Florida Senate - 2019 SB 1380 By Senator Perry 8-00842C-19 20191380__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to the Gardiner Scholarship; amending 3 s. 1002.385, F.S., and reenacting subsection (18), 4 relating to the Gardiner Scholarship; revising 5 eligibility requirements for the Gardiner Scholarship 6 Program; providing that scholarship funds may be spent 7 for tuition and fees associated with programs relating 8 to art, music, or theatre; revising requirements 9 relating to compliance statements required for program 10 participation; requiring the Department of Education 11 to implement a certain system; providing an effective 12 date. 13 14 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 15 16 Section 1. Paragraph (a) of subsection (3) of section 17 1002.385, Florida Statutes, is amended, paragraph (q) is added 18 to subsection (5) of that section, paragraph (a) of subsection 19 (11) of that section is amended, and subsection (18) of that 20 section is reenacted, to read: 21 1002.385 The Gardiner Scholarship.— 22 (3) PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY.—A parent of a student with a 23 disability may request and receive from the state a Gardiner 24 Scholarship for the purposes specified in subsection (5) if: 25 (a) The student: 26 1. Is a resident of this state; 27 2. Is 3 or 4 years of age when
on or before September 1 of28 the year in whichthe student applies for program participation, 29 or is eligible to enroll in kindergarten through grade 12 in a 30 public school in this state; 31 3. Has a disability as defined in paragraph (2)(d); and 32 4. Is the subject of an IEP written in accordance with 33 rules of the State Board of Education or with the applicable 34 rules of another state or has received a diagnosis of a 35 disability from a physician who is licensed under chapter 458 or 36 chapter 459, a psychologist who is licensed under chapter 490, 37 or a physician who holds an active license issued by another 38 state or territory of the United States, the District of 39 Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. 40 (5) AUTHORIZED USES OF PROGRAM FUNDS.—Program funds must be 41 used to meet the individual educational needs of an eligible 42 student and may be spent for the following purposes: 43 (q) Tuition and fees associated with programs relating to 44 art, music, or theatre. 45 46 A provider of any services receiving payments pursuant to this 47 subsection may not share, refund, or rebate any moneys from the 48 Gardiner Scholarship with the parent or participating student in 49 any manner. A parent, student, or provider of any services may 50 not bill an insurance company, Medicaid, or any other agency for 51 the same services that are paid for using Gardiner Scholarship 52 funds. 53 (11) PARENT AND STUDENT RESPONSIBILITIES FOR PROGRAM 54 PARTICIPATION.—A parent who applies for program participation 55 under this section is exercising his or her parental option to 56 determine the appropriate placement or the services that best 57 meet the needs of his or her child. The scholarship award for a 58 student is based on a matrix that assigns the student to support 59 Level III services. If a parent receives an IEP and a matrix of 60 services from the school district pursuant to subsection (7), 61 the amount of the payment shall be adjusted as needed, when the 62 school district completes the matrix. 63 (a) To satisfy or maintain program eligibility, including 64 eligibility to receive and spend program payments, the parent 65 must sign an agreement with the organization and annually submit 66 a notarized,sworn compliance statement, which for initial 67 eligibility must be notarized, to the organization to: 68 1. Affirm that the student is enrolled in a program that 69 meets regular school attendance requirements as provided in s. 70 1003.01(13)(b)-(d). 71 2. Affirm that the program funds are used only for 72 authorized purposes serving the student’s educational needs, as 73 described in subsection (5). 74 3. Affirm that the parent is responsible for the education 75 of his or her student by, as applicable: 76 a. Requiring the student to take an assessment in 77 accordance with paragraph (8)(b); 78 b. Providing an annual evaluation in accordance with s. 79 1002.41(1)(f); or 80 c. Requiring the child to take any preassessments and 81 postassessments selected by the provider if the child is 4 years 82 of age and is enrolled in a program provided by an eligible 83 Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program provider. A student 84 with disabilities for whom a preassessment and postassessment is 85 not appropriate is exempt from this requirement. A participating 86 provider shall report a student’s scores to the parent. 87 4. Affirm that the student remains in good standing with 88 the provider or school if those options are selected by the 89 parent. 90 91 The department shall implement a system that allows parents to 92 submit all required information to maintain program eligibility 93 under this paragraph through a secure Internet website or other 94 secure electronic means. 95 96 A parent who fails to comply with this subsection forfeits the 97 Gardiner Scholarship. 98 (18) RULES.—The State Board of Education shall adopt rules 99 pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to administer this 100 section. 101 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2019.