Florida Senate - 2018                        COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
       Bill No. CS for SB 1434
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              

       Appropriations Subcommittee on Pre-K - 12 Education (Rouson)
       recommended the following:
    1         Senate Amendment to Amendment (396932) (with title
    2  amendment)
    4         Before line 5
    5  insert:
    6         Section 1. Paragraph (b) of subsection (6) of section
    7  1002.33, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
    8         1002.33 Charter schools.—
    9         (6) APPLICATION PROCESS AND REVIEW.—Charter school
   10  applications are subject to the following requirements:
   11         (b) A sponsor shall receive and review all applications for
   12  a charter school using the evaluation instrument developed by
   13  the Department of Education. A sponsor shall receive and
   14  consider charter school applications received on or before
   15  August 1 of each calendar year for charter schools to be opened
   16  at the beginning of the school district’s next school year, or
   17  to be opened at a time agreed to by the applicant and the
   18  sponsor. A sponsor may not refuse to receive a charter school
   19  application submitted before August 1 and may receive an
   20  application submitted later than August 1 if it chooses.
   21  Beginning in 2018 and thereafter, a sponsor shall receive and
   22  consider charter school applications received on or before
   23  February 1 of each calendar year for charter schools to be
   24  opened 18 months later at the beginning of the school district’s
   25  school year, or to be opened at a time agreed to by the
   26  applicant and the sponsor. A sponsor may not refuse to receive a
   27  charter school application submitted before February 1 and may
   28  receive an application submitted later than February 1 if it
   29  chooses. A sponsor may not charge an applicant for a charter any
   30  fee for the processing or consideration of an application, and a
   31  sponsor may not base its consideration or approval of a final
   32  application upon the promise of future payment of any kind.
   33  Before approving or denying any application, the sponsor shall
   34  allow the applicant, upon receipt of written notification, at
   35  least 7 calendar days to make technical or nonsubstantive
   36  corrections and clarifications, including, but not limited to,
   37  corrections of grammatical, typographical, and like errors or
   38  missing signatures, if such errors are identified by the sponsor
   39  as cause to deny the final application.
   40         1. In order to facilitate an accurate budget projection
   41  process, a sponsor shall be held harmless for FTE students who
   42  are not included in the FTE projection due to approval of
   43  charter school applications after the FTE projection deadline.
   44  In a further effort to facilitate an accurate budget projection,
   45  within 15 calendar days after receipt of a charter school
   46  application, a sponsor shall report to the Department of
   47  Education the name of the applicant entity, the proposed charter
   48  school location, and its projected FTE.
   49         2. In order to ensure fiscal responsibility, an application
   50  for a charter school shall include a full accounting of expected
   51  assets, a projection of expected sources and amounts of income,
   52  including income derived from projected student enrollments and
   53  from community support, and an expense projection that includes
   54  full accounting of the costs of operation, including start-up
   55  costs.
   56         3.a. A sponsor shall by a majority vote approve or deny an
   57  application no later than 90 calendar days after the application
   58  is received, unless the sponsor and the applicant mutually agree
   59  in writing to temporarily postpone the vote to a specific date,
   60  at which time the sponsor shall by a majority vote approve or
   61  deny the application. If the sponsor fails to act on the
   62  application, an applicant may appeal to the State Board of
   63  Education as provided in paragraph (c). If an application is
   64  denied, the sponsor shall, within 10 calendar days after such
   65  denial, articulate in writing the specific reasons, based upon
   66  good cause, supporting its denial of the application and shall
   67  provide the letter of denial and supporting documentation to the
   68  applicant and to the Department of Education.
   69         b. An application submitted by a high-performing charter
   70  school identified pursuant to s. 1002.331 or a high-performing
   71  charter school system identified pursuant to s. 1002.332 may be
   72  denied by the sponsor only if the sponsor demonstrates by clear
   73  and convincing evidence that:
   74         (I) The application does not materially comply with the
   75  requirements in paragraph (a);
   76         (II) The charter school proposed in the application does
   77  not materially comply with the requirements in paragraphs
   78  (9)(a)-(f);
   79         (III) The proposed charter school’s educational program
   80  does not substantially replicate that of the applicant or one of
   81  the applicant’s high-performing charter schools;
   82         (IV) The applicant has made a material misrepresentation or
   83  false statement or concealed an essential or material fact
   84  during the application process; or
   85         (V) The proposed charter school’s educational program and
   86  financial management practices do not materially comply with the
   87  requirements of this section.
   89  Material noncompliance is a failure to follow requirements or a
   90  violation of prohibitions applicable to charter school
   91  applications, which failure is quantitatively or qualitatively
   92  significant either individually or when aggregated with other
   93  noncompliance. An applicant is considered to be replicating a
   94  high-performing charter school if the proposed school is
   95  substantially similar to at least one of the applicant’s high
   96  performing charter schools and the organization or individuals
   97  involved in the establishment and operation of the proposed
   98  school are significantly involved in the operation of replicated
   99  schools.
  100         c. If the sponsor denies an application submitted by a
  101  high-performing charter school or a high-performing charter
  102  school system, the sponsor must, within 10 calendar days after
  103  such denial, state in writing the specific reasons, based upon
  104  the criteria in sub-subparagraph b., supporting its denial of
  105  the application and must provide the letter of denial and
  106  supporting documentation to the applicant and to the Department
  107  of Education. The applicant may appeal the sponsor’s denial of
  108  the application in accordance with paragraph (c).
  109         4. For budget projection purposes, the sponsor shall report
  110  to the Department of Education the approval or denial of an
  111  application within 10 calendar days after such approval or
  112  denial. In the event of approval, the report to the Department
  113  of Education shall include the final projected FTE for the
  114  approved charter school.
  115         5. Upon approval of an application, the initial startup
  116  shall commence with the beginning of the public school calendar
  117  for the district in which the charter is granted. A charter
  118  school may defer the opening of the school’s operations for up
  119  to 3 2 years to provide time for adequate facility planning. The
  120  charter school must provide written notice of such intent to the
  121  sponsor and the parents of enrolled students at least 30
  122  calendar days before the first day of school.
  123         Section 2. Subsection (1) of section 1002.331, Florida
  124  Statutes, is amended to read:
  125         1002.331 High-performing charter schools.—
  126         (1) A charter school is a high-performing charter school if
  127  it:
  128         (a) Received at least two school grades of “A” and no
  129  school grade below “B,” pursuant to s. 1008.34, during each of
  130  the previous 3 school years or received at least two consecutive
  131  school grades of “A” in the most recent 2 school years.
  132         (b) Received an unqualified opinion on each annual
  133  financial audit required under s. 218.39 in the most recent 3
  134  fiscal years for which such audits are available.
  135         (c) Did not receive a financial audit that revealed one or
  136  more of the financial emergency conditions set forth in s.
  137  218.503(1) in the most recent 3 fiscal years for which such
  138  audits are available. However, this requirement is deemed met
  139  for a charter school-in-the-workplace if there is a finding in
  140  an audit that the school has the monetary resources available to
  141  cover any reported deficiency or that the deficiency does not
  142  result in a deteriorating financial condition pursuant to s.
  143  1002.345(1)(a)3.
  145  For purposes of determining initial eligibility, the
  146  requirements of paragraphs (b) and (c) only apply to the most
  147  recent 2 fiscal years if the charter school earns two
  148  consecutive grades of “A”. A virtual charter school established
  149  under s. 1002.33 is not eligible for designation as a high
  150  performing charter school.
  152  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
  153  And the title is amended as follows:
  154         Delete line 920
  155  and insert:
  156         An act relating to K-12 education; amending s.
  157         1002.33, F.S.; extending the period of time for which
  158         a charter school may defer its opening for specified
  159         reasons; amending s. 1002.331, F.S.; revising the
  160         requirements for a charter school to be considered a
  161         high-performing charter school; amending s.