Florida Senate - 2019                                    SB 1380
       By Senator Perry
       8-00842C-19                                           20191380__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to the Gardiner Scholarship; amending
    3         s. 1002.385, F.S., and reenacting subsection (18),
    4         relating to the Gardiner Scholarship; revising
    5         eligibility requirements for the Gardiner Scholarship
    6         Program; providing that scholarship funds may be spent
    7         for tuition and fees associated with programs relating
    8         to art, music, or theatre; revising requirements
    9         relating to compliance statements required for program
   10         participation; requiring the Department of Education
   11         to implement a certain system; providing an effective
   12         date.
   14  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   16         Section 1. Paragraph (a) of subsection (3) of section
   17  1002.385, Florida Statutes, is amended, paragraph (q) is added
   18  to subsection (5) of that section, paragraph (a) of subsection
   19  (11) of that section is amended, and subsection (18) of that
   20  section is reenacted, to read:
   21         1002.385 The Gardiner Scholarship.—
   22         (3) PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY.—A parent of a student with a
   23  disability may request and receive from the state a Gardiner
   24  Scholarship for the purposes specified in subsection (5) if:
   25         (a) The student:
   26         1. Is a resident of this state;
   27         2. Is 3 or 4 years of age when on or before September 1 of
   28  the year in which the student applies for program participation,
   29  or is eligible to enroll in kindergarten through grade 12 in a
   30  public school in this state;
   31         3. Has a disability as defined in paragraph (2)(d); and
   32         4. Is the subject of an IEP written in accordance with
   33  rules of the State Board of Education or with the applicable
   34  rules of another state or has received a diagnosis of a
   35  disability from a physician who is licensed under chapter 458 or
   36  chapter 459, a psychologist who is licensed under chapter 490,
   37  or a physician who holds an active license issued by another
   38  state or territory of the United States, the District of
   39  Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
   40         (5) AUTHORIZED USES OF PROGRAM FUNDS.—Program funds must be
   41  used to meet the individual educational needs of an eligible
   42  student and may be spent for the following purposes:
   43         (q)Tuition and fees associated with programs relating to
   44  art, music, or theatre.
   46  A provider of any services receiving payments pursuant to this
   47  subsection may not share, refund, or rebate any moneys from the
   48  Gardiner Scholarship with the parent or participating student in
   49  any manner. A parent, student, or provider of any services may
   50  not bill an insurance company, Medicaid, or any other agency for
   51  the same services that are paid for using Gardiner Scholarship
   52  funds.
   54  PARTICIPATION.—A parent who applies for program participation
   55  under this section is exercising his or her parental option to
   56  determine the appropriate placement or the services that best
   57  meet the needs of his or her child. The scholarship award for a
   58  student is based on a matrix that assigns the student to support
   59  Level III services. If a parent receives an IEP and a matrix of
   60  services from the school district pursuant to subsection (7),
   61  the amount of the payment shall be adjusted as needed, when the
   62  school district completes the matrix.
   63         (a) To satisfy or maintain program eligibility, including
   64  eligibility to receive and spend program payments, the parent
   65  must sign an agreement with the organization and annually submit
   66  a notarized, sworn compliance statement, which for initial
   67  eligibility must be notarized, to the organization to:
   68         1. Affirm that the student is enrolled in a program that
   69  meets regular school attendance requirements as provided in s.
   70  1003.01(13)(b)-(d).
   71         2. Affirm that the program funds are used only for
   72  authorized purposes serving the student’s educational needs, as
   73  described in subsection (5).
   74         3. Affirm that the parent is responsible for the education
   75  of his or her student by, as applicable:
   76         a. Requiring the student to take an assessment in
   77  accordance with paragraph (8)(b);
   78         b. Providing an annual evaluation in accordance with s.
   79  1002.41(1)(f); or
   80         c. Requiring the child to take any preassessments and
   81  postassessments selected by the provider if the child is 4 years
   82  of age and is enrolled in a program provided by an eligible
   83  Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program provider. A student
   84  with disabilities for whom a preassessment and postassessment is
   85  not appropriate is exempt from this requirement. A participating
   86  provider shall report a student’s scores to the parent.
   87         4. Affirm that the student remains in good standing with
   88  the provider or school if those options are selected by the
   89  parent.
   91  The department shall implement a system that allows parents to
   92  submit all required information to maintain program eligibility
   93  under this paragraph through a secure Internet website or other
   94  secure electronic means.
   96  A parent who fails to comply with this subsection forfeits the
   97  Gardiner Scholarship.
   98         (18) RULES.—The State Board of Education shall adopt rules
   99  pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to administer this
  100  section.
  101         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2019.