Florida Senate - 2021                                    SB 1028
       By Senator Hutson
       7-00634-21                                            20211028__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to charter schools; amending s.
    3         1002.33, F.S.; authorizing state universities and
    4         Florida College System institutions to solicit
    5         applications and sponsor charter schools under certain
    6         circumstances; prohibiting certain charter schools
    7         from being sponsored by a Florida College System
    8         institution until such charter school’s existing
    9         charter expires; authorizing a state university or
   10         Florida College System institution to, at its
   11         discretion, deny an application for a charter school;
   12         revising the contents of an annual report that charter
   13         school sponsors must provide to the Department of
   14         Education; revising the date by which the department
   15         must post a specified annual report; revising
   16         provisions relating to Florida College System
   17         institutions that are operating charter schools;
   18         requiring the board of trustees of a state university
   19         or Florida College System institution that is
   20         sponsoring a charter school to serve as the local
   21         educational agency for such school; prohibiting
   22         certain charter school students from being included in
   23         specified school district grade calculations;
   24         requiring the department to develop a sponsor
   25         evaluation framework; providing requirements for the
   26         framework; requiring the department to compiles
   27         results in a specified manner; deleting obsolete
   28         language; revising the student populations for which a
   29         charter school is authorized to limit the enrollment
   30         process; providing a calculation for the operational
   31         funding for a charter school sponsored by a state
   32         university or Florida College System institution;
   33         requiring the department to develop a tool for state
   34         universities and Florida College System institutions
   35         for specified purposes relating to certain funding
   36         calculations; providing that such funding must be
   37         appropriated to the charter school; providing for
   38         capital outlay funding for such schools; conforming
   39         provisions to changes made by the act; amending s.
   40         1003.493, F.S.; authorizing a career and professional
   41         academy to be offered by a charter school; providing
   42         an effective date.
   44  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   46         Section 1. Paragraph (c) of subsection (2), subsection (5),
   47  paragraph (b) of subsection (6), paragraphs (a) and (d) of
   48  subsection (7), paragraphs (d) and (e) of subsection (8),
   49  paragraphs (g) and (n) of subsection (9), paragraph (e) of
   50  subsection (10), subsection (14), paragraph (c) of subsection
   51  (15), subsection (17), paragraph (e) of subsection (18),
   52  subsections (20) and (21), paragraph (a) of subsection (25), and
   53  subsection (28) of section 1002.33, Florida Statutes, are
   54  amended to read:
   55         1002.33 Charter schools.—
   57         (c) Charter schools may fulfill the following purposes:
   58         1. Create innovative measurement tools.
   59         2. Provide rigorous competition within the public school
   60  system district to stimulate continual improvement in all public
   61  schools.
   62         3. Expand the capacity of the public school system.
   63         4. Mitigate the educational impact created by the
   64  development of new residential dwelling units.
   65         5. Create new professional opportunities for teachers,
   66  including ownership of the learning program at the school site.
   67         (5) SPONSOR; DUTIES.—
   68         (a) Sponsoring entities.—
   69         1. A district school board may sponsor a charter school in
   70  the county over which the district school board has
   71  jurisdiction.
   72         2. A state university may grant a charter to a lab school
   73  created under s. 1002.32 and shall be considered to be the
   74  school’s sponsor. Such school shall be considered a charter lab
   75  school.
   76         3.Because needs relating to educational capacity,
   77  workforce qualifications, and career education opportunities are
   78  constantly changing and extend beyond school district
   79  boundaries:
   80         a.A state university may, upon approval by the Department
   81  of Education, solicit applications and sponsor a charter school
   82  to meet regional education or workforce demands by serving
   83  students from multiple school districts.
   84         b.A Florida College System institution may, upon approval
   85  by the Department of Education, solicit applications and sponsor
   86  a charter school in any county within its service area to meet
   87  workforce demands and may offer postsecondary programs leading
   88  to industry certifications to eligible charter school students.
   89  A charter school established under subparagraph (b)4. may not be
   90  sponsored by a Florida College System institution until its
   91  existing charter with the school district expires as provided
   92  under subsection (7).
   93         c.Notwithstanding paragraph (6)(b), a state university or
   94  Florida College System institution may, at its discretion, deny
   95  an application for a charter school.
   96         (b) Sponsor duties.—
   97         1.a. The sponsor shall monitor and review the charter
   98  school in its progress toward the goals established in the
   99  charter.
  100         b. The sponsor shall monitor the revenues and expenditures
  101  of the charter school and perform the duties provided in s.
  102  1002.345.
  103         c. The sponsor may approve a charter for a charter school
  104  before the applicant has identified space, equipment, or
  105  personnel, if the applicant indicates approval is necessary for
  106  it to raise working funds.
  107         d. The sponsor shall not apply its policies to a charter
  108  school unless mutually agreed to by both the sponsor and the
  109  charter school. If the sponsor subsequently amends any agreed
  110  upon sponsor policy, the version of the policy in effect at the
  111  time of the execution of the charter, or any subsequent
  112  modification thereof, shall remain in effect and the sponsor may
  113  not hold the charter school responsible for any provision of a
  114  newly revised policy until the revised policy is mutually agreed
  115  upon.
  116         e. The sponsor shall ensure that the charter is innovative
  117  and consistent with the state education goals established by s.
  118  1000.03(5).
  119         f. The sponsor shall ensure that the charter school
  120  participates in the state’s education accountability system. If
  121  a charter school falls short of performance measures included in
  122  the approved charter, the sponsor shall report such shortcomings
  123  to the Department of Education.
  124         g. The sponsor shall not be liable for civil damages under
  125  state law for personal injury, property damage, or death
  126  resulting from an act or omission of an officer, employee,
  127  agent, or governing body of the charter school.
  128         h. The sponsor shall not be liable for civil damages under
  129  state law for any employment actions taken by an officer,
  130  employee, agent, or governing body of the charter school.
  131         i. The sponsor’s duties to monitor the charter school shall
  132  not constitute the basis for a private cause of action.
  133         j. The sponsor shall not impose additional reporting
  134  requirements on a charter school without providing reasonable
  135  and specific justification in writing to the charter school.
  136         k. The sponsor shall submit an annual report to the
  137  Department of Education in a web-based format to be determined
  138  by the department.
  139         (I) The report shall include the following information:
  140         (A) The number of draft applications received on or before
  141  May 1 and each applicant’s contact information.
  142         (B) The number of final applications received on or before
  143  February August 1 and each applicant’s contact information.
  144         (B)(C) The date each application was approved, denied, or
  145  withdrawn.
  146         (C)(D) The date each final contract was executed.
  147         (II) Annually, by November 1 Beginning August 31, 2013, and
  148  each year thereafter, the sponsor shall submit to the department
  149  the information for the applications submitted the previous
  150  year.
  151         (III) The department shall compile an annual report, by
  152  sponsor district, and post the report on its website by January
  153  15 November 1 of each year.
  154         2. Immunity for the sponsor of a charter school under
  155  subparagraph 1. applies only with respect to acts or omissions
  156  not under the sponsor’s direct authority as described in this
  157  section.
  158         3. This paragraph does not waive a sponsor’s district
  159  school board’s sovereign immunity.
  160         4. A Florida College System institution may work with the
  161  school district or school districts in its designated service
  162  area to develop charter schools that offer secondary education.
  163  These charter schools must include an option for students to
  164  receive an associate degree upon high school graduation. If a
  165  Florida College System institution operates an approved teacher
  166  preparation program under s. 1004.04 or s. 1004.85, the
  167  institution may operate no more than one charter schools school
  168  that serve serves students in kindergarten through grade 12 in
  169  any school district within the service area of the institution.
  170  In kindergarten through grade 8, the charter school shall
  171  implement innovative blended learning instructional models in
  172  which, for a given course, a student learns in part through
  173  online delivery of content and instruction with some element of
  174  student control over time, place, path, or pace and in part at a
  175  supervised brick-and-mortar location away from home. A student
  176  in a blended learning course must be a full-time student of the
  177  charter school and receive the online instruction in a classroom
  178  setting at the charter school. District school boards shall
  179  cooperate with and assist the Florida College System institution
  180  on the charter application. Florida College System institution
  181  applications for charter schools are not subject to the time
  182  deadlines outlined in subsection (6) and may be approved by the
  183  district school board at any time during the year. Florida
  184  College System institutions may not report FTE for any students
  185  participating under this subparagraph who receive FTE funding
  186  through the Florida Education Finance Program.
  187         5. A school district may enter into nonexclusive interlocal
  188  agreements with federal and state agencies, counties,
  189  municipalities, and other governmental entities that operate
  190  within the geographical borders of the school district to act on
  191  behalf of such governmental entities in the inspection,
  192  issuance, and other necessary activities for all necessary
  193  permits, licenses, and other permissions that a charter school
  194  needs in order for development, construction, or operation. A
  195  charter school may use, but may not be required to use, a school
  196  district for these services. The interlocal agreement must
  197  include, but need not be limited to, the identification of fees
  198  that charter schools will be charged for such services. The fees
  199  must consist of the governmental entity’s fees plus a fee for
  200  the school district to recover no more than actual costs for
  201  providing such services. These services and fees are not
  202  included within the services to be provided pursuant to
  203  subsection (20).
  204         6.The board of trustees of a sponsoring state university
  205  or Florida College System institution under paragraph (a) is the
  206  local educational agency for all charter schools it sponsors for
  207  purposes of receiving federal funds and accepts full
  208  responsibility for all local educational agency requirements and
  209  the schools for which it will perform local educational agency
  210  responsibilities. A student enrolled in a charter school that is
  211  sponsored by a state university or Florida College System
  212  institution may not be included in the calculation of the school
  213  district’s grade under s. 1008.34(5) for the school district in
  214  which he or she resides.
  215         (c)Sponsor accountability.
  216         1.The department shall, in collaboration with charter
  217  school sponsors and charter school operators, develop a sponsor
  218  evaluation framework that must address, at a minimum:
  219         a.The sponsor’s strategic vision for charter school
  220  authorizing and the sponsor’s progress toward that vision.
  221         b.The alignment of the sponsor’s policies and practices to
  222  best practices for charter school authorizing.
  223         c.The academic and financial performance of all operating
  224  charter schools overseen by the sponsor.
  225         d.The status of charter schools authorized by the sponsor,
  226  including approved, operating, and closed schools.
  227         2.The department shall compile the results by sponsor and
  228  include the results in the report required under sub-sub
  229  subparagraph (b)1.k.(III).
  230         (6) APPLICATION PROCESS AND REVIEW.—Charter school
  231  applications are subject to the following requirements:
  232         (b) A sponsor shall receive and review all applications for
  233  a charter school using the evaluation instrument developed by
  234  the Department of Education. A sponsor shall receive and
  235  consider charter school applications received on or before
  236  August 1 of each calendar year for charter schools to be opened
  237  at the beginning of the school district’s next school year, or
  238  to be opened at a time agreed to by the applicant and the
  239  sponsor. A sponsor may not refuse to receive a charter school
  240  application submitted before August 1 and may receive an
  241  application submitted later than August 1 if it chooses.
  242  Beginning in 2018 and thereafter, A sponsor shall receive and
  243  consider charter school applications received on or before
  244  February 1 of each calendar year for charter schools to be
  245  opened 18 months later at the beginning of the school district’s
  246  school year, or to be opened at a time determined by the
  247  applicant. A sponsor may not refuse to receive a charter school
  248  application submitted before February 1 and may receive an
  249  application submitted later than February 1 if it chooses. A
  250  sponsor may not charge an applicant for a charter any fee for
  251  the processing or consideration of an application, and a sponsor
  252  may not base its consideration or approval of a final
  253  application upon the promise of future payment of any kind.
  254  Before approving or denying any application, the sponsor shall
  255  allow the applicant, upon receipt of written notification, at
  256  least 7 calendar days to make technical or nonsubstantive
  257  corrections and clarifications, including, but not limited to,
  258  corrections of grammatical, typographical, and like errors or
  259  missing signatures, if such errors are identified by the sponsor
  260  as cause to deny the final application.
  261         1. In order to facilitate an accurate budget projection
  262  process, a sponsor shall be held harmless for FTE students who
  263  are not included in the FTE projection due to approval of
  264  charter school applications after the FTE projection deadline.
  265  In a further effort to facilitate an accurate budget projection,
  266  within 15 calendar days after receipt of a charter school
  267  application, a sponsor shall report to the Department of
  268  Education the name of the applicant entity, the proposed charter
  269  school location, and its projected FTE.
  270         2. In order to ensure fiscal responsibility, an application
  271  for a charter school shall include a full accounting of expected
  272  assets, a projection of expected sources and amounts of income,
  273  including income derived from projected student enrollments and
  274  from community support, and an expense projection that includes
  275  full accounting of the costs of operation, including start-up
  276  costs.
  277         3.a. A sponsor shall by a majority vote approve or deny an
  278  application no later than 90 calendar days after the application
  279  is received, unless the sponsor and the applicant mutually agree
  280  in writing to temporarily postpone the vote to a specific date,
  281  at which time the sponsor shall by a majority vote approve or
  282  deny the application. If the sponsor fails to act on the
  283  application, an applicant may appeal to the State Board of
  284  Education as provided in paragraph (c). If an application is
  285  denied, the sponsor shall, within 10 calendar days after such
  286  denial, articulate in writing the specific reasons, based upon
  287  good cause, supporting its denial of the application and shall
  288  provide the letter of denial and supporting documentation to the
  289  applicant and to the Department of Education.
  290         b. An application submitted by a high-performing charter
  291  school identified pursuant to s. 1002.331 or a high-performing
  292  charter school system identified pursuant to s. 1002.332 may be
  293  denied by the sponsor only if the sponsor demonstrates by clear
  294  and convincing evidence that:
  295         (I) The application of a high-performing charter school
  296  does not materially comply with the requirements in paragraph
  297  (a) or, for a high-performing charter school system, the
  298  application does not materially comply with s. 1002.332(2)(b);
  299         (II) The charter school proposed in the application does
  300  not materially comply with the requirements in paragraphs
  301  (9)(a)-(f);
  302         (III) The proposed charter school’s educational program
  303  does not substantially replicate that of the applicant or one of
  304  the applicant’s high-performing charter schools;
  305         (IV) The applicant has made a material misrepresentation or
  306  false statement or concealed an essential or material fact
  307  during the application process; or
  308         (V) The proposed charter school’s educational program and
  309  financial management practices do not materially comply with the
  310  requirements of this section.
  312  Material noncompliance is a failure to follow requirements or a
  313  violation of prohibitions applicable to charter school
  314  applications, which failure is quantitatively or qualitatively
  315  significant either individually or when aggregated with other
  316  noncompliance. An applicant is considered to be replicating a
  317  high-performing charter school if the proposed school is
  318  substantially similar to at least one of the applicant’s high
  319  performing charter schools and the organization or individuals
  320  involved in the establishment and operation of the proposed
  321  school are significantly involved in the operation of replicated
  322  schools.
  323         c. If the sponsor denies an application submitted by a
  324  high-performing charter school or a high-performing charter
  325  school system, the sponsor must, within 10 calendar days after
  326  such denial, state in writing the specific reasons, based upon
  327  the criteria in sub-subparagraph b., supporting its denial of
  328  the application and must provide the letter of denial and
  329  supporting documentation to the applicant and to the Department
  330  of Education. The applicant may appeal the sponsor’s denial of
  331  the application in accordance with paragraph (c).
  332         4. For budget projection purposes, the sponsor shall report
  333  to the Department of Education the approval or denial of an
  334  application within 10 calendar days after such approval or
  335  denial. In the event of approval, the report to the Department
  336  of Education shall include the final projected FTE for the
  337  approved charter school.
  338         5. Upon approval of an application, the initial startup
  339  shall commence with the beginning of the public school calendar
  340  for the district in which the charter is granted. A charter
  341  school may defer the opening of the school’s operations for up
  342  to 3 years to provide time for adequate facility planning. The
  343  charter school must provide written notice of such intent to the
  344  sponsor and the parents of enrolled students at least 30
  345  calendar days before the first day of school.
  346         (7) CHARTER.—The terms and conditions for the operation of
  347  a charter school shall be set forth by the sponsor and the
  348  applicant in a written contractual agreement, called a charter.
  349  The sponsor and the governing board of the charter school shall
  350  use the standard charter contract pursuant to subsection (21),
  351  which shall incorporate the approved application and any addenda
  352  approved with the application. Any term or condition of a
  353  proposed charter contract that differs from the standard charter
  354  contract adopted by rule of the State Board of Education shall
  355  be presumed a limitation on charter school flexibility. The
  356  sponsor may not impose unreasonable rules or regulations that
  357  violate the intent of giving charter schools greater flexibility
  358  to meet educational goals. The charter shall be signed by the
  359  governing board of the charter school and the sponsor, following
  360  a public hearing to ensure community input.
  361         (a) The charter shall address and criteria for approval of
  362  the charter shall be based on:
  363         1. The school’s mission, the students to be served, and the
  364  ages and grades to be included.
  365         2. The focus of the curriculum, the instructional methods
  366  to be used, any distinctive instructional techniques to be
  367  employed, and identification and acquisition of appropriate
  368  technologies needed to improve educational and administrative
  369  performance which include a means for promoting safe, ethical,
  370  and appropriate uses of technology which comply with legal and
  371  professional standards.
  372         a. The charter shall ensure that reading is a primary focus
  373  of the curriculum and that resources are provided to identify
  374  and provide specialized instruction for students who are reading
  375  below grade level. The curriculum and instructional strategies
  376  for reading must be consistent with the Next Generation Sunshine
  377  State Standards and grounded in scientifically based reading
  378  research.
  379         b. In order to provide students with access to diverse
  380  instructional delivery models, to facilitate the integration of
  381  technology within traditional classroom instruction, and to
  382  provide students with the skills they need to compete in the
  383  21st century economy, the Legislature encourages instructional
  384  methods for blended learning courses consisting of both
  385  traditional classroom and online instructional techniques.
  386  Charter schools may implement blended learning courses which
  387  combine traditional classroom instruction and virtual
  388  instruction. Students in a blended learning course must be full
  389  time students of the charter school pursuant to s.
  390  1011.61(1)(a)1. Instructional personnel certified pursuant to s.
  391  1012.55 who provide virtual instruction for blended learning
  392  courses may be employees of the charter school or may be under
  393  contract to provide instructional services to charter school
  394  students. At a minimum, such instructional personnel must hold
  395  an active state or school district adjunct certification under
  396  s. 1012.57 for the subject area of the blended learning course.
  397  The funding and performance accountability requirements for
  398  blended learning courses are the same as those for traditional
  399  courses.
  400         3. The current incoming baseline standard of student
  401  academic achievement, the outcomes to be achieved, and the
  402  method of measurement that will be used. The criteria listed in
  403  this subparagraph shall include a detailed description of:
  404         a. How the baseline student academic achievement levels and
  405  prior rates of academic progress will be established.
  406         b. How these baseline rates will be compared to rates of
  407  academic progress achieved by these same students while
  408  attending the charter school.
  409         c. To the extent possible, how these rates of progress will
  410  be evaluated and compared with rates of progress of other
  411  closely comparable student populations.
  413  A The district school board is required to provide academic
  414  student performance data to charter schools for each of their
  415  students coming from the district school system, as well as
  416  rates of academic progress of comparable student populations in
  417  the district school system.
  418         4. The methods used to identify the educational strengths
  419  and needs of students and how well educational goals and
  420  performance standards are met by students attending the charter
  421  school. The methods shall provide a means for the charter school
  422  to ensure accountability to its constituents by analyzing
  423  student performance data and by evaluating the effectiveness and
  424  efficiency of its major educational programs. Students in
  425  charter schools shall, at a minimum, participate in the
  426  statewide assessment program created under s. 1008.22.
  427         5. In secondary charter schools, a method for determining
  428  that a student has satisfied the requirements for graduation in
  429  s. 1002.3105(5), s. 1003.4281, or s. 1003.4282.
  430         6. A method for resolving conflicts between the governing
  431  board of the charter school and the sponsor.
  432         7. The admissions procedures and dismissal procedures,
  433  including the school’s code of student conduct. Admission or
  434  dismissal must not be based on a student’s academic performance.
  435         8. The ways by which the school will achieve a
  436  racial/ethnic balance reflective of the community it serves or
  437  within the racial/ethnic range of other nearby public schools in
  438  the same school district.
  439         9. The financial and administrative management of the
  440  school, including a reasonable demonstration of the professional
  441  experience or competence of those individuals or organizations
  442  applying to operate the charter school or those hired or
  443  retained to perform such professional services and the
  444  description of clearly delineated responsibilities and the
  445  policies and practices needed to effectively manage the charter
  446  school. A description of internal audit procedures and
  447  establishment of controls to ensure that financial resources are
  448  properly managed must be included. Both public sector and
  449  private sector professional experience shall be equally valid in
  450  such a consideration.
  451         10. The asset and liability projections required in the
  452  application which are incorporated into the charter and shall be
  453  compared with information provided in the annual report of the
  454  charter school.
  455         11. A description of procedures that identify various risks
  456  and provide for a comprehensive approach to reduce the impact of
  457  losses; plans to ensure the safety and security of students and
  458  staff; plans to identify, minimize, and protect others from
  459  violent or disruptive student behavior; and the manner in which
  460  the school will be insured, including whether or not the school
  461  will be required to have liability insurance, and, if so, the
  462  terms and conditions thereof and the amounts of coverage.
  463         12. The term of the charter which shall provide for
  464  cancellation of the charter if insufficient progress has been
  465  made in attaining the student achievement objectives of the
  466  charter and if it is not likely that such objectives can be
  467  achieved before expiration of the charter. The initial term of a
  468  charter shall be for 5 years, excluding 2 planning years. In
  469  order to facilitate access to long-term financial resources for
  470  charter school construction, charter schools that are operated
  471  by a municipality or other public entity as provided by law are
  472  eligible for up to a 15-year charter, subject to approval by the
  473  sponsor district school board. A charter lab school is eligible
  474  for a charter for a term of up to 15 years. In addition, to
  475  facilitate access to long-term financial resources for charter
  476  school construction, charter schools that are operated by a
  477  private, not-for-profit, s. 501(c)(3) status corporation are
  478  eligible for up to a 15-year charter, subject to approval by the
  479  sponsor district school board. Such long-term charters remain
  480  subject to annual review and may be terminated during the term
  481  of the charter, but only according to the provisions set forth
  482  in subsection (8).
  483         13. The facilities to be used and their location. The
  484  sponsor may not require a charter school to have a certificate
  485  of occupancy or a temporary certificate of occupancy for such a
  486  facility earlier than 15 calendar days before the first day of
  487  school.
  488         14. The qualifications to be required of the teachers and
  489  the potential strategies used to recruit, hire, train, and
  490  retain qualified staff to achieve best value.
  491         15. The governance structure of the school, including the
  492  status of the charter school as a public or private employer as
  493  required in paragraph (12)(i).
  494         16. A timetable for implementing the charter which
  495  addresses the implementation of each element thereof and the
  496  date by which the charter shall be awarded in order to meet this
  497  timetable.
  498         17. In the case of an existing public school that is being
  499  converted to charter status, alternative arrangements for
  500  current students who choose not to attend the charter school and
  501  for current teachers who choose not to teach in the charter
  502  school after conversion in accordance with the existing
  503  collective bargaining agreement or district school board rule in
  504  the absence of a collective bargaining agreement. However,
  505  alternative arrangements shall not be required for current
  506  teachers who choose not to teach in a charter lab school, except
  507  as authorized by the employment policies of the state university
  508  which grants the charter to the lab school.
  509         18. Full disclosure of the identity of all relatives
  510  employed by the charter school who are related to the charter
  511  school owner, president, chairperson of the governing board of
  512  directors, superintendent, governing board member, principal,
  513  assistant principal, or any other person employed by the charter
  514  school who has equivalent decisionmaking authority. For the
  515  purpose of this subparagraph, the term “relative” means father,
  516  mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, first
  517  cousin, nephew, niece, husband, wife, father-in-law, mother-in
  518  law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law,
  519  stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother,
  520  stepsister, half brother, or half sister.
  521         19. Implementation of the activities authorized under s.
  522  1002.331 by the charter school when it satisfies the eligibility
  523  requirements for a high-performing charter school. A high
  524  performing charter school shall notify its sponsor in writing by
  525  March 1 if it intends to increase enrollment or expand grade
  526  levels the following school year. The written notice shall
  527  specify the amount of the enrollment increase and the grade
  528  levels that will be added, as applicable.
  529         (d) A charter may be modified during its initial term or
  530  any renewal term upon the recommendation of the sponsor or the
  531  charter school’s governing board and the approval of both
  532  parties to the agreement. Modification during any term may
  533  include, but is not limited to, consolidation of multiple
  534  charters into a single charter if the charters are operated
  535  under the same governing board, regardless of the renewal cycle.
  536  A charter school that is not subject to a school improvement
  537  plan and that closes as part of a consolidation shall be
  538  reported by the sponsor school district as a consolidation.
  540         (d) When a charter is not renewed or is terminated, the
  541  school shall be dissolved under the provisions of law under
  542  which the school was organized, and any unencumbered public
  543  funds, except for capital outlay funds and federal charter
  544  school program grant funds, from the charter school shall revert
  545  to the sponsor. Capital outlay funds provided pursuant to s.
  546  1013.62 and federal charter school program grant funds that are
  547  unencumbered shall revert to the department to be redistributed
  548  among eligible charter schools. In the event a charter school is
  549  dissolved or is otherwise terminated, all sponsor district
  550  school board property and improvements, furnishings, and
  551  equipment purchased with public funds shall automatically revert
  552  to full ownership by the sponsor district school board, subject
  553  to complete satisfaction of any lawful liens or encumbrances.
  554  Any unencumbered public funds from the charter school, district
  555  school board property and improvements, furnishings, and
  556  equipment purchased with public funds, or financial or other
  557  records pertaining to the charter school, in the possession of
  558  any person, entity, or holding company, other than the charter
  559  school, shall be held in trust upon the sponsor’s district
  560  school board’s request, until any appeal status is resolved.
  561         (e) If a charter is not renewed or is terminated, the
  562  charter school is responsible for all debts of the charter
  563  school. The sponsor district may not assume the debt from any
  564  contract made between the governing body of the school and a
  565  third party, except for a debt that is previously detailed and
  566  agreed upon in writing by both the sponsor district and the
  567  governing body of the school and that may not reasonably be
  568  assumed to have been satisfied by the sponsor district.
  570         (g)1. In order to provide financial information that is
  571  comparable to that reported for other public schools, charter
  572  schools are to maintain all financial records that constitute
  573  their accounting system:
  574         a. In accordance with the accounts and codes prescribed in
  575  the most recent issuance of the publication titled “Financial
  576  and Program Cost Accounting and Reporting for Florida Schools”;
  577  or
  578         b. At the discretion of the charter school’s governing
  579  board, a charter school may elect to follow generally accepted
  580  accounting standards for not-for-profit organizations, but must
  581  reformat this information for reporting according to this
  582  paragraph.
  583         2. Charter schools shall provide annual financial report
  584  and program cost report information in the state-required
  585  formats for inclusion in sponsor district reporting in
  586  compliance with s. 1011.60(1). Charter schools that are operated
  587  by a municipality or are a component unit of a parent nonprofit
  588  organization may use the accounting system of the municipality
  589  or the parent but must reformat this information for reporting
  590  according to this paragraph.
  591         3. A charter school shall, upon approval of the charter
  592  contract, provide the sponsor with a concise, uniform, monthly
  593  financial statement summary sheet that contains a balance sheet
  594  and a statement of revenue, expenditures, and changes in fund
  595  balance. The balance sheet and the statement of revenue,
  596  expenditures, and changes in fund balance shall be in the
  597  governmental funds format prescribed by the Governmental
  598  Accounting Standards Board. A high-performing charter school
  599  pursuant to s. 1002.331 may provide a quarterly financial
  600  statement in the same format and requirements as the uniform
  601  monthly financial statement summary sheet. The sponsor shall
  602  review each monthly or quarterly financial statement to identify
  603  the existence of any conditions identified in s. 1002.345(1)(a).
  604         4. A charter school shall maintain and provide financial
  605  information as required in this paragraph. The financial
  606  statement required in subparagraph 3. must be in a form
  607  prescribed by the Department of Education.
  608         (n)1. The director and a representative of the governing
  609  board of a charter school that has earned a grade of “D” or “F”
  610  pursuant to s. 1008.34 shall appear before the sponsor to
  611  present information concerning each contract component having
  612  noted deficiencies. The director and a representative of the
  613  governing board shall submit to the sponsor for approval a
  614  school improvement plan to raise student performance. Upon
  615  approval by the sponsor, the charter school shall begin
  616  implementation of the school improvement plan. The department
  617  shall offer technical assistance and training to the charter
  618  school and its governing board and establish guidelines for
  619  developing, submitting, and approving such plans.
  620         2.a. If a charter school earns three consecutive grades
  621  below a “C,” the charter school governing board shall choose one
  622  of the following corrective actions:
  623         (I) Contract for educational services to be provided
  624  directly to students, instructional personnel, and school
  625  administrators, as prescribed in state board rule;
  626         (II) Contract with an outside entity that has a
  627  demonstrated record of effectiveness to operate the school;
  628         (III) Reorganize the school under a new director or
  629  principal who is authorized to hire new staff; or
  630         (IV) Voluntarily close the charter school.
  631         b. The charter school must implement the corrective action
  632  in the school year following receipt of a third consecutive
  633  grade below a “C.”
  634         c. The sponsor may annually waive a corrective action if it
  635  determines that the charter school is likely to improve a letter
  636  grade if additional time is provided to implement the
  637  intervention and support strategies prescribed by the school
  638  improvement plan. Notwithstanding this sub-subparagraph, a
  639  charter school that earns a second consecutive grade of “F” is
  640  subject to subparagraph 3.
  641         d. A charter school is no longer required to implement a
  642  corrective action if it improves to a “C” or higher. However,
  643  the charter school must continue to implement strategies
  644  identified in the school improvement plan. The sponsor must
  645  annually review implementation of the school improvement plan to
  646  monitor the school’s continued improvement pursuant to
  647  subparagraph 4.
  648         e. A charter school implementing a corrective action that
  649  does not improve to a “C” or higher after 2 full school years of
  650  implementing the corrective action must select a different
  651  corrective action. Implementation of the new corrective action
  652  must begin in the school year following the implementation
  653  period of the existing corrective action, unless the sponsor
  654  determines that the charter school is likely to improve to a “C”
  655  or higher if additional time is provided to implement the
  656  existing corrective action. Notwithstanding this sub
  657  subparagraph, a charter school that earns a second consecutive
  658  grade of “F” while implementing a corrective action is subject
  659  to subparagraph 3.
  660         3. A charter school’s charter contract is automatically
  661  terminated if the school earns two consecutive grades of “F”
  662  after all school grade appeals are final unless:
  663         a. The charter school is established to turn around the
  664  performance of a district public school pursuant to s.
  665  1008.33(4)(b)2. Such charter schools shall be governed by s.
  666  1008.33;
  667         b. The charter school serves a student population the
  668  majority of which resides in a school zone served by a district
  669  public school subject to s. 1008.33(4) and the charter school
  670  earns at least a grade of “D” in its third year of operation.
  671  The exception provided under this sub-subparagraph does not
  672  apply to a charter school in its fourth year of operation and
  673  thereafter; or
  674         c. The state board grants the charter school a waiver of
  675  termination. The charter school must request the waiver within
  676  15 days after the department’s official release of school
  677  grades. The state board may waive termination if the charter
  678  school demonstrates that the Learning Gains of its students on
  679  statewide assessments are comparable to or better than the
  680  Learning Gains of similarly situated students enrolled in nearby
  681  district public schools. The waiver is valid for 1 year and may
  682  only be granted once. Charter schools that have been in
  683  operation for more than 5 years are not eligible for a waiver
  684  under this sub-subparagraph.
  686  The sponsor shall notify the charter school’s governing board,
  687  the charter school principal, and the department in writing when
  688  a charter contract is terminated under this subparagraph. A
  689  charter terminated under this subparagraph must follow the
  690  procedures for dissolution and reversion of public funds
  691  pursuant to paragraphs (8)(d)-(f) and (9)(o).
  692         4. The director and a representative of the governing board
  693  of a graded charter school that has implemented a school
  694  improvement plan under this paragraph shall appear before the
  695  sponsor at least once a year to present information regarding
  696  the progress of intervention and support strategies implemented
  697  by the school pursuant to the school improvement plan and
  698  corrective actions, if applicable. The sponsor shall communicate
  699  at the meeting, and in writing to the director, the services
  700  provided to the school to help the school address its
  701  deficiencies.
  702         5. Notwithstanding any provision of this paragraph except
  703  sub-subparagraphs 3.a.-c., the sponsor may terminate the charter
  704  at any time pursuant to subsection (8).
  705         (10) ELIGIBLE STUDENTS.—
  706         (e) A charter school may limit the enrollment process only
  707  to target the following student populations:
  708         1. Students within specific age groups or grade levels.
  709         2. Students considered at risk of dropping out of school or
  710  academic failure. Such students shall include exceptional
  711  education students.
  712         3. Students enrolling in a charter school-in-the-workplace
  713  or charter school-in-a-municipality established pursuant to
  714  subsection (15).
  715         4. Students residing within a reasonable distance of the
  716  charter school, as described in paragraph (20)(c). Such students
  717  shall be subject to a random lottery and to the racial/ethnic
  718  balance provisions described in subparagraph (7)(a)8. or any
  719  federal provisions that require a school to achieve a
  720  racial/ethnic balance reflective of the community it serves or
  721  within the racial/ethnic range of other nearby public schools in
  722  the same school district.
  723         5. Students who meet reasonable academic, artistic, or
  724  other eligibility standards established by the charter school
  725  and included in the charter school application and charter or,
  726  in the case of existing charter schools, standards that are
  727  consistent with the school’s mission and purpose. Such standards
  728  shall be in accordance with current state law and practice in
  729  public schools and may not discriminate against otherwise
  730  qualified individuals.
  731         6. Students articulating from one charter school to another
  732  pursuant to an articulation agreement between the charter
  733  schools that has been approved by the sponsor.
  734         7. Students living in a development in which a developer,
  735  including any affiliated business entity or charitable
  736  foundation, contributes to the formation, acquisition,
  737  construction, or operation of one or more charter schools or
  738  charter provides the school facilities facility and related
  739  property in an amount equal to or having a total an appraised
  740  value of at least $5 million to be used as a charter schools
  741  school to mitigate the educational impact created by the
  742  development of new residential dwelling units. Students living
  743  in the development are shall be entitled to no more than 50
  744  percent of the student stations in the charter schools school.
  745  The students who are eligible for enrollment are subject to a
  746  random lottery, the racial/ethnic balance provisions, or any
  747  federal provisions, as described in subparagraph 4. The
  748  remainder of the student stations must shall be filled in
  749  accordance with subparagraph 4.
  752  NOT TO BE PLEDGED.—Any arrangement entered into to borrow or
  753  otherwise secure funds for a charter school authorized in this
  754  section from a source other than the state or a sponsor school
  755  district shall indemnify the state and the sponsor school
  756  district from any and all liability, including, but not limited
  757  to, financial responsibility for the payment of the principal or
  758  interest. Any loans, bonds, or other financial agreements are
  759  not obligations of the state or the sponsor school district but
  760  are obligations of the charter school authority and are payable
  761  solely from the sources of funds pledged by such agreement. The
  762  credit or taxing power of the state or the sponsor school
  763  district shall not be pledged and no debts shall be payable out
  764  of any moneys except those of the legal entity in possession of
  765  a valid charter approved by a sponsor district school board
  766  pursuant to this section.
  769         (c) A charter school-in-a-municipality designation may be
  770  granted to a municipality that possesses a charter; enrolls
  771  students based upon a random lottery that involves all of the
  772  children of the residents of that municipality who are seeking
  773  enrollment, as provided for in subsection (10); and enrolls
  774  students according to the racial/ethnic balance provisions
  775  described in subparagraph (7)(a)8. When a municipality has
  776  submitted charter applications for the establishment of a
  777  charter school feeder pattern, consisting of elementary, middle,
  778  and senior high schools, and each individual charter application
  779  is approved by the sponsor district school board, such schools
  780  shall then be designated as one charter school for all purposes
  781  listed pursuant to this section. Any portion of the land and
  782  facility used for a public charter school shall be exempt from
  783  ad valorem taxes, as provided for in s. 1013.54, for the
  784  duration of its use as a public school.
  785         (17) FUNDING.—Students enrolled in a charter school,
  786  regardless of the sponsorship, shall be funded as if they are in
  787  a basic program or a special program, the same as students
  788  enrolled in other public schools in a the school district.
  789  Funding for a charter lab school shall be as provided in s.
  790  1002.32.
  791         (a) Each charter school shall report its student enrollment
  792  to the sponsor as required in s. 1011.62, and in accordance with
  793  the definitions in s. 1011.61. The sponsor shall include each
  794  charter school’s enrollment in the sponsor’s district’s report
  795  of student enrollment. All charter schools submitting student
  796  record information required by the Department of Education shall
  797  comply with the Department of Education’s guidelines for
  798  electronic data formats for such data, and all sponsors
  799  districts shall accept electronic data that complies with the
  800  Department of Education’s electronic format.
  801         (b)1. The basis for the agreement for funding students
  802  enrolled in a charter school shall be the sum of the school
  803  district’s operating funds from the Florida Education Finance
  804  Program as provided in s. 1011.62 and the General Appropriations
  805  Act, including gross state and local funds, discretionary
  806  lottery funds, and funds from the school district’s current
  807  operating discretionary millage levy; divided by total funded
  808  weighted full-time equivalent students in the school district;
  809  and multiplied by the weighted full-time equivalent students for
  810  the charter school. Charter schools whose students or programs
  811  meet the eligibility criteria in law are entitled to their
  812  proportionate share of categorical program funds included in the
  813  total funds available in the Florida Education Finance Program
  814  by the Legislature, including transportation, the research-based
  815  reading allocation, and the Florida digital classrooms
  816  allocation. Total funding for each charter school shall be
  817  recalculated during the year to reflect the revised calculations
  818  under the Florida Education Finance Program by the state and the
  819  actual weighted full-time equivalent students reported by the
  820  charter school during the full-time equivalent student survey
  821  periods designated by the Commissioner of Education. For charter
  822  schools operated by a not-for-profit or municipal entity, any
  823  unrestricted current and capital assets identified in the
  824  charter school’s annual financial audit may be used for other
  825  charter schools operated by the not-for-profit or municipal
  826  entity within the school district. Unrestricted current assets
  827  shall be used in accordance with s. 1011.62, and any
  828  unrestricted capital assets shall be used in accordance with s.
  829  1013.62(2).
  830         2.a.Students enrolled in a charter school sponsored by a
  831  state university or Florida College System institution pursuant
  832  to paragraph (5)(a) shall be funded as if they are in a basic
  833  program or a special program in the school district. The basis
  834  for funding these students is the sum of the total operating
  835  funds from the Florida Education Finance Program for the school
  836  district in which the school is located as provided in s.
  837  1011.62 and the General Appropriations Act, including gross
  838  state and local funds, discretionary lottery funds, and funds
  839  from each school district’s current operating discretionary
  840  millage levy, divided by total funded weighted full-time
  841  equivalent students in the district, and multiplied by the full
  842  time equivalent membership of the charter school. The Department
  843  of Education shall develop a tool that each state university or
  844  Florida College System institution sponsoring a charter school
  845  shall use for purposes of calculating the funding amount for
  846  each eligible charter school student. The total amount obtained
  847  from the calculation must be appropriated from state funds in
  848  the General Appropriations Act to the charter school.
  849         b.Capital outlay funding for a charter school sponsored by
  850  a state university or Florida College System institution
  851  pursuant to paragraph (5)(a) is determined pursuant to s.
  852  1013.62 and the General Appropriations Act.
  853         (c) Pursuant to 20 U.S.C. 8061 s. 10306, all charter
  854  schools shall receive all federal funding for which the school
  855  is otherwise eligible, including Title I funding, not later than
  856  5 months after the charter school first opens and within 5
  857  months after any subsequent expansion of enrollment. Unless
  858  otherwise mutually agreed to by the charter school and its
  859  sponsor, and consistent with state and federal rules and
  860  regulations governing the use and disbursement of federal funds,
  861  the sponsor shall reimburse the charter school on a monthly
  862  basis for all invoices submitted by the charter school for
  863  federal funds available to the sponsor for the benefit of the
  864  charter school, the charter school’s students, and the charter
  865  school’s students as public school students in the school
  866  district. Such federal funds include, but are not limited to,
  867  Title I, Title II, and Individuals with Disabilities Education
  868  Act (IDEA) funds. To receive timely reimbursement for an
  869  invoice, the charter school must submit the invoice to the
  870  sponsor at least 30 days before the monthly date of
  871  reimbursement set by the sponsor. In order to be reimbursed, any
  872  expenditures made by the charter school must comply with all
  873  applicable state rules and federal regulations, including, but
  874  not limited to, the applicable federal Office of Management and
  875  Budget Circulars; the federal Education Department General
  876  Administrative Regulations; and program-specific statutes,
  877  rules, and regulations. Such funds may not be made available to
  878  the charter school until a plan is submitted to the sponsor for
  879  approval of the use of the funds in accordance with applicable
  880  federal requirements. The sponsor has 30 days to review and
  881  approve any plan submitted pursuant to this paragraph.
  882         (d) Charter schools shall be included by the Department of
  883  Education and the district school board in requests for federal
  884  stimulus funds in the same manner as district school board
  885  operated public schools, including Title I and IDEA funds and
  886  shall be entitled to receive such funds. Charter schools are
  887  eligible to participate in federal competitive grants that are
  888  available as part of the federal stimulus funds.
  889         (e) Sponsors District school boards shall make timely and
  890  efficient payment and reimbursement to charter schools,
  891  including processing paperwork required to access special state
  892  and federal funding for which they may be eligible. Payments of
  893  funds under paragraph (b) shall be made monthly or twice a
  894  month, beginning with the start of the sponsor’s district school
  895  board’s fiscal year. Each payment shall be one-twelfth, or one
  896  twenty-fourth, as applicable, of the total state and local funds
  897  described in paragraph (b) and adjusted as set forth therein.
  898  For the first 2 years of a charter school’s operation, if a
  899  minimum of 75 percent of the projected enrollment is entered
  900  into the sponsor’s student information system by the first day
  901  of the current month, the sponsor district school board shall
  902  distribute funds to the school for the months of July through
  903  October based on the projected full-time equivalent student
  904  membership of the charter school as submitted in the approved
  905  application. If less than 75 percent of the projected enrollment
  906  is entered into the sponsor’s student information system by the
  907  first day of the current month, the sponsor shall base payments
  908  on the actual number of student enrollment entered into the
  909  sponsor’s student information system. Thereafter, the results of
  910  full-time equivalent student membership surveys shall be used in
  911  adjusting the amount of funds distributed monthly to the charter
  912  school for the remainder of the fiscal year. The payments shall
  913  be issued no later than 10 working days after the sponsor
  914  district school board receives a distribution of state or
  915  federal funds or the date the payment is due pursuant to this
  916  subsection. If a warrant for payment is not issued within 10
  917  working days after receipt of funding by the sponsor district
  918  school board, the sponsor school district shall pay to the
  919  charter school, in addition to the amount of the scheduled
  920  disbursement, interest at a rate of 1 percent per month
  921  calculated on a daily basis on the unpaid balance from the
  922  expiration of the 10 working days until such time as the warrant
  923  is issued. The district school board may not delay payment to a
  924  charter school of any portion of the funds provided in paragraph
  925  (b) based on the timing of receipt of local funds by the
  926  district school board.
  927         (f) Funding for a virtual charter school shall be as
  928  provided in s. 1002.45(7).
  929         (g) To be eligible for public education capital outlay
  930  (PECO) funds, a charter school must be located in the State of
  931  Florida.
  932         (h) A charter school that implements a schoolwide standard
  933  student attire policy pursuant to s. 1011.78 is eligible to
  934  receive incentive payments.
  935         (18) FACILITIES.—
  936         (e) If a district school board facility or property is
  937  available because it is surplus, marked for disposal, or
  938  otherwise unused, it shall be provided for a charter school’s
  939  use on the same basis as it is made available to other public
  940  schools in the district. A charter school receiving property
  941  from the sponsor school district may not sell or dispose of such
  942  property without written permission of the sponsor school
  943  district. Similarly, for an existing public school converting to
  944  charter status, no rental or leasing fee for the existing
  945  facility or for the property normally inventoried to the
  946  conversion school may be charged by the district school board to
  947  the parents and teachers organizing the charter school. The
  948  charter school shall agree to reasonable maintenance provisions
  949  in order to maintain the facility in a manner similar to
  950  district school board standards. The Public Education Capital
  951  Outlay maintenance funds or any other maintenance funds
  952  generated by the facility operated as a conversion school shall
  953  remain with the conversion school.
  954         (20) SERVICES.—
  955         (a)1. A sponsor shall provide certain administrative and
  956  educational services to charter schools. These services shall
  957  include contract management services; full-time equivalent and
  958  data reporting services; exceptional student education
  959  administration services; services related to eligibility and
  960  reporting duties required to ensure that school lunch services
  961  under the National School Lunch Program, consistent with the
  962  needs of the charter school, are provided by the sponsor school
  963  district at the request of the charter school, that any funds
  964  due to the charter school under the National School Lunch
  965  Program be paid to the charter school as soon as the charter
  966  school begins serving food under the National School Lunch
  967  Program, and that the charter school is paid at the same time
  968  and in the same manner under the National School Lunch Program
  969  as other public schools serviced by the sponsor or the school
  970  district; test administration services, including payment of the
  971  costs of state-required or district-required student
  972  assessments; processing of teacher certificate data services;
  973  and information services, including equal access to the
  974  sponsor’s student information systems that are used by public
  975  schools in the district in which the charter school is located
  976  or by schools in the sponsor’s portfolio of charter schools if
  977  the sponsor is not a school district. Student performance data
  978  for each student in a charter school, including, but not limited
  979  to, FCAT scores, standardized test scores, previous public
  980  school student report cards, and student performance measures,
  981  shall be provided by the sponsor to a charter school in the same
  982  manner provided to other public schools in the district or by
  983  schools in the sponsor’s portfolio of charter schools if the
  984  sponsor is not a school district.
  985         2. A sponsor may withhold an administrative fee for the
  986  provision of such services which shall be a percentage of the
  987  available funds defined in paragraph (17)(b) calculated based on
  988  weighted full-time equivalent students. If the charter school
  989  serves 75 percent or more exceptional education students as
  990  defined in s. 1003.01(3), the percentage shall be calculated
  991  based on unweighted full-time equivalent students. The
  992  administrative fee shall be calculated as follows:
  993         a. Up to 5 percent for:
  994         (I) Enrollment of up to and including 250 students in a
  995  charter school as defined in this section.
  996         (II) Enrollment of up to and including 500 students within
  997  a charter school system which meets all of the following:
  998         (A) Includes conversion charter schools and nonconversion
  999  charter schools.
 1000         (B) Has all of its schools located in the same county.
 1001         (C) Has a total enrollment exceeding the total enrollment
 1002  of at least one school district in the state.
 1003         (D) Has the same governing board for all of its schools.
 1004         (E) Does not contract with a for-profit service provider
 1005  for management of school operations.
 1006         (III) Enrollment of up to and including 250 students in a
 1007  virtual charter school.
 1008         b. Up to 2 percent for enrollment of up to and including
 1009  250 students in a high-performing charter school as defined in
 1010  s. 1002.331.
 1011         3. A sponsor may not charge charter schools any additional
 1012  fees or surcharges for administrative and educational services
 1013  in addition to the maximum percentage of administrative fees
 1014  withheld pursuant to this paragraph.
 1015         4. A sponsor shall provide to the department by September
 1016  15 of each year the total amount of funding withheld from
 1017  charter schools pursuant to this subsection for the prior fiscal
 1018  year. The department must include the information in the report
 1019  required under sub-sub-subparagraph (5)(b)1.k.(III).
 1020         (b) If goods and services are made available to the charter
 1021  school through the contract with the sponsor school district,
 1022  they shall be provided to the charter school at a rate no
 1023  greater than the sponsor’s district’s actual cost unless
 1024  mutually agreed upon by the charter school and the sponsor in a
 1025  contract negotiated separately from the charter. When mediation
 1026  has failed to resolve disputes over contracted services or
 1027  contractual matters not included in the charter, an appeal may
 1028  be made to an administrative law judge appointed by the Division
 1029  of Administrative Hearings. The administrative law judge has
 1030  final order authority to rule on the dispute. The administrative
 1031  law judge shall award the prevailing party reasonable attorney
 1032  fees and costs incurred during the mediation process,
 1033  administrative proceeding, and any appeals, to be paid by the
 1034  party whom the administrative law judge rules against. To
 1035  maximize the use of state funds, sponsors school districts shall
 1036  allow charter schools to participate in the sponsor’s bulk
 1037  purchasing program if applicable.
 1038         (c) Transportation of charter school students shall be
 1039  provided by the charter school consistent with the requirements
 1040  of subpart I.E. of chapter 1006 and s. 1012.45. The governing
 1041  body of the charter school may provide transportation through an
 1042  agreement or contract with the sponsor district school board, a
 1043  private provider, or parents. The charter school and the sponsor
 1044  shall cooperate in making arrangements that ensure that
 1045  transportation is not a barrier to equal access for all students
 1046  residing within a reasonable distance of the charter school as
 1047  determined in its charter.
 1048         (d) Each charter school shall annually complete and submit
 1049  a survey, provided in a format specified by the Department of
 1050  Education, to rate the timeliness and quality of services
 1051  provided by the sponsor district in accordance with this
 1052  section. The department shall compile the results, by sponsor
 1053  district, and include the results in the report required under
 1054  sub-sub-subparagraph (5)(b)1.k.(III).
 1056         (a) The Department of Education shall provide information
 1057  to the public, directly and through sponsors, on how to form and
 1058  operate a charter school and how to enroll in a charter school
 1059  once it is created. This information shall include the standard
 1060  application form, standard charter contract, standard evaluation
 1061  instrument, and standard charter renewal contract, which shall
 1062  include the information specified in subsection (7) and shall be
 1063  developed by consulting and negotiating with both sponsors
 1064  school districts and charter schools before implementation. The
 1065  charter and charter renewal contracts shall be used by charter
 1066  school sponsors.
 1067         (b)1. The Department of Education shall report to each
 1068  charter school receiving a school grade pursuant to s. 1008.34
 1069  or a school improvement rating pursuant to s. 1008.341 the
 1070  school’s student assessment data.
 1071         2. The charter school shall report the information in
 1072  subparagraph 1. to each parent of a student at the charter
 1073  school, the parent of a child on a waiting list for the charter
 1074  school, the sponsor district in which the charter school is
 1075  located, and the governing board of the charter school. This
 1076  paragraph does not abrogate the provisions of s. 1002.22,
 1077  relating to student records, or the requirements of 20 U.S.C. s.
 1078  1232g, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
 1081         (a) A charter school system’s governing board shall be
 1082  designated a local educational agency for the purpose of
 1083  receiving federal funds, the same as though the charter school
 1084  system were a school district, if the governing board of the
 1085  charter school system has adopted and filed a resolution with
 1086  its sponsor sponsoring district school board and the Department
 1087  of Education in which the governing board of the charter school
 1088  system accepts the full responsibility for all local education
 1089  agency requirements and the charter school system meets all of
 1090  the following:
 1091         1. Has all schools located in the same county;
 1092         2. Has a total enrollment exceeding the total enrollment of
 1093  at least one school district in the state; and
 1094         3. Has the same governing board.
 1096  Such designation does not apply to other provisions unless
 1097  specifically provided in law.
 1098         (28) RULEMAKING.—The Department of Education, after
 1099  consultation with sponsors school districts and charter school
 1100  directors, shall recommend that the State Board of Education
 1101  adopt rules to implement specific subsections of this section.
 1102  Such rules shall require minimum paperwork and shall not limit
 1103  charter school flexibility authorized by statute. The State
 1104  Board of Education shall adopt rules, pursuant to ss. 120.536(1)
 1105  and 120.54, to implement a standard charter application form,
 1106  standard application form for the replication of charter schools
 1107  in a high-performing charter school system, standard evaluation
 1108  instrument, and standard charter and charter renewal contracts
 1109  in accordance with this section.
 1110         Section 2. Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section
 1111  1003.493, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
 1112         1003.493 Career and professional academies and career
 1113  themed courses.—
 1114         (1)(a) A “career and professional academy” is a research
 1115  based program that integrates a rigorous academic curriculum
 1116  with an industry-specific curriculum aligned directly to
 1117  priority workforce needs established by the local workforce
 1118  development board or the Department of Economic Opportunity.
 1119  Career and professional academies shall be offered by public
 1120  schools and school districts. Career and professional academies
 1121  may be offered by charter schools. The Florida Virtual School is
 1122  encouraged to develop and offer rigorous career and professional
 1123  courses as appropriate. Students completing career and
 1124  professional academy programs must receive a standard high
 1125  school diploma, the highest available industry certification,
 1126  and opportunities to earn postsecondary credit if the academy
 1127  partners with a postsecondary institution approved to operate in
 1128  the state.
 1129         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2021.