(1) The intent of this section is to facilitate a system of professional development that provides a wide range of inservice training to teachers, managers, and administrative personnel which is designed to upgrade skills and knowledge needed to attain world class standards in education. The system shall consist of a network of professional development academies that are operated in partnership with area business partners to develop and deliver high-quality training programs for school districts. Each regional professional development academy must meet the human resource development needs of professional educators, schools, and school districts and shall:
(a) Support the collaborative efforts of one or more district school boards, members of the business community, and the postsecondary educational institutions which may award college credits for courses taught at the academy.
(b) Provide high-quality trainers and training and appropriate followup and coaching for all participants and support school personnel in increasing student achievement.
(c) Be operated under contract with its public partners. Contracts between district school boards and each regional professional development academy must require:
1. The academy’s independent board of directors to be responsible for the prudent use of all public and private funds and to ensure that those funds are used in accordance with applicable laws, bylaws, and contractual agreements.
2. The academy to retain proper documentation evidencing that district school board funds provided to the academy are expended for authorized purposes as prescribed in the contract and that services to district school boards are commensurate with the funds paid to the academy for those services. The academy’s records must be available for inspection by the district school board’s internal auditor and the Auditor General.
3. Each district school board to approve any participation by the academy in the district’s programs or services, including use of the district’s facilities, furnishings, equipment, other chattels, personnel, or services.
4. The academy to provide an annual report of its activities and expenditures to its independent board of directors and each party to the contract.
5. The academy to be annually audited by an independent certified public accountant retained and paid for by the academy and to provide a copy of the audit report to each party to the contract.
(d) Be governed by an independent board of directors, which should include at least one district school superintendent and one district school board chair from the participating school districts, the president of the collective bargaining unit that represents the majority of the region’s teachers, and at least three individuals who are not employees or elected or appointed officials of the participating school districts. Regional educational consortia as defined in s. 1001.451 satisfy the requirements of this paragraph.
(e) Provide professional development services for the participating school districts as specified in the contract and may provide professional development services to other school districts, private schools, and individuals on a fee-for-services basis.
(2) A regional professional development academy may:
(a) Receive funds from the Department of Education or as provided in the General Appropriations Act for the purpose of developing programs, expanding services, assessing inservice training and professional development, or other programs that are consistent with the mission of the academy and the needs of the state and region; and
(b) Receive, hold, invest, and administer property and any moneys acquired from private, local, state, and federal sources, as well as technical and professional income generated or derived from activities of the academy, for the benefit of the academy and the fulfillment of its mission. Income generated by school district personnel at the academy from trademarks, copyrights, and patents shall be shared between the academy and the district school board as outlined in the contract.