Florida Senate - 2014 PROPOSED COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE Bill No. CS for SB 1528 Ì666216*Î666216 576-04102-14 Proposed Committee Substitute by the Committee on Appropriations (Appropriations Subcommittee on Education) 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to charter schools; amending s. 3 1002.33, F.S.; authorizing a military installation 4 commander of a military installation to apply for a 5 charter school located on the military installation; 6 establishing conditions for the commander and charter 7 school governing board; revising requirements for 8 charter school applications to include additional 9 fiscal responsibility standards; providing an 10 effective date. 11 12 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 13 14 Section 1. Paragraph (a) of subsection (3) and paragraph 15 (b) of subsection (6) of section 1002.33, Florida Statutes, are 16 amended to read: 17 1002.33 Charter schools.— 18 (3) APPLICATION FOR CHARTER STATUS.— 19 (a) An application for a new charter school may be made by 20 an individual, teachers, parents, a group of individuals, a 21 municipality, or a legal entity organized under the laws of this 22 state. An application for a charter school may be made by the 23 military installation commander of a military installation, if 24 the commander is a member of the charter school’s not-for-profit 25 governing board, the charter school is located on the military 26 installation, and the governing board operates the charter 27 school or contracts with a management company or similar entity 28 to operate the charter school. 29 (6) APPLICATION PROCESS AND REVIEW.—Charter school 30 applications are subject to the following requirements: 31 (b) A sponsor shall receive and review all applications for 32 a charter school using an evaluation instrument developed by the 33 Department of Education. A sponsor shall receive and consider 34 charter school applications received on or before August 1 of 35 each calendar year for charter schools to be opened at the 36 beginning of the school district’s next school year, or to be 37 opened at a time agreed to by the applicant and the sponsor. A 38 sponsor may not refuse to receive a charter school application 39 submitted before August 1 and may receive an application 40 submitted later than August 1 if it chooses. In order to 41 facilitate greater collaboration in the application process, an 42 applicant may submit a draft charter school application on or 43 before May 1 with an application fee of $500. If a draft 44 application is timely submitted, the sponsor shall review and 45 provide feedback as to material deficiencies in the application 46 by July 1. The applicant shall then have until August 1 to 47 resubmit a revised and final application. The sponsor may 48 approve the draft application. A sponsor may not charge an 49 applicant for a charter any fee for the processing or 50 consideration of an application, and a sponsor may not base its 51 consideration or approval of a final application upon the 52 promise of future payment of any kind. Before approving or 53 denying any final application, the sponsor shall allow the 54 applicant, upon receipt of written notification, at least 7 55 calendar days to make technical or nonsubstantive corrections 56 and clarifications, including, but not limited to, corrections 57 of grammatical, typographical, and like errors or missing 58 signatures, if such errors are identified by the sponsor as 59 cause to deny the final application. 60 1. In order to facilitate an accurate budget projection 61 process, a sponsor shall be held harmless for FTE students who 62 are not included in the FTE projection due to approval of 63 charter school applications after the FTE projection deadline. 64 In a further effort to facilitate an accurate budget projection, 65 within 15 calendar days after receipt of a charter school 66 application, a sponsor shall report to the Department of 67 Education the name of the applicant entity, the proposed charter 68 school location, and its projected FTE. 69 2. In order to ensure fiscal responsibility, an application 70 for a charter school made by an individual, teachers, parents, a 71 group of individuals, a municipality, a legal entity organized 72 under the laws of this state, or any other third party 73 associated with the management or reporting responsibility of 74 the charter school contract shall include a full accounting of 75 expected assets, a projection of expected sources and amounts of 76 income, including income derived from projected student 77 enrollments and from community support,
andan expense 78 projection that includes full accounting of the costs of 79 operation, including start-up costs, and fees paid to a third 80 party for services and the purpose of such fees. 81 3.a. A sponsor shall by a majority vote approve or deny an 82 application no later than 60 calendar days after the application 83 is received, unless the sponsor and the applicant mutually agree 84 in writing to temporarily postpone the vote to a specific date, 85 at which time the sponsor shall by a majority vote approve or 86 deny the application. If the sponsor fails to act on the 87 application, an applicant may appeal to the State Board of 88 Education as provided in paragraph (c). If an application is 89 denied, the sponsor shall, within 10 calendar days after such 90 denial, articulate in writing the specific reasons, based upon 91 good cause, supporting its denial of the charter application and 92 shall provide the letter of denial and supporting documentation 93 to the applicant and to the Department of Education. 94 b. An application submitted by a high-performing charter 95 school identified pursuant to s. 1002.331 may be denied by the 96 sponsor only if the sponsor demonstrates by clear and convincing 97 evidence that: 98 (I) The application does not materially comply with the 99 requirements in paragraph (a); 100 (II) The charter school proposed in the application does 101 not materially comply with the requirements in paragraphs 102 (9)(a)-(f); 103 (III) The proposed charter school’s educational program 104 does not substantially replicate that of the applicant or one of 105 the applicant’s high-performing charter schools; 106 (IV) The applicant has made a material misrepresentation or 107 false statement or concealed an essential or material fact 108 during the application process; or 109 (V) The proposed charter school’s educational program and 110 financial management practices do not materially comply with the 111 requirements of this section. 112 113 Material noncompliance is a failure to follow requirements or a 114 violation of prohibitions applicable to charter school 115 applications, which failure is quantitatively or qualitatively 116 significant either individually or when aggregated with other 117 noncompliance. An applicant is considered to be replicating a 118 high-performing charter school if the proposed school is 119 substantially similar to at least one of the applicant’s high 120 performing charter schools and the organization or individuals 121 involved in the establishment and operation of the proposed 122 school are significantly involved in the operation of replicated 123 schools. 124 c. If the sponsor denies an application submitted by a 125 high-performing charter school, the sponsor must, within 10 126 calendar days after such denial, state in writing the specific 127 reasons, based upon the criteria in sub-subparagraph b., 128 supporting its denial of the application and must provide the 129 letter of denial and supporting documentation to the applicant 130 and to the Department of Education. The applicant may appeal the 131 sponsor’s denial of the application directly to the State Board 132 of Education pursuant to sub-subparagraph (c)3.b. 133 4. For budget projection purposes, the sponsor shall report 134 to the Department of Education the approval or denial of a 135 charter application within 10 calendar days after such approval 136 or denial. In the event of approval, the report to the 137 Department of Education shall include the final projected FTE 138 for the approved charter school. 139 5. Upon approval of a charter application, the initial 140 startup shall commence with the beginning of the public school 141 calendar for the district in which the charter is granted unless 142 the sponsor allows a waiver of this subparagraph for good cause. 143 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2014.