CS for CS for CS for SB 1546                     First Engrossed
    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.; requiring that
    5         the Department of Education provide or arrange for
    6         training and technical assistance for charter schools;
    7         authorizing a sponsor to require certain governing
    8         board members to reside in the school district;
    9         providing for the designation of charter schools as
   10         high-performing if certain requirements are met;
   11         providing definitions relating to the high-performing
   12         charter school system; revising provisions to conform
   13         to changes made by the act; amending ss. 1002.34,
   14         1011.68, 1012.32, and 1013.62, F.S.; conforming cross
   15         references; requiring that the Office of Program
   16         Policy Analysis and Government Accountability conduct
   17         a study comparing the funding of charter schools to
   18         the funding of public schools; providing requirements
   19         for the study; requiring that the office submit its
   20         recommendations and findings to the Governor and
   21         Legislature by a specified date; providing for
   22         severability; providing an effective date.
   24  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   26         Section 1. Paragraph (e) of subsection (13) of section
   27  163.3180, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
   28         163.3180 Concurrency.—
   29         (13) School concurrency shall be established on a
   30  districtwide basis and shall include all public schools in the
   31  district and all portions of the district, whether located in a
   32  municipality or an unincorporated area unless exempt from the
   33  public school facilities element pursuant to s. 163.3177(12).
   34  The application of school concurrency to development shall be
   35  based upon the adopted comprehensive plan, as amended. All local
   36  governments within a county, except as provided in paragraph
   37  (f), shall adopt and transmit to the state land planning agency
   38  the necessary plan amendments, along with the interlocal
   39  agreement, for a compliance review pursuant to s. 163.3184(7)
   40  and (8). The minimum requirements for school concurrency are the
   41  following:
   42         (e) Availability standard.—Consistent with the public
   43  welfare, a local government may not deny an application for site
   44  plan, final subdivision approval, or the functional equivalent
   45  for a development or phase of a development authorizing
   46  residential development for failure to achieve and maintain the
   47  level-of-service standard for public school capacity in a local
   48  school concurrency management system where adequate school
   49  facilities will be in place or under actual construction within
   50  3 years after the issuance of final subdivision or site plan
   51  approval, or the functional equivalent. School concurrency is
   52  satisfied if the developer executes a legally binding commitment
   53  to provide mitigation proportionate to the demand for public
   54  school facilities to be created by actual development of the
   55  property, including, but not limited to, the options described
   56  in subparagraph 1. Options for proportionate-share mitigation of
   57  impacts on public school facilities must be established in the
   58  public school facilities element and the interlocal agreement
   59  pursuant to s. 163.31777.
   60         1. Appropriate mitigation options include the contribution
   61  of land; the construction, expansion, or payment for land
   62  acquisition or construction of a public school facility; the
   63  construction of a charter school that complies with the
   64  requirements of s. 1002.33(20) s. 1002.33(18); or the creation
   65  of mitigation banking based on the construction of a public
   66  school facility in exchange for the right to sell capacity
   67  credits. Such options must include execution by the applicant
   68  and the local government of a development agreement that
   69  constitutes a legally binding commitment to pay proportionate
   70  share mitigation for the additional residential units approved
   71  by the local government in a development order and actually
   72  developed on the property, taking into account residential
   73  density allowed on the property prior to the plan amendment that
   74  increased the overall residential density. The district school
   75  board must be a party to such an agreement. As a condition of
   76  its entry into such a development agreement, the local
   77  government may require the landowner to agree to continuing
   78  renewal of the agreement upon its expiration.
   79         2. If the education facilities plan and the public
   80  educational facilities element authorize a contribution of land;
   81  the construction, expansion, or payment for land acquisition;
   82  the construction or expansion of a public school facility, or a
   83  portion thereof; or the construction of a charter school that
   84  complies with the requirements of s. 1002.33(20) s. 1002.33(18),
   85  as proportionate-share mitigation, the local government shall
   86  credit such a contribution, construction, expansion, or payment
   87  toward any other impact fee or exaction imposed by local
   88  ordinance for the same need, on a dollar-for-dollar basis at
   89  fair market value.
   90         3. Any proportionate-share mitigation must be directed by
   91  the school board toward a school capacity improvement identified
   92  in a financially feasible 5-year district work plan that
   93  satisfies the demands created by the development in accordance
   94  with a binding developer’s agreement.
   95         4. If a development is precluded from commencing because
   96  there is inadequate classroom capacity to mitigate the impacts
   97  of the development, the development may nevertheless commence if
   98  there are accelerated facilities in an approved capital
   99  improvement element scheduled for construction in year four or
  100  later of such plan which, when built, will mitigate the proposed
  101  development, or if such accelerated facilities will be in the
  102  next annual update of the capital facilities element, the
  103  developer enters into a binding, financially guaranteed
  104  agreement with the school district to construct an accelerated
  105  facility within the first 3 years of an approved capital
  106  improvement plan, and the cost of the school facility is equal
  107  to or greater than the development’s proportionate share. When
  108  the completed school facility is conveyed to the school
  109  district, the developer shall receive impact fee credits usable
  110  within the zone where the facility is constructed or any
  111  attendance zone contiguous with or adjacent to the zone where
  112  the facility is constructed.
  113         5. This paragraph does not limit the authority of a local
  114  government to deny a development permit or its functional
  115  equivalent pursuant to its home rule regulatory powers, except
  116  as provided in this part.
  117         Section 2. Paragraph (c) of subsection (9) of section
  118  1002.32, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  119         1002.32 Developmental research (laboratory) schools.—
  120         (9) FUNDING.—Funding for a lab school, including a charter
  121  lab school, shall be provided as follows:
  122         (c) All operating funds provided under this section shall
  123  be deposited in a Lab School Trust Fund and shall be expended
  124  for the purposes of this section. The university assigned a lab
  125  school shall be the fiscal agent for these funds, and all rules
  126  of the university governing the budgeting and expenditure of
  127  state funds shall apply to these funds unless otherwise provided
  128  by law or rule of the State Board of Education. The university
  129  board of trustees shall be the public employer of lab school
  130  personnel for collective bargaining purposes for lab schools in
  131  operation prior to the 2002-2003 fiscal year. Employees of
  132  charter lab schools authorized prior to June 1, 2003, but not in
  133  operation prior to the 2002-2003 fiscal year shall be employees
  134  of the entity holding the charter and must comply with the
  135  provisions of s. 1002.33(14) s. 1002.33(12).
  136         Section 3. Subsections (6) through (26) of section 1002.33,
  137  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  138         1002.33 Charter schools.—
  139         (6) APPLICATION PROCESS AND REVIEW.—Charter school
  140  applications are subject to the following requirements:
  141         (a) A person or entity wishing to open a charter school
  142  shall prepare and submit an application on a model application
  143  form prepared by the Department of Education which:
  144         1. Demonstrates how the school will use the guiding
  145  principles and meet the statutorily defined purpose of a charter
  146  school.
  147         2. Provides a detailed curriculum plan that illustrates how
  148  students will be provided services to attain the Sunshine State
  149  Standards.
  150         3. Contains goals and objectives for improving student
  151  learning and measuring that improvement. These goals and
  152  objectives must indicate how much academic improvement students
  153  are expected to show each year, how success will be evaluated,
  154  and the specific results to be attained through instruction.
  155         4. Describes the reading curriculum and differentiated
  156  strategies that will be used for students reading at grade level
  157  or higher and a separate curriculum and strategies for students
  158  who are reading below grade level. A sponsor shall deny a
  159  charter if the school does not propose a reading curriculum that
  160  is consistent with effective teaching strategies that are
  161  grounded in scientifically based reading research.
  162         5. Contains an annual financial plan for each year
  163  requested by the charter for operation of the school for up to 5
  164  years. This plan must contain anticipated fund balances based on
  165  revenue projections, a spending plan based on projected revenues
  166  and expenses, and a description of controls that will safeguard
  167  finances and projected enrollment trends.
  168         6. Documents that the applicant has participated in the
  169  training required in subparagraph (b)2. (f)2. A sponsor may
  170  require an applicant to provide additional information as an
  171  addendum to the charter school application described in this
  172  paragraph.
  173         (b)1. The Department of Education shall provide or arrange
  174  for training and technical assistance to charter schools in
  175  developing business plans and estimating costs and income.
  176  Training and technical assistance shall address estimating
  177  startup costs, projecting enrollment, and identifying the types
  178  and amounts of state and federal financial assistance that the
  179  charter school may be eligible to receive. The department may
  180  provide other technical assistance to an applicant upon written
  181  request.
  182         2. A charter school applicant must participate in the
  183  training provided by the Department of Education after approval
  184  of an application, but at least 30 calendar days before the
  185  first day of classes at the charter school. However, a sponsor
  186  may require the charter school applicant to attend training
  187  provided by the sponsor in lieu of the department’s training if
  188  the sponsor’s training standards meet or exceed the standards
  189  developed by the department. A sponsor may not require a charter
  190  school applicant to attend its training within 30 calendar days
  191  before the first day of classes at the charter school when it
  192  requires the charter school to attend its training in lieu of
  193  the department’s training. The training must include instruction
  194  in accurate financial planning and good business practices. If
  195  the applicant is a management company or a nonprofit
  196  organization, the charter school principal and the chief
  197  financial officer or his or her equivalent must also participate
  198  in the training. However, a sponsor may not require a high
  199  performing charter school or high-performing charter school
  200  system applicant to participate in the training described in
  201  this subparagraph more than once.
  202         (c)(b) A sponsor shall receive and review all applications
  203  for a charter school using an evaluation instrument developed by
  204  the Department of Education. Beginning with the 2007-2008 school
  205  year, a sponsor shall receive and consider charter school
  206  applications received on or before August 1 of each calendar
  207  year for charter schools to be opened at the beginning of the
  208  school district’s next school year, or to be opened at a time
  209  agreed to by the applicant and the sponsor. A sponsor may
  210  receive applications later than this date if it chooses. A
  211  sponsor may not charge an applicant for a charter any fee for
  212  the processing or consideration of an application, and a sponsor
  213  may not base its consideration or approval of an application
  214  upon the promise of future payment of any kind. Before approving
  215  or denying any application, the sponsor shall allow the
  216  applicant at least 7 calendar days to make technical or
  217  nonsubstantive corrections and clarifications, including, but
  218  not limited to, grammatical, typographical, and like errors or
  219  missing signatures, if such errors are identified by the sponsor
  220  as cause to deny the application.
  221         1. In order to facilitate an accurate budget projection
  222  process, a sponsor shall be held harmless for FTE students who
  223  are not included in the FTE projection due to approval of
  224  charter school applications after the FTE projection deadline.
  225  In a further effort to facilitate an accurate budget projection,
  226  within 15 calendar days after receipt of a charter school
  227  application, a sponsor shall report to the Department of
  228  Education the name of the applicant entity, the proposed charter
  229  school location, and its projected FTE.
  230         2. In order to ensure fiscal responsibility, an application
  231  for a charter school shall include a full accounting of expected
  232  assets, a projection of expected sources and amounts of income,
  233  including income derived from projected student enrollments and
  234  from community support, and an expense projection that includes
  235  full accounting of the costs of operation, including start-up
  236  costs.
  237         3. A sponsor shall by a majority vote approve or deny an
  238  application no later than 60 calendar days after the application
  239  is received, unless the sponsor and the applicant mutually agree
  240  in writing to temporarily postpone the vote to a specific date,
  241  at which time the sponsor shall by a majority vote approve or
  242  deny the application. If the sponsor fails to act on the
  243  application, an applicant may appeal to the State Board of
  244  Education as provided in paragraph (d) paragraph (c). If an
  245  application is denied, the sponsor shall, within 10 calendar
  246  days after such denial, articulate in writing the specific
  247  reasons, based upon good cause, supporting its denial of the
  248  charter application and shall provide the letter of denial and
  249  supporting documentation to the applicant and to the Department
  250  of Education supporting those reasons.
  251         4. For budget projection purposes, the sponsor shall report
  252  to the Department of Education the approval or denial of a
  253  charter application within 10 calendar days after such approval
  254  or denial. In the event of approval, the report to the
  255  Department of Education shall include the final projected FTE
  256  for the approved charter school.
  257         5. Upon approval of a charter application, the initial
  258  startup shall commence with the beginning of the public school
  259  calendar for the district in which the charter is granted unless
  260  the sponsor allows a waiver of this subparagraph for good cause.
  261         (d)(c) An applicant may appeal any denial of that
  262  applicant’s application or failure to act on an application to
  263  the State Board of Education no later than 30 calendar days
  264  after receipt of the sponsor’s decision or failure to act and
  265  shall notify the sponsor of its appeal. Any response of the
  266  sponsor shall be submitted to the State Board of Education
  267  within 30 calendar days after notification of the appeal. Upon
  268  receipt of notification from the State Board of Education that a
  269  charter school applicant is filing an appeal, the Commissioner
  270  of Education shall convene a meeting of the Charter School
  271  Appeal Commission to study and make recommendations to the State
  272  Board of Education regarding its pending decision about the
  273  appeal. The commission shall forward its recommendation to the
  274  state board no later than 7 calendar days prior to the date on
  275  which the appeal is to be heard. The State Board of Education
  276  shall by majority vote accept or reject the decision of the
  277  sponsor no later than 90 calendar days after an appeal is filed
  278  in accordance with State Board of Education rule. The Charter
  279  School Appeal Commission may reject an appeal submission for
  280  failure to comply with procedural rules governing the appeals
  281  process. The rejection shall describe the submission errors. The
  282  appellant may have up to 15 calendar days from notice of
  283  rejection to resubmit an appeal that meets requirements of State
  284  Board of Education rule. An application for appeal submitted
  285  subsequent to such rejection shall be considered timely if the
  286  original appeal was filed within 30 calendar days after receipt
  287  of notice of the specific reasons for the sponsor’s denial of
  288  the charter application. The State Board of Education shall
  289  remand the application to the sponsor with its written decision
  290  that the sponsor approve or deny the application. The sponsor
  291  shall implement the decision of the State Board of Education.
  292  The decision of the State Board of Education is not subject to
  293  the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act, chapter 120.
  294         (e)(d) The sponsor shall act upon the decision of the State
  295  Board of Education within 30 calendar days after it is received.
  296  The State Board of Education’s decision is a final action
  297  subject to judicial review in the district court of appeal.
  298         (f)(e)1. A Charter School Appeal Commission is established
  299  to assist the commissioner and the State Board of Education with
  300  a fair and impartial review of appeals by applicants whose
  301  charter applications have been denied, whose charter contracts
  302  have not been renewed, or whose charter contracts have been
  303  terminated by their sponsors.
  304         2. The Charter School Appeal Commission may receive copies
  305  of the appeal documents forwarded to the State Board of
  306  Education, review the documents, gather other applicable
  307  information regarding the appeal, and make a written
  308  recommendation to the commissioner. The recommendation must
  309  state whether the appeal should be upheld or denied and include
  310  the reasons for the recommendation being offered. The
  311  commissioner shall forward the recommendation to the State Board
  312  of Education no later than 7 calendar days prior to the date on
  313  which the appeal is to be heard. The state board must consider
  314  the commission’s recommendation in making its decision, but is
  315  not bound by the recommendation. The decision of the Charter
  316  School Appeal Commission is not subject to the provisions of the
  317  Administrative Procedure Act, chapter 120.
  318         3. The commissioner shall appoint the members of the
  319  Charter School Appeal Commission. Members shall serve without
  320  compensation but may be reimbursed for travel and per diem
  321  expenses in conjunction with their service. One-half of the
  322  members must represent currently operating charter schools, and
  323  one-half of the members must represent sponsors. The
  324  commissioner or a named designee shall chair the Charter School
  325  Appeal Commission.
  326         4. The chair shall convene meetings of the commission and
  327  shall ensure that the written recommendations are completed and
  328  forwarded in a timely manner. In cases where the commission
  329  cannot reach a decision, the chair shall make the written
  330  recommendation with justification, noting that the decision was
  331  rendered by the chair.
  332         5. Commission members shall thoroughly review the materials
  333  presented to them from the appellant and the sponsor. The
  334  commission may request information to clarify the documentation
  335  presented to it. In the course of its review, the commission may
  336  facilitate the postponement of an appeal in those cases where
  337  additional time and communication may negate the need for a
  338  formal appeal and both parties agree, in writing, to postpone
  339  the appeal to the State Board of Education. A new date certain
  340  for the appeal shall then be set based upon the rules and
  341  procedures of the State Board of Education. Commission members
  342  shall provide a written recommendation to the state board as to
  343  whether the appeal should be upheld or denied. A fact-based
  344  justification for the recommendation must be included. The chair
  345  must ensure that the written recommendation is submitted to the
  346  State Board of Education members no later than 7 calendar days
  347  prior to the date on which the appeal is to be heard. Both
  348  parties in the case shall also be provided a copy of the
  349  recommendation.
  350         (f)1. The Department of Education shall offer or arrange
  351  for training and technical assistance to charter school
  352  applicants in developing business plans and estimating costs and
  353  income. This assistance shall address estimating startup costs,
  354  projecting enrollment, and identifying the types and amounts of
  355  state and federal financial assistance the charter school may be
  356  eligible to receive. The department may provide other technical
  357  assistance to an applicant upon written request.
  358         2. A charter school applicant must participate in the
  359  training provided by the Department of Education before filing
  360  an application. However, a sponsor may require the charter
  361  school applicant to attend training provided by the sponsor in
  362  lieu of the department’s training if the sponsor’s training
  363  standards meet or exceed the standards developed by the
  364  Department of Education. The training shall include instruction
  365  in accurate financial planning and good business practices. If
  366  the applicant is a management company or other nonprofit
  367  organization, the charter school principal and the chief
  368  financial officer or his or her equivalent must also participate
  369  in the training.
  370         (g) In considering charter applications for a lab school, a
  371  state university shall consult with the district school board of
  372  the county in which the lab school is located. The decision of a
  373  state university may be appealed pursuant to the procedure
  374  established in this subsection.
  375         (h) The terms and conditions for the operation of a charter
  376  school shall be set forth by the sponsor and the applicant in a
  377  written contractual agreement, called a charter. The sponsor
  378  shall not impose unreasonable rules or regulations that violate
  379  the intent of giving charter schools greater flexibility to meet
  380  educational goals. The sponsor shall have 60 days to provide an
  381  initial proposed charter contract to the charter school. The
  382  applicant and the sponsor shall have 75 days thereafter to
  383  negotiate and notice the charter contract for final approval by
  384  the sponsor unless both parties agree to an extension. The
  385  proposed charter contract shall be provided to the charter
  386  school at least 7 calendar days before prior to the date of the
  387  meeting at which the charter is scheduled to be voted upon by
  388  the sponsor. The Department of Education shall provide mediation
  389  services for any dispute regarding this section subsequent to
  390  the approval of a charter application and for any dispute
  391  relating to the approved charter, except disputes regarding
  392  charter school application denials. If the Commissioner of
  393  Education determines that the dispute cannot be settled through
  394  mediation, the dispute may be appealed to an administrative law
  395  judge appointed by the Division of Administrative Hearings. The
  396  administrative law judge may rule on issues of equitable
  397  treatment of the charter school as a public school, whether
  398  proposed provisions of the charter violate the intended
  399  flexibility granted charter schools by statute, or on any other
  400  matter regarding this section except a charter school
  401  application denial, a charter termination, or a charter
  402  nonrenewal and shall award the prevailing party reasonable
  403  attorney’s fees and costs incurred to be paid by the losing
  404  party. The costs of the administrative hearing shall be paid by
  405  the party whom the administrative law judge rules against.
  406         (7) CHARTER.—The major issues involving the operation of a
  407  charter school shall be considered in advance and written into
  408  the charter. The charter shall be signed by the governing body
  409  of the charter school and the sponsor, following a public
  410  hearing to ensure community input.
  411         (a) The charter shall address and criteria for approval of
  412  the charter shall be based on:
  413         1. The school’s mission, the students to be served, and the
  414  ages and grades to be included.
  415         2. The focus of the curriculum, the instructional methods
  416  to be used, any distinctive instructional techniques to be
  417  employed, and identification and acquisition of appropriate
  418  technologies needed to improve educational and administrative
  419  performance which include a means for promoting safe, ethical,
  420  and appropriate uses of technology which comply with legal and
  421  professional standards. The charter shall ensure that reading is
  422  a primary focus of the curriculum and that resources are
  423  provided to identify and provide specialized instruction for
  424  students who are reading below grade level. The curriculum and
  425  instructional strategies for reading must be consistent with the
  426  Sunshine State Standards and grounded in scientifically based
  427  reading research.
  428         3. The current incoming baseline standard of student
  429  academic achievement, the outcomes to be achieved, and the
  430  method of measurement that will be used. The criteria listed in
  431  this subparagraph shall include a detailed description of:
  432         a. How the baseline student academic achievement levels and
  433  prior rates of academic progress will be established.
  434         b. How these baseline rates will be compared to rates of
  435  academic progress achieved by these same students while
  436  attending the charter school.
  437         c. To the extent possible, how these rates of progress will
  438  be evaluated and compared with rates of progress of other
  439  closely comparable student populations.
  441  The district school board is required to provide academic
  442  student performance data to charter schools for each of their
  443  students coming from the district school system, as well as
  444  rates of academic progress of comparable student populations in
  445  the district school system.
  446         4. The methods used to identify the educational strengths
  447  and needs of students and how well educational goals and
  448  performance standards are met by students attending the charter
  449  school. The methods shall provide a means for the charter school
  450  to ensure accountability to its constituents by analyzing
  451  student performance data and by evaluating the effectiveness and
  452  efficiency of its major educational programs. Students in
  453  charter schools shall, at a minimum, participate in the
  454  statewide assessment program created under s. 1008.22.
  455         5. In secondary charter schools, a method for determining
  456  that a student has satisfied the requirements for graduation in
  457  s. 1003.428, s. 1003.429, or s. 1003.43.
  458         6. A method for resolving conflicts between the governing
  459  body of the charter school and the sponsor.
  460         7. The admissions procedures and dismissal procedures,
  461  including the school’s code of student conduct.
  462         8. The ways by which the school will achieve a
  463  racial/ethnic balance reflective of the community it serves or
  464  within the racial/ethnic range of other public schools in the
  465  same school district.
  466         9. The financial and administrative management of the
  467  school, including a reasonable demonstration of the professional
  468  experience or competence of those individuals or organizations
  469  applying to operate the charter school or those hired or
  470  retained to perform such professional services and the
  471  description of clearly delineated responsibilities and the
  472  policies and practices needed to effectively manage the charter
  473  school. A description of internal audit procedures and
  474  establishment of controls to ensure that financial resources are
  475  properly managed must be included. Both public sector and
  476  private sector professional experience shall be equally valid in
  477  such a consideration.
  478         10. The asset and liability projections required in the
  479  application which are incorporated into the charter and shall be
  480  compared with information provided in the annual report of the
  481  charter school.
  482         11. A description of procedures that identify various risks
  483  and provide for a comprehensive approach to reduce the impact of
  484  losses; plans to ensure the safety and security of students and
  485  staff; plans to identify, minimize, and protect others from
  486  violent or disruptive student behavior; and the manner in which
  487  the school will be insured, including whether or not the school
  488  will be required to have liability insurance, and, if so, the
  489  terms and conditions thereof and the amounts of coverage.
  490         12. The term of the charter which shall provide for
  491  cancellation of the charter if insufficient progress has been
  492  made in attaining the student achievement objectives of the
  493  charter and if it is not likely that such objectives can be
  494  achieved before expiration of the charter. The initial term of a
  495  charter shall be for 4 or 5 years, unless the charter meets the
  496  requirements of a high-performing charter school system pursuant
  497  to subsection (11). In order to facilitate access to long-term
  498  financial resources for charter school construction, Charter
  499  schools that are operated by a municipality or other public
  500  entity as provided by law are eligible for up to a 15-year
  501  charter, subject to approval by the district school board. A
  502  charter lab school is eligible for a charter for a term of up to
  503  15 years. In addition, to facilitate access to long-term
  504  financial resources for charter school construction, charter
  505  schools that are operated by a private, not-for-profit, s.
  506  501(c)(3) status corporation are eligible for up to a 15-year
  507  charter, subject to approval by the district school board. Such
  508  long-term charters remain subject to annual review and may be
  509  terminated during the term of the charter, but only according to
  510  the provisions set forth in subsection (8).
  511         13. The facilities to be used and their location.
  512         14. The qualifications to be required of the teachers and
  513  the potential strategies used to recruit, hire, train, and
  514  retain qualified staff to achieve best value.
  515         15. The governance structure of the school, including the
  516  status of the charter school as a public or private employer as
  517  required in paragraph (14)(i) (12)(i).
  518         16. A timetable for implementing the charter which
  519  addresses the implementation of each element thereof and the
  520  date by which the charter shall be awarded in order to meet this
  521  timetable.
  522         17. In the case of an existing public school that is being
  523  converted to charter status, alternative arrangements for
  524  current students who choose not to attend the charter school and
  525  for current teachers who choose not to teach in the charter
  526  school after conversion in accordance with the existing
  527  collective bargaining agreement or district school board rule in
  528  the absence of a collective bargaining agreement. However,
  529  alternative arrangements shall not be required for current
  530  teachers who choose not to teach in a charter lab school, except
  531  as authorized by the employment policies of the state university
  532  which grants the charter to the lab school.
  533         18. Full disclosure of the identity of all relatives
  534  employed by the charter school who are related to the charter
  535  school owner, president, chairperson of the governing board of
  536  directors, superintendent, governing board member, principal,
  537  assistant principal, or any other person employed by the charter
  538  school who has equivalent decisionmaking authority. For the
  539  purpose of this subparagraph, the term “relative” means father,
  540  mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, first
  541  cousin, nephew, niece, husband, wife, father-in-law, mother-in
  542  law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law,
  543  stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother,
  544  stepsister, half brother, or half sister.
  545         (b)1. A charter may be renewed provided that a program
  546  review demonstrates that the criteria in paragraph (a) have been
  547  successfully accomplished and that none of the grounds for
  548  nonrenewal established by paragraph (8)(a) has been documented.
  549  In order to facilitate long-term financing for charter school
  550  construction, charter schools operating for a minimum of 3 years
  551  and demonstrating exemplary academic programming and fiscal
  552  management are eligible for a 15-year charter renewal. Such
  553  long-term charter is subject to annual review and may be
  554  terminated during the term of the charter.
  555         2. The 15-year charter renewal that may be granted pursuant
  556  to subparagraph 1. shall be granted to a charter school that has
  557  received a school grade of “A” or “B” pursuant to s. 1008.34 in
  558  3 of the past 4 years and is not in a state of financial
  559  emergency or deficit position as defined by this section. Such
  560  long-term charter is subject to annual review and may be
  561  terminated during the term of the charter pursuant to subsection
  562  (8).
  563         (c) A charter may be modified during its initial term or
  564  any renewal term upon the recommendation of the sponsor or the
  565  charter school governing board and the approval of both parties
  566  to the agreement.
  567         (d) A school district may require up to two of the charter
  568  school’s governing board members to reside in the school
  569  district in which the charter school is located. Each charter
  570  school’s governing board must annually hold at least three
  571  public meetings in the school district. Such meetings must be
  572  open and accessible to the public, and attendees must be
  573  provided an opportunity to receive information and provide input
  574  regarding the charter school’s affairs. A quorum of the
  575  governing board members must be physically present at each
  576  meeting.
  578         (a) The sponsor may choose not to renew or may terminate
  579  the charter for any of the following grounds:
  580         1. Failure to participate in the state’s education
  581  accountability system created in s. 1008.31, as required in this
  582  section, or failure to meet the requirements for student
  583  performance stated in the charter.
  584         2. Failure to meet generally accepted standards of fiscal
  585  management.
  586         3. Violation of law.
  587         4. Other good cause shown.
  588         (b) Before At least 90 days prior to renewing or
  589  terminating a charter, the sponsor shall notify the governing
  590  body of the school of the proposed action in writing. The notice
  591  shall state in reasonable detail the grounds for the proposed
  592  action and stipulate that the school’s governing body may,
  593  within 14 calendar days after receiving the notice, file a
  594  request for a an informal hearing with the sponsor pursuant to
  595  chapter 120 before the sponsor. The matter shall proceed
  596  pursuant to chapter 120. The sponsor shall conduct the informal
  597  hearing within 30 calendar days after receiving a written
  598  request.
  599         (c) The final order issued by the sponsor must include the
  600  specific reasons for nonrenewal or termination of the charter
  601  and shall be provided to the charter school governing body and
  602  the Department of Education within 10 calendar days after the
  603  final order is issued. If a charter is not renewed or is
  604  terminated pursuant to paragraph (b), the sponsor shall, within
  605  10 calendar days, articulate in writing the specific reasons for
  606  its nonrenewal or termination of the charter and must provide
  607  the letter of nonrenewal or termination and documentation
  608  supporting the reasons to the charter school governing body, the
  609  charter school principal, and the Department of Education. The
  610  charter school’s governing body may, within 30 calendar days
  611  after receiving the sponsor’s final order written decision to
  612  refuse to renew or to terminate the charter, appeal the decision
  613  pursuant to the procedure established in subsection (6).
  614         (d) A charter may be terminated immediately if the sponsor
  615  determines that good cause has been shown or if the health,
  616  safety, or welfare of the students is threatened. The sponsor’s
  617  determination is not subject to the same process as set forth in
  618  paragraphs an informal hearing under paragraph (b) and (c), with
  619  the exception that the sponsor’s determination may take effect
  620  immediately or at a subsequently identified time or pursuant to
  621  chapter 120. The sponsor shall notify in writing the charter
  622  school’s governing body, the charter school principal, and the
  623  department if a charter is immediately terminated as soon as
  624  reasonably possible. The sponsor shall clearly identify the
  625  specific issues that resulted in the immediate termination and
  626  provide evidence of prior notification of issues resulting in
  627  the immediate termination when appropriate. The charter school’s
  628  governing board has 10 days to request a hearing pursuant to s.
  629  120.569. The hearing in such cases shall be expedited, and the
  630  final order shall be issued no more than 45 days after the date
  631  upon which the hearing is requested. The school district in
  632  which the charter school is located shall assume operation of
  633  the school under these circumstances. The charter school’s
  634  governing board may, within 30 days after receiving the
  635  sponsor’s decision to terminate the charter, appeal the decision
  636  pursuant to the procedure established in subsection (6). The
  637  sponsor shall assume and continue operation of the school
  638  pending appeal to the State Board of Education under subsection
  639  (6), unless the continued operation of the school would
  640  materially threaten the physical health, safety, or welfare of
  641  the students. A sponsor that fails to assume and to continue
  642  operation of the charter school is liable for attorney’s fees
  643  and costs to the charter school if the charter school prevails
  644  on appeal to the State Board of Education.
  645         (e) When a charter is not renewed or is terminated, the
  646  school shall be dissolved under the provisions of law under
  647  which the school was organized, and any unencumbered public
  648  funds, except for capital outlay funds and federal charter
  649  school program grant funds, from the charter school shall revert
  650  to the sponsor. Capital outlay funds provided pursuant to s.
  651  1013.62 and federal charter school program grant funds that are
  652  unencumbered shall revert to the department to be redistributed
  653  among eligible charter schools. In the event a charter school is
  654  dissolved or is otherwise terminated, all district school board
  655  property and improvements, furnishings, and equipment purchased
  656  with public funds shall automatically revert to full ownership
  657  by the district school board, subject to complete satisfaction
  658  of any lawful liens or encumbrances. Any unencumbered public
  659  funds from the charter school, district school board property
  660  and improvements, furnishings, and equipment purchased with
  661  public funds, or financial or other records pertaining to the
  662  charter school, in the possession of any person, entity, or
  663  holding company, other than the charter school, shall be held in
  664  trust upon the district school board’s request, until any appeal
  665  status is resolved.
  666         (f) If a charter is not renewed or is terminated, the
  667  charter school is responsible for all debts of the charter
  668  school. The district may not assume the debt from any contract
  669  made between the governing body of the school and a third party,
  670  except for a debt that is previously detailed and agreed upon in
  671  writing by both the district and the governing body of the
  672  school and that may not reasonably be assumed to have been
  673  satisfied by the district.
  674         (g) If a charter is not renewed or is terminated, a student
  675  who attended the school may apply to, and shall be enrolled in,
  676  another public school. Normal application deadlines shall be
  677  disregarded under such circumstances.
  679         (a) A charter school shall be nonsectarian in its programs,
  680  admission policies, employment practices, and operations.
  681         (b) A charter school shall admit students as provided in
  682  subsection (12) (10).
  683         (c) A charter school shall be accountable to its sponsor
  684  for performance as provided in subsection (7).
  685         (d) A charter school may shall not charge tuition or
  686  registration fees, except those fees normally charged by other
  687  public schools. However, a charter lab school may charge a
  688  student activity and service fee as authorized by s. 1002.32(5).
  689         (e) A charter school shall meet all applicable state and
  690  local health, safety, and civil rights requirements.
  691         (f) A charter school may shall not violate the
  692  antidiscrimination provisions of s. 1000.05.
  693         (g) In order to provide financial information that is
  694  comparable to that reported for other public schools, charter
  695  schools are to maintain all financial records that constitute
  696  their accounting system:
  697         1. In accordance with the accounts and codes prescribed in
  698  the most recent issuance of the publication titled “Financial
  699  and Program Cost Accounting and Reporting for Florida Schools”;
  700  or
  701         2. At the discretion of the charter school governing board,
  702  a charter school may elect to follow generally accepted
  703  accounting standards for not-for-profit organizations, but must
  704  reformat this information for reporting according to this
  705  paragraph.
  707  Charter schools shall provide annual financial report and
  708  program cost report information in the state-required formats
  709  for inclusion in district reporting in compliance with s.
  710  1011.60(1). Charter schools that are operated by a municipality
  711  or are a component unit of a parent nonprofit organization may
  712  use the accounting system of the municipality or the parent but
  713  must reformat this information for reporting according to this
  714  paragraph. A charter school shall provide a monthly financial
  715  statement to the sponsor; however, if the charter school is
  716  designated as a high-performing charter school under subsection
  717  (10) or is part of a high-performing charter school system under
  718  subsection (11), it shall provide a quarterly financial
  719  statement. The monthly financial statement required under this
  720  paragraph shall be in a form prescribed by the Department of
  721  Education.
  722         (h) The governing board of the charter school shall
  723  annually adopt and maintain an operating budget.
  724         (i) The governing body of the charter school shall exercise
  725  continuing oversight over charter school operations.
  726         (j) The governing body of the charter school shall be
  727  responsible for:
  728         1. Ensuring that the charter school has retained the
  729  services of a certified public accountant or auditor for the
  730  annual financial audit, pursuant to s. 1002.345(2), who shall
  731  submit the report to the governing body.
  732         2. Reviewing and approving the audit report, including
  733  audit findings and recommendations for the financial recovery
  734  plan.
  735         3.a. Performing the duties in s. 1002.345, including
  736  monitoring a corrective action plan.
  737         b. Monitoring a financial recovery plan in order to ensure
  738  compliance.
  739         4. Participating in governance training approved by the
  740  department which must include government in the sunshine,
  741  conflicts of interest, ethics, and financial responsibility.
  742         (k) The governing body of the charter school shall report
  743  its progress annually to its sponsor, which shall forward the
  744  report to the Commissioner of Education at the same time as
  745  other annual school accountability reports. The Department of
  746  Education shall develop a uniform, online annual accountability
  747  report to be completed by charter schools. This report shall be
  748  easy to utilize and contain demographic information, student
  749  performance data, and financial accountability information. A
  750  charter school shall not be required to provide information and
  751  data that is duplicative and already in the possession of the
  752  department. The Department of Education shall include in its
  753  compilation a notation if a school failed to file its report by
  754  the deadline established by the department. The report shall
  755  include at least the following components:
  756         1. Student achievement performance data, including the
  757  information required for the annual school report and the
  758  education accountability system governed by ss. 1008.31 and
  759  1008.345. Charter schools are subject to the same accountability
  760  requirements as other public schools, including reports of
  761  student achievement information that links baseline student data
  762  to the school’s performance projections identified in the
  763  charter. The charter school shall identify reasons for any
  764  difference between projected and actual student performance.
  765         2. Financial status of the charter school which must
  766  include revenues and expenditures at a level of detail that
  767  allows for analysis of the charter school’s ability to meet
  768  financial obligations and timely repayment of debt.
  769         3. Documentation of the facilities in current use and any
  770  planned facilities for use by the charter school for instruction
  771  of students, administrative functions, or investment purposes.
  772         4. Descriptive information about the charter school’s
  773  personnel, including salary and benefit levels of charter school
  774  employees, the proportion of instructional personnel who hold
  775  professional or temporary certificates, and the proportion of
  776  instructional personnel teaching in-field or out-of-field.
  777         (l) A charter school shall not levy taxes or issue bonds
  778  secured by tax revenues.
  779         (m) A charter school shall provide instruction for at least
  780  the number of days required by law for other public schools and
  781  may provide instruction for additional days.
  782         (n) The director and a representative of the governing body
  783  of a charter school that has received a school grade of “D”
  784  under s. 1008.34(2) shall appear before the sponsor or the
  785  sponsor’s staff at least once a year to present information
  786  concerning each contract component having noted deficiencies.
  787  The sponsor shall communicate at the meeting, and in writing to
  788  the director, the services provided to the school to help the
  789  school address its deficiencies.
  790         (o) Upon notification that a charter school receives a
  791  school grade of “D” for 2 consecutive years or a school grade of
  792  “F” under s. 1008.34(2), the charter school sponsor or the
  793  sponsor’s staff shall require the director and a representative
  794  of the governing body to submit to the sponsor for approval a
  795  school improvement plan to raise student achievement and to
  796  implement the plan. The sponsor has the authority to approve a
  797  school improvement plan that the charter school will implement
  798  in the following school year. The sponsor may also consider the
  799  State Board of Education’s recommended action pursuant to s.
  800  1008.33(1) as part of the school improvement plan. The
  801  Department of Education shall offer technical assistance and
  802  training to the charter school and its governing body and
  803  establish guidelines for developing, submitting, and approving
  804  such plans.
  805         1. If the charter school fails to improve its student
  806  performance from the year immediately prior to the
  807  implementation of the school improvement plan, the sponsor shall
  808  place the charter school on probation and shall require the
  809  charter school governing body to take one of the following
  810  corrective actions:
  811         a. Contract for the educational services of the charter
  812  school;
  813         b. Reorganize the school at the end of the school year
  814  under a new director or principal who is authorized to hire new
  815  staff and implement a plan that addresses the causes of
  816  inadequate progress; or
  817         c. Reconstitute the charter school.
  818         2. A charter school that is placed on probation shall
  819  continue the corrective actions required under subparagraph 1.
  820  until the charter school improves its student performance from
  821  the year prior to the implementation of the school improvement
  822  plan.
  823         3. Notwithstanding any provision of this paragraph, the
  824  sponsor may terminate the charter at any time pursuant to
  825  subsection (8).
  826         (p) The director and a representative of the governing body
  827  of a graded charter school that has submitted a school
  828  improvement plan or has been placed on probation under paragraph
  829  (o) shall appear before the sponsor or the sponsor’s staff at
  830  least once a year to present information regarding the
  831  corrective strategies that are being implemented by the school
  832  pursuant to the school improvement plan. The sponsor shall
  833  communicate at the meeting, and in writing to the director, the
  834  services provided to the school to help the school address its
  835  deficiencies.
  837         (a) A charter school shall be designated as a high
  838  performing charter school if:
  839         1. During each of the previous 3 years the charter school:
  840         a.Received a school grade of “A” or “B”;
  841         b. Received an unqualified opinion on each financial audit
  842  required under s. 218.39; and
  843         c. Did not receive a financial audit that revealed one or
  844  more of the conditions set forth in s. 218.503(1); however, the
  845  condition is deemed met for a charter school-in-the-workplace if
  846  there is a finding in an audit that the school has the monetary
  847  resources available to cover any reported deficiency or that the
  848  deficiency does not result in a deteriorating financial
  849  condition pursuant to s. 1002.345(1)(a)3.
  850         2. The charter school has been in operation for less than 3
  851  years and is operated by a high-performing charter school system
  852  pursuant to subsection (11). These charter schools may receive
  853  capital outlay funds in their first year pursuant to s. 1013.62
  854  and are not required to comply with s. 1013.62(1)(a)1.-3.
  855         (b) If the charter school maintains compliance with s.
  856  1002.33(18)(b)3., a high-performing charter school may:
  857         1. Increase the school’s student enrollment once per year
  858  by up to 25 percent more than the capacity authorized pursuant
  859  to paragraph (12)(i).
  860         2. Expand to any grade level within kindergarten through
  861  grade 12, if not already serving such grades.
  862         3. Offer voluntary prekindergarten education pursuant to
  863  ss. 1002.51-1002.79.
  864         (c) A high-performing charter school shall receive a 15
  865  year charter renewal upon expiration of the current charter.
  866         (d) The high-performing charter school designation shall be
  867  removed if the charter school does not continue to meet the
  868  requirements in paragraph (a).
  870         (a)1. For purposes of this subsection, the term:
  871         a. “Entity” means a municipality or other public entity as
  872  authorized by law to operate a charter school; a private, not
  873  for-profit, s. 501(c)(3) status corporation; or a private, for
  874  profit corporation.
  875         b. “High-performing charter school system” means an entity
  876  that:
  877         (I) Operates at least three high-performing charter schools
  878  in this state;
  879         (II) Has received a systemwide average grade of “A” or “B”
  880  during the previous 3 years for all charter schools created or
  881  started by the entity;
  882         (III) Has not received a financial audit for any school
  883  created or started by the entity which reveals one or more of
  884  the conditions set forth in s. 218.503(1); and
  885         (IV) Has not received a school grade of “F” during any of
  886  the previous 2 years for any charter school operated by the
  887  entity in the state, except for a charter school taken over or
  888  managed by, but not created or started by, the entity, in which
  889  case the entity loses its high-performing designation if the
  890  charter school receives a school grade of “F” in 3 out of 5
  891  years.
  892         (b) A high-performing charter school system may apply to
  893  establish and operate a new charter school in any district in
  894  the state which will substantially replicate one or more of the
  895  provider’s existing high-performing charter schools.
  896         1. A local school district may deny a charter application
  897  from an operator of a high-performing charter school system only
  898  if good cause is shown that the operator fails to materially
  899  meet established charter school requirements pursuant to
  900  subsection (9). The charter applicant may appeal, as provided in
  901  subsection (6). The district is liable to the charter applicant
  902  for attorney’s fees and costs if the charter applicant prevails
  903  on appeal. The State Board of Education may additionally
  904  sanction the district with any penalties under s. 1008.32(4) if
  905  the state board determines that the district has a pattern of
  906  unlawfully denying a high-performing charter system from
  907  replicating a high-performing charter school.
  908         2. The new charter school shall receive an initial charter
  909  for a term of 15 years, shall be designated as a high-performing
  910  charter school for the first 3 years of the charter, and shall
  911  receive charter school capital outlay funds under s. 1013.62.
  912  The school is not required to comply with s. 1013.62(1)(a)1.-3.,
  913  but must comply with any other requirements in s. 1013.62 to
  914  receive charter school capital outlay funds as provided in this
  915  subparagraph.
  916         3. The designation as a high-performing charter school
  917  system shall be removed if the system does not continue to meet
  918  the requirements in paragraph (a).
  920  This paragraph does not waive a district school board’s
  921  sovereign immunity.
  922         (12)(10) ELIGIBLE STUDENTS.—
  923         (a) A charter school shall be open to any student covered
  924  in an interdistrict agreement or residing in the school district
  925  in which the charter school is located; however, in the case of
  926  a charter lab school, the charter lab school shall be open to
  927  any student eligible to attend the lab school as provided in s.
  928  1002.32 or who resides in the school district in which the
  929  charter lab school is located. Any eligible student shall be
  930  allowed interdistrict transfer to attend a charter school when
  931  based on good cause. Good cause shall include, but is not
  932  limited to, geographic proximity to a charter school in a
  933  neighboring school district.
  934         (b) The charter school shall enroll an eligible student who
  935  submits a timely application, unless the number of applications
  936  exceeds the capacity of a program, class, grade level, or
  937  building. In such case, all applicants shall have an equal
  938  chance of being admitted through a random selection process.
  939         (c) When a public school converts to charter status,
  940  enrollment preference shall be given to students who would have
  941  otherwise attended that public school. The district school board
  942  shall consult and negotiate with the conversion charter school
  943  every 3 years to determine whether realignment of the conversion
  944  charter school’s attendance zone is appropriate in order to
  945  ensure that students residing closest to the charter school are
  946  provided with an enrollment preference.
  947         (d) A charter school may give enrollment preference to the
  948  following student populations:
  949         1. Students who are siblings of a student enrolled in the
  950  charter school.
  951         2. Students who are the children of a member of the
  952  governing board of the charter school.
  953         3. Students who are the children of an employee of the
  954  charter school.
  955         4. Students who are the children of:
  956         a. An employee of a business partner, or a resident of a
  957  municipality, who complies with paragraph (17)(b) for a charter
  958  school-in-the-workplace; or
  959         b. A resident of a municipality that operates a charter
  960  school-in-a-municipality pursuant to paragraph (17)(c).
  961         5. Students enrolling in a charter school-in-the-workplace
  962  or charter school-in-a-municipality established pursuant to this
  963  section.
  964         6.Students who are the children of an active-duty member
  965  of any branch of the United States Armed Forces.
  966         (e) A charter school may limit the enrollment process only
  967  to target the following student populations:
  968         1. Students within specific age groups or grade levels.
  969         2. Students considered at risk of dropping out of school or
  970  academic failure. Such students shall include exceptional
  971  education students.
  972         3. Students enrolling in a charter school-in-the-workplace
  973  or charter school-in-a-municipality established pursuant to
  974  subsection (17) (15).
  975         4. Students residing within a reasonable distance of the
  976  charter school, as described in paragraph (22)(c) (20)(c). Such
  977  students are shall be subject to a random lottery and to the
  978  racial/ethnic balance provisions described in subparagraph
  979  (7)(a)8. or any federal provisions that require a school to
  980  achieve a racial/ethnic balance reflective of the community it
  981  serves or within the racial/ethnic range of other public schools
  982  in the same school district.
  983         5. Students who meet reasonable academic, artistic, or
  984  other eligibility standards established by the charter school
  985  and included in the charter school application and charter or,
  986  in the case of existing charter schools, standards that are
  987  consistent with the school’s mission and purpose. Such standards
  988  shall be in accordance with current state law and practice in
  989  public schools and may not discriminate against otherwise
  990  qualified individuals.
  991         6. Students articulating from one charter school to another
  992  pursuant to an articulation agreement between the charter
  993  schools that has been approved by the sponsor.
  994         (f) Students with disabilities and students served in
  995  English for Speakers of Other Languages programs shall have an
  996  equal opportunity of being selected for enrollment in a charter
  997  school.
  998         (g) A student may withdraw from a charter school at any
  999  time and enroll in another public school as determined by
 1000  district school board rule.
 1001         (h) The capacity of the charter school shall be determined
 1002  annually by the governing board, in conjunction with the
 1003  sponsor, of the charter school in consideration of the factors
 1004  identified in this subsection unless the charter school is
 1005  designated as a high-performing charter school under subsection
 1006  (10). A sponsor may not require a charter school to waive the
 1007  provisions in paragraph (10)(b) or require a student enrollment
 1008  cap that prohibits a high-performing charter school from
 1009  increasing enrollment in accordance with paragraph (10)(b) as a
 1010  condition of approval or renewal of a charter.
 1011         (i) The capacity of a high-performing charter school
 1012  pursuant to subsection (10) shall be determined annually by the
 1013  governing board of the charter school. The governing board shall
 1014  notify the sponsor of any increase in enrollment by March 1 of
 1015  the school year preceding the increase.
 1017  ACTIVITIES.—A charter school student is eligible to participate
 1018  in an interscholastic extracurricular activity at the public
 1019  school to which the student would be otherwise assigned to
 1020  attend pursuant to s. 1006.15(3)(d).
 1021         (14)(12) EMPLOYEES OF CHARTER SCHOOLS.—
 1022         (a) A charter school shall select its own employees. A
 1023  charter school may contract with its sponsor for the services of
 1024  personnel employed by the sponsor.
 1025         (b) Charter school employees shall have the option to
 1026  bargain collectively. Employees may collectively bargain as a
 1027  separate unit or as part of the existing district collective
 1028  bargaining unit as determined by the structure of the charter
 1029  school.
 1030         (c) The employees of a conversion charter school shall
 1031  remain public employees for all purposes, unless such employees
 1032  choose not to do so.
 1033         (d) The teachers at a charter school may choose to be part
 1034  of a professional group that subcontracts with the charter
 1035  school to operate the instructional program under the auspices
 1036  of a partnership or cooperative that they collectively own.
 1037  Under this arrangement, the teachers would not be public
 1038  employees.
 1039         (e) Employees of a school district may take leave to accept
 1040  employment in a charter school upon the approval of the district
 1041  school board. While employed by the charter school and on leave
 1042  that is approved by the district school board, the employee may
 1043  retain seniority accrued in that school district and may
 1044  continue to be covered by the benefit programs of that school
 1045  district, if the charter school and the district school board
 1046  agree to this arrangement and its financing. School districts
 1047  may shall not require resignations from instructional personnel,
 1048  school administrators, or educational support employees who
 1049  desire employment of teachers desiring to teach in a charter
 1050  school. This paragraph does shall not prohibit a district school
 1051  board from approving alternative leave arrangements consistent
 1052  with chapter 1012.
 1053         (f) Teachers employed by or under contract to a charter
 1054  school shall be certified as required by chapter 1012. A charter
 1055  school governing board may employ or contract with skilled
 1056  selected noncertified personnel to provide instructional
 1057  services or to assist instructional staff members as education
 1058  paraprofessionals in the same manner as defined in chapter 1012,
 1059  and as provided by State Board of Education rule for charter
 1060  school governing boards. A charter school may not knowingly
 1061  employ an individual to provide instructional services or to
 1062  serve as an education paraprofessional if the individual’s
 1063  certification or licensure as an educator is suspended or
 1064  revoked by this or any other state. A charter school may not
 1065  knowingly employ an individual who has resigned from a school
 1066  district in lieu of disciplinary action with respect to child
 1067  welfare or safety, or who has been dismissed for just cause by
 1068  any school district with respect to child welfare or safety. The
 1069  qualifications of teachers shall be disclosed to parents.
 1070         (g)1. A charter school shall employ or contract with
 1071  employees who have undergone background screening as provided in
 1072  s. 1012.32. Members of the governing board of the charter school
 1073  shall also undergo background screening in a manner similar to
 1074  that provided in s. 1012.32.
 1075         2. A charter school shall disqualify instructional
 1076  personnel and school administrators, as defined in s. 1012.01,
 1077  from employment in any position that requires direct contact
 1078  with students if the personnel or administrators are ineligible
 1079  for such employment under s. 1012.315.
 1080         3. The governing board of a charter school shall adopt
 1081  policies establishing standards of ethical conduct for
 1082  instructional personnel and school administrators. The policies
 1083  must require all instructional personnel and school
 1084  administrators, as defined in s. 1012.01, to complete training
 1085  on the standards; establish the duty of instructional personnel
 1086  and school administrators to report, and procedures for
 1087  reporting, alleged misconduct by other instructional personnel
 1088  and school administrators which affects the health, safety, or
 1089  welfare of a student; and include an explanation of the
 1090  liability protections provided under ss. 39.203 and 768.095. A
 1091  charter school, or any of its employees, may not enter into a
 1092  confidentiality agreement regarding terminated or dismissed
 1093  instructional personnel or school administrators, or personnel
 1094  or administrators who resign in lieu of termination, based in
 1095  whole or in part on misconduct that affects the health, safety,
 1096  or welfare of a student, and may not provide instructional
 1097  personnel or school administrators with employment references or
 1098  discuss the personnel’s or administrators’ performance with
 1099  prospective employers in another educational setting, without
 1100  disclosing the personnel’s or administrators’ misconduct. Any
 1101  part of an agreement or contract that has the purpose or effect
 1102  of concealing misconduct by instructional personnel or school
 1103  administrators which affects the health, safety, or welfare of a
 1104  student is void, is contrary to public policy, and may not be
 1105  enforced.
 1106         4. Before employing instructional personnel or school
 1107  administrators in any position that requires direct contact with
 1108  students, a charter school shall conduct employment history
 1109  checks of each of the personnel’s or administrators’ previous
 1110  employers, screen the instructional personnel or school
 1111  administrators through use of the educator screening tools
 1112  described in s. 1001.10(5), and document the findings. If unable
 1113  to contact a previous employer, the charter school must document
 1114  efforts to contact the employer.
 1115         5. The sponsor of a charter school that knowingly fails to
 1116  comply with this paragraph shall terminate the charter under
 1117  subsection (8).
 1118         (h) For the purposes of tort liability, the governing body
 1119  and employees of a charter school shall be governed by s.
 1120  768.28.
 1121         (i) A charter school shall organize as, or be operated by,
 1122  a nonprofit organization. A charter school may be operated by a
 1123  municipality or other public entity as provided for by law. As
 1124  such, the charter school may be either a private or a public
 1125  employer. As a public employer, a charter school may participate
 1126  in the Florida Retirement System upon application and approval
 1127  as a “covered group” under s. 121.021(34). If a charter school
 1128  participates in the Florida Retirement System, the charter
 1129  school employees shall be compulsory members of the Florida
 1130  Retirement System. As either a private or a public employer, a
 1131  charter school may contract for services with an individual or
 1132  group of individuals who are organized as a partnership or a
 1133  cooperative. Individuals or groups of individuals who contract
 1134  their services to the charter school are not public employees.
 1135         (15)(13) CHARTER SCHOOL COOPERATIVES.—Charter schools may
 1136  enter into cooperative agreements to form charter school
 1137  cooperative organizations that may provide the following
 1138  services: charter school planning and development, direct
 1139  instructional services, and contracts with charter school
 1140  governing boards to provide personnel administrative services,
 1141  payroll services, human resource management, evaluation and
 1142  assessment services, teacher preparation, and professional
 1143  development.
 1146  TAXING POWER NOT TO BE PLEDGED.—Any arrangement entered into to
 1147  borrow or otherwise secure funds for a charter school authorized
 1148  in this section from a source other than the state or a school
 1149  district shall indemnify the state and the school district from
 1150  any and all liability, including, but not limited to, financial
 1151  responsibility for the payment of the principal or interest. Any
 1152  loans, bonds, or other financial agreements are not obligations
 1153  of the state or the school district but are obligations of the
 1154  charter school authority and are payable solely from the sources
 1155  of funds pledged by such agreement. The credit or taxing power
 1156  of the state or the school district shall not be pledged and no
 1157  debts shall be payable out of any moneys except those of the
 1158  legal entity in possession of a valid charter approved by a
 1159  district school board pursuant to this section.
 1162         (a) In order to increase business partnerships in
 1163  education, to reduce school and classroom overcrowding
 1164  throughout the state, and to offset the high costs for
 1165  educational facilities construction, the Legislature intends to
 1166  encourage the formation of business partnership schools or
 1167  satellite learning centers and municipal-operated schools
 1168  through charter school status.
 1169         (b) A charter school-in-the-workplace may be established
 1170  when a business partner provides the school facility to be used;
 1171  enrolls students based upon a random lottery that involves all
 1172  of the children of employees of that business or corporation or
 1173  residents of that municipality who are seeking enrollment, as
 1174  provided for in subsection (12) (10); and enrolls students
 1175  according to the racial/ethnic balance provisions described in
 1176  subparagraph (7)(a)8. A municipality may be a business partner
 1177  notwithstanding paragraph (c). Any portion of a facility used
 1178  for a public charter school shall be exempt from ad valorem
 1179  taxes, as provided for in s. 1013.54, for the duration of its
 1180  use as a public school.
 1181         (c) A charter school-in-a-municipality designation may be
 1182  granted to a municipality that possesses a charter; enrolls
 1183  students based upon a random lottery that involves all of the
 1184  children of the residents of that municipality who are seeking
 1185  enrollment, as provided for in subsection (12) (10); and enrolls
 1186  students according to the racial/ethnic balance provisions
 1187  described in subparagraph (7)(a)8. When a municipality has
 1188  submitted charter applications for the establishment of a
 1189  charter school feeder pattern, consisting of elementary, middle,
 1190  and senior high schools, and each individual charter application
 1191  is approved by the district school board, such schools shall
 1192  then be designated as one charter school for all purposes listed
 1193  pursuant to this section. Any portion of the land and facility
 1194  used for a public charter school shall be exempt from ad valorem
 1195  taxes, as provided for in s. 1013.54, for the duration of its
 1196  use as a public school.
 1197         (d) As used in this subsection, the terms “business
 1198  partner” or “municipality” may include more than one business or
 1199  municipality to form a charter school-in-the-workplace or
 1200  charter school-in-a-municipality.
 1201         (18)(16) EXEMPTION FROM STATUTES.—
 1202         (a) A charter school shall operate in accordance with its
 1203  charter and shall be exempt from all statutes in chapters 1000
 1204  1013. However, a charter school shall be in compliance with the
 1205  following statutes in chapters 1000-1013:
 1206         1. Those statutes specifically applying to charter schools,
 1207  including this section.
 1208         2. Those statutes pertaining to the student assessment
 1209  program and school grading system.
 1210         3. Those statutes pertaining to the provision of services
 1211  to students with disabilities.
 1212         4. Those statutes pertaining to civil rights, including s.
 1213  1000.05, relating to discrimination.
 1214         5. Those statutes pertaining to student health, safety, and
 1215  welfare.
 1216         (b) Additionally, a charter school shall be in compliance
 1217  with the following statutes:
 1218         1. Section 286.011, relating to public meetings and
 1219  records, public inspection, and criminal and civil penalties.
 1220         2. Chapter 119, relating to public records.
 1221         3. Section 1003.03, relating to the maximum class size,
 1222  except that the calculation for compliance pursuant to s.
 1223  1003.03 shall be the average at the school level.
 1224         (19)(17) FUNDING.—Students enrolled in a charter school,
 1225  regardless of the sponsorship, shall be funded as if they are in
 1226  a basic program or a special program, the same as students
 1227  enrolled in other public schools in the school district. Funding
 1228  for a charter lab school shall be as provided in s. 1002.32.
 1229         (a) Each charter school shall report its student enrollment
 1230  to the sponsor as required in s. 1011.62, and in accordance with
 1231  the definitions in s. 1011.61. The sponsor shall include each
 1232  charter school’s enrollment in the district’s report of student
 1233  enrollment. All charter schools submitting student record
 1234  information required by the Department of Education shall comply
 1235  with the Department of Education’s guidelines for electronic
 1236  data formats for such data, and all districts shall accept
 1237  electronic data that complies with the Department of Education’s
 1238  electronic format.
 1239         (b) The basis for the agreement for funding students
 1240  enrolled in a charter school shall be the sum of the school
 1241  district’s operating funds from the Florida Education Finance
 1242  Program as provided in s. 1011.62 and the General Appropriations
 1243  Act, including gross state and local funds, discretionary
 1244  lottery funds, and funds from the school district’s current
 1245  operating discretionary millage levy; divided by total funded
 1246  weighted full-time equivalent students in the school district;
 1247  multiplied by the weighted full-time equivalent students for the
 1248  charter school. Charter schools whose students or programs meet
 1249  the eligibility criteria in law shall be entitled to their
 1250  proportionate share of categorical program funds included in the
 1251  total funds available in the Florida Education Finance Program
 1252  by the Legislature, including transportation. Total funding for
 1253  each charter school shall be recalculated during the year to
 1254  reflect the revised calculations under the Florida Education
 1255  Finance Program by the state and the actual weighted full-time
 1256  equivalent students reported by the charter school during the
 1257  full-time equivalent student survey periods designated by the
 1258  Commissioner of Education.
 1259         (c) If the district school board is providing programs or
 1260  services to students funded by federal funds, any eligible
 1261  students enrolled in charter schools in the school district
 1262  shall be provided federal funds for the same level of service
 1263  provided students in the schools operated by the district school
 1264  board. Pursuant to provisions of 20 U.S.C. 8061 s. 10306, all
 1265  charter schools shall receive all federal funding for which the
 1266  school is otherwise eligible, including Title I funding, not
 1267  later than 5 months after the charter school first opens and
 1268  within 5 months after any subsequent expansion of enrollment.
 1269         (d) Charter schools shall be included by the Department of
 1270  Education and the district school board in requests for federal
 1271  stimulus funds in the same manner as district school board
 1272  operated public schools, including Title I and IDEA funds and
 1273  shall be entitled to receive such funds. Charter schools are
 1274  eligible to participate in federal competitive grants that are
 1275  available as part of the federal stimulus funds.
 1276         (e) District school boards shall make timely and efficient
 1277  payment and reimbursement to charter schools, including
 1278  processing paperwork required to access special state and
 1279  federal funding for which they may be eligible. The district
 1280  school board may distribute funds to a charter school for up to
 1281  3 months based on the projected full-time equivalent student
 1282  membership of the charter school. Thereafter, the results of
 1283  full-time equivalent student membership surveys shall be used in
 1284  adjusting the amount of funds distributed monthly to the charter
 1285  school for the remainder of the fiscal year. The payment shall
 1286  be issued no later than 10 working days after the district
 1287  school board receives a distribution of state or federal funds.
 1288  If a warrant for payment is not issued within 10 working days
 1289  after receipt of funding by the district school board, the
 1290  school district shall pay to the charter school, in addition to
 1291  the amount of the scheduled disbursement, interest at a rate of
 1292  1 percent per month calculated on a daily basis on the unpaid
 1293  balance from the expiration of the 10 working days until such
 1294  time as the warrant is issued.
 1295         (20)(18) FACILITIES.—
 1296         (a) A startup charter school shall utilize facilities which
 1297  comply with the Florida Building Code pursuant to chapter 553
 1298  except for the State Requirements for Educational Facilities.
 1299  Conversion charter schools shall utilize facilities that comply
 1300  with the State Requirements for Educational Facilities provided
 1301  that the school district and the charter school have entered
 1302  into a mutual management plan for the reasonable maintenance of
 1303  such facilities. The mutual management plan shall contain a
 1304  provision by which the district school board agrees to maintain
 1305  charter school facilities in the same manner as its other public
 1306  schools within the district. Charter schools, with the exception
 1307  of conversion charter schools, are not required to comply, but
 1308  may choose to comply, with the State Requirements for
 1309  Educational Facilities of the Florida Building Code adopted
 1310  pursuant to s. 1013.37. The local governing authority shall not
 1311  adopt or impose local building requirements or restrictions that
 1312  are more stringent than those found in the Florida Building
 1313  Code. The agency having jurisdiction for inspection of a
 1314  facility and issuance of a certificate of occupancy shall be the
 1315  local municipality or, if in an unincorporated area, the county
 1316  governing authority.
 1317         (b) A charter school shall utilize facilities that comply
 1318  with the Florida Fire Prevention Code, pursuant to s. 633.025,
 1319  as adopted by the authority in whose jurisdiction the facility
 1320  is located as provided in paragraph (a).
 1321         (c) Any facility, or portion thereof, used to house a
 1322  charter school whose charter has been approved by the sponsor
 1323  and the governing board, pursuant to subsection (7), shall be
 1324  exempt from ad valorem taxes pursuant to s. 196.1983. Library,
 1325  community service, museum, performing arts, theatre, cinema,
 1326  church, community college, college, and university facilities
 1327  may provide space to charter schools within their facilities
 1328  under their preexisting zoning and land use designations.
 1329         (d) Charter school facilities are exempt from assessments
 1330  of fees for building permits, except as provided in s. 553.80;
 1331  fees for building and occupational licenses; impact fees or
 1332  exactions; service availability fees; and assessments for
 1333  special benefits.
 1334         (e) If a district school board facility or property is
 1335  available because it is surplus, marked for disposal, or
 1336  otherwise unused, it shall be provided for a charter school’s
 1337  use on the same basis as it is made available to other public
 1338  schools in the district. A charter school receiving property
 1339  from the school district may not sell or dispose of such
 1340  property without written permission of the school district.
 1341  Similarly, for an existing public school converting to charter
 1342  status, no rental or leasing fee for the existing facility or
 1343  for the property normally inventoried to the conversion school
 1344  may be charged by the district school board to the parents and
 1345  teachers organizing the charter school. The charter school shall
 1346  agree to reasonable maintenance provisions in order to maintain
 1347  the facility in a manner similar to district school board
 1348  standards. The Public Education Capital Outlay maintenance funds
 1349  or any other maintenance funds generated by the facility
 1350  operated as a conversion school shall remain with the conversion
 1351  school.
 1352         (f) To the extent that charter school facilities are
 1353  specifically created to mitigate the educational impact created
 1354  by the development of new residential dwelling units, pursuant
 1355  to subparagraph (2)(c)4., some of or all of the educational
 1356  impact fees required to be paid in connection with the new
 1357  residential dwelling units may be designated instead for the
 1358  construction of the charter school facilities that will mitigate
 1359  the student station impact. Such facilities shall be built to
 1360  the State Requirements for Educational Facilities and shall be
 1361  owned by a public or nonprofit entity. The local school district
 1362  retains the right to monitor and inspect such facilities to
 1363  ensure compliance with the State Requirements for Educational
 1364  Facilities. If a facility ceases to be used for public
 1365  educational purposes, either the facility shall revert to the
 1366  school district subject to any debt owed on the facility, or the
 1367  owner of the facility shall have the option to refund all
 1368  educational impact fees utilized for the facility to the school
 1369  district. The district and the owner of the facility may
 1370  contractually agree to another arrangement for the facilities if
 1371  the facilities cease to be used for educational purposes. The
 1372  owner of property planned or approved for new residential
 1373  dwelling units and the entity levying educational impact fees
 1374  shall enter into an agreement that designates the educational
 1375  impact fees that will be allocated for the charter school
 1376  student stations and that ensures the timely construction of the
 1377  charter school student stations concurrent with the expected
 1378  occupancy of the residential units. The application for use of
 1379  educational impact fees shall include an approved charter school
 1380  application. To assist the school district in forecasting
 1381  student station needs, the entity levying the impact fees shall
 1382  notify the affected district of any agreements it has approved
 1383  for the purpose of mitigating student station impact from the
 1384  new residential dwelling units.
 1385         (g) Each school district shall annually provide to the
 1386  Department of Education as part of its 5-year work plan the
 1387  number of existing vacant classrooms in each school that the
 1388  district does not intend to use or does not project will be
 1389  needed for educational purposes for the following school year.
 1390  The department may recommend that a district make such space
 1391  available to an appropriate charter school.
 1392         (21)(19) CAPITAL OUTLAY FUNDING.—Charter schools are
 1393  eligible for capital outlay funds pursuant to s. 1013.62.
 1394  Capital outlay funds authorized in ss. s. 1011.71(2) and 1013.62
 1395  which that have been shared with a charter school-in-the
 1396  workplace prior to July 1, 2010, are deemed to have met the
 1397  authorized expenditure requirements for such funds.
 1398         (22)(20) SERVICES.—
 1399         (a)1. A sponsor shall provide certain administrative and
 1400  educational services to charter schools. These services shall
 1401  include contract management services; full-time equivalent and
 1402  data reporting services; exceptional student education
 1403  administration services; services related to eligibility and
 1404  reporting duties required to ensure that school lunch services
 1405  under the federal lunch program, consistent with the needs of
 1406  the charter school, are provided by the school district at the
 1407  request of the charter school, that any funds due to the charter
 1408  school under the federal lunch program be paid to the charter
 1409  school as soon as the charter school begins serving food under
 1410  the federal lunch program, and that the charter school is paid
 1411  at the same time and in the same manner under the federal lunch
 1412  program as other public schools serviced by the sponsor or the
 1413  school district; test administration services, including payment
 1414  of the costs of state-required or district-required student
 1415  assessments; processing of teacher certificate data services;
 1416  and information services, including equal access to student
 1417  information systems that are used by public schools in the
 1418  district in which the charter school is located. Student
 1419  performance data for each student in a charter school,
 1420  including, but not limited to, FCAT scores, standardized test
 1421  scores, previous public school student report cards, and student
 1422  performance measures, shall be provided by the sponsor to a
 1423  charter school in the same manner provided to other public
 1424  schools in the district.
 1425         2. A total administrative fee for the provision of such
 1426  services shall be calculated based upon up to 5 percent of the
 1427  available funds defined in paragraph (19)(b) (17)(b) for all
 1428  students. However, a sponsor may only withhold up to a 5-percent
 1429  administrative fee for enrollment for up to and including 250
 1430  students. For charter schools with a population of 251 or more
 1431  students, the difference between the total administrative fee
 1432  calculation and the amount of the administrative fee withheld
 1433  may only be used for capital outlay purposes specified in s.
 1434  1013.62(2).
 1435         3. In addition, a sponsor may withhold only up to a 5
 1436  percent administrative fee for enrollment for up to and
 1437  including 500 students within a system of charter schools which
 1438  meets all of the following:
 1439         a. Includes both conversion charter schools and
 1440  nonconversion charter schools;
 1441         b. Has all schools located in the same county;
 1442         c. Has a total enrollment exceeding the total enrollment of
 1443  at least one school district in the state;
 1444         d. Has the same governing board; and
 1445         e. Does not contract with a for-profit service provider for
 1446  management of school operations.
 1447         4. The difference between the total administrative fee
 1448  calculation and the amount of the administrative fee withheld
 1449  pursuant to subparagraph 3. may be used for instructional and
 1450  administrative purposes as well as for capital outlay purposes
 1451  specified in s. 1013.62(2).
 1452         5. Each charter school shall receive 100 percent of the
 1453  funds awarded to that school pursuant to s. 1012.225. Sponsors
 1454  shall not charge charter schools any additional fees or
 1455  surcharges for administrative and educational services in
 1456  addition to the maximum 5-percent administrative fee withheld
 1457  pursuant to this paragraph.
 1458         (b) If goods and services are made available to the charter
 1459  school through the contract with the school district, they shall
 1460  be provided to the charter school at a rate no greater than the
 1461  district’s actual cost unless mutually agreed upon by the
 1462  charter school and the sponsor in a contract negotiated
 1463  separately from the charter. When mediation has failed to
 1464  resolve disputes over contracted services or contractual matters
 1465  not included in the charter, an appeal may be made for a dispute
 1466  resolution hearing before the Charter School Appeal Commission.
 1467  To maximize the use of state funds, school districts shall allow
 1468  charter schools to participate in the sponsor’s bulk purchasing
 1469  program if applicable.
 1470         (c) Transportation of charter school students shall be
 1471  provided by the charter school consistent with the requirements
 1472  of subpart I.E. of chapter 1006 and s. 1012.45. The governing
 1473  body of the charter school may provide transportation through an
 1474  agreement or contract with the district school board, a private
 1475  provider, or parents. The charter school and the sponsor shall
 1476  cooperate in making arrangements that ensure that transportation
 1477  is not a barrier to equal access for all students residing
 1478  within a reasonable distance of the charter school as determined
 1479  in its charter.
 1481         (a) The Department of Education shall provide information
 1482  to the public, directly and through sponsors, on how to form and
 1483  operate a charter school and how to enroll in a charter school
 1484  once it is created. This information must shall include a
 1485  standard application format, charter format, evaluation
 1486  instrument, and charter renewal format, which must shall include
 1487  the information specified in subsection (7) and shall be
 1488  developed by consulting and negotiating with both school
 1489  districts and charter schools before implementation. The charter
 1490  and charter renewal formats shall be used by charter school
 1491  sponsors.
 1492         (b)1. The Department of Education shall report student
 1493  assessment data pursuant to s. 1008.34(3)(c) which is reported
 1494  to schools that receive a school grade or student assessment
 1495  data pursuant to s. 1008.341(3) which is reported to alternative
 1496  schools that receive a school improvement rating to each charter
 1497  school that:
 1498         a. Does not receive a school grade pursuant to s. 1008.34
 1499  or a school improvement rating pursuant to s. 1008.341; and
 1500         b. Serves at least 10 students who are tested on the
 1501  statewide assessment test pursuant to s. 1008.22.
 1502         2. The charter school shall report the information in
 1503  subparagraph 1. to each parent of a student at the charter
 1504  school, the parent of a child on a waiting list for the charter
 1505  school, the district in which the charter school is located, and
 1506  the governing board of the charter school. This paragraph does
 1507  not abrogate the provisions of s. 1002.22, relating to student
 1508  records, or the requirements of 20 U.S.C. s. 1232g, the Family
 1509  Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
 1510         3.a. Pursuant to this paragraph, the Department of
 1511  Education shall compare the charter school student performance
 1512  data for each charter school in subparagraph 1. with the student
 1513  performance data in traditional public schools in the district
 1514  in which the charter school is located and other charter schools
 1515  in the state. For alternative charter schools, the department
 1516  shall compare the student performance data described in this
 1517  paragraph with all alternative schools in the state. The
 1518  comparative data shall be provided by the following grade
 1519  groupings:
 1520         (I) Grades 3 through 5;
 1521         (II) Grades 6 through 8; and
 1522         (III) Grades 9 through 11.
 1523         b. Each charter school shall provide the information
 1524  specified in this paragraph on its Internet website and also
 1525  provide notice to the public at large in a manner provided by
 1526  the rules of the State Board of Education. The State Board of
 1527  Education shall adopt rules to administer the notice
 1528  requirements of this subparagraph pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and
 1529  120.54. The website shall include, through links or actual
 1530  content, other information related to school performance.
 1532         (a) The Department of Education shall staff and regularly
 1533  convene a Charter School Review Panel in order to review issues,
 1534  practices, and policies regarding charter schools. The
 1535  composition of the review panel shall include individuals with
 1536  experience in finance, administration, law, education, and
 1537  school governance, and individuals familiar with charter school
 1538  construction and operation. The panel shall include two
 1539  appointees each from the Commissioner of Education, the
 1540  President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of
 1541  Representatives. The Governor shall appoint three members of the
 1542  panel and shall designate the chair. Each member of the panel
 1543  shall serve a 1-year term, unless renewed by the office making
 1544  the appointment. The panel shall make recommendations to the
 1545  Legislature, to the Department of Education, to charter schools,
 1546  and to school districts for improving charter school operations
 1547  and oversight and for ensuring best business practices at and
 1548  fair business relationships with charter schools.
 1549         (b) The Legislature shall review the operation of charter
 1550  schools during the 2010 Regular Session of the Legislature.
 1552  receipt of the annual report required by paragraph (9)(k), the
 1553  Department of Education shall provide to the State Board of
 1554  Education, the Commissioner of Education, the Governor, the
 1555  President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of
 1556  Representatives an analysis and comparison of the overall
 1557  performance of charter school students, to include all students
 1558  whose scores are counted as part of the statewide assessment
 1559  program, versus comparable public school students in the
 1560  district as determined by the statewide assessment program
 1561  currently administered in the school district, and other
 1562  assessments administered pursuant to s. 1008.22(3).
 1564         (a) This subsection applies to charter school personnel in
 1565  a charter school operated by a private entity. As used in this
 1566  subsection, the term:
 1567         1. “Charter school personnel” means a charter school owner,
 1568  president, chairperson of the governing board of directors,
 1569  superintendent, governing board member, principal, assistant
 1570  principal, or any other person employed by the charter school
 1571  who has equivalent decisionmaking authority and in whom is
 1572  vested the authority, or to whom the authority has been
 1573  delegated, to appoint, employ, promote, or advance individuals
 1574  or to recommend individuals for appointment, employment,
 1575  promotion, or advancement in connection with employment in a
 1576  charter school, including the authority as a member of a
 1577  governing body of a charter school to vote on the appointment,
 1578  employment, promotion, or advancement of individuals.
 1579         2. “Relative” means father, mother, son, daughter, brother,
 1580  sister, uncle, aunt, first cousin, nephew, niece, husband, wife,
 1581  father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law,
 1582  brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepfather, stepmother, stepson,
 1583  stepdaughter, stepbrother, stepsister, half brother, or half
 1584  sister.
 1585         (b) Charter school personnel may not appoint, employ,
 1586  promote, or advance, or advocate for appointment, employment,
 1587  promotion, or advancement, in or to a position in the charter
 1588  school in which the personnel are serving or over which the
 1589  personnel exercises jurisdiction or control any individual who
 1590  is a relative. An individual may not be appointed, employed,
 1591  promoted, or advanced in or to a position in a charter school if
 1592  such appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement has been
 1593  advocated by charter school personnel who serve in or exercise
 1594  jurisdiction or control over the charter school and who is a
 1595  relative of the individual or if such appointment, employment,
 1596  promotion, or advancement is made by the governing board of
 1597  which a relative of the individual is a member.
 1598         (c) The approval of budgets does not constitute
 1599  “jurisdiction or control” for the purposes of this subsection.
 1601  Charter school personnel in schools operated by a municipality
 1602  or other public entity are subject to s. 112.3135.
 1604         (a) A member of a governing board of a charter school,
 1605  including a charter school operated by a private entity, is
 1606  subject to ss. 112.313(2), (3), (7), and (12) and 112.3143(3).
 1607         (b) A member of a governing board of a charter school
 1608  operated by a municipality or other public entity is subject to
 1609  s. 112.3144, which relates to the disclosure of financial
 1610  interests.
 1611         (27)(26) RULEMAKING.—The Department of Education, after
 1612  consultation with school districts and charter school directors,
 1613  shall recommend that the State Board of Education adopt rules to
 1614  implement specific subsections of this section. Such rules shall
 1615  require minimum paperwork and shall not limit charter school
 1616  flexibility authorized by statute. The State Board of Education
 1617  shall adopt rules, pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54, to
 1618  implement this section, including a charter model application
 1619  form, evaluation instrument, and charter and charter renewal
 1620  formats in accordance with this section.
 1621         Section 4. Paragraph (c) of subsection (10) and subsection
 1622  (13) of section 1002.34, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
 1623         1002.34 Charter technical career centers.—
 1624         (10) EXEMPTION FROM STATUTES.—
 1625         (c) A center must comply with the antidiscrimination
 1626  provisions in s. 1000.05 and the provisions in s. 1002.33(25) s.
 1627  1002.33(24) which relate to the employment of relatives.
 1628         (13) BOARD OF DIRECTORS AUTHORITY.—The board of directors
 1629  of a center may decide matters relating to the operation of the
 1630  school, including budgeting, curriculum, and operating
 1631  procedures, subject to the center’s charter. The board of
 1632  directors is responsible for performing the duties provided in
 1633  s. 1002.345, including monitoring the corrective action plan.
 1634  The board of directors must comply with s. 1002.33(26) s.
 1635  1002.33(25).
 1636         Section 5. Section 1011.68, Florida Statutes, is amended to
 1637  read:
 1638         1011.68 Funds for student transportation.—The annual
 1639  allocation to each district for transportation to public school
 1640  programs, including charter schools as provided in s.
 1641  1002.33(19)(b) s. 1002.33(17)(b), of students in membership in
 1642  kindergarten through grade 12 and in migrant and exceptional
 1643  student programs below kindergarten shall be determined as
 1644  follows:
 1645         (1) Subject to the rules of the State Board of Education,
 1646  each district shall determine the membership of students who are
 1647  transported:
 1648         (a) By reason of living 2 miles or more from school.
 1649         (b) By reason of being students with disabilities or
 1650  enrolled in a teenage parent program, regardless of distance to
 1651  school.
 1652         (c) By reason of being in a state prekindergarten program,
 1653  regardless of distance from school.
 1654         (d) By reason of being career, dual enrollment, or students
 1655  with disabilities transported from one school center to another
 1656  to participate in an instructional program or service; or
 1657  students with disabilities, transported from one designation to
 1658  another in the state, provided one designation is a school
 1659  center and provided the student’s individual educational plan
 1660  (IEP) identifies the need for the instructional program or
 1661  service and transportation to be provided by the school
 1662  district. A “school center” is defined as a public school
 1663  center, community college, state university, or other facility
 1664  rented, leased, or owned and operated by the school district or
 1665  another public agency. A “dual enrollment student” is defined as
 1666  a public school student in membership in both a public secondary
 1667  school program and a community college or a state university
 1668  program under a written agreement to partially fulfill ss.
 1669  1003.435 and 1007.23 and earning full-time equivalent membership
 1670  under s. 1011.62(1)(i).
 1671         (e) With respect to elementary school students whose grade
 1672  level does not exceed grade 6, by reason of being subjected to
 1673  hazardous walking conditions en route to or from school as
 1674  provided in s. 1006.23. Such rules shall, when appropriate,
 1675  provide for the determination of membership under this paragraph
 1676  for less than 1 year to accommodate the needs of students who
 1677  require transportation only until such hazardous conditions are
 1678  corrected.
 1679         (f) By reason of being a pregnant student or student
 1680  parent, and the child of a student parent as provided in s.
 1681  1003.54, regardless of distance from school.
 1682         (2) The allocation for each district shall be calculated
 1683  annually in accordance with the following formula:
 1685         T = B + EX. The elements of this formula are defined as
 1686  follows: T is the total dollar allocation for transportation. B
 1687  is the base transportation dollar allocation prorated by an
 1688  adjusted student membership count. The adjusted membership count
 1689  shall be derived from a multiplicative index function in which
 1690  the base student membership is adjusted by multiplying it by
 1691  index numbers that individually account for the impact of the
 1692  price level index, average bus occupancy, and the extent of
 1693  rural population in the district. EX is the base transportation
 1694  dollar allocation for disabled students prorated by an adjusted
 1695  disabled student membership count. The base transportation
 1696  dollar allocation for disabled students is the total state base
 1697  disabled student membership count weighted for increased costs
 1698  associated with transporting disabled students and multiplying
 1699  it by an average per student cost for transportation as
 1700  determined by the Legislature. The adjusted disabled student
 1701  membership count shall be derived from a multiplicative index
 1702  function in which the weighted base disabled student membership
 1703  is adjusted by multiplying it by index numbers that individually
 1704  account for the impact of the price level index, average bus
 1705  occupancy, and the extent of rural population in the district.
 1706  Each adjustment factor shall be designed to affect the base
 1707  allocation by no more or less than 10 percent.
 1708         (3) The total allocation to each district for
 1709  transportation of students shall be the sum of the amounts
 1710  determined in subsection (2). If the funds appropriated for the
 1711  purpose of implementing this section are not sufficient to pay
 1712  the base transportation allocation and the base transportation
 1713  allocation for disabled students, the Department of Education
 1714  shall prorate the available funds on a percentage basis. If the
 1715  funds appropriated for the purpose of implementing this section
 1716  exceed the sum of the base transportation allocation and the
 1717  base transportation allocation for disabled students, the base
 1718  transportation allocation for disabled students shall be limited
 1719  to the amount calculated in subsection (2), and the remaining
 1720  balance shall be added to the base transportation allocation.
 1721         (4) No district shall use funds to purchase transportation
 1722  equipment and supplies at prices which exceed those determined
 1723  by the department to be the lowest which can be obtained, as
 1724  prescribed in s. 1006.27(1).
 1725         (5) Funds allocated or apportioned for the payment of
 1726  student transportation services may be used to pay for
 1727  transportation of students to and from school on local general
 1728  purpose transportation systems. Student transportation funds may
 1729  also be used to pay for transportation of students to and from
 1730  school in private passenger cars and boats when the
 1731  transportation is for isolated students, or students with
 1732  disabilities as defined by rule. Subject to the rules of the
 1733  State Board of Education, each school district shall determine
 1734  and report the number of assigned students using general purpose
 1735  transportation private passenger cars and boats. The allocation
 1736  per student must be equal to the allocation per student riding a
 1737  school bus.
 1738         (6) Notwithstanding other provisions of this section, in no
 1739  case shall any student or students be counted for transportation
 1740  funding more than once per day. This provision includes counting
 1741  students for funding pursuant to trips in school buses,
 1742  passenger cars, or boats or general purpose transportation.
 1743         Section 6. Paragraph (b) of subsection (2) of section
 1744  1012.32, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
 1745         1012.32 Qualifications of personnel.—
 1746         (2)
 1747         (b) Instructional and noninstructional personnel who are
 1748  hired or contracted to fill positions in any charter school and
 1749  members of the governing board of any charter school, in
 1750  compliance with s. 1002.33(14)(f) s. 1002.33(12)(g), must, upon
 1751  employment, engagement of services, or appointment, undergo
 1752  background screening as required under s. 1012.465 or s.
 1753  1012.56, whichever is applicable, by filing with the district
 1754  school board for the school district in which the charter school
 1755  is located a complete set of fingerprints taken by an authorized
 1756  law enforcement agency or an employee of the school or school
 1757  district who is trained to take fingerprints.
 1759  Fingerprints shall be submitted to the Department of Law
 1760  Enforcement for statewide criminal and juvenile records checks
 1761  and to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for federal criminal
 1762  records checks. A person subject to this subsection who is found
 1763  ineligible for employment under s. 1012.315, or otherwise found
 1764  through background screening to have been convicted of any crime
 1765  involving moral turpitude as defined by rule of the State Board
 1766  of Education, shall not be employed, engaged to provide
 1767  services, or serve in any position that requires direct contact
 1768  with students. Probationary persons subject to this subsection
 1769  terminated because of their criminal record have the right to
 1770  appeal such decisions. The cost of the background screening may
 1771  be borne by the district school board, the charter school, the
 1772  employee, the contractor, or a person subject to this
 1773  subsection.
 1774         Section 7. Paragraphs (a) and (e) of subsection (1) and
 1775  subsection (2) of section 1013.62, Florida Statutes, are amended
 1776  to read:
 1777         1013.62 Charter schools capital outlay funding.—
 1778         (1) In each year in which funds are appropriated for
 1779  charter school capital outlay purposes, the Commissioner of
 1780  Education shall allocate the funds among eligible charter
 1781  schools.
 1782         (a) To be eligible for a funding allocation, a charter
 1783  school must:
 1784         1.a. Have been in operation for 3 or more years;
 1785         b. Be governed by a governing board established in the
 1786  state for 3 or more years which operates both charter schools
 1787  and conversion charter schools within the state;
 1788         c. Be an expanded feeder chain of a charter school within
 1789  the same school district that is currently receiving charter
 1790  school capital outlay funds;
 1791         d. Have been accredited by the Commission on Schools of the
 1792  Southern Association of Colleges and Schools; or
 1793         e. Serve students in facilities that are provided by a
 1794  business partner for a charter school-in-the-workplace pursuant
 1795  to s. 1002.33(17)(b) s. 1002.33(15)(b).
 1796         2. Have financial stability for future operation as a
 1797  charter school.
 1798         3. Have satisfactory student achievement based on state
 1799  accountability standards applicable to the charter school.
 1800         4. Have received final approval from its sponsor pursuant
 1801  to s. 1002.33 for operation during that fiscal year.
 1802         5. Serve students in facilities that are not provided by
 1803  the charter school’s sponsor.
 1804         (e) Unless otherwise provided in the General Appropriations
 1805  Act, the funding allocation for each eligible charter school is
 1806  determined by multiplying the school’s projected student
 1807  enrollment by one-fifteenth of the cost-per-student station
 1808  specified in s. 1013.64(6)(b) for an elementary, middle, or high
 1809  school, as appropriate. If the funds appropriated are not
 1810  sufficient, the commissioner shall prorate the available funds
 1811  among eligible charter schools. However, a charter school or
 1812  charter lab school may not receive state charter school capital
 1813  outlay funds greater than the one-fifteenth cost per student
 1814  station formula if the charter school’s combination of state
 1815  charter school capital outlay funds, capital outlay funds
 1816  calculated through the reduction in the administrative fee
 1817  provided in s. 1002.33(22) s. 1002.33(20), and capital outlay
 1818  funds allowed in s. 1002.32(9)(e) and (h) exceeds the one
 1819  fifteenth cost per student station formula.
 1820         (2) A charter school’s governing body may use charter
 1821  school capital outlay funds for the following purposes:
 1822         (a) Purchase of real property.
 1823         (b) Construction of school facilities.
 1824         (c) Purchase, lease-purchase, or lease of permanent or
 1825  relocatable school facilities.
 1826         (d) Purchase of vehicles to transport students to and from
 1827  the charter school.
 1828         (e) Renovation, repair, and maintenance of school
 1829  facilities that the charter school owns or is purchasing through
 1830  a lease-purchase or long-term lease of 5 years or longer.
 1831         (f) Effective July 1, 2008, purchase, lease-purchase, or
 1832  lease of new and replacement equipment, and enterprise resource
 1833  software applications that are classified as capital assets in
 1834  accordance with definitions of the Governmental Accounting
 1835  Standards Board, have a useful life of at least 5 years, and are
 1836  used to support schoolwide administration or state-mandated
 1837  reporting requirements.
 1838         (g) Payment of the cost of premiums for property and
 1839  casualty insurance necessary to insure the school facilities.
 1840         (h) Purchase, lease-purchase, or lease of driver’s
 1841  education vehicles; motor vehicles used for the maintenance or
 1842  operation of plants and equipment; security vehicles; or
 1843  vehicles used in storing or distributing materials and
 1844  equipment.
 1846  Conversion charter schools may use capital outlay funds received
 1847  through the reduction in the administrative fee provided in s.
 1848  1002.33(22) s. 1002.33(20) for renovation, repair, and
 1849  maintenance of school facilities that are owned by the sponsor.
 1850         (3) When a charter school is nonrenewed or terminated, any
 1851  unencumbered funds and all equipment and property purchased with
 1852  district public funds shall revert to the ownership of the
 1853  district school board, as provided for in s. 1002.33(8)(e) and
 1854  (f). In the case of a charter lab school, any unencumbered funds
 1855  and all equipment and property purchased with university public
 1856  funds shall revert to the ownership of the state university that
 1857  issued the charter. The reversion of such equipment, property,
 1858  and furnishings shall focus on recoverable assets, but not on
 1859  intangible or irrecoverable costs such as rental or leasing
 1860  fees, normal maintenance, and limited renovations. The reversion
 1861  of all property secured with public funds is subject to the
 1862  complete satisfaction of all lawful liens or encumbrances. If
 1863  there are additional local issues such as the shared use of
 1864  facilities or partial ownership of facilities or property, these
 1865  issues shall be agreed to in the charter contract prior to the
 1866  expenditure of funds.
 1867         Section 8. (1) The Office of Program Policy Analysis and
 1868  Government Accountability (OPPAGA) shall conduct a study that
 1869  compares the funding of charter schools to the funding of
 1870  traditional public schools. In conducting this study, OPPAGA
 1871  shall:
 1872         (a) Identify the school districts that distribute funds
 1873  generated by the capital improvement millage authorized pursuant
 1874  to s. 1011.71(2), Florida Statutes, to charter schools and the
 1875  use of such funds by the charter schools.
 1876         (b) Determine the amount of funds that would be available
 1877  to charter schools if school districts equitably distribute to
 1878  district schools, including charter schools, the funds generated
 1879  by the capital improvement millage authorized pursuant to s.
 1880  1011.71(2), Florida Statutes.
 1881         (c) Examine the costs associated with supervising charter
 1882  schools and determine whether the 5 percent administrative fee
 1883  for administrative and educational services for charter schools
 1884  covers the costs associated with the provision of the services.
 1885         (d) Examine the distribution of IDEA funds.
 1886         (2) OPPAGA shall make recommendations, if warranted, for
 1887  improving the accountability and equity of the funding system
 1888  for charter schools based on the findings of the study. The
 1889  results of the study shall be submitted to the Governor, the
 1890  President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of
 1891  Representatives by January 1, 2012.
 1892         Section 9. If any provision of this act or its application
 1893  to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity
 1894  does not affect other provisions or applications of the act
 1895  which can be given effect without the invalid provision or
 1896  application, and to this end the provisions of this act are
 1897  severable.
 1898         Section 10. This act shall take effect July 1, 2011.