Section 228.0581, Florida Statutes 2001
228.0581 Conversion charter school pilot program.--
(1) The conversion charter school pilot program is hereby established with the intent to provide incentives for local school districts to approve conversion charter schools.
(2) The conversion charter school pilot program shall be a statewide pilot program in which 10 schools shall be selected based on a competitive application process in accordance with this section.
(3) The purpose of the pilot program is to produce significant improvements in student achievement and school management, to encourage and measure the use of innovative learning methods, and to make the school the unit for improvement.
(4) Each school principal or a majority of the parents of students attending the school, a majority of the school's teachers, or a majority of the members of the school advisory council, may apply to the school district to participate in this pilot program on forms which shall be provided by the Department of Education. The forms shall include acknowledgment by the principal of applicable provisions of ss. 228.056 and 228.0561. For purposes of this paragraph, "a majority of the parents of students attending the school" means more than 50 percent of the parents voting whose children are enrolled at the school, provided that a majority of the parents eligible to vote participate in the ballot process; and "a majority of the school's teachers" means more than 50 percent of the teachers employed at the school, according to procedures established by rule of the State Board of Education pursuant to s. 228.056(3).
(5) A person or group who has applied to participate in the pilot program created by this section, pursuant to subsection (4), shall not be subject to an unlawful reprisal, as defined by s. 228.056(3)(b), as a consequence of such application. The procedures established by s. 228.056(3) shall apply to any alleged unlawful reprisal which occurs as a consequence of such application.
(6) A district school board shall receive and review all applications by principals, parents, teachers, or school advisory council members to participate in the pilot project; shall select the best applications; and shall submit these applications, together with the district school board's letter of endorsement and commitment of support and cooperation toward the success of program implementation, for review by the statewide selection panel established pursuant to subsection (7).
(7) A conversion charter school pilot program statewide selection panel is established. The panel shall be comprised of the following nine members who are not elected public officials:
(a) Three members shall be appointed by the Governor.
(b) Two members shall be appointed by the Commissioner of Education.
(c) Two members shall be appointed by the President of the Senate.
(d) Two members shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
The panel shall review the conversion charter school pilot program applications submitted by the district school boards and shall select the 10 applications which the panel deems best comply with the purpose of the program pursuant to subsection (3).
(8) Each district school board in which there is a school selected by the statewide panel for participation in the pilot program shall receive a grant for the 2001-2002 school year as follows, or as otherwise specified in the General Appropriations Act:
(a) One hundred thousand dollars for planning and development for each conversion charter school selected; and
(b)1. Eighty thousand dollars for each conversion charter school selected with 500 or fewer students;
2. One hundred thousand dollars for each conversion charter school selected with more than 500 but fewer than 1,001 students; or
3. One hundred twenty thousand dollars for each conversion charter school selected with more than 1,000 students.
The Commissioner of Education is authorized to reduce the district's 2002-2003 FEFP funding entitlement by the amount of the grant awarded under this subsection if he or she determines that the district has failed to comply with its letter of endorsement and commitment of support and cooperation submitted under subsection (6).
(9) Each conversion charter school selected for participation in the pilot program shall make annual progress reports to the district school board and the Commissioner of Education detailing the school's progress in achieving the purpose of the program as described in subsection (3).
History.--s. 5, ch. 2000-306.