Bill No. CS/CS/CS/SB 1546
Amendment No. 828835
Senate House

1Representative(s) Stargel offered the following:
3     Amendment (with title amendment)
4     Remove everything after the enacting clause and insert:
6     Section 1.  Section 1002.331, Florida Statutes, is created
7to read:
8     1002.331  High-performing charter schools.-
9     (1)  A charter school is a high-performing charter school
10if it:
11     (a)  Received at least two school grades of "A" and no
12school grade below "B," pursuant to s. 1008.34, during each of
13the previous 3 school years.
14     (b)  Received an unqualified opinion on each annual
15financial audit required under s. 218.39 in the most recent 3
16fiscal years for which such audits are available.
17     (c)  Did not receive a financial audit that revealed one or
18more of the financial emergency conditions set forth in s.
19218.503(1) in the most recent 3 fiscal years for which such
20audits are available. However, this requirement is deemed met
21for a charter school-in-the-workplace if there is a finding in
22an audit that the school has the monetary resources available to
23cover any reported deficiency or that the deficiency does not
24result in a deteriorating financial condition pursuant to s.
27A virtual charter school established under s. 1002.33 is not
28eligible for designation as a high-performing charter school.
29     (2)  A high-performing charter school is authorized to:
30     (a)  Increase its student enrollment once per school year
31by up to 15 percent more than the capacity identified in the
33     (b)  Expand grade levels within kindergarten through grade
3412 to add grade levels not already served if any annual
35enrollment increase resulting from grade level expansion is
36within the limit established in paragraph (a).
37     (c)  Submit a quarterly, rather than a monthly, financial
38statement to the sponsor pursuant to s. 1002.33(9)(g).
39     (d)  Consolidate under a single charter the charters of
40multiple high-performing charter schools operated in the same
41school district by the charter schools' governing board
42regardless of the renewal cycle.
43     (e)  Receive a modification of its charter to a term of 15
44years or a 15-year charter renewal. The charter may be modified
45or renewed for a shorter term at the option of the high-
46performing charter school. The charter must be consistent with
47s. 1002.33(7)(a)19. and (10)(h) and (i), is subject to annual
48review by the sponsor, and may be terminated during its term
49pursuant to s. 1002.33(8).
51A high-performing charter school shall notify its sponsor in
52writing by March 1 if it intends to increase enrollment or
53expand grade levels the following school year. The written
54notice shall specify the amount of the enrollment increase and
55the grade levels that will be added, as applicable.
56     (3)(a)  A high-performing charter school may submit an
57application pursuant to s. 1002.33(6) in any school district in
58the state to establish and operate a new charter school that
59will substantially replicate its educational program. An
60application submitted by a high-performing charter school must
61state that the application is being submitted pursuant to this
62paragraph and must include the verification letter provided by
63the Commissioner of Education pursuant to subsection (5). If the
64sponsor fails to act on the application within 60 days after
65receipt, the application is deemed approved and the procedure in
66s. 1002.33(6)(h) applies. If the sponsor denies the application,
67the high-performing charter school may appeal pursuant to s.
69     (b)  A high-performing charter school may not establish
70more than one charter school within the state under paragraph
71(a) in any year. A subsequent application to establish a charter
72school under paragraph (a) may not be submitted unless each
73charter school established in this manner achieves high-
74performing charter school status.
75     (4)  A high-performing charter school may not increase
76enrollment or expand grade levels following any school year in
77which it receives a school grade of "C" or below. If the charter
78school receives a school grade of "C" or below in any 2 years
79during the term of the charter awarded under subsection (2), the
80term of the charter may be modified by the sponsor and the
81charter school loses its high-performing charter school status
82until it regains that status under subsection (1).
83     (5)  The Commissioner of Education, upon request by a
84charter school, shall verify that the charter school meets the
85criteria in subsection (1) and provide a letter to the charter
86school and the sponsor stating that the charter school is a
87high-performing charter school pursuant to this section.
88     (6)  A high-performing charter school replicated under this
89section may not be replicated as a virtual charter school.
90     Section 2.  Section 1002.332, Florida Statutes, is created
91to read:
92     1002.332  High-performing charter school system.-
93     (1)  For purposes of this section, the term:
94     (a)  "Entity" means a municipality or other public entity
95that is authorized by law to operate a charter school; a
96private, nonprofit corporation with tax-exempt status under s.
97501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; or a private, for-profit
98education management corporation.
99     (b)  "High-performing charter school system" means an
100entity that:
101     1.  Operates at least three high-performing charter schools
102in the state;
103     2.  Operates a system of charter schools in which at least
10450 percent of the charter schools are high-performing charter
105schools pursuant to s. 1002.331 and no charter school received a
106school grade of "D" or "F" pursuant to s. 1008.34, except that:
107     a.  If the entity has assumed operation of a public school
108pursuant to s. 1008.33(5)(a)3. with a school grade of "D" or
109"F," that school's grade shall not be considered in determining
110high-performing charter school system status for a period of 3
112     b.  If the entity establishes a new charter school that
113serves a student population the majority of which resides in a
114school zone served by a public school that is identified as
115lowest performing under s. 1008.33(4)(b), that charter school's
116grade shall not be considered in determining high-performing
117charter school system status if it attains and maintains a
118school grade that is higher than that of the public school
119serving that school zone within 3 years after establishment; and
120     3.  Has not received a financial audit that revealed one or
121more of the financial emergency conditions set forth in s.
122218.503(1) for any charter school assumed or established by the
124     (2)(a)  The Commissioner of Education, upon request by an
125entity, shall verify that the entity meets the criteria in
126subsection (1) for the prior school year and provide a letter to
127the entity stating that it is a high-performing charter school
129     (b)  A high-performing charter school system may replicate
130its high-performing charter schools pursuant to s. 1002.331(3).
131     Section 3.  Paragraphs (b), (c), (e), and (f) of subsection
132(6), subsection (7), paragraphs (b), (c), and (d) of subsection
133(8), paragraph (g) of subsection (9), paragraphs (d) and (h) of
134subsection (10), paragraph (a) of subsection (18), subsections
135(19) and (22), and paragraph (b) of subsection (25) of section
1361002.33, Florida Statutes, are amended, paragraph (i) is added
137to subsection (10), subsection (26) is renumbered as subsection
138(27), and a new subsection (26) is added to that section, to
140     1002.33  Charter schools.-
141     (6)  APPLICATION PROCESS AND REVIEW.-Charter school
142applications are subject to the following requirements:
143     (b)  A sponsor shall receive and review all applications
144for a charter school using an evaluation instrument developed by
145the Department of Education. Beginning with the 2007-2008 school
146year, A sponsor shall receive and consider charter school
147applications received on or before August 1 of each calendar
148year for charter schools to be opened at the beginning of the
149school district's next school year, or to be opened at a time
150agreed to by the applicant and the sponsor. A sponsor may
151receive applications later than this date if it chooses. A
152sponsor may not charge an applicant for a charter any fee for
153the processing or consideration of an application, and a sponsor
154may not base its consideration or approval of an application
155upon the promise of future payment of any kind. Before approving
156or denying any application, the sponsor shall allow the
157applicant, upon receipt of written notification, at least 7
158calendar days to make technical or nonsubstantive corrections
159and clarifications, including, but not limited to, corrections
160of grammatical, typographical, and like errors or missing
161signatures, if such errors are identified by the sponsor as
162cause to deny the application.
163     1.  In order to facilitate an accurate budget projection
164process, a sponsor shall be held harmless for FTE students who
165are not included in the FTE projection due to approval of
166charter school applications after the FTE projection deadline.
167In a further effort to facilitate an accurate budget projection,
168within 15 calendar days after receipt of a charter school
169application, a sponsor shall report to the Department of
170Education the name of the applicant entity, the proposed charter
171school location, and its projected FTE.
172     2.  In order to ensure fiscal responsibility, an
173application for a charter school shall include a full accounting
174of expected assets, a projection of expected sources and amounts
175of income, including income derived from projected student
176enrollments and from community support, and an expense
177projection that includes full accounting of the costs of
178operation, including start-up costs.
179     3.a.  A sponsor shall by a majority vote approve or deny an
180application no later than 60 calendar days after the application
181is received, unless the sponsor and the applicant mutually agree
182in writing to temporarily postpone the vote to a specific date,
183at which time the sponsor shall by a majority vote approve or
184deny the application. If the sponsor fails to act on the
185application, an applicant may appeal to the State Board of
186Education as provided in paragraph (c). If an application is
187denied, the sponsor shall, within 10 calendar days after such
188denial, articulate in writing the specific reasons, based upon
189good cause, supporting its denial of the charter application and
190shall provide the letter of denial and supporting documentation
191to the applicant and to the Department of Education supporting
192those reasons.
193     b.  An application submitted by a high-performing charter
194school identified pursuant to s. 1002.331 may be denied by the
195sponsor only if the sponsor demonstrates by clear and convincing
196evidence that:
197     (I)  The application does not materially comply with the
198requirements in paragraph (a);
199     (II)  The charter school proposed in the application does
200not materially comply with the requirements in paragraphs
202     (III)  The proposed charter school's educational program
203does not substantially replicate that of the applicant or one of
204the applicant's high-performing charter schools;
205     (IV)  The applicant has made a material misrepresentation
206or false statement or concealed an essential or material fact
207during the application process; or
208     (V)  The proposed charter school's educational program and
209financial management practices do not materially comply with the
210requirements of this section.
212Material noncompliance is a failure to follow requirements or a
213violation of prohibitions applicable to charter school
214applications, which failure is quantitatively or qualitatively
215significant either individually or when aggregated with other
216noncompliance. An applicant is considered to be replicating a
217high-performing charter school if the proposed school is
218substantially similar to at least one of the applicant's high-
219performing charter schools and the organization or individuals
220involved in the establishment and operation of the proposed
221school are significantly involved in the operation of replicated
223     c.  If the sponsor denies an application submitted by a
224high-performing charter school, the sponsor must, within 10
225calendar days after such denial, state in writing the specific
226reasons, based upon the criteria in sub-subparagraph b.,
227supporting its denial of the application and must provide the
228letter of denial and supporting documentation to the applicant
229and to the Department of Education. The applicant may appeal the
230sponsor's denial of the application directly to the State Board
231of Education pursuant to sub-subparagraph (c)3.b.
232     4.  For budget projection purposes, the sponsor shall
233report to the Department of Education the approval or denial of
234a charter application within 10 calendar days after such
235approval or denial. In the event of approval, the report to the
236Department of Education shall include the final projected FTE
237for the approved charter school.
238     5.  Upon approval of a charter application, the initial
239startup shall commence with the beginning of the public school
240calendar for the district in which the charter is granted unless
241the sponsor allows a waiver of this subparagraph for good cause.
242     (c)1.  An applicant may appeal any denial of that
243applicant's application or failure to act on an application to
244the State Board of Education no later than 30 calendar days
245after receipt of the sponsor's decision or failure to act and
246shall notify the sponsor of its appeal. Any response of the
247sponsor shall be submitted to the State Board of Education
248within 30 calendar days after notification of the appeal. Upon
249receipt of notification from the State Board of Education that a
250charter school applicant is filing an appeal, the Commissioner
251of Education shall convene a meeting of the Charter School
252Appeal Commission to study and make recommendations to the State
253Board of Education regarding its pending decision about the
254appeal. The commission shall forward its recommendation to the
255state board no later than 7 calendar days prior to the date on
256which the appeal is to be heard.
257     2.  The Charter School Appeal Commission may reject an
258appeal submission for failure to comply with procedural rules
259governing the appeals process. The rejection shall describe the
260submission errors. The appellant shall have 15 calendar days
261after notice of rejection in which to resubmit an appeal that
262meets the requirements set forth in State Board of Education
263rule. An appeal submitted subsequent to such rejection is
264considered timely if the original appeal was filed within 30
265calendar days after receipt of notice of the specific reasons
266for the sponsor's denial of the charter application.
267     3.a.  The State Board of Education shall by majority vote
268accept or reject the decision of the sponsor no later than 90
269calendar days after an appeal is filed in accordance with State
270Board of Education rule. The Charter School Appeal Commission
271may reject an appeal submission for failure to comply with
272procedural rules governing the appeals process. The rejection
273shall describe the submission errors. The appellant may have up
274to 15 calendar days from notice of rejection to resubmit an
275appeal that meets requirements of State Board of Education rule.
276An application for appeal submitted subsequent to such rejection
277shall be considered timely if the original appeal was filed
278within 30 calendar days after receipt of notice of the specific
279reasons for the sponsor's denial of the charter application. The
280State Board of Education shall remand the application to the
281sponsor with its written decision that the sponsor approve or
282deny the application. The sponsor shall implement the decision
283of the State Board of Education. The decision of the State Board
284of Education is not subject to the provisions of the
285Administrative Procedure Act, chapter 120.
286     b.  If an appeal concerns an application submitted by a
287high-performing charter school identified pursuant to s.
2881002.331, the State Board of Education shall determine whether
289the sponsor has shown, by clear and convincing evidence, that:
290     (I)  The application does not materially comply with the
291requirements in paragraph (a);
292     (II)  The charter school proposed in the application does
293not materially comply with the requirements in paragraphs
295     (III)  The proposed charter school's educational program
296does not substantially replicate that of the applicant or one of
297the applicant's high-performing charter schools;
298     (IV)  The applicant has made a material misrepresentation
299or false statement or concealed an essential or material fact
300during the application process; or
301     (V)  The proposed charter school's educational program and
302financial management practices do not materially comply with the
303requirements of this section.
305The State Board of Education shall approve or reject the
306sponsor's denial of an application no later than 90 calendar
307days after an appeal is filed in accordance with State Board of
308Education rule. The State Board of Education shall remand the
309application to the sponsor with its written decision that the
310sponsor approve or deny the application. The sponsor shall
311implement the decision of the State Board of Education. The
312decision of the State Board of Education is not subject to the
313Administrative Procedure Act, chapter 120.
314     (e)1.  A Charter School Appeal Commission is established to
315assist the commissioner and the State Board of Education with a
316fair and impartial review of appeals by applicants whose charter
317applications have been denied, whose charter contracts have not
318been renewed, or whose charter contracts have been terminated by
319their sponsors.
320     2.  The Charter School Appeal Commission may receive copies
321of the appeal documents forwarded to the State Board of
322Education, review the documents, gather other applicable
323information regarding the appeal, and make a written
324recommendation to the commissioner. The recommendation must
325state whether the appeal should be upheld or denied and include
326the reasons for the recommendation being offered. The
327commissioner shall forward the recommendation to the State Board
328of Education no later than 7 calendar days prior to the date on
329which the appeal is to be heard. The state board must consider
330the commission's recommendation in making its decision, but is
331not bound by the recommendation. The decision of the Charter
332School Appeal Commission is not subject to the provisions of the
333Administrative Procedure Act, chapter 120.
334     3.  The commissioner shall appoint a number of the members
335to of the Charter School Appeal Commission sufficient to ensure
336that no potential conflict of interest exists for any commission
337appeal decision. Members shall serve without compensation but
338may be reimbursed for travel and per diem expenses in
339conjunction with their service. Of the members hearing the
340appeal, one-half of the members must represent currently
341operating charter schools, and one-half of the members must
342represent sponsors. The commissioner or a named designee shall
343chair the Charter School Appeal Commission.
344     4.  The chair shall convene meetings of the commission and
345shall ensure that the written recommendations are completed and
346forwarded in a timely manner. In cases where the commission
347cannot reach a decision, the chair shall make the written
348recommendation with justification, noting that the decision was
349rendered by the chair.
350     5.  Commission members shall thoroughly review the
351materials presented to them from the appellant and the sponsor.
352The commission may request information to clarify the
353documentation presented to it. In the course of its review, the
354commission may facilitate the postponement of an appeal in those
355cases where additional time and communication may negate the
356need for a formal appeal and both parties agree, in writing, to
357postpone the appeal to the State Board of Education. A new date
358certain for the appeal shall then be set based upon the rules
359and procedures of the State Board of Education. Commission
360members shall provide a written recommendation to the state
361board as to whether the appeal should be upheld or denied. A
362fact-based justification for the recommendation must be
363included. The chair must ensure that the written recommendation
364is submitted to the State Board of Education members no later
365than 7 calendar days prior to the date on which the appeal is to
366be heard. Both parties in the case shall also be provided a copy
367of the recommendation.
368     (f)1.  The Department of Education shall provide offer or
369arrange for training and technical assistance to charter schools
370school applicants in developing and adjusting business plans and
371accounting for estimating costs and income. Training and
372technical This assistance shall also address, at a minimum,
373state and federal grant and student performance accountability
374reporting requirements and provide assistance in estimating
375startup costs, projecting enrollment, and identifying and
376applying for the types and amounts of state and federal
377financial assistance the charter school may be eligible to
378receive. The department may provide other technical assistance
379to an applicant upon written request.
380     2.  A charter school applicant must participate in the
381training provided by the Department of Education after approval
382of an application but at least 30 calendar days before the first
383day of classes at the charter school before filing an
384application. However, a sponsor may require the charter school
385applicant to attend training provided by the sponsor in lieu of
386the department's training if the sponsor's training standards
387meet or exceed the standards developed by the department of
388Education. In such case, the sponsor may not require the charter
389school applicant to attend the training within 30 calendar days
390before the first day of classes at the charter school. The
391training must shall include instruction in accurate financial
392planning and good business practices. If the applicant is a
393management company or a other nonprofit organization, the
394charter school principal and the chief financial officer or his
395or her equivalent must also participate in the training. A
396sponsor may not require a high-performing charter school or
397high-performing charter school system applicant to participate
398in the training described in this subparagraph more than once.
399     (7)  CHARTER.-The major issues involving the operation of a
400charter school shall be considered in advance and written into
401the charter. The charter shall be signed by the governing board
402body of the charter school and the sponsor, following a public
403hearing to ensure community input.
404     (a)  The charter shall address and criteria for approval of
405the charter shall be based on:
406     1.  The school's mission, the students to be served, and
407the ages and grades to be included.
408     2.  The focus of the curriculum, the instructional methods
409to be used, any distinctive instructional techniques to be
410employed, and identification and acquisition of appropriate
411technologies needed to improve educational and administrative
412performance which include a means for promoting safe, ethical,
413and appropriate uses of technology which comply with legal and
414professional standards. The charter shall ensure that reading is
415a primary focus of the curriculum and that resources are
416provided to identify and provide specialized instruction for
417students who are reading below grade level. The curriculum and
418instructional strategies for reading must be consistent with the
419Sunshine State Standards and grounded in scientifically based
420reading research.
421     3.  The current incoming baseline standard of student
422academic achievement, the outcomes to be achieved, and the
423method of measurement that will be used. The criteria listed in
424this subparagraph shall include a detailed description of:
425     a.  How the baseline student academic achievement levels
426and prior rates of academic progress will be established.
427     b.  How these baseline rates will be compared to rates of
428academic progress achieved by these same students while
429attending the charter school.
430     c.  To the extent possible, how these rates of progress
431will be evaluated and compared with rates of progress of other
432closely comparable student populations.
434The district school board is required to provide academic
435student performance data to charter schools for each of their
436students coming from the district school system, as well as
437rates of academic progress of comparable student populations in
438the district school system.
439     4.  The methods used to identify the educational strengths
440and needs of students and how well educational goals and
441performance standards are met by students attending the charter
442school. The methods shall provide a means for the charter school
443to ensure accountability to its constituents by analyzing
444student performance data and by evaluating the effectiveness and
445efficiency of its major educational programs. Students in
446charter schools shall, at a minimum, participate in the
447statewide assessment program created under s. 1008.22.
448     5.  In secondary charter schools, a method for determining
449that a student has satisfied the requirements for graduation in
450s. 1003.428, s. 1003.429, or s. 1003.43.
451     6.  A method for resolving conflicts between the governing
452board body of the charter school and the sponsor.
453     7.  The admissions procedures and dismissal procedures,
454including the school's code of student conduct.
455     8.  The ways by which the school will achieve a
456racial/ethnic balance reflective of the community it serves or
457within the racial/ethnic range of other public schools in the
458same school district.
459     9.  The financial and administrative management of the
460school, including a reasonable demonstration of the professional
461experience or competence of those individuals or organizations
462applying to operate the charter school or those hired or
463retained to perform such professional services and the
464description of clearly delineated responsibilities and the
465policies and practices needed to effectively manage the charter
466school. A description of internal audit procedures and
467establishment of controls to ensure that financial resources are
468properly managed must be included. Both public sector and
469private sector professional experience shall be equally valid in
470such a consideration.
471     10.  The asset and liability projections required in the
472application which are incorporated into the charter and shall be
473compared with information provided in the annual report of the
474charter school.
475     11.  A description of procedures that identify various
476risks and provide for a comprehensive approach to reduce the
477impact of losses; plans to ensure the safety and security of
478students and staff; plans to identify, minimize, and protect
479others from violent or disruptive student behavior; and the
480manner in which the school will be insured, including whether or
481not the school will be required to have liability insurance,
482and, if so, the terms and conditions thereof and the amounts of
484     12.  The term of the charter which shall provide for
485cancellation of the charter if insufficient progress has been
486made in attaining the student achievement objectives of the
487charter and if it is not likely that such objectives can be
488achieved before expiration of the charter. The initial term of a
489charter shall be for 4 or 5 years. In order to facilitate access
490to long-term financial resources for charter school
491construction, charter schools that are operated by a
492municipality or other public entity as provided by law are
493eligible for up to a 15-year charter, subject to approval by the
494district school board. A charter lab school is eligible for a
495charter for a term of up to 15 years. In addition, to facilitate
496access to long-term financial resources for charter school
497construction, charter schools that are operated by a private,
498not-for-profit, s. 501(c)(3) status corporation are eligible for
499up to a 15-year charter, subject to approval by the district
500school board. Such long-term charters remain subject to annual
501review and may be terminated during the term of the charter, but
502only according to the provisions set forth in subsection (8).
503     13.  The facilities to be used and their location.
504     14.  The qualifications to be required of the teachers and
505the potential strategies used to recruit, hire, train, and
506retain qualified staff to achieve best value.
507     15.  The governance structure of the school, including the
508status of the charter school as a public or private employer as
509required in paragraph (12)(i).
510     16.  A timetable for implementing the charter which
511addresses the implementation of each element thereof and the
512date by which the charter shall be awarded in order to meet this
514     17.  In the case of an existing public school that is being
515converted to charter status, alternative arrangements for
516current students who choose not to attend the charter school and
517for current teachers who choose not to teach in the charter
518school after conversion in accordance with the existing
519collective bargaining agreement or district school board rule in
520the absence of a collective bargaining agreement. However,
521alternative arrangements shall not be required for current
522teachers who choose not to teach in a charter lab school, except
523as authorized by the employment policies of the state university
524which grants the charter to the lab school.
525     18.  Full disclosure of the identity of all relatives
526employed by the charter school who are related to the charter
527school owner, president, chairperson of the governing board of
528directors, superintendent, governing board member, principal,
529assistant principal, or any other person employed by the charter
530school who has equivalent decisionmaking authority. For the
531purpose of this subparagraph, the term "relative" means father,
532mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, first
533cousin, nephew, niece, husband, wife, father-in-law, mother-in-
534law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law,
535stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother,
536stepsister, half brother, or half sister.
537     19.  Implementation of the activities authorized under s.
5381002.331 by the charter school when it satisfies the eligibility
539requirements for a high-performing charter school. A high-
540performing charter school shall notify its sponsor in writing by
541March 1 if it intends to increase enrollment or expand grade
542levels the following school year. The written notice shall
543specify the amount of the enrollment increase and the grade
544levels that will be added, as applicable.
545     (b)1.  A charter may be renewed provided that a program
546review demonstrates that the criteria in paragraph (a) have been
547successfully accomplished and that none of the grounds for
548nonrenewal established by paragraph (8)(a) has been documented.
549In order to facilitate long-term financing for charter school
550construction, charter schools operating for a minimum of 3 years
551and demonstrating exemplary academic programming and fiscal
552management are eligible for a 15-year charter renewal. Such
553long-term charter is subject to annual review and may be
554terminated during the term of the charter.
555     2.  The 15-year charter renewal that may be granted
556pursuant to subparagraph 1. shall be granted to a charter school
557that has received a school grade of "A" or "B" pursuant to s.
5581008.34 in 3 of the past 4 years and is not in a state of
559financial emergency or deficit position as defined by this
560section. Such long-term charter is subject to annual review and
561may be terminated during the term of the charter pursuant to
562subsection (8).
563     (c)  A charter may be modified during its initial term or
564any renewal term upon the recommendation of the sponsor or the
565charter school's school governing board and the approval of both
566parties to the agreement.
567     (d)1.  Each charter school's governing board must appoint a
568representative to facilitate parental involvement, provide
569access to information, assist parents and others with questions
570and concerns, and resolve disputes. The representative must
571reside in the school district in which the charter school is
572located and may be a governing board member, charter school
573employee, or individual contracted to represent the governing
574board. If the governing board oversees multiple charter schools
575in the same school district, the governing board must appoint a
576separate individual representative for each charter school in
577the district. The representative's contact information must be
578provided annually in writing to parents and posted prominently
579on the charter school's website if a website is maintained by
580the school. The sponsor may not require that governing board
581members reside in the school district in which the charter
582school is located if the charter school complies with this
584     2.  Each charter school's governing board must hold at
585least two public meetings per school year in the school
586district. The meetings must be noticed, open, and accessible to
587the public, and attendees must be provided an opportunity to
588receive information and provide input regarding the charter
589school's operations. The appointed representative and charter
590school principal or director, or his or her equivalent, must be
591physically present at each meeting.
593     (b)  At least 90 days prior to renewing or terminating a
594charter, the sponsor shall notify the governing board body of
595the school of the proposed action in writing. The notice shall
596state in reasonable detail the grounds for the proposed action
597and stipulate that the school's governing board body may, within
59814 calendar days after receiving the notice, request a an
599informal hearing. The hearing shall be conducted at the
600sponsor's election in accordance with one of the following
602     1.  A direct hearing conducted by the sponsor within 60
603days after receipt of the request for a hearing. The hearing
604shall be conducted in accordance with ss. 120.569 and 120.57.
605The sponsor shall decide upon nonrenewal or termination by a
606majority vote. The sponsor's decision shall be a final order; or
607     2.  A hearing conducted by an administrative law judge
608assigned by the Division of Administrative Hearings. The hearing
609shall be conducted within 60 days after receipt of the request
610for a hearing and in accordance with chapter 120. The
611administrative law judge's recommended order shall be submitted
612to the sponsor. A majority vote by the sponsor shall be required
613to adopt or modify the administrative law judge's recommended
614order. The sponsor shall issue a final order before the sponsor.
615The sponsor shall conduct the informal hearing within 30
616calendar days after receiving a written request.
617     (c)  The final order shall state the specific reasons for
618the sponsor's decision. The sponsor shall provide its final
619order to the charter school's governing board and the Department
620of Education no later than 10 calendar days after its issuance.
621If a charter is not renewed or is terminated pursuant to
622paragraph (b), the sponsor shall, within 10 calendar days,
623articulate in writing the specific reasons for its nonrenewal or
624termination of the charter and must provide the letter of
625nonrenewal or termination and documentation supporting the
626reasons to the charter school governing body, the charter school
627principal, and the Department of Education. The charter school's
628governing board body may, within 30 calendar days after
629receiving the sponsor's final order written decision to refuse
630to renew or to terminate the charter, appeal the decision
631pursuant to s. 120.68 the procedure established in subsection
633     (d)  A charter may be terminated immediately if the sponsor
634sets forth in writing the particular facts and circumstances
635indicating that an immediate and serious danger to determines
636that good cause has been shown or if the health, safety, or
637welfare of the charter school's students exists is threatened.
638The sponsor's determination is not subject to the procedures set
639forth in paragraphs an informal hearing under paragraph (b) and
640(c), except that the hearing may take place after the charter
641has been terminated or pursuant to chapter 120. The sponsor
642shall notify in writing the charter school's governing board
643body, the charter school principal, and the department if a
644charter is immediately terminated immediately. The sponsor shall
645clearly identify the specific issues that resulted in the
646immediate termination and provide evidence of prior notification
647of issues resulting in the immediate termination when
648appropriate. Upon receiving written notice from the sponsor, the
649charter school's governing board has 10 calendar days to request
650a hearing. A requested hearing must be expedited and the final
651order must be issued within 60 days after the date of request.
652The sponsor shall assume operation of the charter school
653throughout the pendency of the hearing under paragraphs (b) and
654(c) unless the continued operation of the charter school would
655materially threaten the health, safety, or welfare of the
656students. Failure by the sponsor to assume and continue
657operation of the charter school shall result in the awarding of
658reasonable costs and attorney's fees to the charter school if
659the charter school prevails on appeal. The school district in
660which the charter school is located shall assume operation of
661the school under these circumstances. The charter school's
662governing board may, within 30 days after receiving the
663sponsor's decision to terminate the charter, appeal the decision
664pursuant to the procedure established in subsection (6).
666     (g)  In order to provide financial information that is
667comparable to that reported for other public schools, charter
668schools are to maintain all financial records that constitute
669their accounting system:
670     1.  In accordance with the accounts and codes prescribed in
671the most recent issuance of the publication titled "Financial
672and Program Cost Accounting and Reporting for Florida Schools";
674     2.  At the discretion of the charter school's school
675governing board, a charter school may elect to follow generally
676accepted accounting standards for not-for-profit organizations,
677but must reformat this information for reporting according to
678this paragraph.
680Charter schools shall provide annual financial report and
681program cost report information in the state-required formats
682for inclusion in district reporting in compliance with s.
6831011.60(1). Charter schools that are operated by a municipality
684or are a component unit of a parent nonprofit organization may
685use the accounting system of the municipality or the parent but
686must reformat this information for reporting according to this
687paragraph. A charter school shall provide a monthly financial
688statement to the sponsor unless the charter school is designated
689as a high-performing charter school pursuant to s. 1002.331, in
690which case the high-performing charter school may provide a
691quarterly financial statement. The monthly financial statement
692required under this paragraph shall be in a form prescribed by
693the Department of Education.
694     (10)  ELIGIBLE STUDENTS.-
695     (d)  A charter school may give enrollment preference to the
696following student populations:
697     1.  Students who are siblings of a student enrolled in the
698charter school.
699     2.  Students who are the children of a member of the
700governing board of the charter school.
701     3.  Students who are the children of an employee of the
702charter school.
703     4.  Students who are the children of:
704     a.  An employee of the business partner of a charter
705school-in-the-workplace established under paragraph (15)(b) or a
706resident of the municipality in which such charter school is
707located; or
708     b.  A resident of a municipality that operates a charter
709school-in-a-municipality pursuant to paragraph (15)(c).
710     5.  Students who have successfully completed a voluntary
711prekindergarten education program under ss. 1002.51-1002.79
712provided by the charter school or the charter school's governing
713board during the previous year.
714     6.  Students who are the children of an active-duty member
715of any branch of the United States Armed Forces.
716     (h)  The capacity of the charter school shall be determined
717annually by the governing board, in conjunction with the
718sponsor, of the charter school in consideration of the factors
719identified in this subsection unless the charter school is
720designated as a high-performing charter school pursuant to s.
7211002.331. A sponsor may not require a charter school to waive
722the provisions of s. 1002.331 or require a student enrollment
723cap that prohibits a high-performing charter school from
724increasing enrollment in accordance with s. 1002.331(2) as a
725condition of approval or renewal of a charter.
726     (i)  The capacity of a high-performing charter school
727identified pursuant to s. 1002.331 shall be determined annually
728by the governing board of the charter school. The governing
729board shall notify the sponsor of any increase in enrollment by
730March 1 of the school year preceding the increase.
731     (18)  FACILITIES.-
732     (a)  A startup charter school shall utilize facilities
733which comply with the Florida Building Code pursuant to chapter
734553 except for the State Requirements for Educational
735Facilities. Conversion charter schools shall utilize facilities
736that comply with the State Requirements for Educational
737Facilities provided that the school district and the charter
738school have entered into a mutual management plan for the
739reasonable maintenance of such facilities. The mutual management
740plan shall contain a provision by which the district school
741board agrees to maintain charter school facilities in the same
742manner as its other public schools within the district. Charter
743schools, with the exception of conversion charter schools, are
744not required to comply, but may choose to comply, with the State
745Requirements for Educational Facilities of the Florida Building
746Code adopted pursuant to s. 1013.37. The local governing
747authority shall not adopt or impose any local building
748requirements or site-development restrictions, such as parking
749and site-size criteria, that are addressed by and more stringent
750than those found in the State Requirements for Educational
751Facilities of the Florida Building Code. Beginning July 1, 2011,
752a local governing authority must treat charter schools equitably
753in comparison to similar requirements, restrictions, and
754processes imposed upon public schools that are not charter
755schools. The agency having jurisdiction for inspection of a
756facility and issuance of a certificate of occupancy or use shall
757be the local municipality or, if in an unincorporated area, the
758county governing authority.
759     (19)  CAPITAL OUTLAY FUNDING.-Charter schools are eligible
760for capital outlay funds pursuant to s. 1013.62. Capital outlay
761funds authorized in ss. s. 1011.71(2) and 1013.62 that have been
762shared with a charter school-in-the-workplace prior to July 1,
7632010, are deemed to have met the authorized expenditure
764requirements for such funds.
767     (a)  If a charter school moves out of a facility that is
768shared with another charter school having a separate Master
769School Identification Number, the charter school must provide
770for an audit of all equipment, educational materials and
771supplies, curriculum materials, and other items purchased or
772developed with federal charter school program grant funds, and
773such items must be transferred to the charter school's new
774location. The audit report must be submitted to the Department
775of Education within 60 days after completion.
776     (b)  A charter school may not transfer an enrolled student
777to another charter school having a separate Master School
778Identification Number without first obtaining the written
779approval of the student's parent.
780     (a)  The Department of Education shall staff and regularly
781convene a Charter School Review Panel in order to review issues,
782practices, and policies regarding charter schools. The
783composition of the review panel shall include individuals with
784experience in finance, administration, law, education, and
785school governance, and individuals familiar with charter school
786construction and operation. The panel shall include two
787appointees each from the Commissioner of Education, the
788President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of
789Representatives. The Governor shall appoint three members of the
790panel and shall designate the chair. Each member of the panel
791shall serve a 1-year term, unless renewed by the office making
792the appointment. The panel shall make recommendations to the
793Legislature, to the Department of Education, to charter schools,
794and to school districts for improving charter school operations
795and oversight and for ensuring best business practices at and
796fair business relationships with charter schools.
797     (b)  The Legislature shall review the operation of charter
798schools during the 2010 Regular Session of the Legislature.
800     (b)  A member of a governing board of a charter school
801operated by a municipality or other public entity is subject to
802s. 112.3145 112.3144, which relates to the disclosure of
803financial interests.
805SCHOOL SYSTEMS.-A charter school system shall be designated a
806local educational agency solely for the purpose of receiving
807federal funds, in the same manner as if the charter school
808system were a school district, if the governing board of the
809charter school system has adopted and filed a resolution with
810its sponsoring district school board and the Department of
811Education in which the governing board accepts full
812responsibility for all local educational agency requirements and
813if the charter school system meets all of the following:
814     (a)  Includes both conversion charter schools and
815nonconversion charter schools;
816     (b)  Has all schools located in the same county;
817     (c)  Has a total enrollment exceeding the total enrollment
818of at least one school district in the state;
819     (d)  Has the same governing board; and
820     (e)  Does not contract with a for-profit service provider
821for management of school operations.
823Such designation does not apply to other provisions of law
824unless specifically provided by law.
825     Section 4.  (1)  For the 2011-2012 fiscal year, the
826Department of Education shall:
827     (a)  Identify the school districts that distribute funds or
828provide facilities, renovation, or new construction with funds
829generated by the capital improvement millage authorized under s.
8301011.71(2), Florida Statutes, to charter schools and the use of
831such funds by the charter schools.
832     (b)  Examine the costs associated with supervising charter
833schools and determine whether the 5-percent administrative fee
834for administrative and educational services for charter schools
835covers the costs associated with the provision of the services.
836     (c)  Examine the distribution of federal education funding
837to eligible students who are enrolled in charter schools,
838including, without limitation, funding provided under Title I of
839the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the Individuals
840with Disabilities Education Act.
841     (d)  Examine the impacts of removing the discretion given
842to school districts regarding the distribution of capital
843improvement millage authorized under s. 1011.71(2), Florida
844Statutes, to charter schools-in-a-municipality as set forth in
845s. 1002.33(15)(c), Florida Statutes.
846     (2)  The Department of Education shall report its findings
847to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of
848the House of Representatives no later than January 1, 2012.
849     Section 5.  Section 1002.33(7)(d), Florida Statutes, as
850created by this act, controls over s. 1002.33(7)(d), Florida
851Statutes, as created by CS/CS/HB 7197, if both acts are adopted
852in the same legislative session or an extension thereof and
853become law.
854     Section 6.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2011.
T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T
859     Remove the entire title and insert:
A bill to be entitled
861An act relating to school choice; creating s. 1002.331, F.S.;
862establishing criteria for high-performing charter schools;
863authorizing a high-performing charter school to increase
864enrollment, expand grade levels served, submit a quarterly
865financial statement, consolidate the charters of certain charter
866schools, and receive certain modification or renewal of its
867charter; authorizing a high-performing charter school to apply
868to establish a charter school that replicates its educational
869program; providing application requirements; limiting the number
870of charter schools that may be established; requiring
871eligibility verification by the Commissioner of Education;
872creating s. 1002.332, F.S.; providing definitions; establishing
873criteria for high-performing charter school systems; providing
874for eligibility verification by the Commissioner of Education;
875authorizing a high-performing charter school system to replicate
876its high-performing charter schools; amending s. 1002.33, F.S.;
877requiring a charter school sponsor to allow a charter school
878applicant to correct technical deficiencies in its application
879before approval or denial; establishing standards for sponsor
880review of a charter school application submitted by a high-
881performing charter school; authorizing direct appeal to the
882State Board of Education of a denial of an application;
883establishing standards for reviewing such an appeal; revising
884applicant training requirements; requiring inclusion in the
885charter of procedures relating to high-performing charter
886schools; requiring charter school governing boards to appoint
887representatives; providing meeting requirements; revising the
888procedure for nonrenewal or termination of a charter;
889authorizing a charter school's governing board to request a
890hearing regarding charter nonrenewal or termination, including
891immediate termination; authorizing the sponsor to choose to
892provide a direct hearing or a hearing before an administrative
893law judge; authorizing the award of costs and attorney's fees to
894a charter school if certain criteria are met; authorizing
895quarterly financial reporting for certain charter schools;
896establishing additional student enrollment preferences;
897prohibiting a sponsor from limiting or requiring waiver of
898certain high-performing charter school benefits as a condition
899of charter approval or renewal; providing that student capacity
900of a high-performing charter school shall be determined annually
901by the governing board; requiring the governing board to provide
902notice of enrollment increases to the sponsor; revising
903requirements relating to the imposition of requirements and
904restrictions on charter school facilities; revising provisions
905relating to charter school capital outlay funding; providing
906requirements for charter schools using shared facilities;
907deleting provisions relating to the Charter School Review Panel;
908correcting a cross-reference relating to the disclosure of
909financial interests; authorizing certain charter school systems
910to be the local educational agency for administering federal
911funding received by the system's schools; requiring the
912Department of Education to examine certain charter school
913funding and costs and report its findings to the Governor and
914the Legislature; providing that certain provisions control with
915respect to other legislation adopted in the same legislative
916session or an extension thereof; providing an effective date.

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