Florida Senate - 2013                          SENATOR AMENDMENT
       Bill No. CS/CS/HB 7009, 2nd Eng.
                                Barcode 906024                          
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              
                Floor: 2/AD/2R         .         Floor: SENA2/C         
             04/30/2013 03:26 PM       .      05/02/2013 11:11 AM       

       Senator Legg moved the following:
    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Delete lines 635 - 1068
    4  and insert:
    5         Section 1. Paragraphs (g) and (n) of subsection (9),
    6  paragraph (i) of subsection (10), paragraph (a) of subsection
    7  (21), and subsection (27) of section 1002.33, Florida Statutes,
    8  are amended, paragraphs (o) and (p) are added to subsection (9)
    9  of that section, paragraph (c) is added to subsection (16) of
   10  that section, and paragraph (c) is added to subsection (26) of
   11  that section, to read:
   12         1002.33 Charter schools.—
   14         (g)1. In order to provide financial information that is
   15  comparable to that reported for other public schools, charter
   16  schools are to maintain all financial records that constitute
   17  their accounting system:
   18         a.1. In accordance with the accounts and codes prescribed
   19  in the most recent issuance of the publication titled “Financial
   20  and Program Cost Accounting and Reporting for Florida Schools”;
   21  or
   22         b.2. At the discretion of the charter school’s governing
   23  board, a charter school may elect to follow generally accepted
   24  accounting standards for not-for-profit organizations, but must
   25  reformat this information for reporting according to this
   26  paragraph.
   27         2. Charter schools shall provide annual financial report
   28  and program cost report information in the state-required
   29  formats for inclusion in district reporting in compliance with
   30  s. 1011.60(1). Charter schools that are operated by a
   31  municipality or are a component unit of a parent nonprofit
   32  organization may use the accounting system of the municipality
   33  or the parent but must reformat this information for reporting
   34  according to this paragraph.
   35         3.A charter school shall provide the sponsor with a
   36  concise, uniform, monthly financial statement summary sheet that
   37  contains a balance sheet and a statement of revenue,
   38  expenditures, and changes in fund balance. The balance sheet and
   39  the statement of revenue, expenditures, and changes in fund
   40  balance shall be in the governmental funds format prescribed by
   41  the Governmental Accounting Standards Board. A charter school
   42  shall provide a monthly financial statement to the sponsor
   43  unless the charter school is designated as A high-performing
   44  charter school pursuant to s. 1002.331, in which case the high
   45  performing charter school may provide a quarterly financial
   46  statement in the same format and requirements as the uniform
   47  monthly financial statement summary sheet. The financial
   48  statement required under this paragraph shall be in a form
   49  prescribed by the Department of Education.
   50         4. A charter school shall maintain and provide financial
   51  information as required in this paragraph. The financial
   52  statement required in subparagraph 3. must be in a form
   53  prescribed by the Department of Education.
   54         (n)1. The director and a representative of the governing
   55  board of a charter school that has earned a grade of “D” or “F”
   56  pursuant to s. 1008.34(2) shall appear before the sponsor to
   57  present information concerning each contract component having
   58  noted deficiencies. The director and a representative of the
   59  governing board shall submit to the sponsor for approval a
   60  school improvement plan to raise student achievement. Upon
   61  approval by the sponsor, the charter school shall begin
   62  implementation of the school improvement plan. The department
   63  shall offer technical assistance and training to the charter
   64  school and its governing board and establish guidelines for
   65  developing, submitting, and approving such plans.
   66         2.a. If a charter school earns three consecutive grades of
   67  “D,” two consecutive grades of “D” followed by a grade of “F,”
   68  or two nonconsecutive grades of “F” within a 3-year period, the
   69  charter school governing board shall choose one of the following
   70  corrective actions:
   71         (I) Contract for educational services to be provided
   72  directly to students, instructional personnel, and school
   73  administrators, as prescribed in state board rule;
   74         (II) Contract with an outside entity that has a
   75  demonstrated record of effectiveness to operate the school;
   76         (III) Reorganize the school under a new director or
   77  principal who is authorized to hire new staff; or
   78         (IV) Voluntarily close the charter school.
   79         b. The charter school must implement the corrective action
   80  in the school year following receipt of a third consecutive
   81  grade of “D,” a grade of “F” following two consecutive grades of
   82  “D,” or a second nonconsecutive grade of “F” within a 3-year
   83  period.
   84         c. The sponsor may annually waive a corrective action if it
   85  determines that the charter school is likely to improve a letter
   86  grade if additional time is provided to implement the
   87  intervention and support strategies prescribed by the school
   88  improvement plan. Notwithstanding this sub-subparagraph, a
   89  charter school that earns a second consecutive grade of “F” is
   90  subject to subparagraph 4.
   91         d. A charter school is no longer required to implement a
   92  corrective action if it improves by at least one letter grade.
   93  However, the charter school must continue to implement
   94  strategies identified in the school improvement plan. The
   95  sponsor must annually review implementation of the school
   96  improvement plan to monitor the school’s continued improvement
   97  pursuant to subparagraph 5.
   98         e. A charter school implementing a corrective action that
   99  does not improve by at least one letter grade after 2 full
  100  school years of implementing the corrective action must select a
  101  different corrective action. Implementation of the new
  102  corrective action must begin in the school year following the
  103  implementation period of the existing corrective action, unless
  104  the sponsor determines that the charter school is likely to
  105  improve a letter grade if additional time is provided to
  106  implement the existing corrective action. Notwithstanding this
  107  sub-subparagraph, a charter school that earns a second
  108  consecutive grade of “F” while implementing a corrective action
  109  is subject to subparagraph 4.
  110         3. A charter school with a grade of “D” or “F” that
  111  improves by at least one letter grade must continue to implement
  112  the strategies identified in the school improvement plan. The
  113  sponsor must annually review implementation of the school
  114  improvement plan to monitor the school’s continued improvement
  115  pursuant to subparagraph 5.
  116         4. The sponsor shall terminate a charter if the charter
  117  school earns two consecutive grades of “F” unless:
  118         a. The charter school is established to turn around the
  119  performance of a district public school pursuant to s.
  120  1008.33(4)(b)3. Such charter schools shall be governed by s.
  121  1008.33;
  122         b. The charter school serves a student population the
  123  majority of which resides in a school zone served by a district
  124  public school that earned a grade of “F” in the year before the
  125  charter school opened and the charter school earns at least a
  126  grade of “D” in its third year of operation. The exception
  127  provided under this sub-subparagraph does not apply to a charter
  128  school in its fourth year of operation and thereafter; or
  129         c. The state board grants the charter school a waiver of
  130  termination. The charter school must request the waiver within
  131  15 30 days after the department’s official release completion of
  132  school grades grade appeals. The state board may waive
  133  termination if the charter school demonstrates that the learning
  134  gains of its students on statewide assessments are comparable to
  135  or better than the learning gains of similarly situated students
  136  enrolled in nearby district public schools. The waiver is valid
  137  for 1 year and may only be granted once. Charter schools that
  138  have been in operation for more than 5 years are not eligible
  139  for a waiver under this sub-subparagraph.
  140         5. The director and a representative of the governing board
  141  of a graded charter school that has implemented a school
  142  improvement plan under this paragraph shall appear before the
  143  sponsor at least once a year to present information regarding
  144  the progress of intervention and support strategies implemented
  145  by the school pursuant to the school improvement plan and
  146  corrective actions, if applicable. The sponsor shall communicate
  147  at the meeting, and in writing to the director, the services
  148  provided to the school to help the school address its
  149  deficiencies.
  150         6. Notwithstanding any provision of this paragraph except
  151  sub-subparagraphs 4.a.-c., the sponsor may terminate the charter
  152  at any time pursuant to subsection (8).
  153         (o)1. Upon initial notification of nonrenewal, closure, or
  154  termination of its charter, a charter school may not expend more
  155  than $10,000 per expenditure without prior written approval from
  156  the sponsor unless such expenditure was included within the
  157  annual budget submitted to the sponsor pursuant to the charter
  158  contract, is for reasonable attorney fees and costs during the
  159  pendency of any appeal, or is for reasonable fees and costs to
  160  conduct an independent audit.
  161         2. An independent audit shall be completed within 30 days
  162  after notice of nonrenewal, closure, or termination to account
  163  for all public funds and assets.
  164         3. A provision in a charter contract that contains an
  165  acceleration clause requiring the expenditure of funds based
  166  upon closure or upon notification of nonrenewal or termination
  167  is void and unenforceable.
  168         4. A charter school may not enter into a contract with an
  169  employee that exceeds the term of the school’s charter contract
  170  with its sponsor.
  171         5. A violation of this paragraph triggers a reversion or
  172  clawback power by the sponsor allowing for collection of an
  173  amount equal to or less than the accelerated amount that exceeds
  174  normal expenditures. The reversion or clawback plus legal fees
  175  and costs shall be levied against the person or entity receiving
  176  the accelerated amount.
  177         (p) Each charter school shall maintain a website that
  178  enables the public to obtain information regarding the school;
  179  the school’s academic performance; the names of the governing
  180  board members; the programs at the school; any management
  181  companies, service providers, or education management
  182  corporations associated with the school; the school’s annual
  183  budget and its annual independent fiscal audit; the school’s
  184  grade pursuant to s. 1008.34; and, on a quarterly basis, the
  185  minutes of governing board meetings.
  186         (10) ELIGIBLE STUDENTS.—
  187         (i) The capacity of a high-performing charter school
  188  identified pursuant to s. 1002.331 shall be determined annually
  189  by the governing board of the charter school. The governing
  190  board shall notify the sponsor of any increase in enrollment by
  191  March 1 of the school year preceding the increase. A sponsor may
  192  not require a charter school to identify the names of students
  193  to be enrolled or to enroll those students before the start of
  194  the school year as a condition of approval or renewal of a
  195  charter.
  196         (16) EXEMPTION FROM STATUTES.—
  197         (c) For purposes of subparagraphs (b)4.-7.:
  198         1. The duties assigned to a district school superintendent
  199  apply to charter school administrative personnel, as defined in
  200  s. 1012.01(3)(a) and (b), and the charter school governing board
  201  shall designate at least one administrative person to be
  202  responsible for such duties.
  203         2. The duties assigned to a district school board apply to
  204  a charter school governing board.
  205         3. A charter school may hire instructional personnel and
  206  other employees on an at-will basis.
  207         4. Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary,
  208  instructional personnel and other employees on contract may be
  209  suspended or dismissed any time during the term of the contract
  210  without cause.
  212         (a) The Department of Education shall provide information
  213  to the public, directly and through sponsors, on how to form and
  214  operate a charter school and how to enroll in a charter school
  215  once it is created. This information shall include a model
  216  standard application form format, standard charter contract
  217  format, standard evaluation instrument, and standard charter
  218  renewal contract format, which shall include the information
  219  specified in subsection (7) and shall be developed by consulting
  220  and negotiating with both school districts and charter schools
  221  before implementation. The charter and charter renewal contracts
  222  formats shall be used by charter school sponsors.
  224         (c) An employee of the charter school, or his or her
  225  spouse, or an employee of a charter management organization, or
  226  his or her spouse, may not be a member of the governing board of
  227  the charter school.
  228         (27) RULEMAKING.—The Department of Education, after
  229  consultation with school districts and charter school directors,
  230  shall recommend that the State Board of Education adopt rules to
  231  implement specific subsections of this section. Such rules shall
  232  require minimum paperwork and shall not limit charter school
  233  flexibility authorized by statute. The State Board of Education
  234  shall adopt rules, pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54, to
  235  implement a charter model application form, standard evaluation
  236  instrument, and standard charter and charter renewal contracts
  237  formats in accordance with this section.
  238         Section 2. Subsections (2) and (5) of section 1002.331,
  239  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  240         1002.331 High-performing charter schools.—
  241         (2) A high-performing charter school is authorized to:
  242         (a) Increase its student enrollment once per school year by
  243  up to 15 percent more than the capacity identified in the
  244  charter, but student enrollment may not exceed the current
  245  facility capacity.
  246         (b) Expand grade levels within kindergarten through grade
  247  12 to add grade levels not already served if any annual
  248  enrollment increase resulting from grade level expansion is
  249  within the limit established in paragraph (a).
  250         (c) Submit a quarterly, rather than a monthly, financial
  251  statement to the sponsor pursuant to s. 1002.33(9)(g).
  252         (d) Consolidate under a single charter the charters of
  253  multiple high-performing charter schools operated in the same
  254  school district by the charter schools’ governing board
  255  regardless of the renewal cycle.
  256         (e) Receive a modification of its charter to a term of 15
  257  years or a 15-year charter renewal. The charter may be modified
  258  or renewed for a shorter term at the option of the high
  259  performing charter school. The charter must be consistent with
  260  s. 1002.33(7)(a)19. and (10)(h) and (i), is subject to annual
  261  review by the sponsor, and may be terminated during its term
  262  pursuant to s. 1002.33(8).
  264  A high-performing charter school shall notify its sponsor in
  265  writing by March 1 if it intends to increase enrollment or
  266  expand grade levels the following school year. The written
  267  notice shall specify the amount of the enrollment increase and
  268  the grade levels that will be added, as applicable. If a charter
  269  school notifies the sponsor of its intent to expand, the sponsor
  270  shall modify the charter within 90 days to include the new
  271  enrollment maximum and may not make any other changes. The
  272  sponsor may deny a request to increase the enrollment of a high
  273  performing charter school if the commissioner has declassified
  274  the charter school as high-performing. If a high-performing
  275  charter school requests to consolidate multiple charters, the
  276  sponsor shall have 40 days after receipt of that request to
  277  provide an initial draft charter to the charter school. The
  278  sponsor and charter school shall have 50 days thereafter to
  279  negotiate and notice the charter contract for final approval by
  280  the sponsor.
  281         (5) The Commissioner of Education, upon request by a
  282  charter school, shall verify that the charter school meets the
  283  criteria in subsection (1) and provide a letter to the charter
  284  school and the sponsor stating that the charter school is a
  285  high-performing charter school pursuant to this section. The
  286  commissioner shall annually determine whether a high-performing
  287  charter school under subsection (1) continues to meet the
  288  criteria in that subsection. Such high-performing charter school
  289  shall maintain its high-performing status unless the
  290  commissioner determines that the charter school no longer meets
  291  the criteria in subsection (1), at which time the commissioner
  292  shall send a letter providing notification of its
  293  declassification as a high-performing charter school.
  294         Section 3. Paragraph (b) of subsection (1) and paragraph
  295  (a) of subsection (2) of section 1002.332, Florida Statutes, are
  296  amended to read:
  297         1002.332 High-performing charter school system.—
  298         (1) For purposes of this section, the term:
  299         (b) “High-performing charter school system” means an entity
  300  that:
  301         1. Operated Operates at least three high-performing charter
  302  schools in the state during each of the previous 3 school years;
  303         2. Operated Operates a system of charter schools in which
  304  at least 50 percent of the charter schools were are high
  305  performing charter schools pursuant to s. 1002.331 and no
  306  charter school earned a school grade of “D” or “F” pursuant to
  307  s. 1008.34 in any of the previous 3 school years regardless of
  308  whether the entity currently operates the charter school, except
  309  that:
  310         a. If the entity has assumed operation of a public school
  311  pursuant to s. 1008.33(4)(b)3. with a school grade of “F,” that
  312  school’s grade may not be considered in determining high
  313  performing charter school system status for a period of 3 years.
  314         b. If the entity established establishes a new charter
  315  school that served serves a student population the majority of
  316  which resided resides in a school zone served by a public school
  317  that earned a grade of “F” or three consecutive grades of “D”
  318  pursuant to s. 1008.34, that charter school’s grade may not be
  319  considered in determining high-performing charter school system
  320  status if it attained attains and maintained maintains a school
  321  grade that was is higher than that of the public school serving
  322  that school zone within 3 years after establishment; and
  323         3. Did Has not receive received a financial audit that
  324  revealed one or more of the financial emergency conditions set
  325  forth in s. 218.503(1) for any charter school assumed or
  326  established by the entity in the most recent 3 fiscal years for
  327  which such audits are available.
  328         (2)(a) The Commissioner of Education, upon request by an
  329  entity, shall verify all charter schools served by an entity and
  330  verify that the entity meets the criteria in this section
  331  subsection (1) for the previous prior school year and provide a
  332  letter to the entity stating that it is a high-performing
  333  charter school system.
  334         1. As part of the commissioner’s verification, the entity
  335  shall identify all charter schools in this state which the
  336  entity has operated or provided services for the previous 3
  337  years, regardless of whether the entity currently operates or
  338  provides services for the charter school. For all such charter
  339  schools that the entity no longer operates, the entity shall
  340  identify the reasons the entity terminated the operation or
  341  services or grounds stated by the charter school’s governing
  342  board in terminating the operation or services of the entity.
  343         2. The commissioner shall annually determine whether a
  344  high-performing charter school system continues to meet the
  345  criteria in this section. A high-performing charter school
  346  system shall maintain its high-performing status unless the
  347  commissioner determines that the charter school system no longer
  348  meets the criteria in this section, at which time the
  349  commissioner shall send a letter providing notification of its
  350  declassification as a high-performing charter school system.
  352  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
  353         And the title is amended as follows:
  354         Delete lines 26 - 60
  355  and insert:
  356         charter renewals and terminations; modifying charter
  357         school requirements for financial records; imposing
  358         rules that follow the closing of a charter school or
  359         termination of a charter; requiring a charter school
  360         to maintain a public website with certain information;
  361         providing that certain district school duties also
  362         apply to charter schools; restricting the membership
  363         of a charter school governing board; amending s.
  364         1002.331, F.S.; modifying a limitation for increasing
  365         student enrollment; providing that the sponsor may
  366         deny a request to increase enrollment under certain
  367         circumstances; establishing timeframes for a charter
  368         school requesting that multiple charters be
  369         consolidated; requiring the Commissioner of Education
  370         to annually review a high-performing charter school’s
  371         eligibility for high-performing status; authorizing
  372         declassification as a high-performing charter school;
  373         amending s. 1002.332, F.S.; revising requirements for
  374         classification as a high-performing charter school
  375         system; requiring the commissioner to annually review
  376         a high-performing charter school system’s eligibility
  377         for high-performing status; authorizing
  378         declassification as a high-performing charter school
  379         system; requiring