Florida Senate - 2013                       CS for CS for SB 904
       By the Committees on Rules; and Education; and Senator Brandes
       595-03949-13                                           2013904c2
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to education; amending s. 1002.45,
    3         F.S.; allowing individuals or organizations that
    4         provide individual online courses, including massive
    5         open online courses, which are measured by statewide
    6         assessments to apply for approval as state-level
    7         providers; amending s. 1007.01, F.S.; requiring the
    8         Articulation Coordinating Committee to recommend a
    9         funding model and financial accountability mechanism
   10         for providers of online courses; requiring the Office
   11         of Program Policy Analysis and Government
   12         Accountability to review and provide recommendations
   13         to allow student access to massive open online courses
   14         for funding purposes; providing review requirements;
   15         requiring the office to provide findings and
   16         recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature by
   17         a specified date; requiring the Department of
   18         Education to develop a methodology and plan for
   19         calculating the Florida Education Finance Program
   20         which limits the sum of each student’s full-time
   21         equivalent student membership value from all virtual
   22         programs or courses; providing requirements for the
   23         plan; requiring the department to conduct a student
   24         based simulation of the revised methodology; requiring
   25         the department to submit a report to the Governor and
   26         the Legislature by a specified date; creating s.
   27         1007.012, F.S.; creating the Florida Accredited
   28         Courses and Tests Initiative (FACTs); providing the
   29         purpose of the initiative; providing legislative
   30         intent; providing that implementing the initiative
   31         allows students to satisfy certain requirements;
   32         defining the term “Florida-accredited course” as it
   33         relates to the initiative; providing for application
   34         of certain courses and assessments toward promotion,
   35         graduation, and degree attainment; requiring that
   36         Florida-accredited courses and their assessments be
   37         annually identified, approved, published, and shared
   38         for consideration by certain students and entities;
   39         requiring the Commissioner of Education and the
   40         Chancellor of the State University System to approve
   41         each Florida-accredited course and its assessments;
   42         requiring the Articulation Coordinating Committee to
   43         annually publish and share a list of approved Florida
   44         accredited courses, their assessments, and other
   45         courses; amending s. 1007.24, F.S.; including
   46         providers of online courses in the statewide course
   47         numbering system; amending s. 1008.24, F.S.;
   48         authorizing a school district, a Florida College
   49         System institution, and a state university to contract
   50         with qualified contractors to administer and proctor
   51         statewide standardized assessments or assessments
   52         associated with Florida-accredited courses;
   53         authorizing the Department of Education to contract
   54         for these services on behalf of the state or a school
   55         district, Florida College System institution, or state
   56         university; providing that assessments may be
   57         administered or proctored by qualified contractors at
   58         sites that meet certain criteria; providing an
   59         effective date.
   61  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   63         Section 1. Paragraph (a) of subsection (2) of section
   64  1002.45, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
   65         1002.45 Virtual instruction programs.—
   67         (a) The department shall annually publish online a list of
   68  providers approved to offer virtual instruction programs. To be
   69  approved by the department, a provider must document that it:
   70         1. Is nonsectarian in its programs, admission policies,
   71  employment practices, and operations;
   72         2. Complies with the antidiscrimination provisions of s.
   73  1000.05;
   74         3. Locates an administrative office or offices in this
   75  state, requires its administrative staff to be state residents,
   76  Requires all instructional staff to be Florida-certified
   77  teachers under chapter 1012 or certified as adjunct educators
   78  under s. 1012.57, and conducts background screenings for all
   79  employees or contracted personnel, as required by s. 1012.32,
   80  using state and national criminal history records;
   81         4. Provides to parents and students specific information
   82  posted and accessible online which includes, but is not limited
   83  to, the following teacher-parent and teacher-student contact
   84  information for each course:
   85         a. How to contact the instructor via telephone, e-mail, or
   86  online messaging tools.
   87         b. How to contact technical support via telephone, e-mail,
   88  or online messaging tools.
   89         c. How to contact the administration office or an
   90  individual offering online courses, including, but not limited
   91  to, massive open online courses, via telephone, e-mail, or
   92  online messaging tools.
   93         d. Any requirement for regular contact with the instructor
   94  for the course and clear expectations for meeting the
   95  requirement.
   96         e. A requirement that the instructor in each course, with
   97  the exception of individuals offering online courses, including,
   98  but not limited to, massive open online courses, must, at a
   99  minimum, conduct one contact via telephone with the parent and
  100  the student each month;
  101         5.4. Possesses prior, successful experience offering online
  102  courses to elementary, middle, or high school students as
  103  demonstrated by quantified student learning gains in each
  104  subject area and grade level provided for consideration as an
  105  instructional program option;
  106         6.5. Is accredited by a regional accrediting association as
  107  defined by State Board of Education rule;
  108         7.6. Ensures instructional and curricular quality through a
  109  detailed curriculum and student performance accountability plan
  110  that addresses every subject and grade level it intends to
  111  provide through contract with the school district, including:
  112         a. Courses and programs that meet the standards of the
  113  International Association for K-12 Online Learning and the
  114  Southern Regional Education Board.
  115         b. Instructional content and services that align with, and
  116  measure student attainment of, student proficiency in the Next
  117  Generation Sunshine State Standards.
  118         c. Mechanisms that determine and ensure that a student has
  119  satisfied requirements for grade level promotion and high school
  120  graduation with a standard diploma, as appropriate;
  121         8.7. Publishes for the general public, in accordance with
  122  disclosure requirements adopted in rule by the State Board of
  123  Education, as part of its application as a provider and in all
  124  contracts negotiated pursuant to this section:
  125         a. Information and data about the curriculum of each full
  126  time and part-time program.
  127         b. School policies and procedures.
  128         c. Certification status and physical location of all
  129  administrative and instructional personnel.
  130         d. Hours and times of availability of instructional
  131  personnel.
  132         e. Student-teacher ratios.
  133         f. Student completion and promotion rates.
  134         g. Student, educator, and school performance accountability
  135  outcomes;
  136         9.8. If the provider is a Florida College System
  137  institution, employs instructors who meet the certification
  138  requirements for instructional staff under chapter 1012; and
  139         10.9. Performs an annual financial audit of its accounts
  140  and records conducted by an independent certified public
  141  accountant which is in accordance with rules adopted by the
  142  Auditor General, is conducted in compliance with generally
  143  accepted auditing standards, and includes a report on financial
  144  statements presented in accordance with generally accepted
  145  accounting principles.
  147  A person or organization that seeks to offer online courses
  148  pursuant to this paragraph is not subject to sub-subparagraphs
  149  8.a. and b., subparagraphs 6., 9., and 10., and paragraphs
  150  (8)(c) and (d).
  151         Section 2. Paragraph (i) is added to subsection (3) of
  152  section 1007.01, Florida Statutes, to read:
  153         1007.01 Articulation; legislative intent; purpose; role of
  154  the State Board of Education and the Board of Governors;
  155  Articulation Coordinating Committee.—
  156         (3) The Commissioner of Education, in consultation with the
  157  Chancellor of the State University System, shall establish the
  158  Articulation Coordinating Committee which shall make
  159  recommendations related to statewide articulation policies to
  160  the Higher Education Coordination Council, the State Board of
  161  Education, and the Board of Governors. The committee shall
  162  consist of two members each representing the State University
  163  System, the Florida College System, public career and technical
  164  education, public K-12 education, and nonpublic education and
  165  one member representing students. The chair shall be elected
  166  from the membership. The committee shall:
  167         (i) Recommend by December 31, 2013, a funding model and a
  168  financial accountability mechanism for funding and assessing an
  169  approved organization or an individual offering online courses,
  170  including, but not limited to, massive open online courses. This
  171  paragraph expires July 1, 2014.
  172         Section 3. Section 1007.012, Florida Statutes, is created
  173  to read:
  174         1007.012Florida Accredited Courses and Tests Initiative
  175  (FACTs).—
  176         (1)The Florida Accredited Courses and Tests Initiative
  177  (FACTs) is created to expand student choices in selecting
  178  multiple, high-quality public and nonpublic courses and
  179  assessments toward satisfying course, assessment, or credit
  180  requirements for promotion, graduation, or degree attainment.
  181  The purpose of the initiative is to make available multiple
  182  options to suit unique student interests, satisfy educational
  183  requirements, and accelerate student accomplishment of goals in
  184  a productive and effective manner.
  185         (2) The Legislature intends that state and local rules,
  186  policies, and administrative decisions are flexible in
  187  interpreting and implementing the requirements in this section
  188  in order to encourage creative, innovative, resourceful, and
  189  forward-thinking practices that can be modeled throughout this
  190  state and the country. The Legislature intends that the Florida
  191  Accredited Courses and Tests Initiative generate sufficient
  192  options for students to combine multiple instructional
  193  experiences and build complete programs for attaining a standard
  194  high school diploma and a postsecondary education degree which
  195  are tailored to the unique interests of each student.
  196         (3)The initiative allows students in this state to satisfy
  197  public K-12 education promotion or high school graduation
  198  course, assessment, or credit requirements, or to satisfy
  199  requirements for public postsecondary credit or degree
  200  attainment by successfully meeting the assessment requirements
  201  of this subsection.
  202         (a)As used in this section, the term “Florida-accredited
  203  course” is a K-12 course or postsecondary education credit
  204  course that:
  205         1. Is created or provided by individuals, institutions,
  206  entities, or organizations; and
  207         2. Has fulfilled requirements under subsection (4) for
  208  purposes of satisfying requirements for promotion, graduation,
  209  or obtaining a degree. A massive, open online course and a
  210  course associated with rigorous industry certifications are
  211  eligible for consideration and approval as a Florida-accredited
  212  course.
  213         (b)Courses and assessments may be applied toward
  214  requirements for promotion, graduation, or degree attainment in
  215  whole, in subparts, or in a combination of whole and subparts.
  216         1.A Florida-accredited course, a public K-12 course
  217  identified on the course code directory, or a postsecondary
  218  education course identified on the statewide course numbering
  219  system, may be applied as one whole unit or as two or more
  220  discrete subunits such that when combined, they are equivalent
  221  to the whole unit. A student may not be required to repeat
  222  subunits that are satisfactorily completed.
  223         2.Assessments associated with a course must be established
  224  by regionally accredited public institutions and must be
  225  approved in accordance with subsection (4). The assessments may
  226  be applied as one whole assessment or as two or more discrete
  227  subassessments such that when combined, they are equivalent to
  228  the whole assessment. A student may not be required to repeat
  229  subassessments that are satisfactorily completed. Assessments
  230  and subassessments shall be administered pursuant to s. 1008.24.
  231         (4) A Florida-accredited course and its associated
  232  assessments must be annually identified, approved, published,
  233  and shared for consideration by interested students,
  234  institutions, school districts, colleges, and universities.
  235         (a) Each Florida-accredited course and its associated
  236  assessments must be:
  237         1.Approved by the Commissioner of Education for
  238  application in K-12 public schools and Florida College System
  239  institutions in accordance with rules of the State Board of
  240  Education.
  241         2.Approved by the Chancellor of the State University
  242  System for application in state universities in accordance with
  243  rules of the Board of Governors.
  244         (b)The Articulation Coordinating Committee established in
  245  s. 1007.01 shall annually publish and share a consolidated list
  246  of approved Florida-accredited courses and associated, approved
  247  assessments in conjunction with the courses listed in the course
  248  code directory and statewide course numbering system in a manner
  249  that facilitates student and institutional knowledge of the
  250  Florida-accredited courses as options available for credit.
  251         Section 4. Subsection (6) of section 1007.24, Florida
  252  Statutes, is amended to read:
  253         1007.24 Statewide course numbering system.—
  254         (6) Providers of online courses and nonpublic colleges and
  255  schools that are fully accredited by a regional or national
  256  accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of
  257  Education and are either eligible to participate in the William
  258  L. Boyd, IV, Florida Resident Access Grant or have been issued a
  259  regular license pursuant to s. 1005.31, may participate in the
  260  statewide course numbering system pursuant to this section.
  261  Participating colleges and schools shall bear the costs
  262  associated with inclusion in the system and shall meet the terms
  263  and conditions for institutional participation in the system.
  264  The department shall adopt a fee schedule that includes the
  265  expenses incurred for through data processing, faculty task
  266  force travel and per diem, and staff and clerical support time.
  267  Such fee schedule may differentiate between the costs associated
  268  with initial course inclusion in the system and costs associated
  269  with subsequent course maintenance in the system. Decisions
  270  regarding initial course inclusion and subsequent course
  271  maintenance must be made within 360 days after submission of the
  272  required materials and fees by the institution. The Department
  273  of Education may select a date by which colleges must submit
  274  requests for new courses to be included, and may delay review of
  275  courses submitted after that date until the next year’s cycle.
  276  Any college that currently participates in the system, and that
  277  participated in the system before prior to July 1, 1986, is
  278  shall not be required to pay the costs associated with initial
  279  course inclusion in the system. Fees collected for participation
  280  in the statewide course numbering system pursuant to the
  281  provisions of this section shall be deposited into in the
  282  Institutional Assessment Trust Fund. Any nonpublic, nonprofit
  283  college or university that is eligible to participate in the
  284  statewide course numbering system is shall not be required to
  285  pay the costs associated with participation in the system. No
  286  college or school shall record student transcripts or document
  287  courses offered by the college or school in accordance with this
  288  subsection unless the college or school is actually
  289  participating in the system pursuant to rules of the State Board
  290  of Education. Any college or school deemed to be in violation of
  291  this section is shall be subject to the provisions of s.
  292  1005.38.
  293         Section 5. Section 1008.24, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  294  read:
  295         1008.24 Test administration and security.—
  296         (1) A person may not It is unlawful for anyone knowingly
  297  and willfully to violate test security rules adopted by the
  298  State Board of Education for mandatory tests administered by or
  299  through the State Board of Education or the Commissioner of
  300  Education to students, educators, or applicants for
  301  certification or administered by school districts pursuant to s.
  302  1008.22, or, with respect to any such test, knowingly and
  303  willfully to:
  304         (a) Give examinees access to test questions prior to
  305  testing;
  306         (b) Copy, reproduce, or use in any manner inconsistent with
  307  test security rules all or any portion of any secure test
  308  booklet;
  309         (c) Coach examinees during testing or alter or interfere
  310  with examinees’ responses in any way;
  311         (d) Make answer keys available to examinees;
  312         (e) Fail to follow security rules for distribution and
  313  return of secure test as directed, or fail to account for all
  314  secure test materials before, during, and after testing;
  315         (f) Fail to follow test administration directions specified
  316  in the test administration manuals; or
  317         (g) Participate in, direct, aid, counsel, assist in, or
  318  encourage any of the acts prohibited in this section.
  319         (2) A Any person who violates this section commits a
  320  misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s.
  321  775.082 or s. 775.083.
  322         (3) A school district, a Florida College System
  323  institution, and a state university may contract with qualified
  324  contractors to administer and proctor statewide, standardized
  325  assessments required under s. 1008.22 or assessments associated
  326  with Florida-accredited courses under s. 1007.012, as approved
  327  by the Department of Education in accordance with rules of the
  328  State Board of Education. The Department of Education may also
  329  contract for these services on behalf of the state or any school
  330  district, Florida College System institution, or state
  331  university. Assessments may be administered or proctored by
  332  qualified contractors at sites that meet criteria established by
  333  rules of the State Board of Education and adopted pursuant to
  334  ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement the contracting
  335  requirements of this subsection.
  336         (4)(3)(a) A district school superintendent, a president of
  337  a public postsecondary educational institution, or a president
  338  of a nonpublic postsecondary educational institution shall
  339  cooperate with the Commissioner of Education in any
  340  investigation concerning the administration of a test
  341  administered pursuant to state statute or rule.
  342         (b) The identity of a school or postsecondary educational
  343  institution, the personally identifiable information of any
  344  personnel of any school district or postsecondary educational
  345  institution, or any specific allegations of misconduct obtained
  346  or reported pursuant to an investigation conducted by the
  347  Department of Education of a testing impropriety are
  348  confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) and
  349  s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution until the conclusion
  350  of the investigation or until such time as the investigation
  351  ceases to be active. For the purpose of this paragraph, an
  352  investigation shall be deemed concluded upon a finding that no
  353  impropriety has occurred, upon the conclusion of any resulting
  354  preliminary investigation pursuant to s. 1012.796, upon the
  355  completion of any resulting investigation by a law enforcement
  356  agency, or upon the referral of the matter to an employer who
  357  has the authority to take disciplinary action against an
  358  individual who is suspected of a testing impropriety. For the
  359  purpose of this paragraph, an investigation shall be considered
  360  active so long as it is ongoing and there is a reasonable, good
  361  faith anticipation that an administrative finding will be made
  362  in the foreseeable future. This paragraph is subject to the Open
  363  Government Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and
  364  shall stand repealed on October 2, 2014, unless reviewed and
  365  saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
  366         Section 6. The Office of Program Policy Analysis and
  367  Government Accountability (OPPAGA) shall review and provide
  368  recommendations to allow student access to massive open online
  369  courses for funding in both the K-12 and postsecondary programs.
  370  The review must consider, but is not limited to, the
  371  identification of courses, provider qualification review,
  372  accreditation, teacher or instructor credentials, course content
  373  and standards, financial accountability, and a funding process.
  374  OPPAGA shall provide the findings and recommendations to the
  375  Executive Office of the Governor, the President of the Senate,
  376  and the Speaker of the House of Representatives by December 31,
  377  2013.
  378         Section 7. The Department of Education shall develop a
  379  methodology and plan for calculating the Florida Education
  380  Finance Program to limit the sum of each student’s full-time
  381  equivalent student membership value from all programs or courses
  382  to 1.0 full time equivalent (FTE). The department’s plan must
  383  include revised procedures for reporting and computing each
  384  district’s annual allocation from the Florida Education Finance
  385  Program and shall identify steps that the department and school
  386  districts will take to implement the new procedures during the
  387  2014-2015 fiscal year. The department shall conduct a student
  388  based simulation of the revised methodology concurrent with the
  389  2013-2014 FTE reporting and funding process. The department
  390  shall submit its plan and a summary of the results of the
  391  simulation to the Executive Office of the Governor, the
  392  President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of
  393  Representatives by January 31, 2014.
  394         Section 8. This act shall take effect July 1, 2013.