November 18, 2019
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_h1569e2
CS/CS/CS/HB 1569

1
A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to charter schools; amending s. 1002.33,
3F.S.; revising requirements for providing financial
4statements to the sponsor of a charter school; providing
5requirements for designation as a high-performing charter
6school; authorizing a high-performing charter school to
7increase enrollment and receive capital outlay funds;
8authorizing a newly approved charter school operated by a
9high-performing education service provider to receive a
1015-year initial charter and become a high-performing
11charter school; providing requirements for retention of
12designation as a high-performing charter school;
13authorizing preference for enrollment in a charter school-
14in-the-workplace and a charter school-in-a-municipality
15for certain students; prohibiting school districts from
16requiring resignations from specified school district
17personnel who desire employment in a charter school;
18revising requirements for the establishment of a charter
19school-in-the-workplace; providing that a charter school-
20in-the-workplace is eligible for capital outlay funding if
21it meets specified requirements; removing a reporting
22requirement relating to student assessment data; requiring
23the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government
24Accountability to conduct a study comparing the funding of
25charter schools with traditional public schools and
26examining certain funding and costs; requiring
27recommendations to the Governor and Legislature, if
28warranted, for improving the accountability and equity of
29the funding system for charter schools; providing an
30effective date.
31
32Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
33
34     Section 1.  Paragraphs (g) and (i) of subsection (9),
35paragraph (d) of subsection (10), paragraph (e) of subsection
36(12), paragraph (b) of subsection (15), and paragraph (b) of
37subsection (21) of section 1002.33, Florida Statutes, are
38amended, and paragraph (q) is added to subsection (9) of that
39section, to read:
40     1002.33  Charter schools.-
41     (9)  CHARTER SCHOOL REQUIREMENTS.-
42     (g)  In order to provide financial information that is
43comparable to that reported for other public schools, charter
44schools are to maintain all financial records that constitute
45their accounting system:
46     1.  In accordance with the accounts and codes prescribed in
47the most recent issuance of the publication titled "Financial
48and Program Cost Accounting and Reporting for Florida Schools";
49or
50     2.  At the discretion of the charter school governing
51board, a charter school may elect to follow generally accepted
52accounting standards for not-for-profit organizations, but must
53reformat this information for reporting according to this
54paragraph.
55
56Charter schools shall provide annual financial report and
57program cost report information in the state-required formats
58for inclusion in district reporting in compliance with s.
591011.60(1). Charter schools that are operated by a municipality
60or are a component unit of a parent nonprofit organization may
61use the accounting system of the municipality or the parent but
62must reformat this information for reporting according to this
63paragraph. A charter school shall provide a monthly financial
64statement to the sponsor, unless the charter school is
65designated as a high-performing charter school under paragraph
66(q), in which case the high-performing charter school shall
67provide a quarterly financial statement. The monthly financial
68statement required under this paragraph shall be in a form
69prescribed by the Department of Education.
70     (i)  The governing body of the charter school shall
71exercise continuing oversight over charter school operations.
72     (q)1.  For purposes of this paragraph, the term:
73     a.  "Entity" means a municipality or other public entity as
74authorized by law to operate a charter school; a private, not-
75for-profit, s. 501(c)(3) status corporation; or a private, for-
76profit corporation.
77     b.  "High-performing education service provider" means an
78entity that:
79     (I)  Operates at least two high-performing charter schools
80in this state;
81     (II)  Has received a school grade of "A" or "B" during the
82previous 3 years for at least 75 percent of the charter schools
83operated by the entity in this state; and
84     (III)  Has not received a school grade of "F" during any of
85the previous 3 years for any charter school operated by the
86entity in this state.
87     2.  A charter school shall be designated as a high-
88performing charter school if during each of the previous 3 years
89the charter school:
90     a.  Received a school grade of "A" or "B";
91     b.  Received an unqualified opinion on each financial audit
92required under s. 218.39; and
93     c.  Did not receive a financial audit that revealed one or
94more of the conditions set forth in s. 218.503(1).
95     3.  A high-performing charter school may:
96     a.  Increase the school's student enrollment once per year
97by up to 25 percent more than the capacity authorized pursuant
98to paragraph (10)(h).
99     b.  Receive charter school capital outlay funds under s.
1001013.62. A high-performing charter school is not required to
101comply with s. 1013.62(1)(a)1.-3. but must comply with all other
102requirements of s. 1013.62 in order to receive charter school
103capital outlay funds as provided in this sub-subparagraph.
104     4.  A high-performing education service provider may submit
105an application pursuant to subsection (6) to establish and
106operate a new charter school that will replicate one or more of
107the provider's existing high-performing charter schools. Upon
108approval of the application by the sponsor, the new charter
109school shall be granted an initial charter for a term of 15
110years and be designated as a high-performing charter school. The
11115-year charter is subject to annual review and may be
112terminated during its term pursuant to subsection (8).
113     5.a.  A charter school that is designated as a high-
114performing charter school may retain such designation pursuant
115to:
116     (I)  Subparagraph 2. if the school's governing board, by
117July 1 of each year, demonstrates in writing to the school's
118sponsor that the charter school continues to meet the
119requirements of subparagraph 2.
120     (II)  Subparagraph 4. during the school's initial 3 years
121of operation if the entity operating the school continues to
122meet the definition of a high-performing education service
123provider under sub-subparagraph 1.b. After the high-performing
124charter school has operated for 3 years, the school must comply
125with sub-sub-subparagraph (I) in order to retain its designation
126as a high-performing charter school.
127     b.  The high-performing charter school designation shall be
128removed if the charter school does not meet the requirements of
129sub-subparagraph a.
130     (10)  ELIGIBLE STUDENTS.-
131     (d)  A charter school may give enrollment preference to the
132following student populations:
133     1.  Students who are siblings of a student enrolled in the
134charter school.
135     2.  Students who are the children of a member of the
136governing board of the charter school.
137     3.  Students who are the children of an employee of the
138charter school.
139     4.  Students who are the children of:
140     a.  An employee of a business partner, or a resident of a
141municipality, that complies with subparagraph (15)(b)1. for a
142charter school-in-the-workplace; or
143     b.  A resident of a municipality that operates a charter-
144school-in-a-municipality pursuant to paragraph (15)(c).
145     (12)  EMPLOYEES OF CHARTER SCHOOLS.-
146     (e)  Employees of a school district may take leave to
147accept employment in a charter school upon the approval of the
148district school board. While employed by the charter school and
149on leave that is approved by the district school board, the
150employee may retain seniority accrued in that school district
151and may continue to be covered by the benefit programs of that
152school district, if the charter school and the district school
153board agree to this arrangement and its financing. School
154districts shall not require resignations from instructional
155personnel, school administrators, or educational support
156employees who desire employment of teachers desiring to teach in
157a charter school. This paragraph shall not prohibit a district
158school board from approving alternative leave arrangements
159consistent with chapter 1012.     
160(15)  CHARTER SCHOOLS-IN-THE-WORKPLACE; CHARTER SCHOOLS-IN-
161A-MUNICIPALITY.-
162     (b)  A charter school-in-the-workplace may be established
163when a business partner or a municipality:
164     1.  Provides one of the following:
165     a.  Access to a the school facility to be used;
166     b.  Resources that materially reduce the cost of
167constructing a school facility;
168     c.  Land for a school facility; or
169     d.  Resources to maintain a school facility;
170     2.  Enrolls students based upon a random lottery that
171involves all of the children of employees of that business
172partner or of residents within that municipality corporation who
173are seeking enrollment, as provided for in subsection (10); and
174     3.  Enrolls students according to the racial/ethnic balance
175provisions described in subparagraph (7)(a)8.
176
177A charter school-in-the-workplace is eligible for charter school
178capital outlay funding if it meets the requirements in s.
1791013.62. Any portion of a facility used for a public charter
180school shall be exempt from ad valorem taxes, as provided for in
181s. 1013.54, for the duration of its use as a public school.
182     (21)  PUBLIC INFORMATION ON CHARTER SCHOOLS.-
183     (b)1.  The Department of Education shall report student
184assessment data pursuant to s. 1008.34(3)(c) which is reported
185to schools that receive a school grade or student assessment
186data pursuant to s. 1008.341(3) which is reported to alternative
187schools that receive a school improvement rating to each charter
188school that:
189     a.  Does not receive a school grade pursuant to s. 1008.34
190or a school improvement rating pursuant to s. 1008.341; and
191     b.  Serves at least 10 students who are tested on the
192statewide assessment test pursuant to s. 1008.22.
193     2.  The charter school shall report the information in
194subparagraph 1. to each parent of a student at the charter
195school, the parent of a child on a waiting list for the charter
196school, the district in which the charter school is located, and
197the governing board of the charter school. This paragraph does
198not abrogate the provisions of s. 1002.22, relating to student
199records, or the requirements of 20 U.S.C. s. 1232g, the Family
200Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
201     3.a.  Pursuant to this paragraph, the Department of
202Education shall compare the charter school student performance
203data for each charter school in subparagraph 1. with the student
204performance data in traditional public schools in the district
205in which the charter school is located and other charter schools
206in the state. For alternative charter schools, the department
207shall compare the student performance data described in this
208paragraph with all alternative schools in the state. The
209comparative data shall be provided by the following grade
210groupings:
211     (I)  Grades 3 through 5;
212     (II)  Grades 6 through 8; and
213     (III)  Grades 9 through 11.
214     b.  Each charter school shall provide the information
215specified in this paragraph on its Internet website and also
216provide notice to the public at large in a manner provided by
217the rules of the State Board of Education. The State Board of
218Education shall adopt rules to administer the notice
219requirements of this subparagraph pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and
220120.54. The website shall include, through links or actual
221content, other information related to school performance.
222     Section 2.  (1)  The Office of Program Policy Analysis and
223Government Accountability shall conduct a study comparing the
224funding of charter schools with traditional public schools and
225shall:
226     (a)  Identify the school districts that distribute funds
227generated by the capital improvement millage authorized pursuant
228to s. 1011.71(2), Florida Statutes, to charter schools and the
229use of such funds by the charter schools.
230     (b)  Determine the amount of funds that would be available
231to charter schools if school districts equitably distribute to
232district schools, including charter schools, funds generated by
233the capital improvement millage authorized pursuant to s.
2341011.71(2), Florida Statutes.
235     (c)  Examine the costs associated with supervising charter
236schools and determine whether the 5-percent administrative fee
237for administrative and educational services for charter schools
238covers the costs associated with the provision of the services.
239     (2)  The Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government
240Accountability shall make recommendations, if warranted, for
241improving the accountability and equity of the funding system
242for charter schools based on the findings of the study. The
243results of the study shall be provided to the Governor, the
244President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of
245Representatives no later than January 1, 2011.
246     Section 3.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2010.


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