November 11, 2019
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_h1569__
HB 1569

1
A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to charter schools; amending s. 1002.32,
3F.S.; authorizing a private university or a public entity
4to sponsor a charter lab school; providing for authority
5and responsibilities related to sponsorship by such
6entities; conforming cross-references; amending s.
71002.33, F.S.; authorizing a private university or a
8public entity to grant a charter to a lab school;
9providing for appeal by a district school board of certain
10decisions relating to a charter application for a lab
11school; correcting cross-references to high school
12graduation requirements; providing eligibility
13requirements for designation as a high-performing charter
14school; providing that a high-performing charter school is
15entitled to certain renewal, increase in enrollment,
16startup grants, capital outlay funds, and application
17procedures; requiring good cause to be shown to the
18Commissioner of Education for purposes of nonrenewal or
19termination of a charter; revising requirements for
20providing financial statements to a sponsor; deleting
21obsolete provisions; revising requirements for the
22establishment of a charter school-in-the-workplace;
23providing that a charter school-in-the-workplace is
24eligible for capital outlay funding; including certain
25federal funding; requiring a charter school to be in
26compliance with constitutional class size requirements
27calculated at the school-level average; authorizing
28funding for a charter school from the district school
29capital improvement millage; prohibiting a school district
30from imposing certain restrictions relating to charter
31school facilities; providing for an exemption from certain
32exactions; removing a reporting requirement relating to
33student assessment data; revising restrictions on the
34employment of relatives by charter school personnel;
35providing an exception; conforming cross-references;
36amending s. 1011.71, F.S.; providing that district school
37boards shall levy the capital improvement millage for
38charter schools; amending s. 1013.62, F.S.; authorizing
39additional uses for charter school capital outlay funds;
40conforming cross-references; amending ss. 163.3180,
411002.34, 1002.345, 1011.68, and 1012.32, F.S.; conforming
42cross-references; providing an effective date.
43
44Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
45
46     Section 1.  Paragraph (c) of subsection (9) of section
471002.32, Florida Statutes, is amended, subsections (10) and (11)
48are renumbered as subsections (11) and (12), respectively, and a
49new subsection (10) is added to that section, to read:
50     1002.32  Developmental research (laboratory) schools.-
51     (9)  FUNDING.-Funding for a lab school, including a charter
52lab school, shall be provided as follows:
53     (c)  All operating funds provided under this section shall
54be deposited in a Lab School Trust Fund and shall be expended
55for the purposes of this section. The university assigned a lab
56school shall be the fiscal agent for these funds, and all rules
57of the university governing the budgeting and expenditure of
58state funds shall apply to these funds unless otherwise provided
59by law or rule of the State Board of Education. The university
60board of trustees shall be the public employer of lab school
61personnel for collective bargaining purposes for lab schools in
62operation prior to the 2002-2003 fiscal year. Employees of
63charter lab schools authorized prior to June 1, 2003, but not in
64operation prior to the 2002-2003 fiscal year shall be employees
65of the entity holding the charter and must comply with the
66provisions of s. 1002.33(13)(12).
67     (10)  CHARTER LAB SCHOOL SPONSORED BY PRIVATE UNIVERSITY OR
68PUBLIC ENTITY.-In addition to and notwithstanding the provisions
69of this section and s. 1013.62, a lab school may be sponsored
70by, and issued a charter under s. 1002.33(5)(a)2. by, a private
71university or a public entity. For purposes of implementing this
72subsection, the authority and responsibilities of a state
73university with respect to the lab school for which it is a
74sponsor shall be assigned to a private university or a public
75entity that sponsors a charter lab school.
76     Section 2.  Section 1002.33, Florida Statutes, is amended
77to read:
78     1002.33  Charter schools.-
79     (1)  AUTHORIZATION.-Charter schools shall be part of the
80state's program of public education. All charter schools in
81Florida are public schools. A charter school may be formed by
82creating a new school or converting an existing public school to
83charter status. A public school may not use the term charter in
84its name unless it has been approved under this section.
85     (2)  GUIDING PRINCIPLES; PURPOSE.-
86     (a)  Charter schools in Florida shall be guided by the
87following principles:
88     1.  Meet high standards of student achievement while
89providing parents flexibility to choose among diverse
90educational opportunities within the state's public school
91system.
92     2.  Promote enhanced academic success and financial
93efficiency by aligning responsibility with accountability.
94     3.  Provide parents with sufficient information on whether
95their child is reading at grade level and whether the child
96gains at least a year's worth of learning for every year spent
97in the charter school.
98     (b)  Charter schools shall fulfill the following purposes:
99     1.  Improve student learning and academic achievement.
100     2.  Increase learning opportunities for all students, with
101special emphasis on low-performing students and reading.
102     3.  Encourage the use of innovative learning methods.
103     4.  Require the measurement of learning outcomes.
104     (c)  Charter schools may fulfill the following purposes:
105     1.  Create innovative measurement tools.
106     2.  Provide rigorous competition within the public school
107district to stimulate continual improvement in all public
108schools.
109     3.  Expand the capacity of the public school system.
110     4.  Mitigate the educational impact created by the
111development of new residential dwelling units.
112     5.  Create new professional opportunities for teachers,
113including ownership of the learning program at the school site.
114     (3)  APPLICATION FOR CHARTER STATUS.-
115     (a)  An application for a new charter school may be made by
116an individual, teachers, parents, a group of individuals, a
117municipality, or a legal entity organized under the laws of this
118state.
119     (b)  An application for a conversion charter school shall
120be made by the district school board, the principal, teachers,
121parents, and/or the school advisory council at an existing
122public school that has been in operation for at least 2 years
123prior to the application to convert. A public school-within-a-
124school that is designated as a school by the district school
125board may also submit an application to convert to charter
126status. An application submitted proposing to convert an
127existing public school to a charter school shall demonstrate the
128support of at least 50 percent of the teachers employed at the
129school and 50 percent of the parents voting whose children are
130enrolled at the school, provided that a majority of the parents
131eligible to vote participate in the ballot process, according to
132rules adopted by the State Board of Education. A district school
133board denying an application for a conversion charter school
134shall provide notice of denial to the applicants in writing
135within 10 days after the meeting at which the district school
136board denied the application. The notice must articulate in
137writing the specific reasons for denial and must provide
138documentation supporting those reasons. A private school,
139parochial school, or home education program shall not be
140eligible for charter school status.
141     (4)  UNLAWFUL REPRISAL.-
142     (a)  No district school board, or district school board
143employee who has control over personnel actions, shall take
144unlawful reprisal against another district school board employee
145because that employee is either directly or indirectly involved
146with an application to establish a charter school. As used in
147this subsection, the term "unlawful reprisal" means an action
148taken by a district school board or a school system employee
149against an employee who is directly or indirectly involved in a
150lawful application to establish a charter school, which occurs
151as a direct result of that involvement, and which results in one
152or more of the following: disciplinary or corrective action;
153adverse transfer or reassignment, whether temporary or
154permanent; suspension, demotion, or dismissal; an unfavorable
155performance evaluation; a reduction in pay, benefits, or
156rewards; elimination of the employee's position absent of a
157reduction in workforce as a result of lack of moneys or work; or
158other adverse significant changes in duties or responsibilities
159that are inconsistent with the employee's salary or employment
160classification. The following procedures shall apply to an
161alleged unlawful reprisal that occurs as a consequence of an
162employee's direct or indirect involvement with an application to
163establish a charter school:
164     1.  Within 60 days after the date upon which a reprisal
165prohibited by this subsection is alleged to have occurred, an
166employee may file a complaint with the Department of Education.
167     2.  Within 3 working days after receiving a complaint under
168this section, the Department of Education shall acknowledge
169receipt of the complaint and provide copies of the complaint and
170any other relevant preliminary information available to each of
171the other parties named in the complaint, which parties shall
172each acknowledge receipt of such copies to the complainant.
173     3.  If the Department of Education determines that the
174complaint demonstrates reasonable cause to suspect that an
175unlawful reprisal has occurred, the Department of Education
176shall conduct an investigation to produce a fact-finding report.
177     4.  Within 90 days after receiving the complaint, the
178Department of Education shall provide the district school
179superintendent of the complainant's district and the complainant
180with a fact-finding report that may include recommendations to
181the parties or a proposed resolution of the complaint. The fact-
182finding report shall be presumed admissible in any subsequent or
183related administrative or judicial review.
184     5.  If the Department of Education determines that
185reasonable grounds exist to believe that an unlawful reprisal
186has occurred, is occurring, or is to be taken, and is unable to
187conciliate a complaint within 60 days after receipt of the fact-
188finding report, the Department of Education shall terminate the
189investigation. Upon termination of any investigation, the
190Department of Education shall notify the complainant and the
191district school superintendent of the termination of the
192investigation, providing a summary of relevant facts found
193during the investigation and the reasons for terminating the
194investigation. A written statement under this paragraph is
195presumed admissible as evidence in any judicial or
196administrative proceeding.
197     6.  The Department of Education shall either contract with
198the Division of Administrative Hearings under s. 120.65, or
199otherwise provide for a complaint for which the Department of
200Education determines reasonable grounds exist to believe that an
201unlawful reprisal has occurred, is occurring, or is to be taken,
202and is unable to conciliate, to be heard by a panel of impartial
203persons. Upon hearing the complaint, the panel shall make
204findings of fact and conclusions of law for a final decision by
205the Department of Education.
206
207It shall be an affirmative defense to any action brought
208pursuant to this section that the adverse action was predicated
209upon grounds other than, and would have been taken absent, the
210employee's exercise of rights protected by this section.
211     (b)  In any action brought under this section for which it
212is determined reasonable grounds exist to believe that an
213unlawful reprisal has occurred, is occurring, or is to be taken,
214the relief shall include the following:
215     1.  Reinstatement of the employee to the same position held
216before the unlawful reprisal was commenced, or to an equivalent
217position, or payment of reasonable front pay as alternative
218relief.
219     2.  Reinstatement of the employee's full fringe benefits
220and seniority rights, as appropriate.
221     3.  Compensation, if appropriate, for lost wages, benefits,
222or other lost remuneration caused by the unlawful reprisal.
223     4.  Payment of reasonable costs, including attorney's fees,
224to a substantially prevailing employee, or to the prevailing
225employer if the employee filed a frivolous action in bad faith.
226     5.  Issuance of an injunction, if appropriate, by a court
227of competent jurisdiction.
228     6.  Temporary reinstatement to the employee's former
229position or to an equivalent position, pending the final outcome
230of the complaint, if it is determined that the action was not
231made in bad faith or for a wrongful purpose, and did not occur
232after a district school board's initiation of a personnel action
233against the employee that includes documentation of the
234employee's violation of a disciplinary standard or performance
235deficiency.
236     (5)  SPONSOR; DUTIES.-
237     (a)  Sponsoring entities.-
238     1.  A district school board may sponsor a charter school in
239the county over which the district school board has
240jurisdiction.
241     2.  A state university, a private university, or a public
242entity may grant a charter to a lab school created under s.
2431002.32 and shall be considered to be the school's sponsor. Such
244school shall be considered a charter lab school.
245     (b)  Sponsor duties.-
246     1.a.  The sponsor shall monitor and review the charter
247school in its progress toward the goals established in the
248charter.
249     b.  The sponsor shall monitor the revenues and expenditures
250of the charter school and perform the duties provided in s.
2511002.345.
252     c.  The sponsor may approve a charter for a charter school
253before the applicant has identified space, equipment, or
254personnel, if the applicant indicates approval is necessary for
255it to raise working funds.
256     d.  The sponsor's policies shall not apply to a charter
257school unless mutually agreed to by both the sponsor and the
258charter school.
259     e.  The sponsor shall ensure that the charter is innovative
260and consistent with the state education goals established by s.
2611000.03(5).
262     f.  The sponsor shall ensure that the charter school
263participates in the state's education accountability system. If
264a charter school falls short of performance measures included in
265the approved charter, the sponsor shall report such shortcomings
266to the Department of Education.
267     g.  The sponsor shall not be liable for civil damages under
268state law for personal injury, property damage, or death
269resulting from an act or omission of an officer, employee,
270agent, or governing body of the charter school.
271     h.  The sponsor shall not be liable for civil damages under
272state law for any employment actions taken by an officer,
273employee, agent, or governing body of the charter school.
274     i.  The sponsor's duties to monitor the charter school
275shall not constitute the basis for a private cause of action.
276     j.  The sponsor shall not impose additional reporting
277requirements on a charter school without providing reasonable
278and specific justification in writing to the charter school.
279     2.  Immunity for the sponsor of a charter school under
280subparagraph 1. applies only with respect to acts or omissions
281not under the sponsor's direct authority as described in this
282section.
283     3.  This paragraph does not waive a district school board's
284sovereign immunity.
285     4.  A community college may work with the school district
286or school districts in its designated service area to develop
287charter schools that offer secondary education. These charter
288schools must include an option for students to receive an
289associate degree upon high school graduation. District school
290boards shall cooperate with and assist the community college on
291the charter application. Community college applications for
292charter schools are not subject to the time deadlines outlined
293in subsection (6) and may be approved by the district school
294board at any time during the year. Community colleges may not
295report FTE for any students who receive FTE funding through the
296Florida Education Finance Program.
297     (6)  APPLICATION PROCESS AND REVIEW.-Charter school
298applications are subject to the following requirements:
299     (a)  A person or entity wishing to open a charter school
300shall prepare and submit an application on a model application
301form prepared by the Department of Education which:
302     1.  Demonstrates how the school will use the guiding
303principles and meet the statutorily defined purpose of a charter
304school.
305     2.  Provides a detailed curriculum plan that illustrates
306how students will be provided services to attain the Sunshine
307State Standards.
308     3.  Contains goals and objectives for improving student
309learning and measuring that improvement. These goals and
310objectives must indicate how much academic improvement students
311are expected to show each year, how success will be evaluated,
312and the specific results to be attained through instruction.
313     4.  Describes the reading curriculum and differentiated
314strategies that will be used for students reading at grade level
315or higher and a separate curriculum and strategies for students
316who are reading below grade level. A sponsor shall deny a
317charter if the school does not propose a reading curriculum that
318is consistent with effective teaching strategies that are
319grounded in scientifically based reading research.
320     5.  Contains an annual financial plan for each year
321requested by the charter for operation of the school for up to 5
322years. This plan must contain anticipated fund balances based on
323revenue projections, a spending plan based on projected revenues
324and expenses, and a description of controls that will safeguard
325finances and projected enrollment trends.
326     6.  Documents that the applicant has participated in the
327training required in subparagraph (g)2. A sponsor may require an
328applicant to provide additional information as an addendum to
329the charter school application described in this paragraph.
330     (b)  A sponsor shall receive and review all applications
331for a charter school using an evaluation instrument developed by
332the Department of Education. Beginning with the 2007-2008 school
333year, a sponsor shall receive and consider charter school
334applications received on or before August 1 of each calendar
335year for charter schools to be opened at the beginning of the
336school district's next school year, or to be opened at a time
337agreed to by the applicant and the sponsor. A sponsor may
338receive applications later than this date if it chooses. A
339sponsor may not charge an applicant for a charter any fee for
340the processing or consideration of an application, and a sponsor
341may not base its consideration or approval of an application
342upon the promise of future payment of any kind.
343     1.  In order to facilitate an accurate budget projection
344process, a sponsor shall be held harmless for FTE students who
345are not included in the FTE projection due to approval of
346charter school applications after the FTE projection deadline.
347In a further effort to facilitate an accurate budget projection,
348within 15 calendar days after receipt of a charter school
349application, a sponsor shall report to the Department of
350Education the name of the applicant entity, the proposed charter
351school location, and its projected FTE.
352     2.  In order to ensure fiscal responsibility, an
353application for a charter school shall include a full accounting
354of expected assets, a projection of expected sources and amounts
355of income, including income derived from projected student
356enrollments and from community support, and an expense
357projection that includes full accounting of the costs of
358operation, including start-up costs.
359     3.  A sponsor shall by a majority vote approve or deny an
360application no later than 60 calendar days after the application
361is received, unless the sponsor and the applicant mutually agree
362in writing to temporarily postpone the vote to a specific date,
363at which time the sponsor shall by a majority vote approve or
364deny the application. If the sponsor fails to act on the
365application, an applicant may appeal to the State Board of
366Education as provided in paragraph (c). If an application is
367denied, the sponsor shall, within 10 calendar days after such
368denial, articulate in writing the specific reasons, based upon
369good cause, supporting its denial of the charter application and
370shall provide the letter of denial and supporting documentation
371to the applicant and to the Department of Education supporting
372those reasons.
373     4.  For budget projection purposes, the sponsor shall
374report to the Department of Education the approval or denial of
375a charter application within 10 calendar days after such
376approval or denial. In the event of approval, the report to the
377Department of Education shall include the final projected FTE
378for the approved charter school.
379     5.  Upon approval of a charter application, the initial
380startup shall commence with the beginning of the public school
381calendar for the district in which the charter is granted unless
382the sponsor allows a waiver of this subparagraph for good cause.
383     (c)  An applicant may appeal any denial of that applicant's
384application or failure to act on an application to the State
385Board of Education no later than 30 calendar days after receipt
386of the sponsor's decision or failure to act and shall notify the
387sponsor of its appeal. Any response of the sponsor shall be
388submitted to the State Board of Education within 30 calendar
389days after notification of the appeal. Upon receipt of
390notification from the State Board of Education that a charter
391school applicant is filing an appeal, the Commissioner of
392Education shall convene a meeting of the Charter School Appeal
393Commission to study and make recommendations to the State Board
394of Education regarding its pending decision about the appeal.
395The commission shall forward its recommendation to the state
396board no later than 7 calendar days prior to the date on which
397the appeal is to be heard. The State Board of Education shall by
398majority vote accept or reject the decision of the sponsor no
399later than 90 calendar days after an appeal is filed in
400accordance with State Board of Education rule. The Charter
401School Appeal Commission may reject an appeal submission for
402failure to comply with procedural rules governing the appeals
403process. The rejection shall describe the submission errors. The
404appellant may have up to 15 calendar days from notice of
405rejection to resubmit an appeal that meets requirements of State
406Board of Education rule. An application for appeal submitted
407subsequent to such rejection shall be considered timely if the
408original appeal was filed within 30 calendar days after receipt
409of notice of the specific reasons for the sponsor's denial of
410the charter application. The State Board of Education shall
411remand the application to the sponsor with its written decision
412that the sponsor approve or deny the application. The sponsor
413shall implement the decision of the State Board of Education.
414The decision of the State Board of Education is not subject to
415the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act, chapter 120.
416     (d)  For charter school applications in school districts
417that have not been granted exclusive authority to sponsor
418charter schools pursuant to s. 1002.335(5), the right to appeal
419an application denial under paragraph (c) shall be contingent on
420the applicant having submitted the same or a substantially
421similar application to the Florida Schools of Excellence
422Commission or one of its cosponsors. Any such applicant whose
423application is denied by the commission or one of its cosponsors
424subsequent to its denial by the district school board may
425exercise its right to appeal the district school board's denial
426under paragraph (c) within 30 days after receipt of the
427commission's or cosponsor's denial or failure to act on the
428application. However, the applicant forfeits its right to appeal
429under paragraph (c) if it fails to submit its application to the
430commission or one of its cosponsors by August 1 of the school
431year immediately following the district school board's denial of
432the application.
433     (e)  The sponsor shall act upon the decision of the State
434Board of Education within 30 calendar days after it is received.
435The State Board of Education's decision is a final action
436subject to judicial review in the district court of appeal.
437     (f)1.  A Charter School Appeal Commission is established to
438assist the commissioner and the State Board of Education with a
439fair and impartial review of appeals by applicants whose charter
440applications have been denied, whose charter contracts have not
441been renewed, or whose charter contracts have been terminated by
442their sponsors.
443     2.  The Charter School Appeal Commission may receive copies
444of the appeal documents forwarded to the State Board of
445Education, review the documents, gather other applicable
446information regarding the appeal, and make a written
447recommendation to the commissioner. The recommendation must
448state whether the appeal should be upheld or denied and include
449the reasons for the recommendation being offered. The
450commissioner shall forward the recommendation to the State Board
451of Education no later than 7 calendar days prior to the date on
452which the appeal is to be heard. The state board must consider
453the commission's recommendation in making its decision, but is
454not bound by the recommendation. The decision of the Charter
455School Appeal Commission is not subject to the provisions of the
456Administrative Procedure Act, chapter 120.
457     3.  The commissioner shall appoint the members of the
458Charter School Appeal Commission. Members shall serve without
459compensation but may be reimbursed for travel and per diem
460expenses in conjunction with their service. One-half of the
461members must represent currently operating charter schools, and
462one-half of the members must represent sponsors. The
463commissioner or a named designee shall chair the Charter School
464Appeal Commission.
465     4.  The chair shall convene meetings of the commission and
466shall ensure that the written recommendations are completed and
467forwarded in a timely manner. In cases where the commission
468cannot reach a decision, the chair shall make the written
469recommendation with justification, noting that the decision was
470rendered by the chair.
471     5.  Commission members shall thoroughly review the
472materials presented to them from the appellant and the sponsor.
473The commission may request information to clarify the
474documentation presented to it. In the course of its review, the
475commission may facilitate the postponement of an appeal in those
476cases where additional time and communication may negate the
477need for a formal appeal and both parties agree, in writing, to
478postpone the appeal to the State Board of Education. A new date
479certain for the appeal shall then be set based upon the rules
480and procedures of the State Board of Education. Commission
481members shall provide a written recommendation to the state
482board as to whether the appeal should be upheld or denied. A
483fact-based justification for the recommendation must be
484included. The chair must ensure that the written recommendation
485is submitted to the State Board of Education members no later
486than 7 calendar days prior to the date on which the appeal is to
487be heard. Both parties in the case shall also be provided a copy
488of the recommendation.
489     (g)1.  The Department of Education shall offer or arrange
490for training and technical assistance to charter school
491applicants in developing business plans and estimating costs and
492income. This assistance shall address estimating startup costs,
493projecting enrollment, and identifying the types and amounts of
494state and federal financial assistance the charter school may be
495eligible to receive. The department may provide other technical
496assistance to an applicant upon written request.
497     2.  A charter school applicant must participate in the
498training provided by the Department of Education before filing
499an application. However, a sponsor may require the charter
500school applicant to attend training provided by the sponsor in
501lieu of the department's training if the sponsor's training
502standards meet or exceed the standards developed by the
503Department of Education. The training shall include instruction
504in accurate financial planning and good business practices. If
505the applicant is a management company or other nonprofit
506organization, the charter school principal and the chief
507financial officer or his or her equivalent must also participate
508in the training.
509     (h)  In considering charter applications for a lab school,
510a state university, a private university, or a public entity
511shall consult with the district school board of the county in
512which the lab school is located. The decision of a state
513university, a private university, or a public entity may be
514appealed by the district school board of the county in which the
515lab school is located pursuant to the procedure established in
516this subsection.
517     (i)  The terms and conditions for the operation of a
518charter school shall be set forth by the sponsor and the
519applicant in a written contractual agreement, called a charter.
520The sponsor shall not impose unreasonable rules or regulations
521that violate the intent of giving charter schools greater
522flexibility to meet educational goals. The sponsor shall have 60
523days to provide an initial proposed charter contract to the
524charter school. The applicant and the sponsor shall have 75 days
525thereafter to negotiate and notice the charter contract for
526final approval by the sponsor unless both parties agree to an
527extension. The proposed charter contract shall be provided to
528the charter school at least 7 calendar days prior to the date of
529the meeting at which the charter is scheduled to be voted upon
530by the sponsor. The Department of Education shall provide
531mediation services for any dispute regarding this section
532subsequent to the approval of a charter application and for any
533dispute relating to the approved charter, except disputes
534regarding charter school application denials. If the
535Commissioner of Education determines that the dispute cannot be
536settled through mediation, the dispute may be appealed to an
537administrative law judge appointed by the Division of
538Administrative Hearings. The administrative law judge may rule
539on issues of equitable treatment of the charter school as a
540public school, whether proposed provisions of the charter
541violate the intended flexibility granted charter schools by
542statute, or on any other matter regarding this section except a
543charter school application denial, a charter termination, or a
544charter nonrenewal and shall award the prevailing party
545reasonable attorney's fees and costs incurred to be paid by the
546losing party. The costs of the administrative hearing shall be
547paid by the party whom the administrative law judge rules
548against.
549     (7)  CHARTER.-The major issues involving the operation of a
550charter school shall be considered in advance and written into
551the charter. The charter shall be signed by the governing body
552of the charter school and the sponsor, following a public
553hearing to ensure community input.
554     (a)  The charter shall address and criteria for approval of
555the charter shall be based on:
556     1.  The school's mission, the students to be served, and
557the ages and grades to be included.
558     2.  The focus of the curriculum, the instructional methods
559to be used, any distinctive instructional techniques to be
560employed, and identification and acquisition of appropriate
561technologies needed to improve educational and administrative
562performance which include a means for promoting safe, ethical,
563and appropriate uses of technology which comply with legal and
564professional standards. The charter shall ensure that reading is
565a primary focus of the curriculum and that resources are
566provided to identify and provide specialized instruction for
567students who are reading below grade level. The curriculum and
568instructional strategies for reading must be consistent with the
569Sunshine State Standards and grounded in scientifically based
570reading research.
571     3.  The current incoming baseline standard of student
572academic achievement, the outcomes to be achieved, and the
573method of measurement that will be used. The criteria listed in
574this subparagraph shall include a detailed description of:
575     a.  How the baseline student academic achievement levels
576and prior rates of academic progress will be established.
577     b.  How these baseline rates will be compared to rates of
578academic progress achieved by these same students while
579attending the charter school.
580     c.  To the extent possible, how these rates of progress
581will be evaluated and compared with rates of progress of other
582closely comparable student populations.
583
584The district school board is required to provide academic
585student performance data to charter schools for each of their
586students coming from the district school system, as well as
587rates of academic progress of comparable student populations in
588the district school system.
589     4.  The methods used to identify the educational strengths
590and needs of students and how well educational goals and
591performance standards are met by students attending the charter
592school. The methods shall provide a means for the charter school
593to ensure accountability to its constituents by analyzing
594student performance data and by evaluating the effectiveness and
595efficiency of its major educational programs. Students in
596charter schools shall, at a minimum, participate in the
597statewide assessment program created under s. 1008.22.
598     5.  In secondary charter schools, a method for determining
599that a student has satisfied the requirements for graduation in
600s. 1003.428, s. 1003.429, or s. 1003.43.
601     6.  A method for resolving conflicts between the governing
602body of the charter school and the sponsor.
603     7.  The admissions procedures and dismissal procedures,
604including the school's code of student conduct.
605     8.  The ways by which the school will achieve a
606racial/ethnic balance reflective of the community it serves or
607within the racial/ethnic range of other public schools in the
608same school district.
609     9.  The financial and administrative management of the
610school, including a reasonable demonstration of the professional
611experience or competence of those individuals or organizations
612applying to operate the charter school or those hired or
613retained to perform such professional services and the
614description of clearly delineated responsibilities and the
615policies and practices needed to effectively manage the charter
616school. A description of internal audit procedures and
617establishment of controls to ensure that financial resources are
618properly managed must be included. Both public sector and
619private sector professional experience shall be equally valid in
620such a consideration.
621     10.  The asset and liability projections required in the
622application which are incorporated into the charter and shall be
623compared with information provided in the annual report of the
624charter school.
625     11.  A description of procedures that identify various
626risks and provide for a comprehensive approach to reduce the
627impact of losses; plans to ensure the safety and security of
628students and staff; plans to identify, minimize, and protect
629others from violent or disruptive student behavior; and the
630manner in which the school will be insured, including whether or
631not the school will be required to have liability insurance,
632and, if so, the terms and conditions thereof and the amounts of
633coverage.
634     12.  The term of the charter which shall provide for
635cancellation of the charter if insufficient progress has been
636made in attaining the student achievement objectives of the
637charter and if it is not likely that such objectives can be
638achieved before expiration of the charter. The initial term of a
639charter shall be for 4 or 5 years. In order to facilitate access
640to long-term financial resources for charter school
641construction, charter schools that are operated by a
642municipality or other public entity as provided by law are
643eligible for up to a 15-year charter, subject to approval by the
644district school board. A charter lab school is eligible for a
645charter for a term of up to 15 years. In addition, to facilitate
646access to long-term financial resources for charter school
647construction, charter schools that are operated by a private,
648not-for-profit, s. 501(c)(3) status corporation are eligible for
649up to a 15-year charter, subject to approval by the district
650school board. Such long-term charters remain subject to annual
651review and may be terminated during the term of the charter, but
652only according to the provisions set forth in subsection (9)(8).
653     13.  The facilities to be used and their location.
654     14.  The qualifications to be required of the teachers and
655the potential strategies used to recruit, hire, train, and
656retain qualified staff to achieve best value.
657     15.  The governance structure of the school, including the
658status of the charter school as a public or private employer as
659required in paragraph (13)(12)(i).
660     16.  A timetable for implementing the charter which
661addresses the implementation of each element thereof and the
662date by which the charter shall be awarded in order to meet this
663timetable.
664     17.  In the case of an existing public school that is being
665converted to charter status, alternative arrangements for
666current students who choose not to attend the charter school and
667for current teachers who choose not to teach in the charter
668school after conversion in accordance with the existing
669collective bargaining agreement or district school board rule in
670the absence of a collective bargaining agreement. However,
671alternative arrangements shall not be required for current
672teachers who choose not to teach in a charter lab school, except
673as authorized by the employment policies of the state university
674which grants the charter to the lab school.
675     18.  Full disclosure of the identity of all relatives
676employed by the charter school who are related to the charter
677school owner, president, chairperson of the governing board of
678directors, superintendent, governing board member, principal,
679assistant principal, or any other person employed by the charter
680school who has equivalent decisionmaking authority. For the
681purpose of this subparagraph, the term "relative" means father,
682mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, first
683cousin, nephew, niece, husband, wife, father-in-law, mother-in-
684law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law,
685stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother,
686stepsister, half brother, or half sister.
687     (b)1.  A charter may be renewed provided that a program
688review demonstrates that the criteria in paragraph (a) have been
689successfully accomplished and that none of the grounds for
690nonrenewal established by paragraph (9)(8)(a) has been
691documented. In order to facilitate long-term financing for
692charter school construction, charter schools operating for a
693minimum of 3 years and demonstrating exemplary academic
694programming and fiscal management are eligible for a 15-year
695charter renewal. Such long-term charter is subject to annual
696review and may be terminated during the term of the charter.
697     2.  The 15-year charter renewal that may be granted
698pursuant to subparagraph 1. shall be granted to a charter school
699that has received a school grade of "A" or "B" pursuant to s.
7001008.34 in 3 of the past 4 years and is not in a state of
701financial emergency or deficit position as defined by this
702section. Such long-term charter is subject to annual review and
703may be terminated during the term of the charter pursuant to
704subsection (9) (8).
705     (c)  A charter may be modified during its initial term or
706any renewal term upon the recommendation of the sponsor or the
707charter school governing board and the approval of both parties
708to the agreement.
709     (8)  HIGH-PERFORMING CHARTER SCHOOLS.-
710     (a)  A charter school is designated as a high-performing
711charter school if it meets all of the following criteria:
712     1.  Has received a school grade of "A" or "B" pursuant to
713s. 1008.34 for 3 consecutive years.
714     2.  Has received unqualified opinions on its annual audited
715financial statements for 3 consecutive years.
716     3.  Has maintained positive fund balances for 3 consecutive
717years.
718     (b)  A high-performing charter school is entitled to:
719     1.  Automatically renew its charter for 15 years.
720     2.  Increase its enrollment in excess of the maximum
721enrollment specified in its charter.
722     3.  Automatically qualify for startup grants for new
723applicants.
724     4.  Receive capital outlay funds under s. 1013.62 beginning
725with the first year it receives a high-performing charter school
726designation.
727     5.  Receive an extension of time until January 1 to submit
728an initial application pursuant to subsection (6) to replicate a
729successful charter school.
730     (9)(8)  CAUSES FOR NONRENEWAL OR TERMINATION OF CHARTER.-
731     (a)  The sponsor may choose not to renew or may terminate
732the charter for any of the following grounds:
733     1.  Failure to participate in the state's education
734accountability system created in s. 1008.31, as required in this
735section, or failure to meet the requirements for student
736performance stated in the charter.
737     2.  Failure to meet generally accepted standards of fiscal
738management.
739     3.  Violation of law.
740     4.  Other good cause shown to the Commissioner of
741Education.
742     (b)  At least 90 days prior to renewing or terminating a
743charter, the sponsor shall notify the governing body of the
744school of the proposed action in writing. The notice shall state
745in reasonable detail the grounds for the proposed action and
746stipulate that the school's governing body may, within 14
747calendar days after receiving the notice, request an informal
748hearing before the sponsor. The sponsor shall conduct the
749informal hearing within 30 calendar days after receiving a
750written request.
751     (c)  If a charter is not renewed or is terminated pursuant
752to paragraph (b), the sponsor shall, within 10 calendar days,
753articulate in writing the specific reasons for its nonrenewal or
754termination of the charter and must provide the letter of
755nonrenewal or termination and documentation supporting the
756reasons to the charter school governing body, the charter school
757principal, and the Department of Education. The charter school's
758governing body may, within 30 calendar days after receiving the
759sponsor's final written decision to refuse to renew or to
760terminate the charter, appeal the decision pursuant to the
761procedure established in subsection (6).
762     (d)  A charter may be terminated immediately if the sponsor
763determines that good cause has been shown or if the health,
764safety, or welfare of the students is threatened. The sponsor's
765determination is not subject to an informal hearing under
766paragraph (b) or pursuant to chapter 120. The sponsor shall
767notify in writing the charter school's governing body, the
768charter school principal, and the department if a charter is
769immediately terminated. The sponsor shall clearly identify the
770specific issues that resulted in the immediate termination and
771provide evidence of prior notification of issues resulting in
772the immediate termination when appropriate. The school district
773in which the charter school is located shall assume operation of
774the school under these circumstances. The charter school's
775governing board may, within 30 days after receiving the
776sponsor's decision to terminate the charter, appeal the decision
777pursuant to the procedure established in subsection (6).
778     (e)  When a charter is not renewed or is terminated, the
779school shall be dissolved under the provisions of law under
780which the school was organized, and any unencumbered public
781funds, except for capital outlay funds and federal charter
782school program grant funds, from the charter school shall revert
783to the sponsor. Capital outlay funds provided pursuant to s.
7841013.62 and federal charter school program grant funds that are
785unencumbered shall revert to the department to be redistributed
786among eligible charter schools. In the event a charter school is
787dissolved or is otherwise terminated, all district school board
788property and improvements, furnishings, and equipment purchased
789with public funds shall automatically revert to full ownership
790by the district school board, subject to complete satisfaction
791of any lawful liens or encumbrances. Any unencumbered public
792funds from the charter school, district school board property
793and improvements, furnishings, and equipment purchased with
794public funds, or financial or other records pertaining to the
795charter school, in the possession of any person, entity, or
796holding company, other than the charter school, shall be held in
797trust upon the district school board's request, until any appeal
798status is resolved.
799     (f)  If a charter is not renewed or is terminated, the
800charter school is responsible for all debts of the charter
801school. The district may not assume the debt from any contract
802made between the governing body of the school and a third party,
803except for a debt that is previously detailed and agreed upon in
804writing by both the district and the governing body of the
805school and that may not reasonably be assumed to have been
806satisfied by the district.
807     (g)  If a charter is not renewed or is terminated, a
808student who attended the school may apply to, and shall be
809enrolled in, another public school. Normal application deadlines
810shall be disregarded under such circumstances.
811     (10)(9)  CHARTER SCHOOL REQUIREMENTS.-
812     (a)  A charter school shall be nonsectarian in its
813programs, admission policies, employment practices, and
814operations.
815     (b)  A charter school shall admit students as provided in
816subsection (11) (10).
817     (c)  A charter school shall be accountable to its sponsor
818for performance as provided in subsection (7).
819     (d)  A charter school shall not charge tuition or
820registration fees, except those fees normally charged by other
821public schools. However, a charter lab school may charge a
822student activity and service fee as authorized by s. 1002.32(5).
823     (e)  A charter school shall meet all applicable state and
824local health, safety, and civil rights requirements.
825     (f)  A charter school shall not violate the
826antidiscrimination provisions of s. 1000.05.
827     (g)  In order to provide financial information that is
828comparable to that reported for other public schools, charter
829schools are to maintain all financial records that constitute
830their accounting system:
831     1.  In accordance with the accounts and codes prescribed in
832the most recent issuance of the publication titled "Financial
833and Program Cost Accounting and Reporting for Florida Schools";
834or
835     2.  At the discretion of the charter school governing
836board, a charter school may elect to follow generally accepted
837accounting standards for not-for-profit organizations, but must
838reformat this information for reporting according to this
839paragraph.
840
841Charter schools shall provide annual financial report and
842program cost report information in the state-required formats
843for inclusion in district reporting in compliance with s.
8441011.60(1). Charter schools that are operated by a municipality
845or are a component unit of a parent nonprofit organization may
846use the accounting system of the municipality or the parent but
847must reformat this information for reporting according to this
848paragraph. A charter school shall provide a quarterly monthly
849financial statement to the sponsor unless the charter school is
850determined to be in a state of financial emergency pursuant to
851s. 1002.345, in which case the charter school shall provide a
852monthly financial statement. The monthly financial statement
853required under this paragraph shall be in a form prescribed by
854the Department of Education.
855     (h)  The governing board of the charter school shall
856annually adopt and maintain an operating budget.
857     (i)  The governing body of the charter school shall
858exercise continuing oversight over charter school operations.
859     (j)  The governing body of the charter school shall be
860responsible for:
861     1.  Ensuring that the charter school has retained the
862services of a certified public accountant or auditor for the
863annual financial audit, pursuant to s. 1002.345(2), who shall
864submit the report to the governing body.
865     2.  Reviewing and approving the audit report, including
866audit findings and recommendations for the financial recovery
867plan.
868     3.a.  Performing the duties in s. 1002.345, including
869monitoring a corrective action plan.
870     b.  Monitoring a financial recovery plan in order to ensure
871compliance.
872     4.  Participating in governance training approved by the
873department which must include government in the sunshine,
874conflicts of interest, ethics, and financial responsibility.
875     (k)  The governing body of the charter school shall report
876its progress annually to its sponsor, which shall forward the
877report to the Commissioner of Education at the same time as
878other annual school accountability reports. The Department of
879Education shall develop a uniform, online annual accountability
880report to be completed by charter schools. This report shall be
881easy to utilize and contain demographic information, student
882performance data, and financial accountability information. A
883charter school shall not be required to provide information and
884data that is duplicative and already in the possession of the
885department. The Department of Education shall include in its
886compilation a notation if a school failed to file its report by
887the deadline established by the department. The report shall
888include at least the following components:
889     1.  Student achievement performance data, including the
890information required for the annual school report and the
891education accountability system governed by ss. 1008.31 and
8921008.345. Charter schools are subject to the same accountability
893requirements as other public schools, including reports of
894student achievement information that links baseline student data
895to the school's performance projections identified in the
896charter. The charter school shall identify reasons for any
897difference between projected and actual student performance.
898     2.  Financial status of the charter school which must
899include revenues and expenditures at a level of detail that
900allows for analysis of the charter school's ability to meet
901financial obligations and timely repayment of debt.
902     3.  Documentation of the facilities in current use and any
903planned facilities for use by the charter school for instruction
904of students, administrative functions, or investment purposes.
905     4.  Descriptive information about the charter school's
906personnel, including salary and benefit levels of charter school
907employees, the proportion of instructional personnel who hold
908professional or temporary certificates, and the proportion of
909instructional personnel teaching in-field or out-of-field.
910     (l)  A charter school shall not levy taxes or issue bonds
911secured by tax revenues.
912     (m)  A charter school shall provide instruction for at
913least the number of days required by law for other public
914schools and may provide instruction for additional days.
915     (n)  The director and a representative of the governing
916body of a charter school that has received a school grade of "D"
917under s. 1008.34(2) shall appear before the sponsor or the
918sponsor's staff at least once a year to present information
919concerning each contract component having noted deficiencies.
920The sponsor shall communicate at the meeting, and in writing to
921the director, the services provided to the school to help the
922school address its deficiencies.
923     (o)  Upon notification that a charter school receives a
924school grade of "D" for 2 consecutive years or a school grade of
925"F" under s. 1008.34(2), the charter school sponsor or the
926sponsor's staff shall require the director and a representative
927of the governing body to submit to the sponsor for approval a
928school improvement plan to raise student achievement and to
929implement the plan. The sponsor has the authority to approve a
930school improvement plan that the charter school will implement
931in the following school year. The sponsor may also consider the
932State Board of Education's recommended action pursuant to s.
9331008.33(1) as part of the school improvement plan. The
934Department of Education shall offer technical assistance and
935training to the charter school and its governing body and
936establish guidelines for developing, submitting, and approving
937such plans.
938     1.  If the charter school fails to improve its student
939performance from the year immediately prior to the
940implementation of the school improvement plan, the sponsor shall
941place the charter school on probation and shall require the
942charter school governing body to take one of the following
943corrective actions:
944     a.  Contract for the educational services of the charter
945school;
946     b.  Reorganize the school at the end of the school year
947under a new director or principal who is authorized to hire new
948staff and implement a plan that addresses the causes of
949inadequate progress; or
950     c.  Reconstitute the charter school.
951     2.  A charter school that is placed on probation shall
952continue the corrective actions required under subparagraph 1.
953until the charter school improves its student performance from
954the year prior to the implementation of the school improvement
955plan.
956     3.  Notwithstanding any provision of this paragraph, the
957sponsor may terminate the charter at any time pursuant to
958subsection (9) (8).
959     (p)  The director and a representative of the governing
960body of a graded charter school that has submitted a school
961improvement plan or has been placed on probation under paragraph
962(o) shall appear before the sponsor or the sponsor's staff at
963least once a year to present information regarding the
964corrective strategies that are being implemented by the school
965pursuant to the school improvement plan. The sponsor shall
966communicate at the meeting, and in writing to the director, the
967services provided to the school to help the school address its
968deficiencies.
969     (11)(10)  ELIGIBLE STUDENTS.-
970     (a)  A charter school shall be open to any student covered
971in an interdistrict agreement or residing in the school district
972in which the charter school is located; however, in the case of
973a charter lab school, the charter lab school shall be open to
974any student eligible to attend the lab school as provided in s.
9751002.32 or who resides in the school district in which the
976charter lab school is located. Any eligible student shall be
977allowed interdistrict transfer to attend a charter school when
978based on good cause. Good cause shall include, but is not
979limited to, geographic proximity to a charter school in a
980neighboring school district.
981     (b)  The charter school shall enroll an eligible student
982who submits a timely application, unless the number of
983applications exceeds the capacity of a program, class, grade
984level, or building. In such case, all applicants shall have an
985equal chance of being admitted through a random selection
986process.
987     (c)  When a public school converts to charter status,
988enrollment preference shall be given to students who would have
989otherwise attended that public school. The district school board
990shall consult and negotiate with the conversion charter school
991every 3 years to determine whether realignment of the conversion
992charter school's attendance zone is appropriate in order to
993ensure that students residing closest to the charter school are
994provided with an enrollment preference.
995     (d)  A charter school may give enrollment preference to the
996following student populations:
997     1.  Students who are siblings of a student enrolled in the
998charter school.
999     2.  Students who are the children of a member of the
1000governing board of the charter school.
1001     3.  Students who are the children of an employee of the
1002charter school.
1003     (e)  A charter school may limit the enrollment process only
1004to target the following student populations:
1005     1.  Students within specific age groups or grade levels.
1006     2.  Students considered at risk of dropping out of school
1007or academic failure. Such students shall include exceptional
1008education students.
1009     3.  Students enrolling in a charter school-in-the-workplace
1010or charter school-in-a-municipality established pursuant to
1011subsection (16) (15).
1012     4.  Students residing within a reasonable distance of the
1013charter school, as described in paragraph (21)(20)(c). Such
1014students shall be subject to a random lottery and to the
1015racial/ethnic balance provisions described in subparagraph
1016(7)(a)8. or any federal provisions that require a school to
1017achieve a racial/ethnic balance reflective of the community it
1018serves or within the racial/ethnic range of other public schools
1019in the same school district.
1020     5.  Students who meet reasonable academic, artistic, or
1021other eligibility standards established by the charter school
1022and included in the charter school application and charter or,
1023in the case of existing charter schools, standards that are
1024consistent with the school's mission and purpose. Such standards
1025shall be in accordance with current state law and practice in
1026public schools and may not discriminate against otherwise
1027qualified individuals.
1028     6.  Students articulating from one charter school to
1029another pursuant to an articulation agreement between the
1030charter schools that has been approved by the sponsor.
1031     (f)  Students with disabilities and students served in
1032English for Speakers of Other Languages programs shall have an
1033equal opportunity of being selected for enrollment in a charter
1034school.
1035     (g)  A student may withdraw from a charter school at any
1036time and enroll in another public school as determined by
1037district school board rule.
1038     (h)  The capacity of the charter school shall be determined
1039annually by the governing board, in conjunction with the
1040sponsor, of the charter school in consideration of the factors
1041identified in this subsection.
1042     (12)(11)  PARTICIPATION IN INTERSCHOLASTIC EXTRACURRICULAR
1043ACTIVITIES.-A charter school student is eligible to participate
1044in an interscholastic extracurricular activity at the public
1045school to which the student would be otherwise assigned to
1046attend pursuant to s. 1006.15(3)(d).
1047     (13)(12)  EMPLOYEES OF CHARTER SCHOOLS.-
1048     (a)  A charter school shall select its own employees. A
1049charter school may contract with its sponsor for the services of
1050personnel employed by the sponsor.
1051     (b)  Charter school employees shall have the option to
1052bargain collectively. Employees may collectively bargain as a
1053separate unit or as part of the existing district collective
1054bargaining unit as determined by the structure of the charter
1055school.
1056     (c)  The employees of a conversion charter school shall
1057remain public employees for all purposes, unless such employees
1058choose not to do so.
1059     (d)  The teachers at a charter school may choose to be part
1060of a professional group that subcontracts with the charter
1061school to operate the instructional program under the auspices
1062of a partnership or cooperative that they collectively own.
1063Under this arrangement, the teachers would not be public
1064employees.
1065     (e)  Employees of a school district may take leave to
1066accept employment in a charter school upon the approval of the
1067district school board. While employed by the charter school and
1068on leave that is approved by the district school board, the
1069employee may retain seniority accrued in that school district
1070and may continue to be covered by the benefit programs of that
1071school district, if the charter school and the district school
1072board agree to this arrangement and its financing. School
1073districts shall not require resignations of teachers desiring to
1074teach in a charter school. This paragraph shall not prohibit a
1075district school board from approving alternative leave
1076arrangements consistent with chapter 1012.
1077     (f)  Teachers employed by or under contract to a charter
1078school shall be certified as required by chapter 1012. A charter
1079school governing board may employ or contract with skilled
1080selected noncertified personnel to provide instructional
1081services or to assist instructional staff members as education
1082paraprofessionals in the same manner as defined in chapter 1012,
1083and as provided by State Board of Education rule for charter
1084school governing boards. A charter school may not knowingly
1085employ an individual to provide instructional services or to
1086serve as an education paraprofessional if the individual's
1087certification or licensure as an educator is suspended or
1088revoked by this or any other state. A charter school may not
1089knowingly employ an individual who has resigned from a school
1090district in lieu of disciplinary action with respect to child
1091welfare or safety, or who has been dismissed for just cause by
1092any school district with respect to child welfare or safety. The
1093qualifications of teachers shall be disclosed to parents.
1094     (g)1.  A charter school shall employ or contract with
1095employees who have undergone background screening as provided in
1096s. 1012.32. Members of the governing board of the charter school
1097shall also undergo background screening in a manner similar to
1098that provided in s. 1012.32.
1099     2.  A charter school shall disqualify instructional
1100personnel and school administrators, as defined in s. 1012.01,
1101from employment in any position that requires direct contact
1102with students if the personnel or administrators are ineligible
1103for such employment under s. 1012.315.
1104     3.  The governing board of a charter school shall adopt
1105policies establishing standards of ethical conduct for
1106instructional personnel and school administrators. The policies
1107must require all instructional personnel and school
1108administrators, as defined in s. 1012.01, to complete training
1109on the standards; establish the duty of instructional personnel
1110and school administrators to report, and procedures for
1111reporting, alleged misconduct by other instructional personnel
1112and school administrators which affects the health, safety, or
1113welfare of a student; and include an explanation of the
1114liability protections provided under ss. 39.203 and 768.095. A
1115charter school, or any of its employees, may not enter into a
1116confidentiality agreement regarding terminated or dismissed
1117instructional personnel or school administrators, or personnel
1118or administrators who resign in lieu of termination, based in
1119whole or in part on misconduct that affects the health, safety,
1120or welfare of a student, and may not provide instructional
1121personnel or school administrators with employment references or
1122discuss the personnel's or administrators' performance with
1123prospective employers in another educational setting, without
1124disclosing the personnel's or administrators' misconduct. Any
1125part of an agreement or contract that has the purpose or effect
1126of concealing misconduct by instructional personnel or school
1127administrators which affects the health, safety, or welfare of a
1128student is void, is contrary to public policy, and may not be
1129enforced.
1130     4.  Before employing instructional personnel or school
1131administrators in any position that requires direct contact with
1132students, a charter school shall conduct employment history
1133checks of each of the personnel's or administrators' previous
1134employers, screen the instructional personnel or school
1135administrators through use of the educator screening tools
1136described in s. 1001.10(5), and document the findings. If unable
1137to contact a previous employer, the charter school must document
1138efforts to contact the employer.
1139     5.  The sponsor of a charter school that knowingly fails to
1140comply with this paragraph shall terminate the charter under
1141subsection (9) (8).
1142     (h)  For the purposes of tort liability, the governing body
1143and employees of a charter school shall be governed by s.
1144768.28.
1145     (i)  A charter school shall organize as, or be operated by,
1146a nonprofit organization. A charter school may be operated by a
1147municipality or other public entity as provided for by law. As
1148such, the charter school may be either a private or a public
1149employer. As a public employer, a charter school may participate
1150in the Florida Retirement System upon application and approval
1151as a "covered group" under s. 121.021(34). If a charter school
1152participates in the Florida Retirement System, the charter
1153school employees shall be compulsory members of the Florida
1154Retirement System. As either a private or a public employer, a
1155charter school may contract for services with an individual or
1156group of individuals who are organized as a partnership or a
1157cooperative. Individuals or groups of individuals who contract
1158their services to the charter school are not public employees.
1159     (14)(13)  CHARTER SCHOOL COOPERATIVES.-Charter schools may
1160enter into cooperative agreements to form charter school
1161cooperative organizations that may provide the following
1162services: charter school planning and development, direct
1163instructional services, and contracts with charter school
1164governing boards to provide personnel administrative services,
1165payroll services, human resource management, evaluation and
1166assessment services, teacher preparation, and professional
1167development.
1168     (15)(14)  CHARTER SCHOOL FINANCIAL ARRANGEMENTS;
1169INDEMNIFICATION OF THE STATE AND SCHOOL DISTRICT; CREDIT OR
1170TAXING POWER NOT TO BE PLEDGED.-Any arrangement entered into to
1171borrow or otherwise secure funds for a charter school authorized
1172in this section from a source other than the state or a school
1173district shall indemnify the state and the school district from
1174any and all liability, including, but not limited to, financial
1175responsibility for the payment of the principal or interest. Any
1176loans, bonds, or other financial agreements are not obligations
1177of the state or the school district but are obligations of the
1178charter school authority and are payable solely from the sources
1179of funds pledged by such agreement. The credit or taxing power
1180of the state or the school district shall not be pledged and no
1181debts shall be payable out of any moneys except those of the
1182legal entity in possession of a valid charter approved by a
1183district school board pursuant to this section.
1184     (16)(15)  CHARTER SCHOOLS-IN-THE-WORKPLACE; CHARTER
1185SCHOOLS-IN-A-MUNICIPALITY.-
1186     (a)  In order to increase business partnerships in
1187education, to reduce school and classroom overcrowding
1188throughout the state, and to offset the high costs for
1189educational facilities construction, the Legislature intends to
1190encourage the formation of business partnership schools or
1191satellite learning centers and municipal-operated schools
1192through charter school status.
1193     (b)  A charter school-in-the-workplace may be established
1194when a business partner:
1195     1.  Provides one of the following:
1196     a.  Access to a the school facility to be used;
1197     b.  Resources that materially reduce the cost of
1198constructing a school facility;
1199     c.  Land for a school facility; or
1200     d.  Resources to maintain a school facility;
1201     2.  Enrolls students based upon a random lottery that
1202involves all of the children of employees of that business or
1203corporation who are seeking enrollment, as provided for in
1204subsection (11) (10); and
1205     3.  Enrolls students according to the racial/ethnic balance
1206provisions described in subparagraph (7)(a)8.
1207
1208A charter school-in-the-workplace is eligible for capital outlay
1209funding under s. 1013.62. Any portion of a facility used for a
1210public charter school shall be exempt from ad valorem taxes, as
1211provided for in s. 1013.54, for the duration of its use as a
1212public school.
1213     (c)  A charter school-in-a-municipality designation may be
1214granted to a municipality that possesses a charter; enrolls
1215students based upon a random lottery that involves all of the
1216children of the residents of that municipality who are seeking
1217enrollment, as provided for in subsection (11) (10); and enrolls
1218students according to the racial/ethnic balance provisions
1219described in subparagraph (7)(a)8. When a municipality has
1220submitted charter applications for the establishment of a
1221charter school feeder pattern, consisting of elementary, middle,
1222and senior high schools, and each individual charter application
1223is approved by the district school board, such schools shall
1224then be designated as one charter school for all purposes listed
1225pursuant to this section. Any portion of the land and facility
1226used for a public charter school shall be exempt from ad valorem
1227taxes, as provided for in s. 1013.54, for the duration of its
1228use as a public school.
1229     (d)  As used in this subsection, the terms "business
1230partner" or "municipality" may include more than one business or
1231municipality to form a charter school-in-the-workplace or
1232charter school-in-a-municipality.
1233     (17)(16)  EXEMPTION FROM STATUTES.-
1234     (a)  A charter school shall operate in accordance with its
1235charter and shall be exempt from all statutes in chapters 1000-
12361013. However, a charter school shall be in compliance with the
1237following statutes in chapters 1000-1013:
1238     1.  Those statutes specifically applying to charter
1239schools, including this section.
1240     2.  Those statutes pertaining to the student assessment
1241program and school grading system.
1242     3.  Those statutes pertaining to the provision of services
1243to students with disabilities.
1244     4.  Those statutes pertaining to civil rights, including s.
12451000.05, relating to discrimination.
1246     5.  Those statutes pertaining to student health, safety,
1247and welfare.
1248     (b)  Additionally, a charter school shall be in compliance
1249with the following statutes and constitutional provisions:
1250     1.  Section 286.011, relating to public meetings and
1251records, public inspection, and criminal and civil penalties.
1252     2.  Chapter 119, relating to public records.
1253     3.  Section 1, Art. IX of the State Constitution, relating
1254to the maximum class size requirements, which shall be
1255calculated at the school-level average in the specified grade
1256groupings.
1257     (18)(17)  FUNDING.-Students enrolled in a charter school,
1258regardless of the sponsorship, shall be funded as if they are in
1259a basic program or a special program, the same as students
1260enrolled in other public schools in the school district. Funding
1261for a charter lab school shall be as provided in s. 1002.32.
1262     (a)  Each charter school shall report its student
1263enrollment to the sponsor as required in s. 1011.62, and in
1264accordance with the definitions in s. 1011.61. The sponsor shall
1265include each charter school's enrollment in the district's
1266report of student enrollment. All charter schools submitting
1267student record information required by the Department of
1268Education shall comply with the Department of Education's
1269guidelines for electronic data formats for such data, and all
1270districts shall accept electronic data that complies with the
1271Department of Education's electronic format.
1272     (b)  The basis for the agreement for funding students
1273enrolled in a charter school shall be the sum of the school
1274district's operating funds from the Florida Education Finance
1275Program as provided in s. 1011.62 and the General Appropriations
1276Act, including gross state and local funds, discretionary
1277lottery funds, district school capital improvement millage as
1278provided in s. 1011.71(2), and funds from the school district's
1279current operating discretionary millage levy; divided by total
1280funded weighted full-time equivalent students in the school
1281district; multiplied by the weighted full-time equivalent
1282students for the charter school. Charter schools whose students
1283or programs meet the eligibility criteria in law shall be
1284entitled to their proportionate share of categorical program
1285funds included in the total funds available in the Florida
1286Education Finance Program by the Legislature, including
1287transportation. Total funding for each charter school shall be
1288recalculated during the year to reflect the revised calculations
1289under the Florida Education Finance Program by the state and the
1290actual weighted full-time equivalent students reported by the
1291charter school during the full-time equivalent student survey
1292periods designated by the Commissioner of Education.
1293     (c)  If the district school board is providing programs or
1294services to students funded by federal funds, any eligible
1295students enrolled in charter schools in the school district
1296shall be provided federal funds for the same level of service
1297provided students in the schools operated by the district school
1298board. Pursuant to provisions of 20 U.S.C. 8061 s. 10306, all
1299charter schools shall receive all federal funding for which the
1300school is otherwise eligible, including Title I and IDEA
1301funding, not later than 5 months after the charter school first
1302opens and within 5 months after any subsequent expansion of
1303enrollment.
1304     (d)  Charter schools shall be included by the Department of
1305Education and the district school board in requests for federal
1306stimulus funds in the same manner as district school board-
1307operated public schools, including Title I and IDEA funds and
1308shall be entitled to receive such funds. Charter schools are
1309eligible to participate in federal competitive grants that are
1310available as part of the federal stimulus funds.
1311     (e)  District school boards shall make timely and efficient
1312payment and reimbursement to charter schools, including
1313processing paperwork required to access special state and
1314federal funding for which they may be eligible. The district
1315school board may distribute funds to a charter school for up to
13163 months based on the projected full-time equivalent student
1317membership of the charter school. Thereafter, the results of
1318full-time equivalent student membership surveys shall be used in
1319adjusting the amount of funds distributed monthly to the charter
1320school for the remainder of the fiscal year. The payment shall
1321be issued no later than 10 working days after the district
1322school board receives a distribution of state or federal funds.
1323If a warrant for payment is not issued within 10 working days
1324after receipt of funding by the district school board, the
1325school district shall pay to the charter school, in addition to
1326the amount of the scheduled disbursement, interest at a rate of
13271 percent per month calculated on a daily basis on the unpaid
1328balance from the expiration of the 10 working days until such
1329time as the warrant is issued.
1330     (19)(18)  FACILITIES.-
1331     (a)  A startup charter school shall utilize facilities
1332which comply with the Florida Building Code pursuant to chapter
1333553 except for the State Requirements for Educational
1334Facilities. Conversion charter schools shall utilize facilities
1335that comply with the State Requirements for Educational
1336Facilities provided that the school district and the charter
1337school have entered into a mutual management plan for the
1338reasonable maintenance of such facilities. The mutual management
1339plan shall contain a provision by which the district school
1340board agrees to maintain charter school facilities in the same
1341manner as its other public schools within the district. Charter
1342schools, with the exception of conversion charter schools, are
1343not required to comply, but may choose to comply, with the State
1344Requirements for Educational Facilities of the Florida Building
1345Code adopted pursuant to s. 1013.37. The local governing
1346authority shall not adopt or impose local building requirements
1347or restrictions that are more stringent than those found in the
1348Florida Building Code. The agency having jurisdiction for
1349inspection of a facility and issuance of a certificate of
1350occupancy shall be the local municipality or, if in an
1351unincorporated area, the county governing authority. The school
1352district shall not impose any restrictions that are more
1353stringent than those of the agency having jurisdiction.
1354     (b)  A charter school shall utilize facilities that comply
1355with the Florida Fire Prevention Code, pursuant to s. 633.025,
1356as adopted by the authority in whose jurisdiction the facility
1357is located as provided in paragraph (a).
1358     (c)  Any facility, or portion thereof, used to house a
1359charter school whose charter has been approved by the sponsor
1360and the governing board, pursuant to subsection (7), shall be
1361exempt from ad valorem taxes pursuant to s. 196.1983. Library,
1362community service, museum, performing arts, theatre, cinema,
1363church, community college, college, and university facilities
1364may provide space to charter schools within their facilities
1365under their preexisting zoning and land use designations.
1366     (d)  Charter school facilities are exempt from assessments
1367of fees for building permits, except as provided in s. 553.80,
1368fees for building and occupational licenses, impact fees or
1369exactions under s. 163.3180(13)(e)2., service availability fees,
1370and assessments for special benefits.
1371     (e)  If a district school board facility or property is
1372available because it is surplus, marked for disposal, or
1373otherwise unused, it shall be provided for a charter school's
1374use on the same basis as it is made available to other public
1375schools in the district. A charter school receiving property
1376from the school district may not sell or dispose of such
1377property without written permission of the school district.
1378Similarly, for an existing public school converting to charter
1379status, no rental or leasing fee for the existing facility or
1380for the property normally inventoried to the conversion school
1381may be charged by the district school board to the parents and
1382teachers organizing the charter school. The charter school shall
1383agree to reasonable maintenance provisions in order to maintain
1384the facility in a manner similar to district school board
1385standards. The Public Education Capital Outlay maintenance funds
1386or any other maintenance funds generated by the facility
1387operated as a conversion school shall remain with the conversion
1388school.
1389     (f)  To the extent that charter school facilities are
1390specifically created to mitigate the educational impact created
1391by the development of new residential dwelling units, pursuant
1392to subparagraph (2)(c)4., some of or all of the educational
1393impact fees required to be paid in connection with the new
1394residential dwelling units may be designated instead for the
1395construction of the charter school facilities that will mitigate
1396the student station impact. Such facilities shall be built to
1397the State Requirements for Educational Facilities and shall be
1398owned by a public or nonprofit entity. The local school district
1399retains the right to monitor and inspect such facilities to
1400ensure compliance with the State Requirements for Educational
1401Facilities. If a facility ceases to be used for public
1402educational purposes, either the facility shall revert to the
1403school district subject to any debt owed on the facility, or the
1404owner of the facility shall have the option to refund all
1405educational impact fees utilized for the facility to the school
1406district. The district and the owner of the facility may
1407contractually agree to another arrangement for the facilities if
1408the facilities cease to be used for educational purposes. The
1409owner of property planned or approved for new residential
1410dwelling units and the entity levying educational impact fees
1411shall enter into an agreement that designates the educational
1412impact fees that will be allocated for the charter school
1413student stations and that ensures the timely construction of the
1414charter school student stations concurrent with the expected
1415occupancy of the residential units. The application for use of
1416educational impact fees shall include an approved charter school
1417application. To assist the school district in forecasting
1418student station needs, the entity levying the impact fees shall
1419notify the affected district of any agreements it has approved
1420for the purpose of mitigating student station impact from the
1421new residential dwelling units.
1422     (g)  Each school district shall annually provide to the
1423Department of Education as part of its 5-year work plan the
1424number of existing vacant classrooms in each school that the
1425district does not intend to use or does not project will be
1426needed for educational purposes for the following school year.
1427The department may recommend that a district make such space
1428available to an appropriate charter school.
1429     (20)(19)  CAPITAL OUTLAY FUNDING.-Charter schools are
1430eligible for capital outlay funds pursuant to s. 1013.62.
1431     (21)(20)  SERVICES.-
1432     (a)  A sponsor shall provide certain administrative and
1433educational services to charter schools. These services shall
1434include contract management services; full-time equivalent and
1435data reporting services; exceptional student education
1436administration services; services related to eligibility and
1437reporting duties required to ensure that school lunch services
1438under the federal lunch program, consistent with the needs of
1439the charter school, are provided by the school district at the
1440request of the charter school, that any funds due to the charter
1441school under the federal lunch program be paid to the charter
1442school as soon as the charter school begins serving food under
1443the federal lunch program, and that the charter school is paid
1444at the same time and in the same manner under the federal lunch
1445program as other public schools serviced by the sponsor or the
1446school district; test administration services, including payment
1447of the costs of state-required or district-required student
1448assessments; processing of teacher certificate data services;
1449and information services, including equal access to student
1450information systems that are used by public schools in the
1451district in which the charter school is located. Student
1452performance data for each student in a charter school,
1453including, but not limited to, FCAT scores, standardized test
1454scores, previous public school student report cards, and student
1455performance measures, shall be provided by the sponsor to a
1456charter school in the same manner provided to other public
1457schools in the district. A total administrative fee for the
1458provision of such services shall be calculated based upon up to
14595 percent of the available funds defined in paragraph
1460(18)(17)(b) for all students. However, a sponsor may only
1461withhold up to a 5-percent administrative fee for enrollment for
1462up to and including 500 students. For charter schools with a
1463population of 501 or more students, the difference between the
1464total administrative fee calculation and the amount of the
1465administrative fee withheld may only be used for capital outlay
1466purposes specified in s. 1013.62(2). Each charter school shall
1467receive 100 percent of the funds awarded to that school pursuant
1468to s. 1012.225. Sponsors shall not charge charter schools any
1469additional fees or surcharges for administrative and educational
1470services in addition to the maximum 5-percent administrative fee
1471withheld pursuant to this paragraph.
1472     (b)  If goods and services are made available to the
1473charter school through the contract with the school district,
1474they shall be provided to the charter school at a rate no
1475greater than the district's actual cost unless mutually agreed
1476upon by the charter school and the sponsor in a contract
1477negotiated separately from the charter. When mediation has
1478failed to resolve disputes over contracted services or
1479contractual matters not included in the charter, an appeal may
1480be made for a dispute resolution hearing before the Charter
1481School Appeal Commission. To maximize the use of state funds,
1482school districts shall allow charter schools to participate in
1483the sponsor's bulk purchasing program if applicable.
1484     (c)  Transportation of charter school students shall be
1485provided by the charter school consistent with the requirements
1486of subpart I.E. of chapter 1006 and s. 1012.45. The governing
1487body of the charter school may provide transportation through an
1488agreement or contract with the district school board, a private
1489provider, or parents. The charter school and the sponsor shall
1490cooperate in making arrangements that ensure that transportation
1491is not a barrier to equal access for all students residing
1492within a reasonable distance of the charter school as determined
1493in its charter.
1494     (22)(21)  PUBLIC INFORMATION ON CHARTER SCHOOLS.-
1495     (a)  The Department of Education shall provide information
1496to the public, directly and through sponsors, on how to form and
1497operate a charter school and how to enroll in a charter school
1498once it is created. This information shall include a standard
1499application format, charter format, evaluation instrument, and
1500charter renewal format, which shall include the information
1501specified in subsection (7) and shall be developed by consulting
1502and negotiating with both school districts and charter schools
1503before implementation. The charter and charter renewal formats
1504shall be used by charter school sponsors.
1505     (b)1.  The Department of Education shall report student
1506assessment data pursuant to s. 1008.34(3)(c) which is reported
1507to schools that receive a school grade or student assessment
1508data pursuant to s. 1008.341(3) which is reported to alternative
1509schools that receive a school improvement rating to each charter
1510school that:
1511     a.  Does not receive a school grade pursuant to s. 1008.34
1512or a school improvement rating pursuant to s. 1008.341; and
1513     b.  Serves at least 10 students who are tested on the
1514statewide assessment test pursuant to s. 1008.22.
1515     2.  The charter school shall report the information in
1516subparagraph 1. to each parent of a student at the charter
1517school, the parent of a child on a waiting list for the charter
1518school, the district in which the charter school is located, and
1519the governing board of the charter school. This paragraph does
1520not abrogate the provisions of s. 1002.22, relating to student
1521records, or the requirements of 20 U.S.C. s. 1232g, the Family
1522Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
1523     2.3.a.  Pursuant to this paragraph, the Department of
1524Education shall compare the charter school student performance
1525data for each charter school in subparagraph 1. with the student
1526performance data in traditional public schools in the district
1527in which the charter school is located and other charter schools
1528in the state. For alternative charter schools, the department
1529shall compare the student performance data described in this
1530paragraph with all alternative schools in the state. The
1531comparative data shall be provided by the following grade
1532groupings:
1533     (I)  Grades 3 through 5;
1534     (II)  Grades 6 through 8; and
1535     (III)  Grades 9 through 11.
1536     b.  Each charter school shall provide the information
1537specified in this paragraph on its Internet website and also
1538provide notice to the public at large in a manner provided by
1539the rules of the State Board of Education. The State Board of
1540Education shall adopt rules to administer the notice
1541requirements of this subparagraph pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and
1542120.54. The website shall include, through links or actual
1543content, other information related to school performance.
1544     (23)(22)  CHARTER SCHOOL REVIEW PANEL AND LEGISLATIVE
1545REVIEW.-
1546     (a)  The Department of Education shall staff and regularly
1547convene a Charter School Review Panel in order to review issues,
1548practices, and policies regarding charter schools. The
1549composition of the review panel shall include individuals with
1550experience in finance, administration, law, education, and
1551school governance, and individuals familiar with charter school
1552construction and operation. The panel shall include two
1553appointees each from the Commissioner of Education, the
1554President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of
1555Representatives. The Governor shall appoint three members of the
1556panel and shall designate the chair. Each member of the panel
1557shall serve a 1-year term, unless renewed by the office making
1558the appointment. The panel shall make recommendations to the
1559Legislature, to the Department of Education, to charter schools,
1560and to school districts for improving charter school operations
1561and oversight and for ensuring best business practices at and
1562fair business relationships with charter schools.
1563     (b)  The Legislature shall review the operation of charter
1564schools during the 2010 Regular Session of the Legislature.
1565     (24)(23)  ANALYSIS OF CHARTER SCHOOL PERFORMANCE.-Upon
1566receipt of the annual report required by paragraph (10)(9)(k),
1567the Department of Education shall provide to the State Board of
1568Education, the Commissioner of Education, the Governor, the
1569President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of
1570Representatives an analysis and comparison of the overall
1571performance of charter school students, to include all students
1572whose scores are counted as part of the statewide assessment
1573program, versus comparable public school students in the
1574district as determined by the statewide assessment program
1575currently administered in the school district, and other
1576assessments administered pursuant to s. 1008.22(3).
1577     (25)(24)  RESTRICTION ON EMPLOYMENT OF RELATIVES.-
1578     (a)  This subsection applies to charter school personnel in
1579a charter school operated by a private entity. As used in this
1580subsection, the term:
1581     1.  "Charter school personnel" means a charter school
1582owner, president, chairperson of the governing board of
1583directors, superintendent, governing board member, principal,
1584assistant principal, or any other person employed by the charter
1585school who has equivalent decisionmaking authority and in whom
1586is vested the authority, or to whom the authority has been
1587delegated, to appoint, employ, promote, or advance individuals
1588or to recommend individuals for appointment, employment,
1589promotion, or advancement in connection with employment in a
1590charter school, including the authority as a member of a
1591governing body of a charter school to vote on the appointment,
1592employment, promotion, or advancement of individuals.
1593     2.  "Relative" means father, mother, son, daughter,
1594brother, sister, uncle, aunt, first cousin, nephew, niece,
1595husband, wife, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law,
1596daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepfather,
1597stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother, stepsister, half
1598brother, or half sister.
1599     (b)1.  Charter school personnel may not knowingly recommend
1600or engage in the appoint, employ, promote, or advance, or
1601advocate for appointment, employment, promotion, or assignment
1602of an individual or employee to a work location if that action
1603will create a situation in which one employee will be
1604responsible for the direct supervision of, or exercise
1605advancement, in or to a position in the charter school in which
1606the personnel are serving or over which the personnel exercises
1607jurisdiction or control over, another employee any individual
1608who is a relative. The Commissioner of Education or the sponsor
1609may make exceptions to this paragraph if such personnel actions
1610would cause undue hardship on students or seriously disrupt a
1611charter school's operations.
1612     2.  This paragraph does not prohibit the employment of
1613relatives in the same work location if neither person is
1614directly supervised by the other. An individual may not be
1615appointed, employed, promoted, or advanced in or to a position
1616in a charter school if such appointment, employment, promotion,
1617or advancement has been advocated by charter school personnel
1618who serve in or exercise jurisdiction or control over the
1619charter school and who is a relative of the individual or if
1620such appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement is made
1621by the governing board of which a relative of the individual is
1622a member.
1623     (c)  The approval of budgets does not constitute
1624"jurisdiction or control" for the purposes of this subsection.
1625
1626Charter school personnel in schools operated by a municipality
1627or other public entity are subject to s. 112.3135.
1628     (26)(25)  STANDARDS OF CONDUCT AND FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE.-
1629     (a)  A member of a governing board of a charter school,
1630including a charter school operated by a private entity, is
1631subject to ss. 112.313(2), (3), (7), and (12) and 112.3143(3).
1632     (b)  A member of a governing board of a charter school
1633operated by a municipality or other public entity is subject to
1634s. 112.3144, which relates to the disclosure of financial
1635interests.
1636     (27)(26)  RULEMAKING.-The Department of Education, after
1637consultation with school districts and charter school directors,
1638shall recommend that the State Board of Education adopt rules to
1639implement specific subsections of this section. Such rules shall
1640require minimum paperwork and shall not limit charter school
1641flexibility authorized by statute. The State Board of Education
1642shall adopt rules, pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54, to
1643implement a charter model application form, evaluation
1644instrument, and charter and charter renewal formats in
1645accordance with this section.
1646     Section 3.  Subsection (2) of section 1011.71, Florida
1647Statutes, is amended to read:
1648     1011.71  District school tax.-
1649     (2)  In addition to the maximum millage levy as provided in
1650subsection (1), each school board may levy not more than 1.5
1651mills against the taxable value for school purposes for district
1652schools, including charter schools at the discretion of the
1653school board, to fund:
1654     (a)  New construction and remodeling projects, as set forth
1655in s. 1013.64(3)(b) and (6)(b) and included in the district's
1656educational plant survey pursuant to s. 1013.31, without regard
1657to prioritization, sites and site improvement or expansion to
1658new sites, existing sites, auxiliary facilities, athletic
1659facilities, or ancillary facilities.
1660     (b)  Maintenance, renovation, and repair of existing school
1661plants or of leased facilities to correct deficiencies pursuant
1662to s. 1013.15(2).
1663     (c)  The purchase, lease-purchase, or lease of school
1664buses.
1665     (d)  Effective July 1, 2008, the purchase, lease-purchase,
1666or lease of new and replacement equipment, and enterprise
1667resource software applications that are classified as capital
1668assets in accordance with definitions of the Governmental
1669Accounting Standards Board, have a useful life of at least 5
1670years, and are used to support districtwide administration or
1671state-mandated reporting requirements.
1672     (e)  Payments for educational facilities and sites due
1673under a lease-purchase agreement entered into by a district
1674school board pursuant to s. 1003.02(1)(f) or s. 1013.15(2), not
1675exceeding, in the aggregate, an amount equal to three-fourths of
1676the proceeds from the millage levied by a district school board
1677pursuant to this subsection. For the 2009-2010 fiscal year, the
1678three-fourths limit is waived for lease-purchase agreements
1679entered into before June 30, 2009, by a district school board
1680pursuant to this paragraph.
1681     (f)  Payment of loans approved pursuant to ss. 1011.14 and
16821011.15.
1683     (g)  Payment of costs directly related to complying with
1684state and federal environmental statutes, rules, and regulations
1685governing school facilities.
1686     (h)  Payment of costs of leasing relocatable educational
1687facilities, of renting or leasing educational facilities and
1688sites pursuant to s. 1013.15(2), or of renting or leasing
1689buildings or space within existing buildings pursuant to s.
16901013.15(4).
1691     (i)  Payment of the cost of school buses when a school
1692district contracts with a private entity to provide student
1693transportation services if the district meets the requirements
1694of this paragraph.
1695     1.  The district's contract must require that the private
1696entity purchase, lease-purchase, or lease, and operate and
1697maintain, one or more school buses of a specific type and size
1698that meet the requirements of s. 1006.25.
1699     2.  Each such school bus must be used for the daily
1700transportation of public school students in the manner required
1701by the school district.
1702     3.  Annual payment for each such school bus may not exceed
170310 percent of the purchase price of the state pool bid.
1704     4.  The proposed expenditure of the funds for this purpose
1705must have been included in the district school board's notice of
1706proposed tax for school capital outlay as provided in s.
1707200.065(10).
1708     (j)  Payment of the cost of the opening day collection for
1709the library media center of a new school.
1710     Section 4.  Paragraph (e) of subsection (1) and subsections
1711(2) and (3) of section 1013.62, Florida Statutes, are amended to
1712read:
1713     1013.62  Charter schools capital outlay funding.-
1714     (1)  In each year in which funds are appropriated for
1715charter school capital outlay purposes, the Commissioner of
1716Education shall allocate the funds among eligible charter
1717schools.
1718     (e)  Unless otherwise provided in the General
1719Appropriations Act, the funding allocation for each eligible
1720charter school is determined by multiplying the school's
1721projected student enrollment by one-fifteenth of the cost-per-
1722student station specified in s. 1013.64(6)(b) for an elementary,
1723middle, or high school, as appropriate. If the funds
1724appropriated are not sufficient, the commissioner shall prorate
1725the available funds among eligible charter schools. However, a
1726charter school or charter lab school may not receive state
1727charter school capital outlay funds greater than the one-
1728fifteenth cost per student station formula if the charter
1729school's combination of state charter school capital outlay
1730funds, capital outlay funds calculated through the reduction in
1731the administrative fee provided in s. 1002.33(21)(20), and
1732capital outlay funds allowed in s. 1002.32(9)(e) and (h) exceeds
1733the one-fifteenth cost per student station formula.
1734     (2)  A charter school's governing body may use charter
1735school capital outlay funds for the following purposes:
1736     (a)  Purchase of real property.
1737     (b)  Construction of school facilities.
1738     (c)  Purchase, lease-purchase, or lease of permanent or
1739relocatable school facilities.
1740     (d)  Purchase of vehicles to transport students to and from
1741the charter school.
1742     (e)  Renovation, repair, and maintenance of school
1743facilities that the charter school owns or is purchasing through
1744a lease-purchase or long-term lease of 5 years or longer.
1745     (f)  Effective July 1, 2008, purchase, lease-purchase, or
1746lease of new and replacement equipment, and enterprise resource
1747software applications that are classified as capital assets in
1748accordance with definitions of the Governmental Accounting
1749Standards Board, have a useful life of at least 5 years, and are
1750used to support schoolwide administration or state-mandated
1751reporting requirements.
1752     (g)  Payment of the cost of premiums for property and
1753casualty insurance necessary to insure the school facilities.
1754     (h)  Purchase, lease-purchase, or lease of driver's
1755education vehicles; motor vehicles used for the maintenance or
1756operation of plants and equipment; security vehicles; or
1757vehicles used in storing or distributing materials and
1758equipment.
1759     (i)  Purchase of computer software, hardware, and network
1760systems.
1761     (j)  Purchase of furniture and equipment.
1762
1763Conversion charter schools may use capital outlay funds received
1764through the reduction in the administrative fee provided in s.
17651002.33(21)(20) for renovation, repair, and maintenance of
1766school facilities that are owned by the sponsor.
1767     (3)  When a charter school is nonrenewed or terminated, any
1768unencumbered funds and all equipment and property purchased with
1769district public funds shall revert to the ownership of the
1770district school board, as provided for in s. 1002.33(9)(8)(e)
1771and (f). In the case of a charter lab school, any unencumbered
1772funds and all equipment and property purchased with university
1773public funds shall revert to the ownership of the state
1774university that issued the charter. The reversion of such
1775equipment, property, and furnishings shall focus on recoverable
1776assets, but not on intangible or irrecoverable costs such as
1777rental or leasing fees, normal maintenance, and limited
1778renovations. The reversion of all property secured with public
1779funds is subject to the complete satisfaction of all lawful
1780liens or encumbrances. If there are additional local issues such
1781as the shared use of facilities or partial ownership of
1782facilities or property, these issues shall be agreed to in the
1783charter contract prior to the expenditure of funds.
1784     Section 5.  Paragraph (e) of subsection (13) of section
1785163.3180, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
1786     163.3180  Concurrency.-
1787     (13)  School concurrency shall be established on a
1788districtwide basis and shall include all public schools in the
1789district and all portions of the district, whether located in a
1790municipality or an unincorporated area unless exempt from the
1791public school facilities element pursuant to s. 163.3177(12).
1792The application of school concurrency to development shall be
1793based upon the adopted comprehensive plan, as amended. All local
1794governments within a county, except as provided in paragraph
1795(f), shall adopt and transmit to the state land planning agency
1796the necessary plan amendments, along with the interlocal
1797agreement, for a compliance review pursuant to s. 163.3184(7)
1798and (8). The minimum requirements for school concurrency are the
1799following:
1800     (e)  Availability standard.-Consistent with the public
1801welfare, a local government may not deny an application for site
1802plan, final subdivision approval, or the functional equivalent
1803for a development or phase of a development authorizing
1804residential development for failure to achieve and maintain the
1805level-of-service standard for public school capacity in a local
1806school concurrency management system where adequate school
1807facilities will be in place or under actual construction within
18083 years after the issuance of final subdivision or site plan
1809approval, or the functional equivalent. School concurrency is
1810satisfied if the developer executes a legally binding commitment
1811to provide mitigation proportionate to the demand for public
1812school facilities to be created by actual development of the
1813property, including, but not limited to, the options described
1814in subparagraph 1. Options for proportionate-share mitigation of
1815impacts on public school facilities must be established in the
1816public school facilities element and the interlocal agreement
1817pursuant to s. 163.31777.
1818     1.  Appropriate mitigation options include the contribution
1819of land; the construction, expansion, or payment for land
1820acquisition or construction of a public school facility; the
1821construction of a charter school that complies with the
1822requirements of s. 1002.33(19)(18); or the creation of
1823mitigation banking based on the construction of a public school
1824facility in exchange for the right to sell capacity credits.
1825Such options must include execution by the applicant and the
1826local government of a development agreement that constitutes a
1827legally binding commitment to pay proportionate-share mitigation
1828for the additional residential units approved by the local
1829government in a development order and actually developed on the
1830property, taking into account residential density allowed on the
1831property prior to the plan amendment that increased the overall
1832residential density. The district school board must be a party
1833to such an agreement. As a condition of its entry into such a
1834development agreement, the local government may require the
1835landowner to agree to continuing renewal of the agreement upon
1836its expiration.
1837     2.  If the education facilities plan and the public
1838educational facilities element authorize a contribution of land;
1839the construction, expansion, or payment for land acquisition;
1840the construction or expansion of a public school facility, or a
1841portion thereof; or the construction of a charter school that
1842complies with the requirements of s. 1002.33(19)(18), as
1843proportionate-share mitigation, the local government shall
1844credit such a contribution, construction, expansion, or payment
1845toward any other impact fee or exaction imposed by local
1846ordinance for the same need, on a dollar-for-dollar basis at
1847fair market value.
1848     3.  Any proportionate-share mitigation must be directed by
1849the school board toward a school capacity improvement identified
1850in a financially feasible 5-year district work plan that
1851satisfies the demands created by the development in accordance
1852with a binding developer's agreement.
1853     4.  If a development is precluded from commencing because
1854there is inadequate classroom capacity to mitigate the impacts
1855of the development, the development may nevertheless commence if
1856there are accelerated facilities in an approved capital
1857improvement element scheduled for construction in year four or
1858later of such plan which, when built, will mitigate the proposed
1859development, or if such accelerated facilities will be in the
1860next annual update of the capital facilities element, the
1861developer enters into a binding, financially guaranteed
1862agreement with the school district to construct an accelerated
1863facility within the first 3 years of an approved capital
1864improvement plan, and the cost of the school facility is equal
1865to or greater than the development's proportionate share. When
1866the completed school facility is conveyed to the school
1867district, the developer shall receive impact fee credits usable
1868within the zone where the facility is constructed or any
1869attendance zone contiguous with or adjacent to the zone where
1870the facility is constructed.
1871     5.  This paragraph does not limit the authority of a local
1872government to deny a development permit or its functional
1873equivalent pursuant to its home rule regulatory powers, except
1874as provided in this part.
1875     Section 6.  Paragraph (c) of subsection (10) and subsection
1876(13) of section 1002.34, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
1877     1002.34  Charter technical career centers.-
1878     (10)  EXEMPTION FROM STATUTES.-
1879     (c)  A center must comply with the antidiscrimination
1880provisions in s. 1000.05 and the provisions in s.
18811002.33(25)(24) which relate to the employment of relatives.
1882     (13)  BOARD OF DIRECTORS AUTHORITY.-The board of directors
1883of a center may decide matters relating to the operation of the
1884school, including budgeting, curriculum, and operating
1885procedures, subject to the center's charter. The board of
1886directors is responsible for performing the duties provided in
1887s. 1002.345, including monitoring the corrective action plan.
1888The board of directors must comply with s. 1002.33(26)(25).
1889     Section 7.  Paragraphs (a) and (d) of subsection (1),
1890paragraph (b) of subsection (2), and subsection (6) of section
18911002.345, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
1892     1002.345  Determination of deteriorating financial
1893conditions and financial emergencies for charter schools and
1894charter technical career centers.-This section applies to
1895charter schools operating pursuant to s. 1002.33 and to charter
1896technical career centers operating pursuant to s. 1002.34.
1897     (1)  EXPEDITED REVIEW; REQUIREMENTS.-
1898     (a)  A charter school or a charter technical career center
1899is subject to an expedited review by the sponsor if one of the
1900following occurs:
1901     1.  Failure to provide for an audit required by s. 218.39.
1902     2.  Failure to comply with reporting requirements pursuant
1903to s. 1002.33(10)(9) or s. 1002.34(11)(f) or (14).
1904     3.  A deteriorating financial condition identified through
1905an annual audit pursuant to s. 218.39(5) or a monthly financial
1906statement pursuant to s. 1002.33(10)(9)(g) or s. 1002.34(11)(f).
1907"Deteriorating financial condition" means a circumstance that
1908significantly impairs the ability of a charter school or a
1909charter technical career center to generate enough revenues to
1910meet its expenditures without causing the occurrence of a
1911condition described in s. 218.503(1).
1912     4.  Notification pursuant to s. 218.503(2) that one or more
1913of the conditions specified in s. 218.503(1) have occurred or
1914will occur if action is not taken to assist the charter school
1915or charter technical career center.
1916     (d)  The governing board shall include the corrective
1917action plan and the status of its implementation in the annual
1918progress report to the sponsor which is required pursuant to s.
19191002.33(10)(9)(k) or s. 1002.34(14).
1920     (2)  FINANCIAL EMERGENCY; REQUIREMENTS.-
1921     (b)  The governing board shall include the financial
1922recovery plan and the status of its implementation in the annual
1923progress report to the sponsor which is required under s.
19241002.33(10)(9)(k) or s. 1002.34(14).
1925     (6)  FAILURE TO CORRECT DEFICIENCIES.-The sponsor may
1926decide not to renew or may terminate a charter if the charter
1927school or charter technical career center fails to correct the
1928deficiencies noted in the corrective action plan within 1 year
1929after being notified of the deficiencies or exhibits one or more
1930financial emergency conditions specified in s. 218.503 for 2
1931consecutive years. This subsection does not affect a sponsor's
1932authority to terminate or not renew a charter pursuant to s.
19331002.33(9)(8).
1934     Section 8.  Section 1011.68, Florida Statutes, is amended
1935to read:
1936     1011.68  Funds for student transportation.-The annual
1937allocation to each district for transportation to public school
1938programs, including charter schools as provided in s.
19391002.33(18)(17)(b), of students in membership in kindergarten
1940through grade 12 and in migrant and exceptional student programs
1941below kindergarten shall be determined as follows:
1942     (1)  Subject to the rules of the State Board of Education,
1943each district shall determine the membership of students who are
1944transported:
1945     (a)  By reason of living 2 miles or more from school.
1946     (b)  By reason of being students with disabilities or
1947enrolled in a teenage parent program, regardless of distance to
1948school.
1949     (c)  By reason of being in a state prekindergarten program,
1950regardless of distance from school.
1951     (d)  By reason of being career, dual enrollment, or
1952students with disabilities transported from one school center to
1953another to participate in an instructional program or service;
1954or students with disabilities, transported from one designation
1955to another in the state, provided one designation is a school
1956center and provided the student's individual educational plan
1957(IEP) identifies the need for the instructional program or
1958service and transportation to be provided by the school
1959district. A "school center" is defined as a public school
1960center, community college, state university, or other facility
1961rented, leased, or owned and operated by the school district or
1962another public agency. A "dual enrollment student" is defined as
1963a public school student in membership in both a public secondary
1964school program and a community college or a state university
1965program under a written agreement to partially fulfill ss.
19661003.435 and 1007.23 and earning full-time equivalent membership
1967under s. 1011.62(1)(i).
1968     (e)  With respect to elementary school students whose grade
1969level does not exceed grade 6, by reason of being subjected to
1970hazardous walking conditions en route to or from school as
1971provided in s. 1006.23. Such rules shall, when appropriate,
1972provide for the determination of membership under this paragraph
1973for less than 1 year to accommodate the needs of students who
1974require transportation only until such hazardous conditions are
1975corrected.
1976     (f)  By reason of being a pregnant student or student
1977parent, and the child of a student parent as provided in s.
19781003.54, regardless of distance from school.
1979     (2)  The allocation for each district shall be calculated
1980annually in accordance with the following formula:
1981T = B + EX. The elements of this formula are defined as follows:
1982T is the total dollar allocation for transportation. B is the
1983base transportation dollar allocation prorated by an adjusted
1984student membership count. The adjusted membership count shall be
1985derived from a multiplicative index function in which the base
1986student membership is adjusted by multiplying it by index
1987numbers that individually account for the impact of the price
1988level index, average bus occupancy, and the extent of rural
1989population in the district. EX is the base transportation dollar
1990allocation for disabled students prorated by an adjusted
1991disabled student membership count. The base transportation
1992dollar allocation for disabled students is the total state base
1993disabled student membership count weighted for increased costs
1994associated with transporting disabled students and multiplying
1995it by the prior year's average per student cost for
1996transportation. The adjusted disabled student membership count
1997shall be derived from a multiplicative index function in which
1998the weighted base disabled student membership is adjusted by
1999multiplying it by index numbers that individually account for
2000the impact of the price level index, average bus occupancy, and
2001the extent of rural population in the district. Each adjustment
2002factor shall be designed to affect the base allocation by no
2003more or less than 10 percent.
2004     (3)  The total allocation to each district for
2005transportation of students shall be the sum of the amounts
2006determined in subsection (2). If the funds appropriated for the
2007purpose of implementing this section are not sufficient to pay
2008the base transportation allocation and the base transportation
2009allocation for disabled students, the Department of Education
2010shall prorate the available funds on a percentage basis. If the
2011funds appropriated for the purpose of implementing this section
2012exceed the sum of the base transportation allocation and the
2013base transportation allocation for disabled students, the base
2014transportation allocation for disabled students shall be limited
2015to the amount calculated in subsection (2), and the remaining
2016balance shall be added to the base transportation allocation.
2017     (4)  No district shall use funds to purchase transportation
2018equipment and supplies at prices which exceed those determined
2019by the department to be the lowest which can be obtained, as
2020prescribed in s. 1006.27(1).
2021     (5)  Funds allocated or apportioned for the payment of
2022student transportation services may be used to pay for
2023transportation of students to and from school on local general
2024purpose transportation systems. Student transportation funds may
2025also be used to pay for transportation of students to and from
2026school in private passenger cars and boats when the
2027transportation is for isolated students, or students with
2028disabilities as defined by rule. Subject to the rules of the
2029State Board of Education, each school district shall determine
2030and report the number of assigned students using general purpose
2031transportation private passenger cars and boats. The allocation
2032per student must be equal to the allocation per student riding a
2033school bus.
2034     (6)  Notwithstanding other provisions of this section, in
2035no case shall any student or students be counted for
2036transportation funding more than once per day. This provision
2037includes counting students for funding pursuant to trips in
2038school buses, passenger cars, or boats or general purpose
2039transportation.
2040     Section 9.  Paragraph (b) of subsection (2) of section
20411012.32, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
2042     1012.32  Qualifications of personnel.-
2043     (2)
2044     (b)  Instructional and noninstructional personnel who are
2045hired or contracted to fill positions in any charter school and
2046members of the governing board of any charter school, in
2047compliance with s. 1002.33(13)(12)(g), must, upon employment,
2048engagement of services, or appointment, undergo background
2049screening as required under s. 1012.465 or s. 1012.56, whichever
2050is applicable, by filing with the district school board for the
2051school district in which the charter school is located a
2052complete set of fingerprints taken by an authorized law
2053enforcement agency or an employee of the school or school
2054district who is trained to take fingerprints.
2055
2056Fingerprints shall be submitted to the Department of Law
2057Enforcement for statewide criminal and juvenile records checks
2058and to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for federal criminal
2059records checks. A person subject to this subsection who is found
2060ineligible for employment under s. 1012.315, or otherwise found
2061through background screening to have been convicted of any crime
2062involving moral turpitude as defined by rule of the State Board
2063of Education, shall not be employed, engaged to provide
2064services, or serve in any position that requires direct contact
2065with students. Probationary persons subject to this subsection
2066terminated because of their criminal record have the right to
2067appeal such decisions. The cost of the background screening may
2068be borne by the district school board, the charter school, the
2069employee, the contractor, or a person subject to this
2070subsection.
2071     Section 10.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2010.


CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.
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