Florida Senate - 2014                        COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
       Bill No. SB 1528
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              
                  Comm: RCS            .                                
                  03/25/2014           .                                

    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Delete everything after the enacting clause
    4  and insert:
    5         Section 1. Paragraph (h) of subsection (6) and paragraph
    6  (g) of subsection (10) of section 1002.33, Florida Statutes, are
    7  amended, to read:
    8         1002.33 Charter schools.—
    9         (6) APPLICATION PROCESS AND REVIEW.—Charter school
   10  applications are subject to the following requirements:
   11         (h) 1. The terms and conditions for the operation of a
   12  charter school shall be set forth by the sponsor and the
   13  applicant in a written contractual agreement, called a charter.
   14  The sponsor may not impose unreasonable rules or regulations
   15  that violate the intent of giving charter schools greater
   16  flexibility to meet educational goals. The sponsor has 30 days
   17  after approval of the application to provide an initial proposed
   18  charter contract to the charter school. The applicant and the
   19  sponsor have 40 days thereafter to negotiate and notice the
   20  charter contract for final approval by the sponsor unless both
   21  parties agree to an extension. The proposed charter contract
   22  shall be provided to the charter school at least 7 calendar days
   23  prior to the date of the meeting at which the charter is
   24  scheduled to be voted upon by the sponsor.
   25         2. The Department of Education shall provide mediation
   26  services for any dispute regarding this section subsequent to
   27  the approval of a charter application and for any dispute
   28  relating to the approved charter, except disputes regarding
   29  charter school application denials.
   30         3. If the Commissioner of Education determines that athe
   31  dispute cannot be settled through mediation, or if the sponsor
   32  or charter school requests to bypass mediation, athe dispute
   33  must be immediately forwardedmay be appealed to an
   34  administrative law judge appointed by the Division of
   35  Administrative Hearings.
   36         a.The administrative law judge must issue a summary final
   37  order for a dispute regarding language to be included in the
   38  initial charter contract. The administrative law judge may
   39  consider all documents determined necessary by the
   40  administrative law judge to issue the summary final order. The
   41  administrative law judge must hold at least one conference with
   42  the parties to discuss the dispute, and may require other
   43  proceedings only if determined necessary by the administrative
   44  law judge. The summary final order must consist of a summary of
   45  the facts and law, the position of the charter school and
   46  sponsor, the administrative law judge’s disposition of the
   47  dispute and supporting rationale, and may include other
   48  information if determined necessary by the administrative law
   49  judge. The administrative law judge’s summary final order must
   50  be issued within 30 days of receipt of the referral of the
   51  dispute from the Commissioner of Education.
   52         b. The administrative law judge has final order authority
   53  to rule on issues of equitable treatment of the charter school
   54  as a public school, whether proposed provisions of the charter
   55  renewals or amendments violate the intended flexibility granted
   56  charter schools by statute, or on any other matter regarding
   57  this section except a charter school application denial, a
   58  charter termination, or a charter nonrenewal.
   59         c. The administrative law judge’s summary final order or
   60  final order pursuant to this subparagraphand shall award the
   61  prevailing party reasonable attorney’s fees and costs incurred
   62  to be paid by the losing party. The costs of the administrative
   63  hearing shall be paid by the party whom the administrative law
   64  judge rules against.
   65         (10) ELIGIBLE STUDENTS.—
   66         (g) 1.A student may withdraw from a charter school at any
   67  time and enroll in another public school as determined by
   68  district school board rule. A charter school must request, but
   69  may not require, that the student withdrawing or parent of the
   70  student withdrawing complete a survey and provide information
   71  concerning the student’s experiences at the charter school and
   72  reasons for withdrawal. A charter school must provide in its
   73  annual report to its sponsor and the Department of Education the
   74  total number of students that leave the charter school and the
   75  reason for leaving the charter school, including but not limited
   76  to, withdrawal, suspension, and dismissal, if known.
   77         2.A student may only receive disciplinary action,
   78  including but not limited to suspension or dismissal, for the
   79  grounds and in the manner specified in the charter school’s code
   80  of student conduct.
   81         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2014.
   84  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
   85  And the title is amended as follows:
   86         Delete everything before the enacting clause
   87  and insert:
   88                        A bill to be entitled                      
   89         An act relating to charter schools; amending s.
   90         1002.33, F.S.; authorizing contract disputes to be
   91         referred to the Division of Administrative Hearings
   92         for summary final order; requiring a charter school to
   93         request that withdrawing students or parents of
   94         withdrawing students complete a survey; requiring a
   95         charter school to annually report information
   96         concerning why students leave the charter school to
   97         its sponsor and the Department of Education; providing
   98         that a charter school may only discipline students for
   99         the grounds and in the manner specified in the code of
  100         student conduct; providing an effective date.