Florida Senate - 2019                                    SB 1198
       By Senator Stargel
       22-01526C-19                                          20191198__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to school board fiscal transparency;
    3         amending s. 1002.33, F.S.; expanding provisions with
    4         which charter schools are required to comply; amending
    5         s. 1010.20, F.S.; revising requirements for school
    6         districts’ reports to the Department of Education on
    7         certain costs; amending s. 1011.035, F.S.; revising
    8         the requirements for data and information that
    9         district school boards must post on their respective
   10         websites; amending s. 1011.051, F.S.; deleting a
   11         requirement that superintendents reduce certain
   12         expenditures under specified circumstances; deleting a
   13         requirement that the department contract with certain
   14         parties to conduct investigations under specified
   15         circumstances; providing an effective date.
   17  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   19         Section 1. Subsection (16) of section 1002.33, Florida
   20  Statutes, is amended to read:
   21         1002.33 Charter schools.—
   22         (16) EXEMPTION FROM STATUTES.—
   23         (a) A charter school shall operate in accordance with its
   24  charter and shall be exempt from all statutes in chapters 1000
   25  1013. However, a charter school shall be in compliance with the
   26  following statutes in chapters 1000-1013:
   27         1. Those statutes specifically applying to charter schools,
   28  including this section.
   29         2. Those statutes pertaining to the student assessment
   30  program and school grading system.
   31         3. Those statutes pertaining to the provision of services
   32  to students with disabilities.
   33         4. Those statutes pertaining to civil rights, including s.
   34  1000.05, relating to discrimination.
   35         5. Those statutes pertaining to student health, safety, and
   36  welfare.
   37         (b) Additionally, a charter school shall be in compliance
   38  with the following statutes:
   39         1. Section 286.011, relating to public meetings and
   40  records, public inspection, and criminal and civil penalties.
   41         2. Chapter 119, relating to public records.
   42         3. Section 1003.03, relating to the maximum class size,
   43  except that the calculation for compliance pursuant to s.
   44  1003.03 shall be the average at the school level.
   45         4. Section 1012.22(1)(c), relating to compensation and
   46  salary schedules.
   47         5. Section 1012.33(5), relating to workforce reductions.
   48         6. Section 1012.335, relating to contracts with
   49  instructional personnel hired on or after July 1, 2011.
   50         7. Section 1012.34, relating to the substantive
   51  requirements for performance evaluations for instructional
   52  personnel and school administrators.
   53         8.Section 1010.20, relating to cost accounting and
   54  reporting for school districts.
   55         9.Section 1011.035, relating to school district budget
   56  transparency.
   57         (c) For purposes of subparagraphs (b)4.-7.:
   58         1. The duties assigned to a district school superintendent
   59  apply to charter school administrative personnel, as defined in
   60  s. 1012.01(3)(a) and (b), and the charter school governing board
   61  shall designate at least one administrative person to be
   62  responsible for such duties.
   63         2. The duties assigned to a district school board apply to
   64  a charter school governing board.
   65         3. A charter school may hire instructional personnel and
   66  other employees on an at-will basis.
   67         4. Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary,
   68  instructional personnel and other employees on contract may be
   69  suspended or dismissed any time during the term of the contract
   70  without cause.
   71         Section 2. Effective July 1, 2019, and upon the expiration
   72  and reversion of the amendment to section 1010.20, Florida
   73  Statutes, pursuant to section 8 of chapter 2018-5, Laws of
   74  Florida, subsection (2) of section 1010.20, Florida Statutes, is
   75  amended to read:
   76         1010.20 Cost accounting and reporting for school
   77  districts.—
   78         (2) COST REPORTING.—
   79         (a) Each district shall report on a district-aggregate
   80  basis expenditures for inservice training pursuant to s.
   81  1011.62(3) and for categorical programs as provided in s.
   82  1011.62(6).
   83         (b) Each district shall report to the department on a
   84  school-by-school and on a district-aggregate an aggregate
   85  district basis all of the following expenditures for:
   86         1. Expenditures for each program funded in s.
   87  1011.62(1)(c).
   88         2. Total operating costs provided in “School District
   89  Program Cost Reports,” by category as reported pursuant to s.
   90  1010.215(4)(a) and (b), including subtotals for direct and
   91  indirect costs, total school costs, and total program costs s.
   92  1010.215.
   93         3. Total costs Expenditures for classroom instruction as
   94  defined pursuant to the calculation in s. 1010.215(4)(b)1. and
   95  2. and as provided in “School District Program Cost Reports.”
   96         (c) The department shall:
   97         1. Categorize all public schools and districts into
   98  appropriate groups based primarily on average full-time
   99  equivalent student enrollment as reported on the most recent
  100  student membership survey under s. 1011.62 and may categorize
  101  schools by school type, age of facility, and any other category
  102  that equalizes cost comparability and in state board rule to
  103  determine groups of peer schools and districts.
  104         2. Annually calculate for each public school, district, and
  105  for the entire state, the percentage of total costs for
  106  classroom instruction expenditures to total operating costs as
  107  provided expenditures reported in subparagraphs (b)2. and 3. For
  108  schools, this means school direct classroom instruction costs
  109  plus instructional support costs divided by total school costs.
  110  For school districts, this means total direct costs plus total
  111  school and district instructional support costs divided by total
  112  program costs. The results must shall be categorized pursuant to
  113  this paragraph.
  114         3. Annually calculate for all public schools, districts,
  115  and the state, the average percentage of total direct school
  116  costs classroom expenditures to total school costs operating
  117  expenditures reported in subparagraphs (b)2. and 3. The results
  118  shall be categorized pursuant to this paragraph.
  119         3.4. Develop a web-based fiscal transparency tool that
  120  combines and compares academic achievement and the percentage of
  121  funds spent on classroom instruction for all identifies public
  122  schools and districts that produce high academic achievement
  123  based on the calculations the ratio of classroom instruction
  124  expenditures to total expenditures. The fiscal transparency tool
  125  shall combine the data calculated pursuant to this paragraph and
  126  with the student performance measurements calculated pursuant to
  127  s. 1012.34(7) to determine the financial efficiency of each
  128  public school and district. The results shall be displayed in an
  129  easy to use format that enables the user to compare performance
  130  among public schools and districts.
  131         (d) The Commissioner of Education shall present to the
  132  Legislature, prior to the opening of the regular session each
  133  year, a district-by-district report of the costs expenditures
  134  reported pursuant to paragraphs (a) and (b). The report shall
  135  include total costs expenditures, a detailed analysis showing
  136  costs expenditures for each program, and such other data as may
  137  be useful for management of the education system. The
  138  Commissioner of Education shall also compute cost factors
  139  relative to the base student allocation for each funded program
  140  in s. 1011.62(1)(c).
  141         Section 3. Effective July 1, 2019, and upon the expiration
  142  and reversion of the amendment to section 1011.035, Florida
  143  Statutes, pursuant to section 12 of chapter 2018-5, Laws of
  144  Florida, subsection (2) of section 1011.035, Florida Statutes,
  145  is amended to read:
  146         1011.035 School district budget transparency.—
  147         (2) Each district school board shall post on its website a
  148  plain language version of each proposed, tentative, and official
  149  budget which describes each budget item in terms that are easily
  150  understandable to the public and, in addition, includes:
  151         (a) Graphical representations, For each public school
  152  within the district and for the school district, as appropriate,
  153  of the following:
  154         1. Summary Financial efficiency information calculated
  155  pursuant to s. 1010.20 with a link to the web-based fiscal
  156  transparency tool developed by the department data.
  157         2. Fiscal trend information for the previous 3 years on:
  158         a. The ratio of full-time equivalent students to full-time
  159  equivalent instructional personnel, as defined in s. 1010.215.
  160         b. The ratio of full-time equivalent students to full-time
  161  equivalent administrative personnel, as defined in s. 1010.215.
  162         c. The total operating expenditures, as calculated pursuant
  163  to s. 1010.20(2), per full-time equivalent student.
  164         d. The total instructional expenditures, as calculated
  165  pursuant to s. 1010.20(3), per full-time equivalent student.
  166         e. The general administrative expenditures as a percentage
  167  of total budget, which is the inverse of total costs for
  168  classroom instruction as a percentage of total operating costs
  169  calculated in s. 1010.20.
  170         f. The rate of change in the general fund’s ending fund
  171  balance not classified as restricted, expressed as the financial
  172  condition ratio, which is the fund balance as a percentage of
  173  total general fund revenues.
  174         (b) A link to the web-based fiscal transparency tool
  175  developed by the department pursuant to s. 1010.20 to enable
  176  taxpayers to evaluate the financial efficiency of the school
  177  district and compare the financial efficiency of the school
  178  district with other similarly situated school districts.
  180  This information must be prominently posted on the school
  181  district’s website in a manner that is readily accessible to the
  182  public.
  183         Section 4. Effective July 1, 2019, and upon the expiration
  184  and reversion of the amendment to section 1011.051, Florida
  185  Statutes, pursuant to section 13 of chapter 2018-5, Laws of
  186  Florida, section 1011.051, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  187         1011.051 Guidelines for general funds.—The district school
  188  board shall maintain a general fund ending fund balance that is
  189  sufficient to address normal contingencies.
  190         (1) If at any time the portion of the general fund’s ending
  191  fund balance not classified as restricted, committed, or
  192  nonspendable in the district’s approved operating budget is
  193  projected to fall below 3 percent of projected general fund
  194  revenues during the current fiscal year, the superintendent
  195  shall provide written notification to the district school board
  196  and the Commissioner of Education. If such financial condition
  197  exists for 2 consecutive fiscal years, the superintendent shall
  198  reduce the district’s administration expenditures reported
  199  pursuant to s. 1010.215(4)(a) in proportion to the reduction in
  200  the general fund’s ending balance or the reduction in student
  201  enrollment, whichever is greater.
  202         (2)(a) If at any time the portion of the general fund’s
  203  ending fund balance not classified as restricted, committed, or
  204  nonspendable in the district’s approved operating budget is
  205  projected to fall below 2 percent of projected general fund
  206  revenues during the current fiscal year, the superintendent
  207  shall provide written notification to the district school board
  208  and the Commissioner of Education. Within 14 days after
  209  receiving such notification, if the commissioner determines that
  210  the district does not have a plan that is reasonably anticipated
  211  to avoid a financial emergency as determined pursuant to s.
  212  218.503, the commissioner shall appoint a financial emergency
  213  board that shall operate under the requirements, powers, and
  214  duties specified in s. 218.503(3)(g).
  215         (b) If any of the conditions identified in s. 218.503(1)
  216  existed in the 2015-2016 school year or thereafter, the
  217  department shall contract with an independent third party to
  218  conduct an investigation of all accounts and records to
  219  determine the cause of the deficit; what efforts, if any, were
  220  made to avoid the deficit; and whether any of the conditions
  221  identified in s. 1011.10 have occurred. The investigation must
  222  include a detailed review and analysis of documents and records,
  223  including, but not limited to, budget reports, journal entries,
  224  budget methodologies, staff emails, hard copy records, monthly
  225  financial statements, quarterly revenue and expenditure reports,
  226  finance staff job descriptions, and minutes from meetings. The
  227  results of the investigation must include recommendations for
  228  corrective action and controls to avoid a reoccurrence of a
  229  future budget shortfall. A final report shall be provided to the
  230  district school board, the department, the Legislative Auditing
  231  Committee, and the district’s financial emergency board, if
  232  applicable.
  233         Section 5. This act shall take effect July 1, 2019.