Florida Senate - 2021              PROPOSED COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE
       Bill No. CS for SB 1028
       Proposed Committee Substitute by the Committee on Appropriations
       (Appropriations Subcommittee on Education)
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to charter schools; amending s.
    3         1002.32, F.S.; providing that the limitation on lab
    4         schools does not apply to a school serving a military
    5         installation; removing a limitation on lab schools
    6         receiving a share of the sparsity supplement; amending
    7         s. 1002.33, F.S.; authorizing state universities and
    8         Florida College System institutions to solicit
    9         applications and sponsor charter schools under certain
   10         circumstances; prohibiting certain charter schools
   11         from being sponsored by a Florida College System
   12         institution until such charter school’s existing
   13         charter expires; authorizing a state university or
   14         Florida College System institution to, at its
   15         discretion, deny an application for a charter school;
   16         revising the contents of an annual report that charter
   17         school sponsors must provide to the Department of
   18         Education; revising the date by which the department
   19         must post a specified annual report; revising
   20         provisions relating to Florida College System
   21         institutions that are operating charter schools;
   22         requiring the board of trustees of a state university
   23         or Florida College System institution that is
   24         sponsoring a charter school to serve as the local
   25         educational agency for such school; prohibiting
   26         certain charter school students from being included in
   27         specified school district grade calculations;
   28         requiring the department to develop a sponsor
   29         evaluation framework; providing requirements for the
   30         framework; requiring the department to compile results
   31         in a specified manner; deleting obsolete language;
   32         revising requirements for the charter school
   33         application process; authorizing certain parties to
   34         file an action with the Division of Administrative
   35         Hearings to recover specified fees and costs;
   36         requiring the State Board of Education to withhold
   37         state funds from a district school board that is in
   38         violation of a state board decision on a charter
   39         school; authorizing parties to appeal without first
   40         mediating in certain circumstances; providing that
   41         certain changes to curriculum are deemed approved;
   42         providing an exception; revising the circumstances in
   43         which a charter may be immediately terminated;
   44         providing that certain information must be provided to
   45         specified entities upon immediate termination of a
   46         charter; authorizing the of award specified fees and
   47         costs in certain circumstances; authorizing a sponsor
   48         to seek an injunction in certain circumstances;
   49         revising provisions related to sponsor assumption of
   50         operation; revising the student populations for which
   51         a charter school is authorized to limit the enrollment
   52         process; providing a calculation for the operational
   53         funding for a charter school sponsored by a state
   54         university or Florida College System institution;
   55         requiring the department to develop a tool for state
   56         universities and Florida College System institutions
   57         for specified purposes relating to certain funding
   58         calculations; providing that such funding must be
   59         appropriated to the charter school; providing for
   60         capital outlay funding for such schools; authorizing a
   61         sponsor to withhold an administrative fee for the
   62         provision of certain services to an exceptional
   63         student education center that meets specified
   64         requirements; conforming provisions to changes made by
   65         the act; amending s. 1002.331, F.S.; revising a
   66         limitation on the expansion of high-performing charter
   67         schools; revising provisions relating to the opening
   68         of additional high-performing charter schools;
   69         amending s. 1002.333, F.S.; revising the definition of
   70         the term “persistently low-performing school”;
   71         providing that certain nonprofit entities may be
   72         designated as a local education agency; providing that
   73         certain entities report students to the department in
   74         a specified manner; specifying reporting provisions
   75         that apply only to certain schools of hope; providing
   76         that schools of hope may comply with certain financial
   77         reporting in a specified manner; revising the manner
   78         in which underused, vacant, or surplus facilities
   79         owned or operated by school districts are identified;
   80         increasing the number of years for which certain funds
   81         may be carried forward; amending s. 1002.45, F.S.;
   82         authorizing a virtual charter school to provide part
   83         time virtual instruction and be an approved provider;
   84         authorizing a virtual charter school to contract,
   85         rather than enter into an agreement, with a public or
   86         charter school for specified purposes; amending s.
   87         1003.493, F.S.; authorizing a charter school to offer
   88         a career and professional academy; amending s.
   89         1008.3415, F.S.; requiring the Commissioner of
   90         Education, upon request by a charter school that meets
   91         specified criteria, to provide a letter to the charter
   92         school and the charter school’s sponsor authorizing
   93         the charter school to replicate the charter school’s
   94         education program; amending s. 1012.32, F.S.;
   95         providing an alternate screening method for specified
   96         persons employed by certain schools of hope or serving
   97         on certain school of hope governing boards; amending
   98         s. 1013.62, F.S.; expanding eligibility to receive
   99         capital outlay funds to schools of hope operated by a
  100         hope operator; providing for severability; providing
  101         an effective date.
  103  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
  105         Section 1. Subsection (2) and paragraph (a) of subsection
  106  (9) of section 1002.32, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  107         1002.32 Developmental research (laboratory) schools.—
  108         (2) ESTABLISHMENT.—There is established a category of
  109  public schools to be known as developmental research
  110  (laboratory) schools (lab schools). Each lab school shall
  111  provide sequential instruction and shall be affiliated with the
  112  college of education within the state university of closest
  113  geographic proximity. A lab school to which a charter has been
  114  issued under s. 1002.33(5)(a) 2. must be affiliated with the
  115  college of education within the state university that issued the
  116  charter, but is not subject to the requirement that the state
  117  university be of closest geographic proximity. For the purpose
  118  of state funding, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical
  119  University, Florida Atlantic University, Florida State
  120  University, the University of Florida, and other universities
  121  approved by the State Board of Education and the Legislature are
  122  authorized to sponsor a lab school. The limitation of one lab
  123  school per university shall not apply to the following charter
  124  lab schools authorized prior to June 1, 2003: Florida State
  125  University Charter Lab K-12 School in Broward County, Florida
  126  Atlantic University Charter Lab 9-12 High School in Palm Beach
  127  County, and Florida Atlantic University Charter Lab K-12 School
  128  in St. Lucie County. The limitation of one lab school per
  129  university does not apply to a university that establishes a lab
  130  school to serve families of a military installation that is
  131  within the same county as a branch campus that offers programs
  132  from the university’s college of education.
  133         (9) FUNDING.—Funding for a lab school, including a charter
  134  lab school, shall be provided as follows:
  135         (a) Each lab school shall be allocated its proportional
  136  share of operating funds from the Florida Education Finance
  137  Program as provided in s. 1011.62 based on the county in which
  138  the lab school is located and the General Appropriations Act.
  139  The nonvoted ad valorem millage that would otherwise be required
  140  for lab schools shall be allocated from state funds. The
  141  required local effort funds calculated pursuant to s. 1011.62
  142  shall be allocated from state funds to the schools as a part of
  143  the allocation of operating funds pursuant to s. 1011.62. Each
  144  eligible lab school in operation as of September 1, 2013, with a
  145  permanent high school center shall also receive a proportional
  146  share of the sparsity supplement as calculated pursuant to s.
  147  1011.62. In addition, each lab school shall receive its
  148  proportional share of all categorical funds, with the exception
  149  of s. 1011.68, and new categorical funds enacted after July 1,
  150  1994, for the purpose of elementary or secondary academic
  151  program enhancement. The sum of funds available as provided in
  152  this paragraph shall be included annually in the Florida
  153  Education Finance Program and appropriate categorical programs
  154  funded in the General Appropriations Act.
  155         Section 2. Paragraph (c) of subsection (2), subsection (5),
  156  paragraphs (b) and (d) of subsection (6), paragraphs (a), (b),
  157  and (d) of subsection (7), paragraphs (c), (d), and (e) of
  158  subsection (8), paragraphs (g) and (n) of subsection (9),
  159  paragraphs (d) and (e) of subsection (10), subsection (14),
  160  paragraph (c) of subsection (15), subsection (17), paragraph (e)
  161  of subsection (18), subsections (20) and (21), paragraph (a) of
  162  subsection (25), and subsection (28) of section 1002.33, Florida
  163  Statutes, are amended to read:
  164         1002.33 Charter schools.—
  166         (c) Charter schools may fulfill the following purposes:
  167         1. Create innovative measurement tools.
  168         2. Provide rigorous competition within the public school
  169  system district to stimulate continual improvement in all public
  170  schools.
  171         3. Expand the capacity of the public school system.
  172         4. Mitigate the educational impact created by the
  173  development of new residential dwelling units.
  174         5. Create new professional opportunities for teachers,
  175  including ownership of the learning program at the school site.
  176         (5) SPONSOR; DUTIES.—
  177         (a) Sponsoring entities.—
  178         1. A district school board may sponsor a charter school in
  179  the county over which the district school board has
  180  jurisdiction.
  181         2. A state university may grant a charter to a lab school
  182  created under s. 1002.32 and shall be considered to be the
  183  school’s sponsor. Such school shall be considered a charter lab
  184  school.
  185         3.Because needs relating to educational capacity,
  186  workforce qualifications, and career education opportunities are
  187  constantly changing and extend beyond school district
  188  boundaries:
  189         a.A state university may, upon approval by the Department
  190  of Education, solicit applications and sponsor a charter school
  191  to meet regional education or workforce demands by serving
  192  students from multiple school districts.
  193         b.A Florida College System institution may, upon approval
  194  by the Department of Education, solicit applications and sponsor
  195  a charter school in any county within its service area to meet
  196  workforce demands and may offer postsecondary programs leading
  197  to industry certifications to eligible charter school students.
  198  A charter school established under subparagraph (b)4. may not be
  199  sponsored by a Florida College System institution until its
  200  existing charter with the school district expires as provided
  201  under subsection (7).
  202         c.Notwithstanding paragraph (6)(b), a state university or
  203  Florida College System institution may, at its discretion, deny
  204  an application for a charter school.
  205         (b) Sponsor duties.—
  206         1.a. The sponsor shall monitor and review the charter
  207  school in its progress toward the goals established in the
  208  charter.
  209         b. The sponsor shall monitor the revenues and expenditures
  210  of the charter school and perform the duties provided in s.
  211  1002.345.
  212         c. The sponsor may approve a charter for a charter school
  213  before the applicant has identified space, equipment, or
  214  personnel, if the applicant indicates approval is necessary for
  215  it to raise working funds.
  216         d. The sponsor shall not apply its policies to a charter
  217  school unless mutually agreed to by both the sponsor and the
  218  charter school. If the sponsor subsequently amends any agreed
  219  upon sponsor policy, the version of the policy in effect at the
  220  time of the execution of the charter, or any subsequent
  221  modification thereof, shall remain in effect and the sponsor may
  222  not hold the charter school responsible for any provision of a
  223  newly revised policy until the revised policy is mutually agreed
  224  upon.
  225         e. The sponsor shall ensure that the charter is innovative
  226  and consistent with the state education goals established by s.
  227  1000.03(5).
  228         f. The sponsor shall ensure that the charter school
  229  participates in the state’s education accountability system. If
  230  a charter school falls short of performance measures included in
  231  the approved charter, the sponsor shall report such shortcomings
  232  to the Department of Education.
  233         g. The sponsor shall not be liable for civil damages under
  234  state law for personal injury, property damage, or death
  235  resulting from an act or omission of an officer, employee,
  236  agent, or governing body of the charter school.
  237         h. The sponsor shall not be liable for civil damages under
  238  state law for any employment actions taken by an officer,
  239  employee, agent, or governing body of the charter school.
  240         i. The sponsor’s duties to monitor the charter school shall
  241  not constitute the basis for a private cause of action.
  242         j. The sponsor shall not impose additional reporting
  243  requirements on a charter school without providing reasonable
  244  and specific justification in writing to the charter school.
  245         k. The sponsor shall submit an annual report to the
  246  Department of Education in a web-based format to be determined
  247  by the department.
  248         (I) The report shall include the following information:
  249         (A) The number of draft applications received on or before
  250  May 1 and each applicant’s contact information.
  251         (B) The number of final applications received during the
  252  school year and up to on or before August 1 and each applicant’s
  253  contact information.
  254         (B)(C) The date each application was approved, denied, or
  255  withdrawn.
  256         (C)(D) The date each final contract was executed.
  257         (II) Annually, by November 1 Beginning August 31, 2013, and
  258  each year thereafter, the sponsor shall submit to the department
  259  the information for the applications submitted the previous
  260  year.
  261         (III) The department shall compile an annual report, by
  262  sponsor district, and post the report on its website by January
  263  15 November 1 of each year.
  264         2. Immunity for the sponsor of a charter school under
  265  subparagraph 1. applies only with respect to acts or omissions
  266  not under the sponsor’s direct authority as described in this
  267  section.
  268         3. This paragraph does not waive a sponsor’s district
  269  school board’s sovereign immunity.
  270         4. A Florida College System institution may work with the
  271  school district or school districts in its designated service
  272  area to develop charter schools that offer secondary education.
  273  These charter schools must include an option for students to
  274  receive an associate degree upon high school graduation. If a
  275  Florida College System institution operates an approved teacher
  276  preparation program under s. 1004.04 or s. 1004.85, the
  277  institution may operate no more than one charter schools school
  278  that serve serves students in kindergarten through grade 12 in
  279  any school district within the service area of the institution.
  280  In kindergarten through grade 8, the charter school shall
  281  implement innovative blended learning instructional models in
  282  which, for a given course, a student learns in part through
  283  online delivery of content and instruction with some element of
  284  student control over time, place, path, or pace and in part at a
  285  supervised brick-and-mortar location away from home. A student
  286  in a blended learning course must be a full-time student of the
  287  charter school and receive the online instruction in a classroom
  288  setting at the charter school. District school boards shall
  289  cooperate with and assist the Florida College System institution
  290  on the charter application. Florida College System institution
  291  applications for charter schools are not subject to the time
  292  deadlines outlined in subsection (6) and may be approved by the
  293  district school board at any time during the year. Florida
  294  College System institutions may not report FTE for any students
  295  participating under this subparagraph who receive FTE funding
  296  through the Florida Education Finance Program.
  297         5. A school district may enter into nonexclusive interlocal
  298  agreements with federal and state agencies, counties,
  299  municipalities, and other governmental entities that operate
  300  within the geographical borders of the school district to act on
  301  behalf of such governmental entities in the inspection,
  302  issuance, and other necessary activities for all necessary
  303  permits, licenses, and other permissions that a charter school
  304  needs in order for development, construction, or operation. A
  305  charter school may use, but may not be required to use, a school
  306  district for these services. The interlocal agreement must
  307  include, but need not be limited to, the identification of fees
  308  that charter schools will be charged for such services. The fees
  309  must consist of the governmental entity’s fees plus a fee for
  310  the school district to recover no more than actual costs for
  311  providing such services. These services and fees are not
  312  included within the services to be provided pursuant to
  313  subsection (20).
  314         6.The board of trustees of a sponsoring state university
  315  or Florida College System institution under paragraph (a) is the
  316  local educational agency for all charter schools it sponsors for
  317  purposes of receiving federal funds and accepts full
  318  responsibility for all local educational agency requirements and
  319  the schools for which it will perform local educational agency
  320  responsibilities. A student enrolled in a charter school that is
  321  sponsored by a state university or Florida College System
  322  institution may not be included in the calculation of the school
  323  district’s grade under s. 1008.34(5) for the school district in
  324  which he or she resides.
  325         (c)Sponsor accountability.
  326         1.The department shall, in collaboration with charter
  327  school sponsors and charter school operators, develop a sponsor
  328  evaluation framework that must address, at a minimum:
  329         a.The sponsor’s strategic vision for charter school
  330  authorizing and the sponsor’s progress toward that vision.
  331         b.The alignment of the sponsor’s policies and practices to
  332  best practices for charter school authorizing.
  333         c.The academic and financial performance of all operating
  334  charter schools overseen by the sponsor.
  335         d.The status of charter schools authorized by the sponsor,
  336  including approved, operating, and closed schools.
  337         2.The department shall compile the results by sponsor and
  338  include the results in the report required under sub-sub
  339  subparagraph (b)1.k.(III).
  340         (6) APPLICATION PROCESS AND REVIEW.—Charter school
  341  applications are subject to the following requirements:
  342         (b) A sponsor shall receive and review all applications for
  343  a charter school using the evaluation instrument developed by
  344  the Department of Education. A sponsor shall receive and
  345  consider charter school applications received on or before
  346  August 1 of each calendar year for charter schools to be opened
  347  at the beginning of the school district’s next school year, or
  348  to be opened at a time agreed to by the applicant and the
  349  sponsor. A sponsor may not refuse to receive a charter school
  350  application submitted before August 1 and may receive an
  351  application submitted later than August 1 if it chooses.
  352  Beginning in 2018 and thereafter, A sponsor shall receive and
  353  consider charter school applications received on or before
  354  February 1 of each calendar year for charter schools to be
  355  opened 18 months later at the beginning of the school district’s
  356  school year, or to be opened at a time determined by the
  357  applicant. A sponsor may not refuse to receive a charter school
  358  application submitted before February 1 and may receive an
  359  application submitted later than February 1 if it chooses. A
  360  sponsor may not charge an applicant for a charter any fee for
  361  the processing or consideration of an application, and a sponsor
  362  may not base its consideration or approval of a final
  363  application upon the promise of future payment of any kind.
  364  Before approving or denying any application, the sponsor shall
  365  allow the applicant, upon receipt of written notification, at
  366  least 7 calendar days to make technical or nonsubstantive
  367  corrections and clarifications, including, but not limited to,
  368  corrections of grammatical, typographical, and like errors or
  369  missing signatures, if such errors are identified by the sponsor
  370  as cause to deny the final application.
  371         1. In order to facilitate an accurate budget projection
  372  process, a sponsor shall be held harmless for FTE students who
  373  are not included in the FTE projection due to approval of
  374  charter school applications after the FTE projection deadline.
  375  In a further effort to facilitate an accurate budget projection,
  376  within 15 calendar days after receipt of a charter school
  377  application, a sponsor shall report to the Department of
  378  Education the name of the applicant entity, the proposed charter
  379  school location, and its projected FTE.
  380         2. In order to ensure fiscal responsibility, an application
  381  for a charter school shall include a full accounting of expected
  382  assets, a projection of expected sources and amounts of income,
  383  including income derived from projected student enrollments and
  384  from community support, and an expense projection that includes
  385  full accounting of the costs of operation, including start-up
  386  costs.
  387         3.a. A sponsor shall by a majority vote approve or deny an
  388  application no later than 90 calendar days after the application
  389  is received, unless the sponsor and the applicant mutually agree
  390  in writing to temporarily postpone the vote to a specific date,
  391  at which time the sponsor shall by a majority vote approve or
  392  deny the application. If the sponsor fails to act on the
  393  application, an applicant may appeal to the State Board of
  394  Education as provided in paragraph (c). If an application is
  395  denied, the sponsor shall, within 10 calendar days after such
  396  denial, articulate in writing the specific reasons, based upon
  397  good cause, supporting its denial of the application and shall
  398  provide the letter of denial and supporting documentation to the
  399  applicant and to the Department of Education.
  400         b. An application submitted by a high-performing charter
  401  school identified pursuant to s. 1002.331 or a high-performing
  402  charter school system identified pursuant to s. 1002.332 may be
  403  denied by the sponsor only if the sponsor demonstrates by clear
  404  and convincing evidence that:
  405         (I) The application of a high-performing charter school
  406  does not materially comply with the requirements in paragraph
  407  (a) or, for a high-performing charter school system, the
  408  application does not materially comply with s. 1002.332(2)(b);
  409         (II) The charter school proposed in the application does
  410  not materially comply with the requirements in paragraphs
  411  (9)(a)-(f);
  412         (III) The proposed charter school’s educational program
  413  does not substantially replicate that of the applicant or one of
  414  the applicant’s high-performing charter schools;
  415         (IV) The applicant has made a material misrepresentation or
  416  false statement or concealed an essential or material fact
  417  during the application process; or
  418         (V) The proposed charter school’s educational program and
  419  financial management practices do not materially comply with the
  420  requirements of this section.
  422  Material noncompliance is a failure to follow requirements or a
  423  violation of prohibitions applicable to charter school
  424  applications, which failure is quantitatively or qualitatively
  425  significant either individually or when aggregated with other
  426  noncompliance. An applicant is considered to be replicating a
  427  high-performing charter school if the proposed school is
  428  substantially similar to at least one of the applicant’s high
  429  performing charter schools and the organization or individuals
  430  involved in the establishment and operation of the proposed
  431  school are significantly involved in the operation of replicated
  432  schools.
  433         c. If the sponsor denies an application submitted by a
  434  high-performing charter school or a high-performing charter
  435  school system, the sponsor must, within 10 calendar days after
  436  such denial, state in writing the specific reasons, based upon
  437  the criteria in sub-subparagraph b., supporting its denial of
  438  the application and must provide the letter of denial and
  439  supporting documentation to the applicant and to the Department
  440  of Education. The applicant may appeal the sponsor’s denial of
  441  the application in accordance with paragraph (c).
  442         4. For budget projection purposes, the sponsor shall report
  443  to the Department of Education the approval or denial of an
  444  application within 10 calendar days after such approval or
  445  denial. In the event of approval, the report to the Department
  446  of Education shall include the final projected FTE for the
  447  approved charter school.
  448         5. Upon approval of an application, the initial startup
  449  shall commence with the beginning of the public school calendar
  450  for the district in which the charter is granted. A charter
  451  school may defer the opening of the school’s operations for up
  452  to 3 years to provide time for adequate facility planning. The
  453  charter school must provide written notice of such intent to the
  454  sponsor and the parents of enrolled students at least 30
  455  calendar days before the first day of school.
  456         (d)1. The sponsor shall act upon the decision of the State
  457  Board of Education within 30 calendar days after it is received.
  458  The State Board of Education’s decision is a final action
  459  subject to judicial review in the district court of appeal. A
  460  prevailing party may file an action with the Division of
  461  Administrative Hearings to recover reasonable attorney fees and
  462  costs incurred during the denial of the application and any
  463  appeals.
  464         2. If the State Board of Education determines that a
  465  district school board is in violation of a state board decision
  466  on a charter school application and of a court order for the
  467  school board to enter into a charter with a charter school
  468  governing board, the state board must withhold state funds
  469  provided under s. 1011.62 by the total number of K-12 students,
  470  as applicable, projected to be enrolled in the charter school in
  471  the first year of operation as reported in the charter school
  472  application. The state board shall withhold the amount in each
  473  disbursement of such funds until the district school board
  474  enters into a charter with the charter school governing board.
  475  If the district school board enters into such charter during the
  476  same fiscal year, all withheld funds must be disbursed to the
  477  district school board.
  478         (7) CHARTER.—The terms and conditions for the operation of
  479  a charter school shall be set forth by the sponsor and the
  480  applicant in a written contractual agreement, called a charter.
  481  The sponsor and the governing board of the charter school shall
  482  use the standard charter contract pursuant to subsection (21),
  483  which shall incorporate the approved application and any addenda
  484  approved with the application. Any term or condition of a
  485  proposed charter contract that differs from the standard charter
  486  contract adopted by rule of the State Board of Education shall
  487  be presumed a limitation on charter school flexibility. The
  488  sponsor may not impose unreasonable rules or regulations that
  489  violate the intent of giving charter schools greater flexibility
  490  to meet educational goals. The charter shall be signed by the
  491  governing board of the charter school and the sponsor, following
  492  a public hearing to ensure community input.
  493         (a) The charter shall address and criteria for approval of
  494  the charter shall be based on:
  495         1. The school’s mission, the students to be served, and the
  496  ages and grades to be included.
  497         2. The focus of the curriculum, the instructional methods
  498  to be used, any distinctive instructional techniques to be
  499  employed, and identification and acquisition of appropriate
  500  technologies needed to improve educational and administrative
  501  performance which include a means for promoting safe, ethical,
  502  and appropriate uses of technology which comply with legal and
  503  professional standards.
  504         a. The charter shall ensure that reading is a primary focus
  505  of the curriculum and that resources are provided to identify
  506  and provide specialized instruction for students who are reading
  507  below grade level. The curriculum and instructional strategies
  508  for reading must be consistent with the Next Generation Sunshine
  509  State Standards and grounded in scientifically based reading
  510  research.
  511         b. In order to provide students with access to diverse
  512  instructional delivery models, to facilitate the integration of
  513  technology within traditional classroom instruction, and to
  514  provide students with the skills they need to compete in the
  515  21st century economy, the Legislature encourages instructional
  516  methods for blended learning courses consisting of both
  517  traditional classroom and online instructional techniques.
  518  Charter schools may implement blended learning courses which
  519  combine traditional classroom instruction and virtual
  520  instruction. Students in a blended learning course must be full
  521  time students of the charter school pursuant to s.
  522  1011.61(1)(a)1. Instructional personnel certified pursuant to s.
  523  1012.55 who provide virtual instruction for blended learning
  524  courses may be employees of the charter school or may be under
  525  contract to provide instructional services to charter school
  526  students. At a minimum, such instructional personnel must hold
  527  an active state or school district adjunct certification under
  528  s. 1012.57 for the subject area of the blended learning course.
  529  The funding and performance accountability requirements for
  530  blended learning courses are the same as those for traditional
  531  courses.
  532         3. The current incoming baseline standard of student
  533  academic achievement, the outcomes to be achieved, and the
  534  method of measurement that will be used. The criteria listed in
  535  this subparagraph shall include a detailed description of:
  536         a. How the baseline student academic achievement levels and
  537  prior rates of academic progress will be established.
  538         b. How these baseline rates will be compared to rates of
  539  academic progress achieved by these same students while
  540  attending the charter school.
  541         c. To the extent possible, how these rates of progress will
  542  be evaluated and compared with rates of progress of other
  543  closely comparable student populations.
  545  A The district school board is required to provide academic
  546  student performance data to charter schools for each of their
  547  students coming from the district school system, as well as
  548  rates of academic progress of comparable student populations in
  549  the district school system.
  550         4. The methods used to identify the educational strengths
  551  and needs of students and how well educational goals and
  552  performance standards are met by students attending the charter
  553  school. The methods shall provide a means for the charter school
  554  to ensure accountability to its constituents by analyzing
  555  student performance data and by evaluating the effectiveness and
  556  efficiency of its major educational programs. Students in
  557  charter schools shall, at a minimum, participate in the
  558  statewide assessment program created under s. 1008.22.
  559         5. In secondary charter schools, a method for determining
  560  that a student has satisfied the requirements for graduation in
  561  s. 1002.3105(5), s. 1003.4281, or s. 1003.4282.
  562         6. A method for resolving conflicts between the governing
  563  board of the charter school and the sponsor.
  564         7. The admissions procedures and dismissal procedures,
  565  including the school’s code of student conduct. Admission or
  566  dismissal must not be based on a student’s academic performance.
  567         8. The ways by which the school will achieve a
  568  racial/ethnic balance reflective of the community it serves or
  569  within the racial/ethnic range of other nearby public schools in
  570  the same school district.
  571         9. The financial and administrative management of the
  572  school, including a reasonable demonstration of the professional
  573  experience or competence of those individuals or organizations
  574  applying to operate the charter school or those hired or
  575  retained to perform such professional services and the
  576  description of clearly delineated responsibilities and the
  577  policies and practices needed to effectively manage the charter
  578  school. A description of internal audit procedures and
  579  establishment of controls to ensure that financial resources are
  580  properly managed must be included. Both public sector and
  581  private sector professional experience shall be equally valid in
  582  such a consideration.
  583         10. The asset and liability projections required in the
  584  application which are incorporated into the charter and shall be
  585  compared with information provided in the annual report of the
  586  charter school.
  587         11. A description of procedures that identify various risks
  588  and provide for a comprehensive approach to reduce the impact of
  589  losses; plans to ensure the safety and security of students and
  590  staff; plans to identify, minimize, and protect others from
  591  violent or disruptive student behavior; and the manner in which
  592  the school will be insured, including whether or not the school
  593  will be required to have liability insurance, and, if so, the
  594  terms and conditions thereof and the amounts of coverage.
  595         12. The term of the charter which shall provide for
  596  cancellation of the charter if insufficient progress has been
  597  made in attaining the student achievement objectives of the
  598  charter and if it is not likely that such objectives can be
  599  achieved before expiration of the charter. The initial term of a
  600  charter shall be for 5 years, excluding 2 planning years. In
  601  order to facilitate access to long-term financial resources for
  602  charter school construction, charter schools that are operated
  603  by a municipality or other public entity as provided by law are
  604  eligible for up to a 15-year charter, subject to approval by the
  605  sponsor district school board. A charter lab school is eligible
  606  for a charter for a term of up to 15 years. In addition, to
  607  facilitate access to long-term financial resources for charter
  608  school construction, charter schools that are operated by a
  609  private, not-for-profit, s. 501(c)(3) status corporation are
  610  eligible for up to a 15-year charter, subject to approval by the
  611  sponsor district school board. Such long-term charters remain
  612  subject to annual review and may be terminated during the term
  613  of the charter, but only according to the provisions set forth
  614  in subsection (8).
  615         13. The facilities to be used and their location. The
  616  sponsor may not require a charter school to have a certificate
  617  of occupancy or a temporary certificate of occupancy for such a
  618  facility earlier than 15 calendar days before the first day of
  619  school.
  620         14. The qualifications to be required of the teachers and
  621  the potential strategies used to recruit, hire, train, and
  622  retain qualified staff to achieve best value.
  623         15. The governance structure of the school, including the
  624  status of the charter school as a public or private employer as
  625  required in paragraph (12)(i).
  626         16. A timetable for implementing the charter which
  627  addresses the implementation of each element thereof and the
  628  date by which the charter shall be awarded in order to meet this
  629  timetable.
  630         17. In the case of an existing public school that is being
  631  converted to charter status, alternative arrangements for
  632  current students who choose not to attend the charter school and
  633  for current teachers who choose not to teach in the charter
  634  school after conversion in accordance with the existing
  635  collective bargaining agreement or district school board rule in
  636  the absence of a collective bargaining agreement. However,
  637  alternative arrangements shall not be required for current
  638  teachers who choose not to teach in a charter lab school, except
  639  as authorized by the employment policies of the state university
  640  which grants the charter to the lab school.
  641         18. Full disclosure of the identity of all relatives
  642  employed by the charter school who are related to the charter
  643  school owner, president, chairperson of the governing board of
  644  directors, superintendent, governing board member, principal,
  645  assistant principal, or any other person employed by the charter
  646  school who has equivalent decisionmaking authority. For the
  647  purpose of this subparagraph, the term “relative” means father,
  648  mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, first
  649  cousin, nephew, niece, husband, wife, father-in-law, mother-in
  650  law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law,
  651  stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother,
  652  stepsister, half brother, or half sister.
  653         19. Implementation of the activities authorized under s.
  654  1002.331 by the charter school when it satisfies the eligibility
  655  requirements for a high-performing charter school. A high
  656  performing charter school shall notify its sponsor in writing by
  657  March 1 if it intends to increase enrollment or expand grade
  658  levels the following school year. The written notice shall
  659  specify the amount of the enrollment increase and the grade
  660  levels that will be added, as applicable.
  661         (b) The sponsor has 30 days after approval of the
  662  application to provide an initial proposed charter contract to
  663  the charter school. The applicant and the sponsor have 40 days
  664  thereafter to negotiate and notice the charter contract for
  665  final approval by the sponsor unless both parties agree to an
  666  extension. The proposed charter contract shall be provided to
  667  the charter school at least 7 calendar days before the date of
  668  the meeting at which the charter is scheduled to be voted upon
  669  by the sponsor. The Department of Education shall provide
  670  mediation services for any dispute regarding this section
  671  subsequent to the approval of a charter application and for any
  672  dispute relating to the approved charter, except a dispute
  673  regarding a charter school application denial. If either the
  674  charter school or the sponsor indicates in writing that the
  675  party does not desire to settle any dispute arising under this
  676  section through mediation procedures offered by the Department
  677  of Education, a charter school may immediately appeal any formal
  678  or informal decision by the sponsor to an administrative law
  679  judge appointed by the Division of Administrative Hearings. If
  680  the Commissioner of Education determines that the dispute cannot
  681  be settled through mediation, the dispute may also be appealed
  682  to an administrative law judge appointed by the Division of
  683  Administrative Hearings. The administrative law judge has final
  684  order authority to rule on issues of equitable treatment of the
  685  charter school as a public school, whether proposed provisions
  686  of the charter violate the intended flexibility granted charter
  687  schools by statute, or any other matter regarding this section,
  688  except a dispute regarding charter school application denial, a
  689  charter termination, or a charter nonrenewal. The administrative
  690  law judge shall award the prevailing party reasonable attorney
  691  fees and costs incurred during the mediation process,
  692  administrative proceeding, and any appeals, to be paid by the
  693  party whom the administrative law judge rules against.
  694         (d) A charter may be modified during its initial term or
  695  any renewal term upon the recommendation of the sponsor or the
  696  charter school’s governing board and the approval of both
  697  parties to the agreement. Changes to curriculum that are
  698  consistent with state standards and are necessary to implement
  699  blended learning shall be deemed approved unless the sponsor
  700  determines in writing that the curriculum is inconsistent with
  701  state standards. Modification during any term may include, but
  702  is not limited to, consolidation of multiple charters into a
  703  single charter if the charters are operated under the same
  704  governing board, regardless of the renewal cycle. A charter
  705  school that is not subject to a school improvement plan and that
  706  closes as part of a consolidation shall be reported by the
  707  sponsor school district as a consolidation.
  709         (c) A charter may be terminated immediately if the sponsor
  710  sets forth in writing the particular facts and circumstances
  711  demonstrating indicating that an immediate and serious danger to
  712  the health, safety, or welfare of the charter school’s students
  713  exists, that the immediate and serious danger is likely to
  714  continue, and that an immediate termination of the charter is
  715  necessary. The sponsor’s determination is subject to the
  716  procedures set forth in paragraph (b), except that the hearing
  717  may take place after the charter has been terminated. The
  718  sponsor shall notify in writing the charter school’s governing
  719  board, the charter school principal, and the department of the
  720  facts and circumstances supporting the immediate termination if
  721  a charter is terminated immediately. The sponsor shall clearly
  722  identify the specific issues that resulted in the immediate
  723  termination and provide evidence of prior notification of issues
  724  resulting in the immediate termination, if applicable when
  725  appropriate. Upon receiving written notice from the sponsor, the
  726  charter school’s governing board has 10 calendar days to request
  727  a hearing. A requested hearing must be expedited and the final
  728  order must be issued within 60 days after the date of request.
  729  The administrative law judge shall award reasonable attorney
  730  fees and costs to the prevailing party of any injunction,
  731  administrative proceeding, or appeal. The sponsor may seek an
  732  injunction in the circuit court in which the charter school is
  733  located to enjoin continued operation of the charter school if
  734  shall assume operation of the charter school throughout the
  735  pendency of the hearing under paragraph (b) unless the continued
  736  operation of the charter school would materially threaten the
  737  health, safety, or welfare of the students. Failure by the
  738  sponsor to assume and continue operation of the charter school
  739  shall result in the awarding of reasonable costs and attorney’s
  740  fees to the charter school if the charter school prevails on
  741  appeal.
  742         (d) When a charter is not renewed or is terminated, the
  743  school shall be dissolved under the provisions of law under
  744  which the school was organized, and any unencumbered public
  745  funds, except for capital outlay funds and federal charter
  746  school program grant funds, from the charter school shall revert
  747  to the sponsor. Capital outlay funds provided pursuant to s.
  748  1013.62 and federal charter school program grant funds that are
  749  unencumbered shall revert to the department to be redistributed
  750  among eligible charter schools. In the event a charter school is
  751  dissolved or is otherwise terminated, all sponsor district
  752  school board property and improvements, furnishings, and
  753  equipment purchased with public funds shall automatically revert
  754  to full ownership by the sponsor district school board, subject
  755  to complete satisfaction of any lawful liens or encumbrances.
  756  Any unencumbered public funds from the charter school, district
  757  school board property and improvements, furnishings, and
  758  equipment purchased with public funds, or financial or other
  759  records pertaining to the charter school, in the possession of
  760  any person, entity, or holding company, other than the charter
  761  school, shall be held in trust upon the sponsor’s district
  762  school board’s request, until any appeal status is resolved.
  763         (e) If a charter is not renewed or is terminated, the
  764  charter school is responsible for all debts of the charter
  765  school. The sponsor district may not assume the debt from any
  766  contract made between the governing body of the school and a
  767  third party, except for a debt that is previously detailed and
  768  agreed upon in writing by both the sponsor district and the
  769  governing body of the school and that may not reasonably be
  770  assumed to have been satisfied by the sponsor district.
  772         (g)1. In order to provide financial information that is
  773  comparable to that reported for other public schools, charter
  774  schools are to maintain all financial records that constitute
  775  their accounting system:
  776         a. In accordance with the accounts and codes prescribed in
  777  the most recent issuance of the publication titled “Financial
  778  and Program Cost Accounting and Reporting for Florida Schools”;
  779  or
  780         b. At the discretion of the charter school’s governing
  781  board, a charter school may elect to follow generally accepted
  782  accounting standards for not-for-profit organizations, but must
  783  reformat this information for reporting according to this
  784  paragraph.
  785         2. Charter schools shall provide annual financial report
  786  and program cost report information in the state-required
  787  formats for inclusion in sponsor district reporting in
  788  compliance with s. 1011.60(1). Charter schools that are operated
  789  by a municipality or are a component unit of a parent nonprofit
  790  organization may use the accounting system of the municipality
  791  or the parent but must reformat this information for reporting
  792  according to this paragraph.
  793         3. A charter school shall, upon approval of the charter
  794  contract, provide the sponsor with a concise, uniform, monthly
  795  financial statement summary sheet that contains a balance sheet
  796  and a statement of revenue, expenditures, and changes in fund
  797  balance. The balance sheet and the statement of revenue,
  798  expenditures, and changes in fund balance shall be in the
  799  governmental funds format prescribed by the Governmental
  800  Accounting Standards Board. A high-performing charter school
  801  pursuant to s. 1002.331 may provide a quarterly financial
  802  statement in the same format and requirements as the uniform
  803  monthly financial statement summary sheet. The sponsor shall
  804  review each monthly or quarterly financial statement to identify
  805  the existence of any conditions identified in s. 1002.345(1)(a).
  806         4. A charter school shall maintain and provide financial
  807  information as required in this paragraph. The financial
  808  statement required in subparagraph 3. must be in a form
  809  prescribed by the Department of Education.
  810         (n)1. The director and a representative of the governing
  811  board of a charter school that has earned a grade of “D” or “F”
  812  pursuant to s. 1008.34 shall appear before the sponsor to
  813  present information concerning each contract component having
  814  noted deficiencies. The director and a representative of the
  815  governing board shall submit to the sponsor for approval a
  816  school improvement plan to raise student performance. Upon
  817  approval by the sponsor, the charter school shall begin
  818  implementation of the school improvement plan. The department
  819  shall offer technical assistance and training to the charter
  820  school and its governing board and establish guidelines for
  821  developing, submitting, and approving such plans.
  822         2.a. If a charter school earns three consecutive grades
  823  below a “C,” the charter school governing board shall choose one
  824  of the following corrective actions:
  825         (I) Contract for educational services to be provided
  826  directly to students, instructional personnel, and school
  827  administrators, as prescribed in state board rule;
  828         (II) Contract with an outside entity that has a
  829  demonstrated record of effectiveness to operate the school;
  830         (III) Reorganize the school under a new director or
  831  principal who is authorized to hire new staff; or
  832         (IV) Voluntarily close the charter school.
  833         b. The charter school must implement the corrective action
  834  in the school year following receipt of a third consecutive
  835  grade below a “C.”
  836         c. The sponsor may annually waive a corrective action if it
  837  determines that the charter school is likely to improve a letter
  838  grade if additional time is provided to implement the
  839  intervention and support strategies prescribed by the school
  840  improvement plan. Notwithstanding this sub-subparagraph, a
  841  charter school that earns a second consecutive grade of “F” is
  842  subject to subparagraph 3.
  843         d. A charter school is no longer required to implement a
  844  corrective action if it improves to a “C” or higher. However,
  845  the charter school must continue to implement strategies
  846  identified in the school improvement plan. The sponsor must
  847  annually review implementation of the school improvement plan to
  848  monitor the school’s continued improvement pursuant to
  849  subparagraph 4.
  850         e. A charter school implementing a corrective action that
  851  does not improve to a “C” or higher after 2 full school years of
  852  implementing the corrective action must select a different
  853  corrective action. Implementation of the new corrective action
  854  must begin in the school year following the implementation
  855  period of the existing corrective action, unless the sponsor
  856  determines that the charter school is likely to improve to a “C”
  857  or higher if additional time is provided to implement the
  858  existing corrective action. Notwithstanding this sub
  859  subparagraph, a charter school that earns a second consecutive
  860  grade of “F” while implementing a corrective action is subject
  861  to subparagraph 3.
  862         3. A charter school’s charter contract is automatically
  863  terminated if the school earns two consecutive grades of “F”
  864  after all school grade appeals are final unless:
  865         a. The charter school is established to turn around the
  866  performance of a district public school pursuant to s.
  867  1008.33(4)(b)2. Such charter schools shall be governed by s.
  868  1008.33;
  869         b. The charter school serves a student population the
  870  majority of which resides in a school zone served by a district
  871  public school subject to s. 1008.33(4) and the charter school
  872  earns at least a grade of “D” in its third year of operation.
  873  The exception provided under this sub-subparagraph does not
  874  apply to a charter school in its fourth year of operation and
  875  thereafter; or
  876         c. The state board grants the charter school a waiver of
  877  termination. The charter school must request the waiver within
  878  15 days after the department’s official release of school
  879  grades. The state board may waive termination if the charter
  880  school demonstrates that the Learning Gains of its students on
  881  statewide assessments are comparable to or better than the
  882  Learning Gains of similarly situated students enrolled in nearby
  883  district public schools. The waiver is valid for 1 year and may
  884  only be granted once. Charter schools that have been in
  885  operation for more than 5 years are not eligible for a waiver
  886  under this sub-subparagraph.
  888  The sponsor shall notify the charter school’s governing board,
  889  the charter school principal, and the department in writing when
  890  a charter contract is terminated under this subparagraph. A
  891  charter terminated under this subparagraph must follow the
  892  procedures for dissolution and reversion of public funds
  893  pursuant to paragraphs (8)(d)-(f) and (9)(o).
  894         4. The director and a representative of the governing board
  895  of a graded charter school that has implemented a school
  896  improvement plan under this paragraph shall appear before the
  897  sponsor at least once a year to present information regarding
  898  the progress of intervention and support strategies implemented
  899  by the school pursuant to the school improvement plan and
  900  corrective actions, if applicable. The sponsor shall communicate
  901  at the meeting, and in writing to the director, the services
  902  provided to the school to help the school address its
  903  deficiencies.
  904         5. Notwithstanding any provision of this paragraph except
  905  sub-subparagraphs 3.a.-c., the sponsor may terminate the charter
  906  at any time pursuant to subsection (8).
  907         (10) ELIGIBLE STUDENTS.—
  908         (d) A charter school may give enrollment preference to the
  909  following student populations:
  910         1. Students who are siblings of a student enrolled in the
  911  charter school.
  912         2. Students who are the children of a member of the
  913  governing board of the charter school.
  914         3. Students who are the children of an employee of the
  915  charter school.
  916         4. Students who are the children of:
  917         a.  An employee of the business partner of a charter
  918  school-in-the-workplace established under paragraph (15)(b) or a
  919  resident of the municipality in which such charter school is
  920  located; or
  921         b. A resident or employee of a municipality that operates a
  922  charter school-in-a-municipality pursuant to paragraph (15)(c)
  923  or allows a charter school to use a school facility or portion
  924  of land provided by the municipality for the operation of the
  925  charter school.
  926         5. Students who have successfully completed, during the
  927  previous year, a voluntary prekindergarten education program
  928  under ss. 1002.51-1002.79 provided by the charter school, or the
  929  charter school’s governing board, or a voluntary prekindergarten
  930  provider that has a written agreement with the governing board
  931  during the previous year.
  932         6. Students who are the children of an active duty member
  933  of any branch of the United States Armed Forces.
  934         7. Students who attended or are assigned to failing schools
  935  pursuant to s. 1002.38(2).
  936         (e) A charter school may limit the enrollment process only
  937  to target the following student populations:
  938         1. Students within specific age groups or grade levels.
  939         2. Students considered at risk of dropping out of school or
  940  academic failure. Such students shall include exceptional
  941  education students.
  942         3. Students enrolling in a charter school-in-the-workplace
  943  or charter school-in-a-municipality established pursuant to
  944  subsection (15).
  945         4. Students residing within a reasonable distance of the
  946  charter school, as described in paragraph (20)(c). Such students
  947  shall be subject to a random lottery and to the racial/ethnic
  948  balance provisions described in subparagraph (7)(a)8. or any
  949  federal provisions that require a school to achieve a
  950  racial/ethnic balance reflective of the community it serves or
  951  within the racial/ethnic range of other nearby public schools in
  952  the same school district.
  953         5. Students who meet reasonable academic, artistic, or
  954  other eligibility standards established by the charter school
  955  and included in the charter school application and charter or,
  956  in the case of existing charter schools, standards that are
  957  consistent with the school’s mission and purpose. Such standards
  958  shall be in accordance with current state law and practice in
  959  public schools and may not discriminate against otherwise
  960  qualified individuals.
  961         6. Students articulating from one charter school to another
  962  pursuant to an articulation agreement between the charter
  963  schools that has been approved by the sponsor.
  964         7. Students living in a development in which a developer,
  965  including any affiliated business entity or charitable
  966  foundation, contributes to the formation, acquisition,
  967  construction, or operation of one or more charter schools or
  968  charter provides the school facilities facility and related
  969  property in an amount equal to or having a total an appraised
  970  value of at least $5 million to be used as a charter schools
  971  school to mitigate the educational impact created by the
  972  development of new residential dwelling units. Students living
  973  in the development are shall be entitled to no more than 50
  974  percent of the student stations in the charter schools school.
  975  The students who are eligible for enrollment are subject to a
  976  random lottery, the racial/ethnic balance provisions, or any
  977  federal provisions, as described in subparagraph 4. The
  978  remainder of the student stations must shall be filled in
  979  accordance with subparagraph 4.
  982  NOT TO BE PLEDGED.—Any arrangement entered into to borrow or
  983  otherwise secure funds for a charter school authorized in this
  984  section from a source other than the state or a sponsor school
  985  district shall indemnify the state and the sponsor school
  986  district from any and all liability, including, but not limited
  987  to, financial responsibility for the payment of the principal or
  988  interest. Any loans, bonds, or other financial agreements are
  989  not obligations of the state or the sponsor school district but
  990  are obligations of the charter school authority and are payable
  991  solely from the sources of funds pledged by such agreement. The
  992  credit or taxing power of the state or the sponsor school
  993  district shall not be pledged and no debts shall be payable out
  994  of any moneys except those of the legal entity in possession of
  995  a valid charter approved by a sponsor district school board
  996  pursuant to this section.
  999         (c) A charter school-in-a-municipality designation may be
 1000  granted to a municipality that possesses a charter; enrolls
 1001  students based upon a random lottery that involves all of the
 1002  children of the residents of that municipality who are seeking
 1003  enrollment, as provided for in subsection (10); and enrolls
 1004  students according to the racial/ethnic balance provisions
 1005  described in subparagraph (7)(a)8. When a municipality has
 1006  submitted charter applications for the establishment of a
 1007  charter school feeder pattern, consisting of elementary, middle,
 1008  and senior high schools, and each individual charter application
 1009  is approved by the sponsor district school board, such schools
 1010  shall then be designated as one charter school for all purposes
 1011  listed pursuant to this section. Any portion of the land and
 1012  facility used for a public charter school shall be exempt from
 1013  ad valorem taxes, as provided for in s. 1013.54, for the
 1014  duration of its use as a public school.
 1015         (17) FUNDING.—Students enrolled in a charter school,
 1016  regardless of the sponsorship, shall be funded as if they are in
 1017  a basic program or a special program, the same as students
 1018  enrolled in other public schools in a the school district.
 1019  Funding for a charter lab school shall be as provided in s.
 1020  1002.32.
 1021         (a) Each charter school shall report its student enrollment
 1022  to the sponsor as required in s. 1011.62, and in accordance with
 1023  the definitions in s. 1011.61. The sponsor shall include each
 1024  charter school’s enrollment in the sponsor’s district’s report
 1025  of student enrollment. All charter schools submitting student
 1026  record information required by the Department of Education shall
 1027  comply with the Department of Education’s guidelines for
 1028  electronic data formats for such data, and all sponsors
 1029  districts shall accept electronic data that complies with the
 1030  Department of Education’s electronic format.
 1031         (b)1. The basis for the agreement for funding students
 1032  enrolled in a charter school shall be the sum of the school
 1033  district’s operating funds from the Florida Education Finance
 1034  Program as provided in s. 1011.62 and the General Appropriations
 1035  Act, including gross state and local funds, discretionary
 1036  lottery funds, and funds from the school district’s current
 1037  operating discretionary millage levy; divided by total funded
 1038  weighted full-time equivalent students in the school district;
 1039  and multiplied by the weighted full-time equivalent students for
 1040  the charter school. Charter schools whose students or programs
 1041  meet the eligibility criteria in law are entitled to their
 1042  proportionate share of categorical program funds included in the
 1043  total funds available in the Florida Education Finance Program
 1044  by the Legislature, including transportation, the research-based
 1045  reading allocation, and the Florida digital classrooms
 1046  allocation. Total funding for each charter school shall be
 1047  recalculated during the year to reflect the revised calculations
 1048  under the Florida Education Finance Program by the state and the
 1049  actual weighted full-time equivalent students reported by the
 1050  charter school during the full-time equivalent student survey
 1051  periods designated by the Commissioner of Education. For charter
 1052  schools operated by a not-for-profit or municipal entity, any
 1053  unrestricted current and capital assets identified in the
 1054  charter school’s annual financial audit may be used for other
 1055  charter schools operated by the not-for-profit or municipal
 1056  entity within the school district. Unrestricted current assets
 1057  shall be used in accordance with s. 1011.62, and any
 1058  unrestricted capital assets shall be used in accordance with s.
 1059  1013.62(2).
 1060         2.a.Students enrolled in a charter school sponsored by a
 1061  state university or Florida College System institution pursuant
 1062  to paragraph (5)(a) shall be funded as if they are in a basic
 1063  program or a special program in the school district. The basis
 1064  for funding these students is the sum of the total operating
 1065  funds from the Florida Education Finance Program for the school
 1066  district in which the school is located as provided in s.
 1067  1011.62 and the General Appropriations Act, including gross
 1068  state and local funds, discretionary lottery funds, and funds
 1069  from each school district’s current operating discretionary
 1070  millage levy, divided by total funded weighted full-time
 1071  equivalent students in the district, and multiplied by the full
 1072  time equivalent membership of the charter school. The Department
 1073  of Education shall develop a tool that each state university or
 1074  Florida College System institution sponsoring a charter school
 1075  shall use for purposes of calculating the funding amount for
 1076  each eligible charter school student. The total amount obtained
 1077  from the calculation must be appropriated from state funds in
 1078  the General Appropriations Act to the charter school.
 1079         b.Capital outlay funding for a charter school sponsored by
 1080  a state university or Florida College System institution
 1081  pursuant to paragraph (5)(a) is determined pursuant to s.
 1082  1013.62 and the General Appropriations Act.
 1083         (c) Pursuant to 20 U.S.C. 8061 s. 10306, all charter
 1084  schools shall receive all federal funding for which the school
 1085  is otherwise eligible, including Title I funding, not later than
 1086  5 months after the charter school first opens and within 5
 1087  months after any subsequent expansion of enrollment. Unless
 1088  otherwise mutually agreed to by the charter school and its
 1089  sponsor, and consistent with state and federal rules and
 1090  regulations governing the use and disbursement of federal funds,
 1091  the sponsor shall reimburse the charter school on a monthly
 1092  basis for all invoices submitted by the charter school for
 1093  federal funds available to the sponsor for the benefit of the
 1094  charter school, the charter school’s students, and the charter
 1095  school’s students as public school students in the school
 1096  district. Such federal funds include, but are not limited to,
 1097  Title I, Title II, and Individuals with Disabilities Education
 1098  Act (IDEA) funds. To receive timely reimbursement for an
 1099  invoice, the charter school must submit the invoice to the
 1100  sponsor at least 30 days before the monthly date of
 1101  reimbursement set by the sponsor. In order to be reimbursed, any
 1102  expenditures made by the charter school must comply with all
 1103  applicable state rules and federal regulations, including, but
 1104  not limited to, the applicable federal Office of Management and
 1105  Budget Circulars; the federal Education Department General
 1106  Administrative Regulations; and program-specific statutes,
 1107  rules, and regulations. Such funds may not be made available to
 1108  the charter school until a plan is submitted to the sponsor for
 1109  approval of the use of the funds in accordance with applicable
 1110  federal requirements. The sponsor has 30 days to review and
 1111  approve any plan submitted pursuant to this paragraph.
 1112         (d) Charter schools shall be included by the Department of
 1113  Education and the district school board in requests for federal
 1114  stimulus funds in the same manner as district school board
 1115  operated public schools, including Title I and IDEA funds and
 1116  shall be entitled to receive such funds. Charter schools are
 1117  eligible to participate in federal competitive grants that are
 1118  available as part of the federal stimulus funds.
 1119         (e) Sponsors District school boards shall make timely and
 1120  efficient payment and reimbursement to charter schools,
 1121  including processing paperwork required to access special state
 1122  and federal funding for which they may be eligible. Payments of
 1123  funds under paragraph (b) shall be made monthly or twice a
 1124  month, beginning with the start of the sponsor’s district school
 1125  board’s fiscal year. Each payment shall be one-twelfth, or one
 1126  twenty-fourth, as applicable, of the total state and local funds
 1127  described in paragraph (b) and adjusted as set forth therein.
 1128  For the first 2 years of a charter school’s operation, if a
 1129  minimum of 75 percent of the projected enrollment is entered
 1130  into the sponsor’s student information system by the first day
 1131  of the current month, the sponsor district school board shall
 1132  distribute funds to the school for the months of July through
 1133  October based on the projected full-time equivalent student
 1134  membership of the charter school as submitted in the approved
 1135  application. If less than 75 percent of the projected enrollment
 1136  is entered into the sponsor’s student information system by the
 1137  first day of the current month, the sponsor shall base payments
 1138  on the actual number of student enrollment entered into the
 1139  sponsor’s student information system. Thereafter, the results of
 1140  full-time equivalent student membership surveys shall be used in
 1141  adjusting the amount of funds distributed monthly to the charter
 1142  school for the remainder of the fiscal year. The payments shall
 1143  be issued no later than 10 working days after the sponsor
 1144  district school board receives a distribution of state or
 1145  federal funds or the date the payment is due pursuant to this
 1146  subsection. If a warrant for payment is not issued within 10
 1147  working days after receipt of funding by the sponsor district
 1148  school board, the sponsor school district shall pay to the
 1149  charter school, in addition to the amount of the scheduled
 1150  disbursement, interest at a rate of 1 percent per month
 1151  calculated on a daily basis on the unpaid balance from the
 1152  expiration of the 10 working days until such time as the warrant
 1153  is issued. The district school board may not delay payment to a
 1154  charter school of any portion of the funds provided in paragraph
 1155  (b) based on the timing of receipt of local funds by the
 1156  district school board.
 1157         (f) Funding for a virtual charter school shall be as
 1158  provided in s. 1002.45(7).
 1159         (g) To be eligible for public education capital outlay
 1160  (PECO) funds, a charter school must be located in the State of
 1161  Florida.
 1162         (h) A charter school that implements a schoolwide standard
 1163  student attire policy pursuant to s. 1011.78 is eligible to
 1164  receive incentive payments.
 1165         (18) FACILITIES.—
 1166         (e) If a district school board facility or property is
 1167  available because it is surplus, marked for disposal, or
 1168  otherwise unused, it shall be provided for a charter school’s
 1169  use on the same basis as it is made available to other public
 1170  schools in the district. A charter school receiving property
 1171  from the sponsor school district may not sell or dispose of such
 1172  property without written permission of the sponsor school
 1173  district. Similarly, for an existing public school converting to
 1174  charter status, no rental or leasing fee for the existing
 1175  facility or for the property normally inventoried to the
 1176  conversion school may be charged by the district school board to
 1177  the parents and teachers organizing the charter school. The
 1178  charter school shall agree to reasonable maintenance provisions
 1179  in order to maintain the facility in a manner similar to
 1180  district school board standards. The Public Education Capital
 1181  Outlay maintenance funds or any other maintenance funds
 1182  generated by the facility operated as a conversion school shall
 1183  remain with the conversion school.
 1184         (20) SERVICES.—
 1185         (a)1. A sponsor shall provide certain administrative and
 1186  educational services to charter schools. These services shall
 1187  include contract management services; full-time equivalent and
 1188  data reporting services; exceptional student education
 1189  administration services; services related to eligibility and
 1190  reporting duties required to ensure that school lunch services
 1191  under the National School Lunch Program, consistent with the
 1192  needs of the charter school, are provided by the sponsor school
 1193  district at the request of the charter school, that any funds
 1194  due to the charter school under the National School Lunch
 1195  Program be paid to the charter school as soon as the charter
 1196  school begins serving food under the National School Lunch
 1197  Program, and that the charter school is paid at the same time
 1198  and in the same manner under the National School Lunch Program
 1199  as other public schools serviced by the sponsor or the school
 1200  district; test administration services, including payment of the
 1201  costs of state-required or district-required student
 1202  assessments; processing of teacher certificate data services;
 1203  and information services, including equal access to the
 1204  sponsor’s student information systems that are used by public
 1205  schools in the district in which the charter school is located
 1206  or by schools in the sponsor’s portfolio of charter schools if
 1207  the sponsor is not a school district. Student performance data
 1208  for each student in a charter school, including, but not limited
 1209  to, FCAT scores, standardized test scores, previous public
 1210  school student report cards, and student performance measures,
 1211  shall be provided by the sponsor to a charter school in the same
 1212  manner provided to other public schools in the district or by
 1213  schools in the sponsor’s portfolio of charter schools if the
 1214  sponsor is not a school district.
 1215         2. A sponsor may withhold an administrative fee for the
 1216  provision of such services which shall be a percentage of the
 1217  available funds defined in paragraph (17)(b) calculated based on
 1218  weighted full-time equivalent students. If the charter school
 1219  serves 75 percent or more exceptional education students as
 1220  defined in s. 1003.01(3), the percentage shall be calculated
 1221  based on unweighted full-time equivalent students. The
 1222  administrative fee shall be calculated as follows:
 1223         a. Up to 5 percent for:
 1224         (I) Enrollment of up to and including 250 students in a
 1225  charter school as defined in this section.
 1226         (II) Enrollment of up to and including 500 students within
 1227  a charter school system which meets all of the following:
 1228         (A) Includes conversion charter schools and nonconversion
 1229  charter schools.
 1230         (B) Has all of its schools located in the same county.
 1231         (C) Has a total enrollment exceeding the total enrollment
 1232  of at least one school district in this the state.
 1233         (D) Has the same governing board for all of its schools.
 1234         (E) Does not contract with a for-profit service provider
 1235  for management of school operations.
 1236         (III) Enrollment of up to and including 250 students in a
 1237  virtual charter school.
 1238         b. Up to 2 percent for enrollment of up to and including
 1239  250 students in a high-performing charter school as defined in
 1240  s. 1002.331.
 1241         c. Up to 2 percent for enrollment of up to and including
 1242  250 students in an exceptional student education center that
 1243  meets the requirements of the rules adopted by the State Board
 1244  of Education pursuant to s. 1008.3415(3).
 1245         3. A sponsor may not charge charter schools any additional
 1246  fees or surcharges for administrative and educational services
 1247  in addition to the maximum percentage of administrative fees
 1248  withheld pursuant to this paragraph.
 1249         4. A sponsor shall provide to the department by September
 1250  15 of each year the total amount of funding withheld from
 1251  charter schools pursuant to this subsection for the prior fiscal
 1252  year. The department must include the information in the report
 1253  required under sub-sub-subparagraph (5)(b)1.k.(III).
 1254         (b) If goods and services are made available to the charter
 1255  school through the contract with the sponsor school district,
 1256  they shall be provided to the charter school at a rate no
 1257  greater than the sponsor’s district’s actual cost unless
 1258  mutually agreed upon by the charter school and the sponsor in a
 1259  contract negotiated separately from the charter. When mediation
 1260  has failed to resolve disputes over contracted services or
 1261  contractual matters not included in the charter, an appeal may
 1262  be made to an administrative law judge appointed by the Division
 1263  of Administrative Hearings. The administrative law judge has
 1264  final order authority to rule on the dispute. The administrative
 1265  law judge shall award the prevailing party reasonable attorney
 1266  fees and costs incurred during the mediation process,
 1267  administrative proceeding, and any appeals, to be paid by the
 1268  party whom the administrative law judge rules against. To
 1269  maximize the use of state funds, sponsors school districts shall
 1270  allow charter schools to participate in the sponsor’s bulk
 1271  purchasing program if applicable.
 1272         (c) Transportation of charter school students shall be
 1273  provided by the charter school consistent with the requirements
 1274  of subpart I.E. of chapter 1006 and s. 1012.45. The governing
 1275  body of the charter school may provide transportation through an
 1276  agreement or contract with the sponsor district school board, a
 1277  private provider, or parents. The charter school and the sponsor
 1278  shall cooperate in making arrangements that ensure that
 1279  transportation is not a barrier to equal access for all students
 1280  residing within a reasonable distance of the charter school as
 1281  determined in its charter.
 1282         (d) Each charter school shall annually complete and submit
 1283  a survey, provided in a format specified by the Department of
 1284  Education, to rate the timeliness and quality of services
 1285  provided by the sponsor district in accordance with this
 1286  section. The department shall compile the results, by sponsor
 1287  district, and include the results in the report required under
 1288  sub-sub-subparagraph (5)(b)1.k.(III).
 1290         (a) The Department of Education shall provide information
 1291  to the public, directly and through sponsors, on how to form and
 1292  operate a charter school and how to enroll in a charter school
 1293  once it is created. This information shall include the standard
 1294  application form, standard charter contract, standard evaluation
 1295  instrument, and standard charter renewal contract, which shall
 1296  include the information specified in subsection (7) and shall be
 1297  developed by consulting and negotiating with both sponsors
 1298  school districts and charter schools before implementation. The
 1299  charter and charter renewal contracts shall be used by charter
 1300  school sponsors.
 1301         (b)1. The Department of Education shall report to each
 1302  charter school receiving a school grade pursuant to s. 1008.34
 1303  or a school improvement rating pursuant to s. 1008.341 the
 1304  school’s student assessment data.
 1305         2. The charter school shall report the information in
 1306  subparagraph 1. to each parent of a student at the charter
 1307  school, the parent of a child on a waiting list for the charter
 1308  school, the sponsor district in which the charter school is
 1309  located, and the governing board of the charter school. This
 1310  paragraph does not abrogate the provisions of s. 1002.22,
 1311  relating to student records, or the requirements of 20 U.S.C. s.
 1312  1232g, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
 1315         (a) A charter school system’s governing board shall be
 1316  designated a local educational agency for the purpose of
 1317  receiving federal funds, the same as though the charter school
 1318  system were a school district, if the governing board of the
 1319  charter school system has adopted and filed a resolution with
 1320  its sponsor sponsoring district school board and the Department
 1321  of Education in which the governing board of the charter school
 1322  system accepts the full responsibility for all local education
 1323  agency requirements and the charter school system meets all of
 1324  the following:
 1325         1. Has all schools located in the same county;
 1326         2. Has a total enrollment exceeding the total enrollment of
 1327  at least one school district in this the state; and
 1328         3. Has the same governing board.
 1330  Such designation does not apply to other provisions unless
 1331  specifically provided in law.
 1332         (28) RULEMAKING.—The Department of Education, after
 1333  consultation with sponsors school districts and charter school
 1334  directors, shall recommend that the State Board of Education
 1335  adopt rules to implement specific subsections of this section.
 1336  Such rules shall require minimum paperwork and shall not limit
 1337  charter school flexibility authorized by statute. The State
 1338  Board of Education shall adopt rules, pursuant to ss. 120.536(1)
 1339  and 120.54, to implement a standard charter application form,
 1340  standard application form for the replication of charter schools
 1341  in a high-performing charter school system, standard evaluation
 1342  instrument, and standard charter and charter renewal contracts
 1343  in accordance with this section.
 1344         Section 3. Paragraph (a) of subsection (2) and paragraph
 1345  (b) of subsection (3) of section 1002.331, Florida Statutes, are
 1346  amended to read:
 1347         1002.331 High-performing charter schools.—
 1348         (2) A high-performing charter school is authorized to:
 1349         (a) Increase its student enrollment once per school year to
 1350  more than the capacity identified in the charter, but student
 1351  enrollment may not exceed the capacity of the facility at the
 1352  time the enrollment increase will take effect. Facility capacity
 1353  for purposes of grade level expansion shall include any
 1354  improvements to an existing facility or any new facility in
 1355  which a majority of the students of the high-performing charter
 1356  school will enroll.
 1358  A high-performing charter school shall notify its sponsor in
 1359  writing by March 1 if it intends to increase enrollment or
 1360  expand grade levels the following school year. The written
 1361  notice shall specify the amount of the enrollment increase and
 1362  the grade levels that will be added, as applicable. If a charter
 1363  school notifies the sponsor of its intent to expand, the sponsor
 1364  shall modify the charter within 90 days to include the new
 1365  enrollment maximum and may not make any other changes. The
 1366  sponsor may deny a request to increase the enrollment of a high
 1367  performing charter school if the commissioner has declassified
 1368  the charter school as high-performing. If a high-performing
 1369  charter school requests to consolidate multiple charters, the
 1370  sponsor shall have 40 days after receipt of that request to
 1371  provide an initial draft charter to the charter school. The
 1372  sponsor and charter school shall have 50 days thereafter to
 1373  negotiate and notice the charter contract for final approval by
 1374  the sponsor.
 1375         (3)
 1376         (b) A high-performing charter school may submit not
 1377  establish more than two applications for a charter school to be
 1378  opened schools within this the state under paragraph (a) at a
 1379  time determined by the high-performing charter school in any
 1380  year. A subsequent application to establish a charter school
 1381  under paragraph (a) may not be submitted unless each charter
 1382  school applicant commences operations or an application is
 1383  otherwise withdrawn established in this manner achieves high
 1384  performing charter school status. However, a high-performing
 1385  charter school may establish more than one charter school within
 1386  this the state under paragraph (a) in any year if it operates in
 1387  the area of a persistently low-performing school and serves
 1388  students from that school. This paragraph applies to any high
 1389  performing charter school with an existing approved application.
 1390         Section 4. Paragraph (c) of subsection (1), paragraphs (a),
 1391  (g), and (h) of subsection (6), paragraph (d) of subsection (7),
 1392  and paragraph (b) of subsection (10) of section 1002.333,
 1393  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
 1394         1002.333 Persistently low-performing schools.—
 1395         (1) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
 1396         (c) “Persistently low-performing school” means a school
 1397  that has earned three grades lower than a “C,” pursuant to s.
 1398  1008.34, in at least 3 of the previous 5 years that the school
 1399  received a grade and has not earned a grade of “B” or higher in
 1400  the most recent 2 school years, and a school that was closed
 1401  pursuant to s. 1008.33(4) within 2 years after the submission of
 1402  a notice of intent.
 1403         (6) STATUTORY AUTHORITY.—
 1404         (a) A school of hope or a nonprofit entity that operates
 1405  more than one school of hope through a performance-based
 1406  agreement with a school district may be designated as a local
 1407  education agency by the department, if requested, for the
 1408  purposes of receiving federal funds and, in doing so, accepts
 1409  the full responsibility for all local education agency
 1410  requirements and the schools for which it will perform local
 1411  education agency responsibilities.
 1412         1. A nonprofit entity designated as a local education
 1413  agency may report its students to the department in accordance
 1414  with the definitions in s. 1011.61 and pursuant to the
 1415  department’s procedures and timelines.
 1416         2. Students enrolled in a school established by a hope
 1417  operator designated as a local educational agency are not
 1418  eligible students for purposes of calculating the district grade
 1419  pursuant to s. 1008.34(5).
 1420         (g) Each school of hope that has not been designated as a
 1421  local education agency shall report its students to the school
 1422  district as required in s. 1011.62, and in accordance with the
 1423  definitions in s. 1011.61. The school district shall include
 1424  each charter school’s enrollment in the district’s report of
 1425  student enrollment. All charter schools submitting student
 1426  record information required by the department shall comply with
 1427  the department’s guidelines for electronic data formats for such
 1428  data, and all districts shall accept electronic data that
 1429  complies with the department’s electronic format.
 1430         (h)1. A school of hope shall provide the school district
 1431  with a concise, uniform, quarterly financial statement summary
 1432  sheet that contains a balance sheet and a statement of revenue,
 1433  expenditures, and changes in fund balance. The balance sheet and
 1434  the statement of revenue, expenditures, and changes in fund
 1435  balance shall be in the governmental fund format prescribed by
 1436  the Governmental Accounting Standards Board. Additionally, a
 1437  school of hope shall comply with the annual audit requirement
 1438  for charter schools in s. 218.39.
 1439         2. A school of hope is in compliance with subparagraph 1.
 1440  if it is operated by a nonprofit entity designated as a local
 1441  education agency and if the nonprofit submits to each school
 1442  district in which it operates a school of hope:
 1443         a. A concise, uniform, quarterly financial statement
 1444  summary sheet that contains a balance sheet summarizing the
 1445  revenue, expenditures, and changes in fund balance for the
 1446  entity and for its schools of hope within the school district.
 1447         b. An annual financial audit of the nonprofit that includes
 1448  all schools of hope it operates within this state and that
 1449  complies with s. 218.39 regarding audits of a school board.
 1450         (7) FACILITIES.—
 1451         (d) No later than January October 1, the department each
 1452  school district shall annually provide to school districts the
 1453  Department of Education a list of all underused, vacant, or
 1454  surplus facilities owned or operated by the school district as
 1455  reported in the Florida Inventory of School Houses. A school
 1456  district may provide evidence to the department that the list
 1457  contains errors or omissions within 30 days after receipt of the
 1458  list. By each April 1, the department shall update and publish a
 1459  final list of all underused, vacant, or surplus facilities owned
 1460  or operated by each school district, based upon updated
 1461  information provided by each school district. A hope operator
 1462  establishing a school of hope may use an educational facility
 1463  identified in this paragraph at no cost or at a mutually
 1464  agreeable cost not to exceed $600 per student. A hope operator
 1465  using a facility pursuant to this paragraph may not sell or
 1466  dispose of such facility without the written permission of the
 1467  school district. For purposes of this paragraph, the term
 1468  “underused, vacant, or surplus facility” means an entire
 1469  facility or portion thereof which is not fully used or is used
 1470  irregularly or intermittently by the school district for
 1471  instructional or program use.
 1472         (10) SCHOOLS OF HOPE PROGRAM.—The Schools of Hope Program
 1473  is created within the Department of Education.
 1474         (b) Notwithstanding s. 216.301 and pursuant to s. 216.351,
 1475  funds allocated for the purpose of this subsection which are not
 1476  disbursed by June 30 of the fiscal year in which the funds are
 1477  allocated may be carried forward for up to 7 5 years after the
 1478  effective date of the original appropriation.
 1479         Section 5. Paragraph (d) of subsection (1) of section
 1480  1002.45, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
 1481         1002.45 Virtual instruction programs.—
 1482         (1) PROGRAM.—
 1483         (d) A virtual charter school may provide full-time or part
 1484  time virtual instruction for students in kindergarten through
 1485  grade 12 if the virtual charter school has a charter approved
 1486  pursuant to s. 1002.33 authorizing full-time virtual
 1487  instruction. A virtual charter school may:
 1488         1. Contract with the Florida Virtual School.
 1489         2. Contract with or be an approved provider under
 1490  subsection (2).
 1491         3. Contract with any public school or charter school Enter
 1492  into an agreement with a school district to allow the
 1493  participation of the virtual charter school’s students in
 1494  courses that the virtual school is unable to provide the school
 1495  district’s virtual instruction program. The agreement must
 1496  indicate a process for reporting of student enrollment and the
 1497  transfer of funds required by paragraph (7)(e).
 1498         Section 6. Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section
 1499  1003.493, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
 1500         1003.493 Career and professional academies and career
 1501  themed courses.—
 1502         (1)(a) A “career and professional academy” is a research
 1503  based program that integrates a rigorous academic curriculum
 1504  with an industry-specific curriculum aligned directly to
 1505  priority workforce needs established by the local workforce
 1506  development board or the Department of Economic Opportunity.
 1507  Career and professional academies shall be offered by public
 1508  schools and school districts. Career and professional academies
 1509  may be offered by charter schools. The Florida Virtual School is
 1510  encouraged to develop and offer rigorous career and professional
 1511  courses as appropriate. Students completing career and
 1512  professional academy programs must receive a standard high
 1513  school diploma, the highest available industry certification,
 1514  and opportunities to earn postsecondary credit if the academy
 1515  partners with a postsecondary institution approved to operate in
 1516  the state.
 1517         Section 7. Present subsection (3) of section 1008.3415,
 1518  Florida Statutes, is redesignated as subsection (4), and a new
 1519  subsection (3) is added to that section, to read:
 1520         1008.3415 School grade or school improvement rating for
 1521  exceptional student education centers.—
 1522         (3) The Commissioner of Education, upon request by a
 1523  charter school that is an exceptional student education center
 1524  and that has received two consecutive ratings of “maintaining”
 1525  or higher pursuant to s. 1008.341(2), shall provide a letter to
 1526  the charter school and to the charter school’s sponsor stating
 1527  that the charter school may replicate its educational program in
 1528  the same manner as a high-performing charter school under s.
 1529  1002.331(3).
 1530         Section 8. Subsection (2) of section 1012.32, Florida
 1531  Statutes, is amended to read:
 1532         1012.32 Qualifications of personnel.—
 1533         (2)(a) Instructional and noninstructional personnel who are
 1534  hired or contracted to fill positions that require direct
 1535  contact with students in any district school system or
 1536  university lab school must, upon employment or engagement to
 1537  provide services, undergo background screening as required under
 1538  s. 1012.465 or s. 1012.56, whichever is applicable.
 1539         (b)1. Instructional and noninstructional personnel who are
 1540  hired or contracted to fill positions in a any charter school
 1541  other than a school of hope as defined in s. 1002.333, and
 1542  members of the governing board of such any charter school, in
 1543  compliance with s. 1002.33(12)(g), must, upon employment,
 1544  engagement of services, or appointment, shall undergo background
 1545  screening as required under s. 1012.465 or s. 1012.56, whichever
 1546  is applicable, by filing with the district school board for the
 1547  school district in which the charter school is located a
 1548  complete set of fingerprints taken by an authorized law
 1549  enforcement agency or an employee of the school or school
 1550  district who is trained to take fingerprints.
 1551         2. Instructional and noninstructional personnel who are
 1552  hired or contracted to fill positions in a school of hope as
 1553  defined in s. 1002.333, and members of the governing board of
 1554  such school of hope, shall file with the school of hope a
 1555  complete set of fingerprints taken by an authorized law
 1556  enforcement agency, by an employee of the school of hope or
 1557  school district who is trained to take fingerprints, or by any
 1558  other entity recognized by the Department of Law Enforcement to
 1559  take fingerprints.
 1560         (c) Instructional and noninstructional personnel who are
 1561  hired or contracted to fill positions that require direct
 1562  contact with students in an alternative school that operates
 1563  under contract with a district school system must, upon
 1564  employment or engagement to provide services, undergo background
 1565  screening as required under s. 1012.465 or s. 1012.56, whichever
 1566  is applicable, by filing with the district school board for the
 1567  school district to which the alternative school is under
 1568  contract a complete set of fingerprints taken by an authorized
 1569  law enforcement agency or an employee of the school or school
 1570  district who is trained to take fingerprints.
 1571         (d) Student teachers and persons participating in a field
 1572  experience pursuant to s. 1004.04(5) or s. 1004.85 in any
 1573  district school system, lab school, or charter school must, upon
 1574  engagement to provide services, undergo background screening as
 1575  required under s. 1012.56.
 1577  Required fingerprints must shall be submitted to the Department
 1578  of Law Enforcement for statewide criminal and juvenile records
 1579  checks and to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for federal
 1580  criminal records checks. A person subject to this subsection who
 1581  is found ineligible for employment under s. 1012.315, or
 1582  otherwise found through background screening to have been
 1583  convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude as defined by
 1584  rule of the State Board of Education, shall not be employed,
 1585  engaged to provide services, or serve in any position that
 1586  requires direct contact with students. Probationary persons
 1587  subject to this subsection terminated because of their criminal
 1588  record have the right to appeal such decisions. The cost of the
 1589  background screening may be borne by the district school board,
 1590  the charter school, the employee, the contractor, or a person
 1591  subject to this subsection. A district school board shall
 1592  reimburse a charter school the cost of background screening if
 1593  it does not notify the charter school of the eligibility of a
 1594  governing board member or instructional or noninstructional
 1595  personnel within the earlier of 14 days after receipt of the
 1596  background screening results from the Florida Department of Law
 1597  Enforcement or 30 days of submission of fingerprints by the
 1598  governing board member or instructional or noninstructional
 1599  personnel.
 1600         Section 9. Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section
 1601  1013.62, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
 1602         1013.62 Charter schools capital outlay funding.—
 1603         (1) For the 2020-2021 fiscal year, charter school capital
 1604  outlay funding shall consist of state funds appropriated in the
 1605  2020-2021 General Appropriations Act. Beginning in fiscal year
 1606  2021-2022, charter school capital outlay funding shall consist
 1607  of state funds when such funds are appropriated in the General
 1608  Appropriations Act and revenue resulting from the discretionary
 1609  millage authorized in s. 1011.71(2) if the amount of state funds
 1610  appropriated for charter school capital outlay in any fiscal
 1611  year is less than the average charter school capital outlay
 1612  funds per unweighted full-time equivalent student for the 2018
 1613  2019 fiscal year, multiplied by the estimated number of charter
 1614  school students for the applicable fiscal year, and adjusted by
 1615  changes in the Consumer Price Index issued by the United States
 1616  Department of Labor from the previous fiscal year. Nothing in
 1617  this subsection prohibits a school district from distributing to
 1618  charter schools funds resulting from the discretionary millage
 1619  authorized in s. 1011.71(2).
 1620         (a) To be eligible to receive capital outlay funds, a
 1621  charter school must:
 1622         1.a. Have been in operation for 2 or more years;
 1623         b. Be governed by a governing board established in the
 1624  state for 2 or more years which operates both charter schools
 1625  and conversion charter schools within the state;
 1626         c. Be an expanded feeder chain of a charter school within
 1627  the same school district that is currently receiving charter
 1628  school capital outlay funds;
 1629         d. Have been accredited by a regional accrediting
 1630  association as defined by State Board of Education rule; or
 1631         e. Serve students in facilities that are provided by a
 1632  business partner for a charter school-in-the-workplace pursuant
 1633  to s. 1002.33(15)(b); or
 1634         f. Be operated by a hope operator pursuant to s. 1002.333.
 1635         2. Have an annual audit that does not reveal any of the
 1636  financial emergency conditions provided in s. 218.503(1) for the
 1637  most recent fiscal year for which such audit results are
 1638  available.
 1639         3. Have satisfactory student achievement based on state
 1640  accountability standards applicable to the charter school.
 1641         4. Have received final approval from its sponsor pursuant
 1642  to s. 1002.33 for operation during that fiscal year.
 1643         5. Serve students in facilities that are not provided by
 1644  the charter school’s sponsor.
 1645         Section 10. If any provision of this act or its application
 1646  to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity
 1647  does not affect other provisions or applications of the act
 1648  which can be given effect without the invalid provision or
 1649  application, and to this end the provisions of this act are
 1650  severable.
 1651         Section 11. This act shall take effect July 1, 2021.