Florida Senate - 2014                                    SB 1124
       By Senator Montford
       3-01193-14                                            20141124__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to charter schools; amending s.
    3         1002.33, F.S.; revising the contents of the annual
    4         report submitted by the sponsor of a charter school;
    5         revising the requirements of the contents of a charter
    6         school application and a charter to include a
    7         requirement that a governing board demonstrate that it
    8         is independent of a management company; requiring that
    9         at least one member of the governing board of a
   10         charter school be a parent of a student enrolled in
   11         the school; providing for the voluntary withdrawal of
   12         a student from a charter school; providing an
   13         exception; providing for the transfer of funds if a
   14         student voluntarily withdraws from a charter school;
   15         providing procedures for the withdrawal of a student
   16         from a charter school if the withdrawal is initiated
   17         by the school; providing for the transfer of funds;
   18         prohibiting a student from being dismissed or
   19         requested to withdraw from a charter school under
   20         certain circumstances; requiring a charter school to
   21         post a specified bond; providing requirements for such
   22         bond; revising terminology; prohibiting specified
   23         conflicts of interest on the part of members of a
   24         charter school board of directors or specified
   25         contracts; providing an exception; authorizing
   26         specified persons to file a complaint with the
   27         Department of Education under certain circumstances;
   28         providing procedures for investigation of such a
   29         complaint; creating s. 1002.346, F.S.; providing
   30         procedures and requirements for audits and
   31         investigations of charter schools; providing for
   32         oversight of a charter school by the district school
   33         board; amending s. 1002.451, F.S.; deleting provisions
   34         relating to performance contracts for innovation
   35         schools of technology; requiring a district school
   36         board to notify the department of the establishment of
   37         an innovation school of technology; providing
   38         requirements for such notification; deleting
   39         provisions limiting the number of innovation schools
   40         of technology a district school board may operate;
   41         amending s. 1002.331, F.S.; conforming a cross
   42         reference; providing an effective date.
   44  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   46         Section 1. Paragraph (b) of subsection (5), paragraph (a)
   47  of subsection (6), paragraph (a) of subsection (7), subsection
   48  (10), and paragraph (a) of subsection (21) of section 1002.33,
   49  Florida Statutes, are amended, paragraph (g) is added to
   50  subsection (17) of that section, present subsection (27) of that
   51  section is redesignated as subsection (29), and a new subsection
   52  (27) and subsection (28) are added to that section, to read:
   53         1002.33 Charter schools.—
   54         (5) SPONSOR; DUTIES.—
   55         (b) Sponsor duties.—
   56         1.a. The sponsor shall monitor and review the charter
   57  school in its progress toward the goals established in the
   58  charter.
   59         b. The sponsor shall monitor the revenues and expenditures
   60  of the charter school and perform the duties provided in s.
   61  1002.345.
   62         c. The sponsor may approve a charter for a charter school
   63  before the applicant has identified space, equipment, or
   64  personnel, if the applicant indicates approval is necessary for
   65  it to raise working funds.
   66         d. The sponsor may shall not apply its policies to a
   67  charter school unless mutually agreed to by both the sponsor and
   68  the charter school. If the sponsor subsequently amends any
   69  agreed-upon sponsor policy, the version of the policy in effect
   70  at the time of the execution of the charter, or any subsequent
   71  modification thereof, must shall remain in effect and the
   72  sponsor may not hold the charter school responsible for any
   73  provision of a newly revised policy until the revised policy is
   74  mutually agreed upon.
   75         e. The sponsor shall ensure that the charter is innovative
   76  and consistent with the state education goals established by s.
   77  1000.03(5).
   78         f. The sponsor shall ensure that the charter school
   79  participates in the state’s education accountability system. If
   80  a charter school falls short of performance measures included in
   81  the approved charter, the sponsor shall report such shortcomings
   82  to the Department of Education.
   83         g. The sponsor is shall not be liable for civil damages
   84  under state law for personal injury, property damage, or death
   85  resulting from an act or omission of an officer, employee,
   86  agent, or governing body of the charter school.
   87         h. The sponsor is shall not be liable for civil damages
   88  under state law for any employment actions taken by an officer,
   89  employee, agent, or governing body of the charter school.
   90         i. The sponsor’s duties to monitor the charter school do
   91  shall not constitute the basis for a private cause of action.
   92         j. The sponsor may shall not impose additional reporting
   93  requirements on a charter school without providing reasonable
   94  and specific justification in writing to the charter school.
   95         k. The sponsor shall submit an annual report to the
   96  Department of Education in a web-based format to be determined
   97  by the department.
   98         (I) The report must shall include the following
   99  information:
  100         (A) The number of draft applications received on or before
  101  May 1 and each applicant’s contact information.
  102         (B) The number of final applications received on or before
  103  August 1 and each applicant’s contact information.
  104         (C) The date each application was approved, denied, or
  105  withdrawn.
  106         (D) The date each final contract was executed.
  107         (E) The number of students who have voluntarily or
  108  involuntarily withdrawn from a charter school, the names of the
  109  charter schools attended by such students, the reason for the
  110  voluntary or involuntary withdrawal of such students, and the
  111  amount of pro rata funds transferred to the district school
  112  board pursuant to the requirements of paragraphs (10)(h) and
  113  (i).
  114         (II) Beginning August 31, 2013, and each year thereafter,
  115  the sponsor shall submit to the department the information for
  116  the applications submitted the previous year.
  117         (III) The department shall compile an annual report, by
  118  district, and post the report on its website by November 1 of
  119  each year.
  120         2. Immunity for the sponsor of a charter school under
  121  subparagraph 1. applies only with respect to acts or omissions
  122  not under the sponsor’s direct authority as described in this
  123  section.
  124         3. This paragraph does not waive a district school board’s
  125  sovereign immunity.
  126         4. A Florida College System institution may work with the
  127  school district or school districts in its designated service
  128  area to develop charter schools that offer secondary education.
  129  These charter schools must include an option for students to
  130  receive an associate degree upon high school graduation. If a
  131  Florida College System institution operates an approved teacher
  132  preparation program under s. 1004.04 or s. 1004.85, the
  133  institution may operate no more than one charter school that
  134  serves students in kindergarten through grade 12. In
  135  kindergarten through grade 8, the charter school shall implement
  136  innovative blended learning instructional models in which, for a
  137  given course, a student learns in part through online delivery
  138  of content and instruction with some element of student control
  139  over time, place, path, or pace and in part at a supervised
  140  brick-and-mortar location away from home. A student in a blended
  141  learning course must be a full-time student of the charter
  142  school and receive the online instruction in a classroom setting
  143  at the charter school. District school boards shall cooperate
  144  with and assist the Florida College System institution on the
  145  charter application. Florida College System institution
  146  applications for charter schools are not subject to the time
  147  deadlines outlined in subsection (6) and may be approved by the
  148  district school board at any time during the year. Florida
  149  College System institutions may not report FTE for any students
  150  who receive FTE funding through the Florida Education Finance
  151  Program.
  152         5. A school district may enter into nonexclusive interlocal
  153  agreements with federal and state agencies, counties,
  154  municipalities, and other governmental entities that operate
  155  within the geographical borders of the school district to act on
  156  behalf of such governmental entities in the inspection,
  157  issuance, and other necessary activities for all necessary
  158  permits, licenses, and other permissions that a charter school
  159  needs in order for development, construction, or operation. A
  160  charter school may use, but may not be required to use, a school
  161  district for these services. The interlocal agreement must
  162  include, but need not be limited to, the identification of fees
  163  that charter schools will be charged for such services. The fees
  164  must consist of the governmental entity’s fees plus a fee for
  165  the school district to recover no more than actual costs for
  166  providing such services. These services and fees are not
  167  included within the services to be provided pursuant to
  168  subsection (20).
  169         (6) APPLICATION PROCESS AND REVIEW.—Charter school
  170  applications are subject to the following requirements:
  171         (a) A person or entity wishing to open a charter school
  172  shall prepare and submit an application on a model application
  173  form prepared by the Department of Education which:
  174         1. Demonstrates how the school will use the guiding
  175  principles and meet the statutorily defined purpose of a charter
  176  school.
  177         2. Provides a detailed curriculum plan that illustrates how
  178  students will be provided services to attain the Sunshine State
  179  Standards.
  180         3. Contains goals and objectives for improving student
  181  learning and measuring that improvement. These goals and
  182  objectives must indicate how much academic improvement students
  183  are expected to show each year, how success will be evaluated,
  184  and the specific results to be attained through instruction.
  185         4. Describes the reading curriculum and differentiated
  186  strategies that will be used for students reading at grade level
  187  or higher and a separate curriculum and strategies for students
  188  who are reading below grade level. A sponsor shall deny a
  189  charter if the school does not propose a reading curriculum that
  190  is consistent with effective teaching strategies that are
  191  grounded in scientifically based reading research.
  192         5. Contains an annual financial plan for each year
  193  requested by the charter for operation of the school for up to 5
  194  years. This plan must contain anticipated fund balances based on
  195  revenue projections, a spending plan based on projected revenues
  196  and expenses, and a description of controls that will safeguard
  197  finances and projected enrollment trends.
  198         6. Demonstrates and provides documentation showing that the
  199  governing board is independent of any management company and has
  200  the ability to terminate the contract with the management
  201  company at any time and in the sole discretion of the governing
  202  board Documents that the applicant has participated in the
  203  training required in subparagraph (f)2. A sponsor may require an
  204  applicant to provide additional information as an addendum to
  205  the charter school application described in this paragraph.
  206         7. For the establishment of a virtual charter school,
  207  documents that the applicant has contracted with a provider of
  208  virtual instruction services pursuant to s. 1002.45(1)(d).
  209         (7) CHARTER.—The major issues involving the operation of a
  210  charter school shall be considered in advance and written into
  211  the charter. The charter shall be signed by the governing board
  212  of the charter school and the sponsor, following a public
  213  hearing to ensure community input.
  214         (a) The charter must shall address and criteria for
  215  approval of the charter must shall be based on:
  216         1. The school’s mission, the students to be served, and the
  217  ages and grades to be included.
  218         2. The focus of the curriculum, the instructional methods
  219  to be used, any distinctive instructional techniques to be
  220  employed, and identification and acquisition of appropriate
  221  technologies needed to improve educational and administrative
  222  performance which include a means for promoting safe, ethical,
  223  and appropriate uses of technology which comply with legal and
  224  professional standards.
  225         a. The charter shall ensure that reading is a primary focus
  226  of the curriculum and that resources are provided to identify
  227  and provide specialized instruction for students who are reading
  228  below grade level. The curriculum and instructional strategies
  229  for reading must be consistent with the Next Generation Sunshine
  230  State Standards and grounded in scientifically based reading
  231  research.
  232         b. In order to provide students with access to diverse
  233  instructional delivery models, to facilitate the integration of
  234  technology within traditional classroom instruction, and to
  235  provide students with the skills they need to compete in the
  236  21st century economy, the Legislature encourages instructional
  237  methods for blended learning courses consisting of both
  238  traditional classroom and online instructional techniques.
  239  Charter schools may implement blended learning courses which
  240  combine traditional classroom instruction and virtual
  241  instruction. Students in a blended learning course must be full
  242  time students of the charter school and receive the online
  243  instruction in a classroom setting at the charter school.
  244  Instructional personnel certified pursuant to s. 1012.55 who
  245  provide virtual instruction for blended learning courses may be
  246  employees of the charter school or may be under contract to
  247  provide instructional services to charter school students. At a
  248  minimum, such instructional personnel must hold an active state
  249  or school district adjunct certification under s. 1012.57 for
  250  the subject area of the blended learning course. The funding and
  251  performance accountability requirements for blended learning
  252  courses are the same as those for traditional courses.
  253         3. The current incoming baseline standard of student
  254  academic achievement, the outcomes to be achieved, and the
  255  method of measurement that will be used. The criteria listed in
  256  this subparagraph must shall include a detailed description of:
  257         a. How the baseline student academic achievement levels and
  258  prior rates of academic progress will be established.
  259         b. How these baseline rates will be compared to rates of
  260  academic progress achieved by these same students while
  261  attending the charter school.
  262         c. To the extent possible, how these rates of progress will
  263  be evaluated and compared with rates of progress of other
  264  closely comparable student populations.
  266  The district school board is required to provide academic
  267  student performance data to charter schools for each of their
  268  students coming from the district school system, as well as
  269  rates of academic progress of comparable student populations in
  270  the district school system.
  271         4. The methods used to identify the educational strengths
  272  and needs of students and how well educational goals and
  273  performance standards are met by students attending the charter
  274  school. The methods must shall provide a means for the charter
  275  school to ensure accountability to its constituents by analyzing
  276  student performance data and by evaluating the effectiveness and
  277  efficiency of its major educational programs. Students in
  278  charter schools shall, at a minimum, participate in the
  279  statewide assessment program created under s. 1008.22.
  280         5. In secondary charter schools, a method for determining
  281  that a student has satisfied the requirements for graduation in
  282  s. 1003.428 or s. 1003.4282.
  283         6. A method for resolving conflicts between the governing
  284  board of the charter school and the sponsor.
  285         7. The admissions procedures and dismissal procedures,
  286  including the school’s code of student conduct.
  287         8. The ways by which the school will achieve a
  288  racial/ethnic balance reflective of the community it serves or
  289  within the racial/ethnic range of other public schools in the
  290  same school district.
  291         9. The financial and administrative management of the
  292  school, including a reasonable demonstration of the professional
  293  experience or competence of those individuals or organizations
  294  applying to operate the charter school or those hired or
  295  retained to perform such professional services and the
  296  description of clearly delineated responsibilities and the
  297  policies and practices needed to effectively manage the charter
  298  school. A description of internal audit procedures and
  299  establishment of controls to ensure that financial resources are
  300  properly managed must be included. Both public sector and
  301  private sector professional experience are shall be equally
  302  valid in such a consideration. The charter must demonstrate and
  303  include documentation that the governing board is independent of
  304  any management company and has the ability to terminate the
  305  contract with the management company at any time and at the sole
  306  discretion of the governing board.
  307         10. The asset and liability projections required in the
  308  application which are incorporated into the charter and must
  309  shall be compared with information provided in the annual report
  310  of the charter school.
  311         11. A description of procedures that identify various risks
  312  and provide for a comprehensive approach to reduce the impact of
  313  losses; plans to ensure the safety and security of students and
  314  staff; plans to identify, minimize, and protect others from
  315  violent or disruptive student behavior; and the manner in which
  316  the school will be insured, including whether or not the school
  317  will be required to have liability insurance, and, if so, the
  318  terms and conditions thereof and the amounts of coverage.
  319         12. The term of the charter, which must shall provide for
  320  cancellation of the charter if insufficient progress has been
  321  made in attaining the student achievement objectives of the
  322  charter and if it is not likely that such objectives can be
  323  achieved before expiration of the charter. The initial term of a
  324  charter must shall be for 4 or 5 years. In order to facilitate
  325  access to long-term financial resources for charter school
  326  construction, charter schools that are operated by a
  327  municipality or other public entity as provided by law are
  328  eligible for up to a 15-year charter, subject to approval by the
  329  district school board. A charter lab school is eligible for a
  330  charter for a term of up to 15 years. In addition, to facilitate
  331  access to long-term financial resources for charter school
  332  construction, charter schools that are operated by a private,
  333  not-for-profit, s. 501(c)(3) status corporation are eligible for
  334  up to a 15-year charter, subject to approval by the district
  335  school board. Such long-term charters remain subject to annual
  336  review and may be terminated during the term of the charter, but
  337  only according to the provisions set forth in subsection (8).
  338         13. The facilities to be used and their location. The
  339  sponsor may not require a charter school to have a certificate
  340  of occupancy or a temporary certificate of occupancy for such a
  341  facility earlier than 15 calendar days before the first day of
  342  school.
  343         14. The qualifications to be required of the teachers and
  344  the potential strategies used to recruit, hire, train, and
  345  retain qualified staff to achieve best value.
  346         15. The governance structure of the school, including the
  347  status of the charter school as a public or private employer as
  348  required in paragraph (12)(i). At least one member of the
  349  charter school governing board shall be the parent of a student
  350  enrolled in that school.
  351         16. A timetable for implementing the charter which
  352  addresses the implementation of each element thereof and the
  353  date by which the charter must shall be awarded in order to meet
  354  this timetable.
  355         17. In the case of an existing public school that is being
  356  converted to charter status, alternative arrangements for
  357  current students who choose not to attend the charter school and
  358  for current teachers who choose not to teach in the charter
  359  school after conversion in accordance with the existing
  360  collective bargaining agreement or district school board rule in
  361  the absence of a collective bargaining agreement. However,
  362  alternative arrangements may shall not be required for current
  363  teachers who choose not to teach in a charter lab school, except
  364  as authorized by the employment policies of the state university
  365  which grants the charter to the lab school.
  366         18. Full disclosure of the identity of all relatives
  367  employed by the charter school who are related to the charter
  368  school owner, president, chairperson of the governing board of
  369  directors, superintendent, governing board member, principal,
  370  assistant principal, or any other person employed by the charter
  371  school who has equivalent decisionmaking authority. For the
  372  purpose of this subparagraph, the term “relative” means father,
  373  mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, first
  374  cousin, nephew, niece, husband, wife, father-in-law, mother-in
  375  law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law,
  376  stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother,
  377  stepsister, half brother, or half sister.
  378         19. Implementation of the activities authorized under s.
  379  1002.331 by the charter school when it satisfies the eligibility
  380  requirements for a high-performing charter school. A high
  381  performing charter school shall notify its sponsor in writing by
  382  March 1 if it intends to increase enrollment or expand grade
  383  levels the following school year. The written notice must shall
  384  specify the amount of the enrollment increase and the grade
  385  levels that will be added, as applicable.
  386         (10) ELIGIBLE STUDENTS.—
  387         (a) A charter school shall be open to any student covered
  388  in an interdistrict agreement or residing in the school district
  389  in which the charter school is located; however, in the case of
  390  a charter lab school, the charter lab school shall be open to
  391  any student eligible to attend the lab school as provided in s.
  392  1002.32 or who resides in the school district in which the
  393  charter lab school is located. Any eligible student shall be
  394  allowed interdistrict transfer to attend a charter school when
  395  based on good cause. Good cause includes shall include, but is
  396  not limited to, geographic proximity to a charter school in a
  397  neighboring school district.
  398         (b) The charter school shall enroll an eligible student who
  399  submits a timely application, unless the number of applications
  400  exceeds the capacity of a program, class, grade level, or
  401  building. In such case, all applicants shall have an equal
  402  chance of being admitted through a random selection process.
  403         (c)1. For purposes of continuity of educational choice,
  404  placement of a student in a charter school shall remain in force
  405  until the student voluntarily withdraws from the charter school
  406  or successfully completes the highest grade offered in the
  407  charter school. A charter school student who voluntarily enrolls
  408  in a different charter school, a district-operated public
  409  school, a private school, a virtual education program, a home
  410  education program, or another education program approved by law
  411  is considered to have withdrawn from the charter school for the
  412  purpose of determining the end of the student’s enrollment.
  413  However, if a student enters a Department of Juvenile Justice
  414  detention center for less than 21 days, the student is not
  415  considered to have withdrawn from the charter school.
  416         2. Before a student is voluntarily withdrawn from a charter
  417  school, the parent and charter school personnel must sign a
  418  document stating that the student is being voluntarily withdrawn
  419  and that charter school personnel have not prohibited,
  420  discouraged, or attempted to discourage the student from
  421  continued enrollment in the charter school.
  422         (d)(c) When a public school converts to charter status,
  423  enrollment preference must shall be given to students who would
  424  have otherwise attended that public school. The district school
  425  board shall consult and negotiate with the conversion charter
  426  school every 3 years to determine whether realignment of the
  427  conversion charter school’s attendance zone is appropriate in
  428  order to ensure that students residing closest to the charter
  429  school are provided with an enrollment preference.
  430         (e)(d) A charter school may give enrollment preference to
  431  the following student populations:
  432         1. Students who are siblings of a student enrolled in the
  433  charter school.
  434         2. Students who are the children of a member of the
  435  governing board of the charter school.
  436         3. Students who are the children of an employee of the
  437  charter school.
  438         4. Students who are the children of:
  439         a. An employee of the business partner of a charter school
  440  in-the-workplace established under paragraph (15)(b) or a
  441  resident of the municipality in which such charter school is
  442  located; or
  443         b. A resident of a municipality that operates a charter
  444  school-in-a-municipality pursuant to paragraph (15)(c).
  445         5. Students who have successfully completed a voluntary
  446  prekindergarten education program under ss. 1002.51-1002.79
  447  provided by the charter school or the charter school’s governing
  448  board during the previous year.
  449         6. Students who are the children of an active duty member
  450  of any branch of the United States Armed Forces.
  451         (f)(e) A charter school may limit the enrollment process
  452  only to target the following student populations:
  453         1. Students within specific age groups or grade levels.
  454         2. Students considered at risk of dropping out of school or
  455  academic failure, including. Such students shall include
  456  exceptional education students.
  457         3. Students enrolling in a charter school-in-the-workplace
  458  or charter school-in-a-municipality established pursuant to
  459  subsection (15).
  460         4. Students residing within a reasonable distance of the
  461  charter school, as described in paragraph (20)(c). Such students
  462  shall be subject to a random lottery and to the racial/ethnic
  463  balance provisions described in subparagraph (7)(a)8. or any
  464  federal provisions that require a school to achieve a
  465  racial/ethnic balance reflective of the community it serves or
  466  within the racial/ethnic range of other public schools in the
  467  same school district.
  468         5. Students who meet reasonable academic, artistic, or
  469  other eligibility standards established by the charter school
  470  and included in the charter school application and charter or,
  471  in the case of existing charter schools, standards that are
  472  consistent with the school’s mission and purpose. Such standards
  473  must shall be in accordance with current state law and practice
  474  in public schools and may not discriminate against otherwise
  475  qualified individuals.
  476         6. Students articulating from one charter school to another
  477  pursuant to an articulation agreement between the charter
  478  schools that has been approved by the sponsor.
  479         7. Students living in a development in which a business
  480  entity provides the school facility and related property having
  481  an appraised value of at least $10 million to be used as a
  482  charter school for the development. Students living in the
  483  development shall be entitled to 50 percent of the student
  484  stations in the charter school. The students who are eligible
  485  for enrollment are subject to a random lottery, the
  486  racial/ethnic balance provisions, or any federal provisions, as
  487  described in subparagraph 4. The remainder of the student
  488  stations shall be filled in accordance with subparagraph 4.
  489         (g)(f) Students with disabilities and students served in
  490  English for Speakers of Other Languages programs shall have an
  491  equal opportunity of being selected for enrollment in a charter
  492  school.
  493         (h)(g) A student may voluntarily withdraw from a charter
  494  school at any time and enroll in another public school as
  495  determined by district school board rule. The charter school
  496  from which a student voluntarily withdraws shall transfer a pro
  497  rata share of the full-time equivalent student funding for that
  498  student to the district school board that governs the school in
  499  which the student subsequently enrolls. The transfer of funds is
  500  required within 15 days of withdrawal of the student from the
  501  charter school. If the charter school does not timely transfer
  502  the funds, the district school board in which the charter school
  503  is located shall withhold the funds from the next payment due to
  504  the charter school.
  505         (i) If the withdrawal of a student from a charter school
  506  and his or her transfer to another public school is initiated by
  507  the charter school as a result of the student’s commission of an
  508  expellable offense, as that term is defined by district school
  509  board rule, the charter school shall submit a recommendation to
  510  the district school board immediately upon suspending the
  511  student from the charter school detailing the reasons for
  512  recommending expulsion. The charter school shall follow the
  513  expulsion process of the district school board. If the district
  514  school board grants the expulsion, the student shall be expelled
  515  from all public education for the duration of the expulsion
  516  period. If the district school board rejects the expulsion, the
  517  student shall return to the charter school. If the district
  518  school board recommends reassignment of the student to a
  519  district alternative placement appropriate to the expellable
  520  offense reported by the charter school, the charter school shall
  521  transfer a pro rata share of funding for that student to the
  522  district school board that governs the school in which the
  523  student is subsequently placed. Such funding must be sufficient
  524  to pay for the per student cost of actually delivering services
  525  to the student in the alternative setting for the balance of the
  526  fiscal year or until the student is counted by the district in
  527  its FTE funding survey. The transfer of funds is required within
  528  15 days after the entry of the district school board decision on
  529  the recommendation of expulsion from the charter school. If the
  530  charter school does not timely transfer the funds, the district
  531  school board in which the charter school is located shall
  532  withhold the funds from the next payment due to the charter
  533  school.
  534         (j)A charter school student may not be dismissed or
  535  requested to withdraw from the charter school because of actual
  536  or anticipated poor academic performance, because of actual or
  537  anticipated poor performance on statewide assessments, or due to
  538  issues related to student behavior unless such behavior is
  539  alleged to be an expellable offense as that term is defined by
  540  district school board rule.
  541         (k)(h) The capacity of the charter school shall be
  542  determined annually by the governing board, in conjunction with
  543  the sponsor, of the charter school in consideration of the
  544  factors identified in this subsection unless the charter school
  545  is designated as a high-performing charter school pursuant to s.
  546  1002.331. A sponsor may not require a charter school to waive
  547  the provisions of s. 1002.331 or require a student enrollment
  548  cap that prohibits a high-performing charter school from
  549  increasing enrollment in accordance with s. 1002.331(2) as a
  550  condition of approval or renewal of a charter.
  551         (l)(i) The capacity of a high-performing charter school
  552  identified pursuant to s. 1002.331 shall be determined annually
  553  by the governing board of the charter school. The governing
  554  board shall notify the sponsor of any increase in enrollment by
  555  March 1 of the school year preceding the increase. A sponsor may
  556  not require a charter school to identify the names of students
  557  to be enrolled or to enroll those students before the start of
  558  the school year as a condition of approval or renewal of a
  559  charter.
  560         (17) FUNDING.—Students enrolled in a charter school,
  561  regardless of the sponsorship, shall be funded as if they are in
  562  a basic program or a special program, the same as students
  563  enrolled in other public schools in the school district. Funding
  564  for a charter lab school shall be as provided in s. 1002.32.
  565         (g) Notwithstanding any provision in this section, a
  566  charter school is required to post a performance bond with the
  567  district school board named as the recipient at the beginning of
  568  each school year in an amount equal to one-half of the projected
  569  operating funds as defined in paragraph (b). Such bond shall be
  570  annually renewed and shall be invoked if the charter school
  571  defaults on meeting any of its financial obligations with the
  572  sponsor.
  574         (a) The Department of Education shall provide information
  575  to the public, directly and through sponsors, on how to form and
  576  operate a charter school and how to enroll in a charter school
  577  once it is created. This information must shall include a model
  578  application form, model standard charter contract, standard
  579  evaluation instrument, and model standard charter renewal
  580  contract, which must shall include the information specified in
  581  subsection (7) and shall be developed by consulting and
  582  negotiating with both school districts and charter schools
  583  before implementation. The charter and charter renewal contracts
  584  may shall be used by charter school sponsors.
  586         (a) An individual may not serve as a member of the charter
  587  school board of directors if the individual or an immediate
  588  family member receives a pension or any compensation from the
  589  charter school, or if the individual’s partner is an owner or
  590  principal with an entity or independent contractor with whom the
  591  charter school does business or contracts, directly or
  592  indirectly, for professional services, goods, or facilities. An
  593  individual may not serve as a board member if an immediate
  594  family member is an employee of the school. A violation of this
  595  prohibition renders a contract voidable at the option of the
  596  sponsor or the charter school board of directors. A member of a
  597  charter school board of directors who violates this prohibition
  598  is individually liable to the charter school for any damage
  599  caused by the violation.
  600         (b) A member of the board of directors or an employee,
  601  officer, or agent of a charter school may not participate in
  602  selecting, awarding, or administering a contract if a conflict
  603  of interest exists. A conflict of interest exists if:
  604         1. The board member, employee, officer, or agent;
  605         2. The immediate family of the board member, employee,
  606  officer, or agent;
  607         3. The partner of the board member, employee, officer, or
  608  agent; or
  609         4. An organization that employs, or is about to employ, any
  610  individual listed in subparagraphs 1.-3.,
  612  has a financial or other interest in the entity with which the
  613  charter school is contracting. A violation of this paragraph
  614  renders the contract void.
  615         (c) An employee or board member of the sponsor who
  616  participates in the initial review and approval, ongoing
  617  oversight and evaluation, or renewal or nonrenewal of the
  618  charter may not serve on the board of directors of a school
  619  chartered by that sponsor.
  620         (d) An individual may serve as a member of the board of
  621  directors if no conflict of interest under paragraph (a) exists.
  622         (e) This subsection does not apply to compensation paid to
  623  a teacher employed in that capacity by the charter school.
  624         (28) UNLAWFUL ACTS.—A parent, other individual, or group
  625  who believes that a charter school has violated or is violating
  626  any state or federal law or regulation may file a complaint
  627  directly with the Department of Education. If the department
  628  determines that the complaint demonstrates reasonable cause to
  629  suspect that an unlawful act has been committed, the department
  630  shall conduct an investigation and produce a fact-finding report
  631  within 90 days after receiving the complaint. The department
  632  shall provide the district school superintendent of the
  633  complainant’s district and the complainant with a copy of the
  634  fact-finding report, which is admissible in any subsequent or
  635  related administrative or judicial review.
  636         (29)(27) RULEMAKING.—The Department of Education, after
  637  consultation with school districts and charter school directors,
  638  shall recommend that the State Board of Education adopt rules to
  639  implement specific subsections of this section. Such rules must
  640  shall require minimum paperwork and may shall not limit charter
  641  school flexibility authorized by statute. The State Board of
  642  Education shall adopt rules, pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and
  643  120.54, to implement a charter model application form, standard
  644  evaluation instrument, and model standard charter and model
  645  charter renewal contracts in accordance with this section.
  646         Section 2. Section 1002.346, Florida Statutes, is created
  647  to read:
  648         1002.346 Charter school audits and investigations.—
  649         (1) A charter school is subject to the audits, audit
  650  procedures, and audit requirements established in the charter
  651  and may be audited or investigated by the Auditor General, the
  652  Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General, and the
  653  district school board, at their discretion. Such procedures and
  654  requirements must be consistent with generally accepted audit
  655  standards. The school and its governing board shall allow the
  656  sponsor and state officials full access to its financial and
  657  educational records, reports, files, and documents of any kind.
  658         (2) During the course of audits and investigations, the
  659  state and sponsor may access, review, and audit records of other
  660  entities that do business with the charter school if a member of
  661  the school’s governing board or a director, an officer, a
  662  principal, an assistant principal, or any other person employed
  663  by the charter school who has equivalent decisionmaking
  664  authority also serves as a member, director, or officer of such
  665  other entities.
  666         (3) The district school board shall oversee each charter
  667  school it has approved and may visit, examine, enter into, and
  668  inspect the charter school, including the records of such
  669  school, under its oversight. Oversight by the district school
  670  board must be sufficient to ensure that the charter school is in
  671  compliance with all applicable laws, rules, and charter
  672  provisions.
  673         (4) The Department of Education’s Office of Inspector
  674  General or the district school board may conduct reviews,
  675  pursuant to a complaint received or on its own initiative, to
  676  ensure compliance with applicable laws, rules, and charter
  677  provisions. The charter school and the specific individuals
  678  involved shall cooperate to the fullest extent with such review.
  679         (5) A party who believes that his or her complaint has not
  680  been adequately addressed by the charter school’s governing
  681  board or the district school board may submit the complaint in
  682  writing to the Department of Education’s Office of Inspector
  683  General, which shall investigate such complaint and provide a
  684  written response within 90 days after receipt of the complaint.
  685         Section 3. Subsections (3) and (6) of section 1002.451,
  686  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  687         1002.451 District innovation school of technology program.—
  688         (3) TERM OF OPERATION PERFORMANCE CONTRACT.—An innovation
  689  school of technology may operate pursuant to a performance
  690  contract with the State Board of Education for a period of 5
  691  years.
  692         (a) Before expiration of the performance contract, the
  693  school’s performance shall be evaluated against the eligibility
  694  criteria, purpose, guiding principles, and compliance with the
  695  contract to determine whether the contract may be renewed. The
  696  contract may be renewed every 5 years.
  697         (b) The innovation school of technology shall be terminated
  698  performance contract shall be terminated by the State Board of
  699  Education if:
  700         (a)1. The school receives a grade of “F” as an innovation
  701  school of technology for 2 consecutive years;
  702         (b)2. The school or district fails to comply with the
  703  criteria in this section;
  704         (c)3. The school or district does not comply with district
  705  school board rules that terms of the contract which specify that
  706  a violation results in termination; or
  707         (d)4. Other good cause is shown.
  710         (a) A district school board shall notify may apply to the
  711  State Board of Education of the establishment of for an
  712  innovation school of technology if the district:
  713         1. Has at least 20 percent of its total enrollment in
  714  public school choice programs or at least 5 percent of its total
  715  enrollment in charter schools;
  716         2. Has no material weaknesses or instances of material
  717  noncompliance noted in the annual financial audit conducted
  718  pursuant to s. 218.39; and
  719         3. Has received a district grade of “A,or “B,or “C” in
  720  each of the past 3 years.
  721         (b) A district school board may operate one innovation
  722  school of technology upon an application being approved by the
  723  State Board of Education.
  724         1. A district school board may apply to the State Board of
  725  Education to establish additional schools of technology if each
  726  existing innovation school of technology in the district:
  727         a. Meets all requirements in this section and in the
  728  performance contract;
  729         b. Has a grade of “A” or “B”; and
  730         c. Has at least 50 percent of its students exceed the state
  731  average on the statewide assessment program pursuant to s.
  732  1008.22. This comparison may take student subgroups, as defined
  733  in the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), 20
  734  U.S.C. s. 6311(b)(2)(C)(v)(II), into specific consideration so
  735  that at least 50 percent of students in each student subgroup
  736  meet or exceed the statewide average performance, rounded to the
  737  nearest whole number, of that particular subgroup.
  738         2. Notwithstanding subparagraph 1., the number of schools
  739  of technology in a school district may not exceed:
  740         a. Seven in a school district that has 100,000 or more
  741  students.
  742         b. Five in a school district that has 50,000 to 99,999
  743  students.
  744         c. Three in a school district that has fewer than 50,000
  745  students.
  746         (b)(c) A school district that meets the eligibility
  747  requirements of paragraph (a) may apply to the State Board of
  748  Education at any time to enter into a performance contract to
  749  operate an innovation school of technology. The notification to
  750  the State Board of Education application must, at a minimum:
  751         1. Demonstrate how the school district meets and will
  752  continue to meet the requirements of this section;
  753         2. Identify how the school will accomplish the purposes and
  754  guiding principles of this section;
  755         3. Identify the statutes or rules from which the district
  756  is seeking a waiver for the school;
  757         4. Identify and provide supporting documentation for the
  758  purpose and impact of each waiver, how each waiver would enable
  759  the school to achieve the purpose and guiding principles of this
  760  section, and how the school would not be able to achieve the
  761  purpose and guiding principles of this section without each
  762  waiver; and
  763         3.5. Confirm that the school board remains responsible for
  764  the operation, control, and supervision of the school in
  765  accordance with all applicable laws, rules, and district
  766  procedures not waived pursuant to this section or waived
  767  pursuant to other applicable law.
  768         (d) The State Board of Education shall approve or deny the
  769  application within 90 days or, with the agreement of the school
  770  district, at a later date.
  771         (e) The performance contract must address the terms under
  772  which the State Board of Education may cancel the contract and,
  773  at a minimum, the methods by which:
  774         1. Upon execution of the performance contract, the school
  775  district will plan the program during the first year, begin at
  776  least partial implementation of the program during the second
  777  year, and fully implement the program by the third year. A
  778  district may implement the program sooner than specified in this
  779  subparagraph if authorized in the performance contract.
  780         2. The school will integrate industry-leading technology
  781  into instruction, assessment, and professional development. The
  782  school may also restructure the school day or school year in a
  783  way that allows it to best accomplish its goals.
  784         3. The school and district will monitor performance
  785  progress based on skills that help students succeed in college
  786  and careers, including problem solving, research,
  787  interpretation, and communication.
  788         4. The school will incorporate industry certifications and
  789  similar recognitions into performance expectations.
  790         5. The school and district will comply with this section
  791  and the performance contract.
  792         (c)(f) Three or more contiguous school districts may apply
  793  to enter into a joint performance contract as a Region of
  794  Technology, subject to terms and conditions contained in this
  795  section for a single school district.
  796         (d)(g) The State Board of Education shall monitor schools
  797  of technology to ensure that the respective school district is
  798  in compliance with this section and the performance contract.
  799         (h) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules pursuant
  800  to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement this section,
  801  including, but not limited to, an application, evaluation
  802  instrument, and renewal evaluation instrument.
  803         (e)(i) This section does not supersede the provisions of s.
  804  768.28.
  805         Section 4. Paragraph (e) of subsection (2) of section
  806  1002.331, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  807         1002.331 High-performing charter schools.—
  808         (2) A high-performing charter school is authorized to:
  809         (e) Receive a modification of its charter to a term of 15
  810  years or a 15-year charter renewal. The charter may be modified
  811  or renewed for a shorter term at the option of the high
  812  performing charter school. The charter must be consistent with
  813  s. 1002.33(7)(a)19. and (10)(k) (10)(h) and (l) (i), is subject
  814  to annual review by the sponsor, and may be terminated during
  815  its term pursuant to s. 1002.33(8).
  817  A high-performing charter school shall notify its sponsor in
  818  writing by March 1 if it intends to increase enrollment or
  819  expand grade levels the following school year. The written
  820  notice shall specify the amount of the enrollment increase and
  821  the grade levels that will be added, as applicable. If a charter
  822  school notifies the sponsor of its intent to expand, the sponsor
  823  shall modify the charter within 90 days to include the new
  824  enrollment maximum and may not make any other changes. The
  825  sponsor may deny a request to increase the enrollment of a high
  826  performing charter school if the commissioner has declassified
  827  the charter school as high-performing. If a high-performing
  828  charter school requests to consolidate multiple charters, the
  829  sponsor shall have 40 days after receipt of that request to
  830  provide an initial draft charter to the charter school. The
  831  sponsor and charter school shall have 50 days thereafter to
  832  negotiate and notice the charter contract for final approval by
  833  the sponsor.
  834         Section 5. This act shall take effect July 1, 2014.