CS for CS for SB 1028                            First Engrossed
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to charter schools; amending s.
    3         1002.32, F.S.; providing that the limitation on lab
    4         schools does not apply to a school serving a military
    5         installation; amending s. 1002.33, F.S.; authorizing
    6         state universities and Florida College System
    7         institutions to solicit applications and sponsor
    8         charter schools under certain circumstances;
    9         prohibiting certain charter schools from being
   10         sponsored by a Florida College System institution
   11         until such charter schools’ existing charter expires;
   12         authorizing a state university or Florida College
   13         System institution to, at its discretion, deny an
   14         application for a charter school; revising the
   15         contents of an annual report that charter school
   16         sponsors must provide to the Department of Education;
   17         revising the date by which the department must post a
   18         specified annual report; revising provisions relating
   19         to Florida College System institutions that are
   20         operating charter schools; prohibiting certain
   21         interlocal agreements; requiring the board of trustees
   22         of a state university or Florida College System
   23         institution that is sponsoring a charter school to
   24         serve as the local educational agency for such school;
   25         prohibiting certain charter school students from being
   26         included in specified school district grade
   27         calculations; requiring the department to develop a
   28         sponsor evaluation framework; providing requirements
   29         for the framework; requiring the department to compile
   30         results in a specified manner; deleting obsolete
   31         language; revising requirements for the charter school
   32         application process; requiring certain school
   33         districts to reduce administrative fees withheld;
   34         requiring such school districts to file monthly
   35         reports; authorizing school districts to resume
   36         withholding the full amount of administrative fees
   37         under specified circumstance; authorizing certain
   38         charter schools to recover attorney fees and costs;
   39         requiring the State Board of Education to withhold
   40         state funds from a district school board that is in
   41         violation of a state board decision on a charter
   42         school; authorizing parties to appeal without first
   43         mediating in certain circumstances; providing that
   44         certain changes to curriculum are deemed approved;
   45         providing an exception; revising the circumstances in
   46         which a charter may be immediately terminated;
   47         providing that certain information must be provided to
   48         specified entities upon immediate termination of a
   49         charter; authorizing the award of specified fees and
   50         costs in certain circumstances; authorizing a sponsor
   51         to seek an injunction in certain circumstances;
   52         revising provisions related to sponsor assumption of
   53         operation; revising the student populations for which
   54         a charter school is authorized to limit the enrollment
   55         process; providing a calculation for the operational
   56         funding for a charter school sponsored by a state
   57         university or Florida College System institution;
   58         requiring the department to develop a tool for state
   59         universities and Florida College System institutions
   60         for specified purposes relating to certain funding
   61         calculations; providing that such funding must be
   62         appropriated to the charter school; providing for
   63         capital outlay funding for such schools; authorizing a
   64         sponsor to withhold an administrative fee for the
   65         provision of certain services to an exceptional
   66         student education center that meets specified
   67         requirements; conforming provisions to changes made by
   68         the act; amending s. 1002.331, F.S.; revising
   69         requirements for a charter school to be a high
   70         performing charter school; revising a limitation on
   71         the expansion of high-performing charter schools;
   72         revising provisions relating to the opening of
   73         additional high-performing charter schools; amending
   74         s. 1002.333, F.S.; revising the definition of the term
   75         “persistently low-performing school”; providing that
   76         certain nonprofit entities may be designated as a
   77         local education agency; providing that certain
   78         entities report students to the department in a
   79         specified manner; specifying reporting provisions that
   80         apply only to certain schools of hope; providing that
   81         schools of hope may comply with certain financial
   82         reporting in a specified manner; revising the manner
   83         in which underused, vacant, or surplus facilities
   84         owned or operated by school districts are identified;
   85         authorizing a nonprofit entity designated as a local
   86         education agency to use any capital assets identified
   87         in a certain annual financial audit for another school
   88         of hope operated by the local education agency within
   89         the same district; amending s. 1002.45, F.S.;
   90         authorizing a virtual charter school to provide part
   91         time virtual instruction; amending s. 1003.493, F.S.;
   92         authorizing a charter school to offer a career and
   93         professional academy; amending s. 1008.3415, F.S.;
   94         requiring the Commissioner of Education, upon request
   95         by a charter school that meets specified criteria, to
   96         provide a letter to the charter school and the charter
   97         school’s sponsor authorizing the charter school to
   98         replicate its educational program; amending s.
   99         1012.32, F.S.; providing an alternate screening method
  100         for specified persons employed by certain schools of
  101         hope or serving on certain school of hope governing
  102         boards; amending s. 1013.62, F.S.; expanding
  103         eligibility to receive capital outlay funds to schools
  104         of hope operated by a hope operator; providing for
  105         severability; providing an effective date.
  107  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
  109         Section 1. Subsection (2) of section 1002.32, Florida
  110  Statutes, is amended to read:
  111         1002.32 Developmental research (laboratory) schools.—
  112         (2) ESTABLISHMENT.—There is established a category of
  113  public schools to be known as developmental research
  114  (laboratory) schools (lab schools). Each lab school shall
  115  provide sequential instruction and shall be affiliated with the
  116  college of education within the state university of closest
  117  geographic proximity. A lab school to which a charter has been
  118  issued under s. 1002.33(5)(a)2. must be affiliated with the
  119  college of education within the state university that issued the
  120  charter, but is not subject to the requirement that the state
  121  university be of closest geographic proximity. For the purpose
  122  of state funding, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical
  123  University, Florida Atlantic University, Florida State
  124  University, the University of Florida, and other universities
  125  approved by the State Board of Education and the Legislature are
  126  authorized to sponsor a lab school. The limitation of one lab
  127  school per university shall not apply to the following
  128  legislatively allowed charter lab schools authorized prior to
  129  June 1, 2003: Florida State University Charter Lab K-12 School
  130  in Broward County, Florida Atlantic University Charter Lab K-12
  131  9-12 High School in Palm Beach County, and Florida Atlantic
  132  University Charter Lab K-12 School in St. Lucie County. The
  133  limitation of one lab school per university does not apply to a
  134  university that establishes a lab school to serve families of a
  135  military installation that is within the same county as a branch
  136  campus that offers programs from the university’s college of
  137  education.
  138         Section 2. Paragraph (c) of subsection (2), subsection (5),
  139  paragraphs (b) and (d) of subsection (6), paragraphs (a), (b),
  140  and (d) of subsection (7), paragraphs (c), (d), and (e) of
  141  subsection (8), paragraphs (g) and (n) of subsection (9),
  142  paragraphs (d) and (e) of subsection (10), subsection (14),
  143  paragraph (c) of subsection (15), subsection (17), paragraph (e)
  144  of subsection (18), subsections (20) and (21), paragraph (a) of
  145  subsection (25), and subsection (28) of section 1002.33, Florida
  146  Statutes, are amended to read:
  147         1002.33 Charter schools.—
  149         (c) Charter schools may fulfill the following purposes:
  150         1. Create innovative measurement tools.
  151         2. Provide rigorous competition within the public school
  152  system district to stimulate continual improvement in all public
  153  schools.
  154         3. Expand the capacity of the public school system.
  155         4. Mitigate the educational impact created by the
  156  development of new residential dwelling units.
  157         5. Create new professional opportunities for teachers,
  158  including ownership of the learning program at the school site.
  159         (5) SPONSOR; DUTIES.—
  160         (a) Sponsoring entities.—
  161         1. A district school board may sponsor a charter school in
  162  the county over which the district school board has
  163  jurisdiction.
  164         2. A state university may grant a charter to a lab school
  165  created under s. 1002.32 and shall be considered to be the
  166  school’s sponsor. Such school shall be considered a charter lab
  167  school.
  168         3.Because needs relating to educational capacity,
  169  workforce qualifications, and career education opportunities are
  170  constantly changing and extend beyond school district
  171  boundaries:
  172         a.A state university may, upon approval by the Department
  173  of Education, solicit applications and sponsor a charter school
  174  to meet regional education or workforce demands by serving
  175  students from multiple school districts.
  176         b.A Florida College System institution may, upon approval
  177  by the Department of Education, solicit applications and sponsor
  178  a charter school in any county within its service area to meet
  179  workforce demands and may offer postsecondary programs leading
  180  to industry certifications to eligible charter school students.
  181  A charter school established under subparagraph (b)4. may not be
  182  sponsored by a Florida College System institution until its
  183  existing charter with the school district expires as provided
  184  under subsection (7).
  185         c.Notwithstanding paragraph (6)(b), a state university or
  186  Florida College System institution may, at its discretion, deny
  187  an application for a charter school.
  188         (b) Sponsor duties.—
  189         1.a. The sponsor shall monitor and review the charter
  190  school in its progress toward the goals established in the
  191  charter.
  192         b. The sponsor shall monitor the revenues and expenditures
  193  of the charter school and perform the duties provided in s.
  194  1002.345.
  195         c. The sponsor may approve a charter for a charter school
  196  before the applicant has identified space, equipment, or
  197  personnel, if the applicant indicates approval is necessary for
  198  it to raise working funds.
  199         d. The sponsor shall not apply its policies to a charter
  200  school unless mutually agreed to by both the sponsor and the
  201  charter school. If the sponsor subsequently amends any agreed
  202  upon sponsor policy, the version of the policy in effect at the
  203  time of the execution of the charter, or any subsequent
  204  modification thereof, shall remain in effect and the sponsor may
  205  not hold the charter school responsible for any provision of a
  206  newly revised policy until the revised policy is mutually agreed
  207  upon.
  208         e. The sponsor shall ensure that the charter is innovative
  209  and consistent with the state education goals established by s.
  210  1000.03(5).
  211         f. The sponsor shall ensure that the charter school
  212  participates in the state’s education accountability system. If
  213  a charter school falls short of performance measures included in
  214  the approved charter, the sponsor shall report such shortcomings
  215  to the Department of Education.
  216         g. The sponsor shall not be liable for civil damages under
  217  state law for personal injury, property damage, or death
  218  resulting from an act or omission of an officer, employee,
  219  agent, or governing body of the charter school.
  220         h. The sponsor shall not be liable for civil damages under
  221  state law for any employment actions taken by an officer,
  222  employee, agent, or governing body of the charter school.
  223         i. The sponsor’s duties to monitor the charter school shall
  224  not constitute the basis for a private cause of action.
  225         j. The sponsor shall not impose additional reporting
  226  requirements on a charter school without providing reasonable
  227  and specific justification in writing to the charter school.
  228         k. The sponsor shall submit an annual report to the
  229  Department of Education in a web-based format to be determined
  230  by the department.
  231         (I) The report shall include the following information:
  232         (A) The number of draft applications received on or before
  233  May 1 and each applicant’s contact information.
  234         (B) The number of final applications received during the
  235  school year and up to on or before August 1 and each applicant’s
  236  contact information.
  237         (B)(C) The date each application was approved, denied, or
  238  withdrawn.
  239         (C)(D) The date each final contract was executed.
  240         (II) Annually, by November 1 Beginning August 31, 2013, and
  241  each year thereafter, the sponsor shall submit to the department
  242  the information for the applications submitted the previous
  243  year.
  244         (III) The department shall compile an annual report, by
  245  sponsor district, and post the report on its website by January
  246  15 November 1 of each year.
  247         2. Immunity for the sponsor of a charter school under
  248  subparagraph 1. applies only with respect to acts or omissions
  249  not under the sponsor’s direct authority as described in this
  250  section.
  251         3. This paragraph does not waive a sponsor’s district
  252  school board’s sovereign immunity.
  253         4. A Florida College System institution may work with the
  254  school district or school districts in its designated service
  255  area to develop charter schools that offer secondary education.
  256  These charter schools must include an option for students to
  257  receive an associate degree upon high school graduation. If a
  258  Florida College System institution operates an approved teacher
  259  preparation program under s. 1004.04 or s. 1004.85, the
  260  institution may operate no more than one charter schools school
  261  that serve serves students in kindergarten through grade 12 in
  262  any school district within the service area of the institution.
  263  In kindergarten through grade 8, the charter school shall
  264  implement innovative blended learning instructional models in
  265  which, for a given course, a student learns in part through
  266  online delivery of content and instruction with some element of
  267  student control over time, place, path, or pace and in part at a
  268  supervised brick-and-mortar location away from home. A student
  269  in a blended learning course must be a full-time student of the
  270  charter school and receive the online instruction in a classroom
  271  setting at the charter school. District school boards shall
  272  cooperate with and assist the Florida College System institution
  273  on the charter application. Florida College System institution
  274  applications for charter schools are not subject to the time
  275  deadlines outlined in subsection (6) and may be approved by the
  276  district school board at any time during the year. Florida
  277  College System institutions may not report FTE for any students
  278  participating under this subparagraph who receive FTE funding
  279  through the Florida Education Finance Program.
  280         5. For purposes of assisting the development of a charter
  281  school, a school district may enter into nonexclusive interlocal
  282  agreements with federal and state agencies, counties,
  283  municipalities, and other governmental entities that operate
  284  within the geographical borders of the school district to act on
  285  behalf of such governmental entities in the inspection,
  286  issuance, and other necessary activities for all necessary
  287  permits, licenses, and other permissions that a charter school
  288  needs in order for development, construction, or operation. A
  289  charter school may use, but may not be required to use, a school
  290  district for these services. The interlocal agreement must
  291  include, but need not be limited to, the identification of fees
  292  that charter schools will be charged for such services. The fees
  293  must consist of the governmental entity’s fees plus a fee for
  294  the school district to recover no more than actual costs for
  295  providing such services. These services and fees are not
  296  included within the services to be provided pursuant to
  297  subsection (20). Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an
  298  interlocal agreement between a school district and a federal or
  299  state agency, county, municipality, or other governmental entity
  300  which prohibits or limits the creation of a charter school
  301  within the geographic borders of the school district is void and
  302  unenforceable.
  303         6.The board of trustees of a sponsoring state university
  304  or Florida College System institution under paragraph (a) is the
  305  local educational agency for all charter schools it sponsors for
  306  purposes of receiving federal funds and accepts full
  307  responsibility for all local educational agency requirements and
  308  the schools for which it will perform local educational agency
  309  responsibilities. A student enrolled in a charter school that is
  310  sponsored by a state university or Florida College System
  311  institution may not be included in the calculation of the school
  312  district’s grade under s. 1008.34(5) for the school district in
  313  which he or she resides.
  314         (c)Sponsor accountability.
  315         1.The department shall, in collaboration with charter
  316  school sponsors and charter school operators, develop a sponsor
  317  evaluation framework that must address, at a minimum:
  318         a.The sponsor’s strategic vision for charter school
  319  authorization and the sponsor’s progress toward that vision.
  320         b.The alignment of the sponsor’s policies and practices to
  321  best practices for charter school authorization.
  322         c.The academic and financial performance of all operating
  323  charter schools overseen by the sponsor.
  324         d.The status of charter schools authorized by the sponsor,
  325  including approved, operating, and closed schools.
  326         2.The department shall compile the results by sponsor and
  327  include the results in the report required under sub-sub
  328  subparagraph (b)1.k.(III).
  329         (6) APPLICATION PROCESS AND REVIEW.—Charter school
  330  applications are subject to the following requirements:
  331         (b) A sponsor shall receive and review all applications for
  332  a charter school using the evaluation instrument developed by
  333  the Department of Education. A sponsor shall receive and
  334  consider charter school applications received on or before
  335  August 1 of each calendar year for charter schools to be opened
  336  at the beginning of the school district’s next school year, or
  337  to be opened at a time agreed to by the applicant and the
  338  sponsor. A sponsor may not refuse to receive a charter school
  339  application submitted before August 1 and may receive an
  340  application submitted later than August 1 if it chooses.
  341  Beginning in 2018 and thereafter, A sponsor shall receive and
  342  consider charter school applications received on or before
  343  February 1 of each calendar year for charter schools to be
  344  opened 18 months later at the beginning of the school district’s
  345  school year, or to be opened at a time determined by the
  346  applicant. A sponsor may not refuse to receive a charter school
  347  application submitted before February 1 and may receive an
  348  application submitted later than February 1 if it chooses. A
  349  sponsor may not charge an applicant for a charter any fee for
  350  the processing or consideration of an application, and a sponsor
  351  may not base its consideration or approval of a final
  352  application upon the promise of future payment of any kind.
  353  Before approving or denying any application, the sponsor shall
  354  allow the applicant, upon receipt of written notification, at
  355  least 7 calendar days to make technical or nonsubstantive
  356  corrections and clarifications, including, but not limited to,
  357  corrections of grammatical, typographical, and like errors or
  358  missing signatures, if such errors are identified by the sponsor
  359  as cause to deny the final application.
  360         1. In order to facilitate an accurate budget projection
  361  process, a sponsor shall be held harmless for FTE students who
  362  are not included in the FTE projection due to approval of
  363  charter school applications after the FTE projection deadline.
  364  In a further effort to facilitate an accurate budget projection,
  365  within 15 calendar days after receipt of a charter school
  366  application, a sponsor shall report to the Department of
  367  Education the name of the applicant entity, the proposed charter
  368  school location, and its projected FTE.
  369         2. In order to ensure fiscal responsibility, an application
  370  for a charter school shall include a full accounting of expected
  371  assets, a projection of expected sources and amounts of income,
  372  including income derived from projected student enrollments and
  373  from community support, and an expense projection that includes
  374  full accounting of the costs of operation, including start-up
  375  costs.
  376         3.a. A sponsor shall by a majority vote approve or deny an
  377  application no later than 90 calendar days after the application
  378  is received, unless the sponsor and the applicant mutually agree
  379  in writing to temporarily postpone the vote to a specific date,
  380  at which time the sponsor shall by a majority vote approve or
  381  deny the application. If the sponsor fails to act on the
  382  application, an applicant may appeal to the State Board of
  383  Education as provided in paragraph (c). If an application is
  384  denied, the sponsor shall, within 10 calendar days after such
  385  denial, articulate in writing the specific reasons, based upon
  386  good cause, supporting its denial of the application and shall
  387  provide the letter of denial and supporting documentation to the
  388  applicant and to the Department of Education.
  389         b. An application submitted by a high-performing charter
  390  school identified pursuant to s. 1002.331 or a high-performing
  391  charter school system identified pursuant to s. 1002.332 may be
  392  denied by the sponsor only if the sponsor demonstrates by clear
  393  and convincing evidence that:
  394         (I) The application of a high-performing charter school
  395  does not materially comply with the requirements in paragraph
  396  (a) or, for a high-performing charter school system, the
  397  application does not materially comply with s. 1002.332(2)(b);
  398         (II) The charter school proposed in the application does
  399  not materially comply with the requirements in paragraphs
  400  (9)(a)-(f);
  401         (III) The proposed charter school’s educational program
  402  does not substantially replicate that of the applicant or one of
  403  the applicant’s high-performing charter schools;
  404         (IV) The applicant has made a material misrepresentation or
  405  false statement or concealed an essential or material fact
  406  during the application process; or
  407         (V) The proposed charter school’s educational program and
  408  financial management practices do not materially comply with the
  409  requirements of this section.
  411  Material noncompliance is a failure to follow requirements or a
  412  violation of prohibitions applicable to charter school
  413  applications, which failure is quantitatively or qualitatively
  414  significant either individually or when aggregated with other
  415  noncompliance. An applicant is considered to be replicating a
  416  high-performing charter school if the proposed school is
  417  substantially similar to at least one of the applicant’s high
  418  performing charter schools and the organization or individuals
  419  involved in the establishment and operation of the proposed
  420  school are significantly involved in the operation of replicated
  421  schools.
  422         c. If the sponsor denies an application submitted by a
  423  high-performing charter school or a high-performing charter
  424  school system, the sponsor must, within 10 calendar days after
  425  such denial, state in writing the specific reasons, based upon
  426  the criteria in sub-subparagraph b., supporting its denial of
  427  the application and must provide the letter of denial and
  428  supporting documentation to the applicant and to the Department
  429  of Education. The applicant may appeal the sponsor’s denial of
  430  the application in accordance with paragraph (c).
  431         4. For budget projection purposes, the sponsor shall report
  432  to the Department of Education the approval or denial of an
  433  application within 10 calendar days after such approval or
  434  denial. In the event of approval, the report to the Department
  435  of Education shall include the final projected FTE for the
  436  approved charter school.
  437         5. Upon approval of an application, the initial startup
  438  shall commence with the beginning of the public school calendar
  439  for the district in which the charter is granted. A charter
  440  school may defer the opening of the school’s operations for up
  441  to 3 years to provide time for adequate facility planning. The
  442  charter school must provide written notice of such intent to the
  443  sponsor and the parents of enrolled students at least 30
  444  calendar days before the first day of school.
  445         (d)1. The sponsor shall act upon the decision of the State
  446  Board of Education within 30 calendar days after it is received.
  447  The State Board of Education’s decision is a final action
  448  subject to judicial review in the district court of appeal. A
  449  prevailing party may file an action with the Division of
  450  Administrative Hearings to recover reasonable attorney fees and
  451  costs incurred during the denial of the application and any
  452  appeals.
  453         2.A school district that fails to implement the decision
  454  affirmed by a district court of appeal shall reduce the
  455  administrative fees withheld pursuant to subsection (20) to 1
  456  percent for all charter schools operating in the school
  457  district. Such school districts shall file a monthly report
  458  detailing the reduction in the amount of administrative fees
  459  withheld. Upon execution of the charter, the sponsor may resume
  460  withholding the full amount of administrative fees but may not
  461  recover any fees that would have otherwise accrued during the
  462  period of noncompliance. Any charter school that had
  463  administrative fees withheld in violation of this paragraph may
  464  recover attorney fees and costs to enforce the requirements of
  465  this paragraph.
  466         (7) CHARTER.—The terms and conditions for the operation of
  467  a charter school shall be set forth by the sponsor and the
  468  applicant in a written contractual agreement, called a charter.
  469  The sponsor and the governing board of the charter school shall
  470  use the standard charter contract pursuant to subsection (21),
  471  which shall incorporate the approved application and any addenda
  472  approved with the application. Any term or condition of a
  473  proposed charter contract that differs from the standard charter
  474  contract adopted by rule of the State Board of Education shall
  475  be presumed a limitation on charter school flexibility. The
  476  sponsor may not impose unreasonable rules or regulations that
  477  violate the intent of giving charter schools greater flexibility
  478  to meet educational goals. The charter shall be signed by the
  479  governing board of the charter school and the sponsor, following
  480  a public hearing to ensure community input.
  481         (a) The charter shall address and criteria for approval of
  482  the charter shall be based on:
  483         1. The school’s mission, the students to be served, and the
  484  ages and grades to be included.
  485         2. The focus of the curriculum, the instructional methods
  486  to be used, any distinctive instructional techniques to be
  487  employed, and identification and acquisition of appropriate
  488  technologies needed to improve educational and administrative
  489  performance which include a means for promoting safe, ethical,
  490  and appropriate uses of technology which comply with legal and
  491  professional standards.
  492         a. The charter shall ensure that reading is a primary focus
  493  of the curriculum and that resources are provided to identify
  494  and provide specialized instruction for students who are reading
  495  below grade level. The curriculum and instructional strategies
  496  for reading must be consistent with the Next Generation Sunshine
  497  State Standards and grounded in scientifically based reading
  498  research.
  499         b. In order to provide students with access to diverse
  500  instructional delivery models, to facilitate the integration of
  501  technology within traditional classroom instruction, and to
  502  provide students with the skills they need to compete in the
  503  21st century economy, the Legislature encourages instructional
  504  methods for blended learning courses consisting of both
  505  traditional classroom and online instructional techniques.
  506  Charter schools may implement blended learning courses which
  507  combine traditional classroom instruction and virtual
  508  instruction. Students in a blended learning course must be full
  509  time students of the charter school pursuant to s.
  510  1011.61(1)(a)1. Instructional personnel certified pursuant to s.
  511  1012.55 who provide virtual instruction for blended learning
  512  courses may be employees of the charter school or may be under
  513  contract to provide instructional services to charter school
  514  students. At a minimum, such instructional personnel must hold
  515  an active state or school district adjunct certification under
  516  s. 1012.57 for the subject area of the blended learning course.
  517  The funding and performance accountability requirements for
  518  blended learning courses are the same as those for traditional
  519  courses.
  520         3. The current incoming baseline standard of student
  521  academic achievement, the outcomes to be achieved, and the
  522  method of measurement that will be used. The criteria listed in
  523  this subparagraph shall include a detailed description of:
  524         a. How the baseline student academic achievement levels and
  525  prior rates of academic progress will be established.
  526         b. How these baseline rates will be compared to rates of
  527  academic progress achieved by these same students while
  528  attending the charter school.
  529         c. To the extent possible, how these rates of progress will
  530  be evaluated and compared with rates of progress of other
  531  closely comparable student populations.
  533  A The district school board is required to provide academic
  534  student performance data to charter schools for each of their
  535  students coming from the district school system, as well as
  536  rates of academic progress of comparable student populations in
  537  the district school system.
  538         4. The methods used to identify the educational strengths
  539  and needs of students and how well educational goals and
  540  performance standards are met by students attending the charter
  541  school. The methods shall provide a means for the charter school
  542  to ensure accountability to its constituents by analyzing
  543  student performance data and by evaluating the effectiveness and
  544  efficiency of its major educational programs. Students in
  545  charter schools shall, at a minimum, participate in the
  546  statewide assessment program created under s. 1008.22.
  547         5. In secondary charter schools, a method for determining
  548  that a student has satisfied the requirements for graduation in
  549  s. 1002.3105(5), s. 1003.4281, or s. 1003.4282.
  550         6. A method for resolving conflicts between the governing
  551  board of the charter school and the sponsor.
  552         7. The admissions procedures and dismissal procedures,
  553  including the school’s code of student conduct. Admission or
  554  dismissal must not be based on a student’s academic performance.
  555         8. The ways by which the school will achieve a
  556  racial/ethnic balance reflective of the community it serves or
  557  within the racial/ethnic range of other nearby public schools in
  558  the same school district.
  559         9. The financial and administrative management of the
  560  school, including a reasonable demonstration of the professional
  561  experience or competence of those individuals or organizations
  562  applying to operate the charter school or those hired or
  563  retained to perform such professional services and the
  564  description of clearly delineated responsibilities and the
  565  policies and practices needed to effectively manage the charter
  566  school. A description of internal audit procedures and
  567  establishment of controls to ensure that financial resources are
  568  properly managed must be included. Both public sector and
  569  private sector professional experience shall be equally valid in
  570  such a consideration.
  571         10. The asset and liability projections required in the
  572  application which are incorporated into the charter and shall be
  573  compared with information provided in the annual report of the
  574  charter school.
  575         11. A description of procedures that identify various risks
  576  and provide for a comprehensive approach to reduce the impact of
  577  losses; plans to ensure the safety and security of students and
  578  staff; plans to identify, minimize, and protect others from
  579  violent or disruptive student behavior; and the manner in which
  580  the school will be insured, including whether or not the school
  581  will be required to have liability insurance, and, if so, the
  582  terms and conditions thereof and the amounts of coverage.
  583         12. The term of the charter which shall provide for
  584  cancellation of the charter if insufficient progress has been
  585  made in attaining the student achievement objectives of the
  586  charter and if it is not likely that such objectives can be
  587  achieved before expiration of the charter. The initial term of a
  588  charter shall be for 5 years, excluding 2 planning years. In
  589  order to facilitate access to long-term financial resources for
  590  charter school construction, charter schools that are operated
  591  by a municipality or other public entity as provided by law are
  592  eligible for up to a 15-year charter, subject to approval by the
  593  sponsor district school board. A charter lab school is eligible
  594  for a charter for a term of up to 15 years. In addition, to
  595  facilitate access to long-term financial resources for charter
  596  school construction, charter schools that are operated by a
  597  private, not-for-profit, s. 501(c)(3) status corporation are
  598  eligible for up to a 15-year charter, subject to approval by the
  599  sponsor district school board. Such long-term charters remain
  600  subject to annual review and may be terminated during the term
  601  of the charter, but only according to the provisions set forth
  602  in subsection (8).
  603         13. The facilities to be used and their location. The
  604  sponsor may not require a charter school to have a certificate
  605  of occupancy or a temporary certificate of occupancy for such a
  606  facility earlier than 15 calendar days before the first day of
  607  school.
  608         14. The qualifications to be required of the teachers and
  609  the potential strategies used to recruit, hire, train, and
  610  retain qualified staff to achieve best value.
  611         15. The governance structure of the school, including the
  612  status of the charter school as a public or private employer as
  613  required in paragraph (12)(i).
  614         16. A timetable for implementing the charter which
  615  addresses the implementation of each element thereof and the
  616  date by which the charter shall be awarded in order to meet this
  617  timetable.
  618         17. In the case of an existing public school that is being
  619  converted to charter status, alternative arrangements for
  620  current students who choose not to attend the charter school and
  621  for current teachers who choose not to teach in the charter
  622  school after conversion in accordance with the existing
  623  collective bargaining agreement or district school board rule in
  624  the absence of a collective bargaining agreement. However,
  625  alternative arrangements shall not be required for current
  626  teachers who choose not to teach in a charter lab school, except
  627  as authorized by the employment policies of the state university
  628  which grants the charter to the lab school.
  629         18. Full disclosure of the identity of all relatives
  630  employed by the charter school who are related to the charter
  631  school owner, president, chairperson of the governing board of
  632  directors, superintendent, governing board member, principal,
  633  assistant principal, or any other person employed by the charter
  634  school who has equivalent decisionmaking authority. For the
  635  purpose of this subparagraph, the term “relative” means father,
  636  mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, first
  637  cousin, nephew, niece, husband, wife, father-in-law, mother-in
  638  law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law,
  639  stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother,
  640  stepsister, half brother, or half sister.
  641         19. Implementation of the activities authorized under s.
  642  1002.331 by the charter school when it satisfies the eligibility
  643  requirements for a high-performing charter school. A high
  644  performing charter school shall notify its sponsor in writing by
  645  March 1 if it intends to increase enrollment or expand grade
  646  levels the following school year. The written notice shall
  647  specify the amount of the enrollment increase and the grade
  648  levels that will be added, as applicable.
  649         (b) The sponsor has 30 days after approval of the
  650  application to provide an initial proposed charter contract to
  651  the charter school. The applicant and the sponsor have 40 days
  652  thereafter to negotiate and notice the charter contract for
  653  final approval by the sponsor unless both parties agree to an
  654  extension. The proposed charter contract shall be provided to
  655  the charter school at least 7 calendar days before the date of
  656  the meeting at which the charter is scheduled to be voted upon
  657  by the sponsor. The Department of Education shall provide
  658  mediation services for any dispute regarding this section
  659  subsequent to the approval of a charter application and for any
  660  dispute relating to the approved charter, except a dispute
  661  regarding a charter school application denial. If either the
  662  charter school or the sponsor indicates in writing that the
  663  party does not desire to settle any dispute arising under this
  664  section through mediation procedures offered by the Department
  665  of Education, a charter school may immediately appeal any formal
  666  or informal decision by the sponsor to an administrative law
  667  judge appointed by the Division of Administrative Hearings. If
  668  the Commissioner of Education determines that the dispute cannot
  669  be settled through mediation, the dispute may also be appealed
  670  to an administrative law judge appointed by the Division of
  671  Administrative Hearings. The administrative law judge has final
  672  order authority to rule on issues of equitable treatment of the
  673  charter school as a public school, whether proposed provisions
  674  of the charter violate the intended flexibility granted charter
  675  schools by statute, or any other matter regarding this section,
  676  except a dispute regarding charter school application denial, a
  677  charter termination, or a charter nonrenewal. The administrative
  678  law judge shall award the prevailing party reasonable attorney
  679  fees and costs incurred during the mediation process,
  680  administrative proceeding, and any appeals, to be paid by the
  681  party whom the administrative law judge rules against.
  682         (d) A charter may be modified during its initial term or
  683  any renewal term upon the recommendation of the sponsor or the
  684  charter school’s governing board and the approval of both
  685  parties to the agreement. Changes to curriculum which are
  686  consistent with state standards shall be deemed approved unless
  687  the sponsor and the Department of Education determine in writing
  688  that the curriculum is inconsistent with state standards.
  689  Modification during any term may include, but is not limited to,
  690  consolidation of multiple charters into a single charter if the
  691  charters are operated under the same governing board, regardless
  692  of the renewal cycle. A charter school that is not subject to a
  693  school improvement plan and that closes as part of a
  694  consolidation shall be reported by the sponsor school district
  695  as a consolidation.
  697         (c) A charter may be terminated immediately if the sponsor
  698  sets forth in writing the particular facts and circumstances
  699  demonstrating indicating that an immediate and serious danger to
  700  the health, safety, or welfare of the charter school’s students
  701  exists, that the immediate and serious danger is likely to
  702  continue, and that an immediate termination of the charter is
  703  necessary. The sponsor’s determination is subject to the
  704  procedures set forth in paragraph (b), except that the hearing
  705  may take place after the charter has been terminated. The
  706  sponsor shall notify in writing the charter school’s governing
  707  board, the charter school principal, and the department of the
  708  facts and circumstances supporting the immediate termination if
  709  a charter is terminated immediately. The sponsor shall clearly
  710  identify the specific issues that resulted in the immediate
  711  termination and provide evidence of prior notification of issues
  712  resulting in the immediate termination, if applicable when
  713  appropriate. Upon receiving written notice from the sponsor, the
  714  charter school’s governing board has 10 calendar days to request
  715  a hearing. A requested hearing must be expedited and the final
  716  order must be issued within 60 days after the date of request.
  717  The administrative law judge shall award reasonable attorney
  718  fees and costs to the prevailing party of any injunction,
  719  administrative proceeding, or appeal. The sponsor may seek an
  720  injunction in the circuit court in which the charter school is
  721  located to enjoin continued operation of the charter school if
  722  shall assume operation of the charter school throughout the
  723  pendency of the hearing under paragraph (b) unless the continued
  724  operation of the charter school would materially threaten the
  725  health, safety, or welfare of the students. Failure by the
  726  sponsor to assume and continue operation of the charter school
  727  shall result in the awarding of reasonable costs and attorney’s
  728  fees to the charter school if the charter school prevails on
  729  appeal.
  730         (d) When a charter is not renewed or is terminated, the
  731  school shall be dissolved under the provisions of law under
  732  which the school was organized, and any unencumbered public
  733  funds, except for capital outlay funds and federal charter
  734  school program grant funds, from the charter school shall revert
  735  to the sponsor. Capital outlay funds provided pursuant to s.
  736  1013.62 and federal charter school program grant funds that are
  737  unencumbered shall revert to the department to be redistributed
  738  among eligible charter schools. In the event a charter school is
  739  dissolved or is otherwise terminated, all sponsor district
  740  school board property and improvements, furnishings, and
  741  equipment purchased with public funds shall automatically revert
  742  to full ownership by the sponsor district school board, subject
  743  to complete satisfaction of any lawful liens or encumbrances.
  744  Any unencumbered public funds from the charter school, district
  745  school board property and improvements, furnishings, and
  746  equipment purchased with public funds, or financial or other
  747  records pertaining to the charter school, in the possession of
  748  any person, entity, or holding company, other than the charter
  749  school, shall be held in trust upon the sponsor’s district
  750  school board’s request, until any appeal status is resolved.
  751         (e) If a charter is not renewed or is terminated, the
  752  charter school is responsible for all debts of the charter
  753  school. The sponsor district may not assume the debt from any
  754  contract made between the governing body of the school and a
  755  third party, except for a debt that is previously detailed and
  756  agreed upon in writing by both the sponsor district and the
  757  governing body of the school and that may not reasonably be
  758  assumed to have been satisfied by the sponsor district.
  760         (g)1. In order to provide financial information that is
  761  comparable to that reported for other public schools, charter
  762  schools are to maintain all financial records that constitute
  763  their accounting system:
  764         a. In accordance with the accounts and codes prescribed in
  765  the most recent issuance of the publication titled “Financial
  766  and Program Cost Accounting and Reporting for Florida Schools”;
  767  or
  768         b. At the discretion of the charter school’s governing
  769  board, a charter school may elect to follow generally accepted
  770  accounting standards for not-for-profit organizations, but must
  771  reformat this information for reporting according to this
  772  paragraph.
  773         2. Charter schools shall provide annual financial report
  774  and program cost report information in the state-required
  775  formats for inclusion in sponsor district reporting in
  776  compliance with s. 1011.60(1). Charter schools that are operated
  777  by a municipality or are a component unit of a parent nonprofit
  778  organization may use the accounting system of the municipality
  779  or the parent but must reformat this information for reporting
  780  according to this paragraph.
  781         3. A charter school shall, upon approval of the charter
  782  contract, provide the sponsor with a concise, uniform, monthly
  783  financial statement summary sheet that contains a balance sheet
  784  and a statement of revenue, expenditures, and changes in fund
  785  balance. The balance sheet and the statement of revenue,
  786  expenditures, and changes in fund balance shall be in the
  787  governmental funds format prescribed by the Governmental
  788  Accounting Standards Board. A high-performing charter school
  789  pursuant to s. 1002.331 may provide a quarterly financial
  790  statement in the same format and requirements as the uniform
  791  monthly financial statement summary sheet. The sponsor shall
  792  review each monthly or quarterly financial statement to identify
  793  the existence of any conditions identified in s. 1002.345(1)(a).
  794         4. A charter school shall maintain and provide financial
  795  information as required in this paragraph. The financial
  796  statement required in subparagraph 3. must be in a form
  797  prescribed by the Department of Education.
  798         (n)1. The director and a representative of the governing
  799  board of a charter school that has earned a grade of “D” or “F”
  800  pursuant to s. 1008.34 shall appear before the sponsor to
  801  present information concerning each contract component having
  802  noted deficiencies. The director and a representative of the
  803  governing board shall submit to the sponsor for approval a
  804  school improvement plan to raise student performance. Upon
  805  approval by the sponsor, the charter school shall begin
  806  implementation of the school improvement plan. The department
  807  shall offer technical assistance and training to the charter
  808  school and its governing board and establish guidelines for
  809  developing, submitting, and approving such plans.
  810         2.a. If a charter school earns three consecutive grades
  811  below a “C,” the charter school governing board shall choose one
  812  of the following corrective actions:
  813         (I) Contract for educational services to be provided
  814  directly to students, instructional personnel, and school
  815  administrators, as prescribed in state board rule;
  816         (II) Contract with an outside entity that has a
  817  demonstrated record of effectiveness to operate the school;
  818         (III) Reorganize the school under a new director or
  819  principal who is authorized to hire new staff; or
  820         (IV) Voluntarily close the charter school.
  821         b. The charter school must implement the corrective action
  822  in the school year following receipt of a third consecutive
  823  grade below a “C.”
  824         c. The sponsor may annually waive a corrective action if it
  825  determines that the charter school is likely to improve a letter
  826  grade if additional time is provided to implement the
  827  intervention and support strategies prescribed by the school
  828  improvement plan. Notwithstanding this sub-subparagraph, a
  829  charter school that earns a second consecutive grade of “F” is
  830  subject to subparagraph 3.
  831         d. A charter school is no longer required to implement a
  832  corrective action if it improves to a “C” or higher. However,
  833  the charter school must continue to implement strategies
  834  identified in the school improvement plan. The sponsor must
  835  annually review implementation of the school improvement plan to
  836  monitor the school’s continued improvement pursuant to
  837  subparagraph 4.
  838         e. A charter school implementing a corrective action that
  839  does not improve to a “C” or higher after 2 full school years of
  840  implementing the corrective action must select a different
  841  corrective action. Implementation of the new corrective action
  842  must begin in the school year following the implementation
  843  period of the existing corrective action, unless the sponsor
  844  determines that the charter school is likely to improve to a “C”
  845  or higher if additional time is provided to implement the
  846  existing corrective action. Notwithstanding this sub
  847  subparagraph, a charter school that earns a second consecutive
  848  grade of “F” while implementing a corrective action is subject
  849  to subparagraph 3.
  850         3. A charter school’s charter contract is automatically
  851  terminated if the school earns two consecutive grades of “F”
  852  after all school grade appeals are final unless:
  853         a. The charter school is established to turn around the
  854  performance of a district public school pursuant to s.
  855  1008.33(4)(b)2. Such charter schools shall be governed by s.
  856  1008.33;
  857         b. The charter school serves a student population the
  858  majority of which resides in a school zone served by a district
  859  public school subject to s. 1008.33(4) and the charter school
  860  earns at least a grade of “D” in its third year of operation.
  861  The exception provided under this sub-subparagraph does not
  862  apply to a charter school in its fourth year of operation and
  863  thereafter; or
  864         c. The state board grants the charter school a waiver of
  865  termination. The charter school must request the waiver within
  866  15 days after the department’s official release of school
  867  grades. The state board may waive termination if the charter
  868  school demonstrates that the Learning Gains of its students on
  869  statewide assessments are comparable to or better than the
  870  Learning Gains of similarly situated students enrolled in nearby
  871  district public schools. The waiver is valid for 1 year and may
  872  only be granted once. Charter schools that have been in
  873  operation for more than 5 years are not eligible for a waiver
  874  under this sub-subparagraph.
  876  The sponsor shall notify the charter school’s governing board,
  877  the charter school principal, and the department in writing when
  878  a charter contract is terminated under this subparagraph. A
  879  charter terminated under this subparagraph must follow the
  880  procedures for dissolution and reversion of public funds
  881  pursuant to paragraphs (8)(d)-(f) and (9)(o).
  882         4. The director and a representative of the governing board
  883  of a graded charter school that has implemented a school
  884  improvement plan under this paragraph shall appear before the
  885  sponsor at least once a year to present information regarding
  886  the progress of intervention and support strategies implemented
  887  by the school pursuant to the school improvement plan and
  888  corrective actions, if applicable. The sponsor shall communicate
  889  at the meeting, and in writing to the director, the services
  890  provided to the school to help the school address its
  891  deficiencies.
  892         5. Notwithstanding any provision of this paragraph except
  893  sub-subparagraphs 3.a.-c., the sponsor may terminate the charter
  894  at any time pursuant to subsection (8).
  895         (10) ELIGIBLE STUDENTS.—
  896         (d) A charter school may give enrollment preference to the
  897  following student populations:
  898         1. Students who are siblings of a student enrolled in the
  899  charter school.
  900         2. Students who are the children of a member of the
  901  governing board of the charter school.
  902         3. Students who are the children of an employee of the
  903  charter school.
  904         4. Students who are the children of:
  905         a.  An employee of the business partner of a charter
  906  school-in-the-workplace established under paragraph (15)(b) or a
  907  resident of the municipality in which such charter school is
  908  located; or
  909         b. A resident or employee of a municipality that operates a
  910  charter school-in-a-municipality pursuant to paragraph (15)(c)
  911  or allows a charter school to use a school facility or portion
  912  of land provided by the municipality for the operation of the
  913  charter school.
  914         5. Students who have successfully completed, during the
  915  previous year, a voluntary prekindergarten education program
  916  under ss. 1002.51-1002.79 provided by the charter school, or the
  917  charter school’s governing board, or a voluntary prekindergarten
  918  provider that has a written agreement with the governing board
  919  during the previous year.
  920         6. Students who are the children of an active duty member
  921  of any branch of the United States Armed Forces.
  922         7. Students who attended or are assigned to failing schools
  923  pursuant to s. 1002.38(2).
  924         (e) A charter school may limit the enrollment process only
  925  to target the following student populations:
  926         1. Students within specific age groups or grade levels.
  927         2. Students considered at risk of dropping out of school or
  928  academic failure. Such students shall include exceptional
  929  education students.
  930         3. Students enrolling in a charter school-in-the-workplace
  931  or charter school-in-a-municipality established pursuant to
  932  subsection (15).
  933         4. Students residing within a reasonable distance of the
  934  charter school, as described in paragraph (20)(c). Such students
  935  shall be subject to a random lottery and to the racial/ethnic
  936  balance provisions described in subparagraph (7)(a)8. or any
  937  federal provisions that require a school to achieve a
  938  racial/ethnic balance reflective of the community it serves or
  939  within the racial/ethnic range of other nearby public schools in
  940  the same school district.
  941         5. Students who meet reasonable academic, artistic, or
  942  other eligibility standards established by the charter school
  943  and included in the charter school application and charter or,
  944  in the case of existing charter schools, standards that are
  945  consistent with the school’s mission and purpose. Such standards
  946  shall be in accordance with current state law and practice in
  947  public schools and may not discriminate against otherwise
  948  qualified individuals.
  949         6. Students articulating from one charter school to another
  950  pursuant to an articulation agreement between the charter
  951  schools that has been approved by the sponsor.
  952         7. Students living in a development in which a developer,
  953  including any affiliated business entity or charitable
  954  foundation, contributes to the formation, acquisition,
  955  construction, or operation of one or more charter schools or
  956  charter provides the school facilities facility and related
  957  property in an amount equal to or having a total an appraised
  958  value of at least $5 million to be used as a charter schools
  959  school to mitigate the educational impact created by the
  960  development of new residential dwelling units. Students living
  961  in the development are shall be entitled to no more than 50
  962  percent of the student stations in the charter schools school.
  963  The students who are eligible for enrollment are subject to a
  964  random lottery, the racial/ethnic balance provisions, or any
  965  federal provisions, as described in subparagraph 4. The
  966  remainder of the student stations must shall be filled in
  967  accordance with subparagraph 4.
  970  NOT TO BE PLEDGED.—Any arrangement entered into to borrow or
  971  otherwise secure funds for a charter school authorized in this
  972  section from a source other than the state or a sponsor school
  973  district shall indemnify the state and the sponsor school
  974  district from any and all liability, including, but not limited
  975  to, financial responsibility for the payment of the principal or
  976  interest. Any loans, bonds, or other financial agreements are
  977  not obligations of the state or the sponsor school district but
  978  are obligations of the charter school authority and are payable
  979  solely from the sources of funds pledged by such agreement. The
  980  credit or taxing power of the state or the sponsor school
  981  district shall not be pledged and no debts shall be payable out
  982  of any moneys except those of the legal entity in possession of
  983  a valid charter approved by a sponsor district school board
  984  pursuant to this section.
  987         (c) A charter school-in-a-municipality designation may be
  988  granted to a municipality that possesses a charter; enrolls
  989  students based upon a random lottery that involves all of the
  990  children of the residents of that municipality who are seeking
  991  enrollment, as provided for in subsection (10); and enrolls
  992  students according to the racial/ethnic balance provisions
  993  described in subparagraph (7)(a)8. When a municipality has
  994  submitted charter applications for the establishment of a
  995  charter school feeder pattern, consisting of elementary, middle,
  996  and senior high schools, and each individual charter application
  997  is approved by the sponsor district school board, such schools
  998  shall then be designated as one charter school for all purposes
  999  listed pursuant to this section. Any portion of the land and
 1000  facility used for a public charter school shall be exempt from
 1001  ad valorem taxes, as provided for in s. 1013.54, for the
 1002  duration of its use as a public school.
 1003         (17) FUNDING.—Students enrolled in a charter school,
 1004  regardless of the sponsorship, shall be funded as if they are in
 1005  a basic program or a special program, the same as students
 1006  enrolled in other public schools in a the school district.
 1007  Funding for a charter lab school shall be as provided in s.
 1008  1002.32.
 1009         (a) Each charter school shall report its student enrollment
 1010  to the sponsor as required in s. 1011.62, and in accordance with
 1011  the definitions in s. 1011.61. The sponsor shall include each
 1012  charter school’s enrollment in the sponsor’s district’s report
 1013  of student enrollment. All charter schools submitting student
 1014  record information required by the Department of Education shall
 1015  comply with the Department of Education’s guidelines for
 1016  electronic data formats for such data, and all sponsors
 1017  districts shall accept electronic data that complies with the
 1018  Department of Education’s electronic format.
 1019         (b)1. The basis for the agreement for funding students
 1020  enrolled in a charter school shall be the sum of the school
 1021  district’s operating funds from the Florida Education Finance
 1022  Program as provided in s. 1011.62 and the General Appropriations
 1023  Act, including gross state and local funds, discretionary
 1024  lottery funds, and funds from the school district’s current
 1025  operating discretionary millage levy; divided by total funded
 1026  weighted full-time equivalent students in the school district;
 1027  and multiplied by the weighted full-time equivalent students for
 1028  the charter school. Charter schools whose students or programs
 1029  meet the eligibility criteria in law are entitled to their
 1030  proportionate share of categorical program funds included in the
 1031  total funds available in the Florida Education Finance Program
 1032  by the Legislature, including transportation, the research-based
 1033  reading allocation, and the Florida digital classrooms
 1034  allocation. Total funding for each charter school shall be
 1035  recalculated during the year to reflect the revised calculations
 1036  under the Florida Education Finance Program by the state and the
 1037  actual weighted full-time equivalent students reported by the
 1038  charter school during the full-time equivalent student survey
 1039  periods designated by the Commissioner of Education. For charter
 1040  schools operated by a not-for-profit or municipal entity, any
 1041  unrestricted current and capital assets identified in the
 1042  charter school’s annual financial audit may be used for other
 1043  charter schools operated by the not-for-profit or municipal
 1044  entity within the school district. Unrestricted current assets
 1045  shall be used in accordance with s. 1011.62, and any
 1046  unrestricted capital assets shall be used in accordance with s.
 1047  1013.62(2).
 1048         2.a.Students enrolled in a charter school sponsored by a
 1049  state university or Florida College System institution pursuant
 1050  to paragraph (5)(a) shall be funded as if they are in a basic
 1051  program or a special program in the school district. The basis
 1052  for funding these students is the sum of the total operating
 1053  funds from the Florida Education Finance Program for the school
 1054  district in which the school is located as provided in s.
 1055  1011.62 and the General Appropriations Act, including gross
 1056  state and local funds, discretionary lottery funds, and funds
 1057  from each school district’s current operating discretionary
 1058  millage levy, divided by total funded weighted full-time
 1059  equivalent students in the district, and multiplied by the full
 1060  time equivalent membership of the charter school. The Department
 1061  of Education shall develop a tool that each state university or
 1062  Florida College System institution sponsoring a charter school
 1063  shall use for purposes of calculating the funding amount for
 1064  each eligible charter school student. The total amount obtained
 1065  from the calculation must be appropriated from state funds in
 1066  the General Appropriations Act to the charter school.
 1067         b.Capital outlay funding for a charter school sponsored by
 1068  a state university or Florida College System institution
 1069  pursuant to paragraph (5)(a) is determined pursuant to s.
 1070  1013.62 and the General Appropriations Act.
 1071         (c) Pursuant to 20 U.S.C. 8061 s. 10306, all charter
 1072  schools shall receive all federal funding for which the school
 1073  is otherwise eligible, including Title I funding, not later than
 1074  5 months after the charter school first opens and within 5
 1075  months after any subsequent expansion of enrollment. Unless
 1076  otherwise mutually agreed to by the charter school and its
 1077  sponsor, and consistent with state and federal rules and
 1078  regulations governing the use and disbursement of federal funds,
 1079  the sponsor shall reimburse the charter school on a monthly
 1080  basis for all invoices submitted by the charter school for
 1081  federal funds available to the sponsor for the benefit of the
 1082  charter school, the charter school’s students, and the charter
 1083  school’s students as public school students in the school
 1084  district. Such federal funds include, but are not limited to,
 1085  Title I, Title II, and Individuals with Disabilities Education
 1086  Act (IDEA) funds. To receive timely reimbursement for an
 1087  invoice, the charter school must submit the invoice to the
 1088  sponsor at least 30 days before the monthly date of
 1089  reimbursement set by the sponsor. In order to be reimbursed, any
 1090  expenditures made by the charter school must comply with all
 1091  applicable state rules and federal regulations, including, but
 1092  not limited to, the applicable federal Office of Management and
 1093  Budget Circulars; the federal Education Department General
 1094  Administrative Regulations; and program-specific statutes,
 1095  rules, and regulations. Such funds may not be made available to
 1096  the charter school until a plan is submitted to the sponsor for
 1097  approval of the use of the funds in accordance with applicable
 1098  federal requirements. The sponsor has 30 days to review and
 1099  approve any plan submitted pursuant to this paragraph.
 1100         (d) Charter schools shall be included by the Department of
 1101  Education and the district school board in requests for federal
 1102  stimulus funds in the same manner as district school board
 1103  operated public schools, including Title I and IDEA funds and
 1104  shall be entitled to receive such funds. Charter schools are
 1105  eligible to participate in federal competitive grants that are
 1106  available as part of the federal stimulus funds.
 1107         (e) Sponsors District school boards shall make timely and
 1108  efficient payment and reimbursement to charter schools,
 1109  including processing paperwork required to access special state
 1110  and federal funding for which they may be eligible. Payments of
 1111  funds under paragraph (b) shall be made monthly or twice a
 1112  month, beginning with the start of the sponsor’s district school
 1113  board’s fiscal year. Each payment shall be one-twelfth, or one
 1114  twenty-fourth, as applicable, of the total state and local funds
 1115  described in paragraph (b) and adjusted as set forth therein.
 1116  For the first 2 years of a charter school’s operation, if a
 1117  minimum of 75 percent of the projected enrollment is entered
 1118  into the sponsor’s student information system by the first day
 1119  of the current month, the sponsor district school board shall
 1120  distribute funds to the school for the months of July through
 1121  October based on the projected full-time equivalent student
 1122  membership of the charter school as submitted in the approved
 1123  application. If less than 75 percent of the projected enrollment
 1124  is entered into the sponsor’s student information system by the
 1125  first day of the current month, the sponsor shall base payments
 1126  on the actual number of student enrollment entered into the
 1127  sponsor’s student information system. Thereafter, the results of
 1128  full-time equivalent student membership surveys shall be used in
 1129  adjusting the amount of funds distributed monthly to the charter
 1130  school for the remainder of the fiscal year. The payments shall
 1131  be issued no later than 10 working days after the sponsor
 1132  district school board receives a distribution of state or
 1133  federal funds or the date the payment is due pursuant to this
 1134  subsection. If a warrant for payment is not issued within 10
 1135  working days after receipt of funding by the sponsor district
 1136  school board, the sponsor school district shall pay to the
 1137  charter school, in addition to the amount of the scheduled
 1138  disbursement, interest at a rate of 1 percent per month
 1139  calculated on a daily basis on the unpaid balance from the
 1140  expiration of the 10 working days until such time as the warrant
 1141  is issued. The district school board may not delay payment to a
 1142  charter school of any portion of the funds provided in paragraph
 1143  (b) based on the timing of receipt of local funds by the
 1144  district school board.
 1145         (f) Funding for a virtual charter school shall be as
 1146  provided in s. 1002.45(7).
 1147         (g) To be eligible for public education capital outlay
 1148  (PECO) funds, a charter school must be located in the State of
 1149  Florida.
 1150         (h) A charter school that implements a schoolwide standard
 1151  student attire policy pursuant to s. 1011.78 is eligible to
 1152  receive incentive payments.
 1153         (18) FACILITIES.—
 1154         (e) If a district school board facility or property is
 1155  available because it is surplus, marked for disposal, or
 1156  otherwise unused, it shall be provided for a charter school’s
 1157  use on the same basis as it is made available to other public
 1158  schools in the district. A charter school receiving property
 1159  from the sponsor school district may not sell or dispose of such
 1160  property without written permission of the sponsor school
 1161  district. Similarly, for an existing public school converting to
 1162  charter status, no rental or leasing fee for the existing
 1163  facility or for the property normally inventoried to the
 1164  conversion school may be charged by the district school board to
 1165  the parents and teachers organizing the charter school. The
 1166  charter school shall agree to reasonable maintenance provisions
 1167  in order to maintain the facility in a manner similar to
 1168  district school board standards. The Public Education Capital
 1169  Outlay maintenance funds or any other maintenance funds
 1170  generated by the facility operated as a conversion school shall
 1171  remain with the conversion school.
 1172         (20) SERVICES.—
 1173         (a)1. A sponsor shall provide certain administrative and
 1174  educational services to charter schools. These services shall
 1175  include contract management services; full-time equivalent and
 1176  data reporting services; exceptional student education
 1177  administration services; services related to eligibility and
 1178  reporting duties required to ensure that school lunch services
 1179  under the National School Lunch Program, consistent with the
 1180  needs of the charter school, are provided by the sponsor school
 1181  district at the request of the charter school, that any funds
 1182  due to the charter school under the National School Lunch
 1183  Program be paid to the charter school as soon as the charter
 1184  school begins serving food under the National School Lunch
 1185  Program, and that the charter school is paid at the same time
 1186  and in the same manner under the National School Lunch Program
 1187  as other public schools serviced by the sponsor or the school
 1188  district; test administration services, including payment of the
 1189  costs of state-required or district-required student
 1190  assessments; processing of teacher certificate data services;
 1191  and information services, including equal access to the
 1192  sponsor’s student information systems that are used by public
 1193  schools in the district in which the charter school is located
 1194  or by schools in the sponsor’s portfolio of charter schools if
 1195  the sponsor is not a school district. Student performance data
 1196  for each student in a charter school, including, but not limited
 1197  to, FCAT scores, standardized test scores, previous public
 1198  school student report cards, and student performance measures,
 1199  shall be provided by the sponsor to a charter school in the same
 1200  manner provided to other public schools in the district or by
 1201  schools in the sponsor’s portfolio of charter schools if the
 1202  sponsor is not a school district.
 1203         2. A sponsor may withhold an administrative fee for the
 1204  provision of such services which shall be a percentage of the
 1205  available funds defined in paragraph (17)(b) calculated based on
 1206  weighted full-time equivalent students. If the charter school
 1207  serves 75 percent or more exceptional education students as
 1208  defined in s. 1003.01(3), the percentage shall be calculated
 1209  based on unweighted full-time equivalent students. The
 1210  administrative fee shall be calculated as follows:
 1211         a. Up to 5 percent for:
 1212         (I) Enrollment of up to and including 250 students in a
 1213  charter school as defined in this section.
 1214         (II) Enrollment of up to and including 500 students within
 1215  a charter school system which meets all of the following:
 1216         (A) Includes conversion charter schools and nonconversion
 1217  charter schools.
 1218         (B) Has all of its schools located in the same county.
 1219         (C) Has a total enrollment exceeding the total enrollment
 1220  of at least one school district in this the state.
 1221         (D) Has the same governing board for all of its schools.
 1222         (E) Does not contract with a for-profit service provider
 1223  for management of school operations.
 1224         (III) Enrollment of up to and including 250 students in a
 1225  virtual charter school.
 1226         b. Up to 2 percent for enrollment of up to and including
 1227  250 students in a high-performing charter school as defined in
 1228  s. 1002.331.
 1229         c. Up to 2 percent for enrollment of up to and including
 1230  250 students in an exceptional student education center that
 1231  meets the requirements of the rules adopted by the State Board
 1232  of Education pursuant to s. 1008.3415(3).
 1233         3. A sponsor may not charge charter schools any additional
 1234  fees or surcharges for administrative and educational services
 1235  in addition to the maximum percentage of administrative fees
 1236  withheld pursuant to this paragraph.
 1237         4. A sponsor shall provide to the department by September
 1238  15 of each year the total amount of funding withheld from
 1239  charter schools pursuant to this subsection for the prior fiscal
 1240  year. The department must include the information in the report
 1241  required under sub-sub-subparagraph (5)(b)1.k.(III).
 1242         (b) If goods and services are made available to the charter
 1243  school through the contract with the sponsor school district,
 1244  they shall be provided to the charter school at a rate no
 1245  greater than the sponsor’s district’s actual cost unless
 1246  mutually agreed upon by the charter school and the sponsor in a
 1247  contract negotiated separately from the charter. When mediation
 1248  has failed to resolve disputes over contracted services or
 1249  contractual matters not included in the charter, an appeal may
 1250  be made to an administrative law judge appointed by the Division
 1251  of Administrative Hearings. The administrative law judge has
 1252  final order authority to rule on the dispute. The administrative
 1253  law judge shall award the prevailing party reasonable attorney
 1254  fees and costs incurred during the mediation process,
 1255  administrative proceeding, and any appeals, to be paid by the
 1256  party whom the administrative law judge rules against. To
 1257  maximize the use of state funds, sponsors school districts shall
 1258  allow charter schools to participate in the sponsor’s bulk
 1259  purchasing program if applicable.
 1260         (c) Transportation of charter school students shall be
 1261  provided by the charter school consistent with the requirements
 1262  of subpart I.E. of chapter 1006 and s. 1012.45. The governing
 1263  body of the charter school may provide transportation through an
 1264  agreement or contract with the sponsor district school board, a
 1265  private provider, or parents. The charter school and the sponsor
 1266  shall cooperate in making arrangements that ensure that
 1267  transportation is not a barrier to equal access for all students
 1268  residing within a reasonable distance of the charter school as
 1269  determined in its charter.
 1270         (d) Each charter school shall annually complete and submit
 1271  a survey, provided in a format specified by the Department of
 1272  Education, to rate the timeliness and quality of services
 1273  provided by the sponsor district in accordance with this
 1274  section. The department shall compile the results, by sponsor
 1275  district, and include the results in the report required under
 1276  sub-sub-subparagraph (5)(b)1.k.(III).
 1278         (a) The Department of Education shall provide information
 1279  to the public, directly and through sponsors, on how to form and
 1280  operate a charter school and how to enroll in a charter school
 1281  once it is created. This information shall include the standard
 1282  application form, standard charter contract, standard evaluation
 1283  instrument, and standard charter renewal contract, which shall
 1284  include the information specified in subsection (7) and shall be
 1285  developed by consulting and negotiating with both sponsors
 1286  school districts and charter schools before implementation. The
 1287  charter and charter renewal contracts shall be used by charter
 1288  school sponsors.
 1289         (b)1. The Department of Education shall report to each
 1290  charter school receiving a school grade pursuant to s. 1008.34
 1291  or a school improvement rating pursuant to s. 1008.341 the
 1292  school’s student assessment data.
 1293         2. The charter school shall report the information in
 1294  subparagraph 1. to each parent of a student at the charter
 1295  school, the parent of a child on a waiting list for the charter
 1296  school, the sponsor district in which the charter school is
 1297  located, and the governing board of the charter school. This
 1298  paragraph does not abrogate the provisions of s. 1002.22,
 1299  relating to student records, or the requirements of 20 U.S.C. s.
 1300  1232g, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
 1303         (a) A charter school system’s governing board shall be
 1304  designated a local educational agency for the purpose of
 1305  receiving federal funds, the same as though the charter school
 1306  system were a school district, if the governing board of the
 1307  charter school system has adopted and filed a resolution with
 1308  its sponsor sponsoring district school board and the Department
 1309  of Education in which the governing board of the charter school
 1310  system accepts the full responsibility for all local education
 1311  agency requirements and the charter school system meets all of
 1312  the following:
 1313         1. Has all schools located in the same county;
 1314         2. Has a total enrollment exceeding the total enrollment of
 1315  at least one school district in this the state; and
 1316         3. Has the same governing board.
 1318  Such designation does not apply to other provisions unless
 1319  specifically provided in law.
 1320         (28) RULEMAKING.—The Department of Education, after
 1321  consultation with sponsors school districts and charter school
 1322  directors, shall recommend that the State Board of Education
 1323  adopt rules to implement specific subsections of this section.
 1324  Such rules shall require minimum paperwork and shall not limit
 1325  charter school flexibility authorized by statute. The State
 1326  Board of Education shall adopt rules, pursuant to ss. 120.536(1)
 1327  and 120.54, to implement a standard charter application form,
 1328  standard application form for the replication of charter schools
 1329  in a high-performing charter school system, standard evaluation
 1330  instrument, and standard charter and charter renewal contracts
 1331  in accordance with this section.
 1332         Section 3. Paragraph (a) of subsection (1), paragraph (a)
 1333  of subsection (2), and paragraph (b) of subsection (3) of
 1334  section 1002.331, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
 1335         1002.331 High-performing charter schools.—
 1336         (1) A charter school is a high-performing charter school if
 1337  it:
 1338         (a)1. Received at least two school grades of “A” and no
 1339  school grade below “B,” pursuant to s. 1008.34, during each of
 1340  the previous 3 school years or received at least two consecutive
 1341  school grades of “A” in the most recent 2 school years for the
 1342  years that the school received a grade; or
 1343         2. Receives, during its first 3 years of operation, funding
 1344  through the National Fund of the Charter School Growth Fund, and
 1345  has received no school grade lower than a “C,” pursuant to s.
 1346  1008.34, during each of the previous 3 school years for the
 1347  years that the school received a grade.
 1349  For purposes of determining initial eligibility, the
 1350  requirements of paragraphs (b) and (c) only apply for the most
 1351  recent 2 fiscal years if the charter school earns two
 1352  consecutive grades of “A.” A virtual charter school established
 1353  under s. 1002.33 is not eligible for designation as a high
 1354  performing charter school.
 1355         (2) A high-performing charter school is authorized to:
 1356         (a) Increase its student enrollment once per school year to
 1357  more than the capacity identified in the charter, but student
 1358  enrollment may not exceed the capacity of the facility at the
 1359  time the enrollment increase will take effect. Facility capacity
 1360  for purposes of grade level expansion shall include any
 1361  improvements to an existing facility or any new facility in
 1362  which a majority of the students of the high-performing charter
 1363  school will enroll.
 1365  A high-performing charter school shall notify its sponsor in
 1366  writing by March 1 if it intends to increase enrollment or
 1367  expand grade levels the following school year. The written
 1368  notice shall specify the amount of the enrollment increase and
 1369  the grade levels that will be added, as applicable. If a charter
 1370  school notifies the sponsor of its intent to expand, the sponsor
 1371  shall modify the charter within 90 days to include the new
 1372  enrollment maximum and may not make any other changes. The
 1373  sponsor may deny a request to increase the enrollment of a high
 1374  performing charter school if the commissioner has declassified
 1375  the charter school as high-performing. If a high-performing
 1376  charter school requests to consolidate multiple charters, the
 1377  sponsor shall have 40 days after receipt of that request to
 1378  provide an initial draft charter to the charter school. The
 1379  sponsor and charter school shall have 50 days thereafter to
 1380  negotiate and notice the charter contract for final approval by
 1381  the sponsor.
 1382         (3)
 1383         (b) A high-performing charter school may submit not
 1384  establish more than two applications for a charter school to be
 1385  opened schools within this the state under paragraph (a) at a
 1386  time determined by the high-performing charter school in any
 1387  year. A subsequent application to establish a charter school
 1388  under paragraph (a) may not be submitted unless each charter
 1389  school applicant commences operations or an application is
 1390  otherwise withdrawn established in this manner achieves high
 1391  performing charter school status. However, a high-performing
 1392  charter school may establish more than one charter school within
 1393  this the state under paragraph (a) in any year if it operates in
 1394  the area of a persistently low-performing school and serves
 1395  students from that school. This paragraph applies to any high
 1396  performing charter school with an existing approved application.
 1397         Section 4. Paragraph (c) of subsection (1), paragraphs (a),
 1398  (g), and (h) of subsection (6), and paragraph (d) of subsection
 1399  (7) of section 1002.333, Florida Statutes, are amended, and
 1400  paragraph (e) is added to subsection (9) of that section, to
 1401  read:
 1402         1002.333 Persistently low-performing schools.—
 1403         (1) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
 1404         (c) “Persistently low-performing school” means a school
 1405  that has earned three grades lower than a “C,” pursuant to s.
 1406  1008.34, in at least 3 of the previous 5 years that the school
 1407  received a grade and has not earned a grade of “B” or higher in
 1408  the most recent 2 school years, and a school that was closed
 1409  pursuant to s. 1008.33(4) within 2 years after the submission of
 1410  a notice of intent.
 1411         (6) STATUTORY AUTHORITY.—
 1412         (a) A school of hope or a nonprofit entity that operates
 1413  more than one school of hope through a performance-based
 1414  agreement with a school district may be designated as a local
 1415  education agency by the department, if requested, for the
 1416  purposes of receiving federal funds and, in doing so, accepts
 1417  the full responsibility for all local education agency
 1418  requirements and the schools for which it will perform local
 1419  education agency responsibilities.
 1420         1. A nonprofit entity designated as a local education
 1421  agency may report its students to the department in accordance
 1422  with the definitions in s. 1011.61 and pursuant to the
 1423  department’s procedures and timelines.
 1424         2. Students enrolled in a school established by a hope
 1425  operator designated as a local educational agency are not
 1426  eligible students for purposes of calculating the district grade
 1427  pursuant to s. 1008.34(5).
 1428         (g) Each school of hope that has not been designated as a
 1429  local education agency shall report its students to the school
 1430  district as required in s. 1011.62, and in accordance with the
 1431  definitions in s. 1011.61. The school district shall include
 1432  each charter school’s enrollment in the district’s report of
 1433  student enrollment. All charter schools submitting student
 1434  record information required by the department shall comply with
 1435  the department’s guidelines for electronic data formats for such
 1436  data, and all districts shall accept electronic data that
 1437  complies with the department’s electronic format.
 1438         (h)1. A school of hope shall provide the school district
 1439  with a concise, uniform, quarterly financial statement summary
 1440  sheet that contains a balance sheet and a statement of revenue,
 1441  expenditures, and changes in fund balance. The balance sheet and
 1442  the statement of revenue, expenditures, and changes in fund
 1443  balance shall be in the governmental fund format prescribed by
 1444  the Governmental Accounting Standards Board. Additionally, a
 1445  school of hope shall comply with the annual audit requirement
 1446  for charter schools in s. 218.39.
 1447         2. A school of hope is in compliance with subparagraph 1.
 1448  if it is operated by a nonprofit entity designated as a local
 1449  education agency and if the nonprofit submits to each school
 1450  district in which it operates a school of hope:
 1451         a. A concise, uniform, quarterly financial statement
 1452  summary sheet that contains a balance sheet summarizing the
 1453  revenue, expenditures, and changes in fund balance for the
 1454  entity and for its schools of hope within the school district.
 1455         b. An annual financial audit of the nonprofit which
 1456  includes all schools of hope it operates within this state and
 1457  which complies with s. 218.39 regarding audits of a school
 1458  board.
 1459         (7) FACILITIES.—
 1460         (d) No later than January October 1, the department each
 1461  school district shall annually provide to school districts the
 1462  Department of Education a list of all underused, vacant, or
 1463  surplus facilities owned or operated by the school district as
 1464  reported in the Florida Inventory of School Houses. A school
 1465  district may provide evidence to the department that the list
 1466  contains errors or omissions within 30 days after receipt of the
 1467  list. By each April 1, the department shall update and publish a
 1468  final list of all underused, vacant, or surplus facilities owned
 1469  or operated by each school district, based upon updated
 1470  information provided by each school district. A hope operator
 1471  establishing a school of hope may use an educational facility
 1472  identified in this paragraph at no cost or at a mutually
 1473  agreeable cost not to exceed $600 per student. A hope operator
 1474  using a facility pursuant to this paragraph may not sell or
 1475  dispose of such facility without the written permission of the
 1476  school district. For purposes of this paragraph, the term
 1477  “underused, vacant, or surplus facility” means an entire
 1478  facility or portion thereof which is not fully used or is used
 1479  irregularly or intermittently by the school district for
 1480  instructional or program use.
 1481         (9) FUNDING.—
 1482         (e) For a nonprofit entity designated by the department as
 1483  a local education agency pursuant to paragraph (6)(h), any
 1484  unrestricted current and capital assets identified in the annual
 1485  financial audit required by sub-subparagraph (6)(h)2.b. may be
 1486  used for any other school of hope operated by the local
 1487  education agency within the same district. Unrestricted current
 1488  assets shall be used in accordance with s. 1011.62, and any
 1489  unrestricted capital assets shall be used in accordance with s.
 1490  1013.62(2).
 1491         Section 5. Paragraph (d) of subsection (1) and paragraph
 1492  (a) of subsection (2) of section 1002.45, Florida Statutes, are
 1493  amended to read:
 1494         1002.45 Virtual instruction programs.—
 1495         (1) PROGRAM.—
 1496         (d) A virtual charter school may provide full-time or part
 1497  time virtual instruction for students in kindergarten through
 1498  grade 12 if the virtual charter school has a charter approved
 1499  pursuant to s. 1002.33 authorizing full-time virtual
 1500  instruction. A virtual charter school may:
 1501         1. Contract with the Florida Virtual School.
 1502         2. Contract with an approved provider under subsection (2).
 1503         3. Enter into an agreement with a school district to allow
 1504  the participation of the virtual charter school’s students in
 1505  the school district’s virtual instruction program. The agreement
 1506  must indicate a process for reporting of student enrollment and
 1507  the transfer of funds required by paragraph (7)(e).
 1509         (a) The department shall annually publish online a list of
 1510  providers approved to offer virtual instruction programs. To be
 1511  approved by the department, a provider must document that it:
 1512         1. Is nonsectarian in its programs, admission policies,
 1513  employment practices, and operations;
 1514         2. Complies with the antidiscrimination provisions of s.
 1515  1000.05;
 1516         3. Locates an administrative office or offices in this
 1517  state, requires its administrative staff to be state residents,
 1518  requires all instructional staff to be Florida-certified
 1519  teachers under chapter 1012 and conducts background screenings
 1520  for all employees or contracted personnel, as required by s.
 1521  1012.32, using state and national criminal history records;
 1522         4. Provides to parents and students specific information
 1523  posted and accessible online that includes, but is not limited
 1524  to, the following teacher-parent and teacher-student contact
 1525  information for each course:
 1526         a. How to contact the instructor via phone, e-mail, or
 1527  online messaging tools.
 1528         b. How to contact technical support via phone, e-mail, or
 1529  online messaging tools.
 1530         c. How to contact the administration office via phone, e
 1531  mail, or online messaging tools.
 1532         d. Any requirement for regular contact with the instructor
 1533  for the course and clear expectations for meeting the
 1534  requirement.
 1535         e. The requirement that the instructor in each course must,
 1536  at a minimum, conduct one contact via phone with the parent and
 1537  the student each month;
 1538         5. Possesses prior, successful experience offering online
 1539  courses to elementary, middle, or high school students as
 1540  demonstrated by quantified student learning gains in each
 1541  subject area and grade level provided for consideration as an
 1542  instructional program option. However, for a provider without
 1543  sufficient prior, successful experience offering online courses,
 1544  the department may conditionally approve the provider to offer
 1545  courses measured pursuant to subparagraph (8)(a)2. Conditional
 1546  approval shall be valid for 1 school year only and, based on the
 1547  provider’s experience in offering the courses, the department
 1548  shall determine whether to grant approval to offer a virtual
 1549  instruction program;
 1550         6. Is accredited by a regional accrediting association as
 1551  defined by State Board of Education rule;
 1552         7. Ensures instructional and curricular quality through a
 1553  detailed curriculum and student performance accountability plan
 1554  that addresses every subject and grade level it intends to
 1555  provide through contract with the school district, including:
 1556         a. Courses and programs that meet the standards of the
 1557  International Association for K-12 Online Learning and the
 1558  Southern Regional Education Board.
 1559         b. Instructional content and services that align with, and
 1560  measure student attainment of, student proficiency in the Next
 1561  Generation Sunshine State Standards.
 1562         c. Mechanisms that determine and ensure that a student has
 1563  satisfied requirements for grade level promotion and high school
 1564  graduation with a standard diploma, as appropriate;
 1565         8. Publishes for the general public, in accordance with
 1566  disclosure requirements adopted in rule by the State Board of
 1567  Education, as part of its application as a provider and in all
 1568  contracts negotiated pursuant to this section:
 1569         a. Information and data about the curriculum of each full
 1570  time and part-time program.
 1571         b. School policies and procedures.
 1572         c. Certification status and physical location of all
 1573  administrative and instructional personnel.
 1574         d. Hours and times of availability of instructional
 1575  personnel.
 1576         e. Student-teacher ratios.
 1577         f. Student completion and promotion rates.
 1578         g. Student, educator, and school performance accountability
 1579  outcomes;
 1580         9. If the provider is a Florida College System institution,
 1581  employs instructors who meet the certification requirements for
 1582  instructional staff under chapter 1012; and
 1583         10. Performs an annual financial audit of its accounts and
 1584  records conducted by an independent certified public accountant
 1585  which is in accordance with rules adopted by the Auditor
 1586  General, is conducted in compliance with generally accepted
 1587  auditing standards, and includes a report on financial
 1588  statements presented in accordance with generally accepted
 1589  accounting principles.
 1590         Section 6. Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section
 1591  1003.493, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
 1592         1003.493 Career and professional academies and career
 1593  themed courses.—
 1594         (1)(a) A “career and professional academy” is a research
 1595  based program that integrates a rigorous academic curriculum
 1596  with an industry-specific curriculum aligned directly to
 1597  priority workforce needs established by the local workforce
 1598  development board or the Department of Economic Opportunity.
 1599  Career and professional academies shall be offered by public
 1600  schools and school districts. Career and professional academies
 1601  may be offered by charter schools. The Florida Virtual School is
 1602  encouraged to develop and offer rigorous career and professional
 1603  courses as appropriate. Students completing career and
 1604  professional academy programs must receive a standard high
 1605  school diploma, the highest available industry certification,
 1606  and opportunities to earn postsecondary credit if the academy
 1607  partners with a postsecondary institution approved to operate in
 1608  the state.
 1609         Section 7. Present subsection (3) of section 1008.3415,
 1610  Florida Statutes, is redesignated as subsection (4), and a new
 1611  subsection (3) is added to that section, to read:
 1612         1008.3415 School grade or school improvement rating for
 1613  exceptional student education centers.—
 1614         (3) A charter school that is an exceptional student
 1615  education center and that receives two consecutive ratings of
 1616  “maintaining” or higher may replicate its educational program
 1617  under s. 1002.331(3). The Commissioner of Education, upon
 1618  request by a charter school, shall verify that the charter
 1619  school meets the requirements of this subsection and provide a
 1620  letter to the charter school and the sponsor stating that the
 1621  charter school may replicate its educational program in the same
 1622  manner as a high-performing charter school under s. 1002.331(3).
 1623         Section 8. Subsection (2) of section 1012.32, Florida
 1624  Statutes, is amended to read:
 1625         1012.32 Qualifications of personnel.—
 1626         (2)(a) Instructional and noninstructional personnel who are
 1627  hired or contracted to fill positions that require direct
 1628  contact with students in any district school system or
 1629  university lab school must, upon employment or engagement to
 1630  provide services, undergo background screening as required under
 1631  s. 1012.465 or s. 1012.56, whichever is applicable.
 1632         (b)1. Instructional and noninstructional personnel who are
 1633  hired or contracted to fill positions in a any charter school
 1634  other than a school of hope as defined in s. 1002.333, and
 1635  members of the governing board of such any charter school, in
 1636  compliance with s. 1002.33(12)(g), must, upon employment,
 1637  engagement of services, or appointment, shall undergo background
 1638  screening as required under s. 1012.465 or s. 1012.56, whichever
 1639  is applicable, by filing with the district school board for the
 1640  school district in which the charter school is located a
 1641  complete set of fingerprints taken by an authorized law
 1642  enforcement agency or an employee of the school or school
 1643  district who is trained to take fingerprints.
 1644         2. Instructional and noninstructional personnel who are
 1645  hired or contracted to fill positions in a school of hope as
 1646  defined in s. 1002.333, and members of the governing board of
 1647  such school of hope, shall file with the school of hope a
 1648  complete set of fingerprints taken by an authorized law
 1649  enforcement agency, by an employee of the school of hope or
 1650  school district who is trained to take fingerprints, or by any
 1651  other entity recognized by the Department of Law Enforcement to
 1652  take fingerprints.
 1653         (c) Instructional and noninstructional personnel who are
 1654  hired or contracted to fill positions that require direct
 1655  contact with students in an alternative school that operates
 1656  under contract with a district school system must, upon
 1657  employment or engagement to provide services, undergo background
 1658  screening as required under s. 1012.465 or s. 1012.56, whichever
 1659  is applicable, by filing with the district school board for the
 1660  school district to which the alternative school is under
 1661  contract a complete set of fingerprints taken by an authorized
 1662  law enforcement agency or an employee of the school or school
 1663  district who is trained to take fingerprints.
 1664         (d) Student teachers and persons participating in a field
 1665  experience pursuant to s. 1004.04(5) or s. 1004.85 in any
 1666  district school system, lab school, or charter school must, upon
 1667  engagement to provide services, undergo background screening as
 1668  required under s. 1012.56.
 1670  Required fingerprints must shall be submitted to the Department
 1671  of Law Enforcement for statewide criminal and juvenile records
 1672  checks and to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for federal
 1673  criminal records checks. A person subject to this subsection who
 1674  is found ineligible for employment under s. 1012.315, or
 1675  otherwise found through background screening to have been
 1676  convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude as defined by
 1677  rule of the State Board of Education, shall not be employed,
 1678  engaged to provide services, or serve in any position that
 1679  requires direct contact with students. Probationary persons
 1680  subject to this subsection terminated because of their criminal
 1681  record have the right to appeal such decisions. The cost of the
 1682  background screening may be borne by the district school board,
 1683  the charter school, the employee, the contractor, or a person
 1684  subject to this subsection. A district school board shall
 1685  reimburse a charter school the cost of background screening if
 1686  it does not notify the charter school of the eligibility of a
 1687  governing board member or instructional or noninstructional
 1688  personnel within the earlier of 14 days after receipt of the
 1689  background screening results from the Florida Department of Law
 1690  Enforcement or 30 days of submission of fingerprints by the
 1691  governing board member or instructional or noninstructional
 1692  personnel.
 1693         Section 9. Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section
 1694  1013.62, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
 1695         1013.62 Charter schools capital outlay funding.—
 1696         (1) For the 2020-2021 fiscal year, charter school capital
 1697  outlay funding shall consist of state funds appropriated in the
 1698  2020-2021 General Appropriations Act. Beginning in fiscal year
 1699  2021-2022, charter school capital outlay funding shall consist
 1700  of state funds when such funds are appropriated in the General
 1701  Appropriations Act and revenue resulting from the discretionary
 1702  millage authorized in s. 1011.71(2) if the amount of state funds
 1703  appropriated for charter school capital outlay in any fiscal
 1704  year is less than the average charter school capital outlay
 1705  funds per unweighted full-time equivalent student for the 2018
 1706  2019 fiscal year, multiplied by the estimated number of charter
 1707  school students for the applicable fiscal year, and adjusted by
 1708  changes in the Consumer Price Index issued by the United States
 1709  Department of Labor from the previous fiscal year. Nothing in
 1710  this subsection prohibits a school district from distributing to
 1711  charter schools funds resulting from the discretionary millage
 1712  authorized in s. 1011.71(2).
 1713         (a) To be eligible to receive capital outlay funds, a
 1714  charter school must:
 1715         1.a. Have been in operation for 2 or more years;
 1716         b. Be governed by a governing board established in the
 1717  state for 2 or more years which operates both charter schools
 1718  and conversion charter schools within the state;
 1719         c. Be an expanded feeder chain of a charter school within
 1720  the same school district that is currently receiving charter
 1721  school capital outlay funds;
 1722         d. Have been accredited by a regional accrediting
 1723  association as defined by State Board of Education rule; or
 1724         e. Serve students in facilities that are provided by a
 1725  business partner for a charter school-in-the-workplace pursuant
 1726  to s. 1002.33(15)(b); or
 1727         f. Be operated by a hope operator pursuant to s. 1002.333.
 1728         2. Have an annual audit that does not reveal any of the
 1729  financial emergency conditions provided in s. 218.503(1) for the
 1730  most recent fiscal year for which such audit results are
 1731  available.
 1732         3. Have satisfactory student achievement based on state
 1733  accountability standards applicable to the charter school.
 1734         4. Have received final approval from its sponsor pursuant
 1735  to s. 1002.33 for operation during that fiscal year.
 1736         5. Serve students in facilities that are not provided by
 1737  the charter school’s sponsor.
 1738         Section 10. If any provision of this act or its application
 1739  to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity
 1740  does not affect other provisions or applications of the act
 1741  which can be given effect without the invalid provision or
 1742  application, and to this end the provisions of this act are
 1743  severable.
 1744         Section 11. This act shall take effect July 1, 2021.