(1) PROGRAM CREATION.—The College-Preparatory Boarding Academy Pilot Program is created for the purpose of providing unique educational opportunities to dependent or at-risk children who are academic underperformers but who have the potential to progress from at-risk to college-bound. The State Board of Education shall implement this program.
(2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Board” means the board of trustees of a college-preparatory boarding academy for at-risk students.
(b) “Eligible student” means a student who is a resident of the state and entitled to attend school in a participating school district, is at risk of academic failure, is currently enrolled in grade 5 or 6, is from a family whose gross income is at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines, is eligible for benefits or services funded by Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or Title IV-E of the Social Security Act, and meets at least one of the following additional risk factors:
1. The child is in foster care or has been declared an adjudicated dependent by a court.
2. The student’s head of household is not the student’s custodial parent.
3. The student resides in a household that receives a housing voucher or has been determined eligible for public housing assistance.
4. A member of the student’s immediate family has been incarcerated.
5. The child is covered under the terms of the state’s Child Welfare Waiver Demonstration project with the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
(c) “Operator” means a private, nonprofit corporation that is selected by the state under subsection (3) to operate the program.
(d) “Program” means a college-preparatory boarding academy for at-risk students which includes:
1. A remedial curriculum for middle school grades;
2. The college-preparatory curriculum for high school grades;
3. Extracurricular activities, including athletics and cultural events;
4. College admissions counseling;
5. Health and mental health services;
7. Community service and service learning opportunities;
8. A residential student life program;
9. Extended school days and supplemental programs; and
10. Professional services focused on the language arts and reading standards, mathematics standards, science standards, technology standards, and developmental or life skill standards using innovative and best practices for all students.
(e) “Sponsor” means a public school district that acts as a sponsor pursuant to s. 1002.33. (3) PROPOSALS.— (a) The State Board of Education shall select a private, nonprofit corporation to operate the program which must meet all of the following qualifications: 1. The nonprofit corporation has, or will receive as a condition of the contract, a public charter school authorized under s. 1002.33 to offer grades 6 through 12, or has a partnership with a sponsor to operate a school.
2. The nonprofit corporation has experience operating a school or program similar to the program authorized under this section.
3. The nonprofit corporation has demonstrated success with a school or program similar to the program authorized under this section.
4. The nonprofit corporation has the capacity to finance and secure private funds for the development of a campus for the program.
(b) Within 60 days after July 1, 2011, the State Board of Education shall issue a request for proposals from private, nonprofit corporations interested in operating the program. The state board shall select operators from among the qualified responders within 120 days after the issuance of the requests for proposal.
(c) Each proposal must contain the following information:
1. The proposed location of the college-preparatory boarding academy;
2. A plan for offering grade 6 in the program’s initial year of operation and a plan for expanding the grade levels offered by the school in subsequent years; and
3. Any other information about the proposed educational program, facilities, or operations of the school determined necessary by the state board.
(4) CONTRACT.—The State Board of Education shall contract with the operator of a college-preparatory boarding academy. The contract must stipulate that: (a) The academy operates only if, and to the extent that, it holds a valid charter authorized under s. 1002.33 or is authorized by a local school district defined as a sponsor pursuant to s. 1002.33.
(b) The operator finances and oversees the acquisition of a facility for the academy.
(c) The operator operates the academy in accordance with the terms of the proposal accepted by the state board.
(d) The operator complies with this section.
(e) The operator complies with any other provisions of law specified in the contract, the charter granted by the local school district or the operating agreement with the sponsor, and the rules adopted by the state board for schools operating in this state.
(f) The operator complies with the bylaws adopted pursuant to subsection (5).
(g) The operator complies with the standards for admission of students to the academy and for dismissal of students from the academy which are included in the contract and may be reevaluated and revised by mutual agreement between the operator and the state board.
(h) The operator meets the academic goals and other performance standards established by the contract.
(i) The state board or the operator may terminate the contract in accordance with the procedures specified in the contract, which must at least require that the party seeking termination give prior written notice of the intent to terminate and that the party receiving the termination notice is granted an opportunity to redress any grievances cited therein.
(j) If the school closes for any reason, the academy’s board of trustees execute the closing in a manner specified in the contract.
(5) OPERATOR BYLAWS.—The operator of the program shall adopt bylaws for the oversight and operation of the academy which are in accordance with this section, state law, and the contract between the operator and the State Board of Education. The bylaws must include procedures for the appointment of board members to the academy’s board of trustees, which may not exceed 25 members, 5 members of whom shall be appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate. The bylaws are subject to approval of the state board.
(6) OUTREACH.—The program operator shall adopt an outreach program with the local education agency or school district and community. The outreach program must give special attention to the recruitment of eligible children in the state who are academic underperformers and who, if given the unique educational opportunity provided in the program, have the potential to progress from at-risk children to college-bound children.
(7) FUNDING.—The college-preparatory boarding academy must be a public school and part of the state’s program of education. The program may receive state and federal funding from noneducation sources, and such funds may be transferred between state agencies to provide for the operations of the program. The State Board of Education shall coordinate, streamline, and simplify any requirements to eliminate duplicate, redundant, or conflicting requirements and oversight by various governmental programs or agencies. Funding for the operation of the boarding academy is contingent on the development of a plan by the Department of Education, the Department of Juvenile Justice, and the Department of Children and Families which details how educational and noneducational funds that would otherwise be committed to the students in the school and their families can be repurposed to provide for the operation of the school and related services. Such plans must be based on federal and state funding streams for children and families meeting the eligibility criteria for eligible students as specified in paragraph (2)(b) and include recommendations for modifications to the criteria for eligible students which further the program’s goals or improve the feasibility of using existing funding sources. The plan shall be submitted, together with relevant budget requests, through the legislative budget request process under s. 216.023 or through requests for budget amendments to the Legislative Budget Commission in accordance with s. 216.181.
(8) STUDENT SERVICES.—Students enrolled in the program who have been adjudicated dependent must remain under the case management services and supervision of the lead agency and its respective providers. The operator may contract with its own providers as necessary to provide services to children in the program and to ensure continuity of the full range of services required by children in foster care who attend the academy. The decision of a foster parent to withdraw a child from the program who is in foster care and has been admitted to the program is subject to the review and approval of the state agency.
(9) MEDICAID BILLING.—This section does not prohibit an operator from appropriately billing Medicaid for services rendered to eligible students through the program or from earning federal or local funding for services provided.
(10) ADMISSION.—An eligible student may apply for admission to the program. If more eligible students apply for admission than the number of students permitted by the capacity established by the board of trustees, admission shall be determined by lottery. The college preparatory boarding academy may enter into an agreement with the Department of Children and Families to admit a designated number of students who are covered under the state’s Child Welfare Waiver Demonstration project and develop an alternative admissions process for these eligible students.
(11) STUDENT HOUSING.—Notwithstanding ss. 409.1677(3)(d) and 409.176 or any other provision of law, an operator may house and educate dependent, at-risk youth in its residential school for the purpose of facilitating the mission of the program and encouraging innovative practices. (12) ANNUAL REPORT.—
(a) The State Board of Education shall issue an annual report for each college-preparatory boarding academy which includes all information applicable to schools.
(b) The college-preparatory boarding academy shall report to the Department of Education, in the form and manner prescribed in the contract, all information applicable to public schools and any additional information as specified by the contract.
(c) The operator shall comply with all provisions applicable to public schools. The operator shall provide the student’s legal guardians with sufficient information on whether the student is reading at grade level and whether the student gains at least a year’s worth of learning for every year spent in the program.