December 02, 2020
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Amendment
Bill No. 2882
Amendment No. 433557
CHAMBER ACTION
Senate House
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1Representative Goodlette offered the following:
2
3     Amendment to Amendment (308089) (with title amendment)
4Remove line(s) 476-897 and insert:
5this section is $88 million. However, effective for tax years
6beginning January 1, 2004, at least 1 percent of the total
7statewide amount authorized for tax credits shall be reserved
8for taxpayers who meet the definition of a small business
9provided in s. 288.703(1) at the time of application.
10     (c)  A taxpayer who files a Florida consolidated return as
11a member of an affiliated group pursuant to s. 220.131(1) may be
12allowed the credit on a consolidated return basis; however, the
13total credit taken by the affiliated group is subject to the
14limitation established under paragraph (a).
15     (d)  Effective for tax years beginning January 1, 2004, a
16taxpayer may rescind all or part of its allocated tax credit
17under this section. The amount of the rescindment shall become
18available for purposes of the cap for that state fiscal year
19under this section to an eligible taxpayer as approved by the
20department if the taxpayer receives notice from the department
21that the rescindment has been accepted by the department, the
22taxpayer has rescinded its tax credit prior to the conclusion of
23the taxpayer's tax year, and the taxpayer has not previously
24rescinded any or all of its tax credit allocation under this
25section more than once in the previous 3 tax years. Any amount
26rescinded under this paragraph shall become available to an
27eligible taxpayer on a first-come, first-served basis based on
28tax credit applications received after the date the rescindment
29is accepted by the department.
30     (4)  OBLIGATIONS OF ELIGIBLE NONPROFIT SCHOLARSHIP-FUNDING
31ORGANIZATIONS.--An eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
32organization participating in the scholarship program
33established in this section shall have the following
34obligations:
35     (a)  An eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization
36shall provide corporate tax credit scholarships, from eligible
37contributions, to qualified students for:
38     1.  Tuition or textbook expenses for, or transportation to,
39an eligible private nonpublic school. At least 75 percent of
40each the scholarship funding must be used to pay tuition
41expenses; or
42     2.  Transportation expenses to a Florida public school that
43is located outside the district in which the student resides or
44to a lab school as defined in s. 1002.32.
45     (b)  An eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization
46shall give priority to qualified students who received a
47scholarship from an eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
48organization during the previous school year.
49     (c)  An eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization
50shall not provide a scholarship to a student who is receiving an
51opportunity scholarship pursuant to s. 1002.38 or a John M.
52McKay Scholarship pursuant to s. 1002.39. In addition, an
53eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization shall not
54provide a scholarship to a student who is receiving a corporate
55tax credit scholarship from another eligible nonprofit
56scholarship-funding organization.
57     (d)(c)  The amount of a scholarship provided to any child
58for any single school year by an all eligible nonprofit
59scholarship-funding organization organizations from eligible
60contributions shall not exceed the following annual limits:
61     1.  Three thousand five hundred dollars for a scholarship
62awarded to a student enrolled in an eligible private nonpublic
63school.
64     2.  Five hundred dollars for a scholarship awarded to a
65student enrolled in a Florida public school that is located
66outside the district in which the student resides or in a lab
67school as defined in s. 1002.32.
68     (e)(d)  The amount of an eligible contribution which may be
69accepted by an eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
70organization is limited to the amount needed to provide
71scholarships for qualified students which the organization has
72identified and for which vacancies in eligible private nonpublic
73schools have been identified.
74     (f)(e)  An eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
75organization that receives an eligible contribution must spend
76100 percent of the eligible contribution to provide scholarships
77in the same state fiscal year in which the contribution was
78received. No portion of eligible contributions may be used for
79administrative expenses. All interest accrued from contributions
80must be used for scholarships.
81     (g)  An eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization
82must maintain separate accounts for scholarship funds and
83operating funds.
84     (h)  An eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization
85may transfer funds to another eligible nonprofit scholarship-
86funding organization when additional funds are required to meet
87scholarship demand. The scholarship-funding organization
88transferring funds must request approval for the transfer from
89the Department of Education and provide documentation to support
90the transfer, including a listing of the scholarships to be
91funded from the transfer. The Department of Education shall
92verify the listing of students to receive scholarships from the
93transfer. No funds may be transferred unless matching eligible
94scholarship recipients can be identified by the scholarship-
95funding organization receiving the transfer.
96     (i)(f)  An eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
97organization that receives eligible contributions must provide
98to the Auditor General and the Department of Education an annual
99financial and compliance audit of its accounts and records
100conducted by an independent certified public accountant and in
101accordance with rules adopted by the Auditor General. The audit
102must be conducted in compliance with generally accepted auditing
103standards and must include a report on financial statements
104presented in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting
105Principles set forth by the American Institute of Certified
106Public Accountants for not-for-profit organizations and a
107determination of compliance with the statutory eligibility and
108expenditure requirements set forth in this section. Audits must
109be provided to the Auditor General and the Department of
110Education within 180 days after completion of the nonprofit
111scholarship-funding organization's fiscal year.
112     (j)(g)  An eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
113organization shall obtain verification from the private school
114of a student's continued attendance at the school prior to each
115scholarship payment. Payment of the scholarship shall be made by
116the eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization no less
117frequently than on a quarterly basis. Payment of the scholarship
118by the eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization shall
119be by individual warrant or check made payable to the student's
120parent. If the parent chooses for his or her child to attend an
121eligible private nonpublic school, the warrant or check must be
122mailed by the eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
123organization to the private nonpublic school of the parent's
124choice, and the parent shall restrictively endorse the warrant
125or check to the private nonpublic school. An eligible nonprofit
126scholarship-funding organization shall ensure that, upon receipt
127of a scholarship warrant or check, the parent to whom the
128warrant or check is made restrictively endorses the warrant or
129check to the private nonpublic school of the parent's choice for
130deposit into the account of the private nonpublic school.
131     (k)  An eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization
132must prepare and submit quarterly reports to the Department of
133Education pursuant to subsection (7). In addition, an eligible
134nonprofit scholarship-funding organization must submit in a
135timely manner any information requested by the Department of
136Education relating to the scholarship program.
137     (l)  An eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization
138must verify the income of all applicants participating in the
139scholarship program each year with independent income
140documentation.
141     (m)1.  An owner or operator of an eligible nonprofit
142scholarship-funding organization must, within 5 days after
143assuming ownership or decisionmaking authority, file with the
144Department of Law Enforcement a complete set of fingerprints for
145state processing for a criminal background check and the
146Department of Law Enforcement shall in turn submit the
147fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for federal
148processing for a background check. The costs of fingerprinting
149and the background check shall not be borne by the state.
150     2.  The results of a criminal background check shall be
151reported to the owner or operator of the eligible nonprofit
152scholarship-funding organization and to the Department of
153Education.
154     3.  A nonprofit scholarship-funding organization whose
155owner or operator has been convicted of a crime involving moral
156turpitude or a crime that bears upon the fitness of the owner or
157operator to have responsibility for the safety and well-being of
158children shall not be eligible to provide scholarships under
159this section.
160     (n)  A nonprofit scholarship-funding organization whose
161owner or operator in the last 7 years has filed for personal
162bankruptcy or corporate bankruptcy in a corporation in which he
163or she owned more than 20 percent of the corporation shall not
164be eligible to provide scholarships under this section.
165     (o)  An owner or operator of an eligible nonprofit
166scholarship-funding organization is prohibited from owning or
167operating an eligible private school that is participating in
168the scholarship program.
169     (p)  An eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization
170shall report to the Department of Education any private school
171that is not in compliance with the requirements of the
172scholarship program. The eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
173organization shall not provide additional scholarship funds to a
174parent for a student to attend the private school until a
175determination is made by the Commissioner of Education that the
176school is in compliance with the requirements of the scholarship
177program.
178     (q)  An eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization
179must comply with the antidiscrimination provisions of 42 U.S.C.
180s. 2000d.
181     (r)  An eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization
182shall allow a qualified student to attend any eligible private
183school and shall allow a parent to transfer a scholarship during
184a school year to any other eligible private school of the
185parent's choice.
186     (s)  An eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization
187must provide a scholarship to a qualified student on a first-
188come, first-served basis unless the student qualifies for
189priority pursuant to paragraph (b). An eligible nonprofit
190scholarship-funding organization may not target scholarships to
191a particular private school or provide scholarships to a child
192of an owner or operator.
193     (5)  PARENT OBLIGATIONS OF PARENTS AND STUDENTS.--
194     (a)  As a condition for scholarship payment pursuant to
195paragraph (4)(j)(g), if the parent chooses for his or her child
196to attend an eligible private nonpublic school, the parent must
197inform the child's school district within 15 days after such
198decision.
199     (b)  Upon receipt of a scholarship warrant or check from
200the eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization, the
201parent to whom the warrant or check is made must restrictively
202endorse the warrant or check to the private school for deposit
203into the account of the private school. A private school may not
204act as attorney in fact for parents of a scholarship student
205under the authority of a power of attorney executed by such
206parents or under any other authority allowing endorsement of
207scholarship warrants on behalf of parents. If a parent refuses
208to restrictively endorse a warrant to which a private school is
209entitled, that student's scholarship shall be forfeited
210immediately.
211     (c)  Any student participating in the scholarship program
212must remain in attendance throughout the school year unless
213excused by the school for illness or other good cause and must
214comply fully with the school's code of conduct.
215     (d)  The parent of a student participating in the
216scholarship program must comply fully with the private school's
217parental involvement requirements unless excused by the school
218for illness or other good cause.
219     (e)  The parent of a student participating in the
220scholarship program must ensure that the student participates in
221the nationally norm-referenced testing required by this section.
222Students with disabilities for whom standardized testing is not
223appropriate are exempt from this requirement.
224     (f)  A participant in the scholarship program who fails to
225comply with this subsection forfeits the scholarship.
226     (6)  ELIGIBLE PRIVATE NONPUBLIC SCHOOL OBLIGATIONS.--An
227eligible private nonpublic school must:
228     (a)  Demonstrate fiscal soundness by being in operation for
2292 or more consecutive school years or obtain one school year or
230provide the Department of Education with a statement by a
231certified public accountant confirming that the nonpublic school
232desiring to participate is insured and the owner or owners have
233sufficient capital or credit to operate the school for the
234upcoming year serving the number of students anticipated with
235expected revenues from tuition and other sources that may be
236reasonably expected. In lieu of such a statement, a surety bond
237or letter of credit for the amount equal to the scholarship
238funds for any quarter to may be filed with the Department of
239Education. The surety bond or letter of credit shall serve to
240secure expenditures of scholarship funds should such funds be
241found to have been used for unlawful purposes. However, if
242during the school year a private school exhibits financial
243difficulty or is otherwise not in compliance with this section,
244the Commissioner of Education may impose additional requirements
245on the private school, which may include additional security
246bonding.
247     (b)  Notify the Department of Education of its intent to
248participate in the scholarship program. The notice must specify
249the grade levels that the private school has available for
250students participating in the scholarship program.
251     (c)(b)  Comply with the antidiscrimination provisions of 42
252U.S.C. s. 2000d.
253     (d)(c)  Meet state and local health and safety laws and
254codes, including, but not limited to, laws pertaining to:
255     1.  Fire safety.
256     2.  Building codes.
257     (e)(d)  Comply with all state laws relating to general
258regulation of private nonpublic schools, including, but not
259limited to, laws pertaining to:
260     1.  Annual private school survey required in s. 1002.42(2).
261     2.  Retention of records required in s. 1002.42(3).
262     3.  Attendance records and reports required in s.
2631003.23(2).
264     4.  School-entry health examinations and immunizations
265required in s. 1003.22.
266     5.  Attendance requirements prescribed in ss. 1003.01(13)
267and 1003.21(1).
268     (f)  Employ or contract with teachers who hold
269baccalaureate or higher degrees, have at least 3 years of
270teaching experience in public or private schools, or have
271special skills, knowledge, or expertise that qualifies them to
272provide instruction in subjects taught.
273     (g)  Annually administer or make provision for students
274participating in the scholarship program to take the Iowa Test
275of Basic Skills, the Stanford-9, or subsequent versions of these
276tests, or an assessment identified by the Department of
277Education under subsection (7). A participating private school
278must report a student's scores to the parent and to the
279independent private research organization selected by the
280Department of Education pursuant to subsection (7).
281     (h)  Within 60 days after employment, for any individual
282with direct student contact with corporate tax credit
283scholarship students, file with the Department of Law
284Enforcement a complete set of fingerprints for state processing
285for a criminal background check. The Department of Law
286Enforcement shall in turn submit the fingerprints to the Federal
287Bureau of Investigation for federal processing for a background
288check. An "individual with direct student contact with corporate
289tax credit scholarship students" means any individual who:
290     1.  Is employed by a private school in any capacity,
291including an individual employed as a child care provider, a
292teacher, or another member of school personnel, and who is
293responsible for the provision of care, treatment, education,
294training, instruction, supervision, or recreation of corporate
295tax credit scholarship students;
296     2.  Is the owner or operator of the private school
297accepting corporate tax credit scholarship students; or
298     3.  Has unsupervised access to a corporate tax credit
299scholarship student for whom the private school is responsible.
300
301The costs of fingerprinting and the background check shall not
302be borne by the state. The results of a criminal background
303check for private school owners shall be reported to the
304Department of Education. The owner or operator of the private
305school shall receive the results of a criminal background check
306for all other persons subject to the private school background
307check requirements and immediately report to the Department of
308Education any individual with direct student contact with
309corporate tax credit scholarship students who has failed the
310Level 2 background check. Employment of such an individual shall
311cause a private school to be ineligible for participation in the
312scholarship program. An individual holding a valid Florida
313teaching certificate who has been fingerprinted pursuant to s.
3141012.32 shall not be required to comply with the provisions of
315this paragraph.
316     (i)  Annually comply with the requirements of the
317Department of Education to complete a notarized sworn compliance
318statement certifying compliance with state laws pursuant to
319subsection (7).
320     (j)  Notify the Department of Education and the eligible
321nonprofit scholarship-funding organization if any participating
322student is receiving a warrant or check from more than one
323eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization.
324     (k)  Comply with all applicable state agency rules relating
325to private schools.
326     (l)  Publish and report, as part of the annual database
327survey form and notarized statement of compliance required
328pursuant to s. 1002.42(2), to the Department of Education and
329distribute to the scholarship applicants:
330     1.  Whether the private school is accredited by an in-state
331or regional accrediting association that is validated by a
332third-party accreditor at the state or national level which has
333been in existence at least 3 years.
334     2.  The name of the accrediting association that accredits
335the private school.
336     3.  Whether the private school is in the process of
337receiving candidate status.
338
339The inability of a private school to meet the requirements of
340this subsection shall constitute a basis for the ineligibility
341of the private school to participate in the scholarship program
342as determined by the Department of Education.
343     (7)  DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION,
344AND STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION OBLIGATIONS; RESPONSIBILITIES.--
345     (a)  The Department of Education shall:
346     1.  Annually submit to the Department of Revenue, by March
34715, a list of eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
348organizations that meet the requirements of paragraph (2)(c).
349     2.  Annually verify the eligibility of nonprofit
350scholarship-funding organizations that meet the requirements of
351paragraph (2)(c).
352     3.  Annually verify the eligibility of private schools that
353meet the requirements of paragraph (2)(d).
354     4.  Annually verify the eligibility of expenditures as
355provided in subsection (4).
356     5.  Establish a toll-free hotline that provides parents,
357private schools, and nonprofit scholarship-funding organizations
358with information on participation in the scholarship program.
359     6.  Establish a process by which individuals may notify the
360Department of Education of any violation by a private school or
361nonprofit scholarship-funding organization of state laws
362relating to scholarship program participation. The department
363shall conduct an investigation of any written complaint of a
364violation of this section if the complaint is signed by the
365complainant and is legally sufficient. A complaint is legally
366sufficient if it contains ultimate facts that show that a
367violation of this section or any rule adopted by the State Board
368of Education or other state agency has occurred. In order to
369determine legal sufficiency, the Department of Education may
370require supporting information or documentation from the
371complainant. In addition, the department is authorized to
372investigate anonymous complaints.
373     7.  Require annual completion of a notarized sworn
374compliance statement by participating private schools certifying
375compliance with state laws and retain such records.
376     8.  Identify all nationally norm-referenced tests that are
377comparable to the norm-referenced test portions of the Florida
378Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT).
379     9.  Select an independent private research organization to
380which participating private schools must report the scores of
381participating students on the assessments administered by the
382private school under paragraph (6)(g). The independent private
383research organization must annually report to the Department of
384Education on the year-to-year improvements of the participating
385students. The independent private research organization must
386analyze and report student performance data, including student
387scores by grade level, in a manner that protects the rights of
388students and parents as mandated in 20 U.S.C. s. 1232g and must
389not disaggregate data to a level that will disclose the academic
390level of individuals or of individual schools. To the extent
391possible, the independent private research organization must
392accumulate historical performance data on students from the
393Department of Education and private schools to describe baseline
394performance and to conduct longitudinal studies. To minimize
395costs and reduce time required for third-party analysis and
396evaluation, the Department of Education shall conduct analyses
397of matched students from public school assessment data and
398calculate control group learning gains using an agreed upon
399methodology outlined in the contract with the third-party
400evaluator. The sharing of student data must be in accordance
401with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act requirements
402and shall be for the sole purpose of conducting the evaluation.
403All parties must preserve the confidentiality of such
404information.
405     10.  Provide a private school profile on-line for those
406private schools participating in the scholarship program.
407     11.  Notify an eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
408organization of any of the organization's identified students
409who are receiving an opportunity scholarship pursuant to s.
4101002.38 or a John M. McKay Scholarship pursuant to s. 1002.39.
411     12.  Notify an eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
412organization of any of the organization's identified students
413who are receiving a corporate tax credit scholarship from
414another eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization.
415     13.  Require quarterly reports by an eligible nonprofit
416scholarship-funding organization regarding the number of
417students participating in the scholarship program, the private
418schools at which the students are enrolled, and other
419information deemed necessary by the Department of Education.
420     14.  Regularly cross-check the list of participating
421scholarship students with the public school enrollment lists to
422avoid duplication.
423     (b)  The Commissioner of Education shall revoke the
424eligibility of a nonprofit scholarship-funding organization,
425private school, or student to participate in the scholarship
426program for noncompliance with this section.
427
428================ T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T =============
429     Remove line(s) 997-1021 and insert:
430provision of a scholarship; requiring a separate account for
431scholarship funds; authorizing transfer of funds between
432scholarship-funding organizations; specifying audit
433requirements; requiring quarterly scholarship payments and
434reports; requiring income verification; requiring fingerprinting
435and criminal background checks; providing restrictions on
436scholarship-funding organization ownership or operation;
437providing for reporting of noncompliant private schools;
438providing parent and student obligations; prohibiting power of
439attorney for endorsing scholarship checks; revising requirements
440for private school fiscal soundness; providing additional
441private school obligations, including compliance with specified
442laws, employment of qualified teachers, and provision of student
443testing; requiring fingerprinting and criminal background
444checks; requiring annual completion of a notarized sworn
445compliance statement; providing Department of Education and
446Commissioner of Education obligations and responsibilities,
447including verification of eligibility of program participants,
448investigation of violations, selection of a research
449organization to analyze student performance data, and revocation
450of eligibility to participate in the scholarship program;
451requiring


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