Florida Senate - 2016                          SENATOR AMENDMENT
       Bill No. CS for CS for SB 524
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              

       Senator Stargel moved the following:
    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Delete lines 1611 - 1688
    4  and insert:
    5         Section 20. Paragraph (b) of subsection (6), paragraph (p)
    6  of subsection (9), paragraphs (a) and (d) of subsection (10),
    7  subsection (13), paragraph (b) of subsection (17), paragraph (a)
    8  of subsection (18), and paragraph (a) of subsection (20) of
    9  section 1002.33, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
   10         1002.33 Charter schools.—
   11         (6) APPLICATION PROCESS AND REVIEW.—Charter school
   12  applications are subject to the following requirements:
   13         (b) A sponsor shall receive and review all applications for
   14  a charter school using the an evaluation instrument developed by
   15  the Department of Education. A sponsor shall receive and
   16  consider charter school applications received on or before
   17  August 1 of each calendar year for charter schools to be opened
   18  at the beginning of the school district’s next school year, or
   19  to be opened at a time agreed to by the applicant and the
   20  sponsor. A sponsor may not refuse to receive a charter school
   21  application submitted before August 1 and may receive an
   22  application submitted later than August 1 if it chooses. In
   23  order to facilitate greater collaboration in the application
   24  process, an applicant may submit a draft charter school
   25  application on or before May 1 with an application fee of $500.
   26  If a draft application is timely submitted, the sponsor shall
   27  review and provide feedback as to material deficiencies in the
   28  application by July 1. The applicant shall then have until
   29  August 1 to resubmit a revised and final application. The
   30  sponsor may approve the draft application. A sponsor may not
   31  charge an applicant for a charter any fee for the processing or
   32  consideration of an application, and a sponsor may not base its
   33  consideration or approval of a final application upon the
   34  promise of future payment of any kind. Before approving or
   35  denying any final application, the sponsor shall allow the
   36  applicant, upon receipt of written notification, at least 7
   37  calendar days to make technical or nonsubstantive corrections
   38  and clarifications, including, but not limited to, corrections
   39  of grammatical, typographical, and like errors or missing
   40  signatures, if such errors are identified by the sponsor as
   41  cause to deny the final application.
   42         1. In order to facilitate an accurate budget projection
   43  process, a sponsor shall be held harmless for FTE students who
   44  are not included in the FTE projection due to approval of
   45  charter school applications after the FTE projection deadline.
   46  In a further effort to facilitate an accurate budget projection,
   47  within 15 calendar days after receipt of a charter school
   48  application, a sponsor shall report to the Department of
   49  Education the name of the applicant entity, the proposed charter
   50  school location, and its projected FTE.
   51         2. In order to ensure fiscal responsibility, an application
   52  for a charter school shall include a full accounting of expected
   53  assets, a projection of expected sources and amounts of income,
   54  including income derived from projected student enrollments and
   55  from community support, and an expense projection that includes
   56  full accounting of the costs of operation, including start-up
   57  costs.
   58         3.a. A sponsor shall by a majority vote approve or deny an
   59  application no later than 60 calendar days after the application
   60  is received, unless the sponsor and the applicant mutually agree
   61  in writing to temporarily postpone the vote to a specific date,
   62  at which time the sponsor shall by a majority vote approve or
   63  deny the application. If the sponsor fails to act on the
   64  application, an applicant may appeal to the State Board of
   65  Education as provided in paragraph (c). If an application is
   66  denied, the sponsor shall, within 10 calendar days after such
   67  denial, articulate in writing the specific reasons, based upon
   68  good cause, supporting its denial of the charter application and
   69  shall provide the letter of denial and supporting documentation
   70  to the applicant and to the Department of Education.
   71         b. An application submitted by a high-performing charter
   72  school identified pursuant to s. 1002.331 may be denied by the
   73  sponsor only if the sponsor demonstrates by clear and convincing
   74  evidence that:
   75         (I) The application does not materially comply with the
   76  requirements in paragraph (a);
   77         (II) The charter school proposed in the application does
   78  not materially comply with the requirements in paragraphs
   79  (9)(a)-(f);
   80         (III) The proposed charter school’s educational program
   81  does not substantially replicate that of the applicant or one of
   82  the applicant’s high-performing charter schools;
   83         (IV) The applicant has made a material misrepresentation or
   84  false statement or concealed an essential or material fact
   85  during the application process; or
   86         (V) The proposed charter school’s educational program and
   87  financial management practices do not materially comply with the
   88  requirements of this section.
   90  Material noncompliance is a failure to follow requirements or a
   91  violation of prohibitions applicable to charter school
   92  applications, which failure is quantitatively or qualitatively
   93  significant either individually or when aggregated with other
   94  noncompliance. An applicant is considered to be replicating a
   95  high-performing charter school if the proposed school is
   96  substantially similar to at least one of the applicant’s high
   97  performing charter schools and the organization or individuals
   98  involved in the establishment and operation of the proposed
   99  school are significantly involved in the operation of replicated
  100  schools.
  101         c. If the sponsor denies an application submitted by a
  102  high-performing charter school, the sponsor must, within 10
  103  calendar days after such denial, state in writing the specific
  104  reasons, based upon the criteria in sub-subparagraph b.,
  105  supporting its denial of the application and must provide the
  106  letter of denial and supporting documentation to the applicant
  107  and to the Department of Education. The applicant may appeal the
  108  sponsor’s denial of the application directly to the State Board
  109  of Education pursuant to sub-subparagraph (c)3.b.
  110         4. For budget projection purposes, the sponsor shall report
  111  to the Department of Education the approval or denial of an a
  112  charter application within 10 calendar days after such approval
  113  or denial. In the event of approval, the report to the
  114  Department of Education shall include the final projected FTE
  115  for the approved charter school.
  116         5. Upon approval of an a charter application, the initial
  117  startup shall commence with the beginning of the public school
  118  calendar for the district in which the charter is granted. A
  119  charter school may defer the opening of the school’s operations
  120  for up to 2 years to provide time for adequate facility
  121  planning. The charter school must provide written notice of such
  122  intent to the sponsor and the parents of enrolled students at
  123  least 30 calendar days before the first day of school unless the
  124  sponsor allows a waiver of this subparagraph for good cause.
  126         (p)1. Each charter school shall maintain a website that
  127  enables the public to obtain information regarding the school;
  128  the school’s academic performance; the names of the governing
  129  board members; the programs at the school; any management
  130  companies, service providers, or education management
  131  corporations associated with the school; the school’s annual
  132  budget and its annual independent fiscal audit; the school’s
  133  grade pursuant to s. 1008.34; and, on a quarterly basis, the
  134  minutes of governing board meetings.
  135         2.Each charter school’s governing board must appoint a
  136  representative to facilitate parental involvement, provide
  137  access to information, assist parents and others with questions
  138  and concerns, and resolve disputes. The representative must
  139  reside in the school district in which the charter school is
  140  located and may be a governing board member, a charter school
  141  employee, or an individual contracted to represent the governing
  142  board. If the governing board oversees multiple charter schools
  143  in the same school district, the governing board must appoint a
  144  separate representative for each charter school in the district.
  145  The representative’s contact information must be provided
  146  annually in writing to parents and posted prominently on the
  147  charter school’s website. The sponsor may not require governing
  148  board members to reside in the school district in which the
  149  charter school is located if the charter school complies with
  150  this subparagraph.
  151         3.Each charter school’s governing board must hold at least
  152  two public meetings per school year in the school district where
  153  the charter school is located. The meetings must be noticed,
  154  open, and accessible to the public, and attendees must be
  155  provided an opportunity to receive information and provide input
  156  regarding the charter school’s operations. The appointed
  157  representative and charter school principal or director, or his
  158  or her designee, must be physically present at each meeting.
  159  Members of the governing board may attend in person or by means
  160  of communications media technology used in accordance with rules
  161  adopted by the Administration Commission under s. 120.54(5).
  162         (10) ELIGIBLE STUDENTS.—
  163         (a) A charter school shall be open to any student covered
  164  in an interdistrict agreement or residing in the school district
  165  in which the charter school is located; however, in the case of
  166  a charter lab school, the charter lab school shall be open to
  167  any student eligible to attend the lab school as provided in s.
  168  1002.32 or who resides in the school district in which the
  169  charter lab school is located. Any eligible student shall be
  170  allowed interdistrict transfer to attend a charter school when
  171  based on good cause. Good cause shall include, but is not
  172  limited to, geographic proximity to a charter school in a
  173  neighboring school district. A charter school that has not
  174  reached capacity, as determined by the charter school’s
  175  governing board, may be open for enrollment to any student in
  176  the state.
  177         (d) A charter school may give enrollment preference to the
  178  following student populations:
  179         1. Students who are siblings of a student enrolled in the
  180  charter school.
  181         2. Students who are the children of a member of the
  182  governing board of the charter school.
  183         3. Students who are the children of an employee of the
  184  charter school.
  185         4. Students who are the children of:
  186         a. An employee of the business partner of a charter school
  187  in-the-workplace established under paragraph (15)(b) or a
  188  resident of the municipality in which such charter school is
  189  located; or
  190         b. A resident or employee of a municipality that operates a
  191  charter school-in-a-municipality pursuant to paragraph (15)(c)
  192  or allows a charter school to use a school facility or portion
  193  of land owned by the municipality for the operation of the
  194  charter school.
  195         5. Students who have successfully completed a voluntary
  196  prekindergarten education program under ss. 1002.51-1002.79
  197  provided by the charter school or the charter school’s governing
  198  board during the previous year.
  199         6. Students who are the children of an active duty member
  200  of any branch of the United States Armed Forces.
  201         (13) CHARTER SCHOOL COOPERATIVES.—Charter schools may enter
  202  into cooperative agreements to form charter school cooperative
  203  organizations that may provide the following services to further
  204  educational, operational, and administrative initiatives in
  205  which the participating charter schools share common interests:
  206  charter school planning and development, direct instructional
  207  services, and contracts with charter school governing boards to
  208  provide personnel administrative services, payroll services,
  209  human resource management, evaluation and assessment services,
  210  teacher preparation, and professional development.
  211         (17) FUNDING.—Students enrolled in a charter school,
  212  regardless of the sponsorship, shall be funded as if they are in
  213  a basic program or a special program, the same as students
  214  enrolled in other public schools in the school district. Funding
  215  for a charter lab school shall be as provided in s. 1002.32.
  216         (b) The basis for the agreement for funding students
  217  enrolled in a charter school shall be the sum of the school
  218  district’s operating funds from the Florida Education Finance
  219  Program as provided in s. 1011.62 and the General Appropriations
  220  Act, including gross state and local funds, discretionary
  221  lottery funds, and funds from the school district’s current
  222  operating discretionary millage levy; divided by total funded
  223  weighted full-time equivalent students in the school district;
  224  multiplied by the weighted full-time equivalent students for the
  225  charter school. Charter schools whose students or programs meet
  226  the eligibility criteria in law are entitled to their
  227  proportionate share of categorical program funds included in the
  228  total funds available in the Florida Education Finance Program
  229  by the Legislature, including transportation, the research-based
  230  reading allocation, and the Florida digital classrooms
  231  allocation. Total funding for each charter school shall be
  232  recalculated during the year to reflect the revised calculations
  233  under the Florida Education Finance Program by the state and the
  234  actual weighted full-time equivalent students reported by the
  235  charter school during the full-time equivalent student survey
  236  periods designated by the Commissioner of Education. Any
  237  unrestricted surplus or unrestricted net assets identified in
  238  the charter school’s annual audit may be used for K-12
  239  educational purposes for charter schools within the district
  240  operated by the not-for-profit or municipal entity operating the
  241  charter school with the surplus. Surplus operating funds shall
  242  be used in accordance with s. 1011.62, and surplus capital
  243  outlay funds shall be used in accordance with s. 1013.62(2).
  244         (18) FACILITIES.—
  245         (a) A startup charter school shall utilize facilities which
  246  comply with the Florida Building Code pursuant to chapter 553
  247  except for the State Requirements for Educational Facilities.
  248  Conversion charter schools shall utilize facilities that comply
  249  with the State Requirements for Educational Facilities provided
  250  that the school district and the charter school have entered
  251  into a mutual management plan for the reasonable maintenance of
  252  such facilities. The mutual management plan shall contain a
  253  provision by which the district school board agrees to maintain
  254  charter school facilities in the same manner as its other public
  255  schools within the district. Charter schools, with the exception
  256  of conversion charter schools, are not required to comply, but
  257  may choose to comply, with the State Requirements for
  258  Educational Facilities of the Florida Building Code adopted
  259  pursuant to s. 1013.37. The local governing authority shall not
  260  adopt or impose any local building requirements or site
  261  development restrictions, such as parking and site-size
  262  criteria, that are addressed by and more stringent than those
  263  found in the State Requirements for Educational Facilities of
  264  the Florida Building Code. Beginning July 1, 2011, A local
  265  governing authority must treat charter schools equitably in
  266  comparison to similar requirements, restrictions, and site
  267  planning processes imposed upon public schools that are not
  268  charter schools. The agency having jurisdiction for inspection
  269  of a facility and issuance of a certificate of occupancy or use
  270  shall be the local municipality or, if in an unincorporated
  271  area, the county governing authority. If an official or employee
  272  of the local governing authority refuses to comply with this
  273  paragraph, the aggrieved school or entity has an immediate right
  274  to bring an action in circuit court to enforce its rights by
  275  injunction. An aggrieved party that receives injunctive relief
  276  may be awarded attorney fees and court costs.
  277         (20) SERVICES.—
  278         (a)1. A sponsor shall provide certain administrative and
  279  educational services to charter schools. These services shall
  280  include contract management services; full-time equivalent and
  281  data reporting services; exceptional student education
  282  administration services; services related to eligibility and
  283  reporting duties required to ensure that school lunch services
  284  under the federal lunch program, consistent with the needs of
  285  the charter school, are provided by the school district at the
  286  request of the charter school, that any funds due to the charter
  287  school under the federal lunch program be paid to the charter
  288  school as soon as the charter school begins serving food under
  289  the federal lunch program, and that the charter school is paid
  290  at the same time and in the same manner under the federal lunch
  291  program as other public schools serviced by the sponsor or the
  292  school district; test administration services, including payment
  293  of the costs of state-required or district-required student
  294  assessments; processing of teacher certificate data services;
  295  and information services, including equal access to student
  296  information systems that are used by public schools in the
  297  district in which the charter school is located. Student
  298  performance data for each student in a charter school,
  299  including, but not limited to, FCAT scores, standardized test
  300  scores, previous public school student report cards, and student
  301  performance measures, shall be provided by the sponsor to a
  302  charter school in the same manner provided to other public
  303  schools in the district.
  304         2. A total administrative fee for the provision of such
  305  services shall be calculated based upon up to 5 percent of the
  306  available funds defined in paragraph (17)(b) for all students,
  307  except that when 75 percent or more of the students enrolled in
  308  the charter school are exceptional students as defined in s.
  309  1003.01(3), the 5 percent of those available funds shall be
  310  calculated based on unweighted full-time equivalent students.
  311  However, a sponsor may only withhold up to a 5-percent
  312  administrative fee for enrollment for up to and including 250
  313  students. For charter schools with a population of 251 or more
  314  students, the difference between the total administrative fee
  315  calculation and the amount of the administrative fee withheld
  316  may only be used for capital outlay purposes specified in s.
  317  1013.62(3) s. 1013.62(2).
  318         3. For high-performing charter schools, as defined in ch.
  319  2011-232, a sponsor may withhold a total administrative fee of
  320  up to 2 percent for enrollment up to and including 250 students
  321  per school.
  322         4. In addition, a sponsor may withhold only up to a 5
  323  percent administrative fee for enrollment for up to and
  324  including 500 students within a system of charter schools which
  325  meets all of the following:
  326         a. Includes both conversion charter schools and
  327  nonconversion charter schools;
  328         b. Has all schools located in the same county;
  329         c. Has a total enrollment exceeding the total enrollment of
  330  at least one school district in the state;
  331         d. Has the same governing board; and
  332         e. Does not contract with a for-profit service provider for
  333  management of school operations.
  334         5. The difference between the total administrative fee
  335  calculation and the amount of the administrative fee withheld
  336  pursuant to subparagraph 4. may be used for instructional and
  337  administrative purposes as well as for capital outlay purposes
  338  specified in s. 1013.62(3) s. 1013.62(2).
  339         6. For a high-performing charter school system that also
  340  meets the requirements in subparagraph 4., a sponsor may
  341  withhold a 2-percent administrative fee for enrollments up to
  342  and including 500 students per system.
  343         7. Sponsors shall not charge charter schools any additional
  344  fees or surcharges for administrative and educational services
  345  in addition to the maximum 5-percent administrative fee withheld
  346  pursuant to this paragraph.
  347         8. The sponsor of a virtual charter school may withhold a
  348  fee of up to 5 percent. The funds shall be used to cover the
  349  cost of services provided under subparagraph 1. and
  350  implementation of the school district’s digital classrooms plan
  351  pursuant to s. 1011.62.
  352         Section 21. Paragraphs (c) and (d) of subsection (8) of
  353  section 1002.45, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  354         1002.45 Virtual instruction programs.—
  356         (c) An approved provider that receives a school grade of
  357  “D” or “F” under s. 1008.34 or a school improvement rating of
  358  “Unsatisfactory” “Declining” under s. 1008.341 must file a
  359  school improvement plan with the department for consultation to
  360  determine the causes for low performance and to develop a plan
  361  for correction and improvement.
  362         (d) An approved provider’s contract is automatically must
  363  be terminated if the provider earns two consecutive school
  364  grades of receives a school grade of “D” or “F” under s. 1008.34
  365  after all school grade appeals are final, receives two
  366  consecutive or a school improvement ratings rating of
  367  “unsatisfactory” “Declining” under s. 1008.341, for 2 years
  368  during any consecutive 4-year period or has violated any
  369  qualification requirement pursuant to subsection (2). A provider
  370  that has a contract terminated under this paragraph may not be
  371  an approved provider for a period of at least 1 year after the
  372  date upon which the contract was terminated and until the
  373  department determines that the provider is in compliance with
  374  subsection (2) and has corrected each cause of the provider’s
  375  low performance.
  376         Section 22. Subsection (1) of section 1003.498, Florida
  377  Statutes, is amended to read:
  378         1003.498 School district virtual course offerings.—
  379         (1) School districts may deliver courses in the traditional
  380  school setting by personnel certified pursuant to s. 1012.55 who
  381  provide direct instruction through virtual instruction or
  382  through blended learning courses consisting of both traditional
  383  classroom and online instructional techniques. Students in a
  384  blended learning course must be full-time students of the school
  385  pursuant to s. 1011.61(1)(a)1. and receive the online
  386  instruction in a classroom setting at the school. The funding,
  387  performance, and accountability requirements for blended
  388  learning courses are the same as those for traditional courses.
  389  To facilitate the delivery and coding of blended learning
  390  courses, the department shall provide identifiers for existing
  391  courses to designate that they are being used for blended
  392  learning courses for the purpose of ensuring the efficient
  393  reporting of such courses. A district may report full-time
  394  equivalent student membership for credit earned by a student who
  395  is enrolled in a virtual education course provided by the
  396  district which is completed after the end of the regular school
  397  year if the FTE is reported no later than the deadline for
  398  amending the final student membership report for that year.
  400  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
  401  And the title is amended as follows:
  402         Delete line 163
  403  and insert:
  404         F.S.; authorizing a charter school to defer the
  405         opening of its operations for up to a specified time;
  406         requiring the charter school to provide written notice
  407         to certain entities within a specified timeframe;
  408         requiring each charter school governing board to
  409         appoint certain representatives; requiring each
  410         governing board to hold a certain number of public
  411         meetings; authorizing the use of communications media
  412         technology at such meetings; revising charter school
  413         student eligibility requirements; revising
  414         requirements for payments to charter schools; allowing
  415         for the use of certain surpluses and assets by
  416         specific entities for certain educational purposes;
  417         providing for an injunction under certain
  418         circumstances; conforming cross-references; amending
  419         s. 1002.45, F.S.; revising conditions for termination
  420         of a virtual instruction provider’s contract; amending
  421         s. 1003.498, F.S.; deleting a requirement that
  422         students in a blended learning course must receive
  423         certain instruction in a classroom setting; providing
  424         an