December 03, 2020
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HB 1323CS


1The Choice & Innovation Committee recommends the following:
3     Council/Committee Substitute
4     Remove the entire bill and insert:
A bill to be entitled
6An act relating to charter schools; amending s. 1002.33,
7F.S.; revising charter school purposes; revising the
8charter school application process including review,
9approval or denial, and appeal; modifying duties of
10sponsors; limiting liability of sponsors; requiring an
11annual survey of charter school governing boards;
12requiring the Department of Education to provide technical
13assistance to charter school applicants; revising
14provisions relating to a charter agreement, term, and
15renewal; providing procedures when a state of financial
16emergency exists; revising causes for nonrenewal or
17termination of a charter; requiring the department to
18maintain a database of charter school applicants and
19contract operators; revising provisions relating to
20payment and reimbursement to a charter school by a school
21district; authorizing the State Board of Education to
22impose a fine on or withhold lottery funds from a school
23district for certain violations; requiring conversion
24charter schools to comply with certain facility
25requirements under specific situations; authorizing
26certain zoning and land use designations for certain
27charter school facilities; revising exemption from
28assessment of fees; providing for additional services to
29charter schools and revising administrative fee
30requirements; requiring the department to develop a
31standard format for applications, charters, and charter
32renewals; deleting a provision requiring a review of
33charter schools in 2005 by the Legislature; amending s.
34218.39, F.S.; requiring that a charter school be notified
35of certain deteriorating financial conditions; amending s.
36218.50, F.S.; modifying a short title; amending s.
37218.501, F.S.; including charter schools in the statement
38of purpose relating to financial management; amending s.
39218.503, F.S.; providing for charter schools to be subject
40to provisions governing financial emergencies; providing
41procedures; amending s. 218.504, F.S.; providing for
42cessation of state action related to a state of financial
43emergency; amending s. 11.45, F.S.; conforming provisions;
44amending s. 166.271, F.S.; correcting cross references;
45amending s. 1002.32, F.S.; providing that a charter lab
46school that elects to provide student transportation is
47eligible for funding for that purpose; amending s.
481003.05, F.S.; modifying the list of special academic
49programs for transitioning students from military
50families; amending s. 1012.74, F.S.; providing that
51educator professional liability insurance shall cover
52charter school personnel; amending s. 1013.62, F.S.;
53revising provisions relating to eligibility for and
54allocation of charter school capital outlay funding;
55revising purposes for which capital outlay funds may be
56used; providing effective dates.
58Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
60     Section 1.  Section 1002.33, Florida Statutes, is amended
61to read:
62     1002.33  Charter schools.--
63     (1)  AUTHORIZATION.--Charter schools shall be part of the
64state's program of public education. All charter schools in
65Florida are public schools. A charter school may be formed by
66creating a new school or converting an existing public school to
67charter status. A public school may not use the term charter in
68its name unless it has been approved under this section.
70     (a)  Charter schools in Florida shall be guided by the
71following principles:
72     1.  Meet high standards of student achievement while
73providing parents flexibility to choose among diverse
74educational opportunities within the state's public school
76     2.  Promote enhanced academic success and financial
77efficiency by aligning responsibility with accountability.
78     3.  Provide parents with sufficient information on whether
79their child is reading at grade level and whether the child
80gains at least a year's worth of learning for every year spent
81in the charter school.
82     (b)  Charter schools shall fulfill one of the following
84     1.  Improve student learning and academic achievement.
85     2.  Increase learning opportunities for all students, with
86special emphasis on low-performing students and reading.
87     3.  Create new professional opportunities for teachers,
88including ownership of the learning program at the school site.
89     4.  Encourage the use of innovative learning methods.
90     5.  Require the measurement of learning outcomes.
91     (c)  Charter schools may fulfill the following purposes:
92     1.  Create innovative measurement tools.
93     2.  Provide rigorous competition within the public school
94district to stimulate continual improvement in all public
96     3.  Expand the capacity of the public school system.
97     4.  Mitigate the educational impact created by the
98development of new residential dwelling units.
99     5.  Create new professional opportunities for teachers,
100including ownership of the learning program at the school site.
101     6.  Encourage the use of innovative learning methods.
102     7.  Require the measurement of learning outcomes.
104     (a)  An application for a new charter school may be made by
105an individual, teachers, parents, a group of individuals, a
106municipality, or a legal entity organized under the laws of this
108     (b)  An application for a conversion charter school shall
109be made by the district school board, the principal, teachers,
110parents, and/or the school advisory council at an existing
111public school that has been in operation for at least 2 years
112prior to the application to convert., including A public school-
113within-a-school that is designated as a school by the district
114school board may also submit an application to convert to
115charter status. An application submitted proposing to convert an
116existing public school to a charter school shall demonstrate the
117support of at least 50 percent of the teachers employed at the
118school and 50 percent of the parents voting whose children are
119enrolled at the school, provided that a majority of the parents
120eligible to vote participate in the ballot process, according to
121rules adopted by the State Board of Education. A district school
122board denying an application for a conversion charter school
123shall provide notice of denial to the applicants in writing
124within 10 30 days after the meeting at which the district school
125board denied the application. The notice must identify specify
126the specific exact reasons for denial and must provide
127documentation supporting those reasons. A private school,
128parochial school, or home education program shall not be
129eligible for charter school status.
130     (4)  UNLAWFUL REPRISAL.--
131     (a)  No district school board, or district school board
132employee who has control over personnel actions, shall take
133unlawful reprisal against another district school board employee
134because that employee is either directly or indirectly involved
135with an application to establish a charter school. As used in
136this subsection, the term "unlawful reprisal" means an action
137taken by a district school board or a school system employee
138against an employee who is directly or indirectly involved in a
139lawful application to establish a charter school, which occurs
140as a direct result of that involvement, and which results in one
141or more of the following: disciplinary or corrective action;
142adverse transfer or reassignment, whether temporary or
143permanent; suspension, demotion, or dismissal; an unfavorable
144performance evaluation; a reduction in pay, benefits, or
145rewards; elimination of the employee's position absent of a
146reduction in workforce as a result of lack of moneys or work; or
147other adverse significant changes in duties or responsibilities
148that are inconsistent with the employee's salary or employment
149classification. The following procedures shall apply to an
150alleged unlawful reprisal that occurs as a consequence of an
151employee's direct or indirect involvement with an application to
152establish a charter school:
153     1.  Within 60 days after the date upon which a reprisal
154prohibited by this subsection is alleged to have occurred, an
155employee may file a complaint with the Department of Education.
156     2.  Within 3 working days after receiving a complaint under
157this section, the Department of Education shall acknowledge
158receipt of the complaint and provide copies of the complaint and
159any other relevant preliminary information available to each of
160the other parties named in the complaint, which parties shall
161each acknowledge receipt of such copies to the complainant.
162     3.  If the Department of Education determines that the
163complaint demonstrates reasonable cause to suspect that an
164unlawful reprisal has occurred, the Department of Education
165shall conduct an investigation to produce a fact-finding report.
166     4.  Within 90 days after receiving the complaint, the
167Department of Education shall provide the district school
168superintendent of the complainant's district and the complainant
169with a fact-finding report that may include recommendations to
170the parties or a proposed resolution of the complaint. The fact-
171finding report shall be presumed admissible in any subsequent or
172related administrative or judicial review.
173     5.  If the Department of Education determines that
174reasonable grounds exist to believe that an unlawful reprisal
175has occurred, is occurring, or is to be taken, and is unable to
176conciliate a complaint within 60 days after receipt of the fact-
177finding report, the Department of Education shall terminate the
178investigation. Upon termination of any investigation, the
179Department of Education shall notify the complainant and the
180district school superintendent of the termination of the
181investigation, providing a summary of relevant facts found
182during the investigation and the reasons for terminating the
183investigation. A written statement under this paragraph is
184presumed admissible as evidence in any judicial or
185administrative proceeding.
186     6.  The Department of Education shall either contract with
187the Division of Administrative Hearings under s. 120.65, or
188otherwise provide for a complaint for which the Department of
189Education determines reasonable grounds exist to believe that an
190unlawful reprisal has occurred, is occurring, or is to be taken,
191and is unable to conciliate, to be heard by a panel of impartial
192persons. Upon hearing the complaint, the panel shall make
193findings of fact and conclusions of law for a final decision by
194the Department of Education.
196It shall be an affirmative defense to any action brought
197pursuant to this section that the adverse action was predicated
198upon grounds other than, and would have been taken absent, the
199employee's exercise of rights protected by this section.
200     (b)  In any action brought under this section for which it
201is determined reasonable grounds exist to believe that an
202unlawful reprisal has occurred, is occurring, or is to be taken,
203the relief shall include the following:
204     1.  Reinstatement of the employee to the same position held
205before the unlawful reprisal was commenced, or to an equivalent
206position, or payment of reasonable front pay as alternative
208     2.  Reinstatement of the employee's full fringe benefits
209and seniority rights, as appropriate.
210     3.  Compensation, if appropriate, for lost wages, benefits,
211or other lost remuneration caused by the unlawful reprisal.
212     4.  Payment of reasonable costs, including attorney's fees,
213to a substantially prevailing employee, or to the prevailing
214employer if the employee filed a frivolous action in bad faith.
215     5.  Issuance of an injunction, if appropriate, by a court
216of competent jurisdiction.
217     6.  Temporary reinstatement to the employee's former
218position or to an equivalent position, pending the final outcome
219of the complaint, if it is determined that the action was not
220made in bad faith or for a wrongful purpose, and did not occur
221after a district school board's initiation of a personnel action
222against the employee that includes documentation of the
223employee's violation of a disciplinary standard or performance
226     (a)  Sponsoring entities.--
227     1.  A district school board may sponsor a charter school in
228the county over which the district school board has
230     2.  A state university may grant a charter to a lab school
231created under s. 1002.32 and shall be considered to be the
232school's sponsor. Such school shall be considered a charter lab
234     (b)  Sponsor duties.--
235     1.  The sponsor shall monitor and review the charter school
236in its progress toward the goals established in the charter.
237     2.  The sponsor shall monitor the revenues and expenditures
238of the charter school.
239     3.  The sponsor may approve a charter for a charter school
240before the applicant has secured space, equipment, or personnel,
241if the applicant indicates approval is necessary for it to raise
242working funds capital.
243     4.  The sponsor's policies shall not apply to a charter
245     5.  The sponsor shall ensure that the charter is innovative
246and consistent with the state education goals established by s.
248     6.  The sponsor shall ensure that the charter school
249participates in the state's education accountability system. If
250a charter school falls short of performance measures included in
251the approved charter, the sponsor shall report such shortcomings
252to the Department of Education.
253     7.  The sponsor shall provide assistance in scheduling fire
254code inspections upon the request of the charter school.
255     8.  The director and a representative of the governing
256board of a charter school graded "D" or "F" shall appear before
257the sponsor at a formal district school board meeting or state
258university board of trustees meeting at least once a year to
259present information concerning each contract component having
260noted deficiencies and to address corrective strategies that are
261being implemented by the school. The sponsor shall communicate
262at the meeting, and in writing to the director, the services
263provided to the school to help the school address its
266A community college may work with the school district or school
267districts in its designated service area to develop charter
268schools that offer secondary education. These charter schools
269must include an option for students to receive an associate
270degree upon high school graduation. District school boards shall
271cooperate with and assist the community college on the charter
272application. Community college applications for charter schools
273are not subject to the time deadlines outlined in subsection (6)
274and may be approved by the district school board at any time
275during the year. Community colleges shall not report FTE for any
276students who receive FTE funding through the Florida Education
277Finance Program.
278     (c)  Sponsor liability.--A district school board sponsoring
279a charter school shall not be liable for damages resulting from
280the acts or omissions of the charter school's governing board,
281agents, or employees unless such act or omission was based upon
282requirements or policies of the district school board.
283     (d)  Annual survey.--The department shall conduct an annual
284survey of charter school governing boards to determine the
285boards' satisfaction with the services received from their
286sponsors and the Department of Education. The survey results
287shall be reported to the State Board of Education which may
288recommend action for sponsors having an inordinate number of
289complaints or sponsors that have been determined not to have
290fulfilled their responsibilities as described in this section.
291     (6)  APPLICATION PROCESS AND REVIEW.--Charter school
292Beginning September 1, 2003, applications are subject to the
293following requirements:
294     (a)  A person or entity wishing to open a charter school
295shall prepare an application that:
296     1.  Demonstrates how the school will use the guiding
297principles and meet the statutorily defined purpose of a charter
299     2.  Provides a detailed curriculum plan that illustrates
300how students will be provided services to attain the Sunshine
301State Standards.
302     3.  Contains goals and objectives for improving student
303learning and measuring that improvement. These goals and
304objectives must indicate how much academic improvement students
305are expected to show each year, how success will be evaluated,
306and the specific results to be attained through instruction.
307     4.  Describes the reading curriculum and differentiated
308strategies that will be used for students reading at grade level
309or higher and a separate curriculum and strategies for students
310who are reading below grade level. A sponsor shall deny a
311charter if the school does not propose a reading curriculum that
312is consistent with effective teaching strategies that are
313grounded in scientifically based reading research.
314     5.  Contains an annual financial plan for each year
315requested by the charter for operation of the school for up to 5
316years. This plan must contain anticipated fund balances based on
317revenue projections, a spending plan based on projected revenues
318and expenses, and a description of controls that will safeguard
319finances and projected enrollment trends.
320     (b)  A district school board shall receive and review all
321applications for a charter school. Beginning with the 2005-2006
322school year, a district school board shall receive and consider
323charter school applications received on or before August
324September 1 of each calendar year for charter schools to be
325opened at the beginning of the school district's next school
326year, or to be opened at a time agreed to by the applicant and
327the district school board. A district school board may receive
328applications later than this date if it chooses. A sponsor may
329not charge an applicant for a charter any fee for the processing
330or consideration of an application, and a sponsor may not base
331its consideration or approval of an application upon the promise
332of future payment of any kind.
333     1.  In order to facilitate an accurate budget projection
334process, a district school board shall be held harmless for FTE
335students who are not included in the FTE projection due to
336approval of charter school applications after the FTE projection
337deadline. In a further effort to facilitate an accurate budget
338projection, within 15 calendar days after receipt of a charter
339school application, a district school board or other sponsor
340shall report to the Department of Education the name of the
341applicant entity, the proposed charter school location, and its
342projected FTE.
343     2.  In order to ensure fiscal responsibility, an
344application for a charter school shall include a full accounting
345of expected assets, a projection of expected sources and amounts
346of income, including income derived from projected student
347enrollments and from community support, and an expense
348projection that includes full accounting of the costs of
349operation, including start-up costs.
350     3.  A district school board shall by a majority vote
351approve or deny an application no later than 60 calendar days
352after the application is received, unless the district school
353board and the applicant mutually agree in writing to temporarily
354postpone the vote to a specific date, at which time the district
355school board shall by a majority vote approve or deny the
356application. If the district school board fails to act on the
357application, an applicant may appeal to the State Board of
358Education as provided in paragraph (c). If an application is
359denied, the district school board shall, within 10 calendar
360days, articulate in writing the specific reasons for based upon
361good cause supporting its denial of the charter application and
362must provide documentation to the applicant and to the
363Department of Education supporting those reasons.
364     4.  For budget projection purposes, the district school
365board or other sponsor shall report to the Department of
366Education the approval or denial of a charter application within
36710 calendar days after such approval or denial. In the event of
368approval, the report to the Department of Education shall
369include the final projected FTE for the approved charter school.
370     5.  Upon approval of a charter application, the initial
371startup shall commence with the beginning of the public school
372calendar for the district in which the charter is granted unless
373the district school board allows a waiver of this provision for
374good cause.
375     (c)  An applicant may appeal any denial of that applicant's
376application or failure to act on an application to the State
377Board of Education no later than 30 calendar days after receipt
378of the district school board's decision or failure to act and
379shall notify the district school board of its appeal. Any
380response of the district school board shall be submitted to the
381State Board of Education within 30 calendar days after
382notification of the appeal. Upon receipt of notification from
383the State Board of Education that a charter school applicant is
384filing an appeal, the Commissioner of Education shall convene a
385meeting of the Charter School Appeal Commission to study and
386make recommendations to the State Board of Education regarding
387its pending decision about the appeal. The commission shall
388forward its recommendation to the state board no later than 7
389calendar days prior to the date on which the appeal is to be
390heard. The State Board of Education shall by majority vote
391accept or reject the decision of the district school board no
392later than 90 calendar days after an appeal is filed in
393accordance with State Board of Education rule. The Charter
394School Appeal Commission may reject an appeal submission for
395failure to comply with procedural rules governing the appeals
396process. The rejection shall describe the submission errors. The
397appellant may have up to 15 calendar days from notice of
398rejection to resubmit an appeal that meets requirements of State
399Board of Education rule. An application for appeal submitted
400subsequent to such rejection shall be considered timely if the
401original appeal was filed within 30 calendar days after receipt
402of notice of the specific reasons for the district school
403board's denial of the charter application. The State Board of
404Education shall remand the application to the district school
405board with its written decision that the district school board
406approve or deny the application. The district school board shall
407implement the decision of the State Board of Education. The
408decision of the State Board of Education is not subject to the
409provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act, chapter 120.
410     (d)  The district school board shall act upon the decision
411of the State Board of Education within 30 calendar days after it
412is received. The State Board of Education's decision is a final
413action subject to judicial review.
414     (e)1.  A Charter School Appeal Commission is established to
415assist the commissioner and the State Board of Education with a
416fair and impartial review of appeals by applicants whose charter
417applications have been denied, whose charter contracts have not
418been renewed, or whose charter contracts have been terminated by
419their sponsors, or whose disputes over contract negotiations
420have not been resolved through mediation.
421     2.  The Charter School Appeal Commission may receive copies
422of the appeal documents forwarded to the State Board of
423Education, review the documents, gather other applicable
424information regarding the appeal, and make a written
425recommendation to the commissioner. The recommendation must
426state whether the appeal should be upheld or denied and include
427the reasons for the recommendation being offered. The
428commissioner shall forward the recommendation to the State Board
429of Education no later than 7 calendar days prior to the date on
430which the appeal is to be heard. The state board must consider
431the commission's recommendation in making its decision, but is
432not bound by the recommendation. The decision of the Charter
433School Appeal Commission is not subject to the provisions of the
434Administrative Procedure Act, chapter 120.
435     3.  The commissioner shall appoint the members of the
436Charter School Appeal Commission. Members shall serve without
437compensation but may be reimbursed for travel and per diem
438expenses in conjunction with their service. One-half of the
439members must represent currently operating charter schools, and
440one-half of the members must represent school districts. The
441commissioner or a named designee shall chair the Charter School
442Appeal Commission.
443     4.  The chair shall convene meetings of the commission and
444shall ensure that the written recommendations are completed and
445forwarded in a timely manner. In cases where the commission
446cannot reach a decision, the chair shall make the written
447recommendation with justification, noting that the decision was
448rendered by the chair.
449     5.  Commission members shall thoroughly review the
450materials presented to them from the appellant and the sponsor.
451The commission may request information to clarify the
452documentation presented to it. In the course of its review, the
453commission may facilitate the postponement of an appeal in those
454cases where additional time and communication may negate the
455need for a formal appeal and both parties agree, in writing, to
456postpone the appeal to the State Board of Education. A new date
457certain for the appeal shall then be set based upon the rules
458and procedures of the State Board of Education. Commission
459members shall provide a written recommendation to the state
460board as to whether the appeal should be upheld or denied. A
461fact-based justification for the recommendation must be
462included. The chair must ensure that the written recommendation
463is submitted to the State Board of Education members no later
464than 7 calendar days prior to the date on which the appeal is to
465be heard. Both parties in the case shall also be provided a copy
466of the recommendation.
467     (f)  The Department of Education must offer or arrange for
468training and technical assistance to charter school applicants
469in developing business plans and estimating costs and income.
470This assistance must address estimating startup costs,
471projecting enrollment, and identifying the types and amounts of
472state and federal financial assistance the charter school will
473be eligible to receive. The department of Education may provide
474other technical assistance to an applicant upon written request.
475     (g)  In considering charter applications for a lab school,
476a state university shall consult with the district school board
477of the county in which the lab school is located. The decision
478of a state university may be appealed pursuant to the procedure
479established in this subsection.
480     (h)  The terms and conditions for the operation of a
481charter school shall be set forth by the sponsor and the
482applicant in a written contractual agreement, called a charter.
483The sponsor shall not impose unreasonable rules or regulations
484that violate the intent of giving charter schools greater
485flexibility to meet educational goals. The applicant and sponsor
486shall have 3 6 months in which to mutually agree to the
487provisions of the charter. The proposed charter must be provided
488to the charter school at least 7 calendar days prior to the date
489on which the charter is scheduled to be heard by the sponsor.
490The Department of Education shall provide mediation services for
491any dispute regarding this section subsequent to the approval of
492a charter application and for any dispute relating to the
493approved charter, except disputes regarding charter school
494application denials. If the Commissioner of Education determines
495that the dispute cannot be settled through mediation, the
496dispute may be appealed to an administrative law judge appointed
497by the Division of Administrative Hearings. The administrative
498law judge may rule on issues of equitable treatment of the
499charter school as a public school, whether proposed provisions
500of the charter violate the intended flexibility granted charter
501schools by statute, or on any other matter regarding this
502section except a charter school application denial, a charter
503termination, or a charter nonrenewal and shall award the
504prevailing party reasonable attorney's fees and costs incurred
505to be paid by the losing party. The costs of the administrative
506hearing shall be paid by the party whom the administrative law
507judge rules against.
508     (7)  CHARTER.--The major issues involving the operation of
509a charter school shall be considered in advance and written into
510the charter. The charter shall be signed by the governing body
511of the charter school and the sponsor, following a public
512hearing to ensure community input.
513     (a)  The charter shall address, and criteria for approval
514of the charter shall be based on:
515     1.  The school's mission, the students to be served, and
516the ages and grades to be included.
517     2.  The focus of the curriculum, the instructional methods
518to be used, any distinctive instructional techniques to be
519employed, and identification and acquisition of appropriate
520technologies needed to improve educational and administrative
521performance which include a means for promoting safe, ethical,
522and appropriate uses of technology which comply with legal and
523professional standards. The charter shall ensure that reading is
524a primary focus of the curriculum and that resources are
525provided to identify and provide specialized instruction for
526students who are reading below grade level. The curriculum and
527instructional strategies for reading must be consistent with the
528Sunshine State Standards and grounded in scientifically based
529reading research.
530     3.  The current incoming baseline standard of student
531academic achievement, the outcomes to be achieved, and the
532method of measurement that will be used. The criteria listed in
533this subparagraph shall include a detailed description for each
534of the following:
535     a.  How the baseline student academic achievement levels
536and prior rates of academic progress will be established.
537     b.  How these baseline rates will be compared to rates of
538academic progress achieved by these same students while
539attending the charter school.
540     c.  To the extent possible, how these rates of progress
541will be evaluated and compared with rates of progress of other
542closely comparable student populations.
544The district school board is required to provide academic
545student performance data to charter schools for each of their
546students coming from the district school system, as well as
547rates of academic progress of comparable student populations in
548the district school system.
549     4.  The methods used to identify the educational strengths
550and needs of students and how well educational goals and
551performance standards are met by students attending the charter
552school. Included in the methods is a means for the charter
553school to ensure accountability to its constituents by analyzing
554student performance data and by evaluating the effectiveness and
555efficiency of its major educational programs. Students in
556charter schools shall, at a minimum, participate in the
557statewide assessment program created under s. 1008.22.
558     5.  In secondary charter schools, a method for determining
559that a student has satisfied the requirements for graduation in
560s. 1003.43.
561     6.  A method for resolving conflicts between the governing
562body of the charter school and the sponsor.
563     7.  The admissions procedures and dismissal procedures,
564including the school's code of student conduct.
565     8.  The ways by which the school will achieve a
566racial/ethnic balance reflective of the community it serves or
567within the racial/ethnic range of other public schools in the
568same school district.
569     9.  The financial and administrative management of the
570school, including a reasonable demonstration of the professional
571experience or competence of those individuals or organizations
572applying to operate the charter school or those hired or
573retained to perform such professional services and the
574description of clearly delineated responsibilities and the
575policies and practices needed to effectively manage the charter
576school. A description of internal audit procedures and
577establishment of controls to ensure that financial resources are
578properly managed must be included. Both public sector and
579private sector professional experience shall be equally valid in
580such a consideration.
581     10.  The asset and liability projections required in the
582application which are incorporated into the charter and which
583shall be compared with information provided in the annual report
584of the charter school. The charter shall ensure that, if a
585charter school internal audit or annual financial audit reveals
586a state of financial emergency as defined in s. 218.503 or
587deficit financial position, the auditors are required to notify
588the charter school governing board, the sponsor, and the
589Department of Education. The internal auditor shall report such
590findings in the form of an exit interview to the principal or
591the principal administrator of the charter school and the chair
592of the governing board within 7 working days after finding the
593state of financial emergency or deficit position. A final report
594shall be provided to the entire governing board, the sponsor,
595and the Department of Education within 14 working days after the
596exit interview. When a charter school is in a state of financial
597emergency, the charter school shall file a detailed financial
598recovery plan with the sponsor. The department shall establish
599guidelines, with involvement from both school districts and
600charter schools, for developing such plans.
601     11.  A description of procedures that identify various
602risks and provide for a comprehensive approach to reduce the
603impact of losses; plans to ensure the safety and security of
604students and staff; plans to identify, minimize, and protect
605others from violent or disruptive student behavior; and the
606manner in which the school will be insured, including whether or
607not the school will be required to have liability insurance,
608and, if so, the terms and conditions thereof and the amounts of
610     12.  The term of the charter which shall provide for
611cancellation of the charter if insufficient progress has been
612made in attaining the student achievement objectives of the
613charter and if it is not likely that such objectives can be
614achieved before expiration of the charter. The initial term of a
615charter shall be for 3, 4, or 5 years. In order to facilitate
616access to long-term financial resources for charter school
617construction, charter schools that are operated by a
618municipality or other public entity as provided by law are
619eligible for up to a 15-year charter, subject to approval by the
620district school board. A charter lab school is eligible for a
621charter for a term of up to 15 years. In addition, to facilitate
622access to long-term financial resources for charter school
623construction, charter schools that are operated by a private,
624not-for-profit, s. 501(c)(3) status corporation are eligible for
625up to a 15-year 10-year charter, subject to approval by the
626district school board. Such long-term charters remain subject to
627annual review and may be terminated during the term of the
628charter, but only for specific good cause according to the
629provisions set forth in subsection (8).
630     13.  The facilities to be used and their location.
631     14.  The qualifications to be required of the teachers and
632the potential strategies used to recruit, hire, train, and
633retain qualified staff to achieve best value.
634     15.  The governance structure of the school, including the
635status of the charter school as a public or private employer as
636required in paragraph (12)(i).
637     16.  A timetable for implementing the charter which
638addresses the implementation of each element thereof and the
639date by which the charter shall be awarded in order to meet this
641     17.  In the case of an existing public school being
642converted to charter status, alternative arrangements for
643current students who choose not to attend the charter school and
644for current teachers who choose not to teach in the charter
645school after conversion in accordance with the existing
646collective bargaining agreement or district school board rule in
647the absence of a collective bargaining agreement. However,
648alternative arrangements shall not be required for current
649teachers who choose not to teach in a charter lab school, except
650as authorized by the employment policies of the state university
651which grants the charter to the lab school.
652     (b)1.  A charter may be renewed every 5 school years,
653provided that a program review demonstrates that the criteria in
654paragraph (a) have been successfully accomplished and that none
655of the grounds for nonrenewal established by paragraph (8)(a)
656has been documented. In order to facilitate long-term financing
657for charter school construction, charter schools operating for a
658minimum of 2 years and demonstrating exemplary academic
659programming and fiscal management are eligible for a 15-year
660charter renewal. Such long-term charter is subject to annual
661review and may be terminated during the term of the charter.
662     2.  The 15-year charter renewal that may be granted
663pursuant to subparagraph 1. shall be granted to a charter school
664that has received a school grade of "A" or "B" pursuant to s.
6651008.34 in 3 of the past 4 years and is not in a state of
666financial emergency or deficit position as defined by this
667section. Such long-term charter is subject to annual review and
668may be terminated during the term of the charter pursuant to
669subsection (8).
670     (c)  A charter may be modified during its initial term or
671any renewal term upon the recommendation of the sponsor or the
672charter school governing board and the approval of both parties
673to the agreement.
675     (a)  At the end of the term of a charter, the sponsor may
676choose not to renew the charter for any of the following
678     1.  Failure to participate in the state's education
679accountability system created in s. 1008.31, as required in this
680section, or failure to meet the requirements for student
681performance stated in the charter.
682     2.  Failure to meet generally accepted standards of fiscal
684     3.  Violation of law.
685     4.  Determination by the sponsor that the health, safety,
686or welfare of the students is threatened Other good cause shown.
687     5.  Failure of the director of a charter school having a
688school performance grade of a "D" or "F" to appear before the
689sponsoring body as required in subsection (5).
690     (b)  During the term of a charter, the sponsor may
691terminate the charter for any of the grounds listed in paragraph
693     (c)  At least 90 days prior to renewing or terminating a
694charter, the sponsor shall notify the governing body of the
695school of the proposed action in writing. The notice shall state
696in reasonable detail the grounds for the proposed action and
697stipulate that the school's governing body may, within 14
698calendar days after receiving the notice, request an informal
699hearing before the sponsor. The sponsor shall conduct the
700informal hearing within 30 calendar days after receiving a
701written request. The charter school's governing body may, within
70214 calendar days after receiving the sponsor's decision to
703terminate or refuse to renew the charter, appeal the decision
704pursuant to the procedure established in subsection (6).
705     (d)  A charter may be terminated immediately if the sponsor
706determines that good cause has been shown or if the health,
707safety, or welfare of the students is threatened. The charter
708sponsor must notify in writing the charter school's governing
709board, the charter school principal, and the department if a
710charter is immediately terminated. The sponsor shall clearly
711identify the specific issues that resulted in the immediate
712termination and provide evidence of prior notification of issues
713resulting in the immediate termination when appropriate. The
714school district in which the charter school is located shall
715assume operation of the school under these circumstances. The
716charter school's governing board may, within 14 days after
717receiving the sponsor's decision to terminate the charter,
718appeal the decision pursuant to the procedure established in
719subsection (6).
720     (e)  When a charter is not renewed or is terminated, the
721school shall be dissolved under the provisions of law under
722which the school was organized, and any unencumbered public
723funds, except for capital outlay funds, from the charter school
724shall revert to the district school board. Capital outlay funds
725provided pursuant to s. 1013.62 that are unencumbered shall
726revert to the department to be redistributed among eligible
727charter schools. In the event a charter school is dissolved or
728is otherwise terminated, all district school board property and
729improvements, furnishings, and equipment purchased with public
730funds shall automatically revert to full ownership by the
731district school board, subject to complete satisfaction of any
732lawful liens or encumbrances. Any unencumbered public funds from
733the charter school, district school board property and
734improvements, furnishings, and equipment purchased with public
735funds, or financial or other records pertaining to the charter
736school, in the possession of any person, entity, or holding
737company, other than the charter school, shall be held in trust
738upon the district school board's request, until any appeal
739status is resolved.
740     (f)  If a charter is not renewed or is terminated, the
741charter school is responsible for all debts of the charter
742school. The district may not assume the debt from any contract
743for services made between the governing body of the school and a
744third party, except for a debt that is previously detailed and
745agreed upon in writing by both the district and the governing
746body of the school and that may not reasonably be assumed to
747have been satisfied by the district.
748     (g)  If a charter is not renewed or is terminated, a
749student who attended the school may apply to, and shall be
750enrolled in, another public school. Normal application deadlines
751shall be disregarded under such circumstances.
753     (a)  A charter school shall be nonsectarian in its
754programs, admission policies, employment practices, and
756     (b)  A charter school shall admit students as provided in
757subsection (10).
758     (c)  A charter school shall be accountable to its sponsor
759for performance as provided in subsection (7).
760     (d)  A charter school shall not charge tuition or
761registration fees, except those fees normally charged by other
762public schools. However, a charter lab school may charge a
763student activity and service fee as authorized by s. 1002.32(5).
764     (e)  A charter school shall meet all applicable state and
765local health, safety, and civil rights requirements.
766     (f)  A charter school shall not violate the
767antidiscrimination provisions of s. 1000.05.
768     (g)  A charter school shall provide for an annual financial
769audit in accordance with s. 218.39. Financial audits that yield
770a state of financial emergency as defined in s. 218.503 and are
771conducted by a certified public accountant or auditor in
772accordance with s. 218.39 shall be provided to the governing
773board of the charter school within 7 working days after finding
774that a state of financial emergency exists. When a charter
775school is found to be in a state of financial emergency by a
776certified public accountant or auditor, the charter school must
777file a detailed financial recovery plan with the sponsor within
77830 days after receipt of the audit.
779     (h)  No organization shall hold more than 15 charters
781     (i)  Upon receipt of an application to operate a charter
782school, the sponsor must notify the Department of Education of
783the individual, group, organization, or private or nonprofit
784company that submitted an application to operate a charter
785school in this state or that is contracted with by the governing
786board of a charter school to operate a charter school in this
787state. The department shall maintain a database that contains
788the name of each organization or entity applying for a charter
789or operating by contract a charter school in this state,
790principal contact information, a description of the organization
791or entity, an identification of the number of charter
792applications or contracts in the state, and disclosure of
793charters terminated or renewed in this state and other states. A
794sponsor may not approve an application for a charter unless the
795governing board and contract operator of the school have
796submitted a complete, accurate, and timely registration with the
798     (j)(i)  In order to provide financial information that is
799comparable to that reported for other public schools, charter
800schools are to maintain all financial records which constitute
801their accounting system:
802     1.  In accordance with the accounts and codes prescribed in
803the most recent issuance of the publication titled "Financial
804and Program Cost Accounting and Reporting for Florida Schools";
806     2.  At the discretion of the charter school governing
807board, a charter school may elect to follow generally accepted
808accounting standards for not-for-profit organizations, but must
809reformat this information for reporting according to this
812Charter schools are to provide annual financial report and
813program cost report information in the state-required formats
814for inclusion in district reporting in compliance with s.
8151011.60(1). Charter schools that are operated by a municipality
816or are a component unit of a parent nonprofit organization may
817use the accounting system of the municipality or the parent but
818must reformat this information for reporting according to this
820     (k)(j)  The governing board of the charter school shall
821annually adopt and maintain an operating budget.
822     (l)(k)  The governing body of the charter school shall
823exercise continuing oversight over charter school operations.
824     (m)(l)  The governing body of the charter school shall
825report its progress annually to its sponsor, which shall forward
826the report to the Commissioner of Education at the same time as
827other annual school accountability reports. The Department of
828Education shall include in its compilation a notation if a
829school failed to file its report by the deadline established by
830the department. The report shall include at least the following
832     1.  Student achievement performance data, including the
833information required for the annual school report and the
834education accountability system governed by ss. 1008.31 and
8351008.345. Charter schools are subject to the same accountability
836requirements as other public schools, including reports of
837student achievement information that links baseline student data
838to the school's performance projections identified in the
839charter. The charter school shall identify reasons for any
840difference between projected and actual student performance.
841     2.  Financial status of the charter school which must
842include revenues and expenditures at a level of detail that
843allows for analysis of the ability to meet financial obligations
844and timely repayment of debt.
845     3.  Documentation of the facilities in current use and any
846planned facilities for use by the charter school for instruction
847of students, administrative functions, or investment purposes.
848     4.  Descriptive information about the charter school's
849personnel, including salary and benefit levels of charter school
850employees, the proportion of instructional personnel who hold
851professional or temporary certificates, and the proportion of
852instructional personnel teaching in-field or out-of-field.
853     (n)(m)  A charter school shall not levy taxes or issue
854bonds secured by tax revenues.
855     (o)(n)  A charter school shall provide instruction for at
856least the number of days required by law for other public
857schools, and may provide instruction for additional days.
858     (10)  ELIGIBLE STUDENTS.--
859     (a)  A charter school shall be open to any student covered
860in an interdistrict agreement or residing in the school district
861in which the charter school is located; however, in the case of
862a charter lab school, the charter lab school shall be open to
863any student eligible to attend the lab school as provided in s.
8641002.32 or who resides in the school district in which the
865charter lab school is located. Any eligible student shall be
866allowed interdistrict transfer to attend a charter school when
867based on good cause.
868     (b)  The charter school shall enroll an eligible student
869who submits a timely application, unless the number of
870applications exceeds the capacity of a program, class, grade
871level, or building. In such case, all applicants shall have an
872equal chance of being admitted through a random selection
874     (c)  When a public school converts to charter status,
875enrollment preference shall be given to students who would have
876otherwise attended that public school.
877     (d)  A charter school may give enrollment preference to the
878following student populations:
879     1.  Students who are siblings of a student enrolled in the
880charter school.
881     2.  Students who are the children of a member of the
882governing board of the charter school.
883     3.  Students who are the children of an employee of the
884charter school.
885     (e)  A charter school may limit the enrollment process only
886to target the following student populations:
887     1.  Students within specific age groups or grade levels.
888     2.  Students considered at risk of dropping out of school
889or academic failure. Such students shall include exceptional
890education students.
891     3.  Students enrolling in a charter school-in-the-workplace
892or charter school-in-a-municipality established pursuant to
893subsection (15).
894     4.  Students residing within a reasonable distance of the
895charter school, as described in paragraph (20)(c). Such students
896shall be subject to a random lottery and to the racial/ethnic
897balance provisions described in subparagraph (7)(a)8. or any
898federal provisions that require a school to achieve a
899racial/ethnic balance reflective of the community it serves or
900within the racial/ethnic range of other public schools in the
901same school district.
902     5.  Students who meet reasonable academic, artistic, or
903other eligibility standards established by the charter school
904and included in the charter school application and charter or,
905in the case of existing charter schools, standards that are
906consistent with the school's mission and purpose. Such standards
907shall be in accordance with current state law and practice in
908public schools and may not discriminate against otherwise
909qualified individuals.
910     6.  Students articulating from one charter school to
911another pursuant to an articulation agreement between the
912charter schools that has been approved by the sponsor.
913     (f)  Students with handicapping conditions and students
914served in English for Speakers of Other Languages programs shall
915have an equal opportunity of being selected for enrollment in a
916charter school.
917     (g)  A student may withdraw from a charter school at any
918time and enroll in another public school as determined by
919district school board rule.
920     (h)  The capacity of the charter school shall be determined
921annually by the governing board, in conjunction with the
922sponsor, of the charter school in consideration of the factors
923identified in this subsection.
925ACTIVITIES.--A charter school student is eligible to participate
926in an interscholastic extracurricular activity at the public
927school to which the student would be otherwise assigned to
928attend pursuant to s. 1006.15(3)(d).
930     (a)  A charter school shall select its own employees. A
931charter school may contract with its sponsor for the services of
932personnel employed by the sponsor.
933     (b)  Charter school employees shall have the option to
934bargain collectively. Employees may collectively bargain as a
935separate unit or as part of the existing district collective
936bargaining unit as determined by the structure of the charter
938     (c)  The employees of a conversion charter school shall
939remain public employees for all purposes, unless such employees
940choose not to do so.
941     (d)  The teachers at a charter school may choose to be part
942of a professional group that subcontracts with the charter
943school to operate the instructional program under the auspices
944of a partnership or cooperative that they collectively own.
945Under this arrangement, the teachers would not be public
947     (e)  Employees of a school district may take leave to
948accept employment in a charter school upon the approval of the
949district school board. While employed by the charter school and
950on leave that is approved by the district school board, the
951employee may retain seniority accrued in that school district
952and may continue to be covered by the benefit programs of that
953school district, if the charter school and the district school
954board agree to this arrangement and its financing. School
955districts shall not require resignations of teachers desiring to
956teach in a charter school. This paragraph shall not prohibit a
957district school board from approving alternative leave
958arrangements consistent with chapter 1012.
959     (f)  Teachers employed by or under contract to a charter
960school shall be certified as required by chapter 1012. A charter
961school governing board may employ or contract with skilled
962selected noncertified personnel to provide instructional
963services or to assist instructional staff members as education
964paraprofessionals in the same manner as defined in chapter 1012,
965and as provided by State Board of Education rule for charter
966school governing boards. A charter school may not knowingly
967employ an individual to provide instructional services or to
968serve as an education paraprofessional if the individual's
969certification or licensure as an educator is suspended or
970revoked by this or any other state. A charter school may not
971knowingly employ an individual who has resigned from a school
972district in lieu of disciplinary action with respect to child
973welfare or safety, or who has been dismissed for just cause by
974any school district with respect to child welfare or safety. The
975qualifications of teachers shall be disclosed to parents.
976     (g)  A charter school shall employ or contract with
977employees who have undergone background screening as provided in
978s. 1012.32. Members of the governing board of the charter school
979shall also undergo background screening in a manner similar to
980that provided in s. 1012.32.
981     (h)  For the purposes of tort liability, the governing body
982and employees of a charter school shall be governed by s.
984     (i)  A charter school shall organize as, or be operated by,
985a nonprofit organization. A charter school may be operated by a
986municipality or other public entity as provided for by law. As
987such, the charter school may be either a private or a public
988employer. As a public employer, a charter school may participate
989in the Florida Retirement System upon application and approval
990as a "covered group" under s. 121.021(34). If a charter school
991participates in the Florida Retirement System, the charter
992school employees shall be compulsory members of the Florida
993Retirement System. As either a private or a public employer, a
994charter school may contract for services with an individual or
995group of individuals who are organized as a partnership or a
996cooperative. Individuals or groups of individuals who contract
997their services to the charter school are not public employees.
998     (13)  CHARTER SCHOOL COOPERATIVES.--Charter schools may
999enter into cooperative agreements to form charter school
1000cooperative organizations that may provide the following
1001services: charter school planning and development, direct
1002instructional services, and contracts with charter school
1003governing boards to provide personnel administrative services,
1004payroll services, human resource management, evaluation and
1005assessment services, teacher preparation, and professional
1009TAXING POWER NOT TO BE PLEDGED.--Any arrangement entered into to
1010borrow or otherwise secure funds for a charter school authorized
1011in this section from a source other than the state or a school
1012district shall indemnify the state and the school district from
1013any and all liability, including, but not limited to, financial
1014responsibility for the payment of the principal or interest. Any
1015loans, bonds, or other financial agreements are not obligations
1016of the state or the school district but are obligations of the
1017charter school authority and are payable solely from the sources
1018of funds pledged by such agreement. The credit or taxing power
1019of the state or the school district shall not be pledged and no
1020debts shall be payable out of any moneys except those of the
1021legal entity in possession of a valid charter approved by a
1022district school board pursuant to this section.
1025     (a)  In order to increase business partnerships in
1026education, to reduce school and classroom overcrowding
1027throughout the state, and to offset the high costs for
1028educational facilities construction, the Legislature intends to
1029encourage the formation of business partnership schools or
1030satellite learning centers and municipal-operated schools
1031through charter school status.
1032     (b)  A charter school-in-the-workplace may be established
1033when a business partner provides the school facility to be used;
1034enrolls students based upon a random lottery that involves all
1035of the children of employees of that business or corporation who
1036are seeking enrollment, as provided for in subsection (10); and
1037enrolls students according to the racial/ethnic balance
1038provisions described in subparagraph (7)(a)8. Any portion of a
1039facility used for a public charter school shall be exempt from
1040ad valorem taxes, as provided for in s. 1013.54, for the
1041duration of its use as a public school.
1042     (c)  A charter school-in-a-municipality designation may be
1043granted to a municipality that possesses a charter; enrolls
1044students based upon a random lottery that involves all of the
1045children of the residents of that municipality who are seeking
1046enrollment, as provided for in subsection (10); and enrolls
1047students according to the racial/ethnic balance provisions
1048described in subparagraph (7)(a)8. When a municipality has
1049submitted charter applications for the establishment of a
1050charter school feeder pattern, consisting of elementary, middle,
1051and senior high schools, and each individual charter application
1052is approved by the district school board, such schools shall
1053then be designated as one charter school for all purposes listed
1054pursuant to this section. Any portion of the land and facility
1055used for a public charter school shall be exempt from ad valorem
1056taxes, as provided for in s. 1013.54, for the duration of its
1057use as a public school.
1058     (d)  As used in this subsection, the terms "business
1059partner" or "municipality" may include more than one business or
1060municipality to form a charter school-in-the-workplace or
1061charter school-in-a-municipality.
1063     (a)  A charter school shall operate in accordance with its
1064charter and shall be exempt from all statutes in chapters 1000-
10651013. However, a charter school shall be in compliance with the
1066following statutes in chapters 1000-1013:
1067     1.  Those statutes specifically applying to charter
1068schools, including this section.
1069     2.  Those statutes pertaining to the student assessment
1070program and school grading system.
1071     3.  Those statutes pertaining to the provision of services
1072to students with disabilities.
1073     4.  Those statutes pertaining to civil rights, including s.
10741000.05, relating to discrimination.
1075     5.  Those statutes pertaining to student health, safety,
1076and welfare.
1077     (b)  Additionally, a charter school shall be in compliance
1078with the following statutes:
1079     1.  Section 286.011, relating to public meetings and
1080records, public inspection, and criminal and civil penalties.
1081     2.  Chapter 119, relating to public records.
1082     (17)  FUNDING.--Students enrolled in a charter school,
1083regardless of the sponsorship, shall be funded as if they are in
1084a basic program or a special program, the same as students
1085enrolled in other public schools in the school district. Funding
1086for a charter lab school shall be as provided in s. 1002.32.
1087     (a)  Each charter school shall report its student
1088enrollment to the district school board as required in s.
10891011.62, and in accordance with the definitions in s. 1011.61.
1090The district school board shall include each charter school's
1091enrollment in the district's report of student enrollment. All
1092charter schools submitting student record information required
1093by the Department of Education shall comply with the Department
1094of Education's guidelines for electronic data formats for such
1095data, and all districts shall accept electronic data that
1096complies with the Department of Education's electronic format.
1097     (b)  The basis for the agreement for funding students
1098enrolled in a charter school shall be the sum of the school
1099district's operating funds from the Florida Education Finance
1100Program as provided in s. 1011.62 and the General Appropriations
1101Act, including gross state and local funds, discretionary
1102lottery funds, and funds from the school district's current
1103operating discretionary millage levy; divided by total funded
1104weighted full-time equivalent students in the school district;
1105multiplied by the weighted full-time equivalent students for the
1106charter school. Charter schools whose students or programs meet
1107the eligibility criteria in law shall be entitled to their
1108proportionate share of categorical program funds included in the
1109total funds available in the Florida Education Finance Program
1110by the Legislature, including transportation. Total funding for
1111each charter school shall be recalculated during the year to
1112reflect the revised calculations under the Florida Education
1113Finance Program by the state and the actual weighted full-time
1114equivalent students reported by the charter school during the
1115full-time equivalent student survey periods designated by the
1116Commissioner of Education.
1117     (c)  If the district school board is providing programs or
1118services to students funded by federal funds, any eligible
1119students enrolled in charter schools in the school district
1120shall be provided federal funds for the same level of service
1121provided students in the schools operated by the district school
1122board. Pursuant to provisions of 20 U.S.C. 8061 s. 10306, all
1123charter schools shall receive all federal funding for which the
1124school is otherwise eligible, including Title I funding, not
1125later than 5 months after the charter school first opens and
1126within 5 months after any subsequent expansion of enrollment.
1127     (d)  District school boards shall make every effort to
1128ensure that charter schools receive timely and efficient payment
1129and reimbursement to charter schools, including processing
1130paperwork required to access special state and federal funding
1131for which they may be eligible. The district school board may
1132distribute funds to a charter school for up to 3 months based on
1133the projected full-time equivalent student membership of the
1134charter school. Thereafter, the results of full-time equivalent
1135student membership surveys shall be used in adjusting the amount
1136of funds distributed monthly to the charter school for the
1137remainder of the fiscal year. The payment shall be issued no
1138later than 10 working days after the district school board
1139receives a distribution of state or federal funds. If a warrant
1140for payment is not issued within 10 30 working days after
1141receipt of funding by the district school board, the school
1142district shall pay to the charter school, in addition to the
1143amount of the scheduled disbursement, interest at a rate of 5 1
1144percent per month calculated on a daily basis on the unpaid
1145balance from the expiration of the 10 working days 30-day period
1146until such time as the warrant is issued. The Commissioner of
1147Education is authorized to withhold funds from school districts
1148that fail to make timely payments and reimbursements.
1149     (e)  The State Board of Education shall have authority to
1150impose a fine on or withhold lottery funds from a school
1151district for any violation of the procedural requirements for
1152charter school application, termination, or nonrenewal appeals
1153regardless of whether the violation affects the fairness of the
1154appeal process or the correctness of the action taken by the
1155school district. Prior to the imposition of a fine or
1156withholding of lottery funds under this paragraph, the State
1157Board of Education shall provide the school district with notice
1158of the amount of the proposed fine and an opportunity to be
1159heard at a subsequent meeting of the State Board of Education.
1160The funds collected for fines under this paragraph shall be
1161taken from the school district's administrative fee under
1162paragraph (20)(a) and disbursed to the prevailing charter school
1163appellant under this section or, if the charter school
1164appellant's appeal is denied, in equal amounts to each of the
1165charter schools within the school district. The imposition of a
1166fine under this paragraph shall not exceed $10,000 and is a
1167final action subject to judicial review in the district court of
1169     (18)  FACILITIES.--
1170     (a)  A startup charter school shall utilize facilities
1171which comply with the Florida Building Code pursuant to chapter
1172553 except for the State Requirements for Educational
1173Facilities. Conversion charter schools shall utilize facilities
1174which comply with the State Requirements for Educational
1175Facilities provided that the school district and the charter
1176school have entered into a mutual management plan with
1177sufficient funding from the school district to comply with the
1178State Requirements for Educational Facilities. Charter schools,
1179with the exception of conversion charter schools, are not
1180required to comply, but may choose to comply, with the State
1181Requirements for Educational Facilities of the Florida Building
1182Code adopted pursuant to s. 1013.37. The local governing
1183authority shall not adopt or impose local building requirements
1184or restrictions that are more stringent than those found in the
1185Florida Building Code. The agency having jurisdiction for
1186inspection of a facility and issuance of a certificate of
1187occupancy shall be the local municipality or, if in an
1188unincorporated area, the county governing authority.
1189     (b)  A charter school shall utilize facilities that comply
1190with the Florida Fire Prevention Code, pursuant to s. 633.025,
1191as adopted by the authority in whose jurisdiction the facility
1192is located as provided in paragraph (a).
1193     (c)  Any facility, or portion thereof, used to house a
1194charter school whose charter has been approved by the sponsor
1195and the governing board, pursuant to subsection (7), shall be
1196exempt from ad valorem taxes pursuant to s. 196.1983. Library,
1197community service, museum, performing arts, theatre, cinema,
1198church, community college, college, and university facilities
1199may provide space to charter schools within their facilities
1200under their preexisting zoning and land use designations.
1201     (d)  Charter school facilities are exempt from assessments
1202of fees for building permits, except as provided in s. 553.80,
1203fees and for building and occupational licenses, and from
1204assessments of impact fees or service availability fees.
1205     (e)  If a district school board facility or property is
1206available because it is surplus, marked for disposal, or
1207otherwise unused, it shall be provided for a charter school's
1208use on the same basis as it is made available to other public
1209schools in the district. A charter school receiving property
1210from the school district may not sell or dispose of such
1211property without written permission of the school district.
1212Similarly, for an existing public school converting to charter
1213status, no rental or leasing fee for the existing facility or
1214for the property normally inventoried to the conversion school
1215may be charged by the district school board to the parents and
1216teachers organizing the charter school. The charter school
1217organizers shall agree to reasonable maintenance provisions in
1218order to maintain the facility in a manner similar to district
1219school board standards. The Public Education Capital Outlay
1220maintenance funds or any other maintenance funds generated by
1221the facility operated as a conversion school shall remain with
1222the conversion school.
1223     (f)  To the extent that charter school facilities are
1224specifically created to mitigate the educational impact created
1225by the development of new residential dwelling units, pursuant
1226to subparagraph (2)(c)4., some of or all of the educational
1227impact fees required to be paid in connection with the new
1228residential dwelling units may be designated instead for the
1229construction of the charter school facilities that will mitigate
1230the student station impact. Such facilities shall be built to
1231the State Requirements for Educational Facilities and shall be
1232owned by a public or nonprofit entity. The local school district
1233retains the right to monitor and inspect such facilities to
1234ensure compliance with the State Requirements for Educational
1235Facilities. If a facility ceases to be used for public
1236educational purposes, either the facility shall revert to the
1237school district subject to any debt owed on the facility, or the
1238owner of the facility shall have the option to refund all
1239educational impact fees utilized for the facility to the school
1240district. The district and the owner of the facility may
1241contractually agree to another arrangement for the facilities if
1242the facilities cease to be used for educational purposes. The
1243owner of property planned or approved for new residential
1244dwelling units and the entity levying educational impact fees
1245shall enter into an agreement that designates the educational
1246impact fees that will be allocated for the charter school
1247student stations and that ensures the timely construction of the
1248charter school student stations concurrent with the expected
1249occupancy of the residential units. The application for use of
1250educational impact fees shall include an approved charter school
1251application. To assist the school district in forecasting
1252student station needs, the entity levying the impact fees shall
1253notify the affected district of any agreements it has approved
1254for the purpose of mitigating student station impact from the
1255new residential dwelling units.
1256     (19)  CAPITAL OUTLAY FUNDING.--Charter schools are eligible
1257for capital outlay funds pursuant to s. 1013.62.
1258     (20)  SERVICES.--
1259     (a)  A sponsor shall provide certain administrative and
1260educational services to charter schools. These services shall
1261include contract management services; full-time equivalent and
1262data reporting services; exceptional student education
1263administration and evaluation services; test administration
1264services, including payment of the costs of state-required or
1265district-required student assessments; processing of teacher
1266certificate data services; and information services, including
1267equal access to student information systems that are used by
1268public schools in the district in which the charter school is
1269located. A total administrative fee for the provision of such
1270services shall be calculated based upon up to 5 percent of the
1271available funds defined in paragraph (17)(b) for all students.
1272However, a sponsor may only withhold up to a 5-percent
1273administrative fee for enrollment for up to and including 500
1274students. For charter schools with a population of 501 or more
1275students, the difference between the total administrative fee
1276calculation and the amount of the administrative fee withheld
1277may only be used for capital outlay purposes specified in s.
12781013.62(4)(2). Sponsors shall not charge charter schools any
1279additional fees or surcharges for administrative and educational
1280services in addition to the maximum 5-percent administrative fee
1281withheld pursuant to this paragraph.
1282     (b)  If goods and services are made available to the
1283charter school through the contract with the school district,
1284they shall be provided to the charter school at a rate no
1285greater than the district's actual cost unless mutually agreed
1286upon by the charter school and the sponsor in a contract
1287negotiated separately from the charter. When mediation has
1288failed to resolve disputes over contracted services or
1289contractual matters not included in the charter, an appeal may
1290be made for a dispute resolution hearing before the Charter
1291School Appeal Commission. To maximize the use of state funds,
1292school districts shall allow charter schools to participate in
1293the sponsor's bulk purchasing program if applicable.
1294     (c)  Transportation of charter school students shall be
1295provided by the charter school consistent with the requirements
1296of subpart I.E. of chapter 1006 and s. 1012.45. The governing
1297body of the charter school may provide transportation through an
1298agreement or contract with the district school board, a private
1299provider, or parents. The charter school and the sponsor shall
1300cooperate in making arrangements that ensure that transportation
1301is not a barrier to equal access for all students residing
1302within a reasonable distance of the charter school as determined
1303in its charter.
1305Department of Education shall provide information to the public,
1306directly and through sponsors, both on how to form and operate a
1307charter school and on how to enroll in charter schools once they
1308are created. This information shall include a standard
1309application format, charter format, and charter renewal format
1310which shall include the information specified in subsection (7).
1311These formats shall This application format may be used as
1312guidelines by charter school sponsors chartering entities.
1314     (a)  The Department of Education shall staff and regularly
1315convene a Charter School Review Panel in order to review issues,
1316practices, and policies regarding charter schools. The
1317composition of the review panel shall include individuals with
1318experience in finance, administration, law, education, and
1319school governance, and individuals familiar with charter school
1320construction and operation. The panel shall include two
1321appointees each from the Commissioner of Education, the
1322President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of
1323Representatives. The Governor shall appoint three members of the
1324panel and shall designate the chair. Each member of the panel
1325shall serve a 1-year term, unless renewed by the office making
1326the appointment. The panel shall make recommendations to the
1327Legislature, to the Department of Education, to charter schools,
1328and to school districts for improving charter school operations
1329and oversight and for ensuring best business practices at and
1330fair business relationships with charter schools.
1331     (b)  The Legislature shall review the operation of charter
1332schools during the 2005 Regular Session of the Legislature.
1334of the annual report required by paragraph (9)(m)(l), the
1335Department of Education shall provide to the State Board of
1336Education, the Commissioner of Education, the Governor, the
1337President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of
1338Representatives an analysis and comparison of the overall
1339performance of charter school students, to include all students
1340whose scores are counted as part of the statewide assessment
1341program, versus comparable public school students in the
1342district as determined by the statewide assessment program
1343currently administered in the school district, and other
1344assessments administered pursuant to s. 1008.22(3).
1345     (24)  RULEMAKING.--The Department of Education, after
1346consultation with school districts and charter school directors,
1347shall recommend that the State Board of Education adopt rules to
1348implement specific subsections of this section. Such rules shall
1349require minimum paperwork and shall not limit charter school
1350flexibility authorized by statute.
1351     Section 2.  Subsection (5) of section 218.39, Florida
1352Statutes, is amended to read:
1353     218.39  Annual financial audit reports.--
1354     (5)  At the conclusion of the audit, the auditor shall
1355discuss with the chair of each local governmental entity or the
1356chair's designee, or with the elected official of each county
1357agency or with the elected official's designee, or with the
1358chair of the district school board or the chair's designee, or
1359with the chair of the board of the charter school or the chair's
1360designee, or with the chair of the charter technical career
1361center or the chair's designee, as appropriate, all of the
1362auditor's comments that will be included in the audit report. If
1363the officer is not available to discuss the auditor's comments,
1364their discussion is presumed when the comments are delivered in
1365writing to his or her office. The auditor shall notify each
1366member of the governing body of a local governmental entity, or
1367district school board, or charter school for which deteriorating
1368financial conditions exist that may cause a condition described
1369in s. 218.503(1) to occur if actions are not taken to address
1370such conditions.
1371     Section 3.  Section 218.50, Florida Statutes, is amended to
1373     218.50  Short title.--Sections 218.50-218.504 may be cited
1374as the "Local Governmental Entity, Charter School, and District
1375School Board Financial Emergencies Act."
1376     Section 4.  Section 218.501, Florida Statutes, is amended
1377to read:
1378     218.501  Purposes.--The purposes of ss. 218.50-218.504 are:
1379     (1)  To promote the fiscal responsibility of local
1380governmental entities, charter schools, and district school
1382     (2)  To assist local governmental entities, charter
1383schools, and district school boards in providing essential
1384services without interruption and in meeting their financial
1386     (3)  To assist local governmental entities, charter
1387schools, and district school boards through the improvement of
1388local financial management procedures.
1389     Section 5.  Section 218.503, Florida Statutes, is amended
1390to read:
1391     218.503  Determination of financial emergency.--
1392     (1)  Local governmental entities, charter schools, and
1393district school boards shall be subject to review and oversight
1394by the Governor, charter school sponsor, or the Commissioner of
1395Education, as appropriate, when any one of the following
1396conditions occurs:
1397     (a)  Failure within the same fiscal year in which due to
1398pay short-term loans or failure to make bond debt service or
1399other long-term debt payments when due, as a result of a lack of
1401     (b)  Failure to pay uncontested claims from creditors
1402within 90 days after the claim is presented, as a result of a
1403lack of funds.
1404     (c)  Failure to transfer at the appropriate time, due to
1405lack of funds:
1406     1.  Taxes withheld on the income of employees; or
1407     2.  Employer and employee contributions for:
1408     a.  Federal social security; or
1409     b.  Any pension, retirement, or benefit plan of an
1411     (d)  Failure for one pay period to pay, due to lack of
1413     1.  Wages and salaries owed to employees; or
1414     2.  Retirement benefits owed to former employees.
1415     (e)  An unreserved or total fund balance or retained
1416earnings deficit, or unrestricted or total net assets deficit,
1417as reported on the balance sheet or statement of net assets on
1418the general purpose or fund financial statements, for which
1419sufficient resources of the local governmental entity, as
1420reported on the balance sheet or statement of net assets on the
1421general purpose or fund financial statements, are not available
1422to cover the deficit. Resources available to cover reported
1423deficits include net assets that are not otherwise restricted by
1424federal, state, or local laws, bond covenants, contractual
1425agreements, or other legal constraints. Fixed or capital assets,
1426the disposal of which would impair the ability of a local
1427governmental entity to carry out its functions, are not
1428considered resources available to cover reported deficits.
1429     (2)  A local governmental entity shall notify the Governor
1430and the Legislative Auditing Committee, a charter school shall
1431notify the charter school sponsor and the Legislative Auditing
1432Committee, and a district school board shall notify the
1433Commissioner of Education and the Legislative Auditing
1434Committee, when one or more of the conditions specified in
1435subsection (1) have occurred or will occur if action is not
1436taken to assist the local governmental entity, charter school,
1437or district school board. In addition, any state agency must,
1438within 30 days after a determination that one or more of the
1439conditions specified in subsection (1) have occurred or will
1440occur if action is not taken to assist the local governmental
1441entity, charter school, or district school board, notify the
1442Governor, charter school sponsor, or the Commissioner of
1443Education, as appropriate, and the Legislative Auditing
1445     (3)  Upon notification that one or more of the conditions
1446in subsection (1) exist, the Governor or his or her designee
1447shall contact the local governmental entity or the Commissioner
1448of Education or his or her designee shall contact the district
1449school board to determine what actions have been taken by the
1450local governmental entity or the district school board to
1451resolve the condition. The Governor or the Commissioner of
1452Education, as appropriate, shall determine whether the local
1453governmental entity or the district school board needs state
1454assistance to resolve the condition. If state assistance is
1455needed, the local governmental entity or district school board
1456is considered to be in a state of financial emergency. The
1457Governor or the Commissioner of Education, as appropriate, has
1458the authority to implement measures as set forth in ss. 218.50-
1459218.504 to assist the local governmental entity or district
1460school board in resolving the financial emergency. Such measures
1461may include, but are not limited to:
1462     (a)  Requiring approval of the local governmental entity's
1463budget by the Governor or approval of the district school
1464board's budget by the Commissioner of Education.
1465     (b)  Authorizing a state loan to a local governmental
1466entity and providing for repayment of same.
1467     (c)  Prohibiting a local governmental entity or district
1468school board from issuing bonds, notes, certificates of
1469indebtedness, or any other form of debt until such time as it is
1470no longer subject to this section.
1471     (d)  Making such inspections and reviews of records,
1472information, reports, and assets of the local governmental
1473entity or district school board. The appropriate local officials
1474shall cooperate in such inspections and reviews.
1475     (e)  Consulting with officials and auditors of the local
1476governmental entity or the district school board and the
1477appropriate state officials regarding any steps necessary to
1478bring the books of account, accounting systems, financial
1479procedures, and reports into compliance with state requirements.
1480     (f)  Providing technical assistance to the local
1481governmental entity or the district school board.
1482     (g)1.  Establishing a financial emergency board to oversee
1483the activities of the local governmental entity or the district
1484school board. If a financial emergency board is established for
1485a local governmental entity, the Governor shall appoint board
1486members and select a chair. If a financial emergency board is
1487established for a district school board, the State Board of
1488Education shall appoint board members and select a chair. The
1489financial emergency board shall adopt such rules as are
1490necessary for conducting board business. The board may:
1491     a.  Make such reviews of records, reports, and assets of
1492the local governmental entity or the district school board as
1493are needed.
1494     b.  Consult with officials and auditors of the local
1495governmental entity or the district school board and the
1496appropriate state officials regarding any steps necessary to
1497bring the books of account, accounting systems, financial
1498procedures, and reports of the local governmental entity or the
1499district school board into compliance with state requirements.
1500     c.  Review the operations, management, efficiency,
1501productivity, and financing of functions and operations of the
1502local governmental entity or the district school board.
1503     2.  The recommendations and reports made by the financial
1504emergency board must be submitted to the Governor for local
1505governmental entities or to the Commissioner of Education and
1506the State Board of Education for district school boards for
1507appropriate action.
1508     (h)  Requiring and approving a plan, to be prepared by
1509officials of the local governmental entity or the district
1510school board in consultation with the appropriate state
1511officials, prescribing actions that will cause the local
1512governmental entity or district school board to no longer be
1513subject to this section. The plan must include, but need not be
1514limited to:
1515     1.  Provision for payment in full of obligations outlined
1516in subsection (1), designated as priority items, that are
1517currently due or will come due.
1518     2.  Establishment of priority budgeting or zero-based
1519budgeting in order to eliminate items that are not affordable.
1520     3.  The prohibition of a level of operations which can be
1521sustained only with nonrecurring revenues.
1522     (4)  Upon notification that one or more of the conditions
1523in subsection (1) exist, the charter school sponsor or the
1524sponsor's designee shall contact the charter school governing
1525board to determine what actions have been taken by the charter
1526school governing board to resolve the condition. The charter
1527school sponsor has the authority to require and approve a
1528financial recovery plan, to be prepared by the charter school
1529governing board, prescribing actions that will cause the charter
1530school to no longer be subject to this section. The Department
1531of Education must establish guidelines for developing such
1533     (5)(4)  A local governmental entity or district school
1534board may not seek application of laws under the bankruptcy
1535provisions of the United States Constitution except with the
1536prior approval of the Governor for local governmental entities
1537or the Commissioner of Education for district school boards.
1538     (6)(5)(a)  The governing authority of any municipality
1539having a resident population of 300,000 or more on or after
1540April 1, 1999, which has been declared in a state of financial
1541emergency pursuant to this section may impose a discretionary
1542per-vehicle surcharge of up to 20 percent on the gross revenues
1543of the sale, lease, or rental of space at parking facilities
1544within the municipality which are open for use to the general
1546     (b)  A municipal governing authority that imposes the
1547surcharge authorized by this subsection may use the proceeds of
1548such surcharge for the following purposes only:
1549     1.  No less than 60 percent and no more than 80 percent of
1550the surcharge proceeds shall be used by the governing authority
1551to reduce its ad valorem tax millage rate or to reduce or
1552eliminate non-ad valorem assessments.
1553     2.  A portion of the balance of the surcharge proceeds
1554shall be used by the governing authority to increase its budget
1555reserves; however, the governing authority shall not reduce the
1556amount it allocates for budget reserves from other sources below
1557the amount allocated for reserves in the fiscal year prior to
1558the year in which the surcharge is initially imposed. When a 15-
1559percent budget reserve is achieved, based on the average gross
1560revenue for the most recent 3 prior fiscal years, the remaining
1561proceeds from this subparagraph shall be used for the payment of
1562annual debt service related to outstanding obligations backed or
1563secured by a covenant to budget and appropriate from non-ad
1564valorem revenues.
1565     (c)  This subsection expires June 30, 2006.
1566     Section 6.  Subsection (1) of section 218.504, Florida
1567Statutes, is amended to read:
1568     218.504  Cessation of state action.--The Governor or the
1569Commissioner of Education, as appropriate, has the authority to
1570terminate all state actions pursuant to ss. 218.50-218.504.
1571Cessation of state action must not occur until the Governor or
1572the Commissioner of Education, as appropriate, has determined
1574     (1)  The local governmental entity, charter school, or
1575district school board:
1576     (a)  Has established and is operating an effective
1577financial accounting and reporting system.
1578     (b)  Has resolved the conditions outlined in s. 218.503(1).
1579     Section 7.  Paragraph (e) of subsection (7) and subsection
1580(8) of section 11.45, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
1581     11.45  Definitions; duties; authorities; reports; rules.--
1583     (e)  The Auditor General shall notify the Governor or the
1584Commissioner of Education, as appropriate, and the Legislative
1585Auditing Committee of any audit report reviewed by the Auditor
1586General pursuant to paragraph (b) which contains a statement
1587that a local governmental entity, charter school, or district
1588school board has met one or more of the conditions specified in
1589s. 218.503. If the Auditor General requests a clarification
1590regarding information included in an audit report to determine
1591whether a local governmental entity, charter school, or district
1592school board has met one or more of the conditions specified in
1593s. 218.503, the requested clarification must be provided within
159445 days after the date of the request. If the local governmental
1595entity, charter school, or district school board does not comply
1596with the Auditor General's request, the Auditor General shall
1597notify the Legislative Auditing Committee. If, after obtaining
1598the requested clarification, the Auditor General determines that
1599the local governmental entity, charter school, or district
1600school board has met one or more of the conditions specified in
1601s. 218.503, he or she shall notify the Governor or the
1602Commissioner of Education, as appropriate, and the Legislative
1603Auditing Committee.
1604     (8)  RULES OF THE AUDITOR GENERAL.--The Auditor General, in
1605consultation with the Board of Accountancy, shall adopt rules
1606for the form and conduct of all financial audits performed by
1607independent certified public accountants pursuant to ss.
1608215.981, 218.39, 1001.453, 1004.28, and 1004.70. The rules for
1609audits of local governmental entities, charter schools, and
1610district school boards must include, but are not limited to,
1611requirements for the reporting of information necessary to carry
1612out the purposes of the Local Governmental Entity, Charter
1613School, and District School Board Financial Emergencies Act as
1614stated in s. 218.501.
1615     Section 8.  Subsection (1) and paragraph (a) of subsection
1616(2) of section 166.271, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
1617     166.271  Surcharge on municipal facility parking fees.--
1618     (1)  The governing authority of any municipality with a
1619resident population of 200,000 or more, more than 20 percent of
1620the real property of which is exempt from ad valorem taxes, and
1621which is located in a county with a population of more than
1622500,000 may impose and collect, subject to referendum approval
1623by voters in the municipality, a discretionary per vehicle
1624surcharge of up to 15 percent of the amount charged for the
1625sale, lease, or rental of space at parking facilities within the
1626municipality which are open for use to the general public and
1627which are not airports, seaports, county administration
1628buildings, or other projects as defined under ss. 125.011 and
1629125.015, provided that this surcharge shall not take effect
1630while any surcharge imposed pursuant to s. 218.503(6)(5)(a), is
1631in effect.
1632     (2)  A municipal governing authority that imposes the
1633surcharge authorized by this subsection may use the proceeds of
1634such surcharge for the following purposes only:
1635     (a)  No less than 60 percent and no more than 80 percent of
1636surcharge proceeds shall be used to reduce the municipality's ad
1637valorem tax millage or to reduce or eliminate non-ad valorem
1638assessments, unless the municipality has previously used the
1639proceeds from the surcharge levied under s. 218.503(6)(5)(b) to
1640reduce the municipality's ad valorem tax millage or to reduce
1641non-ad valorem assessments.
1642     Section 9.  Paragraph (a) of subsection (9) and paragraph
1643(b) of subsection (11) of section 1002.32, Florida Statutes, are
1644amended to read:
1645     1002.32  Developmental research (laboratory) schools.--
1646     (9)  FUNDING.--Funding for a lab school, including a
1647charter lab school, shall be provided as follows:
1648     (a)  Each lab school shall be allocated its proportional
1649share of operating funds from the Florida Education Finance
1650Program as provided in s. 1011.62 based on the county in which
1651the lab school is located and the General Appropriations Act.
1652The nonvoted ad valorem millage that would otherwise be required
1653for lab schools shall be allocated from state funds. The
1654required local effort funds calculated pursuant to s. 1011.62
1655shall be allocated from state funds to the schools as a part of
1656the allocation of operating funds pursuant to s. 1011.62. Each
1657eligible lab school in operation as of September 1, 2002, shall
1658also receive a proportional share of the sparsity supplement as
1659calculated pursuant to s. 1011.62. In addition, each lab school
1660shall receive its proportional share of all categorical funds,
1661with the exception of s. 1011.68, and new categorical funds
1662enacted after July 1, 1994, for the purpose of elementary or
1663secondary academic program enhancement. However, if a lab
1664school, in the fulfillment of its requirements to have a
1665representative student population pursuant to subsection (4),
1666elects to provide student transportation, the lab school shall
1667be eligible for funding pursuant to s. 1011.68. The sum of funds
1668available as provided in this paragraph shall be included
1669annually in the Florida Education Finance Program and
1670appropriate categorical programs funded in the General
1671Appropriations Act.
1672     (11)  EXCEPTIONS TO LAW.--To encourage innovative practices
1673and facilitate the mission of the lab schools, in addition to
1674the exceptions to law specified in s. 1001.23(2), the following
1675exceptions shall be permitted for lab schools:
1676     (b)  With the exception of s. 1001.42(16), s. 1001.42 shall
1677be held in abeyance, except that a lab school, in the
1678fulfillment of its requirements to have a representative student
1679population pursuant to subsection (4), may elect to provide
1680transportation in accordance with s. 1001.42(8). Reference to
1681district school boards in s. 1001.42(16) shall mean the
1682president of the university or the president's designee.
1683     Section 10.  Subsection (3) of section 1003.05, Florida
1684Statutes, is amended to read:
1685     1003.05  Assistance to transitioning students from military
1687     (3)  Dependent children of active duty military personnel
1688who otherwise meet the eligibility criteria for special academic
1689programs offered through public schools shall be given first
1690preference for admission to such programs even if the program is
1691being offered through a public school other than the school to
1692which the student would generally be assigned and the school at
1693which the program is being offered has reached its maximum
1694enrollment. If such a program is offered through a public school
1695other than the school to which the student would generally be
1696assigned, the parent or guardian of the student must assume
1697responsibility for transporting the student to that school. For
1698purposes of this subsection, special academic programs include
1699charter schools, magnet schools, advanced studies programs,
1700advanced placement, dual enrollment, and International
1702     Section 11.  Effective July 1, 2006, subsection (2) of
1703section 1012.74, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
1704     1012.74  Florida educators professional liability insurance
1706     (2)(a)  Educator professional liability coverage for all
1707instructional personnel, including charter school instructional
1708personnel, as defined by s. 1012.01(2), who are full-time
1709personnel, as defined by the district school board policy, shall
1710be provided by specific appropriations under the General
1711Appropriations Act.
1712     (b)  Educator professional liability coverage shall be
1713extended at cost to all instructional personnel, including
1714charter school instructional personnel, as defined by s.
17151012.01(2), who are part-time personnel, as defined by the
1716district school board policy, and choose to participate in the
1717state-provided program.
1718     (c)  Educator professional liability coverage shall be
1719extended at cost to all administrative personnel, including
1720administrative personnel in charter schools, as defined by s.
17211012.01(3), who choose to participate in the state-provided
1723     Section 12.  Section 1013.62, Florida Statutes, is amended
1724to read:
1725     1013.62  Charter schools capital outlay funding.--
1726     (1)  In each year in which funds are appropriated for
1727charter school capital outlay purposes, the Commissioner of
1728Education shall allocate the funds among eligible charter
1729schools. To be eligible for a funding allocation, a charter
1730school must be one of the following:
1731     (a)  The same school that received capital outlay funding
1732in 2002-2003.
1733     (b)  A charter school that is an expanded feeder pattern of
1734a charter school that received capital outlay funding in 2002-
1736     (2)  If an appropriation for charter school capital outlay
1737funds is less than the 2002-2003 appropriation, the funds shall
1738be prorated among schools eligible pursuant to subsection (1).
1739     (3)  If an appropriation for charter school capital outlay
1740funds is greater than the 2002-2003 appropriation, the funds
1741shall be allocated to schools eligible pursuant to subsection
1742(1) and to charter schools that:
1743     (a)1.  Have been in operation for 3 or more years;
1744     2.  Are Be an expanded feeder chain of a charter school
1745within the same school district that is currently receiving
1746charter school capital outlay funds; or
1747     3.  Have been accredited by the Commission on Schools of
1748the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
1749     (b)  Have financial stability for future operation as a
1750charter school.
1751     (c)  Have received a school grade of "A" or "B," pursuant
1752to s. 1008.34, during 3 of the past 4 school years satisfactory
1753student achievement based on state accountability standards
1754applicable to the charter school.
1755     (d)  Have received final approval from its sponsor pursuant
1756to s. 1002.33 for operation during that fiscal year.
1757     (e)  Serve students in facilities that are not provided by
1758the charter school's sponsor.
1760First priority for allocating the amount in excess of the 2002-
17612003 appropriation shall be to prorate the excess funds among
1762charter schools with long-term debt or long-term lease to the
1763extent that the initial allocation is insufficient to provide
1764one-fifteenth of the cost-per-student station specified in s.
17651013.64(6)(b) and second priority shall be to other eligible
1766charter schools. Prior to the release of capital outlay funds to
1767a school district on behalf of the charter school, the
1768Department of Education shall ensure that the district school
1769board and the charter school governing board enter into a
1770written agreement that includes provisions for the reversion of
1771any unencumbered funds and all equipment and property purchased
1772with public education funds to the ownership of the district
1773school board, as provided for in subsection (5)(3), in the event
1774that the school terminates operations. Any funds recovered by
1775the state shall be deposited in the General Revenue Fund. A
1776charter school is not eligible for a funding allocation if it
1777was created by the conversion of a public school and operates in
1778facilities provided by the charter school's sponsor for a
1779nominal fee or at no charge or if it is directly or indirectly
1780operated by the school district. Unless otherwise provided in
1781the General Appropriations Act, the funding allocation for each
1782eligible charter school shall be determined by multiplying the
1783school's projected student enrollment by one-fifteenth of the
1784cost-per-student station specified in s. 1013.64(6)(b) for an
1785elementary, middle, or high school, as appropriate. If the funds
1786appropriated are not sufficient, the commissioner shall prorate
1787the available funds among eligible charter schools. However, no
1788charter school or charter lab school shall receive state charter
1789school capital outlay funds in excess of the one-fifteenth cost
1790per student station formula if the charter school's combination
1791of state charter school capital outlay funds, capital outlay
1792funds calculated through the reduction in the administrative fee
1793provided in s. 1002.33(20), and capital outlay funds allowed in
1794s. 1002.32(9)(e) and (h) exceeds the one-fifteenth cost per
1795student station formula. Funds shall be distributed on the basis
1796of the capital outlay full-time equivalent membership by grade
1797level, which shall be calculated by averaging the results of the
1798second and third enrollment surveys. The Department of Education
1799shall distribute capital outlay funds monthly, beginning in the
1800first quarter of the fiscal year, based on one-twelfth of the
1801amount the department reasonably expects the charter school to
1802receive during that fiscal year. The commissioner shall adjust
1803subsequent distributions as necessary to reflect each charter
1804school's actual student enrollment as reflected in the second
1805and third enrollment surveys. The commissioner shall establish
1806the intervals and procedures for determining the projected and
1807actual student enrollment of eligible charter schools.
1808     (4)(2)  A charter school's governing body may use charter
1809school capital outlay funds for the following purposes:
1810     (a)  Purchase of real property.
1811     (b)  Construction of school facilities.
1812     (c)  Purchase, lease-purchase, or lease of permanent or
1813relocatable school facilities.
1814     (d)  Purchase of vehicles to transport students to and from
1815the charter school.
1816     (e)  Renovation, repair, and maintenance of school
1817facilities that the charter school owns or is purchasing through
1818a lease-purchase or long-term lease of 5 years or longer or
1819furnishing or equipping such facilities.
1821Conversion charter schools may use capital outlay funds received
1822through the reduction in the administrative fee provided in s.
18231002.33(20) for renovation, repair, and maintenance of school
1824facilities that are owned by the sponsor.
1825     (5)(3)  When a charter school is nonrenewed or terminated,
1826any unencumbered funds and all equipment and property purchased
1827with district public funds shall revert to the ownership of the
1828district school board, as provided for in s. 1002.33(8)(e) and
1829(f). In the case of a charter lab school, any unencumbered funds
1830and all equipment and property purchased with university public
1831funds shall revert to the ownership of the state university that
1832issued the charter. The reversion of such equipment, property,
1833and furnishings shall focus on recoverable assets, but not on
1834intangible or irrecoverable costs such as rental or leasing
1835fees, normal maintenance, and limited renovations. The reversion
1836of all property secured with public funds is subject to the
1837complete satisfaction of all lawful liens or encumbrances. If
1838there are additional local issues such as the shared use of
1839facilities or partial ownership of facilities or property, these
1840issues shall be agreed to in the charter contract prior to the
1841expenditure of funds.
1842     (6)(4)  The Commissioner of Education shall specify
1843procedures for submitting and approving requests for funding
1844under this section and procedures for documenting expenditures.
1845     (7)(5)  The annual legislative budget request of the
1846Department of Education shall include a request for capital
1847outlay funding for charter schools. The request shall be based
1848on the projected number of students to be served in charter
1849schools who meet the eligibility requirements of this section. A
1850dedicated funding source, if identified in writing by the
1851Commissioner of Education and submitted along with the annual
1852charter school legislative budget request, may be considered an
1853additional source of funding.
1854     (8)(6)  Unless authorized otherwise by the Legislature,
1855allocation and proration of charter school capital outlay funds
1856shall be made to eligible charter schools by the Commissioner of
1857Education in an amount and in a manner authorized by subsections
1858(2) and (3) subsection (1).
1859     (7)  Notwithstanding the provisions of this section,
1860beginning in the 2003-2004 fiscal year:
1861     (a)  If the appropriation for charter school capital outlay
1862funds is no greater than the 2002-2003 appropriation, the funds
1863shall be allocated according to the formula outlined in
1864subsection (1) to:
1865     1.  The same schools that received funding in 2002-2003.
1866     2.  Schools that are an expanded feeder pattern of schools
1867that received funding in 2002-2003.
1868     3.  Schools that have an approved charter and are serving
1869students at the start of the 2003-2004 school year and either
1870incurred long-term financial obligations prior to January 31,
18712003, or began construction on educational facilities prior to
1872December 31, 2002.
1873     (b)  If the appropriation for charter school capital outlay
1874funds is less than the 2002-2003 appropriation, the funds shall
1875be prorated among the schools eligible in paragraph (a).
1876     (c)  If the appropriation for charter school capital outlay
1877funds is greater than the 2002-2003 appropriation, the amount of
1878funds provided in the 2002-2003 appropriation shall be allocated
1879according to paragraph (a). First priority for allocating the
1880amount in excess of the 2002-2003 appropriation shall be to
1881prorate the excess funds among the charter schools with long-
1882term debt or long-term lease to the extent that the initial
1883allocation is insufficient to provide one-fifteenth of the cost
1884per student station specified in s. 1013.64(6)(b), and second
1885priority shall be to other eligible charter schools.
1886     Section 13.  Except as otherwise provided herein, this act
1887shall take effect upon becoming a law.

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