CS/HB 511

A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to school districts; creating s. 1003.621,
3F.S.; providing criteria for designating academically
4high-performing school districts; providing exceptions for
5such districts to be exempt from certain statutes and
6rules; providing compliance requirements; providing for
7district governing boards; providing for reports;
8providing for a review by the State Board of Education of
9certain reporting requirements; amending s. 200.065, F.S.;
10providing for notice concerning property and casualty
11insurance costs; amending s. 1011.71, F.S., relating to
12the district school tax; providing criteria for using
13funds; authorizing the use of funds for specified
14purposes; eliminating restrictions on the use of funds;
15amending s. 1011.73, F.S.; conforming a cross-reference;
16providing an effective date.
18Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
20     Section 1.  Section 1003.621, Florida Statutes, is created
21to read:
22     1003.621  Academically high-performing school
23districts.--It is the intent of the Legislature to recognize and
24reward school districts that demonstrate the ability to
25consistently maintain or improve their high-performing status.
26The purpose of this section is to provide high-performing school
27districts with flexibility in meeting the specific requirements
28in statute and rules of the State Board of Education.
30     (a)  A school district is an academically high-performing
31school district if it meets the following criteria:
32     1.a.  Beginning with the 2004-2005 school year, earns a
33grade of "A" under s. 1008.34(7) for 2 consecutive years; and
34     b.  Has no district-operated school that earns a grade of
35"F" under s. 1008.34;
36     2.  Complies with all class size requirements in s. 1, Art.
37IX of the State Constitution and s. 1003.03; and
38     3.  Has no material weaknesses or instances of material
39noncompliance noted in the annual financial audit conducted
40pursuant to s. 218.39.
41     (b)  Each school district that satisfies the eligibility
42criteria in this subsection shall be designated by the State
43Board of Education as an academically high-performing school
44district. With the exception of the statutes listed in
45subsection (2), upon designation as an academically high-
46performing school district, each such district is exempt from
47the provisions in chapters 1000 through 1013 which pertain to
48school districts and rules of the State Board of Education which
49implement these exempt provisions. This exemption remains in
50effect during the time of the designation if the district
51continues to meet all eligibility criteria.
52     (c)  The academically high-performing school district shall
53retain the designation as a high-performing school district for
543 years, at the end of which time the district may renew the
55designation if the district meets the requirements in this
56section. A school district that fails to meet the requirements
57in this section shall provide written notification to the State
58Board of Education that the district is no longer eligible to be
59designated as an academically high-performing school district.
60     (d)  In order to maintain the designation as an
61academically high-performing school district pursuant to this
62section, a school district must meet the following requirements:
63     1.  Comply with the provisions of subparagraphs(a)2. and
643.; and
65     2.  Earn a grade of "A" under s. 1008.34(7) for 2 years
66within a 3-year period.
68However, a district in which a district-operated school earns a
69grade of "F" under s. 1008.34 during the 3-year period may not
70continue to be designated as an academically high-performing
71school district during the remainder of that 3-year period. The
72district must meet the criteria in paragraph (a) in order to be
73redesignated as an academically high-performing school district.
74     (2)  COMPLIANCE WITH STATUTES AND RULES.--Each academically
75high-performing school district shall comply with all of the
76provisions in chapters 1000 through 1013, and rules of the State
77Board of Education which implement these provisions, pertaining
78to the following:
79     (a)  Those statutes pertaining to the provision of services
80to students with disabilities.
81     (b)  Those statutes pertaining to civil rights, including
82s. 1000.05, relating to discrimination.
83     (c)  Those statutes pertaining to student health, safety,
84and welfare.
85     (d)  Those statutes governing the election or compensation
86of district school board members.
87     (e)  Those statutes pertaining to the student assessment
88program and the school grading system, including chapter 1008.
89     (f)  Those statutes pertaining to financial matters,
90including chapter 1010, except that s. 1010.20(3)(a)1., 2., and
913., relating to the required program expenditure levels, are
92eligible for exemption.
93     (g)  Those statutes pertaining to planning and budgeting,
94including chapter 1011, except s. 1011.62(9)(d), relating to the
95requirement for a comprehensive reading plan. A district that is
96exempt from submitting this plan shall be deemed approved to
97receive the research-based reading instruction allocation.
98     (h)  Sections 1012.22(1)(c) and 1012.27(2), relating to
99differentiated pay and performance-pay policies for school
100administrators and instructional personnel. Professional service
101contracts are subject to the provisions of ss. 1012.33 and
103     (i)  Those statutes pertaining to educational facilities,
104including chapter 1013, except that s. 1013.20, relating to
105covered walkways for portables, and s. 1013.21, relating to the
106use of relocatable facilities that exceed 20 years of age, are
107eligible for exemption.
108     (j)  Those statutes relating to instructional materials,
109except that s. 1006.37, relating to the requisition of state-
110adopted materials from the depository under contract with the
111publisher, and s. 1006.40(3)(a), relating to the use of 50
112percent of the instructional materials allocation, shall be
113eligible for exemption.
114     (k)  This section.
115     (3)  GOVERNING BOARD.--The governing board of the
116academically high-performing school district shall be the duly
117elected district school board. The district school board shall
118supervise the academically high-performing school district.
119     (4)  REPORTS.--The academically high-performing school
120district shall submit to the State Board of Education and the
121Legislature an annual report on December 1 which delineates the
122performance of the school district relative to the academic
123performance of students at each grade level in reading, writing,
124mathematics, science, and any other subject that is included as
125a part of the statewide assessment program in s. 1008.22. The
126annual report shall be submitted in a format prescribed by the
127Department of Education and shall include, but need not be
128limited to, the following:
129     (a)  Longitudinal performance of students in mathematics,
130reading, writing, science, and any other subject that is
131included as a part of the statewide assessment program in s.
133     (b)  Longitudinal performance of students by grade level
134and subgroup in mathematics, reading, writing, science, and any
135other subject that is included as a part of the statewide
136assessment program in s. 1008.22;
137     (c)  Longitudinal performance regarding efforts to close
138the achievement gap;
139     (d)1.  Number and percentage of students who take an
140Advanced Placement Examination; and
141     2.  Longitudinal performance regarding students who take an
142Advanced Placement Examination by demographic group,
143specifically by age, gender, race, and Hispanic origin, and by
144participation in the National School Lunch Program;
145     (e)  Evidence of compliance with subsection (1); and
146     (f)  A description of each waiver and the status of each
148     Section 2.  The State Board of Education shall identify any
149reporting requirements in state law which duplicate the
150requirements for reporting under the federal No Child Left
151Behind Act and make recommendations to the Legislature by
152December 1, 2007, for eliminating duplicative requirements in
153state law.
154     Section 3.  Paragraph (a) of subsection (9) of section
155200.065, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
156     200.065  Method of fixing millage.--
157     (9)(a)  In addition to the notice required in subsection
158(3), a district school board shall publish a second notice of
159intent to levy additional taxes under s. 1011.71(2).  Such
160notice shall specify the projects or number of school buses
161anticipated to be funded by such additional taxes and shall be
162published in the size, within the time periods, adjacent to, and
163in substantial conformity with the advertisement required under
164subsection (3). The projects shall be listed in priority within
165each category as follows: construction and remodeling;
166maintenance, renovation, and repair; motor vehicle purchases;
167new and replacement equipment; payments for educational
168facilities and sites due under a lease-purchase agreement;
169payments for renting and leasing educational facilities and
170sites; payments of loans approved pursuant to ss. 1011.14 and
1711011.15; payment of costs of compliance with environmental
172statutes and regulations; payment of premiums for property and
173casualty insurance necessary to insure the educational and
174ancillary plants of the school district; payment of costs of
175leasing relocatable educational facilities; and payments to
176private entities to offset the cost of school buses pursuant to
177s. 1011.71(2)(i). The additional notice shall be in the
178following form, except that if the district school board is
179proposing to levy the same millage under s. 1011.71(2) which it
180levied in the prior year, the words "continue to" shall be
181inserted before the word "impose" in the first sentence, and
182except that the second sentence of the second paragraph shall be
183deleted if the district is advertising pursuant to paragraph
188     The (name of school district) will soon consider a measure
189to impose a (number) mill property tax for the capital outlay
190projects listed herein.
191     This tax is in addition to the school board's proposed tax
192of (number) mills for operating expenses and is proposed solely
193at the discretion of the school board.  THE PROPOSED COMBINED
196     The capital outlay tax will generate approximately
197$(amount), to be used for the following projects:
(list of capital outlay projects)
200     All concerned citizens are invited to a public hearing to
201be held on (date and time) at (meeting place).
202     A DECISION on the proposed CAPITAL OUTLAY TAXES will be
203made at this hearing.
204     Section 4.  Section 1011.71, Florida Statutes, is amended
205to read:
206     1011.71  District school tax.--
207     (1)  If the district school tax is not provided in the
208General Appropriations Act or the substantive bill implementing
209the General Appropriations Act, each district school board
210desiring to participate in the state allocation of funds for
211current operation as prescribed by s. 1011.62(10) shall levy on
212the taxable value for school purposes of the district, exclusive
213of millage voted under the provisions of s. 9(b) or s. 12, Art.
214VII of the State Constitution, a millage rate not to exceed the
215amount certified by the commissioner as the minimum millage rate
216necessary to provide the district required local effort for the
217current year, pursuant to s. 1011.62(4)(a)1. In addition to the
218required local effort millage levy, each district school board
219may levy a nonvoted current operating discretionary millage. The
220Legislature shall prescribe annually in the appropriations act
221the maximum amount of millage a district may levy.
222     (2)  In addition to the maximum millage levy as provided in
223subsection (1), each school board may levy not more than 2 mills
224against the taxable value for school purposes for district
225schools, including charter schools at the discretion of the
226school board, to fund:
227     (a)  New construction and remodeling projects, as set forth
228in s. 1013.64(3)(b) and (6)(b) and included in the district's
229educational plant survey pursuant to s. 1013.31, without regard
230to prioritization, sites and site improvement or expansion to
231new sites, existing sites, auxiliary facilities, athletic
232facilities, or ancillary facilities.
233     (b)  Maintenance, renovation, and repair of existing school
234plants or of leased facilities to correct deficiencies pursuant
235to s. 1013.15(2).
236     (c)  The purchase, lease-purchase, or lease of school
237buses; drivers' education vehicles; motor vehicles used for the
238maintenance or operation of plants and equipment; security
239vehicles; or vehicles used in storing or distributing materials
240and equipment.
241     (d)  The purchase, lease-purchase, or lease of new and
242replacement equipment.
243     (e)  Payments for educational facilities and sites due
244under a lease-purchase agreement entered into by a district
245school board pursuant to s. 1003.02(1)(f) or s. 1013.15(2), not
246exceeding, in the aggregate, an amount equal to three-fourths of
247the proceeds from the millage levied by a district school board
248pursuant to this subsection.
249     (f)  Payment of loans approved pursuant to ss. 1011.14 and
251     (g)  Payment of costs directly related to complying with
252state and federal environmental statutes, rules, and regulations
253governing school facilities.
254     (h)  Payment of costs of leasing relocatable educational
255facilities, of renting or leasing educational facilities and
256sites pursuant to s. 1013.15(2), or of renting or leasing
257buildings or space within existing buildings pursuant to s.
259     (i)  Payment of the cost of school buses when a school
260district contracts with a private entity to provide student
261transportation services if the district meets the requirements
262of this paragraph.
263     1.  The district's contract must require that the private
264entity purchase, lease-purchase, or lease, and operate and
265maintain, one or more school buses of a specific type and size
266that meet the requirements of s. 1006.25.
267     2.  Each such school bus must be used for the daily
268transportation of public school students in the manner required
269by the school district.
270     3.  Annual payment for each such school bus may not exceed
27110 percent of the purchase price of the state pool bid.
272     4.  The proposed expenditure of the funds for this purpose
273must have been included in the district school board's notice of
274proposed tax for school capital outlay as provided in s.
276     (j)  Payment of the cost of the opening day collection for
277the library media center of a new school.
278     (3)  A school district that has met the reduction
279requirements regarding class size for the current year pursuant
280to s. 1003.03, has received an unqualified opinion on its
281financial statements for the preceding 3 years, has no material
282weaknesses or instances of material noncompliance noted in an
283audit for the preceding 3 years, and certifies to the
284Commissioner of Education that all of the district's
285instructional space needs for the next 5 years can be met from
286capital outlay sources that the district reasonably expects to
287receive during the next 5 years from local revenues and from
288currently appropriated state facilities funding or from
289alternative scheduling or construction, leasing, rezoning, or
290technological methodologies that exhibit sound management may
291expend revenue generated by the millage levy authorized by
292subsection (2) to fund, in addition to expenditures authorized
293in paragraphs (2)(a)-(j), the following:
294     (a)  The purchase, lease-purchase, or lease of driver's
295education vehicles; motor vehicles used for the maintenance or
296operation of plants and equipment; security vehicles; or
297vehicles used in storing or distributing materials and
299     (b)  Payment of the cost of premiums for property and
300casualty insurance necessary to insure school district
301educational and ancillary plants. Operating revenues that are
302made available through the payment of property and casualty
303insurance premiums from revenues generated under this subsection
304may be expended only for nonrecurring operational expenditures
305of the school district.
306     (4)  Violations of the these expenditure provisions in
307subsection (2) or subsection (3) shall result in an equal dollar
308reduction in the Florida Education Finance Program (FEFP) funds
309for the violating district in the fiscal year following the
310audit citation.
311     (5)(3)  These taxes shall be certified, assessed, and
312collected as prescribed in s. 1011.04 and shall be expended as
313provided by law.
314     (6)(4)  Nothing in s. 1011.62(4)(a)1. shall in any way be
315construed to increase the maximum school millage levies as
316provided for in subsection (1).
317     (5)(a)  It is the intent of the Legislature that, by July
3181, 2003, revenue generated by the millage levy authorized by
319subsection (2) should be used only for the costs of
320construction, renovation, remodeling, maintenance, and repair of
321the educational plant; for the purchase, lease, or lease-
322purchase of equipment, educational plants, and construction
323materials directly related to the delivery of student
324instruction; for the rental or lease of existing buildings, or
325space within existing buildings, originally constructed or used
326for purposes other than education, for conversion to use as
327educational facilities; for the opening day collection for the
328library media center of a new school; for the purchase, lease-
329purchase, or lease of school buses or the payment to a private
330entity to offset the cost of school buses pursuant to paragraph
331(2)(i); and for servicing of payments related to certificates of
332participation issued for any purpose prior to the effective date
333of this act. Costs associated with the lease-purchase of
334equipment, educational plants, and school buses may include the
335issuance of certificates of participation on or after the
336effective date of this act and the servicing of payments related
337to certificates so issued. For purposes of this section,
338"maintenance and repair" is defined in s. 1013.01.
339     (b)  For purposes not delineated in paragraph (a) for which
340proceeds received from millage levied under subsection (2) may
341be legally expended, a district school board may spend no more
342than the following percentages of the amount the district spent
343for these purposes in fiscal year 1995-1996:
344     1.  In fiscal year 2000-2001, 40 percent.
345      2.  In fiscal year 2001-2002, 25 percent.
346      3.  In fiscal year 2002-2003, 10 percent.
347     (c)  Beginning July 1, 2003, revenue generated by the
348millage levy authorized by subsection (2) must be used only for
349the purposes delineated in paragraph (a).
350     (d)  Notwithstanding any other provision of this
351subsection, if through its adopted educational facilities plan a
352district has clearly identified the need for an ancillary plant,
353has provided opportunity for public input as to the relative
354value of the ancillary plant versus an educational plant, and
355has obtained public approval, the district may use revenue
356generated by the millage levy authorized by subsection (2) for
357the acquisition, construction, renovation, remodeling,
358maintenance, or repair of an ancillary plant.
360A district that violates these expenditure restrictions shall
361have an equal dollar reduction in funds appropriated to the
362district under s. 1011.62 in the fiscal year following the audit
363citation. The expenditure restrictions do not apply to any
364school district that certifies to the Commissioner of Education
365that all of the district's instructional space needs for the
366next 5 years can be met from capital outlay sources that the
367district reasonably expects to receive during the next 5 years
368or from alternative scheduling or construction, leasing,
369rezoning, or technological methodologies that exhibit sound
371     (7)(6)  In addition to the maximum millage levied under
372this section and the General Appropriations Act, a school
373district may levy, by local referendum or in a general election,
374additional millage for school operational purposes up to an
375amount that, when combined with nonvoted millage levied under
376this section, does not exceed the 10-mill limit established in
377s. 9(b), Art. VII of the State Constitution. Any such levy shall
378be for a maximum of 4 years and shall be counted as part of the
37910-mill limit established in s. 9(b), Art. VII of the State
380Constitution. Millage elections conducted under the authority
381granted pursuant to this section are subject to s. 1011.73.
382Funds generated by such additional millage do not become a part
383of the calculation of the Florida Education Finance Program
384total potential funds in 2001-2002 or any subsequent year and
385must not be incorporated in the calculation of any hold-harmless
386or other component of the Florida Education Finance Program
387formula in any year. If an increase in required local effort,
388when added to existing millage levied under the 10-mill limit,
389would result in a combined millage in excess of the 10-mill
390limit, any millage levied pursuant to this subsection shall be
391considered to be required local effort to the extent that the
392district millage would otherwise exceed the 10-mill limit.
393     Section 5.  Subsection (2) of section 1011.73, Florida
394Statutes, is amended to read:
395     1011.73  District millage elections.--
397district school board, pursuant to resolution adopted at a
398regular meeting, shall direct the county commissioners to call
399an election at which the electors within the school district may
400approve an ad valorem tax millage as authorized under s.
4011011.71(7)(6). Such election may be held at any time, except
402that not more than one such election shall be held during any
40312-month period. Any millage so authorized shall be levied for a
404period not in excess of 4 years or until changed by another
405millage election, whichever is earlier. If any such election is
406invalidated by a court of competent jurisdiction, such
407invalidated election shall be considered not to have been held.
408     Section 6.  This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.