CS for SB 2126 First Engrossed (ntc)
1 A bill to be entitled
2 An act relating to the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship
3 Program; transferring, renumbering, and amending s.
4 220.187, F.S.; revising definitions; making operation
5 of the program contingent upon available funds;
6 revising certain eligibility criteria; revising tax
7 credit grant provisions; specifying a tax credit cap;
8 providing for increasing the tax credit cap under
9 certain circumstances; providing application
10 procedures and requirements; providing for unused
11 amounts of tax credits to be carried forward;
12 providing application requirements; providing
13 limitations on conveying, assigning, or transferring
14 tax credits; revising provisions governing the
15 rescission of taxpayer tax credits; deleting a
16 prohibition against claiming certain multiple tax
17 credits; specifying additional obligations for
18 eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organizations
19 relating to development and review of certain
20 accounting procedures and guidelines; providing
21 reporting requirements; limiting private school
22 participation eligibility to certain grades; requiring
23 private schools to annually contract with accountants
24 to perform certain procedures; providing reporting and
25 procedural requirements; revising certain obligations
26 of the Department of Education; specifying additional
27 requirements for certain independent research
28 organizations; providing responsibilities of the
29 Department of Education; deleting certain requirements
30 for independent research organizations; authorizing
31 the Commissioner of Education to deny, suspend, or
32 revoke private school program participation under
33 certain circumstances; providing requirements and
34 criteria; revising limitations on annual amounts of
35 scholarships provided; deleting certain corporate tax
36 credit carryforward authority; revising certain
37 rulemaking authority; providing for severability and
38 for preserving certain additional tax credits;
39 creating s. 211.0251, F.S.; providing for a credit
40 against the oil and gas production tax for certain
41 program contributions; requiring the Department of
42 Revenue to disregard certain tax credits for certain
43 purposes; providing for application; creating s.
44 212.1831, F.S.; providing for a credit against sales
45 and use tax for certain program contributions;
46 requiring the Department of Revenue to disregard
47 certain tax credits for certain purposes; providing
48 for application; amending s. 213.053, F.S.; expanding
49 the authority of the Department of Revenue to disclose
50 certain information; amending s. 220.13, F.S.;
51 revising the determination of additions to adjusted
52 federal income; providing intent; providing for
53 construction of certain provisions; providing for
54 retroactive application; creating s. 220.1875, F.S.;
55 providing for a credit against the corporate income
56 tax for certain program contributions; providing
57 limitations; providing for adjustments; providing for
58 application; creating s. 561.1211, F.S.; providing for
59 a credit against certain alcoholic beverage taxes for
60 certain contributions; requiring the Department of
61 Revenue to disregard certain tax credits for certain
62 purposes; providing for application; amending ss.
63 220.02, 220.186, 624.51055, 1001.10, 1002.20, 1002.23,
64 1002.39, 1002.421, 1006.061, 1012.315, and 1012.796,
65 F.S.; conforming cross-references to changes made by
66 the act; providing effective dates.
68 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
70 Section 1. Section 220.187, Florida Statutes, is
71 transferred, renumbered as section 1002.395, Florida Statutes,
72 and amended to read:
220.187 Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program
74 Credits for contributions to nonprofit scholarship-funding
76 (1) FINDINGS AND PURPOSE.—
77 (a) The Legislature finds that:
78 1. It has the inherent power to determine subjects of
79 taxation for general or particular public purposes.
80 2. Expanding educational opportunities and improving the
81 quality of educational services within the state are valid
82 public purposes that the Legislature may promote using its
83 sovereign power to determine subjects of taxation and exemptions
84 from taxation.
85 3. Ensuring that all parents, regardless of means, may
86 exercise and enjoy their basic right to educate their children
87 as they see fit is a valid public purpose that the Legislature
88 may promote using its sovereign power to determine subjects of
89 taxation and exemptions from taxation.
90 4. Expanding educational opportunities and the healthy
91 competition they promote are critical to improving the quality
92 of education in the state and to ensuring that all children
93 receive the high-quality education to which they are entitled.
94 (b) The purpose of this section is to:
95 1. Enable taxpayers to make private, voluntary
96 contributions to nonprofit scholarship-funding organizations in
97 order to promote the general welfare.
98 2. Provide taxpayers who wish to help parents with limited
99 resources exercise their basic right to educate their children
100 as they see fit with a means to do so.
101 3. Promote the general welfare by expanding educational
102 opportunities for children of families that have limited
103 financial resources.
104 4. Enable children in this state to achieve a greater level
105 of excellence in their education.
106 5. Improve the quality of education in this state, both by
107 expanding educational opportunities for children and by creating
108 incentives for schools to achieve excellence.
109 (2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
110 (a) “Annual tax credit amount” means, for any state fiscal
111 year, the sum of the amount of tax credits approved under
112 paragraph (5)(b), including tax credits to be taken under s.
113 220.1875 or s. 624.51055, which are approved for a taxpayer
114 whose taxable year begins on or after January 1 of the calendar
115 year preceding the start of the applicable state fiscal year.
116 (b) (a) “Department” means the Department of Revenue.
117 (c) (b) “Direct certification list” means the certified list
118 of children who qualify for the Food Stamp Program, the
119 Temporary Assistance to Needy Families Program, or the Food
120 Distribution Program on Indian Reservations provided to the
121 Department of Education by the Department of Children and Family
123 (d) “Division” means the Division of Alcoholic Beverages
124 and Tobacco of the Department of Business and Professional
126 (e) (c) “Eligible contribution” means a monetary
127 contribution from a taxpayer, subject to the restrictions
128 provided in this section, to an eligible nonprofit scholarship
129 funding organization. The taxpayer making the contribution may
130 not designate a specific child as the beneficiary of the
132 (f) (d) “Eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
133 organization” means a charitable organization that:
134 1. Is exempt from federal income tax pursuant to s.
135 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code;
136 2. Is a Florida entity formed under chapter 607, chapter
137 608, or chapter 617 and whose principal office is located in the
138 state; and
139 3. Complies with the provisions of subsection (6).
140 (g) (e) “Eligible private school” means a private school, as
141 defined in s. 1002.01(2), located in Florida which offers an
142 education to students in any grades K-12 and that meets the
143 requirements in subsection (8).
144 (h) (f) “Owner or operator” includes:
145 1. An owner, president, officer, or director of an eligible
146 nonprofit scholarship-funding organization or a person with
147 equivalent decisionmaking authority over an eligible nonprofit
148 scholarship-funding organization.
149 2. An owner, operator, superintendent, or principal of an
150 eligible private school or a person with equivalent
151 decisionmaking authority over an eligible private school.
152 (i) “Tax credit cap amount” means the maximum annual tax
153 credit amount that the department may approve in a state fiscal
155 (j) “Unweighted FTE funding amount” means the statewide
156 average total funds per unweighted full-time equivalent funding
157 amount that is incorporated by reference in the General
158 Appropriations Act, or any subsequent special appropriations
159 act, for the applicable state fiscal year.
160 (3) PROGRAM; SCHOLARSHIP ELIGIBILITY.—
161 (a) The Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program is
163 (b) Contingent upon available funds:
164 1. A student is eligible for a Florida tax credit
165 scholarship under this section or s. 624.51055 if the student
166 qualifies for free or reduced-price school lunches under the
167 National School Lunch Act or is on the direct certification list
169 a. (a) Was counted as a full-time equivalent student during
170 the previous state fiscal year for purposes of state per-student
172 b. (b) Received a scholarship from an eligible nonprofit
173 scholarship-funding organization or from the State of Florida
174 during the previous school year;
175 c. (c) Is eligible to enter kindergarten or first grade; or
176 d. (d) Is currently placed, or during the previous state
177 fiscal year was placed, in foster care as defined in s. 39.01.
178 2. Contingent upon available funds, A student may continue
179 in the scholarship program as long as the student’s household
180 income level does not exceed 230 200 percent of the federal
181 poverty level.
182 3. A sibling of a student who is continuing in the
183 scholarship program and who resides in the same household as the
184 student shall also be eligible as a first-time tax credit
185 scholarship recipient if the sibling meets one or more of the
186 criteria specified in subparagraph 1. and as long as the
187 student’s and sibling’s household income level does not exceed
188 230 200 percent of the federal poverty level.
189 (c) Household income for purposes of a student who is
190 currently in foster care as defined in s. 39.01 shall consist
191 only of the income that may be considered in determining whether
192 he or she qualifies for free or reduced-price school lunches
193 under the National School Lunch Act.
194 (4) SCHOLARSHIP PROHIBITIONS.—A student is not eligible for
195 a scholarship while he or she is:
196 (a) Enrolled in a school operating for the purpose of
197 providing educational services to youth in Department of
198 Juvenile Justice commitment programs;
199 (b) Receiving a scholarship from another eligible nonprofit
200 scholarship-funding organization under this section;
201 (c) Receiving an educational scholarship pursuant to
202 chapter 1002;
203 (d) Participating in a home education program as defined in
204 s. 1002.01(1);
205 (e) Participating in a private tutoring program pursuant to
206 s. 1002.43;
207 (f) Participating in a virtual school, correspondence
208 school, or distance learning program that receives state funding
209 pursuant to the student’s participation unless the participation
210 is limited to no more than two courses per school year; or
211 (g) Enrolled in the Florida School for the Deaf and the
213 (5) AUTHORIZATION TO GRANT SCHOLARSHIP FUNDING TAX CREDITS;
214 LIMITATIONS ON INDIVIDUAL AND TOTAL CREDITS.—
215 (a)1. The tax credit cap amount is $140 million in the
216 2010-2011 state fiscal year.
217 2. In the 2011-2012 state fiscal year and each state fiscal
218 year thereafter, the tax credit cap amount is the tax credit cap
219 amount in the prior state fiscal year. However, in any state
220 fiscal year when the annual tax credit amount for the prior
221 state fiscal year is equal to or greater than 90 percent of the
222 tax credit cap amount applicable to that state fiscal year, the
223 tax credit cap amount shall increase by 25 percent. The
224 department shall publish on its website information identifying
225 the tax credit cap amount when it is increased pursuant to this
226 subparagraph. There is allowed a credit of 100 percent of an
227 eligible contribution against any tax due for a taxable year
228 under this chapter. However, such a credit may not exceed 75
229 percent of the tax due under this chapter for the taxable year,
230 after the application of any other allowable credits by the
231 taxpayer. The credit granted by this section shall be reduced by
232 the difference between the amount of federal corporate income
233 tax taking into account the credit granted by this section and
234 the amount of federal corporate income tax without application
235 of the credit granted by this section.
236 (b) A taxpayer may submit an application to the department
237 for a tax credit or credits under one or more of s. 211.0251, s.
238 212.1831, s. 220.1875, s. 561.1211, or s. 624.51055. The
239 taxpayer shall specify in the application each tax for which the
240 taxpayer requests a credit and the applicable taxable year for a
241 credit under s. 220.1875 or s. 624.51055 or the applicable state
242 fiscal year for a credit under s. 211.0251, s. 212.1831, or s.
243 561.1211. The department shall approve tax credits on a first
244 come, first-served basis and must obtain the division’s approval
245 prior to approving a tax credit under s. 561.1211. For each
246 state fiscal year, the total amount of tax credits and
247 carryforward of tax credits which may be granted under this
248 section and s. 624.51055 is $118 million.
249 (c) If a tax credit approved under paragraph (b)is not
250 fully used within the specified state fiscal year for credits
251 under s. 211.0251, s. 212.1831, or s. 561.1211 or against taxes
252 due for the specified taxable year for credits under s. 220.1875
253 or s. 624.51055 because of insufficient tax liability on the
254 part of the taxpayer, the unused amount may be carried forward
255 for a period not to exceed 3 years. However, any taxpayer that
256 seeks to carry forward an unused amount of tax credit must
257 submit an application to the department for approval of the
258 carryforward tax credit in the year that the taxpayer intends to
259 use the carryforward. The department must obtain the division’s
260 approval prior to approving the carryforward of a tax credit
261 under s. 561.1211. A taxpayer who files a Florida consolidated
262 return as a member of an affiliated group pursuant to s.
263 220.131 (1) may be allowed the credit on a consolidated return
264 basis; however, the total credit taken by the affiliated group
265 is subject to the limitation established under paragraph (a).
266 (d) A taxpayer may not convey, assign, or transfer an
267 approved tax credit or a carryforward tax credit to another
268 entity unless all of the assets of the taxpayer are conveyed,
269 assigned, or transferred in the same transaction.
270 (e) (d) Within any state fiscal year Effective for tax years
271 beginning January 1, 2006, a taxpayer may rescind all or part of
272 a its allocated tax credit approved under paragraph (b) this
273 section. The amount rescinded shall become available for
274 purposes of the cap for that state fiscal year under this
275 section to another an eligible taxpayer as approved by the
276 department if the taxpayer receives notice from the department
277 that the rescindment has been accepted by the department and the
278 taxpayer has not previously rescinded any or all of its tax
279 credits approved credit allocation under paragraph (b) this
280 section more than once in the previous 3 tax years. The
281 department must obtain the division’s approval prior to
282 accepting the rescindment of a tax credit under s. 561.1211. Any
283 amount rescinded under this paragraph shall become available to
284 an eligible taxpayer on a first-come, first-served basis based
285 on tax credit applications received after the date the
286 rescindment is accepted by the department.
287 (e) A taxpayer who is eligible to receive the credit
288 provided for in s. 624.51055 is not eligible to receive the
289 credit provided by this section.
290 (6) OBLIGATIONS OF ELIGIBLE NONPROFIT SCHOLARSHIP-FUNDING
291 ORGANIZATIONS.—An eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
293 (a) Must comply with the antidiscrimination provisions of
294 42 U.S.C. s. 2000d.
295 (b) Must comply with the following background check
297 1. All owners and operators as defined in subparagraph
298 (2)(h) (f)1. are, upon employment or engagement to provide
299 services, subject to level 2 background screening as provided
300 under chapter 435. The fingerprints for the background screening
301 must be electronically submitted to the Department of Law
302 Enforcement and can be taken by an authorized law enforcement
303 agency or by an employee of the eligible nonprofit scholarship
304 funding organization or a private company who is trained to take
305 fingerprints. However, the complete set of fingerprints of an
306 owner or operator may not be taken by the owner or operator. The
307 results of the state and national criminal history check shall
308 be provided to the Department of Education for screening under
309 chapter 435. The cost of the background screening may be borne
310 by the eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization or
311 the owner or operator.
312 2. Every 5 years following employment or engagement to
313 provide services or association with an eligible nonprofit
314 scholarship-funding organization, each owner or operator must
315 meet level 2 screening standards as described in s. 435.04, at
316 which time the nonprofit scholarship-funding organization shall
317 request the Department of Law Enforcement to forward the
318 fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for level 2
319 screening. If the fingerprints of an owner or operator are not
320 retained by the Department of Law Enforcement under subparagraph
321 3., the owner or operator must electronically file a complete
322 set of fingerprints with the Department of Law Enforcement. Upon
323 submission of fingerprints for this purpose, the eligible
324 nonprofit scholarship-funding organization shall request that
325 the Department of Law Enforcement forward the fingerprints to
326 the Federal Bureau of Investigation for level 2 screening, and
327 the fingerprints shall be retained by the Department of Law
328 Enforcement under subparagraph 3.
329 3. Beginning July 1, 2007, all fingerprints submitted to
330 the Department of Law Enforcement as required by this paragraph
331 must be retained by the Department of Law Enforcement in a
332 manner approved by rule and entered in the statewide automated
333 fingerprint identification system authorized by s. 943.05(2)(b).
334 The fingerprints must thereafter be available for all purposes
335 and uses authorized for arrest fingerprint cards entered in the
336 statewide automated fingerprint identification system pursuant
337 to s. 943.051.
338 4. Beginning July 1, 2007, the Department of Law
339 Enforcement shall search all arrest fingerprint cards received
340 under s. 943.051 against the fingerprints retained in the
341 statewide automated fingerprint identification system under
342 subparagraph 3. Any arrest record that is identified with an
343 owner’s or operator’s fingerprints must be reported to the
344 Department of Education. The Department of Education shall
345 participate in this search process by paying an annual fee to
346 the Department of Law Enforcement and by informing the
347 Department of Law Enforcement of any change in the employment,
348 engagement, or association status of the owners or operators
349 whose fingerprints are retained under subparagraph 3. The
350 Department of Law Enforcement shall adopt a rule setting the
351 amount of the annual fee to be imposed upon the Department of
352 Education for performing these services and establishing the
353 procedures for the retention of owner and operator fingerprints
354 and the dissemination of search results. The fee may be borne by
355 the owner or operator of the nonprofit scholarship-funding
357 5. A nonprofit scholarship-funding organization whose owner
358 or operator fails the level 2 background screening shall not be
359 eligible to provide scholarships under this section.
360 6. A nonprofit scholarship-funding organization whose owner
361 or operator in the last 7 years has filed for personal
362 bankruptcy or corporate bankruptcy in a corporation of which he
363 or she owned more than 20 percent shall not be eligible to
364 provide scholarships under this section.
365 (c) Must not have an owner or operator who owns or operates
366 an eligible private school that is participating in the
367 scholarship program.
368 (d) Must provide scholarships, from eligible contributions,
369 to eligible students for the cost of:
370 1. Tuition and fees for an eligible private school; or
371 2. Transportation to a Florida public school that is
372 located outside the district in which the student resides or to
373 a lab school as defined in s. 1002.32.
374 (e) Must give priority to eligible students who received a
375 scholarship from an eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
376 organization or from the State of Florida during the previous
377 school year.
378 (f) Must provide a scholarship to an eligible student on a
379 first-come, first-served basis unless the student qualifies for
380 priority pursuant to paragraph (e).
381 (g) May not restrict or reserve scholarships for use at a
382 particular private school or provide scholarships to a child of
383 an owner or operator.
384 (h) Must allow an eligible student to attend any eligible
385 private school and must allow a parent to transfer a scholarship
386 during a school year to any other eligible private school of the
387 parent’s choice.
388 (i)1. May use up to 3 percent of eligible contributions
389 received during the state fiscal year in which such
390 contributions are collected for administrative expenses if the
391 organization has operated under this section for at least 3
392 state fiscal years and did not have any negative financial
393 findings in its most recent audit under paragraph (l). Such
394 administrative expenses must be reasonable and necessary for the
395 organization’s management and distribution of eligible
396 contributions under this section. No more than one-third of the
397 funds authorized for administrative expenses under this
398 subparagraph may be used for expenses related to the recruitment
399 of contributions from taxpayers.
400 2. Must expend for annual or partial-year scholarships an
401 amount equal to or greater than 75 percent of the net eligible
402 contributions remaining after administrative expenses during the
403 state fiscal year in which such contributions are collected. No
404 more than 25 percent of such net eligible contributions may be
405 carried forward to the following state fiscal year. Any amounts
406 carried forward shall be expended for annual or partial-year
407 scholarships in the following state fiscal year. Net eligible
408 contributions remaining on June 30 of each year that are in
409 excess of the 25 percent that may be carried forward shall be
410 returned to the State Treasury for deposit in the General
411 Revenue Fund.
412 3. Must, before granting a scholarship for an academic
413 year, document each scholarship student’s eligibility for that
414 academic year. A scholarship-funding organization may not grant
415 multiyear scholarships in one approval process.
416 (j) Must maintain separate accounts for scholarship funds
417 and operating funds.
418 (k) With the prior approval of the Department of Education,
419 may transfer funds to another eligible nonprofit scholarship
420 funding organization if additional funds are required to meet
421 scholarship demand at the receiving nonprofit scholarship
422 funding organization. A transfer shall be limited to the greater
423 of $500,000 or 20 percent of the total contributions received by
424 the nonprofit scholarship-funding organization making the
425 transfer. All transferred funds must be deposited by the
426 receiving nonprofit scholarship-funding organization into its
427 scholarship accounts. All transferred amounts received by any
428 nonprofit scholarship-funding organization must be separately
429 disclosed in the annual financial and compliance audit required
430 in this section.
431 (l) Must provide to the Auditor General and the Department
432 of Education an annual financial and compliance audit of its
433 accounts and records conducted by an independent certified
434 public accountant and in accordance with rules adopted by the
435 Auditor General. The audit must be conducted in compliance with
436 generally accepted auditing standards and must include a report
437 on financial statements presented in accordance with generally
438 accepted accounting principles set forth by the American
439 Institute of Certified Public Accountants for not-for-profit
440 organizations and a determination of compliance with the
441 statutory eligibility and expenditure requirements set forth in
442 this section. Audits must be provided to the Auditor General and
443 the Department of Education within 180 days after completion of
444 the eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization’s fiscal
446 (m) Must prepare and submit quarterly reports to the
447 Department of Education pursuant to paragraph (9)(m). In
448 addition, an eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization
449 must submit in a timely manner any information requested by the
450 Department of Education relating to the scholarship program.
451 (n)1.a. Must participate in the joint development of
452 agreed-upon procedures to be performed by an independent
453 certified public accountant as required under paragraph (8)(e)
454 if the scholarship-funding organization provided more than
455 $250,000 in scholarship funds to an eligible private school
456 under this section during the 2009-2010 state fiscal year. The
457 agreed-upon procedures must uniformly apply to all private
458 schools and must determine, at a minimum, whether the private
459 school has been verified as eligible by the Department of
460 Education under paragraph (9)(c); has an adequate accounting
461 system, system of financial controls, and process for deposit
462 and classification of scholarship funds; and has properly
463 expended scholarship funds for education-related expenses.
464 During the development of the procedures, the participating
465 scholarship-funding organizations shall specify guidelines
466 governing the materiality of exceptions that may be found during
467 the accountant’s performance of the procedures. The procedures
468 and guidelines shall be provided to private schools and the
469 Commissioner of Education by March 15, 2011.
470 b. Must participate in a joint review of the agreed-upon
471 procedures and guidelines developed under sub-subparagraph a.,
472 by February 2013 and biennially thereafter, if the scholarship
473 funding organization provided more than $250,000 in scholarship
474 funds to an eligible private school under this section during
475 the state fiscal year preceding the biennial review. If the
476 procedures and guidelines are revised, the revisions must be
477 provided to private schools and the Commissioner of Education by
478 March 15, 2013, and biennially thereafter.
479 c. Must monitor the compliance of a private school with
480 paragraph (8)(e) if the scholarship-funding organization
481 provided the majority of the scholarship funding to the school.
482 For each private school subject to paragraph (8)(e), the
483 appropriate scholarship-funding organization shall notify the
484 Commissioner of Education by October 30, 2011, and annually
485 thereafter of:
486 (I) A private school’s failure to submit a report required
487 under paragraph (8)(e); or
488 (II) Any material exceptions set forth in the report
489 required under paragraph (8)(e).
490 2. Must seek input from the accrediting associations that
491 are members of the Florida Association of Academic Nonpublic
492 Schools when jointly developing the agreed-upon procedures and
493 guidelines under sub-subparagraph 1.a. and conducting a review
494 of those procedures and guidelines under sub-subparagraph 1.b.
496 Any and all information and documentation provided to the
497 Department of Education and the Auditor General relating to the
498 identity of a taxpayer that provides an eligible contribution
499 under this section shall remain confidential at all times in
500 accordance with s. 213.053.
501 (7) PARENT AND STUDENT RESPONSIBILITIES FOR PROGRAM
503 (a) The parent must select an eligible private school and
504 apply for the admission of his or her child.
505 (b) The parent must inform the child’s school district when
506 the parent withdraws his or her child to attend an eligible
507 private school.
508 (c) Any student participating in the scholarship program
509 must remain in attendance throughout the school year unless
510 excused by the school for illness or other good cause.
511 (d) Each parent and each student has an obligation to the
512 private school to comply with the private school’s published
514 (e) The parent shall ensure that the student participating
515 in the scholarship program takes the norm-referenced assessment
516 offered by the private school. The parent may also choose to
517 have the student participate in the statewide assessments
518 pursuant to s. 1008.22. If the parent requests that the student
519 participating in the scholarship program take statewide
520 assessments pursuant to s. 1008.22, the parent is responsible
521 for transporting the student to the assessment site designated
522 by the school district.
523 (f) Upon receipt of a scholarship warrant from the eligible
524 nonprofit scholarship-funding organization, the parent to whom
525 the warrant is made must restrictively endorse the warrant to
526 the private school for deposit into the account of the private
527 school. The parent may not designate any entity or individual
528 associated with the participating private school as the parent’s
529 attorney in fact to endorse a scholarship warrant. A participant
530 who fails to comply with this paragraph forfeits the
532 (8) PRIVATE SCHOOL ELIGIBILITY AND OBLIGATIONS.—An eligible
533 private school may be sectarian or nonsectarian and must:
534 (a) Comply with all requirements for private schools
535 participating in state school choice scholarship programs
536 pursuant to s. 1002.421.
537 (b) Provide to the eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
538 organization, upon request, all documentation required for the
539 student’s participation, including the private school’s and
540 student’s fee schedules.
541 (c) Be academically accountable to the parent for meeting
542 the educational needs of the student by:
543 1. At a minimum, annually providing to the parent a written
544 explanation of the student’s progress.
545 2. Annually administering or making provision for students
546 participating in the scholarship program in grades 3 through 10
547 to take one of the nationally norm-referenced tests identified
548 by the Department of Education. Students with disabilities for
549 whom standardized testing is not appropriate are exempt from
550 this requirement. A participating private school must report a
551 student’s scores to the parent and to the independent research
552 organization selected by the Department of Education as
553 described in paragraph (9)(j).
554 3. Cooperating with the scholarship student whose parent
555 chooses to have the student participate in the statewide
556 assessments pursuant to s. 1008.22.
557 (d) Employ or contract with teachers who have regular and
558 direct contact with each student receiving a scholarship under
559 this section at the school’s physical location.
560 (e) Annually contract with an independent certified public
561 accountant to perform the agreed-upon procedures developed under
562 paragraph (6)(n) and produce a report of the results if the
563 private school receives more than $250,000 in funds from
564 scholarships awarded under this section in the 2010-2011 state
565 fiscal year or a state fiscal year thereafter. A private school
566 subject to this paragraph must submit the report by September
567 15, 2011, and annually thereafter to the scholarship-funding
568 organization that awarded the majority of the school’s
569 scholarship funds. The agreed-upon procedures must be conducted
570 in accordance with attestation standards established by the
571 American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
573 The inability of a private school to meet the requirements of
574 this subsection shall constitute a basis for the ineligibility
575 of the private school to participate in the scholarship program
576 as determined by the Department of Education.
577 (9) DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION OBLIGATIONS.—The Department of
578 Education shall:
579 (a) Annually submit to the department and division, by
580 March 15, a list of eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
581 organizations that meet the requirements of paragraph (2)(f) (d).
582 (b) Annually verify the eligibility of nonprofit
583 scholarship-funding organizations that meet the requirements of
584 paragraph (2)(f) (d).
585 (c) Annually verify the eligibility of private schools that
586 meet the requirements of subsection (8).
587 (d) Annually verify the eligibility of expenditures as
588 provided in paragraph (6)(d) using the audit required by
589 paragraph (6)(l).
590 (e) Establish a toll-free hotline that provides parents and
591 private schools with information on participation in the
592 scholarship program.
593 (f) Establish a process by which individuals may notify the
594 Department of Education of any violation by a parent, private
595 school, or school district of state laws relating to program
596 participation. The Department of Education shall conduct an
597 inquiry of any written complaint of a violation of this section,
598 or make a referral to the appropriate agency for an
599 investigation, if the complaint is signed by the complainant and
600 is legally sufficient. A complaint is legally sufficient if it
601 contains ultimate facts that show that a violation of this
602 section or any rule adopted by the State Board of Education has
603 occurred. In order to determine legal sufficiency, the
604 Department of Education may require supporting information or
605 documentation from the complainant. A department inquiry is not
606 subject to the requirements of chapter 120.
607 (g) Require an annual, notarized, sworn compliance
608 statement by participating private schools certifying compliance
609 with state laws and shall retain such records.
610 (h) Cross-check the list of participating scholarship
611 students with the public school enrollment lists to avoid
613 (i) Maintain a list of nationally norm-referenced tests
614 identified for purposes of satisfying the testing requirement in
615 subparagraph (8)(c)2. The tests must meet industry standards of
616 quality in accordance with State Board of Education rule.
617 (j) Select an independent research organization, which may
618 be a public or private entity or university, to which
619 participating private schools must report the scores of
620 participating students on the nationally norm-referenced tests
621 administered by the private school in grades 3 through 10.
622 1. The independent research organization must annually
623 report to the Department of Education on the year-to-year
624 learning gains improvements of participating students:
625 a. On a statewide basis. The report shall also include, to
626 the extent possible, a comparison of these learning gains to the
627 statewide learning gains of public school students with
628 socioeconomic backgrounds similar to those of students
629 participating in the scholarship program. The independent
630 research organization must analyze and report student
631 performance data in a manner that protects the rights of
632 students and parents as mandated in 20 U.S.C. s. 1232g, the
633 Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, and must not
634 disaggregate data to a level that will disclose the academic
635 level of individual students or of individual schools. To the
636 extent possible, the independent research organization must
637 accumulate historical performance data on students from the
638 Department of Education and private schools to describe baseline
639 performance and to conduct longitudinal studies. To minimize
640 costs and reduce time required for the independent research
641 organization’s third-party analysis and evaluation, the
642 Department of Education shall conduct analyses of matched
643 students from public school assessment data and calculate
644 control group learning gains using an agreed-upon methodology
645 outlined in the contract with the independent research
646 organization; and third-party evaluator
647 b. According to each participating private school in which
648 there are at least 30 participating students who have scores for
649 tests administered during or after the 2009-2010 school year for
650 2 consecutive years at that private school.
651 2. The sharing and reporting of student learning gain data
652 under this paragraph must be in accordance with requirements of
653 20 U.S.C. s. 1232g, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy
654 Act, and shall be for the sole purpose of creating the annual
655 report required by subparagraph 1 conducting the evaluation. All
656 parties must preserve the confidentiality of such information as
657 required by law. The annual report must not disaggregate data to
658 a level that will identify individual participating schools,
659 except as required under sub-subparagraph 1.b., or disclose the
660 academic level of individual students.
661 3. The annual report required by subparagraph 1. shall be
662 published by the Department of Education on its website.
663 (k) Notify an eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
664 organization of any of the organization’s identified students
665 who are receiving educational scholarships pursuant to chapter
667 (l) Notify an eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
668 organization of any of the organization’s identified students
669 who are receiving tax credit scholarships from other eligible
670 nonprofit scholarship-funding organizations.
671 (m) Require quarterly reports by an eligible nonprofit
672 scholarship-funding organization regarding the number of
673 students participating in the scholarship program, the private
674 schools at which the students are enrolled, and other
675 information deemed necessary by the Department of Education.
676 (n)1. Conduct random site visits to private schools
677 participating in the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program. The
678 purpose of the site visits is solely to verify the information
679 reported by the schools concerning the enrollment and attendance
680 of students, the credentials of teachers, background screening
681 of teachers, and teachers’ fingerprinting results. The
682 Department of Education may not make more than seven random site
683 visits each year and may not make more than one random site
684 visit each year to the same private school.
685 2. Annually, by December 15, report to the Governor, the
686 President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of
687 Representatives the Department of Education’s actions with
688 respect to implementing accountability in the scholarship
689 program under this section and s. 1002.421, any substantiated
690 allegations or violations of law or rule by an eligible private
691 school under this program concerning the enrollment and
692 attendance of students, the credentials of teachers, background
693 screening of teachers, and teachers’ fingerprinting results and
694 the corrective action taken by the Department of Education.
695 (o) Provide a process to match the direct certification
696 list with the scholarship application data submitted by any
697 nonprofit scholarship-funding organization eligible to receive
698 the 3-percent administrative allowance under paragraph (6)(i).
699 (10) SCHOOL DISTRICT OBLIGATIONS; PARENTAL OPTIONS.—Upon
700 the request of any eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
701 organization, a school district shall inform all households
702 within the district receiving free or reduced-priced meals under
703 the National School Lunch Act of their eligibility to apply for
704 a tax credit scholarship. The form of such notice shall be
705 provided by the eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
706 organization, and the district shall include the provided form,
707 if requested by the organization, in any normal correspondence
708 with eligible households. If an eligible nonprofit scholarship
709 funding organization requests a special communication to be
710 issued to households within the district receiving free or
711 reduced-price meals under the National School Lunch Act, the
712 organization shall reimburse the district for the cost of
713 postage. Such notice is limited to once a year.
714 (11) COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION AUTHORITY AND OBLIGATIONS.—
715 (a)1. The Commissioner of Education shall deny, suspend, or
716 revoke a private school’s participation in the scholarship
717 program if it is determined that the private school has failed
718 to comply with the provisions of this section. However, in
719 instances in which the noncompliance is correctable within a
720 reasonable amount of time and in which the health, safety, or
721 welfare of the students is not threatened, the commissioner may
722 issue a notice of noncompliance that shall provide the private
723 school with a timeframe within which to provide evidence of
724 compliance prior to taking action to suspend or revoke the
725 private school’s participation in the scholarship program.
726 2. The Commissioner of Education may deny, suspend, or
727 revoke a private school’s participation in the scholarship
728 program if the commissioner determines that an owner or operator
729 of the private school is operating or has operated an
730 educational institution in this state or another state or
731 jurisdiction in a manner contrary to the health, safety, or
732 welfare of the public. In making this determination, the
733 commissioner may consider factors that include, but are not
734 limited to, acts or omissions by an owner or operator that led
735 to a previous denial or revocation of participation in an
736 education scholarship program; an owner’s or operator’s failure
737 to reimburse the Department of Education for scholarship funds
738 improperly received or retained by a school; imposition of a
739 prior criminal or civil administrative sanction related to an
740 owner’s or operator’s management or operation of an educational
741 institution; or other types of criminal proceedings in which the
742 owner or operator was found guilty of, regardless of
743 adjudication, or entered a plea of nolo contendere or guilty to,
744 any offense involving fraud, deceit, dishonesty, or moral
746 (b) The commissioner’s determination is subject to the
748 1. If the commissioner intends to deny, suspend, or revoke
749 a private school’s participation in the scholarship program, the
750 Department of Education shall notify the private school of such
751 proposed action in writing by certified mail and regular mail to
752 the private school’s address of record with the Department of
753 Education. The notification shall include the reasons for the
754 proposed action and notice of the timelines and procedures set
755 forth in this paragraph.
756 2. The private school that is adversely affected by the
757 proposed action shall have 15 days from receipt of the notice of
758 proposed action to file with the Department of Education’s
759 agency clerk a request for a proceeding pursuant to ss. 120.569
760 and 120.57. If the private school is entitled to a hearing under
761 s. 120.57(1), the Department of Education shall forward the
762 request to the Division of Administrative Hearings.
763 3. Upon receipt of a request referred pursuant to this
764 paragraph, the director of the Division of Administrative
765 Hearings shall expedite the hearing and assign an administrative
766 law judge who shall commence a hearing within 30 days after the
767 receipt of the formal written request by the division and enter
768 a recommended order within 30 days after the hearing or within
769 30 days after receipt of the hearing transcript, whichever is
770 later. Each party shall be allowed 10 days in which to submit
771 written exceptions to the recommended order. A final order shall
772 be entered by the agency within 30 days after the entry of a
773 recommended order. The provisions of this subparagraph may be
774 waived upon stipulation by all parties.
775 (c) The commissioner may immediately suspend payment of
776 scholarship funds if it is determined that there is probable
777 cause to believe that there is:
778 1. An imminent threat to the health, safety, and welfare of
779 the students; or
780 2. Fraudulent activity on the part of the private school.
781 Notwithstanding s. 1002.22, in incidents of alleged fraudulent
782 activity pursuant to this section, the Department of Education’s
783 Office of Inspector General is authorized to release personally
784 identifiable records or reports of students to the following
785 persons or organizations:
786 a. A court of competent jurisdiction in compliance with an
787 order of that court or the attorney of record in accordance with
788 a lawfully issued subpoena, consistent with the Family
789 Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. s. 1232g.
790 b. A person or entity authorized by a court of competent
791 jurisdiction in compliance with an order of that court or the
792 attorney of record pursuant to a lawfully issued subpoena,
793 consistent with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act,
794 20 U.S.C. s. 1232g.
795 c. Any person, entity, or authority issuing a subpoena for
796 law enforcement purposes when the court or other issuing agency
797 has ordered that the existence or the contents of the subpoena
798 or the information furnished in response to the subpoena not be
799 disclosed, consistent with the Family Educational Rights and
800 Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. s. 1232g, and 34 C.F.R. s. 99.31.
802 The commissioner’s order suspending payment pursuant to this
803 paragraph may be appealed pursuant to the same procedures and
804 timelines as the notice of proposed action set forth in
805 paragraph (b).
806 (12) SCHOLARSHIP AMOUNT AND PAYMENT.—
807 (a)1. Except as provided in subparagraph 2., the amount of
808 a scholarship provided to any student for any single school year
809 by an eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization from
810 eligible contributions shall be for total costs authorized under
811 paragraph (6)(d), not to exceed the following annual limits,
812 which shall be determined as follows:
813 a. 1. Three thousand nine hundred fifty dollars For a
814 scholarship awarded to a student enrolled in an eligible private
815 school: for
816 (I) For the 2009-2010 state fiscal year, the limit shall be
817 $3,950 the 2008-2009 state fiscal year and each fiscal year
819 (II) For the 2010-2011 state fiscal year, the limit shall
820 be 60 percent of the unweighted FTE funding amount for that
822 (III) For the 2011-2012 state fiscal year and thereafter,
823 the limit shall be determined by multiplying the unweighted FTE
824 funding amount in that state fiscal year by the percentage used
825 to determine the limit in the prior state fiscal year. However,
826 in each state fiscal year that the tax credit cap amount
827 increases pursuant to subparagraph (5)(a)2., the prior year
828 percentage shall be increased by 4 percentage points and the
829 increased percentage shall be used to determine the limit for
830 that state fiscal year. If the percentage so calculated reaches
831 80 percent in a state fiscal year, no further increase in the
832 percentage is allowed and the limit shall be 80 percent of the
833 unweighted FTE funding amount for that state fiscal year and
835 b. 2. Five hundred dollars For a scholarship awarded to a
836 student enrolled in a Florida public school that is located
837 outside the district in which the student resides or in a lab
838 school as defined in s. 1002.32, the limit shall be $500.
839 2. The annual limit for a scholarship under sub
840 subparagraph 1.a. shall be reduced by:
841 a. Twenty-five percent if the student’s household income
842 level is equal to or greater than 200 percent, but less than 215
843 percent, of the federal poverty level.
844 b. Fifty percent if the student’s household income level is
845 equal to or greater than 215 percent, but equal to or less than
846 230 percent, of the federal poverty level.
847 (b) Payment of the scholarship by the eligible nonprofit
848 scholarship-funding organization shall be by individual warrant
849 made payable to the student’s parent. If the parent chooses that
850 his or her child attend an eligible private school, the warrant
851 must be delivered by the eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
852 organization to the private school of the parent’s choice, and
853 the parent shall restrictively endorse the warrant to the
854 private school. An eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
855 organization shall ensure that the parent to whom the warrant is
856 made restrictively endorsed the warrant to the private school
857 for deposit into the account of the private school.
858 (c) An eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization
859 shall obtain verification from the private school of a student’s
860 continued attendance at the school for each period covered by a
861 scholarship payment.
862 (d) Payment of the scholarship shall be made by the
863 eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization no less
864 frequently than on a quarterly basis.
865 (13) ADMINISTRATION; RULES.—
866 (a) If the credit granted pursuant to this section is not
867 fully used in any one year because of insufficient tax liability
868 on the part of the corporation, the unused amount may be carried
869 forward for a period not to exceed 3 years; however, any
870 taxpayer that seeks to carry forward an unused amount of tax
871 credit must submit an application for allocation of tax credits
872 or carryforward credits as required in paragraph (d) in the year
873 that the taxpayer intends to use the carryforward. This
874 carryforward applies to all approved contributions made after
875 January 1, 2002. A taxpayer may not convey, assign, or transfer
876 the credit authorized by this section to another entity unless
877 all of the assets of the taxpayer are conveyed, assigned, or
878 transferred in the same transaction.
879 (b) An application for a tax credit pursuant to this
880 section shall be submitted to the department on forms
881 established by rule of the department.
882 (a) (c) The department, the division, and the Department of
883 Education shall develop a cooperative agreement to assist in the
884 administration of this section.
885 (b) (d) The department shall adopt rules necessary to
886 administer this section and ss. 211.0251, 212.1831, 220.1875,
887 561.1211, and 624.51055, including rules establishing
888 application forms, and procedures and governing the approval
889 allocation of tax credits and carryforward tax credits under
890 subsection (5), and procedures to be followed by taxpayers when
891 claiming approved tax credits on their returns this section on a
892 first-come, first-served basis.
893 (c) The division shall adopt rules necessary to administer
894 its responsibilities under this section and s. 561.1211.
895 (d) (e) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules
896 pursuant to ss. 120.536 (1) and 120.54 to administer the
897 responsibilities this section as it relates to the roles of the
898 Department of Education and the Commissioner of Education under
899 this section.
900 (14) DEPOSITS OF ELIGIBLE CONTRIBUTIONS.—All eligible
901 contributions received by an eligible nonprofit scholarship
902 funding organization shall be deposited in a manner consistent
903 with s. 17.57(2).
904 (15) PRESERVATION OF CREDIT.—If any provision or portion of
905 this section, s. 211.0251, s. 212.1831, s. 220.1875, s.
906 561.1211, or s. 624.51055 subsection (5) or the application
907 thereof to any person or circumstance is held unconstitutional
908 by any court or is otherwise declared invalid, the
909 unconstitutionality or invalidity shall not affect any credit
910 earned under s. 211.0251, s. 212.1831, s. 220.1875, s. 561.1211,
911 or s. 624.51055 subsection (5) by any taxpayer with respect to
912 any contribution paid to an eligible nonprofit scholarship
913 funding organization before the date of a determination of
914 unconstitutionality or invalidity. Such credit shall be allowed
915 at such time and in such a manner as if a determination of
916 unconstitutionality or invalidity had not been made, provided
917 that nothing in this subsection by itself or in combination with
918 any other provision of law shall result in the allowance of any
919 credit to any taxpayer in excess of one dollar of credit for
920 each dollar paid to an eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
922 Section 2. Effective January 1, 2011, section 211.0251,
923 Florida Statutes, is created to read:
924 211.0251 Credit for contributions to eligible nonprofit
925 scholarship-funding organizations.—There is allowed a credit of
926 100 percent of an eligible contribution made to an eligible
927 nonprofit scholarship-funding organization under s. 1002.395
928 against any tax due under s. 211.02 or s. 211.025. However, a
929 credit allowed under this section may not exceed 50 percent of
930 the tax due on the return the credit is taken. For purposes of
931 the distributions of tax revenue under s. 211.06, the department
932 shall disregard any tax credits allowed under this section to
933 ensure that any reduction in tax revenue received which is
934 attributable to the tax credits results only in a reduction in
935 distributions to the General Revenue Fund. The provisions of s.
936 1002.395 apply to the credit authorized by this section.
937 Section 3. Effective January 1, 2011, section 212.1831,
938 Florida Statutes, is created to read:
939 212.1831 Credit for contributions to eligible nonprofit
940 scholarship-funding organizations.—There is allowed a credit of
941 100 percent of an eligible contribution made to an eligible
942 nonprofit scholarship-funding organization under s. 1002.395
943 against any tax imposed by the state and due under this chapter
944 from a direct pay permit holder as a result of the direct pay
945 permit held pursuant to s. 212.183. For purposes of the
946 distributions of tax revenue under s. 212.20, the department
947 shall disregard any tax credits allowed under this section to
948 ensure that any reduction in tax revenue received that is
949 attributable to the tax credits results only in a reduction in
950 distributions to the General Revenue Fund. The provisions of s.
951 1002.395 apply to the credit authorized by this section.
952 Section 4. Paragraph (u) of subsection (8) of section
953 213.053, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
954 213.053 Confidentiality and information sharing.—
955 (8) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section,
956 the department may provide:
957 (u) Information relative to ss. 211.0251, 212.1831,
958 220.1875, 561.1211, 624.51055, and 1002.395 s. 220.187 to the
959 Department of Education and the Division of Alcoholic Beverages
960 and Tobacco in the conduct of its official business.
962 Disclosure of information under this subsection shall be
963 pursuant to a written agreement between the executive director
964 and the agency. Such agencies, governmental or nongovernmental,
965 shall be bound by the same requirements of confidentiality as
966 the Department of Revenue. Breach of confidentiality is a
967 misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided by s.
968 775.082 or s. 775.083.
969 Section 5. Subsection (8) of section 220.02, Florida
970 Statutes, is amended to read:
971 220.02 Legislative intent.—
972 (8) It is the intent of the Legislature that credits
973 against either the corporate income tax or the franchise tax be
974 applied in the following order: those enumerated in s. 631.828,
975 those enumerated in s. 220.191, those enumerated in s. 220.181,
976 those enumerated in s. 220.183, those enumerated in s. 220.182,
977 those enumerated in s. 220.1895, those enumerated in s. 221.02,
978 those enumerated in s. 220.184, those enumerated in s. 220.186,
979 those enumerated in s. 220.1845, those enumerated in s. 220.19,
980 those enumerated in s. 220.185, those enumerated in s. 220.1875
981 220.187, those enumerated in s. 220.192, those enumerated in s.
982 220.193, and those enumerated in s. 288.9916.
983 Section 6. Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section
984 220.13, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
985 220.13 “Adjusted federal income” defined.—
986 (1) The term “adjusted federal income” means an amount
987 equal to the taxpayer’s taxable income as defined in subsection
988 (2), or such taxable income of more than one taxpayer as
989 provided in s. 220.131, for the taxable year, adjusted as
991 (a) Additions.—There shall be added to such taxable income:
992 1. The amount of any tax upon or measured by income,
993 excluding taxes based on gross receipts or revenues, paid or
994 accrued as a liability to the District of Columbia or any state
995 of the United States which is deductible from gross income in
996 the computation of taxable income for the taxable year.
997 2. The amount of interest which is excluded from taxable
998 income under s. 103(a) of the Internal Revenue Code or any other
999 federal law, less the associated expenses disallowed in the
1000 computation of taxable income under s. 265 of the Internal
1001 Revenue Code or any other law, excluding 60 percent of any
1002 amounts included in alternative minimum taxable income, as
1003 defined in s. 55(b)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code, if the
1004 taxpayer pays tax under s. 220.11(3).
1005 3. In the case of a regulated investment company or real
1006 estate investment trust, an amount equal to the excess of the
1007 net long-term capital gain for the taxable year over the amount
1008 of the capital gain dividends attributable to the taxable year.
1009 4. That portion of the wages or salaries paid or incurred
1010 for the taxable year which is equal to the amount of the credit
1011 allowable for the taxable year under s. 220.181. This
1012 subparagraph shall expire on the date specified in s. 290.016
1013 for the expiration of the Florida Enterprise Zone Act.
1014 5. That portion of the ad valorem school taxes paid or
1015 incurred for the taxable year which is equal to the amount of
1016 the credit allowable for the taxable year under s. 220.182. This
1017 subparagraph shall expire on the date specified in s. 290.016
1018 for the expiration of the Florida Enterprise Zone Act.
1019 6. The amount of emergency excise tax paid or accrued as a
1020 liability to this state under chapter 221 which tax is
1021 deductible from gross income in the computation of taxable
1022 income for the taxable year.
1023 7. That portion of assessments to fund a guaranty
1024 association incurred for the taxable year which is equal to the
1025 amount of the credit allowable for the taxable year.
1026 8. In the case of a nonprofit corporation which holds a
1027 pari-mutuel permit and which is exempt from federal income tax
1028 as a farmers’ cooperative, an amount equal to the excess of the
1029 gross income attributable to the pari-mutuel operations over the
1030 attributable expenses for the taxable year.
1031 9. The amount taken as a credit for the taxable year under
1032 s. 220.1895.
1033 10. Up to nine percent of the eligible basis of any
1034 designated project which is equal to the credit allowable for
1035 the taxable year under s. 220.185.
1036 11. The amount taken as a credit for the taxable year under
1037 s. 220.1875 220.187. The addition in this subparagraph is
1038 intended to ensure that the same amount is not allowed for the
1039 tax purposes of this state as both a deduction from income and a
1040 credit against the tax. This addition is not intended to result
1041 in adding the same expense back to income more than once.
1042 12. The amount taken as a credit for the taxable year under
1043 s. 220.192.
1044 13. The amount taken as a credit for the taxable year under
1045 s. 220.193.
1046 14. Any portion of a qualified investment, as defined in s.
1047 288.9913, which is claimed as a deduction by the taxpayer and
1048 taken as a credit against income tax pursuant to s. 288.9916.
1049 Section 7. The amendment to s. 220.13(1)(a)11., Florida
1050 Statutes, made by this act is intended to be clarifying and
1051 remedial in nature and shall apply retroactively to tax credits
1052 under s. 220.187, Florida Statutes, between January 1, 2002, and
1053 June 30, 2010, for taxes due under chapter 220, Florida
1054 Statutes, and prospectively to tax credits under s. 220.1875,
1055 Florida Statutes.
1056 Section 8. Subsection (2) of section 220.186, Florida
1057 Statutes, is amended to read:
1058 220.186 Credit for Florida alternative minimum tax.—
1059 (2) The credit pursuant to this section shall be the amount
1060 of the excess, if any, of the tax paid based upon taxable income
1061 determined pursuant to s. 220.13(2)(k) over the amount of tax
1062 which would have been due based upon taxable income without
1063 application of s. 220.13(2)(k), before application of this
1064 credit without application of any credit under s. 220.1875
1066 Section 9. Section 220.1875, Florida Statutes, is created
1067 to read:
1068 220.1875 Credit for contributions to eligible nonprofit
1069 scholarship-funding organizations.—
1070 (1) There is allowed a credit of 100 percent of an eligible
1071 contribution made to an eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
1072 organization under s. 1002.395 against any tax due for a taxable
1073 year under this chapter. However, such a credit may not exceed
1074 75 percent of the tax due under this chapter for the taxable
1075 year, after the application of any other allowable credits by
1076 the taxpayer. The credit granted by this section shall be
1077 reduced by the difference between the amount of federal
1078 corporate income tax taking into account the credit granted by
1079 this section and the amount of federal corporate income tax
1080 without application of the credit granted by this section.
1081 (2) A taxpayer who files a Florida consolidated return as a
1082 member of an affiliated group pursuant to s. 220.131(1) may be
1083 allowed the credit on a consolidated return basis; however, the
1084 total credit taken by the affiliated group is subject to the
1085 limitation established under subsection (1).
1086 (3) The provisions of s. 1002.395 apply to the credit
1087 authorized by this section.
1088 Section 10. Section 561.1211, Florida Statutes, is created
1089 to read:
1090 561.1211 Credit for contributions to eligible nonprofit
1091 scholarship-funding organizations.—There is allowed a credit of
1092 100 percent of an eligible contribution made to an eligible
1093 nonprofit scholarship-funding organization under s. 1002.395
1094 against any tax due under s. 563.05, s. 564.06, or s. 565.12,
1095 except excise taxes imposed on wine produced by manufacturers in
1096 this state from products grown in this state. However, a credit
1097 allowed under this section may not exceed 90 percent of the tax
1098 due on the return the credit is taken. For purposes of the
1099 distributions of tax revenue under ss. 561.121 and 564.06(10),
1100 the division shall disregard any tax credits allowed under this
1101 section to ensure that any reduction in tax revenue received
1102 that is attributable to the tax credits results only in a
1103 reduction in distributions to the General Revenue Fund. The
1104 provisions of s. 1002.395 apply to the credit authorized by this
1106 Section 11. Section 624.51055, Florida Statutes, is amended
1107 to read:
1108 624.51055 Credit for contributions to eligible nonprofit
1109 scholarship-funding organizations.—
1110 (1) There is allowed a credit of 100 percent of an eligible
1111 contribution made to an eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
1112 organization under s. 1002.395 as provided in s. 220.187 against
1113 any tax due for a taxable year under s. 624.509(1). However,
1114 such a credit may not exceed 75 percent of the tax due under s.
1115 624.509(1) after deducting from such tax deductions for
1116 assessments made pursuant to s. 440.51; credits for taxes paid
1117 under ss. 175.101 and 185.08; credits for income taxes paid
1118 under chapter 220; credits for the emergency excise tax paid
1119 under chapter 221; and the credit allowed under s. 624.509(5),
1120 as such credit is limited by s. 624.509(6). An insurer claiming
1121 a credit against premium tax liability under this section shall
1122 not be required to pay any additional retaliatory tax levied
1123 pursuant to s. 624.5091 as a result of claiming such credit.
1124 Section 624.5091 does not limit such credit in any manner.
1125 (2) The provisions of s. 1002.395 220.187 apply to the
1126 credit authorized by this section.
1127 Section 12. Subsections (4) and (5) of section 1001.10,
1128 Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
1129 1001.10 Commissioner of Education; general powers and
1131 (4) The Department of Education shall provide technical
1132 assistance to school districts, charter schools, the Florida
1133 School for the Deaf and the Blind, and private schools that
1134 accept scholarship students under s. 220.187 or s. 1002.39 or s.
1135 1002.395 in the development of policies, procedures, and
1136 training related to employment practices and standards of
1137 ethical conduct for instructional personnel and school
1138 administrators, as defined in s. 1012.01.
1139 (5) The Department of Education shall provide authorized
1140 staff of school districts, charter schools, the Florida School
1141 for the Deaf and the Blind, and private schools that accept
1142 scholarship students under s. 220.187 or s. 1002.39 or s.
1143 1002.395 with access to electronic verification of information
1144 from the following employment screening tools:
1145 (a) The Professional Practices’ Database of Disciplinary
1146 Actions Against Educators; and
1147 (b) The Department of Education’s Teacher Certification
1150 This subsection does not require the department to provide these
1151 staff with unlimited access to the databases. However, the
1152 department shall provide the staff with access to the data
1153 necessary for performing employment history checks of the
1154 instructional personnel and school administrators included in
1155 the databases.
1156 Section 13. Paragraph (b) of subsection (6) of section
1157 1002.20, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
1158 1002.20 K-12 student and parent rights.—Parents of public
1159 school students must receive accurate and timely information
1160 regarding their child’s academic progress and must be informed
1161 of ways they can help their child to succeed in school. K-12
1162 students and their parents are afforded numerous statutory
1163 rights including, but not limited to, the following:
1164 (6) EDUCATIONAL CHOICE.—
1165 (b) Private school choices.—Parents of public school
1166 students may seek private school choice options under certain
1168 1. Under the Opportunity Scholarship Program, the parent of
1169 a student in a failing public school may request and receive an
1170 opportunity scholarship for the student to attend a private
1171 school in accordance with the provisions of s. 1002.38.
1172 2. Under the McKay Scholarships for Students with
1173 Disabilities Program, the parent of a public school student with
1174 a disability who is dissatisfied with the student’s progress may
1175 request and receive a McKay Scholarship for the student to
1176 attend a private school in accordance with the provisions of s.
1178 3. Under the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program, the
1179 parent of a student who qualifies for free or reduced-price
1180 school lunch may seek a scholarship from an eligible nonprofit
1181 scholarship-funding organization in accordance with the
1182 provisions of s. 1002.395 220.187.
1183 Section 14. Paragraph (e) of subsection (2) of section
1184 1002.23, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
1185 1002.23 Family and School Partnership for Student
1186 Achievement Act.—
1187 (2) To facilitate meaningful parent and family involvement,
1188 the Department of Education shall develop guidelines for a
1189 parent guide to successful student achievement which describes
1190 what parents need to know about their child’s educational
1191 progress and how they can help their child to succeed in school.
1192 The guidelines shall include, but need not be limited to:
1193 (e) Educational choices, as provided for in s. 1002.20(6),
1194 and Florida tax credit scholarships, as provided for in s.
1195 1002.395 220.187;
1196 Section 15. Paragraph (b) of subsection (3) of section
1197 1002.39, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
1198 1002.39 The John M. McKay Scholarships for Students with
1199 Disabilities Program.—There is established a program that is
1200 separate and distinct from the Opportunity Scholarship Program
1201 and is named the John M. McKay Scholarships for Students with
1202 Disabilities Program.
1203 (3) JOHN M. MCKAY SCHOLARSHIP PROHIBITIONS.—A student is
1204 not eligible for a John M. McKay Scholarship while he or she is:
1205 (b) Receiving a Florida tax credit scholarship under s.
1206 1002.395 220.187;
1207 Section 16. Subsections (1) and (4) of section 1002.421,
1208 Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
1209 1002.421 Accountability of private schools participating in
1210 state school choice scholarship programs.—
1211 (1) A Florida private school participating in the Florida
1212 Tax Credit Scholarship Program established pursuant to s.
1213 1002.395 220.187 or an educational scholarship program
1214 established pursuant to this chapter must comply with all
1215 requirements of this section in addition to private school
1216 requirements outlined in s. 1002.42, specific requirements
1217 identified within respective scholarship program laws, and other
1218 provisions of Florida law that apply to private schools.
1219 (4) A private school that accepts scholarship students
1220 under s. 220.187 or s. 1002.39 or s. 1002.395 must:
1221 (a) Disqualify instructional personnel and school
1222 administrators, as defined in s. 1012.01, from employment in any
1223 position that requires direct contact with students if the
1224 personnel or administrators are ineligible for such employment
1225 under s. 1012.315.
1226 (b) Adopt policies establishing standards of ethical
1227 conduct for instructional personnel and school administrators.
1228 The policies must require all instructional personnel and school
1229 administrators, as defined in s. 1012.01, to complete training
1230 on the standards; establish the duty of instructional personnel
1231 and school administrators to report, and procedures for
1232 reporting, alleged misconduct by other instructional personnel
1233 and school administrators which affects the health, safety, or
1234 welfare of a student; and include an explanation of the
1235 liability protections provided under ss. 39.203 and 768.095. A
1236 private school, or any of its employees, may not enter into a
1237 confidentiality agreement regarding terminated or dismissed
1238 instructional personnel or school administrators, or personnel
1239 or administrators who resign in lieu of termination, based in
1240 whole or in part on misconduct that affects the health, safety,
1241 or welfare of a student, and may not provide the instructional
1242 personnel or school administrators with employment references or
1243 discuss the personnel’s or administrators’ performance with
1244 prospective employers in another educational setting, without
1245 disclosing the personnel’s or administrators’ misconduct. Any
1246 part of an agreement or contract that has the purpose or effect
1247 of concealing misconduct by instructional personnel or school
1248 administrators which affects the health, safety, or welfare of a
1249 student is void, is contrary to public policy, and may not be
1251 (c) Before employing instructional personnel or school
1252 administrators in any position that requires direct contact with
1253 students, conduct employment history checks of each of the
1254 personnel’s or administrators’ previous employers, screen the
1255 personnel or administrators through use of the educator
1256 screening tools described in s. 1001.10(5), and document the
1257 findings. If unable to contact a previous employer, the private
1258 school must document efforts to contact the employer.
1260 The department shall suspend the payment of funds under ss.
1261 220.187 and 1002.39 and 1002.395 to a private school that
1262 knowingly fails to comply with this subsection, and shall
1263 prohibit the school from enrolling new scholarship students, for
1264 1 fiscal year and until the school complies.
1265 Section 17. Section 1006.061, Florida Statutes, is amended
1266 to read:
1267 1006.061 Child abuse, abandonment, and neglect policy.—Each
1268 district school board, charter school, and private school that
1269 accepts scholarship students under s. 220.187 or s. 1002.39 or
1270 s. 1002.395 shall:
1271 (1) Post in a prominent place in each school a notice that,
1272 pursuant to chapter 39, all employees and agents of the district
1273 school board, charter school, or private school have an
1274 affirmative duty to report all actual or suspected cases of
1275 child abuse, abandonment, or neglect; have immunity from
1276 liability if they report such cases in good faith; and have a
1277 duty to comply with child protective investigations and all
1278 other provisions of law relating to child abuse, abandonment,
1279 and neglect. The notice shall also include the statewide toll
1280 free telephone number of the central abuse hotline.
1281 (2) Post in a prominent place at each school site and on
1282 each school’s Internet website, if available, the policies and
1283 procedures for reporting alleged misconduct by instructional
1284 personnel or school administrators which affects the health,
1285 safety, or welfare of a student; the contact person to whom the
1286 report is made; and the penalties imposed on instructional
1287 personnel or school administrators who fail to report suspected
1288 or actual child abuse or alleged misconduct by other
1289 instructional personnel or school administrators.
1290 (3) Require the principal of the charter school or private
1291 school, or the district school superintendent, or the
1292 superintendent’s designee, at the request of the Department of
1293 Children and Family Services, to act as a liaison to the
1294 Department of Children and Family Services and the child
1295 protection team, as defined in s. 39.01, when in a case of
1296 suspected child abuse, abandonment, or neglect or an unlawful
1297 sexual offense involving a child the case is referred to such a
1298 team; except that this does not relieve or restrict the
1299 Department of Children and Family Services from discharging its
1300 duty and responsibility under the law to investigate and report
1301 every suspected or actual case of child abuse, abandonment, or
1302 neglect or unlawful sexual offense involving a child.
1304 The Department of Education shall develop, and publish on the
1305 department’s Internet website, sample notices suitable for
1306 posting in accordance with subsections (1) and (2).
1307 Section 18. Section 1012.315, Florida Statutes, is amended
1308 to read:
1309 1012.315 Disqualification from employment.—A person is
1310 ineligible for educator certification, and instructional
1311 personnel and school administrators, as defined in s. 1012.01,
1312 are ineligible for employment in any position that requires
1313 direct contact with students in a district school system,
1314 charter school, or private school that accepts scholarship
1315 students under s. 220.187 or s. 1002.39 or s. 1002.395, if the
1316 person, instructional personnel, or school administrator has
1317 been convicted of:
1318 (1) Any felony offense prohibited under any of the
1319 following statutes:
1320 (a) Section 393.135, relating to sexual misconduct with
1321 certain developmentally disabled clients and reporting of such
1322 sexual misconduct.
1323 (b) Section 394.4593, relating to sexual misconduct with
1324 certain mental health patients and reporting of such sexual
1326 (c) Section 415.111, relating to adult abuse, neglect, or
1327 exploitation of aged persons or disabled adults.
1328 (d) Section 782.04, relating to murder.
1329 (e) Section 782.07, relating to manslaughter, aggravated
1330 manslaughter of an elderly person or disabled adult, aggravated
1331 manslaughter of a child, or aggravated manslaughter of an
1332 officer, a firefighter, an emergency medical technician, or a
1334 (f) Section 784.021, relating to aggravated assault.
1335 (g) Section 784.045, relating to aggravated battery.
1336 (h) Section 784.075, relating to battery on a detention or
1337 commitment facility staff member or a juvenile probation
1339 (i) Section 787.01, relating to kidnapping.
1340 (j) Section 787.02, relating to false imprisonment.
1341 (k) Section 787.025, relating to luring or enticing a
1343 (l) Section 787.04(2), relating to leading, taking,
1344 enticing, or removing a minor beyond the state limits, or
1345 concealing the location of a minor, with criminal intent pending
1346 custody proceedings.
1347 (m) Section 787.04(3), relating to leading, taking,
1348 enticing, or removing a minor beyond the state limits, or
1349 concealing the location of a minor, with criminal intent pending
1350 dependency proceedings or proceedings concerning alleged abuse
1351 or neglect of a minor.
1352 (n) Section 790.115(1), relating to exhibiting firearms or
1353 weapons at a school-sponsored event, on school property, or
1354 within 1,000 feet of a school.
1355 (o) Section 790.115(2)(b), relating to possessing an
1356 electric weapon or device, destructive device, or other weapon
1357 at a school-sponsored event or on school property.
1358 (p) Section 794.011, relating to sexual battery.
1359 (q) Former s. 794.041, relating to sexual activity with or
1360 solicitation of a child by a person in familial or custodial
1362 (r) Section 794.05, relating to unlawful sexual activity
1363 with certain minors.
1364 (s) Section 794.08, relating to female genital mutilation.
1365 (t) Chapter 796, relating to prostitution.
1366 (u) Chapter 800, relating to lewdness and indecent
1368 (v) Section 806.01, relating to arson.
1369 (w) Section 810.14, relating to voyeurism.
1370 (x) Section 810.145, relating to video voyeurism.
1371 (y) Section 812.014(6), relating to coordinating the
1372 commission of theft in excess of $3,000.
1373 (z) Section 812.0145, relating to theft from persons 65
1374 years of age or older.
1375 (aa) Section 812.019, relating to dealing in stolen
1377 (bb) Section 812.13, relating to robbery.
1378 (cc) Section 812.131, relating to robbery by sudden
1380 (dd) Section 812.133, relating to carjacking.
1381 (ee) Section 812.135, relating to home-invasion robbery.
1382 (ff) Section 817.563, relating to fraudulent sale of
1383 controlled substances.
1384 (gg) Section 825.102, relating to abuse, aggravated abuse,
1385 or neglect of an elderly person or disabled adult.
1386 (hh) Section 825.103, relating to exploitation of an
1387 elderly person or disabled adult.
1388 (ii) Section 825.1025, relating to lewd or lascivious
1389 offenses committed upon or in the presence of an elderly person
1390 or disabled person.
1391 (jj) Section 826.04, relating to incest.
1392 (kk) Section 827.03, relating to child abuse, aggravated
1393 child abuse, or neglect of a child.
1394 (ll) Section 827.04, relating to contributing to the
1395 delinquency or dependency of a child.
1396 (mm) Section 827.071, relating to sexual performance by a
1398 (nn) Section 843.01, relating to resisting arrest with
1400 (oo) Chapter 847, relating to obscenity.
1401 (pp) Section 874.05, relating to causing, encouraging,
1402 soliciting, or recruiting another to join a criminal street
1404 (qq) Chapter 893, relating to drug abuse prevention and
1405 control, if the offense was a felony of the second degree or
1406 greater severity.
1407 (rr) Section 916.1075, relating to sexual misconduct with
1408 certain forensic clients and reporting of such sexual
1410 (ss) Section 944.47, relating to introduction, removal, or
1411 possession of contraband at a correctional facility.
1412 (tt) Section 985.701, relating to sexual misconduct in
1413 juvenile justice programs.
1414 (uu) Section 985.711, relating to introduction, removal, or
1415 possession of contraband at a juvenile detention facility or
1416 commitment program.
1417 (2) Any misdemeanor offense prohibited under any of the
1418 following statutes:
1419 (a) Section 784.03, relating to battery, if the victim of
1420 the offense was a minor.
1421 (b) Section 787.025, relating to luring or enticing a
1423 (3) Any criminal act committed in another state or under
1424 federal law which, if committed in this state, constitutes an
1425 offense prohibited under any statute listed in subsection (1) or
1426 subsection (2).
1427 (4) Any delinquent act committed in this state or any
1428 delinquent or criminal act committed in another state or under
1429 federal law which, if committed in this state, qualifies an
1430 individual for inclusion on the Registered Juvenile Sex Offender
1431 List under s. 943.0435(1)(a)1.d.
1432 Section 19. Paragraph (e) of subsection (1) of section
1433 1012.796, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
1434 1012.796 Complaints against teachers and administrators;
1435 procedure; penalties.—
1437 (e) If allegations arise against an employee who is
1438 certified under s. 1012.56 and employed in an educator
1439 certificated position in any public school, charter school or
1440 governing board thereof, or private school that accepts
1441 scholarship students under s. 220.187 or s. 1002.39 or s.
1442 1002.395, the school shall file in writing with the department a
1443 legally sufficient complaint within 30 days after the date on
1444 which the subject matter of the complaint came to the attention
1445 of the school. A complaint is legally sufficient if it contains
1446 ultimate facts that show a violation has occurred as provided in
1447 s. 1012.795 and defined by rule of the State Board of Education.
1448 The school shall include all known information relating to the
1449 complaint with the filing of the complaint. This paragraph does
1450 not limit or restrict the power and duty of the department to
1451 investigate complaints, regardless of the school’s untimely
1452 filing, or failure to file, complaints and followup reports.
1453 Section 20. Except as otherwise expressly provided in this
1454 act, this act shall take effect July 1, 2010.