Florida Senate - 2017                          SENATOR AMENDMENT
       Bill No. CS/CS/CS/HB 15, 1st Eng.
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              
                 Floor: WD/2R          .                                
             05/03/2017 11:29 AM       .                                

       Senator Grimsley moved the following:
    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Delete lines 343 - 577
    4  and insert:
    5         Section 2. Paragraph (b) of subsection (5) of section
    6  1002.395, Florida Statutes, is amended, present paragraph (f) of
    7  that subsection is redesignated as paragraph (g) and a new
    8  paragraph (f) is added to that subsection, and paragraph (h) of
    9  subsection (6), paragraph (f) of subsection (7), subsection (8),
   10  and paragraphs (a) and (b) of subsection (12) of that section
   11  are amended, to read:
   12         1002.395 Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program.—
   14         (b) A taxpayer may submit an application to the department
   15  for a tax credit or credits under one or more of s. 211.0251, s.
   16  212.1831, s. 220.1875, s. 561.1211, or s. 624.51055.
   17         1. The taxpayer shall specify in the application each tax
   18  for which the taxpayer requests a credit and the applicable
   19  taxable year for a credit under s. 220.1875 or s. 624.51055 or
   20  the applicable state fiscal year for a credit under s. 211.0251,
   21  s. 212.1831, or s. 561.1211. The department shall approve tax
   22  credits on a first-come, first-served basis and must obtain the
   23  division’s approval before approving a tax credit under s.
   24  561.1211.
   25         2. Within 10 days after approving or denying an
   26  application, the department shall provide a copy of its approval
   27  or denial letter to the eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
   28  organization specified by the taxpayer in the application.
   29         (f) Within 10 days after approving or denying an
   30  application for a carryforward tax credit under paragraph (c),
   31  the conveyance, transfer, or assignment of a tax credit under
   32  paragraph (d), or the rescindment of a tax credit under
   33  paragraph (e), the department shall provide a copy of its
   34  approval or denial letter to the eligible nonprofit scholarship
   35  funding organization specified by the taxpayer in the
   36  application. The department shall also include the eligible
   37  nonprofit scholarship-funding organization specified by the
   38  taxpayer in the application on all letters or correspondence of
   39  acknowledgment for tax credits under s. 212.1831.
   41  ORGANIZATIONS.—An eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
   42  organization:
   43         (h) Must allow a student in foster care, or out-of-home
   44  care, or who is a dependent child of a parent or guardian who is
   45  a member of the United States Armed Forces, to apply for a
   46  scholarship at any time.
   48  Information and documentation provided to the Department of
   49  Education and the Auditor General relating to the identity of a
   50  taxpayer that provides an eligible contribution under this
   51  section shall remain confidential at all times in accordance
   52  with s. 213.053.
   55         (f) Upon receipt of a scholarship warrant from the eligible
   56  nonprofit scholarship-funding organization, the parent to whom
   57  the warrant is made must restrictively endorse the warrant to
   58  the private school for deposit into the account of the private
   59  school. If payments are made by funds transfer, the parent must
   60  approve each payment before the scholarship funds may be
   61  deposited. The parent may not designate any entity or individual
   62  associated with the participating private school as the parent’s
   63  attorney in fact to endorse a scholarship warrant or approve a
   64  funds transfer. A participant who fails to comply with this
   65  paragraph forfeits the scholarship.
   67  private school may be sectarian or nonsectarian and must:
   68         (a) Comply with all requirements for private schools
   69  participating in state school choice scholarship programs
   70  pursuant to s. 1002.421.
   71         (b) Provide to the eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
   72  organization, upon request, all documentation required for the
   73  student’s participation, including the private school’s and
   74  student’s fee schedules.
   75         (c) Be academically accountable to the parent for meeting
   76  the educational needs of the student by:
   77         1. At a minimum, annually providing to the parent a written
   78  explanation of the student’s progress.
   79         2. Annually administering or making provision for students
   80  participating in the scholarship program in grades 3 through 10
   81  to take one of the nationally norm-referenced tests identified
   82  by the Department of Education or the statewide assessments
   83  pursuant to s. 1008.22. Students with disabilities for whom
   84  standardized testing is not appropriate are exempt from this
   85  requirement. A participating private school must report a
   86  student’s scores to the parent. A participating private school
   87  must annually report by August 15 the scores of all
   88  participating students to the Learning System Institute
   89  described in paragraph (9)(j).
   90         3. Cooperating with the scholarship student whose parent
   91  chooses to have the student participate in the statewide
   92  assessments pursuant to s. 1008.22 or, if a private school
   93  chooses to offer the statewide assessments, administering the
   94  assessments at the school.
   95         a. A participating private school may choose to offer and
   96  administer the statewide assessments to all students who attend
   97  the private school in grades 3 through 10.
   98         b. A participating private school must submit a request in
   99  writing to the Department of Education by March 1 of each year
  100  in order to administer the statewide assessments in the
  101  subsequent school year.
  102         (d) Employ or contract with teachers who have regular and
  103  direct contact with each student receiving a scholarship under
  104  this section at the school’s physical location.
  105         (e) Annually contract with an independent certified public
  106  accountant to perform the agreed-upon procedures developed under
  107  paragraph (6)(o) and produce a report of the results if the
  108  private school receives more than $250,000 in funds from
  109  scholarships awarded under this section in the 2010-2011 state
  110  fiscal year or a state fiscal year thereafter. A private school
  111  subject to this paragraph must annually submit the report by
  112  September 15, 2011, and annually thereafter to the scholarship
  113  funding organization that awarded the majority of the school’s
  114  scholarship funds. The agreed-upon procedures must be conducted
  115  in accordance with attestation standards established by the
  116  American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
  118  If The inability of a private school is unable to meet the
  119  requirements of this subsection or has consecutive years of
  120  material exceptions listed in the report required under
  121  paragraph (e), the commissioner may determine that shall
  122  constitute a basis for the ineligibility of the private school
  123  is ineligible to participate in the scholarship program as
  124  determined by the Department of Education.
  126         (a) Except as provided in subparagraph 2., the amount of a
  127  scholarship provided to any student for any single school year
  128  by an eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization from
  129  eligible contributions shall be for total costs authorized under
  130  paragraph (6)(d), not to exceed annual limits, which shall be
  131  determined as follows:
  132         1.a. For a scholarship awarded to a student enrolled in an
  133  eligible private school, the limit shall be determined as a
  134  percentage by multiplying the unweighted FTE funding amount in
  135  that state fiscal year by the percentage used to determine the
  136  limit in the prior state fiscal year. However, in each state
  137  fiscal year that the tax credit cap amount increases pursuant to
  138  paragraph (5)(a), the prior year percentage shall be increased
  139  by 4 percentage points and the increased percentage shall be
  140  used to determine the limit for that state fiscal year. If the
  141  percentage so calculated reaches 80 percent in a state fiscal
  142  year, no further increase in the percentage is allowed and the
  143  limit shall be 80 percent of the unweighted FTE funding amount
  144  for that state fiscal year and thereafter. Beginning in the
  145  2016-2017 state fiscal year, the amount of a scholarship awarded
  146  to a student enrolled in an eligible private school shall be
  147  equal to 82 percent of the unweighted FTE funding amount for
  148  that state fiscal year and thereafter as follows:
  149         (I) Eighty-eight percent for a student enrolled in
  150  kindergarten through grade 5.
  151         (II) Ninety-two percent for a student enrolled in grade 6,
  152  grade 7, or grade 8.
  153         (III) Ninety-six percent for a student enrolled in grades 9
  154  through 12.
  155         b. For a scholarship awarded to a student enrolled in a
  156  Florida public school that is located outside the district in
  157  which the student resides or in a lab school as defined in s.
  158  1002.32, the limit shall be $750 $500.
  159         2. The annual limit for a scholarship under sub
  160  subparagraph 1.a. shall be reduced by:
  161         a. Twenty-five percent if the student’s household income
  162  level is equal to or greater than 200 percent, but less than 215
  163  percent, of the federal poverty level.
  164         b. Fifty percent if the student’s household income level is
  165  equal to or greater than 215 percent, but equal to or less than
  166  230 percent, of the federal poverty level.
  167         3. For the 2016-2017 state fiscal year and thereafter, the
  168  annual limit for a scholarship under sub-subparagraph 1.a. shall
  169  be reduced by:
  170         a. Twelve percent if the student’s household income level
  171  is greater than or equal to 200 percent, but less than 215
  172  percent, of the federal poverty level.
  173         b. Twenty-six percent if the student’s household income
  174  level is greater than or equal to 215 percent, but less than 230
  175  percent, of the federal poverty level.
  176         c. Forty percent if the student’s household income level is
  177  greater than or equal to 230 percent, but less than 245 percent,
  178  of the federal poverty level.
  179         d. Fifty percent if the student’s household income level is
  180  greater than or equal to 245 percent, but less than or equal to
  181  260 percent, of the federal poverty level.
  182         (b) Payment of the scholarship by the eligible nonprofit
  183  scholarship-funding organization shall be by individual warrant
  184  made payable to the student’s parent or by funds transfer,
  185  including, but not limited to, debit card, electronic payment
  186  card, or any other means of payment that the department deems to
  187  be commercially viable or cost-effective. A student’s
  188  scholarship award may not be reduced for debit card or
  189  electronic payment fees. If the payment is made by warrant
  190  parent chooses that his or her child attend an eligible private
  191  school, the warrant must be delivered by the eligible nonprofit
  192  scholarship-funding organization to the private school of the
  193  parent’s choice, and the parent shall restrictively endorse the
  194  warrant to the private school. An eligible nonprofit
  195  scholarship-funding organization shall ensure that the parent to
  196  whom the warrant is made restrictively endorsed the warrant to
  197  the private school for deposit into the account of the private
  198  school or that the parent has approved a funds transfer before
  199  any scholarship funds are deposited.
  200         Section 3. Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section
  201  1002.41, Florida Statutes, is amended, and subsection (11) is
  202  added to that section, to read:
  203         1002.41 Home education programs.—
  204         (1) A “home education program” is defined in s. 1002.01.
  205  The parent is not required to hold a valid regular Florida
  206  teaching certificate.
  207         (a)1. The parent shall notify the district school
  208  superintendent of the county in which the parent resides of her
  209  or his intent to establish and maintain a home education
  210  program. The notice shall be in writing, signed by the parent,
  211  and shall include the full legal names, addresses, and
  212  birthdates of all children who shall be enrolled as students in
  213  the home education program. The notice shall be filed in the
  214  district school superintendent’s office within 30 days of the
  215  establishment of the home education program. A written notice of
  216  termination of the home education program shall be filed in the
  217  district school superintendent’s office within 30 days after
  218  said termination.
  219         2. The school district may not require the parent to
  220  provide additional information or verification unless the
  221  student chooses to participate in a school district program or
  222  service.
  223         (11) A school district may not further regulate, exercise
  224  control over, or require documentation from parents of home
  225  education program students beyond the requirements of this
  226  section unless the regulation, control, or documentation is
  227  necessary for participation in a school district program or
  228  service.
  229         Section 4. Subsection (4) of section 1003.21, Florida
  230  Statutes, is amended to read:
  231         1003.21 School attendance.—
  232         (4) Before admitting a child to kindergarten, the principal
  233  shall require evidence that the child has attained the age at
  234  which he or she should be admitted in accordance with the
  235  provisions of subparagraph (1)(a)2. The district school
  236  superintendent may require evidence of the age of any child whom
  237  he or she believes to be within the limits of compulsory
  238  attendance as provided for by law; however, he or she may not
  239  require evidence from children meeting regular attendance
  240  requirements by attending a school or program listed in s.
  241  1003.01(13)(b)-(e). If the first prescribed evidence is not
  242  available, the next evidence obtainable in the order set forth
  243  below shall be accepted:
  244         (a) A duly attested transcript of the child’s birth record
  245  filed according to law with a public officer charged with the
  246  duty of recording births;
  247         (b) A duly attested transcript of a certificate of baptism
  248  showing the date of birth and place of baptism of the child,
  249  accompanied by an affidavit sworn to by the parent;
  250         (c) An insurance policy on the child’s life that has been
  251  in force for at least 2 years;
  252         (d) A bona fide contemporary religious record of the
  253  child’s birth accompanied by an affidavit sworn to by the
  254  parent;
  255         (e) A passport or certificate of arrival in the United
  256  States showing the age of the child;
  257         (f) A transcript of record of age shown in the child’s
  258  school record of at least 4 years prior to application, stating
  259  date of birth; or
  260         (g) If none of these evidences can be produced, an
  261  affidavit of age sworn to by the parent, accompanied by a
  262  certificate of age signed by a public health officer or by a
  263  public school physician, or, if these are not available in the
  264  county, by a licensed practicing physician designated by the
  265  district school board, which states that the health officer or
  266  physician has examined the child and believes that the age as
  267  stated in the affidavit is substantially correct. Children and
  268  youths who are experiencing homelessness and children who are
  269  known to the department, as defined in s. 39.0016, shall be
  270  given temporary exemption from this section for 30 school days.
  272  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
  273  And the title is amended as follows:
  274         Delete lines 16 - 37
  275  and insert:
  276         F.S.; specifying the Department of Education’s duty to
  277         approve or deny an application for the Florida Tax
  278         Credit Scholarship Program within a specified time;
  279         specifying the department’s duties regarding the
  280         carryforward tax credit; requiring an eligible
  281         nonprofit scholarship-funding organization to allow
  282         certain dependent children to apply for a scholarship
  283         at any time; revising parent and student
  284         responsibilities for program participation; specifying
  285         that certain actions of a private school are a basis
  286         for program ineligibility; revising the calculation of
  287         a scholarship award; increasing the limit of a
  288         scholarship award for certain students; revising
  289         payment method options; amending s. 1002.41, F.S.;
  290         prohibiting a district school board from requiring any
  291         additional information or verification from a home
  292         education program parent under certain circumstances;
  293         prohibiting a school district from taking certain
  294         actions against a home education program student’s
  295         parent unless such action is required for a school
  296         district program or service; amending s. 1003.21,
  297         F.S.; prohibiting a district school superintendent
  298         from requiring certain evidence relating to a child’s
  299         age from children enrolled in specified schools and
  300         programs; providing an effective date.