(1) The Legislature hereby allocates for effort index grants the sum of $300 million from the funds appropriated from the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund by s. 46, chapter 97-384, Laws of Florida, contingent upon the sale of school capital outlay bonds. From these funds, the Commissioner of Education shall allocate to the four school districts deemed eligible for an effort index grant the sums of $7,442,890 to the Clay County School District, $62,755,920 to the Miami-Dade County Public Schools, $1,628,590 to the Hendry County School District, and $414,950 to the Madison County School District. The remaining funds shall be allocated among the remaining district school boards that qualify for an effort index grant by meeting the local capital outlay effort criteria in paragraph (a) or paragraph (b). (a) Between July 1, 1995, and June 30, 1999, the school district received direct proceeds from the one-half-cent sales surtax for public school capital outlay authorized by s. 212.055(6) or from the local government infrastructure sales surtax authorized by s. 212.055(2). (b) The school district met two of the following criteria: 1. Levied the full 2 mills of nonvoted discretionary capital outlay authorized by s. 1011.71(2) during 1995-1996, 1996-1997, 1997-1998, and 1998-1999.
2. Levied a cumulative voted millage for capital outlay and debt service equal to 2.5 mills for fiscal years 1995 through 1999.
3. Received proceeds of school impact fees greater than $500 per dwelling unit which were in effect on July 1, 1998.
4. Received direct proceeds from either the one-half-cent sales surtax for public school capital outlay authorized by s. 212.055(6) or from the local government infrastructure sales surtax authorized by s. 212.055(2). (2) It is the intent of the Legislature that this program be administered as nearly as is practicable in the same manner as the capital outlay program authorized under s. 9(d), Art. XII of the State Constitution. Each district school board’s share of the appropriation for the effort index grants must be calculated according to the following formula using the same basis as the Classrooms First allocation formula, but the share of each district shall, at a minimum, be at least equal to the amount required for all payments of the district relating to bonds issued by the state on its behalf: (a) Twenty-five percent of the appropriation shall be prorated to the districts based on each district’s percentage of base capital outlay full-time-equivalent membership; and 65 percent shall be based on each district’s percentage of growth capital outlay full-time-equivalent membership as specified for the allocation of funds from the Public Education Capital Outlay and Debt Service Trust Fund by s. 1013.64(3). (b) Ten percent of the appropriation must be allocated among district school boards according to the allocation formula in s. 1013.64(1)(a). (3) A district school board shall expend the funds received under this section only to:
(a) Construct, renovate, remodel, repair, or maintain educational facilities; or
(b) Pay debt service on bonds issued under this section, the proceeds of which must be expended for new construction, remodeling, renovation, and major repairs. Bond proceeds shall be expended first for providing permanent classroom facilities and related auxiliary facilities. Bond proceeds may not be expended for any other facilities until all unmet needs for permanent classrooms and auxiliary facilities as defined in s. 1013.01 have been satisfied.
However, if more than 9 percent of a district’s total square feet is more than 50 years old, the district must spend at least 25 percent of its allocation on the renovation, major repair, or remodeling of existing schools, except that districts having fewer than 10,000 full-time equivalent students are exempt from this requirement.
(4) Each district school board that pledges moneys under paragraph (3)(b) shall notify the Department of Education of its election at a time set by the department. The Department of Education shall review the proposal of each district school board for compliance with this section and shall forward all approved proposals to the Division of Bond Finance with a request to issue bonds on behalf of the approved school districts.
(5) A district school board that chooses to pledge allocations from the Classrooms First Program for the issuance of bonds must encumber those bond proceeds before pledging funds for the payment of debt service on bonds issued pursuant to this section.
(6) A school district may receive a distribution for use pursuant to paragraph (3)(a) only if the district school board certifies to the Commissioner of Education that the district has no unmet need for permanent classroom facilities in its 5-year capital outlay work plan. If the work plan contains such unmet needs, the district must use its distribution for the payment of bonds under paragraph (3)(b). If the district does not require its full bonded distribution to eliminate such unmet needs, it may bond only that portion of its allocation necessary to meet the needs.