Florida Senate - 2019                                    SB 1668
       By Senator Hutson
       7-00618A-19                                           20191668__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to school choice; amending s. 1002.33,
    3         F.S.; revising the purposes that charter schools are
    4         authorized to fulfill; authorizing state universities
    5         to sponsor charter schools to meet regional education
    6         and workforce demands by serving students from
    7         multiple counties; authorizing Florida College System
    8         institutions to sponsor charter schools within their
    9         respective service areas for a certain purpose and to
   10         offer postsecondary programs leading to industry
   11         certifications to eligible students; revising sponsor
   12         duties relating to an annual report submitted to the
   13         Department of Education; requiring the department, in
   14         collaboration with charter school sponsors and
   15         operators, to develop a framework for the evaluation
   16         of sponsors; providing requirements for such
   17         framework; revising requirements related to the
   18         receipt and consideration of charter school
   19         applications; deleting obsolete language; revising the
   20         areas required to be addressed by charters, which also
   21         serve as the basis for approval criteria; conforming
   22         provisions to changes made by the act; revising
   23         requirements for an annual survey required to be
   24         submitted to the department by charter schools;
   25         providing that the standard charter renewal contract
   26         be developed by consulting and negotiating with
   27         sponsors and charter schools; revising charter school
   28         reporting requirements; revising requirements for a
   29         charter school system’s governing board to be
   30         designated a local educational agency; requiring the
   31         department to consult with sponsors, instead of school
   32         districts, when recommending certain rules; making
   33         technical changes; providing an effective date.
   35  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   37         Section 1. Paragraph (c) of subsection (2), subsection (5),
   38  paragraph (b) of subsection (6), paragraphs (a) and (d) of
   39  subsection (7), paragraphs (d) and (e) of subsection (8),
   40  subsection (14), paragraph (c) of subsection (15), paragraphs
   41  (a) and (e) of subsection (17), paragraph (e) of subsection
   42  (18), and subsections (20), (21), (25), and (28) of section
   43  1002.33, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
   44         1002.33 Charter schools.—
   46         (c) Charter schools may fulfill the following purposes:
   47         1. Create innovative measurement tools.
   48         2. Provide rigorous competition within the public school
   49  system district to stimulate continual improvement in all public
   50  schools.
   51         3. Expand the capacity of the public school system.
   52         4. Mitigate the educational impact created by the
   53  development of new residential dwelling units.
   54         5. Create new professional opportunities for teachers,
   55  including ownership of the learning program at the school site.
   56         (5) SPONSOR; DUTIES.—
   57         (a) Sponsoring entities.—
   58         1. A district school board may sponsor a charter school in
   59  the county over which the district school board has
   60  jurisdiction.
   61         2. A state university may grant a charter to a lab school
   62  created under s. 1002.32 and shall be considered to be the
   63  school’s sponsor. Such school shall be considered a charter lab
   64  school.
   65         3. Because needs relating to educational capacity,
   66  workforce qualifications, and career education opportunities are
   67  constantly changing and extend beyond school district
   68  boundaries:
   69         a. A state university may sponsor a charter school to meet
   70  regional education or workforce demands by serving students from
   71  multiple counties.
   72         b. A Florida College System institution may sponsor a
   73  charter school in any county within its service area to meet
   74  workforce demands and may offer postsecondary programs leading
   75  to industry certifications to eligible students of the charter
   76  school.
   77         (b) Sponsor duties.—
   78         1.a. The sponsor shall monitor and review the charter
   79  school in its progress toward the goals established in the
   80  charter.
   81         b. The sponsor shall monitor the revenues and expenditures
   82  of the charter school and perform the duties provided in
   83  s. 1002.345.
   84         c. The sponsor may approve a charter for a charter school
   85  before the applicant has identified space, equipment, or
   86  personnel, if the applicant indicates approval is necessary for
   87  it to raise working funds.
   88         d. The sponsor shall not apply its policies to a charter
   89  school unless mutually agreed to by both the sponsor and the
   90  charter school. If the sponsor subsequently amends any agreed
   91  upon sponsor policy, the version of the policy in effect at the
   92  time of the execution of the charter, or any subsequent
   93  modification thereof, shall remain in effect and the sponsor may
   94  not hold the charter school responsible for any provision of a
   95  newly revised policy until the revised policy is mutually agreed
   96  upon.
   97         e. The sponsor shall ensure that the charter is innovative
   98  and consistent with the state education goals established by s.
   99  1000.03(5).
  100         f. The sponsor shall ensure that the charter school
  101  participates in the state’s education accountability system. If
  102  a charter school falls short of performance measures included in
  103  the approved charter, the sponsor shall report such shortcomings
  104  to the Department of Education.
  105         g. The sponsor shall not be liable for civil damages under
  106  state law for personal injury, property damage, or death
  107  resulting from an act or omission of an officer, employee,
  108  agent, or governing body of the charter school.
  109         h. The sponsor shall not be liable for civil damages under
  110  state law for any employment actions taken by an officer,
  111  employee, agent, or governing body of the charter school.
  112         i. The sponsor’s duties to monitor the charter school shall
  113  not constitute the basis for a private cause of action.
  114         j. The sponsor shall not impose additional reporting
  115  requirements on a charter school without providing reasonable
  116  and specific justification in writing to the charter school.
  117         k. The sponsor shall submit an annual report to the
  118  Department of Education in a web-based format to be determined
  119  by the department.
  120         (I) The report shall include the following information:
  121         (A) The number of draft applications received on or before
  122  May 1 and each applicant’s contact information.
  123         (A)(B) The number of final applications received on or
  124  before February 1 August 1 and each applicant’s contact
  125  information.
  126         (B)(C) The date each application was approved, denied, or
  127  withdrawn.
  128         (C)(D) The date each final contract was executed.
  129         (II) Annually, by November 1 Beginning August 31, 2013, and
  130  each year thereafter, the sponsor shall submit to the department
  131  the information for the applications submitted the previous
  132  year.
  133         (III) The department shall compile an annual report, by
  134  sponsor district, and post the report on its website by January
  135  15 November 1 of each year.
  136         2. Immunity for the sponsor of a charter school under
  137  subparagraph 1. applies only with respect to acts or omissions
  138  not under the sponsor’s direct authority as described in this
  139  section.
  140         3. This paragraph does not waive a sponsor’s district
  141  school board’s sovereign immunity.
  142         4. A Florida College System institution may work with the
  143  school district or school districts in its designated service
  144  area to develop charter schools that offer secondary education.
  145  These charter schools must include an option for students to
  146  receive an associate degree upon high school graduation. If a
  147  Florida College System institution operates an approved teacher
  148  preparation program under s. 1004.04 or s. 1004.85, the
  149  institution may operate no more than one charter school that
  150  serves students in kindergarten through grade 12. In
  151  kindergarten through grade 8, the charter school shall implement
  152  innovative blended learning instructional models in which, for a
  153  given course, a student learns in part through online delivery
  154  of content and instruction with some element of student control
  155  over time, place, path, or pace and in part at a supervised
  156  brick-and-mortar location away from home. A student in a blended
  157  learning course must be a full-time student of the charter
  158  school and receive the online instruction in a classroom setting
  159  at the charter school. District school boards shall cooperate
  160  with and assist the Florida College System institution on the
  161  charter application. Florida College System institution
  162  applications for charter schools are not subject to the time
  163  deadlines outlined in subsection (6) and may be approved by the
  164  district school board at any time during the year. Florida
  165  College System institutions may not report FTE for any students
  166  who receive FTE funding through the Florida Education Finance
  167  Program.
  168         5. A school district may enter into nonexclusive interlocal
  169  agreements with federal and state agencies, counties,
  170  municipalities, and other governmental entities that operate
  171  within the geographical borders of the school district to act on
  172  behalf of such governmental entities in the inspection,
  173  issuance, and other necessary activities for all necessary
  174  permits, licenses, and other permissions that a charter school
  175  needs in order for development, construction, or operation. A
  176  charter school may use, but may not be required to use, a school
  177  district for these services. The interlocal agreement must
  178  include, but need not be limited to, the identification of fees
  179  that charter schools will be charged for such services. The fees
  180  must consist of the governmental entity’s fees plus a fee for
  181  the school district to recover no more than actual costs for
  182  providing such services. These services and fees are not
  183  included within the services to be provided pursuant to
  184  subsection (20).
  185         (c) Sponsor accountability.
  186         1. The department, in collaboration with charter school
  187  sponsors and charter school operators, shall develop a sponsor
  188  evaluation framework that addresses, at a minimum:
  189         a. The sponsor’s strategic vision for charter school
  190  authorization and its progress toward realizing that vision.
  191         b. The alignment of the sponsor’s policies and practices to
  192  authorization best practices.
  193         c. The academic and financial performance of all operating
  194  charter schools overseen by the sponsor.
  195         d. The status of charter schools authorized by the sponsor,
  196  including approved, operating, and closed schools.
  197         2. The department shall compile the evaluation results by
  198  district and shall include the results in the report required
  199  under sub-sub-subparagraph (b)1.k.(III).
  200         (6) APPLICATION PROCESS AND REVIEW.—Charter school
  201  applications are subject to the following requirements:
  202         (b) A sponsor shall receive and review all applications for
  203  a charter school using the evaluation instrument developed by
  204  the Department of Education. A sponsor shall receive and
  205  consider charter school applications received on or before
  206  August 1 of each calendar year for charter schools to be opened
  207  at the beginning of the school district’s next school year, or
  208  to be opened at a time agreed to by the applicant and the
  209  sponsor. A sponsor may not refuse to receive a charter school
  210  application submitted before August 1 and may receive an
  211  application submitted later than August 1 if it chooses.
  212  Beginning in 2018 and thereafter, A sponsor shall receive and
  213  consider charter school applications received on or before
  214  February 1 of each calendar year for charter schools to be
  215  opened 18 months later at the beginning of the school district’s
  216  school year, or to be opened at a time determined by the
  217  applicant. A sponsor may not refuse to receive a charter school
  218  application submitted before February 1 and may receive an
  219  application submitted later than February 1 if it chooses. A
  220  sponsor may not charge an applicant for a charter any fee for
  221  the processing or consideration of an application, and a sponsor
  222  may not base its consideration or approval of a final
  223  application upon the promise of future payment of any kind.
  224  Before approving or denying any application, the sponsor shall
  225  allow the applicant, upon receipt of written notification, at
  226  least 7 calendar days to make technical or nonsubstantive
  227  corrections and clarifications, including, but not limited to,
  228  corrections of grammatical, typographical, and like errors or
  229  missing signatures, if such errors are identified by the sponsor
  230  as cause to deny the final application.
  231         1. In order to facilitate an accurate budget projection
  232  process, a sponsor shall be held harmless for FTE students who
  233  are not included in the FTE projection due to approval of
  234  charter school applications after the FTE projection deadline.
  235  In a further effort to facilitate an accurate budget projection,
  236  within 15 calendar days after receipt of a charter school
  237  application, a sponsor shall report to the Department of
  238  Education the name of the applicant entity, the proposed charter
  239  school location, and its projected FTE.
  240         2. In order to ensure fiscal responsibility, an application
  241  for a charter school shall include a full accounting of expected
  242  assets, a projection of expected sources and amounts of income,
  243  including income derived from projected student enrollments and
  244  from community support, and an expense projection that includes
  245  full accounting of the costs of operation, including start-up
  246  costs.
  247         3.a. A sponsor shall by a majority vote approve or deny an
  248  application no later than 90 calendar days after the application
  249  is received, unless the sponsor and the applicant mutually agree
  250  in writing to temporarily postpone the vote to a specific date,
  251  at which time the sponsor shall by a majority vote approve or
  252  deny the application. If the sponsor fails to act on the
  253  application, an applicant may appeal to the State Board of
  254  Education as provided in paragraph (c). If an application is
  255  denied, the sponsor shall, within 10 calendar days after such
  256  denial, articulate in writing the specific reasons, based upon
  257  good cause, supporting its denial of the application and shall
  258  provide the letter of denial and supporting documentation to the
  259  applicant and to the Department of Education.
  260         b. An application submitted by a high-performing charter
  261  school identified pursuant to s. 1002.331 or a high-performing
  262  charter school system identified pursuant to s. 1002.332 may be
  263  denied by the sponsor only if the sponsor demonstrates by clear
  264  and convincing evidence that:
  265         (I) The application of a high-performing charter school
  266  does not materially comply with the requirements in paragraph
  267  (a) or, for a high-performing charter school system, the
  268  application does not materially comply with s. 1002.332(2)(b);
  269         (II) The charter school proposed in the application does
  270  not materially comply with the requirements in paragraphs
  271  (9)(a)-(f);
  272         (III) The proposed charter school’s educational program
  273  does not substantially replicate that of the applicant or one of
  274  the applicant’s high-performing charter schools;
  275         (IV) The applicant has made a material misrepresentation or
  276  false statement or concealed an essential or material fact
  277  during the application process; or
  278         (V) The proposed charter school’s educational program and
  279  financial management practices do not materially comply with the
  280  requirements of this section.
  282  Material noncompliance is a failure to follow requirements or a
  283  violation of prohibitions applicable to charter school
  284  applications, which failure is quantitatively or qualitatively
  285  significant either individually or when aggregated with other
  286  noncompliance. An applicant is considered to be replicating a
  287  high-performing charter school if the proposed school is
  288  substantially similar to at least one of the applicant’s high
  289  performing charter schools and the organization or individuals
  290  involved in the establishment and operation of the proposed
  291  school are significantly involved in the operation of replicated
  292  schools.
  293         c. If the sponsor denies an application submitted by a
  294  high-performing charter school or a high-performing charter
  295  school system, the sponsor must, within 10 calendar days after
  296  such denial, state in writing the specific reasons, based upon
  297  the criteria in sub-subparagraph b., supporting its denial of
  298  the application and must provide the letter of denial and
  299  supporting documentation to the applicant and to the Department
  300  of Education. The applicant may appeal the sponsor’s denial of
  301  the application in accordance with paragraph (c).
  302         4. For budget projection purposes, the sponsor shall report
  303  to the Department of Education the approval or denial of an
  304  application within 10 calendar days after such approval or
  305  denial. In the event of approval, the report to the Department
  306  of Education shall include the final projected FTE for the
  307  approved charter school.
  308         5. Upon approval of an application, the initial startup
  309  shall commence with the beginning of the public school calendar
  310  for the district in which the charter is granted. A charter
  311  school may defer the opening of the school’s operations for up
  312  to 3 years to provide time for adequate facility planning. The
  313  charter school must provide written notice of such intent to the
  314  sponsor and the parents of enrolled students at least 30
  315  calendar days before the first day of school.
  316         (7) CHARTER.—The terms and conditions for the operation of
  317  a charter school shall be set forth by the sponsor and the
  318  applicant in a written contractual agreement, called a charter.
  319  The sponsor and the governing board of the charter school shall
  320  use the standard charter contract pursuant to subsection (21),
  321  which shall incorporate the approved application and any addenda
  322  approved with the application. Any term or condition of a
  323  proposed charter contract that differs from the standard charter
  324  contract adopted by rule of the State Board of Education shall
  325  be presumed a limitation on charter school flexibility. The
  326  sponsor may not impose unreasonable rules or regulations that
  327  violate the intent of giving charter schools greater flexibility
  328  to meet educational goals. The charter shall be signed by the
  329  governing board of the charter school and the sponsor, following
  330  a public hearing to ensure community input.
  331         (a) The charter shall address, and criteria for approval of
  332  the charter shall be based on:
  333         1. The school’s mission, the students to be served, and the
  334  ages and grades to be included.
  335         2. The focus of the curriculum, the instructional methods
  336  to be used, any distinctive instructional techniques to be
  337  employed, and identification and acquisition of appropriate
  338  technologies needed to improve educational and administrative
  339  performance which include a means for promoting safe, ethical,
  340  and appropriate uses of technology which comply with legal and
  341  professional standards.
  342         a. The charter shall ensure that reading is a primary focus
  343  of the curriculum and that resources are provided to identify
  344  and provide specialized instruction for students who are reading
  345  below grade level. The curriculum and instructional strategies
  346  for reading must be consistent with the Next Generation Sunshine
  347  State Standards and grounded in scientifically based reading
  348  research.
  349         b. In order to provide students with access to diverse
  350  instructional delivery models, to facilitate the integration of
  351  technology within traditional classroom instruction, and to
  352  provide students with the skills they need to compete in the
  353  21st century economy, the Legislature encourages instructional
  354  methods for blended learning courses consisting of both
  355  traditional classroom and online instructional techniques.
  356  Charter schools may implement blended learning courses which
  357  combine traditional classroom instruction and virtual
  358  instruction. Students in a blended learning course must be full
  359  time students of the charter school pursuant to s.
  360  1011.61(1)(a)1. Instructional personnel certified pursuant to s.
  361  1012.55 who provide virtual instruction for blended learning
  362  courses may be employees of the charter school or may be under
  363  contract to provide instructional services to charter school
  364  students. At a minimum, such instructional personnel must hold
  365  an active state or school district adjunct certification under
  366  s. 1012.57 for the subject area of the blended learning course.
  367  The funding and performance accountability requirements for
  368  blended learning courses are the same as those for traditional
  369  courses.
  370         3. The current incoming baseline standard of student
  371  academic achievement, the outcomes to be achieved, and the
  372  method of measurement that will be used. The criteria listed in
  373  this subparagraph shall include a detailed description of:
  374         a. How the baseline student academic achievement levels and
  375  prior rates of academic progress will be established.
  376         b. How these baseline rates will be compared to rates of
  377  academic progress achieved by these same students while
  378  attending the charter school.
  379         c. To the extent possible, how these rates of progress will
  380  be evaluated and compared with rates of progress of other
  381  closely comparable student populations.
  383  The district school board is required to provide academic
  384  student performance data to charter schools for each of their
  385  students coming from the district school system, as well as
  386  rates of academic progress of comparable student populations in
  387  the district school system.
  388         4. The methods used to identify the educational strengths
  389  and needs of students and how well educational goals and
  390  performance standards are met by students attending the charter
  391  school. The methods shall provide a means for the charter school
  392  to ensure accountability to its constituents by analyzing
  393  student performance data and by evaluating the effectiveness and
  394  efficiency of its major educational programs. Students in
  395  charter schools shall, at a minimum, participate in the
  396  statewide assessment program created under s. 1008.22.
  397         5. In secondary charter schools, a method for determining
  398  that a student has satisfied the requirements for graduation in
  399  s. 1002.3105(5), s. 1003.4281, or s. 1003.4282.
  400         6. A method for resolving conflicts between the governing
  401  board of the charter school and the sponsor.
  402         7. The admissions procedures and dismissal procedures,
  403  including the school’s code of student conduct. Admission or
  404  dismissal must not be based on a student’s academic performance.
  405         8. The ways by which the school will achieve a
  406  racial/ethnic balance reflective of the community it serves or
  407  within the racial/ethnic range of other nearby public schools in
  408  the same school district.
  409         9. The financial and administrative management of the
  410  school, including a reasonable demonstration of the professional
  411  experience or competence of those individuals or organizations
  412  applying to operate the charter school or those hired or
  413  retained to perform such professional services and the
  414  description of clearly delineated responsibilities and the
  415  policies and practices needed to effectively manage the charter
  416  school. A description of internal audit procedures and
  417  establishment of controls to ensure that financial resources are
  418  properly managed must be included. Both public sector and
  419  private sector professional experience shall be equally valid in
  420  such a consideration.
  421         10. The asset and liability projections required in the
  422  application which are incorporated into the charter and shall be
  423  compared with information provided in the annual report of the
  424  charter school.
  425         11. A description of procedures that identify various risks
  426  and provide for a comprehensive approach to reduce the impact of
  427  losses; plans to ensure the safety and security of students and
  428  staff; plans to identify, minimize, and protect others from
  429  violent or disruptive student behavior; and the manner in which
  430  the school will be insured, including whether or not the school
  431  will be required to have liability insurance, and, if so, the
  432  terms and conditions thereof and the amounts of coverage.
  433         12. The term of the charter, which must shall provide for
  434  cancellation of the charter if insufficient progress has been
  435  made in attaining the student achievement objectives of the
  436  charter and if it is not likely that such objectives can be
  437  achieved before expiration of the charter. The initial term of a
  438  charter shall be for 5 years, excluding 2 planning years. In
  439  order to facilitate access to long-term financial resources for
  440  charter school construction, charter schools that are operated
  441  by a municipality or other public entity as provided by law are
  442  eligible for up to a 15-year charter, subject to approval by the
  443  sponsor district school board. A charter lab school is eligible
  444  for a charter for a term of up to 15 years. In addition, to
  445  facilitate access to long-term financial resources for charter
  446  school construction, charter schools that are operated by a
  447  private, not-for-profit, s. 501(c)(3) status corporation are
  448  eligible for up to a 15-year charter, subject to approval by the
  449  sponsor district school board. Such long-term charters remain
  450  subject to annual review and may be terminated during the term
  451  of the charter, but only as provided according to the provisions
  452  set forth in subsection (8).
  453         13. The facilities to be used and their location. The
  454  sponsor may not require a charter school to have a certificate
  455  of occupancy or a temporary certificate of occupancy for such a
  456  facility earlier than 15 calendar days before the first day of
  457  school.
  458         14. The qualifications to be required of the teachers and
  459  the potential strategies used to recruit, hire, train, and
  460  retain qualified staff to achieve best value.
  461         15. The governance structure of the school, including the
  462  status of the charter school as a public or private employer as
  463  required in paragraph (12)(i).
  464         16. A timetable for implementing the charter which
  465  addresses the implementation of each element thereof and the
  466  date by which the charter shall be awarded in order to meet this
  467  timetable.
  468         17. In the case of an existing public school that is being
  469  converted to charter status, alternative arrangements for
  470  current students who choose not to attend the charter school and
  471  for current teachers who choose not to teach in the charter
  472  school after conversion in accordance with the existing
  473  collective bargaining agreement or district school board rule in
  474  the absence of a collective bargaining agreement. However,
  475  alternative arrangements shall not be required for current
  476  teachers who choose not to teach in a charter lab school, except
  477  as authorized by the employment policies of the state university
  478  which grants the charter to the lab school.
  479         18. Full disclosure of the identity of all relatives
  480  employed by the charter school who are related to the charter
  481  school owner, president, chairperson of the governing board of
  482  directors, superintendent, governing board member, principal,
  483  assistant principal, or any other person employed by the charter
  484  school who has equivalent decisionmaking authority. For the
  485  purpose of this subparagraph, the term “relative” means father,
  486  mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, first
  487  cousin, nephew, niece, husband, wife, father-in-law, mother-in
  488  law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law,
  489  stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother,
  490  stepsister, half brother, or half sister.
  491         19. Implementation of the activities authorized under s.
  492  1002.331 by the charter school when it satisfies the eligibility
  493  requirements for a high-performing charter school. A high
  494  performing charter school shall notify its sponsor in writing by
  495  March 1 if it intends to increase enrollment or expand grade
  496  levels the following school year. The written notice shall
  497  specify the amount of the enrollment increase and the grade
  498  levels that will be added, as applicable.
  499         (d) A charter may be modified during its initial term or
  500  any renewal term upon the recommendation of the sponsor or the
  501  charter school’s governing board and the approval of both
  502  parties to the agreement. Modification during any term may
  503  include, but is not limited to, consolidation of multiple
  504  charters into a single charter if the charters are operated
  505  under the same governing board, regardless of the renewal cycle.
  506  A charter school that is not subject to a school improvement
  507  plan and that closes as part of a consolidation shall be
  508  reported by the sponsor school district as a consolidation.
  510         (d) When a charter is not renewed or is terminated, the
  511  school shall be dissolved under the provisions of law under
  512  which the school was organized, and any unencumbered public
  513  funds, except for capital outlay funds and federal charter
  514  school program grant funds, from the charter school shall revert
  515  to the sponsor. Capital outlay funds provided pursuant to s.
  516  1013.62 and federal charter school program grant funds that are
  517  unencumbered shall revert to the department to be redistributed
  518  among eligible charter schools. In the event a charter school is
  519  dissolved or is otherwise terminated, all district school board
  520  property and improvements, furnishings, and equipment purchased
  521  with public funds shall automatically revert to full ownership
  522  by the sponsor district school board, subject to complete
  523  satisfaction of any lawful liens or encumbrances. Any
  524  unencumbered public funds from the charter school, district
  525  school board property and improvements, furnishings, and
  526  equipment purchased with public funds, or financial or other
  527  records pertaining to the charter school, in the possession of
  528  any person, entity, or holding company, other than the charter
  529  school, shall be held in trust upon the sponsor’s district
  530  school board’s request, until any appeal status is resolved.
  531         (e) If a charter is not renewed or is terminated, the
  532  charter school is responsible for all debts of the charter
  533  school. The sponsor district may not assume the debt from any
  534  contract made between the governing body of the school and a
  535  third party, except for a debt that is previously detailed and
  536  agreed upon in writing by both the sponsor district and the
  537  governing body of the school and that may not reasonably be
  538  assumed to have been satisfied by the sponsor district.
  541  NOT TO BE PLEDGED.—Any arrangement entered into to borrow or
  542  otherwise secure funds for a charter school authorized in this
  543  section from a source other than the state or a sponsor must
  544  school district shall indemnify the state and the sponsor school
  545  district from any and all liability, including, but not limited
  546  to, financial responsibility for the payment of the principal or
  547  interest. Any loans, bonds, or other financial agreements are
  548  not obligations of the state or the sponsor school district but
  549  are obligations of the charter school authority and are payable
  550  solely from the sources of funds pledged by such agreement. The
  551  credit or taxing power of the state or the sponsor school
  552  district shall not be pledged and no debts shall be payable out
  553  of any moneys except those of the legal entity in possession of
  554  a valid charter approved by a sponsor district school board
  555  pursuant to this section.
  558         (c) A charter school-in-a-municipality designation may be
  559  granted to a municipality that possesses a charter; enrolls
  560  students based upon a random lottery that involves all of the
  561  children of the residents of that municipality who are seeking
  562  enrollment, as provided for in subsection (10); and enrolls
  563  students according to the racial/ethnic balance provisions
  564  described in subparagraph (7)(a)8. When a municipality has
  565  submitted charter applications for the establishment of a
  566  charter school feeder pattern, consisting of elementary, middle,
  567  and senior high schools, and each individual charter application
  568  is approved by the sponsor district school board, such schools
  569  shall then be designated as one charter school for all purposes
  570  listed pursuant to this section. Any portion of the land and
  571  facility used for a public charter school shall be exempt from
  572  ad valorem taxes, as provided for in s. 1013.54, for the
  573  duration of its use as a public school.
  574         (17) FUNDING.—Students enrolled in a charter school,
  575  regardless of the sponsorship, shall be funded as if they are in
  576  a basic program or a special program, the same as students
  577  enrolled in other public schools in the school district. Funding
  578  for a charter lab school shall be as provided in s. 1002.32.
  579         (a) Each charter school shall report its student enrollment
  580  to the sponsor as required in s. 1011.62, and in accordance with
  581  the definitions in s. 1011.61. The sponsor shall include each
  582  charter school’s enrollment in the sponsor’s district’s report
  583  of student enrollment. All charter schools submitting student
  584  record information required by the Department of Education shall
  585  comply with the Department of Education’s guidelines for
  586  electronic data formats for such data, and all sponsors
  587  districts shall accept electronic data that complies with the
  588  Department of Education’s electronic format.
  589         (e) Sponsors District school boards shall make timely and
  590  efficient payment and reimbursement to charter schools,
  591  including processing paperwork required to access special state
  592  and federal funding for which they may be eligible. Payments of
  593  funds under paragraph (b) shall be made monthly or twice a
  594  month, beginning with the start of the sponsor’s district school
  595  board’s fiscal year. Each payment shall be one-twelfth, or one
  596  twenty-fourth, as applicable, of the total state and local funds
  597  described in paragraph (b) and adjusted as set forth therein.
  598  For the first 2 years of a charter school’s operation, if a
  599  minimum of 75 percent of the projected enrollment is entered
  600  into the sponsor’s student information system by the first day
  601  of the current month, the sponsor must district school board
  602  shall distribute funds to the school for the months of July
  603  through October based on the projected full-time equivalent
  604  student membership of the charter school as submitted in the
  605  approved application. If less than 75 percent of the projected
  606  enrollment is entered into the sponsor’s student information
  607  system by the first day of the current month, the sponsor must
  608  shall base payments on the actual number of student enrollment
  609  entered into the sponsor’s student information system.
  610  Thereafter, the results of full-time equivalent student
  611  membership surveys shall be used in adjusting the amount of
  612  funds distributed monthly to the charter school for the
  613  remainder of the fiscal year. The payments shall be issued no
  614  later than 10 working days after the sponsor district school
  615  board receives a distribution of state or federal funds or the
  616  date the payment is due pursuant to this subsection. If a
  617  warrant for payment is not issued within 10 working days after
  618  receipt of funding by the sponsor district school board, the
  619  sponsor school district shall pay to the charter school, in
  620  addition to the amount of the scheduled disbursement, interest
  621  at a rate of 1 percent per month calculated on a daily basis on
  622  the unpaid balance from the expiration of the 10 working days
  623  until such time as the warrant is issued. The district school
  624  board may not delay payment to a charter school of any portion
  625  of the funds provided in paragraph (b) based on the timing of
  626  receipt of local funds by the district school board.
  627         (18) FACILITIES.—
  628         (e) If a district school board facility or property is
  629  available because it is surplus, marked for disposal, or
  630  otherwise unused, it shall be provided for a charter school’s
  631  use on the same basis as it is made available to other public
  632  schools in the district. A charter school receiving property
  633  from the sponsor school district may not sell or dispose of such
  634  property without written permission of the school sponsor
  635  district. Similarly, for an existing public school converting to
  636  charter status, no rental or leasing fee for the existing
  637  facility or for the property normally inventoried to the
  638  conversion school may be charged by the district school board to
  639  the parents and teachers organizing the charter school. The
  640  charter school shall agree to reasonable maintenance provisions
  641  in order to maintain the facility in a manner similar to
  642  district school board standards. The Public Education Capital
  643  Outlay maintenance funds or any other maintenance funds
  644  generated by the facility operated as a conversion school shall
  645  remain with the conversion school.
  646         (20) SERVICES.—
  647         (a)1. A sponsor shall provide certain administrative and
  648  educational services to charter schools. These services shall
  649  include contract management services; full-time equivalent and
  650  data reporting services; exceptional student education
  651  administration services; services related to eligibility and
  652  reporting duties required to ensure that school lunch services
  653  under the National School Lunch Program, consistent with the
  654  needs of the charter school, are provided by the sponsor school
  655  district at the request of the charter school, that any funds
  656  due to the charter school under the National School Lunch
  657  Program be paid to the charter school as soon as the charter
  658  school begins serving food under the National School Lunch
  659  Program, and that the charter school is paid at the same time
  660  and in the same manner under the National School Lunch Program
  661  as other public schools serviced by the sponsor or the school
  662  district; test administration services, including payment of the
  663  costs of state-required or district-required student
  664  assessments; processing of teacher certificate data services;
  665  and information services, including equal access to the
  666  sponsor’s student information systems that are used by public
  667  schools in the district in which the charter school is located
  668  or by schools in the sponsor’s portfolio of charter schools if
  669  the sponsor is not a school district. Student performance data
  670  for each student in a charter school, including, but not limited
  671  to, FCAT scores, standardized test scores, previous public
  672  school student report cards, and student performance measures,
  673  shall be provided by the sponsor to a charter school in the same
  674  manner provided to other public schools in the district.
  675         2. A sponsor may withhold an administrative fee for the
  676  provision of such services, which shall be a percentage of the
  677  available funds defined in paragraph (17)(b), calculated based
  678  on weighted full-time equivalent students. If the charter school
  679  serves 75 percent or more exceptional education students as
  680  defined in s. 1003.01(3), the percentage shall be calculated
  681  based on unweighted full-time equivalent students. The
  682  administrative fee shall be calculated as follows:
  683         a. Up to 5 percent for:
  684         (I) Enrollment of up to and including 250 students in a
  685  charter school as defined in this section.
  686         (II) Enrollment of up to and including 500 students within
  687  a charter school system which meets all of the following:
  688         (A) Includes conversion charter schools and nonconversion
  689  charter schools.
  690         (B) Has all of its schools located in the same county.
  691         (C) Has a total enrollment exceeding the total enrollment
  692  of at least one school district in the state.
  693         (D) Has the same governing board for all of its schools.
  694         (E) Does not contract with a for-profit service provider
  695  for management of school operations.
  696         (III) Enrollment of up to and including 250 students in a
  697  virtual charter school.
  698         b. Up to 2 percent for enrollment of up to and including
  699  250 students in a high-performing charter school as defined in
  700  s. 1002.331.
  701         3. A sponsor may not charge charter schools any additional
  702  fees or surcharges for administrative and educational services
  703  in addition to the maximum percentage of administrative fees
  704  withheld pursuant to this paragraph.
  705         4. A sponsor shall provide to the department by September
  706  15 of each year the total amount of funding withheld from
  707  charter schools pursuant to this subsection for the prior fiscal
  708  year. The department must include the information in the report
  709  required under sub-sub-subparagraph (5)(b)1.k.(III).
  710         (b) If goods and services are made available to the charter
  711  school through the contract with the sponsor school district,
  712  they shall be provided to the charter school at a rate no
  713  greater than the sponsor’s district’s actual cost unless
  714  mutually agreed upon by the charter school and the sponsor in a
  715  contract negotiated separately from the charter. When mediation
  716  has failed to resolve disputes over contracted services or
  717  contractual matters not included in the charter, an appeal may
  718  be made to an administrative law judge appointed by the Division
  719  of Administrative Hearings. The administrative law judge has
  720  final order authority to rule on the dispute. The administrative
  721  law judge shall award the prevailing party reasonable attorney
  722  fees and costs incurred during the mediation process,
  723  administrative proceeding, and any appeals, to be paid by the
  724  party whom the administrative law judge rules against. To
  725  maximize the use of state funds, sponsors school districts shall
  726  allow charter schools to participate in the sponsor’s bulk
  727  purchasing program if applicable.
  728         (c) Transportation of charter school students shall be
  729  provided by the charter school consistent with the requirements
  730  of subpart I.E. of chapter 1006 and s. 1012.45. The governing
  731  body of the charter school may provide transportation through an
  732  agreement or contract with the sponsor district school board, a
  733  private provider, or parents. The charter school and the sponsor
  734  shall cooperate in making arrangements that ensure that
  735  transportation is not a barrier to equal access for all students
  736  residing within a reasonable distance of the charter school as
  737  determined in its charter.
  738         (d) Each charter school shall annually complete and submit
  739  a survey, provided in a format specified by the Department of
  740  Education, to rate the timeliness and quality of services
  741  provided by the sponsor district in accordance with this
  742  section. The department shall compile the results, by sponsor
  743  district, and include the results in the report required under
  744  sub-sub-subparagraph (5)(b)1.k.(III).
  746         (a) The Department of Education shall provide information
  747  to the public, directly and through sponsors, on how to form and
  748  operate a charter school and how to enroll in a charter school
  749  once it is created. This information shall include the standard
  750  application form, standard charter contract, standard evaluation
  751  instrument, and standard charter renewal contract, which shall
  752  include the information specified in subsection (7) and shall be
  753  developed by consulting and negotiating with both sponsors
  754  school districts and charter schools before implementation. The
  755  charter and charter renewal contracts shall be used by charter
  756  school sponsors.
  757         (b)1. The Department of Education shall report to each
  758  charter school receiving a school grade pursuant to s. 1008.34
  759  or a school improvement rating pursuant to s. 1008.341 the
  760  school’s student assessment data.
  761         2. The charter school shall report the information in
  762  subparagraph 1. to each parent of a student at the charter
  763  school, the parent of a child on a waiting list for the charter
  764  school, the sponsor district in which the charter school is
  765  located, and the governing board of the charter school. This
  766  paragraph does not abrogate the provisions of s. 1002.22,
  767  relating to student records, or the requirements of 20 U.S.C. s.
  768  1232g, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
  771         (a) A charter school system’s governing board shall be
  772  designated a local educational agency for the purpose of
  773  receiving federal funds, the same as though the charter school
  774  system were a school district, if the governing board of the
  775  charter school system has adopted and filed a resolution with
  776  its sponsor sponsoring district school board and the Department
  777  of Education in which the governing board of the charter school
  778  system accepts the full responsibility for all local education
  779  agency requirements and the charter school system meets all of
  780  the following:
  781         1. Has all schools located in the same county;
  782         2. Has a total enrollment exceeding the total enrollment of
  783  at least one school district in the state; and
  784         3. Has the same governing board.
  785         (b) A charter school system’s governing board may be
  786  designated a local educational agency for the purpose of
  787  receiving federal funds for all schools within a school district
  788  that are established pursuant to s. 1008.33 and are under the
  789  jurisdiction of the governing board. The governing board must
  790  adopt and file a resolution with its sponsoring district school
  791  board and the Department of Education and accept full
  792  responsibility for all local educational agency requirements.
  794  Such designation does not apply to other provisions unless
  795  specifically provided in law.
  796         (28) RULEMAKING.—The Department of Education, after
  797  consultation with sponsors school districts and charter school
  798  directors, shall recommend that the State Board of Education
  799  adopt rules to implement specific subsections of this section.
  800  Such rules shall require minimum paperwork and may shall not
  801  limit charter school flexibility authorized by statute. The
  802  State Board of Education shall adopt rules, pursuant to ss.
  803  120.536(1) and 120.54, to implement a standard charter
  804  application form, standard application form for the replication
  805  of charter schools in a high-performing charter school system,
  806  standard evaluation instrument, and standard charter and charter
  807  renewal contracts in accordance with this section.
  808         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2019.