Florida Senate - 2016                                    SB 1136
       By Senator Montford
       3-00691A-16                                           20161136__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to schools; amending s. 1002.33, F.S.;
    3         revising the contents of the annual report submitted
    4         by the sponsor of a charter school; requiring a
    5         charter school application and charter to document
    6         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; providing for the return of
   10         all unexpended operating funds if a charter is not
   11         renewed or is terminated; specifying circumstances
   12         under which a student is considered to have
   13         voluntarily withdrawn from a charter school; providing
   14         an exception; requiring the transfer of funds if a
   15         student voluntarily withdraws from a charter school;
   16         prescribing procedures for the withdrawal of a student
   17         from a charter school if the withdrawal is initiated
   18         by the school; providing for the transfer of funds;
   19         prohibiting a student from being dismissed or
   20         requested to withdraw from a charter school under
   21         certain circumstances; requiring a charter school to
   22         post a performance bond; specifying requirements for
   23         such bond; revising references to standard charter
   24         contracts; prohibiting specified conflicts of interest
   25         on the part of governing board members of a charter
   26         school or specified contracts; providing an exception;
   27         authorizing specified persons to file a complaint with
   28         the Department of Education under certain
   29         circumstances; establishing investigatory procedures
   30         for such complaints; creating s. 1002.346, F.S.;
   31         establishing procedures and requirements for audits
   32         and investigations of charter schools; providing for
   33         oversight of a charter school by the district school
   34         board; amending s. 1002.451, F.S.; deleting provisions
   35         relating to performance contracts for innovation
   36         schools of technology; requiring a district school
   37         board to notify the State Board of Education of the
   38         establishment of an innovation school of technology;
   39         providing requirements for such notification; deleting
   40         provisions limiting the number of innovation schools
   41         of technology a district school board may operate;
   42         deleting the requirement that the State Board of
   43         Education adopt rules for specified purposes; amending
   44         s. 1011.61, F.S.; revising the terms “full-time
   45         student” and “part-time student” for purposes of the
   46         Florida Education Finance Program; deleting a
   47         requirement that the department determine and
   48         implement a certain funding method for experimental
   49         schools under certain circumstances; amending s.
   50         1002.331, F.S.; conforming cross-references; providing
   51         an effective date.
   53  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   55         Section 1. Paragraph (b) of subsection (5), paragraph (a)
   56  of subsection (6), paragraph (a) of subsection (7), subsection
   57  (10), paragraph (a) of subsection (21), and present subsection
   58  (28) of section 1002.33, Florida Statutes, are amended,
   59  paragraph (h) is added to subsection (8) of that section,
   60  paragraph (g) is added to subsection (17) of that section, new
   61  subsections (27) and (28) are added to that section, and present
   62  subsection (27) is redesignated as subsection (29), to read:
   63         1002.33 Charter schools.—
   64         (5) SPONSOR; DUTIES.—
   65         (b) Sponsor duties.—
   66         1.a. The sponsor shall monitor and review the charter
   67  school in its progress toward the goals established in the
   68  charter.
   69         b. The sponsor shall monitor the revenues and expenditures
   70  of the charter school and perform the duties provided in s.
   71  1002.345.
   72         c. The sponsor may approve a charter for a charter school
   73  before the applicant has identified space, equipment, or
   74  personnel, if the applicant indicates approval is necessary for
   75  it to raise working funds.
   76         d. The sponsor may shall not apply its policies to a
   77  charter school unless mutually agreed to by both the sponsor and
   78  the charter school. If the sponsor subsequently amends any
   79  agreed-upon sponsor policy, the version of the policy in effect
   80  at the time of the execution of the charter, or any subsequent
   81  modification thereof, must shall remain in effect and the
   82  sponsor may not hold the charter school responsible for any
   83  provision of a newly revised policy until the revised policy is
   84  mutually agreed upon.
   85         e. The sponsor shall ensure that the charter is innovative
   86  and consistent with the state education goals established by s.
   87  1000.03(5).
   88         f. The sponsor shall ensure that the charter school
   89  participates in the state’s education accountability system. If
   90  a charter school falls short of performance measures included in
   91  the approved charter, the sponsor shall report such shortcomings
   92  to the Department of Education.
   93         g. The sponsor is shall not be liable for civil damages
   94  under state law for personal injury, property damage, or death
   95  resulting from an act or omission of an officer, employee,
   96  agent, or governing body of the charter school.
   97         h. The sponsor is shall not be liable for civil damages
   98  under state law for any employment actions taken by an officer,
   99  employee, agent, or governing body of the charter school.
  100         i. The sponsor’s duties to monitor the charter school do
  101  shall not constitute the basis for a private cause of action.
  102         j. The sponsor may shall not impose additional reporting
  103  requirements on a charter school without providing reasonable
  104  and specific justification in writing to the charter school.
  105         k. The sponsor shall submit an annual report to the
  106  Department of Education in a web-based format to be determined
  107  by the department.
  108         (I) The report must shall include the following
  109  information:
  110         (A) The number of draft applications received on or before
  111  May 1 and each applicant’s contact information.
  112         (B) The number of final applications received on or before
  113  August 1 and each applicant’s contact information.
  114         (C) The date each application was approved, denied, or
  115  withdrawn.
  116         (D) The date each final contract was executed.
  117         (E) The number of students who have voluntarily or
  118  involuntarily withdrawn from a charter school, the names of the
  119  charter schools attended by such students, the reason for the
  120  voluntary or involuntary withdrawal of such students, and the
  121  amount of pro rata funds transferred to the district school
  122  board pursuant to the requirements of paragraphs (10)(h) and
  123  (i).
  124         (II) Beginning August 31, 2013, and each year thereafter,
  125  the sponsor shall submit to the department the information for
  126  the applications submitted the previous year.
  127         (III) The department shall compile an annual report, by
  128  district, and post the report on its website by November 1 of
  129  each year.
  130         2. Immunity for the sponsor of a charter school under
  131  subparagraph 1. applies only with respect to acts or omissions
  132  not under the sponsor’s direct authority as described in this
  133  section.
  134         3. This paragraph does not waive a district school board’s
  135  sovereign immunity.
  136         4. A Florida College System institution may work with the
  137  school district or school districts in its designated service
  138  area to develop charter schools that offer secondary education.
  139  These charter schools must include an option for students to
  140  receive an associate degree upon high school graduation. If a
  141  Florida College System institution operates an approved teacher
  142  preparation program under s. 1004.04 or s. 1004.85, the
  143  institution may operate no more than one charter school that
  144  serves students in kindergarten through grade 12. In
  145  kindergarten through grade 8, the charter school shall implement
  146  innovative blended learning instructional models in which, for a
  147  given course, a student learns in part through online delivery
  148  of content and instruction with some element of student control
  149  over time, place, path, or pace and in part at a supervised
  150  brick-and-mortar location away from home. A student in a blended
  151  learning course must be a full-time student of the charter
  152  school and receive the online instruction in a classroom setting
  153  at the charter school. District school boards shall cooperate
  154  with and assist the Florida College System institution on the
  155  charter application. Florida College System institution
  156  applications for charter schools are not subject to the time
  157  deadlines outlined in subsection (6) and may be approved by the
  158  district school board at any time during the year. Florida
  159  College System institutions may not report FTE for any students
  160  who receive FTE funding through the Florida Education Finance
  161  Program.
  162         5. A school district may enter into nonexclusive interlocal
  163  agreements with federal and state agencies, counties,
  164  municipalities, and other governmental entities that operate
  165  within the geographical borders of the school district to act on
  166  behalf of such governmental entities in the inspection,
  167  issuance, and other necessary activities for all necessary
  168  permits, licenses, and other permissions that a charter school
  169  needs in order for development, construction, or operation. A
  170  charter school may use, but may not be required to use, a school
  171  district for these services. The interlocal agreement must
  172  include, but need not be limited to, the identification of fees
  173  that charter schools will be charged for such services. The fees
  174  must consist of the governmental entity’s fees plus a fee for
  175  the school district to recover no more than actual costs for
  176  providing such services. These services and fees are not
  177  included within the services to be provided pursuant to
  178  subsection (20).
  179         (6) APPLICATION PROCESS AND REVIEW.—Charter school
  180  applications are subject to the following requirements:
  181         (a) A person or entity wishing to open a charter school
  182  shall prepare and submit an application on a model application
  183  form prepared by the Department of Education which:
  184         1. Demonstrates how the school will use the guiding
  185  principles and meet the statutorily defined purpose of a charter
  186  school.
  187         2. Provides a detailed curriculum plan that illustrates how
  188  students will be provided services to attain the Sunshine State
  189  Standards.
  190         3. Contains goals and objectives for improving student
  191  learning and measuring that improvement. These goals and
  192  objectives must indicate how much academic improvement students
  193  are expected to show each year, how success will be evaluated,
  194  and the specific results to be attained through instruction.
  195         4. Describes the reading curriculum and differentiated
  196  strategies that will be used for students reading at grade level
  197  or higher and a separate curriculum and strategies for students
  198  who are reading below grade level. A sponsor shall deny a
  199  charter if the school does not propose a reading curriculum that
  200  is consistent with effective teaching strategies that are
  201  grounded in scientifically based reading research.
  202         5. Contains an annual financial plan for each year
  203  requested by the charter for operation of the school for up to 5
  204  years. This plan must contain anticipated fund balances based on
  205  revenue projections, a spending plan based on projected revenues
  206  and expenses, and a description of controls that will safeguard
  207  finances and projected enrollment trends.
  208         6. Documents that the governing board is independent of any
  209  management company and may, at its sole discretion, terminate a
  210  contract with the management company at any time Contains
  211  additional information a sponsor may require, which shall be
  212  attached as an addendum to the charter school application
  213  described in this paragraph.
  214         7. For the establishment of a virtual charter school,
  215  documents that the applicant has contracted with a provider of
  216  virtual instruction services pursuant to s. 1002.45(1)(d).
  217         (7) CHARTER.—The major issues involving the operation of a
  218  charter school shall be considered in advance and written into
  219  the charter. The charter shall be signed by the governing board
  220  of the charter school and the sponsor, following a public
  221  hearing to ensure community input.
  222         (a) The charter must shall address and criteria for
  223  approval of the charter must shall be based on:
  224         1. The school’s mission, the students to be served, and the
  225  ages and grades to be included.
  226         2. The focus of the curriculum, the instructional methods
  227  to be used, any distinctive instructional techniques to be
  228  employed, and identification and acquisition of appropriate
  229  technologies needed to improve educational and administrative
  230  performance which include a means for promoting safe, ethical,
  231  and appropriate uses of technology which comply with legal and
  232  professional standards.
  233         a. The charter shall ensure that reading is a primary focus
  234  of the curriculum and that resources are provided to identify
  235  and provide specialized instruction for students who are reading
  236  below grade level. The curriculum and instructional strategies
  237  for reading must be consistent with the Next Generation Sunshine
  238  State Standards and grounded in scientifically based reading
  239  research.
  240         b. In order to provide students with access to diverse
  241  instructional delivery models, to facilitate the integration of
  242  technology within traditional classroom instruction, and to
  243  provide students with the skills they need to compete in the
  244  21st century economy, the Legislature encourages instructional
  245  methods for blended learning courses consisting of both
  246  traditional classroom and online instructional techniques.
  247  Charter schools may implement blended learning courses which
  248  combine traditional classroom instruction and virtual
  249  instruction. Students in a blended learning course must be full
  250  time students of the charter school and receive the online
  251  instruction in a classroom setting at the charter school.
  252  Instructional personnel certified pursuant to s. 1012.55 who
  253  provide virtual instruction for blended learning courses may be
  254  employees of the charter school or may be under contract to
  255  provide instructional services to charter school students. At a
  256  minimum, such instructional personnel must hold an active state
  257  or school district adjunct certification under s. 1012.57 for
  258  the subject area of the blended learning course. The funding and
  259  performance accountability requirements for blended learning
  260  courses are the same as those for traditional courses.
  261         3. The current incoming baseline standard of student
  262  academic achievement, the outcomes to be achieved, and the
  263  method of measurement that will be used. The criteria listed in
  264  this subparagraph must shall include a detailed description of:
  265         a. How the baseline student academic achievement levels and
  266  prior rates of academic progress will be established.
  267         b. How these baseline rates will be compared to rates of
  268  academic progress achieved by these same students while
  269  attending the charter school.
  270         c. To the extent possible, how these rates of progress will
  271  be evaluated and compared with rates of progress of other
  272  closely comparable student populations.
  274  The district school board is required to provide academic
  275  student performance data to charter schools for each of their
  276  students coming from the district school system, as well as
  277  rates of academic progress of comparable student populations in
  278  the district school system.
  279         4. The methods used to identify the educational strengths
  280  and needs of students and how well educational goals and
  281  performance standards are met by students attending the charter
  282  school. The methods must shall provide a means for the charter
  283  school to ensure accountability to its constituents by analyzing
  284  student performance data and by evaluating the effectiveness and
  285  efficiency of its major educational programs. Students in
  286  charter schools shall, at a minimum, participate in the
  287  statewide assessment program created under s. 1008.22.
  288         5. In secondary charter schools, a method for determining
  289  that a student has satisfied the requirements for graduation in
  290  s. 1002.3105(5), s. 1003.4281, or s. 1003.4282.
  291         6. A method for resolving conflicts between the governing
  292  board of the charter school and the sponsor.
  293         7. The admissions procedures and dismissal procedures,
  294  including the school’s code of student conduct.
  295         8. The ways by which the school will achieve a
  296  racial/ethnic balance reflective of the community it serves or
  297  within the racial/ethnic range of other public schools in the
  298  same school district.
  299         9. The financial and administrative management of the
  300  school, including a reasonable demonstration of the professional
  301  experience or competence of those individuals or organizations
  302  applying to operate the charter school or those hired or
  303  retained to perform such professional services and the
  304  description of clearly delineated responsibilities and the
  305  policies and practices needed to effectively manage the charter
  306  school. A description of internal audit procedures and
  307  establishment of controls to ensure that financial resources are
  308  properly managed must be included. Both public sector and
  309  private sector professional experience are shall be equally
  310  valid in such a consideration. The charter must document that
  311  the governing board is independent of any management company and
  312  may, at its sole discretion, terminate the contract with the
  313  management company at any time.
  314         10. The asset and liability projections required in the
  315  application which are incorporated into the charter and must
  316  shall be compared with information provided in the annual report
  317  of the charter school.
  318         11. A description of procedures that identify various risks
  319  and provide for a comprehensive approach to reduce the impact of
  320  losses; plans to ensure the safety and security of students and
  321  staff; plans to identify, minimize, and protect others from
  322  violent or disruptive student behavior; and the manner in which
  323  the school will be insured, including whether or not the school
  324  will be required to have liability insurance, and, if so, the
  325  terms and conditions thereof and the amounts of coverage.
  326         12. The term of the charter, which must shall provide for
  327  cancellation of the charter if insufficient progress has been
  328  made in attaining the student achievement objectives of the
  329  charter and if it is not likely that such objectives can be
  330  achieved before expiration of the charter. The initial term of a
  331  charter must shall be for 4 or 5 years. In order to facilitate
  332  access to long-term financial resources for charter school
  333  construction, charter schools that are operated by a
  334  municipality or other public entity as provided by law are
  335  eligible for up to a 15-year charter, subject to approval by the
  336  district school board. A charter lab school is eligible for a
  337  charter for a term of up to 15 years. In addition, to facilitate
  338  access to long-term financial resources for charter school
  339  construction, charter schools that are operated by a private,
  340  not-for-profit, s. 501(c)(3) status corporation are eligible for
  341  up to a 15-year charter, subject to approval by the district
  342  school board. Such long-term charters remain subject to annual
  343  review and may be terminated during the term of the charter, but
  344  only according to the provisions set forth in subsection (8).
  345         13. The facilities to be used and their location. The
  346  sponsor may not require a charter school to have a certificate
  347  of occupancy or a temporary certificate of occupancy for such a
  348  facility earlier than 15 calendar days before the first day of
  349  school.
  350         14. The qualifications to be required of the teachers and
  351  the potential strategies used to recruit, hire, train, and
  352  retain qualified staff to achieve best value.
  353         15. The governance structure of the school, including the
  354  status of the charter school as a public or private employer as
  355  required in paragraph (12)(i). At least one member of the
  356  charter school governing board must be the parent of a student
  357  enrolled in that school.
  358         16. A timetable for implementing the charter which
  359  addresses the implementation of each element thereof and the
  360  date by which the charter must shall be awarded in order to meet
  361  this timetable.
  362         17. In the case of an existing public school that is being
  363  converted to charter status, alternative arrangements for
  364  current students who choose not to attend the charter school and
  365  for current teachers who choose not to teach in the charter
  366  school after conversion in accordance with the existing
  367  collective bargaining agreement or district school board rule in
  368  the absence of a collective bargaining agreement. However,
  369  alternative arrangements are shall not be required for current
  370  teachers who choose not to teach in a charter lab school, except
  371  as authorized by the employment policies of the state university
  372  which grants the charter to the lab school.
  373         18. Full disclosure of the identity of all relatives
  374  employed by the charter school who are related to the charter
  375  school owner, president, chairperson of the governing board of
  376  directors, superintendent, governing board member, principal,
  377  assistant principal, or any other person employed by the charter
  378  school who has equivalent decisionmaking authority. For the
  379  purpose of this subparagraph, the term “relative” means father,
  380  mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, first
  381  cousin, nephew, niece, husband, wife, father-in-law, mother-in
  382  law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law,
  383  stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother,
  384  stepsister, half brother, or half sister.
  385         19. Implementation of the activities authorized under s.
  386  1002.331 by the charter school when it satisfies the eligibility
  387  requirements for a high-performing charter school. A high
  388  performing charter school shall notify its sponsor in writing by
  389  March 1 if it intends to increase enrollment or expand grade
  390  levels the following school year. The written notice shall
  391  specify the amount of the enrollment increase and the grade
  392  levels that will be added, as applicable.
  394         (h)If a charter is not renewed or is terminated, the
  395  charter school and, if applicable, the management company, or
  396  any other entity responsible for handling any operating funds,
  397  shall return all unexpended operating funds, including state and
  398  federal education operating and program funds, to the school
  399  district. The charter school or the management company shall
  400  cease all expenditures upon termination of the charter and shall
  401  report to the school district all accounts due and payable on
  402  the date of the termination of the charter. The school district
  403  shall examine all accounts due and payable and determine those
  404  accounts for which authorized expenses are eligible for payment.
  405  After the approval of the school district, the charter school or
  406  management company shall pay all outstanding accounts payable.
  407  The school district shall have the authority to recover any
  408  state and federal education operating and program funds that
  409  were not expended from the charter school and the management
  410  company, or any other entity responsible for handling state and
  411  federal funds.
  412         (10) ELIGIBLE STUDENTS.—
  413         (a) A charter school shall be open to any student covered
  414  in an interdistrict agreement or residing in the school district
  415  in which the charter school is located; however, in the case of
  416  a charter lab school, the charter lab school shall be open to
  417  any student eligible to attend the lab school as provided in s.
  418  1002.32 or who resides in the school district in which the
  419  charter lab school is located. Any eligible student shall be
  420  allowed interdistrict transfer to attend a charter school when
  421  based on good cause. Good cause includes shall include, but is
  422  not limited to, geographic proximity to a charter school in a
  423  neighboring school district.
  424         (b) The charter school shall enroll an eligible student who
  425  submits a timely application, unless the number of applications
  426  exceeds the capacity of a program, class, grade level, or
  427  building. In such case, all applicants shall have an equal
  428  chance of being admitted through a random selection process.
  429         (c)1. For purposes of continuity of educational choice,
  430  placement of a student in a charter school shall remain in force
  431  until the student voluntarily withdraws from the charter school
  432  or successfully completes the highest grade offered in the
  433  charter school. A charter school student who voluntarily enrolls
  434  in a different charter school, a district-operated public
  435  school, a private school, a virtual education program, a home
  436  education program, or another education program approved by law
  437  is considered to have voluntarily withdrawn from the charter
  438  school for the purpose of determining the end of the student’s
  439  enrollment. However, if a student enters a Department of
  440  Juvenile Justice detention center for less than 21 days, the
  441  student is not considered to have withdrawn from the charter
  442  school.
  443         2. Before a student is voluntarily withdrawn from a charter
  444  school, the parent and charter school personnel must sign a
  445  document stating that the student is being voluntarily withdrawn
  446  and that charter school personnel have not prohibited,
  447  discouraged, or attempted to discourage the student from
  448  continued enrollment in the charter school.
  449         (d)(c) When a public school converts to charter status,
  450  enrollment preference must shall be given to students who would
  451  have otherwise attended that public school. The district school
  452  board shall consult and negotiate with the conversion charter
  453  school every 3 years to determine whether realignment of the
  454  conversion charter school’s attendance zone is appropriate in
  455  order to ensure that students residing closest to the charter
  456  school are provided with an enrollment preference.
  457         (e)(d) A charter school may give enrollment preference to
  458  the following student populations:
  459         1. Students who are siblings of a student enrolled in the
  460  charter school.
  461         2. Students who are the children of a member of the
  462  governing board of the charter school.
  463         3. Students who are the children of an employee of the
  464  charter school.
  465         4. Students who are the children of:
  466         a. An employee of the business partner of a charter school
  467  in-the-workplace established under paragraph (15)(b) or a
  468  resident of the municipality in which such charter school is
  469  located; or
  470         b. A resident of a municipality that operates a charter
  471  school-in-a-municipality pursuant to paragraph (15)(c).
  472         5. Students who have successfully completed a voluntary
  473  prekindergarten education program under ss. 1002.51-1002.79
  474  provided by the charter school or the charter school’s governing
  475  board during the previous year.
  476         6. Students who are the children of an active duty member
  477  of any branch of the United States Armed Forces.
  478         (f)(e) A charter school may limit the enrollment process
  479  only to target the following student populations:
  480         1. Students within specific age groups or grade levels.
  481         2. Students considered at risk of dropping out of school or
  482  academic failure, including. Such students shall include
  483  exceptional education students.
  484         3. Students enrolling in a charter school-in-the-workplace
  485  or charter school-in-a-municipality established pursuant to
  486  subsection (15).
  487         4. Students residing within a reasonable distance of the
  488  charter school, as described in paragraph (20)(c). Such students
  489  shall be subject to a random lottery and to the racial/ethnic
  490  balance provisions described in subparagraph (7)(a)8. or any
  491  federal provisions that require a school to achieve a
  492  racial/ethnic balance reflective of the community it serves or
  493  within the racial/ethnic range of other public schools in the
  494  same school district.
  495         5. Students who meet reasonable academic, artistic, or
  496  other eligibility standards established by the charter school
  497  and included in the charter school application and charter or,
  498  in the case of existing charter schools, standards that are
  499  consistent with the school’s mission and purpose. Such standards
  500  must shall be in accordance with current state law and practice
  501  in public schools and may not discriminate against otherwise
  502  qualified individuals.
  503         6. Students articulating from one charter school to another
  504  pursuant to an articulation agreement between the charter
  505  schools that has been approved by the sponsor.
  506         7. Students living in a development in which a business
  507  entity provides the school facility and related property having
  508  an appraised value of at least $10 million to be used as a
  509  charter school for the development. Students living in the
  510  development shall be entitled to 50 percent of the student
  511  stations in the charter school. The students who are eligible
  512  for enrollment are subject to a random lottery, the
  513  racial/ethnic balance provisions, or any federal provisions, as
  514  described in subparagraph 4. The remainder of the student
  515  stations shall be filled in accordance with subparagraph 4.
  516         (g)(f) Students with disabilities and students served in
  517  English for Speakers of Other Languages programs shall have an
  518  equal opportunity of being selected for enrollment in a charter
  519  school.
  520         (h)(g) A student may voluntarily withdraw from a charter
  521  school at any time and enroll in another public school as
  522  determined by district school board rule. The charter school
  523  from which a student voluntarily withdraws shall transfer a pro
  524  rata share of the full-time equivalent student funding for that
  525  student to the district school board that governs the school in
  526  which the student subsequently enrolls. The transfer of funds is
  527  required within 15 days after the student withdraws from the
  528  charter school. If the charter school does not timely transfer
  529  the funds, the district school board in which the charter school
  530  is located shall withhold the funds from the next payment due to
  531  the charter school.
  532         (i) If the withdrawal of a student from a charter school
  533  and his or her transfer to another public school are initiated
  534  by the charter school as a result of the student’s commission of
  535  an expellable offense, as that term is defined by district
  536  school board rule, the charter school shall submit a
  537  recommendation of expulsion to the district school board
  538  immediately upon suspension of the student. The charter school
  539  shall provide specific details and reasons warranting expulsion
  540  within such recommendation and shall follow the expulsion
  541  process of the district school board. If the district school
  542  board grants the expulsion, the student shall be expelled from
  543  all public education for the duration of the expulsion period.
  544  If the district school board rejects the expulsion, the student
  545  shall return to the charter school. If the district school board
  546  recommends reassignment of the student to a district alternative
  547  placement appropriate to the expellable offense reported by the
  548  charter school, the charter school shall transfer a pro rata
  549  share of funding for that student to the district school board
  550  that governs the school in which the student is subsequently
  551  placed. Such funding must be sufficient to pay for the per
  552  student cost of delivering services to the student in the
  553  alternative setting for the balance of the fiscal year or until
  554  the student is counted by the district in its FTE funding
  555  survey. The transfer of funds is required within 15 days after
  556  the entry of the district school board’s decision on the charter
  557  school’s recommendation of expulsion. If the charter school does
  558  not timely transfer the funds, the district school board in
  559  which the charter school is located shall withhold the funds
  560  from the next payment due to the charter school.
  561         (j)A charter school student may not be dismissed or
  562  requested to withdraw from the charter school because of actual
  563  or anticipated poor academic performance, because of actual or
  564  anticipated poor performance on statewide assessments, or
  565  because of issues related to student behavior unless such
  566  behavior is alleged to be an expellable offense, as that term is
  567  defined by district school board rule.
  568         (k)(h) The capacity of the charter school shall be
  569  determined annually by the governing board, in conjunction with
  570  the sponsor, of the charter school in consideration of the
  571  factors identified in this subsection unless the charter school
  572  is designated as a high-performing charter school pursuant to s.
  573  1002.331. A sponsor may not require a charter school to waive
  574  the provisions of s. 1002.331 or require a student enrollment
  575  cap that prohibits a high-performing charter school from
  576  increasing enrollment in accordance with s. 1002.331(2) as a
  577  condition of approval or renewal of a charter.
  578         (l)(i) The capacity of a high-performing charter school
  579  identified pursuant to s. 1002.331 shall be determined annually
  580  by the governing board of the charter school. The governing
  581  board shall notify the sponsor of any increase in enrollment by
  582  March 1 of the school year preceding the increase. A sponsor may
  583  not require a charter school to identify the names of students
  584  to be enrolled or to enroll those students before the start of
  585  the school year as a condition of approval or renewal of a
  586  charter.
  587         (17) FUNDING.—Students enrolled in a charter school,
  588  regardless of the sponsorship, shall be funded as if they are in
  589  a basic program or a special program, the same as students
  590  enrolled in other public schools in the school district. Funding
  591  for a charter lab school shall be as provided in s. 1002.32.
  592         (g) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, a
  593  charter school, at the beginning of each school year, shall post
  594  a performance bond naming the district school board as the
  595  recipient. The amount of the performance bond shall equal one
  596  half of the school’s projected operating funds, as provided in
  597  paragraph (b). Such bond shall be annually renewed and shall be
  598  invoked if the charter school defaults on any of its financial
  599  obligations with the sponsor.
  601         (a) The Department of Education shall provide information
  602  to the public, directly and through sponsors, on how to form and
  603  operate a charter school and how to enroll in a charter school
  604  once it is created. This information must shall include a model
  605  application form, model standard charter contract, standard
  606  evaluation instrument, and model standard charter renewal
  607  contract, which must shall include the information specified in
  608  subsection (7) and shall be developed by consulting and
  609  negotiating with both school districts and charter schools
  610  before implementation. The charter and charter renewal contracts
  611  may shall be used by charter school sponsors.
  613         (a)An individual may not serve as a member of a governing
  614  board of a charter school if he or she or an immediate family
  615  member receives a pension or any compensation from the charter
  616  school, or if the individual’s partner is an owner or principal
  617  with an entity or independent contractor with whom the charter
  618  school does business or contracts, directly or indirectly, for
  619  professional services, goods, or facilities. An individual may
  620  not serve as a governing board member if an immediate family
  621  member is an employee of the school. A violation of this
  622  paragraph renders a contract voidable at the option of the
  623  sponsor or the governing board. A governing board member who
  624  violates this paragraph is individually liable to the charter
  625  school for any damage caused by the violation.
  626         (b) A governing board member or an employee, officer, or
  627  agent of a charter school may not participate in selecting,
  628  awarding, or administering a contract if a conflict of interest
  629  exists. A conflict of interest exists if any of the following
  630  has a financial or other interest in the entity with which the
  631  charter school is contracting:
  632         1. The governing board member, employee, officer, or agent.
  633         2. The immediate family of the governing board member,
  634  employee, officer, or agent.
  635         3. The partner of the governing board member, employee,
  636  officer, or agent.
  637         4. An organization that employs, or is about to employ, any
  638  individual listed in subparagraphs 1.-3.
  640  A violation of this paragraph renders the contract void.
  641         (c) An employee or governing board member of the sponsor
  642  who participates in the initial review and approval, ongoing
  643  oversight and evaluation, or renewal or nonrenewal of the
  644  charter may not serve on the governing board of a school
  645  chartered by that sponsor.
  646         (d) An individual may serve as a governing board member if
  647  no conflict of interest under paragraph (a) exists.
  648         (e) This subsection does not apply to compensation paid to
  649  a teacher employed in that capacity by the charter school.
  650         (28) UNLAWFUL ACTS.—A parent, another individual, or a
  651  group that believes that a charter school has violated or is
  652  violating any state or federal law or regulation may file a
  653  complaint directly with the Department of Education. If the
  654  department determines that the complaint demonstrates reasonable
  655  cause to suspect that an unlawful act has been committed, the
  656  department shall conduct an investigation and produce a fact
  657  finding report within 90 days after receiving the complaint. The
  658  department shall provide the district school superintendent of
  659  the complainant’s district and the complainant with a copy of
  660  the fact-finding report, which is admissible in any subsequent
  661  or related administrative or judicial review.
  662         (30)(28) RULEMAKING.—The Department of Education, after
  663  consultation with school districts and charter school directors,
  664  shall recommend that the State Board of Education adopt rules to
  665  implement specific subsections of this section. Such rules must
  666  shall require minimum paperwork and may shall not limit charter
  667  school flexibility authorized by statute. The State Board of
  668  Education shall adopt rules, pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and
  669  120.54, to implement a charter model application form, standard
  670  evaluation instrument, and model standard charter and model
  671  charter renewal contracts in accordance with this section.
  672         Section 2. Section 1002.346, Florida Statutes, is created
  673  to read:
  674         1002.346 Charter school audits and investigations.—
  675         (1) A charter school is subject to the audits, audit
  676  procedures, and audit requirements established in the charter
  677  and may be audited or investigated by the Auditor General, the
  678  Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General, and the
  679  district school board, at their discretion. Such procedures and
  680  requirements must be consistent with generally accepted audit
  681  standards. The charter school and its governing board shall
  682  allow the sponsor and state officials full access to its
  683  financial and educational records, reports, files, and
  684  documents.
  685         (2) During the course of audits and investigations, the
  686  sponsor and state officials may access, review, and audit
  687  records of other entities that do business with the charter
  688  school if a member of the school’s governing board or a
  689  director, an officer, a principal, an assistant principal, or
  690  any other person employed by the charter school who has
  691  equivalent decisionmaking authority also serves as a member,
  692  director, or officer of such other entities.
  693         (3) The district school board shall oversee each charter
  694  school it has approved and may visit, examine, enter, and
  695  inspect the charter school, including the records of such
  696  school, under its oversight. Oversight by the district school
  697  board must be sufficient to ensure that the charter school is in
  698  compliance with all applicable laws, rules, and charter
  699  provisions.
  700         (4) The Department of Education’s Office of Inspector
  701  General or the district school board may conduct reviews as a
  702  result of a complaint received or on its own initiative to
  703  ensure compliance with applicable laws, rules, and charter
  704  provisions. The charter school and the specific individuals
  705  involved shall cooperate to the fullest extent with such
  706  reviews.
  707         (5) A party who believes that his or her complaint has not
  708  been adequately addressed by the charter school’s governing
  709  board or the district school board may submit the complaint in
  710  writing to the Department of Education’s Office of Inspector
  711  General, which shall investigate such complaint and provide a
  712  written response within 90 days after receipt of the complaint.
  713         Section 3. Subsections (3) and (6) of section 1002.451,
  714  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  715         1002.451 District innovation school of technology program.—
  716         (3) TERM OF OPERATION PERFORMANCE CONTRACT.—An innovation
  717  school of technology may operate pursuant to a performance
  718  contract with the State Board of Education for a period of 5
  719  years.
  720         (a) Before expiration of the performance contract, the
  721  school’s performance shall be evaluated against the eligibility
  722  criteria, purpose, guiding principles, and compliance with the
  723  contract to determine whether the contract may be renewed. The
  724  contract may be renewed every 5 years.
  725         (b) The innovation school of technology performance
  726  contract shall be terminated by the State Board of Education if:
  727         (a)1. The school receives a grade of “F” as an innovation
  728  school of technology for 2 consecutive years;
  729         (b)2. The school or district fails to comply with the
  730  criteria in this section;
  731         (c)3. The school or district does not comply with district
  732  school board rules requiring terms of the contract which specify
  733  that a violation result results in termination; or
  734         (d)4. Other good cause is shown.
  737         (a) A district school board shall notify may apply to the
  738  State Board of Education of the establishment of for an
  739  innovation school of technology if the district:
  740         1. Has at least 20 percent of its total enrollment in
  741  public school choice programs or at least 5 percent of its total
  742  enrollment in charter schools;
  743         2. Has no material weaknesses or instances of material
  744  noncompliance noted in the annual financial audit conducted
  745  pursuant to s. 218.39; and
  746         3. Has received a district grade of “A,or “B,or “C” in
  747  each of the past 3 years.
  748         (b) A district school board may operate one innovation
  749  school of technology upon an application being approved by the
  750  State Board of Education.
  751         1. A district school board may apply to the State Board of
  752  Education to establish additional schools of technology if each
  753  existing innovation school of technology in the district:
  754         a. Meets all requirements in this section and in the
  755  performance contract;
  756         b. Has a grade of “A” or “B”; and
  757         c. Has at least 50 percent of its students exceed the state
  758  average on the statewide assessment program pursuant to s.
  759  1008.22. This comparison may take student subgroups, as defined
  760  in the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), 20
  761  U.S.C. s. 6311(b)(2)(C)(v)(II), into specific consideration so
  762  that at least 50 percent of students in each student subgroup
  763  meet or exceed the statewide average performance, rounded to the
  764  nearest whole number, of that particular subgroup.
  765         2. Notwithstanding subparagraph 1., the number of schools
  766  of technology in a school district may not exceed:
  767         a. Seven in a school district that has 100,000 or more
  768  students.
  769         b. Five in a school district that has 50,000 to 99,999
  770  students.
  771         c. Three in a school district that has fewer than 50,000
  772  students.
  773         (b)(c) A school district that meets the eligibility
  774  requirements of paragraph (a) may apply to the State Board of
  775  Education at any time to enter into a performance contract to
  776  operate an innovation school of technology. The notification to
  777  the State Board of Education application must, at a minimum:
  778         1. Demonstrate how the school district meets and will
  779  continue to meet the requirements of this section;
  780         2. Identify how the school will accomplish the purposes and
  781  guiding principles of this section;
  782         3. Identify the statutes or rules from which the district
  783  is seeking a waiver for the school;
  784         4. Identify and provide supporting documentation for the
  785  purpose and impact of each waiver, how each waiver would enable
  786  the school to achieve the purpose and guiding principles of this
  787  section, and how the school would not be able to achieve the
  788  purpose and guiding principles of this section without each
  789  waiver; and
  790         3.5. Confirm that the school board remains responsible for
  791  the operation, control, and supervision of the school in
  792  accordance with all applicable laws, rules, and district
  793  procedures not waived pursuant to this section or waived
  794  pursuant to other applicable law.
  795         (d) The State Board of Education shall approve or deny the
  796  application within 90 days or, with the agreement of the school
  797  district, at a later date.
  798         (e) The performance contract must address the terms under
  799  which the State Board of Education may cancel the contract and,
  800  at a minimum, the methods by which:
  801         1. Upon execution of the performance contract, the school
  802  district will plan the program during the first year, begin at
  803  least partial implementation of the program during the second
  804  year, and fully implement the program by the third year. A
  805  district may implement the program sooner than specified in this
  806  subparagraph if authorized in the performance contract.
  807         2. The school will integrate industry-leading technology
  808  into instruction, assessment, and professional development. The
  809  school may also restructure the school day or school year in a
  810  way that allows it to best accomplish its goals.
  811         3. The school and district will monitor performance
  812  progress based on skills that help students succeed in college
  813  and careers, including problem solving, research,
  814  interpretation, and communication.
  815         4. The school will incorporate industry certifications and
  816  similar recognitions into performance expectations.
  817         5. The school and district will comply with this section
  818  and the performance contract.
  819         (c)(f) Three or more contiguous school districts may apply
  820  to enter into a joint performance contract as a Region of
  821  Technology, subject to terms and conditions contained in this
  822  section for a single school district.
  823         (d)(g) The State Board of Education shall monitor schools
  824  of technology to ensure that the respective school district is
  825  in compliance with this section and the performance contract.
  826         (h) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules pursuant
  827  to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement this section,
  828  including, but not limited to, an application, evaluation
  829  instrument, and renewal evaluation instrument.
  830         (e)(i) This section does not supersede the provisions of s.
  831  768.28.
  832         Section 4. Subsection (1) of section 1011.61, Florida
  833  Statutes, is amended to read:
  834         1011.61 Definitions.—Notwithstanding the provisions of s.
  835  1000.21, the following terms are defined as follows for the
  836  purposes of the Florida Education Finance Program:
  837         (1) A “full-time equivalent student” in each program of the
  838  district is defined in terms of full-time students and part-time
  839  students as follows:
  840         (a) A “full-time student” is one student on the membership
  841  roll of one school program or a combination of school programs
  842  listed in s. 1011.62(1)(c) for the school year or the equivalent
  843  for:
  844         1. Instruction in a standard school, comprising not less
  845  than 900 net hours for a student in or at the grade level of 4
  846  through 12, or not less than 720 net hours for a student in or
  847  at the grade level of kindergarten through grade 3 or in an
  848  authorized prekindergarten exceptional program; or
  849         2. Instruction in a double-session school or a school
  850  utilizing an experimental school calendar approved by the
  851  Department of Education, comprising not less than the equivalent
  852  of 810 net hours in grades 4 through 12 or not less than 630 net
  853  hours in kindergarten through grade 3; or
  854         2.3. Instruction comprising the appropriate number of net
  855  hours set forth in subparagraph 1. or subparagraph 2. for
  856  students who, within the past year, have moved with their
  857  parents for the purpose of engaging in the farm labor or fish
  858  industries, if a plan furnishing such an extended school day or
  859  week, or a combination thereof, has been approved by the
  860  commissioner. Such plan may be approved to accommodate the needs
  861  of migrant students only or may serve all students in schools
  862  having a high percentage of migrant students. The plan described
  863  in this subparagraph is optional for any school district and is
  864  not mandated by the state.
  865         (b) A “part-time student” is a student on the active
  866  membership roll of a school program or combination of school
  867  programs listed in s. 1011.62(1)(c) who is less than a full-time
  868  student. A student who receives instruction in a school that
  869  operates for less than the minimum term shall generate a full
  870  time equivalent student proportional to the amount of
  871  instructional hours provided by the school divided by the
  872  minimum term required in s. 1011.60(2).
  873         (c)1. A “full-time equivalent student” is:
  874         a. A full-time student in any one of the programs listed in
  875  s. 1011.62(1)(c); or
  876         b. A combination of full-time or part-time students in any
  877  one of the programs listed in s. 1011.62(1)(c) which is the
  878  equivalent of one full-time student based on the following
  879  calculations:
  880         (I) A full-time student in a combination of programs listed
  881  in s. 1011.62(1)(c) shall be a fraction of a full-time
  882  equivalent membership in each special program equal to the
  883  number of net hours per school year for which he or she is a
  884  member, divided by the appropriate number of hours set forth in
  885  subparagraph (a)1. or subparagraph (a)2. The difference between
  886  that fraction or sum of fractions and the maximum value as set
  887  forth in subsection (4) for each full-time student is presumed
  888  to be the balance of the student’s time not spent in a special
  889  program and shall be recorded as time in the appropriate basic
  890  program.
  891         (II) A prekindergarten student with a disability shall meet
  892  the requirements specified for kindergarten students.
  893         (III) A full-time equivalent student for students in
  894  kindergarten through grade 12 in a full-time virtual instruction
  895  program under s. 1002.45 or a virtual charter school under s.
  896  1002.33 shall consist of six full-credit completions or the
  897  prescribed level of content that counts toward promotion to the
  898  next grade in programs listed in s. 1011.62(1)(c). Credit
  899  completions may be a combination of full-credit courses or half
  900  credit courses. Beginning in the 2016-2017 fiscal year, the
  901  reported full-time equivalent students and associated funding of
  902  students enrolled in courses requiring passage of an end-of
  903  course assessment under s. 1003.4282 to earn a standard high
  904  school diploma shall be adjusted if the student does not pass
  905  the end-of-course assessment. However, no adjustment shall be
  906  made for a student who enrolls in a segmented remedial course
  907  delivered online.
  908         (IV) A full-time equivalent student for students in
  909  kindergarten through grade 12 in a part-time virtual instruction
  910  program under s. 1002.45 shall consist of six full-credit
  911  completions in programs listed in s. 1011.62(1)(c)1. and 3.
  912  Credit completions may be a combination of full-credit courses
  913  or half-credit courses. Beginning in the 2016-2017 fiscal year,
  914  the reported full-time equivalent students and associated
  915  funding of students enrolled in courses requiring passage of an
  916  end-of-course assessment under s. 1003.4282 to earn a standard
  917  high school diploma shall be adjusted if the student does not
  918  pass the end-of-course assessment. However, no adjustment shall
  919  be made for a student who enrolls in a segmented remedial course
  920  delivered online.
  921         (V) A Florida Virtual School full-time equivalent student
  922  shall consist of six full-credit completions or the prescribed
  923  level of content that counts toward promotion to the next grade
  924  in the programs listed in s. 1011.62(1)(c)1. and 3. for students
  925  participating in kindergarten through grade 12 part-time virtual
  926  instruction and the programs listed in s. 1011.62(1)(c) for
  927  students participating in kindergarten through grade 12 full
  928  time virtual instruction. Credit completions may be a
  929  combination of full-credit courses or half-credit courses.
  930  Beginning in the 2016-2017 fiscal year, the reported full-time
  931  equivalent students and associated funding of students enrolled
  932  in courses requiring passage of an end-of-course assessment
  933  under s. 1003.4282 to earn a standard high school diploma shall
  934  be adjusted if the student does not pass the end-of-course
  935  assessment. However, no adjustment shall be made for a student
  936  who enrolls in a segmented remedial course delivered online.
  937         (VI) Each successfully completed full-credit course earned
  938  through an online course delivered by a district other than the
  939  one in which the student resides shall be calculated as 1/6 FTE.
  940         (VII) A full-time equivalent student for courses requiring
  941  passage of a statewide, standardized end-of-course assessment
  942  under s. 1003.4282 to earn a standard high school diploma shall
  943  be defined and reported based on the number of instructional
  944  hours as provided in this subsection until the 2016-2017 fiscal
  945  year. Beginning in the 2016-2017 fiscal year, the FTE for the
  946  course shall be assessment-based and shall be equal to 1/6 FTE.
  947  The reported FTE shall be adjusted if the student does not pass
  948  the end-of-course assessment. However, no adjustment shall be
  949  made for a student who enrolls in a segmented remedial course
  950  delivered online.
  951         (VIII) For students enrolled in a school district as a
  952  full-time student, the district may report 1/6 FTE for each
  953  student who passes a statewide, standardized end-of-course
  954  assessment without being enrolled in the corresponding course.
  955         2. A student in membership in a program scheduled for more
  956  or less than 180 school days or the equivalent on an hourly
  957  basis as specified by rules of the State Board of Education is a
  958  fraction of a full-time equivalent membership equal to the
  959  number of instructional hours in membership divided by the
  960  appropriate number of hours set forth in subparagraph (a)1.;
  961  however, for the purposes of this subparagraph, membership in
  962  programs scheduled for more than 180 days is limited to students
  963  enrolled in:
  964         a. Juvenile justice education programs.
  965         b. The Florida Virtual School.
  966         c. Virtual instruction programs and virtual charter schools
  967  for the purpose of course completion and credit recovery
  968  pursuant to ss. 1002.45 and 1003.498. Course completion applies
  969  only to a student who is reported during the second or third
  970  membership surveys and who does not complete a virtual education
  971  course by the end of the regular school year. The course must be
  972  completed no later than the deadline for amending the final
  973  student enrollment survey for that year. Credit recovery applies
  974  only to a student who has unsuccessfully completed a traditional
  975  or virtual education course during the regular school year and
  976  must re-take the course in order to be eligible to graduate with
  977  the student’s class.
  979  The full-time equivalent student enrollment calculated under
  980  this subsection is subject to the requirements in subsection
  981  (4).
  983  The department shall determine and implement an equitable method
  984  of equivalent funding for experimental schools and for schools
  985  operating under emergency conditions, which schools have been
  986  approved by the department to operate for less than the minimum
  987  term required in s. 1011.60(2) school day.
  988         Section 5. Paragraph (e) of subsection (2) of section
  989  1002.331, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  990         1002.331 High-performing charter schools.—
  991         (2) A high-performing charter school is authorized to:
  992         (e) Receive a modification of its charter to a term of 15
  993  years or a 15-year charter renewal. The charter may be modified
  994  or renewed for a shorter term at the option of the high
  995  performing charter school. The charter must be consistent with
  996  s. 1002.33(7)(a)19. and (10)(k) (10)(h) and (l) (i), is subject
  997  to annual review by the sponsor, and may be terminated during
  998  its term pursuant to s. 1002.33(8).
 1000  A high-performing charter school shall notify its sponsor in
 1001  writing by March 1 if it intends to increase enrollment or
 1002  expand grade levels the following school year. The written
 1003  notice shall specify the amount of the enrollment increase and
 1004  the grade levels that will be added, as applicable. If a charter
 1005  school notifies the sponsor of its intent to expand, the sponsor
 1006  shall modify the charter within 90 days to include the new
 1007  enrollment maximum and may not make any other changes. The
 1008  sponsor may deny a request to increase the enrollment of a high
 1009  performing charter school if the commissioner has declassified
 1010  the charter school as high-performing. If a high-performing
 1011  charter school requests to consolidate multiple charters, the
 1012  sponsor shall have 40 days after receipt of that request to
 1013  provide an initial draft charter to the charter school. The
 1014  sponsor and charter school shall have 50 days thereafter to
 1015  negotiate and notice the charter contract for final approval by
 1016  the sponsor.
 1017         Section 6. This act shall take effect July 1, 2016.