Florida Senate - 2017                        COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
       Bill No. SB 668
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              
                  Comm: RCS            .                                
                  03/27/2017           .                                

       The Committee on Education (Bean) recommended the following:
    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Delete everything after the enacting clause
    4  and insert:
    5         Section 1. Section 1000.35, Florida Statutes, is created to
    6  read:
    7         1000.35State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement.—
    8         (1)The purpose of this section is to authorize this
    9  state’s participation in the State Authorization Reciprocity
   10  Agreement (SARA) as established by the Southern Regional
   11  Education Board (SREB) and the National Council for State
   12  Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) relative to
   13  postsecondary distance education as defined in the SARA. All
   14  parties to the SARA must be willing to accept each other’s
   15  authorization of accredited institutions to operate in their
   16  state to offer distance educational services beyond state
   17  boundaries.
   18         (2)For purposes of this section, the term:
   19         (a)“Commission” means the Commission for Independent
   20  Education.
   21         (b)“Complaint” means a formal assertion in writing that a
   22  person, institution, state, agency, or other entity operating
   23  under the SARA has violated the terms of the SARA or the laws,
   24  standards, or regulations incorporated therein.
   25         (c)“Council” means the Postsecondary Reciprocal Distance
   26  Education Coordinating Council, which serves as the single
   27  portal entity designated by the state to administer the SARA and
   28  serves as the interstate point of contact for SARA-related
   29  questions, complaints, and other matters related to the SARA.
   30         (d)“Department” means the Department of Education.
   31         (e)“Florida SARA institution” means a postsecondary
   32  institution in this state approved by the council to participate
   33  in the SARA.
   34         (f)“Institution” means a public or private postsecondary
   35  degree-granting college or university that is accredited by a
   36  federally recognized accrediting body and that awards, at a
   37  minimum, associate-level degrees requiring at least 2 years of
   38  full-time equivalent college work.
   39         (g)“Member state” means a state, territory, or district
   40  within the United States that has been approved to participate
   41  in the SARA.
   42         (h)“Non-Florida SARA institution” means an institution
   43  approved by a member state other than this state to participate
   44  in the SARA.
   45         (i)“SREB” means the Southern Regional Education Board.
   46         (j)“State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement” or “SARA”
   47  means the agreement that establishes reciprocity between member
   48  states that accept other member states’ authorization of
   49  accredited institutions to operate in their states to offer
   50  distance educational services beyond state boundaries pursuant
   51  to the terms and conditions set forth in the agreement.
   52         (k)“State board” means the State Board of Education.
   53         (3)The council is created within the department for the
   54  purpose of administering the SARA. The council shall consist of
   55  the Chancellor of the State University System, the Chancellor of
   56  the Florida College System, the Chancellor of the Division of
   57  Career and Adult Education, the executive director of the
   58  commission, and the president of the Independent Colleges and
   59  Universities of Florida. The commission shall provide
   60  administrative support for the council. The council shall:
   61         (a)Within 60 days after the effective date of this act,
   62  apply for this state to participate as a member of the SARA
   63  pursuant to the procedures established by the SREB;
   64         (b)Serve as the single portal entity for administration of
   65  the SARA;
   66         (c)Review and approve applications from institutions in
   67  this state to participate in the SARA and establish an appeals
   68  process for institutions that are not approved to participate in
   69  the SARA;
   70         (d)Ensure compliance by Florida SARA institutions with the
   71  terms and provisions of the SARA, including, but not limited to,
   72  accreditation and institutional quality, consumer information
   73  and protection, disclosure and reporting requirements, complaint
   74  mechanisms, and financial responsibility;
   75         (e)Comply with the terms and provisions of the SARA
   76  relating to any member state, Florida SARA institution, or non
   77  Florida SARA institution;
   78         (f)Comply with the reporting requirements in the SARA and
   79  post all such reports on the council’s website;
   80         (g)Consistent with the complaint resolution processes in
   81  the SARA, develop and administer a complaint resolution process
   82  to resolve SARA-related complaints after all complaint processes
   83  in place at a Florida SARA institution have been exhausted by
   84  the complainant;
   85         (h)Delegate any responsibilities, obligations, or
   86  authorities necessary for the administration of this state’s
   87  participation in the SARA to the commission’s staff; and
   88         (i)Recommend rules necessary to administer this section
   89  for adoption by the state board.
   90         (4)The council shall propose an annual fee schedule and
   91  collect fees from each Florida SARA institution. The fees shall
   92  be commensurate with the costs incurred by the council and
   93  commission to administer the SARA and shall be based on a
   94  graduated scale of institutional enrollment. The council shall
   95  propose an annual fee schedule to generate the amount of revenue
   96  necessary for its operations. The proposed fee schedule shall be
   97  submitted to the state board for approval. The department shall
   98  include the approved fee schedule in its legislative budget
   99  request which takes effect unless revised by the Legislature in
  100  the General Appropriations Act. All fees collected pursuant to
  101  this subsection shall be submitted through the department to the
  102  Chief Financial Officer for deposit into a separate account
  103  within the Institutional Assessment Trust Fund. Any fee
  104  authorized by the council is nonrefundable unless paid in error.
  105         (5)The council may revoke a Florida SARA institution’s
  106  approval to participate in the SARA if the council determines
  107  such institution is not in compliance with the terms and
  108  provisions of the SARA.
  109         (6)A Florida SARA institution may withdraw from
  110  participation as a Florida SARA institution by submitting notice
  111  of its intent to withdraw to the council, which shall become
  112  effective at the beginning of the next academic term after
  113  receipt of such notice.
  114         (7)Decisions of the council are not subject to chapter
  115  120.
  116         (8)This section does not supersede the requirements in
  117  chapter 1005 relating to postsecondary educational institutions
  118  under the jurisdiction of the commission.
  119         (9)The state board shall adopt rules to implement this
  120  section.
  121         Section 2. Paragraph (h) is added to subsection (1) of
  122  section 1005.06, Florida Statutes, to read:
  123         1005.06 Institutions not under the jurisdiction or purview
  124  of the commission.—
  125         (1) Except as otherwise provided in law, the following
  126  institutions are not under the jurisdiction or purview of the
  127  commission and are not required to obtain licensure:
  128         (h)Any non-Florida institution that has been approved by a
  129  member state to participate in the State Authorization
  130  Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), as those terms are defined in s.
  131  1000.35(2), if the degree programs that may be offered and the
  132  activities that may be conducted by such institution in this
  133  state are limited to the distance education degree programs and
  134  activities provided in and consistent with the terms and
  135  provisions of the SARA.
  136         Section 3. Subsection (11) of section 1005.31, Florida
  137  Statutes, is amended to read:
  138         1005.31 Licensure of institutions.—
  139         (11) The commission shall establish minimum standards for
  140  the approval of agents. The commission may adopt rules to ensure
  141  that licensed agents meet these standards and uphold the intent
  142  of this chapter. An agent may not solicit prospective students
  143  in this state for enrollment in any independent postsecondary
  144  educational institution under the commission’s purview or in any
  145  out-of-state independent postsecondary educational institution
  146  unless the agent has received a license as prescribed by the
  147  commission or solicits for a postsecondary educational
  148  institution that is not under the jurisdiction of the commission
  149  pursuant to s. 1005.06(1)(h).
  150         Section 4. The Division of Law Revision and Information is
  151  directed to replace the phrase “the effective date of this act”
  152  wherever it occurs in this act with the date this act becomes a
  153  law.
  154         Section 5. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.
  156  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
  157  And the title is amended as follows:
  158         Delete everything before the enacting clause
  159  and insert:
  160                        A bill to be entitled                      
  161         An act relating to postsecondary distance education;
  162         creating s. 1000.35, F.S.; authorizing this state to
  163         participate in the State Authorization Reciprocity
  164         Agreement (SARA) for delivery of postsecondary
  165         distance education; providing definitions;
  166         establishing the Postsecondary Reciprocal Distance
  167         Education Coordinating Council within the Department
  168         of Education; requiring the Commission for Independent
  169         Education to provide administrative support for the
  170         council; providing membership and duties of the
  171         council; requiring the council to propose an annual
  172         fee schedule and collect fees from Florida SARA
  173         institutions; requiring the proposed fee schedule to
  174         be submitted to the State Board of Education for
  175         approval; providing for deposit of such fees into a
  176         specified trust fund; authorizing the council to
  177         revoke a Florida SARA institution’s participation for
  178         noncompliance; authorizing such institution to
  179         withdraw from participation in the SARA after
  180         providing notice; exempting council decisions from the
  181         Administrative Procedure Act; providing that
  182         provisions relating to the jurisdiction of the
  183         commission are not superseded; requiring the state
  184         board to adopt rules; amending s. 1005.06, F.S.;
  185         providing that the commission does not have
  186         jurisdiction over certain non-Florida institutions
  187         participating in the SARA; amending s. 1005.31, F.S.;
  188         authorizing the solicitation of prospective students
  189         for enrollment in certain postsecondary educational
  190         institutions; providing a directive to the Division of
  191         Law Revision and Information; providing an effective
  192         date.