards, detailed curriculum plans and
41 course content, determination of student completion of
42 graduation requirements, and a parent handbook;
43 specifying that, beginning in the 2012-2013 school
44 year, provider approval is for 3 years; providing an
45 exception for providers approved before that date;
46 specifying that after a certain date providers must
47 provide necessary instructional materials and
48 specified computer equipment and Internet access or
49 reimbursement for Internet services to certain low
50 income students; prohibiting tuition or registration
51 fees; authorizing school districts to provide eligible
52 students with the option of participating in a
53 district virtual instruction program; stating the
54 purpose of the district program; specifying that the
55 district program may be offered on a part-time basis
56 for students in certain grades; authorizing school
57 districts to enter into contracts with the Florida
58 Virtual School, approved providers, or a charter
59 school or to enter into cooperative agreements with
60 other school districts to provide access to virtual
61 instruction to students in their district; authorizing
62 multidistrict contracts that may be executed by
63 regional consortiums; requiring school district
64 virtual instruction programs to align course
65 curriculum and content to certain standards and to
66 offer courses that meet certain standards; requiring
67 district programs to provide certain low-income
68 students with specified computer equipment, Internet
69 access, or reimbursement for Internet services;
70 requiring school districts to provide students
71 enrolled in a virtual program with access to district
72 testing facilities; specifying minimum criteria for
73 provider contracts and exempting from those criteria
74 providers of certain digital or online content or
75 curriculum who serve students who are not enrolled in
76 a district program; providing student eligibility and
77 enrollment criteria; providing for full-time or part
78 time enrollment in district programs and programs
79 offered by an approved statewide virtual provider;
80 specifying a timeframe for the registration period for
81 virtual programs; deleting existing enrollment
82 criteria related to attendance during the previous
83 year at a public school or in a virtual program,
84 dependency on a member of the United States Armed
85 Forces, and sibling enrollment in a virtual program;
86 providing student participation requirements;
87 requiring school districts to provide access to
88 district testing facilities, to provide information to
89 parents and students about student rights, and to post
90 certain information on the district’s website;
91 requiring the Department of Education to review the
92 qualifications of statewide virtual providers and to
93 approve those who meet qualification standards;
94 requiring the department to establish a process for
95 the review and approval of course content and to
96 develop a process to evaluate the performance of part
97 time virtual providers; authorizing the department to
98 charge reasonable fees to providers to cover the cost
99 of this review; providing evaluation criteria;
100 requiring the department to post on its website
101 information on virtual instruction programs and
102 approved providers; requiring the development of
103 disclosure requirements that must be provided to
104 parents; requiring that the department provide notice
105 to parents of the enrollment period for full-time
106 virtual programs; specifying the funding mechanism and
107 formula for statewide and district virtual education
108 programs; requiring the department to disqualify and
109 remove a provider that receives a school grade of “D”
110 or “F”; providing for a 1-year extension of
111 eligibility to a provider that receives a school grade
112 of “D” under certain circumstances; requiring that the
113 State Board of Education adopt rules related to the
114 approval process for virtual courses and ensure
115 student choice of programs and courses; amending s.
116 1003.02, F.S.; requiring notice to parents of courses
117 offered through statewide virtual providers, school
118 district virtual instruction programs, and virtual
119 charter schools; amending s. 1003.03, F.S.; including
120 courses from statewide virtual providers and virtual
121 charter schools in the options a school district must
122 consider in meeting class size requirements; amending
123 s. 1003.428, F.S.; requiring that certain students
124 take an online course beginning in the 2011-2012
125 school year; creating s. 1003.07, F.S.; creating the
126 “Digital Learning Now Act”; providing legislative
127 findings related to the elements to be included in
128 high-quality digital learning; providing that a public
129 school, private school, or home education student is
130 eligible to participate in a state virtual program;
131 providing for customized and accelerated learning;
132 providing that students enrolled in a public school
133 district may register and enroll in an online course
134 identified in the course code directory offered by
135 another district and limiting that registration to
136 courses offered directly by the school districts;
137 requiring the district that offers the course to
138 report the student’s completion for funding purposes;
139 providing that online content may be aligned with Next
140 Generation Sunshine Standards or core curricular
141 standards; authorizing school districts to use online
142 instructors who reside outside the district; amending
143 s. 1008.22, F.S.; requiring that all statewide
144 assessments be available in an online format by a
145 certain date; deleting a requirement that the
146 Commissioner of Education study the cost and student
147 achievement impact of secondary end-of-course
148 assessments; amending s. 1011.61, F.S.; redefining the
149 term “full-time equivalent student” for purposes of
150 full-time and part-time virtual instruction programs
151 and the Florida Virtual School; specifying how each
152 successfully completed credit earned through an online
153 course delivered by a district other than the one in
154 which the student resides shall be calculated for the
155 purpose of full-time equivalency; conforming a cross
156 reference; amending s. 1011.68, F.S.; conforming
157 cross-references to changes made by the act; amending
158 s. 1012.57, F.S.; revising legislative intent
159 regarding the issuance of adjunct certificates to
160 qualified in-state and out-of-state applicants;
161 providing strategies for the use of adjunct
162 certificateholders; revising the period during which
163 an adjunct teaching certificate is valid; requiring
164 the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government
165 Accountability or an independent research organization
166 selected by the department to evaluate and submit a
167 report to the Governor and Legislature on the best
168 methods for implementing part-time virtual education
169 in kindergarten through grade 5; providing for
170 severability; amending s. 1013.62, F.S.; conforming
171 cross-references to changes made by the act; providing
172 an effective date.
174 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
176 Section 1. Paragraph (e) of subsection (13) of section
177 163.3180, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
178 163.3180 Concurrency.—
179 (13) School concurrency shall be established on a
180 districtwide basis and shall include all public schools in the
181 district and all portions of the district, whether located in a
182 municipality or an unincorporated area unless exempt from the
183 public school facilities element pursuant to s. 163.3177(12).
184 The application of school concurrency to development shall be
185 based upon the adopted comprehensive plan, as amended. All local
186 governments within a county, except as provided in paragraph
187 (f), shall adopt and transmit to the state land planning agency
188 the necessary plan amendments, along with the interlocal
189 agreement, for a compliance review pursuant to s. 163.3184(7)
190 and (8). The minimum requirements for school concurrency are the
192 (e) Availability standard.—Consistent with the public
193 welfare, a local government may not deny an application for site
194 plan, final subdivision approval, or the functional equivalent
195 for a development or phase of a development authorizing
196 residential development for failure to achieve and maintain the
197 level-of-service standard for public school capacity in a local
198 school concurrency management system where adequate school
199 facilities will be in place or under actual construction within
200 3 years after the issuance of final subdivision or site plan
201 approval, or the functional equivalent. School concurrency is
202 satisfied if the developer executes a legally binding commitment
203 to provide mitigation proportionate to the demand for public
204 school facilities to be created by actual development of the
205 property, including, but not limited to, the options described
206 in subparagraph 1. Options for proportionate-share mitigation of
207 impacts on public school facilities must be established in the
208 public school facilities element and the interlocal agreement
209 pursuant to s. 163.31777.
210 1. Appropriate mitigation options include the contribution
211 of land; the construction, expansion, or payment for land
212 acquisition or construction of a public school facility; the
213 construction of a charter school that complies with the
214 requirements of s. 1002.33(19)
1002.33 (18); or the creation of
215 mitigation banking based on the construction of a public school
216 facility in exchange for the right to sell capacity credits.
217 Such options must include execution by the applicant and the
218 local government of a development agreement that constitutes a
219 legally binding commitment to pay proportionate-share mitigation
220 for the additional residential units approved by the local
221 government in a development order and actually developed on the
222 property, taking into account residential density allowed on the
223 property prior to the plan amendment that increased the overall
224 residential density. The district school board must be a party
225 to such an agreement. As a condition of its entry into such a
226 development agreement, the local government may require the
227 landowner to agree to continuing renewal of the agreement upon
228 its expiration.
229 2. If the education facilities plan and the public
230 educational facilities element authorize a contribution of land;
231 the construction, expansion, or payment for land acquisition;
232 the construction or expansion of a public school facility, or a
233 portion thereof; or the construction of a charter school that
234 complies with the requirements of s. 1002.33(19) 1002.33 (18), as
235 proportionate-share mitigation, the local government shall
236 credit such a contribution, construction, expansion, or payment
237 toward any other impact fee or exaction imposed by local
238 ordinance for the same need, on a dollar-for-dollar basis at
239 fair market value.
240 3. Any proportionate-share mitigation must be directed by
241 the school board toward a school capacity improvement identified
242 in a financially feasible 5-year district work plan that
243 satisfies the demands created by the development in accordance
244 with a binding developer’s agreement.
245 4. If a development is precluded from commencing because
246 there is inadequate classroom capacity to mitigate the impacts
247 of the development, the development may nevertheless commence if
248 there are accelerated facilities in an approved capital
249 improvement element scheduled for construction in year four or
250 later of such plan which, when built, will mitigate the proposed
251 development, or if such accelerated facilities will be in the
252 next annual update of the capital facilities element, the
253 developer enters into a binding, financially guaranteed
254 agreement with the school district to construct an accelerated
255 facility within the first 3 years of an approved capital
256 improvement plan, and the cost of the school facility is equal
257 to or greater than the development’s proportionate share. When
258 the completed school facility is conveyed to the school
259 district, the developer shall receive impact fee credits usable
260 within the zone where the facility is constructed or any
261 attendance zone contiguous with or adjacent to the zone where
262 the facility is constructed.
263 5. This paragraph does not limit the authority of a local
264 government to deny a development permit or its functional
265 equivalent pursuant to its home rule regulatory powers, except
266 as provided in this part.
267 Section 2. Paragraph (a) of subsection (6) of section
268 1002.20, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
269 1002.20 K-12 student and parent rights.—Parents of public
270 school students must receive accurate and timely information
271 regarding their child’s academic progress and must be informed
272 of ways they can help their child to succeed in school. K-12
273 students and their parents are afforded numerous statutory
274 rights including, but not limited to, the following:
275 (6) EDUCATIONAL CHOICE.—
276 (a) Public school choices.—Parents of public school
277 students may seek whatever public school choice options that are
278 applicable to their students and are available to students in
279 their school districts. These options may include controlled
280 open enrollment, single-gender programs, lab schools, school
281 district virtual instruction programs, statewide virtual
282 providers, charter schools, charter technical career centers,
283 magnet schools, alternative schools, special programs, advanced
284 placement, dual enrollment, International Baccalaureate,
285 International General Certificate of Secondary Education (pre
286 AICE), Advanced International Certificate of Education, early
287 admissions, credit by examination or demonstration of
288 competency, the New World School of the Arts, the Florida School
289 for the Deaf and the Blind, and the Florida Virtual School.
290 These options may also include the public school choice options
291 of the Opportunity Scholarship Program and the McKay
292 Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program.
293 Section 3. Subsection (1) and paragraph (a) of subsection
294 (20) of section 1002.33, Florida Statutes, are amended, present
295 subsections (16) through (26) of that section are renumbered as
296 subsections (17) through (27), respectively, and a new
297 subsection (16) is added to that section to read:
298 1002.33 Charter schools.—
299 (1) AUTHORIZATION.—Charter schools shall be part of the
300 state’s program of public education. All charter schools in
301 Florida are public schools. A charter school may be formed by
302 creating a new school or converting an existing public school to
303 charter status. A virtual charter school may be created to
304 provide full-time online instruction. The virtual charter school
305 must contract with a statewide virtual provider that is approved
306 under s. 1002.45. Funding is as prescribed in s. 1002.45(10)(b).
307 The provider of online instruction for a virtual charter school
308 must follow the charter application process specified in this
309 section and serve students in the school district in which the
310 charter is granted. However, the provisions of subsection (18)
311 and paragraph (20)(c) do not apply to a virtual charter school.
312 A public school may not use the term charter in its name unless
313 it has been approved under this section.
314 (16) BLENDED-LEARNING CHARTER SCHOOLS.—
315 (a) As used in this section, the term “blended-learning
316 charter school” means a school that combines traditional
317 classroom and virtual instruction.
318 (b) A blended-learning charter school does not have to
319 apply to become a statewide or district virtual instruction
320 program provider pursuant to s. 1002.45 and may provide online
321 instruction only to students enrolled in the charter school.
322 (c) Funding for students in a blended-learning charter
323 school is calculated as follows:
324 1. Courses taken in a traditional classroom setting are
325 funded pursuant to s. 1011.61(1)(c)1.b.(I).
326 2 Online courses are funded based upon student completion
327 of the course as provided in s. 1011.61(1)(c)1.b.(IV).
328 (21) (20) SERVICES.—
329 (a)1. A sponsor shall provide certain administrative and
330 educational services to charter schools. These services shall
331 include contract management services; full-time equivalent and
332 data reporting services; exceptional student education
333 administration services; services related to eligibility and
334 reporting duties required to ensure that school lunch services
335 under the federal lunch program, consistent with the needs of
336 the charter school, are provided by the school district at the
337 request of the charter school, that any funds due to the charter
338 school under the federal lunch program be paid to the charter
339 school as soon as the charter school begins serving food under
340 the federal lunch program, and that the charter school is paid
341 at the same time and in the same manner under the federal lunch
342 program as other public schools serviced by the sponsor or the
343 school district; test administration services, including payment
344 of the costs of state-required or district-required student
345 assessments; processing of teacher certificate data services;
346 and information services, including equal access to student
347 information systems that are used by public schools in the
348 district in which the charter school is located. Student
349 performance data for each student in a charter school,
350 including, but not limited to, FCAT scores, standardized test
351 scores, previous public school student report cards, and student
352 performance measures, shall be provided by the sponsor to a
353 charter school in the same manner provided to other public
354 schools in the district.
355 2. A total administrative fee for the provision of such
356 services shall be calculated based upon up to 5 percent of the
357 available funds defined in paragraph (17)(b) for all students.
358 However, a sponsor may only withhold up to a 5 percent 5-percent
359 administrative fee for enrollment for up to and including 250
360 students. For charter schools with a population of 251 or more
361 students, the difference between the total administrative fee
362 calculation and the amount of the administrative fee withheld
363 may only be used for capital outlay purposes specified in s.
365 3. In addition, a sponsor may withhold only up to a 5
366 percent 5-percent administrative fee for enrollment for up to
367 and including 500 students within a system of charter schools
368 which meets all of the following:
369 a. Includes both conversion charter schools and
370 nonconversion charter schools;
371 b. Has all schools located in the same county;
372 c. Has a total enrollment exceeding the total enrollment of
373 at least one school district in the state;
374 d. Has the same governing board; and
375 e. Does not contract with a for-profit service provider for
376 management of school operations.
377 4. The difference between the total administrative fee
378 calculation and the amount of the administrative fee withheld
379 pursuant to subparagraph 3. may be used for instructional and
380 administrative purposes as well as for capital outlay purposes
381 specified in s. 1013.62(2).
382 5. Each charter school shall receive 100 percent of the
383 funds awarded to that school pursuant to s. 1012.225. Sponsors
384 shall not charge charter schools any additional fees or
385 surcharges for administrative and educational services in
386 addition to the maximum 5 percent 5-percent administrative fee
387 withheld pursuant to this paragraph.
388 6. The sponsoring district of a virtual charter school may
389 withhold an administrative fee of up to 2 percent to cover the
390 cost of oversight.
391 Section 4. Paragraph (c) of subsection (10) and subsection
392 (13) of section 1002.34, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
393 1002.34 Charter technical career centers.—
394 (10) EXEMPTION FROM STATUTES.—
395 (c) A center must comply with the antidiscrimination
396 provisions in s. 1000.05 and the provisions in s. 1002.33(25)
397 1002.33 (24) which relate to the employment of relatives.
398 (13) BOARD OF DIRECTORS AUTHORITY.—The board of directors
399 of a center may decide matters relating to the operation of the
400 school, including budgeting, curriculum, and operating
401 procedures, subject to the center’s charter. The board of
402 directors is responsible for performing the duties provided in
403 s. 1002.345, including monitoring the corrective action plan.
404 The board of directors must comply with s. 1002.33(26)
405 1002.33 (25).
406 Section 5. Paragraph (a) of subsection (3) of section
407 1002.37, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
408 1002.37 The Florida Virtual School.—
409 (3) Funding for the Florida Virtual School shall be
410 provided as follows:
411 (a)1. For a student in grades 9 through 12, a “full-time
412 equivalent student” for the Florida Virtual School is one
413 student who has successfully completed six full credit courses
414 credits that shall count toward the minimum number of credits
415 required for high school graduation. A student who completes
416 fewer less than six full credit courses is credits shall be a
417 fraction of a full-time equivalent student. Successful
418 completion of one semester of course content is equivalent to
419 one-twelfth of a full-time equivalent student. Half-credit
420 completions shall be included in determining a full-time
421 equivalent student. Credit completed by a student in excess of
422 the minimum required for that student for high school graduation
423 is not eligible for funding.
424 2. For a student in kindergarten through grade 8, a “full
425 time equivalent student” is one student who has successfully
426 completed six courses or the prescribed level of content that
427 counts toward promotion to the next grade. A student who
428 completes fewer than six courses or the prescribed level of
429 content shall be a fraction of a full-time equivalent student.
431 The Florida Virtual School may enroll students in a full-time
432 program for students in kindergarten through grade 12. For
433 purposes of this paragraph, the calculation of “full-time
434 equivalent student” shall be as prescribed in s. 1002.45(10)(a).
435 Section 6. Present subsections (4) through (9) of section
436 1002.41, Florida Statutes, are renumbered as subsections (5)
437 through (10), respectively, and a new subsection (4) is added to
438 that section, to read:
439 1002.41 Home education programs.—
440 (4) A home education student may enroll in courses offered
441 by the Florida Virtual School or a franchise of the Florida
442 Virtual School, courses offered by statewide virtual providers,
443 or courses offered in the school district in which the student
445 Section 7. Section 1002.45, Florida Statutes, is amended to
447 1002.45 Virtual education programs School district virtual
448 instruction programs.—
449 (1) FINDINGS AND PURPOSE.—
450 (a) The Legislature finds that:
451 1. Virtual education is teacher-led instruction provided in
452 an interactive, technological learning environment in which
453 students are separated from their teachers by time or space, or
454 both, and in which a certified teacher is responsible for
455 planning instruction, diagnosing learning needs, prescribing
456 content delivery, assessing student learning, reporting
457 outcomes, and evaluating the effects of instruction.
458 2. Virtual education is an essential ingredient to a high
459 quality, public education system that can help ensure that each
460 student has access to all types of programs and courses.
461 3. Access to rigorous courses and content, such as Advanced
462 Placement, International Baccalaureate, foreign language, and
463 honors courses, must be available to each student regardless of
464 where the student lives and attends school.
465 4. Students throughout Florida must have access to as many
466 high-quality education options as possible.
467 5. The State Board of Education must provide expanded
468 access to online education options to ensure a uniform system of
469 high-quality education.
470 (b) The purpose of this section is to:
471 1. Provide quality online education options to each student
472 in Florida.
473 2. Promote consistency in the qualifications, funding, and
474 accountability applied to virtual education programs.
475 (2) (1) DEFINITIONS P ROGRAM.—
476 (a) As used in For purposes of this section, the term:
477 (a) 1. “Approved provider” means a provider that is approved
478 by the Department of Education under subsection (3) (2), the
479 Florida Virtual School, a franchise of the Florida Virtual
480 School, or a community college.
481 (b) “Statewide virtual provider” means an approved provider
482 of full-time virtual education to a student in kindergarten
483 through grade 12 or an approved provider of part-time virtual
484 education to a student in grade 6 through grade 12. The term
485 does not include a school district that offers a virtual
486 instruction program.
487 2. “Virtual instruction program” means a program of
488 instruction provided in an interactive learning environment
489 created through technology in which students are separated from
490 their teachers by time or space, or both, and in which a
491 Florida-certified teacher under chapter 1012 is responsible for
492 at least:
493 a. Fifty percent of the direct instruction to students in
494 kindergarten through grade 5; or
495 b. Eighty percent of the direct instruction to students in
496 grades 6 through 12.
497 (b) Beginning with the 2009-2010 school year, each school
498 district shall provide eligible students within its boundaries
499 the option of participating in a virtual instruction program.
500 The purpose of the program is to make instruction available to
501 students using online and distance learning technology in the
502 nontraditional classroom. The program shall be:
503 1. Full-time for students enrolled in kindergarten through
504 grade 12.
505 2. Full-time or part-time for students in grades 9 through
506 12 who are enrolled in dropout prevention and academic
507 intervention programs under s. 1003.53 , Department of Juvenile
508 Justice education programs under s. 1003.52 , core-curricula
509 courses to meet class size requirements under s. 1003.03 , or
510 community colleges under this section.
511 (c) To provide students with the option of participating in
512 virtual instruction programs as required by paragraph (b), a
513 school district may:
514 1. Contract with the Florida Virtual School or establish a
515 franchise of the Florida Virtual School for the provision of a
516 program under paragraph (b). Using this option is subject to the
517 requirements of this section and s. 1011.61 (1)(c)1.b.(III) and
519 2. Contract with an approved provider under subsection (2)
520 for the provision of a full-time program under subparagraph
521 (b)1. or a full-time or part-time program under subparagraph
523 3. Enter into an agreement with another school district to
524 allow the participation of its students in an approved virtual
525 instruction program provided by the other school district. The
526 agreement must indicate a process for the transfer of funds
527 required by paragraph (7)(b).
529 Contracts under subparagraph 1. or subparagraph 2. may include
530 multidistrict contractual arrangements that may be executed by a
531 regional consortium for its member districts. A multidistrict
532 contractual arrangement or an agreement under subparagraph 3. is
533 not subject to s. 1001.42 (4)(d) and does not require the
534 participating school districts to be contiguous.
535 (d) A charter school may enter into a joint agreement with
536 the school district in which it is located for the charter
537 school’s students to participate in the school district’s
538 virtual instruction program.
539 (3) (2) PROVIDER QUALIFICATIONS.—
540 (a) The department shall provide an application form to a
541 provider seeking to operate a virtual instruction program. The
542 application form must be available to a provider of full-time
543 virtual education by October 31 of each year. By March 1 of each
544 year, the department shall post annually provide school
545 districts with a list of providers approved to offer virtual
546 instruction programs. To be approved by the department, a
547 provider must document that it:
548 1. Is nonsectarian in its programs, admission policies,
549 employment practices, and operations;
550 2. Complies with the antidiscrimination provisions of s.
552 3. Locates an administrative office or offices in this
553 state, requires its administrative staff to be state residents,
554 Requires all instructional staff to be Florida-certified
555 teachers under chapter 1012, to hold a teaching certificate from
556 another state, or to hold a National Board Certification or
557 American Board Certification, and that it conducts background
558 screenings for all employees or contracted personnel, as
559 required by s. 1012.32, using state and national criminal
560 history records;
561 4. Possesses prior, successful experience offering online
562 courses to elementary, middle, or high school students;
563 5. Is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges
564 and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement, the
565 North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School
566 Improvement, the Middle States Association of Colleges and
567 Schools Commission on Elementary Schools and Commission on
568 Secondary Schools, the New England Association of Schools and
569 Colleges, the Northwest Association of Accredited Schools, the
570 Western Association of Schools and Colleges, or the Commission
571 on International and Trans-Regional Accreditation; and
572 6. Offers courses that meet the standards of the
573 International Association for K-12 Online Learning and the
574 Southern Regional Education Board;
575 7. Has a detailed curriculum plan and course content that
576 align to the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards or core
577 curricular standards, as appropriate;
578 8. Has a method for determining that a student has
579 satisfied requirements for graduation under s. 1003.428 or s.
580 1003.429 if the provider offers a full-time virtual instruction
581 program to students in grades 9 through 12;
582 9. Has provided to the department a parent handbook that
583 outlines teacher qualifications and duties, instructional time,
584 and parental participation and required responsibilities for
585 participating in the program; and
586 10. 6. If the provider is a state community college, employs
587 instructors who meet the certification requirements for
588 instructional staff under chapter 1012.
589 (b) Beginning in the 2012-2013 school year, a provider that
590 is approved under paragraph (a) An approved provider shall
591 retain its approved status for a period of 3 years after the
592 date of the department’s approval under paragraph (a) as long as
593 the provider continues to comply with all requirements of this
595 (c) A provider that is approved by the State Board of
596 Education for the 2011-2012 school year is automatically
597 approved as a provider for the 2012-2013 school year. After the
598 2012-2013 school year, the provider is subject to the
599 application procedure specified in paragraph (a).
600 (d) Each provider must:
601 1. Provide each student enrolled in the program with all
602 necessary instructional materials.
603 2. Provide, when appropriate, each full-time student
604 enrolled in the program who meets the eligibility requirements
605 for free or reduced-priced lunch and who does not have a
606 computer or Internet access in his or her home with:
607 a. All equipment necessary for participants in the virtual
608 instruction program, including, but not limited to, a computer,
609 computer monitor, and printer if a printer is required to
610 participate in the program; and
611 b. Access to or reimbursement for all Internet services
612 necessary for online delivery of instruction.
613 3. Not require tuition or student registration fees.
614 (4) SCHOOL DISTRICT VIRTUAL INSTRUCTION PROGRAMS.—
615 (a) Each school district may provide eligible students the
616 option of participating in a district virtual instruction
617 program. The purpose of the program is to make instruction
618 available to students using online and distance learning
619 technology in the nontraditional classroom. The program may be:
620 1. Full-time for students in kindergarten through grade 12.
621 2. Part-time for students in grades 6 through 12.
622 (b) To provide students with the option of participating in
623 virtual instruction programs as authorized by paragraph (a), a
624 school district may:
625 1. Contract with the Florida Virtual School or establish a
626 franchise of the Florida Virtual School for the provision of a
627 program under paragraph (a). This option is subject to the
628 requirements of this section and s. 1011.61(1)(c)1.b.(III) and
630 2. Contract with a provider approved under subsection (3).
631 3. Enter into an agreement with another school district to
632 allow the participation of its students in an approved virtual
633 instruction program provided by the other school district. The
634 agreement must state the process for the transfer of funds.
636 Contracts under subparagraph 1. or subparagraph 2. may include
637 multidistrict contractual arrangements that may be executed by a
638 regional consortium for its member districts. A multidistrict
639 contractual arrangement or an agreement under subparagraph 3. is
640 not subject to s. 1001.42(4)(d) and does not require the
641 participating school districts to be contiguous.
642 (c) A charter school may enter into a joint agreement with
643 the school district in which it is located for the charter
644 school to be an approved provider or for a charter school’s
645 students to participate in the school district’s virtual
646 instruction program.
647 (d) (3) SCHOOL DISTRICT VIRTUAL INSTRUCTION PROGRAM
648 REQUIREMENTS.—Each school district virtual instruction program
649 under this section must:
650 1. (a) Align virtual course curriculum and course content to
651 the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards under s. 1003.41 or
652 core curricular standards, as appropriate.
653 2. Have courses that meet the standards of the
654 International Association for K-12 Online Learning and the
655 Southern Regional Education Board.
656 3. (b) Offer instruction that is designed to enable a
657 student to gain proficiency in each virtually delivered course
658 of study.
659 4. (c) Provide each student enrolled in the program with all
660 the necessary instructional materials.
661 5. (d) Provide , when appropriate, each full-time student
662 enrolled in the program who meets the eligibility requirements
663 for free or reduced-price lunch and who does not have a computer
664 or Internet access in his or her home with:
665 a. 1. All equipment necessary for participants in the school
666 district virtual instruction program, including, but not limited
667 to, a computer, computer monitor, and printer, if a printer is
668 required to participate in the program; and
669 b. 2. Access to or reimbursement for all Internet services
670 necessary for online delivery of instruction.
671 6. (e) Not require tuition or student registration fees.
672 7. Provide access to the district’s testing facilities to
673 students enrolled in the virtual instruction program, the
674 Florida Virtual School, or a franchise of the Florida Virtual
675 School who are required or who choose to participate in state
677 (5) (4) CONTRACT REQUIREMENTS.—Each contract with an
678 approved provider must, at a minimum:
679 (a) Set forth a detailed curriculum plan that illustrates
680 how students will be provided services to attain proficiency in
681 the Sunshine State Standards.
682 (b) Provide a method for determining that a student has
683 satisfied the requirements for graduation in s. 1003.428 , s.
684 1003.429 , or s. 1003.43 if the contract is for the provision of
685 a full-time virtual instruction program to students in grades 9
686 through 12.
687 (a) (c) Specify a method for resolving conflicts among the
689 (b) (d) Specify authorized reasons for termination of the
691 (c) (e) Require the approved provider to be responsible for
692 all debts of the school district virtual instruction program if
693 the contract is not renewed or is terminated.
694 (d) (f) Require the approved provider to comply with all
695 requirements of this section.
697 A provider of digital or online content or curriculum that is
698 used to supplement the instruction of students who are not
699 enrolled in a school district virtual instruction program under
700 this section is not required to meet the requirements of this
702 (6) (5) STUDENT ELIGIBILITY AND ENROLLMENT.—
703 (a) A student who is a resident of this state may enroll
704 full-time or part-time in:
705 1. A district virtual instruction program provided by the
706 school district in which he or she resides.
707 2. A virtual instruction program offered by a statewide
708 virtual provider that is approved by the State Board of
709 Education under subsection (3).
710 (b) Part-time enrollment in a district virtual instruction
711 program or a virtual instruction program offered by a statewide
712 virtual provider may be permitted throughout the school year.
713 (c) The registration period for enrollment in a full-time
714 district virtual instruction program or a virtual instruction
715 program that is approved by the State Board of Education must be
716 at least 90 days and may not end earlier than 30 days before the
717 first day of each semester of the virtual program. if the
718 student meets at least one of the following conditions:
719 (a) The student has spent the prior school year in
720 attendance at a public school in this state and was enrolled and
721 reported by a public school district for funding during the
722 preceding October and February for purposes of the Florida
723 Education Finance Program surveys.
724 (b) The student is a dependent child of a member of the
725 United States Armed Forces who was transferred within the last
726 12 months to this state from another state or from a foreign
727 country pursuant to the parent’s permanent change of station
729 (c) The student was enrolled during the prior school year
730 in a school district virtual instruction program under this
731 section or a K-8 Virtual School Program under s. 1002.415 .
732 (d) The student has a sibling who is currently enrolled in
733 a school district virtual instruction program and that sibling
734 was enrolled in such program at the end of the prior school
736 (7) (6) STUDENT PARTICIPATION REQUIREMENTS.—Each student
737 enrolled in a full-time school district virtual instruction
738 program must:
739 (a) Comply with the compulsory attendance requirements of
740 s. 1003.21. Student attendance must be verified by the school
742 (b) Take state assessment tests within the school district
743 in which such student resides, which must provide the student
744 with access to the district’s testing facilities.
745 (8) SCHOOL DISTRICT OBLIGATIONS.—Each school district
747 (a) Provide access to the district’s testing facilities to
748 a student enrolled in a virtual instruction program, a virtual
749 charter school, the Florida Virtual School, or a franchise of
750 the Florida Virtual School who is required or chooses to
751 participate in state assessments.
752 (b) Provide information to parents and students about the
753 student’s right to participate in a school district virtual
754 instruction program or in courses offered by a statewide virtual
755 provider under this section and in courses offered by the
756 Florida Virtual School under s. 1002.37.
757 (c) Post on the district’s website information regarding
758 online instruction opportunities, including a link to the
759 website of each approved statewide provider, the school district
760 virtual instruction program, the virtual charter schools, the
761 Florida Virtual School, or any franchise of the Florida Virtual
763 (9) DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION OBLIGATIONS.—
764 (a)1. The department shall review the qualifications of
765 each statewide virtual provider as described in subsection (3).
766 2. The State Board of Education must approve each statewide
767 virtual provider that meets the qualifications under subsection
769 3. The State Board of Education shall establish a process
770 to review and approve the content of each individual course for
771 each provider of part-time statewide virtual education in grades
772 6 through 12.
774 The department may charge reasonable fees, as approved by the
775 State Board of Education, to each provider for the
776 administrative costs of reviewing the qualifications of
777 providers and the content of the virtual courses. The fees may
778 not exceed the actual cost of the review.
779 (b) The department shall develop a process to evaluate the
780 performance of part-time virtual providers. The evaluation must
781 include, but need not be limited to, the percentage of students:
782 1. Making learning gains;
783 2. Successfully passing the required end-of-course
784 assessments; and
785 3. Taking and scoring a three or higher on advanced
786 placement course exams.
787 (c) The department shall disqualify and remove any full
788 time statewide virtual provider that receives a “D” or an “F” as
789 a school grade.
790 (d) The department may develop a standard that indicates
791 whether or not a part-time virtual provider is successfully
792 achieving the standards of the program. The department may use
793 school grades to rate how the part-time virtual provider
794 achieves the standards.
795 (e) The department must post on its website information on
796 virtual instruction programs, including the approved statewide
797 virtual providers, school district virtual instruction programs,
798 virtual charter schools, the Florida Virtual School, or
799 franchises of the Florida Virtual School. A set of disclosure
800 requirements must be developed and provided to all interested
801 parents for each of the full-time and part-time programs. The
802 disclosure must include information concerning the curriculum,
803 parental expectations and responsibilities, school policies, the
804 number of full-time and part-time teachers, student-teacher
805 ratios, and course-completion data.
806 (f) The department shall provide notice to all parents of
807 the enrollment period for full-time virtual programs.
808 (10) (7) FUNDING.—
809 (a) Statewide virtual education programs approved under
810 subsection (3) shall report the number of full-time equivalent
811 students for funding to the Department of Education in the
812 manner prescribed by the department and shall be funded through
813 the Florida Education Finance Program in a method similar to the
814 Florida Virtual School Program and follow the specifications
815 delineated in s. 1002.37(3)(e), (f), and (g).
816 1. A “full-time equivalent student” for a student enrolled
817 in a kindergarten through grade 12 full-time program shall be
818 calculated and reported as follows:
819 a. Twenty percent for each quarter of delivered
820 instruction, with an additional 10 percent earned after
821 successful completion of the first and second quarters.
822 b. After successful completion of all four quarters of
823 instruction, another 10 percent earned for students in
824 kindergarten through grade 5 who are promoted to the next grade
825 level or passage of the course for students in grades 6 through
827 c. A student may not be reported for more than 1.0 full
828 time equivalent in any given school year.
829 2. A “full-time equivalent student” for a student enrolled
830 part-time in a grade 6 through grade 12 program shall have the
831 same meaning as provided in s. 1011.61(1)(c)1.b.(IV).
832 (b) School district virtual instruction programs authorized
833 in subsection (4) shall report the number of full-time
834 equivalent students to the Department of Education in the manner
835 prescribed by the department and shall be funded through the
836 Florida Education Finance Program; however, such funds may not
837 be provided for the purpose of fulfilling the class size
838 requirements in ss. 1003.03 and 1011.685.
839 1. A “full-time equivalent student” for a student enrolled
840 in a kindergarten through grade 12 full-time program shall be
841 calculated and reported as follows:
842 a. Twenty percent for each quarter of delivered
843 instruction, with an additional 10 percent after the student’s
844 successful completion of the first and second quarters.
845 b. After successful completion of all four quarters of
846 instruction, an additional 10 percent for students in
847 kindergarten through grade 5 who are promoted to the next grade
848 level or passage of the course for students in grades 6 through
850 2. A “full-time equivalent student” for a student enrolled
851 part-time in a grade 6 through 12 program shall have the same
852 meaning as provided in s. 1011.61(1)(c)1.b.(IV).
853 3. A student may not be reported as more than 1.0 full-time
854 equivalent in any given school year.
855 (a) For purposes of a school district virtual instruction
856 program, “full-time equivalent student” has the same meaning as
857 provided in s. 1011.61 (1)(c)1.b.(III) or (IV).
858 (b) The school district in which the student resides shall
859 report full-time equivalent students for the school district
860 virtual instruction program to the department in a manner
861 prescribed by the department, and funding shall be provided
862 through the Florida Education Finance Program. Funds received by
863 the school district of residence for a student in a virtual
864 instruction program provided by another school district under
865 this section shall be transferred to the school district
866 providing the virtual instruction program.
867 (c) A community college provider may not report students
868 who are served in a school district virtual instruction program
869 for funding under the Community College Program Fund.
870 (11) (8) ASSESSMENT AND ACCOUNTABILITY.—
871 (a) Each statewide virtual provider and each approved
872 provider contracted under this section must:
873 1. Participate in the statewide assessment program under s.
874 1008.22 and in the state’s education performance accountability
875 system under s. 1008.31.
876 2. Receive a school grade under s. 1008.34 or a school
877 improvement rating under s. 1008.341, as applicable. The school
878 grade or school improvement rating received by each approved
879 provider shall be based upon the aggregated assessment scores of
880 all students served by the provider statewide. The department
881 shall publish the school grade or school improvement rating
882 received by each approved provider on its Internet website.
883 (b) The performance of part-time students in grades 9
884 through 12 shall not be included for purposes of school grades
885 or school improvement ratings under subparagraph (a)2.; however,
886 their performance shall be included for school grading or school
887 improvement rating purposes by the nonvirtual school providing
888 the student’s primary instruction.
889 (c) An approved provider that receives a school grade of
890 “D” or “F” under s. 1008.34 or a school improvement rating of
891 “Declining” under s. 1008.341 must file a school improvement
892 plan with the department for consultation to determine the
893 causes for low performance and to develop a plan for correction
894 and improvement.
895 (c) (d) An approved provider’s contract must be terminated,
896 and the department shall disqualify and remove a provider from
897 the list of approved providers, if the provider receives a
898 school grade of “D” or “F” under s. 1008.34 or a school
899 improvement rating of “Declining” under s. 1008.341 for 2 years
900 during any consecutive 4-year period. The State Board of
901 Education may extend the eligibility of a provider that receives
902 a school grade of “D” by 1 year if the provider submits a school
903 improvement plan to the department. A disqualified provider is
904 not eligible to resubmit an application for 2 years after the
905 year in which the provider is disqualified. A provider that has
906 a contract terminated under this paragraph may not be an
907 approved provider for a period of at least 1 year after the date
908 upon which the contract was terminated and until the department
909 determines that the provider is in compliance with subsection
910 (2) and has corrected each cause of the provider’s low
912 (12) (9) EXCEPTIONS.—A provider of digital or online content
913 or curriculum that is used to supplement the instruction of
914 students who are not enrolled in a school district virtual
915 instruction program under this section is not required to meet
916 the requirements of this section.
917 (10) MARKETING.—Each school district shall provide
918 information to parents and students about the parent’s and
919 student’s right to participate in a school district virtual
920 instruction program under this section and in courses offered by
921 the Florida Virtual School under s. 1002.37 .
922 (13) (11) RULES.—The State Board of Education shall adopt
923 rules necessary to administer this section, including rules that
924 establish the approval process for virtual courses in grades 6
925 through 12, rules that prescribe school district reporting
926 requirements under subsection (10), and rules that ensure that
927 students are able to enroll and participate in the full-time or
928 part-time virtual program or course of their choice and are not
929 assigned by their resident district to any virtual program or
930 course without their consent (7).
931 Section 8. Paragraph (i) of subsection (1) of section
932 1003.02, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
933 1003.02 District school board operation and control of
934 public K-12 education within the school district.—As provided in
935 part II of chapter 1001, district school boards are
936 constitutionally and statutorily charged with the operation and
937 control of public K-12 education within their school district.
938 The district school boards must establish, organize, and operate
939 their public K-12 schools and educational programs, employees,
940 and facilities. Their responsibilities include staff
941 development, public K-12 school student education including
942 education for exceptional students and students in juvenile
943 justice programs, special programs, adult education programs,
944 and career education programs. Additionally, district school
945 boards must:
946 (1) Provide for the proper accounting for all students of
947 school age, for the attendance and control of students at
948 school, and for proper attention to health, safety, and other
949 matters relating to the welfare of students in the following
951 (i) Parental notification of acceleration mechanisms.—At
952 the beginning of each school year, notify parents of students in
953 or entering high school of the opportunity and benefits of
954 advanced placement, International Baccalaureate, Advanced
955 International Certificate of Education, dual enrollment, courses
956 offered through statewide virtual providers, school district
957 virtual instruction programs, virtual charter schools, and
958 Florida Virtual School courses.
959 Section 9. Paragraph (b) of subsection (3) of section
960 1003.03, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
961 1003.03 Maximum class size.—
962 (3) IMPLEMENTATION OPTIONS.—District school boards must
963 consider, but are not limited to, implementing the following
964 items in order to meet the constitutional class size maximums
965 described in subsection (1):
966 (b) Adopt policies to encourage students to take courses
967 from the Florida Virtual School, statewide virtual providers,
968 virtual charter schools, and school district virtual instruction
970 Section 10. Subsection (2) of section 1003.428, Florida
971 Statutes, is amended to read:
972 1003.428 General requirements for high school graduation;
974 (2) The 24 credits may be earned through applied,
975 integrated, and combined courses approved by the Department of
976 Education. The 24 credits shall be distributed as follows:
977 (a) Sixteen core curriculum credits:
978 1. Four credits in English, with major concentration in
979 composition, reading for information, and literature.
980 2. Four credits in mathematics, one of which must be
981 Algebra I, a series of courses equivalent to Algebra I, or a
982 higher-level mathematics course. Beginning with students
983 entering grade 9 in the 2010-2011 school year, in addition to
984 the Algebra I credit requirement, one of the four credits in
985 mathematics must be geometry or a series of courses equivalent
986 to geometry as approved by the State Board of Education.
987 Beginning with students entering grade 9 in the 2010-2011 school
988 year, the end-of-course assessment requirements under s.
989 1008.22(3)(c)2.a.(I) must be met in order for a student to earn
990 the required credit in Algebra I. Beginning with students
991 entering grade 9 in the 2011-2012 school year, the end-of-course
992 assessment requirements under s. 1008.22(3)(c)2.a.(I) must be
993 met in order for a student to earn the required credit in
994 geometry. Beginning with students entering grade 9 in the 2012
995 2013 school year, in addition to the Algebra I and geometry
996 credit requirements, one of the four credits in mathematics must
997 be Algebra II or a series of courses equivalent to Algebra II as
998 approved by the State Board of Education.
999 3. Three credits in science, two of which must have a
1000 laboratory component. Beginning with students entering grade 9
1001 in the 2011-2012 school year, one of the three credits in
1002 science must be Biology I or a series of courses equivalent to
1003 Biology I as approved by the State Board of Education. Beginning
1004 with students entering grade 9 in the 2011-2012 school year, the
1005 end-of-course assessment requirements under s.
1006 1008.22(3)(c)2.a.(II) must be met in order for a student to earn
1007 the required credit in Biology I. Beginning with students
1008 entering grade 9 in the 2013-2014 school year, one of the three
1009 credits must be Biology I or a series of courses equivalent to
1010 Biology I as approved by the State Board of Education, one
1011 credit must be chemistry or physics or a series of courses
1012 equivalent to chemistry or physics as approved by the State
1013 Board of Education, and one credit must be an equally rigorous
1014 course, as determined by the State Board of Education.
1015 4. Three credits in social studies as follows: one credit
1016 in United States history; one credit in world history; one-half
1017 credit in economics; and one-half credit in United States
1019 5. One credit in fine or performing arts, speech and
1020 debate, or a practical arts course that incorporates artistic
1021 content and techniques of creativity, interpretation, and
1022 imagination. Eligible practical arts courses shall be identified
1023 through the Course Code Directory.
1024 6. One credit in physical education to include integration
1025 of health. Participation in an interscholastic sport at the
1026 junior varsity or varsity level for two full seasons shall
1027 satisfy the one-credit requirement in physical education if the
1028 student passes a competency test on personal fitness with a
1029 score of “C” or better. The competency test on personal fitness
1030 must be developed by the Department of Education. A district
1031 school board may not require that the one credit in physical
1032 education be taken during the 9th grade year. Completion of one
1033 semester with a grade of “C” or better in a marching band class,
1034 in a physical activity class that requires participation in
1035 marching band activities as an extracurricular activity, or in a
1036 dance class shall satisfy one-half credit in physical education
1037 or one-half credit in performing arts. This credit may not be
1038 used to satisfy the personal fitness requirement or the
1039 requirement for adaptive physical education under an individual
1040 education plan (IEP) or 504 plan. Completion of 2 years in a
1041 Reserve Officer Training Corps (R.O.T.C.) class, a significant
1042 component of which is drills, shall satisfy the one-credit
1043 requirement in physical education and the one-credit requirement
1044 in performing arts. This credit may not be used to satisfy the
1045 personal fitness requirement or the requirement for adaptive
1046 physical education under an individual education plan (IEP) or
1047 504 plan.
1048 (b) Eight credits in electives.
1049 1. For each year in which a student scores at Level 1 on
1050 FCAT Reading, the student must be enrolled in and complete an
1051 intensive reading course the following year. Placement of Level
1052 2 readers in either an intensive reading course or a content
1053 area course in which reading strategies are delivered shall be
1054 determined by diagnosis of reading needs. The department shall
1055 provide guidance on appropriate strategies for diagnosing and
1056 meeting the varying instructional needs of students reading
1057 below grade level. Reading courses shall be designed and offered
1058 pursuant to the comprehensive reading plan required by s.
1060 2. For each year in which a student scores at Level 1 or
1061 Level 2 on FCAT Mathematics, the student must receive
1062 remediation the following year. These courses may be taught
1063 through applied, integrated, or combined courses and are subject
1064 to approval by the department for inclusion in the Course Code
1067 Beginning with students entering grade 9 in the 2011-2012 school
1068 year, at least one course must be taken online. However, an
1069 online course taken during grades 6 through 8 fulfills this
1070 requirement. A student who is eligible for dual enrollment may
1071 fulfill this requirement through participation in any online
1072 course offered by a state college, state university, or an
1073 independent college or university.
1074 Section 11. Section 1003.07, Florida Statutes, is created
1075 to read:
1076 1003.07 Digital Learning Now.—There is created the Digital
1077 Learning Now Act.
1078 (1) ELEMENTS OF HIGH-QUALITY DIGITAL LEARNING.—The
1079 Legislature finds that each student enrolled as a public school,
1080 private school, or home education student should have access to
1081 multiple high-quality digital learning providers that provide
1082 the following elements, which are essential for a high-quality
1083 digital learning environment in the state:
1084 (a) Access to digital learning.
1085 (b) Access to high-quality digital content and online
1087 (c) Education that is customized to the needs of the
1088 student using digital content provided by state-approved
1090 (d) A means for the student to demonstrate competency in
1091 completed coursework.
1092 (e) High-quality digital content, instructional materials,
1093 and online and blended-learning courses.
1094 (f) High-quality digital instruction and teachers.
1095 (g) Content and instruction that are evaluated on the
1096 metric of student learning.
1097 (h) The use of funding as an incentive for performance,
1098 options, and innovation.
1099 (i) Infrastructure that supports digital learning.
1100 (j) Online administration of state assessments.
1101 (2) STUDENT ELIGIBILITY AND ACCESS.—Each student,
1102 regardless of whether he or she is enrolled in a public school
1103 or private school or is a home education student, is eligible to
1104 participate in full-time or part-time state virtual programs
1106 (a) The Florida Virtual School established in s.
1108 (b) Virtual education programs established in s. 1002.45.
1109 (c) Virtual charter schools as authorized in s. 1002.33.
1110 (3) DIGITAL PREPARATION.—Each student must graduate from
1111 high school having had experience in taking an online course as
1112 provided in s. 1003.428.
1113 (4) CUSTOMIZED AND ACCELERATED LEARNING.—Any student who is
1114 enrolled in a public school district may register and enroll in
1115 an online course identified in the course code directory offered
1116 by any other district in the state. The student may register and
1117 enroll only in those courses offered directly by the school
1118 district and may not enroll in courses offered through district
1119 virtual instruction programs. The district that offers the
1120 course and in which the student completes the course shall
1121 report the student’s completion in the course for funding
1122 pursuant to s. 1011.61(1)(c)1.b.(VI).
1123 (5) ONLINE CONTENT AND INSTRUCTION.—
1124 (a) A district may offer online content that is aligned
1125 with Next Generation Sunshine Standards or core curricular
1126 standards, as appropriate.
1127 (b) A district may use an online instructor who resides
1128 within or outside the district in a full-time capacity or as an
1129 adjunct educator pursuant to s. 1012.57.
1130 Section 12. Paragraph (g) of subsection (3) of section
1131 1008.22, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
1132 1008.22 Student assessment program for public schools.—
1133 (3) STATEWIDE ASSESSMENT PROGRAM.—The commissioner shall
1134 design and implement a statewide program of educational
1135 assessment that provides information for the improvement of the
1136 operation and management of the public schools, including
1137 schools operating for the purpose of providing educational
1138 services to youth in Department of Juvenile Justice programs.
1139 The commissioner may enter into contracts for the continued
1140 administration of the assessment, testing, and evaluation
1141 programs authorized and funded by the Legislature. Contracts may
1142 be initiated in 1 fiscal year and continue into the next and may
1143 be paid from the appropriations of either or both fiscal years.
1144 The commissioner is authorized to negotiate for the sale or
1145 lease of tests, scoring protocols, test scoring services, and
1146 related materials developed pursuant to law. Pursuant to the
1147 statewide assessment program, the commissioner shall:
1148 (g) Beginning in 2014-2015 school year, administer all
1149 statewide assessment, including end-of-course assessments, in an
1150 online format. Study the cost and student achievement impact of
1151 secondary end-of-course assessments, including web-based and
1152 performance formats, and report to the Legislature prior to
1153 implementation .
1154 Section 13. Paragraph (c) of subsection (1) of section
1155 1011.61, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
1156 1011.61 Definitions.—Notwithstanding the provisions of s.
1157 1000.21, the following terms are defined as follows for the
1158 purposes of the Florida Education Finance Program:
1159 (1) A “full-time equivalent student” in each program of the
1160 district is defined in terms of full-time students and part-time
1161 students as follows:
1162 (c)1. A “full-time equivalent student” is:
1163 a. A full-time student in any one of the programs listed in
1164 s. 1011.62(1)(c); or
1165 b. A combination of full-time or part-time students in any
1166 one of the programs listed in s. 1011.62(1)(c) which is the
1167 equivalent of one full-time student based on the following
1169 (I) A full-time student, except a postsecondary or adult
1170 student or a senior high school student enrolled in adult
1171 education when such courses are required for high school
1172 graduation, in a combination of programs listed in s.
1173 1011.62(1)(c) shall be a fraction of a full-time equivalent
1174 membership in each special program equal to the number of net
1175 hours per school year for which he or she is a member, divided
1176 by the appropriate number of hours set forth in subparagraph
1177 (a)1. or subparagraph (a)2. The difference between that fraction
1178 or sum of fractions and the maximum value as set forth in
1179 subsection (4) for each full-time student is presumed to be the
1180 balance of the student’s time not spent in such special
1181 education programs and shall be recorded as time in the
1182 appropriate basic program.
1183 (II) A prekindergarten handicapped student shall meet the
1184 requirements specified for kindergarten students.
1185 (III) A full-time equivalent student for students in
1186 kindergarten through grade 12 5 in a full-time school district
1187 virtual instruction program under s. 1002.45 shall consist of a
1188 student who has successfully completed a basic program listed in
1189 s. 1011.62(1)(c)1. or 3., as prescribed in s. 1002.45 s.
1190 1011.62 (1)(c)1.a. or b., and who is promoted to a higher grade
1192 (IV) A full-time equivalent student for students in grades
1193 6 through 12 in a part-time school district virtual instruction
1194 program under s. 1002.45 (1)(b)1. and 2 . shall consist of six
1195 full credit course completions in programs listed in s.
1196 1011.62(1)(c)1.b. or c. and 3. Course Credit completions may can
1197 be a combination of full-credit courses or half-credit courses
1198 either full c redits or half credits.
1199 (V) A Florida Virtual School full-time equivalent student
1200 shall consist of six full credit course completions or the
1201 prescribed level of content that counts toward promotion to the
1202 next grade in the programs listed in s. 1011.62(1)(c)1.a. and b.
1203 for kindergarten grades 6 through grade 8 and the programs
1204 listed in s. 1011.62(1)(c)1.c. and 3. for grades 9 through 12.
1205 Course Credit completions may can be a combination of full
1206 credit courses or half-credit courses either full credits or
1207 half credits.
1208 (VI) Each successfully completed credit earned though an
1209 online course delivered by a district other than the district in
1210 which the student resides shall be calculated as 1/6 FTE.
1211 (VII) (VI) Each successfully completed credit earned under
1212 the alternative high school course credit requirements
1213 authorized in s. 1002.375, which is not reported as a portion of
1214 the 900 net hours of instruction pursuant to subparagraph
1215 (1)(a)1., shall be calculated as 1/6 FTE.
1216 2. A student in membership in a program scheduled for more
1217 or less than 180 school days or the equivalent on an hourly
1218 basis as specified by rules of the State Board of Education is a
1219 fraction of a full-time equivalent membership equal to the
1220 number of instructional hours in membership divided by the
1221 appropriate number of hours set forth in subparagraph (a)1.;
1222 however, for the purposes of this subparagraph, membership in
1223 programs scheduled for more than 180 days is limited to students
1224 enrolled in juvenile justice education programs and the Florida
1225 Virtual School.
1227 The department shall determine and implement an equitable method
1228 of equivalent funding for experimental schools and for schools
1229 operating under emergency conditions, which schools have been
1230 approved by the department to operate for less than the minimum
1231 school day.
1232 Section 14. Section 1011.68, Florida Statutes, is amended
1233 to read:
1234 1011.68 Funds for student transportation.—The annual
1235 allocation to each district for transportation to public school
1236 programs, including charter schools as provided in s.
1237 1002.33(18)(b) 1002.33 (17)(b), of students in membership in
1238 kindergarten through grade 12 and in migrant and exceptional
1239 student programs below kindergarten shall be determined as
1241 (1) Subject to the rules of the State Board of Education,
1242 each district shall determine the membership of students who are
1244 (a) By reason of living 2 miles or more from school.
1245 (b) By reason of being students with disabilities or
1246 enrolled in a teenage parent program, regardless of distance to
1248 (c) By reason of being in a state prekindergarten program,
1249 regardless of distance from school.
1250 (d) By reason of being career, dual enrollment, or students
1251 with disabilities transported from one school center to another
1252 to participate in an instructional program or service; or
1253 students with disabilities, transported from one designation to
1254 another in the state, provided one designation is a school
1255 center and provided the student’s individual educational plan
1256 (IEP) identifies the need for the instructional program or
1257 service and transportation to be provided by the school
1258 district. A “school center” is defined as a public school
1259 center, community college, state university, or other facility
1260 rented, leased, or owned and operated by the school district or
1261 another public agency. A “dual enrollment student” is defined as
1262 a public school student in membership in both a public secondary
1263 school program and a community college or a state university
1264 program under a written agreement to partially fulfill ss.
1265 1003.435 and 1007.23 and earning full-time equivalent membership
1266 under s. 1011.62(1)(i).
1267 (e) With respect to elementary school students whose grade
1268 level does not exceed grade 6, by reason of being subjected to
1269 hazardous walking conditions en route to or from school as
1270 provided in s. 1006.23. Such rules shall, when appropriate,
1271 provide for the determination of membership under this paragraph
1272 for less than 1 year to accommodate the needs of students who
1273 require transportation only until such hazardous conditions are
1275 (f) By reason of being a pregnant student or student
1276 parent, and the child of a student parent as provided in s.
1277 1003.54, regardless of distance from school.
1278 (2) The allocation for each district shall be calculated
1279 annually in accordance with the following formula:
1281 T = B + EX. The elements of this formula are defined as follows:
1282 T is the total dollar allocation for transportation. B is the
1283 base transportation dollar allocation prorated by an adjusted
1284 student membership count. The adjusted membership count shall be
1285 derived from a multiplicative index function in which the base
1286 student membership is adjusted by multiplying it by index
1287 numbers that individually account for the impact of the price
1288 level index, average bus occupancy, and the extent of rural
1289 population in the district. EX is the base transportation dollar
1290 allocation for disabled students prorated by an adjusted
1291 disabled student membership count. The base transportation
1292 dollar allocation for disabled students is the total state base
1293 disabled student membership count weighted for increased costs
1294 associated with transporting disabled students and multiplying
1295 it by an average per student cost for transportation as
1296 determined by the Legislature. The adjusted disabled student
1297 membership count shall be derived from a multiplicative index
1298 function in which the weighted base disabled student membership
1299 is adjusted by multiplying it by index numbers that individually
1300 account for the impact of the price level index, average bus
1301 occupancy, and the extent of rural population in the district.
1302 Each adjustment factor shall be designed to affect the base
1303 allocation by no more or less than 10 percent.
1304 (3) The total allocation to each district for
1305 transportation of students shall be the sum of the amounts
1306 determined in subsection (2). If the funds appropriated for the
1307 purpose of implementing this section are not sufficient to pay
1308 the base transportation allocation and the base transportation
1309 allocation for disabled students, the Department of Education
1310 shall prorate the available funds on a percentage basis. If the
1311 funds appropriated for the purpose of implementing this section
1312 exceed the sum of the base transportation allocation and the
1313 base transportation allocation for disabled students, the base
1314 transportation allocation for disabled students shall be limited
1315 to the amount calculated in subsection (2), and the remaining
1316 balance shall be added to the base transportation allocation.
1317 (4) No district shall use funds to purchase transportation
1318 equipment and supplies at prices which exceed those determined
1319 by the department to be the lowest which can be obtained, as
1320 prescribed in s. 1006.27(1).
1321 (5) Funds allocated or apportioned for the payment of
1322 student transportation services may be used to pay for
1323 transportation of students to and from school on local general
1324 purpose transportation systems. Student transportation funds may
1325 also be used to pay for transportation of students to and from
1326 school in private passenger cars and boats when the
1327 transportation is for isolated students, or students with
1328 disabilities as defined by rule. Subject to the rules of the
1329 State Board of Education, each school district shall determine
1330 and report the number of assigned students using general purpose
1331 transportation private passenger cars and boats. The allocation
1332 per student must be equal to the allocation per student riding a
1333 school bus.
1334 (6) Notwithstanding other provisions of this section, in no
1335 case shall any student or students be counted for transportation
1336 funding more than once per day. This provision includes counting
1337 students for funding pursuant to trips in school buses,
1338 passenger cars, or boats or general purpose transportation.
1339 Section 15. Section 1012.57, Florida Statutes, is amended
1340 to read:
1341 1012.57 Certification of adjunct educators.—
1342 (1) Notwithstanding the provisions of ss. 1012.32, 1012.55,
1343 and 1012.56, or any other provision of law or rule to the
1344 contrary, district school boards shall adopt rules to allow for
1345 the issuance of an adjunct teaching certificate to any applicant
1346 who fulfills the requirements of s. 1012.56(2)(a)-(f) and (10)
1347 and who has expertise in the subject area to be taught. An
1348 applicant shall be considered to have expertise in the subject
1349 area to be taught if the applicant demonstrates sufficient
1350 subject area mastery through passage of a subject area test. The
1351 adjunct teaching certificate shall be used for part-time
1352 teaching positions.
1353 (2) The Legislature intends that this section The intent of
1354 this provision is to allow:
1355 (a) School districts to tap the wealth of talent and
1356 expertise represented in Florida’s citizens who may wish to
1357 teach part-time in a Florida public school by permitting school
1358 districts to issue adjunct certificates to qualified applicants.
1359 (b) School districts to use the expertise of individuals in
1360 this state or other states who wish to provide online
1361 instruction to Florida students by permitting school districts
1362 to issue adjunct certificates to qualified applicants.
1363 (3) Adjunct certificateholders should be used as a strategy
1364 to enhance the diversity of course offerings offered to all
1365 Florida students. reduce the teacher shortage; thus, adjunct
1366 certificateholders should supplement a school’s instructional
1367 staff, not supplant it. Each school principal shall assign an
1368 experienced peer mentor to assist the adjunct teaching
1369 certificateholder during the certificateholder’s first year of
1370 teaching, and an adjunct certificateholder may participate in a
1371 district’s new teacher training program. District school boards
1372 shall provide the adjunct teaching certificateholder an
1373 orientation in classroom management prior to assigning the
1374 certificateholder to a school.
1375 (4) Each adjunct teaching certificate is valid through the
1376 term of the contract between the educator and the school
1377 district for 5 school years and is renewable if the applicant
1378 has received satisfactory performance evaluations during each
1379 year of teaching under adjunct teaching certification.
1380 (2) Individuals who are certified and employed under this
1381 section shall have the same rights and protection of laws as
1382 teachers certified under s. 1012.56 .
1383 Section 16. Paragraphs (a) and (e) of subsection (1) and
1384 paragraph (h) of subsection (2) of section 1013.62, Florida
1385 Statutes, are amended to read:
1386 1013.62 Charter schools capital outlay funding.—
1387 (1) In each year in which funds are appropriated for
1388 charter school capital outlay purposes, the Commissioner of
1389 Education shall allocate the funds among eligible charter
1391 (a) To be eligible for a funding allocation, a charter
1392 school must:
1393 1.a. Have been in operation for 3 or more years;
1394 b. Be governed by a governing board established in the
1395 state for 3 or more years which operates both charter schools
1396 and conversion charter schools within the state;
1397 c. Be an expanded feeder chain of a charter school within
1398 the same school district that is currently receiving charter
1399 school capital outlay funds;
1400 d. Have been accredited by the Commission on Schools of the
1401 Southern Association of Colleges and Schools; or
1402 e. Serve students in facilities that are provided by a
1403 business partner for a charter school-in-the-workplace pursuant
1404 to s. 1002.33(16)(b) 1002.33 (15)(b).
1405 2. Have financial stability for future operation as a
1406 charter school.
1407 3. Have satisfactory student achievement based on state
1408 accountability standards applicable to the charter school.
1409 4. Have received final approval from its sponsor pursuant
1410 to s. 1002.33 for operation during that fiscal year.
1411 5. Serve students in facilities that are not provided by
1412 the charter school’s sponsor.
1413 (e) Unless otherwise provided in the General Appropriations
1414 Act, the funding allocation for each eligible charter school is
1415 determined by multiplying the school’s projected student
1416 enrollment by one-fifteenth of the cost-per-student station
1417 specified in s. 1013.64(6)(b) for an elementary, middle, or high
1418 school, as appropriate. If the funds appropriated are not
1419 sufficient, the commissioner shall prorate the available funds
1420 among eligible charter schools. However, a charter school or
1421 charter lab school may not receive state charter school capital
1422 outlay funds greater than the one-fifteenth cost per student
1423 station formula if the charter school’s combination of state
1424 charter school capital outlay funds, capital outlay funds
1425 calculated through the reduction in the administrative fee
1426 provided in s. 1002.33(21) 1002.33 (20), and capital outlay funds
1427 allowed in s. 1002.32(9)(e) and (h) exceeds the one-fifteenth
1428 cost per student station formula.
1429 (2) A charter school’s governing body may use charter
1430 school capital outlay funds for the following purposes:
1431 (h) Purchase, lease-purchase, or lease of driver’s
1432 education vehicles; motor vehicles used for the maintenance or
1433 operation of plants and equipment; security vehicles; or
1434 vehicles used in storing or distributing materials and
1437 Conversion charter schools may use capital outlay funds received
1438 through the reduction in the administrative fee provided in s.
1439 1002.33(21) 1002.33 (20) for renovation, repair, and maintenance
1440 of school facilities that are owned by the sponsor.
1441 Section 17. By December 1, 2011, the Office of Program
1442 Policy Analysis and Government Accountability, or an independent
1443 research organization selected by the department, shall submit a
1444 report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the
1445 Speaker of the House of Representatives which evaluates the best
1446 methods for implementing part-time virtual education in
1447 kindergarten through grade 5.
1448 Section 18. If any provision of this act or its application
1449 to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity
1450 does not affect other provisions or applications of the act
1451 which can be given effect without the invalid provision or
1452 application, and to this end the provisions of this act are
1454 Section 19. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.