HB 7197

A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to digital learning; amending s. 1002.33,
3F.S.; authorizing a charter school to employ instructional
4methods for blended learning courses consisting of both
5traditional classroom and online instructional techniques;
6providing requirements for faculty, students, funding, and
7accountability; amending s. 1002.45, F.S.; requiring
8school districts to provide all public school students the
9opportunity to participate in virtual instruction
10programs; requiring school districts to provide full-time
11and part-time virtual instruction program options;
12providing additional provider qualifications relating to
13curriculum, student performance accountability, and
14disclosure; requiring an evaluation method for part-time
15programs; amending s. 1003.428, F.S.; requiring at least
16one course required for high school graduation to be
17completed through online learning beginning with students
18entering grade 9 in the 2013-2014 school year; amending s.
191008.22, F.S.; requiring all statewide end-of-course
20assessments to be administrated online by the 2014-2015
21school year; amending s. 1011.61, F.S.; conforming
22provisions to changes made by the act; amending s.
231012.57, F.S.; authorizing school districts to issue
24adjunct teaching certificates to individuals to provide
25online instruction; revising requirements for adjunct
26teaching certificateholders; providing for annual
27contracts; requiring the Department of Education to submit
28a report to the Governor and the Legislature relating to
29school district offering of, and student access to,
30digital learning; providing an effective date.
32Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
34     Section 1.  Paragraph (a) of subsection (7) of section
351002.33, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
36     1002.33  Charter schools.-
37     (7)  CHARTER.-The major issues involving the operation of a
38charter school shall be considered in advance and written into
39the charter. The charter shall be signed by the governing board
40body of the charter school and the sponsor, following a public
41hearing to ensure community input.
42     (a)  The charter shall address and criteria for approval of
43the charter shall be based on:
44     1.  The school's mission, the students to be served, and
45the ages and grades to be included.
46     2.a.  The focus of the curriculum, the instructional
47methods to be used, any distinctive instructional techniques to
48be employed, and identification and acquisition of appropriate
49technologies needed to improve educational and administrative
50performance which include a means for promoting safe, ethical,
51and appropriate uses of technology which comply with legal and
52professional standards. Instructional methods for blended
53learning courses consisting of both traditional classroom and
54online instructional techniques may be employed. Faculty
55authorized to provide online instruction for blended learning
56courses must be part-time or full-time employees of the charter
57school or contracted providers of the instructional service and
58must hold current state or school district adjunct certification
59to teach in the subject area of the blended learning course. A
60blended learning faculty member may provide online instruction
61from a location that is remote from the physical location of the
62charter school. However, students in a blended learning course
63must be full-time students of the charter school and receive the
64online instruction from the physical location of the charter
65school. For funding and performance accountability purposes, a
66blended learning course is considered the same as a traditional
67classroom course.
68     b.  The methods for ensuring charter shall ensure that
69reading is a primary focus of the curriculum and that resources
70are provided to identify and provide specialized instruction for
71students who are reading below grade level. The curriculum and
72instructional strategies for reading must be consistent with the
73Sunshine State Standards and grounded in scientifically based
74reading research.
75     3.  The current incoming baseline standard of student
76academic achievement, the outcomes to be achieved, and the
77method of measurement that will be used. The criteria listed in
78this subparagraph shall include a detailed description of:
79     a.  How the baseline student academic achievement levels
80and prior rates of academic progress will be established.
81     b.  How these baseline rates will be compared to rates of
82academic progress achieved by these same students while
83attending the charter school.
84     c.  To the extent possible, how these rates of progress
85will be evaluated and compared with rates of progress of other
86closely comparable student populations.
88The district school board is required to provide academic
89student performance data to charter schools for each of their
90students coming from the district school system, as well as
91rates of academic progress of comparable student populations in
92the district school system.
93     4.  The methods used to identify the educational strengths
94and needs of students and how well educational goals and
95performance standards are met by students attending the charter
96school. The methods shall provide a means for the charter school
97to ensure accountability to its constituents by analyzing
98student performance data and by evaluating the effectiveness and
99efficiency of its major educational programs. Students in
100charter schools shall, at a minimum, participate in the
101statewide assessment program created under s. 1008.22.
102     5.  In secondary charter schools, a method for determining
103that a student has satisfied the requirements for graduation in
104s. 1003.43.
105     6.  A method for resolving conflicts between the governing
106board body of the charter school and the sponsor.
107     7.  The admissions procedures and dismissal procedures,
108including the school's code of student conduct.
109     8.  The ways by which the school will achieve a
110racial/ethnic balance reflective of the community it serves or
111within the racial/ethnic range of other public schools in the
112same school district.
113     9.  The financial and administrative management of the
114school, including a reasonable demonstration of the professional
115experience or competence of those individuals or organizations
116applying to operate the charter school or those hired or
117retained to perform such professional services and the
118description of clearly delineated responsibilities and the
119policies and practices needed to effectively manage the charter
120school. A description of internal audit procedures and
121establishment of controls to ensure that financial resources are
122properly managed must be included. Both public sector and
123private sector professional experience shall be equally valid in
124such a consideration.
125     10.  The asset and liability projections required in the
126application which are incorporated into the charter and shall be
127compared with information provided in the annual report of the
128charter school.
129     11.  A description of procedures that identify various
130risks and provide for a comprehensive approach to reduce the
131impact of losses; plans to ensure the safety and security of
132students and staff; plans to identify, minimize, and protect
133others from violent or disruptive student behavior; and the
134manner in which the school will be insured, including whether or
135not the school will be required to have liability insurance,
136and, if so, the terms and conditions thereof and the amounts of
138     12.  The term of the charter which shall provide for
139cancellation of the charter if insufficient progress has been
140made in attaining the student achievement objectives of the
141charter and if it is not likely that such objectives can be
142achieved before expiration of the charter. The initial term of a
143charter shall be for 4 or 5 years. In order to facilitate access
144to long-term financial resources for charter school
145construction, charter schools that are operated by a
146municipality or other public entity as provided by law are
147eligible for up to a 15-year charter, subject to approval by the
148district school board. A charter lab school is eligible for a
149charter for a term of up to 15 years. In addition, to facilitate
150access to long-term financial resources for charter school
151construction, charter schools that are operated by a private,
152not-for-profit, s. 501(c)(3) status corporation are eligible for
153up to a 15-year charter, subject to approval by the district
154school board. Such long-term charters remain subject to annual
155review and may be terminated during the term of the charter, but
156only according to the provisions set forth in subsection (8).
157     13.  The facilities to be used and their location.
158     14.  The qualifications to be required of the teachers and
159the potential strategies used to recruit, hire, train, and
160retain qualified staff to achieve best value.
161     15.  The governance structure of the school, including the
162status of the charter school as a public or private employer as
163required in paragraph (12)(i).
164     16.  A timetable for implementing the charter which
165addresses the implementation of each element thereof and the
166date by which the charter shall be awarded in order to meet this
168     17.  In the case of an existing public school that is being
169converted to charter status, alternative arrangements for
170current students who choose not to attend the charter school and
171for current teachers who choose not to teach in the charter
172school after conversion in accordance with the existing
173collective bargaining agreement or district school board rule in
174the absence of a collective bargaining agreement. However,
175alternative arrangements shall not be required for current
176teachers who choose not to teach in a charter lab school, except
177as authorized by the employment policies of the state university
178which grants the charter to the lab school.
179     18.  Full disclosure of the identity of all relatives
180employed by the charter school who are related to the charter
181school owner, president, chairperson of the governing board of
182directors, superintendent, governing board member, principal,
183assistant principal, or any other person employed by the charter
184school who has equivalent decisionmaking authority. For the
185purpose of this subparagraph, the term "relative" means father,
186mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, first
187cousin, nephew, niece, husband, wife, father-in-law, mother-in-
188law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law,
189stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother,
190stepsister, half brother, or half sister.
191     Section 2.  Paragraphs (b) and (c) of subsection (1),
192subsection (2), paragraph (a) of subsection (4), paragraphs (a)
193and (d) of subsection (8), and subsection (11) of section
1941002.45, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
195     1002.45  School district virtual instruction programs.-
196     (1)  PROGRAM.-
197     (b)  Beginning with the 2011-2012 2009-2010 school year,
198each school district shall provide all enrolled public school
199eligible students within its boundaries opportunities for
200participation the option of participating in part-time and full-
201time a virtual instruction program options, with timely written
202notice provided directly to all parents of an open enrollment
203period for full-time students of at least 90 days that ends no
204later than 30 days prior to the first day of the school year.
205The purpose of the program is to make quality virtual
206instruction available to students using online and distance
207learning technology in the nontraditional classroom. The program
208shall provide the following be:
209     1.  Three options for full-time virtual instruction for
210students enrolled in kindergarten through grade 12.
211     2.  Three options for Full-time or part-time virtual
212instruction for students enrolled in grades 9 through 12 for
213courses that are measured pursuant to sub-subparagraph (8)(a)2.
214     3.  At least two full-time virtual instruction options and
215one part-time virtual instruction option for students who are
216enrolled in dropout prevention and academic intervention
217programs under s. 1003.53, Department of Juvenile Justice
218education programs under s. 1003.52, core-curricula courses to
219meet class size requirements under s. 1003.03, or community
220colleges under this section.
221     (c)  To provide students with the option of participating
222in virtual instruction programs as required by paragraph (b), a
223school district may apply one or all of the following
225     1.  Contract with the Florida Virtual School or establish a
226franchise of the Florida Virtual School for the provision of a
227program under paragraph (b). Using this option is subject to the
228requirements of this section and s. 1011.61(1)(c)1.b.(III) and
230     2.  Contract with an approved provider under subsection (2)
231for the provision of a full-time program under subparagraph
232(b)1. or subparagraph (b)3. or a full-time or part-time program
233under subparagraph (b)2. or subparagraph (b)3.
234     3.  Enter into an agreement with other another school
235districts district to allow the participation of its students in
236an approved virtual instruction program provided by the other
237school district. The agreement must indicate a process for the
238transfer of funds required by paragraph (7)(b).
240Contracts under subparagraph 1. or subparagraph 2. may include
241multidistrict contractual arrangements that may be executed by a
242regional consortium for its member districts. A multidistrict
243contractual arrangement or an agreement under subparagraph 3. is
244not subject to s. 1001.42(4)(d) and does not require the
245participating school districts to be contiguous. These
246arrangements may be used to fulfill the requirements of
247paragraph (b).
249     (a)  The department shall annually provide school districts
250with a list of providers approved to offer virtual instruction
251programs. To be approved by the department, a provider must
252document that it:
253     1.  Is nonsectarian in its programs, admission policies,
254employment practices, and operations;
255     2.  Complies with the antidiscrimination provisions of s.
257     3.  Locates an administrative office or offices in this
258state, requires its administrative staff to be state residents,
259requires all instructional staff to be Florida-certified
260teachers under chapter 1012, and conducts background screenings
261for all employees or contracted personnel, as required by s.
2621012.32, using state and national criminal history records;
263     4.  Possesses prior, successful experience offering online
264courses to elementary, middle, or high school students as
265demonstrated by quantified student performance improvement in
266each subject area and grade level provided for consideration as
267an instructional program option;
268     5.  Is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges
269and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement, the
270North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School
271Improvement, the Middle States Association of Colleges and
272Schools Commission on Elementary Schools and Commission on
273Secondary Schools, the New England Association of Schools and
274Colleges, the Northwest Association of Accredited Schools, the
275Western Association of Schools and Colleges, or the Commission
276on International and Trans-Regional Accreditation; and
277     6.  Ensures instructional and curricular quality through a
278detailed curriculum and student performance accountability plan
279that addresses every subject and grade level it intends to
280provide through contract with the school district, including:
281     a.  Courses and programs that meet the standards of the
282International Association for K-12 Online Learning and the
283Southern Regional Education Board.
284     b.  Instructional content and services that align with, and
285measure student attainment of, student proficiency in the Next
286Generation Sunshine State Standards.
287     c.  Mechanisms that determine and ensure that a student has
288satisfied requirements for grade level promotion and high school
289graduation with a standard diploma, as appropriate;
290     7.  Publishes for the general public, in accordance with
291disclosure requirements adopted in rule by the State Board of
292Education, as part of its application as a provider and in all
293contracts negotiated pursuant to this section:
294     a.  Information and data about the curriculum of each full-
295time and part-time program.
296     b.  School policies and procedures.
297     c.  Certification status and physical location of all
298administrative and instructional personnel.
299     d.  Student-teacher ratios.
300     e.  Student completion and promotion rates.
301     f.  Student, educator, and school performance
302accountability outcomes; and
303     8.6.  If the provider is a community college, employs
304instructors who meet the certification requirements for
305instructional staff under chapter 1012.
306     (b)  An approved provider shall retain its approved status
307for a period of 3 years after the date of the department's
308approval under paragraph (a) as long as the provider continues
309to comply with all requirements of this section. However, each
310provider approved by the department for the 2011-2012 school
311year must reapply for approval to provide a part-time program
312for students in grades 9 through 12.
313     (4)  CONTRACT REQUIREMENTS.-Each contract with an approved
314provider must at minimum:
315     (a)  Set forth a detailed curriculum plan that illustrates
316how students will be provided services and be measured for
317attainment of to attain proficiency in the Sunshine State
318Standards for each grade level and subject.
320     (a)  Each approved provider contracted under this section
322     1.  Participate in the statewide assessment program under
323s. 1008.22 and in the state's education performance
324accountability system under s. 1008.31.
325     2.  Receive a school grade under s. 1008.34 or a school
326improvement rating under s. 1008.341, as applicable. The school
327grade or school improvement rating received by each approved
328provider shall be based upon the aggregated assessment scores of
329all students served by the provider statewide. The department
330shall publish the school grade or school improvement rating
331received by each approved provider on its Internet website. The
332department shall develop an evaluation method for providers of
333part-time programs which includes the percentage of students
334making learning gains, the percentage of students successfully
335passing any required end-of-course assessment, the percentage of
336students taking Advanced Placement examinations, and the
337percentage of students scoring 3 or higher on an Advanced
338Placement examination.
339     (d)  An approved provider's contract must be terminated if
340the provider receives a school grade of "D" or "F" under s.
3411008.34 or a school improvement rating of "Declining" under s.
3421008.341 for 2 years during any consecutive 4-year period or has
343violated any qualification requirement pursuant to subsection
344(2). A provider that has a contract terminated under this
345paragraph may not be an approved provider for a period of at
346least 1 year after the date upon which the contract was
347terminated and until the department determines that the provider
348is in compliance with subsection (2) and has corrected each
349cause of the provider's low performance.
350     (11)  RULES.-The State Board of Education shall adopt rules
351necessary to administer this section, including rules that
352prescribe disclosure requirements under subsection (2) and
353school district reporting requirements under subsection (7).
354     Section 3.  Paragraph (c) is added to subsection (2) of
355section 1003.428, Florida Statutes, to read:
356     1003.428  General requirements for high school graduation;
358     (2)  The 24 credits may be earned through applied,
359integrated, and combined courses approved by the Department of
360Education. The 24 credits shall be distributed as follows:
361     (c)  Beginning with students entering grade 9 in the 2013-
3622014 school year, at least one of the courses required in this
363subsection must be completed through online learning. This
364requirement shall be met through an online course offered by the
365Florida Virtual School, an online course offered by the high
366school, or an online dual enrollment course offered pursuant to
367a district interinstitutional articulation agreement pursuant to
368s. 1007.235. A student who is enrolled in a full-time or part-
369time virtual instruction program under s. 1002.45 meets this
371     Section 4.  Paragraph (g) of subsection (3) of section
3721008.22, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
373     1008.22  Student assessment program for public schools.-
374     (3)  STATEWIDE ASSESSMENT PROGRAM.-The commissioner shall
375design and implement a statewide program of educational
376assessment that provides information for the improvement of the
377operation and management of the public schools, including
378schools operating for the purpose of providing educational
379services to youth in Department of Juvenile Justice programs.
380The commissioner may enter into contracts for the continued
381administration of the assessment, testing, and evaluation
382programs authorized and funded by the Legislature. Contracts may
383be initiated in 1 fiscal year and continue into the next and may
384be paid from the appropriations of either or both fiscal years.
385The commissioner is authorized to negotiate for the sale or
386lease of tests, scoring protocols, test scoring services, and
387related materials developed pursuant to law. Pursuant to the
388statewide assessment program, the commissioner shall:
389     (g)  By the 2014-2015 school year, require all statewide
390end-of-course assessments to be administered online. Study the
391cost and student achievement impact of secondary end-of-course
392assessments, including web-based and performance formats, and
393report to the Legislature prior to implementation.
394     Section 5.  Paragraph (c) of subsection (1) of section
3951011.61, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
396     1011.61  Definitions.-Notwithstanding the provisions of s.
3971000.21, the following terms are defined as follows for the
398purposes of the Florida Education Finance Program:
399     (1)  A "full-time equivalent student" in each program of
400the district is defined in terms of full-time students and part-
401time students as follows:
402     (c)1.  A "full-time equivalent student" is:
403     a.  A full-time student in any one of the programs listed
404in s. 1011.62(1)(c); or
405     b.  A combination of full-time or part-time students in any
406one of the programs listed in s. 1011.62(1)(c) which is the
407equivalent of one full-time student based on the following
409     (I)  A full-time student, except a postsecondary or adult
410student or a senior high school student enrolled in adult
411education when such courses are required for high school
412graduation, in a combination of programs listed in s.
4131011.62(1)(c) shall be a fraction of a full-time equivalent
414membership in each special program equal to the number of net
415hours per school year for which he or she is a member, divided
416by the appropriate number of hours set forth in subparagraph
417(a)1. or subparagraph (a)2. The difference between that fraction
418or sum of fractions and the maximum value as set forth in
419subsection (4) for each full-time student is presumed to be the
420balance of the student's time not spent in such special
421education programs and shall be recorded as time in the
422appropriate basic program.
423     (II)  A prekindergarten handicapped student shall meet the
424requirements specified for kindergarten students.
425     (III)  A full-time equivalent student for students in
426kindergarten through grade 5 in a school district virtual
427instruction program under s. 1002.45 shall consist of a student
428who has successfully completed a basic program listed in s.
4291011.62(1)(c)1.a. or b., and who is promoted to a higher grade
431     (IV)  A full-time equivalent student for students in grades
4326 through 12 in a school district virtual instruction program
433under s. 1002.45(1)(b)1., and 2., and 3. shall consist of six
434full credit completions in programs listed in s.
4351011.62(1)(c)1.b. or c. and 3. Credit completions can be a
436combination of either full credits or half credits.
437     (V)  A Florida Virtual School full-time equivalent student
438shall consist of six full credit completions in the programs
439listed in s. 1011.62(1)(c)1.b. for grades 6 through 8 and the
440programs listed in s. 1011.62(1)(c)1.c. for grades 9 through 12.
441Credit completions can be a combination of either full credits
442or half credits.
443     (VI)  Each successfully completed credit earned under the
444alternative high school course credit requirements authorized in
445s. 1002.375, which is not reported as a portion of the 900 net
446hours of instruction pursuant to subparagraph (1)(a)1., shall be
447calculated as  1/6 FTE.
448     2.  A student in membership in a program scheduled for more
449or less than 180 school days or the equivalent on an hourly
450basis as specified by rules of the State Board of Education is a
451fraction of a full-time equivalent membership equal to the
452number of instructional hours in membership divided by the
453appropriate number of hours set forth in subparagraph (a)1.;
454however, for the purposes of this subparagraph, membership in
455programs scheduled for more than 180 days is limited to students
456enrolled in juvenile justice education programs and the Florida
457Virtual School.
459The department shall determine and implement an equitable method
460of equivalent funding for experimental schools and for schools
461operating under emergency conditions, which schools have been
462approved by the department to operate for less than the minimum
463school day.
464     Section 6.  Section 1012.57, Florida Statutes, is amended
465to read:
466     1012.57  Certification of adjunct educators.-
467     (1)  Notwithstanding the provisions of ss. 1012.32,
4681012.55, and 1012.56, or any other provision of law or rule to
469the contrary, district school boards shall adopt rules to allow
470for the issuance of an adjunct teaching certificate to any
471applicant who fulfills the requirements of s. 1012.56(2)(a)-(f)
472and (10) and who has expertise in the subject area to be taught.
473An applicant shall be considered to have expertise in the
474subject area to be taught if the applicant demonstrates
475sufficient subject area mastery through passage of a subject
476area test. The adjunct teaching certificate shall be used for
477part-time teaching positions.
478     (2)  The Legislature intends that this section intent of
479this provision is to allow school districts to tap the wealth of
480talent and expertise represented in Florida's citizens who may
481wish to teach part-time in a Florida public school by permitting
482school districts to issue adjunct certificates to qualified
484     (3)  Adjunct certificateholders should be used as a
485strategy to enhance the diversity of course offerings offered to
486all students. School districts may use the expertise of
487individuals in the state who wish to provide online instruction
488to students by issuing adjunct certificates to qualified
489applicants. reduce the teacher shortage; thus, adjunct
490certificateholders should supplement a school's instructional
491staff, not supplant it. Each school principal shall assign an
492experienced peer mentor to assist the adjunct teaching
493certificateholder during the certificateholder's first year of
494teaching, and an adjunct certificateholder may participate in a
495district's new teacher training program. District school boards
496shall provide the adjunct teaching certificateholder an
497orientation in classroom management prior to assigning the
498certificateholder to a school.
499     (4)  Each adjunct teaching certificate is valid through the
500term of the annual contract between the educator and the school
501district for 5 school years and is renewable if the applicant is
502rated effective or highly effective, pursuant to s. 1012.34, has
503received satisfactory performance evaluations during each year
504of teaching under adjunct teaching certification.
505     (5)(2)  Individuals who are certified and employed under
506this section shall have the same rights and protection of laws
507as teachers certified under s. 1012.56.
508     Section 7.  By December 1, 2011, the Department of
509Education shall submit a report to the Governor, the President
510of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives
511which identifies and explains the best methods and strategies by
512which the department can assist district school boards in
513acquiring digital learning at the most reasonable prices
514possible and provides a plan under which district school boards
515may voluntarily pool their bids for such purchases. The report
516shall identify criteria that will enable district school boards
517to differentiate between the level of service and pricing based
518upon factors such as the level of student support, the frequency
519of teacher-student communications, instructional accountability
520standards, and academic integrity. The report shall also include
521ways to increase student access to digital learning, including
522identification and analysis of the best methods and strategies
523for implementing part-time virtual education in kindergarten
524through grade 5.
525     Section 8.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2011.

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.