Section 1011.85, Florida Statutes 2008
1011.85 Dr. Philip Benjamin Matching Grant Program for Community Colleges.--
(1) There is created the Dr. Philip Benjamin Matching Grant Program for Community Colleges as a single matching gifts program that encompasses the goals originally set out in the Academic Improvement Program, the Scholarship Matching Program, and the Health Care Education Quality Enhancement Challenge Grant. The program shall be administered according to rules of the State Board of Education and used to encourage private support in enhancing community colleges by providing the community college system with the opportunity to receive and match challenge grants. Funds received prior to the effective date of this act for each of the three programs shall be retained in the separate account for which it was designated.
(2) Each community college board of trustees receiving state appropriations under this program shall approve each gift to ensure alignment with the unique mission of the community college. The board of trustees must link all requests for a state match to the goals and mission statement. The Florida Community College Foundation Board receiving state appropriations under this program shall approve each gift to ensure alignment with its goals and mission statement.
(3) Upon approval by the community college board of trustees and the State Board of Education, the ordering of donations for priority listing of unmatched gifts should be determined by the submitting community college.
(4) Each year, eligible contributions received by a community college's foundation or the State Board of Education by February 1 shall be eligible for state matching funds.
(a) Each community college board of trustees and, when applicable, the Florida Community College Foundation Board, receiving state appropriations under this program shall also certify in an annual report to the State Board of Education the receipt of eligible cash contributions that were previously unmatched by the state. The State Board of Education shall adopt rules providing all community colleges with an opportunity to apply for excess funds before the awarding of such funds.
(b) Community colleges must submit to the State Board of Education an annual expenditure report tracking the use of all matching funds.
(c) The audit of each foundation receiving state funds from this program must include a certification of accuracy in the amount reported for matching funds.
(5) The matching ratio for donations that are specifically designated to support scholarships, including scholarships for first-generation-in-college students, student loans, or need-based grants shall be $1 of state funds to $1 of local private funds.
(6) Otherwise, funds shall be proportionately allocated to the community colleges on the basis of matching each $6 of local or private funds with $4 of state funds. To be eligible, a minimum of $4,500 must be raised from private sources.
(7) The community college board of trustees, in conjunction with the donor, shall make the determination of whether scholarships established pursuant to this program are endowed.
(8)(a) Funds sufficient to provide the match shall be transferred from the state appropriations to the local community college foundation or the statewide community college foundation upon notification that a proportionate amount has been received and deposited by a community college in its own trust fund.
(b) If state funds appropriated for the program are insufficient to match contributions, the amount allocated shall be reduced in proportion to its share of the total eligible contributions. However, in making proportional reductions, every community college shall receive a minimum of $75,000 in state matching funds if its eligible contributions would have generated an amount at least equal to $75,000. All unmet contributions shall be eligible for state matching funds in subsequent fiscal years.
(9) Each community college entity shall establish its own matching grant program fund as a depository for the private contributions and matching state funds provided under this section. Community college foundations are responsible for the maintenance, investment, and administration of their matching grant program funds.
(10) The State Board of Education may receive submissions of requests for matching funds and documentation relating to those requests, may approve requests for matching funds, and may allocate such funds to the community colleges.
(11) The board of trustees of the community college and the State Board of Education are responsible for determining the uses for the proceeds of their respective trust funds. Such use of the proceeds shall include, but not be limited to, expenditure of the funds for:
(a) Scientific and technical equipment.
(b) Scholarships, loans, or need-based grants.
(c) Other activities that will benefit future students as well as students currently enrolled at the community college, will improve the quality of education at the community college, or will enhance economic development in the community.
History.--s. 680, ch. 2002-387; s. 4, ch. 2006-73.