Florida Senate - 2017                        COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
       Bill No. SB 902
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              
                  Comm: RCS            .                                
                  04/17/2017           .                                

       The Committee on Education (Simmons) recommended the following:
    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Delete everything after the enacting clause
    4  and insert:
    5         Section 1. Paragraphs (d) and (h) of subsection (2) of
    6  section 1002.385, Florida Statutes, are amended, present
    7  paragraphs (i) and (j) of that subsection are redesignated as
    8  paragraphs (j) and (k), respectively, a new paragraph (i) is
    9  added to that subsection, paragraph (a) of subsection (3) of
   10  that section is amended, paragraph (e) is added to subsection
   11  (4) of that section, and subsection (5), paragraph (b) of
   12  subsection (6), subsection (8), paragraph (f) of subsection
   13  (11), and paragraph (j) of subsection (12) of that section are
   14  amended, to read:
   15         1002.385 The Gardiner Scholarship.—
   16         (2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
   17         (d) “Disability” means, for a 3- or 4-year-old child or for
   18  a student in kindergarten to grade 12, autism spectrum disorder,
   19  as defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental
   20  Disorders, Fifth Edition, published by the American Psychiatric
   21  Association; cerebral palsy, as defined in s. 393.063(6); Down
   22  syndrome, as defined in s. 393.063(15); an intellectual
   23  disability, as defined in s. 393.063(24); Phelan-McDermid
   24  syndrome, as defined in s. 393.063(28); Prader-Willi syndrome,
   25  as defined in s. 393.063(29); spina bifida, as defined in s.
   26  393.063(40); being a high-risk child, as defined in s.
   27  393.063(23)(a); muscular dystrophy; and Williams syndrome; rare
   28  diseases which affect patient populations of fewer than 200,000
   29  individuals in the United States; anaphylaxis; or identification
   30  as deaf, visually impaired, hospital or homebound, dual sensory
   31  impaired, or traumatic brain injured, as defined by rules of the
   32  State Board of Education and evidenced by reports from local
   33  school districts. The term “hospital or homebound” includes a
   34  student who has a medically diagnosed physical or psychiatric
   35  condition or illness, as defined by the state board in rule, and
   36  who is confined to the home or hospital for more than 6 months.
   37         (h) “IEP” means individual education plan, regardless of
   38  whether the plan has been reviewed or revised within the last 12
   39  months.
   40         (i)“Inactive” means that eligible expenditures have not
   41  been made from an account funded pursuant to paragraph (13)(d).
   42         (3) PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY.—A parent of a student with a
   43  disability may request and receive from the state a Gardiner
   44  Scholarship for the purposes specified in subsection (5) if:
   45         (a) The student:
   46         1. Is a resident of this state;
   47         2. Is 3 or 4 years of age on or before September 1 of the
   48  year in which the student applies for program participation, or
   49  is eligible to enroll in kindergarten through grade 12 in a
   50  public school in this state;
   51         3. Has a disability as defined in paragraph (2)(d); and
   52         4. Is the subject of an IEP written in accordance with
   53  rules of the State Board of Education or with the applicable
   54  rules of another state or has received a diagnosis of a
   55  disability from a physician who is licensed under chapter 458 or
   56  chapter 459, or a psychologist who is licensed under chapter
   57  490, or a physician who holds an active license issued by
   58  another state or territory of the United States, the District of
   59  Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
   60         (4) PROGRAM PROHIBITIONS.—A student is not eligible for the
   61  program if he or she is:
   62         (e) Enrolled in the Florida School for the Deaf and the
   63  Blind.
   64         (5) AUTHORIZED USES OF PROGRAM FUNDS.—Program funds must be
   65  used to meet the individual educational needs of an eligible
   66  student and may be spent for the following purposes:
   67         (a) Instructional materials, including digital devices,
   68  digital periphery devices, and assistive technology devices that
   69  allow a student to access instruction or instructional content
   70  and training on the use of and maintenance agreements for these
   71  devices.
   72         (b) Curriculum as defined in paragraph (2)(b).
   73         (c) Specialized services by approved providers or by a
   74  hospital in this state which that are selected by the parent.
   75  These specialized services may include, but are not limited to:
   76         1. Applied behavior analysis services as provided in ss.
   77  627.6686 and 641.31098.
   78         2. Services provided by speech-language pathologists as
   79  defined in s. 468.1125.
   80         3. Occupational therapy services as defined in s. 468.203.
   81         4. Services provided by physical therapists as defined in
   82  s. 486.021.
   83         5. Services provided by listening and spoken language
   84  specialists and an appropriate acoustical environment for a
   85  child who is deaf or hard of hearing and who has received an
   86  implant or assistive hearing device.
   87         (d) Enrollment in, or tuition or fees associated with
   88  enrollment in, a home education program, an eligible private
   89  school, an eligible postsecondary educational institution or a
   90  program offered by the institution, a private tutoring program
   91  authorized under s. 1002.43, a virtual program offered by a
   92  department-approved private online provider that meets the
   93  provider qualifications specified in s. 1002.45(2)(a), the
   94  Florida Virtual School as a private paying student, or an
   95  approved online course offered pursuant to s. 1003.499 or s.
   96  1004.0961.
   97         (e) Fees for nationally standardized, norm-referenced
   98  achievement tests, Advanced Placement Examinations, industry
   99  certification examinations, assessments related to postsecondary
  100  education, or other assessments.
  101         (f) Contributions to the Stanley G. Tate Florida Prepaid
  102  College Program pursuant to s. 1009.98 or the Florida College
  103  Savings Program pursuant to s. 1009.981, for the benefit of the
  104  eligible student.
  105         (g) Contracted services provided by a public school or
  106  school district, including classes. A student who receives
  107  services under a contract under this paragraph is not considered
  108  enrolled in a public school for eligibility purposes as
  109  specified in subsection (4).
  110         (h) Tuition and fees for part-time tutoring services
  111  provided by a person who holds a valid Florida educator’s
  112  certificate pursuant to s. 1012.56; a person who holds an
  113  adjunct teaching certificate pursuant to s. 1012.57; or a person
  114  who has demonstrated a mastery of subject area knowledge
  115  pursuant to s. 1012.56(5). As used in this paragraph, the term
  116  “part-time tutoring services” does not qualify as regular school
  117  attendance as defined in s. 1003.01(13)(e).
  118         (i) Fees for specialized summer education programs.
  119         (j) Fees for specialized after-school education programs.
  120         (k) Transition services provided by job coaches.
  121         (l) Fees for an annual evaluation of educational progress
  122  by a state-certified teacher under s. 1002.41(1)(c), if this
  123  option is chosen for a home education student.
  124         (m) Tuition and fees associated with programs offered by
  125  Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program providers approved
  126  pursuant to s. 1002.55 and school readiness providers approved
  127  pursuant to s. 1002.88.
  128         (n) Fees for services provided at a center that is a member
  129  of the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship
  130  International.
  131         (o) Fees for services provided by a therapist who is
  132  certified by the Certification Board for Music Therapists or
  133  credentialed by the Art Therapy Credentials Board.
  135  A provider of any services receiving payments pursuant to this
  136  subsection may not share, refund, or rebate any moneys from the
  137  Gardiner Scholarship with the parent or participating student in
  138  any manner. A parent, student, or provider of any services may
  139  not bill an insurance company, Medicaid, or any other agency for
  140  the same services that are paid through the Gardiner Scholarship
  141  funds.
  142         (6) TERM OF THE PROGRAM.—For purposes of continuity of
  143  educational choice and program integrity:
  144         (b)1. A student’s scholarship account must be closed and
  145  any remaining funds, including, but not limited to,
  146  contributions made to the Stanley G. Tate Florida Prepaid
  147  College Program or earnings from or contributions made to the
  148  Florida College Savings Program using program funds pursuant to
  149  paragraph (5)(f), shall revert to the state after upon:
  150         a. Denial or revocation of program eligibility by the
  151  commissioner for fraud or abuse, including, but not limited to,
  152  the student or student’s parent accepting any payment, refund,
  153  or rebate, in any manner, from a provider of any services
  154  received pursuant to subsection (5); or
  155         b. After Any period of 3 consecutive years after high
  156  school completion or graduation during which the student has not
  157  been enrolled in an eligible postsecondary educational
  158  institution or a program offered by the institution; or.
  159         c. Three consecutive fiscal years in which an account has
  160  been inactive.
  161         2. The commissioner must notify the parent and the
  162  organization when a Gardiner Scholarship account is closed and
  163  program funds revert to the state.
  165  private school may be sectarian or nonsectarian and shall:
  166         (a) Comply with all requirements for private schools
  167  participating in state school choice scholarship programs
  168  pursuant to s. 1002.421.
  169         (b) Provide to the organization, upon request, all
  170  documentation required for the student’s participation,
  171  including the private school’s and student’s fee schedules.
  172         (c) Be academically accountable to the parent for meeting
  173  the educational needs of the student by:
  174         1. At a minimum, annually providing to the parent a written
  175  explanation of the student’s progress.
  176         2. Annually administering or making provision for students
  177  participating in the program in grades 3 through 10 to take one
  178  of the nationally norm-referenced tests identified by the
  179  Department of Education or the statewide assessments pursuant to
  180  s. 1008.22. Students with disabilities for whom standardized
  181  testing is not appropriate are exempt from this requirement. A
  182  participating private school shall report a student’s scores to
  183  the parent.
  184         3. Cooperating with the scholarship student whose parent
  185  chooses to have the student participate in the statewide
  186  assessments pursuant to s. 1008.22 or, if a private school
  187  chooses to offer the statewide assessments, administering the
  188  assessments at the school.
  189         a. A participating private school may choose to offer and
  190  administer the statewide assessments to all students who attend
  191  the private school in grades 3 through 10.
  192         b. A participating private school shall submit a request in
  193  writing to the Department of Education by March 1 of each year
  194  in order to administer the statewide assessments in the
  195  subsequent school year.
  196         (d) Employ or contract with teachers who have regular and
  197  direct contact with each student receiving a scholarship under
  198  this section at the school’s physical location.
  199         (e) Annually contract with an independent certified public
  200  accountant to perform the agreed-upon procedures developed under
  201  s. 1002.395(6)(o) and produce a report of the results if the
  202  private school receives more than $250,000 in funds from
  203  scholarships awarded under this section in the 2014-2015 state
  204  fiscal year or a state fiscal year thereafter. A private school
  205  subject to this paragraph must submit the report by September
  206  15, 2015, and annually thereafter by August 15 to the
  207  organization that awarded the majority of the school’s
  208  scholarship funds. The agreed-upon procedures must be conducted
  209  in accordance with attestation standards established by the
  210  American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
  212  If The inability of a private school is unable to meet the
  213  requirements of this subsection or has in consecutive years had
  214  material exceptions listed in its agreed-upon procedures
  215  reports, there is constitutes a basis for the ineligibility of
  216  the private school to participate in the program as determined
  217  by the commissioner.
  219  PARTICIPATION.—A parent who applies for program participation
  220  under this section is exercising his or her parental option to
  221  determine the appropriate placement or the services that best
  222  meet the needs of his or her child. The scholarship award for a
  223  student is based on a matrix that assigns the student to support
  224  Level III services. If a parent receives an IEP and a matrix of
  225  services from the school district pursuant to subsection (7),
  226  the amount of the payment shall be adjusted as needed, when the
  227  school district completes the matrix.
  228         (f) The parent is responsible for procuring the services
  229  necessary to educate the student. If a parent does not procure
  230  the necessary educational services for the student and the
  231  student’s account has been inactive for 2 consecutive fiscal
  232  years, the student is ineligible for additional scholarship
  233  payments until the scholarship-funding organization verifies
  234  that expenditures from the account have occurred. When the
  235  student receives a Gardiner Scholarship, the district school
  236  board is not obligated to provide the student with a free
  237  appropriate public education. For purposes of s. 1003.57 and the
  238  Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act, a participating
  239  student has only those rights that apply to all other
  240  unilaterally parentally placed students, except that, when
  241  requested by the parent, school district personnel must develop
  242  an individual education plan or matrix level of services.
  244  A parent who fails to comply with this subsection forfeits the
  245  Gardiner Scholarship.
  247  organization may establish Gardiner Scholarships for eligible
  248  students by:
  249         (j) Documenting each scholarship student’s eligibility for
  250  a fiscal year before granting a scholarship for that fiscal year
  251  pursuant to paragraph (3)(b). A student is ineligible for a
  252  scholarship if the student’s account has been inactive for 2
  253  consecutive fiscal years. However, once an eligible expenditure
  254  is made pursuant to paragraph (11)(f), the student is eligible
  255  for a scholarship, based on available funds.
  256         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2017.
  258  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
  259  And the title is amended as follows:
  260         Delete everything before the enacting clause
  261  and insert:
  262                        A bill to be entitled                      
  263         An act relating to the Gardiner Scholarship Program;
  264         amending s. 1002.385, F.S.; redefining the terms
  265         “disability” and “IEP”; defining the term “inactive”;
  266         prohibiting a student who is enrolled in the Florida
  267         School for the Deaf and the Blind from being eligible
  268         for the program; revising the purposes for which
  269         program funds may be used; requiring that a student’s
  270         account be closed and program funds revert to the
  271         state after the account is inactive for a specified
  272         number of years; revising the date upon which certain
  273         private schools must submit a required report;
  274         specifying that certain actions of the private school
  275         are a basis for program ineligibility; revising parent
  276         and student responsibilities for program
  277         participation; revising obligations of scholarship
  278         funding organizations; providing an effective date.