Florida Senate - 2011                             CS for SB 1546
       By the Committee on Education Pre-K - 12; and Senator Thrasher
       581-03424-11                                          20111546c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to charter schools; amending ss.
    3         163.3180 and 1002.32, F.S.; conforming cross
    4         references; amending s. 1002.33, F.S.; revising
    5         provisions relating to the sponsoring entities of
    6         charter schools; authorizing state universities and
    7         colleges to approve charter school applications and
    8         develop charter schools under certain circumstances;
    9         requiring that the Department of Education provide or
   10         arrange for training and technical assistance for
   11         charter schools; providing for the designation of
   12         charter schools as high-performing if certain
   13         requirements are met; providing definitions relating
   14         to the high-performing charter school system; revising
   15         provisions to conform to changes made by the act;
   16         amending ss. 1002.34, 1011.68, 1012.32, and 1013.62,
   17         F.S.; conforming cross-references; creating the
   18         College-Preparatory Boarding Academy Pilot Program for
   19         dependent or at-risk students; providing a purpose for
   20         the program; requiring that the State Board of
   21         Education implement the program; providing
   22         definitions; requiring that the state board select a
   23         private nonprofit corporation to operate the academy
   24         if certain qualifications are met; requiring that the
   25         state board request proposals from private nonprofit
   26         corporations; providing requirements for such
   27         proposals; requiring that the state board enter into a
   28         contract with the operator of the academy; requiring
   29         that the contract contain specified requirements;
   30         requiring that the operator adopt bylaws, subject to
   31         approval by the state board; requiring that the
   32         operator adopt an outreach program with the local
   33         education agency or school district and community;
   34         providing that the academy is a public school and part
   35         of the state’s education program; providing program
   36         funding guidelines; limiting the capacity of eligible
   37         students attending the academy; requiring that
   38         enrolled students remain under case management
   39         services and the supervision of the lead agency;
   40         authorizing the operator to appropriately bill
   41         Medicaid for services rendered to eligible students or
   42         earn federal or local funding for services provided;
   43         providing for eligible students to be admitted by
   44         lottery if the number of applicants exceeds the
   45         allowed capacity; authorizing the operator to board
   46         dependent, at-risk students; requiring that the state
   47         board issue an annual report and adopt rules;
   48         requiring that the Office of Program Policy Analysis
   49         and Government Accountability conduct a study
   50         comparing the funding of charter schools to the
   51         funding of public schools; providing requirements for
   52         the study; requiring that the office submit its
   53         recommendations and findings to the Governor and
   54         Legislature by a specified date; providing for
   55         severability; providing an effective date.
   57  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   59         Section 1. Paragraph (e) of subsection (13) of section
   60  163.3180, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
   61         163.3180 Concurrency.—
   62         (13) School concurrency shall be established on a
   63  districtwide basis and shall include all public schools in the
   64  district and all portions of the district, whether located in a
   65  municipality or an unincorporated area unless exempt from the
   66  public school facilities element pursuant to s. 163.3177(12).
   67  The application of school concurrency to development shall be
   68  based upon the adopted comprehensive plan, as amended. All local
   69  governments within a county, except as provided in paragraph
   70  (f), shall adopt and transmit to the state land planning agency
   71  the necessary plan amendments, along with the interlocal
   72  agreement, for a compliance review pursuant to s. 163.3184(7)
   73  and (8). The minimum requirements for school concurrency are the
   74  following:
   75         (e) Availability standard.—Consistent with the public
   76  welfare, a local government may not deny an application for site
   77  plan, final subdivision approval, or the functional equivalent
   78  for a development or phase of a development authorizing
   79  residential development for failure to achieve and maintain the
   80  level-of-service standard for public school capacity in a local
   81  school concurrency management system where adequate school
   82  facilities will be in place or under actual construction within
   83  3 years after the issuance of final subdivision or site plan
   84  approval, or the functional equivalent. School concurrency is
   85  satisfied if the developer executes a legally binding commitment
   86  to provide mitigation proportionate to the demand for public
   87  school facilities to be created by actual development of the
   88  property, including, but not limited to, the options described
   89  in subparagraph 1. Options for proportionate-share mitigation of
   90  impacts on public school facilities must be established in the
   91  public school facilities element and the interlocal agreement
   92  pursuant to s. 163.31777.
   93         1. Appropriate mitigation options include the contribution
   94  of land; the construction, expansion, or payment for land
   95  acquisition or construction of a public school facility; the
   96  construction of a charter school that complies with the
   97  requirements of s. 1002.33(21) s. 1002.33(18); or the creation
   98  of mitigation banking based on the construction of a public
   99  school facility in exchange for the right to sell capacity
  100  credits. Such options must include execution by the applicant
  101  and the local government of a development agreement that
  102  constitutes a legally binding commitment to pay proportionate
  103  share mitigation for the additional residential units approved
  104  by the local government in a development order and actually
  105  developed on the property, taking into account residential
  106  density allowed on the property prior to the plan amendment that
  107  increased the overall residential density. The district school
  108  board must be a party to such an agreement. As a condition of
  109  its entry into such a development agreement, the local
  110  government may require the landowner to agree to continuing
  111  renewal of the agreement upon its expiration.
  112         2. If the education facilities plan and the public
  113  educational facilities element authorize a contribution of land;
  114  the construction, expansion, or payment for land acquisition;
  115  the construction or expansion of a public school facility, or a
  116  portion thereof; or the construction of a charter school that
  117  complies with the requirements of s. 1002.33(21) s. 1002.33(18),
  118  as proportionate-share mitigation, the local government shall
  119  credit such a contribution, construction, expansion, or payment
  120  toward any other impact fee or exaction imposed by local
  121  ordinance for the same need, on a dollar-for-dollar basis at
  122  fair market value.
  123         3. Any proportionate-share mitigation must be directed by
  124  the school board toward a school capacity improvement identified
  125  in a financially feasible 5-year district work plan that
  126  satisfies the demands created by the development in accordance
  127  with a binding developer’s agreement.
  128         4. If a development is precluded from commencing because
  129  there is inadequate classroom capacity to mitigate the impacts
  130  of the development, the development may nevertheless commence if
  131  there are accelerated facilities in an approved capital
  132  improvement element scheduled for construction in year four or
  133  later of such plan which, when built, will mitigate the proposed
  134  development, or if such accelerated facilities will be in the
  135  next annual update of the capital facilities element, the
  136  developer enters into a binding, financially guaranteed
  137  agreement with the school district to construct an accelerated
  138  facility within the first 3 years of an approved capital
  139  improvement plan, and the cost of the school facility is equal
  140  to or greater than the development’s proportionate share. When
  141  the completed school facility is conveyed to the school
  142  district, the developer shall receive impact fee credits usable
  143  within the zone where the facility is constructed or any
  144  attendance zone contiguous with or adjacent to the zone where
  145  the facility is constructed.
  146         5. This paragraph does not limit the authority of a local
  147  government to deny a development permit or its functional
  148  equivalent pursuant to its home rule regulatory powers, except
  149  as provided in this part.
  150         Section 2. Paragraph (c) of subsection (9) of section
  151  1002.32, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  152         1002.32 Developmental research (laboratory) schools.—
  153         (9) FUNDING.—Funding for a lab school, including a charter
  154  lab school, shall be provided as follows:
  155         (c) All operating funds provided under this section shall
  156  be deposited in a Lab School Trust Fund and shall be expended
  157  for the purposes of this section. The university assigned a lab
  158  school shall be the fiscal agent for these funds, and all rules
  159  of the university governing the budgeting and expenditure of
  160  state funds shall apply to these funds unless otherwise provided
  161  by law or rule of the State Board of Education. The university
  162  board of trustees shall be the public employer of lab school
  163  personnel for collective bargaining purposes for lab schools in
  164  operation prior to the 2002-2003 fiscal year. Employees of
  165  charter lab schools authorized prior to June 1, 2003, but not in
  166  operation prior to the 2002-2003 fiscal year shall be employees
  167  of the entity holding the charter and must comply with the
  168  provisions of s. 1002.33(14) s. 1002.33(12).
  169         Section 3. Subsections (5) through (26) of section 1002.33,
  170  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  171         1002.33 Charter schools.—
  172         (5) SPONSOR; DUTIES.—
  173         (a) Sponsoring entities.—
  174         1. A district school board may sponsor a charter school in
  175  the county over which the district school board has
  176  jurisdiction.
  177         2. A state university may grant a charter to a lab school
  178  created under s. 1002.32 and shall be considered to be the
  179  school’s sponsor. Such school shall be considered a charter lab
  180  school.
  181         3. A state university may approve an application for a
  182  charter school located in the state. A charter school that is
  183  approved by a state university must enter into a charter
  184  contract with the local school district pursuant to subsection
  185  (7).
  186         4. A state university may develop one or more of its own
  187  charter schools, which must be operated by the state university.
  188  These charter schools are exempt from contracting provisions
  189  pursuant to subsection (7). State universities may not report
  190  FTE for any students who receive FTE funding through the Florida
  191  Education Finance Program.
  192         5. A Florida College System institution may approve an
  193  application for a charter school located within its designated
  194  service area. A charter school that is approved by such an
  195  institution must enter into a charter contract with the local
  196  school district pursuant to subsection (7).
  197         6. A Florida College System institution may develop a
  198  charter school within its designated service area which may
  199  serve kindergarten through grade 12 but must include a secondary
  200  school that provides an option for students to receive an
  201  associate degree upon high school graduation. These charter
  202  schools must be operated by the institution and are exempt from
  203  contracting provisions pursuant to subsection (7). A Florida
  204  College System institution may not report FTE for any students
  205  who receive FTE funding through the Florida Education Finance
  206  Program.
  207         (b) Sponsor duties.—
  208         1.a. The sponsor shall monitor and review the charter
  209  school in its progress toward the goals established in the
  210  charter.
  211         b. The sponsor shall monitor the revenues and expenditures
  212  of the charter school and perform the duties provided in s.
  213  1002.345.
  214         c. The sponsor may approve a charter for a charter school
  215  before the applicant has identified space, equipment, or
  216  personnel, if the applicant indicates approval is necessary for
  217  it to raise working funds.
  218         d. The sponsor’s policies shall not apply to a charter
  219  school unless mutually agreed to by both the sponsor and the
  220  charter school.
  221         e. The sponsor shall ensure that the charter is innovative
  222  and consistent with the state education goals established by s.
  223  1000.03(5).
  224         f. The sponsor shall ensure that the charter school
  225  participates in the state’s education accountability system. If
  226  a charter school falls short of performance measures included in
  227  the approved charter, the sponsor shall report such shortcomings
  228  to the Department of Education.
  229         g. The sponsor shall not be liable for civil damages under
  230  state law for personal injury, property damage, or death
  231  resulting from an act or omission of an officer, employee,
  232  agent, or governing body of the charter school.
  233         h. The sponsor shall not be liable for civil damages under
  234  state law for any employment actions taken by an officer,
  235  employee, agent, or governing body of the charter school.
  236         i. The sponsor’s duties to monitor the charter school shall
  237  not constitute the basis for a private cause of action.
  238         j. The sponsor shall not impose additional reporting
  239  requirements on a charter school without providing reasonable
  240  and specific justification in writing to the charter school.
  241         2. Immunity for the sponsor of a charter school under
  242  subparagraph 1. applies only with respect to acts or omissions
  243  not under the sponsor’s direct authority as described in this
  244  section.
  245         3. This paragraph does not waive a district school board’s
  246  sovereign immunity.
  247         4. A community college may work with the school district or
  248  school districts in its designated service area to develop
  249  charter schools that offer secondary education. These charter
  250  schools may serve students in kindergarten through grade 12 but
  251  must include a secondary school and provide must include an
  252  option for students to receive an associate degree upon high
  253  school graduation. District school boards shall cooperate with
  254  and assist the community college on the charter application.
  255  Community college applications for charter schools are not
  256  subject to the time deadlines outlined in subsection (6) and may
  257  be approved by the district school board at any time during the
  258  year. Community colleges may not report FTE for any students who
  259  receive FTE funding through the Florida Education Finance
  260  Program.
  261         (6) APPLICATION PROCESS AND REVIEW.—Charter school
  262  applications are subject to the following requirements:
  263         (a) A person or entity wishing to open a charter school
  264  shall prepare and submit an application on a model application
  265  form prepared by the Department of Education which:
  266         1. Demonstrates how the school will use the guiding
  267  principles and meet the statutorily defined purpose of a charter
  268  school.
  269         2. Provides a detailed curriculum plan that illustrates how
  270  students will be provided services to attain the Sunshine State
  271  Standards.
  272         3. Contains goals and objectives for improving student
  273  learning and measuring that improvement. These goals and
  274  objectives must indicate how much academic improvement students
  275  are expected to show each year, how success will be evaluated,
  276  and the specific results to be attained through instruction.
  277         4. Describes the reading curriculum and differentiated
  278  strategies that will be used for students reading at grade level
  279  or higher and a separate curriculum and strategies for students
  280  who are reading below grade level. A sponsor shall deny a
  281  charter if the school does not propose a reading curriculum that
  282  is consistent with effective teaching strategies that are
  283  grounded in scientifically based reading research.
  284         5. Contains an annual financial plan for each year
  285  requested by the charter for operation of the school for up to 5
  286  years. This plan must contain anticipated fund balances based on
  287  revenue projections, a spending plan based on projected revenues
  288  and expenses, and a description of controls that will safeguard
  289  finances and projected enrollment trends.
  290         6. Documents that the applicant has participated in the
  291  training required in subparagraph (b)2. (f)2. A sponsor may
  292  require an applicant to provide additional information as an
  293  addendum to the charter school application described in this
  294  paragraph.
  295         (b)1. The Department of Education shall provide or arrange
  296  for training and technical assistance to charter schools in
  297  developing business plans and estimating costs and income.
  298  Training and technical assistance shall address estimating
  299  startup costs, projecting enrollment, and identifying the types
  300  and amounts of state and federal financial assistance that the
  301  charter school may be eligible to receive. The department may
  302  provide other technical assistance to an applicant upon written
  303  request.
  304         2. A charter school applicant must participate in the
  305  training provided by the Department of Education after approval
  306  of an application, but at least 30 calendar days before the
  307  first day of classes at the charter school. However, a sponsor
  308  may require the charter school applicant to attend training
  309  provided by the sponsor in lieu of the department’s training if
  310  the sponsor’s training standards meet or exceed the standards
  311  developed by the department. A sponsor may not require a charter
  312  school applicant to attend its training within 30 calendar days
  313  before the first day of classes at the charter school when it
  314  requires the charter school to attend its training in lieu of
  315  the department’s training. The training must include instruction
  316  in accurate financial planning and good business practices. If
  317  the applicant is a management company or a nonprofit
  318  organization, the charter school principal and the chief
  319  financial officer or his or her equivalent must also participate
  320  in the training. However, a sponsor may not require a high
  321  performing charter school or high-performing charter school
  322  system applicant to participate in the training described in
  323  this subparagraph more than once.
  324         (c)(b) A sponsor shall receive and review all applications
  325  for a charter school using an evaluation instrument developed by
  326  the Department of Education. Beginning with the 2007-2008 school
  327  year, a sponsor shall receive and consider charter school
  328  applications received on or before August 1 of each calendar
  329  year for charter schools to be opened at the beginning of the
  330  school district’s next school year, or to be opened at a time
  331  agreed to by the applicant and the sponsor. A sponsor may
  332  receive applications later than this date if it chooses. A
  333  sponsor may not charge an applicant for a charter any fee for
  334  the processing or consideration of an application, and a sponsor
  335  may not base its consideration or approval of an application
  336  upon the promise of future payment of any kind. Before approving
  337  or denying any application, the sponsor shall allow the
  338  applicant at least 7 calendar days to make technical or
  339  nonsubstantive corrections and clarifications, including, but
  340  not limited to, grammatical, typographical, and like errors or
  341  missing signatures, if such errors are identified by the sponsor
  342  as cause to deny the application.
  343         1. In order to facilitate an accurate budget projection
  344  process, a sponsor shall be held harmless for FTE students who
  345  are not included in the FTE projection due to approval of
  346  charter school applications after the FTE projection deadline.
  347  In a further effort to facilitate an accurate budget projection,
  348  within 15 calendar days after receipt of a charter school
  349  application, a sponsor shall report to the Department of
  350  Education the name of the applicant entity, the proposed charter
  351  school location, and its projected FTE.
  352         2. In order to ensure fiscal responsibility, an application
  353  for a charter school shall include a full accounting of expected
  354  assets, a projection of expected sources and amounts of income,
  355  including income derived from projected student enrollments and
  356  from community support, and an expense projection that includes
  357  full accounting of the costs of operation, including start-up
  358  costs.
  359         3. A sponsor shall by a majority vote approve or deny an
  360  application no later than 60 calendar days after the application
  361  is received, unless the sponsor and the applicant mutually agree
  362  in writing to temporarily postpone the vote to a specific date,
  363  at which time the sponsor shall by a majority vote approve or
  364  deny the application. If the sponsor fails to act on the
  365  application, an applicant may appeal to the State Board of
  366  Education as provided in paragraph (d) paragraph (c). If an
  367  application is denied, the sponsor shall, within 10 calendar
  368  days after such denial, articulate in writing the specific
  369  reasons, based upon good cause, supporting its denial of the
  370  charter application and shall provide the letter of denial and
  371  supporting documentation to the applicant and to the Department
  372  of Education supporting those reasons.
  373         4. For budget projection purposes, the sponsor shall report
  374  to the Department of Education the approval or denial of a
  375  charter application within 10 calendar days after such approval
  376  or denial. In the event of approval, the report to the
  377  Department of Education shall include the final projected FTE
  378  for the approved charter school.
  379         5. Upon approval of a charter application, the initial
  380  startup shall commence with the beginning of the public school
  381  calendar for the district in which the charter is granted unless
  382  the sponsor allows a waiver of this subparagraph for good cause.
  383         (d)(c) An applicant may appeal any denial of that
  384  applicant’s application or failure to act on an application to
  385  the State Board of Education no later than 30 calendar days
  386  after receipt of the sponsor’s decision or failure to act and
  387  shall notify the sponsor of its appeal. Any response of the
  388  sponsor shall be submitted to the State Board of Education
  389  within 30 calendar days after notification of the appeal. Upon
  390  receipt of notification from the State Board of Education that a
  391  charter school applicant is filing an appeal, the Commissioner
  392  of Education shall convene a meeting of the Charter School
  393  Appeal Commission to study and make recommendations to the State
  394  Board of Education regarding its pending decision about the
  395  appeal. The commission shall forward its recommendation to the
  396  state board no later than 7 calendar days prior to the date on
  397  which the appeal is to be heard. The State Board of Education
  398  shall by majority vote accept or reject the decision of the
  399  sponsor no later than 90 calendar days after an appeal is filed
  400  in accordance with State Board of Education rule. The Charter
  401  School Appeal Commission may reject an appeal submission for
  402  failure to comply with procedural rules governing the appeals
  403  process. The rejection shall describe the submission errors. The
  404  appellant may have up to 15 calendar days from notice of
  405  rejection to resubmit an appeal that meets requirements of State
  406  Board of Education rule. An application for appeal submitted
  407  subsequent to such rejection shall be considered timely if the
  408  original appeal was filed within 30 calendar days after receipt
  409  of notice of the specific reasons for the sponsor’s denial of
  410  the charter application. The State Board of Education shall
  411  remand the application to the sponsor with its written decision
  412  that the sponsor approve or deny the application. The sponsor
  413  shall implement the decision of the State Board of Education.
  414  The decision of the State Board of Education is not subject to
  415  the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act, chapter 120.
  416         (e)(d) The sponsor shall act upon the decision of the State
  417  Board of Education within 30 calendar days after it is received.
  418  The State Board of Education’s decision is a final action
  419  subject to judicial review in the district court of appeal.
  420         (f)(e)1. A Charter School Appeal Commission is established
  421  to assist the commissioner and the State Board of Education with
  422  a fair and impartial review of appeals by applicants whose
  423  charter applications have been denied, whose charter contracts
  424  have not been renewed, or whose charter contracts have been
  425  terminated by their sponsors.
  426         2. The Charter School Appeal Commission may receive copies
  427  of the appeal documents forwarded to the State Board of
  428  Education, review the documents, gather other applicable
  429  information regarding the appeal, and make a written
  430  recommendation to the commissioner. The recommendation must
  431  state whether the appeal should be upheld or denied and include
  432  the reasons for the recommendation being offered. The
  433  commissioner shall forward the recommendation to the State Board
  434  of Education no later than 7 calendar days prior to the date on
  435  which the appeal is to be heard. The state board must consider
  436  the commission’s recommendation in making its decision, but is
  437  not bound by the recommendation. The decision of the Charter
  438  School Appeal Commission is not subject to the provisions of the
  439  Administrative Procedure Act, chapter 120.
  440         3. The commissioner shall appoint the members of the
  441  Charter School Appeal Commission. Members shall serve without
  442  compensation but may be reimbursed for travel and per diem
  443  expenses in conjunction with their service. One-half of the
  444  members must represent currently operating charter schools, and
  445  one-half of the members must represent sponsors. The
  446  commissioner or a named designee shall chair the Charter School
  447  Appeal Commission.
  448         4. The chair shall convene meetings of the commission and
  449  shall ensure that the written recommendations are completed and
  450  forwarded in a timely manner. In cases where the commission
  451  cannot reach a decision, the chair shall make the written
  452  recommendation with justification, noting that the decision was
  453  rendered by the chair.
  454         5. Commission members shall thoroughly review the materials
  455  presented to them from the appellant and the sponsor. The
  456  commission may request information to clarify the documentation
  457  presented to it. In the course of its review, the commission may
  458  facilitate the postponement of an appeal in those cases where
  459  additional time and communication may negate the need for a
  460  formal appeal and both parties agree, in writing, to postpone
  461  the appeal to the State Board of Education. A new date certain
  462  for the appeal shall then be set based upon the rules and
  463  procedures of the State Board of Education. Commission members
  464  shall provide a written recommendation to the state board as to
  465  whether the appeal should be upheld or denied. A fact-based
  466  justification for the recommendation must be included. The chair
  467  must ensure that the written recommendation is submitted to the
  468  State Board of Education members no later than 7 calendar days
  469  prior to the date on which the appeal is to be heard. Both
  470  parties in the case shall also be provided a copy of the
  471  recommendation.
  472         (f)1. The Department of Education shall offer or arrange
  473  for training and technical assistance to charter school
  474  applicants in developing business plans and estimating costs and
  475  income. This assistance shall address estimating startup costs,
  476  projecting enrollment, and identifying the types and amounts of
  477  state and federal financial assistance the charter school may be
  478  eligible to receive. The department may provide other technical
  479  assistance to an applicant upon written request.
  480         2. A charter school applicant must participate in the
  481  training provided by the Department of Education before filing
  482  an application. However, a sponsor may require the charter
  483  school applicant to attend training provided by the sponsor in
  484  lieu of the department’s training if the sponsor’s training
  485  standards meet or exceed the standards developed by the
  486  Department of Education. The training shall include instruction
  487  in accurate financial planning and good business practices. If
  488  the applicant is a management company or other nonprofit
  489  organization, the charter school principal and the chief
  490  financial officer or his or her equivalent must also participate
  491  in the training.
  492         (g) In considering charter applications for a lab school, a
  493  state university shall consult with the district school board of
  494  the county in which the lab school is located. The decision of a
  495  state university may be appealed pursuant to the procedure
  496  established in this subsection.
  497         (h) The terms and conditions for the operation of a charter
  498  school shall be set forth by the sponsor and the applicant in a
  499  written contractual agreement, called a charter. The sponsor
  500  shall not impose unreasonable rules or regulations that violate
  501  the intent of giving charter schools greater flexibility to meet
  502  educational goals. The sponsor shall have 60 days to provide an
  503  initial proposed charter contract to the charter school. The
  504  applicant and the sponsor shall have 75 days thereafter to
  505  negotiate and notice the charter contract for final approval by
  506  the sponsor unless both parties agree to an extension. The
  507  proposed charter contract shall be provided to the charter
  508  school at least 7 calendar days before prior to the date of the
  509  meeting at which the charter is scheduled to be voted upon by
  510  the sponsor. The Department of Education shall provide mediation
  511  services for any dispute regarding this section subsequent to
  512  the approval of a charter application and for any dispute
  513  relating to the approved charter, except disputes regarding
  514  charter school application denials. If the Commissioner of
  515  Education determines that the dispute cannot be settled through
  516  mediation, the dispute may be appealed to an administrative law
  517  judge appointed by the Division of Administrative Hearings. The
  518  administrative law judge may rule on issues of equitable
  519  treatment of the charter school as a public school, whether
  520  proposed provisions of the charter violate the intended
  521  flexibility granted charter schools by statute, or on any other
  522  matter regarding this section except a charter school
  523  application denial, a charter termination, or a charter
  524  nonrenewal and shall award the prevailing party reasonable
  525  attorney’s fees and costs incurred to be paid by the losing
  526  party. The costs of the administrative hearing shall be paid by
  527  the party whom the administrative law judge rules against.
  528         (7) CHARTER.—The major issues involving the operation of a
  529  charter school shall be considered in advance and written into
  530  the charter. The charter shall be signed by the governing body
  531  of the charter school and the sponsor, following a public
  532  hearing to ensure community input.
  533         (a) The charter shall address and criteria for approval of
  534  the charter shall be based on:
  535         1. The school’s mission, the students to be served, and the
  536  ages and grades to be included.
  537         2. The focus of the curriculum, the instructional methods
  538  to be used, any distinctive instructional techniques to be
  539  employed, and identification and acquisition of appropriate
  540  technologies needed to improve educational and administrative
  541  performance which include a means for promoting safe, ethical,
  542  and appropriate uses of technology which comply with legal and
  543  professional standards. The charter shall ensure that reading is
  544  a primary focus of the curriculum and that resources are
  545  provided to identify and provide specialized instruction for
  546  students who are reading below grade level. The curriculum and
  547  instructional strategies for reading must be consistent with the
  548  Sunshine State Standards and grounded in scientifically based
  549  reading research.
  550         3. The current incoming baseline standard of student
  551  academic achievement, the outcomes to be achieved, and the
  552  method of measurement that will be used. The criteria listed in
  553  this subparagraph shall include a detailed description of:
  554         a. How the baseline student academic achievement levels and
  555  prior rates of academic progress will be established.
  556         b. How these baseline rates will be compared to rates of
  557  academic progress achieved by these same students while
  558  attending the charter school.
  559         c. To the extent possible, how these rates of progress will
  560  be evaluated and compared with rates of progress of other
  561  closely comparable student populations.
  563  The district school board is required to provide academic
  564  student performance data to charter schools for each of their
  565  students coming from the district school system, as well as
  566  rates of academic progress of comparable student populations in
  567  the district school system.
  568         4. The methods used to identify the educational strengths
  569  and needs of students and how well educational goals and
  570  performance standards are met by students attending the charter
  571  school. The methods shall provide a means for the charter school
  572  to ensure accountability to its constituents by analyzing
  573  student performance data and by evaluating the effectiveness and
  574  efficiency of its major educational programs. Students in
  575  charter schools shall, at a minimum, participate in the
  576  statewide assessment program created under s. 1008.22.
  577         5. In secondary charter schools, a method for determining
  578  that a student has satisfied the requirements for graduation in
  579  s. 1003.428, s. 1003.429, or s. 1003.43.
  580         6. A method for resolving conflicts between the governing
  581  body of the charter school and the sponsor.
  582         7. The admissions procedures and dismissal procedures,
  583  including the school’s code of student conduct.
  584         8. The ways by which the school will achieve a
  585  racial/ethnic balance reflective of the community it serves or
  586  within the racial/ethnic range of other public schools in the
  587  same school district.
  588         9. The financial and administrative management of the
  589  school, including a reasonable demonstration of the professional
  590  experience or competence of those individuals or organizations
  591  applying to operate the charter school or those hired or
  592  retained to perform such professional services and the
  593  description of clearly delineated responsibilities and the
  594  policies and practices needed to effectively manage the charter
  595  school. A description of internal audit procedures and
  596  establishment of controls to ensure that financial resources are
  597  properly managed must be included. Both public sector and
  598  private sector professional experience shall be equally valid in
  599  such a consideration.
  600         10. The asset and liability projections required in the
  601  application which are incorporated into the charter and shall be
  602  compared with information provided in the annual report of the
  603  charter school.
  604         11. A description of procedures that identify various risks
  605  and provide for a comprehensive approach to reduce the impact of
  606  losses; plans to ensure the safety and security of students and
  607  staff; plans to identify, minimize, and protect others from
  608  violent or disruptive student behavior; and the manner in which
  609  the school will be insured, including whether or not the school
  610  will be required to have liability insurance, and, if so, the
  611  terms and conditions thereof and the amounts of coverage.
  612         12. The term of the charter which shall provide for
  613  cancellation of the charter if insufficient progress has been
  614  made in attaining the student achievement objectives of the
  615  charter and if it is not likely that such objectives can be
  616  achieved before expiration of the charter. The initial term of a
  617  charter shall be for 4 or 5 years, unless the charter meets the
  618  requirements of a high-performing charter school system pursuant
  619  to subsection (11). In order to facilitate access to long-term
  620  financial resources for charter school construction, Charter
  621  schools that are operated by a municipality or other public
  622  entity as provided by law are eligible for up to a 15-year
  623  charter, subject to approval by the district school board. A
  624  charter lab school is eligible for a charter for a term of up to
  625  15 years. In addition, to facilitate access to long-term
  626  financial resources for charter school construction, charter
  627  schools that are operated by a private, not-for-profit, s.
  628  501(c)(3) status corporation are eligible for up to a 15-year
  629  charter, subject to approval by the district school board. Such
  630  long-term charters remain subject to annual review and may be
  631  terminated during the term of the charter, but only according to
  632  the provisions set forth in subsection (8).
  633         13. The facilities to be used and their location.
  634         14. The qualifications to be required of the teachers and
  635  the potential strategies used to recruit, hire, train, and
  636  retain qualified staff to achieve best value.
  637         15. The governance structure of the school, including the
  638  status of the charter school as a public or private employer as
  639  required in paragraph (14)(i) (12)(i).
  640         16. A timetable for implementing the charter which
  641  addresses the implementation of each element thereof and the
  642  date by which the charter shall be awarded in order to meet this
  643  timetable.
  644         17. In the case of an existing public school that is being
  645  converted to charter status, alternative arrangements for
  646  current students who choose not to attend the charter school and
  647  for current teachers who choose not to teach in the charter
  648  school after conversion in accordance with the existing
  649  collective bargaining agreement or district school board rule in
  650  the absence of a collective bargaining agreement. However,
  651  alternative arrangements shall not be required for current
  652  teachers who choose not to teach in a charter lab school, except
  653  as authorized by the employment policies of the state university
  654  which grants the charter to the lab school.
  655         18. Full disclosure of the identity of all relatives
  656  employed by the charter school who are related to the charter
  657  school owner, president, chairperson of the governing board of
  658  directors, superintendent, governing board member, principal,
  659  assistant principal, or any other person employed by the charter
  660  school who has equivalent decisionmaking authority. For the
  661  purpose of this subparagraph, the term “relative” means father,
  662  mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, first
  663  cousin, nephew, niece, husband, wife, father-in-law, mother-in
  664  law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law,
  665  stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother,
  666  stepsister, half brother, or half sister.
  667         (b)1. A charter may be renewed provided that a program
  668  review demonstrates that the criteria in paragraph (a) have been
  669  successfully accomplished and that none of the grounds for
  670  nonrenewal established by paragraph (8)(a) has been documented.
  671  In order to facilitate long-term financing for charter school
  672  construction, charter schools operating for a minimum of 3 years
  673  and demonstrating exemplary academic programming and fiscal
  674  management are eligible for a 15-year charter renewal. Such
  675  long-term charter is subject to annual review and may be
  676  terminated during the term of the charter.
  677         2. The 15-year charter renewal that may be granted pursuant
  678  to subparagraph 1. shall be granted to a charter school that has
  679  received a school grade of “A” or “B” pursuant to s. 1008.34 in
  680  3 of the past 4 years and is not in a state of financial
  681  emergency or deficit position as defined by this section. Such
  682  long-term charter is subject to annual review and may be
  683  terminated during the term of the charter pursuant to subsection
  684  (8).
  685         (c) A charter may be modified during its initial term or
  686  any renewal term upon the recommendation of the sponsor or the
  687  charter school governing board and the approval of both parties
  688  to the agreement.
  689         (d)The sponsor may not require that board members of the
  690  charter school reside in the district in which the charter
  691  school is located and shall allow charter school management
  692  personnel to represent the charter school board if such
  693  representation has been approved by the charter school board.
  695         (a) The sponsor may choose not to renew or may terminate
  696  the charter for any of the following grounds:
  697         1. Failure to participate in the state’s education
  698  accountability system created in s. 1008.31, as required in this
  699  section, or failure to meet the requirements for student
  700  performance stated in the charter.
  701         2. Failure to meet generally accepted standards of fiscal
  702  management.
  703         3. Violation of law.
  704         4. Other good cause shown.
  705         (b) Before At least 90 days prior to renewing or
  706  terminating a charter, the sponsor shall notify the governing
  707  body of the school of the proposed action in writing. The notice
  708  shall state in reasonable detail the grounds for the proposed
  709  action and stipulate that the school’s governing body may,
  710  within 14 calendar days after receiving the notice, file a
  711  request for a an informal hearing with the sponsor pursuant to
  712  chapter 120 before the sponsor. The matter shall proceed
  713  pursuant to chapter 120. The sponsor shall conduct the informal
  714  hearing within 30 calendar days after receiving a written
  715  request.
  716         (c) The final order issued by the sponsor must include the
  717  specific reasons for nonrenewal or termination of the charter
  718  and shall be provided to the charter school governing body and
  719  the Department of Education within 10 calendar days after the
  720  final order is issued. If a charter is not renewed or is
  721  terminated pursuant to paragraph (b), the sponsor shall, within
  722  10 calendar days, articulate in writing the specific reasons for
  723  its nonrenewal or termination of the charter and must provide
  724  the letter of nonrenewal or termination and documentation
  725  supporting the reasons to the charter school governing body, the
  726  charter school principal, and the Department of Education. The
  727  charter school’s governing body may, within 30 calendar days
  728  after receiving the sponsor’s final order written decision to
  729  refuse to renew or to terminate the charter, appeal the decision
  730  pursuant to the procedure established in subsection (6).
  731         (d) A charter may be terminated immediately if the sponsor
  732  determines that good cause has been shown or if the health,
  733  safety, or welfare of the students is threatened. The sponsor’s
  734  determination is not subject to the same process as set forth in
  735  paragraphs an informal hearing under paragraph (b) and (c), with
  736  the exception that the sponsor’s determination may take effect
  737  immediately or at a subsequently identified time or pursuant to
  738  chapter 120. The sponsor shall notify in writing the charter
  739  school’s governing body, the charter school principal, and the
  740  department if a charter is immediately terminated as soon as
  741  reasonably possible. The sponsor shall clearly identify the
  742  specific issues that resulted in the immediate termination and
  743  provide evidence of prior notification of issues resulting in
  744  the immediate termination when appropriate. The charter school’s
  745  governing board has 10 days to request a hearing pursuant to s.
  746  120.569. The hearing in such cases shall be expedited, and the
  747  final order shall be issued no more than 45 days after the date
  748  upon which the hearing is requested. The school district in
  749  which the charter school is located shall assume operation of
  750  the school under these circumstances. The charter school’s
  751  governing board may, within 30 days after receiving the
  752  sponsor’s decision to terminate the charter, appeal the decision
  753  pursuant to the procedure established in subsection (6). The
  754  sponsor shall assume and continue operation of the school
  755  pending appeal to the State Board of Education under subsection
  756  (6), unless the continued operation of the school would
  757  materially threaten the physical health, safety, or welfare of
  758  the students. A sponsor that fails to assume and to continue
  759  operation of the charter school is liable for attorney’s fees
  760  and costs to the charter school if the charter school prevails
  761  on appeal to the State Board of Education.
  762         (e) When a charter is not renewed or is terminated, the
  763  school shall be dissolved under the provisions of law under
  764  which the school was organized, and any unencumbered public
  765  funds, except for capital outlay funds and federal charter
  766  school program grant funds, from the charter school shall revert
  767  to the sponsor. Capital outlay funds provided pursuant to s.
  768  1013.62 and federal charter school program grant funds that are
  769  unencumbered shall revert to the department to be redistributed
  770  among eligible charter schools. In the event a charter school is
  771  dissolved or is otherwise terminated, all district school board
  772  property and improvements, furnishings, and equipment purchased
  773  with public funds shall automatically revert to full ownership
  774  by the district school board, subject to complete satisfaction
  775  of any lawful liens or encumbrances. Any unencumbered public
  776  funds from the charter school, district school board property
  777  and improvements, furnishings, and equipment purchased with
  778  public funds, or financial or other records pertaining to the
  779  charter school, in the possession of any person, entity, or
  780  holding company, other than the charter school, shall be held in
  781  trust upon the district school board’s request, until any appeal
  782  status is resolved.
  783         (f) If a charter is not renewed or is terminated, the
  784  charter school is responsible for all debts of the charter
  785  school. The district may not assume the debt from any contract
  786  made between the governing body of the school and a third party,
  787  except for a debt that is previously detailed and agreed upon in
  788  writing by both the district and the governing body of the
  789  school and that may not reasonably be assumed to have been
  790  satisfied by the district.
  791         (g) If a charter is not renewed or is terminated, a student
  792  who attended the school may apply to, and shall be enrolled in,
  793  another public school. Normal application deadlines shall be
  794  disregarded under such circumstances.
  796         (a) A charter school shall be nonsectarian in its programs,
  797  admission policies, employment practices, and operations.
  798         (b) A charter school shall admit students as provided in
  799  subsection (12) (10).
  800         (c) A charter school shall be accountable to its sponsor
  801  for performance as provided in subsection (7).
  802         (d) A charter school may shall not charge tuition or
  803  registration fees, except those fees normally charged by other
  804  public schools. However, a charter lab school may charge a
  805  student activity and service fee as authorized by s. 1002.32(5).
  806         (e) A charter school shall meet all applicable state and
  807  local health, safety, and civil rights requirements.
  808         (f) A charter school may shall not violate the
  809  antidiscrimination provisions of s. 1000.05.
  810         (g) In order to provide financial information that is
  811  comparable to that reported for other public schools, charter
  812  schools are to maintain all financial records that constitute
  813  their accounting system:
  814         1. In accordance with the accounts and codes prescribed in
  815  the most recent issuance of the publication titled “Financial
  816  and Program Cost Accounting and Reporting for Florida Schools”;
  817  or
  818         2. At the discretion of the charter school governing board,
  819  a charter school may elect to follow generally accepted
  820  accounting standards for not-for-profit organizations, but must
  821  reformat this information for reporting according to this
  822  paragraph.
  824  Charter schools shall provide annual financial report and
  825  program cost report information in the state-required formats
  826  for inclusion in district reporting in compliance with s.
  827  1011.60(1). Charter schools that are operated by a municipality
  828  or are a component unit of a parent nonprofit organization may
  829  use the accounting system of the municipality or the parent but
  830  must reformat this information for reporting according to this
  831  paragraph. A charter school shall provide a monthly financial
  832  statement to the sponsor; however, if the charter school is
  833  designated as a high-performing charter school under subsection
  834  (10) or is part of a high-performing charter school system under
  835  subsection (11), it shall provide a quarterly financial
  836  statement. The monthly financial statement required under this
  837  paragraph shall be in a form prescribed by the Department of
  838  Education.
  839         (h) The governing board of the charter school shall
  840  annually adopt and maintain an operating budget.
  841         (i) The governing body of the charter school shall exercise
  842  continuing oversight over charter school operations.
  843         (j) The governing body of the charter school shall be
  844  responsible for:
  845         1. Ensuring that the charter school has retained the
  846  services of a certified public accountant or auditor for the
  847  annual financial audit, pursuant to s. 1002.345(2), who shall
  848  submit the report to the governing body.
  849         2. Reviewing and approving the audit report, including
  850  audit findings and recommendations for the financial recovery
  851  plan.
  852         3.a. Performing the duties in s. 1002.345, including
  853  monitoring a corrective action plan.
  854         b. Monitoring a financial recovery plan in order to ensure
  855  compliance.
  856         4. Participating in governance training approved by the
  857  department which must include government in the sunshine,
  858  conflicts of interest, ethics, and financial responsibility.
  859         (k) The governing body of the charter school shall report
  860  its progress annually to its sponsor, which shall forward the
  861  report to the Commissioner of Education at the same time as
  862  other annual school accountability reports. The Department of
  863  Education shall develop a uniform, online annual accountability
  864  report to be completed by charter schools. This report shall be
  865  easy to utilize and contain demographic information, student
  866  performance data, and financial accountability information. A
  867  charter school shall not be required to provide information and
  868  data that is duplicative and already in the possession of the
  869  department. The Department of Education shall include in its
  870  compilation a notation if a school failed to file its report by
  871  the deadline established by the department. The report shall
  872  include at least the following components:
  873         1. Student achievement performance data, including the
  874  information required for the annual school report and the
  875  education accountability system governed by ss. 1008.31 and
  876  1008.345. Charter schools are subject to the same accountability
  877  requirements as other public schools, including reports of
  878  student achievement information that links baseline student data
  879  to the school’s performance projections identified in the
  880  charter. The charter school shall identify reasons for any
  881  difference between projected and actual student performance.
  882         2. Financial status of the charter school which must
  883  include revenues and expenditures at a level of detail that
  884  allows for analysis of the charter school’s ability to meet
  885  financial obligations and timely repayment of debt.
  886         3. Documentation of the facilities in current use and any
  887  planned facilities for use by the charter school for instruction
  888  of students, administrative functions, or investment purposes.
  889         4. Descriptive information about the charter school’s
  890  personnel, including salary and benefit levels of charter school
  891  employees, the proportion of instructional personnel who hold
  892  professional or temporary certificates, and the proportion of
  893  instructional personnel teaching in-field or out-of-field.
  894         (l) A charter school shall not levy taxes or issue bonds
  895  secured by tax revenues.
  896         (m) A charter school shall provide instruction for at least
  897  the number of days required by law for other public schools and
  898  may provide instruction for additional days.
  899         (n) The director and a representative of the governing body
  900  of a charter school that has received a school grade of “D”
  901  under s. 1008.34(2) shall appear before the sponsor or the
  902  sponsor’s staff at least once a year to present information
  903  concerning each contract component having noted deficiencies.
  904  The sponsor shall communicate at the meeting, and in writing to
  905  the director, the services provided to the school to help the
  906  school address its deficiencies.
  907         (o) Upon notification that a charter school receives a
  908  school grade of “D” for 2 consecutive years or a school grade of
  909  “F” under s. 1008.34(2), the charter school sponsor or the
  910  sponsor’s staff shall require the director and a representative
  911  of the governing body to submit to the sponsor for approval a
  912  school improvement plan to raise student achievement and to
  913  implement the plan. The sponsor has the authority to approve a
  914  school improvement plan that the charter school will implement
  915  in the following school year. The sponsor may also consider the
  916  State Board of Education’s recommended action pursuant to s.
  917  1008.33(1) as part of the school improvement plan. The
  918  Department of Education shall offer technical assistance and
  919  training to the charter school and its governing body and
  920  establish guidelines for developing, submitting, and approving
  921  such plans.
  922         1. If the charter school fails to improve its student
  923  performance from the year immediately prior to the
  924  implementation of the school improvement plan, the sponsor shall
  925  place the charter school on probation and shall require the
  926  charter school governing body to take one of the following
  927  corrective actions:
  928         a. Contract for the educational services of the charter
  929  school;
  930         b. Reorganize the school at the end of the school year
  931  under a new director or principal who is authorized to hire new
  932  staff and implement a plan that addresses the causes of
  933  inadequate progress; or
  934         c. Reconstitute the charter school.
  935         2. A charter school that is placed on probation shall
  936  continue the corrective actions required under subparagraph 1.
  937  until the charter school improves its student performance from
  938  the year prior to the implementation of the school improvement
  939  plan.
  940         3. Notwithstanding any provision of this paragraph, the
  941  sponsor may terminate the charter at any time pursuant to
  942  subsection (8).
  943         (p) The director and a representative of the governing body
  944  of a graded charter school that has submitted a school
  945  improvement plan or has been placed on probation under paragraph
  946  (o) shall appear before the sponsor or the sponsor’s staff at
  947  least once a year to present information regarding the
  948  corrective strategies that are being implemented by the school
  949  pursuant to the school improvement plan. The sponsor shall
  950  communicate at the meeting, and in writing to the director, the
  951  services provided to the school to help the school address its
  952  deficiencies.
  954         (a) A charter school shall be designated as a high
  955  performing charter school if:
  956         1. During each of the previous 3 years the charter school:
  957         a.Received a school grade of “A” or “B”;
  958         b. Received an unqualified opinion on each financial audit
  959  required under s. 218.39; and
  960         c. Did not receive a financial audit that revealed one or
  961  more of the conditions set forth in s. 218.503(1); however, the
  962  condition is deemed met for a charter school-in-the-workplace if
  963  there is a finding in an audit that the school has the monetary
  964  resources available to cover any reported deficiency or that the
  965  deficiency does not result in a deteriorating financial
  966  condition pursuant to s. 1002.345(1)(a)3.
  967         2. The charter school has been in operation for less than 3
  968  years and is operated by a high-performing charter school system
  969  pursuant to subsection (11). These charter schools may receive
  970  capital outlay funds in their first year pursuant to s. 1013.62
  971  and are not required to comply with s. 1013.62(1)(a)1.-3.
  972         (b) If the charter school maintains compliance with s.
  973  1002.33(18)(b)3., a high-performing charter school may:
  974         1. Increase the school’s student enrollment once per year
  975  by up to 25 percent more than the capacity authorized pursuant
  976  to paragraph (12)(i).
  977         2. Expand to any grade level within kindergarten through
  978  grade 12, if not already serving such grades.
  979         3. Offer voluntary prekindergarten education pursuant to
  980  ss. 1002.51-1002.79.
  981         (c) A high-performing charter school shall receive a 15
  982  year charter renewal upon expiration of the current charter.
  983         (d) The high-performing charter school designation shall be
  984  removed if the charter school does not continue to meet the
  985  requirements in paragraph (a).
  987         (a)1. For purposes of this subsection, the term:
  988         a. “Entity” means a municipality or other public entity as
  989  authorized by law to operate a charter school; a private, not
  990  for-profit, s. 501(c)(3) status corporation; or a private, for
  991  profit corporation.
  992         b. “High-performing charter school system” means an entity
  993  that:
  994         (I) Operates at least three high-performing charter schools
  995  in this state;
  996         (II) Has received a systemwide average grade of “A” or “B”
  997  during the previous 3 years for all charter schools created or
  998  started by the entity;
  999         (III) Has not received a financial audit for any school
 1000  created or started by the entity which reveals one or more of
 1001  the conditions set forth in s. 218.503(1); and
 1002         (IV) Has not received a school grade of “F” during any of
 1003  the previous 2 years for any charter school operated by the
 1004  entity in the state, except for a charter school taken over or
 1005  managed by, but not created or started by, the entity, in which
 1006  case the entity loses its high-performing designation if the
 1007  charter school receives a school grade of “F” in 3 out of 5
 1008  years.
 1009         (b) A high-performing charter school system may apply to
 1010  establish and operate a new charter school in any district in
 1011  the state which will substantially replicate one or more of the
 1012  provider’s existing high-performing charter schools.
 1013         1. A local school district may deny a charter application
 1014  from an operator of a high-performing charter school system only
 1015  if good cause is shown that the operator fails to materially
 1016  meet established charter school requirements pursuant to
 1017  subsection (9). The charter applicant may appeal, as provided in
 1018  subsection (6). The district is liable to the charter applicant
 1019  for attorney’s fees and costs if the charter applicant prevails
 1020  on appeal. The State Board of Education may additionally
 1021  sanction the district with any penalties under s. 1008.32(4) if
 1022  the state board determines that the district has a pattern of
 1023  unlawfully denying a high-performing charter system from
 1024  replicating a high-performing charter school.
 1025         2. The new charter school shall receive an initial charter
 1026  for a term of 15 years, shall be designated as a high-performing
 1027  charter school for the first 3 years of the charter, and shall
 1028  receive charter school capital outlay funds under s. 1013.62.
 1029  The school is not required to comply with s. 1013.62(1)(a)1.-3.,
 1030  but must comply with any other requirements in s. 1013.62 to
 1031  receive charter school capital outlay funds as provided in this
 1032  subparagraph.
 1033         3. The designation as a high-performing charter school
 1034  system shall be removed if the system does not continue to meet
 1035  the requirements in paragraph (a).
 1037  This paragraph does not waive a district school board’s
 1038  sovereign immunity.
 1039         (12)(10) ELIGIBLE STUDENTS.—
 1040         (a) A charter school shall be open to any student covered
 1041  in an interdistrict agreement or residing in the school district
 1042  in which the charter school is located; however, in the case of
 1043  a charter lab school, the charter lab school shall be open to
 1044  any student eligible to attend the lab school as provided in s.
 1045  1002.32 or who resides in the school district in which the
 1046  charter lab school is located. Any eligible student shall be
 1047  allowed interdistrict transfer to attend a charter school when
 1048  based on good cause. Good cause shall include, but is not
 1049  limited to, geographic proximity to a charter school in a
 1050  neighboring school district.
 1051         (b) The charter school shall enroll an eligible student who
 1052  submits a timely application, unless the number of applications
 1053  exceeds the capacity of a program, class, grade level, or
 1054  building. In such case, all applicants shall have an equal
 1055  chance of being admitted through a random selection process.
 1056         (c) When a public school converts to charter status,
 1057  enrollment preference shall be given to students who would have
 1058  otherwise attended that public school. The district school board
 1059  shall consult and negotiate with the conversion charter school
 1060  every 3 years to determine whether realignment of the conversion
 1061  charter school’s attendance zone is appropriate in order to
 1062  ensure that students residing closest to the charter school are
 1063  provided with an enrollment preference.
 1064         (d) A charter school may give enrollment preference to the
 1065  following student populations:
 1066         1. Students who are siblings of a student enrolled in the
 1067  charter school.
 1068         2. Students who are the children of a member of the
 1069  governing board of the charter school.
 1070         3. Students who are the children of an employee of the
 1071  charter school.
 1072         4. Students who are the children of:
 1073         a. An employee of a business partner, or a resident of a
 1074  municipality, who complies with paragraph (17)(b) for a charter
 1075  school-in-the-workplace; or
 1076         b. A resident of a municipality that operates a charter
 1077  school-in-a-municipality pursuant to paragraph (17)(c).
 1078         5. Students enrolling in a charter school-in-the-workplace
 1079  or charter school-in-a-municipality established pursuant to this
 1080  section.
 1081         (e) A charter school may limit the enrollment process only
 1082  to target the following student populations:
 1083         1. Students within specific age groups or grade levels.
 1084         2. Students considered at risk of dropping out of school or
 1085  academic failure. Such students shall include exceptional
 1086  education students.
 1087         3. Students enrolling in a charter school-in-the-workplace
 1088  or charter school-in-a-municipality established pursuant to
 1089  subsection (17) (15).
 1090         4. Students residing within a reasonable distance of the
 1091  charter school, as described in paragraph (23)(c) (20)(c). Such
 1092  students are shall be subject to a random lottery and to the
 1093  racial/ethnic balance provisions described in subparagraph
 1094  (7)(a)8. or any federal provisions that require a school to
 1095  achieve a racial/ethnic balance reflective of the community it
 1096  serves or within the racial/ethnic range of other public schools
 1097  in the same school district.
 1098         5. Students who meet reasonable academic, artistic, or
 1099  other eligibility standards established by the charter school
 1100  and included in the charter school application and charter or,
 1101  in the case of existing charter schools, standards that are
 1102  consistent with the school’s mission and purpose. Such standards
 1103  shall be in accordance with current state law and practice in
 1104  public schools and may not discriminate against otherwise
 1105  qualified individuals.
 1106         6. Students articulating from one charter school to another
 1107  pursuant to an articulation agreement between the charter
 1108  schools that has been approved by the sponsor.
 1109         (f) Students with disabilities and students served in
 1110  English for Speakers of Other Languages programs shall have an
 1111  equal opportunity of being selected for enrollment in a charter
 1112  school.
 1113         (g) A student may withdraw from a charter school at any
 1114  time and enroll in another public school as determined by
 1115  district school board rule.
 1116         (h) The capacity of the charter school shall be determined
 1117  annually by the governing board, in conjunction with the
 1118  sponsor, of the charter school in consideration of the factors
 1119  identified in this subsection unless the charter school is
 1120  designated as a high-performing charter school under subsection
 1121  (10). A sponsor may not require a charter school to waive the
 1122  provisions in paragraph (10)(b) or require a student enrollment
 1123  cap that prohibits a high-performing charter school from
 1124  increasing enrollment in accordance with paragraph (10)(b) as a
 1125  condition of approval or renewal of a charter.
 1126         (i) The capacity of a high-performing charter school
 1127  pursuant to subsection (10) shall be determined annually by the
 1128  governing board of the charter school. The governing board shall
 1129  notify the sponsor of any increase in enrollment by March 1 of
 1130  the school year preceding the increase.
 1132  ACTIVITIES.—A charter school student is eligible to participate
 1133  in an interscholastic extracurricular activity at the public
 1134  school to which the student would be otherwise assigned to
 1135  attend pursuant to s. 1006.15(3)(d).
 1136         (14)(12) EMPLOYEES OF CHARTER SCHOOLS.—
 1137         (a) A charter school shall select its own employees. A
 1138  charter school may contract with its sponsor for the services of
 1139  personnel employed by the sponsor.
 1140         (b) Charter school employees shall have the option to
 1141  bargain collectively. Employees may collectively bargain as a
 1142  separate unit or as part of the existing district collective
 1143  bargaining unit as determined by the structure of the charter
 1144  school.
 1145         (c) The employees of a conversion charter school shall
 1146  remain public employees for all purposes, unless such employees
 1147  choose not to do so.
 1148         (d) The teachers at a charter school may choose to be part
 1149  of a professional group that subcontracts with the charter
 1150  school to operate the instructional program under the auspices
 1151  of a partnership or cooperative that they collectively own.
 1152  Under this arrangement, the teachers would not be public
 1153  employees.
 1154         (e) Employees of a school district may take leave to accept
 1155  employment in a charter school upon the approval of the district
 1156  school board. While employed by the charter school and on leave
 1157  that is approved by the district school board, the employee may
 1158  retain seniority accrued in that school district and may
 1159  continue to be covered by the benefit programs of that school
 1160  district, if the charter school and the district school board
 1161  agree to this arrangement and its financing. School districts
 1162  may shall not require resignations from instructional personnel,
 1163  school administrators, or educational support employees who
 1164  desire employment of teachers desiring to teach in a charter
 1165  school. This paragraph does shall not prohibit a district school
 1166  board from approving alternative leave arrangements consistent
 1167  with chapter 1012.
 1168         (f) Teachers employed by or under contract to a charter
 1169  school shall be certified as required by chapter 1012. A charter
 1170  school governing board may employ or contract with skilled
 1171  selected noncertified personnel to provide instructional
 1172  services or to assist instructional staff members as education
 1173  paraprofessionals in the same manner as defined in chapter 1012,
 1174  and as provided by State Board of Education rule for charter
 1175  school governing boards. A charter school may not knowingly
 1176  employ an individual to provide instructional services or to
 1177  serve as an education paraprofessional if the individual’s
 1178  certification or licensure as an educator is suspended or
 1179  revoked by this or any other state. A charter school may not
 1180  knowingly employ an individual who has resigned from a school
 1181  district in lieu of disciplinary action with respect to child
 1182  welfare or safety, or who has been dismissed for just cause by
 1183  any school district with respect to child welfare or safety. The
 1184  qualifications of teachers shall be disclosed to parents.
 1185         (g)1. A charter school shall employ or contract with
 1186  employees who have undergone background screening as provided in
 1187  s. 1012.32. Members of the governing board of the charter school
 1188  shall also undergo background screening in a manner similar to
 1189  that provided in s. 1012.32.
 1190         2. A charter school shall disqualify instructional
 1191  personnel and school administrators, as defined in s. 1012.01,
 1192  from employment in any position that requires direct contact
 1193  with students if the personnel or administrators are ineligible
 1194  for such employment under s. 1012.315.
 1195         3. The governing board of a charter school shall adopt
 1196  policies establishing standards of ethical conduct for
 1197  instructional personnel and school administrators. The policies
 1198  must require all instructional personnel and school
 1199  administrators, as defined in s. 1012.01, to complete training
 1200  on the standards; establish the duty of instructional personnel
 1201  and school administrators to report, and procedures for
 1202  reporting, alleged misconduct by other instructional personnel
 1203  and school administrators which affects the health, safety, or
 1204  welfare of a student; and include an explanation of the
 1205  liability protections provided under ss. 39.203 and 768.095. A
 1206  charter school, or any of its employees, may not enter into a
 1207  confidentiality agreement regarding terminated or dismissed
 1208  instructional personnel or school administrators, or personnel
 1209  or administrators who resign in lieu of termination, based in
 1210  whole or in part on misconduct that affects the health, safety,
 1211  or welfare of a student, and may not provide instructional
 1212  personnel or school administrators with employment references or
 1213  discuss the personnel’s or administrators’ performance with
 1214  prospective employers in another educational setting, without
 1215  disclosing the personnel’s or administrators’ misconduct. Any
 1216  part of an agreement or contract that has the purpose or effect
 1217  of concealing misconduct by instructional personnel or school
 1218  administrators which affects the health, safety, or welfare of a
 1219  student is void, is contrary to public policy, and may not be
 1220  enforced.
 1221         4. Before employing instructional personnel or school
 1222  administrators in any position that requires direct contact with
 1223  students, a charter school shall conduct employment history
 1224  checks of each of the personnel’s or administrators’ previous
 1225  employers, screen the instructional personnel or school
 1226  administrators through use of the educator screening tools
 1227  described in s. 1001.10(5), and document the findings. If unable
 1228  to contact a previous employer, the charter school must document
 1229  efforts to contact the employer.
 1230         5. The sponsor of a charter school that knowingly fails to
 1231  comply with this paragraph shall terminate the charter under
 1232  subsection (8).
 1233         (h) For the purposes of tort liability, the governing body
 1234  and employees of a charter school shall be governed by s.
 1235  768.28.
 1236         (i) A charter school shall organize as, or be operated by,
 1237  a nonprofit organization. A charter school may be operated by a
 1238  municipality or other public entity as provided for by law. As
 1239  such, the charter school may be either a private or a public
 1240  employer. As a public employer, a charter school may participate
 1241  in the Florida Retirement System upon application and approval
 1242  as a “covered group” under s. 121.021(34). If a charter school
 1243  participates in the Florida Retirement System, the charter
 1244  school employees shall be compulsory members of the Florida
 1245  Retirement System. As either a private or a public employer, a
 1246  charter school may contract for services with an individual or
 1247  group of individuals who are organized as a partnership or a
 1248  cooperative. Individuals or groups of individuals who contract
 1249  their services to the charter school are not public employees.
 1250         (15)(13) CHARTER SCHOOL COOPERATIVES.—Charter schools may
 1251  enter into cooperative agreements to form charter school
 1252  cooperative organizations that may provide the following
 1253  services: charter school planning and development, direct
 1254  instructional services, and contracts with charter school
 1255  governing boards to provide personnel administrative services,
 1256  payroll services, human resource management, evaluation and
 1257  assessment services, teacher preparation, and professional
 1258  development.
 1261  TAXING POWER NOT TO BE PLEDGED.—Any arrangement entered into to
 1262  borrow or otherwise secure funds for a charter school authorized
 1263  in this section from a source other than the state or a school
 1264  district shall indemnify the state and the school district from
 1265  any and all liability, including, but not limited to, financial
 1266  responsibility for the payment of the principal or interest. Any
 1267  loans, bonds, or other financial agreements are not obligations
 1268  of the state or the school district but are obligations of the
 1269  charter school authority and are payable solely from the sources
 1270  of funds pledged by such agreement. The credit or taxing power
 1271  of the state or the school district shall not be pledged and no
 1272  debts shall be payable out of any moneys except those of the
 1273  legal entity in possession of a valid charter approved by a
 1274  district school board pursuant to this section.
 1277         (a) In order to increase business partnerships in
 1278  education, to reduce school and classroom overcrowding
 1279  throughout the state, and to offset the high costs for
 1280  educational facilities construction, the Legislature intends to
 1281  encourage the formation of business partnership schools or
 1282  satellite learning centers and municipal-operated schools
 1283  through charter school status.
 1284         (b) A charter school-in-the-workplace may be established
 1285  when a business partner provides the school facility to be used;
 1286  enrolls students based upon a random lottery that involves all
 1287  of the children of employees of that business or corporation or
 1288  residents of that municipality who are seeking enrollment, as
 1289  provided for in subsection (12) (10); and enrolls students
 1290  according to the racial/ethnic balance provisions described in
 1291  subparagraph (7)(a)8. A municipality may be a business partner
 1292  notwithstanding paragraph (c). Any portion of a facility used
 1293  for a public charter school shall be exempt from ad valorem
 1294  taxes, as provided for in s. 1013.54, for the duration of its
 1295  use as a public school.
 1296         (c) A charter school-in-a-municipality designation may be
 1297  granted to a municipality that possesses a charter; enrolls
 1298  students based upon a random lottery that involves all of the
 1299  children of the residents of that municipality who are seeking
 1300  enrollment, as provided for in subsection (12) (10); and enrolls
 1301  students according to the racial/ethnic balance provisions
 1302  described in subparagraph (7)(a)8. When a municipality has
 1303  submitted charter applications for the establishment of a
 1304  charter school feeder pattern, consisting of elementary, middle,
 1305  and senior high schools, and each individual charter application
 1306  is approved by the district school board, such schools shall
 1307  then be designated as one charter school for all purposes listed
 1308  pursuant to this section. Any portion of the land and facility
 1309  used for a public charter school shall be exempt from ad valorem
 1310  taxes, as provided for in s. 1013.54, for the duration of its
 1311  use as a public school.
 1312         (d) As used in this subsection, the terms “business
 1313  partner” or “municipality” may include more than one business or
 1314  municipality to form a charter school-in-the-workplace or
 1315  charter school-in-a-municipality.
 1316         (18)(16) EXEMPTION FROM STATUTES.—
 1317         (a) A charter school shall operate in accordance with its
 1318  charter and shall be exempt from all statutes in chapters 1000
 1319  1013. However, a charter school shall be in compliance with the
 1320  following statutes in chapters 1000-1013:
 1321         1. Those statutes specifically applying to charter schools,
 1322  including this section.
 1323         2. Those statutes pertaining to the student assessment
 1324  program and school grading system.
 1325         3. Those statutes pertaining to the provision of services
 1326  to students with disabilities.
 1327         4. Those statutes pertaining to civil rights, including s.
 1328  1000.05, relating to discrimination.
 1329         5. Those statutes pertaining to student health, safety, and
 1330  welfare.
 1331         (b) Additionally, a charter school shall be in compliance
 1332  with the following statutes:
 1333         1. Section 286.011, relating to public meetings and
 1334  records, public inspection, and criminal and civil penalties.
 1335         2. Chapter 119, relating to public records.
 1336         3. Section 1003.03, relating to the maximum class size,
 1337  except that the calculation for compliance pursuant to s.
 1338  1003.03 shall be the average at the school level.
 1339         (19)(17) FUNDING.—Students enrolled in a charter school,
 1340  regardless of the sponsorship, shall be funded as if they are in
 1341  a basic program or a special program, the same as students
 1342  enrolled in other public schools in the school district. Funding
 1343  for a charter lab school shall be as provided in s. 1002.32.
 1344         (a) Each charter school shall report its student enrollment
 1345  to the sponsor as required in s. 1011.62, and in accordance with
 1346  the definitions in s. 1011.61. The sponsor shall include each
 1347  charter school’s enrollment in the district’s report of student
 1348  enrollment. All charter schools submitting student record
 1349  information required by the Department of Education shall comply
 1350  with the Department of Education’s guidelines for electronic
 1351  data formats for such data, and all districts shall accept
 1352  electronic data that complies with the Department of Education’s
 1353  electronic format.
 1354         (b) The basis for the agreement for funding students
 1355  enrolled in a charter school shall be the sum of the school
 1356  district’s operating funds from the Florida Education Finance
 1357  Program as provided in s. 1011.62 and the General Appropriations
 1358  Act, including gross state and local funds, discretionary
 1359  lottery funds, and funds from the school district’s current
 1360  operating discretionary millage levy; divided by total funded
 1361  weighted full-time equivalent students in the school district;
 1362  multiplied by the weighted full-time equivalent students for the
 1363  charter school. Charter schools whose students or programs meet
 1364  the eligibility criteria in law shall be entitled to their
 1365  proportionate share of categorical program funds included in the
 1366  total funds available in the Florida Education Finance Program
 1367  by the Legislature, including transportation. Total funding for
 1368  each charter school shall be recalculated during the year to
 1369  reflect the revised calculations under the Florida Education
 1370  Finance Program by the state and the actual weighted full-time
 1371  equivalent students reported by the charter school during the
 1372  full-time equivalent student survey periods designated by the
 1373  Commissioner of Education.
 1374         (c) If the district school board is providing programs or
 1375  services to students funded by federal funds, any eligible
 1376  students enrolled in charter schools in the school district
 1377  shall be provided federal funds for the same level of service
 1378  provided students in the schools operated by the district school
 1379  board. Pursuant to provisions of 20 U.S.C. 8061 s. 10306, all
 1380  charter schools shall receive all federal funding for which the
 1381  school is otherwise eligible, including Title I funding, not
 1382  later than 5 months after the charter school first opens and
 1383  within 5 months after any subsequent expansion of enrollment.
 1384         (d) Charter schools shall be included by the Department of
 1385  Education and the district school board in requests for federal
 1386  stimulus funds in the same manner as district school board
 1387  operated public schools, including Title I and IDEA funds and
 1388  shall be entitled to receive such funds. Charter schools are
 1389  eligible to participate in federal competitive grants that are
 1390  available as part of the federal stimulus funds.
 1391         (e) District school boards shall make timely and efficient
 1392  payment and reimbursement to charter schools, including
 1393  processing paperwork required to access special state and
 1394  federal funding for which they may be eligible. The district
 1395  school board may distribute funds to a charter school for up to
 1396  3 months based on the projected full-time equivalent student
 1397  membership of the charter school. Thereafter, the results of
 1398  full-time equivalent student membership surveys shall be used in
 1399  adjusting the amount of funds distributed monthly to the charter
 1400  school for the remainder of the fiscal year. The payment shall
 1401  be issued no later than 10 working days after the district
 1402  school board receives a distribution of state or federal funds.
 1403  If a warrant for payment is not issued within 10 working days
 1404  after receipt of funding by the district school board, the
 1405  school district shall pay to the charter school, in addition to
 1406  the amount of the scheduled disbursement, interest at a rate of
 1407  1 percent per month calculated on a daily basis on the unpaid
 1408  balance from the expiration of the 10 working days until such
 1409  time as the warrant is issued.
 1411         (a) As used in this section, the term “blended-learning
 1412  charter school” means a school that combines traditional
 1413  classroom and virtual instruction.
 1414         (b) A blended-learning charter school does not have to
 1415  apply to become an approved provider under s. 1002.45 and may
 1416  provide online instruction only to students enrolled in the
 1417  charter school.
 1418         (c) Faculty authorized to provide online instruction for
 1419  blended-learning courses must be employees of the charter school
 1420  or contracted to provide instruction to the charter school
 1421  students and must hold a current state or school district
 1422  adjunct certification to teach in the subject area of a blended
 1423  learning course.
 1424         (d)For purposes of funding and performance accountability,
 1425  blended-learning courses are considered the same as traditional
 1426  courses.
 1427         (21)(18) FACILITIES.—
 1428         (a) A startup charter school shall utilize facilities which
 1429  comply with the Florida Building Code pursuant to chapter 553
 1430  except for the State Requirements for Educational Facilities.
 1431  Conversion charter schools shall utilize facilities that comply
 1432  with the State Requirements for Educational Facilities provided
 1433  that the school district and the charter school have entered
 1434  into a mutual management plan for the reasonable maintenance of
 1435  such facilities. The mutual management plan shall contain a
 1436  provision by which the district school board agrees to maintain
 1437  charter school facilities in the same manner as its other public
 1438  schools within the district. Charter schools, with the exception
 1439  of conversion charter schools, are not required to comply, but
 1440  may choose to comply, with the State Requirements for
 1441  Educational Facilities of the Florida Building Code adopted
 1442  pursuant to s. 1013.37. The local governing authority shall not
 1443  adopt or impose local building requirements or restrictions that
 1444  are more stringent than those found in the Florida Building
 1445  Code. The agency having jurisdiction for inspection of a
 1446  facility and issuance of a certificate of occupancy shall be the
 1447  local municipality or, if in an unincorporated area, the county
 1448  governing authority.
 1449         (b) A charter school shall utilize facilities that comply
 1450  with the Florida Fire Prevention Code, pursuant to s. 633.025,
 1451  as adopted by the authority in whose jurisdiction the facility
 1452  is located as provided in paragraph (a).
 1453         (c) Any facility, or portion thereof, used to house a
 1454  charter school whose charter has been approved by the sponsor
 1455  and the governing board, pursuant to subsection (7), shall be
 1456  exempt from ad valorem taxes pursuant to s. 196.1983. Library,
 1457  community service, museum, performing arts, theatre, cinema,
 1458  church, community college, college, and university facilities
 1459  may provide space to charter schools within their facilities
 1460  under their preexisting zoning and land use designations.
 1461         (d) Charter school facilities are exempt from assessments
 1462  of fees for building permits, except as provided in s. 553.80;
 1463  fees for building and occupational licenses; impact fees or
 1464  exactions; service availability fees; and assessments for
 1465  special benefits.
 1466         (e) If a district school board facility or property is
 1467  available because it is surplus, marked for disposal, or
 1468  otherwise unused, it shall be provided for a charter school’s
 1469  use on the same basis as it is made available to other public
 1470  schools in the district. A charter school receiving property
 1471  from the school district may not sell or dispose of such
 1472  property without written permission of the school district.
 1473  Similarly, for an existing public school converting to charter
 1474  status, no rental or leasing fee for the existing facility or
 1475  for the property normally inventoried to the conversion school
 1476  may be charged by the district school board to the parents and
 1477  teachers organizing the charter school. The charter school shall
 1478  agree to reasonable maintenance provisions in order to maintain
 1479  the facility in a manner similar to district school board
 1480  standards. The Public Education Capital Outlay maintenance funds
 1481  or any other maintenance funds generated by the facility
 1482  operated as a conversion school shall remain with the conversion
 1483  school.
 1484         (f) To the extent that charter school facilities are
 1485  specifically created to mitigate the educational impact created
 1486  by the development of new residential dwelling units, pursuant
 1487  to subparagraph (2)(c)4., some of or all of the educational
 1488  impact fees required to be paid in connection with the new
 1489  residential dwelling units may be designated instead for the
 1490  construction of the charter school facilities that will mitigate
 1491  the student station impact. Such facilities shall be built to
 1492  the State Requirements for Educational Facilities and shall be
 1493  owned by a public or nonprofit entity. The local school district
 1494  retains the right to monitor and inspect such facilities to
 1495  ensure compliance with the State Requirements for Educational
 1496  Facilities. If a facility ceases to be used for public
 1497  educational purposes, either the facility shall revert to the
 1498  school district subject to any debt owed on the facility, or the
 1499  owner of the facility shall have the option to refund all
 1500  educational impact fees utilized for the facility to the school
 1501  district. The district and the owner of the facility may
 1502  contractually agree to another arrangement for the facilities if
 1503  the facilities cease to be used for educational purposes. The
 1504  owner of property planned or approved for new residential
 1505  dwelling units and the entity levying educational impact fees
 1506  shall enter into an agreement that designates the educational
 1507  impact fees that will be allocated for the charter school
 1508  student stations and that ensures the timely construction of the
 1509  charter school student stations concurrent with the expected
 1510  occupancy of the residential units. The application for use of
 1511  educational impact fees shall include an approved charter school
 1512  application. To assist the school district in forecasting
 1513  student station needs, the entity levying the impact fees shall
 1514  notify the affected district of any agreements it has approved
 1515  for the purpose of mitigating student station impact from the
 1516  new residential dwelling units.
 1517         (g) Each school district shall annually provide to the
 1518  Department of Education as part of its 5-year work plan the
 1519  number of existing vacant classrooms in each school that the
 1520  district does not intend to use or does not project will be
 1521  needed for educational purposes for the following school year.
 1522  The department may recommend that a district make such space
 1523  available to an appropriate charter school.
 1524         (22)(19) CAPITAL OUTLAY FUNDING.—Charter schools are
 1525  eligible for capital outlay funds pursuant to s. 1013.62.
 1526  Capital outlay funds authorized in ss. s. 1011.71(2) and 1013.62
 1527  which that have been shared with a charter school-in-the
 1528  workplace prior to July 1, 2010, are deemed to have met the
 1529  authorized expenditure requirements for such funds.
 1530         (23)(20) SERVICES.—
 1531         (a)1. A sponsor shall provide certain administrative and
 1532  educational services to charter schools. These services shall
 1533  include contract management services; full-time equivalent and
 1534  data reporting services; exceptional student education
 1535  administration services; services related to eligibility and
 1536  reporting duties required to ensure that school lunch services
 1537  under the federal lunch program, consistent with the needs of
 1538  the charter school, are provided by the school district at the
 1539  request of the charter school, that any funds due to the charter
 1540  school under the federal lunch program be paid to the charter
 1541  school as soon as the charter school begins serving food under
 1542  the federal lunch program, and that the charter school is paid
 1543  at the same time and in the same manner under the federal lunch
 1544  program as other public schools serviced by the sponsor or the
 1545  school district; test administration services, including payment
 1546  of the costs of state-required or district-required student
 1547  assessments; processing of teacher certificate data services;
 1548  and information services, including equal access to student
 1549  information systems that are used by public schools in the
 1550  district in which the charter school is located. Student
 1551  performance data for each student in a charter school,
 1552  including, but not limited to, FCAT scores, standardized test
 1553  scores, previous public school student report cards, and student
 1554  performance measures, shall be provided by the sponsor to a
 1555  charter school in the same manner provided to other public
 1556  schools in the district.
 1557         2. A total administrative fee for the provision of such
 1558  services shall be calculated based upon up to 5 percent of the
 1559  available funds defined in paragraph (19)(b) (17)(b) for all
 1560  students. However, a sponsor may only withhold up to a 5-percent
 1561  administrative fee for enrollment for up to and including 250
 1562  students. For charter schools with a population of 251 or more
 1563  students, the difference between the total administrative fee
 1564  calculation and the amount of the administrative fee withheld
 1565  may only be used for capital outlay purposes specified in s.
 1566  1013.62(2).
 1567         3. In addition, a sponsor may withhold only up to a 5
 1568  percent administrative fee for enrollment for up to and
 1569  including 500 students within a system of charter schools which
 1570  meets all of the following:
 1571         a. Includes both conversion charter schools and
 1572  nonconversion charter schools;
 1573         b. Has all schools located in the same county;
 1574         c. Has a total enrollment exceeding the total enrollment of
 1575  at least one school district in the state;
 1576         d. Has the same governing board; and
 1577         e. Does not contract with a for-profit service provider for
 1578  management of school operations.
 1579         4. The difference between the total administrative fee
 1580  calculation and the amount of the administrative fee withheld
 1581  pursuant to subparagraph 3. may be used for instructional and
 1582  administrative purposes as well as for capital outlay purposes
 1583  specified in s. 1013.62(2).
 1584         5. Each charter school shall receive 100 percent of the
 1585  funds awarded to that school pursuant to s. 1012.225. Sponsors
 1586  shall not charge charter schools any additional fees or
 1587  surcharges for administrative and educational services in
 1588  addition to the maximum 5-percent administrative fee withheld
 1589  pursuant to this paragraph.
 1590         (b) If goods and services are made available to the charter
 1591  school through the contract with the school district, they shall
 1592  be provided to the charter school at a rate no greater than the
 1593  district’s actual cost unless mutually agreed upon by the
 1594  charter school and the sponsor in a contract negotiated
 1595  separately from the charter. When mediation has failed to
 1596  resolve disputes over contracted services or contractual matters
 1597  not included in the charter, an appeal may be made for a dispute
 1598  resolution hearing before the Charter School Appeal Commission.
 1599  To maximize the use of state funds, school districts shall allow
 1600  charter schools to participate in the sponsor’s bulk purchasing
 1601  program if applicable.
 1602         (c) Transportation of charter school students shall be
 1603  provided by the charter school consistent with the requirements
 1604  of subpart I.E. of chapter 1006 and s. 1012.45. The governing
 1605  body of the charter school may provide transportation through an
 1606  agreement or contract with the district school board, a private
 1607  provider, or parents. The charter school and the sponsor shall
 1608  cooperate in making arrangements that ensure that transportation
 1609  is not a barrier to equal access for all students residing
 1610  within a reasonable distance of the charter school as determined
 1611  in its charter.
 1613         (a) The Department of Education shall provide information
 1614  to the public, directly and through sponsors, on how to form and
 1615  operate a charter school and how to enroll in a charter school
 1616  once it is created. This information must shall include a
 1617  standard application format, charter format, evaluation
 1618  instrument, and charter renewal format, which must shall include
 1619  the information specified in subsection (7) and shall be
 1620  developed by consulting and negotiating with both school
 1621  districts and charter schools before implementation. The charter
 1622  and charter renewal formats shall be used by charter school
 1623  sponsors.
 1624         (b)1. The Department of Education shall report student
 1625  assessment data pursuant to s. 1008.34(3)(c) which is reported
 1626  to schools that receive a school grade or student assessment
 1627  data pursuant to s. 1008.341(3) which is reported to alternative
 1628  schools that receive a school improvement rating to each charter
 1629  school that:
 1630         a. Does not receive a school grade pursuant to s. 1008.34
 1631  or a school improvement rating pursuant to s. 1008.341; and
 1632         b. Serves at least 10 students who are tested on the
 1633  statewide assessment test pursuant to s. 1008.22.
 1634         2. The charter school shall report the information in
 1635  subparagraph 1. to each parent of a student at the charter
 1636  school, the parent of a child on a waiting list for the charter
 1637  school, the district in which the charter school is located, and
 1638  the governing board of the charter school. This paragraph does
 1639  not abrogate the provisions of s. 1002.22, relating to student
 1640  records, or the requirements of 20 U.S.C. s. 1232g, the Family
 1641  Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
 1642         3.a. Pursuant to this paragraph, the Department of
 1643  Education shall compare the charter school student performance
 1644  data for each charter school in subparagraph 1. with the student
 1645  performance data in traditional public schools in the district
 1646  in which the charter school is located and other charter schools
 1647  in the state. For alternative charter schools, the department
 1648  shall compare the student performance data described in this
 1649  paragraph with all alternative schools in the state. The
 1650  comparative data shall be provided by the following grade
 1651  groupings:
 1652         (I) Grades 3 through 5;
 1653         (II) Grades 6 through 8; and
 1654         (III) Grades 9 through 11.
 1655         b. Each charter school shall provide the information
 1656  specified in this paragraph on its Internet website and also
 1657  provide notice to the public at large in a manner provided by
 1658  the rules of the State Board of Education. The State Board of
 1659  Education shall adopt rules to administer the notice
 1660  requirements of this subparagraph pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and
 1661  120.54. The website shall include, through links or actual
 1662  content, other information related to school performance.
 1664         (a) The Department of Education shall staff and regularly
 1665  convene a Charter School Review Panel in order to review issues,
 1666  practices, and policies regarding charter schools. The
 1667  composition of the review panel shall include individuals with
 1668  experience in finance, administration, law, education, and
 1669  school governance, and individuals familiar with charter school
 1670  construction and operation. The panel shall include two
 1671  appointees each from the Commissioner of Education, the
 1672  President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of
 1673  Representatives. The Governor shall appoint three members of the
 1674  panel and shall designate the chair. Each member of the panel
 1675  shall serve a 1-year term, unless renewed by the office making
 1676  the appointment. The panel shall make recommendations to the
 1677  Legislature, to the Department of Education, to charter schools,
 1678  and to school districts for improving charter school operations
 1679  and oversight and for ensuring best business practices at and
 1680  fair business relationships with charter schools.
 1681         (b) The Legislature shall review the operation of charter
 1682  schools during the 2010 Regular Session of the Legislature.
 1684  receipt of the annual report required by paragraph (9)(k), the
 1685  Department of Education shall provide to the State Board of
 1686  Education, the Commissioner of Education, the Governor, the
 1687  President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of
 1688  Representatives an analysis and comparison of the overall
 1689  performance of charter school students, to include all students
 1690  whose scores are counted as part of the statewide assessment
 1691  program, versus comparable public school students in the
 1692  district as determined by the statewide assessment program
 1693  currently administered in the school district, and other
 1694  assessments administered pursuant to s. 1008.22(3).
 1696         (a) This subsection applies to charter school personnel in
 1697  a charter school operated by a private entity. As used in this
 1698  subsection, the term:
 1699         1. “Charter school personnel” means a charter school owner,
 1700  president, chairperson of the governing board of directors,
 1701  superintendent, governing board member, principal, assistant
 1702  principal, or any other person employed by the charter school
 1703  who has equivalent decisionmaking authority and in whom is
 1704  vested the authority, or to whom the authority has been
 1705  delegated, to appoint, employ, promote, or advance individuals
 1706  or to recommend individuals for appointment, employment,
 1707  promotion, or advancement in connection with employment in a
 1708  charter school, including the authority as a member of a
 1709  governing body of a charter school to vote on the appointment,
 1710  employment, promotion, or advancement of individuals.
 1711         2. “Relative” means father, mother, son, daughter, brother,
 1712  sister, uncle, aunt, first cousin, nephew, niece, husband, wife,
 1713  father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law,
 1714  brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepfather, stepmother, stepson,
 1715  stepdaughter, stepbrother, stepsister, half brother, or half
 1716  sister.
 1717         (b) Charter school personnel may not appoint, employ,
 1718  promote, or advance, or advocate for appointment, employment,
 1719  promotion, or advancement, in or to a position in the charter
 1720  school in which the personnel are serving or over which the
 1721  personnel exercises jurisdiction or control any individual who
 1722  is a relative. An individual may not be appointed, employed,
 1723  promoted, or advanced in or to a position in a charter school if
 1724  such appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement has been
 1725  advocated by charter school personnel who serve in or exercise
 1726  jurisdiction or control over the charter school and who is a
 1727  relative of the individual or if such appointment, employment,
 1728  promotion, or advancement is made by the governing board of
 1729  which a relative of the individual is a member.
 1730         (c) The approval of budgets does not constitute
 1731  “jurisdiction or control” for the purposes of this subsection.
 1733  Charter school personnel in schools operated by a municipality
 1734  or other public entity are subject to s. 112.3135.
 1736         (a) A member of a governing board of a charter school,
 1737  including a charter school operated by a private entity, is
 1738  subject to ss. 112.313(2), (3), (7), and (12) and 112.3143(3).
 1739         (b) A member of a governing board of a charter school
 1740  operated by a municipality or other public entity is subject to
 1741  s. 112.3144, which relates to the disclosure of financial
 1742  interests.
 1743         (28)(26) RULEMAKING.—The Department of Education, after
 1744  consultation with school districts and charter school directors,
 1745  shall recommend that the State Board of Education adopt rules to
 1746  implement specific subsections of this section. Such rules shall
 1747  require minimum paperwork and shall not limit charter school
 1748  flexibility authorized by statute. The State Board of Education
 1749  shall adopt rules, pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54, to
 1750  implement this section, including a charter model application
 1751  form, evaluation instrument, and charter and charter renewal
 1752  formats in accordance with this section.
 1753         Section 4. Paragraph (c) of subsection (10) and subsection
 1754  (13) of section 1002.34, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
 1755         1002.34 Charter technical career centers.—
 1756         (10) EXEMPTION FROM STATUTES.—
 1757         (c) A center must comply with the antidiscrimination
 1758  provisions in s. 1000.05 and the provisions in s. 1002.33(26) s.
 1759  1002.33(24) which relate to the employment of relatives.
 1760         (13) BOARD OF DIRECTORS AUTHORITY.—The board of directors
 1761  of a center may decide matters relating to the operation of the
 1762  school, including budgeting, curriculum, and operating
 1763  procedures, subject to the center’s charter. The board of
 1764  directors is responsible for performing the duties provided in
 1765  s. 1002.345, including monitoring the corrective action plan.
 1766  The board of directors must comply with s. 1002.33(27) s.
 1767  1002.33(25).
 1768         Section 5. Section 1011.68, Florida Statutes, is amended to
 1769  read:
 1770         1011.68 Funds for student transportation.—The annual
 1771  allocation to each district for transportation to public school
 1772  programs, including charter schools as provided in s.
 1773  1002.33(19)(b) s. 1002.33(17)(b), of students in membership in
 1774  kindergarten through grade 12 and in migrant and exceptional
 1775  student programs below kindergarten shall be determined as
 1776  follows:
 1777         (1) Subject to the rules of the State Board of Education,
 1778  each district shall determine the membership of students who are
 1779  transported:
 1780         (a) By reason of living 2 miles or more from school.
 1781         (b) By reason of being students with disabilities or
 1782  enrolled in a teenage parent program, regardless of distance to
 1783  school.
 1784         (c) By reason of being in a state prekindergarten program,
 1785  regardless of distance from school.
 1786         (d) By reason of being career, dual enrollment, or students
 1787  with disabilities transported from one school center to another
 1788  to participate in an instructional program or service; or
 1789  students with disabilities, transported from one designation to
 1790  another in the state, provided one designation is a school
 1791  center and provided the student’s individual educational plan
 1792  (IEP) identifies the need for the instructional program or
 1793  service and transportation to be provided by the school
 1794  district. A “school center” is defined as a public school
 1795  center, community college, state university, or other facility
 1796  rented, leased, or owned and operated by the school district or
 1797  another public agency. A “dual enrollment student” is defined as
 1798  a public school student in membership in both a public secondary
 1799  school program and a community college or a state university
 1800  program under a written agreement to partially fulfill ss.
 1801  1003.435 and 1007.23 and earning full-time equivalent membership
 1802  under s. 1011.62(1)(i).
 1803         (e) With respect to elementary school students whose grade
 1804  level does not exceed grade 6, by reason of being subjected to
 1805  hazardous walking conditions en route to or from school as
 1806  provided in s. 1006.23. Such rules shall, when appropriate,
 1807  provide for the determination of membership under this paragraph
 1808  for less than 1 year to accommodate the needs of students who
 1809  require transportation only until such hazardous conditions are
 1810  corrected.
 1811         (f) By reason of being a pregnant student or student
 1812  parent, and the child of a student parent as provided in s.
 1813  1003.54, regardless of distance from school.
 1814         (2) The allocation for each district shall be calculated
 1815  annually in accordance with the following formula:
 1817         T = B + EX. The elements of this formula are defined as
 1818  follows: T is the total dollar allocation for transportation. B
 1819  is the base transportation dollar allocation prorated by an
 1820  adjusted student membership count. The adjusted membership count
 1821  shall be derived from a multiplicative index function in which
 1822  the base student membership is adjusted by multiplying it by
 1823  index numbers that individually account for the impact of the
 1824  price level index, average bus occupancy, and the extent of
 1825  rural population in the district. EX is the base transportation
 1826  dollar allocation for disabled students prorated by an adjusted
 1827  disabled student membership count. The base transportation
 1828  dollar allocation for disabled students is the total state base
 1829  disabled student membership count weighted for increased costs
 1830  associated with transporting disabled students and multiplying
 1831  it by an average per student cost for transportation as
 1832  determined by the Legislature. The adjusted disabled student
 1833  membership count shall be derived from a multiplicative index
 1834  function in which the weighted base disabled student membership
 1835  is adjusted by multiplying it by index numbers that individually
 1836  account for the impact of the price level index, average bus
 1837  occupancy, and the extent of rural population in the district.
 1838  Each adjustment factor shall be designed to affect the base
 1839  allocation by no more or less than 10 percent.
 1840         (3) The total allocation to each district for
 1841  transportation of students shall be the sum of the amounts
 1842  determined in subsection (2). If the funds appropriated for the
 1843  purpose of implementing this section are not sufficient to pay
 1844  the base transportation allocation and the base transportation
 1845  allocation for disabled students, the Department of Education
 1846  shall prorate the available funds on a percentage basis. If the
 1847  funds appropriated for the purpose of implementing this section
 1848  exceed the sum of the base transportation allocation and the
 1849  base transportation allocation for disabled students, the base
 1850  transportation allocation for disabled students shall be limited
 1851  to the amount calculated in subsection (2), and the remaining
 1852  balance shall be added to the base transportation allocation.
 1853         (4) No district shall use funds to purchase transportation
 1854  equipment and supplies at prices which exceed those determined
 1855  by the department to be the lowest which can be obtained, as
 1856  prescribed in s. 1006.27(1).
 1857         (5) Funds allocated or apportioned for the payment of
 1858  student transportation services may be used to pay for
 1859  transportation of students to and from school on local general
 1860  purpose transportation systems. Student transportation funds may
 1861  also be used to pay for transportation of students to and from
 1862  school in private passenger cars and boats when the
 1863  transportation is for isolated students, or students with
 1864  disabilities as defined by rule. Subject to the rules of the
 1865  State Board of Education, each school district shall determine
 1866  and report the number of assigned students using general purpose
 1867  transportation private passenger cars and boats. The allocation
 1868  per student must be equal to the allocation per student riding a
 1869  school bus.
 1870         (6) Notwithstanding other provisions of this section, in no
 1871  case shall any student or students be counted for transportation
 1872  funding more than once per day. This provision includes counting
 1873  students for funding pursuant to trips in school buses,
 1874  passenger cars, or boats or general purpose transportation.
 1875         Section 6. Paragraph (b) of subsection (2) of section
 1876  1012.32, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
 1877         1012.32 Qualifications of personnel.—
 1878         (2)
 1879         (b) Instructional and noninstructional personnel who are
 1880  hired or contracted to fill positions in any charter school and
 1881  members of the governing board of any charter school, in
 1882  compliance with s. 1002.33(14)(f) s. 1002.33(12)(g), must, upon
 1883  employment, engagement of services, or appointment, undergo
 1884  background screening as required under s. 1012.465 or s.
 1885  1012.56, whichever is applicable, by filing with the district
 1886  school board for the school district in which the charter school
 1887  is located a complete set of fingerprints taken by an authorized
 1888  law enforcement agency or an employee of the school or school
 1889  district who is trained to take fingerprints.
 1891  Fingerprints shall be submitted to the Department of Law
 1892  Enforcement for statewide criminal and juvenile records checks
 1893  and to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for federal criminal
 1894  records checks. A person subject to this subsection who is found
 1895  ineligible for employment under s. 1012.315, or otherwise found
 1896  through background screening to have been convicted of any crime
 1897  involving moral turpitude as defined by rule of the State Board
 1898  of Education, shall not be employed, engaged to provide
 1899  services, or serve in any position that requires direct contact
 1900  with students. Probationary persons subject to this subsection
 1901  terminated because of their criminal record have the right to
 1902  appeal such decisions. The cost of the background screening may
 1903  be borne by the district school board, the charter school, the
 1904  employee, the contractor, or a person subject to this
 1905  subsection.
 1906         Section 7. Paragraphs (a) and (e) of subsection (1) and
 1907  subsection (2) of section 1013.62, Florida Statutes, are amended
 1908  to read:
 1909         1013.62 Charter schools capital outlay funding.—
 1910         (1) In each year in which funds are appropriated for
 1911  charter school capital outlay purposes, the Commissioner of
 1912  Education shall allocate the funds among eligible charter
 1913  schools.
 1914         (a) To be eligible for a funding allocation, a charter
 1915  school must:
 1916         1.a. Have been in operation for 3 or more years;
 1917         b. Be governed by a governing board established in the
 1918  state for 3 or more years which operates both charter schools
 1919  and conversion charter schools within the state;
 1920         c. Be an expanded feeder chain of a charter school within
 1921  the same school district that is currently receiving charter
 1922  school capital outlay funds;
 1923         d. Have been accredited by the Commission on Schools of the
 1924  Southern Association of Colleges and Schools; or
 1925         e. Serve students in facilities that are provided by a
 1926  business partner for a charter school-in-the-workplace pursuant
 1927  to s. 1002.33(17)(b) s. 1002.33(15)(b).
 1928         2. Have financial stability for future operation as a
 1929  charter school.
 1930         3. Have satisfactory student achievement based on state
 1931  accountability standards applicable to the charter school.
 1932         4. Have received final approval from its sponsor pursuant
 1933  to s. 1002.33 for operation during that fiscal year.
 1934         5. Serve students in facilities that are not provided by
 1935  the charter school’s sponsor.
 1936         (e) Unless otherwise provided in the General Appropriations
 1937  Act, the funding allocation for each eligible charter school is
 1938  determined by multiplying the school’s projected student
 1939  enrollment by one-fifteenth of the cost-per-student station
 1940  specified in s. 1013.64(6)(b) for an elementary, middle, or high
 1941  school, as appropriate. If the funds appropriated are not
 1942  sufficient, the commissioner shall prorate the available funds
 1943  among eligible charter schools. However, a charter school or
 1944  charter lab school may not receive state charter school capital
 1945  outlay funds greater than the one-fifteenth cost per student
 1946  station formula if the charter school’s combination of state
 1947  charter school capital outlay funds, capital outlay funds
 1948  calculated through the reduction in the administrative fee
 1949  provided in s. 1002.33(23) s. 1002.33(20), and capital outlay
 1950  funds allowed in s. 1002.32(9)(e) and (h) exceeds the one
 1951  fifteenth cost per student station formula.
 1952         (2) A charter school’s governing body may use charter
 1953  school capital outlay funds for the following purposes:
 1954         (a) Purchase of real property.
 1955         (b) Construction of school facilities.
 1956         (c) Purchase, lease-purchase, or lease of permanent or
 1957  relocatable school facilities.
 1958         (d) Purchase of vehicles to transport students to and from
 1959  the charter school.
 1960         (e) Renovation, repair, and maintenance of school
 1961  facilities that the charter school owns or is purchasing through
 1962  a lease-purchase or long-term lease of 5 years or longer.
 1963         (f) Effective July 1, 2008, purchase, lease-purchase, or
 1964  lease of new and replacement equipment, and enterprise resource
 1965  software applications that are classified as capital assets in
 1966  accordance with definitions of the Governmental Accounting
 1967  Standards Board, have a useful life of at least 5 years, and are
 1968  used to support schoolwide administration or state-mandated
 1969  reporting requirements.
 1970         (g) Payment of the cost of premiums for property and
 1971  casualty insurance necessary to insure the school facilities.
 1972         (h) Purchase, lease-purchase, or lease of driver’s
 1973  education vehicles; motor vehicles used for the maintenance or
 1974  operation of plants and equipment; security vehicles; or
 1975  vehicles used in storing or distributing materials and
 1976  equipment.
 1978  Conversion charter schools may use capital outlay funds received
 1979  through the reduction in the administrative fee provided in s.
 1980  1002.33(23) s. 1002.33(20) for renovation, repair, and
 1981  maintenance of school facilities that are owned by the sponsor.
 1982         (3) When a charter school is nonrenewed or terminated, any
 1983  unencumbered funds and all equipment and property purchased with
 1984  district public funds shall revert to the ownership of the
 1985  district school board, as provided for in s. 1002.33(8)(e) and
 1986  (f). In the case of a charter lab school, any unencumbered funds
 1987  and all equipment and property purchased with university public
 1988  funds shall revert to the ownership of the state university that
 1989  issued the charter. The reversion of such equipment, property,
 1990  and furnishings shall focus on recoverable assets, but not on
 1991  intangible or irrecoverable costs such as rental or leasing
 1992  fees, normal maintenance, and limited renovations. The reversion
 1993  of all property secured with public funds is subject to the
 1994  complete satisfaction of all lawful liens or encumbrances. If
 1995  there are additional local issues such as the shared use of
 1996  facilities or partial ownership of facilities or property, these
 1997  issues shall be agreed to in the charter contract prior to the
 1998  expenditure of funds.
 1999         Section 8. College-Preparatory Boarding Academy Pilot
 2000  Program for at-risk students.—
 2001         (1) PROGRAM CREATION.—The College-Preparatory Boarding
 2002  Academy Pilot Program is created for the purpose of providing
 2003  unique educational opportunities to dependent or at-risk
 2004  children who are academic underperformers but who have the
 2005  potential to progress from at-risk to college-bound. The State
 2006  Board of Education shall implement this program.
 2007         (2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
 2008         (a) “Board” means the board of trustees of a college
 2009  preparatory boarding academy for at-risk students.
 2010         (b) “Eligible student” means a student who is a resident of
 2011  the state and entitled to attend school in a participating
 2012  school district, is at risk of academic failure, is currently
 2013  enrolled in grade 5 or 6, is from a family whose income is below
 2014  200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines, and meets at
 2015  least two of the following additional risk factors:
 2016         1. The student has a record of suspensions, office
 2017  referrals, or chronic truancy.
 2018         2. The student has been referred for academic intervention
 2019  or has not attained at least a proficient score on the state
 2020  achievement assessment in English and language arts, reading, or
 2021  mathematics.
 2022         3. The student’s parent is a single parent.
 2023         4. The student does not live with the student’s custodial
 2024  parent.
 2025         5. The student has received a referral from a school,
 2026  teacher, counselor, dependency circuit court judge, or
 2027  community-based care organization.
 2028         6. The student resides in a household that receives a
 2029  housing voucher or has been determined as eligible for public
 2030  housing assistance.
 2031         7. A member of the student’s immediate family has been
 2032  incarcerated.
 2033         8. The student has been declared an adjudicated dependent
 2034  by a court of competent jurisdiction.
 2035         9. The student meets any additional criteria prescribed by
 2036  an agreement between the State Board of Education and the
 2037  operator of a college-preparatory boarding academy.
 2038         (c) “Operator” means a private, nonprofit corporation that
 2039  is selected by the state under subsection (3) to operate a
 2040  college-preparatory boarding academy for at-risk students.
 2041         (d) “Program” means a college-preparatory boarding academy
 2042  for at-risk students which includes:
 2043         1. A remedial curriculum for middle school grades;
 2044         2. The college-preparatory curriculum for high school
 2045  grades;
 2046         3. Extracurricular activities, including athletics and
 2047  cultural events;
 2048         4. College admissions counseling;
 2049         5. Health and mental health services;
 2050         6. Tutoring;
 2051         7. Community service and service learning opportunities;
 2052         8. A residential student life program;
 2053         9. Extended school days and supplemental programs; and
 2054         10. Professional services focused on the language arts and
 2055  reading standards, mathematics standards, science standards,
 2056  technology standards, and developmental or life skill standards
 2057  using innovative and best practices for all students.
 2058         (e) “Sponsor” means a public school district that acts as
 2059  sponsor pursuant to s. 1002.33, Florida Statutes.
 2060         (3)PROPOSALS.—
 2061         (a) The State Board of Education shall select a private,
 2062  nonprofit corporation to operate a college-preparatory boarding
 2063  academy for at-risk students which meets all of the following
 2064  qualifications:
 2065         1. The nonprofit corporation has, or will receive as a
 2066  condition of the contract, a public charter school authorized
 2067  under s. 1002.33, Florida Statutes, to offer grades 6 through
 2068  12, or has a partnership with a sponsor to operate a school.
 2069         2. The nonprofit corporation has experience operating a
 2070  school or program similar to that authorized under this section.
 2071         3. The nonprofit corporation has demonstrated success with
 2072  a school or program similar to that authorized under this
 2073  section.
 2074         4. The nonprofit corporation has the capacity to finance
 2075  and secure private funds for the development of a campus for the
 2076  program.
 2077         (b) Within 60 days after July 1, 2011, the State Board of
 2078  Education shall issue a request for proposals from private,
 2079  nonprofit corporations interested in operating a college
 2080  preparatory boarding academy for at-risk students. The state
 2081  board shall select operators from among the qualified responders
 2082  within 120 days after the issuance of the requests for proposal.
 2083         (c) Each proposal must contain the following information:
 2084         1. The proposed location of the college-preparatory
 2085  boarding academy;
 2086         2. A plan for offering grade 6 in the program’s initial
 2087  year of operation and a plan for expanding the grade levels
 2088  offered by the school in subsequent years; and
 2089         3. Any other information about the proposed educational
 2090  program, facilities, or operations of the school as determined
 2091  necessary by the state board.
 2092         (4) CONTRACT.—The State Board of Education shall contract
 2093  with the operator of a college-preparatory boarding academy. The
 2094  contract must stipulate that:
 2095         (a) The academy may operate only if, and to the extent
 2096  that, it holds a valid charter authorized under s. 1002.33,
 2097  Florida Statutes, or is authorized by a local school district
 2098  defined as a sponsor pursuant to s. 1002.33, Florida Statutes.
 2099         (b) The operator shall finance and oversee the acquisition
 2100  of a facility for the academy.
 2101         (c) The operator shall operate the academy in accordance
 2102  with the terms of the proposal accepted by the state board.
 2103         (d) The operator shall comply with this section.
 2104         (e) The operator shall comply with any other provisions of
 2105  law specified in the contract, the charter granted by the local
 2106  school district or the operating agreement with the sponsor, and
 2107  the rules adopted by the state board for schools operating in
 2108  this state.
 2109         (f) The operator shall comply with the bylaws that it
 2110  adopts.
 2111         (g) The operator shall comply with standards for admission
 2112  of students to the academy and standards for dismissal of
 2113  students from the academy which are included in the contract and
 2114  may be reevaluated and revised by mutual agreement between the
 2115  operator and the state board.
 2116         (h) The operator shall meet the academic goals and other
 2117  performance standards established by the contract.
 2118         (i) The state board or the operator may terminate the
 2119  contract in accordance with the procedures specified in the
 2120  contract, which must at least require that the party seeking
 2121  termination give prior written notice of the intent to terminate
 2122  the contract and that the party receiving the termination notice
 2123  be granted an opportunity to redress any grievances cited
 2124  therein.
 2125         (j) If the school closes for any reason, the academy’s
 2126  board of trustees shall execute the closing in a manner
 2127  specified in the contract.
 2128         (5) OPERATOR BYLAWS.—The operator of a college-preparatory
 2129  boarding academy for at-risk students shall adopt bylaws for the
 2130  oversight and operation of the academy which are consistent with
 2131  this section, the state law, and the contract between the
 2132  operator and the State Board of Education. The bylaws must
 2133  include procedures for the appointment of board members to the
 2134  academy’s board of trustees, which may not exceed 25 members, 5
 2135  members of which shall be appointed by the Governor with the
 2136  advice and consent of the Senate. The bylaws are subject to
 2137  approval of the state board.
 2138         (6) OUTREACH.—The operator of a college-preparatory
 2139  boarding academy shall adopt an outreach program with the local
 2140  education agency or school district and community. The outreach
 2141  program shall give special attention to the recruitment of
 2142  children in the state’s foster care program as a dependent child
 2143  or as a child in a program to prevent dependency who are
 2144  academic underperformers who, if given the unique educational
 2145  opportunity found in the program, have the potential to progress
 2146  from at-risk children to college-bound children.
 2147         (7) FUNDING.—The college-preparatory boarding academy shall
 2148  be a public school and part of the state’s program of education.
 2149  If the program receives state funding from noneducation sources,
 2150  the State Board of Education shall coordinate, streamline, and
 2151  simplify any requirements to eliminate duplicate, redundant, or
 2152  conflicting requirements and oversight by various governmental
 2153  programs or agencies. The applicable regulating entities shall,
 2154  to the maximum extent possible, use independent reports and
 2155  financial audits provided by the program and coordinated by the
 2156  state board to eliminate or reduce contract and administrative
 2157  reviews. Additional items may be suggested, if reasonable, to
 2158  the state board to be included in independent reports and
 2159  financial audits for the purpose of implementing this section.
 2160  Reporting paperwork that is prepared for the state and local
 2161  education agency shall also be shared with and accepted by other
 2162  state and local regulatory entities, to the maximum extent
 2163  possible.
 2164         (8) PROGRAM CAPACITY.—Beginning August 2012, a college
 2165  preparatory boarding academy shall admit 80 students. In each
 2166  additional fiscal year, the program shall grow by an additional
 2167  number of students, as specified in the contract, until the
 2168  program reaches a capacity of 400 students.
 2169         (9) STUDENT SERVICES.—Students enrolled in the program who
 2170  have been adjudicated dependent must remain under the case
 2171  management services and supervision of the lead agency and its
 2172  respective providers. The operator may contract with its own
 2173  licensed providers as necessary to provide services to children
 2174  in the program and to ensure continuity of the full range of
 2175  services required by children in foster care who attend the
 2176  academy.
 2177         (10) MEDICAID BILLING.—This section does not prohibit an
 2178  operator from appropriately billing Medicaid for services
 2179  rendered to eligible students through the program or from
 2180  earning federal or local funding for services provided.
 2181         (11) ADMISSION.—Any eligible student may apply for
 2182  admission to a college-preparatory boarding academy. If more
 2183  eligible students apply for admission than the number of
 2184  students permitted by the capacity established by the board of
 2185  trustees, admission shall be determined by lottery.
 2186         (12) STUDENT HOUSING.—Notwithstanding ss. 409.1677(3)(d)
 2187  and 409.176, Florida Statutes, or any other provision of law, an
 2188  operator may house and educate dependent, at-risk youth in its
 2189  residential school for the purpose of facilitating the mission
 2190  of the program and encouraging innovative practices.
 2191         (13) ANNUAL REPORT.—
 2192         (a) The State Board of Education shall issue an annual
 2193  report for each college-preparatory boarding academy which
 2194  includes all information applicable to schools.
 2195         (b) Each college-preparatory boarding academy shall report
 2196  to the Department of Education, in the form and manner
 2197  prescribed in the contract, the following information:
 2198         1. The total number of students enrolled in the academy;
 2199         2. The number of students enrolled in the academy who are
 2200  receiving special education services pursuant to an individual
 2201  education plan; and
 2202         3. Any additional information specified in the contract.
 2203         (c) The operator shall comply with s. 1002.33, Florida
 2204  Statutes, and shall annually assess reading and mathematics
 2205  skills. The operator shall provide the student’s legal guardians
 2206  with sufficient information on whether the student is reading at
 2207  grade level and whether the student gains at least a year’s
 2208  worth of learning for every year spent in the program.
 2209         (14) RULES.—The State Board of Education shall adopt rules
 2210  to administer this section. These rules must identify any
 2211  existing rules that are applicable to the program and preempt
 2212  any other rules that are not specified for the purpose of
 2213  clarifying the rules that may be conflicting, redundant, or that
 2214  result in an unnecessary burden on the program or the operator.
 2215         Section 9. (1) The Office of Program Policy Analysis and
 2216  Government Accountability (OPPAGA) shall conduct a study that
 2217  compares the funding of charter schools to the funding of
 2218  traditional public schools. In conducting this study, OPPAGA
 2219  shall:
 2220         (a) Identify the school districts that distribute funds
 2221  generated by the capital improvement millage authorized pursuant
 2222  to s. 1011.71(2), Florida Statutes, to charter schools and the
 2223  use of such funds by the charter schools.
 2224         (b) Determine the amount of funds that would be available
 2225  to charter schools if school districts equitably distribute to
 2226  district schools, including charter schools, the funds generated
 2227  by the capital improvement millage authorized pursuant to s.
 2228  1011.71(2), Florida Statutes.
 2229         (c) Examine the costs associated with supervising charter
 2230  schools and determine whether the 5 percent administrative fee
 2231  for administrative and educational services for charter schools
 2232  covers the costs associated with the provision of the services.
 2233         (d) Examine the distribution of IDEA funds.
 2234         (2) OPPAGA shall make recommendations, if warranted, for
 2235  improving the accountability and equity of the funding system
 2236  for charter schools based on the findings of the study. The
 2237  results of the study shall be submitted to the Governor, the
 2238  President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of
 2239  Representatives by January 1, 2012.
 2240         Section 10. If any provision of this act or its application
 2241  to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity
 2242  does not affect other provisions or applications of the act
 2243  which can be given effect without the invalid provision or
 2244  application, and to this end the provisions of this act are
 2245  severable.
 2246         Section 11. This act shall take effect July 1, 2011.