Florida Senate - 2016                             CS for SB 1026
       By the Committee on Education Pre-K - 12; and Senator Simmons
       581-02156-16                                          20161026c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to high school athletics; amending s.
    3         1006.20, F.S.; providing requirements regarding fees
    4         and contest receipts collected by the Florida High
    5         School Athletic Association (FHSAA); requiring the
    6         FHSAA to allow a school to join the FHSAA as a full
    7         time member or on a per-sport basis; prohibiting the
    8         FHSAA from taking any retributory or discriminatory
    9         action against specified schools; authorizing the
   10         Commissioner of Education to identify other
   11         associations in compliance with specified provisions;
   12         providing a process for resolving student eligibility
   13         disputes; conforming a cross-reference; providing an
   14         effective date.
   16  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   18         Section 1. Subsection (1) and present paragraph (h) of
   19  subsection (2) of section 1006.20, Florida Statutes, are
   20  amended, present paragraphs (g) through (m) of that subsection
   21  are redesignated as paragraphs (h) through (n), respectively,
   22  and a new paragraph (g) is added to that subsection, to read:
   23         1006.20 Athletics in public K-12 schools.—
   24         (1) GOVERNING NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION.—The Florida High
   25  School Athletic Association (FHSAA) is designated as the
   26  governing nonprofit organization of athletics in Florida public
   27  schools. If the FHSAA fails to meet the provisions of this
   28  section, the commissioner shall designate a nonprofit
   29  organization to govern athletics with the approval of the State
   30  Board of Education. The FHSAA is not a state agency as defined
   31  in s. 120.52 but is. The FHSAA shall be subject to ss. 1006.15
   32  1006.19. Any special event fees; sanctioning fees, including
   33  third-party sanctioning fees; or contest receipts collected
   34  annually by the FHSAA may not exceed its actual costs to perform
   35  the function or duty that is the subject of or justification for
   36  the fee the provisions of s. 1006.19. A private school that
   37  wishes to engage in high school athletic competition with a
   38  public high school may become a member of the FHSAA. Any high
   39  school in the state, including private schools, traditional
   40  public schools, charter schools, virtual schools, and home
   41  education cooperatives, may become a member of the FHSAA and
   42  participate in the activities of the FHSAA. However, Membership
   43  in the FHSAA is not mandatory for any school. The FHSAA shall
   44  allow a school the option of joining the association as a full
   45  time member or on a per-sport basis and may not prohibit or
   46  discourage any school from simultaneously maintaining membership
   47  in the FHSAA and another athletic association. The FHSAA may not
   48  deny or discourage interscholastic competition between its
   49  member schools and nonmember non-FHSAA member Florida schools,
   50  including members of another athletic association governing
   51  organization, and may not take any retributory or discriminatory
   52  action against any of its member schools that seek to
   53  participate in interscholastic competition with nonmember non
   54  FHSAA member Florida schools or any of its member schools that
   55  seek membership in other associations for a sport for which they
   56  are not a member of the FHSAA. The FHSAA may not unreasonably
   57  withhold its approval of an application to become an affiliate
   58  member of the National Federation of State High School
   59  Associations submitted by any other association organization
   60  that governs interscholastic athletic competition in this state
   61  which meets the requirements of this section. The commissioner
   62  may identify other associations that govern interscholastic
   63  athletic competition in compliance with this section The bylaws
   64  of the FHSAA are the rules by which high school athletic
   65  programs in its member schools, and the students who participate
   66  in them, are governed, unless otherwise specifically provided by
   67  statute. For the purposes of this section, “high school”
   68  includes grades 6 through 12.
   70         (g) The FHSAA shall provide a process for the resolution of
   71  student eligibility disputes which includes the opportunity to
   72  use an informal conference procedure.
   73         1. The FHSAA must provide written notice to the student
   74  athlete, parent, and member school stating specific findings of
   75  fact that support a determination of ineligibility. The student
   76  athlete, parent, or member school must request an informal
   77  conference within 10 days after receipt of such notice if
   78  intending to contest the determination. The informal conference
   79  must be held within 10 days after receipt of the request. The
   80  informal conference may be held by telephone or by video
   81  conference and, if video conference equipment is available, may
   82  be conducted at the student’s school.
   83         2. If the eligibility dispute is not resolved at the
   84  informal conference and if requested by the student athlete,
   85  parent, or member school, the FHSAA must provide a formal
   86  process for the timely and cost-effective resolution of an
   87  eligibility dispute by a neutral third party whose decision is
   88  binding on the parties to the dispute. The neutral third party
   89  must be mutually agreed to by the parties and may be a retired
   90  or former judge, a dispute resolution professional approved by
   91  The Florida Bar or by the court in the circuit in which the
   92  dispute arose, or a certified mediator or arbitrator in the
   93  jurisdiction in which the dispute arose. If the parties cannot
   94  mutually agree on a neutral third party, the FHSAA must select a
   95  neutral third party at random from a list of dispute resolution
   96  professionals maintained by The Florida Bar.
   97         3. A final determination regarding the eligibility dispute
   98  must be issued no later than 30 days after the informal
   99  conference, unless an extension is agreed upon by both parties.
  100         (i)(h) In lieu of bylaws adopted under paragraph (h) (g),
  101  the FHSAA may adopt bylaws providing as a minimum the procedural
  102  safeguards of ss. 120.569 and 120.57, making appropriate
  103  provision for appointment of unbiased and qualified hearing
  104  officers.
  105         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2016.