November 17, 2019
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_h1569c2
CS/CS/HB 1569

1
A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to charter schools; amending s. 1002.33,
3F.S.; removing a requirement that certain individuals
4participate in training prior to the filing of a charter
5school application; correcting cross-references to high
6school graduation requirements; providing eligibility
7requirements for designation as a high-performing charter
8school; providing that a high-performing charter school is
9entitled to certain renewal, increase in enrollment,
10startup grants, capital outlay funds, and application
11procedures; requiring other good cause for nonrenewal or
12termination of a charter to be defined in rule; revising
13requirements for providing financial statements to a
14sponsor; deleting obsolete provisions; revising
15requirements for the establishment of a charter school-in-
16the-workplace; providing that a charter school-in-the-
17workplace is eligible for capital outlay funding;
18providing that charter schools shall receive certain
19federal funding for which they are eligible; revising
20provisions relating to charter school compliance with
21building codes and requirements; providing for an
22exemption from certain exactions; removing a reporting
23requirement relating to student assessment data; revising
24restrictions on the employment of relatives by charter
25school personnel; providing an exception; correcting a
26cross-reference relating to the disclosure of financial
27interests; conforming cross-references; amending s.
281013.62, F.S.; authorizing additional uses for charter
29school capital outlay funds; conforming cross-references;
30amending ss. 163.3180, 1002.32, 1002.34, 1002.345,
311011.68, and 1012.32, F.S.; conforming cross-references
32and provisions; requiring the Office of Program Policy
33Analysis and Government Accountability to conduct a study
34comparing the funding of charter schools with traditional
35public schools and examining certain funding and costs;
36requiring recommendations to the Governor and Legislature,
37if warranted, for improving the accountability and equity
38of the funding system for charter schools; providing an
39effective date.
40
41Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
42
43     Section 1.  Paragraph (g) of subsection (6) and subsection
44(7) of section 1002.33, Florida Statutes, are amended, a new
45subsection (8) is added to that section, and present subsections
46(8) through (26) are renumbered as subsections (9) through (27),
47respectively, and amended, to read:
48     1002.33  Charter schools.-
49     (6)  APPLICATION PROCESS AND REVIEW.-Charter school
50applications are subject to the following requirements:
51     (g)1.  The Department of Education shall offer or arrange
52for training and technical assistance to charter school
53applicants in developing business plans and estimating costs and
54income. This assistance shall address estimating startup costs,
55projecting enrollment, and identifying the types and amounts of
56state and federal financial assistance the charter school may be
57eligible to receive. The department may provide other technical
58assistance to an applicant upon written request.
59     2.  A charter school applicant must participate in the
60training provided by the Department of Education before filing
61an application. However, a sponsor may require the charter
62school applicant to attend training provided by the sponsor in
63lieu of the department's training if the sponsor's training
64standards meet or exceed the standards developed by the
65Department of Education. The training shall include instruction
66in accurate financial planning and good business practices. If
67the applicant is a management company or other nonprofit
68organization, the charter school principal and the chief
69financial officer or his or her equivalent must also participate
70in the training.
71     (7)  CHARTER.-The major issues involving the operation of a
72charter school shall be considered in advance and written into
73the charter. The charter shall be signed by the governing body
74of the charter school and the sponsor, following a public
75hearing to ensure community input.
76     (a)  The charter shall address and criteria for approval of
77the charter shall be based on:
78     1.  The school's mission, the students to be served, and
79the ages and grades to be included.
80     2.  The focus of the curriculum, the instructional methods
81to be used, any distinctive instructional techniques to be
82employed, and identification and acquisition of appropriate
83technologies needed to improve educational and administrative
84performance which include a means for promoting safe, ethical,
85and appropriate uses of technology which comply with legal and
86professional standards. The charter shall ensure that reading is
87a primary focus of the curriculum and that resources are
88provided to identify and provide specialized instruction for
89students who are reading below grade level. The curriculum and
90instructional strategies for reading must be consistent with the
91Sunshine State Standards and grounded in scientifically based
92reading research.
93     3.  The current incoming baseline standard of student
94academic achievement, the outcomes to be achieved, and the
95method of measurement that will be used. The criteria listed in
96this subparagraph shall include a detailed description of:
97     a.  How the baseline student academic achievement levels
98and prior rates of academic progress will be established.
99     b.  How these baseline rates will be compared to rates of
100academic progress achieved by these same students while
101attending the charter school.
102     c.  To the extent possible, how these rates of progress
103will be evaluated and compared with rates of progress of other
104closely comparable student populations.
105
106The district school board is required to provide academic
107student performance data to charter schools for each of their
108students coming from the district school system, as well as
109rates of academic progress of comparable student populations in
110the district school system.
111     4.  The methods used to identify the educational strengths
112and needs of students and how well educational goals and
113performance standards are met by students attending the charter
114school. The methods shall provide a means for the charter school
115to ensure accountability to its constituents by analyzing
116student performance data and by evaluating the effectiveness and
117efficiency of its major educational programs. Students in
118charter schools shall, at a minimum, participate in the
119statewide assessment program created under s. 1008.22.
120     5.  In secondary charter schools, a method for determining
121that a student has satisfied the requirements for graduation in
122s. 1003.428, s. 1003.429, or s. 1003.43.
123     6.  A method for resolving conflicts between the governing
124body of the charter school and the sponsor.
125     7.  The admissions procedures and dismissal procedures,
126including the school's code of student conduct.
127     8.  The ways by which the school will achieve a
128racial/ethnic balance reflective of the community it serves or
129within the racial/ethnic range of other public schools in the
130same school district.
131     9.  The financial and administrative management of the
132school, including a reasonable demonstration of the professional
133experience or competence of those individuals or organizations
134applying to operate the charter school or those hired or
135retained to perform such professional services and the
136description of clearly delineated responsibilities and the
137policies and practices needed to effectively manage the charter
138school. A description of internal audit procedures and
139establishment of controls to ensure that financial resources are
140properly managed must be included. Both public sector and
141private sector professional experience shall be equally valid in
142such a consideration.
143     10.  The asset and liability projections required in the
144application which are incorporated into the charter and shall be
145compared with information provided in the annual report of the
146charter school.
147     11.  A description of procedures that identify various
148risks and provide for a comprehensive approach to reduce the
149impact of losses; plans to ensure the safety and security of
150students and staff; plans to identify, minimize, and protect
151others from violent or disruptive student behavior; and the
152manner in which the school will be insured, including whether or
153not the school will be required to have liability insurance,
154and, if so, the terms and conditions thereof and the amounts of
155coverage.
156     12.  The term of the charter which shall provide for
157cancellation of the charter if insufficient progress has been
158made in attaining the student achievement objectives of the
159charter and if it is not likely that such objectives can be
160achieved before expiration of the charter. The initial term of a
161charter shall be for 4 or 5 years. In order to facilitate access
162to long-term financial resources for charter school
163construction, charter schools that are operated by a
164municipality or other public entity as provided by law are
165eligible for up to a 15-year charter, subject to approval by the
166district school board. A charter lab school is eligible for a
167charter for a term of up to 15 years. In addition, to facilitate
168access to long-term financial resources for charter school
169construction, charter schools that are operated by a private,
170not-for-profit, s. 501(c)(3) status corporation are eligible for
171up to a 15-year charter, subject to approval by the district
172school board. Such long-term charters remain subject to annual
173review and may be terminated during the term of the charter, but
174only according to the provisions set forth in subsection (9)
175(8).
176     13.  The facilities to be used and their location.
177     14.  The qualifications to be required of the teachers and
178the potential strategies used to recruit, hire, train, and
179retain qualified staff to achieve best value.
180     15.  The governance structure of the school, including the
181status of the charter school as a public or private employer as
182required in paragraph (13)(12)(i).
183     16.  A timetable for implementing the charter which
184addresses the implementation of each element thereof and the
185date by which the charter shall be awarded in order to meet this
186timetable.
187     17.  In the case of an existing public school that is being
188converted to charter status, alternative arrangements for
189current students who choose not to attend the charter school and
190for current teachers who choose not to teach in the charter
191school after conversion in accordance with the existing
192collective bargaining agreement or district school board rule in
193the absence of a collective bargaining agreement. However,
194alternative arrangements shall not be required for current
195teachers who choose not to teach in a charter lab school, except
196as authorized by the employment policies of the state university
197which grants the charter to the lab school.
198     18.  Full disclosure of the identity of all relatives
199employed by the charter school who are related to the charter
200school owner, president, chairperson of the governing board of
201directors, superintendent, governing board member, principal,
202assistant principal, or any other person employed by the charter
203school who has equivalent decisionmaking authority. For the
204purpose of this subparagraph, the term "relative" means father,
205mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, first
206cousin, nephew, niece, husband, wife, father-in-law, mother-in-
207law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law,
208stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother,
209stepsister, half brother, or half sister.
210     (b)1.  A charter may be renewed provided that a program
211review demonstrates that the criteria in paragraph (a) have been
212successfully accomplished and that none of the grounds for
213nonrenewal established by paragraph (9)(8)(a) has been
214documented. In order to facilitate long-term financing for
215charter school construction, charter schools operating for a
216minimum of 3 years and demonstrating exemplary academic
217programming and fiscal management are eligible for a 15-year
218charter renewal. Such long-term charter is subject to annual
219review and may be terminated during the term of the charter.
220     2.  The 15-year charter renewal that may be granted
221pursuant to subparagraph 1. shall be granted to a charter school
222that has received a school grade of "A" or "B" pursuant to s.
2231008.34 in 3 of the past 4 years and is not in a state of
224financial emergency or deficit position as defined by this
225section. Such long-term charter is subject to annual review and
226may be terminated during the term of the charter pursuant to
227subsection (9) (8).
228     (c)  A charter may be modified during its initial term or
229any renewal term upon the recommendation of the sponsor or the
230charter school governing board and the approval of both parties
231to the agreement.
232     (8)  HIGH-PERFORMING CHARTER SCHOOLS.-
233     (a)  A charter school is designated as a high-performing
234charter school if it meets all of the following criteria:
235     1.  Has received a school grade of "A" or "B" pursuant to
236s. 1008.34 for 3 consecutive years.
237     2.  Has received unqualified opinions on its annual audited
238financial statements for 3 consecutive years.
239     3.  Has maintained positive fund balances for 3 consecutive
240years.
241     (b)  A high-performing charter school is entitled to:
242     1.  Automatically renew its charter for 15 years.
243     2.  Increase its enrollment in excess of the maximum
244enrollment specified in its charter.
245     3.  Automatically qualify for startup grants for new
246applicants.
247     4.  Receive capital outlay funds under s. 1013.62 beginning
248with the first year it receives a high-performing charter school
249designation.
250     5.  Receive an extension of time until January 1 to submit
251an initial application pursuant to subsection (6) to replicate a
252successful charter school.
253     (9)(8)  CAUSES FOR NONRENEWAL OR TERMINATION OF CHARTER.-
254     (a)  The sponsor may choose not to renew or may terminate
255the charter for any of the following grounds:
256     1.  Failure to participate in the state's education
257accountability system created in s. 1008.31, as required in this
258section, or failure to meet the requirements for student
259performance stated in the charter.
260     2.  Failure to meet generally accepted standards of fiscal
261management.
262     3.  Violation of law.
263     4.  Other good cause as defined in rules adopted by the
264State Board of Education shown.
265     (b)  At least 90 days prior to renewing or terminating a
266charter, the sponsor shall notify the governing body of the
267school of the proposed action in writing. The notice shall state
268in reasonable detail the grounds for the proposed action and
269stipulate that the school's governing body may, within 14
270calendar days after receiving the notice, request an informal
271hearing before the sponsor. The sponsor shall conduct the
272informal hearing within 30 calendar days after receiving a
273written request.
274     (c)  If a charter is not renewed or is terminated pursuant
275to paragraph (b), the sponsor shall, within 10 calendar days,
276articulate in writing the specific reasons for its nonrenewal or
277termination of the charter and must provide the letter of
278nonrenewal or termination and documentation supporting the
279reasons to the charter school governing body, the charter school
280principal, and the Department of Education. The charter school's
281governing body may, within 30 calendar days after receiving the
282sponsor's final written decision to refuse to renew or to
283terminate the charter, appeal the decision pursuant to the
284procedure established in subsection (6).
285     (d)  A charter may be terminated immediately if the sponsor
286determines that good cause has been shown or if the health,
287safety, or welfare of the students is threatened. The sponsor's
288determination is not subject to an informal hearing under
289paragraph (b) or pursuant to chapter 120. The sponsor shall
290notify in writing the charter school's governing body, the
291charter school principal, and the department if a charter is
292immediately terminated. The sponsor shall clearly identify the
293specific issues that resulted in the immediate termination and
294provide evidence of prior notification of issues resulting in
295the immediate termination when appropriate. The school district
296in which the charter school is located shall assume operation of
297the school under these circumstances. The charter school's
298governing board may, within 30 days after receiving the
299sponsor's decision to terminate the charter, appeal the decision
300pursuant to the procedure established in subsection (6).
301     (e)  When a charter is not renewed or is terminated, the
302school shall be dissolved under the provisions of law under
303which the school was organized, and any unencumbered public
304funds, except for capital outlay funds and federal charter
305school program grant funds, from the charter school shall revert
306to the sponsor. Capital outlay funds provided pursuant to s.
3071013.62 and federal charter school program grant funds that are
308unencumbered shall revert to the department to be redistributed
309among eligible charter schools. In the event a charter school is
310dissolved or is otherwise terminated, all district school board
311property and improvements, furnishings, and equipment purchased
312with public funds shall automatically revert to full ownership
313by the district school board, subject to complete satisfaction
314of any lawful liens or encumbrances. Any unencumbered public
315funds from the charter school, district school board property
316and improvements, furnishings, and equipment purchased with
317public funds, or financial or other records pertaining to the
318charter school, in the possession of any person, entity, or
319holding company, other than the charter school, shall be held in
320trust upon the district school board's request, until any appeal
321status is resolved.
322     (f)  If a charter is not renewed or is terminated, the
323charter school is responsible for all debts of the charter
324school. The district may not assume the debt from any contract
325made between the governing body of the school and a third party,
326except for a debt that is previously detailed and agreed upon in
327writing by both the district and the governing body of the
328school and that may not reasonably be assumed to have been
329satisfied by the district.
330     (g)  If a charter is not renewed or is terminated, a
331student who attended the school may apply to, and shall be
332enrolled in, another public school. Normal application deadlines
333shall be disregarded under such circumstances.
334     (10)(9)  CHARTER SCHOOL REQUIREMENTS.-
335     (a)  A charter school shall be nonsectarian in its
336programs, admission policies, employment practices, and
337operations.
338     (b)  A charter school shall admit students as provided in
339subsection (11) (10).
340     (c)  A charter school shall be accountable to its sponsor
341for performance as provided in subsection (7).
342     (d)  A charter school shall not charge tuition or
343registration fees, except those fees normally charged by other
344public schools. However, a charter lab school may charge a
345student activity and service fee as authorized by s. 1002.32(5).
346     (e)  A charter school shall meet all applicable state and
347local health, safety, and civil rights requirements.
348     (f)  A charter school shall not violate the
349antidiscrimination provisions of s. 1000.05.
350     (g)  In order to provide financial information that is
351comparable to that reported for other public schools, charter
352schools are to maintain all financial records that constitute
353their accounting system:
354     1.  In accordance with the accounts and codes prescribed in
355the most recent issuance of the publication titled "Financial
356and Program Cost Accounting and Reporting for Florida Schools";
357or
358     2.  At the discretion of the charter school governing
359board, a charter school may elect to follow generally accepted
360accounting standards for not-for-profit organizations, but must
361reformat this information for reporting according to this
362paragraph.
363
364Charter schools shall provide annual financial report and
365program cost report information in the state-required formats
366for inclusion in district reporting in compliance with s.
3671011.60(1). Charter schools that are operated by a municipality
368or are a component unit of a parent nonprofit organization may
369use the accounting system of the municipality or the parent but
370must reformat this information for reporting according to this
371paragraph. A charter school shall provide a quarterly monthly
372financial statement to the sponsor unless a deteriorating
373financial condition has been identified or the charter school is
374determined to be in a state of financial emergency pursuant to
375s. 1002.345, in which case the charter school shall provide a
376monthly financial statement. The monthly financial statement
377required under this paragraph shall be in a form prescribed by
378the Department of Education.
379     (h)  The governing board of the charter school shall
380annually adopt and maintain an operating budget.
381     (i)  The governing body of the charter school shall
382exercise continuing oversight over charter school operations.
383     (j)  The governing body of the charter school shall be
384responsible for:
385     1.  Ensuring that the charter school has retained the
386services of a certified public accountant or auditor for the
387annual financial audit, pursuant to s. 1002.345(2), who shall
388submit the report to the governing body.
389     2.  Reviewing and approving the audit report, including
390audit findings and recommendations for the financial recovery
391plan.
392     3.a.  Performing the duties in s. 1002.345, including
393monitoring a corrective action plan.
394     b.  Monitoring a financial recovery plan in order to ensure
395compliance.
396     4.  Participating in governance training approved by the
397department which must include government in the sunshine,
398conflicts of interest, ethics, and financial responsibility.
399     (k)  The governing body of the charter school shall report
400its progress annually to its sponsor, which shall forward the
401report to the Commissioner of Education at the same time as
402other annual school accountability reports. The Department of
403Education shall develop a uniform, online annual accountability
404report to be completed by charter schools. This report shall be
405easy to utilize and contain demographic information, student
406performance data, and financial accountability information. A
407charter school shall not be required to provide information and
408data that is duplicative and already in the possession of the
409department. The Department of Education shall include in its
410compilation a notation if a school failed to file its report by
411the deadline established by the department. The report shall
412include at least the following components:
413     1.  Student achievement performance data, including the
414information required for the annual school report and the
415education accountability system governed by ss. 1008.31 and
4161008.345. Charter schools are subject to the same accountability
417requirements as other public schools, including reports of
418student achievement information that links baseline student data
419to the school's performance projections identified in the
420charter. The charter school shall identify reasons for any
421difference between projected and actual student performance.
422     2.  Financial status of the charter school which must
423include revenues and expenditures at a level of detail that
424allows for analysis of the charter school's ability to meet
425financial obligations and timely repayment of debt.
426     3.  Documentation of the facilities in current use and any
427planned facilities for use by the charter school for instruction
428of students, administrative functions, or investment purposes.
429     4.  Descriptive information about the charter school's
430personnel, including salary and benefit levels of charter school
431employees, the proportion of instructional personnel who hold
432professional or temporary certificates, and the proportion of
433instructional personnel teaching in-field or out-of-field.
434     (l)  A charter school shall not levy taxes or issue bonds
435secured by tax revenues.
436     (m)  A charter school shall provide instruction for at
437least the number of days required by law for other public
438schools and may provide instruction for additional days.
439     (n)  The director and a representative of the governing
440body of a charter school that has received a school grade of "D"
441under s. 1008.34(2) shall appear before the sponsor or the
442sponsor's staff at least once a year to present information
443concerning each contract component having noted deficiencies.
444The sponsor shall communicate at the meeting, and in writing to
445the director, the services provided to the school to help the
446school address its deficiencies.
447     (o)  Upon notification that a charter school receives a
448school grade of "D" for 2 consecutive years or a school grade of
449"F" under s. 1008.34(2), the charter school sponsor or the
450sponsor's staff shall require the director and a representative
451of the governing body to submit to the sponsor for approval a
452school improvement plan to raise student achievement and to
453implement the plan. The sponsor has the authority to approve a
454school improvement plan that the charter school will implement
455in the following school year. The sponsor may also consider the
456State Board of Education's recommended action pursuant to s.
4571008.33(1) as part of the school improvement plan. The
458Department of Education shall offer technical assistance and
459training to the charter school and its governing body and
460establish guidelines for developing, submitting, and approving
461such plans.
462     1.  If the charter school fails to improve its student
463performance from the year immediately prior to the
464implementation of the school improvement plan, the sponsor shall
465place the charter school on probation and shall require the
466charter school governing body to take one of the following
467corrective actions:
468     a.  Contract for the educational services of the charter
469school;
470     b.  Reorganize the school at the end of the school year
471under a new director or principal who is authorized to hire new
472staff and implement a plan that addresses the causes of
473inadequate progress; or
474     c.  Reconstitute the charter school.
475     2.  A charter school that is placed on probation shall
476continue the corrective actions required under subparagraph 1.
477until the charter school improves its student performance from
478the year prior to the implementation of the school improvement
479plan.
480     3.  Notwithstanding any provision of this paragraph, the
481sponsor may terminate the charter at any time pursuant to
482subsection (9) (8).
483     (p)  The director and a representative of the governing
484body of a graded charter school that has submitted a school
485improvement plan or has been placed on probation under paragraph
486(o) shall appear before the sponsor or the sponsor's staff at
487least once a year to present information regarding the
488corrective strategies that are being implemented by the school
489pursuant to the school improvement plan. The sponsor shall
490communicate at the meeting, and in writing to the director, the
491services provided to the school to help the school address its
492deficiencies.
493     (11)(10)  ELIGIBLE STUDENTS.-
494     (a)  A charter school shall be open to any student covered
495in an interdistrict agreement or residing in the school district
496in which the charter school is located; however, in the case of
497a charter lab school, the charter lab school shall be open to
498any student eligible to attend the lab school as provided in s.
4991002.32 or who resides in the school district in which the
500charter lab school is located. Any eligible student shall be
501allowed interdistrict transfer to attend a charter school when
502based on good cause. Good cause shall include, but is not
503limited to, geographic proximity to a charter school in a
504neighboring school district.
505     (b)  The charter school shall enroll an eligible student
506who submits a timely application, unless the number of
507applications exceeds the capacity of a program, class, grade
508level, or building. In such case, all applicants shall have an
509equal chance of being admitted through a random selection
510process.
511     (c)  When a public school converts to charter status,
512enrollment preference shall be given to students who would have
513otherwise attended that public school. The district school board
514shall consult and negotiate with the conversion charter school
515every 3 years to determine whether realignment of the conversion
516charter school's attendance zone is appropriate in order to
517ensure that students residing closest to the charter school are
518provided with an enrollment preference.
519     (d)  A charter school may give enrollment preference to the
520following student populations:
521     1.  Students who are siblings of a student enrolled in the
522charter school.
523     2.  Students who are the children of a member of the
524governing board of the charter school.
525     3.  Students who are the children of an employee of the
526charter school.
527     (e)  A charter school may limit the enrollment process only
528to target the following student populations:
529     1.  Students within specific age groups or grade levels.
530     2.  Students considered at risk of dropping out of school
531or academic failure. Such students shall include exceptional
532education students.
533     3.  Students enrolling in a charter school-in-the-workplace
534or charter school-in-a-municipality established pursuant to
535subsection (16) (15).
536     4.  Students residing within a reasonable distance of the
537charter school, as described in paragraph (21)(20)(c). Such
538students shall be subject to a random lottery and to the
539racial/ethnic balance provisions described in subparagraph
540(7)(a)8. or any federal provisions that require a school to
541achieve a racial/ethnic balance reflective of the community it
542serves or within the racial/ethnic range of other public schools
543in the same school district.
544     5.  Students who meet reasonable academic, artistic, or
545other eligibility standards established by the charter school
546and included in the charter school application and charter or,
547in the case of existing charter schools, standards that are
548consistent with the school's mission and purpose. Such standards
549shall be in accordance with current state law and practice in
550public schools and may not discriminate against otherwise
551qualified individuals.
552     6.  Students articulating from one charter school to
553another pursuant to an articulation agreement between the
554charter schools that has been approved by the sponsor.
555     (f)  Students with disabilities and students served in
556English for Speakers of Other Languages programs shall have an
557equal opportunity of being selected for enrollment in a charter
558school.
559     (g)  A student may withdraw from a charter school at any
560time and enroll in another public school as determined by
561district school board rule.
562     (h)  The capacity of the charter school shall be determined
563annually by the governing board, in conjunction with the
564sponsor, of the charter school in consideration of the factors
565identified in this subsection.
566     (12)(11)  PARTICIPATION IN INTERSCHOLASTIC EXTRACURRICULAR
567ACTIVITIES.-A charter school student is eligible to participate
568in an interscholastic extracurricular activity at the public
569school to which the student would be otherwise assigned to
570attend pursuant to s. 1006.15(3)(d).
571     (13)(12)  EMPLOYEES OF CHARTER SCHOOLS.-
572     (a)  A charter school shall select its own employees. A
573charter school may contract with its sponsor for the services of
574personnel employed by the sponsor.
575     (b)  Charter school employees shall have the option to
576bargain collectively. Employees may collectively bargain as a
577separate unit or as part of the existing district collective
578bargaining unit as determined by the structure of the charter
579school.
580     (c)  The employees of a conversion charter school shall
581remain public employees for all purposes, unless such employees
582choose not to do so.
583     (d)  The teachers at a charter school may choose to be part
584of a professional group that subcontracts with the charter
585school to operate the instructional program under the auspices
586of a partnership or cooperative that they collectively own.
587Under this arrangement, the teachers would not be public
588employees.
589     (e)  Employees of a school district may take leave to
590accept employment in a charter school upon the approval of the
591district school board. While employed by the charter school and
592on leave that is approved by the district school board, the
593employee may retain seniority accrued in that school district
594and may continue to be covered by the benefit programs of that
595school district, if the charter school and the district school
596board agree to this arrangement and its financing. School
597districts shall not require resignations of teachers desiring to
598teach in a charter school. This paragraph shall not prohibit a
599district school board from approving alternative leave
600arrangements consistent with chapter 1012.
601     (f)  Teachers employed by or under contract to a charter
602school shall be certified as required by chapter 1012. A charter
603school governing board may employ or contract with skilled
604selected noncertified personnel to provide instructional
605services or to assist instructional staff members as education
606paraprofessionals in the same manner as defined in chapter 1012,
607and as provided by State Board of Education rule for charter
608school governing boards. A charter school may not knowingly
609employ an individual to provide instructional services or to
610serve as an education paraprofessional if the individual's
611certification or licensure as an educator is suspended or
612revoked by this or any other state. A charter school may not
613knowingly employ an individual who has resigned from a school
614district in lieu of disciplinary action with respect to child
615welfare or safety, or who has been dismissed for just cause by
616any school district with respect to child welfare or safety. The
617qualifications of teachers shall be disclosed to parents.
618     (g)1.  A charter school shall employ or contract with
619employees who have undergone background screening as provided in
620s. 1012.32. Members of the governing board of the charter school
621shall also undergo background screening in a manner similar to
622that provided in s. 1012.32.
623     2.  A charter school shall disqualify instructional
624personnel and school administrators, as defined in s. 1012.01,
625from employment in any position that requires direct contact
626with students if the personnel or administrators are ineligible
627for such employment under s. 1012.315.
628     3.  The governing board of a charter school shall adopt
629policies establishing standards of ethical conduct for
630instructional personnel and school administrators. The policies
631must require all instructional personnel and school
632administrators, as defined in s. 1012.01, to complete training
633on the standards; establish the duty of instructional personnel
634and school administrators to report, and procedures for
635reporting, alleged misconduct by other instructional personnel
636and school administrators which affects the health, safety, or
637welfare of a student; and include an explanation of the
638liability protections provided under ss. 39.203 and 768.095. A
639charter school, or any of its employees, may not enter into a
640confidentiality agreement regarding terminated or dismissed
641instructional personnel or school administrators, or personnel
642or administrators who resign in lieu of termination, based in
643whole or in part on misconduct that affects the health, safety,
644or welfare of a student, and may not provide instructional
645personnel or school administrators with employment references or
646discuss the personnel's or administrators' performance with
647prospective employers in another educational setting, without
648disclosing the personnel's or administrators' misconduct. Any
649part of an agreement or contract that has the purpose or effect
650of concealing misconduct by instructional personnel or school
651administrators which affects the health, safety, or welfare of a
652student is void, is contrary to public policy, and may not be
653enforced.
654     4.  Before employing instructional personnel or school
655administrators in any position that requires direct contact with
656students, a charter school shall conduct employment history
657checks of each of the personnel's or administrators' previous
658employers, screen the instructional personnel or school
659administrators through use of the educator screening tools
660described in s. 1001.10(5), and document the findings. If unable
661to contact a previous employer, the charter school must document
662efforts to contact the employer.
663     5.  The sponsor of a charter school that knowingly fails to
664comply with this paragraph shall terminate the charter under
665subsection (9) (8).
666     (h)  For the purposes of tort liability, the governing body
667and employees of a charter school shall be governed by s.
668768.28.
669     (i)  A charter school shall organize as, or be operated by,
670a nonprofit organization. A charter school may be operated by a
671municipality or other public entity as provided for by law. As
672such, the charter school may be either a private or a public
673employer. As a public employer, a charter school may participate
674in the Florida Retirement System upon application and approval
675as a "covered group" under s. 121.021(34). If a charter school
676participates in the Florida Retirement System, the charter
677school employees shall be compulsory members of the Florida
678Retirement System. As either a private or a public employer, a
679charter school may contract for services with an individual or
680group of individuals who are organized as a partnership or a
681cooperative. Individuals or groups of individuals who contract
682their services to the charter school are not public employees.
683     (14)(13)  CHARTER SCHOOL COOPERATIVES.-Charter schools may
684enter into cooperative agreements to form charter school
685cooperative organizations that may provide the following
686services: charter school planning and development, direct
687instructional services, and contracts with charter school
688governing boards to provide personnel administrative services,
689payroll services, human resource management, evaluation and
690assessment services, teacher preparation, and professional
691development.
692     (15)(14)  CHARTER SCHOOL FINANCIAL ARRANGEMENTS;
693INDEMNIFICATION OF THE STATE AND SCHOOL DISTRICT; CREDIT OR
694TAXING POWER NOT TO BE PLEDGED.-Any arrangement entered into to
695borrow or otherwise secure funds for a charter school authorized
696in this section from a source other than the state or a school
697district shall indemnify the state and the school district from
698any and all liability, including, but not limited to, financial
699responsibility for the payment of the principal or interest. Any
700loans, bonds, or other financial agreements are not obligations
701of the state or the school district but are obligations of the
702charter school authority and are payable solely from the sources
703of funds pledged by such agreement. The credit or taxing power
704of the state or the school district shall not be pledged and no
705debts shall be payable out of any moneys except those of the
706legal entity in possession of a valid charter approved by a
707district school board pursuant to this section.
708     (16)(15)  CHARTER SCHOOLS-IN-THE-WORKPLACE; CHARTER
709SCHOOLS-IN-A-MUNICIPALITY.-
710     (a)  In order to increase business partnerships in
711education, to reduce school and classroom overcrowding
712throughout the state, and to offset the high costs for
713educational facilities construction, the Legislature intends to
714encourage the formation of business partnership schools or
715satellite learning centers and municipal-operated schools
716through charter school status.
717     (b)  A charter school-in-the-workplace may be established
718when a business partner:
719     1.  Provides one of the following:
720     a.  Access to a the school facility to be used;
721     b.  Resources that materially reduce the cost of
722constructing a school facility;
723     c.  Land for a school facility; or
724     d.  Resources to maintain a school facility;
725     2.  Enrolls students based upon a random lottery that
726involves all of the children of employees of that business or
727corporation who are seeking enrollment, as provided for in
728subsection (11) (10); and
729     3.  Enrolls students according to the racial/ethnic balance
730provisions described in subparagraph (7)(a)8.
731
732A charter school-in-the-workplace is eligible for capital outlay
733funding under s. 1013.62. Any portion of a facility used for a
734public charter school shall be exempt from ad valorem taxes, as
735provided for in s. 1013.54, for the duration of its use as a
736public school.
737     (c)  A charter school-in-a-municipality designation may be
738granted to a municipality that possesses a charter; enrolls
739students based upon a random lottery that involves all of the
740children of the residents of that municipality who are seeking
741enrollment, as provided for in subsection (11) (10); and enrolls
742students according to the racial/ethnic balance provisions
743described in subparagraph (7)(a)8. When a municipality has
744submitted charter applications for the establishment of a
745charter school feeder pattern, consisting of elementary, middle,
746and senior high schools, and each individual charter application
747is approved by the district school board, such schools shall
748then be designated as one charter school for all purposes listed
749pursuant to this section. Any portion of the land and facility
750used for a public charter school shall be exempt from ad valorem
751taxes, as provided for in s. 1013.54, for the duration of its
752use as a public school.
753     (d)  As used in this subsection, the terms "business
754partner" or "municipality" may include more than one business or
755municipality to form a charter school-in-the-workplace or
756charter school-in-a-municipality.
757     (17)(16)  EXEMPTION FROM STATUTES.-
758     (a)  A charter school shall operate in accordance with its
759charter and shall be exempt from all statutes in chapters 1000-
7601013. However, a charter school shall be in compliance with the
761following statutes in chapters 1000-1013:
762     1.  Those statutes specifically applying to charter
763schools, including this section.
764     2.  Those statutes pertaining to the student assessment
765program and school grading system.
766     3.  Those statutes pertaining to the provision of services
767to students with disabilities.
768     4.  Those statutes pertaining to civil rights, including s.
7691000.05, relating to discrimination.
770     5.  Those statutes pertaining to student health, safety,
771and welfare.
772     (b)  Additionally, a charter school shall be in compliance
773with the following statutes:
774     1.  Section 286.011, relating to public meetings and
775records, public inspection, and criminal and civil penalties.
776     2.  Chapter 119, relating to public records.
777     (18)(17)  FUNDING.-Students enrolled in a charter school,
778regardless of the sponsorship, shall be funded as if they are in
779a basic program or a special program, the same as students
780enrolled in other public schools in the school district. Funding
781for a charter lab school shall be as provided in s. 1002.32.
782     (a)  Each charter school shall report its student
783enrollment to the sponsor as required in s. 1011.62, and in
784accordance with the definitions in s. 1011.61. The sponsor shall
785include each charter school's enrollment in the district's
786report of student enrollment. All charter schools submitting
787student record information required by the Department of
788Education shall comply with the Department of Education's
789guidelines for electronic data formats for such data, and all
790districts shall accept electronic data that complies with the
791Department of Education's electronic format.
792     (b)  The basis for the agreement for funding students
793enrolled in a charter school shall be the sum of the school
794district's operating funds from the Florida Education Finance
795Program as provided in s. 1011.62 and the General Appropriations
796Act, including gross state and local funds, discretionary
797lottery funds, and funds from the school district's current
798operating discretionary millage levy; divided by total funded
799weighted full-time equivalent students in the school district;
800multiplied by the weighted full-time equivalent students for the
801charter school. Charter schools whose students or programs meet
802the eligibility criteria in law shall be entitled to their
803proportionate share of categorical program funds included in the
804total funds available in the Florida Education Finance Program
805by the Legislature, including transportation. Total funding for
806each charter school shall be recalculated during the year to
807reflect the revised calculations under the Florida Education
808Finance Program by the state and the actual weighted full-time
809equivalent students reported by the charter school during the
810full-time equivalent student survey periods designated by the
811Commissioner of Education.
812     (c)  If the district school board is providing programs or
813services to students funded by federal funds, any eligible
814students enrolled in charter schools in the school district
815shall be provided federal funds for the same level of service
816provided students in the schools operated by the district school
817board. Pursuant to provisions of 20 U.S.C. 8061 s. 10306, all
818charter schools shall receive all federal funding for which the
819school is otherwise eligible, including Title I and IDEA
820funding, not later than 5 months after the charter school first
821opens and within 5 months after any subsequent expansion of
822enrollment.
823     (d)  Charter schools shall be included by the Department of
824Education and the district school board in requests for federal
825stimulus funds in the same manner as district school board-
826operated public schools, including Title I and IDEA funds and
827shall be entitled to receive such funds. Charter schools are
828eligible to participate in federal competitive grants that are
829available as part of the federal stimulus funds.
830     (e)  District school boards shall make timely and efficient
831payment and reimbursement to charter schools, including
832processing paperwork required to access special state and
833federal funding for which they may be eligible. The district
834school board may distribute funds to a charter school for up to
8353 months based on the projected full-time equivalent student
836membership of the charter school. Thereafter, the results of
837full-time equivalent student membership surveys shall be used in
838adjusting the amount of funds distributed monthly to the charter
839school for the remainder of the fiscal year. The payment shall
840be issued no later than 10 working days after the district
841school board receives a distribution of state or federal funds.
842If a warrant for payment is not issued within 10 working days
843after receipt of funding by the district school board, the
844school district shall pay to the charter school, in addition to
845the amount of the scheduled disbursement, interest at a rate of
8461 percent per month calculated on a daily basis on the unpaid
847balance from the expiration of the 10 working days until such
848time as the warrant is issued.
849     (19)(18)  FACILITIES.-
850     (a)  A startup charter school shall utilize facilities
851which comply with the Florida Building Code pursuant to chapter
852553 except for the State Requirements for Educational
853Facilities. Conversion charter schools shall utilize facilities
854that comply with the State Requirements for Educational
855Facilities provided that the school district and the charter
856school have entered into a mutual management plan for the
857reasonable maintenance of such facilities. The mutual management
858plan shall contain a provision by which the district school
859board agrees to maintain charter school facilities in the same
860manner as its other public schools within the district. Charter
861schools, with the exception of conversion charter schools, are
862not required to comply, but may choose to comply, with any or
863all components of the State Requirements for Educational
864Facilities of the Florida Building Code adopted pursuant to s.
8651013.37. The local governing authority shall not adopt or impose
866local building requirements or site development restrictions,
867such as parking and site-size criteria, that are more stringent
868than those found in the State Requirements for Educational
869Facilities of the Florida Building Code. The agency having
870jurisdiction for inspection of a facility and issuance of a
871certificate of occupancy or use shall be the local municipality
872or, if in an unincorporated area, the county governing
873authority.
874     (b)  A charter school shall utilize facilities that comply
875with the Florida Fire Prevention Code, pursuant to s. 633.025,
876as adopted by the authority in whose jurisdiction the facility
877is located as provided in paragraph (a).
878     (c)  Any facility, or portion thereof, used to house a
879charter school whose charter has been approved by the sponsor
880and the governing board, pursuant to subsection (7), shall be
881exempt from ad valorem taxes pursuant to s. 196.1983. Library,
882community service, museum, performing arts, theatre, cinema,
883church, community college, college, and university facilities
884may provide space to charter schools within their facilities
885under their preexisting zoning and land use designations.
886     (d)  Charter school facilities are exempt from assessments
887of fees for building permits, except as provided in s. 553.80,
888fees for building and occupational licenses, impact fees or
889exactions under s. 163.3180(13)(e)2., service availability fees,
890and assessments for special benefits.
891     (e)  If a district school board facility or property is
892available because it is surplus, marked for disposal, or
893otherwise unused, it shall be provided for a charter school's
894use on the same basis as it is made available to other public
895schools in the district. A charter school receiving property
896from the school district may not sell or dispose of such
897property without written permission of the school district.
898Similarly, for an existing public school converting to charter
899status, no rental or leasing fee for the existing facility or
900for the property normally inventoried to the conversion school
901may be charged by the district school board to the parents and
902teachers organizing the charter school. The charter school shall
903agree to reasonable maintenance provisions in order to maintain
904the facility in a manner similar to district school board
905standards. The Public Education Capital Outlay maintenance funds
906or any other maintenance funds generated by the facility
907operated as a conversion school shall remain with the conversion
908school.
909     (f)  To the extent that charter school facilities are
910specifically created to mitigate the educational impact created
911by the development of new residential dwelling units, pursuant
912to subparagraph (2)(c)4., some of or all of the educational
913impact fees required to be paid in connection with the new
914residential dwelling units may be designated instead for the
915construction of the charter school facilities that will mitigate
916the student station impact. Such facilities shall be built to
917the State Requirements for Educational Facilities and shall be
918owned by a public or nonprofit entity. The local school district
919retains the right to monitor and inspect such facilities to
920ensure compliance with the State Requirements for Educational
921Facilities. If a facility ceases to be used for public
922educational purposes, either the facility shall revert to the
923school district subject to any debt owed on the facility, or the
924owner of the facility shall have the option to refund all
925educational impact fees utilized for the facility to the school
926district. The district and the owner of the facility may
927contractually agree to another arrangement for the facilities if
928the facilities cease to be used for educational purposes. The
929owner of property planned or approved for new residential
930dwelling units and the entity levying educational impact fees
931shall enter into an agreement that designates the educational
932impact fees that will be allocated for the charter school
933student stations and that ensures the timely construction of the
934charter school student stations concurrent with the expected
935occupancy of the residential units. The application for use of
936educational impact fees shall include an approved charter school
937application. To assist the school district in forecasting
938student station needs, the entity levying the impact fees shall
939notify the affected district of any agreements it has approved
940for the purpose of mitigating student station impact from the
941new residential dwelling units.
942     (g)  Each school district shall annually provide to the
943Department of Education as part of its 5-year work plan the
944number of existing vacant classrooms in each school that the
945district does not intend to use or does not project will be
946needed for educational purposes for the following school year.
947The department may recommend that a district make such space
948available to an appropriate charter school.
949     (20)(19)  CAPITAL OUTLAY FUNDING.-Charter schools are
950eligible for capital outlay funds pursuant to s. 1013.62.
951     (21)(20)  SERVICES.-
952     (a)  A sponsor shall provide certain administrative and
953educational services to charter schools. These services shall
954include contract management services; full-time equivalent and
955data reporting services; exceptional student education
956administration services; services related to eligibility and
957reporting duties required to ensure that school lunch services
958under the federal lunch program, consistent with the needs of
959the charter school, are provided by the school district at the
960request of the charter school, that any funds due to the charter
961school under the federal lunch program be paid to the charter
962school as soon as the charter school begins serving food under
963the federal lunch program, and that the charter school is paid
964at the same time and in the same manner under the federal lunch
965program as other public schools serviced by the sponsor or the
966school district; test administration services, including payment
967of the costs of state-required or district-required student
968assessments; processing of teacher certificate data services;
969and information services, including equal access to student
970information systems that are used by public schools in the
971district in which the charter school is located. Student
972performance data for each student in a charter school,
973including, but not limited to, FCAT scores, standardized test
974scores, previous public school student report cards, and student
975performance measures, shall be provided by the sponsor to a
976charter school in the same manner provided to other public
977schools in the district. A total administrative fee for the
978provision of such services shall be calculated based upon up to
9795 percent of the available funds defined in paragraph
980(18)(17)(b) for all students. However, a sponsor may only
981withhold up to a 5-percent administrative fee for enrollment for
982up to and including 500 students. For charter schools with a
983population of 501 or more students, the difference between the
984total administrative fee calculation and the amount of the
985administrative fee withheld may only be used for capital outlay
986purposes specified in s. 1013.62(2). Each charter school shall
987receive 100 percent of the funds awarded to that school pursuant
988to s. 1012.225. Sponsors shall not charge charter schools any
989additional fees or surcharges for administrative and educational
990services in addition to the maximum 5-percent administrative fee
991withheld pursuant to this paragraph.
992     (b)  If goods and services are made available to the
993charter school through the contract with the school district,
994they shall be provided to the charter school at a rate no
995greater than the district's actual cost unless mutually agreed
996upon by the charter school and the sponsor in a contract
997negotiated separately from the charter. When mediation has
998failed to resolve disputes over contracted services or
999contractual matters not included in the charter, an appeal may
1000be made for a dispute resolution hearing before the Charter
1001School Appeal Commission. To maximize the use of state funds,
1002school districts shall allow charter schools to participate in
1003the sponsor's bulk purchasing program if applicable.
1004     (c)  Transportation of charter school students shall be
1005provided by the charter school consistent with the requirements
1006of subpart I.E. of chapter 1006 and s. 1012.45. The governing
1007body of the charter school may provide transportation through an
1008agreement or contract with the district school board, a private
1009provider, or parents. The charter school and the sponsor shall
1010cooperate in making arrangements that ensure that transportation
1011is not a barrier to equal access for all students residing
1012within a reasonable distance of the charter school as determined
1013in its charter.
1014     (22)(21)  PUBLIC INFORMATION ON CHARTER SCHOOLS.-
1015     (a)  The Department of Education shall provide information
1016to the public, directly and through sponsors, on how to form and
1017operate a charter school and how to enroll in a charter school
1018once it is created. This information shall include a standard
1019application format, charter format, evaluation instrument, and
1020charter renewal format, which shall include the information
1021specified in subsection (7) and shall be developed by consulting
1022and negotiating with both school districts and charter schools
1023before implementation. The charter and charter renewal formats
1024shall be used by charter school sponsors.
1025     (b)1.  The Department of Education shall report student
1026assessment data pursuant to s. 1008.34(3)(c) which is reported
1027to schools that receive a school grade or student assessment
1028data pursuant to s. 1008.341(3) which is reported to alternative
1029schools that receive a school improvement rating to each charter
1030school that:
1031     a.  Does not receive a school grade pursuant to s. 1008.34
1032or a school improvement rating pursuant to s. 1008.341; and
1033     b.  Serves at least 10 students who are tested on the
1034statewide assessment test pursuant to s. 1008.22.
1035     2.  The charter school shall report the information in
1036subparagraph 1. to each parent of a student at the charter
1037school, the parent of a child on a waiting list for the charter
1038school, the district in which the charter school is located, and
1039the governing board of the charter school. This paragraph does
1040not abrogate the provisions of s. 1002.22, relating to student
1041records, or the requirements of 20 U.S.C. s. 1232g, the Family
1042Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
1043     2.3.a.  Pursuant to this paragraph, the Department of
1044Education shall compare the charter school student performance
1045data for each charter school in subparagraph 1. with the student
1046performance data in traditional public schools in the district
1047in which the charter school is located and other charter schools
1048in the state. For alternative charter schools, the department
1049shall compare the student performance data described in this
1050paragraph with all alternative schools in the state. The
1051comparative data shall be provided by the following grade
1052groupings:
1053     (I)  Grades 3 through 5;
1054     (II)  Grades 6 through 8; and
1055     (III)  Grades 9 through 11.
1056     b.  Each charter school shall provide the information
1057specified in this paragraph on its Internet website and also
1058provide notice to the public at large in a manner provided by
1059the rules of the State Board of Education. The State Board of
1060Education shall adopt rules to administer the notice
1061requirements of this subparagraph pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and
1062120.54. The website shall include, through links or actual
1063content, other information related to school performance.
1064     (23)(22)  CHARTER SCHOOL REVIEW PANEL AND LEGISLATIVE
1065REVIEW.-
1066     (a)  The Department of Education shall staff and regularly
1067convene a Charter School Review Panel in order to review issues,
1068practices, and policies regarding charter schools. The
1069composition of the review panel shall include individuals with
1070experience in finance, administration, law, education, and
1071school governance, and individuals familiar with charter school
1072construction and operation. The panel shall include two
1073appointees each from the Commissioner of Education, the
1074President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of
1075Representatives. The Governor shall appoint three members of the
1076panel and shall designate the chair. Each member of the panel
1077shall serve a 1-year term, unless renewed by the office making
1078the appointment. The panel shall make recommendations to the
1079Legislature, to the Department of Education, to charter schools,
1080and to school districts for improving charter school operations
1081and oversight and for ensuring best business practices at and
1082fair business relationships with charter schools.
1083     (b)  The Legislature shall review the operation of charter
1084schools during the 2010 Regular Session of the Legislature.
1085     (24)(23)  ANALYSIS OF CHARTER SCHOOL PERFORMANCE.-Upon
1086receipt of the annual report required by paragraph (10)(9)(k),
1087the Department of Education shall provide to the State Board of
1088Education, the Commissioner of Education, the Governor, the
1089President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of
1090Representatives an analysis and comparison of the overall
1091performance of charter school students, to include all students
1092whose scores are counted as part of the statewide assessment
1093program, versus comparable public school students in the
1094district as determined by the statewide assessment program
1095currently administered in the school district, and other
1096assessments administered pursuant to s. 1008.22(3).
1097     (25)(24)  RESTRICTION ON EMPLOYMENT OF RELATIVES.-
1098     (a)  This subsection applies to charter school personnel in
1099a charter school operated by a private entity. As used in this
1100subsection, the term:
1101     1.  "Charter school personnel" means a charter school
1102owner, president, chairperson of the governing board of
1103directors, superintendent, governing board member, principal,
1104assistant principal, or any other person employed by the charter
1105school who has equivalent decisionmaking authority and in whom
1106is vested the authority, or to whom the authority has been
1107delegated, to appoint, employ, promote, or advance individuals
1108or to recommend individuals for appointment, employment,
1109promotion, or advancement in connection with employment in a
1110charter school, including the authority as a member of a
1111governing body of a charter school to vote on the appointment,
1112employment, promotion, or advancement of individuals.
1113     2.  "Relative" means father, mother, son, daughter,
1114brother, sister, uncle, aunt, first cousin, nephew, niece,
1115husband, wife, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law,
1116daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepfather,
1117stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother, stepsister, half
1118brother, or half sister.
1119     (b)  Charter school personnel may not knowingly recommend
1120or engage in the appoint, employ, promote, or advance, or
1121advocate for appointment, employment, promotion, or
1122of an individual or employee to a work location if that action
1123will create a situation in which one employee will be
1124responsible for the direct supervision of, or exercise
1125advancement, in or to a position in the charter school in which
1126the personnel are serving or over which the personnel exercises
1127jurisdiction or control over, another employee any individual
1128who is a relative. The Commissioner of Education or the sponsor
1129may make exceptions to this paragraph if such personnel actions
1130would cause undue hardship on students or seriously disrupt a
1131charter school's operations. An individual may not be appointed,
1132employed, promoted, or advanced in or to a position in a charter
1133school if such appointment, employment, promotion, or
1134advancement has been advocated by charter school personnel who
1135serve in or exercise jurisdiction or control over the charter
1136school and who is a relative of the individual or if such
1137appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement is made by
1138the governing board of which a relative of the individual is a
1139member.
1140     (c)  The approval of budgets does not constitute
1141"jurisdiction or control" for the purposes of this subsection.
1142
1143Charter school personnel in schools operated by a municipality
1144or other public entity are subject to s. 112.3135.
1145     (26)(25)  STANDARDS OF CONDUCT AND FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE.-
1146     (a)  A member of a governing board of a charter school,
1147including a charter school operated by a private entity, is
1148subject to ss. 112.313(2), (3), (7), and (12) and 112.3143(3).
1149     (b)  A member of a governing board of a charter school
1150operated by a municipality or other public entity is subject to
1151s. 112.3145 112.3144, which relates to the disclosure of
1152financial interests.
1153     (27)(26)  RULEMAKING.-The Department of Education, after
1154consultation with school districts and charter school directors,
1155shall recommend that the State Board of Education adopt rules to
1156implement specific subsections of this section. Such rules shall
1157require minimum paperwork and shall not limit charter school
1158flexibility authorized by statute. The State Board of Education
1159shall adopt rules, pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54, to
1160implement a charter model application form, evaluation
1161instrument, and charter and charter renewal formats in
1162accordance with this section.
1163     Section 2.  Paragraph (e) of subsection (1) and subsections
1164(2) and (3) of section 1013.62, Florida Statutes, are amended to
1165read:
1166     1013.62  Charter schools capital outlay funding.-
1167     (1)  In each year in which funds are appropriated for
1168charter school capital outlay purposes, the Commissioner of
1169Education shall allocate the funds among eligible charter
1170schools.
1171     (e)  Unless otherwise provided in the General
1172Appropriations Act, the funding allocation for each eligible
1173charter school is determined by multiplying the school's
1174projected student enrollment by one-fifteenth of the cost-per-
1175student station specified in s. 1013.64(6)(b) for an elementary,
1176middle, or high school, as appropriate. If the funds
1177appropriated are not sufficient, the commissioner shall prorate
1178the available funds among eligible charter schools. However, a
1179charter school or charter lab school may not receive state
1180charter school capital outlay funds greater than the one-
1181fifteenth cost per student station formula if the charter
1182school's combination of state charter school capital outlay
1183funds, capital outlay funds calculated through the reduction in
1184the administrative fee provided in s. 1002.33(21)(20), and
1185capital outlay funds allowed in s. 1002.32(9)(e) and (h) exceeds
1186the one-fifteenth cost per student station formula.
1187     (2)  A charter school's governing body may use charter
1188school capital outlay funds for the following purposes:
1189     (a)  Purchase of real property.
1190     (b)  Construction of school facilities.
1191     (c)  Purchase, lease-purchase, or lease of permanent or
1192relocatable school facilities.
1193     (d)  Purchase of vehicles to transport students to and from
1194the charter school.
1195     (e)  Renovation, repair, and maintenance of school
1196facilities that the charter school owns or is purchasing through
1197a lease-purchase or long-term lease of 5 years or longer.
1198     (f)  Effective July 1, 2008, purchase, lease-purchase, or
1199lease of new and replacement equipment, and enterprise resource
1200software applications that are classified as capital assets in
1201accordance with definitions of the Governmental Accounting
1202Standards Board, have a useful life of at least 5 years, and are
1203used to support schoolwide administration or state-mandated
1204reporting requirements.
1205     (g)  Payment of the cost of premiums for property and
1206casualty insurance necessary to insure the school facilities.
1207     (h)  Purchase, lease-purchase, or lease of driver's
1208education vehicles; motor vehicles used for the maintenance or
1209operation of plants and equipment; security vehicles; or
1210vehicles used in storing or distributing materials and
1211equipment.
1212     (i)  Purchase of computer software, hardware, and network
1213systems.
1214     (j)  Purchase of furniture and equipment.
1215
1216Conversion charter schools may use capital outlay funds received
1217through the reduction in the administrative fee provided in s.
12181002.33(21)(20) for renovation, repair, and maintenance of
1219school facilities that are owned by the sponsor.
1220     (3)  When a charter school is nonrenewed or terminated, any
1221unencumbered funds and all equipment and property purchased with
1222district public funds shall revert to the ownership of the
1223district school board, as provided for in s. 1002.33(9)(8)(e)
1224and (f). In the case of a charter lab school, any unencumbered
1225funds and all equipment and property purchased with university
1226public funds shall revert to the ownership of the state
1227university that issued the charter. The reversion of such
1228equipment, property, and furnishings shall focus on recoverable
1229assets, but not on intangible or irrecoverable costs such as
1230rental or leasing fees, normal maintenance, and limited
1231renovations. The reversion of all property secured with public
1232funds is subject to the complete satisfaction of all lawful
1233liens or encumbrances. If there are additional local issues such
1234as the shared use of facilities or partial ownership of
1235facilities or property, these issues shall be agreed to in the
1236charter contract prior to the expenditure of funds.
1237     Section 3.  Paragraph (e) of subsection (13) of section
1238163.3180, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
1239     163.3180  Concurrency.-
1240     (13)  School concurrency shall be established on a
1241districtwide basis and shall include all public schools in the
1242district and all portions of the district, whether located in a
1243municipality or an unincorporated area unless exempt from the
1244public school facilities element pursuant to s. 163.3177(12).
1245The application of school concurrency to development shall be
1246based upon the adopted comprehensive plan, as amended. All local
1247governments within a county, except as provided in paragraph
1248(f), shall adopt and transmit to the state land planning agency
1249the necessary plan amendments, along with the interlocal
1250agreement, for a compliance review pursuant to s. 163.3184(7)
1251and (8). The minimum requirements for school concurrency are the
1252following:
1253     (e)  Availability standard.-Consistent with the public
1254welfare, a local government may not deny an application for site
1255plan, final subdivision approval, or the functional equivalent
1256for a development or phase of a development authorizing
1257residential development for failure to achieve and maintain the
1258level-of-service standard for public school capacity in a local
1259school concurrency management system where adequate school
1260facilities will be in place or under actual construction within
12613 years after the issuance of final subdivision or site plan
1262approval, or the functional equivalent. School concurrency is
1263satisfied if the developer executes a legally binding commitment
1264to provide mitigation proportionate to the demand for public
1265school facilities to be created by actual development of the
1266property, including, but not limited to, the options described
1267in subparagraph 1. Options for proportionate-share mitigation of
1268impacts on public school facilities must be established in the
1269public school facilities element and the interlocal agreement
1270pursuant to s. 163.31777.
1271     1.  Appropriate mitigation options include the contribution
1272of land; the construction, expansion, or payment for land
1273acquisition or construction of a public school facility; the
1274construction of a charter school that complies with the
1275requirements of s. 1002.33(19)(18); or the creation of
1276mitigation banking based on the construction of a public school
1277facility in exchange for the right to sell capacity credits.
1278Such options must include execution by the applicant and the
1279local government of a development agreement that constitutes a
1280legally binding commitment to pay proportionate-share mitigation
1281for the additional residential units approved by the local
1282government in a development order and actually developed on the
1283property, taking into account residential density allowed on the
1284property prior to the plan amendment that increased the overall
1285residential density. The district school board must be a party
1286to such an agreement. As a condition of its entry into such a
1287development agreement, the local government may require the
1288landowner to agree to continuing renewal of the agreement upon
1289its expiration.
1290     2.  If the education facilities plan and the public
1291educational facilities element authorize a contribution of land;
1292the construction, expansion, or payment for land acquisition;
1293the construction or expansion of a public school facility, or a
1294portion thereof; or the construction of a charter school that
1295complies with the requirements of s. 1002.33(19)(18), as
1296proportionate-share mitigation, the local government shall
1297credit such a contribution, construction, expansion, or payment
1298toward any other impact fee or exaction imposed by local
1299ordinance for the same need, on a dollar-for-dollar basis at
1300fair market value.
1301     3.  Any proportionate-share mitigation must be directed by
1302the school board toward a school capacity improvement identified
1303in a financially feasible 5-year district work plan that
1304satisfies the demands created by the development in accordance
1305with a binding developer's agreement.
1306     4.  If a development is precluded from commencing because
1307there is inadequate classroom capacity to mitigate the impacts
1308of the development, the development may nevertheless commence if
1309there are accelerated facilities in an approved capital
1310improvement element scheduled for construction in year four or
1311later of such plan which, when built, will mitigate the proposed
1312development, or if such accelerated facilities will be in the
1313next annual update of the capital facilities element, the
1314developer enters into a binding, financially guaranteed
1315agreement with the school district to construct an accelerated
1316facility within the first 3 years of an approved capital
1317improvement plan, and the cost of the school facility is equal
1318to or greater than the development's proportionate share. When
1319the completed school facility is conveyed to the school
1320district, the developer shall receive impact fee credits usable
1321within the zone where the facility is constructed or any
1322attendance zone contiguous with or adjacent to the zone where
1323the facility is constructed.
1324     5.  This paragraph does not limit the authority of a local
1325government to deny a development permit or its functional
1326equivalent pursuant to its home rule regulatory powers, except
1327as provided in this part.
1328     Section 4.  Paragraph (c) of subsection (9) of section
13291002.32, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
1330     1002.32  Developmental research (laboratory) schools.-
1331     (9)  FUNDING.-Funding for a lab school, including a charter
1332lab school, shall be provided as follows:
1333     (c)  All operating funds provided under this section shall
1334be deposited in a Lab School Trust Fund and shall be expended
1335for the purposes of this section. The university assigned a lab
1336school shall be the fiscal agent for these funds, and all rules
1337of the university governing the budgeting and expenditure of
1338state funds shall apply to these funds unless otherwise provided
1339by law or rule of the State Board of Education. The university
1340board of trustees shall be the public employer of lab school
1341personnel for collective bargaining purposes for lab schools in
1342operation prior to the 2002-2003 fiscal year. Employees of
1343charter lab schools authorized prior to June 1, 2003, but not in
1344operation prior to the 2002-2003 fiscal year shall be employees
1345of the entity holding the charter and must comply with the
1346provisions of s. 1002.33(13)(12).
1347     Section 5.  Paragraph (c) of subsection (10) and subsection
1348(13) of section 1002.34, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
1349     1002.34  Charter technical career centers.-
1350     (10)  EXEMPTION FROM STATUTES.-
1351     (c)  A center must comply with the antidiscrimination
1352provisions in s. 1000.05 and the provisions in s.
13531002.33(25)(24) which relate to the employment of relatives.
1354     (13)  BOARD OF DIRECTORS AUTHORITY.-The board of directors
1355of a center may decide matters relating to the operation of the
1356school, including budgeting, curriculum, and operating
1357procedures, subject to the center's charter. The board of
1358directors is responsible for performing the duties provided in
1359s. 1002.345, including monitoring the corrective action plan.
1360The board of directors must comply with s. 1002.33(26)(25).
1361     Section 6.  Paragraphs (a) and (d) of subsection (1),
1362paragraph (b) of subsection (2), and subsection (6) of section
13631002.345, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
1364     1002.345  Determination of deteriorating financial
1365conditions and financial emergencies for charter schools and
1366charter technical career centers.-This section applies to
1367charter schools operating pursuant to s. 1002.33 and to charter
1368technical career centers operating pursuant to s. 1002.34.
1369     (1)  EXPEDITED REVIEW; REQUIREMENTS.-
1370     (a)  A charter school or a charter technical career center
1371is subject to an expedited review by the sponsor if one of the
1372following occurs:
1373     1.  Failure to provide for an audit required by s. 218.39.
1374     2.  Failure to comply with reporting requirements pursuant
1375to s. 1002.33(10)(9) or s. 1002.34(11)(f) or (14).
1376     3.  A deteriorating financial condition identified through
1377an annual audit pursuant to s. 218.39(5) or a monthly financial
1378statement pursuant to s. 1002.33(10)(9)(g) or s. 1002.34(11)(f).
1379"Deteriorating financial condition" means a circumstance that
1380significantly impairs the ability of a charter school or a
1381charter technical career center to generate enough revenues to
1382meet its expenditures without causing the occurrence of a
1383condition described in s. 218.503(1).
1384     4.  Notification pursuant to s. 218.503(2) that one or more
1385of the conditions specified in s. 218.503(1) have occurred or
1386will occur if action is not taken to assist the charter school
1387or charter technical career center.
1388     (d)  The governing board shall include the corrective
1389action plan and the status of its implementation in the annual
1390progress report to the sponsor which is required pursuant to s.
13911002.33(10)(9)(k) or s. 1002.34(14).
1392     (2)  FINANCIAL EMERGENCY; REQUIREMENTS.-
1393     (b)  The governing board shall include the financial
1394recovery plan and the status of its implementation in the annual
1395progress report to the sponsor which is required under s.
13961002.33(10)(9)(k) or s. 1002.34(14).
1397     (6)  FAILURE TO CORRECT DEFICIENCIES.-The sponsor may
1398decide not to renew or may terminate a charter if the charter
1399school or charter technical career center fails to correct the
1400deficiencies noted in the corrective action plan within 1 year
1401after being notified of the deficiencies or exhibits one or more
1402financial emergency conditions specified in s. 218.503 for 2
1403consecutive years. This subsection does not affect a sponsor's
1404authority to terminate or not renew a charter pursuant to s.
14051002.33(9)(8).
1406     Section 7.  Section 1011.68, Florida Statutes, is amended
1407to read:
1408     1011.68  Funds for student transportation.-The annual
1409allocation to each district for transportation to public school
1410programs, including charter schools as provided in s.
14111002.33(18)(17)(b), of students in membership in kindergarten
1412through grade 12 and in migrant and exceptional student programs
1413below kindergarten shall be determined as follows:
1414     (1)  Subject to the rules of the State Board of Education,
1415each district shall determine the membership of students who are
1416transported:
1417     (a)  By reason of living 2 miles or more from school.
1418     (b)  By reason of being students with disabilities or
1419enrolled in a teenage parent program, regardless of distance to
1420school.
1421     (c)  By reason of being in a state prekindergarten program,
1422regardless of distance from school.
1423     (d)  By reason of being career, dual enrollment, or
1424students with disabilities transported from one school center to
1425another to participate in an instructional program or service;
1426or students with disabilities, transported from one designation
1427to another in the state, provided one designation is a school
1428center and provided the student's individual educational plan
1429(IEP) identifies the need for the instructional program or
1430service and transportation to be provided by the school
1431district. A "school center" is defined as a public school
1432center, community college, state university, or other facility
1433rented, leased, or owned and operated by the school district or
1434another public agency. A "dual enrollment student" is defined as
1435a public school student in membership in both a public secondary
1436school program and a community college or a state university
1437program under a written agreement to partially fulfill ss.
14381003.435 and 1007.23 and earning full-time equivalent membership
1439under s. 1011.62(1)(i).
1440     (e)  With respect to elementary school students whose grade
1441level does not exceed grade 6, by reason of being subjected to
1442hazardous walking conditions en route to or from school as
1443provided in s. 1006.23. Such rules shall, when appropriate,
1444provide for the determination of membership under this paragraph
1445for less than 1 year to accommodate the needs of students who
1446require transportation only until such hazardous conditions are
1447corrected.
1448     (f)  By reason of being a pregnant student or student
1449parent, and the child of a student parent as provided in s.
14501003.54, regardless of distance from school.
1451     (2)  The allocation for each district shall be calculated
1452annually in accordance with the following formula:
1453T = B + EX. The elements of this formula are defined as follows:
1454T is the total dollar allocation for transportation. B is the
1455base transportation dollar allocation prorated by an adjusted
1456student membership count. The adjusted membership count shall be
1457derived from a multiplicative index function in which the base
1458student membership is adjusted by multiplying it by index
1459numbers that individually account for the impact of the price
1460level index, average bus occupancy, and the extent of rural
1461population in the district. EX is the base transportation dollar
1462allocation for disabled students prorated by an adjusted
1463disabled student membership count. The base transportation
1464dollar allocation for disabled students is the total state base
1465disabled student membership count weighted for increased costs
1466associated with transporting disabled students and multiplying
1467it by the prior year's average per student cost for
1468transportation. The adjusted disabled student membership count
1469shall be derived from a multiplicative index function in which
1470the weighted base disabled student membership is adjusted by
1471multiplying it by index numbers that individually account for
1472the impact of the price level index, average bus occupancy, and
1473the extent of rural population in the district. Each adjustment
1474factor shall be designed to affect the base allocation by no
1475more or less than 10 percent.
1476     (3)  The total allocation to each district for
1477transportation of students shall be the sum of the amounts
1478determined in subsection (2). If the funds appropriated for the
1479purpose of implementing this section are not sufficient to pay
1480the base transportation allocation and the base transportation
1481allocation for disabled students, the Department of Education
1482shall prorate the available funds on a percentage basis. If the
1483funds appropriated for the purpose of implementing this section
1484exceed the sum of the base transportation allocation and the
1485base transportation allocation for disabled students, the base
1486transportation allocation for disabled students shall be limited
1487to the amount calculated in subsection (2), and the remaining
1488balance shall be added to the base transportation allocation.
1489     (4)  No district shall use funds to purchase transportation
1490equipment and supplies at prices which exceed those determined
1491by the department to be the lowest which can be obtained, as
1492prescribed in s. 1006.27(1).
1493     (5)  Funds allocated or apportioned for the payment of
1494student transportation services may be used to pay for
1495transportation of students to and from school on local general
1496purpose transportation systems. Student transportation funds may
1497also be used to pay for transportation of students to and from
1498school in private passenger cars and boats when the
1499transportation is for isolated students, or students with
1500disabilities as defined by rule. Subject to the rules of the
1501State Board of Education, each school district shall determine
1502and report the number of assigned students using general purpose
1503transportation private passenger cars and boats. The allocation
1504per student must be equal to the allocation per student riding a
1505school bus.
1506     (6)  Notwithstanding other provisions of this section, in
1507no case shall any student or students be counted for
1508transportation funding more than once per day. This provision
1509includes counting students for funding pursuant to trips in
1510school buses, passenger cars, or boats or general purpose
1511transportation.
1512     Section 8.  Paragraph (b) of subsection (2) of section
15131012.32, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
1514     1012.32  Qualifications of personnel.-
1515     (2)
1516     (b)  Instructional and noninstructional personnel who are
1517hired or contracted to fill positions in any charter school and
1518members of the governing board of any charter school, in
1519compliance with s. 1002.33(13)(12)(g), must, upon employment,
1520engagement of services, or appointment, undergo background
1521screening as required under s. 1012.465 or s. 1012.56, whichever
1522is applicable, by filing with the district school board for the
1523school district in which the charter school is located a
1524complete set of fingerprints taken by an authorized law
1525enforcement agency or an employee of the school or school
1526district who is trained to take fingerprints.
1527
1528Fingerprints shall be submitted to the Department of Law
1529Enforcement for statewide criminal and juvenile records checks
1530and to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for federal criminal
1531records checks. A person subject to this subsection who is found
1532ineligible for employment under s. 1012.315, or otherwise found
1533through background screening to have been convicted of any crime
1534involving moral turpitude as defined by rule of the State Board
1535of Education, shall not be employed, engaged to provide
1536services, or serve in any position that requires direct contact
1537with students. Probationary persons subject to this subsection
1538terminated because of their criminal record have the right to
1539appeal such decisions. The cost of the background screening may
1540be borne by the district school board, the charter school, the
1541employee, the contractor, or a person subject to this
1542subsection.
1543     Section 9.  (1)  The Office of Program Policy Analysis and
1544Government Accountability (OPPAGA) shall conduct a study
1545comparing the funding of charter schools with traditional public
1546schools and shall:
1547     (a)  Identify the school districts that distribute funds
1548generated by the capital improvement millage authorized pursuant
1549to s. 1011.71(2), Florida Statutes, to charter schools and the
1550use of such funds by the charter schools.
1551     (b)  Determine the amount of funds that would be available
1552to charter schools if school districts equitably distribute to
1553district schools, including charter schools, funds generated by
1554the capital improvement millage authorized pursuant to s.
15551011.71(2), Florida Statutes.
1556     (c)  Examine the costs associated with supervising charter
1557schools and determine if the 5-percent administrative fee for
1558administrative and educational services for charter schools
1559covers the costs associated with the provision of the services.
1560     (2)  OPPAGA shall make recommendations, if warranted, for
1561improving the accountability and equity of the funding system
1562for charter schools based on the findings of the study. The
1563results of the study shall be provided to the Governor, the
1564President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of
1565Representatives no later than January 1, 2011.
1566     Section 10.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2010.


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