Florida Senate - 2015                                    SB 1036
       By Senator Montford
       3-00423-15                                            20151036__
    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         requiring a charter school application and charter to
    6         document that the governing board is independent of a
    7         management company; requiring that at least one member
    8         of the governing board be the parent of a student
    9         enrolled in the school; specifying circumstances under
   10         which a student is considered to have voluntarily
   11         withdrawn from a charter school; providing an
   12         exception; requiring the transfer of funds if a
   13         student voluntarily withdraws from a charter school;
   14         prescribing procedures for the withdrawal of a student
   15         from a charter school if the withdrawal is initiated
   16         by the school; providing for the transfer of funds;
   17         prohibiting a student from being dismissed or
   18         requested to withdraw from a charter school under
   19         certain circumstances; requiring a charter school to
   20         post a performance bond; specifying requirements for
   21         such bond; revising references to standard charter
   22         contracts; prohibiting specified conflicts of interest
   23         on the part of governing board members of a charter
   24         school or specified contracts; providing an exception;
   25         authorizing specified persons to file a complaint with
   26         the Department of Education under certain
   27         circumstances; establishing investigatory procedures
   28         for such complaints; creating s. 1002.346, F.S.;
   29         establishing procedures and requirements for audits
   30         and investigations of charter schools; providing for
   31         oversight of a charter school by the district school
   32         board; amending s. 1002.451, F.S.; deleting provisions
   33         relating to performance contracts for innovation
   34         schools of technology; requiring a district school
   35         board to notify the State Board of Education of the
   36         establishment of an innovation school of technology;
   37         providing requirements for such notification; deleting
   38         provisions limiting the number of innovation schools
   39         of technology a district school board may operate;
   40         amending s. 1002.331, F.S.; conforming cross
   41         references; providing an effective date.
   43  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   45         Section 1. Paragraph (b) of subsection (5), paragraph (a)
   46  of subsection (6), paragraph (a) of subsection (7), subsection
   47  (10), paragraph (a) of subsection (21), and present subsection
   48  (28) of section 1002.33, Florida Statutes, are amended,
   49  paragraph (g) is added to subsection (17) of that section, new
   50  subsections (27) and (28) are added to that section, and present
   51  subsection (27) is redesignated as subsection (29), to read:
   52         1002.33 Charter schools.—
   53         (5) SPONSOR; DUTIES.—
   54         (b) Sponsor duties.—
   55         1.a. The sponsor shall monitor and review the charter
   56  school in its progress toward the goals established in the
   57  charter.
   58         b. The sponsor shall monitor the revenues and expenditures
   59  of the charter school and perform the duties provided in s.
   60  1002.345.
   61         c. The sponsor may approve a charter for a charter school
   62  before the applicant has identified space, equipment, or
   63  personnel, if the applicant indicates approval is necessary for
   64  it to raise working funds.
   65         d. The sponsor may shall not apply its policies to a
   66  charter school unless mutually agreed to by both the sponsor and
   67  the charter school. If the sponsor subsequently amends any
   68  agreed-upon sponsor policy, the version of the policy in effect
   69  at the time of the execution of the charter, or any subsequent
   70  modification thereof, must shall remain in effect and the
   71  sponsor may not hold the charter school responsible for any
   72  provision of a newly revised policy until the revised policy is
   73  mutually agreed upon.
   74         e. The sponsor shall ensure that the charter is innovative
   75  and consistent with the state education goals established by s.
   76  1000.03(5).
   77         f. The sponsor shall ensure that the charter school
   78  participates in the state’s education accountability system. If
   79  a charter school falls short of performance measures included in
   80  the approved charter, the sponsor shall report such shortcomings
   81  to the Department of Education.
   82         g. The sponsor is shall not be liable for civil damages
   83  under state law for personal injury, property damage, or death
   84  resulting from an act or omission of an officer, employee,
   85  agent, or governing body of the charter school.
   86         h. The sponsor is shall not be liable for civil damages
   87  under state law for any employment actions taken by an officer,
   88  employee, agent, or governing body of the charter school.
   89         i. The sponsor’s duties to monitor the charter school do
   90  shall not constitute the basis for a private cause of action.
   91         j. The sponsor may shall not impose additional reporting
   92  requirements on a charter school without providing reasonable
   93  and specific justification in writing to the charter school.
   94         k. The sponsor shall submit an annual report to the
   95  Department of Education in a web-based format to be determined
   96  by the department.
   97         (I) The report must shall include the following
   98  information:
   99         (A) The number of draft applications received on or before
  100  May 1 and each applicant’s contact information.
  101         (B) The number of final applications received on or before
  102  August 1 and each applicant’s contact information.
  103         (C) The date each application was approved, denied, or
  104  withdrawn.
  105         (D) The date each final contract was executed.
  106         (E) The number of students who have voluntarily or
  107  involuntarily withdrawn from a charter school, the names of the
  108  charter schools attended by such students, the reason for the
  109  voluntary or involuntary withdrawal of such students, and the
  110  amount of pro rata funds transferred to the district school
  111  board pursuant to the requirements of paragraphs (10)(h) and
  112  (i).
  113         (II) Beginning August 31, 2013, and each year thereafter,
  114  the sponsor shall submit to the department the information for
  115  the applications submitted the previous year.
  116         (III) The department shall compile an annual report, by
  117  district, and post the report on its website by November 1 of
  118  each year.
  119         2. Immunity for the sponsor of a charter school under
  120  subparagraph 1. applies only with respect to acts or omissions
  121  not under the sponsor’s direct authority as described in this
  122  section.
  123         3. This paragraph does not waive a district school board’s
  124  sovereign immunity.
  125         4. A Florida College System institution may work with the
  126  school district or school districts in its designated service
  127  area to develop charter schools that offer secondary education.
  128  These charter schools must include an option for students to
  129  receive an associate degree upon high school graduation. If a
  130  Florida College System institution operates an approved teacher
  131  preparation program under s. 1004.04 or s. 1004.85, the
  132  institution may operate no more than one charter school that
  133  serves students in kindergarten through grade 12. In
  134  kindergarten through grade 8, the charter school shall implement
  135  innovative blended learning instructional models in which, for a
  136  given course, a student learns in part through online delivery
  137  of content and instruction with some element of student control
  138  over time, place, path, or pace and in part at a supervised
  139  brick-and-mortar location away from home. A student in a blended
  140  learning course must be a full-time student of the charter
  141  school and receive the online instruction in a classroom setting
  142  at the charter school. District school boards shall cooperate
  143  with and assist the Florida College System institution on the
  144  charter application. Florida College System institution
  145  applications for charter schools are not subject to the time
  146  deadlines outlined in subsection (6) and may be approved by the
  147  district school board at any time during the year. Florida
  148  College System institutions may not report FTE for any students
  149  who receive FTE funding through the Florida Education Finance
  150  Program.
  151         5. A school district may enter into nonexclusive interlocal
  152  agreements with federal and state agencies, counties,
  153  municipalities, and other governmental entities that operate
  154  within the geographical borders of the school district to act on
  155  behalf of such governmental entities in the inspection,
  156  issuance, and other necessary activities for all necessary
  157  permits, licenses, and other permissions that a charter school
  158  needs in order for development, construction, or operation. A
  159  charter school may use, but may not be required to use, a school
  160  district for these services. The interlocal agreement must
  161  include, but need not be limited to, the identification of fees
  162  that charter schools will be charged for such services. The fees
  163  must consist of the governmental entity’s fees plus a fee for
  164  the school district to recover no more than actual costs for
  165  providing such services. These services and fees are not
  166  included within the services to be provided pursuant to
  167  subsection (20).
  168         (6) APPLICATION PROCESS AND REVIEW.—Charter school
  169  applications are subject to the following requirements:
  170         (a) A person or entity wishing to open a charter school
  171  shall prepare and submit an application on a model application
  172  form prepared by the Department of Education which:
  173         1. Demonstrates how the school will use the guiding
  174  principles and meet the statutorily defined purpose of a charter
  175  school.
  176         2. Provides a detailed curriculum plan that illustrates how
  177  students will be provided services to attain the Sunshine State
  178  Standards.
  179         3. Contains goals and objectives for improving student
  180  learning and measuring that improvement. These goals and
  181  objectives must indicate how much academic improvement students
  182  are expected to show each year, how success will be evaluated,
  183  and the specific results to be attained through instruction.
  184         4. Describes the reading curriculum and differentiated
  185  strategies that will be used for students reading at grade level
  186  or higher and a separate curriculum and strategies for students
  187  who are reading below grade level. A sponsor shall deny a
  188  charter if the school does not propose a reading curriculum that
  189  is consistent with effective teaching strategies that are
  190  grounded in scientifically based reading research.
  191         5. Contains an annual financial plan for each year
  192  requested by the charter for operation of the school for up to 5
  193  years. This plan must contain anticipated fund balances based on
  194  revenue projections, a spending plan based on projected revenues
  195  and expenses, and a description of controls that will safeguard
  196  finances and projected enrollment trends.
  197         6. Documents that the governing board is independent of any
  198  management company and may, at its sole discretion, terminate a
  199  contract with the management company at any time Contains
  200  additional information a sponsor may require, which shall be
  201  attached as an addendum to the charter school application
  202  described in this paragraph.
  203         7. For the establishment of a virtual charter school,
  204  documents that the applicant has contracted with a provider of
  205  virtual instruction services pursuant to s. 1002.45(1)(d).
  206         (7) CHARTER.—The major issues involving the operation of a
  207  charter school shall be considered in advance and written into
  208  the charter. The charter shall be signed by the governing board
  209  of the charter school and the sponsor, following a public
  210  hearing to ensure community input.
  211         (a) The charter must shall address and criteria for
  212  approval of the charter must shall be based on:
  213         1. The school’s mission, the students to be served, and the
  214  ages and grades to be included.
  215         2. The focus of the curriculum, the instructional methods
  216  to be used, any distinctive instructional techniques to be
  217  employed, and identification and acquisition of appropriate
  218  technologies needed to improve educational and administrative
  219  performance which include a means for promoting safe, ethical,
  220  and appropriate uses of technology which comply with legal and
  221  professional standards.
  222         a. The charter shall ensure that reading is a primary focus
  223  of the curriculum and that resources are provided to identify
  224  and provide specialized instruction for students who are reading
  225  below grade level. The curriculum and instructional strategies
  226  for reading must be consistent with the Next Generation Sunshine
  227  State Standards and grounded in scientifically based reading
  228  research.
  229         b. In order to provide students with access to diverse
  230  instructional delivery models, to facilitate the integration of
  231  technology within traditional classroom instruction, and to
  232  provide students with the skills they need to compete in the
  233  21st century economy, the Legislature encourages instructional
  234  methods for blended learning courses consisting of both
  235  traditional classroom and online instructional techniques.
  236  Charter schools may implement blended learning courses which
  237  combine traditional classroom instruction and virtual
  238  instruction. Students in a blended learning course must be full
  239  time students of the charter school and receive the online
  240  instruction in a classroom setting at the charter school.
  241  Instructional personnel certified pursuant to s. 1012.55 who
  242  provide virtual instruction for blended learning courses may be
  243  employees of the charter school or may be under contract to
  244  provide instructional services to charter school students. At a
  245  minimum, such instructional personnel must hold an active state
  246  or school district adjunct certification under s. 1012.57 for
  247  the subject area of the blended learning course. The funding and
  248  performance accountability requirements for blended learning
  249  courses are the same as those for traditional courses.
  250         3. The current incoming baseline standard of student
  251  academic achievement, the outcomes to be achieved, and the
  252  method of measurement that will be used. The criteria listed in
  253  this subparagraph must shall include a detailed description of:
  254         a. How the baseline student academic achievement levels and
  255  prior rates of academic progress will be established.
  256         b. How these baseline rates will be compared to rates of
  257  academic progress achieved by these same students while
  258  attending the charter school.
  259         c. To the extent possible, how these rates of progress will
  260  be evaluated and compared with rates of progress of other
  261  closely comparable student populations.
  263  The district school board is required to provide academic
  264  student performance data to charter schools for each of their
  265  students coming from the district school system, as well as
  266  rates of academic progress of comparable student populations in
  267  the district school system.
  268         4. The methods used to identify the educational strengths
  269  and needs of students and how well educational goals and
  270  performance standards are met by students attending the charter
  271  school. The methods must shall provide a means for the charter
  272  school to ensure accountability to its constituents by analyzing
  273  student performance data and by evaluating the effectiveness and
  274  efficiency of its major educational programs. Students in
  275  charter schools shall, at a minimum, participate in the
  276  statewide assessment program created under s. 1008.22.
  277         5. In secondary charter schools, a method for determining
  278  that a student has satisfied the requirements for graduation in
  279  s. 1002.3105(5), s. 1003.4281, or s. 1003.4282.
  280         6. A method for resolving conflicts between the governing
  281  board of the charter school and the sponsor.
  282         7. The admissions procedures and dismissal procedures,
  283  including the school’s code of student conduct.
  284         8. The ways by which the school will achieve a
  285  racial/ethnic balance reflective of the community it serves or
  286  within the racial/ethnic range of other public schools in the
  287  same school district.
  288         9. The financial and administrative management of the
  289  school, including a reasonable demonstration of the professional
  290  experience or competence of those individuals or organizations
  291  applying to operate the charter school or those hired or
  292  retained to perform such professional services and the
  293  description of clearly delineated responsibilities and the
  294  policies and practices needed to effectively manage the charter
  295  school. A description of internal audit procedures and
  296  establishment of controls to ensure that financial resources are
  297  properly managed must be included. Both public sector and
  298  private sector professional experience are shall be equally
  299  valid in such a consideration. The charter must document that
  300  the governing board is independent of any management company and
  301  may, at its sole discretion, terminate the contract with the
  302  management company at any time.
  303         10. The asset and liability projections required in the
  304  application which are incorporated into the charter and must
  305  shall be compared with information provided in the annual report
  306  of the charter school.
  307         11. A description of procedures that identify various risks
  308  and provide for a comprehensive approach to reduce the impact of
  309  losses; plans to ensure the safety and security of students and
  310  staff; plans to identify, minimize, and protect others from
  311  violent or disruptive student behavior; and the manner in which
  312  the school will be insured, including whether or not the school
  313  will be required to have liability insurance, and, if so, the
  314  terms and conditions thereof and the amounts of coverage.
  315         12. The term of the charter, which must shall provide for
  316  cancellation of the charter if insufficient progress has been
  317  made in attaining the student achievement objectives of the
  318  charter and if it is not likely that such objectives can be
  319  achieved before expiration of the charter. The initial term of a
  320  charter must shall be for 4 or 5 years. In order to facilitate
  321  access to long-term financial resources for charter school
  322  construction, charter schools that are operated by a
  323  municipality or other public entity as provided by law are
  324  eligible for up to a 15-year charter, subject to approval by the
  325  district school board. A charter lab school is eligible for a
  326  charter for a term of up to 15 years. In addition, to facilitate
  327  access to long-term financial resources for charter school
  328  construction, charter schools that are operated by a private,
  329  not-for-profit, s. 501(c)(3) status corporation are eligible for
  330  up to a 15-year charter, subject to approval by the district
  331  school board. Such long-term charters remain subject to annual
  332  review and may be terminated during the term of the charter, but
  333  only according to the provisions set forth in subsection (8).
  334         13. The facilities to be used and their location. The
  335  sponsor may not require a charter school to have a certificate
  336  of occupancy or a temporary certificate of occupancy for such a
  337  facility earlier than 15 calendar days before the first day of
  338  school.
  339         14. The qualifications to be required of the teachers and
  340  the potential strategies used to recruit, hire, train, and
  341  retain qualified staff to achieve best value.
  342         15. The governance structure of the school, including the
  343  status of the charter school as a public or private employer as
  344  required in paragraph (12)(i). At least one member of the
  345  charter school governing board must be the parent of a student
  346  enrolled in that school.
  347         16. A timetable for implementing the charter which
  348  addresses the implementation of each element thereof and the
  349  date by which the charter must shall be awarded in order to meet
  350  this timetable.
  351         17. In the case of an existing public school that is being
  352  converted to charter status, alternative arrangements for
  353  current students who choose not to attend the charter school and
  354  for current teachers who choose not to teach in the charter
  355  school after conversion in accordance with the existing
  356  collective bargaining agreement or district school board rule in
  357  the absence of a collective bargaining agreement. However,
  358  alternative arrangements are shall not be required for current
  359  teachers who choose not to teach in a charter lab school, except
  360  as authorized by the employment policies of the state university
  361  which grants the charter to the lab school.
  362         18. Full disclosure of the identity of all relatives
  363  employed by the charter school who are related to the charter
  364  school owner, president, chairperson of the governing board of
  365  directors, superintendent, governing board member, principal,
  366  assistant principal, or any other person employed by the charter
  367  school who has equivalent decisionmaking authority. For the
  368  purpose of this subparagraph, the term “relative” means father,
  369  mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, first
  370  cousin, nephew, niece, husband, wife, father-in-law, mother-in
  371  law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law,
  372  stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother,
  373  stepsister, half brother, or half sister.
  374         19. Implementation of the activities authorized under s.
  375  1002.331 by the charter school when it satisfies the eligibility
  376  requirements for a high-performing charter school. A high
  377  performing charter school shall notify its sponsor in writing by
  378  March 1 if it intends to increase enrollment or expand grade
  379  levels the following school year. The written notice shall
  380  specify the amount of the enrollment increase and the grade
  381  levels that will be added, as applicable.
  382         (10) ELIGIBLE STUDENTS.—
  383         (a) A charter school shall be open to any student covered
  384  in an interdistrict agreement or residing in the school district
  385  in which the charter school is located; however, in the case of
  386  a charter lab school, the charter lab school shall be open to
  387  any student eligible to attend the lab school as provided in s.
  388  1002.32 or who resides in the school district in which the
  389  charter lab school is located. Any eligible student shall be
  390  allowed interdistrict transfer to attend a charter school when
  391  based on good cause. Good cause includes shall include, but is
  392  not limited to, geographic proximity to a charter school in a
  393  neighboring school district.
  394         (b) The charter school shall enroll an eligible student who
  395  submits a timely application, unless the number of applications
  396  exceeds the capacity of a program, class, grade level, or
  397  building. In such case, all applicants shall have an equal
  398  chance of being admitted through a random selection process.
  399         (c)1. For purposes of continuity of educational choice,
  400  placement of a student in a charter school shall remain in force
  401  until the student voluntarily withdraws from the charter school
  402  or successfully completes the highest grade offered in the
  403  charter school. A charter school student who voluntarily enrolls
  404  in a different charter school, a district-operated public
  405  school, a private school, a virtual education program, a home
  406  education program, or another education program approved by law
  407  is considered to have voluntarily withdrawn from the charter
  408  school for the purpose of determining the end of the student’s
  409  enrollment. However, if a student enters a Department of
  410  Juvenile Justice detention center for less than 21 days, the
  411  student is not considered to have withdrawn from the charter
  412  school.
  413         2. Before a student is voluntarily withdrawn from a charter
  414  school, the parent and charter school personnel must sign a
  415  document stating that the student is being voluntarily withdrawn
  416  and that charter school personnel have not prohibited,
  417  discouraged, or attempted to discourage the student from
  418  continued enrollment in the charter school.
  419         (d)(c) When a public school converts to charter status,
  420  enrollment preference must shall be given to students who would
  421  have otherwise attended that public school. The district school
  422  board shall consult and negotiate with the conversion charter
  423  school every 3 years to determine whether realignment of the
  424  conversion charter school’s attendance zone is appropriate in
  425  order to ensure that students residing closest to the charter
  426  school are provided with an enrollment preference.
  427         (e)(d) A charter school may give enrollment preference to
  428  the following student populations:
  429         1. Students who are siblings of a student enrolled in the
  430  charter school.
  431         2. Students who are the children of a member of the
  432  governing board of the charter school.
  433         3. Students who are the children of an employee of the
  434  charter school.
  435         4. Students who are the children of:
  436         a. An employee of the business partner of a charter school
  437  in-the-workplace established under paragraph (15)(b) or a
  438  resident of the municipality in which such charter school is
  439  located; or
  440         b. A resident of a municipality that operates a charter
  441  school-in-a-municipality pursuant to paragraph (15)(c).
  442         5. Students who have successfully completed a voluntary
  443  prekindergarten education program under ss. 1002.51-1002.79
  444  provided by the charter school or the charter school’s governing
  445  board during the previous year.
  446         6. Students who are the children of an active duty member
  447  of any branch of the United States Armed Forces.
  448         (f)(e) A charter school may limit the enrollment process
  449  only to target the following student populations:
  450         1. Students within specific age groups or grade levels.
  451         2. Students considered at risk of dropping out of school or
  452  academic failure, including. Such students shall include
  453  exceptional education students.
  454         3. Students enrolling in a charter school-in-the-workplace
  455  or charter school-in-a-municipality established pursuant to
  456  subsection (15).
  457         4. Students residing within a reasonable distance of the
  458  charter school, as described in paragraph (20)(c). Such students
  459  shall be subject to a random lottery and to the racial/ethnic
  460  balance provisions described in subparagraph (7)(a)8. or any
  461  federal provisions that require a school to achieve a
  462  racial/ethnic balance reflective of the community it serves or
  463  within the racial/ethnic range of other public schools in the
  464  same school district.
  465         5. Students who meet reasonable academic, artistic, or
  466  other eligibility standards established by the charter school
  467  and included in the charter school application and charter or,
  468  in the case of existing charter schools, standards that are
  469  consistent with the school’s mission and purpose. Such standards
  470  must shall be in accordance with current state law and practice
  471  in public schools and may not discriminate against otherwise
  472  qualified individuals.
  473         6. Students articulating from one charter school to another
  474  pursuant to an articulation agreement between the charter
  475  schools that has been approved by the sponsor.
  476         7. Students living in a development in which a business
  477  entity provides the school facility and related property having
  478  an appraised value of at least $10 million to be used as a
  479  charter school for the development. Students living in the
  480  development shall be entitled to 50 percent of the student
  481  stations in the charter school. The students who are eligible
  482  for enrollment are subject to a random lottery, the
  483  racial/ethnic balance provisions, or any federal provisions, as
  484  described in subparagraph 4. The remainder of the student
  485  stations shall be filled in accordance with subparagraph 4.
  486         (g)(f) Students with disabilities and students served in
  487  English for Speakers of Other Languages programs shall have an
  488  equal opportunity of being selected for enrollment in a charter
  489  school.
  490         (h)(g) A student may voluntarily withdraw from a charter
  491  school at any time and enroll in another public school as
  492  determined by district school board rule. The charter school
  493  from which a student voluntarily withdraws shall transfer a pro
  494  rata share of the full-time equivalent student funding for that
  495  student to the district school board that governs the school in
  496  which the student subsequently enrolls. The transfer of funds is
  497  required within 15 days after the student withdraws from the
  498  charter school. If the charter school does not timely transfer
  499  the funds, the district school board in which the charter school
  500  is located shall withhold the funds from the next payment due to
  501  the charter school.
  502         (i) If the withdrawal of a student from a charter school
  503  and his or her transfer to another public school is initiated by
  504  the charter school as a result of the student’s commission of an
  505  expellable offense, as that term is defined by district school
  506  board rule, the charter school shall submit a recommendation of
  507  expulsion to the district school board immediately upon
  508  suspension of the student. The charter school shall provide
  509  specific details and reasons warranting expulsion within such
  510  recommendation and shall follow the expulsion process of the
  511  district school board. If the district school board grants the
  512  expulsion, the student shall be expelled from all public
  513  education for the duration of the expulsion period. If the
  514  district school board rejects the expulsion, the student shall
  515  return to the charter school. If the district school board
  516  recommends reassignment of the student to a district alternative
  517  placement appropriate to the expellable offense reported by the
  518  charter school, the charter school shall transfer a pro rata
  519  share of funding for that student to the district school board
  520  that governs the school in which the student is subsequently
  521  placed. Such funding must be sufficient to pay for the per
  522  student cost of delivering services to the student in the
  523  alternative setting for the balance of the fiscal year or until
  524  the student is counted by the district in its FTE funding
  525  survey. The transfer of funds is required within 15 days after
  526  the entry of the district school board’s decision on the charter
  527  school’s recommendation of expulsion. If the charter school does
  528  not timely transfer the funds, the district school board in
  529  which the charter school is located shall withhold the funds
  530  from the next payment due to the charter school.
  531         (j)A charter school student may not be dismissed or
  532  requested to withdraw from the charter school because of actual
  533  or anticipated poor academic performance, because of actual or
  534  anticipated poor performance on statewide assessments, or due to
  535  issues related to student behavior unless such behavior is
  536  alleged to be an expellable offense, as that term is defined by
  537  district school board rule.
  538         (k)(h) The capacity of the charter school shall be
  539  determined annually by the governing board, in conjunction with
  540  the sponsor, of the charter school in consideration of the
  541  factors identified in this subsection unless the charter school
  542  is designated as a high-performing charter school pursuant to s.
  543  1002.331. A sponsor may not require a charter school to waive
  544  the provisions of s. 1002.331 or require a student enrollment
  545  cap that prohibits a high-performing charter school from
  546  increasing enrollment in accordance with s. 1002.331(2) as a
  547  condition of approval or renewal of a charter.
  548         (l)(i) The capacity of a high-performing charter school
  549  identified pursuant to s. 1002.331 shall be determined annually
  550  by the governing board of the charter school. The governing
  551  board shall notify the sponsor of any increase in enrollment by
  552  March 1 of the school year preceding the increase. A sponsor may
  553  not require a charter school to identify the names of students
  554  to be enrolled or to enroll those students before the start of
  555  the school year as a condition of approval or renewal of a
  556  charter.
  557         (17) FUNDING.—Students enrolled in a charter school,
  558  regardless of the sponsorship, shall be funded as if they are in
  559  a basic program or a special program, the same as students
  560  enrolled in other public schools in the school district. Funding
  561  for a charter lab school shall be as provided in s. 1002.32.
  562         (g) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, a
  563  charter school, at the beginning of each school year, shall post
  564  a performance bond naming the district school board as the
  565  recipient. The amount of the performance bond shall equal one
  566  half of the school’s projected operating funds, as provided in
  567  paragraph (b). Such bond shall be annually renewed and shall be
  568  invoked if the charter school defaults on any of its financial
  569  obligations with the sponsor.
  571         (a) The Department of Education shall provide information
  572  to the public, directly and through sponsors, on how to form and
  573  operate a charter school and how to enroll in a charter school
  574  once it is created. This information must shall include a model
  575  application form, model standard charter contract, standard
  576  evaluation instrument, and model standard charter renewal
  577  contract, which must shall include the information specified in
  578  subsection (7) and shall be developed by consulting and
  579  negotiating with both school districts and charter schools
  580  before implementation. The charter and charter renewal contracts
  581  may shall be used by charter school sponsors.
  583         (a)An individual may not serve as a member of a governing
  584  board of a charter school if he or she or an immediate family
  585  member receives a pension or any compensation from the charter
  586  school, or if the individual’s partner is an owner or principal
  587  with an entity or independent contractor with whom the charter
  588  school does business or contracts, directly or indirectly, for
  589  professional services, goods, or facilities. An individual may
  590  not serve as a governing board member if an immediate family
  591  member is an employee of the school. A violation of this
  592  prohibition renders a contract voidable at the option of the
  593  sponsor or the governing board. A governing board member who
  594  violates this prohibition is individually liable to the charter
  595  school for any damage caused by the violation.
  596         (b) A governing board member or an employee, officer, or
  597  agent of a charter school may not participate in selecting,
  598  awarding, or administering a contract if a conflict of interest
  599  exists. A conflict of interest exists if any of the following
  600  has a financial or other interest in the entity with which the
  601  charter school is contracting:
  602         1. The governing board member, employee, officer, or agent.
  603         2. The immediate family of the governing board member,
  604  employee, officer, or agent.
  605         3. The partner of the governing board member, employee,
  606  officer, or agent.
  607         4. An organization that employs, or is about to employ, any
  608  individual listed in subparagraphs 1.-3.
  610  A violation of this paragraph renders the contract void.
  611         (c) An employee or governing board member of the sponsor
  612  who participates in the initial review and approval, ongoing
  613  oversight and evaluation, or renewal or nonrenewal of the
  614  charter may not serve on the governing board of a school
  615  chartered by that sponsor.
  616         (d) An individual may serve as a governing board member if
  617  no conflict of interest under paragraph (a) exists.
  618         (e) This subsection does not apply to compensation paid to
  619  a teacher employed in that capacity by the charter school.
  620         (28) UNLAWFUL ACTS.—A parent, another individual, or a
  621  group that believes that a charter school has violated or is
  622  violating any state or federal law or regulation may file a
  623  complaint directly with the Department of Education. If the
  624  department determines that the complaint demonstrates reasonable
  625  cause to suspect that an unlawful act has been committed, the
  626  department shall conduct an investigation and produce a fact
  627  finding report within 90 days after receiving the complaint. The
  628  department shall provide the district school superintendent of
  629  the complainant’s district and the complainant with a copy of
  630  the fact-finding report, which is admissible in any subsequent
  631  or related administrative or judicial review.
  632         (30)(28) RULEMAKING.—The Department of Education, after
  633  consultation with school districts and charter school directors,
  634  shall recommend that the State Board of Education adopt rules to
  635  implement specific subsections of this section. Such rules must
  636  shall require minimum paperwork and may shall not limit charter
  637  school flexibility authorized by statute. The State Board of
  638  Education shall adopt rules, pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and
  639  120.54, to implement a charter model application form, standard
  640  evaluation instrument, and model standard charter and model
  641  charter renewal contracts in accordance with this section.
  642         Section 2. Section 1002.346, Florida Statutes, is created
  643  to read:
  644         1002.346 Charter school audits and investigations.—
  645         (1) A charter school is subject to the audits, audit
  646  procedures, and audit requirements established in the charter
  647  and may be audited or investigated by the Auditor General, the
  648  Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General, and the
  649  district school board, at their discretion. Such procedures and
  650  requirements must be consistent with generally accepted audit
  651  standards. The school and its governing board shall allow the
  652  sponsor and state officials full access to its financial and
  653  educational records, reports, files, and documents.
  654         (2) During the course of audits and investigations, the
  655  sponsor and state officials may access, review, and audit
  656  records of other entities that do business with the charter
  657  school if a member of the school’s governing board or a
  658  director, an officer, a principal, an assistant principal, or
  659  any other person employed by the charter school who has
  660  equivalent decisionmaking authority also serves as a member,
  661  director, or officer of such other entities.
  662         (3) The district school board shall oversee each charter
  663  school it has approved and may visit, examine, enter into, and
  664  inspect the charter school, including the records of such
  665  school, under its oversight. Oversight by the district school
  666  board must be sufficient to ensure that the charter school is in
  667  compliance with all applicable laws, rules, and charter
  668  provisions.
  669         (4) The Department of Education’s Office of Inspector
  670  General or the district school board may conduct reviews,
  671  pursuant to a complaint received or on its own initiative, to
  672  ensure compliance with applicable laws, rules, and charter
  673  provisions. The charter school and the specific individuals
  674  involved shall cooperate to the fullest extent with such review.
  675         (5) A party who believes that his or her complaint has not
  676  been adequately addressed by the charter school’s governing
  677  board or the district school board may submit the complaint in
  678  writing to the Department of Education’s Office of Inspector
  679  General, which shall investigate such complaint and provide a
  680  written response within 90 days after receipt of the complaint.
  681         Section 3. Subsections (3) and (6) of section 1002.451,
  682  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  683         1002.451 District innovation school of technology program.—
  684         (3) TERM OF OPERATION PERFORMANCE CONTRACT.—An innovation
  685  school of technology may operate pursuant to a performance
  686  contract with the State Board of Education for a period of 5
  687  years.
  688         (a) Before expiration of the performance contract, the
  689  school’s performance shall be evaluated against the eligibility
  690  criteria, purpose, guiding principles, and compliance with the
  691  contract to determine whether the contract may be renewed. The
  692  contract may be renewed every 5 years.
  693         (b) The innovation school of technology shall be terminated
  694  performance contract shall be terminated by the State Board of
  695  Education if:
  696         (a)1. The school receives a grade of “F” as an innovation
  697  school of technology for 2 consecutive years;
  698         (b)2. The school or district fails to comply with the
  699  criteria in this section;
  700         (c)3. The school or district does not comply with district
  701  school board rules requiring terms of the contract which specify
  702  that a violation result results in termination; or
  703         (d)4. Other good cause is shown.
  706         (a) A district school board shall notify may apply to the
  707  State Board of Education of the establishment of for an
  708  innovation school of technology if the district:
  709         1. Has at least 20 percent of its total enrollment in
  710  public school choice programs or at least 5 percent of its total
  711  enrollment in charter schools;
  712         2. Has no material weaknesses or instances of material
  713  noncompliance noted in the annual financial audit conducted
  714  pursuant to s. 218.39; and
  715         3. Has received a district grade of “A,or “B,or “C” in
  716  each of the past 3 years.
  717         (b) A district school board may operate one innovation
  718  school of technology upon an application being approved by the
  719  State Board of Education.
  720         1. A district school board may apply to the State Board of
  721  Education to establish additional schools of technology if each
  722  existing innovation school of technology in the district:
  723         a. Meets all requirements in this section and in the
  724  performance contract;
  725         b. Has a grade of “A” or “B”; and
  726         c. Has at least 50 percent of its students exceed the state
  727  average on the statewide assessment program pursuant to s.
  728  1008.22. This comparison may take student subgroups, as defined
  729  in the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), 20
  730  U.S.C. s. 6311(b)(2)(C)(v)(II), into specific consideration so
  731  that at least 50 percent of students in each student subgroup
  732  meet or exceed the statewide average performance, rounded to the
  733  nearest whole number, of that particular subgroup.
  734         2. Notwithstanding subparagraph 1., the number of schools
  735  of technology in a school district may not exceed:
  736         a. Seven in a school district that has 100,000 or more
  737  students.
  738         b. Five in a school district that has 50,000 to 99,999
  739  students.
  740         c. Three in a school district that has fewer than 50,000
  741  students.
  742         (b)(c) A school district that meets the eligibility
  743  requirements of paragraph (a) may apply to the State Board of
  744  Education at any time to enter into a performance contract to
  745  operate an innovation school of technology. The notification to
  746  the State Board of Education application must, at a minimum:
  747         1. Demonstrate how the school district meets and will
  748  continue to meet the requirements of this section;
  749         2. Identify how the school will accomplish the purposes and
  750  guiding principles of this section;
  751         3. Identify the statutes or rules from which the district
  752  is seeking a waiver for the school;
  753         4. Identify and provide supporting documentation for the
  754  purpose and impact of each waiver, how each waiver would enable
  755  the school to achieve the purpose and guiding principles of this
  756  section, and how the school would not be able to achieve the
  757  purpose and guiding principles of this section without each
  758  waiver; and
  759         3.5. Confirm that the school board remains responsible for
  760  the operation, control, and supervision of the school in
  761  accordance with all applicable laws, rules, and district
  762  procedures not waived pursuant to this section or waived
  763  pursuant to other applicable law.
  764         (d) The State Board of Education shall approve or deny the
  765  application within 90 days or, with the agreement of the school
  766  district, at a later date.
  767         (e) The performance contract must address the terms under
  768  which the State Board of Education may cancel the contract and,
  769  at a minimum, the methods by which:
  770         1. Upon execution of the performance contract, the school
  771  district will plan the program during the first year, begin at
  772  least partial implementation of the program during the second
  773  year, and fully implement the program by the third year. A
  774  district may implement the program sooner than specified in this
  775  subparagraph if authorized in the performance contract.
  776         2. The school will integrate industry-leading technology
  777  into instruction, assessment, and professional development. The
  778  school may also restructure the school day or school year in a
  779  way that allows it to best accomplish its goals.
  780         3. The school and district will monitor performance
  781  progress based on skills that help students succeed in college
  782  and careers, including problem solving, research,
  783  interpretation, and communication.
  784         4. The school will incorporate industry certifications and
  785  similar recognitions into performance expectations.
  786         5. The school and district will comply with this section
  787  and the performance contract.
  788         (c)(f) Three or more contiguous school districts may apply
  789  to enter into a joint performance contract as a Region of
  790  Technology, subject to terms and conditions contained in this
  791  section for a single school district.
  792         (d)(g) The State Board of Education shall monitor schools
  793  of technology to ensure that the respective school district is
  794  in compliance with this section and the performance contract.
  795         (h) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules pursuant
  796  to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement this section,
  797  including, but not limited to, an application, evaluation
  798  instrument, and renewal evaluation instrument.
  799         (e)(i) This section does not supersede the provisions of s.
  800  768.28.
  801         Section 4. Paragraph (e) of subsection (2) of section
  802  1002.331, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  803         1002.331 High-performing charter schools.—
  804         (2) A high-performing charter school is authorized to:
  805         (e) Receive a modification of its charter to a term of 15
  806  years or a 15-year charter renewal. The charter may be modified
  807  or renewed for a shorter term at the option of the high
  808  performing charter school. The charter must be consistent with
  809  s. 1002.33(7)(a)19. and (10)(k) (10)(h) and (l) (i), is subject
  810  to annual review by the sponsor, and may be terminated during
  811  its term pursuant to s. 1002.33(8).
  813  A high-performing charter school shall notify its sponsor in
  814  writing by March 1 if it intends to increase enrollment or
  815  expand grade levels the following school year. The written
  816  notice shall specify the amount of the enrollment increase and
  817  the grade levels that will be added, as applicable. If a charter
  818  school notifies the sponsor of its intent to expand, the sponsor
  819  shall modify the charter within 90 days to include the new
  820  enrollment maximum and may not make any other changes. The
  821  sponsor may deny a request to increase the enrollment of a high
  822  performing charter school if the commissioner has declassified
  823  the charter school as high-performing. If a high-performing
  824  charter school requests to consolidate multiple charters, the
  825  sponsor shall have 40 days after receipt of that request to
  826  provide an initial draft charter to the charter school. The
  827  sponsor and charter school shall have 50 days thereafter to
  828  negotiate and notice the charter contract for final approval by
  829  the sponsor.
  830         Section 5. This act shall take effect July 1, 2015.