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