June 05, 2020
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CS/CS/CS/HB 1569

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; revising provisions
7related to charter terms and charter renewals; providing
8definitions; providing requirements for designation as a
9high-performing charter school; authorizing a high-
10performing charter school to increase enrollment and
11receive capital outlay funds; authorizing a newly approved
12charter school operated by a high-performing education
13service provider to receive a 15-year initial charter and
14become a high-performing charter school; providing
15requirements for retention of designation as a high-
16performing charter school; revising requirements for
17providing financial statements to a sponsor; authorizing a
18governing body to oversee multiple charter schools;
19deleting obsolete provisions; authorizing preference for
20enrollment in a charter school-in-the workplace and a
21charter school-in-a-municipality for certain students;
22prohibiting school districts from requiring resignations
23from specified school district personnel who desire
24employment in a charter school; authorizing a nonprofit
25organization to operate multiple charter schools as a
26network of affiliated schools; revising requirements for
27the establishment of a charter school-in-the-workplace;
28providing that a charter school-in-the-workplace is
29eligible for capital outlay funding if it meets specified
30requirements; providing that charter schools shall receive
31certain federal funding for which they are eligible;
32revising provisions relating to charter school compliance
33with building codes and requirements; providing for an
34exemption from exactions; deleting provisions authorizing
35a charter school to appeal disputes over certain
36contracted services or contractual matters to the Charter
37School Appeal Commission; removing a reporting requirement
38relating to student assessment data; revising restrictions
39on the employment of relatives by charter school
40personnel; providing an exception; correcting a cross-
41reference relating to the disclosure of financial
42interests; conforming cross-references; amending s.
431013.62, F.S.; authorizing additional uses for charter
44school capital outlay funds; conforming cross-references;
45amending ss. 163.3180, 1002.32, 1002.34, 1002.345,
461011.68, and 1012.32, F.S.; conforming cross-references
47and provisions; requiring the Office of Program Policy
48Analysis and Government Accountability to conduct a study
49comparing the funding of charter schools with traditional
50public schools and examining certain funding and costs;
51requiring recommendations to the Governor and Legislature,
52if warranted, for improving the accountability and equity
53of the funding system for charter schools; providing an
54effective date.
56Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
58     Section 1.  Paragraph (g) of subsection (6) and subsection
59(7) of section 1002.33, Florida Statutes, are amended, a new
60subsection (8) is added to that section, and present subsections
61(8) through (26) are renumbered as subsections (9) through (27),
62respectively, and amended, to read:
63     1002.33  Charter schools.-
64     (6)  APPLICATION PROCESS AND REVIEW.-Charter school
65applications are subject to the following requirements:
66     (g)1.  The Department of Education shall offer or arrange
67for training and technical assistance to charter school
68applicants in developing business plans and estimating costs and
69income. This assistance shall address estimating startup costs,
70projecting enrollment, and identifying the types and amounts of
71state and federal financial assistance the charter school may be
72eligible to receive. The department may provide other technical
73assistance to an applicant upon written request.
74     2.  A charter school applicant must participate in the
75training provided by the Department of Education before filing
76an application. However, a sponsor may require the charter
77school applicant to attend training provided by the sponsor in
78lieu of the department's training if the sponsor's training
79standards meet or exceed the standards developed by the
80Department of Education. The training shall include instruction
81in accurate financial planning and good business practices. If
82the applicant is a management company or other nonprofit
83organization, the charter school principal and the chief
84financial officer or his or her equivalent must also participate
85in the training.
86     (7)  CHARTER.-The major issues involving the operation of a
87charter school shall be considered in advance and written into
88the charter. The charter shall be signed by the governing body
89of the charter school and the sponsor, following a public
90hearing to ensure community input.
91     (a)  The charter shall address and criteria for approval of
92the charter shall be based on:
93     1.  The school's mission, the students to be served, and
94the ages and grades to be included.
95     2.  The focus of the curriculum, the instructional methods
96to be used, any distinctive instructional techniques to be
97employed, and identification and acquisition of appropriate
98technologies needed to improve educational and administrative
99performance which include a means for promoting safe, ethical,
100and appropriate uses of technology which comply with legal and
101professional standards. The charter shall ensure that reading is
102a primary focus of the curriculum and that resources are
103provided to identify and provide specialized instruction for
104students who are reading below grade level. The curriculum and
105instructional strategies for reading must be consistent with the
106Sunshine State Standards and grounded in scientifically based
107reading research.
108     3.  The current incoming baseline standard of student
109academic achievement, the outcomes to be achieved, and the
110method of measurement that will be used. The criteria listed in
111this subparagraph shall include a detailed description of:
112     a.  How the baseline student academic achievement levels
113and prior rates of academic progress will be established.
114     b.  How these baseline rates will be compared to rates of
115academic progress achieved by these same students while
116attending the charter school.
117     c.  To the extent possible, how these rates of progress
118will be evaluated and compared with rates of progress of other
119closely comparable student populations.
121The district school board is required to provide academic
122student performance data to charter schools for each of their
123students coming from the district school system, as well as
124rates of academic progress of comparable student populations in
125the district school system.
126     4.  The methods used to identify the educational strengths
127and needs of students and how well educational goals and
128performance standards are met by students attending the charter
129school. The methods shall provide a means for the charter school
130to ensure accountability to its constituents by analyzing
131student performance data and by evaluating the effectiveness and
132efficiency of its major educational programs. Students in
133charter schools shall, at a minimum, participate in the
134statewide assessment program created under s. 1008.22.
135     5.  In secondary charter schools, a method for determining
136that a student has satisfied the requirements for graduation in
137s. 1003.428, s. 1003.429, or s. 1003.43.
138     6.  A method for resolving conflicts between the governing
139body of the charter school and the sponsor.
140     7.  The admissions procedures and dismissal procedures,
141including the school's code of student conduct.
142     8.  The ways by which the school will achieve a
143racial/ethnic balance reflective of the community it serves or
144within the racial/ethnic range of other public schools in the
145same school district.
146     9.  The financial and administrative management of the
147school, including a reasonable demonstration of the professional
148experience or competence of those individuals or organizations
149applying to operate the charter school or those hired or
150retained to perform such professional services and the
151description of clearly delineated responsibilities and the
152policies and practices needed to effectively manage the charter
153school. A description of internal audit procedures and
154establishment of controls to ensure that financial resources are
155properly managed must be included. Both public sector and
156private sector professional experience shall be equally valid in
157such a consideration.
158     10.  The asset and liability projections required in the
159application which are incorporated into the charter and shall be
160compared with information provided in the annual report of the
161charter school.
162     11.  A description of procedures that identify various
163risks and provide for a comprehensive approach to reduce the
164impact of losses; plans to ensure the safety and security of
165students and staff; plans to identify, minimize, and protect
166others from violent or disruptive student behavior; and the
167manner in which the school will be insured, including whether or
168not the school will be required to have liability insurance,
169and, if so, the terms and conditions thereof and the amounts of
171     12.  The term of the charter which shall provide for
172cancellation of the charter if insufficient progress has been
173made in attaining the student achievement objectives of the
174charter and if it is not likely that such objectives can be
175achieved before expiration of the charter. The initial term of a
176charter shall be for 4 or 5 years. In order to facilitate access
177to long-term financial resources for charter school
178construction, Charter schools that are operated by a private,
179not-for-profit, s. 501(c)(3) status corporation or a
180municipality or other public entity as provided by law are
181eligible for up to a 15-year charter, subject to approval by the
182district school board. A charter lab school is eligible for a
183charter for a term of up to 15 years. In addition, to facilitate
184access to long-term financial resources for charter school
185construction, charter schools that are operated by a private,
186not-for-profit, s. 501(c)(3) status corporation are eligible for
187up to a 15-year charter, subject to approval by the district
188school board. Such long-term charters remain subject to annual
189review and may be terminated during the term of the charter, but
190only according to the provisions set forth in subsection (9)
192     13.  The facilities to be used and their location.
193     14.  The qualifications to be required of the teachers and
194the potential strategies used to recruit, hire, train, and
195retain qualified staff to achieve best value.
196     15.  The governance structure of the school, including the
197status of the charter school as a public or private employer as
198required in paragraph (13)(12)(i).
199     16.  A timetable for implementing the charter which
200addresses the implementation of each element thereof and the
201date by which the charter shall be awarded in order to meet this
203     17.  In the case of an existing public school that is being
204converted to charter status, alternative arrangements for
205current students who choose not to attend the charter school and
206for current teachers who choose not to teach in the charter
207school after conversion in accordance with the existing
208collective bargaining agreement or district school board rule in
209the absence of a collective bargaining agreement. However,
210alternative arrangements shall not be required for current
211teachers who choose not to teach in a charter lab school, except
212as authorized by the employment policies of the state university
213which grants the charter to the lab school.
214     18.  Full disclosure of the identity of all relatives
215employed by the charter school who are related to the charter
216school owner, president, chairperson of the governing board of
217directors, superintendent, governing board member, principal,
218assistant principal, or any other person employed by the charter
219school who has equivalent decisionmaking authority. For the
220purpose of this subparagraph, the term "relative" means father,
221mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, first
222cousin, nephew, niece, husband, wife, father-in-law, mother-in-
223law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law,
224stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother,
225stepsister, half brother, or half sister.
226     (b)1.  A charter may be renewed provided that a program
227review demonstrates that the criteria in paragraph (a) have been
228successfully accomplished and that none of the grounds for
229nonrenewal established by paragraph (9)(8)(a) has been
230documented. In order to facilitate long-term financing for
231charter school construction, Charter schools operating for a
232minimum of 3 years and demonstrating exemplary academic
233programming and fiscal management are eligible for a 15-year
234charter renewal. Such long-term charter is subject to annual
235review and may be terminated during the term of the charter
236pursuant to subsection (9).
237     2.  The 15-year charter renewal that may be granted
238pursuant to subparagraph 1. shall be granted to a charter school
239that has received a school grade of "A" or "B" pursuant to s.
2401008.34 in 3 of the past 4 years and is not in a state of
241financial emergency or deficit position pursuant to s. 1002.345
242as defined by this section. Such long-term charter is subject to
243annual review and may be terminated during the term of the
244charter pursuant to subsection (9) (8).
245     (c)  A charter may be modified during its initial term or
246any renewal term upon the recommendation of the sponsor or the
247charter school governing board and the approval of both parties
248to the agreement.
250     (a)  For purposes of this subsection, the term:
251     1.  "Entity" means a municipality or other public entity as
252authorized by law to operate a charter school; a private, not-
253for-profit, s. 501(c)(3) status corporation; or a private, for-
254profit corporation.
255     2.  "High-performing education service provider" means an
256entity that:
257     a.  Operates at least two high-performing charter schools
258in this state;
259     b.  Has received a school grade of "A" or "B" during the
260previous 3 years for at least 75 percent of the charter schools
261operated by the entity in this state; and
262     c.  Has not received a school grade of "F" during any of
263the previous 3 years for any charter school operated by the
264entity in this state.
265     (b)  A charter school shall be designated as a high-
266performing charter school if during each of the previous 3 years
267the charter school:
268     1.  Received a school grade of "A" or "B";
269     2.  Received an unqualified opinion on each financial audit
270required under s. 218.39; and
271     3.  Did not receive a financial audit that revealed one or
272more of the conditions set forth in s. 218.503(1).
273     (c)  A high-performing charter school may:
274     1.  Increase the school's student enrollment once per year
275by up to 25 percent more than the capacity authorized pursuant
276to paragraph (11)(h).
277     2.  Receive charter school capital outlay funds under s.
2781013.62. A high-performing charter school is not required to
279comply with s. 1013.62(1)(a)1.-3. but must comply with all other
280requirements of s. 1013.62 in order to receive charter school
281capital outlay funds as provided in this subparagraph.
282     (d)  A high-performing education service provider may
283submit an application pursuant to subsection (6) to establish
284and operate a new charter school that will replicate one or more
285of the provider's existing high-performing charter schools. Upon
286approval of the application by the sponsor, the new charter
287school shall be granted an initial charter for a term of 15
288years and be designated as a high-performing charter school. The
28915-year charter is subject to annual review and may be
290terminated during its term pursuant to subsection (9).
291     (e)1.  A charter school that is designated as a high-
292performing charter school may retain such designation pursuant
294     a.  Paragraph (b) if the school's governing board, by July
2951 of each year, demonstrates in writing to the school's sponsor
296that the charter school continues to meet the requirements of
297paragraph (b).
298     b.  Paragraph (d) during the school's initial 3 years of
299operation if the entity operating the school continues to meet
300the definition of a high-performing education service provider
301under subparagraph (a)2. After the high-performing charter
302school has operated for 3 years, the school must comply with
303sub-subparagraph a. in order to retain its designation as a
304high-performing charter school.
305     2.  The high-performing charter school designation shall be
306removed if the charter school does not meet the requirements of
307subparagraph 1.
309     (a)  The sponsor may choose not to renew or may terminate
310the charter for any of the following grounds:
311     1.  Failure to participate in the state's education
312accountability system created in s. 1008.31, as required in this
313section, or failure to meet the requirements for student
314performance stated in the charter.
315     2.  Failure to meet generally accepted standards of fiscal
317     3.  Violation of law.
318     4.  Other good cause shown.
319     (b)  At least 90 days prior to renewing or terminating a
320charter, the sponsor shall notify the governing body of the
321school of the proposed action in writing. The notice shall state
322in reasonable detail the grounds for the proposed action and
323stipulate that the school's governing body may, within 14
324calendar days after receiving the notice, request an informal
325hearing before the sponsor. The sponsor shall conduct the
326informal hearing within 30 calendar days after receiving a
327written request.
328     (c)  If a charter is not renewed or is terminated pursuant
329to paragraph (b), the sponsor shall, within 10 calendar days,
330articulate in writing the specific reasons for its nonrenewal or
331termination of the charter and must provide the letter of
332nonrenewal or termination and documentation supporting the
333reasons to the charter school governing body, the charter school
334principal, and the Department of Education. The charter school's
335governing body may, within 30 calendar days after receiving the
336sponsor's final written decision to refuse to renew or to
337terminate the charter, appeal the decision pursuant to the
338procedure established in subsection (6).
339     (d)  A charter may be terminated immediately if the sponsor
340determines that good cause has been shown or if the health,
341safety, or welfare of the students is threatened. The sponsor's
342determination is not subject to an informal hearing under
343paragraph (b) or pursuant to chapter 120. The sponsor shall
344notify in writing the charter school's governing body, the
345charter school principal, and the department if a charter is
346immediately terminated. The sponsor shall clearly identify the
347specific issues that resulted in the immediate termination and
348provide evidence of prior notification of issues resulting in
349the immediate termination when appropriate. The school district
350in which the charter school is located shall assume operation of
351the school under these circumstances. The charter school's
352governing board may, within 30 days after receiving the
353sponsor's decision to terminate the charter, appeal the decision
354pursuant to the procedure established in subsection (6).
355     (e)  When a charter is not renewed or is terminated, the
356school shall be dissolved under the provisions of law under
357which the school was organized, and any unencumbered public
358funds, except for capital outlay funds and federal charter
359school program grant funds, from the charter school shall revert
360to the sponsor. Capital outlay funds provided pursuant to s.
3611013.62 and federal charter school program grant funds that are
362unencumbered shall revert to the department to be redistributed
363among eligible charter schools. In the event a charter school is
364dissolved or is otherwise terminated, all district school board
365property and improvements, furnishings, and equipment purchased
366with public funds shall automatically revert to full ownership
367by the district school board, subject to complete satisfaction
368of any lawful liens or encumbrances. Any unencumbered public
369funds from the charter school, district school board property
370and improvements, furnishings, and equipment purchased with
371public funds, or financial or other records pertaining to the
372charter school, in the possession of any person, entity, or
373holding company, other than the charter school, shall be held in
374trust upon the district school board's request, until any appeal
375status is resolved.
376     (f)  If a charter is not renewed or is terminated, the
377charter school is responsible for all debts of the charter
378school. The district may not assume the debt from any contract
379made between the governing body of the school and a third party,
380except for a debt that is previously detailed and agreed upon in
381writing by both the district and the governing body of the
382school and that may not reasonably be assumed to have been
383satisfied by the district.
384     (g)  If a charter is not renewed or is terminated, a
385student who attended the school may apply to, and shall be
386enrolled in, another public school. Normal application deadlines
387shall be disregarded under such circumstances.
389     (a)  A charter school shall be nonsectarian in its
390programs, admission policies, employment practices, and
392     (b)  A charter school shall admit students as provided in
393subsection (11) (10).
394     (c)  A charter school shall be accountable to its sponsor
395for performance as provided in subsection (7).
396     (d)  A charter school shall not charge tuition or
397registration fees, except those fees normally charged by other
398public schools. However, a charter lab school may charge a
399student activity and service fee as authorized by s. 1002.32(5).
400     (e)  A charter school shall meet all applicable state and
401local health, safety, and civil rights requirements.
402     (f)  A charter school shall not violate the
403antidiscrimination provisions of s. 1000.05.
404     (g)  In order to provide financial information that is
405comparable to that reported for other public schools, charter
406schools are to maintain all financial records that constitute
407their accounting system:
408     1.  In accordance with the accounts and codes prescribed in
409the most recent issuance of the publication titled "Financial
410and Program Cost Accounting and Reporting for Florida Schools";
412     2.  At the discretion of the charter school governing
413board, a charter school may elect to follow generally accepted
414accounting standards for not-for-profit organizations, but must
415reformat this information for reporting according to this
418Charter schools shall provide annual financial report and
419program cost report information in the state-required formats
420for inclusion in district reporting in compliance with s.
4211011.60(1). Charter schools that are operated by a municipality
422or are a component unit of a parent nonprofit organization may
423use the accounting system of the municipality or the parent but
424must reformat this information for reporting according to this
425paragraph. A charter school shall provide a quarterly monthly
426financial statement to the sponsor unless a deteriorating
427financial condition has been identified or the charter school is
428determined to be in a state of financial emergency pursuant to
429s. 1002.345, in which case the charter school shall provide a
430monthly financial statement. The monthly financial statement
431required under this paragraph shall be in a form prescribed by
432the Department of Education.
433     (h)  The governing board of the charter school shall
434annually adopt and maintain an operating budget.
435     (i)  The governing body of the charter school shall
436exercise continuing oversight over charter school operations. A
437governing body may oversee more than one charter school in more
438than one school district.
439     (j)  The governing body of the charter school shall be
440responsible for:
441     1.  Ensuring that the charter school has retained the
442services of a certified public accountant or auditor for the
443annual financial audit, pursuant to s. 1002.345(2), who shall
444submit the report to the governing body.
445     2.  Reviewing and approving the audit report, including
446audit findings and recommendations for the financial recovery
448     3.a.  Performing the duties in s. 1002.345, including
449monitoring a corrective action plan.
450     b.  Monitoring a financial recovery plan in order to ensure
452     4.  Participating in governance training approved by the
453department which must include government in the sunshine,
454conflicts of interest, ethics, and financial responsibility.
455     (k)  The governing body of the charter school shall report
456its progress annually to its sponsor, which shall forward the
457report to the Commissioner of Education at the same time as
458other annual school accountability reports. The Department of
459Education shall develop a uniform, online annual accountability
460report to be completed by charter schools. This report shall be
461easy to utilize and contain demographic information, student
462performance data, and financial accountability information. A
463charter school shall not be required to provide information and
464data that is duplicative and already in the possession of the
465department. The Department of Education shall include in its
466compilation a notation if a school failed to file its report by
467the deadline established by the department. The report shall
468include at least the following components:
469     1.  Student achievement performance data, including the
470information required for the annual school report and the
471education accountability system governed by ss. 1008.31 and
4721008.345. Charter schools are subject to the same accountability
473requirements as other public schools, including reports of
474student achievement information that links baseline student data
475to the school's performance projections identified in the
476charter. The charter school shall identify reasons for any
477difference between projected and actual student performance.
478     2.  Financial status of the charter school which must
479include revenues and expenditures at a level of detail that
480allows for analysis of the charter school's ability to meet
481financial obligations and timely repayment of debt.
482     3.  Documentation of the facilities in current use and any
483planned facilities for use by the charter school for instruction
484of students, administrative functions, or investment purposes.
485     4.  Descriptive information about the charter school's
486personnel, including salary and benefit levels of charter school
487employees, the proportion of instructional personnel who hold
488professional or temporary certificates, and the proportion of
489instructional personnel teaching in-field or out-of-field.
490     (l)  A charter school shall not levy taxes or issue bonds
491secured by tax revenues.
492     (m)  A charter school shall provide instruction for at
493least the number of days required by law for other public
494schools and may provide instruction for additional days.
495     (n)  The director and a representative of the governing
496body of a charter school that has received a school grade of "D"
497under s. 1008.34(2) shall appear before the sponsor or the
498sponsor's staff at least once a year to present information
499concerning each contract component having noted deficiencies.
500The sponsor shall communicate at the meeting, and in writing to
501the director, the services provided to the school to help the
502school address its deficiencies.
503     (o)  Upon notification that a charter school receives a
504school grade of "D" for 2 consecutive years or a school grade of
505"F" under s. 1008.34(2), the charter school sponsor or the
506sponsor's staff shall require the director and a representative
507of the governing body to submit to the sponsor for approval a
508school improvement plan to raise student achievement and to
509implement the plan. The sponsor has the authority to approve a
510school improvement plan that the charter school will implement
511in the following school year. The sponsor may also consider the
512State Board of Education's recommended action pursuant to s.
5131008.33(1) as part of the school improvement plan. The
514Department of Education shall offer technical assistance and
515training to the charter school and its governing body and
516establish guidelines for developing, submitting, and approving
517such plans.
518     1.  If the charter school fails to improve its student
519performance from the year immediately prior to the
520implementation of the school improvement plan, the sponsor shall
521place the charter school on probation and shall require the
522charter school governing body to take one of the following
523corrective actions:
524     a.  Contract for the educational services of the charter
526     b.  Reorganize the school at the end of the school year
527under a new director or principal who is authorized to hire new
528staff and implement a plan that addresses the causes of
529inadequate progress; or
530     c.  Reconstitute the charter school.
531     2.  A charter school that is placed on probation shall
532continue the corrective actions required under subparagraph 1.
533until the charter school improves its student performance from
534the year prior to the implementation of the school improvement
536     3.  Notwithstanding any provision of this paragraph, the
537sponsor may terminate the charter at any time pursuant to
538subsection (9) (8).
539     (p)  The director and a representative of the governing
540body of a graded charter school that has submitted a school
541improvement plan or has been placed on probation under paragraph
542(o) shall appear before the sponsor or the sponsor's staff at
543least once a year to present information regarding the
544corrective strategies that are being implemented by the school
545pursuant to the school improvement plan. The sponsor shall
546communicate at the meeting, and in writing to the director, the
547services provided to the school to help the school address its
549     (11)(10)  ELIGIBLE STUDENTS.-
550     (a)  A charter school shall be open to any student covered
551in an interdistrict agreement or residing in the school district
552in which the charter school is located; however, in the case of
553a charter lab school, the charter lab school shall be open to
554any student eligible to attend the lab school as provided in s.
5551002.32 or who resides in the school district in which the
556charter lab school is located. Any eligible student shall be
557allowed interdistrict transfer to attend a charter school when
558based on good cause. Good cause shall include, but is not
559limited to, geographic proximity to a charter school in a
560neighboring school district.
561     (b)  The charter school shall enroll an eligible student
562who submits a timely application, unless the number of
563applications exceeds the capacity of a program, class, grade
564level, or building. In such case, all applicants shall have an
565equal chance of being admitted through a random selection
567     (c)  When a public school converts to charter status,
568enrollment preference shall be given to students who would have
569otherwise attended that public school. The district school board
570shall consult and negotiate with the conversion charter school
571every 3 years to determine whether realignment of the conversion
572charter school's attendance zone is appropriate in order to
573ensure that students residing closest to the charter school are
574provided with an enrollment preference.
575     (d)  A charter school may give enrollment preference to the
576following student populations:
577     1.  Students who are siblings of a student enrolled in the
578charter school.
579     2.  Students who are the children of a member of the
580governing board of the charter school.
581     3.  Students who are the children of an employee of the
582charter school.
583     4.  Students who are the children of an employee of a
584business or corporation that is in partnership with a charter
585school-in-the-workplace or students who are the children of a
586resident of a municipality that operates a charter school-in-a-
587municipality pursuant to subsection (16).
588     (e)  A charter school may limit the enrollment process only
589to target the following student populations:
590     1.  Students within specific age groups or grade levels.
591     2.  Students considered at risk of dropping out of school
592or academic failure. Such students shall include exceptional
593education students.
594     3.  Students enrolling in a charter school-in-the-workplace
595or charter school-in-a-municipality established pursuant to
596subsection (16) (15).
597     4.  Students residing within a reasonable distance of the
598charter school, as described in paragraph (21)(20)(c). Such
599students shall be subject to a random lottery and to the
600racial/ethnic balance provisions described in subparagraph
601(7)(a)8. or any federal provisions that require a school to
602achieve a racial/ethnic balance reflective of the community it
603serves or within the racial/ethnic range of other public schools
604in the same school district.
605     5.  Students who meet reasonable academic, artistic, or
606other eligibility standards established by the charter school
607and included in the charter school application and charter or,
608in the case of existing charter schools, standards that are
609consistent with the school's mission and purpose. Such standards
610shall be in accordance with current state law and practice in
611public schools and may not discriminate against otherwise
612qualified individuals.
613     6.  Students articulating from one charter school to
614another pursuant to an articulation agreement between the
615charter schools that has been approved by the sponsor.
616     (f)  Students with disabilities and students served in
617English for Speakers of Other Languages programs shall have an
618equal opportunity of being selected for enrollment in a charter
620     (g)  A student may withdraw from a charter school at any
621time and enroll in another public school as determined by
622district school board rule.
623     (h)  The capacity of the charter school shall be determined
624annually by the governing board, in conjunction with the
625sponsor, of the charter school in consideration of the factors
626identified in this subsection.
628ACTIVITIES.-A charter school student is eligible to participate
629in an interscholastic extracurricular activity at the public
630school to which the student would be otherwise assigned to
631attend pursuant to s. 1006.15(3)(d).
633     (a)  A charter school shall select its own employees. A
634charter school may contract with its sponsor for the services of
635personnel employed by the sponsor.
636     (b)  Charter school employees shall have the option to
637bargain collectively. Employees may collectively bargain as a
638separate unit or as part of the existing district collective
639bargaining unit as determined by the structure of the charter
641     (c)  The employees of a conversion charter school shall
642remain public employees for all purposes, unless such employees
643choose not to do so.
644     (d)  The teachers at a charter school may choose to be part
645of a professional group that subcontracts with the charter
646school to operate the instructional program under the auspices
647of a partnership or cooperative that they collectively own.
648Under this arrangement, the teachers would not be public
650     (e)  Employees of a school district may take leave to
651accept employment in a charter school upon the approval of the
652district school board. While employed by the charter school and
653on leave that is approved by the district school board, the
654employee may retain seniority accrued in that school district
655and may continue to be covered by the benefit programs of that
656school district, if the charter school and the district school
657board agree to this arrangement and its financing. School
658districts shall not require resignations from instructional
659personnel, school administrators, or educational support
660employees who desire employment of teachers desiring to teach in
661a charter school. This paragraph shall not prohibit a district
662school board from approving alternative leave arrangements
663consistent with chapter 1012.
664     (f)  Teachers employed by or under contract to a charter
665school shall be certified as required by chapter 1012. A charter
666school governing board may employ or contract with skilled
667selected noncertified personnel to provide instructional
668services or to assist instructional staff members as education
669paraprofessionals in the same manner as defined in chapter 1012,
670and as provided by State Board of Education rule for charter
671school governing boards. A charter school may not knowingly
672employ an individual to provide instructional services or to
673serve as an education paraprofessional if the individual's
674certification or licensure as an educator is suspended or
675revoked by this or any other state. A charter school may not
676knowingly employ an individual who has resigned from a school
677district in lieu of disciplinary action with respect to child
678welfare or safety, or who has been dismissed for just cause by
679any school district with respect to child welfare or safety. The
680qualifications of teachers shall be disclosed to parents.
681     (g)1.  A charter school shall employ or contract with
682employees who have undergone background screening as provided in
683s. 1012.32. Members of the governing board of the charter school
684shall also undergo background screening in a manner similar to
685that provided in s. 1012.32.
686     2.  A charter school shall disqualify instructional
687personnel and school administrators, as defined in s. 1012.01,
688from employment in any position that requires direct contact
689with students if the personnel or administrators are ineligible
690for such employment under s. 1012.315.
691     3.  The governing board of a charter school shall adopt
692policies establishing standards of ethical conduct for
693instructional personnel and school administrators. The policies
694must require all instructional personnel and school
695administrators, as defined in s. 1012.01, to complete training
696on the standards; establish the duty of instructional personnel
697and school administrators to report, and procedures for
698reporting, alleged misconduct by other instructional personnel
699and school administrators which affects the health, safety, or
700welfare of a student; and include an explanation of the
701liability protections provided under ss. 39.203 and 768.095. A
702charter school, or any of its employees, may not enter into a
703confidentiality agreement regarding terminated or dismissed
704instructional personnel or school administrators, or personnel
705or administrators who resign in lieu of termination, based in
706whole or in part on misconduct that affects the health, safety,
707or welfare of a student, and may not provide instructional
708personnel or school administrators with employment references or
709discuss the personnel's or administrators' performance with
710prospective employers in another educational setting, without
711disclosing the personnel's or administrators' misconduct. Any
712part of an agreement or contract that has the purpose or effect
713of concealing misconduct by instructional personnel or school
714administrators which affects the health, safety, or welfare of a
715student is void, is contrary to public policy, and may not be
717     4.  Before employing instructional personnel or school
718administrators in any position that requires direct contact with
719students, a charter school shall conduct employment history
720checks of each of the personnel's or administrators' previous
721employers, screen the instructional personnel or school
722administrators through use of the educator screening tools
723described in s. 1001.10(5), and document the findings. If unable
724to contact a previous employer, the charter school must document
725efforts to contact the employer.
726     5.  The sponsor of a charter school that knowingly fails to
727comply with this paragraph shall terminate the charter under
728subsection (9) (8).
729     (h)  For the purposes of tort liability, the governing body
730and employees of a charter school shall be governed by s.
732     (i)  A charter school shall organize as, or be operated by,
733a nonprofit organization. A charter school may be operated by a
734municipality or other public entity as provided for by law. As
735such, the charter school may be either a private or a public
736employer. As a public employer, a charter school may participate
737in the Florida Retirement System upon application and approval
738as a "covered group" under s. 121.021(34). If a charter school
739participates in the Florida Retirement System, the charter
740school employees shall be compulsory members of the Florida
741Retirement System. As either a private or a public employer, a
742charter school may contract for services with an individual or
743group of individuals who are organized as a partnership or a
744cooperative. Individuals or groups of individuals who contract
745their services to the charter school are not public employees.
747     (a)  Charter schools may enter into cooperative agreements
748to form charter school cooperative organizations that may
749provide the following services: charter school planning and
750development, direct instructional services, and contracts with
751charter school governing boards to provide personnel
752administrative services, payroll services, human resource
753management, evaluation and assessment services, teacher
754preparation, and professional development.
755     (b)  A nonprofit organization may operate multiple charter
756schools approved by a sponsor under this section across the
757state as a network of affiliated schools that may share a common
758mission and identity and common curricula and best practices. A
759charter school network may be operated by a central governing
760board that governs all of the charter schools in the network or
761by a central governing board that shares governance duties with
762local governing boards designated by the central governing board
763for one or more of the charter schools in the network.
766TAXING POWER NOT TO BE PLEDGED.-Any arrangement entered into to
767borrow or otherwise secure funds for a charter school authorized
768in this section from a source other than the state or a school
769district shall indemnify the state and the school district from
770any and all liability, including, but not limited to, financial
771responsibility for the payment of the principal or interest. Any
772loans, bonds, or other financial agreements are not obligations
773of the state or the school district but are obligations of the
774charter school authority and are payable solely from the sources
775of funds pledged by such agreement. The credit or taxing power
776of the state or the school district shall not be pledged and no
777debts shall be payable out of any moneys except those of the
778legal entity in possession of a valid charter approved by a
779district school board pursuant to this section.
782     (a)  In order to increase business partnerships in
783education, to reduce school and classroom overcrowding
784throughout the state, and to offset the high costs for
785educational facilities construction, the Legislature intends to
786encourage the formation of business partnership schools or
787satellite learning centers and municipal-operated schools
788through charter school status.
789     (b)  A charter school-in-the-workplace may be established
790when a business partner:
791     1.  Provides one of the following:
792     a.  Access to a the school facility to be used;
793     b.  Resources that materially reduce the cost of
794constructing a school facility;
795     c.  Land for a school facility; or
796     d.  Resources to maintain a school facility;
797     2.  Enrolls students based upon a random lottery that
798involves all of the children of employees of that business or
799corporation who are seeking enrollment, as provided for in
800subsection (11) (10); and
801     3.  Enrolls students according to the racial/ethnic balance
802provisions described in subparagraph (7)(a)8.
804A charter school-in-the-workplace is eligible for charter school
805capital outlay funding if it meets the requirements in s.
8061013.62. Any portion of a facility used for a public charter
807school shall be exempt from ad valorem taxes, as provided for in
808s. 1013.54, for the duration of its use as a public school.
809     (c)  A charter school-in-a-municipality designation may be
810granted to a municipality that possesses a charter; enrolls
811students based upon a random lottery that involves all of the
812children of the residents of that municipality who are seeking
813enrollment, as provided for in subsection (11) (10); and enrolls
814students according to the racial/ethnic balance provisions
815described in subparagraph (7)(a)8. When a municipality has
816submitted charter applications for the establishment of a
817charter school feeder pattern, consisting of elementary, middle,
818and senior high schools, and each individual charter application
819is approved by the district school board, such schools shall
820then be designated as one charter school for all purposes listed
821pursuant to this section. Any portion of the land and facility
822used for a public charter school shall be exempt from ad valorem
823taxes, as provided for in s. 1013.54, for the duration of its
824use as a public school.
825     (d)  As used in this subsection, the terms "business
826partner" or "municipality" may include more than one business or
827municipality to form a charter school-in-the-workplace or
828charter school-in-a-municipality.
829     (17)(16)  EXEMPTION FROM STATUTES.-
830     (a)  A charter school shall operate in accordance with its
831charter and shall be exempt from all statutes in chapters 1000-
8321013. However, a charter school shall be in compliance with the
833following statutes in chapters 1000-1013:
834     1.  Those statutes specifically applying to charter
835schools, including this section.
836     2.  Those statutes pertaining to the student assessment
837program and school grading system.
838     3.  Those statutes pertaining to the provision of services
839to students with disabilities.
840     4.  Those statutes pertaining to civil rights, including s.
8411000.05, relating to discrimination.
842     5.  Those statutes pertaining to student health, safety,
843and welfare.
844     (b)  Additionally, a charter school shall be in compliance
845with the following statutes:
846     1.  Section 286.011, relating to public meetings and
847records, public inspection, and criminal and civil penalties.
848     2.  Chapter 119, relating to public records.
849     (18)(17)  FUNDING.-Students enrolled in a charter school,
850regardless of the sponsorship, shall be funded as if they are in
851a basic program or a special program, the same as students
852enrolled in other public schools in the school district. Funding
853for a charter lab school shall be as provided in s. 1002.32.
854     (a)  Each charter school shall report its student
855enrollment to the sponsor as required in s. 1011.62, and in
856accordance with the definitions in s. 1011.61. The sponsor shall
857include each charter school's enrollment in the district's
858report of student enrollment. All charter schools submitting
859student record information required by the Department of
860Education shall comply with the Department of Education's
861guidelines for electronic data formats for such data, and all
862districts shall accept electronic data that complies with the
863Department of Education's electronic format.
864     (b)  The basis for the agreement for funding students
865enrolled in a charter school shall be the sum of the school
866district's operating funds from the Florida Education Finance
867Program as provided in s. 1011.62 and the General Appropriations
868Act, including gross state and local funds, discretionary
869lottery funds, and funds from the school district's current
870operating discretionary millage levy; divided by total funded
871weighted full-time equivalent students in the school district;
872multiplied by the weighted full-time equivalent students for the
873charter school. Charter schools whose students or programs meet
874the eligibility criteria in law shall be entitled to their
875proportionate share of categorical program funds included in the
876total funds available in the Florida Education Finance Program
877by the Legislature, including transportation. Total funding for
878each charter school shall be recalculated during the year to
879reflect the revised calculations under the Florida Education
880Finance Program by the state and the actual weighted full-time
881equivalent students reported by the charter school during the
882full-time equivalent student survey periods designated by the
883Commissioner of Education.
884     (c)  If the district school board is providing programs or
885services to students funded by federal funds, any eligible
886students enrolled in charter schools in the school district
887shall be provided federal funds for the same level of service
888provided students in the schools operated by the district school
889board. Pursuant to provisions of 20 U.S.C. 8061 s. 10306, all
890charter schools shall receive all federal funding for which the
891school is otherwise eligible, including Title I and IDEA
892funding, not later than 5 months after the charter school first
893opens and within 5 months after any subsequent expansion of
895     (d)  Charter schools shall be included by the Department of
896Education and the district school board in requests for federal
897stimulus funds in the same manner as district school board-
898operated public schools, including Title I and IDEA funds and
899shall be entitled to receive such funds. Charter schools are
900eligible to participate in federal competitive grants that are
901available as part of the federal stimulus funds.
902     (e)  District school boards shall make timely and efficient
903payment and reimbursement to charter schools, including
904processing paperwork required to access special state and
905federal funding for which they may be eligible. The district
906school board may distribute funds to a charter school for up to
9073 months based on the projected full-time equivalent student
908membership of the charter school. Thereafter, the results of
909full-time equivalent student membership surveys shall be used in
910adjusting the amount of funds distributed monthly to the charter
911school for the remainder of the fiscal year. The payment shall
912be issued no later than 10 working days after the district
913school board receives a distribution of state or federal funds.
914If a warrant for payment is not issued within 10 working days
915after receipt of funding by the district school board, the
916school district shall pay to the charter school, in addition to
917the amount of the scheduled disbursement, interest at a rate of
9181 percent per month calculated on a daily basis on the unpaid
919balance from the expiration of the 10 working days until such
920time as the warrant is issued.
921     (19)(18)  FACILITIES.-
922     (a)  A startup charter school shall utilize facilities
923which comply with the Florida Building Code pursuant to chapter
924553 except for the State Requirements for Educational
925Facilities. Conversion charter schools shall utilize facilities
926that comply with the State Requirements for Educational
927Facilities provided that the school district and the charter
928school have entered into a mutual management plan for the
929reasonable maintenance of such facilities. The mutual management
930plan shall contain a provision by which the district school
931board agrees to maintain charter school facilities in the same
932manner as its other public schools within the district. Charter
933schools, with the exception of conversion charter schools, are
934not required to comply, but may choose to comply, with any or
935all components of the State Requirements for Educational
936Facilities of the Florida Building Code adopted pursuant to s.
9371013.37. The local governing authority shall not adopt or impose
938local building requirements or site development restrictions,
939such as parking and site-size criteria, that are more stringent
940than those found in the State Requirements for Educational
941Facilities of the Florida Building Code. The agency having
942jurisdiction for inspection of a facility and issuance of a
943certificate of occupancy or use shall be the local municipality
944or, if in an unincorporated area, the county governing
946     (b)  A charter school shall utilize facilities that comply
947with the Florida Fire Prevention Code, pursuant to s. 633.025,
948as adopted by the authority in whose jurisdiction the facility
949is located as provided in paragraph (a).
950     (c)  Any facility, or portion thereof, used to house a
951charter school whose charter has been approved by the sponsor
952and the governing board, pursuant to subsection (7), shall be
953exempt from ad valorem taxes pursuant to s. 196.1983. Library,
954community service, museum, performing arts, theatre, cinema,
955church, community college, college, and university facilities
956may provide space to charter schools within their facilities
957under their preexisting zoning and land use designations.
958     (d)  Charter school facilities are exempt from assessments
959of fees for building permits, except as provided in s. 553.80;,
960fees for building and occupational licenses;, impact fees or
961exactions;, service availability fees;, and assessments for
962special benefits.
963     (e)  If a district school board facility or property is
964available because it is surplus, marked for disposal, or
965otherwise unused, it shall be provided for a charter school's
966use on the same basis as it is made available to other public
967schools in the district. A charter school receiving property
968from the school district may not sell or dispose of such
969property without written permission of the school district.
970Similarly, for an existing public school converting to charter
971status, no rental or leasing fee for the existing facility or
972for the property normally inventoried to the conversion school
973may be charged by the district school board to the parents and
974teachers organizing the charter school. The charter school shall
975agree to reasonable maintenance provisions in order to maintain
976the facility in a manner similar to district school board
977standards. The Public Education Capital Outlay maintenance funds
978or any other maintenance funds generated by the facility
979operated as a conversion school shall remain with the conversion
981     (f)  To the extent that charter school facilities are
982specifically created to mitigate the educational impact created
983by the development of new residential dwelling units, pursuant
984to subparagraph (2)(c)4., some of or all of the educational
985impact fees required to be paid in connection with the new
986residential dwelling units may be designated instead for the
987construction of the charter school facilities that will mitigate
988the student station impact. Such facilities shall be built to
989the State Requirements for Educational Facilities and shall be
990owned by a public or nonprofit entity. The local school district
991retains the right to monitor and inspect such facilities to
992ensure compliance with the State Requirements for Educational
993Facilities. If a facility ceases to be used for public
994educational purposes, either the facility shall revert to the
995school district subject to any debt owed on the facility, or the
996owner of the facility shall have the option to refund all
997educational impact fees utilized for the facility to the school
998district. The district and the owner of the facility may
999contractually agree to another arrangement for the facilities if
1000the facilities cease to be used for educational purposes. The
1001owner of property planned or approved for new residential
1002dwelling units and the entity levying educational impact fees
1003shall enter into an agreement that designates the educational
1004impact fees that will be allocated for the charter school
1005student stations and that ensures the timely construction of the
1006charter school student stations concurrent with the expected
1007occupancy of the residential units. The application for use of
1008educational impact fees shall include an approved charter school
1009application. To assist the school district in forecasting
1010student station needs, the entity levying the impact fees shall
1011notify the affected district of any agreements it has approved
1012for the purpose of mitigating student station impact from the
1013new residential dwelling units.
1014     (g)  Each school district shall annually provide to the
1015Department of Education as part of its 5-year work plan the
1016number of existing vacant classrooms in each school that the
1017district does not intend to use or does not project will be
1018needed for educational purposes for the following school year.
1019The department may recommend that a district make such space
1020available to an appropriate charter school.
1021     (20)(19)  CAPITAL OUTLAY FUNDING.-Charter schools are
1022eligible for capital outlay funds pursuant to s. 1013.62.
1023     (21)(20)  SERVICES.-
1024     (a)  A sponsor shall provide certain administrative and
1025educational services to charter schools. These services shall
1026include contract management services; full-time equivalent and
1027data reporting services; exceptional student education
1028administration services; services related to eligibility and
1029reporting duties required to ensure that school lunch services
1030under the federal lunch program, consistent with the needs of
1031the charter school, are provided by the school district at the
1032request of the charter school, that any funds due to the charter
1033school under the federal lunch program be paid to the charter
1034school as soon as the charter school begins serving food under
1035the federal lunch program, and that the charter school is paid
1036at the same time and in the same manner under the federal lunch
1037program as other public schools serviced by the sponsor or the
1038school district; test administration services, including payment
1039of the costs of state-required or district-required student
1040assessments; processing of teacher certificate data services;
1041and information services, including equal access to student
1042information systems that are used by public schools in the
1043district in which the charter school is located. Student
1044performance data for each student in a charter school,
1045including, but not limited to, FCAT scores, standardized test
1046scores, previous public school student report cards, and student
1047performance measures, shall be provided by the sponsor to a
1048charter school in the same manner provided to other public
1049schools in the district. A total administrative fee for the
1050provision of such services shall be calculated based upon up to
10515 percent of the available funds defined in paragraph
1052(18)(17)(b) for all students. However, a sponsor may only
1053withhold up to a 5-percent administrative fee for enrollment for
1054up to and including 500 students. For charter schools with a
1055population of 501 or more students, the difference between the
1056total administrative fee calculation and the amount of the
1057administrative fee withheld may only be used for capital outlay
1058purposes specified in s. 1013.62(2). Each charter school shall
1059receive 100 percent of the funds awarded to that school pursuant
1060to s. 1012.225. Sponsors shall not charge charter schools any
1061additional fees or surcharges for administrative and educational
1062services in addition to the maximum 5-percent administrative fee
1063withheld pursuant to this paragraph.
1064     (b)  If goods and services are made available to the
1065charter school through the contract with the school district,
1066they shall be provided to the charter school at a rate no
1067greater than the district's actual cost unless mutually agreed
1068upon by the charter school and the sponsor in a contract
1069negotiated separately from the charter. When mediation has
1070failed to resolve disputes over contracted services or
1071contractual matters not included in the charter, an appeal may
1072be made for a dispute resolution hearing before the Charter
1073School Appeal Commission. To maximize the use of state funds,
1074school districts shall allow charter schools to participate in
1075the sponsor's bulk purchasing program if applicable.
1076     (c)  Transportation of charter school students shall be
1077provided by the charter school consistent with the requirements
1078of subpart I.E. of chapter 1006 and s. 1012.45. The governing
1079body of the charter school may provide transportation through an
1080agreement or contract with the district school board, a private
1081provider, or parents. The charter school and the sponsor shall
1082cooperate in making arrangements that ensure that transportation
1083is not a barrier to equal access for all students residing
1084within a reasonable distance of the charter school as determined
1085in its charter.
1087     (a)  The Department of Education shall provide information
1088to the public, directly and through sponsors, on how to form and
1089operate a charter school and how to enroll in a charter school
1090once it is created. This information shall include a standard
1091application format, charter format, evaluation instrument, and
1092charter renewal format, which shall include the information
1093specified in subsection (7) and shall be developed by consulting
1094and negotiating with both school districts and charter schools
1095before implementation. The charter and charter renewal formats
1096shall be used by charter school sponsors.
1097     (b)1.  The Department of Education shall report student
1098assessment data pursuant to s. 1008.34(3)(c) which is reported
1099to schools that receive a school grade or student assessment
1100data pursuant to s. 1008.341(3) which is reported to alternative
1101schools that receive a school improvement rating to each charter
1102school that:
1103     a.  Does not receive a school grade pursuant to s. 1008.34
1104or a school improvement rating pursuant to s. 1008.341; and
1105     b.  Serves at least 10 students who are tested on the
1106statewide assessment test pursuant to s. 1008.22.
1107     2.  The charter school shall report the information in
1108subparagraph 1. to each parent of a student at the charter
1109school, the parent of a child on a waiting list for the charter
1110school, the district in which the charter school is located, and
1111the governing board of the charter school. This paragraph does
1112not abrogate the provisions of s. 1002.22, relating to student
1113records, or the requirements of 20 U.S.C. s. 1232g, the Family
1114Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
1115     3.a.  Pursuant to this paragraph, the Department of
1116Education shall compare the charter school student performance
1117data for each charter school in subparagraph 1. with the student
1118performance data in traditional public schools in the district
1119in which the charter school is located and other charter schools
1120in the state. For alternative charter schools, the department
1121shall compare the student performance data described in this
1122paragraph with all alternative schools in the state. The
1123comparative data shall be provided by the following grade
1125     (I)  Grades 3 through 5;
1126     (II)  Grades 6 through 8; and
1127     (III)  Grades 9 through 11.
1128     b.  Each charter school shall provide the information
1129specified in this paragraph on its Internet website and also
1130provide notice to the public at large in a manner provided by
1131the rules of the State Board of Education. The State Board of
1132Education shall adopt rules to administer the notice
1133requirements of this subparagraph pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and
1134120.54. The website shall include, through links or actual
1135content, other information related to school performance.
1138     (a)  The Department of Education shall staff and regularly
1139convene a Charter School Review Panel in order to review issues,
1140practices, and policies regarding charter schools. The
1141composition of the review panel shall include individuals with
1142experience in finance, administration, law, education, and
1143school governance, and individuals familiar with charter school
1144construction and operation. The panel shall include two
1145appointees each from the Commissioner of Education, the
1146President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of
1147Representatives. The Governor shall appoint three members of the
1148panel and shall designate the chair. Each member of the panel
1149shall serve a 1-year term, unless renewed by the office making
1150the appointment. The panel shall make recommendations to the
1151Legislature, to the Department of Education, to charter schools,
1152and to school districts for improving charter school operations
1153and oversight and for ensuring best business practices at and
1154fair business relationships with charter schools.
1155     (b)  The Legislature shall review the operation of charter
1156schools during the 2010 Regular Session of the Legislature.
1158receipt of the annual report required by paragraph (10)(9)(k),
1159the Department of Education shall provide to the State Board of
1160Education, the Commissioner of Education, the Governor, the
1161President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of
1162Representatives an analysis and comparison of the overall
1163performance of charter school students, to include all students
1164whose scores are counted as part of the statewide assessment
1165program, versus comparable public school students in the
1166district as determined by the statewide assessment program
1167currently administered in the school district, and other
1168assessments administered pursuant to s. 1008.22(3).
1170     (a)  This subsection applies to charter school personnel in
1171a charter school operated by a private entity. As used in this
1172subsection, the term:
1173     1.  "Charter school personnel" means a charter school
1174owner, president, chairperson of the governing board of
1175directors, superintendent, governing board member, principal,
1176assistant principal, or any other person employed by the charter
1177school who has equivalent decisionmaking authority and in whom
1178is vested the authority, or to whom the authority has been
1179delegated, to appoint, employ, promote, or advance individuals
1180or to recommend individuals for appointment, employment,
1181promotion, or advancement in connection with employment in a
1182charter school, including the authority as a member of a
1183governing body of a charter school to vote on the appointment,
1184employment, promotion, or advancement of individuals.
1185     2.  "Relative" means father, mother, son, daughter,
1186brother, sister, uncle, aunt, first cousin, nephew, niece,
1187husband, wife, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law,
1188daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepfather,
1189stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother, stepsister, half
1190brother, or half sister.
1191     (b)  Charter school personnel may not knowingly recommend
1192or engage in the appoint, employ, promote, or advance, or
1193advocate for appointment, employment, promotion, or assignment
1194of an individual or employee to a work location if that action
1195will create a situation in which one employee will be
1196responsible for the direct supervision of, or exercise
1197advancement, in or to a position in the charter school in which
1198the personnel are serving or over which the personnel exercises
1199jurisdiction or control over, another employee any individual
1200who is a relative. The Commissioner of Education or the sponsor
1201may make exceptions to this paragraph if such personnel actions
1202would cause undue hardship on students or seriously disrupt a
1203charter school's operations. An individual may not be appointed,
1204employed, promoted, or advanced in or to a position in a charter
1205school if such appointment, employment, promotion, or
1206advancement has been advocated by charter school personnel who
1207serve in or exercise jurisdiction or control over the charter
1208school and who is a relative of the individual or if such
1209appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement is made by
1210the governing board of which a relative of the individual is a
1212     (c)  The approval of budgets does not constitute
1213"jurisdiction or control" for the purposes of this subsection.
1215Charter school personnel in schools operated by a municipality
1216or other public entity are subject to s. 112.3135.
1218     (a)  A member of a governing board of a charter school,
1219including a charter school operated by a private entity, is
1220subject to ss. 112.313(2), (3), (7), and (12) and 112.3143(3).
1221     (b)  A member of a governing board of a charter school
1222operated by a municipality or other public entity is subject to
1223s. 112.3145 112.3144, which relates to the disclosure of
1224financial interests.
1225     (27)(26)  RULEMAKING.-The Department of Education, after
1226consultation with school districts and charter school directors,
1227shall recommend that the State Board of Education adopt rules to
1228implement specific subsections of this section. Such rules shall
1229require minimum paperwork and shall not limit charter school
1230flexibility authorized by statute. The State Board of Education
1231shall adopt rules, pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54, to
1232implement a charter model application form, evaluation
1233instrument, and charter and charter renewal formats in
1234accordance with this section.
1235     Section 2.  Paragraph (e) of subsection (1) and subsections
1236(2) and (3) of section 1013.62, Florida Statutes, are amended to
1238     1013.62  Charter schools capital outlay funding.-
1239     (1)  In each year in which funds are appropriated for
1240charter school capital outlay purposes, the Commissioner of
1241Education shall allocate the funds among eligible charter
1243     (e)  Unless otherwise provided in the General
1244Appropriations Act, the funding allocation for each eligible
1245charter school is determined by multiplying the school's
1246projected student enrollment by one-fifteenth of the cost-per-
1247student station specified in s. 1013.64(6)(b) for an elementary,
1248middle, or high school, as appropriate. If the funds
1249appropriated are not sufficient, the commissioner shall prorate
1250the available funds among eligible charter schools. However, a
1251charter school or charter lab school may not receive state
1252charter school capital outlay funds greater than the one-
1253fifteenth cost per student station formula if the charter
1254school's combination of state charter school capital outlay
1255funds, capital outlay funds calculated through the reduction in
1256the administrative fee provided in s. 1002.33(21)(20), and
1257capital outlay funds allowed in s. 1002.32(9)(e) and (h) exceeds
1258the one-fifteenth cost per student station formula.
1259     (2)  A charter school's governing body may use charter
1260school capital outlay funds for the following purposes:
1261     (a)  Purchase of real property.
1262     (b)  Construction of school facilities.
1263     (c)  Purchase, lease-purchase, or lease of permanent or
1264relocatable school facilities.
1265     (d)  Purchase of vehicles to transport students to and from
1266the charter school.
1267     (e)  Renovation, repair, and maintenance of school
1268facilities that the charter school owns or is purchasing through
1269a lease-purchase or long-term lease of 5 years or longer.
1270     (f)  Effective July 1, 2008, purchase, lease-purchase, or
1271lease of new and replacement equipment, and enterprise resource
1272software applications that are classified as capital assets in
1273accordance with definitions of the Governmental Accounting
1274Standards Board, have a useful life of at least 5 years, and are
1275used to support schoolwide administration or state-mandated
1276reporting requirements.
1277     (g)  Payment of the cost of premiums for property and
1278casualty insurance necessary to insure the school facilities.
1279     (h)  Purchase, lease-purchase, or lease of driver's
1280education vehicles; motor vehicles used for the maintenance or
1281operation of plants and equipment; security vehicles; or
1282vehicles used in storing or distributing materials and
1284     (i)  Purchase of computer software, hardware, and network
1286     (j)  Purchase of furniture and equipment.
1288Conversion charter schools may use capital outlay funds received
1289through the reduction in the administrative fee provided in s.
12901002.33(21)(20) for renovation, repair, and maintenance of
1291school facilities that are owned by the sponsor.
1292     (3)  When a charter school is nonrenewed or terminated, any
1293unencumbered funds and all equipment and property purchased with
1294district public funds shall revert to the ownership of the
1295district school board, as provided for in s. 1002.33(9)(8)(e)
1296and (f). In the case of a charter lab school, any unencumbered
1297funds and all equipment and property purchased with university
1298public funds shall revert to the ownership of the state
1299university that issued the charter. The reversion of such
1300equipment, property, and furnishings shall focus on recoverable
1301assets, but not on intangible or irrecoverable costs such as
1302rental or leasing fees, normal maintenance, and limited
1303renovations. The reversion of all property secured with public
1304funds is subject to the complete satisfaction of all lawful
1305liens or encumbrances. If there are additional local issues such
1306as the shared use of facilities or partial ownership of
1307facilities or property, these issues shall be agreed to in the
1308charter contract prior to the expenditure of funds.
1309     Section 3.  Paragraph (e) of subsection (13) of section
1310163.3180, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
1311     163.3180  Concurrency.-
1312     (13)  School concurrency shall be established on a
1313districtwide basis and shall include all public schools in the
1314district and all portions of the district, whether located in a
1315municipality or an unincorporated area unless exempt from the
1316public school facilities element pursuant to s. 163.3177(12).
1317The application of school concurrency to development shall be
1318based upon the adopted comprehensive plan, as amended. All local
1319governments within a county, except as provided in paragraph
1320(f), shall adopt and transmit to the state land planning agency
1321the necessary plan amendments, along with the interlocal
1322agreement, for a compliance review pursuant to s. 163.3184(7)
1323and (8). The minimum requirements for school concurrency are the
1325     (e)  Availability standard.-Consistent with the public
1326welfare, a local government may not deny an application for site
1327plan, final subdivision approval, or the functional equivalent
1328for a development or phase of a development authorizing
1329residential development for failure to achieve and maintain the
1330level-of-service standard for public school capacity in a local
1331school concurrency management system where adequate school
1332facilities will be in place or under actual construction within
13333 years after the issuance of final subdivision or site plan
1334approval, or the functional equivalent. School concurrency is
1335satisfied if the developer executes a legally binding commitment
1336to provide mitigation proportionate to the demand for public
1337school facilities to be created by actual development of the
1338property, including, but not limited to, the options described
1339in subparagraph 1. Options for proportionate-share mitigation of
1340impacts on public school facilities must be established in the
1341public school facilities element and the interlocal agreement
1342pursuant to s. 163.31777.
1343     1.  Appropriate mitigation options include the contribution
1344of land; the construction, expansion, or payment for land
1345acquisition or construction of a public school facility; the
1346construction of a charter school that complies with the
1347requirements of s. 1002.33(19)(18); or the creation of
1348mitigation banking based on the construction of a public school
1349facility in exchange for the right to sell capacity credits.
1350Such options must include execution by the applicant and the
1351local government of a development agreement that constitutes a
1352legally binding commitment to pay proportionate-share mitigation
1353for the additional residential units approved by the local
1354government in a development order and actually developed on the
1355property, taking into account residential density allowed on the
1356property prior to the plan amendment that increased the overall
1357residential density. The district school board must be a party
1358to such an agreement. As a condition of its entry into such a
1359development agreement, the local government may require the
1360landowner to agree to continuing renewal of the agreement upon
1361its expiration.
1362     2.  If the education facilities plan and the public
1363educational facilities element authorize a contribution of land;
1364the construction, expansion, or payment for land acquisition;
1365the construction or expansion of a public school facility, or a
1366portion thereof; or the construction of a charter school that
1367complies with the requirements of s. 1002.33(19)(18), as
1368proportionate-share mitigation, the local government shall
1369credit such a contribution, construction, expansion, or payment
1370toward any other impact fee or exaction imposed by local
1371ordinance for the same need, on a dollar-for-dollar basis at
1372fair market value.
1373     3.  Any proportionate-share mitigation must be directed by
1374the school board toward a school capacity improvement identified
1375in a financially feasible 5-year district work plan that
1376satisfies the demands created by the development in accordance
1377with a binding developer's agreement.
1378     4.  If a development is precluded from commencing because
1379there is inadequate classroom capacity to mitigate the impacts
1380of the development, the development may nevertheless commence if
1381there are accelerated facilities in an approved capital
1382improvement element scheduled for construction in year four or
1383later of such plan which, when built, will mitigate the proposed
1384development, or if such accelerated facilities will be in the
1385next annual update of the capital facilities element, the
1386developer enters into a binding, financially guaranteed
1387agreement with the school district to construct an accelerated
1388facility within the first 3 years of an approved capital
1389improvement plan, and the cost of the school facility is equal
1390to or greater than the development's proportionate share. When
1391the completed school facility is conveyed to the school
1392district, the developer shall receive impact fee credits usable
1393within the zone where the facility is constructed or any
1394attendance zone contiguous with or adjacent to the zone where
1395the facility is constructed.
1396     5.  This paragraph does not limit the authority of a local
1397government to deny a development permit or its functional
1398equivalent pursuant to its home rule regulatory powers, except
1399as provided in this part.
1400     Section 4.  Paragraph (c) of subsection (9) of section
14011002.32, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
1402     1002.32  Developmental research (laboratory) schools.-
1403     (9)  FUNDING.-Funding for a lab school, including a charter
1404lab school, shall be provided as follows:
1405     (c)  All operating funds provided under this section shall
1406be deposited in a Lab School Trust Fund and shall be expended
1407for the purposes of this section. The university assigned a lab
1408school shall be the fiscal agent for these funds, and all rules
1409of the university governing the budgeting and expenditure of
1410state funds shall apply to these funds unless otherwise provided
1411by law or rule of the State Board of Education. The university
1412board of trustees shall be the public employer of lab school
1413personnel for collective bargaining purposes for lab schools in
1414operation prior to the 2002-2003 fiscal year. Employees of
1415charter lab schools authorized prior to June 1, 2003, but not in
1416operation prior to the 2002-2003 fiscal year shall be employees
1417of the entity holding the charter and must comply with the
1418provisions of s. 1002.33(13)(12).
1419     Section 5.  Paragraph (c) of subsection (10) and subsection
1420(13) of section 1002.34, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
1421     1002.34  Charter technical career centers.-
1423     (c)  A center must comply with the antidiscrimination
1424provisions in s. 1000.05 and the provisions in s.
14251002.33(25)(24) which relate to the employment of relatives.
1426     (13)  BOARD OF DIRECTORS AUTHORITY.-The board of directors
1427of a center may decide matters relating to the operation of the
1428school, including budgeting, curriculum, and operating
1429procedures, subject to the center's charter. The board of
1430directors is responsible for performing the duties provided in
1431s. 1002.345, including monitoring the corrective action plan.
1432The board of directors must comply with s. 1002.33(26)(25).
1433     Section 6.  Paragraphs (a) and (d) of subsection (1),
1434paragraph (b) of subsection (2), and subsection (6) of section
14351002.345, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
1436     1002.345  Determination of deteriorating financial
1437conditions and financial emergencies for charter schools and
1438charter technical career centers.-This section applies to
1439charter schools operating pursuant to s. 1002.33 and to charter
1440technical career centers operating pursuant to s. 1002.34.
1442     (a)  A charter school or a charter technical career center
1443is subject to an expedited review by the sponsor if one of the
1444following occurs:
1445     1.  Failure to provide for an audit required by s. 218.39.
1446     2.  Failure to comply with reporting requirements pursuant
1447to s. 1002.33(10)(9) or s. 1002.34(11)(f) or (14).
1448     3.  A deteriorating financial condition identified through
1449an annual audit pursuant to s. 218.39(5) or a monthly financial
1450statement pursuant to s. 1002.33(10)(9)(g) or s. 1002.34(11)(f).
1451"Deteriorating financial condition" means a circumstance that
1452significantly impairs the ability of a charter school or a
1453charter technical career center to generate enough revenues to
1454meet its expenditures without causing the occurrence of a
1455condition described in s. 218.503(1).
1456     4.  Notification pursuant to s. 218.503(2) that one or more
1457of the conditions specified in s. 218.503(1) have occurred or
1458will occur if action is not taken to assist the charter school
1459or charter technical career center.
1460     (d)  The governing board shall include the corrective
1461action plan and the status of its implementation in the annual
1462progress report to the sponsor which is required pursuant to s.
14631002.33(10)(9)(k) or s. 1002.34(14).
1465     (b)  The governing board shall include the financial
1466recovery plan and the status of its implementation in the annual
1467progress report to the sponsor which is required under s.
14681002.33(10)(9)(k) or s. 1002.34(14).
1469     (6)  FAILURE TO CORRECT DEFICIENCIES.-The sponsor may
1470decide not to renew or may terminate a charter if the charter
1471school or charter technical career center fails to correct the
1472deficiencies noted in the corrective action plan within 1 year
1473after being notified of the deficiencies or exhibits one or more
1474financial emergency conditions specified in s. 218.503 for 2
1475consecutive years. This subsection does not affect a sponsor's
1476authority to terminate or not renew a charter pursuant to s.
1478     Section 7.  Section 1011.68, Florida Statutes, is amended
1479to read:
1480     1011.68  Funds for student transportation.-The annual
1481allocation to each district for transportation to public school
1482programs, including charter schools as provided in s.
14831002.33(18)(17)(b), of students in membership in kindergarten
1484through grade 12 and in migrant and exceptional student programs
1485below kindergarten shall be determined as follows:
1486     (1)  Subject to the rules of the State Board of Education,
1487each district shall determine the membership of students who are
1489     (a)  By reason of living 2 miles or more from school.
1490     (b)  By reason of being students with disabilities or
1491enrolled in a teenage parent program, regardless of distance to
1493     (c)  By reason of being in a state prekindergarten program,
1494regardless of distance from school.
1495     (d)  By reason of being career, dual enrollment, or
1496students with disabilities transported from one school center to
1497another to participate in an instructional program or service;
1498or students with disabilities, transported from one designation
1499to another in the state, provided one designation is a school
1500center and provided the student's individual educational plan
1501(IEP) identifies the need for the instructional program or
1502service and transportation to be provided by the school
1503district. A "school center" is defined as a public school
1504center, community college, state university, or other facility
1505rented, leased, or owned and operated by the school district or
1506another public agency. A "dual enrollment student" is defined as
1507a public school student in membership in both a public secondary
1508school program and a community college or a state university
1509program under a written agreement to partially fulfill ss.
15101003.435 and 1007.23 and earning full-time equivalent membership
1511under s. 1011.62(1)(i).
1512     (e)  With respect to elementary school students whose grade
1513level does not exceed grade 6, by reason of being subjected to
1514hazardous walking conditions en route to or from school as
1515provided in s. 1006.23. Such rules shall, when appropriate,
1516provide for the determination of membership under this paragraph
1517for less than 1 year to accommodate the needs of students who
1518require transportation only until such hazardous conditions are
1520     (f)  By reason of being a pregnant student or student
1521parent, and the child of a student parent as provided in s.
15221003.54, regardless of distance from school.
1523     (2)  The allocation for each district shall be calculated
1524annually in accordance with the following formula:
1525T = B + EX. The elements of this formula are defined as follows:
1526T is the total dollar allocation for transportation. B is the
1527base transportation dollar allocation prorated by an adjusted
1528student membership count. The adjusted membership count shall be
1529derived from a multiplicative index function in which the base
1530student membership is adjusted by multiplying it by index
1531numbers that individually account for the impact of the price
1532level index, average bus occupancy, and the extent of rural
1533population in the district. EX is the base transportation dollar
1534allocation for disabled students prorated by an adjusted
1535disabled student membership count. The base transportation
1536dollar allocation for disabled students is the total state base
1537disabled student membership count weighted for increased costs
1538associated with transporting disabled students and multiplying
1539it by the prior year's average per student cost for
1540transportation. The adjusted disabled student membership count
1541shall be derived from a multiplicative index function in which
1542the weighted base disabled student membership is adjusted by
1543multiplying it by index numbers that individually account for
1544the impact of the price level index, average bus occupancy, and
1545the extent of rural population in the district. Each adjustment
1546factor shall be designed to affect the base allocation by no
1547more or less than 10 percent.
1548     (3)  The total allocation to each district for
1549transportation of students shall be the sum of the amounts
1550determined in subsection (2). If the funds appropriated for the
1551purpose of implementing this section are not sufficient to pay
1552the base transportation allocation and the base transportation
1553allocation for disabled students, the Department of Education
1554shall prorate the available funds on a percentage basis. If the
1555funds appropriated for the purpose of implementing this section
1556exceed the sum of the base transportation allocation and the
1557base transportation allocation for disabled students, the base
1558transportation allocation for disabled students shall be limited
1559to the amount calculated in subsection (2), and the remaining
1560balance shall be added to the base transportation allocation.
1561     (4)  No district shall use funds to purchase transportation
1562equipment and supplies at prices which exceed those determined
1563by the department to be the lowest which can be obtained, as
1564prescribed in s. 1006.27(1).
1565     (5)  Funds allocated or apportioned for the payment of
1566student transportation services may be used to pay for
1567transportation of students to and from school on local general
1568purpose transportation systems. Student transportation funds may
1569also be used to pay for transportation of students to and from
1570school in private passenger cars and boats when the
1571transportation is for isolated students, or students with
1572disabilities as defined by rule. Subject to the rules of the
1573State Board of Education, each school district shall determine
1574and report the number of assigned students using general purpose
1575transportation private passenger cars and boats. The allocation
1576per student must be equal to the allocation per student riding a
1577school bus.
1578     (6)  Notwithstanding other provisions of this section, in
1579no case shall any student or students be counted for
1580transportation funding more than once per day. This provision
1581includes counting students for funding pursuant to trips in
1582school buses, passenger cars, or boats or general purpose
1584     Section 8.  Paragraph (b) of subsection (2) of section
15851012.32, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
1586     1012.32  Qualifications of personnel.-
1587     (2)
1588     (b)  Instructional and noninstructional personnel who are
1589hired or contracted to fill positions in any charter school and
1590members of the governing board of any charter school, in
1591compliance with s. 1002.33(13)(12)(g), must, upon employment,
1592engagement of services, or appointment, undergo background
1593screening as required under s. 1012.465 or s. 1012.56, whichever
1594is applicable, by filing with the district school board for the
1595school district in which the charter school is located a
1596complete set of fingerprints taken by an authorized law
1597enforcement agency or an employee of the school or school
1598district who is trained to take fingerprints.
1600Fingerprints shall be submitted to the Department of Law
1601Enforcement for statewide criminal and juvenile records checks
1602and to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for federal criminal
1603records checks. A person subject to this subsection who is found
1604ineligible for employment under s. 1012.315, or otherwise found
1605through background screening to have been convicted of any crime
1606involving moral turpitude as defined by rule of the State Board
1607of Education, shall not be employed, engaged to provide
1608services, or serve in any position that requires direct contact
1609with students. Probationary persons subject to this subsection
1610terminated because of their criminal record have the right to
1611appeal such decisions. The cost of the background screening may
1612be borne by the district school board, the charter school, the
1613employee, the contractor, or a person subject to this
1615     Section 9.  (1)  The Office of Program Policy Analysis and
1616Government Accountability (OPPAGA) shall conduct a study
1617comparing the funding of charter schools with traditional public
1618schools and shall:
1619     (a)  Identify the school districts that distribute funds
1620generated by the capital improvement millage authorized pursuant
1621to s. 1011.71(2), Florida Statutes, to charter schools and the
1622use of such funds by the charter schools.
1623     (b)  Determine the amount of funds that would be available
1624to charter schools if school districts equitably distribute to
1625district schools, including charter schools, funds generated by
1626the capital improvement millage authorized pursuant to s.
16271011.71(2), Florida Statutes.
1628     (c)  Examine the costs associated with supervising charter
1629schools and determine if the 5-percent administrative fee for
1630administrative and educational services for charter schools
1631covers the costs associated with the provision of the services.
1632     (2)  OPPAGA shall make recommendations, if warranted, for
1633improving the accountability and equity of the funding system
1634for charter schools based on the findings of the study. The
1635results of the study shall be provided to the Governor, the
1636President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of
1637Representatives no later than January 1, 2011.
1638     Section 10.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2010.

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