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Senate Bill 2882

Senate Bill sb2882c1

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    Florida Senate - 2004                           CS for SB 2882

    By the Committee on Education





    304-2237-04

  1                      A bill to be entitled

  2         An act relating to accountability of the John

  3         M. McKay Scholarships for Students with

  4         Disabilities Program; amending s. 1002.39, F.S;

  5         revising the definition of an eligible student;

  6         revising the definition of prior school year in

  7         attendance; revising the eligibility

  8         requirements of the program to extend the term

  9         of the scholarship; prohibiting certain

10         students from receiving a scholarship; revising

11         the parental notification requirements;

12         authorizing certain scholarship students to

13         participate in a distance learning or

14         correspondence course under certain

15         circumstances; providing a definition of timely

16         parental notification; providing requirements

17         for district school boards with respect to

18         completing and making changes to the matrix of

19         services for scholarship students; requiring

20         school districts to provide parental

21         notification related to reassessments; revising

22         requirements that a participating private

23         school demonstrate fiscal soundness; requiring

24         a surety bond; providing an exception;

25         requiring annual registration of private

26         schools; providing requirements for

27         documentation and notice; providing additional

28         requirements for participating private schools;

29         requiring annual sworn and notarized compliance

30         statements to be filed with the department;

31         requiring specific documentation for

                                  1

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    Florida Senate - 2004                           CS for SB 2882
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 1         participating scholarship students; requiring

 2         that the private school maintain a physical

 3         location in this state; requiring that

 4         information be made available to potential

 5         scholarship students and the department;

 6         requiring scholarship students to participate

 7         in assessments; requiring notification to

 8         parents regarding student skill levels;

 9         requiring notification to the department

10         regarding changes in information; requiring

11         notification to local health departments;

12         requiring fingerprinting of all private school

13         owners, employees, and contractors who are in

14         direct contact with students by a time certain;

15         specifying the personnel who are authorized to

16         take fingerprints; providing for the costs of

17         fingerprinting, criminal records checks, and

18         processing; requiring that the results of

19         fingerprint and criminal records checks be

20         forwarded to the Department of Education;

21         prohibiting a private school from acting as an

22         attorney in fact for the parent of a

23         scholarship student or endorsing scholarship

24         warrants on behalf of a parent; prohibiting

25         participating private schools from sending or

26         directing scholarship funds to parents of a

27         scholarship student who receives instruction at

28         home; prohibiting a participating school from

29         being a correspondence or distance learning

30         school; prohibiting a participating school from

31         accepting students pending verification of

                                  2

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    Florida Senate - 2004                           CS for SB 2882
    304-2237-04




 1         information; authorizing a participating

 2         private school to request, and the department

 3         to grant, closed-enrollment status for a

 4         school; prohibiting the parent of a scholarship

 5         student from designating a participating

 6         private school as the parent's attorney in fact

 7         to sign a scholarship warrant; clarifying that

 8         the school district must report to the

 9         department the students who are attending a

10         private school under the program; establishing

11         additional obligations of the Department of

12         Education; requiring the department to review,

13         approve, and verify information and review

14         background checks; requiring the department to

15         determine the eligibility of a private school

16         to participate in the program; requiring the

17         department to publish an on-line list of

18         current eligible private schools; requiring the

19         department to deny or refuse to allow the

20         participation of a private school for failing

21         to meet certain requirements; requiring the

22         department to issue a notice of noncompliance

23         for minor violations; providing for an

24         emergency order revoking the registration of a

25         private school for failing to satisfy the

26         requirements in the notice; requiring the

27         Department of Education to immediately revoke

28         the registration of a private school for

29         certain other violations; requiring the

30         department to revoke the scholarship for a

31         participant for failing to comply with

                                  3

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    Florida Senate - 2004                           CS for SB 2882
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 1         statutory requirements or for engaging in

 2         specified practices; requiring the department

 3         to conduct investigations of legally sufficient

 4         complaints of violations; authorizing the

 5         department to require supporting information or

 6         documentation; authorizing the Department of

 7         Education to change the matrix of services

 8         under certain circumstances; providing for

 9         audits by the Auditor General or an independent

10         certified public accountant; providing

11         requirements for the audits; requiring the

12         State Board of Education to adopt rules;

13         specifying the required rules; requiring the

14         State Board of Education to initiate the

15         adoption of rules by a time certain and report

16         to the Legislature; providing exceptions for

17         certain participating private schools subject

18         to specific conditions; providing an effective

19         date.

20  

21  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:

22  

23         Section 1.  Subsections (1), (2), (3), (4), and (5) and

24  paragraphs (d) and (e) of subsection (6) of section 1002.39,

25  Florida Statutes, are amended, present subsections (7) and (8)

26  of that section are redesignated as subsections (9) and (10),

27  respectively, and amended, and new subsections (7) and (8) are

28  added to that section, to read:

29         1002.39  The John M. McKay Scholarships for Students

30  with Disabilities Program.--There is established a program

31  that is separate and distinct from the Opportunity Scholarship

                                  4

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    Florida Senate - 2004                           CS for SB 2882
    304-2237-04




 1  Program and is named the John M. McKay Scholarships for

 2  Students with Disabilities Program, pursuant to this section.

 3         (1)  THE JOHN M. MCKAY SCHOLARSHIPS FOR STUDENTS WITH

 4  DISABILITIES PROGRAM.--The John M. McKay Scholarships for

 5  Students with Disabilities Program is established to provide

 6  the option to attend a public school other than the one to

 7  which assigned, or to provide a scholarship to a private

 8  school of choice, for students with disabilities for whom an

 9  individual education plan has been written in accordance with

10  rules of the State Board of Education. Students with

11  disabilities include K-12 students who are documented as

12  having mental retardation, a mentally handicapped, speech or

13  and language impairment, a impaired, deaf or hard of hearing

14  impairment, including deafness, a visual impairment, including

15  blindness, a, visually impaired, dual sensory impairment, a

16  physical impairment, a serious emotional disturbance,

17  including an emotional handicap, a impaired, physically

18  impaired, emotionally handicapped, specific learning

19  disability, including, but not limited to, dyslexia,

20  dyscalculia, or developmental aphasia, a traumatic brain

21  injury disabled, hospitalized or homebound, or autism

22  autistic.

23         (2)  SCHOLARSHIP ELIGIBILITY; PROHIBITIONS.--

24         (a)  The parent of a public school student with a

25  disability who is dissatisfied with the student's progress may

26  request and receive from the state a John M. McKay Scholarship

27  for the child to enroll in and attend a private school in

28  accordance with this section if:

29         1.(a)  By assigned school attendance area or by special

30  assignment, the student has spent the prior school year in

31  attendance at a Florida public school. Prior school year in

                                  5

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    Florida Senate - 2004                           CS for SB 2882
    304-2237-04




 1  attendance means that the student was enrolled and reported as

 2  an exceptional student with a disability, as defined in s.

 3  1003.01(3), with an individual education plan by a school

 4  district for funding during the preceding October and February

 5  Florida Education Finance Program surveys in kindergarten

 6  through grade 12.

 7         2.(b)  The parent has obtained acceptance for admission

 8  of the student to a private school that is eligible for the

 9  program under subsection (4) and has notified the Department

10  of Education school district of the request for a scholarship

11  at least 60 days prior to the date of the first scholarship

12  payment. The parental notification must be through a

13  communication directly to the district or through the

14  Department of Education to the district in a manner that

15  creates a written or electronic record of the notification and

16  the date of receipt of the notification. The Department of

17  Education must notify the district of the parent's intent,

18  upon receipt of the parent's notification.

19  

20  This section does not apply to a student who is enrolled in a

21  school operating for the purpose of providing educational

22  services to youth in Department of Juvenile Justice commitment

23  programs. For purposes of continuity of educational choice,

24  the scholarship shall remain in force until the student

25  returns to a public school or graduates from high school or

26  reaches the age of 22, whichever occurs first. However, at any

27  time, the student's parent may remove the student from the

28  private school and place the student in another private school

29  that is eligible for the program under subsection (4) or in a

30  public school as provided in subsection (3).

31  

                                  6

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    Florida Senate - 2004                           CS for SB 2882
    304-2237-04




 1         (b)  A student is not eligible to receive a scholarship

 2  under this section if he or she:

 3         1.  Receives a scholarship from an eligible scholarship

 4  funding organization under s. 220.187.

 5         2.  Receives an opportunity scholarship under s.

 6  1002.38.

 7         3.  Participates in a home education program as defined

 8  in s. 1002.01(1).

 9         4.  Receives instruction from a correspondence school

10  or participates in distance learning courses.

11         5.  Does not have regular and direct contact with his

12  or her private school teachers at the school's physical

13  location.

14         6.  Is enrolled in a school operating for the purpose

15  of providing educational services to youth in commitment

16  programs of the Department of Juvenile Justice.

17  

18  Notwithstanding the prohibition set forth in subparagraph 4.,

19  a student who receives a John M. McKay Scholarship may

20  participate in a distance learning course or a course offered

21  by a correspondence school, the tuition and other costs of

22  which are not paid by scholarship funds provided under this

23  section.

24         (3)  SCHOOL DISTRICT AND DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

25  OBLIGATIONS.--

26         (a)  The Department of Education A school district

27  shall timely notify the parent of each public school the

28  student of all options available pursuant to this section and

29  offer that student's parent an opportunity to enroll the

30  student in another public school within the district. The

31  parent is not required to accept this offer in lieu of

                                  7

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    Florida Senate - 2004                           CS for SB 2882
    304-2237-04




 1  requesting a John M. McKay Scholarship to a private school.

 2  However, if the parent chooses the public school option, the

 3  student may continue attending a public school chosen by the

 4  parent until the student graduates from high school. If the

 5  parent chooses a public school consistent with the district

 6  school board's choice plan under s. 1002.31, the school

 7  district shall provide transportation to the public school

 8  selected by the parent. The parent is responsible to provide

 9  transportation to a public school chosen that is not

10  consistent with the district school board's choice plan under

11  s. 1002.31. For purposes of this paragraph, timely

12  notification means notification no later than April 1 of each

13  school year.

14         (b)1.  For a student with disabilities who does not

15  have a matrix of services under s. 1011.62(1)(e), the school

16  district must complete a matrix that assigns the student to

17  one of the levels of service as they existed prior to the

18  2000-2001 school year.

19         2.a.  The school district must complete the matrix of

20  services for any student who is participating in the John M.

21  McKay Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program and

22  must notify the Department of Education of the student's

23  matrix level within 30 days after receiving notification by

24  the Department of Education of the parent's student's parent

25  of intent to participate in the scholarship program. The

26  nature and intensity of the services indicated in the matrix

27  must be consistent with the services described in the

28  student's individual education plan.

29         b.  A school district may change a matrix of services

30  only if the change is to:

31  

                                  8

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    Florida Senate - 2004                           CS for SB 2882
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 1         (I)  Correct a technical, typographical, or calculation

 2  error; or

 3         (II)  Align the matrix of services with the student's

 4  individual education plan completed by the public school

 5  district for use in the public school prior to the student

 6  enrolling in or attending a private school.

 7         3.  The Department of Education shall notify the

 8  private school of the amount of the scholarship within 10 days

 9  after receiving the school district's notification of the

10  student's matrix level.

11         4.  Within 10 school days after it receives

12  notification of a parent's intent to apply for a McKay

13  Scholarship, a district school board must notify the student's

14  parent if the matrix has not been completed and provide the

15  parent with the date for completion of the matrix required in

16  this paragraph.

17         (c)  If the parent chooses the private school option

18  and the student is accepted by the private school pending the

19  availability of a space for the student, the parent of the

20  student must notify the Department of Education school

21  district 60 days prior to the first scholarship payment and

22  before entering the private school in order to be eligible for

23  the scholarship when a space becomes available for the student

24  in the private school.

25         (d)  The parent of a student may choose, as an

26  alternative, to enroll the student in and transport the

27  student to a public school in an adjacent school district

28  which has available space and has a program with the services

29  agreed to in the student's individual education plan already

30  in place, and that school district shall accept the student

31  and report the student to the Department of Education for

                                  9

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    Florida Senate - 2004                           CS for SB 2882
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 1  purposes of the district's funding pursuant to the Florida

 2  Education Finance Program.

 3         (e)  For a student in the district who participates in

 4  the John M. McKay Scholarships for Students with Disabilities

 5  Program whose parent requests that the student take the

 6  statewide assessments under s. 1008.22, the district shall

 7  provide locations and times to take all statewide assessments.

 8         (f)  A school district must notify The Department of

 9  Education must notify the school district upon receipt of the

10  within 10 days after it receives notification of a parent's

11  intent to apply for a scholarship for a student with a

12  disability. A school district must provide the student's

13  parent with the student's matrix level within 10 school days

14  after its completion.

15         (g)  A school district shall provide notification to

16  parents of the availability of a reassessment of each student

17  who receives a McKay Scholarship at least every 3 years.

18         (4)  PRIVATE SCHOOL ELIGIBILITY; REGISTRATION;

19  PROHIBITIONS.--

20         (a)  To be eligible to participate in the John M. McKay

21  Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program, a private

22  school must be a Florida private school as defined in s.

23  1002.01(2), may be sectarian or nonsectarian, and must:

24         1.(a)  Demonstrate fiscal soundness by filing with

25  being in operation for 1 school year or provide the Department

26  of Education with a surety bond for the amount equal to the

27  scholarship amount for each quarter of the school year. The

28  surety bond must be filed at the time of the private school's

29  initial registration and at each renewal period thereafter for

30  a total of 2 years. This requirement does not apply to an

31  eligible private school that:

                                  10

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    Florida Senate - 2004                           CS for SB 2882
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 1         a.  Participates in the program for a total of 2 years

 2  or longer; and

 3         b.  Has had no action taken by the Department of

 4  Education against the private school for any violation of this

 5  section during the 2-year period.

 6  

 7  However, any private school that was subject to an action

 8  taken by the department for any violation of this section

 9  shall, following the date on which the action was taken

10  against the private school for a violation of this section,

11  but prior to receiving the next quarterly payment and for 2

12  years thereafter, file a surety bond with the department.

13         2.  Annually register with the Department of Education.

14  Each owner or administrator of a private school must provide

15  the following information:

16         a.  The legal business and trade name, mailing address,

17  and business location of the private school;

18         b.  The full name, address, and telephone number of

19  each owner or administrator of the private school;

20         c.  A notification of the private school's intent to

21  participate in the program under this section. The notice must

22  specify the grade levels and services that the private school

23  has available for students with disabilities who are

24  participating in the scholarship program. statement by a

25  certified public accountant confirming that the private school

26  desiring to participate is insured and the owner or owners

27  have sufficient capital or credit to operate the school for

28  the upcoming year serving the number of students anticipated

29  with expected revenues from tuition and other sources that may

30  be reasonably expected. In lieu of such a statement, a surety

31  bond or letter of credit for the amount equal to the

                                  11

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    Florida Senate - 2004                           CS for SB 2882
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 1  scholarship funds for any quarter may be filed with the

 2  department.

 3         (b)  Notify the Department of Education of its intent

 4  to participate in the program under this section. The notice

 5  must specify the grade levels and services that the private

 6  school has available for students with disabilities who are

 7  participating in the scholarship program.

 8         3.(c)  Comply with the antidiscrimination provisions of

 9  42 U.S.C. s. 2000d.

10         4.(d)  Meet state and local health and safety laws and

11  codes.

12         5.(e)  Be academically accountable to the parent for

13  meeting the educational needs of the student.

14         6.(f)  Employ or contract with teachers who hold

15  baccalaureate or higher degrees, or have at least 3 years of

16  teaching experience in public or private schools, or have

17  special skills, knowledge, or expertise that qualifies them to

18  provide instruction in subjects taught.

19         7.(g)  Comply with all state laws relating to general

20  regulation of private schools, including, but not limited to,

21  s. 1002.42.

22         8.(h)  Publish and adhere to the tenets of its adopted

23  published disciplinary procedures prior to the expulsion of a

24  scholarship student.

25         9.  Provide the Department of Education with all

26  documentation required for each scholarship student's

27  participation in the scholarship program, including, but not

28  limited to:

29         a.  The private school's fee schedule, including, but

30  not limited to, fees for services, tuition, and instructional

31  materials, and each individual scholarship student's schedule

                                  12

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    Florida Senate - 2004                           CS for SB 2882
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 1  of fees and charges, at least 30 days before the first

 2  quarterly scholarship payment is made for the student; and

 3         b.  The enrollment and attendance information,

 4  including an on-line attendance verification form, for each

 5  scholarship student at the private school, prior to each

 6  scholarship payment.

 7  

 8  The on-line attendance form must be documented each quarter by

 9  a notarized statement that is signed by the private school and

10  the parents of each McKay scholarship student in attendance at

11  the private school. The private school must send this

12  documentation to the Department of Education each quarter.

13         10.  Maintain a physical location in this state where a

14  scholarship student regularly attends classes.

15         11.a.  Advertise or notify potential McKay Scholarship

16  students and parents of the specific types of disabilities

17  served by the school, and provide this information to the

18  Department of Education.

19         b.  Review with the parent the student's individual

20  education plan.

21         12.  Require each McKay Scholarship student to

22  participate at least annually in a student assessment which as

23  determined by the private school, in consultation with the

24  student's parent or guardian, will demonstrate the student's

25  skill level to the student's parents.

26         13.  Notify the student's parent at least annually

27  about the student's skill level on a student assessment that

28  is determined by the private school.

29         14.  Notify the Department of Education of any change

30  in the school's registered name or location prior to any such

31  change and notify the Department of Education within 15 days

                                  13

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    Florida Senate - 2004                           CS for SB 2882
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 1  after any other change in the registration information

 2  submitted to the department.

 3         15.  Notify each local health department within 15 days

 4  after establishing operations at a physical location or

 5  address and within 3 days after discovering any ongoing health

 6  code violation that has not yet been remedied in full.

 7         16.  Annually complete and file with the Department of

 8  Education a sworn and notarized compliance statement in a form

 9  and timeline specified in rules adopted by the State Board of

10  Education.

11         17.a.  Complete and file, with the Department of Law

12  Enforcement for state processing and a criminal records check

13  and with the Federal Bureau of Investigation for federal

14  processing and a criminal records check, a complete set of

15  fingerprints for each person who is employed at or under

16  contract with the private school and who is in direct contact

17  with students.

18         b.  All required fingerprints must be filed with the

19  specified authorities within 10 business days after employment

20  or signature of contract.

21         c.  The fingerprints required under this section shall

22  be taken by an authorized law enforcement agency or an

23  employee of the private school who is trained to take

24  fingerprints. The costs of fingerprinting, criminal records

25  checks, and processing shall be borne by the employee or the

26  private school.

27         d.  The results of the criminal records check required

28  under this subparagraph shall be forwarded by the Department

29  of Law Enforcement and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to

30  the owner of the private school for use in employment

31  decisions and to the Department of Education.

                                  14

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 1         18.  In addition to the requirements for fingerprinting

 2  and criminal records checks in s. 1002.42 for state

 3  processing, complete and file with the Department of Law

 4  Enforcement for submission by the Department of law

 5  Enforcement to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for federal

 6  processing and a criminal records check a complete set of

 7  fingerprints for each person who is an owner or administrator

 8  of the private school or who establishes, purchases, or

 9  otherwise becomes an owner of the private school. The results

10  of the criminal records checks required under this

11  subparagraph and s. 1002.42 shall be forwarded by the

12  Department of Law Enforcement and the Federal Bureau of

13  Investigation to the Department of Education and to the owner

14  of the private school.

15         (b)  A private school participating in the John M.

16  McKay Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program may

17  not:

18         1.  Act as attorney in fact for parents of a

19  scholarship student under the authority of a power of attorney

20  executed by such parents, or under any other authority, to

21  endorse scholarship warrants on behalf of parents.

22         2.  Send or direct McKay Scholarship funds to parents

23  of a scholarship student who receives instruction at home.

24         3.  Be a correspondence school or distance learning

25  school.

26         4.  Accept a McKay scholarship student until the sworn

27  and notarized compliance statement has been completed,

28  submitted to, and independently verified by the Department of

29  Education.

30         (c)  A participating private school may request that

31  the school be listed by the Department of Education with a

                                  15

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    Florida Senate - 2004                           CS for SB 2882
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 1  closed-enrollment status in the McKay Scholarship program if

 2  the school is no longer accepting new students with McKay

 3  Scholarships. As used in this paragraph, the term

 4  "closed-enrollment status" means that the private school is no

 5  longer accepting any new student with a McKay Scholarship.

 6  However, the private school is subject to all the requirements

 7  under this section and all applicable rules adopted by the

 8  State Board of Education if the private school is serving a

 9  student with a McKay Scholarship. The private school must

10  provide a written request for closed-enrollment status to the

11  Department of Education. The Department of Education may grant

12  closed-enrollment status to a participating private school.

13  However, closed-enrollment status may not be granted for

14  longer than 1 school year.

15         (5)  OBLIGATION OF PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS.--

16         (a)  A parent who applies for a John M. McKay

17  Scholarship is exercising his or her parental option to place

18  his or her child in a private school. The parent must select

19  the private school and apply for the admission of his or her

20  child.

21         (b)  The parent must have requested the scholarship at

22  least 60 days prior to the date of the first scholarship

23  payment.

24         (c)  Any student participating in the scholarship

25  program must remain in attendance throughout the school year,

26  unless excused by the school for illness or other good cause,

27  and must comply fully with the school's code of conduct.

28         (d)  The parent of each student participating in the

29  scholarship program must comply fully with the private

30  school's parental involvement requirements, unless excused by

31  the school for illness or other good cause.

                                  16

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 1         (e)  If the parent requests that the student

 2  participating in the scholarship program take all statewide

 3  assessments required pursuant to s. 1008.22, the parent is

 4  responsible for transporting the student to the assessment

 5  site designated by the school district.

 6         (f)  Upon receipt of a scholarship warrant, the parent

 7  to whom the warrant is made must restrictively endorse the

 8  warrant to the private school for deposit into the account of

 9  the private school.

10         (g)  The parent of a student participating in the

11  scholarship program may not designate any participating

12  private school as the parent's attorney in fact to sign a

13  scholarship warrant.

14         (h)(g)  A participant who fails to comply with this

15  subsection forfeits the scholarship.

16         (6)  SCHOLARSHIP FUNDING AND PAYMENT.--

17         (d)  The school district shall report to the Department

18  of Education all students who are attending a private school

19  under this program. The students with disabilities attending

20  private schools on John M. McKay Scholarships shall be

21  reported separately from other students reported for purposes

22  of the Florida Education Finance Program.

23         (e)  Following notification on July 1, September 1,

24  December 1, or February 1 of the number of program

25  participants, the Department of Education shall transfer, from

26  General Revenue funds only, the amount calculated under

27  paragraph (b) from the school district's total funding

28  entitlement under the Florida Education Finance Program and

29  from authorized categorical accounts to a separate account for

30  the scholarship program for quarterly disbursement to the

31  parents of participating students. When a student enters the

                                  17

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 1  scholarship program, the Department of Education must receive

 2  all documentation required for the student's participation,

 3  including, but not limited to, the private school's and

 4  student's fee schedules, at least 30 days before the first

 5  quarterly scholarship payment is made for the student. The

 6  Department of Education may not make any retroactive payments.

 7         (7)  OBLIGATIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION.--

 8         (a)  The Department of Education shall perform the

 9  following duties:

10         1.  Review for compliance all documentation required

11  for each scholarship student's participation, including,

12  without limitation, the private school's schedule and the

13  student's fee schedule.

14         2.  Verify the admission acceptance of each scholarship

15  student to an eligible private school prior to the initial

16  scholarship payment.

17         3.  Verify, prior to each scholarship payment, the

18  enrollment and attendance of each scholarship student at the

19  private school and that the scholarship student is not:

20         a.  Receiving a scholarship under s. 220.187 or s.

21  1002.38.

22         b.  Participating in a home education program as

23  defined in s. 1002.01(1).

24         c.  Participating in instruction delivered by a

25  correspondence school or distance learning courses, except as

26  specifically permitted in paragraph (2)(b).

27         d.  Enrolled in a school operating for the purpose of

28  providing education services to youth in commitment programs

29  of the Department of Juvenile Justice.

30         e.  Currently enrolled in a public school in the state,

31  if the student has a scholarship to attend a private school.

                                  18

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 1         4.  Administer and prescribe an annual sworn and

 2  notarized compliance statement for each participating private

 3  school and independently verify the information provided by

 4  each participating private school.

 5         5.  Review all results of the background checks

 6  performed pursuant to subsection (4).

 7         6.  Determine the eligibility of a private school to

 8  accept McKay scholarship students, based upon independent

 9  verification that the private school meets all the

10  requirements in this section and all applicable rules adopted

11  by the State Board of Education.

12         7.  Publish a current, on-line list of eligible private

13  schools.

14         8.  Include each eligible private school on the on-line

15  list of eligible private schools within 10 days after the

16  private school is determined as eligible to participate in the

17  McKay scholarship program.

18         9.  Remove immediately from the on-line list of

19  eligible private schools any school that is determined by the

20  Department of Education to be an ineligible private school, as

21  provided for in paragraph (b).

22         10.  Remove immediately from the on-line list of

23  eligible private schools any school that is determined by the

24  Department of Education to be an ineligible school, as

25  provided for in paragraphs (b) and (c).

26         (b)  The Department of Education shall deny or refuse

27  to allow the participation of any private school if it

28  determines that the private school or any of its owners or

29  administrators has failed to meet the requirements for initial

30  application or renewal as provided in this section.

31  

                                  19

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    Florida Senate - 2004                           CS for SB 2882
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 1         (c)  The Department of Education shall issue a notice

 2  of noncompliance pursuant to s. 120.695 to any participating

 3  private school that violates any of the provisions of this

 4  section or the rules of the State Board of Education, if the

 5  violation is a minor violation as defined in s. 120.695. If a

 6  private school fails to satisfy the requirements specified in

 7  the notice of noncompliance within 30 days after its receipt

 8  by the school, the Department of Education shall issue an

 9  emergency order revoking the registration of the participating

10  private school. The Department of Education shall issue an

11  emergency order to immediately revoke the registration of a

12  participating private school for a violation that is not a

13  minor violation as defined in s. 120.695.

14         (d)  The Department of Education shall revoke the

15  scholarship for a participant who fails to comply with the

16  requirements in subsection (5) or who:

17         1.  Receives a scholarship under s. 220.187 or s.

18  1002.38.

19         2.  Participates in a home education program as defined

20  in s. 1002.01(1).

21         3.  Participates in instruction delivered by a

22  correspondence school or distance learning courses, except as

23  specifically permitted in paragraph (2)(b).

24         4.  Does not have regular and direct contact with the

25  student's private school teachers at the school's physical

26  location.

27         5.  Enrolls in a school operating for the purpose of

28  providing educational services to youth in commitment programs

29  of the Department of Juvenile Justice.

30         (e)  The Department of Education shall conduct an

31  investigation of any written complaint of a violation of this

                                  20

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    Florida Senate - 2004                           CS for SB 2882
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 1  section if the complaint is signed by the complainant and is

 2  legally sufficient. A complaint is legally sufficient if it

 3  contains ultimate facts that show that a violation of this

 4  section or any rule adopted by the State Board of Education

 5  has occurred. In order to determine legal sufficiency, the

 6  Department of Education may require supporting information or

 7  documentation.

 8         (f)  The Department of Education may not change a

 9  matrix of services completed by a school district. However,

10  the department may make the following changes for a matrix for

11  a student if the school district has identified the error but

12  has failed to make a correction in a timely manner:

13         1.  A correction to a technical, typographical, or

14  calculation error; or

15         2.  A change to align the matrix of services with the

16  student's individual education plan completed by the school

17  district for use in the public school prior to the student

18  enrolling in or attending a private school.

19  

20  The department must report any change made under this

21  paragraph to the school district and the parent of the

22  student.

23         (8)  OBLIGATIONS OF THE AUDITOR

24  GENERAL.--Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, the

25  Auditor General must annually audit the Florida Education

26  Finance Program (FEFP) for each school district participating

27  in the John M. McKay Scholarships for Students with

28  Disabilities Program. The audit shall include a review of a

29  sample of the warrants used to pay for the scholarships, as

30  well as random site visits to participating private schools in

31  order to verify student enrollment and other information

                                  21

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    Florida Senate - 2004                           CS for SB 2882
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 1  reported by the private schools as required by rules of the

 2  State Board of Education. In lieu of conducting these audits,

 3  the Auditor General may contract with an independent certified

 4  public accountant to annually conduct an audit of a small

 5  sample of participating private schools, including a review of

 6  a sample of the warrants used to pay for the scholarships, as

 7  well as random site visits to participating private schools in

 8  order to verify student enrollment and other information

 9  reported by the private schools.

10         (9)(7)  LIABILITY.--No liability shall arise on the

11  part of the state based on the award or use of a John M. McKay

12  Scholarship.

13         (10)(8)  RULES.--The State Board of Education shall may

14  adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to

15  administer this section, including rules for:.

16         (a)  Administering the annual sworn and notarized

17  compliance statement to all participating private schools;

18         (b)  Establishing procedures for schools to request

19  closed-enrollment and active status;

20         (c)  Establishing forms for changes to a matrix by a

21  school district and the department;

22         (d)  Implementing the requirement that a private school

23  timely notify the Department of Education of material changes

24  to the school's registration information;

25         (e)  Establishing attendance-verification procedures

26  and forms; and

27         (f)  Establishing procedures for determining student

28  eligibility and approving scholarships.

29  

30  The rules related to the annual sworn and notarized compliance

31  statement shall establish a deadline for the receipt of the

                                  22

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    Florida Senate - 2004                           CS for SB 2882
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 1  initial sworn and notarized compliance statement from the

 2  private school and shall enumerate the items to be included in

 3  the statement. The rules shall enumerate the items to be

 4  included in a subsequent annual sworn and notarized compliance

 5  statement that is required in January of each year from the

 6  private school. However, the inclusion of eligible private

 7  schools within options available to Florida public school

 8  students does not expand the regulatory authority of the

 9  state, its officers, or any school district to impose any

10  additional regulation of private schools beyond those

11  reasonably necessary to enforce requirements expressly set

12  forth in this section.

13         Section 2.  The State Board of Education shall initiate

14  the adoption of rules required by this act 10 days after the

15  effective date of this act. The State Board of Education shall

16  report to the presiding officers of the Legislature by

17  December 1, 2004, on the status of the rulemaking required by

18  this act.

19         Section 3.  (1)  A private school that meets the

20  following requirements on June 1, 2004, is not required to

21  file the surety bond as required in section 1002.39(4)(a)1.,

22  Florida Statutes:

23         (a)  The private school is participating in the Mckay

24  Scholarship Program under section 1002.39, Florida Statutes;

25  and

26         (b)  The private school is determined by the Department

27  of Education to be in compliance with section 1002.39, Florida

28  Statutes.

29         (2)  Notwithstanding section 1002.39(4)(b)4., Florida

30  Statutes, a private school that meets the requirements in

31  

                                  23

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    Florida Senate - 2004                           CS for SB 2882
    304-2237-04




 1  paragraphs (1)(a) and (b) may accept a McKay scholarship

 2  student.

 3         (3)  Notwithstanding subsections (1) and (2), if the

 4  private school becomes, after June 1, 2004, subject to an

 5  action taken by the Department of Education for any violation

 6  of section 1002.39, Florida Statutes, the private school:

 7         (a)  Shall file a surety bond with the Department of

 8  Education following the date on which the action was taken

 9  against the private school for a violation of section 1002.39,

10  Florida Statutes, but prior to receiving the next quarterly

11  payment;

12         (b)  Shall file a surety bond with the Department of

13  Education for 2 additional consecutive years thereafter; and

14         (c)  May not accept new McKay scholarship students

15  until the private school complies with all the requirements in

16  section 1002.39, Florida Statutes, and all applicable rules of

17  the State Board of Education, as determined by the Department

18  of Education.

19         Section 4.  This act shall take effect upon becoming a

20  law.

21  

22          STATEMENT OF SUBSTANTIAL CHANGES CONTAINED IN
                       COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR
23                             SB 2882

24                                 

25  The Committee Substitute requires the student's assessment to
    be determined by the private school, in consultation with the
26  student's parent or guardian. The Committee Substitute also
    makes three technical changes relating to the fingerprinting
27  requirements and the on-line list of eligible private schools.

28  

29  

30  

31  

                                  24

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