Florida Senate - 2014              PROPOSED COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE
       Bill No. CS for SB 1528
       Proposed Committee Substitute by the Committee on Appropriations
       (Appropriations Subcommittee on Education)
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to charter schools; amending s.
    3         1002.33, F.S.; authorizing a military installation
    4         commander of a military installation to apply for a
    5         charter school located on the military installation;
    6         establishing conditions for the commander and charter
    7         school governing board; revising requirements for
    8         charter school applications to include additional
    9         fiscal responsibility standards; providing an
   10         effective date.
   12  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   14         Section 1. Paragraph (a) of subsection (3) and paragraph
   15  (b) of subsection (6) of section 1002.33, Florida Statutes, are
   16  amended to read:
   17         1002.33 Charter schools.—
   19         (a) An application for a new charter school may be made by
   20  an individual, teachers, parents, a group of individuals, a
   21  municipality, or a legal entity organized under the laws of this
   22  state. An application for a charter school may be made by the
   23  military installation commander of a military installation, if
   24  the commander is a member of the charter school’s not-for-profit
   25  governing board, the charter school is located on the military
   26  installation, and the governing board operates the charter
   27  school or contracts with a management company or similar entity
   28  to operate the charter school.
   29         (6) APPLICATION PROCESS AND REVIEW.—Charter school
   30  applications are subject to the following requirements:
   31         (b) A sponsor shall receive and review all applications for
   32  a charter school using an evaluation instrument developed by the
   33  Department of Education. A sponsor shall receive and consider
   34  charter school applications received on or before August 1 of
   35  each calendar year for charter schools to be opened at the
   36  beginning of the school district’s next school year, or to be
   37  opened at a time agreed to by the applicant and the sponsor. A
   38  sponsor may not refuse to receive a charter school application
   39  submitted before August 1 and may receive an application
   40  submitted later than August 1 if it chooses. In order to
   41  facilitate greater collaboration in the application process, an
   42  applicant may submit a draft charter school application on or
   43  before May 1 with an application fee of $500. If a draft
   44  application is timely submitted, the sponsor shall review and
   45  provide feedback as to material deficiencies in the application
   46  by July 1. The applicant shall then have until August 1 to
   47  resubmit a revised and final application. The sponsor may
   48  approve the draft application. A sponsor may not charge an
   49  applicant for a charter any fee for the processing or
   50  consideration of an application, and a sponsor may not base its
   51  consideration or approval of a final application upon the
   52  promise of future payment of any kind. Before approving or
   53  denying any final application, the sponsor shall allow the
   54  applicant, upon receipt of written notification, at least 7
   55  calendar days to make technical or nonsubstantive corrections
   56  and clarifications, including, but not limited to, corrections
   57  of grammatical, typographical, and like errors or missing
   58  signatures, if such errors are identified by the sponsor as
   59  cause to deny the final application.
   60         1. In order to facilitate an accurate budget projection
   61  process, a sponsor shall be held harmless for FTE students who
   62  are not included in the FTE projection due to approval of
   63  charter school applications after the FTE projection deadline.
   64  In a further effort to facilitate an accurate budget projection,
   65  within 15 calendar days after receipt of a charter school
   66  application, a sponsor shall report to the Department of
   67  Education the name of the applicant entity, the proposed charter
   68  school location, and its projected FTE.
   69         2. In order to ensure fiscal responsibility, an application
   70  for a charter school made by an individual, teachers, parents, a
   71  group of individuals, a municipality, a legal entity organized
   72  under the laws of this state, or any other third party
   73  associated with the management or reporting responsibility of
   74  the charter school contract shall include a full accounting of
   75  expected assets, a projection of expected sources and amounts of
   76  income, including income derived from projected student
   77  enrollments and from community support, and an expense
   78  projection that includes full accounting of the costs of
   79  operation, including start-up costs, and fees paid to a third
   80  party for services and the purpose of such fees.
   81         3.a. A sponsor shall by a majority vote approve or deny an
   82  application no later than 60 calendar days after the application
   83  is received, unless the sponsor and the applicant mutually agree
   84  in writing to temporarily postpone the vote to a specific date,
   85  at which time the sponsor shall by a majority vote approve or
   86  deny the application. If the sponsor fails to act on the
   87  application, an applicant may appeal to the State Board of
   88  Education as provided in paragraph (c). If an application is
   89  denied, the sponsor shall, within 10 calendar days after such
   90  denial, articulate in writing the specific reasons, based upon
   91  good cause, supporting its denial of the charter application and
   92  shall provide the letter of denial and supporting documentation
   93  to the applicant and to the Department of Education.
   94         b. An application submitted by a high-performing charter
   95  school identified pursuant to s. 1002.331 may be denied by the
   96  sponsor only if the sponsor demonstrates by clear and convincing
   97  evidence that:
   98         (I) The application does not materially comply with the
   99  requirements in paragraph (a);
  100         (II) The charter school proposed in the application does
  101  not materially comply with the requirements in paragraphs
  102  (9)(a)-(f);
  103         (III) The proposed charter school’s educational program
  104  does not substantially replicate that of the applicant or one of
  105  the applicant’s high-performing charter schools;
  106         (IV) The applicant has made a material misrepresentation or
  107  false statement or concealed an essential or material fact
  108  during the application process; or
  109         (V) The proposed charter school’s educational program and
  110  financial management practices do not materially comply with the
  111  requirements of this section.
  113  Material noncompliance is a failure to follow requirements or a
  114  violation of prohibitions applicable to charter school
  115  applications, which failure is quantitatively or qualitatively
  116  significant either individually or when aggregated with other
  117  noncompliance. An applicant is considered to be replicating a
  118  high-performing charter school if the proposed school is
  119  substantially similar to at least one of the applicant’s high
  120  performing charter schools and the organization or individuals
  121  involved in the establishment and operation of the proposed
  122  school are significantly involved in the operation of replicated
  123  schools.
  124         c. If the sponsor denies an application submitted by a
  125  high-performing charter school, the sponsor must, within 10
  126  calendar days after such denial, state in writing the specific
  127  reasons, based upon the criteria in sub-subparagraph b.,
  128  supporting its denial of the application and must provide the
  129  letter of denial and supporting documentation to the applicant
  130  and to the Department of Education. The applicant may appeal the
  131  sponsor’s denial of the application directly to the State Board
  132  of Education pursuant to sub-subparagraph (c)3.b.
  133         4. For budget projection purposes, the sponsor shall report
  134  to the Department of Education the approval or denial of a
  135  charter application within 10 calendar days after such approval
  136  or denial. In the event of approval, the report to the
  137  Department of Education shall include the final projected FTE
  138  for the approved charter school.
  139         5. Upon approval of a charter application, the initial
  140  startup shall commence with the beginning of the public school
  141  calendar for the district in which the charter is granted unless
  142  the sponsor allows a waiver of this subparagraph for good cause.
  143         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2014.