Florida Senate - 2021                        COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
       Bill No. PCS (479284) for CS for SB 1028
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              

       The Committee on Appropriations (Hutson) recommended the
    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Delete everything after the enacting clause
    4  and insert:
    5         Section 1. Subsection (2) and paragraph (a) of subsection
    6  (9) of section 1002.32, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
    7         1002.32 Developmental research (laboratory) schools.—
    8         (2) ESTABLISHMENT.—There is established a category of
    9  public schools to be known as developmental research
   10  (laboratory) schools (lab schools). Each lab school shall
   11  provide sequential instruction and shall be affiliated with the
   12  college of education within the state university of closest
   13  geographic proximity. A lab school to which a charter has been
   14  issued under s. 1002.33(5)(a)2. must be affiliated with the
   15  college of education within the state university that issued the
   16  charter, but is not subject to the requirement that the state
   17  university be of closest geographic proximity. For the purpose
   18  of state funding, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical
   19  University, Florida Atlantic University, Florida State
   20  University, the University of Florida, and other universities
   21  approved by the State Board of Education and the Legislature are
   22  authorized to sponsor a lab school. The limitation of one lab
   23  school per university shall not apply to the following
   24  legislatively allowed charter lab schools authorized prior to
   25  June 1, 2003: Florida State University Charter Lab K-12 School
   26  in Broward County, Florida Atlantic University Charter Lab K-12
   27  9-12 High School in Palm Beach County, and Florida Atlantic
   28  University Charter Lab K-12 School in St. Lucie County. The
   29  limitation of one lab school per university does not apply to a
   30  university that establishes a lab school to serve families of a
   31  military installation that is within the same county as a branch
   32  campus that offers programs from the university’s college of
   33  education.
   34         (9) FUNDING.—Funding for a lab school, including a charter
   35  lab school, shall be provided as follows:
   36         (a) Each lab school shall be allocated its proportional
   37  share of operating funds from the Florida Education Finance
   38  Program as provided in s. 1011.62 based on the county in which
   39  the lab school is located and the General Appropriations Act.
   40  The nonvoted ad valorem millage that would otherwise be required
   41  for lab schools shall be allocated from state funds. The
   42  required local effort funds calculated pursuant to s. 1011.62
   43  shall be allocated from state funds to the schools as a part of
   44  the allocation of operating funds pursuant to s. 1011.62. Each
   45  eligible lab school in operation as of September 1, 2013, with a
   46  permanent high school center shall also receive a proportional
   47  share of the sparsity supplement as calculated pursuant to s.
   48  1011.62. In addition, each lab school shall receive its
   49  proportional share of all categorical funds, with the exception
   50  of s. 1011.68, and new categorical funds enacted after July 1,
   51  1994, for the purpose of elementary or secondary academic
   52  program enhancement. The sum of funds available as provided in
   53  this paragraph shall be included annually in the Florida
   54  Education Finance Program and appropriate categorical programs
   55  funded in the General Appropriations Act.
   56         Section 2. Paragraph (c) of subsection (2), subsection (5),
   57  paragraphs (b) and (d) of subsection (6), paragraphs (a), (b),
   58  and (d) of subsection (7), paragraphs (c), (d), and (e) of
   59  subsection (8), paragraphs (g) and (n) of subsection (9),
   60  paragraphs (d) and (e) of subsection (10), subsection (14),
   61  paragraph (c) of subsection (15), subsection (17), paragraph (e)
   62  of subsection (18), subsections (20) and (21), paragraph (a) of
   63  subsection (25), and subsection (28) of section 1002.33, Florida
   64  Statutes, are amended to read:
   65         1002.33 Charter schools.—
   67         (c) Charter schools may fulfill the following purposes:
   68         1. Create innovative measurement tools.
   69         2. Provide rigorous competition within the public school
   70  system district to stimulate continual improvement in all public
   71  schools.
   72         3. Expand the capacity of the public school system.
   73         4. Mitigate the educational impact created by the
   74  development of new residential dwelling units.
   75         5. Create new professional opportunities for teachers,
   76  including ownership of the learning program at the school site.
   77         (5) SPONSOR; DUTIES.—
   78         (a) Sponsoring entities.—
   79         1. A district school board may sponsor a charter school in
   80  the county over which the district school board has
   81  jurisdiction.
   82         2. A state university may grant a charter to a lab school
   83  created under s. 1002.32 and shall be considered to be the
   84  school’s sponsor. Such school shall be considered a charter lab
   85  school.
   86         3.Because needs relating to educational capacity,
   87  workforce qualifications, and career education opportunities are
   88  constantly changing and extend beyond school district
   89  boundaries:
   90         a.A state university may, upon approval by the Department
   91  of Education, solicit applications and sponsor a charter school
   92  to meet regional education or workforce demands by serving
   93  students from multiple school districts.
   94         b.A Florida College System institution may, upon approval
   95  by the Department of Education, solicit applications and sponsor
   96  a charter school in any county within its service area to meet
   97  workforce demands and may offer postsecondary programs leading
   98  to industry certifications to eligible charter school students.
   99  A charter school established under subparagraph (b)4. may not be
  100  sponsored by a Florida College System institution until its
  101  existing charter with the school district expires as provided
  102  under subsection (7).
  103         c.Notwithstanding paragraph (6)(b), a state university or
  104  Florida College System institution may, at its discretion, deny
  105  an application for a charter school.
  106         (b) Sponsor duties.—
  107         1.a. The sponsor shall monitor and review the charter
  108  school in its progress toward the goals established in the
  109  charter.
  110         b. The sponsor shall monitor the revenues and expenditures
  111  of the charter school and perform the duties provided in s.
  112  1002.345.
  113         c. The sponsor may approve a charter for a charter school
  114  before the applicant has identified space, equipment, or
  115  personnel, if the applicant indicates approval is necessary for
  116  it to raise working funds.
  117         d. The sponsor shall not apply its policies to a charter
  118  school unless mutually agreed to by both the sponsor and the
  119  charter school. If the sponsor subsequently amends any agreed
  120  upon sponsor policy, the version of the policy in effect at the
  121  time of the execution of the charter, or any subsequent
  122  modification thereof, shall remain in effect and the sponsor may
  123  not hold the charter school responsible for any provision of a
  124  newly revised policy until the revised policy is mutually agreed
  125  upon.
  126         e. The sponsor shall ensure that the charter is innovative
  127  and consistent with the state education goals established by s.
  128  1000.03(5).
  129         f. The sponsor shall ensure that the charter school
  130  participates in the state’s education accountability system. If
  131  a charter school falls short of performance measures included in
  132  the approved charter, the sponsor shall report such shortcomings
  133  to the Department of Education.
  134         g. The sponsor shall not be liable for civil damages under
  135  state law for personal injury, property damage, or death
  136  resulting from an act or omission of an officer, employee,
  137  agent, or governing body of the charter school.
  138         h. The sponsor shall not be liable for civil damages under
  139  state law for any employment actions taken by an officer,
  140  employee, agent, or governing body of the charter school.
  141         i. The sponsor’s duties to monitor the charter school shall
  142  not constitute the basis for a private cause of action.
  143         j. The sponsor shall not impose additional reporting
  144  requirements on a charter school without providing reasonable
  145  and specific justification in writing to the charter school.
  146         k. The sponsor shall submit an annual report to the
  147  Department of Education in a web-based format to be determined
  148  by the department.
  149         (I) The report shall include the following information:
  150         (A) The number of draft applications received on or before
  151  May 1 and each applicant’s contact information.
  152         (B) The number of final applications received during the
  153  school year and up to on or before August 1 and each applicant’s
  154  contact information.
  155         (B)(C) The date each application was approved, denied, or
  156  withdrawn.
  157         (C)(D) The date each final contract was executed.
  158         (II) Annually, by November 1 Beginning August 31, 2013, and
  159  each year thereafter, the sponsor shall submit to the department
  160  the information for the applications submitted the previous
  161  year.
  162         (III) The department shall compile an annual report, by
  163  sponsor district, and post the report on its website by January
  164  15 November 1 of each year.
  165         2. Immunity for the sponsor of a charter school under
  166  subparagraph 1. applies only with respect to acts or omissions
  167  not under the sponsor’s direct authority as described in this
  168  section.
  169         3. This paragraph does not waive a sponsor’s district
  170  school board’s sovereign immunity.
  171         4. A Florida College System institution may work with the
  172  school district or school districts in its designated service
  173  area to develop charter schools that offer secondary education.
  174  These charter schools must include an option for students to
  175  receive an associate degree upon high school graduation. If a
  176  Florida College System institution operates an approved teacher
  177  preparation program under s. 1004.04 or s. 1004.85, the
  178  institution may operate no more than one charter schools school
  179  that serve serves students in kindergarten through grade 12 in
  180  any school district within the service area of the institution.
  181  In kindergarten through grade 8, the charter school shall
  182  implement innovative blended learning instructional models in
  183  which, for a given course, a student learns in part through
  184  online delivery of content and instruction with some element of
  185  student control over time, place, path, or pace and in part at a
  186  supervised brick-and-mortar location away from home. A student
  187  in a blended learning course must be a full-time student of the
  188  charter school and receive the online instruction in a classroom
  189  setting at the charter school. District school boards shall
  190  cooperate with and assist the Florida College System institution
  191  on the charter application. Florida College System institution
  192  applications for charter schools are not subject to the time
  193  deadlines outlined in subsection (6) and may be approved by the
  194  district school board at any time during the year. Florida
  195  College System institutions may not report FTE for any students
  196  participating under this subparagraph who receive FTE funding
  197  through the Florida Education Finance Program.
  198         5. For purposes of assisting the development of a charter
  199  school, a school district may enter into nonexclusive interlocal
  200  agreements with federal and state agencies, counties,
  201  municipalities, and other governmental entities that operate
  202  within the geographical borders of the school district to act on
  203  behalf of such governmental entities in the inspection,
  204  issuance, and other necessary activities for all necessary
  205  permits, licenses, and other permissions that a charter school
  206  needs in order for development, construction, or operation. A
  207  charter school may use, but may not be required to use, a school
  208  district for these services. The interlocal agreement must
  209  include, but need not be limited to, the identification of fees
  210  that charter schools will be charged for such services. The fees
  211  must consist of the governmental entity’s fees plus a fee for
  212  the school district to recover no more than actual costs for
  213  providing such services. These services and fees are not
  214  included within the services to be provided pursuant to
  215  subsection (20). Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an
  216  interlocal agreement between a school district and a federal or
  217  state agency, county, municipality, or other governmental entity
  218  which prohibits or limits the creation of a charter school
  219  within the geographic borders of the school district is void and
  220  unenforceable.
  221         6.The board of trustees of a sponsoring state university
  222  or Florida College System institution under paragraph (a) is the
  223  local educational agency for all charter schools it sponsors for
  224  purposes of receiving federal funds and accepts full
  225  responsibility for all local educational agency requirements and
  226  the schools for which it will perform local educational agency
  227  responsibilities. A student enrolled in a charter school that is
  228  sponsored by a state university or Florida College System
  229  institution may not be included in the calculation of the school
  230  district’s grade under s. 1008.34(5) for the school district in
  231  which he or she resides.
  232         (c)Sponsor accountability.
  233         1.The department shall, in collaboration with charter
  234  school sponsors and charter school operators, develop a sponsor
  235  evaluation framework that must address, at a minimum:
  236         a.The sponsor’s strategic vision for charter school
  237  authorization and the sponsor’s progress toward that vision.
  238         b.The alignment of the sponsor’s policies and practices to
  239  best practices for charter school authorization.
  240         c.The academic and financial performance of all operating
  241  charter schools overseen by the sponsor.
  242         d.The status of charter schools authorized by the sponsor,
  243  including approved, operating, and closed schools.
  244         2.The department shall compile the results by sponsor and
  245  include the results in the report required under sub-sub
  246  subparagraph (b)1.k.(III).
  247         (6) APPLICATION PROCESS AND REVIEW.—Charter school
  248  applications are subject to the following requirements:
  249         (b) A sponsor shall receive and review all applications for
  250  a charter school using the evaluation instrument developed by
  251  the Department of Education. A sponsor shall receive and
  252  consider charter school applications received on or before
  253  August 1 of each calendar year for charter schools to be opened
  254  at the beginning of the school district’s next school year, or
  255  to be opened at a time agreed to by the applicant and the
  256  sponsor. A sponsor may not refuse to receive a charter school
  257  application submitted before August 1 and may receive an
  258  application submitted later than August 1 if it chooses.
  259  Beginning in 2018 and thereafter, A sponsor shall receive and
  260  consider charter school applications received on or before
  261  February 1 of each calendar year for charter schools to be
  262  opened 18 months later at the beginning of the school district’s
  263  school year, or to be opened at a time determined by the
  264  applicant. A sponsor may not refuse to receive a charter school
  265  application submitted before February 1 and may receive an
  266  application submitted later than February 1 if it chooses. A
  267  sponsor may not charge an applicant for a charter any fee for
  268  the processing or consideration of an application, and a sponsor
  269  may not base its consideration or approval of a final
  270  application upon the promise of future payment of any kind.
  271  Before approving or denying any application, the sponsor shall
  272  allow the applicant, upon receipt of written notification, at
  273  least 7 calendar days to make technical or nonsubstantive
  274  corrections and clarifications, including, but not limited to,
  275  corrections of grammatical, typographical, and like errors or
  276  missing signatures, if such errors are identified by the sponsor
  277  as cause to deny the final application.
  278         1. In order to facilitate an accurate budget projection
  279  process, a sponsor shall be held harmless for FTE students who
  280  are not included in the FTE projection due to approval of
  281  charter school applications after the FTE projection deadline.
  282  In a further effort to facilitate an accurate budget projection,
  283  within 15 calendar days after receipt of a charter school
  284  application, a sponsor shall report to the Department of
  285  Education the name of the applicant entity, the proposed charter
  286  school location, and its projected FTE.
  287         2. In order to ensure fiscal responsibility, an application
  288  for a charter school shall include a full accounting of expected
  289  assets, a projection of expected sources and amounts of income,
  290  including income derived from projected student enrollments and
  291  from community support, and an expense projection that includes
  292  full accounting of the costs of operation, including start-up
  293  costs.
  294         3.a. A sponsor shall by a majority vote approve or deny an
  295  application no later than 90 calendar days after the application
  296  is received, unless the sponsor and the applicant mutually agree
  297  in writing to temporarily postpone the vote to a specific date,
  298  at which time the sponsor shall by a majority vote approve or
  299  deny the application. If the sponsor fails to act on the
  300  application, an applicant may appeal to the State Board of
  301  Education as provided in paragraph (c). If an application is
  302  denied, the sponsor shall, within 10 calendar days after such
  303  denial, articulate in writing the specific reasons, based upon
  304  good cause, supporting its denial of the application and shall
  305  provide the letter of denial and supporting documentation to the
  306  applicant and to the Department of Education.
  307         b. An application submitted by a high-performing charter
  308  school identified pursuant to s. 1002.331 or a high-performing
  309  charter school system identified pursuant to s. 1002.332 may be
  310  denied by the sponsor only if the sponsor demonstrates by clear
  311  and convincing evidence that:
  312         (I) The application of a high-performing charter school
  313  does not materially comply with the requirements in paragraph
  314  (a) or, for a high-performing charter school system, the
  315  application does not materially comply with s. 1002.332(2)(b);
  316         (II) The charter school proposed in the application does
  317  not materially comply with the requirements in paragraphs
  318  (9)(a)-(f);
  319         (III) The proposed charter school’s educational program
  320  does not substantially replicate that of the applicant or one of
  321  the applicant’s high-performing charter schools;
  322         (IV) The applicant has made a material misrepresentation or
  323  false statement or concealed an essential or material fact
  324  during the application process; or
  325         (V) The proposed charter school’s educational program and
  326  financial management practices do not materially comply with the
  327  requirements of this section.
  329  Material noncompliance is a failure to follow requirements or a
  330  violation of prohibitions applicable to charter school
  331  applications, which failure is quantitatively or qualitatively
  332  significant either individually or when aggregated with other
  333  noncompliance. An applicant is considered to be replicating a
  334  high-performing charter school if the proposed school is
  335  substantially similar to at least one of the applicant’s high
  336  performing charter schools and the organization or individuals
  337  involved in the establishment and operation of the proposed
  338  school are significantly involved in the operation of replicated
  339  schools.
  340         c. If the sponsor denies an application submitted by a
  341  high-performing charter school or a high-performing charter
  342  school system, the sponsor must, within 10 calendar days after
  343  such denial, state in writing the specific reasons, based upon
  344  the criteria in sub-subparagraph b., supporting its denial of
  345  the application and must provide the letter of denial and
  346  supporting documentation to the applicant and to the Department
  347  of Education. The applicant may appeal the sponsor’s denial of
  348  the application in accordance with paragraph (c).
  349         4. For budget projection purposes, the sponsor shall report
  350  to the Department of Education the approval or denial of an
  351  application within 10 calendar days after such approval or
  352  denial. In the event of approval, the report to the Department
  353  of Education shall include the final projected FTE for the
  354  approved charter school.
  355         5. Upon approval of an application, the initial startup
  356  shall commence with the beginning of the public school calendar
  357  for the district in which the charter is granted. A charter
  358  school may defer the opening of the school’s operations for up
  359  to 3 years to provide time for adequate facility planning. The
  360  charter school must provide written notice of such intent to the
  361  sponsor and the parents of enrolled students at least 30
  362  calendar days before the first day of school.
  363         (d)1. The sponsor shall act upon the decision of the State
  364  Board of Education within 30 calendar days after it is received.
  365  The State Board of Education’s decision is a final action
  366  subject to judicial review in the district court of appeal. A
  367  prevailing party may file an action with the Division of
  368  Administrative Hearings to recover reasonable attorney fees and
  369  costs incurred during the denial of the application and any
  370  appeals.
  371         2.A school district that fails to implement the decision
  372  affirmed by a district court of appeal shall reduce the
  373  administrative fees withheld pursuant to subsection (20) to 1
  374  percent for all charter schools operating in the school
  375  district. Such school districts shall file a monthly report
  376  detailing the reduction in the amount of administrative fees
  377  withheld. Upon execution of the charter, the sponsor may resume
  378  withholding the full amount of administrative fees but may not
  379  recover any fees that would have otherwise accrued during the
  380  period of noncompliance. Any charter school that had
  381  administrative fees withheld in violation of this paragraph may
  382  recover attorney fees and costs to enforce the requirements of
  383  this paragraph.
  384         (7) CHARTER.—The terms and conditions for the operation of
  385  a charter school shall be set forth by the sponsor and the
  386  applicant in a written contractual agreement, called a charter.
  387  The sponsor and the governing board of the charter school shall
  388  use the standard charter contract pursuant to subsection (21),
  389  which shall incorporate the approved application and any addenda
  390  approved with the application. Any term or condition of a
  391  proposed charter contract that differs from the standard charter
  392  contract adopted by rule of the State Board of Education shall
  393  be presumed a limitation on charter school flexibility. The
  394  sponsor may not impose unreasonable rules or regulations that
  395  violate the intent of giving charter schools greater flexibility
  396  to meet educational goals. The charter shall be signed by the
  397  governing board of the charter school and the sponsor, following
  398  a public hearing to ensure community input.
  399         (a) The charter shall address and criteria for approval of
  400  the charter shall be based on:
  401         1. The school’s mission, the students to be served, and the
  402  ages and grades to be included.
  403         2. The focus of the curriculum, the instructional methods
  404  to be used, any distinctive instructional techniques to be
  405  employed, and identification and acquisition of appropriate
  406  technologies needed to improve educational and administrative
  407  performance which include a means for promoting safe, ethical,
  408  and appropriate uses of technology which comply with legal and
  409  professional standards.
  410         a. The charter shall ensure that reading is a primary focus
  411  of the curriculum and that resources are provided to identify
  412  and provide specialized instruction for students who are reading
  413  below grade level. The curriculum and instructional strategies
  414  for reading must be consistent with the Next Generation Sunshine
  415  State Standards and grounded in scientifically based reading
  416  research.
  417         b. In order to provide students with access to diverse
  418  instructional delivery models, to facilitate the integration of
  419  technology within traditional classroom instruction, and to
  420  provide students with the skills they need to compete in the
  421  21st century economy, the Legislature encourages instructional
  422  methods for blended learning courses consisting of both
  423  traditional classroom and online instructional techniques.
  424  Charter schools may implement blended learning courses which
  425  combine traditional classroom instruction and virtual
  426  instruction. Students in a blended learning course must be full
  427  time students of the charter school pursuant to s.
  428  1011.61(1)(a)1. Instructional personnel certified pursuant to s.
  429  1012.55 who provide virtual instruction for blended learning
  430  courses may be employees of the charter school or may be under
  431  contract to provide instructional services to charter school
  432  students. At a minimum, such instructional personnel must hold
  433  an active state or school district adjunct certification under
  434  s. 1012.57 for the subject area of the blended learning course.
  435  The funding and performance accountability requirements for
  436  blended learning courses are the same as those for traditional
  437  courses.
  438         3. The current incoming baseline standard of student
  439  academic achievement, the outcomes to be achieved, and the
  440  method of measurement that will be used. The criteria listed in
  441  this subparagraph shall include a detailed description of:
  442         a. How the baseline student academic achievement levels and
  443  prior rates of academic progress will be established.
  444         b. How these baseline rates will be compared to rates of
  445  academic progress achieved by these same students while
  446  attending the charter school.
  447         c. To the extent possible, how these rates of progress will
  448  be evaluated and compared with rates of progress of other
  449  closely comparable student populations.
  451  A The district school board is required to provide academic
  452  student performance data to charter schools for each of their
  453  students coming from the district school system, as well as
  454  rates of academic progress of comparable student populations in
  455  the district school system.
  456         4. The methods used to identify the educational strengths
  457  and needs of students and how well educational goals and
  458  performance standards are met by students attending the charter
  459  school. The methods shall provide a means for the charter school
  460  to ensure accountability to its constituents by analyzing
  461  student performance data and by evaluating the effectiveness and
  462  efficiency of its major educational programs. Students in
  463  charter schools shall, at a minimum, participate in the
  464  statewide assessment program created under s. 1008.22.
  465         5. In secondary charter schools, a method for determining
  466  that a student has satisfied the requirements for graduation in
  467  s. 1002.3105(5), s. 1003.4281, or s. 1003.4282.
  468         6. A method for resolving conflicts between the governing
  469  board of the charter school and the sponsor.
  470         7. The admissions procedures and dismissal procedures,
  471  including the school’s code of student conduct. Admission or
  472  dismissal must not be based on a student’s academic performance.
  473         8. The ways by which the school will achieve a
  474  racial/ethnic balance reflective of the community it serves or
  475  within the racial/ethnic range of other nearby public schools in
  476  the same school district.
  477         9. The financial and administrative management of the
  478  school, including a reasonable demonstration of the professional
  479  experience or competence of those individuals or organizations
  480  applying to operate the charter school or those hired or
  481  retained to perform such professional services and the
  482  description of clearly delineated responsibilities and the
  483  policies and practices needed to effectively manage the charter
  484  school. A description of internal audit procedures and
  485  establishment of controls to ensure that financial resources are
  486  properly managed must be included. Both public sector and
  487  private sector professional experience shall be equally valid in
  488  such a consideration.
  489         10. The asset and liability projections required in the
  490  application which are incorporated into the charter and shall be
  491  compared with information provided in the annual report of the
  492  charter school.
  493         11. A description of procedures that identify various risks
  494  and provide for a comprehensive approach to reduce the impact of
  495  losses; plans to ensure the safety and security of students and
  496  staff; plans to identify, minimize, and protect others from
  497  violent or disruptive student behavior; and the manner in which
  498  the school will be insured, including whether or not the school
  499  will be required to have liability insurance, and, if so, the
  500  terms and conditions thereof and the amounts of coverage.
  501         12. The term of the charter which shall provide for
  502  cancellation of the charter if insufficient progress has been
  503  made in attaining the student achievement objectives of the
  504  charter and if it is not likely that such objectives can be
  505  achieved before expiration of the charter. The initial term of a
  506  charter shall be for 5 years, excluding 2 planning years. In
  507  order to facilitate access to long-term financial resources for
  508  charter school construction, charter schools that are operated
  509  by a municipality or other public entity as provided by law are
  510  eligible for up to a 15-year charter, subject to approval by the
  511  sponsor district school board. A charter lab school is eligible
  512  for a charter for a term of up to 15 years. In addition, to
  513  facilitate access to long-term financial resources for charter
  514  school construction, charter schools that are operated by a
  515  private, not-for-profit, s. 501(c)(3) status corporation are
  516  eligible for up to a 15-year charter, subject to approval by the
  517  sponsor district school board. Such long-term charters remain
  518  subject to annual review and may be terminated during the term
  519  of the charter, but only according to the provisions set forth
  520  in subsection (8).
  521         13. The facilities to be used and their location. The
  522  sponsor may not require a charter school to have a certificate
  523  of occupancy or a temporary certificate of occupancy for such a
  524  facility earlier than 15 calendar days before the first day of
  525  school.
  526         14. The qualifications to be required of the teachers and
  527  the potential strategies used to recruit, hire, train, and
  528  retain qualified staff to achieve best value.
  529         15. The governance structure of the school, including the
  530  status of the charter school as a public or private employer as
  531  required in paragraph (12)(i).
  532         16. A timetable for implementing the charter which
  533  addresses the implementation of each element thereof and the
  534  date by which the charter shall be awarded in order to meet this
  535  timetable.
  536         17. In the case of an existing public school that is being
  537  converted to charter status, alternative arrangements for
  538  current students who choose not to attend the charter school and
  539  for current teachers who choose not to teach in the charter
  540  school after conversion in accordance with the existing
  541  collective bargaining agreement or district school board rule in
  542  the absence of a collective bargaining agreement. However,
  543  alternative arrangements shall not be required for current
  544  teachers who choose not to teach in a charter lab school, except
  545  as authorized by the employment policies of the state university
  546  which grants the charter to the lab school.
  547         18. Full disclosure of the identity of all relatives
  548  employed by the charter school who are related to the charter
  549  school owner, president, chairperson of the governing board of
  550  directors, superintendent, governing board member, principal,
  551  assistant principal, or any other person employed by the charter
  552  school who has equivalent decisionmaking authority. For the
  553  purpose of this subparagraph, the term “relative” means father,
  554  mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, first
  555  cousin, nephew, niece, husband, wife, father-in-law, mother-in
  556  law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law,
  557  stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother,
  558  stepsister, half brother, or half sister.
  559         19. Implementation of the activities authorized under s.
  560  1002.331 by the charter school when it satisfies the eligibility
  561  requirements for a high-performing charter school. A high
  562  performing charter school shall notify its sponsor in writing by
  563  March 1 if it intends to increase enrollment or expand grade
  564  levels the following school year. The written notice shall
  565  specify the amount of the enrollment increase and the grade
  566  levels that will be added, as applicable.
  567         (b) The sponsor has 30 days after approval of the
  568  application to provide an initial proposed charter contract to
  569  the charter school. The applicant and the sponsor have 40 days
  570  thereafter to negotiate and notice the charter contract for
  571  final approval by the sponsor unless both parties agree to an
  572  extension. The proposed charter contract shall be provided to
  573  the charter school at least 7 calendar days before the date of
  574  the meeting at which the charter is scheduled to be voted upon
  575  by the sponsor. The Department of Education shall provide
  576  mediation services for any dispute regarding this section
  577  subsequent to the approval of a charter application and for any
  578  dispute relating to the approved charter, except a dispute
  579  regarding a charter school application denial. If either the
  580  charter school or the sponsor indicates in writing that the
  581  party does not desire to settle any dispute arising under this
  582  section through mediation procedures offered by the Department
  583  of Education, a charter school may immediately appeal any formal
  584  or informal decision by the sponsor to an administrative law
  585  judge appointed by the Division of Administrative Hearings. If
  586  the Commissioner of Education determines that the dispute cannot
  587  be settled through mediation, the dispute may also be appealed
  588  to an administrative law judge appointed by the Division of
  589  Administrative Hearings. The administrative law judge has final
  590  order authority to rule on issues of equitable treatment of the
  591  charter school as a public school, whether proposed provisions
  592  of the charter violate the intended flexibility granted charter
  593  schools by statute, or any other matter regarding this section,
  594  except a dispute regarding charter school application denial, a
  595  charter termination, or a charter nonrenewal. The administrative
  596  law judge shall award the prevailing party reasonable attorney
  597  fees and costs incurred during the mediation process,
  598  administrative proceeding, and any appeals, to be paid by the
  599  party whom the administrative law judge rules against.
  600         (d) A charter may be modified during its initial term or
  601  any renewal term upon the recommendation of the sponsor or the
  602  charter school’s governing board and the approval of both
  603  parties to the agreement. Changes to curriculum which are
  604  consistent with state standards and are necessary to implement
  605  blended learning shall be deemed approved unless the sponsor
  606  determines in writing that the curriculum is inconsistent with
  607  state standards. Modification during any term may include, but
  608  is not limited to, consolidation of multiple charters into a
  609  single charter if the charters are operated under the same
  610  governing board, regardless of the renewal cycle. A charter
  611  school that is not subject to a school improvement plan and that
  612  closes as part of a consolidation shall be reported by the
  613  sponsor school district as a consolidation.
  615         (c) A charter may be terminated immediately if the sponsor
  616  sets forth in writing the particular facts and circumstances
  617  demonstrating indicating that an immediate and serious danger to
  618  the health, safety, or welfare of the charter school’s students
  619  exists, that the immediate and serious danger is likely to
  620  continue, and that an immediate termination of the charter is
  621  necessary. The sponsor’s determination is subject to the
  622  procedures set forth in paragraph (b), except that the hearing
  623  may take place after the charter has been terminated. The
  624  sponsor shall notify in writing the charter school’s governing
  625  board, the charter school principal, and the department of the
  626  facts and circumstances supporting the immediate termination if
  627  a charter is terminated immediately. The sponsor shall clearly
  628  identify the specific issues that resulted in the immediate
  629  termination and provide evidence of prior notification of issues
  630  resulting in the immediate termination, if applicable when
  631  appropriate. Upon receiving written notice from the sponsor, the
  632  charter school’s governing board has 10 calendar days to request
  633  a hearing. A requested hearing must be expedited and the final
  634  order must be issued within 60 days after the date of request.
  635  The administrative law judge shall award reasonable attorney
  636  fees and costs to the prevailing party of any injunction,
  637  administrative proceeding, or appeal. The sponsor may seek an
  638  injunction in the circuit court in which the charter school is
  639  located to enjoin continued operation of the charter school if
  640  shall assume operation of the charter school throughout the
  641  pendency of the hearing under paragraph (b) unless the continued
  642  operation of the charter school would materially threaten the
  643  health, safety, or welfare of the students. Failure by the
  644  sponsor to assume and continue operation of the charter school
  645  shall result in the awarding of reasonable costs and attorney’s
  646  fees to the charter school if the charter school prevails on
  647  appeal.
  648         (d) When a charter is not renewed or is terminated, the
  649  school shall be dissolved under the provisions of law under
  650  which the school was organized, and any unencumbered public
  651  funds, except for capital outlay funds and federal charter
  652  school program grant funds, from the charter school shall revert
  653  to the sponsor. Capital outlay funds provided pursuant to s.
  654  1013.62 and federal charter school program grant funds that are
  655  unencumbered shall revert to the department to be redistributed
  656  among eligible charter schools. In the event a charter school is
  657  dissolved or is otherwise terminated, all sponsor district
  658  school board property and improvements, furnishings, and
  659  equipment purchased with public funds shall automatically revert
  660  to full ownership by the sponsor district school board, subject
  661  to complete satisfaction of any lawful liens or encumbrances.
  662  Any unencumbered public funds from the charter school, district
  663  school board property and improvements, furnishings, and
  664  equipment purchased with public funds, or financial or other
  665  records pertaining to the charter school, in the possession of
  666  any person, entity, or holding company, other than the charter
  667  school, shall be held in trust upon the sponsor’s district
  668  school board’s request, until any appeal status is resolved.
  669         (e) If a charter is not renewed or is terminated, the
  670  charter school is responsible for all debts of the charter
  671  school. The sponsor district may not assume the debt from any
  672  contract made between the governing body of the school and a
  673  third party, except for a debt that is previously detailed and
  674  agreed upon in writing by both the sponsor district and the
  675  governing body of the school and that may not reasonably be
  676  assumed to have been satisfied by the sponsor district.
  678         (g)1. In order to provide financial information that is
  679  comparable to that reported for other public schools, charter
  680  schools are to maintain all financial records that constitute
  681  their accounting system:
  682         a. In accordance with the accounts and codes prescribed in
  683  the most recent issuance of the publication titled “Financial
  684  and Program Cost Accounting and Reporting for Florida Schools”;
  685  or
  686         b. At the discretion of the charter school’s governing
  687  board, a charter school may elect to follow generally accepted
  688  accounting standards for not-for-profit organizations, but must
  689  reformat this information for reporting according to this
  690  paragraph.
  691         2. Charter schools shall provide annual financial report
  692  and program cost report information in the state-required
  693  formats for inclusion in sponsor district reporting in
  694  compliance with s. 1011.60(1). Charter schools that are operated
  695  by a municipality or are a component unit of a parent nonprofit
  696  organization may use the accounting system of the municipality
  697  or the parent but must reformat this information for reporting
  698  according to this paragraph.
  699         3. A charter school shall, upon approval of the charter
  700  contract, provide the sponsor with a concise, uniform, monthly
  701  financial statement summary sheet that contains a balance sheet
  702  and a statement of revenue, expenditures, and changes in fund
  703  balance. The balance sheet and the statement of revenue,
  704  expenditures, and changes in fund balance shall be in the
  705  governmental funds format prescribed by the Governmental
  706  Accounting Standards Board. A high-performing charter school
  707  pursuant to s. 1002.331 may provide a quarterly financial
  708  statement in the same format and requirements as the uniform
  709  monthly financial statement summary sheet. The sponsor shall
  710  review each monthly or quarterly financial statement to identify
  711  the existence of any conditions identified in s. 1002.345(1)(a).
  712         4. A charter school shall maintain and provide financial
  713  information as required in this paragraph. The financial
  714  statement required in subparagraph 3. must be in a form
  715  prescribed by the Department of Education.
  716         (n)1. The director and a representative of the governing
  717  board of a charter school that has earned a grade of “D” or “F”
  718  pursuant to s. 1008.34 shall appear before the sponsor to
  719  present information concerning each contract component having
  720  noted deficiencies. The director and a representative of the
  721  governing board shall submit to the sponsor for approval a
  722  school improvement plan to raise student performance. Upon
  723  approval by the sponsor, the charter school shall begin
  724  implementation of the school improvement plan. The department
  725  shall offer technical assistance and training to the charter
  726  school and its governing board and establish guidelines for
  727  developing, submitting, and approving such plans.
  728         2.a. If a charter school earns three consecutive grades
  729  below a “C,” the charter school governing board shall choose one
  730  of the following corrective actions:
  731         (I) Contract for educational services to be provided
  732  directly to students, instructional personnel, and school
  733  administrators, as prescribed in state board rule;
  734         (II) Contract with an outside entity that has a
  735  demonstrated record of effectiveness to operate the school;
  736         (III) Reorganize the school under a new director or
  737  principal who is authorized to hire new staff; or
  738         (IV) Voluntarily close the charter school.
  739         b. The charter school must implement the corrective action
  740  in the school year following receipt of a third consecutive
  741  grade below a “C.”
  742         c. The sponsor may annually waive a corrective action if it
  743  determines that the charter school is likely to improve a letter
  744  grade if additional time is provided to implement the
  745  intervention and support strategies prescribed by the school
  746  improvement plan. Notwithstanding this sub-subparagraph, a
  747  charter school that earns a second consecutive grade of “F” is
  748  subject to subparagraph 3.
  749         d. A charter school is no longer required to implement a
  750  corrective action if it improves to a “C” or higher. However,
  751  the charter school must continue to implement strategies
  752  identified in the school improvement plan. The sponsor must
  753  annually review implementation of the school improvement plan to
  754  monitor the school’s continued improvement pursuant to
  755  subparagraph 4.
  756         e. A charter school implementing a corrective action that
  757  does not improve to a “C” or higher after 2 full school years of
  758  implementing the corrective action must select a different
  759  corrective action. Implementation of the new corrective action
  760  must begin in the school year following the implementation
  761  period of the existing corrective action, unless the sponsor
  762  determines that the charter school is likely to improve to a “C”
  763  or higher if additional time is provided to implement the
  764  existing corrective action. Notwithstanding this sub
  765  subparagraph, a charter school that earns a second consecutive
  766  grade of “F” while implementing a corrective action is subject
  767  to subparagraph 3.
  768         3. A charter school’s charter contract is automatically
  769  terminated if the school earns two consecutive grades of “F”
  770  after all school grade appeals are final unless:
  771         a. The charter school is established to turn around the
  772  performance of a district public school pursuant to s.
  773  1008.33(4)(b)2. Such charter schools shall be governed by s.
  774  1008.33;
  775         b. The charter school serves a student population the
  776  majority of which resides in a school zone served by a district
  777  public school subject to s. 1008.33(4) and the charter school
  778  earns at least a grade of “D” in its third year of operation.
  779  The exception provided under this sub-subparagraph does not
  780  apply to a charter school in its fourth year of operation and
  781  thereafter; or
  782         c. The state board grants the charter school a waiver of
  783  termination. The charter school must request the waiver within
  784  15 days after the department’s official release of school
  785  grades. The state board may waive termination if the charter
  786  school demonstrates that the Learning Gains of its students on
  787  statewide assessments are comparable to or better than the
  788  Learning Gains of similarly situated students enrolled in nearby
  789  district public schools. The waiver is valid for 1 year and may
  790  only be granted once. Charter schools that have been in
  791  operation for more than 5 years are not eligible for a waiver
  792  under this sub-subparagraph.
  794  The sponsor shall notify the charter school’s governing board,
  795  the charter school principal, and the department in writing when
  796  a charter contract is terminated under this subparagraph. A
  797  charter terminated under this subparagraph must follow the
  798  procedures for dissolution and reversion of public funds
  799  pursuant to paragraphs (8)(d)-(f) and (9)(o).
  800         4. The director and a representative of the governing board
  801  of a graded charter school that has implemented a school
  802  improvement plan under this paragraph shall appear before the
  803  sponsor at least once a year to present information regarding
  804  the progress of intervention and support strategies implemented
  805  by the school pursuant to the school improvement plan and
  806  corrective actions, if applicable. The sponsor shall communicate
  807  at the meeting, and in writing to the director, the services
  808  provided to the school to help the school address its
  809  deficiencies.
  810         5. Notwithstanding any provision of this paragraph except
  811  sub-subparagraphs 3.a.-c., the sponsor may terminate the charter
  812  at any time pursuant to subsection (8).
  813         (10) ELIGIBLE STUDENTS.—
  814         (d) A charter school may give enrollment preference to the
  815  following student populations:
  816         1. Students who are siblings of a student enrolled in the
  817  charter school.
  818         2. Students who are the children of a member of the
  819  governing board of the charter school.
  820         3. Students who are the children of an employee of the
  821  charter school.
  822         4. Students who are the children of:
  823         a.  An employee of the business partner of a charter
  824  school-in-the-workplace established under paragraph (15)(b) or a
  825  resident of the municipality in which such charter school is
  826  located; or
  827         b. A resident or employee of a municipality that operates a
  828  charter school-in-a-municipality pursuant to paragraph (15)(c)
  829  or allows a charter school to use a school facility or portion
  830  of land provided by the municipality for the operation of the
  831  charter school.
  832         5. Students who have successfully completed, during the
  833  previous year, a voluntary prekindergarten education program
  834  under ss. 1002.51-1002.79 provided by the charter school, or the
  835  charter school’s governing board, or a voluntary prekindergarten
  836  provider that has a written agreement with the governing board
  837  during the previous year.
  838         6. Students who are the children of an active duty member
  839  of any branch of the United States Armed Forces.
  840         7. Students who attended or are assigned to failing schools
  841  pursuant to s. 1002.38(2).
  842         (e) A charter school may limit the enrollment process only
  843  to target the following student populations:
  844         1. Students within specific age groups or grade levels.
  845         2. Students considered at risk of dropping out of school or
  846  academic failure. Such students shall include exceptional
  847  education students.
  848         3. Students enrolling in a charter school-in-the-workplace
  849  or charter school-in-a-municipality established pursuant to
  850  subsection (15).
  851         4. Students residing within a reasonable distance of the
  852  charter school, as described in paragraph (20)(c). Such students
  853  shall be subject to a random lottery and to the racial/ethnic
  854  balance provisions described in subparagraph (7)(a)8. or any
  855  federal provisions that require a school to achieve a
  856  racial/ethnic balance reflective of the community it serves or
  857  within the racial/ethnic range of other nearby public schools in
  858  the same school district.
  859         5. Students who meet reasonable academic, artistic, or
  860  other eligibility standards established by the charter school
  861  and included in the charter school application and charter or,
  862  in the case of existing charter schools, standards that are
  863  consistent with the school’s mission and purpose. Such standards
  864  shall be in accordance with current state law and practice in
  865  public schools and may not discriminate against otherwise
  866  qualified individuals.
  867         6. Students articulating from one charter school to another
  868  pursuant to an articulation agreement between the charter
  869  schools that has been approved by the sponsor.
  870         7. Students living in a development in which a developer,
  871  including any affiliated business entity or charitable
  872  foundation, contributes to the formation, acquisition,
  873  construction, or operation of one or more charter schools or
  874  charter provides the school facilities facility and related
  875  property in an amount equal to or having a total an appraised
  876  value of at least $5 million to be used as a charter schools
  877  school to mitigate the educational impact created by the
  878  development of new residential dwelling units. Students living
  879  in the development are shall be entitled to no more than 50
  880  percent of the student stations in the charter schools school.
  881  The students who are eligible for enrollment are subject to a
  882  random lottery, the racial/ethnic balance provisions, or any
  883  federal provisions, as described in subparagraph 4. The
  884  remainder of the student stations must shall be filled in
  885  accordance with subparagraph 4.
  888  NOT TO BE PLEDGED.—Any arrangement entered into to borrow or
  889  otherwise secure funds for a charter school authorized in this
  890  section from a source other than the state or a sponsor school
  891  district shall indemnify the state and the sponsor school
  892  district from any and all liability, including, but not limited
  893  to, financial responsibility for the payment of the principal or
  894  interest. Any loans, bonds, or other financial agreements are
  895  not obligations of the state or the sponsor school district but
  896  are obligations of the charter school authority and are payable
  897  solely from the sources of funds pledged by such agreement. The
  898  credit or taxing power of the state or the sponsor school
  899  district shall not be pledged and no debts shall be payable out
  900  of any moneys except those of the legal entity in possession of
  901  a valid charter approved by a sponsor district school board
  902  pursuant to this section.
  905         (c) A charter school-in-a-municipality designation may be
  906  granted to a municipality that possesses a charter; enrolls
  907  students based upon a random lottery that involves all of the
  908  children of the residents of that municipality who are seeking
  909  enrollment, as provided for in subsection (10); and enrolls
  910  students according to the racial/ethnic balance provisions
  911  described in subparagraph (7)(a)8. When a municipality has
  912  submitted charter applications for the establishment of a
  913  charter school feeder pattern, consisting of elementary, middle,
  914  and senior high schools, and each individual charter application
  915  is approved by the sponsor district school board, such schools
  916  shall then be designated as one charter school for all purposes
  917  listed pursuant to this section. Any portion of the land and
  918  facility used for a public charter school shall be exempt from
  919  ad valorem taxes, as provided for in s. 1013.54, for the
  920  duration of its use as a public school.
  921         (17) FUNDING.—Students enrolled in a charter school,
  922  regardless of the sponsorship, shall be funded as if they are in
  923  a basic program or a special program, the same as students
  924  enrolled in other public schools in a the school district.
  925  Funding for a charter lab school shall be as provided in s.
  926  1002.32.
  927         (a) Each charter school shall report its student enrollment
  928  to the sponsor as required in s. 1011.62, and in accordance with
  929  the definitions in s. 1011.61. The sponsor shall include each
  930  charter school’s enrollment in the sponsor’s district’s report
  931  of student enrollment. All charter schools submitting student
  932  record information required by the Department of Education shall
  933  comply with the Department of Education’s guidelines for
  934  electronic data formats for such data, and all sponsors
  935  districts shall accept electronic data that complies with the
  936  Department of Education’s electronic format.
  937         (b)1. The basis for the agreement for funding students
  938  enrolled in a charter school shall be the sum of the school
  939  district’s operating funds from the Florida Education Finance
  940  Program as provided in s. 1011.62 and the General Appropriations
  941  Act, including gross state and local funds, discretionary
  942  lottery funds, and funds from the school district’s current
  943  operating discretionary millage levy; divided by total funded
  944  weighted full-time equivalent students in the school district;
  945  and multiplied by the weighted full-time equivalent students for
  946  the charter school. Charter schools whose students or programs
  947  meet the eligibility criteria in law are entitled to their
  948  proportionate share of categorical program funds included in the
  949  total funds available in the Florida Education Finance Program
  950  by the Legislature, including transportation, the research-based
  951  reading allocation, and the Florida digital classrooms
  952  allocation. Total funding for each charter school shall be
  953  recalculated during the year to reflect the revised calculations
  954  under the Florida Education Finance Program by the state and the
  955  actual weighted full-time equivalent students reported by the
  956  charter school during the full-time equivalent student survey
  957  periods designated by the Commissioner of Education. For charter
  958  schools operated by a not-for-profit or municipal entity, any
  959  unrestricted current and capital assets identified in the
  960  charter school’s annual financial audit may be used for other
  961  charter schools operated by the not-for-profit or municipal
  962  entity within the school district. Unrestricted current assets
  963  shall be used in accordance with s. 1011.62, and any
  964  unrestricted capital assets shall be used in accordance with s.
  965  1013.62(2).
  966         2.a.Students enrolled in a charter school sponsored by a
  967  state university or Florida College System institution pursuant
  968  to paragraph (5)(a) shall be funded as if they are in a basic
  969  program or a special program in the school district. The basis
  970  for funding these students is the sum of the total operating
  971  funds from the Florida Education Finance Program for the school
  972  district in which the school is located as provided in s.
  973  1011.62 and the General Appropriations Act, including gross
  974  state and local funds, discretionary lottery funds, and funds
  975  from each school district’s current operating discretionary
  976  millage levy, divided by total funded weighted full-time
  977  equivalent students in the district, and multiplied by the full
  978  time equivalent membership of the charter school. The Department
  979  of Education shall develop a tool that each state university or
  980  Florida College System institution sponsoring a charter school
  981  shall use for purposes of calculating the funding amount for
  982  each eligible charter school student. The total amount obtained
  983  from the calculation must be appropriated from state funds in
  984  the General Appropriations Act to the charter school.
  985         b.Capital outlay funding for a charter school sponsored by
  986  a state university or Florida College System institution
  987  pursuant to paragraph (5)(a) is determined pursuant to s.
  988  1013.62 and the General Appropriations Act.
  989         (c) Pursuant to 20 U.S.C. 8061 s. 10306, all charter
  990  schools shall receive all federal funding for which the school
  991  is otherwise eligible, including Title I funding, not later than
  992  5 months after the charter school first opens and within 5
  993  months after any subsequent expansion of enrollment. Unless
  994  otherwise mutually agreed to by the charter school and its
  995  sponsor, and consistent with state and federal rules and
  996  regulations governing the use and disbursement of federal funds,
  997  the sponsor shall reimburse the charter school on a monthly
  998  basis for all invoices submitted by the charter school for
  999  federal funds available to the sponsor for the benefit of the
 1000  charter school, the charter school’s students, and the charter
 1001  school’s students as public school students in the school
 1002  district. Such federal funds include, but are not limited to,
 1003  Title I, Title II, and Individuals with Disabilities Education
 1004  Act (IDEA) funds. To receive timely reimbursement for an
 1005  invoice, the charter school must submit the invoice to the
 1006  sponsor at least 30 days before the monthly date of
 1007  reimbursement set by the sponsor. In order to be reimbursed, any
 1008  expenditures made by the charter school must comply with all
 1009  applicable state rules and federal regulations, including, but
 1010  not limited to, the applicable federal Office of Management and
 1011  Budget Circulars; the federal Education Department General
 1012  Administrative Regulations; and program-specific statutes,
 1013  rules, and regulations. Such funds may not be made available to
 1014  the charter school until a plan is submitted to the sponsor for
 1015  approval of the use of the funds in accordance with applicable
 1016  federal requirements. The sponsor has 30 days to review and
 1017  approve any plan submitted pursuant to this paragraph.
 1018         (d) Charter schools shall be included by the Department of
 1019  Education and the district school board in requests for federal
 1020  stimulus funds in the same manner as district school board
 1021  operated public schools, including Title I and IDEA funds and
 1022  shall be entitled to receive such funds. Charter schools are
 1023  eligible to participate in federal competitive grants that are
 1024  available as part of the federal stimulus funds.
 1025         (e) Sponsors District school boards shall make timely and
 1026  efficient payment and reimbursement to charter schools,
 1027  including processing paperwork required to access special state
 1028  and federal funding for which they may be eligible. Payments of
 1029  funds under paragraph (b) shall be made monthly or twice a
 1030  month, beginning with the start of the sponsor’s district school
 1031  board’s fiscal year. Each payment shall be one-twelfth, or one
 1032  twenty-fourth, as applicable, of the total state and local funds
 1033  described in paragraph (b) and adjusted as set forth therein.
 1034  For the first 2 years of a charter school’s operation, if a
 1035  minimum of 75 percent of the projected enrollment is entered
 1036  into the sponsor’s student information system by the first day
 1037  of the current month, the sponsor district school board shall
 1038  distribute funds to the school for the months of July through
 1039  October based on the projected full-time equivalent student
 1040  membership of the charter school as submitted in the approved
 1041  application. If less than 75 percent of the projected enrollment
 1042  is entered into the sponsor’s student information system by the
 1043  first day of the current month, the sponsor shall base payments
 1044  on the actual number of student enrollment entered into the
 1045  sponsor’s student information system. Thereafter, the results of
 1046  full-time equivalent student membership surveys shall be used in
 1047  adjusting the amount of funds distributed monthly to the charter
 1048  school for the remainder of the fiscal year. The payments shall
 1049  be issued no later than 10 working days after the sponsor
 1050  district school board receives a distribution of state or
 1051  federal funds or the date the payment is due pursuant to this
 1052  subsection. If a warrant for payment is not issued within 10
 1053  working days after receipt of funding by the sponsor district
 1054  school board, the sponsor school district shall pay to the
 1055  charter school, in addition to the amount of the scheduled
 1056  disbursement, interest at a rate of 1 percent per month
 1057  calculated on a daily basis on the unpaid balance from the
 1058  expiration of the 10 working days until such time as the warrant
 1059  is issued. The district school board may not delay payment to a
 1060  charter school of any portion of the funds provided in paragraph
 1061  (b) based on the timing of receipt of local funds by the
 1062  district school board.
 1063         (f) Funding for a virtual charter school shall be as
 1064  provided in s. 1002.45(7).
 1065         (g) To be eligible for public education capital outlay
 1066  (PECO) funds, a charter school must be located in the State of
 1067  Florida.
 1068         (h) A charter school that implements a schoolwide standard
 1069  student attire policy pursuant to s. 1011.78 is eligible to
 1070  receive incentive payments.
 1071         (18) FACILITIES.—
 1072         (e) If a district school board facility or property is
 1073  available because it is surplus, marked for disposal, or
 1074  otherwise unused, it shall be provided for a charter school’s
 1075  use on the same basis as it is made available to other public
 1076  schools in the district. A charter school receiving property
 1077  from the sponsor school district may not sell or dispose of such
 1078  property without written permission of the sponsor school
 1079  district. Similarly, for an existing public school converting to
 1080  charter status, no rental or leasing fee for the existing
 1081  facility or for the property normally inventoried to the
 1082  conversion school may be charged by the district school board to
 1083  the parents and teachers organizing the charter school. The
 1084  charter school shall agree to reasonable maintenance provisions
 1085  in order to maintain the facility in a manner similar to
 1086  district school board standards. The Public Education Capital
 1087  Outlay maintenance funds or any other maintenance funds
 1088  generated by the facility operated as a conversion school shall
 1089  remain with the conversion school.
 1090         (20) SERVICES.—
 1091         (a)1. A sponsor shall provide certain administrative and
 1092  educational services to charter schools. These services shall
 1093  include contract management services; full-time equivalent and
 1094  data reporting services; exceptional student education
 1095  administration services; services related to eligibility and
 1096  reporting duties required to ensure that school lunch services
 1097  under the National School Lunch Program, consistent with the
 1098  needs of the charter school, are provided by the sponsor school
 1099  district at the request of the charter school, that any funds
 1100  due to the charter school under the National School Lunch
 1101  Program be paid to the charter school as soon as the charter
 1102  school begins serving food under the National School Lunch
 1103  Program, and that the charter school is paid at the same time
 1104  and in the same manner under the National School Lunch Program
 1105  as other public schools serviced by the sponsor or the school
 1106  district; test administration services, including payment of the
 1107  costs of state-required or district-required student
 1108  assessments; processing of teacher certificate data services;
 1109  and information services, including equal access to the
 1110  sponsor’s student information systems that are used by public
 1111  schools in the district in which the charter school is located
 1112  or by schools in the sponsor’s portfolio of charter schools if
 1113  the sponsor is not a school district. Student performance data
 1114  for each student in a charter school, including, but not limited
 1115  to, FCAT scores, standardized test scores, previous public
 1116  school student report cards, and student performance measures,
 1117  shall be provided by the sponsor to a charter school in the same
 1118  manner provided to other public schools in the district or by
 1119  schools in the sponsor’s portfolio of charter schools if the
 1120  sponsor is not a school district.
 1121         2. A sponsor may withhold an administrative fee for the
 1122  provision of such services which shall be a percentage of the
 1123  available funds defined in paragraph (17)(b) calculated based on
 1124  weighted full-time equivalent students. If the charter school
 1125  serves 75 percent or more exceptional education students as
 1126  defined in s. 1003.01(3), the percentage shall be calculated
 1127  based on unweighted full-time equivalent students. The
 1128  administrative fee shall be calculated as follows:
 1129         a. Up to 5 percent for:
 1130         (I) Enrollment of up to and including 250 students in a
 1131  charter school as defined in this section.
 1132         (II) Enrollment of up to and including 500 students within
 1133  a charter school system which meets all of the following:
 1134         (A) Includes conversion charter schools and nonconversion
 1135  charter schools.
 1136         (B) Has all of its schools located in the same county.
 1137         (C) Has a total enrollment exceeding the total enrollment
 1138  of at least one school district in this the state.
 1139         (D) Has the same governing board for all of its schools.
 1140         (E) Does not contract with a for-profit service provider
 1141  for management of school operations.
 1142         (III) Enrollment of up to and including 250 students in a
 1143  virtual charter school.
 1144         b. Up to 2 percent for enrollment of up to and including
 1145  250 students in a high-performing charter school as defined in
 1146  s. 1002.331.
 1147         c. Up to 2 percent for enrollment of up to and including
 1148  250 students in an exceptional student education center that
 1149  meets the requirements of the rules adopted by the State Board
 1150  of Education pursuant to s. 1008.3415(3).
 1151         3. A sponsor may not charge charter schools any additional
 1152  fees or surcharges for administrative and educational services
 1153  in addition to the maximum percentage of administrative fees
 1154  withheld pursuant to this paragraph.
 1155         4. A sponsor shall provide to the department by September
 1156  15 of each year the total amount of funding withheld from
 1157  charter schools pursuant to this subsection for the prior fiscal
 1158  year. The department must include the information in the report
 1159  required under sub-sub-subparagraph (5)(b)1.k.(III).
 1160         (b) If goods and services are made available to the charter
 1161  school through the contract with the sponsor school district,
 1162  they shall be provided to the charter school at a rate no
 1163  greater than the sponsor’s district’s actual cost unless
 1164  mutually agreed upon by the charter school and the sponsor in a
 1165  contract negotiated separately from the charter. When mediation
 1166  has failed to resolve disputes over contracted services or
 1167  contractual matters not included in the charter, an appeal may
 1168  be made to an administrative law judge appointed by the Division
 1169  of Administrative Hearings. The administrative law judge has
 1170  final order authority to rule on the dispute. The administrative
 1171  law judge shall award the prevailing party reasonable attorney
 1172  fees and costs incurred during the mediation process,
 1173  administrative proceeding, and any appeals, to be paid by the
 1174  party whom the administrative law judge rules against. To
 1175  maximize the use of state funds, sponsors school districts shall
 1176  allow charter schools to participate in the sponsor’s bulk
 1177  purchasing program if applicable.
 1178         (c) Transportation of charter school students shall be
 1179  provided by the charter school consistent with the requirements
 1180  of subpart I.E. of chapter 1006 and s. 1012.45. The governing
 1181  body of the charter school may provide transportation through an
 1182  agreement or contract with the sponsor district school board, a
 1183  private provider, or parents. The charter school and the sponsor
 1184  shall cooperate in making arrangements that ensure that
 1185  transportation is not a barrier to equal access for all students
 1186  residing within a reasonable distance of the charter school as
 1187  determined in its charter.
 1188         (d) Each charter school shall annually complete and submit
 1189  a survey, provided in a format specified by the Department of
 1190  Education, to rate the timeliness and quality of services
 1191  provided by the sponsor district in accordance with this
 1192  section. The department shall compile the results, by sponsor
 1193  district, and include the results in the report required under
 1194  sub-sub-subparagraph (5)(b)1.k.(III).
 1196         (a) The Department of Education shall provide information
 1197  to the public, directly and through sponsors, on how to form and
 1198  operate a charter school and how to enroll in a charter school
 1199  once it is created. This information shall include the standard
 1200  application form, standard charter contract, standard evaluation
 1201  instrument, and standard charter renewal contract, which shall
 1202  include the information specified in subsection (7) and shall be
 1203  developed by consulting and negotiating with both sponsors
 1204  school districts and charter schools before implementation. The
 1205  charter and charter renewal contracts shall be used by charter
 1206  school sponsors.
 1207         (b)1. The Department of Education shall report to each
 1208  charter school receiving a school grade pursuant to s. 1008.34
 1209  or a school improvement rating pursuant to s. 1008.341 the
 1210  school’s student assessment data.
 1211         2. The charter school shall report the information in
 1212  subparagraph 1. to each parent of a student at the charter
 1213  school, the parent of a child on a waiting list for the charter
 1214  school, the sponsor district in which the charter school is
 1215  located, and the governing board of the charter school. This
 1216  paragraph does not abrogate the provisions of s. 1002.22,
 1217  relating to student records, or the requirements of 20 U.S.C. s.
 1218  1232g, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
 1221         (a) A charter school system’s governing board shall be
 1222  designated a local educational agency for the purpose of
 1223  receiving federal funds, the same as though the charter school
 1224  system were a school district, if the governing board of the
 1225  charter school system has adopted and filed a resolution with
 1226  its sponsor sponsoring district school board and the Department
 1227  of Education in which the governing board of the charter school
 1228  system accepts the full responsibility for all local education
 1229  agency requirements and the charter school system meets all of
 1230  the following:
 1231         1. Has all schools located in the same county;
 1232         2. Has a total enrollment exceeding the total enrollment of
 1233  at least one school district in this the state; and
 1234         3. Has the same governing board.
 1236  Such designation does not apply to other provisions unless
 1237  specifically provided in law.
 1238         (28) RULEMAKING.—The Department of Education, after
 1239  consultation with sponsors school districts and charter school
 1240  directors, shall recommend that the State Board of Education
 1241  adopt rules to implement specific subsections of this section.
 1242  Such rules shall require minimum paperwork and shall not limit
 1243  charter school flexibility authorized by statute. The State
 1244  Board of Education shall adopt rules, pursuant to ss. 120.536(1)
 1245  and 120.54, to implement a standard charter application form,
 1246  standard application form for the replication of charter schools
 1247  in a high-performing charter school system, standard evaluation
 1248  instrument, and standard charter and charter renewal contracts
 1249  in accordance with this section.
 1250         Section 3. Paragraph (a) of subsection (1), paragraph (a)
 1251  of subsection (2), and paragraph (b) of subsection (3) of
 1252  section 1002.331, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
 1253         1002.331 High-performing charter schools.—
 1254         (1) A charter school is a high-performing charter school if
 1255  it:
 1256         (a)1. Received at least two school grades of “A” and no
 1257  school grade below “B,” pursuant to s. 1008.34, during each of
 1258  the previous 3 school years or received at least two consecutive
 1259  school grades of “A” in the most recent 2 school years for the
 1260  years that the school received a grade; or
 1261         2. Receives, during its first 3 years of operation, funding
 1262  through the National Fund of the Charter School Growth Fund.
 1264  For purposes of determining initial eligibility, the
 1265  requirements of paragraphs (b) and (c) only apply for the most
 1266  recent 2 fiscal years if the charter school earns two
 1267  consecutive grades of “A.” A virtual charter school established
 1268  under s. 1002.33 is not eligible for designation as a high
 1269  performing charter school.
 1270         (2) A high-performing charter school is authorized to:
 1271         (a) Increase its student enrollment once per school year to
 1272  more than the capacity identified in the charter, but student
 1273  enrollment may not exceed the capacity of the facility at the
 1274  time the enrollment increase will take effect. Facility capacity
 1275  for purposes of grade level expansion shall include any
 1276  improvements to an existing facility or any new facility in
 1277  which a majority of the students of the high-performing charter
 1278  school will enroll.
 1280  A high-performing charter school shall notify its sponsor in
 1281  writing by March 1 if it intends to increase enrollment or
 1282  expand grade levels the following school year. The written
 1283  notice shall specify the amount of the enrollment increase and
 1284  the grade levels that will be added, as applicable. If a charter
 1285  school notifies the sponsor of its intent to expand, the sponsor
 1286  shall modify the charter within 90 days to include the new
 1287  enrollment maximum and may not make any other changes. The
 1288  sponsor may deny a request to increase the enrollment of a high
 1289  performing charter school if the commissioner has declassified
 1290  the charter school as high-performing. If a high-performing
 1291  charter school requests to consolidate multiple charters, the
 1292  sponsor shall have 40 days after receipt of that request to
 1293  provide an initial draft charter to the charter school. The
 1294  sponsor and charter school shall have 50 days thereafter to
 1295  negotiate and notice the charter contract for final approval by
 1296  the sponsor.
 1297         (3)
 1298         (b) A high-performing charter school may submit not
 1299  establish more than two applications for a charter school to be
 1300  opened schools within this the state under paragraph (a) at a
 1301  time determined by the high-performing charter school in any
 1302  year. A subsequent application to establish a charter school
 1303  under paragraph (a) may not be submitted unless each charter
 1304  school applicant commences operations or an application is
 1305  otherwise withdrawn established in this manner achieves high
 1306  performing charter school status. However, a high-performing
 1307  charter school may establish more than one charter school within
 1308  this the state under paragraph (a) in any year if it operates in
 1309  the area of a persistently low-performing school and serves
 1310  students from that school. This paragraph applies to any high
 1311  performing charter school with an existing approved application.
 1312         Section 4. Paragraph (c) of subsection (1), paragraphs (a),
 1313  (g), and (h) of subsection (6), paragraph (d) of subsection (7),
 1314  and paragraph (b) of subsection (10) of section 1002.333,
 1315  Florida Statutes, are amended, and paragraph (e) is added to
 1316  subsection (9) of that section, to read:
 1317         1002.333 Persistently low-performing schools.—
 1318         (1) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
 1319         (c) “Persistently low-performing school” means a school
 1320  that has earned three grades lower than a “C,” pursuant to s.
 1321  1008.34, in at least 3 of the previous 5 years that the school
 1322  received a grade and has not earned a grade of “B” or higher in
 1323  the most recent 2 school years, and a school that was closed
 1324  pursuant to s. 1008.33(4) within 2 years after the submission of
 1325  a notice of intent.
 1326         (6) STATUTORY AUTHORITY.—
 1327         (a) A school of hope or a nonprofit entity that operates
 1328  more than one school of hope through a performance-based
 1329  agreement with a school district may be designated as a local
 1330  education agency by the department, if requested, for the
 1331  purposes of receiving federal funds and, in doing so, accepts
 1332  the full responsibility for all local education agency
 1333  requirements and the schools for which it will perform local
 1334  education agency responsibilities.
 1335         1. A nonprofit entity designated as a local education
 1336  agency may report its students to the department in accordance
 1337  with the definitions in s. 1011.61 and pursuant to the
 1338  department’s procedures and timelines.
 1339         2. Students enrolled in a school established by a hope
 1340  operator designated as a local educational agency are not
 1341  eligible students for purposes of calculating the district grade
 1342  pursuant to s. 1008.34(5).
 1343         (g) Each school of hope that has not been designated as a
 1344  local education agency shall report its students to the school
 1345  district as required in s. 1011.62, and in accordance with the
 1346  definitions in s. 1011.61. The school district shall include
 1347  each charter school’s enrollment in the district’s report of
 1348  student enrollment. All charter schools submitting student
 1349  record information required by the department shall comply with
 1350  the department’s guidelines for electronic data formats for such
 1351  data, and all districts shall accept electronic data that
 1352  complies with the department’s electronic format.
 1353         (h)1. A school of hope shall provide the school district
 1354  with a concise, uniform, quarterly financial statement summary
 1355  sheet that contains a balance sheet and a statement of revenue,
 1356  expenditures, and changes in fund balance. The balance sheet and
 1357  the statement of revenue, expenditures, and changes in fund
 1358  balance shall be in the governmental fund format prescribed by
 1359  the Governmental Accounting Standards Board. Additionally, a
 1360  school of hope shall comply with the annual audit requirement
 1361  for charter schools in s. 218.39.
 1362         2. A school of hope is in compliance with subparagraph 1.
 1363  if it is operated by a nonprofit entity designated as a local
 1364  education agency and if the nonprofit submits to each school
 1365  district in which it operates a school of hope:
 1366         a. A concise, uniform, quarterly financial statement
 1367  summary sheet that contains a balance sheet summarizing the
 1368  revenue, expenditures, and changes in fund balance for the
 1369  entity and for its schools of hope within the school district.
 1370         b. An annual financial audit of the nonprofit which
 1371  includes all schools of hope it operates within this state and
 1372  which complies with s. 218.39 regarding audits of a school
 1373  board.
 1374         (7) FACILITIES.—
 1375         (d) No later than January October 1, the department each
 1376  school district shall annually provide to school districts the
 1377  Department of Education a list of all underused, vacant, or
 1378  surplus facilities owned or operated by the school district as
 1379  reported in the Florida Inventory of School Houses. A school
 1380  district may provide evidence to the department that the list
 1381  contains errors or omissions within 30 days after receipt of the
 1382  list. By each April 1, the department shall update and publish a
 1383  final list of all underused, vacant, or surplus facilities owned
 1384  or operated by each school district, based upon updated
 1385  information provided by each school district. A hope operator
 1386  establishing a school of hope may use an educational facility
 1387  identified in this paragraph at no cost or at a mutually
 1388  agreeable cost not to exceed $600 per student. A hope operator
 1389  using a facility pursuant to this paragraph may not sell or
 1390  dispose of such facility without the written permission of the
 1391  school district. For purposes of this paragraph, the term
 1392  “underused, vacant, or surplus facility” means an entire
 1393  facility or portion thereof which is not fully used or is used
 1394  irregularly or intermittently by the school district for
 1395  instructional or program use.
 1396         (9) FUNDING.—
 1397         (e) For a nonprofit entity designated by the department as
 1398  a local education agency pursuant to paragraph (6)(h), any
 1399  unrestricted current and capital assets identified in the annual
 1400  financial audit required by sub-subparagraph (6)(h)2.b. may be
 1401  used for any other school of hope operated by the local
 1402  education agency within the same district. Unrestricted current
 1403  assets shall be used in accordance with s. 1011.62, and any
 1404  unrestricted capital assets shall be used in accordance with s.
 1405  1013.62(2).
 1406         (10) SCHOOLS OF HOPE PROGRAM.—The Schools of Hope Program
 1407  is created within the Department of Education.
 1408         (b) Notwithstanding s. 216.301 and pursuant to s. 216.351,
 1409  funds allocated for the purpose of this subsection which are not
 1410  disbursed by June 30 of the fiscal year in which the funds are
 1411  allocated may be carried forward for up to 7 5 years after the
 1412  effective date of the original appropriation.
 1413         Section 5. Paragraph (d) of subsection (1) and paragraph
 1414  (a) of subsection (2) of section 1002.45, Florida Statutes, are
 1415  amended to read:
 1416         1002.45 Virtual instruction programs.—
 1417         (1) PROGRAM.—
 1418         (d) A virtual charter school may provide full-time or part
 1419  time virtual instruction for students in kindergarten through
 1420  grade 12 if the virtual charter school has a charter approved
 1421  pursuant to s. 1002.33 authorizing full-time virtual
 1422  instruction. A virtual charter school may:
 1423         1. Contract with the Florida Virtual School.
 1424         2. Contract with an approved provider under subsection (2).
 1425         3. Enter into an agreement with a school district to allow
 1426  the participation of the virtual charter school’s students in
 1427  the school district’s virtual instruction program. The agreement
 1428  must indicate a process for reporting of student enrollment and
 1429  the transfer of funds required by paragraph (7)(e).
 1431         (a) The department shall annually publish online a list of
 1432  providers approved to offer virtual instruction programs. To be
 1433  approved by the department, a provider must document that it:
 1434         1. Is nonsectarian in its programs, admission policies,
 1435  employment practices, and operations;
 1436         2. Complies with the antidiscrimination provisions of s.
 1437  1000.05;
 1438         3. Locates an administrative office or offices in this
 1439  state, requires its administrative staff to be state residents,
 1440  requires all instructional staff to be Florida-certified
 1441  teachers under chapter 1012 and conducts background screenings
 1442  for all employees or contracted personnel, as required by s.
 1443  1012.32, using state and national criminal history records;
 1444         4. Provides to parents and students specific information
 1445  posted and accessible online that includes, but is not limited
 1446  to, the following teacher-parent and teacher-student contact
 1447  information for each course:
 1448         a. How to contact the instructor via phone, e-mail, or
 1449  online messaging tools.
 1450         b. How to contact technical support via phone, e-mail, or
 1451  online messaging tools.
 1452         c. How to contact the administration office via phone, e
 1453  mail, or online messaging tools.
 1454         d. Any requirement for regular contact with the instructor
 1455  for the course and clear expectations for meeting the
 1456  requirement.
 1457         e. The requirement that the instructor in each course must,
 1458  at a minimum, conduct one contact via phone with the parent and
 1459  the student each month;
 1460         5. Possesses prior, successful experience offering online
 1461  courses to elementary, middle, or high school students as
 1462  demonstrated by quantified student learning gains in each
 1463  subject area and grade level provided for consideration as an
 1464  instructional program option. However, for a provider without
 1465  sufficient prior, successful experience offering online courses,
 1466  the department may conditionally approve the provider to offer
 1467  courses measured pursuant to subparagraph (8)(a)2. Conditional
 1468  approval shall be valid for 1 school year only and, based on the
 1469  provider’s experience in offering the courses, the department
 1470  shall determine whether to grant approval to offer a virtual
 1471  instruction program;
 1472         6. Is accredited by a regional accrediting association as
 1473  defined by State Board of Education rule;
 1474         7. Ensures instructional and curricular quality through a
 1475  detailed curriculum and student performance accountability plan
 1476  that addresses every subject and grade level it intends to
 1477  provide through contract with the school district, including:
 1478         a. Courses and programs that meet the standards of the
 1479  International Association for K-12 Online Learning and the
 1480  Southern Regional Education Board.
 1481         b. Instructional content and services that align with, and
 1482  measure student attainment of, student proficiency in the Next
 1483  Generation Sunshine State Standards.
 1484         c. Mechanisms that determine and ensure that a student has
 1485  satisfied requirements for grade level promotion and high school
 1486  graduation with a standard diploma, as appropriate;
 1487         8. Publishes for the general public, in accordance with
 1488  disclosure requirements adopted in rule by the State Board of
 1489  Education, as part of its application as a provider and in all
 1490  contracts negotiated pursuant to this section:
 1491         a. Information and data about the curriculum of each full
 1492  time and part-time program.
 1493         b. School policies and procedures.
 1494         c. Certification status and physical location of all
 1495  administrative and instructional personnel.
 1496         d. Hours and times of availability of instructional
 1497  personnel.
 1498         e. Student-teacher ratios.
 1499         f. Student completion and promotion rates.
 1500         g. Student, educator, and school performance accountability
 1501  outcomes;
 1502         9. If the provider is a Florida College System institution,
 1503  employs instructors who meet the certification requirements for
 1504  instructional staff under chapter 1012; and
 1505         10. Performs an annual financial audit of its accounts and
 1506  records conducted by an independent certified public accountant
 1507  which is in accordance with rules adopted by the Auditor
 1508  General, is conducted in compliance with generally accepted
 1509  auditing standards, and includes a report on financial
 1510  statements presented in accordance with generally accepted
 1511  accounting principles.
 1512         Section 6. Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section
 1513  1003.493, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
 1514         1003.493 Career and professional academies and career
 1515  themed courses.—
 1516         (1)(a) A “career and professional academy” is a research
 1517  based program that integrates a rigorous academic curriculum
 1518  with an industry-specific curriculum aligned directly to
 1519  priority workforce needs established by the local workforce
 1520  development board or the Department of Economic Opportunity.
 1521  Career and professional academies shall be offered by public
 1522  schools and school districts. Career and professional academies
 1523  may be offered by charter schools. The Florida Virtual School is
 1524  encouraged to develop and offer rigorous career and professional
 1525  courses as appropriate. Students completing career and
 1526  professional academy programs must receive a standard high
 1527  school diploma, the highest available industry certification,
 1528  and opportunities to earn postsecondary credit if the academy
 1529  partners with a postsecondary institution approved to operate in
 1530  the state.
 1531         Section 7. Present subsection (3) of section 1008.3415,
 1532  Florida Statutes, is redesignated as subsection (4), and a new
 1533  subsection (3) is added to that section, to read:
 1534         1008.3415 School grade or school improvement rating for
 1535  exceptional student education centers.—
 1536         (3) A charter school that is an exceptional student
 1537  education center and that receives two consecutive ratings of
 1538  “maintaining” or higher may replicate its educational program
 1539  under s. 1002.331(3). The Commissioner of Education, upon
 1540  request by a charter school, shall verify that the charter
 1541  school meets the requirements of this subsection and provide a
 1542  letter to the charter school and the sponsor stating that the
 1543  charter school may replicate its educational program in the same
 1544  manner as a high-performing charter school under s. 1002.331(3).
 1545         Section 8. Subsection (2) of section 1012.32, Florida
 1546  Statutes, is amended to read:
 1547         1012.32 Qualifications of personnel.—
 1548         (2)(a) Instructional and noninstructional personnel who are
 1549  hired or contracted to fill positions that require direct
 1550  contact with students in any district school system or
 1551  university lab school must, upon employment or engagement to
 1552  provide services, undergo background screening as required under
 1553  s. 1012.465 or s. 1012.56, whichever is applicable.
 1554         (b)1. Instructional and noninstructional personnel who are
 1555  hired or contracted to fill positions in a any charter school
 1556  other than a school of hope as defined in s. 1002.333, and
 1557  members of the governing board of such any charter school, in
 1558  compliance with s. 1002.33(12)(g), must, upon employment,
 1559  engagement of services, or appointment, shall undergo background
 1560  screening as required under s. 1012.465 or s. 1012.56, whichever
 1561  is applicable, by filing with the district school board for the
 1562  school district in which the charter school is located a
 1563  complete set of fingerprints taken by an authorized law
 1564  enforcement agency or an employee of the school or school
 1565  district who is trained to take fingerprints.
 1566         2. Instructional and noninstructional personnel who are
 1567  hired or contracted to fill positions in a school of hope as
 1568  defined in s. 1002.333, and members of the governing board of
 1569  such school of hope, shall file with the school of hope a
 1570  complete set of fingerprints taken by an authorized law
 1571  enforcement agency, by an employee of the school of hope or
 1572  school district who is trained to take fingerprints, or by any
 1573  other entity recognized by the Department of Law Enforcement to
 1574  take fingerprints.
 1575         (c) Instructional and noninstructional personnel who are
 1576  hired or contracted to fill positions that require direct
 1577  contact with students in an alternative school that operates
 1578  under contract with a district school system must, upon
 1579  employment or engagement to provide services, undergo background
 1580  screening as required under s. 1012.465 or s. 1012.56, whichever
 1581  is applicable, by filing with the district school board for the
 1582  school district to which the alternative school is under
 1583  contract a complete set of fingerprints taken by an authorized
 1584  law enforcement agency or an employee of the school or school
 1585  district who is trained to take fingerprints.
 1586         (d) Student teachers and persons participating in a field
 1587  experience pursuant to s. 1004.04(5) or s. 1004.85 in any
 1588  district school system, lab school, or charter school must, upon
 1589  engagement to provide services, undergo background screening as
 1590  required under s. 1012.56.
 1592  Required fingerprints must shall be submitted to the Department
 1593  of Law Enforcement for statewide criminal and juvenile records
 1594  checks and to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for federal
 1595  criminal records checks. A person subject to this subsection who
 1596  is found ineligible for employment under s. 1012.315, or
 1597  otherwise found through background screening to have been
 1598  convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude as defined by
 1599  rule of the State Board of Education, shall not be employed,
 1600  engaged to provide services, or serve in any position that
 1601  requires direct contact with students. Probationary persons
 1602  subject to this subsection terminated because of their criminal
 1603  record have the right to appeal such decisions. The cost of the
 1604  background screening may be borne by the district school board,
 1605  the charter school, the employee, the contractor, or a person
 1606  subject to this subsection. A district school board shall
 1607  reimburse a charter school the cost of background screening if
 1608  it does not notify the charter school of the eligibility of a
 1609  governing board member or instructional or noninstructional
 1610  personnel within the earlier of 14 days after receipt of the
 1611  background screening results from the Florida Department of Law
 1612  Enforcement or 30 days of submission of fingerprints by the
 1613  governing board member or instructional or noninstructional
 1614  personnel.
 1615         Section 9. Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section
 1616  1013.62, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
 1617         1013.62 Charter schools capital outlay funding.—
 1618         (1) For the 2020-2021 fiscal year, charter school capital
 1619  outlay funding shall consist of state funds appropriated in the
 1620  2020-2021 General Appropriations Act. Beginning in fiscal year
 1621  2021-2022, charter school capital outlay funding shall consist
 1622  of state funds when such funds are appropriated in the General
 1623  Appropriations Act and revenue resulting from the discretionary
 1624  millage authorized in s. 1011.71(2) if the amount of state funds
 1625  appropriated for charter school capital outlay in any fiscal
 1626  year is less than the average charter school capital outlay
 1627  funds per unweighted full-time equivalent student for the 2018
 1628  2019 fiscal year, multiplied by the estimated number of charter
 1629  school students for the applicable fiscal year, and adjusted by
 1630  changes in the Consumer Price Index issued by the United States
 1631  Department of Labor from the previous fiscal year. Nothing in
 1632  this subsection prohibits a school district from distributing to
 1633  charter schools funds resulting from the discretionary millage
 1634  authorized in s. 1011.71(2).
 1635         (a) To be eligible to receive capital outlay funds, a
 1636  charter school must:
 1637         1.a. Have been in operation for 2 or more years;
 1638         b. Be governed by a governing board established in the
 1639  state for 2 or more years which operates both charter schools
 1640  and conversion charter schools within the state;
 1641         c. Be an expanded feeder chain of a charter school within
 1642  the same school district that is currently receiving charter
 1643  school capital outlay funds;
 1644         d. Have been accredited by a regional accrediting
 1645  association as defined by State Board of Education rule; or
 1646         e. Serve students in facilities that are provided by a
 1647  business partner for a charter school-in-the-workplace pursuant
 1648  to s. 1002.33(15)(b); or
 1649         f. Be operated by a hope operator pursuant to s. 1002.333.
 1650         2. Have an annual audit that does not reveal any of the
 1651  financial emergency conditions provided in s. 218.503(1) for the
 1652  most recent fiscal year for which such audit results are
 1653  available.
 1654         3. Have satisfactory student achievement based on state
 1655  accountability standards applicable to the charter school.
 1656         4. Have received final approval from its sponsor pursuant
 1657  to s. 1002.33 for operation during that fiscal year.
 1658         5. Serve students in facilities that are not provided by
 1659  the charter school’s sponsor.
 1660         Section 10. If any provision of this act or its application
 1661  to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity
 1662  does not affect other provisions or applications of the act
 1663  which can be given effect without the invalid provision or
 1664  application, and to this end the provisions of this act are
 1665  severable.
 1666         Section 11. This act shall take effect July 1, 2021.
 1668  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
 1669  And the title is amended as follows:
 1670         Delete everything before the enacting clause
 1671  and insert:
 1672                        A bill to be entitled                      
 1673         An act relating to charter schools; amending s.
 1674         1002.32, F.S.; providing that the limitation on lab
 1675         schools does not apply to a school serving a military
 1676         installation; removing a limitation on lab schools
 1677         receiving a share of the sparsity supplement; amending
 1678         s. 1002.33, F.S.; authorizing state universities and
 1679         Florida College System institutions to solicit
 1680         applications and sponsor charter schools under certain
 1681         circumstances; prohibiting certain charter schools
 1682         from being sponsored by a Florida College System
 1683         institution until such charter schools’ existing
 1684         charter expires; authorizing a state university or
 1685         Florida College System institution to, at its
 1686         discretion, deny an application for a charter school;
 1687         revising the contents of an annual report that charter
 1688         school sponsors must provide to the Department of
 1689         Education; revising the date by which the department
 1690         must post a specified annual report; revising
 1691         provisions relating to Florida College System
 1692         institutions that are operating charter schools;
 1693         prohibiting certain interlocal agreements; requiring
 1694         the board of trustees of a state university or Florida
 1695         College System institution that is sponsoring a
 1696         charter school to serve as the local educational
 1697         agency for such school; prohibiting certain charter
 1698         school students from being included in specified
 1699         school district grade calculations; requiring the
 1700         department to develop a sponsor evaluation framework;
 1701         providing requirements for the framework; requiring
 1702         the department to compile results in a specified
 1703         manner; deleting obsolete language; revising
 1704         requirements for the charter school application
 1705         process; requiring certain school districts to reduce
 1706         administrative fees withheld; requiring such school
 1707         districts to file monthly reports; authorizing school
 1708         districts to resume withholding the full amount of
 1709         administrative fees under specified circumstance;
 1710         authorizing certain charter schools to recover
 1711         attorney fees and costs; requiring the State Board of
 1712         Education to withhold state funds from a district
 1713         school board that is in violation of a state board
 1714         decision on a charter school; authorizing parties to
 1715         appeal without first mediating in certain
 1716         circumstances; providing that certain changes to
 1717         curriculum are deemed approved; providing an
 1718         exception; revising the circumstances in which a
 1719         charter may be immediately terminated; providing that
 1720         certain information must be provided to specified
 1721         entities upon immediate termination of a charter;
 1722         authorizing the award of specified fees and costs in
 1723         certain circumstances; authorizing a sponsor to seek
 1724         an injunction in certain circumstances; revising
 1725         provisions related to sponsor assumption of operation;
 1726         revising the student populations for which a charter
 1727         school is authorized to limit the enrollment process;
 1728         providing a calculation for the operational funding
 1729         for a charter school sponsored by a state university
 1730         or Florida College System institution; requiring the
 1731         department to develop a tool for state universities
 1732         and Florida College System institutions for specified
 1733         purposes relating to certain funding calculations;
 1734         providing that such funding must be appropriated to
 1735         the charter school; providing for capital outlay
 1736         funding for such schools; authorizing a sponsor to
 1737         withhold an administrative fee for the provision of
 1738         certain services to an exceptional student education
 1739         center that meets specified requirements; conforming
 1740         provisions to changes made by the act; amending s.
 1741         1002.331, F.S.; revising requirements for a charter
 1742         school to be a high-performing charter school;
 1743         revising a limitation on the expansion of high
 1744         performing charter schools; revising provisions
 1745         relating to the opening of additional high-performing
 1746         charter schools; amending s. 1002.333, F.S.; revising
 1747         the definition of the term “persistently low
 1748         performing school”; providing that certain nonprofit
 1749         entities may be designated as a local education
 1750         agency; providing that certain entities report
 1751         students to the department in a specified manner;
 1752         specifying reporting provisions that apply only to
 1753         certain schools of hope; providing that schools of
 1754         hope may comply with certain financial reporting in a
 1755         specified manner; revising the manner in which
 1756         underused, vacant, or surplus facilities owned or
 1757         operated by school districts are identified;
 1758         authorizing a nonprofit entity designated as a local
 1759         education agency to use any capital assets identified
 1760         in a certain annual financial audit for another school
 1761         of hope operated by the local education agency within
 1762         the same district; increasing the number of years for
 1763         which certain funds may be carried forward; amending
 1764         s. 1002.45, F.S.; authorizing a virtual charter school
 1765         to provide part-time virtual instruction; amending s.
 1766         1003.493, F.S.; authorizing a charter school to offer
 1767         a career and professional academy; amending s.
 1768         1008.3415, F.S.; requiring the Commissioner of
 1769         Education, upon request by a charter school that meets
 1770         specified criteria, to provide a letter to the charter
 1771         school and the charter school’s sponsor authorizing
 1772         the charter school to replicate its educational
 1773         program; amending s. 1012.32, F.S.; providing an
 1774         alternate screening method for specified persons
 1775         employed by certain schools of hope or serving on
 1776         certain school of hope governing boards; amending s.
 1777         1013.62, F.S.; expanding eligibility to receive
 1778         capital outlay funds to schools of hope operated by a
 1779         hope operator; providing for severability; providing
 1780         an effective date.