Florida Senate - 2022                                     SB 980
       By Senator Diaz
       36-01029-22                                            2022980__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to virtual instruction programs;
    3         amending s. 1002.45, F.S.; removing a requirement that
    4         a virtual instruction program provider document that
    5         it locates an administrative office or offices in this
    6         state, requires its administrative staff to be state
    7         residents, and requires all instructional staff to be
    8         Florida-certified teachers; providing an effective
    9         date.
   11  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   13         Section 1. Paragraph (a) of subsection (2) of section
   14  1002.45, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
   15         1002.45 Virtual instruction programs.—
   17         (a) The department shall annually publish online a list of
   18  providers approved to offer virtual instruction programs. To be
   19  approved by the department, a provider must document that it:
   20         1. Is nonsectarian in its programs, admission policies,
   21  employment practices, and operations;
   22         2. Complies with the antidiscrimination provisions of s.
   23  1000.05;
   24         3. Locates an administrative office or offices in this
   25  state, requires its administrative staff to be state residents,
   26  requires all instructional staff to be Florida-certified
   27  teachers under chapter 1012 and Conducts background screenings
   28  for all employees or contracted personnel, as required by s.
   29  1012.32, using state and national criminal history records;
   30         4. Provides to parents and students specific information
   31  posted and accessible online that includes, but is not limited
   32  to, the following teacher-parent and teacher-student contact
   33  information for each course:
   34         a. How to contact the instructor via phone, e-mail, or
   35  online messaging tools.
   36         b. How to contact technical support via phone, e-mail, or
   37  online messaging tools.
   38         c. How to contact the administration office via phone, e
   39  mail, or online messaging tools.
   40         d. Any requirement for regular contact with the instructor
   41  for the course and clear expectations for meeting the
   42  requirement.
   43         e. The requirement that the instructor in each course must,
   44  at a minimum, conduct one contact with the parent and the
   45  student each month;
   46         5. Possesses prior, successful experience offering online
   47  courses to elementary, middle, or high school students as
   48  demonstrated by quantified student learning gains in each
   49  subject area and grade level provided for consideration as an
   50  instructional program option. However, for a provider without
   51  sufficient prior, successful experience offering online courses,
   52  the department may conditionally approve the provider to offer
   53  courses measured pursuant to subparagraph (8)(a)2. Conditional
   54  approval shall be valid for 1 school year only and, based on the
   55  provider’s experience in offering the courses, the department
   56  shall determine whether to grant approval to offer a virtual
   57  instruction program;
   58         6. Is accredited by a regional accrediting association as
   59  defined by State Board of Education rule;
   60         7. Ensures instructional and curricular quality through a
   61  detailed curriculum and student performance accountability plan
   62  that addresses every subject and grade level it intends to
   63  provide through contract with the school district, including:
   64         a. Courses and programs that meet the standards of the
   65  International Association for K-12 Online Learning and the
   66  Southern Regional Education Board.
   67         b. Instructional content and services that align with, and
   68  measure student attainment of, student proficiency in the Next
   69  Generation Sunshine State Standards.
   70         c. Mechanisms that determine and ensure that a student has
   71  satisfied requirements for grade level promotion and high school
   72  graduation with a standard diploma, as appropriate;
   73         8. Publishes for the general public, in accordance with
   74  disclosure requirements adopted in rule by the State Board of
   75  Education, as part of its application as a provider and in all
   76  contracts negotiated pursuant to this section:
   77         a. Information and data about the curriculum of each full
   78  time and part-time program.
   79         b. School policies and procedures.
   80         c. Certification status and physical location of all
   81  administrative and instructional personnel.
   82         d. Hours and times of availability of instructional
   83  personnel.
   84         e. Student-teacher ratios.
   85         f. Student completion and promotion rates.
   86         g. Student, educator, and school performance accountability
   87  outcomes;
   88         9. If the provider is a Florida College System institution,
   89  employs instructors who meet the certification requirements for
   90  instructional staff under chapter 1012; and
   91         10. Performs an annual financial audit of its accounts and
   92  records conducted by an independent certified public accountant
   93  which is in accordance with rules adopted by the Auditor
   94  General, is conducted in compliance with generally accepted
   95  auditing standards, and includes a report on financial
   96  statements presented in accordance with generally accepted
   97  accounting principles.
   98         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2022.