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Senate Bill 3000

Senate Bill sb3000c1

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    Florida Senate - 2004                           CS for SB 3000

    By the Committee on Education; and Senator Diaz de la Portilla





    304-2662-04

  1                      A bill to be entitled

  2         An act relating to charter schools; amending s.

  3         1002.33, F.S.; revising authorized purposes of

  4         charter schools; providing for appeals under

  5         certain circumstances; providing for reversion

  6         of capital outlay funds to the Department of

  7         Education under certain circumstances;

  8         providing for designation as one charter school

  9         of schools in a charter school feeder pattern

10         under certain circumstances; revising

11         provisions relating to facility compliance with

12         building construction standards; clarifying

13         Florida Building Code and Florida Fire

14         Prevention Code compliance requirements for

15         charter schools; clarifying jurisdiction for

16         inspections; providing an exemption from

17         assessment of certain fees; providing for use

18         of educational impact fees; requiring an

19         agreement relating to allocation and use of

20         impact fees; requiring a charter school sponsor

21         to provide additional services; prohibiting

22         certain fees or surcharges for certain

23         services; revising provisions relating to

24         contracts for goods and services; requiring a

25         study of transportation issues by the

26         department; amending s. 1002.32, F.S.;

27         correcting the name of a charter lab school;

28         revising provisions relating to the allocation

29         of lab school funds from the Florida Education

30         Finance Program; providing for severability;

31         providing an effective date.

                                  1

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    Florida Senate - 2004                           CS for SB 3000
    304-2662-04




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

 2  

 3         Section 1.  Paragraph (c) of subsection (2), paragraph

 4  (e) of subsection (6), paragraph (e) of subsection (8),

 5  paragraph (c) of subsection (15), subsection (18), and

 6  paragraphs (a) and (b) of subsection (20) of section 1002.33,

 7  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

 8         1002.33  Charter schools.--

 9         (2)  GUIDING PRINCIPLES; PURPOSE.--

10         (c)  Charter schools may fulfill the following

11  purposes:

12         1.  Create innovative measurement tools.

13         2.  Provide rigorous competition within the public

14  school district to stimulate continual improvement in all

15  public schools.

16         3.  Expand the capacity of the public school system.

17         4.  Mitigate the educational impact created by the

18  development of new residential dwelling units.

19         (6)  APPLICATION PROCESS AND REVIEW.--Beginning

20  September 1, 2003, applications are subject to the following

21  requirements:

22         (e)1.  A Charter School Appeal Commission is

23  established to assist the commissioner and the State Board of

24  Education with a fair and impartial review of appeals by

25  applicants whose charter applications charters have been

26  denied, or whose charter contracts have not been renewed or

27  have been terminated by their sponsors, or whose disputes over

28  contract negotiations have not been resolved through

29  mediation.

30         2.  The Charter School Appeal Commission may receive

31  copies of the appeal documents forwarded to the State Board of

                                  2

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    Florida Senate - 2004                           CS for SB 3000
    304-2662-04




 1  Education, review the documents, gather other applicable

 2  information regarding the appeal, and make a written

 3  recommendation to the commissioner. The recommendation must

 4  state whether the appeal should be upheld or denied and

 5  include the reasons for the recommendation being offered. The

 6  commissioner shall forward the recommendation to the State

 7  Board of Education no later than 7 calendar days prior to the

 8  date on which the appeal is to be heard. The state board must

 9  consider the commission's recommendation in making its

10  decision, but is not bound by the recommendation. The decision

11  of the Charter School Appeal Commission is not subject to the

12  provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act, chapter 120.

13         3.  The commissioner shall appoint the members of the

14  Charter School Appeal Commission. Members shall serve without

15  compensation but may be reimbursed for travel and per diem

16  expenses in conjunction with their service. One-half of the

17  members must represent currently operating charter schools,

18  and one-half of the members must represent school districts.

19  The commissioner or a named designee shall chair the Charter

20  School Appeal Commission.

21         4.  The chair shall convene meetings of the commission

22  and shall ensure that the written recommendations are

23  completed and forwarded in a timely manner. In cases where the

24  commission cannot reach a decision, the chair shall make the

25  written recommendation with justification, noting that the

26  decision was rendered by the chair.

27         5.  Commission members shall thoroughly review the

28  materials presented to them from the appellant and the

29  sponsor. The commission may request information to clarify the

30  documentation presented to it. In the course of its review,

31  the commission may facilitate the postponement of an appeal in

                                  3

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    Florida Senate - 2004                           CS for SB 3000
    304-2662-04




 1  those cases where additional time and communication may negate

 2  the need for a formal appeal and both parties agree, in

 3  writing, to postpone the appeal to the State Board of

 4  Education. A new date certain for the appeal shall then be set

 5  based upon the rules and procedures of the State Board of

 6  Education. Commission members shall provide a written

 7  recommendation to the state board as to whether the appeal

 8  should be upheld or denied. A fact-based justification for the

 9  recommendation must be included. The chair must ensure that

10  the written recommendation is submitted to the State Board of

11  Education members no later than 7 calendar days prior to the

12  date on which the appeal is to be heard. Both parties in the

13  case shall also be provided a copy of the recommendation.

14         (8)  CAUSES FOR NONRENEWAL OR TERMINATION OF CHARTER.--

15         (e)  When a charter is not renewed or is terminated,

16  the school shall be dissolved under the provisions of law

17  under which the school was organized, and any unencumbered

18  public funds, except for capital outlay funds, from the

19  charter school shall revert to the district school board.

20  Capital outlay funds provided pursuant to s. 1013.62 that are

21  unencumbered shall revert to the department to be

22  redistributed among eligible charter schools. In the event a

23  charter school is dissolved or is otherwise terminated, all

24  district school board property and improvements, furnishings,

25  and equipment purchased with public funds shall automatically

26  revert to full ownership by the district school board, subject

27  to complete satisfaction of any lawful liens or encumbrances.

28  Any unencumbered public funds from the charter school,

29  district school board property and improvements, furnishings,

30  and equipment purchased with public funds, or financial or

31  other records pertaining to the charter school, in the

                                  4

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    Florida Senate - 2004                           CS for SB 3000
    304-2662-04




 1  possession of any person, entity, or holding company, other

 2  than the charter school, shall be held in trust upon the

 3  district school board's request, until any appeal status is

 4  resolved.

 5         (15)  CHARTER SCHOOLS-IN-THE-WORKPLACE; CHARTER

 6  SCHOOLS-IN-A-MUNICIPALITY.--

 7         (c)  A charter school-in-a-municipality designation may

 8  be granted to a municipality that possesses a charter; enrolls

 9  students based upon a random lottery that involves all of the

10  children of the residents of that municipality who are seeking

11  enrollment, as provided for in subsection (10); and enrolls

12  students according to the racial/ethnic balance provisions

13  described in subparagraph (7)(a)8. When a municipality has

14  submitted charter applications for the establishment of a

15  charter school feeder pattern, consisting of elementary,

16  middle, and senior high schools, and each individual charter

17  application is approved by the district school board, such

18  schools shall then be designated as one charter school for all

19  purposes listed pursuant to this section. Any portion of the

20  land and facility used for a public charter school shall be

21  exempt from ad valorem taxes, as provided for in s. 1013.54,

22  for the duration of its use as a public school.

23         (18)  FACILITIES.--

24         (a)  A charter school shall utilize facilities which

25  comply with the Florida State Uniform Building Code pursuant

26  to chapter 553 except for the State Requirements for

27  Educational Facilities. Charter schools are not required to

28  comply, but may choose to comply, with the State Requirements

29  for Educational Facilities  of the Florida Building Code

30  adopted pursuant to s. 1013.37. The local governing authority

31  shall not adopt or impose local building requirements or

                                  5

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    Florida Senate - 2004                           CS for SB 3000
    304-2662-04




 1  restrictions that are more stringent than those found in the

 2  Florida Building Code. The agency having jurisdiction for

 3  inspection of a facility and issuance of a certificate of

 4  occupancy shall be the local municipality or, if in an

 5  unincorporated area, the county governing authority for Public

 6  Educational Facilities Construction adopted pursuant to s.

 7  1013.37 or with applicable state minimum building codes

 8  pursuant to chapter 553 and state minimum fire protection

 9  codes pursuant to s. 633.025, as adopted by the authority in

10  whose jurisdiction the facility is located.

11         (b)  A charter school shall utilize facilities that

12  comply with the Florida Fire Prevention Code, pursuant to s.

13  633.025, as adopted by the authority in whose jurisdiction the

14  facility is located as provided in paragraph (a).

15         (c)(b)  Any facility, or portion thereof, used to house

16  a charter school whose charter has been approved by the

17  sponsor and the governing board, pursuant to subsection (7),

18  shall be exempt from ad valorem taxes pursuant to s. 196.1983.

19         (c)  Charter school facilities shall utilize facilities

20  which comply with the Florida Building Code, pursuant to

21  chapter 553, and the Florida Fire Prevention Code, pursuant to

22  chapter 633.

23         (d)  Charter school facilities are exempt from

24  assessments of fees for building permits, except as provided

25  in s. 553.80, and for building licenses and from assessments

26  of impact fees or service availability fees.

27         (e)  If a district school board facility or property is

28  available because it is surplus, marked for disposal, or

29  otherwise unused, it shall be provided for a charter school's

30  use on the same basis as it is made available to other public

31  schools in the district. A charter school receiving property

                                  6

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    Florida Senate - 2004                           CS for SB 3000
    304-2662-04




 1  from the school district may not sell or dispose of such

 2  property without written permission of the school district.

 3  Similarly, for an existing public school converting to charter

 4  status, no rental or leasing fee for the existing facility or

 5  for the property normally inventoried to the conversion school

 6  may be charged by the district school board to the parents and

 7  teachers organizing the charter school. The charter organizers

 8  shall agree to reasonable maintenance provisions in order to

 9  maintain the facility in a manner similar to district school

10  board standards. The Public Education Capital Outlay

11  maintenance funds or any other maintenance funds generated by

12  the facility operated as a conversion school shall remain with

13  the conversion school.

14         (f)  To the extent that charter school facilities are

15  specifically created to mitigate the educational impact

16  created by the development of new residential dwelling units,

17  pursuant to subparagraph (2)(c)4., some of or all of the

18  educational impact fees required to be paid in connection with

19  the new residential dwelling units may be designated instead

20  for the construction of the charter school facilities that

21  will mitigate the student station impact. Such facilities

22  shall be built to the State Requirements for Educational

23  Facilities and shall be owned by a public or nonprofit entity.

24  The local school district retains the right to monitor and

25  inspect such facilities to ensure compliance with the State

26  Requirements for Educational Facilities. If a facility ceases

27  to be used for public educational purposes, either the

28  facility shall revert to the school district subject to any

29  debt owed on the facility, or the owner of the facility shall

30  have the option to refund all educational impact fees utilized

31  for the facility to the school district. The district and the

                                  7

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    Florida Senate - 2004                           CS for SB 3000
    304-2662-04




 1  owner of the facility may contractually agree to another

 2  arrangement for the facilities if the facilities cease to be

 3  used for educational purposes. The owner of property planned

 4  or approved for new residential dwelling units and the entity

 5  levying educational impact fees shall enter into an agreement

 6  that designates the educational impact fees that will be

 7  allocated for the charter school student stations and that

 8  ensures the timely construction of the charter school student

 9  stations concurrent with the expected occupancy of the

10  residential units.

11         (20)  SERVICES.--

12         (a)  A sponsor shall provide certain administrative and

13  educational services to charter schools. These services shall

14  include contract management services;, full-time equivalent

15  and data reporting services;, exceptional student education

16  administration services;, test administration services,

17  including payment of the costs of state-required or

18  district-required student assessments;, processing of teacher

19  certificate data services;, and information services,

20  including equal access to student information systems that are

21  used by public schools in the district in which the charter

22  school is located. A total administrative fee for the

23  provision of such services shall be calculated based upon 5

24  percent of the available funds defined in paragraph (17)(b)

25  for all students. However, a sponsor may only withhold a

26  5-percent administrative fee for enrollment for up to and

27  including 500 students. For charter schools with a population

28  of 501 or more students, the difference between the total

29  administrative fee calculation and the amount of the

30  administrative fee withheld may only be used for capital

31  outlay purposes specified in s. 1013.62(2). Sponsors shall not

                                  8

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    Florida Senate - 2004                           CS for SB 3000
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 1  charge charter schools any additional fees or surcharges for

 2  administrative and educational services in addition to the

 3  5-percent administrative fee withheld pursuant to this

 4  paragraph.

 5         (b)  If goods and services are made available to the

 6  charter school through the contract with the school district,

 7  they shall be provided to the charter school at a rate no

 8  greater than the district's actual cost unless mutually agreed

 9  upon by the charter school and the sponsor in a contract

10  negotiated separately from the charter. When mediation has

11  failed to resolve disputes over contracted services or

12  contractual matters not included in the charter, an appeal may

13  be made for a dispute resolution hearing before the Charter

14  School Appeal Commission. To maximize the use of state funds,

15  school districts shall allow charter schools to participate in

16  the sponsor's bulk purchasing program if applicable.

17         Section 2.  The Department of Education shall conduct a

18  study of transportation issues as they relate to charter

19  schools, including, but not limited to, full-time equivalent

20  and data reporting services with respect to transportation;

21  the impact that transporting charter school students has on a

22  school district's average bus occupancy and the feasibility of

23  calculating average bus occupancy separately for charter

24  schools and school districts; and the additional costs of

25  transporting students who choose not to attend conversion

26  charter schools. The results of the study shall be presented

27  to the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of

28  Representatives, and the Charter School Appeal Commission no

29  later than November 1, 2004, for a public hearing and

30  development of legislative recommendations.

31  

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    Florida Senate - 2004                           CS for SB 3000
    304-2662-04




 1         Section 3.  Subsection (2) and paragraph (a) of

 2  subsection (9) of section 1002.32, Florida Statutes, are

 3  amended to read:

 4         1002.32  Developmental research (laboratory) schools.--

 5         (2)  ESTABLISHMENT.--There is established a category of

 6  public schools to be known as developmental research

 7  (laboratory) schools (lab schools). Each lab school shall

 8  provide sequential instruction and shall be affiliated with

 9  the college of education within the state university of

10  closest geographic proximity. A lab school to which a charter

11  has been issued under s. 1002.33(5)(a) 2. must be affiliated

12  with the college of education within the state university that

13  issued the charter, but is not subject to the requirement that

14  the state university be of closest geographic proximity. For

15  the purpose of state funding, Florida Agricultural and

16  Mechanical University, Florida Atlantic University, Florida

17  State University, the University of Florida, and other

18  universities approved by the State Board of Education and the

19  Legislature are authorized to sponsor a lab school. The

20  limitation of one lab school per university shall not apply to

21  the following charter lab schools authorized prior to June 1,

22  2003: Florida State University Charter Lab K-12 Elementary

23  School in Broward County, Florida Atlantic University Charter

24  Lab 9-12 High School in Palm Beach County, and Florida

25  Atlantic University Charter Lab K-12 School in St. Lucie

26  County.

27         (9)  FUNDING.--Funding for a lab school, including a

28  charter lab school, shall be provided as follows:

29         (a)  Each lab school shall be allocated its

30  proportional share of operating funds from the Florida

31  Education Finance Program as provided in s. 1011.62 based on

                                  10

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    Florida Senate - 2004                           CS for SB 3000
    304-2662-04




 1  the county in which the lab school is located and the General

 2  Appropriations Act. The nonvoted ad valorem millage that would

 3  otherwise be required for lab schools shall be allocated from

 4  state funds. The required local effort funds calculated

 5  pursuant to s. 1011.62 shall be allocated from state funds to

 6  the schools as a part of the allocation of operating funds

 7  pursuant to s. 1011.62. Each eligible lab school in operation

 8  as of September 1, 2002, shall also receive a proportional

 9  share of the sparsity supplement as calculated pursuant to s.

10  1011.62. In addition, each lab school shall receive its

11  proportional share of all categorical funds, with the

12  exception of s. 1011.68, and new categorical funds enacted

13  after July 1, 1994, for the purpose of elementary or secondary

14  academic program enhancement. The sum of funds available as

15  provided in this paragraph shall be included annually in the

16  Florida Education Finance Program and appropriate categorical

17  programs funded in the General Appropriations Act.

18         Section 4.  If any provision of this act or the

19  application thereof to any person or circumstance is held

20  invalid, the invalidity shall not affect other provisions or

21  applications of the act which can be given effect without the

22  invalid provision or application, and to this end the

23  provisions of this act are declared severable.

24         Section 5.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2004.

25  

26  

27  

28  

29  

30  

31  

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    Florida Senate - 2004                           CS for SB 3000
    304-2662-04




 1          STATEMENT OF SUBSTANTIAL CHANGES CONTAINED IN
                       COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR
 2                         Senate Bill 3000

 3                                 

 4  The committee substitute expands the role of the Charter
    School Appeal Commission to include advising the commissioner
 5  and State Board of Education on disputes between a sponsor and
    a charter school over contract negotiations that have not been
 6  resolved through mediation.

 7  The committee substitute provides that charter school capital
    outlay funds provided by the state that are not encumbered
 8  when the school's charter is not renewed or is terminated,
    shall revert to the state to be redistributed to other
 9  qualified charter schools.

10  The committee substitute provides that after a municipality
    has submitted individual charter applications for a feeder
11  pattern of schools and the applications have been approved,
    the schools shall then be designated as one charter school for
12  purposes of section 1002.33, Florida Statutes.

13  Charter schools must comply with the Florida Building Code but
    are given the option of complying with the State Requirements
14  for Educational Facilities section of the Code.  The local
    governing authority is restricted from adopting or imposing
15  local building requirements or restrictions that are more
    stringent than those in the Code.  Inspections of charter
16  school facilities shall be by the local municipality or, if in
    an unincorporated area, the county governing authority.
17  
    The committee substitute exempts charter schools from payment
18  of building license fees.

19  The committee substitute amends provisions relating to the use
    of impact fee revenue collected to mitigate the educational
20  impact created by the development of new residential dwelling
    units.  The new language would allow the impact fees for a new
21  development to be designated for the construction of the
    charter school facilities that will mitigate the student
22  station impact of the development. Such facilities must be
    built to the standards of the State Requirements for
23  Educational Facilities section of the Florida Building Code
    and must be owned by a public or nonprofit entity.  The school
24  district would retain the right to monitor and inspect such
    facilities.  Should the facilities no longer be used for
25  educational purposes, ownership of the facilities shall revert
    to the school district subject to any debt owed on the
26  facility, or the owner of the facility shall have the option
    to refund all educational impact fees used for the facility to
27  the school district. The owner and the school district may
    contractually agree to another arrangement for the use of the
28  facilities.  The charter school facilities are to be
    constructed concurrently with the occupancy of the residential
29  units.

30  Charter schools are granted equal access to student
    information systems that are used by public schools in the
31  same district.

                                  12

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    Florida Senate - 2004                           CS for SB 3000
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 1  Charter school sponsors are prohibited from charging more than
    the 5 percent administrative fee for services provided to the
 2  charter school.  Provision is made to allow an appeal to the
    Charter School Appeal Commission when mediation has failed to
 3  resolve disputes over contracted services or contractual
    matters not included in the charter.
 4  
    The committee substitute requires the Department of Education
 5  to conduct a study of transportation issues as they relate to
    charter schools and to report to the President of the Senate,
 6  Speaker of the House of Representatives, and to the Charter
    School Appeal Commission on specific transportation related
 7  issues.

 8  The name of the Florida State University Charter Lab school in
    Broward County as it currently appears in statute is incorrect
 9  and the name is corrected.

10  Clarification is provided that the county location of the
    charter school, not the county location of the sponsor,
11  determines how funding will be calculated for students
    attending a charter school.
12  
    A severability clause is added in the committee substitute.
13  
    Language in the original bill which would have allowed a state
14  community college or a state university to sponsor a charter
    school either independently or in conjunction with a private
15  postsecondary institution is not included in the committee
    substitute.
16  
    Language in the original bill that would have changed how
17  state capital outlay funds for charter schools are distributed
    is not included in the committee substitute.
18  

19  

20  

21  

22  

23  

24  

25  

26  

27  

28  

29  

30  

31  

                                  13

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