Florida Senate - 2018 SB 1172 By Senator Galvano 21-01164-18 20181172__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to the Hope Scholarship Program; 3 creating s. 1002.40, F.S.; establishing the Hope 4 Scholarship Program; providing the purpose of the 5 program; providing definitions; providing eligibility 6 requirements; prohibiting the payment of a scholarship 7 under certain circumstances; requiring a school 8 principal to investigate a report of physical violence 9 or emotional abuse; requiring a school district to 10 notify an eligible student’s parent of the program; 11 requiring a school district to provide certain 12 information relating to the statewide assessment 13 program; providing requirements and obligations for 14 eligible private schools; providing Department of 15 Education obligations relating to participating 16 students and private schools and program requirements; 17 providing Commissioner of Education obligations; 18 requiring the commissioner to deny, suspend, or revoke 19 a private school’s participation in the program or the 20 payment of scholarship funds under certain 21 circumstances; defining the term “owner or operator”; 22 providing a process for review of a decision from the 23 commissioner under certain circumstances; providing 24 for the release of personally identifiable student 25 information under certain circumstances; providing 26 parent and student responsibilities for initial and 27 continued participation in the program; providing 28 nonprofit scholarship-funding organization 29 obligations; providing for the calculation of the 30 scholarship amount; providing the scholarship amount 31 for students transferred to certain public schools; 32 requiring verification of specified information before 33 a scholarship may be disbursed; providing requirements 34 for the scholarship payments; providing funds for 35 administrative expenses for certain nonprofit 36 scholarship-funding organizations; providing 37 requirements for administrative expenses; prohibiting 38 a nonprofit scholarship-funding organization from 39 charging an application fee; providing Auditor General 40 obligations; providing requirements for taxpayer 41 elections to contribute to the program; requiring the 42 Department of Revenue to adopt forms to administer the 43 program; providing reporting requirements for 44 nonprofit scholarship-funding organizations relating 45 to taxpayer contributions; providing requirements for 46 certain agents of the Department of Revenue and motor 47 vehicle dealers; providing penalties; providing for 48 the restitution of specified funds under certain 49 circumstances; providing the state is not liable for 50 the award or use of program funds; prohibiting 51 additional regulations for private schools 52 participating in the program beyond those necessary to 53 enforce program requirements; requiring the State 54 Board of Education to adopt rules to administer the 55 program; creating s. 212.1832, F.S.; authorizing 56 certain persons to elect to direct certain state sales 57 and use tax revenue to be transferred to a nonprofit 58 scholarship-funding organization for the Hope 59 Scholarship Program; authorizing the Department of 60 Revenue to adopt emergency rules for specified 61 purposes; providing an effective date. 62 63 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 64 65 Section 1. Section 1002.40, Florida Statutes, is created to 66 read: 67 1002.40 The Hope Scholarship Program.— 68 (1) PURPOSE.—The Hope Scholarship Program is established to 69 provide the parent of a public school student who was subjected 70 to an incident listed in subsection (3) an opportunity to 71 transfer the student to another public school or to request and 72 receive from the state a scholarship for the student to enroll 73 in and attend an eligible private school. 74 (2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term: 75 (a) “Department” means the Department of Education. 76 (b) “Eligible contribution” or “contribution” means a 77 monetary contribution from a person required to pay sales and 78 use tax on the purchase or acquisition of a motor vehicle, 79 subject to the restrictions provided in this section, to an 80 eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization. The 81 taxpayer making the contribution may not designate a specific 82 student as the beneficiary of the contribution. 83 (c) “Eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization” 84 or “organization” has the same meaning as provided in s. 85 1002.395(2)(f). 86 (d) “Eligible private school” has the same meaning as 87 provided in s. 1002.395(2)(g). 88 (e) “Motor vehicle” has the same meaning as provided in s. 89 320.01(1)(a), but does not include heavy trucks, truck tractors, 90 trailers, and motorcycles. 91 (f) “Parent” means a resident of this state who is a 92 parent, as defined in s. 1000.21, and whose student was 93 subjected to an incident listed in subsection (3). 94 (g) “Program” means the Hope Scholarship Program. 95 (h) “School” includes any educational program or activity 96 conducted by a public K-12 educational institution, any school 97 related or school-sponsored program or activity, and riding on a 98 school bus, as defined in s. 1006.25(1), including waiting at a 99 school bus stop. 100 (i) “Unweighted FTE funding amount” means the statewide 101 average total funds per unweighted full-time equivalent funding 102 amount that is incorporated by reference in the General 103 Appropriations Act, or by a subsequent special appropriations 104 act, for the applicable state fiscal year. 105 (3) PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY.—Beginning with the 2018-2019 106 school year, contingent upon available funds, and on a first 107 come, first-served basis, a student enrolled in a Florida public 108 school in kindergarten through grade 12 is eligible for a 109 scholarship under this program if the student has been subjected 110 to an incident of battery; harassment; hazing; bullying; 111 kidnapping; physical attack; robbery; sexual offenses, 112 harassment, assault, or battery; threat or intimidation; or 113 fighting at school. 114 (4) PROGRAM PROHIBITIONS.—Payment of a scholarship may not 115 be made if a student is: 116 (a) Enrolled in a public school, including, but not limited 117 to, the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind; the College 118 Preparatory Boarding Academy; a developmental research school 119 authorized under s. 1002.32; or a charter school authorized 120 under s. 1002.33, s. 1002.331, or s. 1002.332; 121 (b) Enrolled in a school operating for the purpose of 122 providing educational services to youth in the Department of 123 Juvenile Justice commitment programs; 124 (c) Participating in a virtual school, correspondence 125 school, or distance learning program that receives state funding 126 pursuant to the student’s participation unless the participation 127 is limited to no more than two courses per school year; or 128 (d) Receiving any other educational scholarship pursuant to 129 this chapter. 130 (5) SCHOOL DISTRICT OBLIGATIONS; PARENTAL OPTIONS.— 131 (a) Upon receipt of a report of an incident listed in 132 subsection (3), the school principal shall provide a copy of the 133 report to the parent and investigate the incident to determine 134 if the incident must be reported as required by s. 1006.09(6). 135 Upon conclusion of the investigation or within 15 days after the 136 incident was reported, whichever occurs first, the school 137 district shall notify the parent of the program and offer that 138 parent an opportunity to enroll his or her student in another 139 public school or to request and receive a scholarship to attend 140 an eligible private school, subject to available funding. A 141 parent who chooses to enroll his or her student in a Florida 142 public school located outside the district in which the student 143 resides pursuant to s. 1002.31 shall be eligible for a 144 scholarship to transport the student as provided in paragraph 145 (11)(b). 146 (b) For each student participating in the program in a 147 private school who chooses to participate in the statewide 148 assessments under s. 1008.22 or the Florida Alternate 149 Assessment, the school district in which the student resides 150 must notify the student and his or her parent about the 151 locations and times to take all statewide assessments. 152 (6) PRIVATE SCHOOL ELIGIBILITY AND OBLIGATIONS.—An eligible 153 private school may be sectarian or nonsectarian and shall: 154 (a) Comply with all requirements for private schools 155 participating in state school choice scholarship programs 156 pursuant to this section and s. 1002.421. 157 (b) Provide to the organization, upon request, all 158 documentation required for the student’s participation, 159 including the private school’s and the student’s fee schedules. 160 (c) Be academically accountable to the parent for meeting 161 the educational needs of the student by: 162 1. At a minimum, annually providing to the parent a written 163 explanation of the student’s progress. 164 2. Annually administering or making provision for students 165 participating in the program in grades 3 through 10 to take one 166 of the nationally norm-referenced tests identified by the 167 department or the statewide assessments pursuant to s. 1008.22. 168 Students with disabilities for whom standardized testing is not 169 appropriate are exempt from this requirement. A participating 170 private school shall report a student’s scores to his or her 171 parent. 172 3. Cooperating with the student whose parent chooses to 173 have the student participate in the statewide assessments 174 pursuant to s. 1008.22 or, if a private school chooses to offer 175 the statewide assessments, administering the assessments at the 176 school. 177 a. A participating private school may choose to offer and 178 administer the statewide assessments to all students who attend 179 the private school in grades 3 through 10. 180 b. A participating private school shall submit a request in 181 writing to the department by March 1 of each year in order to 182 administer the statewide assessments in the subsequent school 183 year. 184 (d) Employ or contract with teachers who have regular and 185 direct contact with each student receiving a scholarship under 186 this section at the school’s physical location. 187 (e) Maintain in this state a physical location where a 188 scholarship student regularly attends classes. 189 (f) Provide a report from an independent certified public 190 accountant who performs the agreed-upon procedures developed 191 under s. 1002.395(6)(o) if the private school receives more than 192 $250,000 in funds from scholarships awarded under this section 193 in a state fiscal year. A private school subject to this 194 paragraph must annually submit the report by September 15 to the 195 organization that awarded the majority of the school’s 196 scholarship funds. The agreed-upon procedures must be conducted 197 in accordance with attestation standards established by the 198 American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. 199 200 If a private school is unable to meet the requirements of this 201 subsection, the commissioner may determine that the private 202 school is ineligible to participate in the program. 203 (7) DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION OBLIGATIONS.—The department 204 shall: 205 (a) Establish a toll-free hotline that provides parents and 206 private schools with information on participation in the 207 program. 208 (b) Annually verify the eligibility of private schools that 209 meet the requirements of subsection (6). 210 (c) Require an annual notarized and sworn compliance 211 statement by participating private schools certifying compliance 212 with state laws and retain such records. 213 (d) Cross-check the list of participating students with the 214 public school enrollment lists and participation lists in other 215 scholarship programs established under this chapter before each 216 scholarship payment to avoid duplication. 217 (e) Maintain a list of nationally norm-referenced tests 218 identified for purposes of satisfying the testing requirement in 219 paragraph (9)(f). The tests must meet industry standards of 220 quality in accordance with State Board of Education rule. 221 (f) Require quarterly reports by an eligible nonprofit 222 scholarship-funding organization regarding the number of 223 students participating in the scholarship program, the private 224 schools in which the students are enrolled, and other 225 information deemed necessary by the department. 226 (g) Contract with an independent entity to provide an 227 annual evaluation of the program by: 228 1. Reviewing the school climate and code of student conduct 229 of each public school at which 10 or more reported incidents 230 occurred to determine areas in the school or school district 231 procedures involving reporting, investigating, and communicating 232 a parent’s and student’s rights that are in need of improvement. 233 At a minimum, the review must include: 234 a. An assessment of the investigation time and quality of 235 the response of the school and the school district. 236 b. An assessment of the effectiveness of communication 237 procedures with the students involved in an incident, the 238 students’ parents, and the school and school district personnel; 239 c. An analysis of school incident and discipline data; 240 d. The challenges and obstacles relating to implementing 241 recommendations from this review. 242 2. Reviewing the school climate and code of student conduct 243 of each public school a student transferred to if the student 244 was from a school identified in subparagraph 1. in order to 245 identify best practices and make recommendations to a public 246 school at which the incidents occurred. 247 3. Reviewing the performance of participating students 248 enrolled in a private school in which at least 51 percent of the 249 total enrolled students in the prior school year participated in 250 the program and in which there are at least 10 participating 251 students who have scores for tests administered. 252 4. Surveying the parents of participating students to 253 determine academic, safety, and school climate satisfaction and 254 to identify any challenges or obstacles in addressing the 255 incident or relating to the use of the scholarship. 256 (h) Upon the request of a participating private school, 257 provide at no cost to the school the statewide assessments 258 administered under s. 1008.22 and any related materials for 259 administering the assessments. Students at a private school may 260 be assessed using the statewide assessments if the addition of 261 those students and the school does not cause the state to exceed 262 its contractual caps for the number of students tested and the 263 number of testing sites. The state shall provide the same 264 materials and support to a private school that it provides to a 265 public school. A private school that chooses to administer 266 statewide assessments under s. 1008.22 shall follow the 267 requirements set forth in ss. 1008.22 and 1008.24, rules adopted 268 by the State Board of Education to implement those sections, and 269 district-level testing policies established by the district 270 school board. 271 (i) Establish a process by which individuals may notify the 272 department of any violation by a parent, private school, or 273 school district of state laws relating to program participation. 274 The department shall conduct an inquiry or make a referral to 275 the appropriate agency for an investigation of any written 276 complaint of a violation of this section if the complaint is 277 signed by the complainant and is legally sufficient. A complaint 278 is legally sufficient if such complaint contains ultimate facts 279 that show that a violation of this section or any rule adopted 280 by the State Board of Education pursuant to this section has 281 occurred. In order to determine legal sufficiency, the 282 department may require supporting information or documentation 283 from the complainant. A department inquiry is not subject to the 284 requirements of chapter 120. 285 (j)1. Conduct site visits to participating private schools. 286 The purpose of the site visits is solely to verify the 287 information reported by the schools concerning the enrollment 288 and attendance of students, the credentials of teachers, 289 background screening of teachers, and teachers’ fingerprinting 290 results. The department may not make more than seven site visits 291 each year; however, the department may make additional site 292 visits at any time to a school that has received a notice of 293 noncompliance or a notice of proposed action within the previous 294 2 years. 295 2. Annually, by December 15, report to the Governor, the 296 President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of 297 Representatives the department’s actions with respect to 298 implementing accountability in the program under this section 299 and s. 1002.421, any substantiated allegations or violations of 300 law or rule by an eligible private school under this program and 301 the corrective action taken by the department. 302 (8) COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION AUTHORITY AND OBLIGATIONS.— 303 (a) The Commissioner of Education: 304 1. Shall deny, suspend, or revoke a private school’s 305 participation in the program if it is determined that the 306 private school has failed to comply with the provisions of this 307 section. However, if the noncompliance is correctable within a 308 reasonable amount of time and if the health, safety, or welfare 309 of the students is not threatened, the commissioner may issue a 310 notice of noncompliance which provides the private school with a 311 timeframe within which to provide evidence of compliance before 312 taking action to suspend or revoke the private school’s 313 participation in the program. 314 2. May deny, suspend, or revoke a private school’s 315 participation in the program if the commissioner determines that 316 an owner or operator of the private school is operating or has 317 operated an educational institution in this state or in another 318 state or jurisdiction in a manner contrary to the health, 319 safety, or welfare of the public. 320 a. In making such a determination, the commissioner may 321 consider factors that include, but are not limited to, acts or 322 omissions by an owner or operator which led to a previous denial 323 or revocation of participation in an education scholarship 324 program; an owner’s or operator’s failure to reimburse the 325 department for scholarship funds improperly received or retained 326 by a school; imposition of a prior criminal sanction related to 327 an owner’s or operator’s management or operation of an 328 educational institution; imposition of a civil fine or 329 administrative fine, license revocation or suspension, or 330 program eligibility suspension, termination, or revocation 331 related to an owner’s or operator’s management or operation of 332 an educational institution; or other types of criminal 333 proceedings in which an owner or operator was found guilty of, 334 regardless of adjudication, or entered a plea of nolo contendere 335 or guilty to, any offense involving fraud, deceit, dishonesty, 336 or moral turpitude. 337 b. For purposes of this subparagraph, the term “owner or 338 operator” includes an owner, operator, superintendent, or 339 principal of, or a person who has equivalent decisionmaking 340 authority over, a private school participating in the 341 scholarship program. 342 (b) The commissioner’s determination is subject to the 343 following: 344 1. If the commissioner intends to deny, suspend, or revoke 345 a private school’s participation in the program, the department 346 shall notify the private school of such proposed action in 347 writing by certified mail and regular mail to the private 348 school’s address of record with the department. The notification 349 shall include the reasons for the proposed action and notice of 350 the timelines and procedures set forth in this paragraph. 351 2. The private school that is adversely affected by the 352 proposed action shall have 15 days after receipt of the notice 353 of proposed action to file with the department’s agency clerk a 354 request for a proceeding pursuant to ss. 120.569 and 120.57. If 355 the private school is entitled to a hearing under s. 120.57(1), 356 the department shall refer the request to the Division of 357 Administrative Hearings. 358 3. Upon receipt of a request referred pursuant to this 359 paragraph, the director of the Division of Administrative 360 Hearings shall expedite the hearing and assign an administrative 361 law judge who shall commence a hearing within 30 days after the 362 receipt of the formal written request by the division and enter 363 a recommended order within 30 days after the hearing or within 364 30 days after receipt of the hearing transcript, whichever is 365 later. Each party shall be allowed 10 days in which to submit 366 written exceptions to the recommended order. A final order shall 367 be entered by the agency within 30 days after the entry of a 368 recommended order. The provisions of this subparagraph may be 369 waived upon stipulation by all parties. 370 (c) The commissioner may immediately suspend payment of 371 scholarship funds if it is determined that there is probable 372 cause to believe that there is: 373 1. An imminent threat to the health, safety, or welfare of 374 the students; or 375 2. Fraudulent activity on the part of the private school. 376 Notwithstanding s. 1002.22, in incidents of alleged fraudulent 377 activity pursuant to this section, the department’s Office of 378 Inspector General is authorized to release personally 379 identifiable records or reports of students to the following 380 persons or organizations: 381 a. A court of competent jurisdiction in compliance with an 382 order of that court or the attorney of record in accordance with 383 a lawfully issued subpoena, consistent with the Family 384 Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. s. 1232g. 385 b. A person or entity authorized by a court of competent 386 jurisdiction in compliance with an order of that court or the 387 attorney of record pursuant to a lawfully issued subpoena, 388 consistent with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 389 20 U.S.C. s. 1232g. 390 c. Any person, entity, or authority issuing a subpoena for 391 law enforcement purposes when the court or other issuing agency 392 has ordered that the existence or the contents of the subpoena 393 or the information furnished in response to the subpoena not be 394 disclosed, consistent with the Family Educational Rights and 395 Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. s. 1232g, and 34 C.F.R. s. 99.31. 396 397 The commissioner’s suspension of payment pursuant to this 398 paragraph may be appealed pursuant to the same procedures and 399 timelines as the notice of proposed action set forth in 400 paragraph (b). 401 (9) PARENT AND STUDENT RESPONSIBILITIES FOR PROGRAM 402 PARTICIPATION.—A parent who applies for a Hope Scholarship is 403 exercising his or her parental option to place his or her 404 student in an eligible private school. 405 (a) The parent must select an eligible private school and 406 apply for the admission of his or her student. 407 (b) The parent must inform the student’s school district 408 when the parent withdraws his or her student to attend an 409 eligible private school. 410 (c) Any student participating in the program must remain in 411 attendance throughout the school year unless excused by the 412 school for illness or other good cause. 413 (d) Each parent and each student has an obligation to the 414 private school to comply with the private school’s published 415 policies. 416 (e) Upon reasonable notice to the department and the school 417 district, the parent may remove the student from the private 418 school and place the student in a public school in accordance 419 with this section. 420 (f) The parent must ensure that the student participating 421 in the program takes the norm-referenced assessment offered by 422 the private school. The parent may also choose to have the 423 student participate in the statewide assessments pursuant to s. 424 1008.22. If the parent requests that the student participating 425 in the program take the statewide assessments pursuant to s. 426 1008.22 and the private school has not chosen to offer and 427 administer the statewide assessments, the parent is responsible 428 for transporting the student to the assessment site designated 429 by the school district. 430 (g) Upon receipt of a scholarship warrant, the parent to 431 whom the warrant is made must restrictively endorse the warrant 432 to the private school for deposit into the account of the 433 private school. The parent may not designate any entity or 434 individual associated with the participating private school as 435 the parent’s attorney in fact to endorse a scholarship warrant. 436 A parent who fails to comply with this paragraph forfeits the 437 scholarship. 438 (10) OBLIGATIONS OF NONPROFIT SCHOLARSHIP-FUNDING 439 ORGANIZATIONS.—An organization may establish scholarships for 440 eligible students by: 441 (a) Receiving applications and determining student 442 eligibility in accordance with the requirements of this section. 443 (b) Notifying parents of their receipt of a scholarship on 444 a first-come, first-served basis, based upon available funds. 445 (c) Preparing and submitting quarterly and annual reports 446 to the department pursuant to paragraphs (7)(f) and (g). In 447 addition, an eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization 448 must submit in a timely manner any information requested by the 449 department relating to the scholarship program. 450 (d) Notifying the department of any violation of this 451 section. 452 (11) FUNDING AND PAYMENT.— 453 (a) The maximum amount awarded to a student enrolled in an 454 eligible private school shall be determined as a percentage of 455 the unweighted FTE funding amount for that state fiscal year and 456 thereafter as follows: 457 1. Eighty-eight percent for a student enrolled in 458 kindergarten through grade 5. 459 2. Ninety-two percent for a student enrolled in grade 6 460 through grade 8. 461 3. Ninety-six percent for a student enrolled in grade 9 462 through grade 12. 463 (b) The maximum amount awarded to a student enrolled in a 464 Florida public school located outside of the district in which 465 the student resides shall be $750. 466 (c) When a student enters the program, the organization 467 must receive all documentation required for the student’s 468 participation, including a copy of the report of the incident 469 received pursuant to subsection (5) and the private school’s and 470 the student’s fee schedules. The initial payment shall be made 471 after verification of admission acceptance, and subsequent 472 payments shall be made upon verification of continued enrollment 473 and attendance at the private school. 474 (d) Payment of the scholarship by the eligible nonprofit 475 scholarship-funding organization shall be by individual warrant 476 made payable to the student’s parent. If the parent chooses that 477 his or her student attend an eligible private school, the 478 warrant must be delivered by the eligible nonprofit scholarship 479 funding organization to the private school of the parent’s 480 choice, and the parent shall restrictively endorse the warrant 481 to the private school. 482 (e) An eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization 483 shall obtain verification from the private school of a student’s 484 continued attendance at the school for each period covered by a 485 scholarship payment. 486 (f) Payment of the scholarship shall be made by the 487 eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization no less 488 frequently than on a quarterly basis. 489 (g) An organization may use up to 3 percent of eligible 490 contributions received during the state fiscal year in which 491 such contributions are collected for administrative expenses if 492 the organization has operated as an eligible nonprofit 493 scholarship-funding organization for at least the preceding 3 494 fiscal years and did not have any findings of material weakness 495 or material noncompliance in its most recent audit under s. 496 1002.395(6)(m). Such administrative expenses must be reasonable 497 and necessary for the organization’s management and distribution 498 of eligible contributions under this section. No funds 499 authorized under this paragraph shall be used for lobbying or 500 political activity or expenses related to lobbying or political 501 activity. Up to one-third of the funds authorized for 502 administrative expenses under this paragraph may be used for 503 expenses related to the recruitment of contributions from 504 taxpayers. An eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding 505 organization may not charge an application fee. 506 (h) Moneys received pursuant to this section do not 507 constitute taxable income to the qualified student or his or her 508 parent. 509 (12) OBLIGATIONS OF THE AUDITOR GENERAL.— 510 (a) The Auditor General shall conduct an annual operational 511 audit of accounts and records of each organization that 512 participates in the program. As part of this audit, the Auditor 513 General shall verify, at a minimum, the total number of students 514 served and transmit that information to the department. The 515 Auditor General shall provide the commissioner with a copy of 516 each annual operational audit performed pursuant to this 517 subsection within 10 days after the audit is finalized. 518 (b) The Auditor General shall notify the department of any 519 organization that fails to comply with a request for 520 information. 521 (13) SCHOLARSHIP FUNDING TAX CREDITS.— 522 (a) A tax credit is available under s. 212.1832 for use by 523 a taxpayer that makes an eligible contribution to the program. 524 Each eligible contribution is limited to a single payment of $20 525 at the time of purchase of a motor vehicle or a single payment 526 of $20 at the time of registration of a motor vehicle that was 527 not purchased from a dealer. An eligible contribution shall be 528 accompanied by an election to contribute to the program and 529 shall be made by the purchaser at the time of purchase or at the 530 time of registration on a form provided by the Department of 531 Revenue. Payments of contributions shall be made to a dealer, as 532 defined in chapter 212, at the time of purchase of a motor 533 vehicle or to an agent of the Department of Revenue, as 534 designated by s. 212.06(10), at the time of registration of a 535 motor vehicle that was not purchased from a dealer. 536 (b) A tax collector or any person or firm authorized to 537 sell or issue a motor vehicle license who is designated as an 538 agent of the Department of Revenue pursuant to s. 212.06(10) or 539 who is a dealer shall: 540 1. Provide the purchaser the contribution election form, as 541 prescribed by the Department of Revenue, at the time of purchase 542 of a motor vehicle or at the time of registration of a motor 543 vehicle that was not purchased from a dealer. 544 2. Collect eligible contributions. 545 3. Using a form provided by the Department of Revenue, 546 which shall include the dealer’s or agent’s federal employer 547 identification number, remit to an organization on or before the 548 20th day of each month the total amount of contributions made to 549 that organization and collected during the preceding calendar 550 month. 551 4. Report on each return filed with the Department of 552 Revenue the total amount of credits allowed under s. 212.1832 553 during the preceding calendar month. 554 (c) An organization shall report to the Department of 555 Revenue, on or before the 20th day of each month, the total 556 amount of contributions received pursuant to paragraph (b) in 557 the preceding calendar month on a form provided by the 558 Department of Revenue. Such report shall include the federal 559 employer identification number of each tax collector, authorized 560 agent of the Department of Revenue, or dealer who remitted 561 contributions to the organization during that reporting period. 562 (d) A person who, with intent to unlawfully deprive or 563 defraud the program of its moneys or the use or benefit thereof, 564 fails to remit a contribution collected under this section is 565 guilty of theft of charitable funds, punishable as follows: 566 1. If the total amount stolen is less than $300, the 567 offense is a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as 568 provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. Upon a second conviction, 569 the offender is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, 570 punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. Upon a third 571 or subsequent conviction, the offender is guilty of a felony of 572 the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 573 775.083, or s. 775.084. 574 2. If the total amount stolen is $300 or more, but less 575 than $20,000, the offense is a felony of the third degree, 576 punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. 577 3. If the total amount stolen is $20,000 or more, but less 578 than $100,000, the offense is a felony of the second degree, 579 punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. 580 4. If the total amount stolen is $100,000 or more, the 581 offense is a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided 582 in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. 583 (e) A person convicted of an offense under paragraph (d) 584 shall be ordered by the sentencing judge to make restitution to 585 the organization in the amount that was stolen from the program. 586 (14) LIABILITY.—The state is not liable for the award or 587 any use of awarded funds under this section. 588 (15) SCOPE OF AUTHORITY.—This section does not expand the 589 regulatory authority of this state, its officers, or any school 590 district to impose additional regulation on participating 591 private schools beyond those reasonably necessary to enforce 592 requirements expressly set forth in this section. 593 (16) RULES.—The State Board of Education shall adopt rules 594 to administer this section. 595 Section 2. Section 212.1832, Florida Statutes, is created 596 to read: 597 212.1832 Credit for contributions to the Hope Scholarship 598 Program.— 599 (1) There is allowed a credit of 100 percent of an eligible 600 contribution made to an eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding 601 organization under s. 1002.40 against any tax imposed by the 602 state and due under this chapter as a result of the purchase or 603 acquisition of a motor vehicle. The credit may not exceed the 604 tax otherwise owed. 605 (2) For purposes of the distributions of tax revenue under 606 s. 212.20, the department shall disregard any tax credits 607 allowed under this section to ensure that any reduction in tax 608 revenue received that is attributable to the tax credits results 609 only in a reduction in distributions to the General Revenue 610 Fund. The provisions of s. 1002.40 apply to the credit 611 authorized by this section. 612 Section 3. The Department of Revenue may, and all 613 conditions are deemed met to, adopt emergency rules pursuant to 614 ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54, Florida Statutes, to administer this 615 act. 616 Section 4. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.