October 22, 2020
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Bill Text: HB 0313
HB 0313 2004
   
1 A bill to be entitled
2          An act relating to scholarship program accountability;
3    amending s. 220.187, F.S., relating to credits for
4    contributions to nonprofit scholarship-funding
5    organizations; revising provisions relating to corporate
6    income tax credit scholarships; changing terminology from
7    "nonpublic school" to "private school"; defining the term
8    "operator or owner"; revising eligible nonprofit
9    scholarship-funding organization obligations, parent
10    obligations, and private school obligations; providing
11    student obligations; authorizing scholarships for
12    transportation expenses to lab schools; providing
13    restrictions regarding the provision of scholarships;
14    specifying audit requirements; requiring quarterly
15    reports; requiring fingerprinting and criminal background
16    checks; requiring norm-referenced testing; providing
17    Department of Education and Commissioner of Education
18    obligations and responsibilities; requiring State Board of
19    Education rules; amending s. 1002.39, F.S., relating to
20    the John M. McKay Scholarships for Students with
21    Disabilities Program; providing Department of Education
22    obligations; revising requirements for private school
23    eligibility; requiring fingerprinting and criminal
24    background checks; providing an effective date.
25         
26          Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
27         
28          Section 1. Section 220.187, Florida Statutes, is amended
29    to read:
30          220.187 Credits for contributions to nonprofit
31    scholarship-funding organizations.--
32          (1) PURPOSE.--The purpose of this section is to:
33          (a) Encourage private, voluntary contributions to
34    nonprofit scholarship-funding organizations.
35          (b) Expand educational opportunities for children of
36    families that have limited financial resources.
37          (c) Enable children in this state to achieve a greater
38    level of excellence in their education.
39          (2) DEFINITIONS.--As used in this section, the term:
40          (a) "Department" means the Department of Revenue.
41          (b) "Eligible contribution" means a monetary contribution
42    from a taxpayer, subject to the restrictions provided in this
43    section, to an eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
44    organization. The taxpayer making the contribution may not
45    designate a specific child as the beneficiary of the
46    contribution. The taxpayer may not contribute more than $5
47    million to any single eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
48    organization.
49          (c)(d)"Eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
50    organization" means a charitable organization that is exempt
51    from federal income tax pursuant to s. 501(c)(3) of the Internal
52    Revenue Code, that is registered as a Florida corporation,and
53    that complies with the provisions of subsection (4).
54          (d)(c) "Eligible private nonpublic school" means a private
55    nonpublicschool located in Florida that offers an education to
56    students in any grades K-12 and that meets the requirements in
57    subsection (6)(5).
58          (e) "Owner or operator" means the owner, president, chair
59    of the board of directors, superintendent, or principal, or
60    person with equivalent decisionmaking authority, who owns or
61    operates an eligible private school or an eligible nonprofit
62    scholarship-funding organization.
63          (f)(e)"Qualified student" means a student who qualifies
64    for free or reduced-price school lunches under the National
65    School Lunch Act and who:
66          1. Was counted as a full-time equivalent student during
67    the previous state fiscal year for purposes of state per-student
68    funding;
69          2. Received a scholarship from an eligible nonprofit
70    scholarship-funding organization during the previous school
71    year; or
72          3. Is eligible to enter kindergarten or first grade.
73          (3) AUTHORIZATION TO GRANT SCHOLARSHIP FUNDING TAX
74    CREDITS; LIMITATIONS ON INDIVIDUAL AND TOTAL CREDITS.--
75          (a) There is allowed a credit of 100 percent of an
76    eligible contribution against any tax due for a taxable year
77    under this chapter. However, such a credit may not exceed 75
78    percent of the tax due under this chapter for the taxable year,
79    after the application of any other allowable credits by the
80    taxpayer. However, at least 5 percent of the total statewide
81    amount authorized for the tax credit shall be reserved for
82    taxpayers who meet the definition of a small business provided
83    in s. 288.703(1) at the time of application.The credit granted
84    by this section shall be reduced by the difference between the
85    amount of federal corporate income tax taking into account the
86    credit granted by this section and the amount of federal
87    corporate income tax without application of the credit granted
88    by this section.
89          (b) The total amount of tax credits and carryforward of
90    tax credits which may be granted each state fiscal year under
91    this section is $88 million. However, at least 5 percent of the
92    total statewide amount authorized for tax credits shall be
93    reserved for taxpayers who meet the definition of a small
94    business provided in s. 288.703(1) at the time of application.
95          (c) A taxpayer who files a Florida consolidated return as
96    a member of an affiliated group pursuant to s. 220.131(1) may be
97    allowed the credit on a consolidated return basis; however, the
98    total credit taken by the affiliated group is subject to the
99    limitation established under paragraph (a).
100          (4) OBLIGATIONS OF ELIGIBLE NONPROFIT SCHOLARSHIP-FUNDING
101    ORGANIZATIONS.--An eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
102    organization participating in the scholarship program
103    established in this section shall have the following
104    obligations:
105          (a) An eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization
106    shall provide corporate income tax creditscholarships, from
107    eligible contributions, to qualified students for:
108          1. Tuition or textbook expenses for, or transportation to,
109    an eligible private nonpublic school. At least 75 percent of
110    each the scholarship fundingmust be used to pay tuition
111    expenses; or
112          2. Transportation expenses to a Florida public school that
113    is located outside the district in which the student resides or
114    to a lab school as defined in s. 1002.32.
115          (b) An eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization
116    shall give priority to qualified students who received a
117    scholarship from an eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
118    organization during the previous school year.
119          (c) An eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization
120    shall not provide a scholarship to a student who is receiving an
121    Opportunity Scholarship pursuant to s. 1002.38 or a John M.
122    McKay Scholarship pursuant to s. 1002.39. In addition, an
123    eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization shall not
124    provide a scholarship to a student who is receiving a corporate
125    income tax credit scholarship from another eligible nonprofit
126    scholarship-funding organization.
127          (d)(c)The amount of a scholarship provided to any child
128    for any single school year by an alleligible nonprofit
129    scholarship-funding organization organizationsfrom eligible
130    contributions shall not exceed the following annual limits:
131          1. Three thousand five hundred dollars for a scholarship
132    awarded to a student enrolled in an eligible private nonpublic
133    school.
134          2. Five hundred dollars for a scholarship awarded to a
135    student enrolled in a Florida public school that is located
136    outside the district in which the student resides or in a lab
137    school as defined in s. 1002.32.
138          (e)(d)The amount of an eligible contribution which may be
139    accepted by an eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
140    organization is limited to the amount needed to provide
141    scholarships for qualified students which the organization has
142    identified and for which vacancies in eligible private nonpublic
143    schools have been identified.
144          (f)(e)An eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
145    organization that receives an eligible contribution must expend
146    spend100 percent of the eligible contribution to provide
147    scholarships in the same state fiscal year in which the
148    contribution was received. No portion of eligible contributions
149    may be used for administrative expenses. All interest accrued
150    from contributions must be used for scholarships.
151          (g) An eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization
152    must maintain separate accounts for scholarship funds and
153    operating funds.
154          (h)(f)An eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
155    organization that receives eligible contributions must provide
156    to the Auditor General and the Department of Educationan annual
157    financial and compliance audit of its accounts and records
158    conducted by an independent certified public accountant and in
159    accordance with rules adopted by the Auditor General. The audit
160    must be conducted in compliance with generally accepted
161    accounting principles and must include a report on financial
162    statements presented in accordance with the reporting standards
163    set forth in Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No.
164    117, Financial Statements of Not-for-Profit Organizations, and a
165    determination of compliance with the statutory eligibility and
166    expenditure requirements set forth in this section. Audits must
167    be provided to the Auditor General and the Department of
168    Education within 120 days after completion of the nonprofit
169    scholarship-funding organization's fiscal year.
170          (i)(g) An eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
171    organization shall obtain verification from the private school
172    of a student's continued attendance at the school prior to each
173    scholarship payment. Payment of the scholarship shall be made by
174    the eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization no less
175    frequently than on a quarterly basis.Payment of the scholarship
176    by the eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization shall
177    be by individual warrant or check made payable to the student's
178    parent. If the parent chooses for his or her child to attend an
179    eligible private nonpublicschool, the warrant or check must be
180    mailed by the eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
181    organization to the private nonpublicschool of the parent's
182    choice, and the parent shall restrictively endorse the warrant
183    or check to the private nonpublicschool. An eligible nonprofit
184    scholarship-funding organization shall ensure that, upon receipt
185    of a scholarship warrant or check, the parent to whom the
186    warrant or check is made restrictively endorses the warrant or
187    check to the private nonpublicschool of the parent's choice for
188    deposit into the account of the private nonpublicschool.
189          (j) An eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization
190    must prepare and submit quarterly reports to the Department of
191    Education pursuant to subsection (7). In addition, an eligible
192    nonprofit scholarship-funding organization must submit in a
193    timely manner any information requested by the Department of
194    Education relating to the scholarship program.
195          (k) An eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization
196    must verify the income of all applicants participating in the
197    scholarship program each year with independent income
198    documentation.
199          (l)1. An owner or operator of an eligible nonprofit
200    scholarship-funding organization must, within 5 days after
201    assuming ownership or decisionmaking authority, file with the
202    Department of Law Enforcement a complete set of fingerprints for
203    state processing for a criminal background check consistent with
204    the requirements of the National Child Protection Act, 42 U.S.C.
205    s. 5119(b). The costs of fingerprinting and the background check
206    shall not be borne by the state.
207          2. The results of a criminal background check shall be
208    reported as set forth under the National Child Protection Act,
209    42 U.S.C. s. 5119(b) and forwarded to the owner or operator of
210    the eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization and to
211    the Department of Education.
212          3. A nonprofit scholarship-funding organization whose
213    owner or operator has been convicted of a crime involving moral
214    turpitude or a crime that bears upon the fitness of the owner or
215    operator to have responsibility for the safety and well-being of
216    children shall not be eligible to provide scholarships under
217    this section.
218          (m) A nonprofit scholarship-funding organization whose
219    owner or operator in the last 7 years has filed for personal
220    bankruptcy or corporate bankruptcy in a corporation in which he
221    or she owned more than 20 percent of the corporation shall not
222    be eligible to provide scholarships under this section.
223          (n) An owner or operator of an eligible nonprofit
224    scholarship-funding organization is prohibited from owning or
225    operating an eligible private school that is participating in
226    the scholarship program.
227          (o) An eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization
228    shall report to the Department of Education any private school
229    that is not in compliance with the requirements of the
230    scholarship program. The eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
231    organization shall not provide additional scholarship funds to a
232    parent for a student to attend the private school until a
233    determination is made by the Commissioner of Education that the
234    school is in compliance with the requirements of the scholarship
235    program.
236          (p) An eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization
237    shall not discriminate in the provision of scholarships to a
238    qualified student based on the student's race, color, national
239    origin, sex, or religion.
240          (q) An eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization
241    shall allow a qualified student to attend any eligible private
242    school and shall allow a parent to transfer a scholarship during
243    a school year to any other eligible private school of the
244    parent's choice.
245          (r) An eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization
246    shall not target scholarships to a particular private school or
247    provide scholarships to children of employees of the
248    organization.
249          (5) PARENT OBLIGATIONS OF PARENTS AND STUDENTS.--
250          (a)As a condition for scholarship payment pursuant to
251    paragraph (4)(i)(g), if the parent chooses for his or her child
252    to attend an eligible private nonpublicschool, the parent must
253    inform the child's school district within 15 days after such
254    decision.
255          (b) A student is not eligible to receive a corporate
256    income tax credit scholarship if he or she is receiving an
257    Opportunity Scholarship pursuant to s. 1002.38 or a John M.
258    McKay Scholarship pursuant to s. 1002.39. A student is not
259    eligible to receive a scholarship from more than one eligible
260    nonprofit scholarship-funding organization.
261          (c) Upon receipt of a scholarship warrant or check from
262    the eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization, the
263    parent to whom the warrant or check is made must restrictively
264    endorse the warrant or check to the private school for deposit
265    into the account of the private school. No power of attorney
266    shall be valid for this purpose.
267          (d) Any student participating in the scholarship program
268    must remain in attendance throughout the school year unless
269    excused by the school for illness or other good cause and must
270    comply fully with the school's code of conduct.
271          (e) The parent of a student participating in the
272    scholarship program must comply fully with the private school's
273    parental involvement requirements unless excused by the school
274    for illness or other good cause.
275          (f) The parent of a student participating in the
276    scholarship program must ensure that the student participates in
277    the nationally norm-referenced testing required by this section.
278    Students with disabilities for whom standardized testing is not
279    appropriate are exempt from this requirement.
280          (g) A participant in the scholarship program who fails to
281    comply with this subsection forfeits the scholarship.
282          (6) ELIGIBLE PRIVATE NONPUBLICSCHOOL OBLIGATIONS.--An
283    eligible private nonpublicschool must:
284          (a) Demonstrate fiscal soundness by being in operation for
285    3 school years or obtain one school year or provide the
286    Department of Education with a statement by a certified public
287    accountant confirming that the nonpublic school desiring to
288    participate is insured and the owner or owners have sufficient
289    capital or credit to operate the school for the upcoming year
290    serving the number of students anticipated with expected
291    revenues from tuition and other sources that may be reasonably
292    expected. In lieu of such a statement,a surety bond or letter
293    of credit for the amount equal to the scholarship funds for any
294    quarter to may be filed with the Department of Education. The
295    surety bond or letter of credit shall serve to secure
296    expenditures of scholarship funds should such funds be found to
297    have been used for unlawful purposes.
298          (b) Notify the Department of Education of its intent to
299    participate in the scholarship program. The notice must specify
300    the grade levels that the private school has available for
301    students participating in the scholarship program.
302          (c)(b)Comply with the antidiscrimination provisions of 42
303    U.S.C. s. 2000d in existence on July 1, 2003.
304          (d)(c)Meet state and local health and safety laws and
305    codes, including, but not limited to, laws pertaining to:
306          1. Fire safety.
307          2. Building codes.
308          (e)(d)Comply with all state laws relating to general
309    regulation of private nonpublic schools, including, but not
310    limited to, laws pertaining to:
311          1. Annual private school survey required in s. 1002.42(2).
312          2. Retention of records required in s. 1002.42(3).
313          3. Attendance records and reports required in s.
314    1003.23(2).
315          4. School-entry health examinations and immunizations
316    required in s. 1003.22.
317          5. Attendance requirements prescribed in ss. 1003.01(13)
318    and 1003.21(1).
319          (f) Employ or contract with teachers who hold
320    baccalaureate or higher degrees, have at least 3 years of
321    teaching experience in public or private schools, or have
322    special skills, knowledge, or expertise that qualifies them to
323    provide instruction in subjects taught.
324          (g) Annually administer or make provision for students
325    participating in the scholarship program to take one of the
326    nationally norm-referenced tests identified by the Department of
327    Education. Students with disabilities for whom standardized
328    testing is not appropriate are exempt from this requirement. A
329    participating private school must report a student's scores to
330    the parent and to the independent private research organization
331    selected by the Department of Education pursuant to subsection
332    (7).
333          (h) Within 60 days after employment, for any individual
334    with direct student contact, file with the Department of Law
335    Enforcement a complete set of fingerprints for state processing
336    for a criminal background check consistent with the requirements
337    of the National Child Protection Act, 42 U.S.C. s. 5119(b). An
338    "individual with direct student contact" means any individual
339    who:
340          1. Is employed by a private school in any capacity,
341    including an individual employed as a child care provider, a
342    teacher, or another member of school personnel, and who is
343    responsible for the provision of care, treatment, education,
344    training, instruction, supervision, or recreation of children;
345          2. Is the owner or operator of the private school; or
346          3. Has unsupervised access to a child for whom the private
347    school is responsible.
348         
349          The costs of fingerprinting and the background check shall not
350    be borne by the state. The results of a criminal background
351    check shall be reported as set forth under the National Child
352    Protection Act, 42 U.S.C. s. 5119(b). The owner or operator of
353    the private school shall immediately report to the Department of
354    Education any individual with direct student contact who has
355    been convicted of a crime that bears upon the individual's
356    fitness to have responsibility for the safety and well-being of
357    children. Employment of such an individual shall cause a private
358    school to be ineligible for participation in the scholarship
359    program. An individual holding a valid Florida teaching
360    certificate who has been fingerprinted pursuant to s. 1012.32
361    shall not be required to comply with the provisions of this
362    paragraph.
363          (i) Annually comply with the requirements of the
364    Department of Education to complete a sworn compliance form
365    certifying compliance with state laws pursuant to subsection
366    (7).
367          (j) Notify the Department of Education and the eligible
368    nonprofit scholarship-funding organization if any participating
369    student is receiving a warrant or check from more than one
370    nonprofit scholarship-funding organization.
371          (7) DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION,
372    AND STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION OBLIGATIONS; RESPONSIBILITIES.--
373          (a) The Department of Education shall:
374          1. Annually submit to the Department of Revenue, by March
375    15, a list of eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
376    organizations that meet the requirements of paragraph (2)(c).
377          2. Verify the eligibility of nonprofit scholarship-funding
378    organizations that meet the requirements of paragraph (2)(c).
379    3. Verify the eligibility of private schools that meet the
380    requirements of paragraph (2)(d).
381          4. Verify the eligibility of expenditures as provided in
382    subsection (4).
383          5. Establish a toll-free hotline that provides parents,
384    private schools, and nonprofit scholarship-funding organizations
385    with information on participation in the scholarship program.
386          6. Establish a process by which individuals may notify the
387    Department of Education of any violation by a private school or
388    nonprofit scholarship-funding organization of state laws
389    relating to scholarship program participation.
390          7. Require annual completion of a sworn compliance form by
391    participating private schools certifying compliance with state
392    laws and retain such records.
393          8. Identify all nationally norm-referenced tests that are
394    comparable to the norm-referenced test portions of the Florida
395    Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT).
396          9. Select an independent private research organization to
397    which participating private schools must report the scores of
398    participating students on the nationally norm-referenced tests
399    administered by the private school. The independent private
400    research organization must annually report to the Department of
401    Education on the year-to-year improvements of the participating
402    students. The independent private research organization must
403    analyze and report student performance data in a manner that
404    protects the rights of students and parents as mandated in 20
405    U.S.C. s. 1232g and must not disaggregate data to a level that
406    will disclose the academic level of individuals or of individual
407    schools. To the extent possible, the independent private
408    research organization must accumulate historical performance
409    data on students from the Department of Education and private
410    schools to describe baseline performance and to conduct
411    longitudinal studies.
412          10. Provide a private school profile on-line for those
413    private schools participating in the scholarship program.
414          11. Notify an eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
415    organization of any of the organization's identified students
416    who are receiving an Opportunity Scholarship pursuant to s.
417    1002.38 or a John M. McKay Scholarship pursuant to s. 1002.39.
418          12. Notify an eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
419    organization of any of the organization's identified students
420    who are receiving a corporate income tax credit scholarship from
421    another eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization.
422          13. Require quarterly reports by an eligible nonprofit
423    scholarship-funding organization regarding the number of
424    students participating in the scholarship program, the private
425    schools at which the students are enrolled, and other
426    information deemed necessary by the Department of Education.
427          (b) The Commissioner of Education is authorized to suspend
428    or prohibit an eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
429    organization from participation in the scholarship program and
430    to take other action necessary to ensure compliance with the
431    provisions of this section.
432          (c) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules
433    pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement the
434    provisions of this subsection, including rules to determine the
435    eligibility of nonprofit scholarship-funding organizations and
436    to identify qualified students.
437          (8)(7)ADMINISTRATION; RULES.--
438          (a) If the credit granted pursuant to this section is not
439    fully used in any one year because of insufficient tax liability
440    on the part of the corporation, the unused amount may be carried
441    forward for a period not to exceed 3 years; however, any
442    taxpayer that seeks to carry forward an unused amount of tax
443    credit must submit an application for allocation of tax credits
444    or carryforward credits as required in paragraph (d) in the year
445    that the taxpayer intends to use the carryforward. The total
446    amount of tax credits and carryforward of tax credits granted
447    each state fiscal year under this section is $88 million.This
448    carryforward applies to all approved contributions made after
449    January 1, 2002. A taxpayer may not convey, assign, or transfer
450    the credit authorized by this section to another entity unless
451    all of the assets of the taxpayer are conveyed, assigned, or
452    transferred in the same transaction.
453          (b) An application for a tax credit pursuant to this
454    section shall be submitted to the department on forms
455    established by rule of the department.
456          (c) The department and the Department of Education shall
457    develop a cooperative agreement to assist in the administration
458    of this section. The Department of Education shall be
459    responsible for annually submitting, by March 15, to the
460    department a list of eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
461    organizations that meet the requirements of paragraph (2)(d) and
462    for monitoring eligibility of nonprofit scholarship-funding
463    organizations that meet the requirements of paragraph (2)(d),
464    eligibility of nonpublic schools that meet the requirements of
465    paragraph (2)(c), and eligibility of expenditures under this
466    section as provided in subsection (4).
467          (d) The department shall adopt rules necessary to
468    administer this section, including rules establishing
469    application forms and procedures and governing the allocation of
470    tax credits and carryforward credits under this section on a
471    first-come, first-served basis.
472          (e) The Department of Education shall adopt rules
473    necessary to determine eligibility of nonprofit scholarship-
474    funding organizations as defined in paragraph (2)(d) and
475    according to the provisions of subsection (4) and identify
476    qualified students as defined in paragraph (2)(e).
477          (9)(8)DEPOSITS OF ELIGIBLE CONTRIBUTIONS.--All eligible
478    contributions received by an eligible nonprofit scholarship-
479    funding organization shall be deposited in a manner consistent
480    with s. 17.57(2).
481          Section 2. Paragraphs (g), (h), and (i) are added to
482    subsection (3) of section 1002.39, Florida Statutes, and
483    subsection (4) and paragraph (f) of subsection (5) of said
484    section are amended, to read:
485          1002.39 The John M. McKay Scholarships for Students with
486    Disabilities Program.--There is established a program that is
487    separate and distinct from the Opportunity Scholarship Program
488    and is named the John M. McKay Scholarships for Students with
489    Disabilities Program, pursuant to this section.
490          (3) SCHOOL DISTRICT AND DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
491    OBLIGATIONS.--
492          (g) The Department of Education shall establish a toll-
493    free hotline that provides parents and private schools with
494    information on participation in the John M. McKay Scholarships
495    for Students with Disabilities Program.
496          (h) The Department of Education shall establish a process
497    by which individuals may notify the department of any violation
498    by a private school of state laws relating to program
499    participation.
500          (i) The Department of Education shall require annual
501    completion of a sworn compliance form by participating private
502    schools certifying compliance with state laws and shall retain
503    such records.
504          (4) PRIVATE SCHOOL ELIGIBILITY.--To be eligible to
505    participate in the John M. McKay Scholarships for Students with
506    Disabilities Program, a private school must be a Florida private
507    school, may be sectarian or nonsectarian, and must:
508          (a) Demonstrate fiscal soundness by being in operation for
509    3 school years or obtain 1 school year or provide the Department
510    of Education with a statement by a certified public accountant
511    confirming that the private school desiring to participate is
512    insured and the owner or owners have sufficient capital or
513    credit to operate the school for the upcoming year serving the
514    number of students anticipated with expected revenues from
515    tuition and other sources that may be reasonably expected. In
516    lieu of such a statement,a surety bond or letter of credit for
517    the amount equal to the scholarship funds for any quarter to may
518    be filed with the Department of Education. The surety bond or
519    letter of credit shall serve to secure expenditures of
520    scholarship funds should such funds be found to have been used
521    for unlawful purposes.
522          (b) Notify the Department of Education of its intent to
523    participate in the program under this section. The notice must
524    specify the grade levels and services that the private school
525    has available for students with disabilities who are
526    participating in the scholarship program.
527          (c) Comply with the antidiscrimination provisions of 42
528    U.S.C. s. 2000d in existence on July 1, 2003.
529          (d) Meet state and local health and safety laws and codes,
530    including, but not limited to, laws pertaining to:
531          1. Fire safety.
532          2. Building codes.
533          (e) Be academically accountable to the parent for meeting
534    the educational needs of the student by providing to the parent
535    a documented explanation of the student's progress.
536          (f) Employ or contract with teachers who hold
537    baccalaureate or higher degrees, or have at least 3 years of
538    teaching experience in public or private schools, or have
539    special skills, knowledge, or expertise that qualifies them to
540    provide instruction in subjects taught.
541          (g) Comply with all state laws relating to general
542    regulation of private schools, including, but not limited to,
543    laws pertaining to:
544          1. Annual private school survey required in s. 1002.42(2).
545          2. Retention of records required in s. 1002.42(3).
546          3. Attendance records and reports required in s.
547    1003.23(2).
548          4. School-entry health examinations and immunizations
549    required in s. 1003.22.
550          5. Attendance requirements prescribed in ss. 1003.01(13)
551    and 1003.21(1).
552          (h) Adhere to the tenets of its published disciplinary
553    procedures prior to the expulsion of a scholarship student.
554          (i) Within 60 days after employment, for any individual
555    who has direct student contact, file with the Department of Law
556    Enforcement a complete set of fingerprints for state processing
557    for a criminal background check consistent with the requirements
558    of the National Child Protection Act, 42 U.S.C. s. 5119(b). An
559    "individual with direct student contact" means any individual
560    who:
561          1. Is employed by a private school in any capacity,
562    including an individual employed as a child care provider, a
563    teacher, or another member of school personnel, and who is
564    responsible for the provision of care, treatment, education,
565    training, instruction, supervision, or recreation of children;
566          2. Is the owner or operator of the private school; or
567          3. Has unsupervised access to a child for whom the private
568    school is responsible.
569         
570          The costs of fingerprinting and the background check shall not
571    be borne by the state. The results of a criminal background
572    check shall be reported as set forth under the National Child
573    Protection Act, 42 U.S.C. s. 5119(b). The owner or operator of
574    the private school shall immediately report to the Department of
575    Education any individual with direct student contact who has
576    been convicted of a crime that bears upon the individual's
577    fitness to have responsibility for the safety and well-being of
578    children. Employment of such an individual shall cause a private
579    school to be ineligible for participation in the program. An
580    individual holding a valid Florida teaching certificate who has
581    been fingerprinted pursuant to s. 1012.32 shall not be required
582    to comply with the provisions of this paragraph.
583          (j) Annually comply with the requirements of the
584    Department of Education to complete a sworn compliance form
585    certifying compliance with state laws pursuant to subsection
586    (3).
587          (5) OBLIGATION OF PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS.--
588          (f) Upon receipt of a scholarship warrant, the parent to
589    whom the warrant is made must restrictively endorse the warrant
590    to the private school for deposit into the account of the
591    private school. No power of attorney shall be valid for this
592    purpose.
593          Section 3. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.
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