1002.32 Developmental research (laboratory) schools.—
(1) SHORT TITLE.—This section may be cited as the “Sidney Martin Developmental Research School Act.”
(2) ESTABLISHMENT.—There is established a category of public schools to be known as developmental research (laboratory) schools (lab schools). Each lab school shall provide sequential instruction and shall be affiliated with the college of education within the state university of closest geographic proximity. A lab school to which a charter has been issued under s. 1002.33(5)(a) 2. must be affiliated with the college of education within the state university that issued the charter, but is not subject to the requirement that the state university be of closest geographic proximity. For the purpose of state funding, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Florida Atlantic University, Florida State University, the University of Florida, and other universities approved by the State Board of Education and the Legislature are authorized to sponsor a lab school. The limitation of one lab school per university shall not apply to the following charter lab schools authorized prior to June 1, 2003: Florida State University Charter Lab K-12 School in Broward County, Florida Atlantic University Charter Lab 9-12 High School in Palm Beach County, and Florida Atlantic University Charter Lab K-12 School in St. Lucie County.
(3) MISSION.—The mission of a lab school shall be the provision of a vehicle for the conduct of research, demonstration, and evaluation regarding management, teaching, and learning. Programs to achieve the mission of a lab school shall embody the goals and standards established pursuant to ss. 1000.03(5) and 1001.23(2) and shall ensure an appropriate education for its students.
(a) Each lab school shall emphasize mathematics, science, computer science, and foreign languages. The primary goal of a lab school is to enhance instruction and research in such specialized subjects by using the resources available on a state university campus, while also providing an education in nonspecialized subjects. Each lab school shall provide sequential elementary and secondary instruction where appropriate. A lab school may not provide instruction at grade levels higher than grade 12 without authorization from the State Board of Education. Each lab school shall develop and implement a school improvement plan pursuant to s. 1003.02(3).
(b) Research, demonstration, and evaluation conducted at a lab school may be generated by the college of education and other colleges within the university with which the school is affiliated.
(c) Research, demonstration, and evaluation conducted at a lab school may be generated by the State Board of Education. Such research shall respond to the needs of the education community at large, rather than the specific needs of the affiliated college.
(d) Research, demonstration, and evaluation conducted at a lab school may consist of pilot projects to be generated by the affiliated college, the State Board of Education, or the Legislature.
(e) The exceptional education programs offered at a lab school shall be determined by the research and evaluation goals and the availability of students for efficiently sized programs. The fact that a lab school offers an exceptional education program in no way lessens the general responsibility of the local school district to provide exceptional education programs.
(4) STUDENT ADMISSIONS.—Each lab school may establish a primary research objective related to fundamental issues and problems that occur in the public elementary and secondary schools of the state. A student population reflective of the student population of the public school environment in which the issues and problems are most prevalent shall be promoted and encouraged through the establishment and implementation of an admission process that is designed to result in a representative sample of public school enrollment based on gender, race, socioeconomic status, and academic ability, notwithstanding the provisions of s. 1000.05.
(5) STUDENT FEES.—Each lab school may charge a student activity and service fee. Any school that elects to charge such a fee shall provide information regarding the use of the fee as well as an annual report that documents the manner in which the moneys provided by such fee were expended. The annual report prescribed in this subsection shall be distributed to the parents of each student. No additional fees shall be charged.
(6) SUPPLEMENTAL-SUPPORT ORGANIZATIONS.—Each lab school may accrue supplemental revenue from supplemental-support organizations, which include, but are not limited to, alumni associations, foundations, parent-teacher associations, and booster associations. The governing body of each supplemental-support organization shall recommend the expenditure of moneys collected by the organization for the benefit of the school. Such expenditures shall be contingent upon the recommendations of the school advisory council and review of the director. The director may override any proposed expenditure of the organization that would violate Florida Statutes or breach sound educational management.
(a) Each lab school may employ either a director or a principal, or both, at the discretion of the university. The duties of such personnel shall be as follows:
1. Each director shall be the chief executive officer and shall oversee the education, research, and evaluation goals of the school. The director shall be responsible for recommending policy to the advisory board. The director shall be accountable for the financial resources of the school.
2. Each principal shall be the chief educational officer and shall oversee the educational program of the school. The principal shall be accountable for the daily operation and administration of the school.
(b) Faculty may serve simultaneously as instructional personnel for the lab school and the university with which the school is affiliated. Nothing in this section is intended to affect the collective bargaining rights of lab school employees, except as specifically provided in this section.
(c) Lab school faculty members shall meet the certification requirements of ss. 1012.32 and 1012.42.
(8) ADVISORY BOARDS.—Each public school in the state shall establish a school advisory council that is reflective of the population served by the school, pursuant to s. 1001.452, and is responsible for the development and implementation of the school improvement plan pursuant to s. 1003.02(3). Lab schools shall comply with the provisions of s. 1001.452 in one of two ways:
(a) Each lab school may establish two advisory bodies as follows:
1. An advisory body pursuant to the provisions and requirements of s. 1001.452 to be responsible for the development and implementation of the school improvement plan, pursuant to s. 1003.02(3).
2. An advisory board to provide general oversight and guidance. The dean of the affiliated college of education shall be a standing member of the board, and the president of the university shall appoint four faculty members from the related university, at least two of whom are from the college of education, one layperson who resides in the county in which the school is located, two parents of students who attend the lab school, and one lab school student appointed by the principal to serve on the advisory board. The term of each member shall be for 2 years, and any vacancy shall be filled with a person of the same classification as his or her predecessor for the balance of the unexpired term. The president shall stagger the terms of the initial appointees in a manner that results in the expiration of terms of no more than two members in any year. The president shall call the organizational meeting of the board. The board shall annually elect a chair and a vice chair. There shall be no limitation on successive appointments to the board or successive terms that may be served by a chair or vice chair. The board shall adopt internal organizational procedures or bylaws necessary for efficient operation as provided in chapter 120. Board members shall not receive per diem or travel expenses for the performance of their duties. The board shall:
a. Meet at least quarterly.
b. Monitor the operations of the school and the distribution of moneys allocated for such operations.
c. Establish necessary policy, program, and administration modifications.
d. Evaluate biennially the performance of the director and principal and recommend corresponding action to the dean of the college of education.
e. Annually review evaluations of the school’s operation and research findings.
(b) Each lab school may establish one advisory body responsible for the development and implementation of the school improvement plan, pursuant to s. 1003.02(3), in addition to general oversight and guidance responsibilities. The advisory body shall reflect the membership composition requirements established in s. 1001.452, but may also include membership by the dean of the college of education and additional members appointed by the president of the university that represent faculty members from the college of education, the university, or other bodies deemed appropriate for the mission of the school.
(9) FUNDING.—Funding for a lab school, including a charter lab school, shall be provided as follows:
(a) Each lab school shall be allocated its proportional share of operating funds from the Florida Education Finance Program as provided in s. 1011.62 based on the county in which the lab school is located and the General Appropriations Act. The nonvoted ad valorem millage that would otherwise be required for lab schools shall be allocated from state funds. The required local effort funds calculated pursuant to s. 1011.62 shall be allocated from state funds to the schools as a part of the allocation of operating funds pursuant to s. 1011.62. Each eligible lab school in operation as of September 1, 2002, shall also receive a proportional share of the sparsity supplement as calculated pursuant to s. 1011.62. In addition, each lab school shall receive its proportional share of all categorical funds, with the exception of s. 1011.68, and new categorical funds enacted after July 1, 1994, for the purpose of elementary or secondary academic program enhancement. The sum of funds available as provided in this paragraph shall be included annually in the Florida Education Finance Program and appropriate categorical programs funded in the General Appropriations Act.
(b) There is created a Lab School Educational Facility Trust Fund to be administered by the Commissioner of Education. Allocations from such fund shall be expended solely for the purpose of facility construction, repair, renovation, remodeling, site improvement, or maintenance. The commissioner shall administer the fund in accordance with ss. 1013.60, 1013.64, 1013.65, and 1013.66.
(c) All operating funds provided under this section shall be deposited in a Lab School Trust Fund and shall be expended for the purposes of this section. The university assigned a lab school shall be the fiscal agent for these funds, and all rules of the university governing the budgeting and expenditure of state funds shall apply to these funds unless otherwise provided by law or rule of the State Board of Education. The university board of trustees shall be the public employer of lab school personnel for collective bargaining purposes for lab schools in operation prior to the 2002-2003 fiscal year. Employees of charter lab schools authorized prior to June 1, 2003, but not in operation prior to the 2002-2003 fiscal year shall be employees of the entity holding the charter and must comply with the provisions of s. 1002.33(12).
(d) Each lab school shall receive funds for operating purposes in an amount determined as follows: multiply the maximum allowable nonvoted discretionary millage for operations pursuant to s. 1011.71(1) and (3) by the value of 96 percent of the current year’s taxable value for school purposes for the district in which each lab school is located; divide the result by the total full-time equivalent membership of the district; and multiply the result by the full-time equivalent membership of the lab school. The amount thus obtained shall be discretionary operating funds and shall be appropriated from state funds in the General Appropriations Act to the Lab School Trust Fund.
(e) Each lab school shall receive funds for capital improvement purposes in an amount determined as follows: multiply the maximum allowable nonvoted discretionary millage for capital improvements pursuant to s. 1011.71(2) by the value of 96 percent of the current year’s taxable value for school purposes for the district in which each lab school is located; divide the result by the total full-time equivalent membership of the district; and multiply the result by the full-time equivalent membership of the lab school. The amount thus obtained shall be discretionary capital improvement funds and shall be appropriated from state funds in the General Appropriations Act to the Lab School Educational Facility Trust Fund.
(f) In addition to the funds appropriated for capital outlay budget needs, lab schools may receive specific funding as specified in the General Appropriations Act for upgrading, renovating, and remodeling science laboratories.
(g) Each lab school is designated a teacher education center and may provide inservice training to school district personnel. The Department of Education shall provide funds to the Lab School Trust Fund for this purpose from appropriations for inservice teacher education.
(h) A lab school to which a charter has been issued under s. 1002.33(5)(a)2. is eligible to receive funding for charter school capital outlay if it meets the eligibility requirements of s. 1013.62. If the lab school receives funds from charter school capital outlay, the school shall receive capital outlay funds otherwise provided in this subsection only to the extent that funds allocated pursuant to s. 1013.62 are insufficient to provide capital outlay funds to the lab school at one-fifteenth of the cost per student station.
(10) IMPLEMENTATION.—The State Board of Education shall adopt rules necessary to facilitate the implementation of this section.
(11) EXCEPTIONS TO LAW.—To encourage innovative practices and facilitate the mission of the lab schools, in addition to the exceptions to law specified in s. 1001.23(2), the following exceptions shall be permitted for lab schools:
(b) With the exception of s. 1001.42(18), s. 1001.42 shall be held in abeyance. Reference to district school boards in s. 1001.42(18) shall mean the president of the university or the president’s designee.
History.—s. 97, ch. 2002-387; s. 2, ch. 2003-393; s. 34, ch. 2004-41; s. 4, ch. 2004-271; s. 3, ch. 2004-354; s. 21, ch. 2006-122; s. 13, ch. 2008-108; s. 5, ch. 2010-154.