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
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
147 2. Provides a detailed curriculum plan that illustrates how
148 students will be provided services to attain the Sunshine State
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
577 (8) CAUSES FOR NONRENEWAL OR TERMINATION OF CHARTER.—
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
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 befor e 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.
678 (9) CHARTER SCHOOL REQUIREMENTS.—
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”;
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
836 (10) HIGH-PERFORMING CHARTER SCHOOLS.—
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).
869 (11) HIGH-PERFORMING CHARTER SCHOOL SYSTEM.—
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
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
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
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
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
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.
1016 (13) (11) PARTICIPATION IN INTERSCHOLASTIC EXTRACURRICULAR
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
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
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
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.
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
1144 (16) (14) CHARTER SCHOOL FINANCIAL ARRANGEMENTS;
1145 INDEMNIFICATION OF THE STATE AND SCHOOL DISTRICT; CREDIT OR
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.
1160 (17) (15) CHARTER SCHOOLS-IN-THE-WORKPLACE; CHARTER SCHOOLS
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
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
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.
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.
1480 (23) (21) PUBLIC INFORMATION ON CHARTER SCHOOLS.—
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
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
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.
1531 (22) CHARTER SCHOOL REVIEW PANEL AND LEGISLATIVE REVIEW.—
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.
1551 (24) (23) ANALYSIS OF CHARTER SCHOOL PERFORMANCE.—Upon
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).
1563 (25) (24) RESTRICTION ON EMPLOYMENT OF RELATIVES.—
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
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.
1603 (26) (25) STANDARDS OF CONDUCT AND FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE.—
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
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
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
1645 (1) Subject to the rules of the State Board of Education,
1646 each district shall determine the membership of students who are
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
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
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.—
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
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
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
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
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
1898 Section 10. This act shall take effect July 1, 2011.