Senate Bill 3000

Senate Bill sb3000e1

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    CS for SB 3000                           First Engrossed (ntc)



  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.


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    CS for SB 3000                           First Engrossed (ntc)



 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


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 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


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 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


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 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


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 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


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 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


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 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. The application for use of educational

11  impact fees shall include an approved charter school

12  application. To assist the school district in forecasting

13  student station needs, the entity levying the impact fees

14  shall notify the affected district of any agreements it has

15  approved for the purpose of mitigating student station impact

16  from the new residential dwelling units.

17         (20)  SERVICES.--

18         (a)  A sponsor shall provide certain administrative and

19  educational services to charter schools. These services shall

20  include contract management services;, full-time equivalent

21  and data reporting services;, exceptional student education

22  administration services;, test administration services,

23  including payment of the costs of state-required or

24  district-required student assessments;, processing of teacher

25  certificate data services;, and information services,

26  including equal access to student information systems that are

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

28  school is located. A total administrative fee for the

29  provision of such services shall be calculated based upon 5

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

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


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 1  5-percent administrative fee for enrollment for up to and

 2  including 500 students. For charter schools with a population

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

 4  administrative fee calculation and the amount of the

 5  administrative fee withheld may only be used for capital

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

 7  charge charter schools any additional fees or surcharges for

 8  administrative and educational services in addition to the

 9  5-percent administrative fee withheld pursuant to this

10  paragraph.

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

12  charter school through the contract with the school district,

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

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

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

16  negotiated separately from the charter. When mediation has

17  failed to resolve disputes over contracted services or

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

19  be made for a dispute resolution hearing before the Charter

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

21  school districts shall allow charter schools to participate in

22  the sponsor's bulk purchasing program if applicable.

23         Section 2.  The Department of Education shall conduct a

24  study of transportation issues as they relate to charter

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

26  and data reporting services with respect to transportation;

27  the impact that transporting charter school students has on a

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

29  calculating average bus occupancy separately for charter

30  schools and school districts; and the additional costs of

31  transporting students who choose not to attend conversion


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

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

 3  Representatives, and the Charter School Appeal Commission no

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

 5  development of legislative recommendations.

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

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

 8  amended to read:

 9         1002.32  Developmental research (laboratory) schools.--

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

11  public schools to be known as developmental research

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

13  provide sequential instruction and shall be affiliated with

14  the college of education within the state university of

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

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

17  with the college of education within the state university that

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

19  the state university be of closest geographic proximity. For

20  the purpose of state funding, Florida Agricultural and

21  Mechanical University, Florida Atlantic University, Florida

22  State University, the University of Florida, and other

23  universities approved by the State Board of Education and the

24  Legislature are authorized to sponsor a lab school. The

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

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

27  2003: Florida State University Charter Lab K-12 Elementary

28  School in Broward County, Florida Atlantic University Charter

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

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

31  County.


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

 2  charter lab school, shall be provided as follows:

 3         (a)  Each lab school shall be allocated its

 4  proportional share of operating funds from the Florida

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

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

 7  Appropriations Act. The nonvoted ad valorem millage that would

 8  otherwise be required for lab schools shall be allocated from

 9  state funds. The required local effort funds calculated

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

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

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

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

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

15  1011.62. In addition, each lab school shall receive its

16  proportional share of all categorical funds, with the

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

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

19  academic program enhancement. The sum of funds available as

20  provided in this paragraph shall be included annually in the

21  Florida Education Finance Program and appropriate categorical

22  programs funded in the General Appropriations Act.

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

24  application thereof to any person or circumstance is held

25  invalid, the invalidity shall not affect other provisions or

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

27  invalid provision or application, and to this end the

28  provisions of this act are declared severable.

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

30  

31  


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