November 11, 2019
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_h1569c1
CS/HB 1569

1
A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to charter schools; amending s. 1002.33,
3F.S.; correcting cross-references to high school
4graduation requirements; providing eligibility
5requirements for designation as a high-performing charter
6school; providing that a high-performing charter school is
7entitled to certain renewal, increase in enrollment,
8startup grants, capital outlay funds, and application
9procedures; revising requirements for providing financial
10statements to a sponsor; deleting obsolete provisions;
11revising requirements for the establishment of a charter
12school-in-the-workplace; providing that a charter school-
13in-the-workplace is eligible for capital outlay funding;
14providing that charter schools shall receive certain
15federal funding for which they are eligible; prohibiting a
16school district from imposing certain restrictions
17relating to charter school facilities; providing for an
18exemption from certain exactions; removing a reporting
19requirement relating to student assessment data; revising
20restrictions on the employment of relatives by charter
21school personnel; providing an exception; correcting a
22cross-reference relating to the disclosure of financial
23interests; conforming cross-references; amending s.
241013.62, F.S.; authorizing additional uses for charter
25school capital outlay funds; conforming cross-references;
26amending ss. 163.3180, 1002.32, 1002.34, 1002.345,
271011.68, and 1012.32, F.S.; conforming cross-references
28and provisions; requiring the Office of Program Policy
29Analysis and Government Accountability to conduct a study
30comparing the funding of charter schools with traditional
31public schools and examining certain funding and costs;
32requiring recommendations to the Governor and Legislature,
33if warranted, for improving the accountability and equity
34of the funding system for charter schools; providing an
35effective date.
36
37Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
38
39     Section 1.  Subsection (7) of section 1002.33, Florida
40Statutes, is amended, a new subsection (8) is added to that
41section, and present subsections (8) through (26) are renumbered
42as subsections (9) through (27), respectively, and amended, to
43read:
44     1002.33  Charter schools.-
45     (7)  CHARTER.-The major issues involving the operation of a
46charter school shall be considered in advance and written into
47the charter. The charter shall be signed by the governing body
48of the charter school and the sponsor, following a public
49hearing to ensure community input.
50     (a)  The charter shall address and criteria for approval of
51the charter shall be based on:
52     1.  The school's mission, the students to be served, and
53the ages and grades to be included.
54     2.  The focus of the curriculum, the instructional methods
55to be used, any distinctive instructional techniques to be
56employed, and identification and acquisition of appropriate
57technologies needed to improve educational and administrative
58performance which include a means for promoting safe, ethical,
59and appropriate uses of technology which comply with legal and
60professional standards. The charter shall ensure that reading is
61a primary focus of the curriculum and that resources are
62provided to identify and provide specialized instruction for
63students who are reading below grade level. The curriculum and
64instructional strategies for reading must be consistent with the
65Sunshine State Standards and grounded in scientifically based
66reading research.
67     3.  The current incoming baseline standard of student
68academic achievement, the outcomes to be achieved, and the
69method of measurement that will be used. The criteria listed in
70this subparagraph shall include a detailed description of:
71     a.  How the baseline student academic achievement levels
72and prior rates of academic progress will be established.
73     b.  How these baseline rates will be compared to rates of
74academic progress achieved by these same students while
75attending the charter school.
76     c.  To the extent possible, how these rates of progress
77will be evaluated and compared with rates of progress of other
78closely comparable student populations.
79
80The district school board is required to provide academic
81student performance data to charter schools for each of their
82students coming from the district school system, as well as
83rates of academic progress of comparable student populations in
84the district school system.
85     4.  The methods used to identify the educational strengths
86and needs of students and how well educational goals and
87performance standards are met by students attending the charter
88school. The methods shall provide a means for the charter school
89to ensure accountability to its constituents by analyzing
90student performance data and by evaluating the effectiveness and
91efficiency of its major educational programs. Students in
92charter schools shall, at a minimum, participate in the
93statewide assessment program created under s. 1008.22.
94     5.  In secondary charter schools, a method for determining
95that a student has satisfied the requirements for graduation in
96s. 1003.428, s. 1003.429, or s. 1003.43.
97     6.  A method for resolving conflicts between the governing
98body of the charter school and the sponsor.
99     7.  The admissions procedures and dismissal procedures,
100including the school's code of student conduct.
101     8.  The ways by which the school will achieve a
102racial/ethnic balance reflective of the community it serves or
103within the racial/ethnic range of other public schools in the
104same school district.
105     9.  The financial and administrative management of the
106school, including a reasonable demonstration of the professional
107experience or competence of those individuals or organizations
108applying to operate the charter school or those hired or
109retained to perform such professional services and the
110description of clearly delineated responsibilities and the
111policies and practices needed to effectively manage the charter
112school. A description of internal audit procedures and
113establishment of controls to ensure that financial resources are
114properly managed must be included. Both public sector and
115private sector professional experience shall be equally valid in
116such a consideration.
117     10.  The asset and liability projections required in the
118application which are incorporated into the charter and shall be
119compared with information provided in the annual report of the
120charter school.
121     11.  A description of procedures that identify various
122risks and provide for a comprehensive approach to reduce the
123impact of losses; plans to ensure the safety and security of
124students and staff; plans to identify, minimize, and protect
125others from violent or disruptive student behavior; and the
126manner in which the school will be insured, including whether or
127not the school will be required to have liability insurance,
128and, if so, the terms and conditions thereof and the amounts of
129coverage.
130     12.  The term of the charter which shall provide for
131cancellation of the charter if insufficient progress has been
132made in attaining the student achievement objectives of the
133charter and if it is not likely that such objectives can be
134achieved before expiration of the charter. The initial term of a
135charter shall be for 4 or 5 years. In order to facilitate access
136to long-term financial resources for charter school
137construction, charter schools that are operated by a
138municipality or other public entity as provided by law are
139eligible for up to a 15-year charter, subject to approval by the
140district school board. A charter lab school is eligible for a
141charter for a term of up to 15 years. In addition, to facilitate
142access to long-term financial resources for charter school
143construction, charter schools that are operated by a private,
144not-for-profit, s. 501(c)(3) status corporation are eligible for
145up to a 15-year charter, subject to approval by the district
146school board. Such long-term charters remain subject to annual
147review and may be terminated during the term of the charter, but
148only according to the provisions set forth in subsection (9)
149(8).
150     13.  The facilities to be used and their location.
151     14.  The qualifications to be required of the teachers and
152the potential strategies used to recruit, hire, train, and
153retain qualified staff to achieve best value.
154     15.  The governance structure of the school, including the
155status of the charter school as a public or private employer as
156required in paragraph (13)(12)(i).
157     16.  A timetable for implementing the charter which
158addresses the implementation of each element thereof and the
159date by which the charter shall be awarded in order to meet this
160timetable.
161     17.  In the case of an existing public school that is being
162converted to charter status, alternative arrangements for
163current students who choose not to attend the charter school and
164for current teachers who choose not to teach in the charter
165school after conversion in accordance with the existing
166collective bargaining agreement or district school board rule in
167the absence of a collective bargaining agreement. However,
168alternative arrangements shall not be required for current
169teachers who choose not to teach in a charter lab school, except
170as authorized by the employment policies of the state university
171which grants the charter to the lab school.
172     18.  Full disclosure of the identity of all relatives
173employed by the charter school who are related to the charter
174school owner, president, chairperson of the governing board of
175directors, superintendent, governing board member, principal,
176assistant principal, or any other person employed by the charter
177school who has equivalent decisionmaking authority. For the
178purpose of this subparagraph, the term "relative" means father,
179mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, first
180cousin, nephew, niece, husband, wife, father-in-law, mother-in-
181law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law,
182stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother,
183stepsister, half brother, or half sister.
184     (b)1.  A charter may be renewed provided that a program
185review demonstrates that the criteria in paragraph (a) have been
186successfully accomplished and that none of the grounds for
187nonrenewal established by paragraph (9)(8)(a) has been
188documented. In order to facilitate long-term financing for
189charter school construction, charter schools operating for a
190minimum of 3 years and demonstrating exemplary academic
191programming and fiscal management are eligible for a 15-year
192charter renewal. Such long-term charter is subject to annual
193review and may be terminated during the term of the charter.
194     2.  The 15-year charter renewal that may be granted
195pursuant to subparagraph 1. shall be granted to a charter school
196that has received a school grade of "A" or "B" pursuant to s.
1971008.34 in 3 of the past 4 years and is not in a state of
198financial emergency or deficit position as defined by this
199section. Such long-term charter is subject to annual review and
200may be terminated during the term of the charter pursuant to
201subsection (9) (8).
202     (c)  A charter may be modified during its initial term or
203any renewal term upon the recommendation of the sponsor or the
204charter school governing board and the approval of both parties
205to the agreement.
206     (8)  HIGH-PERFORMING CHARTER SCHOOLS.-
207     (a)  A charter school is designated as a high-performing
208charter school if it meets all of the following criteria:
209     1.  Has received a school grade of "A" or "B" pursuant to
210s. 1008.34 for 3 consecutive years.
211     2.  Has received unqualified opinions on its annual audited
212financial statements for 3 consecutive years.
213     3.  Has maintained positive fund balances for 3 consecutive
214years.
215     (b)  A high-performing charter school is entitled to:
216     1.  Automatically renew its charter for 15 years.
217     2.  Increase its enrollment in excess of the maximum
218enrollment specified in its charter.
219     3.  Automatically qualify for startup grants for new
220applicants.
221     4.  Receive capital outlay funds under s. 1013.62 beginning
222with the first year it receives a high-performing charter school
223designation.
224     5.  Receive an extension of time until January 1 to submit
225an initial application pursuant to subsection (6) to replicate a
226successful charter school.
227     (9)(8)  CAUSES FOR NONRENEWAL OR TERMINATION OF CHARTER.-
228     (a)  The sponsor may choose not to renew or may terminate
229the charter for any of the following grounds:
230     1.  Failure to participate in the state's education
231accountability system created in s. 1008.31, as required in this
232section, or failure to meet the requirements for student
233performance stated in the charter.
234     2.  Failure to meet generally accepted standards of fiscal
235management.
236     3.  Violation of law.
237     4.  Other good cause shown.
238     (b)  At least 90 days prior to renewing or terminating a
239charter, the sponsor shall notify the governing body of the
240school of the proposed action in writing. The notice shall state
241in reasonable detail the grounds for the proposed action and
242stipulate that the school's governing body may, within 14
243calendar days after receiving the notice, request an informal
244hearing before the sponsor. The sponsor shall conduct the
245informal hearing within 30 calendar days after receiving a
246written request.
247     (c)  If a charter is not renewed or is terminated pursuant
248to paragraph (b), the sponsor shall, within 10 calendar days,
249articulate in writing the specific reasons for its nonrenewal or
250termination of the charter and must provide the letter of
251nonrenewal or termination and documentation supporting the
252reasons to the charter school governing body, the charter school
253principal, and the Department of Education. The charter school's
254governing body may, within 30 calendar days after receiving the
255sponsor's final written decision to refuse to renew or to
256terminate the charter, appeal the decision pursuant to the
257procedure established in subsection (6).
258     (d)  A charter may be terminated immediately if the sponsor
259determines that good cause has been shown or if the health,
260safety, or welfare of the students is threatened. The sponsor's
261determination is not subject to an informal hearing under
262paragraph (b) or pursuant to chapter 120. The sponsor shall
263notify in writing the charter school's governing body, the
264charter school principal, and the department if a charter is
265immediately terminated. The sponsor shall clearly identify the
266specific issues that resulted in the immediate termination and
267provide evidence of prior notification of issues resulting in
268the immediate termination when appropriate. The school district
269in which the charter school is located shall assume operation of
270the school under these circumstances. The charter school's
271governing board may, within 30 days after receiving the
272sponsor's decision to terminate the charter, appeal the decision
273pursuant to the procedure established in subsection (6).
274     (e)  When a charter is not renewed or is terminated, the
275school shall be dissolved under the provisions of law under
276which the school was organized, and any unencumbered public
277funds, except for capital outlay funds and federal charter
278school program grant funds, from the charter school shall revert
279to the sponsor. Capital outlay funds provided pursuant to s.
2801013.62 and federal charter school program grant funds that are
281unencumbered shall revert to the department to be redistributed
282among eligible charter schools. In the event a charter school is
283dissolved or is otherwise terminated, all district school board
284property and improvements, furnishings, and equipment purchased
285with public funds shall automatically revert to full ownership
286by the district school board, subject to complete satisfaction
287of any lawful liens or encumbrances. Any unencumbered public
288funds from the charter school, district school board property
289and improvements, furnishings, and equipment purchased with
290public funds, or financial or other records pertaining to the
291charter school, in the possession of any person, entity, or
292holding company, other than the charter school, shall be held in
293trust upon the district school board's request, until any appeal
294status is resolved.
295     (f)  If a charter is not renewed or is terminated, the
296charter school is responsible for all debts of the charter
297school. The district may not assume the debt from any contract
298made between the governing body of the school and a third party,
299except for a debt that is previously detailed and agreed upon in
300writing by both the district and the governing body of the
301school and that may not reasonably be assumed to have been
302satisfied by the district.
303     (g)  If a charter is not renewed or is terminated, a
304student who attended the school may apply to, and shall be
305enrolled in, another public school. Normal application deadlines
306shall be disregarded under such circumstances.
307     (10)(9)  CHARTER SCHOOL REQUIREMENTS.-
308     (a)  A charter school shall be nonsectarian in its
309programs, admission policies, employment practices, and
310operations.
311     (b)  A charter school shall admit students as provided in
312subsection (11) (10).
313     (c)  A charter school shall be accountable to its sponsor
314for performance as provided in subsection (7).
315     (d)  A charter school shall not charge tuition or
316registration fees, except those fees normally charged by other
317public schools. However, a charter lab school may charge a
318student activity and service fee as authorized by s. 1002.32(5).
319     (e)  A charter school shall meet all applicable state and
320local health, safety, and civil rights requirements.
321     (f)  A charter school shall not violate the
322antidiscrimination provisions of s. 1000.05.
323     (g)  In order to provide financial information that is
324comparable to that reported for other public schools, charter
325schools are to maintain all financial records that constitute
326their accounting system:
327     1.  In accordance with the accounts and codes prescribed in
328the most recent issuance of the publication titled "Financial
329and Program Cost Accounting and Reporting for Florida Schools";
330or
331     2.  At the discretion of the charter school governing
332board, a charter school may elect to follow generally accepted
333accounting standards for not-for-profit organizations, but must
334reformat this information for reporting according to this
335paragraph.
336
337Charter schools shall provide annual financial report and
338program cost report information in the state-required formats
339for inclusion in district reporting in compliance with s.
3401011.60(1). Charter schools that are operated by a municipality
341or are a component unit of a parent nonprofit organization may
342use the accounting system of the municipality or the parent but
343must reformat this information for reporting according to this
344paragraph. A charter school shall provide a quarterly monthly
345financial statement to the sponsor unless the charter school is
346determined to be in a state of financial emergency pursuant to
347s. 1002.345, in which case the charter school shall provide a
348monthly financial statement. The monthly financial statement
349required under this paragraph shall be in a form prescribed by
350the Department of Education.
351     (h)  The governing board of the charter school shall
352annually adopt and maintain an operating budget.
353     (i)  The governing body of the charter school shall
354exercise continuing oversight over charter school operations.
355     (j)  The governing body of the charter school shall be
356responsible for:
357     1.  Ensuring that the charter school has retained the
358services of a certified public accountant or auditor for the
359annual financial audit, pursuant to s. 1002.345(2), who shall
360submit the report to the governing body.
361     2.  Reviewing and approving the audit report, including
362audit findings and recommendations for the financial recovery
363plan.
364     3.a.  Performing the duties in s. 1002.345, including
365monitoring a corrective action plan.
366     b.  Monitoring a financial recovery plan in order to ensure
367compliance.
368     4.  Participating in governance training approved by the
369department which must include government in the sunshine,
370conflicts of interest, ethics, and financial responsibility.
371     (k)  The governing body of the charter school shall report
372its progress annually to its sponsor, which shall forward the
373report to the Commissioner of Education at the same time as
374other annual school accountability reports. The Department of
375Education shall develop a uniform, online annual accountability
376report to be completed by charter schools. This report shall be
377easy to utilize and contain demographic information, student
378performance data, and financial accountability information. A
379charter school shall not be required to provide information and
380data that is duplicative and already in the possession of the
381department. The Department of Education shall include in its
382compilation a notation if a school failed to file its report by
383the deadline established by the department. The report shall
384include at least the following components:
385     1.  Student achievement performance data, including the
386information required for the annual school report and the
387education accountability system governed by ss. 1008.31 and
3881008.345. Charter schools are subject to the same accountability
389requirements as other public schools, including reports of
390student achievement information that links baseline student data
391to the school's performance projections identified in the
392charter. The charter school shall identify reasons for any
393difference between projected and actual student performance.
394     2.  Financial status of the charter school which must
395include revenues and expenditures at a level of detail that
396allows for analysis of the charter school's ability to meet
397financial obligations and timely repayment of debt.
398     3.  Documentation of the facilities in current use and any
399planned facilities for use by the charter school for instruction
400of students, administrative functions, or investment purposes.
401     4.  Descriptive information about the charter school's
402personnel, including salary and benefit levels of charter school
403employees, the proportion of instructional personnel who hold
404professional or temporary certificates, and the proportion of
405instructional personnel teaching in-field or out-of-field.
406     (l)  A charter school shall not levy taxes or issue bonds
407secured by tax revenues.
408     (m)  A charter school shall provide instruction for at
409least the number of days required by law for other public
410schools and may provide instruction for additional days.
411     (n)  The director and a representative of the governing
412body of a charter school that has received a school grade of "D"
413under s. 1008.34(2) shall appear before the sponsor or the
414sponsor's staff at least once a year to present information
415concerning each contract component having noted deficiencies.
416The sponsor shall communicate at the meeting, and in writing to
417the director, the services provided to the school to help the
418school address its deficiencies.
419     (o)  Upon notification that a charter school receives a
420school grade of "D" for 2 consecutive years or a school grade of
421"F" under s. 1008.34(2), the charter school sponsor or the
422sponsor's staff shall require the director and a representative
423of the governing body to submit to the sponsor for approval a
424school improvement plan to raise student achievement and to
425implement the plan. The sponsor has the authority to approve a
426school improvement plan that the charter school will implement
427in the following school year. The sponsor may also consider the
428State Board of Education's recommended action pursuant to s.
4291008.33(1) as part of the school improvement plan. The
430Department of Education shall offer technical assistance and
431training to the charter school and its governing body and
432establish guidelines for developing, submitting, and approving
433such plans.
434     1.  If the charter school fails to improve its student
435performance from the year immediately prior to the
436implementation of the school improvement plan, the sponsor shall
437place the charter school on probation and shall require the
438charter school governing body to take one of the following
439corrective actions:
440     a.  Contract for the educational services of the charter
441school;
442     b.  Reorganize the school at the end of the school year
443under a new director or principal who is authorized to hire new
444staff and implement a plan that addresses the causes of
445inadequate progress; or
446     c.  Reconstitute the charter school.
447     2.  A charter school that is placed on probation shall
448continue the corrective actions required under subparagraph 1.
449until the charter school improves its student performance from
450the year prior to the implementation of the school improvement
451plan.
452     3.  Notwithstanding any provision of this paragraph, the
453sponsor may terminate the charter at any time pursuant to
454subsection (9) (8).
455     (p)  The director and a representative of the governing
456body of a graded charter school that has submitted a school
457improvement plan or has been placed on probation under paragraph
458(o) shall appear before the sponsor or the sponsor's staff at
459least once a year to present information regarding the
460corrective strategies that are being implemented by the school
461pursuant to the school improvement plan. The sponsor shall
462communicate at the meeting, and in writing to the director, the
463services provided to the school to help the school address its
464deficiencies.
465     (11)(10)  ELIGIBLE STUDENTS.-
466     (a)  A charter school shall be open to any student covered
467in an interdistrict agreement or residing in the school district
468in which the charter school is located; however, in the case of
469a charter lab school, the charter lab school shall be open to
470any student eligible to attend the lab school as provided in s.
4711002.32 or who resides in the school district in which the
472charter lab school is located. Any eligible student shall be
473allowed interdistrict transfer to attend a charter school when
474based on good cause. Good cause shall include, but is not
475limited to, geographic proximity to a charter school in a
476neighboring school district.
477     (b)  The charter school shall enroll an eligible student
478who submits a timely application, unless the number of
479applications exceeds the capacity of a program, class, grade
480level, or building. In such case, all applicants shall have an
481equal chance of being admitted through a random selection
482process.
483     (c)  When a public school converts to charter status,
484enrollment preference shall be given to students who would have
485otherwise attended that public school. The district school board
486shall consult and negotiate with the conversion charter school
487every 3 years to determine whether realignment of the conversion
488charter school's attendance zone is appropriate in order to
489ensure that students residing closest to the charter school are
490provided with an enrollment preference.
491     (d)  A charter school may give enrollment preference to the
492following student populations:
493     1.  Students who are siblings of a student enrolled in the
494charter school.
495     2.  Students who are the children of a member of the
496governing board of the charter school.
497     3.  Students who are the children of an employee of the
498charter school.
499     (e)  A charter school may limit the enrollment process only
500to target the following student populations:
501     1.  Students within specific age groups or grade levels.
502     2.  Students considered at risk of dropping out of school
503or academic failure. Such students shall include exceptional
504education students.
505     3.  Students enrolling in a charter school-in-the-workplace
506or charter school-in-a-municipality established pursuant to
507subsection (16) (15).
508     4.  Students residing within a reasonable distance of the
509charter school, as described in paragraph (21)(20)(c). Such
510students shall be subject to a random lottery and to the
511racial/ethnic balance provisions described in subparagraph
512(7)(a)8. or any federal provisions that require a school to
513achieve a racial/ethnic balance reflective of the community it
514serves or within the racial/ethnic range of other public schools
515in the same school district.
516     5.  Students who meet reasonable academic, artistic, or
517other eligibility standards established by the charter school
518and included in the charter school application and charter or,
519in the case of existing charter schools, standards that are
520consistent with the school's mission and purpose. Such standards
521shall be in accordance with current state law and practice in
522public schools and may not discriminate against otherwise
523qualified individuals.
524     6.  Students articulating from one charter school to
525another pursuant to an articulation agreement between the
526charter schools that has been approved by the sponsor.
527     (f)  Students with disabilities and students served in
528English for Speakers of Other Languages programs shall have an
529equal opportunity of being selected for enrollment in a charter
530school.
531     (g)  A student may withdraw from a charter school at any
532time and enroll in another public school as determined by
533district school board rule.
534     (h)  The capacity of the charter school shall be determined
535annually by the governing board, in conjunction with the
536sponsor, of the charter school in consideration of the factors
537identified in this subsection.
538     (12)(11)  PARTICIPATION IN INTERSCHOLASTIC EXTRACURRICULAR
539ACTIVITIES.-A charter school student is eligible to participate
540in an interscholastic extracurricular activity at the public
541school to which the student would be otherwise assigned to
542attend pursuant to s. 1006.15(3)(d).
543     (13)(12)  EMPLOYEES OF CHARTER SCHOOLS.-
544     (a)  A charter school shall select its own employees. A
545charter school may contract with its sponsor for the services of
546personnel employed by the sponsor.
547     (b)  Charter school employees shall have the option to
548bargain collectively. Employees may collectively bargain as a
549separate unit or as part of the existing district collective
550bargaining unit as determined by the structure of the charter
551school.
552     (c)  The employees of a conversion charter school shall
553remain public employees for all purposes, unless such employees
554choose not to do so.
555     (d)  The teachers at a charter school may choose to be part
556of a professional group that subcontracts with the charter
557school to operate the instructional program under the auspices
558of a partnership or cooperative that they collectively own.
559Under this arrangement, the teachers would not be public
560employees.
561     (e)  Employees of a school district may take leave to
562accept employment in a charter school upon the approval of the
563district school board. While employed by the charter school and
564on leave that is approved by the district school board, the
565employee may retain seniority accrued in that school district
566and may continue to be covered by the benefit programs of that
567school district, if the charter school and the district school
568board agree to this arrangement and its financing. School
569districts shall not require resignations of teachers desiring to
570teach in a charter school. This paragraph shall not prohibit a
571district school board from approving alternative leave
572arrangements consistent with chapter 1012.
573     (f)  Teachers employed by or under contract to a charter
574school shall be certified as required by chapter 1012. A charter
575school governing board may employ or contract with skilled
576selected noncertified personnel to provide instructional
577services or to assist instructional staff members as education
578paraprofessionals in the same manner as defined in chapter 1012,
579and as provided by State Board of Education rule for charter
580school governing boards. A charter school may not knowingly
581employ an individual to provide instructional services or to
582serve as an education paraprofessional if the individual's
583certification or licensure as an educator is suspended or
584revoked by this or any other state. A charter school may not
585knowingly employ an individual who has resigned from a school
586district in lieu of disciplinary action with respect to child
587welfare or safety, or who has been dismissed for just cause by
588any school district with respect to child welfare or safety. The
589qualifications of teachers shall be disclosed to parents.
590     (g)1.  A charter school shall employ or contract with
591employees who have undergone background screening as provided in
592s. 1012.32. Members of the governing board of the charter school
593shall also undergo background screening in a manner similar to
594that provided in s. 1012.32.
595     2.  A charter school shall disqualify instructional
596personnel and school administrators, as defined in s. 1012.01,
597from employment in any position that requires direct contact
598with students if the personnel or administrators are ineligible
599for such employment under s. 1012.315.
600     3.  The governing board of a charter school shall adopt
601policies establishing standards of ethical conduct for
602instructional personnel and school administrators. The policies
603must require all instructional personnel and school
604administrators, as defined in s. 1012.01, to complete training
605on the standards; establish the duty of instructional personnel
606and school administrators to report, and procedures for
607reporting, alleged misconduct by other instructional personnel
608and school administrators which affects the health, safety, or
609welfare of a student; and include an explanation of the
610liability protections provided under ss. 39.203 and 768.095. A
611charter school, or any of its employees, may not enter into a
612confidentiality agreement regarding terminated or dismissed
613instructional personnel or school administrators, or personnel
614or administrators who resign in lieu of termination, based in
615whole or in part on misconduct that affects the health, safety,
616or welfare of a student, and may not provide instructional
617personnel or school administrators with employment references or
618discuss the personnel's or administrators' performance with
619prospective employers in another educational setting, without
620disclosing the personnel's or administrators' misconduct. Any
621part of an agreement or contract that has the purpose or effect
622of concealing misconduct by instructional personnel or school
623administrators which affects the health, safety, or welfare of a
624student is void, is contrary to public policy, and may not be
625enforced.
626     4.  Before employing instructional personnel or school
627administrators in any position that requires direct contact with
628students, a charter school shall conduct employment history
629checks of each of the personnel's or administrators' previous
630employers, screen the instructional personnel or school
631administrators through use of the educator screening tools
632described in s. 1001.10(5), and document the findings. If unable
633to contact a previous employer, the charter school must document
634efforts to contact the employer.
635     5.  The sponsor of a charter school that knowingly fails to
636comply with this paragraph shall terminate the charter under
637subsection (9) (8).
638     (h)  For the purposes of tort liability, the governing body
639and employees of a charter school shall be governed by s.
640768.28.
641     (i)  A charter school shall organize as, or be operated by,
642a nonprofit organization. A charter school may be operated by a
643municipality or other public entity as provided for by law. As
644such, the charter school may be either a private or a public
645employer. As a public employer, a charter school may participate
646in the Florida Retirement System upon application and approval
647as a "covered group" under s. 121.021(34). If a charter school
648participates in the Florida Retirement System, the charter
649school employees shall be compulsory members of the Florida
650Retirement System. As either a private or a public employer, a
651charter school may contract for services with an individual or
652group of individuals who are organized as a partnership or a
653cooperative. Individuals or groups of individuals who contract
654their services to the charter school are not public employees.
655     (14)(13)  CHARTER SCHOOL COOPERATIVES.-Charter schools may
656enter into cooperative agreements to form charter school
657cooperative organizations that may provide the following
658services: charter school planning and development, direct
659instructional services, and contracts with charter school
660governing boards to provide personnel administrative services,
661payroll services, human resource management, evaluation and
662assessment services, teacher preparation, and professional
663development.
664     (15)(14)  CHARTER SCHOOL FINANCIAL ARRANGEMENTS;
665INDEMNIFICATION OF THE STATE AND SCHOOL DISTRICT; CREDIT OR
666TAXING POWER NOT TO BE PLEDGED.-Any arrangement entered into to
667borrow or otherwise secure funds for a charter school authorized
668in this section from a source other than the state or a school
669district shall indemnify the state and the school district from
670any and all liability, including, but not limited to, financial
671responsibility for the payment of the principal or interest. Any
672loans, bonds, or other financial agreements are not obligations
673of the state or the school district but are obligations of the
674charter school authority and are payable solely from the sources
675of funds pledged by such agreement. The credit or taxing power
676of the state or the school district shall not be pledged and no
677debts shall be payable out of any moneys except those of the
678legal entity in possession of a valid charter approved by a
679district school board pursuant to this section.
680     (16)(15)  CHARTER SCHOOLS-IN-THE-WORKPLACE; CHARTER
681SCHOOLS-IN-A-MUNICIPALITY.-
682     (a)  In order to increase business partnerships in
683education, to reduce school and classroom overcrowding
684throughout the state, and to offset the high costs for
685educational facilities construction, the Legislature intends to
686encourage the formation of business partnership schools or
687satellite learning centers and municipal-operated schools
688through charter school status.
689     (b)  A charter school-in-the-workplace may be established
690when a business partner:
691     1.  Provides one of the following:
692     a.  Access to a the school facility to be used;
693     b.  Resources that materially reduce the cost of
694constructing a school facility;
695     c.  Land for a school facility; or
696     d.  Resources to maintain a school facility;
697     2.  Enrolls students based upon a random lottery that
698involves all of the children of employees of that business or
699corporation who are seeking enrollment, as provided for in
700subsection (11) (10); and
701     3.  Enrolls students according to the racial/ethnic balance
702provisions described in subparagraph (7)(a)8.
703
704A charter school-in-the-workplace is eligible for capital outlay
705funding under s. 1013.62. Any portion of a facility used for a
706public charter school shall be exempt from ad valorem taxes, as
707provided for in s. 1013.54, for the duration of its use as a
708public school.
709     (c)  A charter school-in-a-municipality designation may be
710granted to a municipality that possesses a charter; enrolls
711students based upon a random lottery that involves all of the
712children of the residents of that municipality who are seeking
713enrollment, as provided for in subsection (11) (10); and enrolls
714students according to the racial/ethnic balance provisions
715described in subparagraph (7)(a)8. When a municipality has
716submitted charter applications for the establishment of a
717charter school feeder pattern, consisting of elementary, middle,
718and senior high schools, and each individual charter application
719is approved by the district school board, such schools shall
720then be designated as one charter school for all purposes listed
721pursuant to this section. Any portion of the land and facility
722used for a public charter school shall be exempt from ad valorem
723taxes, as provided for in s. 1013.54, for the duration of its
724use as a public school.
725     (d)  As used in this subsection, the terms "business
726partner" or "municipality" may include more than one business or
727municipality to form a charter school-in-the-workplace or
728charter school-in-a-municipality.
729     (17)(16)  EXEMPTION FROM STATUTES.-
730     (a)  A charter school shall operate in accordance with its
731charter and shall be exempt from all statutes in chapters 1000-
7321013. However, a charter school shall be in compliance with the
733following statutes in chapters 1000-1013:
734     1.  Those statutes specifically applying to charter
735schools, including this section.
736     2.  Those statutes pertaining to the student assessment
737program and school grading system.
738     3.  Those statutes pertaining to the provision of services
739to students with disabilities.
740     4.  Those statutes pertaining to civil rights, including s.
7411000.05, relating to discrimination.
742     5.  Those statutes pertaining to student health, safety,
743and welfare.
744     (b)  Additionally, a charter school shall be in compliance
745with the following statutes:
746     1.  Section 286.011, relating to public meetings and
747records, public inspection, and criminal and civil penalties.
748     2.  Chapter 119, relating to public records.
749     (18)(17)  FUNDING.-Students enrolled in a charter school,
750regardless of the sponsorship, shall be funded as if they are in
751a basic program or a special program, the same as students
752enrolled in other public schools in the school district. Funding
753for a charter lab school shall be as provided in s. 1002.32.
754     (a)  Each charter school shall report its student
755enrollment to the sponsor as required in s. 1011.62, and in
756accordance with the definitions in s. 1011.61. The sponsor shall
757include each charter school's enrollment in the district's
758report of student enrollment. All charter schools submitting
759student record information required by the Department of
760Education shall comply with the Department of Education's
761guidelines for electronic data formats for such data, and all
762districts shall accept electronic data that complies with the
763Department of Education's electronic format.
764     (b)  The basis for the agreement for funding students
765enrolled in a charter school shall be the sum of the school
766district's operating funds from the Florida Education Finance
767Program as provided in s. 1011.62 and the General Appropriations
768Act, including gross state and local funds, discretionary
769lottery funds, and funds from the school district's current
770operating discretionary millage levy; divided by total funded
771weighted full-time equivalent students in the school district;
772multiplied by the weighted full-time equivalent students for the
773charter school. Charter schools whose students or programs meet
774the eligibility criteria in law shall be entitled to their
775proportionate share of categorical program funds included in the
776total funds available in the Florida Education Finance Program
777by the Legislature, including transportation. Total funding for
778each charter school shall be recalculated during the year to
779reflect the revised calculations under the Florida Education
780Finance Program by the state and the actual weighted full-time
781equivalent students reported by the charter school during the
782full-time equivalent student survey periods designated by the
783Commissioner of Education.
784     (c)  If the district school board is providing programs or
785services to students funded by federal funds, any eligible
786students enrolled in charter schools in the school district
787shall be provided federal funds for the same level of service
788provided students in the schools operated by the district school
789board. Pursuant to provisions of 20 U.S.C. 8061 s. 10306, all
790charter schools shall receive all federal funding for which the
791school is otherwise eligible, including Title I and IDEA
792funding, not later than 5 months after the charter school first
793opens and within 5 months after any subsequent expansion of
794enrollment.
795     (d)  Charter schools shall be included by the Department of
796Education and the district school board in requests for federal
797stimulus funds in the same manner as district school board-
798operated public schools, including Title I and IDEA funds and
799shall be entitled to receive such funds. Charter schools are
800eligible to participate in federal competitive grants that are
801available as part of the federal stimulus funds.
802     (e)  District school boards shall make timely and efficient
803payment and reimbursement to charter schools, including
804processing paperwork required to access special state and
805federal funding for which they may be eligible. The district
806school board may distribute funds to a charter school for up to
8073 months based on the projected full-time equivalent student
808membership of the charter school. Thereafter, the results of
809full-time equivalent student membership surveys shall be used in
810adjusting the amount of funds distributed monthly to the charter
811school for the remainder of the fiscal year. The payment shall
812be issued no later than 10 working days after the district
813school board receives a distribution of state or federal funds.
814If a warrant for payment is not issued within 10 working days
815after receipt of funding by the district school board, the
816school district shall pay to the charter school, in addition to
817the amount of the scheduled disbursement, interest at a rate of
8181 percent per month calculated on a daily basis on the unpaid
819balance from the expiration of the 10 working days until such
820time as the warrant is issued.
821     (19)(18)  FACILITIES.-
822     (a)  A startup charter school shall utilize facilities
823which comply with the Florida Building Code pursuant to chapter
824553 except for the State Requirements for Educational
825Facilities. Conversion charter schools shall utilize facilities
826that comply with the State Requirements for Educational
827Facilities provided that the school district and the charter
828school have entered into a mutual management plan for the
829reasonable maintenance of such facilities. The mutual management
830plan shall contain a provision by which the district school
831board agrees to maintain charter school facilities in the same
832manner as its other public schools within the district. Charter
833schools, with the exception of conversion charter schools, are
834not required to comply, but may choose to comply, with the State
835Requirements for Educational Facilities of the Florida Building
836Code adopted pursuant to s. 1013.37. The local governing
837authority shall not adopt or impose local building requirements
838or restrictions that are more stringent than those found in the
839Florida Building Code. The agency having jurisdiction for
840inspection of a facility and issuance of a certificate of
841occupancy shall be the local municipality or, if in an
842unincorporated area, the county governing authority. The school
843district shall not impose any restrictions that are more
844stringent than those of the agency having jurisdiction.
845     (b)  A charter school shall utilize facilities that comply
846with the Florida Fire Prevention Code, pursuant to s. 633.025,
847as adopted by the authority in whose jurisdiction the facility
848is located as provided in paragraph (a).
849     (c)  Any facility, or portion thereof, used to house a
850charter school whose charter has been approved by the sponsor
851and the governing board, pursuant to subsection (7), shall be
852exempt from ad valorem taxes pursuant to s. 196.1983. Library,
853community service, museum, performing arts, theatre, cinema,
854church, community college, college, and university facilities
855may provide space to charter schools within their facilities
856under their preexisting zoning and land use designations.
857     (d)  Charter school facilities are exempt from assessments
858of fees for building permits, except as provided in s. 553.80,
859fees for building and occupational licenses, impact fees or
860exactions under s. 163.3180(13)(e)2., service availability fees,
861and assessments for special benefits.
862     (e)  If a district school board facility or property is
863available because it is surplus, marked for disposal, or
864otherwise unused, it shall be provided for a charter school's
865use on the same basis as it is made available to other public
866schools in the district. A charter school receiving property
867from the school district may not sell or dispose of such
868property without written permission of the school district.
869Similarly, for an existing public school converting to charter
870status, no rental or leasing fee for the existing facility or
871for the property normally inventoried to the conversion school
872may be charged by the district school board to the parents and
873teachers organizing the charter school. The charter school shall
874agree to reasonable maintenance provisions in order to maintain
875the facility in a manner similar to district school board
876standards. The Public Education Capital Outlay maintenance funds
877or any other maintenance funds generated by the facility
878operated as a conversion school shall remain with the conversion
879school.
880     (f)  To the extent that charter school facilities are
881specifically created to mitigate the educational impact created
882by the development of new residential dwelling units, pursuant
883to subparagraph (2)(c)4., some of or all of the educational
884impact fees required to be paid in connection with the new
885residential dwelling units may be designated instead for the
886construction of the charter school facilities that will mitigate
887the student station impact. Such facilities shall be built to
888the State Requirements for Educational Facilities and shall be
889owned by a public or nonprofit entity. The local school district
890retains the right to monitor and inspect such facilities to
891ensure compliance with the State Requirements for Educational
892Facilities. If a facility ceases to be used for public
893educational purposes, either the facility shall revert to the
894school district subject to any debt owed on the facility, or the
895owner of the facility shall have the option to refund all
896educational impact fees utilized for the facility to the school
897district. The district and the owner of the facility may
898contractually agree to another arrangement for the facilities if
899the facilities cease to be used for educational purposes. The
900owner of property planned or approved for new residential
901dwelling units and the entity levying educational impact fees
902shall enter into an agreement that designates the educational
903impact fees that will be allocated for the charter school
904student stations and that ensures the timely construction of the
905charter school student stations concurrent with the expected
906occupancy of the residential units. The application for use of
907educational impact fees shall include an approved charter school
908application. To assist the school district in forecasting
909student station needs, the entity levying the impact fees shall
910notify the affected district of any agreements it has approved
911for the purpose of mitigating student station impact from the
912new residential dwelling units.
913     (g)  Each school district shall annually provide to the
914Department of Education as part of its 5-year work plan the
915number of existing vacant classrooms in each school that the
916district does not intend to use or does not project will be
917needed for educational purposes for the following school year.
918The department may recommend that a district make such space
919available to an appropriate charter school.
920     (20)(19)  CAPITAL OUTLAY FUNDING.-Charter schools are
921eligible for capital outlay funds pursuant to s. 1013.62.
922     (21)(20)  SERVICES.-
923     (a)  A sponsor shall provide certain administrative and
924educational services to charter schools. These services shall
925include contract management services; full-time equivalent and
926data reporting services; exceptional student education
927administration services; services related to eligibility and
928reporting duties required to ensure that school lunch services
929under the federal lunch program, consistent with the needs of
930the charter school, are provided by the school district at the
931request of the charter school, that any funds due to the charter
932school under the federal lunch program be paid to the charter
933school as soon as the charter school begins serving food under
934the federal lunch program, and that the charter school is paid
935at the same time and in the same manner under the federal lunch
936program as other public schools serviced by the sponsor or the
937school district; test administration services, including payment
938of the costs of state-required or district-required student
939assessments; processing of teacher certificate data services;
940and information services, including equal access to student
941information systems that are used by public schools in the
942district in which the charter school is located. Student
943performance data for each student in a charter school,
944including, but not limited to, FCAT scores, standardized test
945scores, previous public school student report cards, and student
946performance measures, shall be provided by the sponsor to a
947charter school in the same manner provided to other public
948schools in the district. A total administrative fee for the
949provision of such services shall be calculated based upon up to
9505 percent of the available funds defined in paragraph
951(18)(17)(b) for all students. However, a sponsor may only
952withhold up to a 5-percent administrative fee for enrollment for
953up to and including 500 students. For charter schools with a
954population of 501 or more students, the difference between the
955total administrative fee calculation and the amount of the
956administrative fee withheld may only be used for capital outlay
957purposes specified in s. 1013.62(2). Each charter school shall
958receive 100 percent of the funds awarded to that school pursuant
959to s. 1012.225. Sponsors shall not charge charter schools any
960additional fees or surcharges for administrative and educational
961services in addition to the maximum 5-percent administrative fee
962withheld pursuant to this paragraph.
963     (b)  If goods and services are made available to the
964charter school through the contract with the school district,
965they shall be provided to the charter school at a rate no
966greater than the district's actual cost unless mutually agreed
967upon by the charter school and the sponsor in a contract
968negotiated separately from the charter. When mediation has
969failed to resolve disputes over contracted services or
970contractual matters not included in the charter, an appeal may
971be made for a dispute resolution hearing before the Charter
972School Appeal Commission. To maximize the use of state funds,
973school districts shall allow charter schools to participate in
974the sponsor's bulk purchasing program if applicable.
975     (c)  Transportation of charter school students shall be
976provided by the charter school consistent with the requirements
977of subpart I.E. of chapter 1006 and s. 1012.45. The governing
978body of the charter school may provide transportation through an
979agreement or contract with the district school board, a private
980provider, or parents. The charter school and the sponsor shall
981cooperate in making arrangements that ensure that transportation
982is not a barrier to equal access for all students residing
983within a reasonable distance of the charter school as determined
984in its charter.
985     (22)(21)  PUBLIC INFORMATION ON CHARTER SCHOOLS.-
986     (a)  The Department of Education shall provide information
987to the public, directly and through sponsors, on how to form and
988operate a charter school and how to enroll in a charter school
989once it is created. This information shall include a standard
990application format, charter format, evaluation instrument, and
991charter renewal format, which shall include the information
992specified in subsection (7) and shall be developed by consulting
993and negotiating with both school districts and charter schools
994before implementation. The charter and charter renewal formats
995shall be used by charter school sponsors.
996     (b)1.  The Department of Education shall report student
997assessment data pursuant to s. 1008.34(3)(c) which is reported
998to schools that receive a school grade or student assessment
999data pursuant to s. 1008.341(3) which is reported to alternative
1000schools that receive a school improvement rating to each charter
1001school that:
1002     a.  Does not receive a school grade pursuant to s. 1008.34
1003or a school improvement rating pursuant to s. 1008.341; and
1004     b.  Serves at least 10 students who are tested on the
1005statewide assessment test pursuant to s. 1008.22.
1006     2.  The charter school shall report the information in
1007subparagraph 1. to each parent of a student at the charter
1008school, the parent of a child on a waiting list for the charter
1009school, the district in which the charter school is located, and
1010the governing board of the charter school. This paragraph does
1011not abrogate the provisions of s. 1002.22, relating to student
1012records, or the requirements of 20 U.S.C. s. 1232g, the Family
1013Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
1014     2.3.a.  Pursuant to this paragraph, the Department of
1015Education shall compare the charter school student performance
1016data for each charter school in subparagraph 1. with the student
1017performance data in traditional public schools in the district
1018in which the charter school is located and other charter schools
1019in the state. For alternative charter schools, the department
1020shall compare the student performance data described in this
1021paragraph with all alternative schools in the state. The
1022comparative data shall be provided by the following grade
1023groupings:
1024     (I)  Grades 3 through 5;
1025     (II)  Grades 6 through 8; and
1026     (III)  Grades 9 through 11.
1027     b.  Each charter school shall provide the information
1028specified in this paragraph on its Internet website and also
1029provide notice to the public at large in a manner provided by
1030the rules of the State Board of Education. The State Board of
1031Education shall adopt rules to administer the notice
1032requirements of this subparagraph pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and
1033120.54. The website shall include, through links or actual
1034content, other information related to school performance.
1035     (23)(22)  CHARTER SCHOOL REVIEW PANEL AND LEGISLATIVE
1036REVIEW.-
1037     (a)  The Department of Education shall staff and regularly
1038convene a Charter School Review Panel in order to review issues,
1039practices, and policies regarding charter schools. The
1040composition of the review panel shall include individuals with
1041experience in finance, administration, law, education, and
1042school governance, and individuals familiar with charter school
1043construction and operation. The panel shall include two
1044appointees each from the Commissioner of Education, the
1045President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of
1046Representatives. The Governor shall appoint three members of the
1047panel and shall designate the chair. Each member of the panel
1048shall serve a 1-year term, unless renewed by the office making
1049the appointment. The panel shall make recommendations to the
1050Legislature, to the Department of Education, to charter schools,
1051and to school districts for improving charter school operations
1052and oversight and for ensuring best business practices at and
1053fair business relationships with charter schools.
1054     (b)  The Legislature shall review the operation of charter
1055schools during the 2010 Regular Session of the Legislature.
1056     (24)(23)  ANALYSIS OF CHARTER SCHOOL PERFORMANCE.-Upon
1057receipt of the annual report required by paragraph (10)(9)(k),
1058the Department of Education shall provide to the State Board of
1059Education, the Commissioner of Education, the Governor, the
1060President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of
1061Representatives an analysis and comparison of the overall
1062performance of charter school students, to include all students
1063whose scores are counted as part of the statewide assessment
1064program, versus comparable public school students in the
1065district as determined by the statewide assessment program
1066currently administered in the school district, and other
1067assessments administered pursuant to s. 1008.22(3).
1068     (25)(24)  RESTRICTION ON EMPLOYMENT OF RELATIVES.-
1069     (a)  This subsection applies to charter school personnel in
1070a charter school operated by a private entity. As used in this
1071subsection, the term:
1072     1.  "Charter school personnel" means a charter school
1073owner, president, chairperson of the governing board of
1074directors, superintendent, governing board member, principal,
1075assistant principal, or any other person employed by the charter
1076school who has equivalent decisionmaking authority and in whom
1077is vested the authority, or to whom the authority has been
1078delegated, to appoint, employ, promote, or advance individuals
1079or to recommend individuals for appointment, employment,
1080promotion, or advancement in connection with employment in a
1081charter school, including the authority as a member of a
1082governing body of a charter school to vote on the appointment,
1083employment, promotion, or advancement of individuals.
1084     2.  "Relative" means father, mother, son, daughter,
1085brother, sister, uncle, aunt, first cousin, nephew, niece,
1086husband, wife, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law,
1087daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepfather,
1088stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother, stepsister, half
1089brother, or half sister.
1090     (b)  Charter school personnel may not knowingly recommend
1091or engage in the appoint, employ, promote, or advance, or
1092advocate for appointment, employment, promotion, or assignment
1093of an individual or employee to a work location if that action
1094will create a situation in which one employee will be
1095responsible for the direct supervision of, or exercise
1096advancement, in or to a position in the charter school in which
1097the personnel are serving or over which the personnel exercises
1098jurisdiction or control over, another employee any individual
1099who is a relative. The Commissioner of Education or the sponsor
1100may make exceptions to this paragraph if such personnel actions
1101would cause undue hardship on students or seriously disrupt a
1102charter school's operations. An individual may not be appointed,
1103employed, promoted, or advanced in or to a position in a charter
1104school if such appointment, employment, promotion, or
1105advancement has been advocated by charter school personnel who
1106serve in or exercise jurisdiction or control over the charter
1107school and who is a relative of the individual or if such
1108appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement is made by
1109the governing board of which a relative of the individual is a
1110member.
1111     (c)  The approval of budgets does not constitute
1112"jurisdiction or control" for the purposes of this subsection.
1113
1114Charter school personnel in schools operated by a municipality
1115or other public entity are subject to s. 112.3135.
1116     (26)(25)  STANDARDS OF CONDUCT AND FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE.-
1117     (a)  A member of a governing board of a charter school,
1118including a charter school operated by a private entity, is
1119subject to ss. 112.313(2), (3), (7), and (12) and 112.3143(3).
1120     (b)  A member of a governing board of a charter school
1121operated by a municipality or other public entity is subject to
1122s. 112.3145 112.3144, which relates to the disclosure of
1123financial interests.
1124     (27)(26)  RULEMAKING.-The Department of Education, after
1125consultation with school districts and charter school directors,
1126shall recommend that the State Board of Education adopt rules to
1127implement specific subsections of this section. Such rules shall
1128require minimum paperwork and shall not limit charter school
1129flexibility authorized by statute. The State Board of Education
1130shall adopt rules, pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54, to
1131implement a charter model application form, evaluation
1132instrument, and charter and charter renewal formats in
1133accordance with this section.
1134     Section 2.  Paragraph (e) of subsection (1) and subsections
1135(2) and (3) of section 1013.62, Florida Statutes, are amended to
1136read:
1137     1013.62  Charter schools capital outlay funding.-
1138     (1)  In each year in which funds are appropriated for
1139charter school capital outlay purposes, the Commissioner of
1140Education shall allocate the funds among eligible charter
1141schools.
1142     (e)  Unless otherwise provided in the General
1143Appropriations Act, the funding allocation for each eligible
1144charter school is determined by multiplying the school's
1145projected student enrollment by one-fifteenth of the cost-per-
1146student station specified in s. 1013.64(6)(b) for an elementary,
1147middle, or high school, as appropriate. If the funds
1148appropriated are not sufficient, the commissioner shall prorate
1149the available funds among eligible charter schools. However, a
1150charter school or charter lab school may not receive state
1151charter school capital outlay funds greater than the one-
1152fifteenth cost per student station formula if the charter
1153school's combination of state charter school capital outlay
1154funds, capital outlay funds calculated through the reduction in
1155the administrative fee provided in s. 1002.33(21)(20), and
1156capital outlay funds allowed in s. 1002.32(9)(e) and (h) exceeds
1157the one-fifteenth cost per student station formula.
1158     (2)  A charter school's governing body may use charter
1159school capital outlay funds for the following purposes:
1160     (a)  Purchase of real property.
1161     (b)  Construction of school facilities.
1162     (c)  Purchase, lease-purchase, or lease of permanent or
1163relocatable school facilities.
1164     (d)  Purchase of vehicles to transport students to and from
1165the charter school.
1166     (e)  Renovation, repair, and maintenance of school
1167facilities that the charter school owns or is purchasing through
1168a lease-purchase or long-term lease of 5 years or longer.
1169     (f)  Effective July 1, 2008, purchase, lease-purchase, or
1170lease of new and replacement equipment, and enterprise resource
1171software applications that are classified as capital assets in
1172accordance with definitions of the Governmental Accounting
1173Standards Board, have a useful life of at least 5 years, and are
1174used to support schoolwide administration or state-mandated
1175reporting requirements.
1176     (g)  Payment of the cost of premiums for property and
1177casualty insurance necessary to insure the school facilities.
1178     (h)  Purchase, lease-purchase, or lease of driver's
1179education vehicles; motor vehicles used for the maintenance or
1180operation of plants and equipment; security vehicles; or
1181vehicles used in storing or distributing materials and
1182equipment.
1183     (i)  Purchase of computer software, hardware, and network
1184systems.
1185     (j)  Purchase of furniture and equipment.
1186
1187Conversion charter schools may use capital outlay funds received
1188through the reduction in the administrative fee provided in s.
11891002.33(21)(20) for renovation, repair, and maintenance of
1190school facilities that are owned by the sponsor.
1191     (3)  When a charter school is nonrenewed or terminated, any
1192unencumbered funds and all equipment and property purchased with
1193district public funds shall revert to the ownership of the
1194district school board, as provided for in s. 1002.33(9)(8)(e)
1195and (f). In the case of a charter lab school, any unencumbered
1196funds and all equipment and property purchased with university
1197public funds shall revert to the ownership of the state
1198university that issued the charter. The reversion of such
1199equipment, property, and furnishings shall focus on recoverable
1200assets, but not on intangible or irrecoverable costs such as
1201rental or leasing fees, normal maintenance, and limited
1202renovations. The reversion of all property secured with public
1203funds is subject to the complete satisfaction of all lawful
1204liens or encumbrances. If there are additional local issues such
1205as the shared use of facilities or partial ownership of
1206facilities or property, these issues shall be agreed to in the
1207charter contract prior to the expenditure of funds.
1208     Section 3.  Paragraph (e) of subsection (13) of section
1209163.3180, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
1210     163.3180  Concurrency.-
1211     (13)  School concurrency shall be established on a
1212districtwide basis and shall include all public schools in the
1213district and all portions of the district, whether located in a
1214municipality or an unincorporated area unless exempt from the
1215public school facilities element pursuant to s. 163.3177(12).
1216The application of school concurrency to development shall be
1217based upon the adopted comprehensive plan, as amended. All local
1218governments within a county, except as provided in paragraph
1219(f), shall adopt and transmit to the state land planning agency
1220the necessary plan amendments, along with the interlocal
1221agreement, for a compliance review pursuant to s. 163.3184(7)
1222and (8). The minimum requirements for school concurrency are the
1223following:
1224     (e)  Availability standard.-Consistent with the public
1225welfare, a local government may not deny an application for site
1226plan, final subdivision approval, or the functional equivalent
1227for a development or phase of a development authorizing
1228residential development for failure to achieve and maintain the
1229level-of-service standard for public school capacity in a local
1230school concurrency management system where adequate school
1231facilities will be in place or under actual construction within
12323 years after the issuance of final subdivision or site plan
1233approval, or the functional equivalent. School concurrency is
1234satisfied if the developer executes a legally binding commitment
1235to provide mitigation proportionate to the demand for public
1236school facilities to be created by actual development of the
1237property, including, but not limited to, the options described
1238in subparagraph 1. Options for proportionate-share mitigation of
1239impacts on public school facilities must be established in the
1240public school facilities element and the interlocal agreement
1241pursuant to s. 163.31777.
1242     1.  Appropriate mitigation options include the contribution
1243of land; the construction, expansion, or payment for land
1244acquisition or construction of a public school facility; the
1245construction of a charter school that complies with the
1246requirements of s. 1002.33(19)(18); or the creation of
1247mitigation banking based on the construction of a public school
1248facility in exchange for the right to sell capacity credits.
1249Such options must include execution by the applicant and the
1250local government of a development agreement that constitutes a
1251legally binding commitment to pay proportionate-share mitigation
1252for the additional residential units approved by the local
1253government in a development order and actually developed on the
1254property, taking into account residential density allowed on the
1255property prior to the plan amendment that increased the overall
1256residential density. The district school board must be a party
1257to such an agreement. As a condition of its entry into such a
1258development agreement, the local government may require the
1259landowner to agree to continuing renewal of the agreement upon
1260its expiration.
1261     2.  If the education facilities plan and the public
1262educational facilities element authorize a contribution of land;
1263the construction, expansion, or payment for land acquisition;
1264the construction or expansion of a public school facility, or a
1265portion thereof; or the construction of a charter school that
1266complies with the requirements of s. 1002.33(19)(18), as
1267proportionate-share mitigation, the local government shall
1268credit such a contribution, construction, expansion, or payment
1269toward any other impact fee or exaction imposed by local
1270ordinance for the same need, on a dollar-for-dollar basis at
1271fair market value.
1272     3.  Any proportionate-share mitigation must be directed by
1273the school board toward a school capacity improvement identified
1274in a financially feasible 5-year district work plan that
1275satisfies the demands created by the development in accordance
1276with a binding developer's agreement.
1277     4.  If a development is precluded from commencing because
1278there is inadequate classroom capacity to mitigate the impacts
1279of the development, the development may nevertheless commence if
1280there are accelerated facilities in an approved capital
1281improvement element scheduled for construction in year four or
1282later of such plan which, when built, will mitigate the proposed
1283development, or if such accelerated facilities will be in the
1284next annual update of the capital facilities element, the
1285developer enters into a binding, financially guaranteed
1286agreement with the school district to construct an accelerated
1287facility within the first 3 years of an approved capital
1288improvement plan, and the cost of the school facility is equal
1289to or greater than the development's proportionate share. When
1290the completed school facility is conveyed to the school
1291district, the developer shall receive impact fee credits usable
1292within the zone where the facility is constructed or any
1293attendance zone contiguous with or adjacent to the zone where
1294the facility is constructed.
1295     5.  This paragraph does not limit the authority of a local
1296government to deny a development permit or its functional
1297equivalent pursuant to its home rule regulatory powers, except
1298as provided in this part.
1299     Section 4.  Paragraph (c) of subsection (9) of section
13001002.32, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
1301     1002.32  Developmental research (laboratory) schools.-
1302     (9)  FUNDING.-Funding for a lab school, including a charter
1303lab school, shall be provided as follows:
1304     (c)  All operating funds provided under this section shall
1305be deposited in a Lab School Trust Fund and shall be expended
1306for the purposes of this section. The university assigned a lab
1307school shall be the fiscal agent for these funds, and all rules
1308of the university governing the budgeting and expenditure of
1309state funds shall apply to these funds unless otherwise provided
1310by law or rule of the State Board of Education. The university
1311board of trustees shall be the public employer of lab school
1312personnel for collective bargaining purposes for lab schools in
1313operation prior to the 2002-2003 fiscal year. Employees of
1314charter lab schools authorized prior to June 1, 2003, but not in
1315operation prior to the 2002-2003 fiscal year shall be employees
1316of the entity holding the charter and must comply with the
1317provisions of s. 1002.33(13)(12).
1318     Section 5.  Paragraph (c) of subsection (10) and subsection
1319(13) of section 1002.34, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
1320     1002.34  Charter technical career centers.-
1321     (10)  EXEMPTION FROM STATUTES.-
1322     (c)  A center must comply with the antidiscrimination
1323provisions in s. 1000.05 and the provisions in s.
13241002.33(25)(24) which relate to the employment of relatives.
1325     (13)  BOARD OF DIRECTORS AUTHORITY.-The board of directors
1326of a center may decide matters relating to the operation of the
1327school, including budgeting, curriculum, and operating
1328procedures, subject to the center's charter. The board of
1329directors is responsible for performing the duties provided in
1330s. 1002.345, including monitoring the corrective action plan.
1331The board of directors must comply with s. 1002.33(26)(25).
1332     Section 6.  Paragraphs (a) and (d) of subsection (1),
1333paragraph (b) of subsection (2), and subsection (6) of section
13341002.345, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
1335     1002.345  Determination of deteriorating financial
1336conditions and financial emergencies for charter schools and
1337charter technical career centers.-This section applies to
1338charter schools operating pursuant to s. 1002.33 and to charter
1339technical career centers operating pursuant to s. 1002.34.
1340     (1)  EXPEDITED REVIEW; REQUIREMENTS.-
1341     (a)  A charter school or a charter technical career center
1342is subject to an expedited review by the sponsor if one of the
1343following occurs:
1344     1.  Failure to provide for an audit required by s. 218.39.
1345     2.  Failure to comply with reporting requirements pursuant
1346to s. 1002.33(10)(9) or s. 1002.34(11)(f) or (14).
1347     3.  A deteriorating financial condition identified through
1348an annual audit pursuant to s. 218.39(5) or a monthly financial
1349statement pursuant to s. 1002.33(10)(9)(g) or s. 1002.34(11)(f).
1350"Deteriorating financial condition" means a circumstance that
1351significantly impairs the ability of a charter school or a
1352charter technical career center to generate enough revenues to
1353meet its expenditures without causing the occurrence of a
1354condition described in s. 218.503(1).
1355     4.  Notification pursuant to s. 218.503(2) that one or more
1356of the conditions specified in s. 218.503(1) have occurred or
1357will occur if action is not taken to assist the charter school
1358or charter technical career center.
1359     (d)  The governing board shall include the corrective
1360action plan and the status of its implementation in the annual
1361progress report to the sponsor which is required pursuant to s.
13621002.33(10)(9)(k) or s. 1002.34(14).
1363     (2)  FINANCIAL EMERGENCY; REQUIREMENTS.-
1364     (b)  The governing board shall include the financial
1365recovery plan and the status of its implementation in the annual
1366progress report to the sponsor which is required under s.
13671002.33(10)(9)(k) or s. 1002.34(14).
1368     (6)  FAILURE TO CORRECT DEFICIENCIES.-The sponsor may
1369decide not to renew or may terminate a charter if the charter
1370school or charter technical career center fails to correct the
1371deficiencies noted in the corrective action plan within 1 year
1372after being notified of the deficiencies or exhibits one or more
1373financial emergency conditions specified in s. 218.503 for 2
1374consecutive years. This subsection does not affect a sponsor's
1375authority to terminate or not renew a charter pursuant to s.
13761002.33(9)(8).
1377     Section 7.  Section 1011.68, Florida Statutes, is amended
1378to read:
1379     1011.68  Funds for student transportation.-The annual
1380allocation to each district for transportation to public school
1381programs, including charter schools as provided in s.
13821002.33(18)(17)(b), of students in membership in kindergarten
1383through grade 12 and in migrant and exceptional student programs
1384below kindergarten shall be determined as follows:
1385     (1)  Subject to the rules of the State Board of Education,
1386each district shall determine the membership of students who are
1387transported:
1388     (a)  By reason of living 2 miles or more from school.
1389     (b)  By reason of being students with disabilities or
1390enrolled in a teenage parent program, regardless of distance to
1391school.
1392     (c)  By reason of being in a state prekindergarten program,
1393regardless of distance from school.
1394     (d)  By reason of being career, dual enrollment, or
1395students with disabilities transported from one school center to
1396another to participate in an instructional program or service;
1397or students with disabilities, transported from one designation
1398to another in the state, provided one designation is a school
1399center and provided the student's individual educational plan
1400(IEP) identifies the need for the instructional program or
1401service and transportation to be provided by the school
1402district. A "school center" is defined as a public school
1403center, community college, state university, or other facility
1404rented, leased, or owned and operated by the school district or
1405another public agency. A "dual enrollment student" is defined as
1406a public school student in membership in both a public secondary
1407school program and a community college or a state university
1408program under a written agreement to partially fulfill ss.
14091003.435 and 1007.23 and earning full-time equivalent membership
1410under s. 1011.62(1)(i).
1411     (e)  With respect to elementary school students whose grade
1412level does not exceed grade 6, by reason of being subjected to
1413hazardous walking conditions en route to or from school as
1414provided in s. 1006.23. Such rules shall, when appropriate,
1415provide for the determination of membership under this paragraph
1416for less than 1 year to accommodate the needs of students who
1417require transportation only until such hazardous conditions are
1418corrected.
1419     (f)  By reason of being a pregnant student or student
1420parent, and the child of a student parent as provided in s.
14211003.54, regardless of distance from school.
1422     (2)  The allocation for each district shall be calculated
1423annually in accordance with the following formula:
1424T = B + EX. The elements of this formula are defined as follows:
1425T is the total dollar allocation for transportation. B is the
1426base transportation dollar allocation prorated by an adjusted
1427student membership count. The adjusted membership count shall be
1428derived from a multiplicative index function in which the base
1429student membership is adjusted by multiplying it by index
1430numbers that individually account for the impact of the price
1431level index, average bus occupancy, and the extent of rural
1432population in the district. EX is the base transportation dollar
1433allocation for disabled students prorated by an adjusted
1434disabled student membership count. The base transportation
1435dollar allocation for disabled students is the total state base
1436disabled student membership count weighted for increased costs
1437associated with transporting disabled students and multiplying
1438it by the prior year's average per student cost for
1439transportation. The adjusted disabled student membership count
1440shall be derived from a multiplicative index function in which
1441the weighted base disabled student membership is adjusted by
1442multiplying it by index numbers that individually account for
1443the impact of the price level index, average bus occupancy, and
1444the extent of rural population in the district. Each adjustment
1445factor shall be designed to affect the base allocation by no
1446more or less than 10 percent.
1447     (3)  The total allocation to each district for
1448transportation of students shall be the sum of the amounts
1449determined in subsection (2). If the funds appropriated for the
1450purpose of implementing this section are not sufficient to pay
1451the base transportation allocation and the base transportation
1452allocation for disabled students, the Department of Education
1453shall prorate the available funds on a percentage basis. If the
1454funds appropriated for the purpose of implementing this section
1455exceed the sum of the base transportation allocation and the
1456base transportation allocation for disabled students, the base
1457transportation allocation for disabled students shall be limited
1458to the amount calculated in subsection (2), and the remaining
1459balance shall be added to the base transportation allocation.
1460     (4)  No district shall use funds to purchase transportation
1461equipment and supplies at prices which exceed those determined
1462by the department to be the lowest which can be obtained, as
1463prescribed in s. 1006.27(1).
1464     (5)  Funds allocated or apportioned for the payment of
1465student transportation services may be used to pay for
1466transportation of students to and from school on local general
1467purpose transportation systems. Student transportation funds may
1468also be used to pay for transportation of students to and from
1469school in private passenger cars and boats when the
1470transportation is for isolated students, or students with
1471disabilities as defined by rule. Subject to the rules of the
1472State Board of Education, each school district shall determine
1473and report the number of assigned students using general purpose
1474transportation private passenger cars and boats. The allocation
1475per student must be equal to the allocation per student riding a
1476school bus.
1477     (6)  Notwithstanding other provisions of this section, in
1478no case shall any student or students be counted for
1479transportation funding more than once per day. This provision
1480includes counting students for funding pursuant to trips in
1481school buses, passenger cars, or boats or general purpose
1482transportation.
1483     Section 8.  Paragraph (b) of subsection (2) of section
14841012.32, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
1485     1012.32  Qualifications of personnel.-
1486     (2)
1487     (b)  Instructional and noninstructional personnel who are
1488hired or contracted to fill positions in any charter school and
1489members of the governing board of any charter school, in
1490compliance with s. 1002.33(13)(12)(g), must, upon employment,
1491engagement of services, or appointment, undergo background
1492screening as required under s. 1012.465 or s. 1012.56, whichever
1493is applicable, by filing with the district school board for the
1494school district in which the charter school is located a
1495complete set of fingerprints taken by an authorized law
1496enforcement agency or an employee of the school or school
1497district who is trained to take fingerprints.
1498
1499Fingerprints shall be submitted to the Department of Law
1500Enforcement for statewide criminal and juvenile records checks
1501and to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for federal criminal
1502records checks. A person subject to this subsection who is found
1503ineligible for employment under s. 1012.315, or otherwise found
1504through background screening to have been convicted of any crime
1505involving moral turpitude as defined by rule of the State Board
1506of Education, shall not be employed, engaged to provide
1507services, or serve in any position that requires direct contact
1508with students. Probationary persons subject to this subsection
1509terminated because of their criminal record have the right to
1510appeal such decisions. The cost of the background screening may
1511be borne by the district school board, the charter school, the
1512employee, the contractor, or a person subject to this
1513subsection.
1514     Section 9.  (1)  The Office of Program Policy Analysis and
1515Government Accountability (OPPAGA) shall conduct a study
1516comparing the funding of charter schools with traditional public
1517schools and shall:
1518     (a)  Identify the school districts that distribute funds
1519generated by the capital improvement millage authorized pursuant
1520to s. 1011.71(2), Florida Statutes, to charter schools and the
1521use of such funds by the charter schools.
1522     (b)  Determine the amount of funds that would be available
1523to charter schools if school districts equitably distribute to
1524district schools, including charter schools, funds generated by
1525the capital improvement millage authorized pursuant to s.
15261011.71(2), Florida Statutes.
1527     (c)  Examine the costs associated with supervising charter
1528schools and determine if the 5-percent administrative fee for
1529administrative and educational services for charter schools
1530covers the costs associated with the provision of the services.
1531     (2)  OPPAGA shall make recommendations, if warranted, for
1532improving the accountability and equity of the funding system
1533for charter schools based on the findings of the study. The
1534results of the study shall be provided to the Governor, the
1535President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of
1536Representatives no later than January 1, 2011.
1537     Section 10.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2010.


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