Florida Senate - 2017                              CS for SB 796
       By the Committee on Education; and Senator Bean
       581-03950-17                                           2017796c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to charter schools; amending s.
    3         1002.33, F.S.; revising charter school contract and
    4         funding requirements; creating s. 1002.336, F.S.;
    5         defining terms; authorizing certain entities to apply
    6         for designation as a High-Impact Charter Management
    7         Organization; requiring the State Board of Education
    8         to adopt rules; providing criteria for an initial and
    9         renewal designation; providing that the charter school
   10         may receive charter school capital outlay; authorizing
   11         certain administrative fees to be waived under certain
   12         conditions; requiring the Department of Education to
   13         give priority to certain charter schools applying for
   14         specified grants; amending s. 1013.62, F.S.; revising
   15         the standards that a charter school must meet to be
   16         eligible for a funding allocation; providing an
   17         effective date.
   19  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   21         Section 1. Paragraph (n) of subsection (9) and paragraph
   22  (c) of subsection (17) of section 1002.33, Florida Statutes, are
   23  amended to read:
   24         1002.33 Charter schools.—
   26         (n)1. The director and a representative of the governing
   27  board of a charter school that has earned a grade of “D” or “F”
   28  pursuant to s. 1008.34 shall appear before the sponsor to
   29  present information concerning each contract component having
   30  noted deficiencies. The director and a representative of the
   31  governing board shall submit to the sponsor for approval a
   32  school improvement plan to raise student performance. Upon
   33  approval by the sponsor, the charter school shall begin
   34  implementation of the school improvement plan. The department
   35  shall offer technical assistance and training to the charter
   36  school and its governing board and establish guidelines for
   37  developing, submitting, and approving such plans.
   38         2.a. If a charter school earns three consecutive grades of
   39  “D,” two consecutive grades of “D” followed by a grade of “F,”
   40  or two nonconsecutive grades of “F” within a 3-year period, the
   41  charter school governing board shall choose one of the following
   42  corrective actions:
   43         (I) Contract for educational services to be provided
   44  directly to students, instructional personnel, and school
   45  administrators, as prescribed in state board rule;
   46         (II) Contract with an outside entity that has a
   47  demonstrated record of effectiveness to operate the school;
   48         (III) Reorganize the school under a new director or
   49  principal who is authorized to hire new staff; or
   50         (IV) Voluntarily close the charter school.
   51         b. The charter school must implement the corrective action
   52  in the school year following receipt of a third consecutive
   53  grade of “D,” a grade of “F” following two consecutive grades of
   54  “D,” or a second nonconsecutive grade of “F” within a 3-year
   55  period.
   56         c. The sponsor may annually waive a corrective action if it
   57  determines that the charter school is likely to improve a letter
   58  grade if additional time is provided to implement the
   59  intervention and support strategies prescribed by the school
   60  improvement plan. Notwithstanding this sub-subparagraph, a
   61  charter school that earns a second consecutive grade of “F” is
   62  subject to subparagraph 4.
   63         d. A charter school is no longer required to implement a
   64  corrective action if it improves by at least one letter grade.
   65  However, the charter school must continue to implement
   66  strategies identified in the school improvement plan. The
   67  sponsor must annually review implementation of the school
   68  improvement plan to monitor the school’s continued improvement
   69  pursuant to subparagraph 5.
   70         e. A charter school implementing a corrective action that
   71  does not improve by at least one letter grade after 2 full
   72  school years of implementing the corrective action must select a
   73  different corrective action. Implementation of the new
   74  corrective action must begin in the school year following the
   75  implementation period of the existing corrective action, unless
   76  the sponsor determines that the charter school is likely to
   77  improve a letter grade if additional time is provided to
   78  implement the existing corrective action. Notwithstanding this
   79  sub-subparagraph, a charter school that earns a second
   80  consecutive grade of “F” while implementing a corrective action
   81  is subject to subparagraph 4.
   82         3. A charter school with a grade of “D” or “F” which that
   83  improves by at least one letter grade must continue to implement
   84  the strategies identified in the school improvement plan. The
   85  sponsor must annually review implementation of the school
   86  improvement plan to monitor the school’s continued improvement
   87  pursuant to subparagraph 5.
   88         4. A charter school’s charter contract is automatically
   89  terminated if the school earns two consecutive grades of “F”
   90  after all school grade appeals are final unless:
   91         a. The charter school is established to turn around the
   92  performance of a district public school pursuant to s.
   93  1008.33(4)(b)3. Such charter schools shall be governed by s.
   94  1008.33;
   95         b. The charter school is designated under s. 1002.336 as a
   96  High-Impact Charter Management Organization to serve a critical
   97  need area or serves a student population the majority of which
   98  resides in a school zone served by a district public school that
   99  earned a grade of “F” in the year before the charter school
  100  opened and the charter school earns at least a grade of “D” in
  101  its third year of operation. The exception provided under this
  102  sub-subparagraph does not apply to a charter school in its
  103  fourth year of operation and thereafter; or
  104         c. The state board grants the charter school a waiver of
  105  termination. The charter school must request the waiver within
  106  15 days after the department’s official release of school
  107  grades. The state board may waive termination if the charter
  108  school demonstrates that the Learning Gains of its students on
  109  statewide assessments are comparable to or better than the
  110  Learning Gains of similarly situated students enrolled in nearby
  111  district public schools. The waiver is valid for 1 year and may
  112  only be granted once. Charter schools that have been in
  113  operation for more than 5 years are not eligible for a waiver
  114  under this sub-subparagraph.
  116  The sponsor shall notify the charter school’s governing board,
  117  the charter school principal, and the department in writing when
  118  a charter contract is terminated under this subparagraph. The
  119  letter of termination must meet the requirements of paragraph
  120  (8)(c). A charter terminated under this subparagraph must follow
  121  the procedures for dissolution and reversion of public funds
  122  pursuant to paragraphs (8)(e)-(g) and (9)(o).
  123         5. The director and a representative of the governing board
  124  of a graded charter school that has implemented a school
  125  improvement plan under this paragraph shall appear before the
  126  sponsor at least once a year to present information regarding
  127  the progress of intervention and support strategies implemented
  128  by the school pursuant to the school improvement plan and
  129  corrective actions, if applicable. The sponsor shall communicate
  130  at the meeting, and in writing to the director, the services
  131  provided to the school to help the school address its
  132  deficiencies.
  133         6. Notwithstanding any provision of this paragraph except
  134  sub-subparagraphs 4.a.-c., the sponsor may terminate the charter
  135  at any time pursuant to subsection (8).
  136         (17) FUNDING.—Students enrolled in a charter school,
  137  regardless of the sponsorship, shall be funded as if they are in
  138  a basic program or a special program, the same as students
  139  enrolled in other public schools in the school district. Funding
  140  for a charter lab school shall be as provided in s. 1002.32.
  141         (c) If the district school board is providing programs or
  142  services to students funded by federal funds, any eligible
  143  students enrolled in charter schools in the school district
  144  shall be provided federal funds for the same level of service
  145  provided students in the schools operated by the district school
  146  board. Pursuant to provisions of 20 U.S.C. 8061 s. 10306, all
  147  charter schools shall receive all federal funding for which the
  148  school is otherwise eligible, including Title I funding, not
  149  later than 5 months after the charter school first opens and
  150  within 5 months after any subsequent expansion of enrollment.
  151  Unless otherwise mutually agreed to by the charter school and
  152  its sponsor, and consistent with state and federal rules and
  153  regulations governing the use and disbursement of federal funds,
  154  the sponsor shall reimburse the charter school on a monthly
  155  basis for all invoices submitted by the charter school for
  156  federal funds available to the sponsor for the benefit of the
  157  charter school, the charter school’s students, and the charter
  158  school’s students as public school students in the school
  159  district. Such federal funds include, but are not limited to,
  160  Title I, Title II, and Individuals with Disabilities Education
  161  Act (IDEA) funds. The department shall provide school districts
  162  with technical assistance to ensure the federal funds are
  163  allocated to charter schools using an appropriate methodology.
  164  To receive timely reimbursement for an invoice, the charter
  165  school must submit the invoice to the sponsor at least 30 days
  166  before the monthly date of reimbursement set by the sponsor. In
  167  order to be reimbursed, any expenditures made by the charter
  168  school must comply with all applicable state rules and federal
  169  regulations, including, but not limited to, the applicable
  170  federal Office of Management and Budget Circulars; the federal
  171  Education Department General Administrative Regulations; and
  172  program-specific statutes, rules, and regulations. Such funds
  173  may not be made available to the charter school until a plan is
  174  submitted to the sponsor for approval of the use of the funds in
  175  accordance with applicable federal requirements. The sponsor has
  176  30 days to review and approve any plan submitted pursuant to
  177  this paragraph.
  178         Section 2. Section 1002.336, Florida Statutes, is created
  179  to read:
  180         1002.336High-Impact Charter Management Organization.—
  181         (1) As used in this section, the term:
  182         (a) “Critical need area” means an area designated as such
  183  by the Legislature or an area that is served by one or more
  184  public schools that are subject to the turnaround options
  185  specified in s. 1008.33(4)(b).
  186         (b) “Entity” means a nonprofit organization with tax exempt
  187  status under s. 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code which is
  188  authorized by law to operate a public charter school.
  189         (2) An entity that successfully operates a system of
  190  charter schools which primarily serves educationally
  191  disadvantaged students who are eligible for free or reduced
  192  price lunch under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch
  193  Act, may apply to the State Board of Education for status as a
  194  High-Impact Charter Management Organization.
  195         (3) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules
  196  prescribing the process and criteria for the initial designation
  197  and renewal designation of a High-Impact Charter Management
  198  Organization. The criteria for initial designation must include
  199  a review of the data from all schools currently and previously
  200  operated by the entity during the past 3 years and the
  201  comparison of student-level data to the data of similar students
  202  in other schools. The initial designation period may not exceed
  203  5 years. The criteria for initial and renewal designation must
  204  include, but need not be limited to, all of the following:
  205         (a) Student demographic and achievement data, including
  206  performance on statewide assessments and nationally norm
  207  referenced assessments.
  208         (b) Student attendance, promotion, retention, and
  209  graduation rates.
  210         (c) Other student outcome data, such as college attendance
  211  rates and completion rates.
  212         (d) Annual finance statements and audits.
  213         (4) An entity that is designated as a High-Impact Charter
  214  Management Organization may:
  215         (a) Submit an application to a local school board pursuant
  216  to s. 1002.33 to establish and operate charter schools in
  217  critical need areas;
  218         (b) Take the actions described in s. 1002.331(2); and
  219         (c) Notwithstanding the criteria in s. 1002.33(25), be
  220  designated as a local educational agency for the purpose of
  221  receiving federal funds.
  222         (5) Notwithstanding s. 1013.62(1)(a), a charter school
  223  operated by a High-Impact Charter Management Organization is
  224  eligible to receive charter school capital outlay.
  225         (6) The administrative fee provided for in s.
  226  1002.33(20)(a)2. shall be waived for a charter school
  227  established by a High-Impact Charter Management Organization in
  228  a critical need area if the entity maintains its status as a
  229  High-Impact Charter Management Organization.
  230         (7) The department shall give priority to charter schools
  231  operated by a High-Impact Charter Management Organization in the
  232  department’s Public Charter School Grant Program competitions.
  233  Such priority treatment may be provided only for a new charter
  234  school that will operate in a critical need area.
  235         (8) If an entity seeks status renewal, the State Board of
  236  Education shall review the academic and financial performance of
  237  the charter schools established in critical need areas
  238  consistent with subsection (3).
  239         (9) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules under
  240  ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to administer this section.
  241         Section 3. Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section
  242  1013.62, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  243         1013.62 Charter schools capital outlay funding.—
  244         (1) In each year in which funds are appropriated for
  245  charter school capital outlay purposes, the Commissioner of
  246  Education shall allocate the funds among eligible charter
  247  schools as specified in this section.
  248         (a) To be eligible for a funding allocation, a charter
  249  school must:
  250         1.a. Have been in operation for 2 or more years;
  251         b. Be governed by a governing board established in the
  252  state for 3 or more years which operates both charter schools
  253  and conversion charter schools within the state;
  254         c. Be an expanded feeder chain of a charter school within
  255  the same school district that is currently receiving charter
  256  school capital outlay funds;
  257         d. Have been accredited by the Commission on Schools of the
  258  Southern Association of Colleges and Schools; or
  259         e. Serve students in facilities that are provided by a
  260  business partner for a charter school-in-the-workplace pursuant
  261  to s. 1002.33(15)(b).
  262         2. Have an annual audit that does not reveal any of the
  263  financial emergency conditions provided in s. 218.503(1) for the
  264  most recent fiscal year for which such audit results are
  265  available.
  266         3. Have satisfactory student achievement based on state
  267  accountability standards applicable to the charter school.
  268         3.4. Have received final approval from its sponsor pursuant
  269  to s. 1002.33 for operation during that fiscal year.
  270         4.5. Serve students in facilities that are not provided by
  271  the charter school’s sponsor.
  272         Section 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2017.