Florida Senate - 2017                                     SB 376
       By Senator Simmons
       9-00139-17                                             2017376__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to charter school funding; amending s.
    3         1011.71, F.S.; authorizing school boards to levy
    4         specified amounts for charter schools; amending s.
    5         1013.62, F.S.; providing that charter school capital
    6         outlay funding consists of shared local capital outlay
    7         and state funding as provided in the General
    8         Appropriations Act; providing that a virtual charter
    9         school is not eligible for a funding allocation;
   10         providing legislative intent; prohibiting a charter
   11         school from being eligible for a funding allocation
   12         under certain circumstances; defining the term
   13         “affiliated party of the charter school”; specifying
   14         the grouping of eligible charter schools for funding
   15         allocations; providing the shared local capital outlay
   16         allocation calculation and the state allocation
   17         calculation; requiring the Department of Education to
   18         make the calculations; requiring each school district
   19         to distribute the shared local capital outlay funds
   20         within a specified timeframe; specifying where capital
   21         outlay funds may be used; providing an effective date.
   23  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   25         Section 1. Subsection (2) of section 1011.71, Florida
   26  Statutes, is amended to read:
   27         1011.71 District school tax.—
   28         (2) In addition to the maximum millage levy as provided in
   29  subsection (1), each school board may levy not more than 1.5
   30  mills against the taxable value for school purposes for district
   31  schools, as specified in this section, and including charter
   32  schools, as specified in s. 1013.62 at the discretion of the
   33  school board, to fund:
   34         (a) New construction and remodeling projects, as set forth
   35  in s. 1013.64(3)(b) and (6)(b) and included in the district’s
   36  educational plant survey pursuant to s. 1013.31, without regard
   37  to prioritization, sites and site improvement or expansion to
   38  new sites, existing sites, auxiliary facilities, athletic
   39  facilities, or ancillary facilities.
   40         (b) Maintenance, renovation, and repair of existing school
   41  plants or of leased facilities to correct deficiencies pursuant
   42  to s. 1013.15(2).
   43         (c) The purchase, lease-purchase, or lease of school buses.
   44         (d) The purchase, lease-purchase, or lease of new and
   45  replacement equipment; computer hardware, including electronic
   46  hardware and other hardware devices necessary for gaining access
   47  to or enhancing the use of electronic content and resources or
   48  to facilitate the access to and the use of a school district’s
   49  digital classrooms plan pursuant to s. 1011.62, excluding
   50  software other than the operating system necessary to operate
   51  the hardware or device; and enterprise resource software
   52  applications that are classified as capital assets in accordance
   53  with definitions of the Governmental Accounting Standards Board,
   54  have a useful life of at least 5 years, and are used to support
   55  districtwide administration or state-mandated reporting
   56  requirements.
   57         (e) Payments for educational facilities and sites due under
   58  a lease-purchase agreement entered into by a district school
   59  board pursuant to s. 1003.02(1)(f) or s. 1013.15(2), not
   60  exceeding, in the aggregate, an amount equal to three-fourths of
   61  the proceeds from the millage levied by a district school board
   62  pursuant to this subsection. The three-fourths limit is waived
   63  for lease-purchase agreements entered into before June 30, 2009,
   64  by a district school board pursuant to this paragraph.
   65         (f) Payment of loans approved pursuant to ss. 1011.14 and
   66  1011.15.
   67         (g) Payment of costs directly related to complying with
   68  state and federal environmental statutes, rules, and regulations
   69  governing school facilities.
   70         (h) Payment of costs of leasing relocatable educational
   71  facilities, of renting or leasing educational facilities and
   72  sites pursuant to s. 1013.15(2), or of renting or leasing
   73  buildings or space within existing buildings pursuant to s.
   74  1013.15(4).
   75         (i) Payment of the cost of school buses when a school
   76  district contracts with a private entity to provide student
   77  transportation services if the district meets the requirements
   78  of this paragraph.
   79         1. The district’s contract must require that the private
   80  entity purchase, lease-purchase, or lease, and operate and
   81  maintain, one or more school buses of a specific type and size
   82  that meet the requirements of s. 1006.25.
   83         2. Each such school bus must be used for the daily
   84  transportation of public school students in the manner required
   85  by the school district.
   86         3. Annual payment for each such school bus may not exceed
   87  10 percent of the purchase price of the state pool bid.
   88         4. The proposed expenditure of the funds for this purpose
   89  must have been included in the district school board’s notice of
   90  proposed tax for school capital outlay as provided in s.
   91  200.065(10).
   92         (j) Payment of the cost of the opening day collection for
   93  the library media center of a new school.
   94         Section 2. Subsections (1), (2), and (3) of section
   95  1013.62, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
   96         1013.62 Charter schools capital outlay funding.—
   97         (1) Charter school capital outlay funding shall consist of
   98  shared local capital outlay funding derived from the
   99  discretionary millage revenue authorized under s. 1011.71(2) and
  100  may also consist of state funds provided in the General
  101  Appropriations Act. In each year in which funds are appropriated
  102  for charter school capital outlay purposes, The Commissioner of
  103  Education shall allocate these the funds among eligible charter
  104  schools as specified in this section.
  105         (a) To be eligible for shared local capital outlay
  106  allocation as specified in paragraph (e) or state a funding
  107  allocation, a charter school must:
  108         1.a. Have been in operation for 2 or more years;
  109         b. Be governed by a governing board established in the
  110  state for 3 or more years which operates both charter schools
  111  and conversion charter schools within the state;
  112         c. Be an expanded feeder chain of a charter school within
  113  the same school district that is currently receiving charter
  114  school capital outlay funds;
  115         d. Have been accredited by the Commission on Schools of the
  116  Southern Association of Colleges and Schools; or
  117         e. Serve students in facilities that are provided by a
  118  business partner for a charter school-in-the-workplace pursuant
  119  to s. 1002.33(15)(b).
  120         2. Have an annual audit that does not reveal any of the
  121  financial emergency conditions provided in s. 218.503(1) for the
  122  most recent fiscal year for which such audit results are
  123  available.
  124         3. Have satisfactory student achievement based on state
  125  accountability standards applicable to the charter school.
  126         4. Have received final approval from its sponsor pursuant
  127  to s. 1002.33 for operation during that fiscal year.
  128         5. Serve students in facilities that are not provided by
  129  the charter school’s sponsor.
  130         (b) A charter school is not eligible for a funding
  131  allocation if it was created by the conversion of a public
  132  school and operates in facilities provided by the charter
  133  school’s sponsor for a nominal fee, or at no charge;, or if it
  134  is directly or indirectly operated by the school district; or if
  135  it is a virtual charter school.
  136         (c) It is the intent of the Legislature that the public
  137  interest be protected by prohibiting personal financial
  138  enrichment by owners, operators, managers, and other affiliated
  139  parties of charter schools. Therefore, a charter school is not
  140  eligible for a funding allocation unless the chair of the
  141  governing board and the chief administrative officer of the
  142  charter school annually certify under oath that the funds will
  143  be used solely and exclusively for constructing, renovating, or
  144  improving charter school facilities that are:
  145         1. Owned by a school district, political subdivision of the
  146  state, municipality, Florida College System institution, or
  147  state university;
  148         2. Owned by an organization, qualified as an exempt
  149  organization under s. 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code,
  150  whose articles of incorporation specify that upon the
  151  organization’s dissolution, the subject property will be
  152  transferred to a school district, political subdivision of the
  153  state, municipality, Florida College System institution, or
  154  state university; or
  155         3. Owned by and leased, at a fair market value in the
  156  school district in which the charter school is located, from a
  157  person or entity that is not an affiliated party of the charter
  158  school. For the purposes of this subparagraph, the term
  159  “affiliated party of the charter school” means the applicant for
  160  the charter school pursuant to s. 1002.33; the governing board
  161  of the charter school or a member of the governing board; the
  162  charter school owner; the charter school principal; an employee
  163  of the charter school; an independent contractor of the charter
  164  school or the governing board of the charter school; a relative,
  165  as defined in s. 1002.33(24)(a)2., of a charter school governing
  166  board member, a charter school owner, a charter school
  167  principal, a charter school employee, or an independent
  168  contractor of a charter school or charter school governing
  169  board; a subsidiary corporation, a service corporation, an
  170  affiliated corporation, a parent corporation, a limited
  171  liability company, a limited partnership, a trust, a
  172  partnership, or a related party that, individually or through
  173  one or more entities, shares common ownership or control and
  174  directly or indirectly manages, administers, controls, or
  175  oversees the operation of the charter school; or any person or
  176  entity, individually or through one or more entities that share
  177  common ownership, which directly or indirectly manages,
  178  administers, controls, or oversees the operation of any of the
  179  foregoing.
  180         (d)(c)In determining the funding allocation for eligible
  181  charter schools, the department shall group them into one of the
  182  following be calculated as follows:
  183         1. Eligible charter schools shall be grouped into
  184  categories based on their student populations according to the
  185  following criteria:
  186         1.a. Seventy-five percent or greater who are eligible for
  187  free or reduced-price school lunch or an equivalent percentage
  188  who are eligible under the Community Eligibility Provision of
  189  the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 when the multiplier
  190  authorized under the National School Lunch Act, 42 U.S.C. s.
  191  1759a(a)(1)(F)(vii), is applied to the number of students
  192  reported for direct certification.
  193         2.b. Twenty-five percent or greater with disabilities as
  194  defined in state board rule and consistent with the requirements
  195  of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
  196         (e) The department shall calculate the shared local capital
  197  outlay allocation by dividing the revenue generated from the
  198  local discretionary millage authorized under s. 1011.71(2) and
  199  levied by the school board by the sum of the district fixed
  200  capital outlay FTE and the FTE for eligible charter schools.
  201  This calculated capital outlay allocation per FTE must then be
  202  multiplied by the eligible charter school’s FTE to provide a
  203  maximum calculated capital outlay allocation.
  204         1.2. If an eligible charter school does not meet the
  205  criteria for either category specified in paragraph (d) under
  206  subparagraph 1., the school shall receive a base allocation of
  207  50 percent of the maximum calculated capital outlay allocation.
  208         2. An eligible charter school that meets one of the
  209  criteria specified in paragraph (d) shall be provided 75 percent
  210  of the maximum calculated capital outlay allocation. An eligible
  211  charter school that meets the criteria under both of the
  212  criteria specified in paragraph (d) shall be provided the
  213  maximum calculated capital outlay allocation.
  214         (f) If an appropriation is provided by the Legislature, the
  215  department shall calculate the state allocation as follows:
  216         1. If an eligible charter school does not meet either of
  217  the criteria under paragraph (d), the charter school’s its FTE
  218  shall be provided as the base funding amount of funding and
  219  shall be assigned a weight of 1.0. An eligible charter school
  220  that meets either of the criteria under paragraph (d) sub
  221  subparagraph 1.a. or sub-subparagraph 1.b. shall be provided an
  222  additional 25 percent above the base funding amount, and the
  223  total FTE shall be multiplied by a weight of 1.25. An eligible
  224  charter school that meets both of the criteria under paragraph
  225  (d) both sub-subparagraphs 1.a. and b. shall be provided an
  226  additional 50 percent above the base funding amount, and the FTE
  227  for that school shall be multiplied by a weight of 1.5.
  228         2.3. The state appropriation for charter school capital
  229  outlay shall be divided by the total weighted FTE for all
  230  eligible charter schools to determine the base charter school
  231  per weighted FTE allocation amount. The per weighted FTE
  232  allocation amount shall be multiplied by the weighted FTE to
  233  determine each charter school’s capital outlay allocation.
  234         (2)(a) The department shall calculate the eligible charter
  235  school funding allocations. Funds shall be allocated using full
  236  time equivalent membership from the second and third enrollment
  237  surveys, and free and reduced-price school lunch data, ad
  238  valorem revenue, and the state appropriation. The department
  239  shall recalculate the allocations periodically based on the
  240  receipt of revised information, on a schedule established by the
  241  Commissioner of Education.
  242         (b) The department shall distribute appropriated capital
  243  outlay funds monthly, beginning in the first quarter of the
  244  fiscal year, based on one-twelfth of the amount the department
  245  reasonably expects the charter school to receive during that
  246  fiscal year. The commissioner shall adjust subsequent
  247  distributions as necessary to reflect each charter school’s
  248  recalculated allocation.
  249         (c) Each school district shall distribute one-twelfth of
  250  the calculated shared local capital outlay funds to eligible
  251  charter schools on a monthly basis, beginning in the first
  252  quarter of the fiscal year. If local funds are not yet
  253  available, the school district must provide an equivalent amount
  254  from another funding source. If the school district is unable to
  255  provide the calculated local funds from its millage authorized
  256  pursuant to s. 1011.71(2), the school district must provide an
  257  equivalent amount to the eligible charter schools from another
  258  school district funding source. Each school district shall
  259  adjust payments to charter schools to reflect updated
  260  calculations of the shared local charter school allocations, as
  261  determined by the department.
  262         (3) A charter school’s governing body may only use charter
  263  school capital outlay funds at the charter school that generated
  264  the capital outlay funding for the following purposes:
  265         (a) Purchase of real property.
  266         (b) Construction of school facilities.
  267         (c) Purchase, lease-purchase, or lease of permanent or
  268  relocatable school facilities.
  269         (d) Purchase of vehicles to transport students to and from
  270  the charter school.
  271         (e) Renovation, repair, and maintenance of school
  272  facilities that the charter school owns or is purchasing through
  273  a lease-purchase or long-term lease of 5 years or longer.
  274         (f) Effective July 1, 2008, purchase, lease-purchase, or
  275  lease of new and replacement equipment, and enterprise resource
  276  software applications that are classified as capital assets in
  277  accordance with definitions of the Governmental Accounting
  278  Standards Board, have a useful life of at least 5 years, and are
  279  used to support schoolwide administration or state-mandated
  280  reporting requirements.
  281         (g) Payment of the cost of premiums for property and
  282  casualty insurance necessary to insure the school facilities.
  283         (h) Purchase, lease-purchase, or lease of driver’s
  284  education vehicles; motor vehicles used for the maintenance or
  285  operation of plants and equipment; security vehicles; or
  286  vehicles used in storing or distributing materials and
  287  equipment.
  289  Conversion charter schools may use capital outlay funds received
  290  through the reduction in the administrative fee provided in s.
  291  1002.33(20) for renovation, repair, and maintenance of school
  292  facilities that are owned by the sponsor.
  293         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2017.