December 03, 2020
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HB 1323CS


1The Education Appropriations 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; establishing the Charter School Task Force;
57specifying task force duties and composition; requiring
58the Department of Education to provide staff support for
59the task force; providing effective dates.
61Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
63     Section 1.  Section 1002.33, Florida Statutes, is amended
64to read:
65     1002.33  Charter schools.--
66     (1)  AUTHORIZATION.--Charter schools shall be part of the
67state's program of public education. All charter schools in
68Florida are public schools. A charter school may be formed by
69creating a new school or converting an existing public school to
70charter status. A public school may not use the term charter in
71its name unless it has been approved under this section.
73     (a)  Charter schools in Florida shall be guided by the
74following principles:
75     1.  Meet high standards of student achievement while
76providing parents flexibility to choose among diverse
77educational opportunities within the state's public school
79     2.  Promote enhanced academic success and financial
80efficiency by aligning responsibility with accountability.
81     3.  Provide parents with sufficient information on whether
82their child is reading at grade level and whether the child
83gains at least a year's worth of learning for every year spent
84in the charter school.
85     (b)  Charter schools shall fulfill one of the following
87     1.  Improve student learning and academic achievement.
88     2.  Increase learning opportunities for all students, with
89special emphasis on low-performing students and reading.
90     3.  Create new professional opportunities for teachers,
91including ownership of the learning program at the school site.
92     4.  Encourage the use of innovative learning methods.
93     5.  Require the measurement of learning outcomes.
94     (c)  Charter schools may fulfill the following purposes:
95     1.  Create innovative measurement tools.
96     2.  Provide rigorous competition within the public school
97district to stimulate continual improvement in all public
99     3.  Expand the capacity of the public school system.
100     4.  Mitigate the educational impact created by the
101development of new residential dwelling units.
102     5.  Create new professional opportunities for teachers,
103including ownership of the learning program at the school site.
104     6.  Encourage the use of innovative learning methods.
105     7.  Require the measurement of learning outcomes.
107     (a)  An application for a new charter school may be made by
108an individual, teachers, parents, a group of individuals, a
109municipality, or a legal entity organized under the laws of this
111     (b)  An application for a conversion charter school shall
112be made by the district school board, the principal, teachers,
113parents, and/or the school advisory council at an existing
114public school that has been in operation for at least 2 years
115prior to the application to convert., including A public school-
116within-a-school that is designated as a school by the district
117school board may also submit an application to convert to
118charter status. An application submitted proposing to convert an
119existing public school to a charter school shall demonstrate the
120support of at least 50 percent of the teachers employed at the
121school and 50 percent of the parents voting whose children are
122enrolled at the school, provided that a majority of the parents
123eligible to vote participate in the ballot process, according to
124rules adopted by the State Board of Education. A district school
125board denying an application for a conversion charter school
126shall provide notice of denial to the applicants in writing
127within 10 30 days after the meeting at which the district school
128board denied the application. The notice must identify specify
129the specific exact reasons for denial and must provide
130documentation supporting those reasons. A private school,
131parochial school, or home education program shall not be
132eligible for charter school status.
133     (4)  UNLAWFUL REPRISAL.--
134     (a)  No district school board, or district school board
135employee who has control over personnel actions, shall take
136unlawful reprisal against another district school board employee
137because that employee is either directly or indirectly involved
138with an application to establish a charter school. As used in
139this subsection, the term "unlawful reprisal" means an action
140taken by a district school board or a school system employee
141against an employee who is directly or indirectly involved in a
142lawful application to establish a charter school, which occurs
143as a direct result of that involvement, and which results in one
144or more of the following: disciplinary or corrective action;
145adverse transfer or reassignment, whether temporary or
146permanent; suspension, demotion, or dismissal; an unfavorable
147performance evaluation; a reduction in pay, benefits, or
148rewards; elimination of the employee's position absent of a
149reduction in workforce as a result of lack of moneys or work; or
150other adverse significant changes in duties or responsibilities
151that are inconsistent with the employee's salary or employment
152classification. The following procedures shall apply to an
153alleged unlawful reprisal that occurs as a consequence of an
154employee's direct or indirect involvement with an application to
155establish a charter school:
156     1.  Within 60 days after the date upon which a reprisal
157prohibited by this subsection is alleged to have occurred, an
158employee may file a complaint with the Department of Education.
159     2.  Within 3 working days after receiving a complaint under
160this section, the Department of Education shall acknowledge
161receipt of the complaint and provide copies of the complaint and
162any other relevant preliminary information available to each of
163the other parties named in the complaint, which parties shall
164each acknowledge receipt of such copies to the complainant.
165     3.  If the Department of Education determines that the
166complaint demonstrates reasonable cause to suspect that an
167unlawful reprisal has occurred, the Department of Education
168shall conduct an investigation to produce a fact-finding report.
169     4.  Within 90 days after receiving the complaint, the
170Department of Education shall provide the district school
171superintendent of the complainant's district and the complainant
172with a fact-finding report that may include recommendations to
173the parties or a proposed resolution of the complaint. The fact-
174finding report shall be presumed admissible in any subsequent or
175related administrative or judicial review.
176     5.  If the Department of Education determines that
177reasonable grounds exist to believe that an unlawful reprisal
178has occurred, is occurring, or is to be taken, and is unable to
179conciliate a complaint within 60 days after receipt of the fact-
180finding report, the Department of Education shall terminate the
181investigation. Upon termination of any investigation, the
182Department of Education shall notify the complainant and the
183district school superintendent of the termination of the
184investigation, providing a summary of relevant facts found
185during the investigation and the reasons for terminating the
186investigation. A written statement under this paragraph is
187presumed admissible as evidence in any judicial or
188administrative proceeding.
189     6.  The Department of Education shall either contract with
190the Division of Administrative Hearings under s. 120.65, or
191otherwise provide for a complaint for which the Department of
192Education determines reasonable grounds exist to believe that an
193unlawful reprisal has occurred, is occurring, or is to be taken,
194and is unable to conciliate, to be heard by a panel of impartial
195persons. Upon hearing the complaint, the panel shall make
196findings of fact and conclusions of law for a final decision by
197the Department of Education.
199It shall be an affirmative defense to any action brought
200pursuant to this section that the adverse action was predicated
201upon grounds other than, and would have been taken absent, the
202employee's exercise of rights protected by this section.
203     (b)  In any action brought under this section for which it
204is determined reasonable grounds exist to believe that an
205unlawful reprisal has occurred, is occurring, or is to be taken,
206the relief shall include the following:
207     1.  Reinstatement of the employee to the same position held
208before the unlawful reprisal was commenced, or to an equivalent
209position, or payment of reasonable front pay as alternative
211     2.  Reinstatement of the employee's full fringe benefits
212and seniority rights, as appropriate.
213     3.  Compensation, if appropriate, for lost wages, benefits,
214or other lost remuneration caused by the unlawful reprisal.
215     4.  Payment of reasonable costs, including attorney's fees,
216to a substantially prevailing employee, or to the prevailing
217employer if the employee filed a frivolous action in bad faith.
218     5.  Issuance of an injunction, if appropriate, by a court
219of competent jurisdiction.
220     6.  Temporary reinstatement to the employee's former
221position or to an equivalent position, pending the final outcome
222of the complaint, if it is determined that the action was not
223made in bad faith or for a wrongful purpose, and did not occur
224after a district school board's initiation of a personnel action
225against the employee that includes documentation of the
226employee's violation of a disciplinary standard or performance
229     (a)  Sponsoring entities.--
230     1.  A district school board may sponsor a charter school in
231the county over which the district school board has
233     2.  A state university may grant a charter to a lab school
234created under s. 1002.32 and shall be considered to be the
235school's sponsor. Such school shall be considered a charter lab
237     (b)  Sponsor duties.--
238     1.  The sponsor shall monitor and review the charter school
239in its progress toward the goals established in the charter.
240     2.  The sponsor shall monitor the revenues and expenditures
241of the charter school.
242     3.  The sponsor may approve a charter for a charter school
243before the applicant has secured space, equipment, or personnel,
244if the applicant indicates approval is necessary for it to raise
245working funds capital.
246     4.  The sponsor's policies shall not apply to a charter
248     5.  The sponsor shall ensure that the charter is innovative
249and consistent with the state education goals established by s.
251     6.  The sponsor shall ensure that the charter school
252participates in the state's education accountability system. If
253a charter school falls short of performance measures included in
254the approved charter, the sponsor shall report such shortcomings
255to the Department of Education.
256     7.  The sponsor shall provide assistance in scheduling fire
257code inspections upon the request of the charter school.
258     8.  The director and a representative of the governing
259board of a charter school graded "D" or "F" shall appear before
260the sponsor at a formal district school board meeting or state
261university board of trustees meeting at least once a year to
262present information concerning each contract component having
263noted deficiencies and to address corrective strategies that are
264being implemented by the school. The sponsor shall communicate
265at the meeting, and in writing to the director, the services
266provided to the school to help the school address its
269A community college may work with the school district or school
270districts in its designated service area to develop charter
271schools that offer secondary education. These charter schools
272must include an option for students to receive an associate
273degree upon high school graduation. District school boards shall
274cooperate with and assist the community college on the charter
275application. Community college applications for charter schools
276are not subject to the time deadlines outlined in subsection (6)
277and may be approved by the district school board at any time
278during the year. Community colleges shall not report FTE for any
279students who receive FTE funding through the Florida Education
280Finance Program.
281     (c)  Sponsor liability.--A district school board sponsoring
282a charter school shall not be liable for damages resulting from
283the acts or omissions of the charter school's governing board,
284agents, or employees unless such act or omission was based upon
285requirements or policies of the district school board.
286     (d)  Annual survey.--The department shall conduct an annual
287survey of charter school governing boards to determine the
288boards' satisfaction with the services received from their
289sponsors and the Department of Education. The survey results
290shall be reported to the State Board of Education which may
291recommend action for sponsors having an inordinate number of
292complaints or sponsors that have been determined not to have
293fulfilled their responsibilities as described in this section.
294     (6)  APPLICATION PROCESS AND REVIEW.--Charter school
295Beginning September 1, 2003, applications are subject to the
296following requirements:
297     (a)  A person or entity wishing to open a charter school
298shall prepare an application that:
299     1.  Demonstrates how the school will use the guiding
300principles and meet the statutorily defined purpose of a charter
302     2.  Provides a detailed curriculum plan that illustrates
303how students will be provided services to attain the Sunshine
304State Standards.
305     3.  Contains goals and objectives for improving student
306learning and measuring that improvement. These goals and
307objectives must indicate how much academic improvement students
308are expected to show each year, how success will be evaluated,
309and the specific results to be attained through instruction.
310     4.  Describes the reading curriculum and differentiated
311strategies that will be used for students reading at grade level
312or higher and a separate curriculum and strategies for students
313who are reading below grade level. A sponsor shall deny a
314charter if the school does not propose a reading curriculum that
315is consistent with effective teaching strategies that are
316grounded in scientifically based reading research.
317     5.  Contains an annual financial plan for each year
318requested by the charter for operation of the school for up to 5
319years. This plan must contain anticipated fund balances based on
320revenue projections, a spending plan based on projected revenues
321and expenses, and a description of controls that will safeguard
322finances and projected enrollment trends.
323     (b)  A district school board shall receive and review all
324applications for a charter school. Beginning with the 2005-2006
325school year, a district school board shall receive and consider
326charter school applications received on or before August
327September 1 of each calendar year for charter schools to be
328opened at the beginning of the school district's next school
329year, or to be opened at a time agreed to by the applicant and
330the district school board. A district school board may receive
331applications later than this date if it chooses. A sponsor may
332not charge an applicant for a charter any fee for the processing
333or consideration of an application, and a sponsor may not base
334its consideration or approval of an application upon the promise
335of future payment of any kind.
336     1.  In order to facilitate an accurate budget projection
337process, a district school board shall be held harmless for FTE
338students who are not included in the FTE projection due to
339approval of charter school applications after the FTE projection
340deadline. In a further effort to facilitate an accurate budget
341projection, within 15 calendar days after receipt of a charter
342school application, a district school board or other sponsor
343shall report to the Department of Education the name of the
344applicant entity, the proposed charter school location, and its
345projected FTE.
346     2.  In order to ensure fiscal responsibility, an
347application for a charter school shall include a full accounting
348of expected assets, a projection of expected sources and amounts
349of income, including income derived from projected student
350enrollments and from community support, and an expense
351projection that includes full accounting of the costs of
352operation, including start-up costs.
353     3.  A district school board shall by a majority vote
354approve or deny an application no later than 60 calendar days
355after the application is received, unless the district school
356board and the applicant mutually agree in writing to temporarily
357postpone the vote to a specific date, at which time the district
358school board shall by a majority vote approve or deny the
359application. If the district school board fails to act on the
360application, an applicant may appeal to the State Board of
361Education as provided in paragraph (c). If an application is
362denied, the district school board shall, within 10 calendar
363days, articulate in writing the specific reasons for based upon
364good cause supporting its denial of the charter application and
365must provide documentation to the applicant and to the
366Department of Education supporting those reasons.
367     4.  For budget projection purposes, the district school
368board or other sponsor shall report to the Department of
369Education the approval or denial of a charter application within
37010 calendar days after such approval or denial. In the event of
371approval, the report to the Department of Education shall
372include the final projected FTE for the approved charter school.
373     5.  Upon approval of a charter application, the initial
374startup shall commence with the beginning of the public school
375calendar for the district in which the charter is granted unless
376the district school board allows a waiver of this provision for
377good cause.
378     (c)  An applicant may appeal any denial of that applicant's
379application or failure to act on an application to the State
380Board of Education no later than 30 calendar days after receipt
381of the district school board's decision or failure to act and
382shall notify the district school board of its appeal. Any
383response of the district school board shall be submitted to the
384State Board of Education within 30 calendar days after
385notification of the appeal. Upon receipt of notification from
386the State Board of Education that a charter school applicant is
387filing an appeal, the Commissioner of Education shall convene a
388meeting of the Charter School Appeal Commission to study and
389make recommendations to the State Board of Education regarding
390its pending decision about the appeal. The commission shall
391forward its recommendation to the state board no later than 7
392calendar days prior to the date on which the appeal is to be
393heard. The State Board of Education shall by majority vote
394accept or reject the decision of the district school board no
395later than 90 calendar days after an appeal is filed in
396accordance with State Board of Education rule. The Charter
397School Appeal Commission may reject an appeal submission for
398failure to comply with procedural rules governing the appeals
399process. The rejection shall describe the submission errors. The
400appellant may have up to 15 calendar days from notice of
401rejection to resubmit an appeal that meets requirements of State
402Board of Education rule. An application for appeal submitted
403subsequent to such rejection shall be considered timely if the
404original appeal was filed within 30 calendar days after receipt
405of notice of the specific reasons for the district school
406board's denial of the charter application. The State Board of
407Education shall remand the application to the district school
408board with its written decision that the district school board
409approve or deny the application. The district school board shall
410implement the decision of the State Board of Education. The
411decision of the State Board of Education is not subject to the
412provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act, chapter 120.
413     (d)  The district school board shall act upon the decision
414of the State Board of Education within 30 calendar days after it
415is received. The State Board of Education's decision is a final
416action subject to judicial review.
417     (e)1.  A Charter School Appeal Commission is established to
418assist the commissioner and the State Board of Education with a
419fair and impartial review of appeals by applicants whose charter
420applications have been denied, whose charter contracts have not
421been renewed, or whose charter contracts have been terminated by
422their sponsors, or whose disputes over contract negotiations
423have not been resolved through mediation.
424     2.  The Charter School Appeal Commission may receive copies
425of the appeal documents forwarded to the State Board of
426Education, review the documents, gather other applicable
427information regarding the appeal, and make a written
428recommendation to the commissioner. The recommendation must
429state whether the appeal should be upheld or denied and include
430the reasons for the recommendation being offered. The
431commissioner shall forward the recommendation to the State Board
432of Education no later than 7 calendar days prior to the date on
433which the appeal is to be heard. The state board must consider
434the commission's recommendation in making its decision, but is
435not bound by the recommendation. The decision of the Charter
436School Appeal Commission is not subject to the provisions of the
437Administrative Procedure Act, chapter 120.
438     3.  The commissioner shall appoint the members of the
439Charter School Appeal Commission. Members shall serve without
440compensation but may be reimbursed for travel and per diem
441expenses in conjunction with their service. One-half of the
442members must represent currently operating charter schools, and
443one-half of the members must represent school districts. The
444commissioner or a named designee shall chair the Charter School
445Appeal Commission.
446     4.  The chair shall convene meetings of the commission and
447shall ensure that the written recommendations are completed and
448forwarded in a timely manner. In cases where the commission
449cannot reach a decision, the chair shall make the written
450recommendation with justification, noting that the decision was
451rendered by the chair.
452     5.  Commission members shall thoroughly review the
453materials presented to them from the appellant and the sponsor.
454The commission may request information to clarify the
455documentation presented to it. In the course of its review, the
456commission may facilitate the postponement of an appeal in those
457cases where additional time and communication may negate the
458need for a formal appeal and both parties agree, in writing, to
459postpone the appeal to the State Board of Education. A new date
460certain for the appeal shall then be set based upon the rules
461and procedures of the State Board of Education. Commission
462members shall provide a written recommendation to the state
463board as to whether the appeal should be upheld or denied. A
464fact-based justification for the recommendation must be
465included. The chair must ensure that the written recommendation
466is submitted to the State Board of Education members no later
467than 7 calendar days prior to the date on which the appeal is to
468be heard. Both parties in the case shall also be provided a copy
469of the recommendation.
470     (f)  The Department of Education must offer or arrange for
471training and technical assistance to charter school applicants
472in developing business plans and estimating costs and income.
473This assistance must address estimating startup costs,
474projecting enrollment, and identifying the types and amounts of
475state and federal financial assistance the charter school will
476be eligible to receive. The department of Education may provide
477other technical assistance to an applicant upon written request.
478     (g)  In considering charter applications for a lab school,
479a state university shall consult with the district school board
480of the county in which the lab school is located. The decision
481of a state university may be appealed pursuant to the procedure
482established in this subsection.
483     (h)  The terms and conditions for the operation of a
484charter school shall be set forth by the sponsor and the
485applicant in a written contractual agreement, called a charter.
486The sponsor shall not impose unreasonable rules or regulations
487that violate the intent of giving charter schools greater
488flexibility to meet educational goals. The applicant and sponsor
489shall have 3 6 months in which to mutually agree to the
490provisions of the charter. The proposed charter must be provided
491to the charter school at least 7 calendar days prior to the date
492on which the charter is scheduled to be heard by the sponsor.
493The Department of Education shall provide mediation services for
494any dispute regarding this section subsequent to the approval of
495a charter application and for any dispute relating to the
496approved charter, except disputes regarding charter school
497application denials. If the Commissioner of Education determines
498that the dispute cannot be settled through mediation, the
499dispute may be appealed to an administrative law judge appointed
500by the Division of Administrative Hearings. The administrative
501law judge may rule on issues of equitable treatment of the
502charter school as a public school, whether proposed provisions
503of the charter violate the intended flexibility granted charter
504schools by statute, or on any other matter regarding this
505section except a charter school application denial, a charter
506termination, or a charter nonrenewal and shall award the
507prevailing party reasonable attorney's fees and costs incurred
508to be paid by the losing party. The costs of the administrative
509hearing shall be paid by the party whom the administrative law
510judge rules against.
511     (7)  CHARTER.--The major issues involving the operation of
512a charter school shall be considered in advance and written into
513the charter. The charter shall be signed by the governing body
514of the charter school and the sponsor, following a public
515hearing to ensure community input.
516     (a)  The charter shall address, and criteria for approval
517of the charter shall be based on:
518     1.  The school's mission, the students to be served, and
519the ages and grades to be included.
520     2.  The focus of the curriculum, the instructional methods
521to be used, any distinctive instructional techniques to be
522employed, and identification and acquisition of appropriate
523technologies needed to improve educational and administrative
524performance which include a means for promoting safe, ethical,
525and appropriate uses of technology which comply with legal and
526professional standards. The charter shall ensure that reading is
527a primary focus of the curriculum and that resources are
528provided to identify and provide specialized instruction for
529students who are reading below grade level. The curriculum and
530instructional strategies for reading must be consistent with the
531Sunshine State Standards and grounded in scientifically based
532reading research.
533     3.  The current incoming baseline standard of student
534academic achievement, the outcomes to be achieved, and the
535method of measurement that will be used. The criteria listed in
536this subparagraph shall include a detailed description for each
537of the following:
538     a.  How the baseline student academic achievement levels
539and prior rates of academic progress will be established.
540     b.  How these baseline rates will be compared to rates of
541academic progress achieved by these same students while
542attending the charter school.
543     c.  To the extent possible, how these rates of progress
544will be evaluated and compared with rates of progress of other
545closely comparable student populations.
547The district school board is required to provide academic
548student performance data to charter schools for each of their
549students coming from the district school system, as well as
550rates of academic progress of comparable student populations in
551the district school system.
552     4.  The methods used to identify the educational strengths
553and needs of students and how well educational goals and
554performance standards are met by students attending the charter
555school. Included in the methods is a means for the charter
556school to ensure accountability to its constituents by analyzing
557student performance data and by evaluating the effectiveness and
558efficiency of its major educational programs. Students in
559charter schools shall, at a minimum, participate in the
560statewide assessment program created under s. 1008.22.
561     5.  In secondary charter schools, a method for determining
562that a student has satisfied the requirements for graduation in
563s. 1003.43.
564     6.  A method for resolving conflicts between the governing
565body of the charter school and the sponsor.
566     7.  The admissions procedures and dismissal procedures,
567including the school's code of student conduct.
568     8.  The ways by which the school will achieve a
569racial/ethnic balance reflective of the community it serves or
570within the racial/ethnic range of other public schools in the
571same school district.
572     9.  The financial and administrative management of the
573school, including a reasonable demonstration of the professional
574experience or competence of those individuals or organizations
575applying to operate the charter school or those hired or
576retained to perform such professional services and the
577description of clearly delineated responsibilities and the
578policies and practices needed to effectively manage the charter
579school. A description of internal audit procedures and
580establishment of controls to ensure that financial resources are
581properly managed must be included. Both public sector and
582private sector professional experience shall be equally valid in
583such a consideration.
584     10.  The asset and liability projections required in the
585application which are incorporated into the charter and which
586shall be compared with information provided in the annual report
587of the charter school. The charter shall ensure that, if a
588charter school internal audit or annual financial audit reveals
589a state of financial emergency as defined in s. 218.503 or
590deficit financial position, the auditors are required to notify
591the charter school governing board, the sponsor, and the
592Department of Education. The internal auditor shall report such
593findings in the form of an exit interview to the principal or
594the principal administrator of the charter school and the chair
595of the governing board within 7 working days after finding the
596state of financial emergency or deficit position. A final report
597shall be provided to the entire governing board, the sponsor,
598and the Department of Education within 14 working days after the
599exit interview. When a charter school is in a state of financial
600emergency, the charter school shall file a detailed financial
601recovery plan with the sponsor. The department shall establish
602guidelines, with involvement from both school districts and
603charter schools, for developing such plans.
604     11.  A description of procedures that identify various
605risks and provide for a comprehensive approach to reduce the
606impact of losses; plans to ensure the safety and security of
607students and staff; plans to identify, minimize, and protect
608others from violent or disruptive student behavior; and the
609manner in which the school will be insured, including whether or
610not the school will be required to have liability insurance,
611and, if so, the terms and conditions thereof and the amounts of
613     12.  The term of the charter which shall provide for
614cancellation of the charter if insufficient progress has been
615made in attaining the student achievement objectives of the
616charter and if it is not likely that such objectives can be
617achieved before expiration of the charter. The initial term of a
618charter shall be for 3, 4, or 5 years. In order to facilitate
619access to long-term financial resources for charter school
620construction, charter schools that are operated by a
621municipality or other public entity as provided by law are
622eligible for up to a 15-year charter, subject to approval by the
623district school board. A charter lab school is eligible for a
624charter for a term of up to 15 years. In addition, to facilitate
625access to long-term financial resources for charter school
626construction, charter schools that are operated by a private,
627not-for-profit, s. 501(c)(3) status corporation are eligible for
628up to a 15-year 10-year charter, subject to approval by the
629district school board. Such long-term charters remain subject to
630annual review and may be terminated during the term of the
631charter, but only for specific good cause according to the
632provisions set forth in subsection (8).
633     13.  The facilities to be used and their location.
634     14.  The qualifications to be required of the teachers and
635the potential strategies used to recruit, hire, train, and
636retain qualified staff to achieve best value.
637     15.  The governance structure of the school, including the
638status of the charter school as a public or private employer as
639required in paragraph (12)(i).
640     16.  A timetable for implementing the charter which
641addresses the implementation of each element thereof and the
642date by which the charter shall be awarded in order to meet this
644     17.  In the case of an existing public school being
645converted to charter status, alternative arrangements for
646current students who choose not to attend the charter school and
647for current teachers who choose not to teach in the charter
648school after conversion in accordance with the existing
649collective bargaining agreement or district school board rule in
650the absence of a collective bargaining agreement. However,
651alternative arrangements shall not be required for current
652teachers who choose not to teach in a charter lab school, except
653as authorized by the employment policies of the state university
654which grants the charter to the lab school.
655     (b)1.  A charter may be renewed every 5 school years,
656provided that a program review demonstrates that the criteria in
657paragraph (a) have been successfully accomplished and that none
658of the grounds for nonrenewal established by paragraph (8)(a)
659has been documented. In order to facilitate long-term financing
660for charter school construction, charter schools operating for a
661minimum of 2 years and demonstrating exemplary academic
662programming and fiscal management are eligible for a 15-year
663charter renewal. Such long-term charter is subject to annual
664review and may be terminated during the term of the charter.
665     2.  The 15-year charter renewal that may be granted
666pursuant to subparagraph 1. shall be granted to a charter school
667that has received a school grade of "A" or "B" pursuant to s.
6681008.34 in 3 of the past 4 years and is not in a state of
669financial emergency or deficit position as defined by this
670section. Such long-term charter is subject to annual review and
671may be terminated during the term of the charter pursuant to
672subsection (8).
673     (c)  A charter may be modified during its initial term or
674any renewal term upon the recommendation of the sponsor or the
675charter school governing board and the approval of both parties
676to the agreement.
678     (a)  At the end of the term of a charter, the sponsor may
679choose not to renew the charter for any of the following
681     1.  Failure to participate in the state's education
682accountability system created in s. 1008.31, as required in this
683section, or failure to meet the requirements for student
684performance stated in the charter.
685     2.  Failure to meet generally accepted standards of fiscal
687     3.  Violation of law.
688     4.  Determination by the sponsor that the health, safety,
689or welfare of the students is threatened Other good cause shown.
690     5.  Failure of the director of a charter school having a
691school performance grade of a "D" or "F" to appear before the
692sponsoring body as required in subsection (5).
693     (b)  During the term of a charter, the sponsor may
694terminate the charter for any of the grounds listed in paragraph
696     (c)  At least 90 days prior to renewing or terminating a
697charter, the sponsor shall notify the governing body of the
698school of the proposed action in writing. The notice shall state
699in reasonable detail the grounds for the proposed action and
700stipulate that the school's governing body may, within 14
701calendar days after receiving the notice, request an informal
702hearing before the sponsor. The sponsor shall conduct the
703informal hearing within 30 calendar days after receiving a
704written request. The charter school's governing body may, within
70514 calendar days after receiving the sponsor's decision to
706terminate or refuse to renew the charter, appeal the decision
707pursuant to the procedure established in subsection (6).
708     (d)  A charter may be terminated immediately if the sponsor
709determines that good cause has been shown or if the health,
710safety, or welfare of the students is threatened. The charter
711sponsor must notify in writing the charter school's governing
712board, the charter school principal, and the department if a
713charter is immediately terminated. The sponsor shall clearly
714identify the specific issues that resulted in the immediate
715termination and provide evidence of prior notification of issues
716resulting in the immediate termination when appropriate. The
717school district in which the charter school is located shall
718assume operation of the school under these circumstances. The
719charter school's governing board may, within 14 days after
720receiving the sponsor's decision to terminate the charter,
721appeal the decision pursuant to the procedure established in
722subsection (6).
723     (e)  When a charter is not renewed or is terminated, the
724school shall be dissolved under the provisions of law under
725which the school was organized, and any unencumbered public
726funds, except for capital outlay funds, from the charter school
727shall revert to the district school board. Capital outlay funds
728provided pursuant to s. 1013.62 that are unencumbered shall
729revert to the department to be redistributed among eligible
730charter schools. In the event a charter school is dissolved or
731is otherwise terminated, all district school board property and
732improvements, furnishings, and equipment purchased with public
733funds shall automatically revert to full ownership by the
734district school board, subject to complete satisfaction of any
735lawful liens or encumbrances. Any unencumbered public funds from
736the charter school, district school board property and
737improvements, furnishings, and equipment purchased with public
738funds, or financial or other records pertaining to the charter
739school, in the possession of any person, entity, or holding
740company, other than the charter school, shall be held in trust
741upon the district school board's request, until any appeal
742status is resolved.
743     (f)  If a charter is not renewed or is terminated, the
744charter school is responsible for all debts of the charter
745school. The district may not assume the debt from any contract
746for services made between the governing body of the school and a
747third party, except for a debt that is previously detailed and
748agreed upon in writing by both the district and the governing
749body of the school and that may not reasonably be assumed to
750have been satisfied by the district.
751     (g)  If a charter is not renewed or is terminated, a
752student who attended the school may apply to, and shall be
753enrolled in, another public school. Normal application deadlines
754shall be disregarded under such circumstances.
756     (a)  A charter school shall be nonsectarian in its
757programs, admission policies, employment practices, and
759     (b)  A charter school shall admit students as provided in
760subsection (10).
761     (c)  A charter school shall be accountable to its sponsor
762for performance as provided in subsection (7).
763     (d)  A charter school shall not charge tuition or
764registration fees, except those fees normally charged by other
765public schools. However, a charter lab school may charge a
766student activity and service fee as authorized by s. 1002.32(5).
767     (e)  A charter school shall meet all applicable state and
768local health, safety, and civil rights requirements.
769     (f)  A charter school shall not violate the
770antidiscrimination provisions of s. 1000.05.
771     (g)  A charter school shall provide for an annual financial
772audit in accordance with s. 218.39. Financial audits that yield
773a state of financial emergency as defined in s. 218.503 and are
774conducted by a certified public accountant or auditor in
775accordance with s. 218.39 shall be provided to the governing
776board of the charter school within 7 working days after finding
777that a state of financial emergency exists. When a charter
778school is found to be in a state of financial emergency by a
779certified public accountant or auditor, the charter school must
780file a detailed financial recovery plan with the sponsor within
78130 days after receipt of the audit.
782     (h)  No organization shall hold more than 15 charters
784     (i)  Upon receipt of an application to operate a charter
785school, the sponsor must notify the Department of Education of
786the individual, group, organization, or private or nonprofit
787company that submitted an application to operate a charter
788school in this state or that is contracted with by the governing
789board of a charter school to operate a charter school in this
790state. The department shall maintain a database that contains
791the name of each organization or entity applying for a charter
792or operating by contract a charter school in this state,
793principal contact information, a description of the organization
794or entity, an identification of the number of charter
795applications or contracts in the state, and disclosure of
796charters terminated or renewed in this state and other states. A
797sponsor may not approve an application for a charter unless the
798governing board and contract operator of the school have
799submitted a complete, accurate, and timely registration with the
801     (j)(i)  In order to provide financial information that is
802comparable to that reported for other public schools, charter
803schools are to maintain all financial records which constitute
804their accounting system:
805     1.  In accordance with the accounts and codes prescribed in
806the most recent issuance of the publication titled "Financial
807and Program Cost Accounting and Reporting for Florida Schools";
809     2.  At the discretion of the charter school governing
810board, a charter school may elect to follow generally accepted
811accounting standards for not-for-profit organizations, but must
812reformat this information for reporting according to this
815Charter schools are to provide annual financial report and
816program cost report information in the state-required formats
817for inclusion in district reporting in compliance with s.
8181011.60(1). Charter schools that are operated by a municipality
819or are a component unit of a parent nonprofit organization may
820use the accounting system of the municipality or the parent but
821must reformat this information for reporting according to this
823     (k)(j)  The governing board of the charter school shall
824annually adopt and maintain an operating budget.
825     (l)(k)  The governing body of the charter school shall
826exercise continuing oversight over charter school operations.
827     (m)(l)  The governing body of the charter school shall
828report its progress annually to its sponsor, which shall forward
829the report to the Commissioner of Education at the same time as
830other annual school accountability reports. The Department of
831Education shall include in its compilation a notation if a
832school failed to file its report by the deadline established by
833the department. The report shall include at least the following
835     1.  Student achievement performance data, including the
836information required for the annual school report and the
837education accountability system governed by ss. 1008.31 and
8381008.345. Charter schools are subject to the same accountability
839requirements as other public schools, including reports of
840student achievement information that links baseline student data
841to the school's performance projections identified in the
842charter. The charter school shall identify reasons for any
843difference between projected and actual student performance.
844     2.  Financial status of the charter school which must
845include revenues and expenditures at a level of detail that
846allows for analysis of the ability to meet financial obligations
847and timely repayment of debt.
848     3.  Documentation of the facilities in current use and any
849planned facilities for use by the charter school for instruction
850of students, administrative functions, or investment purposes.
851     4.  Descriptive information about the charter school's
852personnel, including salary and benefit levels of charter school
853employees, the proportion of instructional personnel who hold
854professional or temporary certificates, and the proportion of
855instructional personnel teaching in-field or out-of-field.
856     (n)(m)  A charter school shall not levy taxes or issue
857bonds secured by tax revenues.
858     (o)(n)  A charter school shall provide instruction for at
859least the number of days required by law for other public
860schools, and may provide instruction for additional days.
861     (10)  ELIGIBLE STUDENTS.--
862     (a)  A charter school shall be open to any student covered
863in an interdistrict agreement or residing in the school district
864in which the charter school is located; however, in the case of
865a charter lab school, the charter lab school shall be open to
866any student eligible to attend the lab school as provided in s.
8671002.32 or who resides in the school district in which the
868charter lab school is located. Any eligible student shall be
869allowed interdistrict transfer to attend a charter school when
870based on good cause.
871     (b)  The charter school shall enroll an eligible student
872who submits a timely application, unless the number of
873applications exceeds the capacity of a program, class, grade
874level, or building. In such case, all applicants shall have an
875equal chance of being admitted through a random selection
877     (c)  When a public school converts to charter status,
878enrollment preference shall be given to students who would have
879otherwise attended that public school.
880     (d)  A charter school may give enrollment preference to the
881following student populations:
882     1.  Students who are siblings of a student enrolled in the
883charter school.
884     2.  Students who are the children of a member of the
885governing board of the charter school.
886     3.  Students who are the children of an employee of the
887charter school.
888     (e)  A charter school may limit the enrollment process only
889to target the following student populations:
890     1.  Students within specific age groups or grade levels.
891     2.  Students considered at risk of dropping out of school
892or academic failure. Such students shall include exceptional
893education students.
894     3.  Students enrolling in a charter school-in-the-workplace
895or charter school-in-a-municipality established pursuant to
896subsection (15).
897     4.  Students residing within a reasonable distance of the
898charter school, as described in paragraph (20)(c). Such students
899shall be subject to a random lottery and to the racial/ethnic
900balance provisions described in subparagraph (7)(a)8. or any
901federal provisions that require a school to achieve a
902racial/ethnic balance reflective of the community it serves or
903within the racial/ethnic range of other public schools in the
904same school district.
905     5.  Students who meet reasonable academic, artistic, or
906other eligibility standards established by the charter school
907and included in the charter school application and charter or,
908in the case of existing charter schools, standards that are
909consistent with the school's mission and purpose. Such standards
910shall be in accordance with current state law and practice in
911public schools and may not discriminate against otherwise
912qualified individuals.
913     6.  Students articulating from one charter school to
914another pursuant to an articulation agreement between the
915charter schools that has been approved by the sponsor.
916     (f)  Students with handicapping conditions and students
917served in English for Speakers of Other Languages programs shall
918have an equal opportunity of being selected for enrollment in a
919charter school.
920     (g)  A student may withdraw from a charter school at any
921time and enroll in another public school as determined by
922district school board rule.
923     (h)  The capacity of the charter school shall be determined
924annually by the governing board, in conjunction with the
925sponsor, of the charter school in consideration of the factors
926identified in this subsection.
928ACTIVITIES.--A charter school student is eligible to participate
929in an interscholastic extracurricular activity at the public
930school to which the student would be otherwise assigned to
931attend pursuant to s. 1006.15(3)(d).
933     (a)  A charter school shall select its own employees. A
934charter school may contract with its sponsor for the services of
935personnel employed by the sponsor.
936     (b)  Charter school employees shall have the option to
937bargain collectively. Employees may collectively bargain as a
938separate unit or as part of the existing district collective
939bargaining unit as determined by the structure of the charter
941     (c)  The employees of a conversion charter school shall
942remain public employees for all purposes, unless such employees
943choose not to do so.
944     (d)  The teachers at a charter school may choose to be part
945of a professional group that subcontracts with the charter
946school to operate the instructional program under the auspices
947of a partnership or cooperative that they collectively own.
948Under this arrangement, the teachers would not be public
950     (e)  Employees of a school district may take leave to
951accept employment in a charter school upon the approval of the
952district school board. While employed by the charter school and
953on leave that is approved by the district school board, the
954employee may retain seniority accrued in that school district
955and may continue to be covered by the benefit programs of that
956school district, if the charter school and the district school
957board agree to this arrangement and its financing. School
958districts shall not require resignations of teachers desiring to
959teach in a charter school. This paragraph shall not prohibit a
960district school board from approving alternative leave
961arrangements consistent with chapter 1012.
962     (f)  Teachers employed by or under contract to a charter
963school shall be certified as required by chapter 1012. A charter
964school governing board may employ or contract with skilled
965selected noncertified personnel to provide instructional
966services or to assist instructional staff members as education
967paraprofessionals in the same manner as defined in chapter 1012,
968and as provided by State Board of Education rule for charter
969school governing boards. A charter school may not knowingly
970employ an individual to provide instructional services or to
971serve as an education paraprofessional if the individual's
972certification or licensure as an educator is suspended or
973revoked by this or any other state. A charter school may not
974knowingly employ an individual who has resigned from a school
975district in lieu of disciplinary action with respect to child
976welfare or safety, or who has been dismissed for just cause by
977any school district with respect to child welfare or safety. The
978qualifications of teachers shall be disclosed to parents.
979     (g)  A charter school shall employ or contract with
980employees who have undergone background screening as provided in
981s. 1012.32. Members of the governing board of the charter school
982shall also undergo background screening in a manner similar to
983that provided in s. 1012.32.
984     (h)  For the purposes of tort liability, the governing body
985and employees of a charter school shall be governed by s.
987     (i)  A charter school shall organize as, or be operated by,
988a nonprofit organization. A charter school may be operated by a
989municipality or other public entity as provided for by law. As
990such, the charter school may be either a private or a public
991employer. As a public employer, a charter school may participate
992in the Florida Retirement System upon application and approval
993as a "covered group" under s. 121.021(34). If a charter school
994participates in the Florida Retirement System, the charter
995school employees shall be compulsory members of the Florida
996Retirement System. As either a private or a public employer, a
997charter school may contract for services with an individual or
998group of individuals who are organized as a partnership or a
999cooperative. Individuals or groups of individuals who contract
1000their services to the charter school are not public employees.
1001     (13)  CHARTER SCHOOL COOPERATIVES.--Charter schools may
1002enter into cooperative agreements to form charter school
1003cooperative organizations that may provide the following
1004services: charter school planning and development, direct
1005instructional services, and contracts with charter school
1006governing boards to provide personnel administrative services,
1007payroll services, human resource management, evaluation and
1008assessment services, teacher preparation, and professional
1012TAXING POWER NOT TO BE PLEDGED.--Any arrangement entered into to
1013borrow or otherwise secure funds for a charter school authorized
1014in this section from a source other than the state or a school
1015district shall indemnify the state and the school district from
1016any and all liability, including, but not limited to, financial
1017responsibility for the payment of the principal or interest. Any
1018loans, bonds, or other financial agreements are not obligations
1019of the state or the school district but are obligations of the
1020charter school authority and are payable solely from the sources
1021of funds pledged by such agreement. The credit or taxing power
1022of the state or the school district shall not be pledged and no
1023debts shall be payable out of any moneys except those of the
1024legal entity in possession of a valid charter approved by a
1025district school board pursuant to this section.
1028     (a)  In order to increase business partnerships in
1029education, to reduce school and classroom overcrowding
1030throughout the state, and to offset the high costs for
1031educational facilities construction, the Legislature intends to
1032encourage the formation of business partnership schools or
1033satellite learning centers and municipal-operated schools
1034through charter school status.
1035     (b)  A charter school-in-the-workplace may be established
1036when a business partner provides the school facility to be used;
1037enrolls students based upon a random lottery that involves all
1038of the children of employees of that business or corporation who
1039are seeking enrollment, as provided for in subsection (10); and
1040enrolls students according to the racial/ethnic balance
1041provisions described in subparagraph (7)(a)8. Any portion of a
1042facility used for a public charter school shall be exempt from
1043ad valorem taxes, as provided for in s. 1013.54, for the
1044duration of its use as a public school.
1045     (c)  A charter school-in-a-municipality designation may be
1046granted to a municipality that possesses a charter; enrolls
1047students based upon a random lottery that involves all of the
1048children of the residents of that municipality who are seeking
1049enrollment, as provided for in subsection (10); and enrolls
1050students according to the racial/ethnic balance provisions
1051described in subparagraph (7)(a)8. When a municipality has
1052submitted charter applications for the establishment of a
1053charter school feeder pattern, consisting of elementary, middle,
1054and senior high schools, and each individual charter application
1055is approved by the district school board, such schools shall
1056then be designated as one charter school for all purposes listed
1057pursuant to this section. Any portion of the land and facility
1058used for a public charter school shall be exempt from ad valorem
1059taxes, as provided for in s. 1013.54, for the duration of its
1060use as a public school.
1061     (d)  As used in this subsection, the terms "business
1062partner" or "municipality" may include more than one business or
1063municipality to form a charter school-in-the-workplace or
1064charter school-in-a-municipality.
1066     (a)  A charter school shall operate in accordance with its
1067charter and shall be exempt from all statutes in chapters 1000-
10681013. However, a charter school shall be in compliance with the
1069following statutes in chapters 1000-1013:
1070     1.  Those statutes specifically applying to charter
1071schools, including this section.
1072     2.  Those statutes pertaining to the student assessment
1073program and school grading system.
1074     3.  Those statutes pertaining to the provision of services
1075to students with disabilities.
1076     4.  Those statutes pertaining to civil rights, including s.
10771000.05, relating to discrimination.
1078     5.  Those statutes pertaining to student health, safety,
1079and welfare.
1080     (b)  Additionally, a charter school shall be in compliance
1081with the following statutes:
1082     1.  Section 286.011, relating to public meetings and
1083records, public inspection, and criminal and civil penalties.
1084     2.  Chapter 119, relating to public records.
1085     (17)  FUNDING.--Students enrolled in a charter school,
1086regardless of the sponsorship, shall be funded as if they are in
1087a basic program or a special program, the same as students
1088enrolled in other public schools in the school district. Funding
1089for a charter lab school shall be as provided in s. 1002.32.
1090     (a)  Each charter school shall report its student
1091enrollment to the district school board as required in s.
10921011.62, and in accordance with the definitions in s. 1011.61.
1093The district school board shall include each charter school's
1094enrollment in the district's report of student enrollment. All
1095charter schools submitting student record information required
1096by the Department of Education shall comply with the Department
1097of Education's guidelines for electronic data formats for such
1098data, and all districts shall accept electronic data that
1099complies with the Department of Education's electronic format.
1100     (b)  The basis for the agreement for funding students
1101enrolled in a charter school shall be the sum of the school
1102district's operating funds from the Florida Education Finance
1103Program as provided in s. 1011.62 and the General Appropriations
1104Act, including gross state and local funds, discretionary
1105lottery funds, and funds from the school district's current
1106operating discretionary millage levy; divided by total funded
1107weighted full-time equivalent students in the school district;
1108multiplied by the weighted full-time equivalent students for the
1109charter school. Charter schools whose students or programs meet
1110the eligibility criteria in law shall be entitled to their
1111proportionate share of categorical program funds included in the
1112total funds available in the Florida Education Finance Program
1113by the Legislature, including transportation. Total funding for
1114each charter school shall be recalculated during the year to
1115reflect the revised calculations under the Florida Education
1116Finance Program by the state and the actual weighted full-time
1117equivalent students reported by the charter school during the
1118full-time equivalent student survey periods designated by the
1119Commissioner of Education.
1120     (c)  If the district school board is providing programs or
1121services to students funded by federal funds, any eligible
1122students enrolled in charter schools in the school district
1123shall be provided federal funds for the same level of service
1124provided students in the schools operated by the district school
1125board. Pursuant to provisions of 20 U.S.C. 8061 s. 10306, all
1126charter schools shall receive all federal funding for which the
1127school is otherwise eligible, including Title I funding, not
1128later than 5 months after the charter school first opens and
1129within 5 months after any subsequent expansion of enrollment.
1130     (d)  District school boards shall make every effort to
1131ensure that charter schools receive timely and efficient payment
1132and reimbursement to charter schools, including processing
1133paperwork required to access special state and federal funding
1134for which they may be eligible. The district school board may
1135distribute funds to a charter school for up to 3 months based on
1136the projected full-time equivalent student membership of the
1137charter school. Thereafter, the results of full-time equivalent
1138student membership surveys shall be used in adjusting the amount
1139of funds distributed monthly to the charter school for the
1140remainder of the fiscal year. The payment shall be issued no
1141later than 10 working days after the district school board
1142receives a distribution of state or federal funds. If a warrant
1143for payment is not issued within 10 30 working days after
1144receipt of funding by the district school board, the school
1145district shall pay to the charter school, in addition to the
1146amount of the scheduled disbursement, interest at a rate of 5 1
1147percent per month calculated on a daily basis on the unpaid
1148balance from the expiration of the 10 working days 30-day period
1149until such time as the warrant is issued. The Commissioner of
1150Education is authorized to withhold funds from school districts
1151that fail to make timely payments and reimbursements.
1152     (e)  The State Board of Education shall have authority to
1153impose a fine on or withhold lottery funds from a school
1154district for any violation of the procedural requirements for
1155charter school application, termination, or nonrenewal appeals
1156regardless of whether the violation affects the fairness of the
1157appeal process or the correctness of the action taken by the
1158school district. Prior to the imposition of a fine or
1159withholding of lottery funds under this paragraph, the State
1160Board of Education shall provide the school district with notice
1161of the amount of the proposed fine and an opportunity to be
1162heard at a subsequent meeting of the State Board of Education.
1163The funds collected for fines under this paragraph shall be
1164taken from the school district's administrative fee under
1165paragraph (20)(a) and disbursed to the prevailing charter school
1166appellant under this section or, if the charter school
1167appellant's appeal is denied, in equal amounts to each of the
1168charter schools within the school district. The imposition of a
1169fine under this paragraph shall not exceed $10,000 and is a
1170final action subject to judicial review in the district court of
1172     (18)  FACILITIES.--
1173     (a)  A startup charter school shall utilize facilities
1174which comply with the Florida Building Code pursuant to chapter
1175553 except for the State Requirements for Educational
1176Facilities. Conversion charter schools shall utilize facilities
1177which comply with the State Requirements for Educational
1178Facilities provided that the school district and the charter
1179school have entered into a mutual management plan with
1180sufficient funding from the school district to comply with the
1181State Requirements for Educational Facilities. Charter schools,
1182with the exception of conversion charter schools, are not
1183required to comply, but may choose to comply, with the State
1184Requirements for Educational Facilities of the Florida Building
1185Code adopted pursuant to s. 1013.37. The local governing
1186authority shall not adopt or impose local building requirements
1187or restrictions that are more stringent than those found in the
1188Florida Building Code. The agency having jurisdiction for
1189inspection of a facility and issuance of a certificate of
1190occupancy shall be the local municipality or, if in an
1191unincorporated area, the county governing authority.
1192     (b)  A charter school shall utilize facilities that comply
1193with the Florida Fire Prevention Code, pursuant to s. 633.025,
1194as adopted by the authority in whose jurisdiction the facility
1195is located as provided in paragraph (a).
1196     (c)  Any facility, or portion thereof, used to house a
1197charter school whose charter has been approved by the sponsor
1198and the governing board, pursuant to subsection (7), shall be
1199exempt from ad valorem taxes pursuant to s. 196.1983. Library,
1200community service, museum, performing arts, theatre, cinema,
1201church, community college, college, and university facilities
1202may provide space to charter schools within their facilities
1203under their preexisting zoning and land use designations.
1204     (d)  Charter school facilities are exempt from assessments
1205of fees for building permits, except as provided in s. 553.80,
1206fees and for building and occupational licenses, and from
1207assessments of impact fees or service availability fees.
1208     (e)  If a district school board facility or property is
1209available because it is surplus, marked for disposal, or
1210otherwise unused, it shall be provided for a charter school's
1211use on the same basis as it is made available to other public
1212schools in the district. A charter school receiving property
1213from the school district may not sell or dispose of such
1214property without written permission of the school district.
1215Similarly, for an existing public school converting to charter
1216status, no rental or leasing fee for the existing facility or
1217for the property normally inventoried to the conversion school
1218may be charged by the district school board to the parents and
1219teachers organizing the charter school. The charter school
1220organizers shall agree to reasonable maintenance provisions in
1221order to maintain the facility in a manner similar to district
1222school board standards. The Public Education Capital Outlay
1223maintenance funds or any other maintenance funds generated by
1224the facility operated as a conversion school shall remain with
1225the conversion school.
1226     (f)  To the extent that charter school facilities are
1227specifically created to mitigate the educational impact created
1228by the development of new residential dwelling units, pursuant
1229to subparagraph (2)(c)4., some of or all of the educational
1230impact fees required to be paid in connection with the new
1231residential dwelling units may be designated instead for the
1232construction of the charter school facilities that will mitigate
1233the student station impact. Such facilities shall be built to
1234the State Requirements for Educational Facilities and shall be
1235owned by a public or nonprofit entity. The local school district
1236retains the right to monitor and inspect such facilities to
1237ensure compliance with the State Requirements for Educational
1238Facilities. If a facility ceases to be used for public
1239educational purposes, either the facility shall revert to the
1240school district subject to any debt owed on the facility, or the
1241owner of the facility shall have the option to refund all
1242educational impact fees utilized for the facility to the school
1243district. The district and the owner of the facility may
1244contractually agree to another arrangement for the facilities if
1245the facilities cease to be used for educational purposes. The
1246owner of property planned or approved for new residential
1247dwelling units and the entity levying educational impact fees
1248shall enter into an agreement that designates the educational
1249impact fees that will be allocated for the charter school
1250student stations and that ensures the timely construction of the
1251charter school student stations concurrent with the expected
1252occupancy of the residential units. The application for use of
1253educational impact fees shall include an approved charter school
1254application. To assist the school district in forecasting
1255student station needs, the entity levying the impact fees shall
1256notify the affected district of any agreements it has approved
1257for the purpose of mitigating student station impact from the
1258new residential dwelling units.
1259     (19)  CAPITAL OUTLAY FUNDING.--Charter schools are eligible
1260for capital outlay funds pursuant to s. 1013.62.
1261     (20)  SERVICES.--
1262     (a)  A sponsor shall provide certain administrative and
1263educational services to charter schools. These services shall
1264include contract management services; full-time equivalent and
1265data reporting services; exceptional student education
1266administration and evaluation services; test administration
1267services, including payment of the costs of state-required or
1268district-required student assessments; processing of teacher
1269certificate data services; and information services, including
1270equal access to student information systems that are used by
1271public schools in the district in which the charter school is
1272located. A total administrative fee for the provision of such
1273services shall be calculated based upon up to 5 percent of the
1274available funds defined in paragraph (17)(b) for all students.
1275However, a sponsor may only withhold up to a 5-percent
1276administrative fee for enrollment for up to and including 500
1277students. For charter schools with a population of 501 or more
1278students, the difference between the total administrative fee
1279calculation and the amount of the administrative fee withheld
1280may only be used for capital outlay purposes specified in s.
12811013.62(4)(2). Sponsors shall not charge charter schools any
1282additional fees or surcharges for administrative and educational
1283services in addition to the maximum 5-percent administrative fee
1284withheld pursuant to this paragraph.
1285     (b)  If goods and services are made available to the
1286charter school through the contract with the school district,
1287they shall be provided to the charter school at a rate no
1288greater than the district's actual cost unless mutually agreed
1289upon by the charter school and the sponsor in a contract
1290negotiated separately from the charter. When mediation has
1291failed to resolve disputes over contracted services or
1292contractual matters not included in the charter, an appeal may
1293be made for a dispute resolution hearing before the Charter
1294School Appeal Commission. To maximize the use of state funds,
1295school districts shall allow charter schools to participate in
1296the sponsor's bulk purchasing program if applicable.
1297     (c)  Transportation of charter school students shall be
1298provided by the charter school consistent with the requirements
1299of subpart I.E. of chapter 1006 and s. 1012.45. The governing
1300body of the charter school may provide transportation through an
1301agreement or contract with the district school board, a private
1302provider, or parents. The charter school and the sponsor shall
1303cooperate in making arrangements that ensure that transportation
1304is not a barrier to equal access for all students residing
1305within a reasonable distance of the charter school as determined
1306in its charter.
1308Department of Education shall provide information to the public,
1309directly and through sponsors, both on how to form and operate a
1310charter school and on how to enroll in charter schools once they
1311are created. This information shall include a standard
1312application format, charter format, and charter renewal format
1313which shall include the information specified in subsection (7).
1314These formats shall This application format may be used as
1315guidelines by charter school sponsors chartering entities.
1317     (a)  The Department of Education shall staff and regularly
1318convene a Charter School Review Panel in order to review issues,
1319practices, and policies regarding charter schools. The
1320composition of the review panel shall include individuals with
1321experience in finance, administration, law, education, and
1322school governance, and individuals familiar with charter school
1323construction and operation. The panel shall include two
1324appointees each from the Commissioner of Education, the
1325President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of
1326Representatives. The Governor shall appoint three members of the
1327panel and shall designate the chair. Each member of the panel
1328shall serve a 1-year term, unless renewed by the office making
1329the appointment. The panel shall make recommendations to the
1330Legislature, to the Department of Education, to charter schools,
1331and to school districts for improving charter school operations
1332and oversight and for ensuring best business practices at and
1333fair business relationships with charter schools.
1334     (b)  The Legislature shall review the operation of charter
1335schools during the 2005 Regular Session of the Legislature.
1337of the annual report required by paragraph (9)(m)(l), the
1338Department of Education shall provide to the State Board of
1339Education, the Commissioner of Education, the Governor, the
1340President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of
1341Representatives an analysis and comparison of the overall
1342performance of charter school students, to include all students
1343whose scores are counted as part of the statewide assessment
1344program, versus comparable public school students in the
1345district as determined by the statewide assessment program
1346currently administered in the school district, and other
1347assessments administered pursuant to s. 1008.22(3).
1348     (24)  RULEMAKING.--The Department of Education, after
1349consultation with school districts and charter school directors,
1350shall recommend that the State Board of Education adopt rules to
1351implement specific subsections of this section. Such rules shall
1352require minimum paperwork and shall not limit charter school
1353flexibility authorized by statute.
1354     Section 2.  Subsection (5) of section 218.39, Florida
1355Statutes, is amended to read:
1356     218.39  Annual financial audit reports.--
1357     (5)  At the conclusion of the audit, the auditor shall
1358discuss with the chair of each local governmental entity or the
1359chair's designee, or with the elected official of each county
1360agency or with the elected official's designee, or with the
1361chair of the district school board or the chair's designee, or
1362with the chair of the board of the charter school or the chair's
1363designee, or with the chair of the charter technical career
1364center or the chair's designee, as appropriate, all of the
1365auditor's comments that will be included in the audit report. If
1366the officer is not available to discuss the auditor's comments,
1367their discussion is presumed when the comments are delivered in
1368writing to his or her office. The auditor shall notify each
1369member of the governing body of a local governmental entity, or
1370district school board, or charter school for which deteriorating
1371financial conditions exist that may cause a condition described
1372in s. 218.503(1) to occur if actions are not taken to address
1373such conditions.
1374     Section 3.  Section 218.50, Florida Statutes, is amended to
1376     218.50  Short title.--Sections 218.50-218.504 may be cited
1377as the "Local Governmental Entity, Charter School, and District
1378School Board Financial Emergencies Act."
1379     Section 4.  Section 218.501, Florida Statutes, is amended
1380to read:
1381     218.501  Purposes.--The purposes of ss. 218.50-218.504 are:
1382     (1)  To promote the fiscal responsibility of local
1383governmental entities, charter schools, and district school
1385     (2)  To assist local governmental entities, charter
1386schools, and district school boards in providing essential
1387services without interruption and in meeting their financial
1389     (3)  To assist local governmental entities, charter
1390schools, and district school boards through the improvement of
1391local financial management procedures.
1392     Section 5.  Section 218.503, Florida Statutes, is amended
1393to read:
1394     218.503  Determination of financial emergency.--
1395     (1)  Local governmental entities, charter schools, and
1396district school boards shall be subject to review and oversight
1397by the Governor, charter school sponsor, or the Commissioner of
1398Education, as appropriate, when any one of the following
1399conditions occurs:
1400     (a)  Failure within the same fiscal year in which due to
1401pay short-term loans or failure to make bond debt service or
1402other long-term debt payments when due, as a result of a lack of
1404     (b)  Failure to pay uncontested claims from creditors
1405within 90 days after the claim is presented, as a result of a
1406lack of funds.
1407     (c)  Failure to transfer at the appropriate time, due to
1408lack of funds:
1409     1.  Taxes withheld on the income of employees; or
1410     2.  Employer and employee contributions for:
1411     a.  Federal social security; or
1412     b.  Any pension, retirement, or benefit plan of an
1414     (d)  Failure for one pay period to pay, due to lack of
1416     1.  Wages and salaries owed to employees; or
1417     2.  Retirement benefits owed to former employees.
1418     (e)  An unreserved or total fund balance or retained
1419earnings deficit, or unrestricted or total net assets deficit,
1420as reported on the balance sheet or statement of net assets on
1421the general purpose or fund financial statements, for which
1422sufficient resources of the local governmental entity, as
1423reported on the balance sheet or statement of net assets on the
1424general purpose or fund financial statements, are not available
1425to cover the deficit. Resources available to cover reported
1426deficits include net assets that are not otherwise restricted by
1427federal, state, or local laws, bond covenants, contractual
1428agreements, or other legal constraints. Fixed or capital assets,
1429the disposal of which would impair the ability of a local
1430governmental entity to carry out its functions, are not
1431considered resources available to cover reported deficits.
1432     (2)  A local governmental entity shall notify the Governor
1433and the Legislative Auditing Committee, a charter school shall
1434notify the charter school sponsor and the Legislative Auditing
1435Committee, and a district school board shall notify the
1436Commissioner of Education and the Legislative Auditing
1437Committee, when one or more of the conditions specified in
1438subsection (1) have occurred or will occur if action is not
1439taken to assist the local governmental entity, charter school,
1440or district school board. In addition, any state agency must,
1441within 30 days after a determination that one or more of the
1442conditions specified in subsection (1) have occurred or will
1443occur if action is not taken to assist the local governmental
1444entity, charter school, or district school board, notify the
1445Governor, charter school sponsor, or the Commissioner of
1446Education, as appropriate, and the Legislative Auditing
1448     (3)  Upon notification that one or more of the conditions
1449in subsection (1) exist, the Governor or his or her designee
1450shall contact the local governmental entity or the Commissioner
1451of Education or his or her designee shall contact the district
1452school board to determine what actions have been taken by the
1453local governmental entity or the district school board to
1454resolve the condition. The Governor or the Commissioner of
1455Education, as appropriate, shall determine whether the local
1456governmental entity or the district school board needs state
1457assistance to resolve the condition. If state assistance is
1458needed, the local governmental entity or district school board
1459is considered to be in a state of financial emergency. The
1460Governor or the Commissioner of Education, as appropriate, has
1461the authority to implement measures as set forth in ss. 218.50-
1462218.504 to assist the local governmental entity or district
1463school board in resolving the financial emergency. Such measures
1464may include, but are not limited to:
1465     (a)  Requiring approval of the local governmental entity's
1466budget by the Governor or approval of the district school
1467board's budget by the Commissioner of Education.
1468     (b)  Authorizing a state loan to a local governmental
1469entity and providing for repayment of same.
1470     (c)  Prohibiting a local governmental entity or district
1471school board from issuing bonds, notes, certificates of
1472indebtedness, or any other form of debt until such time as it is
1473no longer subject to this section.
1474     (d)  Making such inspections and reviews of records,
1475information, reports, and assets of the local governmental
1476entity or district school board. The appropriate local officials
1477shall cooperate in such inspections and reviews.
1478     (e)  Consulting with officials and auditors of the local
1479governmental entity or the district school board and the
1480appropriate state officials regarding any steps necessary to
1481bring the books of account, accounting systems, financial
1482procedures, and reports into compliance with state requirements.
1483     (f)  Providing technical assistance to the local
1484governmental entity or the district school board.
1485     (g)1.  Establishing a financial emergency board to oversee
1486the activities of the local governmental entity or the district
1487school board. If a financial emergency board is established for
1488a local governmental entity, the Governor shall appoint board
1489members and select a chair. If a financial emergency board is
1490established for a district school board, the State Board of
1491Education shall appoint board members and select a chair. The
1492financial emergency board shall adopt such rules as are
1493necessary for conducting board business. The board may:
1494     a.  Make such reviews of records, reports, and assets of
1495the local governmental entity or the district school board as
1496are needed.
1497     b.  Consult with officials and auditors of the local
1498governmental entity or the district school board and the
1499appropriate state officials regarding any steps necessary to
1500bring the books of account, accounting systems, financial
1501procedures, and reports of the local governmental entity or the
1502district school board into compliance with state requirements.
1503     c.  Review the operations, management, efficiency,
1504productivity, and financing of functions and operations of the
1505local governmental entity or the district school board.
1506     2.  The recommendations and reports made by the financial
1507emergency board must be submitted to the Governor for local
1508governmental entities or to the Commissioner of Education and
1509the State Board of Education for district school boards for
1510appropriate action.
1511     (h)  Requiring and approving a plan, to be prepared by
1512officials of the local governmental entity or the district
1513school board in consultation with the appropriate state
1514officials, prescribing actions that will cause the local
1515governmental entity or district school board to no longer be
1516subject to this section. The plan must include, but need not be
1517limited to:
1518     1.  Provision for payment in full of obligations outlined
1519in subsection (1), designated as priority items, that are
1520currently due or will come due.
1521     2.  Establishment of priority budgeting or zero-based
1522budgeting in order to eliminate items that are not affordable.
1523     3.  The prohibition of a level of operations which can be
1524sustained only with nonrecurring revenues.
1525     (4)  Upon notification that one or more of the conditions
1526in subsection (1) exist, the charter school sponsor or the
1527sponsor's designee shall contact the charter school governing
1528board to determine what actions have been taken by the charter
1529school governing board to resolve the condition. The charter
1530school sponsor has the authority to require and approve a
1531financial recovery plan, to be prepared by the charter school
1532governing board, prescribing actions that will cause the charter
1533school to no longer be subject to this section. The Department
1534of Education must establish guidelines for developing such
1536     (5)(4)  A local governmental entity or district school
1537board may not seek application of laws under the bankruptcy
1538provisions of the United States Constitution except with the
1539prior approval of the Governor for local governmental entities
1540or the Commissioner of Education for district school boards.
1541     (6)(5)(a)  The governing authority of any municipality
1542having a resident population of 300,000 or more on or after
1543April 1, 1999, which has been declared in a state of financial
1544emergency pursuant to this section may impose a discretionary
1545per-vehicle surcharge of up to 20 percent on the gross revenues
1546of the sale, lease, or rental of space at parking facilities
1547within the municipality which are open for use to the general
1549     (b)  A municipal governing authority that imposes the
1550surcharge authorized by this subsection may use the proceeds of
1551such surcharge for the following purposes only:
1552     1.  No less than 60 percent and no more than 80 percent of
1553the surcharge proceeds shall be used by the governing authority
1554to reduce its ad valorem tax millage rate or to reduce or
1555eliminate non-ad valorem assessments.
1556     2.  A portion of the balance of the surcharge proceeds
1557shall be used by the governing authority to increase its budget
1558reserves; however, the governing authority shall not reduce the
1559amount it allocates for budget reserves from other sources below
1560the amount allocated for reserves in the fiscal year prior to
1561the year in which the surcharge is initially imposed. When a 15-
1562percent budget reserve is achieved, based on the average gross
1563revenue for the most recent 3 prior fiscal years, the remaining
1564proceeds from this subparagraph shall be used for the payment of
1565annual debt service related to outstanding obligations backed or
1566secured by a covenant to budget and appropriate from non-ad
1567valorem revenues.
1568     (c)  This subsection expires June 30, 2006.
1569     Section 6.  Subsection (1) of section 218.504, Florida
1570Statutes, is amended to read:
1571     218.504  Cessation of state action.--The Governor or the
1572Commissioner of Education, as appropriate, has the authority to
1573terminate all state actions pursuant to ss. 218.50-218.504.
1574Cessation of state action must not occur until the Governor or
1575the Commissioner of Education, as appropriate, has determined
1577     (1)  The local governmental entity, charter school, or
1578district school board:
1579     (a)  Has established and is operating an effective
1580financial accounting and reporting system.
1581     (b)  Has resolved the conditions outlined in s. 218.503(1).
1582     Section 7.  Paragraph (e) of subsection (7) and subsection
1583(8) of section 11.45, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
1584     11.45  Definitions; duties; authorities; reports; rules.--
1586     (e)  The Auditor General shall notify the Governor or the
1587Commissioner of Education, as appropriate, and the Legislative
1588Auditing Committee of any audit report reviewed by the Auditor
1589General pursuant to paragraph (b) which contains a statement
1590that a local governmental entity, charter school, or district
1591school board has met one or more of the conditions specified in
1592s. 218.503. If the Auditor General requests a clarification
1593regarding information included in an audit report to determine
1594whether a local governmental entity, charter school, or district
1595school board has met one or more of the conditions specified in
1596s. 218.503, the requested clarification must be provided within
159745 days after the date of the request. If the local governmental
1598entity, charter school, or district school board does not comply
1599with the Auditor General's request, the Auditor General shall
1600notify the Legislative Auditing Committee. If, after obtaining
1601the requested clarification, the Auditor General determines that
1602the local governmental entity, charter school, or district
1603school board has met one or more of the conditions specified in
1604s. 218.503, he or she shall notify the Governor or the
1605Commissioner of Education, as appropriate, and the Legislative
1606Auditing Committee.
1607     (8)  RULES OF THE AUDITOR GENERAL.--The Auditor General, in
1608consultation with the Board of Accountancy, shall adopt rules
1609for the form and conduct of all financial audits performed by
1610independent certified public accountants pursuant to ss.
1611215.981, 218.39, 1001.453, 1004.28, and 1004.70. The rules for
1612audits of local governmental entities, charter schools, and
1613district school boards must include, but are not limited to,
1614requirements for the reporting of information necessary to carry
1615out the purposes of the Local Governmental Entity, Charter
1616School, and District School Board Financial Emergencies Act as
1617stated in s. 218.501.
1618     Section 8.  Subsection (1) and paragraph (a) of subsection
1619(2) of section 166.271, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
1620     166.271  Surcharge on municipal facility parking fees.--
1621     (1)  The governing authority of any municipality with a
1622resident population of 200,000 or more, more than 20 percent of
1623the real property of which is exempt from ad valorem taxes, and
1624which is located in a county with a population of more than
1625500,000 may impose and collect, subject to referendum approval
1626by voters in the municipality, a discretionary per vehicle
1627surcharge of up to 15 percent of the amount charged for the
1628sale, lease, or rental of space at parking facilities within the
1629municipality which are open for use to the general public and
1630which are not airports, seaports, county administration
1631buildings, or other projects as defined under ss. 125.011 and
1632125.015, provided that this surcharge shall not take effect
1633while any surcharge imposed pursuant to s. 218.503(6)(5)(a), is
1634in effect.
1635     (2)  A municipal governing authority that imposes the
1636surcharge authorized by this subsection may use the proceeds of
1637such surcharge for the following purposes only:
1638     (a)  No less than 60 percent and no more than 80 percent of
1639surcharge proceeds shall be used to reduce the municipality's ad
1640valorem tax millage or to reduce or eliminate non-ad valorem
1641assessments, unless the municipality has previously used the
1642proceeds from the surcharge levied under s. 218.503(6)(5)(b) to
1643reduce the municipality's ad valorem tax millage or to reduce
1644non-ad valorem assessments.
1645     Section 9.  Paragraph (a) of subsection (9) and paragraph
1646(b) of subsection (11) of section 1002.32, Florida Statutes, are
1647amended to read:
1648     1002.32  Developmental research (laboratory) schools.--
1649     (9)  FUNDING.--Funding for a lab school, including a
1650charter lab school, shall be provided as follows:
1651     (a)  Each lab school shall be allocated its proportional
1652share of operating funds from the Florida Education Finance
1653Program as provided in s. 1011.62 based on the county in which
1654the lab school is located and the General Appropriations Act.
1655The nonvoted ad valorem millage that would otherwise be required
1656for lab schools shall be allocated from state funds. The
1657required local effort funds calculated pursuant to s. 1011.62
1658shall be allocated from state funds to the schools as a part of
1659the allocation of operating funds pursuant to s. 1011.62. Each
1660eligible lab school in operation as of September 1, 2002, shall
1661also receive a proportional share of the sparsity supplement as
1662calculated pursuant to s. 1011.62. In addition, each lab school
1663shall receive its proportional share of all categorical funds,
1664with the exception of s. 1011.68, and new categorical funds
1665enacted after July 1, 1994, for the purpose of elementary or
1666secondary academic program enhancement. However, if a lab
1667school, in the fulfillment of its requirements to have a
1668representative student population pursuant to subsection (4),
1669elects to provide student transportation, the lab school shall
1670be eligible for funding pursuant to s. 1011.68. The sum of funds
1671available as provided in this paragraph shall be included
1672annually in the Florida Education Finance Program and
1673appropriate categorical programs funded in the General
1674Appropriations Act.
1675     (11)  EXCEPTIONS TO LAW.--To encourage innovative practices
1676and facilitate the mission of the lab schools, in addition to
1677the exceptions to law specified in s. 1001.23(2), the following
1678exceptions shall be permitted for lab schools:
1679     (b)  With the exception of s. 1001.42(16), s. 1001.42 shall
1680be held in abeyance, except that a lab school, in the
1681fulfillment of its requirements to have a representative student
1682population pursuant to subsection (4), may elect to provide
1683transportation in accordance with s. 1001.42(8). Reference to
1684district school boards in s. 1001.42(16) shall mean the
1685president of the university or the president's designee.
1686     Section 10.  Subsection (3) of section 1003.05, Florida
1687Statutes, is amended to read:
1688     1003.05  Assistance to transitioning students from military
1690     (3)  Dependent children of active duty military personnel
1691who otherwise meet the eligibility criteria for special academic
1692programs offered through public schools shall be given first
1693preference for admission to such programs even if the program is
1694being offered through a public school other than the school to
1695which the student would generally be assigned and the school at
1696which the program is being offered has reached its maximum
1697enrollment. If such a program is offered through a public school
1698other than the school to which the student would generally be
1699assigned, the parent or guardian of the student must assume
1700responsibility for transporting the student to that school. For
1701purposes of this subsection, special academic programs include
1702charter schools, magnet schools, advanced studies programs,
1703advanced placement, dual enrollment, and International
1705     Section 11.  Effective July 1, 2006, subsection (2) of
1706section 1012.74, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
1707     1012.74  Florida educators professional liability insurance
1709     (2)(a)  Educator professional liability coverage for all
1710instructional personnel, including charter school instructional
1711personnel, as defined by s. 1012.01(2), who are full-time
1712personnel, as defined by the district school board policy, shall
1713be provided by specific appropriations under the General
1714Appropriations Act.
1715     (b)  Educator professional liability coverage shall be
1716extended at cost to all instructional personnel, including
1717charter school instructional personnel, as defined by s.
17181012.01(2), who are part-time personnel, as defined by the
1719district school board policy, and choose to participate in the
1720state-provided program.
1721     (c)  Educator professional liability coverage shall be
1722extended at cost to all administrative personnel, including
1723administrative personnel in charter schools, as defined by s.
17241012.01(3), who choose to participate in the state-provided
1726     Section 12.  Section 1013.62, Florida Statutes, is amended
1727to read:
1728     1013.62  Charter schools capital outlay funding.--
1729     (1)  In each year in which funds are appropriated for
1730charter school capital outlay purposes, the Commissioner of
1731Education shall allocate the funds among eligible charter
1732schools. To be eligible for a funding allocation, a charter
1733school must be one of the following:
1734     (a)  The same school that received capital outlay funding
1735in 2002-2003.
1736     (b)  A charter school that is an expanded feeder pattern of
1737a charter school that received capital outlay funding in 2002-
1739     (2)  If an appropriation for charter school capital outlay
1740funds is less than the 2002-2003 appropriation, the funds shall
1741be prorated among schools eligible pursuant to subsection (1).
1742     (3)  If an appropriation for charter school capital outlay
1743funds is greater than the 2002-2003 appropriation, the funds
1744shall be allocated to schools eligible pursuant to subsection
1745(1) and to charter schools that:
1746     (a)1.  Have been in operation for 3 or more years;
1747     2.  Are Be an expanded feeder chain of a charter school
1748within the same school district that is currently receiving
1749charter school capital outlay funds; or
1750     3.  Have been accredited by the Commission on Schools of
1751the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
1752     (b)  Have financial stability for future operation as a
1753charter school.
1754     (c)  Have received a school grade of "A" or "B," pursuant
1755to s. 1008.34, during 3 of the past 4 school years satisfactory
1756student achievement based on state accountability standards
1757applicable to the charter school.
1758     (d)  Have received final approval from its sponsor pursuant
1759to s. 1002.33 for operation during that fiscal year.
1760     (e)  Serve students in facilities that are not provided by
1761the charter school's sponsor.
1763First priority for allocating the amount in excess of the 2002-
17642003 appropriation shall be to prorate the excess funds among
1765charter schools with long-term debt or long-term lease to the
1766extent that the initial allocation is insufficient to provide
1767one-fifteenth of the cost-per-student station specified in s.
17681013.64(6)(b) and second priority shall be to other eligible
1769charter schools. Prior to the release of capital outlay funds to
1770a school district on behalf of the charter school, the
1771Department of Education shall ensure that the district school
1772board and the charter school governing board enter into a
1773written agreement that includes provisions for the reversion of
1774any unencumbered funds and all equipment and property purchased
1775with public education funds to the ownership of the district
1776school board, as provided for in subsection (5)(3), in the event
1777that the school terminates operations. Any funds recovered by
1778the state shall be deposited in the General Revenue Fund. A
1779charter school is not eligible for a funding allocation if it
1780was created by the conversion of a public school and operates in
1781facilities provided by the charter school's sponsor for a
1782nominal fee or at no charge or if it is directly or indirectly
1783operated by the school district. Unless otherwise provided in
1784the General Appropriations Act, the funding allocation for each
1785eligible charter school shall be determined by multiplying the
1786school's projected student enrollment by one-fifteenth of the
1787cost-per-student station specified in s. 1013.64(6)(b) for an
1788elementary, middle, or high school, as appropriate. If the funds
1789appropriated are not sufficient, the commissioner shall prorate
1790the available funds among eligible charter schools. However, no
1791charter school or charter lab school shall receive state charter
1792school capital outlay funds in excess of the one-fifteenth cost
1793per student station formula if the charter school's combination
1794of state charter school capital outlay funds, capital outlay
1795funds calculated through the reduction in the administrative fee
1796provided in s. 1002.33(20), and capital outlay funds allowed in
1797s. 1002.32(9)(e) and (h) exceeds the one-fifteenth cost per
1798student station formula. Funds shall be distributed on the basis
1799of the capital outlay full-time equivalent membership by grade
1800level, which shall be calculated by averaging the results of the
1801second and third enrollment surveys. The Department of Education
1802shall distribute capital outlay funds monthly, beginning in the
1803first quarter of the fiscal year, based on one-twelfth of the
1804amount the department reasonably expects the charter school to
1805receive during that fiscal year. The commissioner shall adjust
1806subsequent distributions as necessary to reflect each charter
1807school's actual student enrollment as reflected in the second
1808and third enrollment surveys. The commissioner shall establish
1809the intervals and procedures for determining the projected and
1810actual student enrollment of eligible charter schools.
1811     (4)(2)  A charter school's governing body may use charter
1812school capital outlay funds for the following purposes:
1813     (a)  Purchase of real property.
1814     (b)  Construction of school facilities.
1815     (c)  Purchase, lease-purchase, or lease of permanent or
1816relocatable school facilities.
1817     (d)  Purchase of vehicles to transport students to and from
1818the charter school.
1819     (e)  Renovation, repair, and maintenance of school
1820facilities that the charter school owns or is purchasing through
1821a lease-purchase or long-term lease of 5 years or longer or
1822furnishing or equipping such facilities.
1824Conversion charter schools may use capital outlay funds received
1825through the reduction in the administrative fee provided in s.
18261002.33(20) for renovation, repair, and maintenance of school
1827facilities that are owned by the sponsor.
1828     (5)(3)  When a charter school is nonrenewed or terminated,
1829any unencumbered funds and all equipment and property purchased
1830with district public funds shall revert to the ownership of the
1831district school board, as provided for in s. 1002.33(8)(e) and
1832(f). In the case of a charter lab school, any unencumbered funds
1833and all equipment and property purchased with university public
1834funds shall revert to the ownership of the state university that
1835issued the charter. The reversion of such equipment, property,
1836and furnishings shall focus on recoverable assets, but not on
1837intangible or irrecoverable costs such as rental or leasing
1838fees, normal maintenance, and limited renovations. The reversion
1839of all property secured with public funds is subject to the
1840complete satisfaction of all lawful liens or encumbrances. If
1841there are additional local issues such as the shared use of
1842facilities or partial ownership of facilities or property, these
1843issues shall be agreed to in the charter contract prior to the
1844expenditure of funds.
1845     (6)(4)  The Commissioner of Education shall specify
1846procedures for submitting and approving requests for funding
1847under this section and procedures for documenting expenditures.
1848     (7)(5)  The annual legislative budget request of the
1849Department of Education shall include a request for capital
1850outlay funding for charter schools. The request shall be based
1851on the projected number of students to be served in charter
1852schools who meet the eligibility requirements of this section. A
1853dedicated funding source, if identified in writing by the
1854Commissioner of Education and submitted along with the annual
1855charter school legislative budget request, may be considered an
1856additional source of funding.
1857     (8)(6)  Unless authorized otherwise by the Legislature,
1858allocation and proration of charter school capital outlay funds
1859shall be made to eligible charter schools by the Commissioner of
1860Education in an amount and in a manner authorized by subsections
1861(2) and (3) subsection (1).
1862     (7)  Notwithstanding the provisions of this section,
1863beginning in the 2003-2004 fiscal year:
1864     (a)  If the appropriation for charter school capital outlay
1865funds is no greater than the 2002-2003 appropriation, the funds
1866shall be allocated according to the formula outlined in
1867subsection (1) to:
1868     1.  The same schools that received funding in 2002-2003.
1869     2.  Schools that are an expanded feeder pattern of schools
1870that received funding in 2002-2003.
1871     3.  Schools that have an approved charter and are serving
1872students at the start of the 2003-2004 school year and either
1873incurred long-term financial obligations prior to January 31,
18742003, or began construction on educational facilities prior to
1875December 31, 2002.
1876     (b)  If the appropriation for charter school capital outlay
1877funds is less than the 2002-2003 appropriation, the funds shall
1878be prorated among the schools eligible in paragraph (a).
1879     (c)  If the appropriation for charter school capital outlay
1880funds is greater than the 2002-2003 appropriation, the amount of
1881funds provided in the 2002-2003 appropriation shall be allocated
1882according to paragraph (a). First priority for allocating the
1883amount in excess of the 2002-2003 appropriation shall be to
1884prorate the excess funds among the charter schools with long-
1885term debt or long-term lease to the extent that the initial
1886allocation is insufficient to provide one-fifteenth of the cost
1887per student station specified in s. 1013.64(6)(b), and second
1888priority shall be to other eligible charter schools.
1889     Section 13.  Charter School Task Force.--
1890     (1)  The Charter School Task Force is established to study
1891and make recommendations regarding charter schools in the state.
1892     (2)  The task force shall, at a minimum:
1893     (a)  Review current application and sponsorship procedures
1894used throughout the state for the approval of charter schools.
1895     (b)  Examine the sponsorship and organizational structure
1896of charter schools in other states.
1897     (c)  Investigate alternative means available in the state
1898to implement changes in the sponsorship of charter schools.
1899     (d)  Conduct meetings throughout the state to receive
1900public input and consider policy recommendations on issues
1901related to charter schools.
1902     (e)  Issue a final report and recommendations by December
190331, 2005, to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the
1904Speaker of the House of Representatives.
1905     (3)  The task force shall consist of:
1906     (a)  Up to four members of the House of Representatives
1907appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
1908     (b)  Up to four members of the Senate appointed by the
1909President of the Senate.
1910     (c)  Up to four charter school stakeholders appointed by
1911the Governor, to include a representative of a charter school, a
1912representative of a school district, a representative of a
1913statewide association, and a representative with experience in
1914charter school law.
1915     (4)  The Governor shall appoint the chair of the task force
1916from among the appointed members.
1917     (5)  Task force members shall serve without compensation
1918but are entitled to reimbursement, pursuant to s. 112.061,
1919Florida Statutes, for per diem and travel expenses incurred in
1920the performance of their official duties.
1921     (6)  The Department of Education shall provide staff
1922support for the task force.
1923     Section 14.  Except as otherwise provided herein, this act
1924shall take effect upon becoming a law.

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