Florida Senate - 2013                        COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
       Bill No. SB 1630
                                Barcode 201208                          
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              
                   Comm: WD            .                                
                  04/23/2013           .                                

       The Committee on Appropriations (Bean) recommended the
    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Delete everything after the enacting clause
    4  and insert:
    5         Section 1. Paragraph (b) of subsection (5), paragraph (h)
    6  of subsection (6), paragraph (a) of subsection (7), paragraph
    7  (a) of subsection (8), paragraph (g) of subsection (9),
    8  paragraph (b) of subsection (16), paragraph (a) of subsection
    9  (21), and subsection (27) of section 1002.33, Florida Statutes,
   10  are amended, paragraphs (o) and (p) are added to subsection (9)
   11  of that section, paragraph (c) is added to subsection (26) of
   12  that section, and subsection (28) is added to that section, to
   13  read:
   14         1002.33 Charter schools.—
   15         (5) SPONSOR; DUTIES.—
   16         (b) Sponsor duties.—
   17         1.a. The sponsor shall monitor and review the charter
   18  school in its progress toward the goals established in the
   19  charter.
   20         b. The sponsor shall monitor the revenues and expenditures
   21  of the charter school and perform the duties provided in s.
   22  1002.345.
   23         c. The sponsor may approve a charter for a charter school
   24  before the applicant has identified space, equipment, or
   25  personnel, if the applicant indicates approval is necessary for
   26  it to raise working funds.
   27         d. The sponsor’s policies shall not apply to a charter
   28  school unless mutually agreed to by both the sponsor and the
   29  charter school.
   30         e. The sponsor shall ensure that the charter is innovative
   31  and consistent with the state education goals established by s.
   32  1000.03(5).
   33         f. The sponsor shall ensure that the charter school
   34  participates in the state’s education accountability system. If
   35  a charter school falls short of performance measures included in
   36  the approved charter, the sponsor shall report such shortcomings
   37  to the Department of Education.
   38         g. The sponsor shall not be liable for civil damages under
   39  state law for personal injury, property damage, or death
   40  resulting from an act or omission of an officer, employee,
   41  agent, or governing body of the charter school.
   42         h. The sponsor shall not be liable for civil damages under
   43  state law for any employment actions taken by an officer,
   44  employee, agent, or governing body of the charter school.
   45         i. The sponsor’s duties to monitor the charter school shall
   46  not constitute the basis for a private cause of action.
   47         j. The sponsor shall not impose additional reporting
   48  requirements on a charter school without providing reasonable
   49  and specific justification in writing to the charter school.
   50         2. Immunity for the sponsor of a charter school under
   51  subparagraph 1. applies only with respect to acts or omissions
   52  not under the sponsor’s direct authority as described in this
   53  section.
   54         3. This paragraph does not waive a district school board’s
   55  sovereign immunity.
   56         4. A Florida College System institution may work with the
   57  school district or school districts in its designated service
   58  area to develop charter schools that offer secondary education.
   59  These charter schools must include an option for students to
   60  receive an associate degree upon high school graduation.
   61  District school boards shall cooperate with and assist the
   62  Florida College System institution on the charter application.
   63  Florida College System institution applications for charter
   64  schools are not subject to the time deadlines outlined in
   65  subsection (6) and may be approved by the district school board
   66  at any time during the year. Florida College System institutions
   67  may not report FTE for any students who receive FTE funding
   68  through the Florida Education Finance Program.
   69         5. A school district may enter into nonexclusive interlocal
   70  agreements with federal and state agencies, counties,
   71  municipalities, and other governmental entities that operate
   72  within the geographical borders of the school district to act on
   73  behalf of such governmental entities in the inspection,
   74  issuance, and other necessary activities for all necessary
   75  permits, licenses, and other permissions that a charter school
   76  needs in order for development, construction, or operation. A
   77  charter school may use, but may not be required to use, a school
   78  district for these services. The interlocal agreement must
   79  include, but need not be limited to, the identification of fees
   80  that charter schools will be charged for such services. The fees
   81  must consist of the governmental entity’s fees plus a fee for
   82  the school district to recover no more than actual costs for
   83  providing such services. These services and fees are not
   84  included within the services to be provided pursuant to
   85  subsection (20).
   86         (6) APPLICATION PROCESS AND REVIEW.—Charter school
   87  applications are subject to the following requirements:
   88         (h) The terms and conditions for the operation of a charter
   89  school shall be set forth by the sponsor and the applicant in a
   90  written contractual agreement, called a charter. The sponsor may
   91  shall not impose unreasonable rules or regulations that violate
   92  the intent of giving charter schools greater flexibility to meet
   93  educational goals. The sponsor has 30 shall have 60 days after
   94  approval of the application to provide an initial proposed
   95  charter contract to the charter school. The applicant and
   96  sponsor shall use the standard charter adopted in state board
   97  rule pursuant to subsection (27) and the application submitted
   98  by the applicant. If agreed to by the sponsor and the charter
   99  school, the parties may file an addendum to the standard charter
  100  contract, not to exceed a page limit prescribed by the
  101  department, that identifies mutually agreed upon changes to the
  102  standard charter contract. Otherwise, neither the sponsor nor
  103  the charter school may modify the standard charter contract or
  104  otherwise insert or append attachments, addenda, or exhibits to
  105  the standard charter contract. The applicant and the sponsor
  106  have 40 shall have 75 days thereafter to negotiate and notice
  107  the charter contract for final approval by the sponsor unless
  108  both parties agree to an extension. The proposed charter
  109  contract shall be provided to the charter school at least 7
  110  calendar days prior to the date of the meeting at which the
  111  charter is scheduled to be voted upon by the sponsor. The
  112  Department of Education shall provide mediation services for any
  113  dispute regarding this section subsequent to the approval of a
  114  charter application and for any dispute relating to the approved
  115  charter, except disputes regarding charter school application
  116  denials. If the Commissioner of Education determines that the
  117  dispute cannot be settled through mediation, the dispute may be
  118  appealed to an administrative law judge appointed by the
  119  Division of Administrative Hearings. The administrative law
  120  judge may rule on issues of equitable treatment of the charter
  121  school as a public school, whether proposed provisions of the
  122  charter violate the intended flexibility granted charter schools
  123  by statute, or on any other matter regarding this section except
  124  a charter school application denial, a charter termination, or a
  125  charter nonrenewal and shall award the prevailing party
  126  reasonable attorney’s fees and costs incurred to be paid by the
  127  losing party. The costs of the administrative hearing shall be
  128  paid by the party whom the administrative law judge rules
  129  against.
  130         (7) CHARTER.—The major issues involving the operation of a
  131  charter school shall be considered in advance and written into
  132  the charter. The charter shall be signed by the governing board
  133  of the charter school and the sponsor, following a public
  134  hearing to ensure community input.
  135         (a) The charter shall address and criteria for approval of
  136  the charter shall be based on:
  137         1. The school’s mission, the students to be served, and the
  138  ages and grades to be included.
  139         2. The focus of the curriculum, the instructional methods
  140  to be used, any distinctive instructional techniques to be
  141  employed, and identification and acquisition of appropriate
  142  technologies needed to improve educational and administrative
  143  performance which include a means for promoting safe, ethical,
  144  and appropriate uses of technology which comply with legal and
  145  professional standards.
  146         a. The charter shall ensure that reading is a primary focus
  147  of the curriculum and that resources are provided to identify
  148  and provide specialized instruction for students who are reading
  149  below grade level. The curriculum and instructional strategies
  150  for reading must be consistent with the Sunshine State Standards
  151  and grounded in scientifically based reading research.
  152         b. In order to provide students with access to diverse
  153  instructional delivery models, to facilitate the integration of
  154  technology within traditional classroom instruction, and to
  155  provide students with the skills they need to compete in the
  156  21st century economy, the Legislature encourages instructional
  157  methods for blended learning courses consisting of both
  158  traditional classroom and online instructional techniques.
  159  Charter schools may implement blended learning courses which
  160  combine traditional classroom instruction and virtual
  161  instruction. Students in a blended learning course must be full
  162  time students of the charter school and receive the online
  163  instruction in a classroom setting at the charter school.
  164  Instructional personnel certified pursuant to s. 1012.55 who
  165  provide virtual instruction for blended learning courses may be
  166  employees of the charter school or may be under contract to
  167  provide instructional services to charter school students. At a
  168  minimum, such instructional personnel must hold an active state
  169  or school district adjunct certification under s. 1012.57 for
  170  the subject area of the blended learning course. The funding and
  171  performance accountability requirements for blended learning
  172  courses are the same as those for traditional courses.
  173         3. The current incoming baseline standard of student
  174  academic achievement, the outcomes to be achieved, and the
  175  method of measurement that will be used. The criteria listed in
  176  this subparagraph shall include a detailed description of:
  177         a. How the baseline student academic achievement levels and
  178  prior rates of academic progress will be established.
  179         b. How these baseline rates will be compared to rates of
  180  academic progress achieved by these same students while
  181  attending the charter school.
  182         c. To the extent possible, how these rates of progress will
  183  be evaluated and compared with rates of progress of other
  184  closely comparable student populations.
  186  The district school board is required to provide academic
  187  student performance data to charter schools for each of their
  188  students coming from the district school system, as well as
  189  rates of academic progress of comparable student populations in
  190  the district school system.
  191         4. The methods used to identify the educational strengths
  192  and needs of students and how well educational goals and
  193  performance standards are met by students attending the charter
  194  school. The methods shall provide a means for the charter school
  195  to ensure accountability to its constituents by analyzing
  196  student performance data and by evaluating the effectiveness and
  197  efficiency of its major educational programs. Students in
  198  charter schools shall, at a minimum, participate in the
  199  statewide assessment program created under s. 1008.22.
  200         5. In secondary charter schools, a method for determining
  201  that a student has satisfied the requirements for graduation in
  202  s. 1003.428, s. 1003.429, or s. 1003.43.
  203         6. A method for resolving conflicts between the governing
  204  board of the charter school and the sponsor.
  205         7. The admissions procedures and dismissal procedures,
  206  including the school’s code of student conduct.
  207         8. The ways by which the school will achieve a
  208  racial/ethnic balance reflective of the community it serves or
  209  within the racial/ethnic range of other public schools in the
  210  same school district.
  211         9. The financial and administrative management of the
  212  school, including a reasonable demonstration of the professional
  213  experience or competence of those individuals or organizations
  214  applying to operate the charter school or those hired or
  215  retained to perform such professional services and the
  216  description of clearly delineated responsibilities and the
  217  policies and practices needed to effectively manage the charter
  218  school. A description of internal audit procedures and
  219  establishment of controls to ensure that financial resources are
  220  properly managed must be included. Both public sector and
  221  private sector professional experience shall be equally valid in
  222  such a consideration.
  223         10. The asset and liability projections required in the
  224  application which are incorporated into the charter and shall be
  225  compared with information provided in the annual report of the
  226  charter school.
  227         11. A description of procedures that identify various risks
  228  and provide for a comprehensive approach to reduce the impact of
  229  losses; plans to ensure the safety and security of students and
  230  staff; plans to identify, minimize, and protect others from
  231  violent or disruptive student behavior; and the manner in which
  232  the school will be insured, including whether or not the school
  233  will be required to have liability insurance, and, if so, the
  234  terms and conditions thereof and the amounts of coverage.
  235         12. The term of the charter which shall provide for
  236  cancellation of the charter if insufficient progress has been
  237  made in attaining the student achievement objectives of the
  238  charter and if it is not likely that such objectives can be
  239  achieved before expiration of the charter. The initial term of a
  240  charter shall be for 4 or 5 years. In order to facilitate access
  241  to long-term financial resources for charter school
  242  construction, charter schools that are operated by a
  243  municipality or other public entity as provided by law are
  244  eligible for up to a 15-year charter, subject to approval by the
  245  district school board. A charter lab school is eligible for a
  246  charter for a term of up to 15 years. In addition, to facilitate
  247  access to long-term financial resources for charter school
  248  construction, charter schools that are operated by a private,
  249  not-for-profit, s. 501(c)(3) status corporation are eligible for
  250  up to a 15-year charter, subject to approval by the district
  251  school board. Such long-term charters remain subject to annual
  252  review and may be terminated during the term of the charter, but
  253  only according to the provisions set forth in subsection (8).
  254         13. The facilities to be used and their location. The
  255  sponsor may not require a charter school to have a temporary
  256  certificate of occupancy or certificate of occupancy for such a
  257  facility earlier than the first day of school.
  258         14. The qualifications to be required of the teachers and
  259  the potential strategies used to recruit, hire, train, and
  260  retain qualified staff to achieve best value.
  261         15. The governance structure of the school, including the
  262  status of the charter school as a public or private employer as
  263  required in paragraph (12)(i).
  264         16. A timetable for implementing the charter which
  265  addresses the implementation of each element thereof and the
  266  date by which the charter shall be awarded in order to meet this
  267  timetable.
  268         17. In the case of an existing public school that is being
  269  converted to charter status, alternative arrangements for
  270  current students who choose not to attend the charter school and
  271  for current teachers who choose not to teach in the charter
  272  school after conversion in accordance with the existing
  273  collective bargaining agreement or district school board rule in
  274  the absence of a collective bargaining agreement. However,
  275  alternative arrangements shall not be required for current
  276  teachers who choose not to teach in a charter lab school, except
  277  as authorized by the employment policies of the state university
  278  which grants the charter to the lab school.
  279         18. Full disclosure of the identity of all relatives
  280  employed by the charter school who are related to the charter
  281  school owner, president, chairperson of the governing board of
  282  directors, superintendent, governing board member, principal,
  283  assistant principal, or any other person employed by the charter
  284  school who has equivalent decisionmaking authority. For the
  285  purpose of this subparagraph, the term “relative” means father,
  286  mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, first
  287  cousin, nephew, niece, husband, wife, father-in-law, mother-in
  288  law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law,
  289  stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother,
  290  stepsister, half brother, or half sister.
  291         19. Implementation of the activities authorized under s.
  292  1002.331 by the charter school when it satisfies the eligibility
  293  requirements for a high-performing charter school. A high
  294  performing charter school shall notify its sponsor in writing by
  295  March 1 if it intends to increase enrollment or expand grade
  296  levels the following school year. The written notice shall
  297  specify the amount of the enrollment increase and the grade
  298  levels that will be added, as applicable.
  300         (a) The sponsor shall make student academic achievement for
  301  all students the most important factor when determining whether
  302  to renew or terminate the charter. The sponsor may also choose
  303  not to renew or may terminate the charter for any of the
  304  following grounds:
  305         1. Failure to participate in the state’s education
  306  accountability system created in s. 1008.31, as required in this
  307  section, or failure to meet the requirements for student
  308  performance stated in the charter.
  309         2. Failure to meet generally accepted standards of fiscal
  310  management.
  311         3. Violation of law.
  312         4. Other good cause shown.
  314         (g)1. In order to provide financial information that is
  315  comparable to that reported for other public schools, charter
  316  schools are to maintain all financial records that constitute
  317  their accounting system:
  318         a.1. In accordance with the accounts and codes prescribed
  319  in the most recent issuance of the publication titled “Financial
  320  and Program Cost Accounting and Reporting for Florida Schools”;
  321  or
  322         b.2. At the discretion of the charter school’s governing
  323  board, a charter school may elect to follow generally accepted
  324  accounting standards for not-for-profit organizations, but must
  325  reformat this information for reporting according to this
  326  paragraph.
  327         2. Charter schools shall provide annual financial report
  328  and program cost report information in the state-required
  329  formats for inclusion in district reporting in compliance with
  330  s. 1011.60(1). Charter schools that are operated by a
  331  municipality or are a component unit of a parent nonprofit
  332  organization may use the accounting system of the municipality
  333  or the parent but must reformat this information for reporting
  334  according to this paragraph.
  335         3.A charter school shall provide the sponsor with a
  336  concise, uniform, monthly financial statement summary sheet that
  337  contains a balance sheet and a statement of revenue,
  338  expenditures, and changes in fund balance. The balance sheet and
  339  the statement of revenue, expenditures, and changes in fund
  340  balance shall be in the governmental funds format prescribed by
  341  the Governmental Accounting Standards Board. A charter school
  342  shall provide a monthly financial statement to the sponsor
  343  unless the charter school is designated as A high-performing
  344  charter school pursuant to s. 1002.331, in which case the high
  345  performing charter school may provide a quarterly financial
  346  statement in the same format and requirements as the uniform
  347  monthly financial statement summary sheet. The financial
  348  statement required under this paragraph shall be in a form
  349  prescribed by the Department of Education.
  350         4. A charter school shall maintain and provide financial
  351  information as required in this paragraph. The information
  352  required in this paragraph must be in a form prescribed by the
  353  Department of Education.
  354         (o)1.Upon notification of nonrenewal or termination of its
  355  charter, a charter school may not expend more than $35,000
  356  without prior written approval from the sponsor, unless such
  357  expenditure was included within the annual budget submitted to
  358  the sponsor pursuant to the charter contract or is for
  359  reasonable attorney fees and costs during the pendency of an
  360  appeal.
  361         2. The charter agreement must immediately terminate when
  362  the charter school closes.
  363         3. Charter school contracts with employees, service
  364  providers, management companies, and other types of service
  365  contracts may not extend beyond the term of the charter
  366  agreement. Payments may be made only for services provided
  367  before the closure, nonrenewal, termination, or immediate
  368  termination of the charter school.
  369         4. If the charter school closes or if the charter agreement
  370  is terminated before the term of the charter agreement expires,
  371  the remainder of a service contract is void.
  372         (p) Each charter school shall maintain a website that
  373  enables the public to obtain information regarding the school;
  374  the school’s academic performance; names of the governing board
  375  members; programs at the school; any management companies,
  376  service providers, or education management corporations
  377  associated with the school; the school’s annual budget and its
  378  annual independent fiscal audit; school grade pursuant to s.
  379  1008.34; and, on a quarterly basis, minutes of governing board
  380  meetings.
  381         (16) EXEMPTION FROM STATUTES.—
  382         (b) Additionally, a charter school shall be in compliance
  383  with the following statutes:
  384         1. Section 286.011, relating to public meetings and
  385  records, public inspection, and criminal and civil penalties.
  386         2. Chapter 119, relating to public records.
  387         3. Section 1003.03, relating to the maximum class size,
  388  except that the calculation for compliance pursuant to s.
  389  1003.03 shall be the average at the school level.
  390         4. Section 1012.22(1)(c)5.b. 1012.22(1)(c), relating to the
  391  implementation of a compensation system that requires annual
  392  salary adjustments for instructional personnel to be based upon
  393  performance and salary schedules.
  394         5. Section 1012.33(5), relating to workforce reductions, if
  395  the charter school awards contracts to instructional personnel
  396  and the term of a contract exceeds 1 year.
  397         6. Section 1012.335, relating to contracts with
  398  instructional personnel hired on or after July 1, 2011, if the
  399  charter school awards contracts to instructional personnel and
  400  the term of a contract exceeds 1 year.
  401         7. Section 1012.34(2), (3), and (7) 1012.34, relating to
  402  the substantive requirements for performance evaluations for
  403  instructional personnel and school administrators. For purposes
  404  of compliance with this subparagraph, the duties assigned to a
  405  district school superintendent apply to a charter school
  406  administrative personnel or equivalent as specified by the
  407  governing board, and the duties assigned to a district school
  408  board apply to a charter school’s governing board.
  410         (a) The Department of Education shall provide information
  411  to the public, directly and through sponsors, on how to form and
  412  operate a charter school and how to enroll in a charter school
  413  once it is created. This information shall include a model
  414  standard application form format, standard charter contract
  415  format, standard evaluation instrument, and standard charter
  416  renewal contract format, which shall include the information
  417  specified in subsection (7) and shall be developed by consulting
  418  and negotiating with both school districts and charter schools
  419  before implementation. The charter and charter renewal contracts
  420  formats shall be used by charter school sponsors.
  422         (c) An employee of the charter school, or his or her
  423  spouse, or an employee of a charter management organization, or
  424  his or her spouse, may not be a member of the governing board of
  425  the charter school.
  426         (27) RULEMAKING.—The Department of Education, after
  427  consultation with school districts and charter school directors,
  428  shall recommend that the State Board of Education adopt rules to
  429  implement specific subsections of this section. Such rules must
  430  shall require minimum paperwork and may shall not limit charter
  431  school flexibility authorized by statute. The State Board of
  432  Education shall adopt rules, pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and
  433  120.54, to implement a charter model application form, standard
  434  evaluation instrument, and standard charter and charter renewal
  435  contracts formats in accordance with this section. The standard
  436  charter and charter renewal contracts must be implemented by
  437  September 1, 2014.
  438         (28) DEFINITIONS.—As used in chapters 1000-1013 and where
  439  the context allows in other provisions of law, the term
  440  “management company” means an entity retained by a public
  441  school’s governing body pursuant to a written contract to
  442  administer or direct the operations of the school, subject to
  443  the policies, directives, and oversight of the public school’s
  444  governing body. A public school’s governing body may not retain
  445  a management company of which the governing body is a component
  446  unit. This definition also applies to the term:
  447         (a) “Service provider” as the term is used in this section;
  448         (b) “Education management corporation” as the term is used
  449  in s. 1002.332; and
  450         (c) “Outside entity” as the term is used in s. 1008.33.
  451         Section 2. Full implementation of online assessments for
  452  Next Generation Sunshine State Standards in English/language
  453  arts and mathematics adopted under s. 1003.41 for all
  454  kindergarten through grade 12 public school students shall occur
  455  only after the technology infrastructure, connectivity, and
  456  capacity of all public schools and school districts have been
  457  load tested and independently verified as ready for successful
  458  deployment and implementation.
  459         Section 3. The technology infrastructure, connectivity, and
  460  capacity of all public schools and school districts that
  461  administer statewide standardized assessments pursuant to s.
  462  1008.22, Florida Statutes, including online assessments, shall
  463  be load tested and independently verified as appropriate,
  464  adequate, efficient, and sustainable.
  465         Section 4. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.
  467  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
  468         And the title is amended as follows:
  469         Delete everything before the enacting clause
  470  and insert:
  471                        A bill to be entitled                      
  472         An act relating to education; amending s. 1002.33,
  473         F.S.; allowing a school district to enter into certain
  474         interlocal agreements and allowing charter schools to
  475         use the school district for certain related services;
  476         modifying the application process for charter schools;
  477         prohibiting a sponsor from requiring a charter school
  478         to have a certificate of occupancy before the first
  479         day of school; requiring a sponsor to make student
  480         academic achievement for all students a priority in
  481         deciding whether to renew a charter; modifying charter
  482         school requirements for financial records; imposing
  483         rules that follow the closing of a charter school or
  484         termination of a charter; requiring a charter school
  485         to maintain a public website with certain information;
  486         modifying statutory exemptions for charter schools;
  487         restricting the membership of a charter school
  488         governing board; providing definitions; requiring that
  489         full implementation of online assessments for Next
  490         Generation Sunshine State Standards in
  491         English/language arts and mathematics for all
  492         kindergarten through grade 12 public school students
  493         occur only after the technology infrastructure,
  494         connectivity, and capacity of all public schools and
  495         school districts have been load tested and
  496         independently verified as ready for successful
  497         deployment and implementation; requiring that the
  498         technology infrastructure, connectivity, and capacity
  499         of all public schools and school districts that
  500         administer statewide standardized assessments pursuant
  501         to s. 1008.22, F.S., be load tested and independently
  502         verified as appropriate, adequate, efficient, and
  503         sustainable; providing an effective date.