Florida Senate - 2013                             CS for SB 1282
       By the Committee on Education; and Senator Stargel
       581-03374-13                                          20131282c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to charter schools; amending s.
    3         1002.33, F.S.; requiring policies agreed to by the
    4         sponsor and charter school to be incorporated into the
    5         charter contract; authorizing a charter school
    6         operated by a Florida College System institution to
    7         serve students in kindergarten through grade 12;
    8         authorizing a school district to enter into interlocal
    9         agreements with certain entities in order to engage in
   10         certain activities and meet certain needs for
   11         operation of charter school; providing requirements
   12         for the interlocal agreements; revising requirements
   13         for charter school applications; providing
   14         requirements for an annual financial plan that must be
   15         submitted with a charter school application;
   16         prohibiting the governing board or other related
   17         entity of a charter school subject to a corrective
   18         action plan or financial recovery plan from applying
   19         to open an additional charter school; providing
   20         disclosure requirements; revising provisions relating
   21         to the timely submission of charter school
   22         applications; providing requirements relating to the
   23         appeal of a denied application submitted by a high
   24         performing charter school; reducing the amount of time
   25         for negotiation of a charter; providing that a
   26         provision of a charter contract inconsistent with, or
   27         not expressly provided for within, certain
   28         requirements is void and unenforceable; revising
   29         provisions relating to the issuance of a final order
   30         in contract dispute cases; requiring a charter to set
   31         forth an annual program of continual, detailed
   32         reporting and review of the charter school’s financial
   33         operations; providing a restriction relating to a
   34         required certificate of occupancy; requiring the
   35         charter agreement to terminate if the charter school
   36         closes; prohibiting certain charter school contracts
   37         from extending beyond the terms of the contract;
   38         authorizing the consolidation of multiple charters
   39         into a single charter in certain circumstances;
   40         requiring a charter school’s sponsor to make student
   41         academic achievement for all students the most
   42         important factor when determining whether to renew or
   43         terminate the charter; revising the financial
   44         information that is required by charter schools;
   45         revising the timeline for charter schools to submit
   46         waiver of termination requests to the Department of
   47         Education; restricting expenditures upon nonrenewal or
   48         termination of a charter school; requiring a charter
   49         school to maintain specified information on a website;
   50         revising provisions relating to eligible students;
   51         revising provisions requiring charter school
   52         compliance with statutes relating to education
   53         personnel compensation, contracts, performance
   54         evaluations, and workforce reductions; providing
   55         requirements for the reimbursement of federal funds to
   56         charter schools; requiring the use of standard charter
   57         and charter renewal contracts and a standard
   58         evaluation instrument; providing restrictions on the
   59         employment of governing board members; providing
   60         definitions; amending s. 1002.331, F.S.; providing
   61         requirements for modification of a charter; requiring
   62         the Commissioner of Education to annually review a
   63         high-performing charter school’s eligibility for high
   64         performing status; authorizing declassification as a
   65         high-performing charter school; amending s. 1002.332,
   66         F.S.; revising requirements for classification as a
   67         high-performing charter school system; requiring the
   68         commissioner to annually review a high-performing
   69         charter school system’s eligibility for high
   70         performing status; authorizing declassification as a
   71         high-performing charter school system; amending s.
   72         1013.62, F.S.; revising a charter school’s eligibility
   73         requirements for funding allocation; providing an
   74         effective date.
   76  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   78         Section 1. Paragraph (b) of subsection (5), paragraphs (a),
   79  (b), (c), and (h) of subsection (6), paragraphs (a) and (c) of
   80  subsection (7), paragraph (a) of subsection (8), paragraphs (g)
   81  and (n) of subsection (9), paragraphs (b), (h), and (i) of
   82  subsection (10), paragraph (b) of subsection (16), paragraphs
   83  (b) and (c) of subsection (17), paragraph (a) of subsection
   84  (21), subsection (25), and subsection (27) of section 1002.33,
   85  Florida Statutes, are amended, paragraphs (o) and (p) are added
   86  to subsection (9), paragraph (c) is added to subsection (26), of
   87  that section, and subsection (28) is added to that section, to
   88  read:
   89         1002.33 Charter schools.—
   90         (5) SPONSOR; DUTIES.—
   91         (b) Sponsor duties.—
   92         1.a. The sponsor shall monitor and review the charter
   93  school in its progress toward the goals established in the
   94  charter.
   95         b. The sponsor shall monitor the revenues and expenditures
   96  of the charter school and perform the duties provided in s.
   97  1002.345.
   98         c. The sponsor may approve a charter for a charter school
   99  before the applicant has identified space, equipment, or
  100  personnel, if the applicant indicates approval is necessary for
  101  it to raise working funds.
  102         d. The sponsor may sponsor’s policies shall not apply
  103  policies to a charter school unless mutually agreed to by both
  104  the sponsor and the charter school. Each sponsor policy agreed
  105  to by the sponsor and the charter school must be incorporated
  106  into the final charter contract. If the sponsor subsequently
  107  amends any agreed-upon sponsor policy, the version of the policy
  108  in effect at the time of execution of the charter, or any
  109  subsequent modification thereof, shall remain in effect and the
  110  sponsor may not hold the charter school responsible for any
  111  provision of a newly revised policy until the revised policy is
  112  mutually agreed upon.
  113         e. The sponsor shall ensure that the charter is innovative
  114  and consistent with the state education goals established by s.
  115  1000.03(5).
  116         f. The sponsor shall ensure that the charter school
  117  participates in the state’s education accountability system. If
  118  a charter school falls short of performance measures included in
  119  the approved charter, the sponsor shall report such shortcomings
  120  to the Department of Education.
  121         g. The sponsor is shall not be liable for civil damages
  122  under state law for personal injury, property damage, or death
  123  resulting from an act or omission of an officer, employee,
  124  agent, or governing board body of the charter school.
  125         h. The sponsor is shall not be liable for civil damages
  126  under state law for any employment actions taken by an officer,
  127  employee, agent, or governing board body of the charter school.
  128         i. The sponsor’s duties to monitor the charter school do
  129  shall not constitute the basis for a private cause of action.
  130         j. The sponsor may shall not impose additional reporting
  131  requirements on a charter school without providing reasonable
  132  and specific justification in writing to the charter school.
  133         2. Immunity for the sponsor of a charter school under
  134  subparagraph 1. applies only with respect to acts or omissions
  135  not under the sponsor’s direct authority as described in this
  136  section.
  137         3. This paragraph does not waive a district school board’s
  138  sovereign immunity.
  139         4. A Florida College System institution may work with the
  140  school district or school districts in its designated service
  141  area to develop charter schools that offer secondary education.
  142  These charter schools must include an option for students to
  143  receive an associate degree upon high school graduation. If a
  144  Florida College System institution operates an approved teacher
  145  preparation program under s. 1004.04 or s. 1004.85, the
  146  institution may operate no more than one charter school that
  147  serves students in kindergarten through grade 12. District
  148  school boards shall cooperate with and assist the Florida
  149  College System institution on the charter application. Florida
  150  College System institution applications for charter schools are
  151  not subject to the time deadlines outlined in subsection (6) and
  152  may be approved by the district school board at any time during
  153  the year. Florida College System institutions may not report FTE
  154  for any students who receive FTE funding through the Florida
  155  Education Finance Program.
  156         5. A school district may enter into nonexclusive interlocal
  157  agreements with federal and state agencies, counties,
  158  municipalities, and other governmental entities that operate
  159  within the geographical borders of the school district to act on
  160  behalf of such governmental entities in the inspection,
  161  issuance, and other necessary activities for all necessary
  162  permits, licenses, and other permissions that a charter school
  163  needs in order to operate. The interlocal agreement must
  164  include, but need not be limited to, the identification of fees
  165  that charter schools will be charged for such services. The fees
  166  must consist of the governmental entity’s fees plus a fee for
  167  the school district to recover actual costs for providing such
  168  services. These services and fees are not included within the
  169  services to be provided pursuant to subsection (20). Each
  170  charter school is encouraged, but is not required, to use
  171  districts that enter into such interlocal agreements for these
  172  services.
  173         (6) APPLICATION PROCESS AND REVIEW.—Charter school
  174  applications are subject to the following requirements:
  175         (a) A person or entity that wants wishing to open a charter
  176  school shall prepare and submit an application on the a model
  177  application form prepared by the Department of Education which:
  178         1. Demonstrates how the school will use the guiding
  179  principles and meet the statutorily defined purpose of a charter
  180  school.
  181         2. Provides a detailed curriculum plan that illustrates how
  182  students will be provided instruction on services to attain the
  183  Next Generation Sunshine State Standards.
  184         3. Contains goals and objectives for improving student
  185  learning and measuring that improvement. These goals and
  186  objectives must indicate how much academic improvement students
  187  are expected to show each year, how success will be evaluated,
  188  and the specific results to be attained through instruction.
  189         4. Describes the reading curriculum and differentiated
  190  strategies that will be used for students reading at grade level
  191  or higher and a separate curriculum and strategies for students
  192  who are reading below grade level. A sponsor shall deny a
  193  charter if the school does not propose a reading curriculum that
  194  is consistent with effective teaching strategies that are
  195  grounded in scientifically based reading research.
  196         5. Contains an annual financial plan for each year that the
  197  applicant intends to operate requested by the charter for
  198  operation of the school for up to 5 years. This plan must
  199  provide detailed financial information evidencing that the
  200  applicant, or the nonprofit organization that would organize or
  201  operate the charter school, is financially qualified and capable
  202  of opening, operating, and maintaining a high-quality charter
  203  school in accordance with the applicant’s plan and applicable
  204  law. This plan must contain anticipated fund balances based on
  205  revenue projections, a spending plan based on projected revenues
  206  and expenses, and a description of controls that will safeguard
  207  finances and projected enrollment trends.
  208         6. Discloses whether the applicant was a member of a
  209  charter school governing board or was a person with
  210  decisionmaking authority for a charter school that was subject
  211  to a corrective action pursuant to subparagraph (9)(n)2.,
  212  subject to a corrective action plan pursuant to s.
  213  1002.345(1)(c), provided notification that a financial emergency
  214  has occurred or will occur pursuant to s. 218.503(4)(a), or
  215  subject to a financial recovery plan pursuant to s.
  216  1002.345(2)(a). The applicant must include a detailed
  217  explanation of the circumstances requiring a corrective action
  218  plan, a notification that a financial emergency has occurred or
  219  will occur, or a financial recovery plan and the resolution of
  220  the matter. However, a governing board member or other related
  221  entity of a charter school under a current corrective action
  222  plan or financial recovery plan is not eligible to apply to open
  223  an additional charter school Documents that the applicant has
  224  participated in the training required in subparagraph (f)2. A
  225  sponsor may require an applicant to provide additional
  226  information as an addendum to the charter school application
  227  described in this paragraph.
  228         7. For the establishment of a virtual charter school,
  229  documents that the applicant has contracted with a provider of
  230  virtual instruction services pursuant to s. 1002.45(1)(d).
  231         8. Provides one of the following:
  232         a.A surety bond or letter of credit equivalent to 1 month
  233  of the new charter school’s projected budget;
  234         b. Proof of accreditation by the Commission on Schools of
  235  the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools;
  236         c. Proof that an educational program at the new charter
  237  school will substantially replicate the educational program at
  238  an existing high-performing charter school as provided in s.
  239  1002.331, notwithstanding that the grades served by the new
  240  charter school may be different from those of the existing high
  241  performing charter school it seeks to replicate; or
  242         d. Proof that the new charter school will be part of an
  243  existing high-performing charter school system as defined in s.
  244  1002.332.
  246  A sponsor may require an applicant to provide additional
  247  information as an addendum to the charter school application
  248  described in this paragraph.
  249         (b) A sponsor shall receive and review all applications for
  250  a charter school using the an evaluation instrument developed by
  251  the Department of Education. A sponsor shall receive and
  252  consider charter school applications received on or before
  253  August 1 of each calendar year for charter schools to be opened
  254  at the beginning of the school district’s next school year, or
  255  to be opened at a time agreed to by the applicant and the
  256  sponsor. A sponsor may not refuse to receive a charter school
  257  application submitted on or before August 1 and may receive an
  258  application submitted applications later than August 1 this date
  259  if it chooses. In order to facilitate greater collaboration in
  260  the application process, an applicant may submit a draft charter
  261  school application by May 1. If a draft application is timely
  262  submitted, the sponsor shall review and provide feedback as to
  263  any potential grounds for denial by July 1 unless both parties
  264  agree to an extension. The applicant shall then have until
  265  August 1, unless both parties agree to an extension, to resubmit
  266  a revised and final application. A sponsor may not charge an
  267  applicant for a charter any fee for the processing or
  268  consideration of an application, and a sponsor may not base its
  269  consideration or approval of an application upon the promise of
  270  future payment of any kind. Before approving or denying any
  271  application, the sponsor shall allow the applicant, upon receipt
  272  of written notification, at least 7 calendar days to make
  273  technical or nonsubstantive corrections and clarifications,
  274  including, but not limited to, corrections of grammatical,
  275  typographical, and like errors or missing signatures, if such
  276  errors are identified by the sponsor as cause to deny the
  277  application.
  278         1. In order to facilitate an accurate budget projection
  279  process, a sponsor shall be held harmless for FTE students who
  280  are not included in the FTE projection due to approval of
  281  charter school applications after the FTE projection deadline.
  282  In a further effort to facilitate an accurate budget projection,
  283  within 15 calendar days after receipt of a charter school
  284  application, a sponsor shall report to the Department of
  285  Education the name of the applicant entity, the proposed charter
  286  school location, and its projected FTE.
  287         2. In order to ensure fiscal responsibility, an application
  288  for a charter school shall include a full accounting of expected
  289  assets, a projection of expected sources and amounts of income,
  290  including income derived from projected student enrollments and
  291  from community support, and an expense projection that includes
  292  full accounting of the costs of operation, including start-up
  293  costs.
  294         3.a. A sponsor shall by a majority vote approve or deny an
  295  application no later than October 1 60 calendar days after the
  296  application is received, unless the sponsor and the applicant
  297  mutually agree in writing to temporarily postpone the vote to a
  298  specific date, at which time the sponsor shall by a majority
  299  vote approve or deny the application. If the sponsor fails to
  300  act on the application, an applicant may appeal to the State
  301  Board of Education as provided in paragraph (c). If an
  302  application is denied, the sponsor shall, within 10 calendar
  303  days after such denial, articulate in writing the specific
  304  reasons, based upon good cause, supporting its denial of the
  305  charter application and shall provide the letter of denial and
  306  supporting documentation to the applicant and to the Department
  307  of Education.
  308         b. An application submitted by a high-performing charter
  309  school identified pursuant to s. 1002.331 may be denied by the
  310  sponsor only if the sponsor demonstrates by clear and convincing
  311  evidence that:
  312         (I) The application does not materially comply with the
  313  requirements in paragraph (a);
  314         (II) The charter school proposed in the application does
  315  not materially comply with the requirements in paragraphs
  316  (9)(a)-(f);
  317         (III) The proposed charter school’s educational program
  318  does not substantially replicate that of the applicant or one of
  319  the applicant’s high-performing charter schools;
  320         (IV) The applicant has made a material misrepresentation or
  321  false statement or concealed an essential or material fact
  322  during the application process; or
  323         (V) The proposed charter school’s educational program and
  324  financial management practices do not materially comply with the
  325  requirements of this section.
  327  Material noncompliance is a failure to follow requirements or a
  328  violation of prohibitions applicable to charter school
  329  applications, which failure is quantitatively or qualitatively
  330  significant either individually or when aggregated with other
  331  noncompliance. An applicant is considered to be replicating a
  332  high-performing charter school if the proposed school is
  333  substantially similar to at least one of the applicant’s high
  334  performing charter schools and the organization or individuals
  335  involved in the establishment and operation of the proposed
  336  school are significantly involved in the operation of replicated
  337  schools.
  338         c. If the sponsor denies an application submitted by a
  339  high-performing charter school, the sponsor must, within 10
  340  calendar days after such denial, state in writing the specific
  341  reasons, based upon the criteria in sub-subparagraph b.,
  342  supporting its denial of the application and must provide the
  343  letter of denial and supporting documentation to the applicant
  344  and to the Department of Education. The applicant may appeal the
  345  sponsor’s denial of the application directly to the State Board
  346  of Education pursuant to paragraph (c) and must provide the
  347  sponsor with a copy of the appeal sub-subparagraph (c)3.b.
  348         4. For budget projection purposes, the sponsor shall report
  349  to the Department of Education the approval or denial of a
  350  charter application within 10 calendar days after such approval
  351  or denial. In the event of approval, the report to the
  352  Department of Education shall include the final projected FTE
  353  for the approved charter school.
  354         5. Upon approval of a charter application, the initial
  355  startup shall commence with the beginning of the public school
  356  calendar for the district in which the charter is granted unless
  357  the sponsor allows a waiver of this subparagraph for good cause.
  358         (c)1. An applicant may appeal any denial of that
  359  applicant’s application or failure to act on an application to
  360  the State Board of Education within no later than 30 calendar
  361  days after receipt of the sponsor’s decision or failure to act
  362  and shall notify the sponsor of its appeal. Any response of the
  363  sponsor shall be submitted to the State Board of Education
  364  within 30 calendar days after notification of the appeal. Upon
  365  receipt of notification from the State Board of Education that a
  366  charter school applicant is filing an appeal, the Commissioner
  367  of Education shall convene a meeting of the Charter School
  368  Appeal Commission to study and make recommendations to the State
  369  Board of Education regarding its pending decision about the
  370  appeal. The commission shall forward its recommendation to the
  371  state board within no later than 7 calendar days before prior to
  372  the date on which the appeal is to be heard. An appeal regarding
  373  the denial of an application submitted by a high-performing
  374  charter school pursuant to s. 1002.331 shall be conducted by the
  375  State Board of Education in accordance with this paragraph,
  376  except that the commission may not convene to make
  377  recommendations regarding the appeal. However, the Commissioner
  378  of Education shall review the appeal and make a recommendation
  379  to the state board.
  380         2. The Charter School Appeal Commission or, in the case of
  381  an appeal regarding an application submitted by a high
  382  performing charter school, the State Board of Education may
  383  reject an appeal submission for failure to comply with
  384  procedural rules governing the appeals process. The rejection
  385  shall describe the submission errors. The appellant has shall
  386  have 15 calendar days after notice of rejection in which to
  387  resubmit an appeal that meets the requirements set forth in
  388  State Board of Education rule. An appeal submitted subsequent to
  389  such rejection is considered timely if the original appeal was
  390  filed within 30 calendar days after receipt of notice of the
  391  specific reasons for the sponsor’s denial of the charter
  392  application.
  393         3.a. The State Board of Education shall by majority vote
  394  accept or reject the decision of the sponsor within no later
  395  than 90 calendar days after an appeal is filed in accordance
  396  with State Board of Education rule. The State Board of Education
  397  shall remand the application to the sponsor with its written
  398  decision that the sponsor approve or deny the application. The
  399  sponsor shall implement the decision of the State Board of
  400  Education. The decision of the State Board of Education is not
  401  subject to the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act,
  402  chapter 120.
  403         b. If an appeal concerns an application submitted by a
  404  high-performing charter school identified pursuant to s.
  405  1002.331, the State Board of Education shall determine whether
  406  the sponsor’s denial of the application complies with the
  407  requirements in sub-subparagraph (b)3.b. sponsor has shown, by
  408  clear and convincing evidence, that:
  409         (I) The application does not materially comply with the
  410  requirements in paragraph (a);
  411         (II) The charter school proposed in the application does
  412  not materially comply with the requirements in paragraphs
  413  (9)(a)-(f);
  414         (III) The proposed charter school’s educational program
  415  does not substantially replicate that of the applicant or one of
  416  the applicant’s high-performing charter schools;
  417         (IV) The applicant has made a material misrepresentation or
  418  false statement or concealed an essential or material fact
  419  during the application process; or
  420         (V) The proposed charter school’s educational program and
  421  financial management practices do not materially comply with the
  422  requirements of this section.
  424  The State Board of Education shall approve or reject the
  425  sponsor’s denial of an application no later than 90 calendar
  426  days after an appeal is filed in accordance with State Board of
  427  Education rule. The State Board of Education shall remand the
  428  application to the sponsor with its written decision that the
  429  sponsor approve or deny the application. The sponsor shall
  430  implement the decision of the State Board of Education. The
  431  decision of the State Board of Education is not subject to the
  432  Administrative Procedure Act, chapter 120.
  433         (h) The terms and conditions for the operation of a charter
  434  school shall be set forth by the sponsor and the applicant in a
  435  written contractual agreement, called a charter. The sponsor may
  436  shall not impose unreasonable rules or regulations that violate
  437  the intent of giving charter schools greater flexibility to meet
  438  educational goals. The sponsor has 30 shall have 60 days after
  439  approval of the application to provide an initial proposed
  440  charter contract to the charter school. Unless the applicant
  441  requests in writing that the sponsor use a nonstandard charter
  442  contract, the applicant shall use the standard charter adopted
  443  in state board rule pursuant to subsection (27) and the
  444  application submitted by the applicant. The sponsor may not
  445  omit, supplement, or amend any provision of the standard charter
  446  agreement. In addition, the sponsor may not insert or append
  447  attachments, addenda, or exhibits to the standard charter
  448  contract. The applicant and the sponsor have 40 shall have 75
  449  days thereafter to negotiate and notice the charter contract for
  450  final approval by the sponsor unless both parties agree to an
  451  extension. Failure of the parties to negotiate the charter
  452  within 40 days shall provide the charter school with authority
  453  to request mediation or appeal to an administrative law judge
  454  pursuant to this paragraph, but it does not absolve the sponsor
  455  of its responsibility to continue to negotiate a charter
  456  contract in good faith. The proposed charter contract shall be
  457  provided to the charter school at least 7 calendar days before
  458  prior to the date of the meeting at which the charter is
  459  scheduled to be voted upon by the sponsor. A provision of a
  460  charter contract inconsistent with or not expressly provided for
  461  within the requirements of this section is void and
  462  unenforceable. The Department of Education shall provide
  463  mediation services for any dispute regarding this section
  464  subsequent to the approval of a charter application and for any
  465  dispute relating to the approved charter, except disputes
  466  regarding charter school application denials. If the
  467  Commissioner of Education determines that the dispute cannot be
  468  settled through mediation, the dispute may be appealed to an
  469  administrative law judge appointed by the Division of
  470  Administrative Hearings. The administrative law judge has final
  471  order authority to may rule on issues of equitable treatment of
  472  the charter school as a public school, whether proposed
  473  provisions of the charter violate the intended flexibility
  474  granted charter schools by statute, or on any other matter
  475  regarding this section except a charter school application
  476  denial, a charter termination, or a charter nonrenewal and shall
  477  award the prevailing party reasonable attorney attorney’s fees
  478  and costs incurred to be paid by the losing party. The costs of
  479  the administrative hearing shall be paid by the party whom the
  480  administrative law judge rules against.
  481         (7) CHARTER.—The major issues involving the operation of a
  482  charter school shall be considered in advance and written into
  483  the charter. The charter shall be signed by the governing board
  484  of the charter school and the sponsor, following a public
  485  hearing to ensure community input.
  486         (a) The charter shall address and criteria for approval of
  487  the charter shall be based on:
  488         1. The school’s mission, the students to be served, and the
  489  ages and grades to be included.
  490         2. The focus of the curriculum, the instructional methods
  491  to be used, any distinctive instructional techniques to be
  492  employed, and identification and acquisition of appropriate
  493  technologies needed to improve educational and administrative
  494  performance, which include a means for promoting safe, ethical,
  495  and appropriate uses of technology which comply with legal and
  496  professional standards.
  497         a. The charter shall ensure that reading is a primary focus
  498  of the curriculum and that resources are provided to identify
  499  and provide specialized instruction for students who are reading
  500  below grade level. The curriculum and instructional strategies
  501  for reading must be consistent with the Next Generation Sunshine
  502  State Standards and grounded in scientifically based reading
  503  research.
  504         b. In order to provide students with access to diverse
  505  instructional delivery models, to facilitate the integration of
  506  technology within traditional classroom instruction, and to
  507  provide students with the skills they need to compete in the
  508  21st century economy, the Legislature encourages instructional
  509  methods for blended learning courses in which a student learns
  510  in part through online delivery of content and instruction with
  511  some element of student control over time, place, path, or pace
  512  and in part at a supervised physical location away from home
  513  consisting of both traditional classroom and online
  514  instructional techniques. Charter schools may implement blended
  515  learning courses that which combine traditional classroom
  516  instruction and virtual instruction. Students in a blended
  517  learning course must be full-time students of the charter school
  518  and receive the online instruction in a classroom setting at the
  519  charter school. Instructional personnel certified pursuant to s.
  520  1012.55 who provide virtual instruction for blended learning
  521  courses may be employees of the charter school or may be under
  522  contract to provide instructional services to charter school
  523  students. At a minimum, such instructional personnel must hold
  524  an active state or school district adjunct certification under
  525  s. 1012.57 for the subject area of the blended learning course.
  526  The funding and performance accountability requirements for
  527  blended learning courses are the same as those for traditional
  528  courses.
  529         3. The current incoming baseline standard of student
  530  academic achievement, the outcomes to be achieved, and the
  531  method of measurement that will be used. The criteria listed in
  532  this subparagraph shall include a detailed description of:
  533         a. How the baseline student academic achievement levels and
  534  prior rates of academic progress will be established.
  535         b. How these baseline rates will be compared to rates of
  536  academic progress achieved by these same students while
  537  attending the charter school.
  538         c. To the extent possible, how these rates of progress will
  539  be evaluated and compared with rates of progress of other
  540  closely comparable student populations.
  542  The district school board is required to provide academic
  543  student performance data to charter schools for each of their
  544  students coming from the district school system, as well as
  545  rates of academic progress of comparable student populations in
  546  the district school system.
  547         4. The methods used to identify the educational strengths
  548  and needs of students and how well educational goals and
  549  performance standards are met by students attending the charter
  550  school. The methods shall provide a means for the charter school
  551  to ensure accountability to its constituents by analyzing
  552  student performance data and by evaluating the effectiveness and
  553  efficiency of its major educational programs. Students in
  554  charter schools shall, at a minimum, participate in the
  555  statewide assessment program created under s. 1008.22.
  556         5. In secondary charter schools, a method for determining
  557  that a student has satisfied the requirements for graduation in
  558  s. 1003.428, s. 1003.429, or s. 1003.43.
  559         6. A method for resolving conflicts between the governing
  560  board of the charter school and the sponsor.
  561         7. The admissions procedures and dismissal procedures,
  562  including the school’s code of student conduct.
  563         8. The ways by which the school will achieve a
  564  racial/ethnic balance reflective of the community it serves or
  565  within the racial/ethnic range of other public schools in the
  566  same school district.
  567         9. The financial and administrative management of the
  568  school, including a reasonable demonstration of the professional
  569  experience or competence of those individuals or organizations
  570  applying to operate the charter school or those hired or
  571  retained to perform such professional services and the
  572  description of clearly delineated responsibilities and the
  573  policies and practices needed to effectively manage the charter
  574  school. A description of internal audit procedures and
  575  establishment of controls to ensure that financial resources are
  576  properly managed must be included. Both public sector and
  577  private sector professional experience shall be equally valid in
  578  such a consideration. The charter must set forth, at least
  579  annually, a program of continual, detailed reporting by the
  580  charter school and review by the sponsor of the financial
  581  operations of the charter school, including, but not limited to,
  582  organization, solvency, and proper financial management.
  583         10. The asset and liability projections required in the
  584  application which are incorporated into the charter and shall be
  585  compared with information provided in the annual report of the
  586  charter school.
  587         11. A description of procedures that identify various risks
  588  and provide for a comprehensive approach to reduce the impact of
  589  losses; plans to ensure the safety and security of students and
  590  staff; plans to identify, minimize, and protect others from
  591  violent or disruptive student behavior; and the manner in which
  592  the school will be insured, including whether or not the school
  593  will be required to have liability insurance, and, if so, the
  594  terms and conditions thereof and the amounts of coverage.
  595         12. The term of the charter, which shall provide for
  596  termination cancellation of the charter if insufficient progress
  597  has been made in attaining the student achievement objectives of
  598  the charter and if it is not likely that such objectives can be
  599  achieved before expiration of the charter. The initial term of a
  600  charter shall be for 4 or 5 years. In order to facilitate access
  601  to long-term financial resources for charter school
  602  construction, Charter schools that are operated by a
  603  municipality or other public entity as provided by law are
  604  eligible for up to a 15-year charter, subject to approval by the
  605  district school board. A charter lab school is eligible for a
  606  charter for a term of up to 15 years. In addition, to facilitate
  607  access to long-term financial resources for charter school
  608  construction, charter schools that are operated by a private,
  609  not-for-profit, s. 501(c)(3) status corporation are eligible for
  610  up to a 15-year charter, subject to approval by the district
  611  school board. Such long-term charters remain subject to annual
  612  review and may be terminated during the term of the charter, but
  613  only according to the provisions set forth in subsection (8).
  614         13. The facilities to be used and their location. The
  615  sponsor may not require a charter school to have a certificate
  616  of occupancy for such a facility earlier than 15 calendar days
  617  before the first day of school.
  618         14. The qualifications to be required of the teachers and
  619  the potential strategies used to recruit, hire, train, and
  620  retain qualified staff to achieve best value.
  621         15. The governance structure of the school, including the
  622  status of the charter school as a public or private employer as
  623  required in paragraph (12)(i).
  624         16. A timetable for implementing the charter which
  625  addresses the implementation of each element thereof and the
  626  date by which the charter shall be awarded in order to meet this
  627  timetable.
  628         17. In the case of an existing public school that is being
  629  converted to charter status, alternative arrangements for
  630  current students who choose not to attend the charter school and
  631  for current teachers who choose not to teach in the charter
  632  school after conversion in accordance with the existing
  633  collective bargaining agreement or district school board rule in
  634  the absence of a collective bargaining agreement. However,
  635  alternative arrangements are shall not be required for current
  636  teachers who choose not to teach in a charter lab school, except
  637  as authorized by the employment policies of the state university
  638  which grants the charter to the lab school.
  639         18. Full disclosure of the identity of all relatives
  640  employed by the charter school who are related to the charter
  641  school owner, president, chairperson of the governing board of
  642  directors, superintendent, governing board member, principal,
  643  assistant principal, or any other person employed by the charter
  644  school who has equivalent decisionmaking authority. For the
  645  purpose of this subparagraph, the term “relative” means father,
  646  mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, first
  647  cousin, nephew, niece, husband, wife, father-in-law, mother-in
  648  law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law,
  649  stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother,
  650  stepsister, half brother, or half sister.
  651         19. Implementation of the activities authorized under s.
  652  1002.331 by the charter school when it satisfies the eligibility
  653  requirements for a high-performing charter school. A high
  654  performing charter school shall notify its sponsor in writing by
  655  March 1 if it intends to increase enrollment or expand grade
  656  levels the following school year. The written notice shall
  657  specify the amount of the enrollment increase and the grade
  658  levels that will be added, as applicable.
  660  The charter agreement must immediately terminate when the
  661  charter school closes. Charter school contracts with employees,
  662  service providers, management companies, and other types of
  663  service contracts may not extend beyond the term of the charter
  664  agreement. Payments may be made only for services provided
  665  before the closure, nonrenewal, termination, or immediate
  666  termination of the charter school. If the charter school closes
  667  or if the charter agreement is terminated or immediately
  668  terminated before the term of the charter agreement expires, the
  669  remainder of a service contract is void.
  670         (c) A charter may be modified during its initial term or
  671  any renewal term upon the recommendation of the sponsor or the
  672  charter school’s governing board and the approval of both
  673  parties to the agreement. Modification may include, but is not
  674  limited to, consolidation of multiple charters into a single
  675  charter if the charters are operated under the same governing
  676  board and physically located on the same campus, regardless of
  677  the renewal cycle.
  679         (a) The sponsor shall make student academic achievement for
  680  all students the most important factor when determining whether
  681  to renew or terminate the charter. The sponsor may also choose
  682  not to renew or may terminate the charter for any of the
  683  following grounds:
  684         1. Failure to participate in the state’s education
  685  accountability system created in s. 1008.31, as required in this
  686  section, or failure to meet the requirements for student
  687  performance stated in the charter.
  688         2. Failure to meet generally accepted standards of fiscal
  689  management.
  690         3. Violation of law.
  691         4. Other good cause shown.
  693         (g) A charter school shall maintain and provide financial
  694  information as required in subparagraphs 3., 4., and 5. This
  695  information must be in a form prescribed by the Department of
  696  Education.
  697         1. In order to provide financial information that is
  698  comparable to that reported for other public schools, charter
  699  schools are to maintain all financial records that constitute
  700  their accounting system:
  701         a.1. In accordance with the accounts and codes prescribed
  702  in the most recent issuance of the publication titled “Financial
  703  and Program Cost Accounting and Reporting for Florida Schools”;
  704  or
  705         b.2. At the discretion of the charter school’s governing
  706  board, a charter school may elect to follow generally accepted
  707  accounting standards for not-for-profit organizations, but must
  708  reformat this information for reporting according to this
  709  paragraph.
  710         2.A charter school schools shall provide annual financial
  711  report and program cost report information in the state-required
  712  formats for inclusion in district reporting in compliance with
  713  s. 1011.60(1). A charter school schools that is are operated by
  714  a municipality or is are a component unit of a parent nonprofit
  715  organization may use the accounting system of the municipality
  716  or the parent but must reformat this information for reporting
  717  according to this paragraph.
  718         3. A charter school shall provide a monthly financial
  719  statement to the sponsor unless the charter school is designated
  720  as a high-performing charter school pursuant to s. 1002.331, in
  721  which case the high-performing charter school may provide a
  722  quarterly financial statement. The financial statement required
  723  under this paragraph shall be in a form prescribed by the
  724  Department of Education.
  725         4. A charter school shall provide the sponsor with a
  726  uniform annual performance audit report that links information
  727  with useable issues. The report must include, but not be limited
  728  to, detailed financial operations, capitalization, solvency,
  729  financial management, and compensation.
  730         5. A charter school shall provide the sponsor with a
  731  concise monthly financial statement summary sheet that contains
  732  a balance sheet and a statement of revenue, expenditures, and
  733  changes in fund balance. The balance sheet and the statement of
  734  revenue, expenditures, and changes in fund balance shall be in
  735  the governmental funds format prescribed by the Governmental
  736  Accounting Standards Board.
  737         (n)1. The director and a representative of the governing
  738  board of a charter school that has earned a grade of “D” or “F”
  739  pursuant to s. 1008.34(2) shall appear before the sponsor to
  740  present information concerning each contract component having
  741  noted deficiencies. The director and a representative of the
  742  governing board shall submit to the sponsor for approval a
  743  school improvement plan to raise student achievement. Upon
  744  approval by the sponsor, the charter school shall begin
  745  implementation of the school improvement plan. The department
  746  shall offer technical assistance and training to the charter
  747  school and its governing board and establish guidelines for
  748  developing, submitting, and approving such plans.
  749         2.a. If a charter school earns three consecutive grades of
  750  “D,” two consecutive grades of “D” followed by a grade of “F,”
  751  or two nonconsecutive grades of “F” within a 3-year period, the
  752  charter school governing board shall choose one of the following
  753  corrective actions:
  754         (I) Contract for educational services to be provided
  755  directly to students, instructional personnel, and school
  756  administrators, as prescribed in state board rule;
  757         (II) Contract with an outside entity that has a
  758  demonstrated record of effectiveness to operate the school;
  759         (III) Reorganize the school under a new director or
  760  principal who is authorized to hire new staff; or
  761         (IV) Voluntarily close the charter school.
  762         b. The charter school must implement the corrective action
  763  in the school year following receipt of a third consecutive
  764  grade of “D,” a grade of “F” following two consecutive grades of
  765  “D,” or a second nonconsecutive grade of “F” within a 3-year
  766  period.
  767         c. The sponsor may annually waive a corrective action if it
  768  determines that the charter school is likely to improve a letter
  769  grade if additional time is provided to implement the
  770  intervention and support strategies prescribed by the school
  771  improvement plan. Notwithstanding this sub-subparagraph, a
  772  charter school that earns a second consecutive grade of “F” is
  773  subject to subparagraph 4.
  774         d. A charter school is no longer required to implement a
  775  corrective action if it improves by at least one letter grade.
  776  However, the charter school must continue to implement
  777  strategies identified in the school improvement plan. The
  778  sponsor must annually review implementation of the school
  779  improvement plan to monitor the school’s continued improvement
  780  pursuant to subparagraph 5.
  781         e. A charter school implementing a corrective action that
  782  does not improve by at least one letter grade after 2 full
  783  school years of implementing the corrective action must select a
  784  different corrective action. Implementation of the new
  785  corrective action must begin in the school year following the
  786  implementation period of the existing corrective action, unless
  787  the sponsor determines that the charter school is likely to
  788  improve a letter grade if additional time is provided to
  789  implement the existing corrective action. Notwithstanding this
  790  sub-subparagraph, a charter school that earns a second
  791  consecutive grade of “F” while implementing a corrective action
  792  is subject to subparagraph 4.
  793         3. A charter school with a grade of “D” or “F” that
  794  improves by at least one letter grade must continue to implement
  795  the strategies identified in the school improvement plan. The
  796  sponsor must annually review implementation of the school
  797  improvement plan to monitor the school’s continued improvement
  798  pursuant to subparagraph 5.
  799         4. The sponsor shall terminate a charter if the charter
  800  school earns two consecutive grades of “F” unless:
  801         a. The charter school is established to turn around the
  802  performance of a district public school pursuant to s.
  803  1008.33(4)(b)3. Such charter schools shall be governed by s.
  804  1008.33;
  805         b. The charter school serves a student population the
  806  majority of which resides in a school zone served by a district
  807  public school that earned a grade of “F” in the year before the
  808  charter school opened and the charter school earns at least a
  809  grade of “D” in its third year of operation. The exception
  810  provided under this sub-subparagraph does not apply to a charter
  811  school in its fourth year of operation and thereafter; or
  812         c. The state board grants the charter school a waiver of
  813  termination. The charter school must request the waiver within
  814  15 30 days after the department’s official release completion of
  815  school grades grade appeals. The state board may waive
  816  termination if the charter school demonstrates that the learning
  817  gains of its students on statewide assessments are comparable to
  818  or better than the learning gains of similarly situated students
  819  enrolled in nearby district public schools. The waiver is valid
  820  for 1 year and may only be granted once. Charter schools that
  821  have been in operation for more than 5 years are not eligible
  822  for a waiver under this sub-subparagraph.
  823         5. The director and a representative of the governing board
  824  of a graded charter school that has implemented a school
  825  improvement plan under this paragraph shall appear before the
  826  sponsor at least once a year to present information regarding
  827  the progress of intervention and support strategies implemented
  828  by the school pursuant to the school improvement plan and
  829  corrective actions, if applicable. The sponsor shall communicate
  830  at the meeting, and in writing to the director, the services
  831  provided to the school to help the school address its
  832  deficiencies.
  833         6. Notwithstanding any provision of this paragraph except
  834  sub-subparagraphs 4.a.-c., the sponsor may terminate the charter
  835  at any time pursuant to subsection (8).
  836         (o) Upon notification of nonrenewal or termination of its
  837  charter, a charter school may not expend more than $35,000
  838  without prior written approval from the sponsor, unless such
  839  expenditure was included within the annual budget submitted to
  840  the sponsor pursuant to the charter contract or such expenditure
  841  is for reasonable attorney fees and costs during the pendency of
  842  any appeal.
  843         (p) Each charter school shall maintain a website that
  844  enables the public to obtain information regarding the school,
  845  its personnel, and its programs. The website shall include
  846  information or online links to information regarding any entity
  847  that owns, operates, or manages the school, including any
  848  nonprofit or for-profit entity; the names of all governing
  849  officers and administrative personnel of the entity; and any
  850  fees the school pays to the entity. The information or online
  851  links must be prominently displayed and easily accessible to
  852  visitors of the website.
  853         (10) ELIGIBLE STUDENTS.—
  854         (b) The charter school shall enroll an eligible student who
  855  submits a timely application, unless the number of applications
  856  exceeds the capacity of a program, class, grade level, or
  857  building. In such case, all applicants shall have an equal
  858  chance of being admitted through a public, random, selection
  859  process.
  860         (h) The capacity of the charter school shall be determined
  861  annually by the governing board, in conjunction with the
  862  sponsor, of the charter school in consideration of the factors
  863  identified in this subsection unless the charter school is
  864  designated as a high-performing charter school pursuant to s.
  865  1002.331. A sponsor may not require a charter school to waive
  866  the provisions of s. 1002.331 or require a student enrollment
  867  cap that prohibits a high-performing charter school from
  868  increasing enrollment in accordance with s. 1002.331(2) as a
  869  condition of approval or renewal of a charter.
  870         (i) The capacity of a high-performing charter school
  871  identified pursuant to s. 1002.331 shall be determined annually
  872  by the governing board of the charter school. The governing
  873  board shall notify the sponsor of any increase in enrollment by
  874  March 1 of the school year preceding the increase. A sponsor may
  875  not require a charter school to identify the names of students
  876  to be enrolled or to enroll those students before the start of
  877  the school year as a condition of approval or renewal of a
  878  charter.
  879         (16) EXEMPTION FROM STATUTES.—
  880         (b) Additionally, a charter school shall be in compliance
  881  with the following statutes:
  882         1. Section 286.011, relating to public meetings and
  883  records, public inspection, and criminal and civil penalties.
  884         2. Chapter 119, relating to public records.
  885         3. Section 1003.03, relating to the maximum class size,
  886  except that the calculation for compliance pursuant to s.
  887  1003.03 shall be the average at the school level.
  888         4. Section 1012.22(1)(c)5.b. 1012.22(1)(c), relating to the
  889  implementation of a compensation system that requires annual
  890  salary adjustments for instructional personnel to be based upon
  891  performance and salary schedules.
  892         5. Section 1012.33(5), relating to workforce reductions, if
  893  the charter school awards contracts to instructional personnel
  894  and the term of a contract exceeds 1 year.
  895         6. Section 1012.335, relating to contracts with
  896  instructional personnel hired on or after July 1, 2011, if the
  897  charter school awards contracts to instructional personnel and
  898  the term of a contract exceeds 1 year.
  899         7. Section 1012.34(2), (3), and (7) 1012.34, relating to
  900  the substantive requirements for performance evaluations for
  901  instructional personnel and school administrators. For purposes
  902  of compliance with this subparagraph, the duties assigned to a
  903  district school superintendent apply to a charter school
  904  principal or his or her equivalent, and the duties assigned to a
  905  district school board apply to a charter school’s governing
  906  board.
  907         (17) FUNDING.—Students enrolled in a charter school,
  908  regardless of the sponsorship, shall be funded as if they are in
  909  a basic program or a special program, the same as students
  910  enrolled in other public schools in the school district. Funding
  911  for a charter lab school shall be as provided in s. 1002.32.
  912         (b) The basis for the agreement for funding students
  913  enrolled in a charter school shall be the sum of the school
  914  district’s operating funds from the Florida Education Finance
  915  Program as provided in s. 1011.62 and the General Appropriations
  916  Act, including gross state and local funds, discretionary
  917  lottery funds, and funds from the school district’s current
  918  operating discretionary millage levy; divided by total funded
  919  weighted full-time equivalent students in the school district;
  920  multiplied by the weighted full-time equivalent students for the
  921  charter school. Charter schools whose students or programs meet
  922  the eligibility criteria in law shall be entitled to their
  923  proportionate share of categorical program funds included in the
  924  total funds available in the Florida Education Finance Program
  925  by the Legislature, including transportation. Total funding for
  926  each charter school shall be recalculated during the year to
  927  reflect the revised calculations under the Florida Education
  928  Finance Program by the state and the actual weighted full-time
  929  equivalent students reported by the charter school during the
  930  full-time equivalent student survey periods designated by the
  931  Commissioner of Education. A school district, and any charter
  932  school within that district, in which students transfer among
  933  charter schools and public schools in that district during the
  934  school year may reconcile student funding as identified in s.
  935  1011.62. Each school district shall report information regarding
  936  such reconciliation to the department with the survey response
  937  the school district provides pursuant to s. 1011.62.
  938         (c) If the district school board is providing programs or
  939  services to students funded by federal funds, any eligible
  940  students enrolled in charter schools in the school district
  941  shall be provided federal funds for the same level of service
  942  provided students in the schools operated by the district school
  943  board. Pursuant to provisions of 20 U.S.C. 8061 s. 10306, all
  944  charter schools shall receive all federal funding for which the
  945  school is otherwise eligible, including Title I funding, not
  946  later than 5 months after the charter school first opens and
  947  within 5 months after any subsequent expansion of enrollment.
  948  Unless otherwise mutually agreed to by the charter school and
  949  its sponsor, and consistent with state and federal rules and
  950  regulations governing the use and disbursement of federal funds,
  951  the sponsor shall reimburse the charter school on a monthly
  952  basis for all invoices submitted by the charter school for
  953  federal funds available to the sponsor for the benefit of the
  954  charter school, the charter school’s students, and the charter
  955  school’s students as public school students in the school
  956  district. Such federal funds include, but are not limited to,
  957  Title I, Title II, and Individuals with Disabilities Education
  958  Act (IDEA) funds. To receive timely reimbursement for an
  959  invoice, the charter school must submit the invoice to the
  960  sponsor at least 30 days before the monthly date of
  961  reimbursement set by the sponsor. In order to be reimbursed, any
  962  expenditure made by the charter school must comply with all
  963  applicable state and federal rules and regulations, including,
  964  but not limited to, the applicable federal Office of Management
  965  and Budget Circulars, the federal Education Department General
  966  Administrative Regulations, and program-specific statutes,
  967  rules, and regulations. Such funds may not be made available to
  968  the charter school until a plan for their use is submitted to
  969  the sponsor for approval in accordance with applicable federal
  970  requirements. The sponsor has 30 days to review and approve any
  971  plan submitted pursuant to this paragraph.
  973         (a) The Department of Education shall provide information
  974  to the public, directly and through sponsors, on how to form and
  975  operate a charter school and how to enroll in a charter school
  976  once it is created. This information shall include a model
  977  standard application form format, standard charter contract
  978  format, standard evaluation instrument, and standard charter
  979  renewal contract format, which shall include the information
  980  specified in subsection (7) and shall be developed by consulting
  981  and negotiating with both school districts and charter schools
  982  before implementation. The charter and charter renewal contracts
  983  formats shall be used by charter school sponsors.
  985  SCHOOL SYSTEMS.—A charter school system shall be designated a
  986  local educational agency for the purpose of receiving federal
  987  funds, the same as though the charter school system were a
  988  school district, if the governing board of the charter school
  989  system has adopted and filed a resolution with its sponsoring
  990  district school board and the Department of Education in which
  991  the governing board of the charter school system accepts the
  992  full responsibility for all local education agency requirements
  993  and if the charter school system meets all of the following:
  994         (a) Includes both conversion charter schools and
  995  nonconversion charter schools;
  996         (b) Has all schools located in the same county;
  997         (c) Has a total enrollment exceeding the total enrollment
  998  of at least one school district in the state;
  999         (d) Has the same governing board; and
 1000         (e) Does not contract with a for-profit service provider
 1001  for management of school operations.
 1003  Such designation does not apply to other provisions unless
 1004  specifically provided by in law.
 1006         (c) An employee of the charter school, or his or her
 1007  spouse, or an employee of a charter management organization, or
 1008  his or her spouse, may not be a member of the governing board of
 1009  a charter school.
 1010         (27) RULEMAKING.—The Department of Education, after
 1011  consultation with school districts and charter school directors,
 1012  shall recommend that the State Board of Education adopt rules to
 1013  implement specific subsections of this section. Such rules must
 1014  shall require minimum paperwork and may shall not limit charter
 1015  school flexibility authorized by statute. The State Board of
 1016  Education shall adopt rules, pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and
 1017  120.54, to implement a charter model application form, standard
 1018  evaluation instrument, and standard charter and charter renewal
 1019  contracts formats in accordance with this section.
 1020         (28) DEFINITIONS.—When used in this section and chapters
 1021  1000-1013 and where the context will permit in other provision
 1022  of law, the term or phrase:
 1023         (1) “Management company” means an entity retained by a
 1024  public school’s governing body pursuant to a written contract to
 1025  administer or direct the operations of the school, subject to
 1026  the policies, directives, and oversight of the governing body. A
 1027  public school governing body may not retain a management company
 1028  of which the governing body is a component unit. This definition
 1029  also applies to the terms “service provider” as the term is used
 1030  in s. 1002.33, “education management corporation,” as the term
 1031  is used in s. 1002.332, and “outside entity,” as the term is
 1032  used in s. 1008.33.
 1033         (2) “Organize as or be operated by a nonprofit
 1034  organization” means a charter school that is created and owned
 1035  by a nonprofit organization, or a charter school that is created
 1036  by an individual or entity other than a nonprofit organization
 1037  whose ownership is subsequently transferred to a nonprofit
 1038  organization before the nonprofit organization executes the
 1039  charter agreement. A charter school may not be owned in whole or
 1040  in part by, or be a component unit of, a for-profit entity.
 1041         Section 2. Subsections (2), (4), and (5) of section
 1042  1002.331, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
 1043         1002.331 High-performing charter schools.—
 1044         (2) A high-performing charter school is authorized to:
 1045         (a) Increase its student enrollment once per school year by
 1046  up to 15 percent more than the capacity identified in the
 1047  charter.
 1048         (b) Expand grade levels within kindergarten through grade
 1049  12 to add grade levels not already served if any annual
 1050  enrollment increase resulting from grade level expansion is
 1051  within the limit established in paragraph (a).
 1052         (c) Submit a quarterly, rather than a monthly, financial
 1053  statement to the sponsor pursuant to s. 1002.33(9)(g).
 1054         (d) Consolidate under a single charter the charters of
 1055  multiple high-performing charter schools operated in the same
 1056  school district by the charter schools’ governing board
 1057  regardless of the renewal cycle.
 1058         (e) Receive a modification of its charter to a term of 15
 1059  years or a 15-year charter renewal. The charter may be modified
 1060  or renewed for a shorter term at the option of the high
 1061  performing charter school. The charter must be consistent with
 1062  s. 1002.33(7)(a)19. and (10)(h) and (i), is subject to annual
 1063  review by the sponsor, and may be terminated during its term
 1064  pursuant to s. 1002.33(8).
 1066  A high-performing charter school shall notify its sponsor in
 1067  writing by March 1 if it intends to increase enrollment or
 1068  expand grade levels the following school year. The written
 1069  notice shall specify the amount of the enrollment increase and
 1070  the grade levels that will be added, as applicable. If a high
 1071  performing charter school requests to consolidate multiple
 1072  charters or to modify its charter pursuant to this subsection,
 1073  the sponsor has 40 days after receipt of that request to provide
 1074  an initial draft charter to the charter school. The sponsor and
 1075  charter school have 50 days thereafter to negotiate and notice
 1076  the charter contract for final approval by the sponsor. Failure
 1077  of the parties to negotiate the charter within 50 days shall
 1078  provide the charter school with authority to request mediation
 1079  or appeal to an administrative law judge pursuant to this
 1080  subsection, but it does not absolve the sponsor of its
 1081  responsibility to continue to negotiate a charter contract in
 1082  good faith.
 1083         (4) A high-performing charter school may not increase
 1084  enrollment or expand grade levels following any school year in
 1085  which it receives a school grade of “C” or below. If the charter
 1086  school receives a school grade of “C” or below in any 2 years
 1087  during the term of the charter awarded under subsection (2), the
 1088  term of the charter may be modified by the sponsor and the
 1089  charter school loses its high-performing charter school status
 1090  until it regains that status under subsection (1).
 1091         (5) The Commissioner of Education, upon request by a
 1092  charter school, shall verify that the charter school meets the
 1093  criteria in subsection (1) and provide a letter to the charter
 1094  school and the sponsor stating that the charter school is a
 1095  high-performing charter school pursuant to this section. The
 1096  commissioner shall annually determine whether a high-performing
 1097  charter school continues to meet the criteria specified in
 1098  subsection (1). A high-performing charter school shall maintain
 1099  its high-performing status unless the commissioner determines
 1100  that the charter school no longer meets the criteria in
 1101  subsection (1), at which time the commissioner shall send a
 1102  letter providing notification to the school of its
 1103  declassification as a high-performing charter school.
 1104         Section 3. Paragraph (b) of subsection (1) and paragraph
 1105  (a) of subsection (2) of section 1002.332, Florida Statutes, are
 1106  amended to read:
 1107         1002.332 High-performing charter school system.—
 1108         (1) For purposes of this section, the term:
 1109         (b) “High-performing charter school system” means an entity
 1110  that:
 1111         1. Operated Operates at least three high-performing charter
 1112  schools in the state, based on charter school models that
 1113  originated in this state, during each of the previous 3 school
 1114  years;
 1115         2. Operated Operates a system of charter schools in which
 1116  at least 50 percent of the charter schools were are high
 1117  performing charter schools pursuant to s. 1002.331 and no
 1118  charter school earned a school grade of “D” or “F” pursuant to
 1119  s. 1008.34 in any of the previous 3 school years regardless of
 1120  whether the entity currently operates the charter school, except
 1121  that:
 1122         a. If the entity has assumed operation of a public school
 1123  pursuant to s. 1008.33(4)(b)3. with a school grade of “F,” that
 1124  school’s grade may not be considered in determining high
 1125  performing charter school system status for a period of 3 years.
 1126         b. If the entity established establishes a new charter
 1127  school that served serves a student population the majority of
 1128  which resided resides in a school zone served by a public school
 1129  that earned a grade of “F” or three consecutive grades of “D”
 1130  pursuant to s. 1008.34, that charter school’s grade may not be
 1131  considered in determining high-performing charter school system
 1132  status if it attained attains and maintained maintains a school
 1133  grade that was is higher than that of the public school serving
 1134  that school zone within 3 years after establishment; and
 1135         3. Did Has not receive received a financial audit that
 1136  revealed one or more of the financial emergency conditions set
 1137  forth in s. 218.503(1) for any charter school assumed or
 1138  established by the entity in the most recent 3 fiscal years for
 1139  which such audits are available.
 1140         4. Originated in this state.
 1141         (2)(a) The Commissioner of Education, upon request by an
 1142  entity, shall verify all charter schools served by the entity,
 1143  verify that the entity meets the criteria in subsection (1) for
 1144  the previous prior school year, and provide a letter to the
 1145  entity stating that it is a high-performing charter school
 1146  system.
 1147         1. As part of the commissioner’s verification, the entity
 1148  shall identify all charter schools in this state which the
 1149  entity has operated or provided services for in the previous 3
 1150  years, regardless of whether the entity currently operates or
 1151  provides services for the charter school. For all such charter
 1152  schools that the entity no longer operates, the entity shall
 1153  identify the reasons the entity terminated the operation or
 1154  services or grounds stated by the charter school’s governing
 1155  board in terminating the operation or services of the entity.
 1156         2. The commissioner shall annually determine whether a
 1157  high-performing charter school system continues to meet the
 1158  criteria in subsection (1). A high-performing charter school
 1159  system shall maintain its high-performing status unless the
 1160  commissioner determines that the charter school system no longer
 1161  meets the criteria in subsection (1), at which time the
 1162  commissioner shall send a letter providing notification of its
 1163  declassification as a high-performing charter school system.
 1164         Section 4. Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section
 1165  1013.62, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
 1166         1013.62 Charter schools capital outlay funding.—
 1167         (1) In each year in which funds are appropriated for
 1168  charter school capital outlay purposes, the Commissioner of
 1169  Education shall allocate the funds among eligible charter
 1170  schools.
 1171         (a) To be eligible for a funding allocation, a charter
 1172  school must:
 1173         1.a. Have been in operation for 3 or more years;
 1174         b. Be governed by a governing board established in the
 1175  state for 3 or more years which operates both charter schools
 1176  and conversion charter schools within the state;
 1177         c. Be an expanded feeder chain of a charter school within
 1178  the same school district that is currently receiving charter
 1179  school capital outlay funds; or
 1180         d. Have been accredited by the Commission on Schools of the
 1181  Southern Association of Colleges and Schools; or
 1182         d.e. Serve students in facilities that are provided by a
 1183  business partner for a charter school-in-the-workplace pursuant
 1184  to s. 1002.33(15)(b).
 1185         2. Have financial stability for future operation as a
 1186  charter school.
 1187         3. Have satisfactory student achievement based on state
 1188  accountability standards applicable to the charter school.
 1189         4. Have received final approval from its sponsor pursuant
 1190  to s. 1002.33 for operation during that fiscal year.
 1191         5. Serve students in facilities that are not provided by
 1192  the charter school’s sponsor.
 1193         Section 5. This act shall take effect July 1, 2013.