Florida Senate - 2013                             CS for SB 1630
       By the Committee on Appropriations; and Senator Legg
       576-04939-13                                          20131630c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to education; amending s. 1002.33,
    3         F.S.; requiring a charter school sponsor to submit an
    4         annual report that includes specified information;
    5         allowing a school district to enter into certain
    6         interlocal agreements and allowing charter schools to
    7         use the school district for certain related services;
    8         modifying the application process for charter schools;
    9         prohibiting a sponsor from requiring a charter school
   10         to have a certificate of occupancy before the first
   11         day of school; requiring a sponsor to make student
   12         academic achievement for all students a priority in
   13         deciding whether to renew a charter; modifying charter
   14         school requirements for financial records; imposing
   15         rules that follow the closing of a charter school or
   16         termination of a charter; requiring a charter school
   17         to maintain a public website with certain information;
   18         modifying statutory exemptions for charter schools;
   19         restricting the membership of a charter school
   20         governing board; amending s. 1002.331, F.S.; modifying
   21         a limitation for increasing student enrollment;
   22         providing that the sponsor may deny a request to
   23         increase enrollment under certain circumstances;
   24         establishing timeframes for a charter school
   25         requesting that multiple charters be consolidated;
   26         requiring that full implementation of online
   27         assessments for Next Generation Sunshine State
   28         Standards in English/language arts and mathematics for
   29         all kindergarten through grade 12 public school
   30         students occur only after the technology
   31         infrastructure, connectivity, and capacity of all
   32         public schools and school districts have been load
   33         tested and independently verified as ready for
   34         successful deployment and implementation; requiring
   35         that the technology infrastructure, connectivity, and
   36         capacity of all public schools and school districts
   37         that administer statewide standardized assessments
   38         pursuant to s. 1008.22, F.S., be load tested and
   39         independently verified as appropriate, adequate,
   40         efficient, and sustainable; providing an effective
   41         date.
   43  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   45         Section 1. Paragraph (b) of subsection (5), paragraph (h)
   46  of subsection (6), paragraph (a) of subsection (7), paragraph
   47  (a) of subsection (8), paragraph (g) of subsection (9),
   48  paragraph (b) of subsection (16), paragraph (a) of subsection
   49  (21), and subsection (27) of section 1002.33, Florida Statutes,
   50  are amended, paragraphs (o) and (p) are added to subsection (9)
   51  of that section, paragraph (c) is added to subsection (26) of
   52  that section, present paragraphs (e) and (f) of subsection (17)
   53  of that section are redesignated as paragraphs (f) and (g),
   54  respectively, and a new paragraph (e) is added to that
   55  subsection, to read:
   56         1002.33 Charter schools.—
   57         (5) SPONSOR; DUTIES.—
   58         (b) Sponsor duties.—
   59         1.a. The sponsor shall monitor and review the charter
   60  school in its progress toward the goals established in the
   61  charter.
   62         b. The sponsor shall monitor the revenues and expenditures
   63  of the charter school and perform the duties provided in s.
   64  1002.345.
   65         c. The sponsor may approve a charter for a charter school
   66  before the applicant has identified space, equipment, or
   67  personnel, if the applicant indicates approval is necessary for
   68  it to raise working funds.
   69         d. The sponsor’s policies shall not apply to a charter
   70  school unless mutually agreed to by both the sponsor and the
   71  charter school.
   72         e. The sponsor shall ensure that the charter is innovative
   73  and consistent with the state education goals established by s.
   74  1000.03(5).
   75         f. The sponsor shall ensure that the charter school
   76  participates in the state’s education accountability system. If
   77  a charter school falls short of performance measures included in
   78  the approved charter, the sponsor shall report such shortcomings
   79  to the Department of Education.
   80         g. The sponsor shall not be liable for civil damages under
   81  state law for personal injury, property damage, or death
   82  resulting from an act or omission of an officer, employee,
   83  agent, or governing body of the charter school.
   84         h. The sponsor shall not be liable for civil damages under
   85  state law for any employment actions taken by an officer,
   86  employee, agent, or governing body of the charter school.
   87         i. The sponsor’s duties to monitor the charter school shall
   88  not constitute the basis for a private cause of action.
   89         j. The sponsor shall not impose additional reporting
   90  requirements on a charter school without providing reasonable
   91  and specific justification in writing to the charter school.
   92         k. The sponsor shall submit an annual report to the
   93  Department of Education in a web-based format to be determined
   94  by the department.
   95         (I) The report shall include the following information:
   96         (A) The number of draft applications received on or before
   97  May 1 and each applicant’s contact information.
   98         (B) The number of final applications received on or before
   99  August 1 and each applicant’s contact information.
  100         (C) The date each application was approved, denied, or
  101  withdrawn.
  102         (D) The date each final contract was executed.
  103         (II) Beginning August 31, 2013, and each year thereafter,
  104  the sponsor shall submit to the department the information for
  105  the applications submitted the previous year.
  106         (III) The department shall compile an annual report, by
  107  district, and post the report on its website by November 1 of
  108  each year.
  109         2. Immunity for the sponsor of a charter school under
  110  subparagraph 1. applies only with respect to acts or omissions
  111  not under the sponsor’s direct authority as described in this
  112  section.
  113         3. This paragraph does not waive a district school board’s
  114  sovereign immunity.
  115         4. A Florida College System institution may work with the
  116  school district or school districts in its designated service
  117  area to develop charter schools that offer secondary education.
  118  These charter schools must include an option for students to
  119  receive an associate degree upon high school graduation.
  120  District school boards shall cooperate with and assist the
  121  Florida College System institution on the charter application.
  122  Florida College System institution applications for charter
  123  schools are not subject to the time deadlines outlined in
  124  subsection (6) and may be approved by the district school board
  125  at any time during the year. Florida College System institutions
  126  may not report FTE for any students who receive FTE funding
  127  through the Florida Education Finance Program.
  128         5. A school district may enter into nonexclusive interlocal
  129  agreements with federal and state agencies, counties,
  130  municipalities, and other governmental entities that operate
  131  within the geographical borders of the school district to act on
  132  behalf of such governmental entities in the inspection,
  133  issuance, and other necessary activities for all necessary
  134  permits, licenses, and other permissions that a charter school
  135  needs in order for development, construction, or operation. A
  136  charter school may use, but may not be required to use, a school
  137  district for these services. The interlocal agreement must
  138  include, but need not be limited to, the identification of fees
  139  that charter schools will be charged for such services. The fees
  140  must consist of the governmental entity’s fees plus a fee for
  141  the school district to recover no more than actual costs for
  142  providing such services. These services and fees are not
  143  included within the services to be provided pursuant to
  144  subsection (20).
  145         (6) APPLICATION PROCESS AND REVIEW.—Charter school
  146  applications are subject to the following requirements:
  147         (h) The terms and conditions for the operation of a charter
  148  school shall be set forth by the sponsor and the applicant in a
  149  written contractual agreement, called a charter. The sponsor may
  150  shall not impose unreasonable rules or regulations that violate
  151  the intent of giving charter schools greater flexibility to meet
  152  educational goals. The sponsor has 30 shall have 60 days after
  153  approval of the application to provide an initial proposed
  154  charter contract to the charter school. The applicant and
  155  sponsor shall use the standard charter adopted in state board
  156  rule pursuant to subsection (27) and the application submitted
  157  by the applicant. The parties may file an addendum to the
  158  standard charter contract, not to exceed a page limit prescribed
  159  by the department, that identifies changes to the standard
  160  charter contract. Otherwise, neither the sponsor nor the charter
  161  school may modify the standard charter contract or otherwise
  162  insert or append attachments, addenda, or exhibits to the
  163  standard charter contract. The applicant and the sponsor have 40
  164  shall have 75 days thereafter to negotiate and notice the
  165  charter contract for final approval by the sponsor unless both
  166  parties agree to an extension. The proposed charter contract
  167  shall be provided to the charter school at least 7 calendar days
  168  prior to the date of the meeting at which the charter is
  169  scheduled to be voted upon by the sponsor. The Department of
  170  Education shall provide mediation services for any dispute
  171  regarding this section subsequent to the approval of a charter
  172  application and for any dispute relating to the approved
  173  charter, except disputes regarding charter school application
  174  denials. If the Commissioner of Education determines that the
  175  dispute cannot be settled through mediation, the dispute may be
  176  appealed to an administrative law judge appointed by the
  177  Division of Administrative Hearings. The administrative law
  178  judge may rule on issues of equitable treatment of the charter
  179  school as a public school, whether proposed provisions of the
  180  charter violate the intended flexibility granted charter schools
  181  by statute, or on any other matter regarding this section except
  182  a charter school application denial, a charter termination, or a
  183  charter nonrenewal and shall award the prevailing party
  184  reasonable attorney’s fees and costs incurred to be paid by the
  185  losing party. The costs of the administrative hearing shall be
  186  paid by the party whom the administrative law judge rules
  187  against.
  188         (7) CHARTER.—The major issues involving the operation of a
  189  charter school shall be considered in advance and written into
  190  the charter. The charter shall be signed by the governing board
  191  of the charter school and the sponsor, following a public
  192  hearing to ensure community input.
  193         (a) The charter shall address and criteria for approval of
  194  the charter shall be based on:
  195         1. The school’s mission, the students to be served, and the
  196  ages and grades to be included.
  197         2. The focus of the curriculum, the instructional methods
  198  to be used, any distinctive instructional techniques to be
  199  employed, and identification and acquisition of appropriate
  200  technologies needed to improve educational and administrative
  201  performance which include a means for promoting safe, ethical,
  202  and appropriate uses of technology which comply with legal and
  203  professional standards.
  204         a. The charter shall ensure that reading is a primary focus
  205  of the curriculum and that resources are provided to identify
  206  and provide specialized instruction for students who are reading
  207  below grade level. The curriculum and instructional strategies
  208  for reading must be consistent with the Sunshine State Standards
  209  and grounded in scientifically based reading research.
  210         b. In order to provide students with access to diverse
  211  instructional delivery models, to facilitate the integration of
  212  technology within traditional classroom instruction, and to
  213  provide students with the skills they need to compete in the
  214  21st century economy, the Legislature encourages instructional
  215  methods for blended learning courses consisting of both
  216  traditional classroom and online instructional techniques.
  217  Charter schools may implement blended learning courses which
  218  combine traditional classroom instruction and virtual
  219  instruction. Students in a blended learning course must be full
  220  time students of the charter school and receive the online
  221  instruction in a classroom setting at the charter school.
  222  Instructional personnel certified pursuant to s. 1012.55 who
  223  provide virtual instruction for blended learning courses may be
  224  employees of the charter school or may be under contract to
  225  provide instructional services to charter school students. At a
  226  minimum, such instructional personnel must hold an active state
  227  or school district adjunct certification under s. 1012.57 for
  228  the subject area of the blended learning course. The funding and
  229  performance accountability requirements for blended learning
  230  courses are the same as those for traditional courses.
  231         3. The current incoming baseline standard of student
  232  academic achievement, the outcomes to be achieved, and the
  233  method of measurement that will be used. The criteria listed in
  234  this subparagraph shall include a detailed description of:
  235         a. How the baseline student academic achievement levels and
  236  prior rates of academic progress will be established.
  237         b. How these baseline rates will be compared to rates of
  238  academic progress achieved by these same students while
  239  attending the charter school.
  240         c. To the extent possible, how these rates of progress will
  241  be evaluated and compared with rates of progress of other
  242  closely comparable student populations.
  244  The district school board is required to provide academic
  245  student performance data to charter schools for each of their
  246  students coming from the district school system, as well as
  247  rates of academic progress of comparable student populations in
  248  the district school system.
  249         4. The methods used to identify the educational strengths
  250  and needs of students and how well educational goals and
  251  performance standards are met by students attending the charter
  252  school. The methods shall provide a means for the charter school
  253  to ensure accountability to its constituents by analyzing
  254  student performance data and by evaluating the effectiveness and
  255  efficiency of its major educational programs. Students in
  256  charter schools shall, at a minimum, participate in the
  257  statewide assessment program created under s. 1008.22.
  258         5. In secondary charter schools, a method for determining
  259  that a student has satisfied the requirements for graduation in
  260  s. 1003.428, s. 1003.429, or s. 1003.43.
  261         6. A method for resolving conflicts between the governing
  262  board of the charter school and the sponsor.
  263         7. The admissions procedures and dismissal procedures,
  264  including the school’s code of student conduct.
  265         8. The ways by which the school will achieve a
  266  racial/ethnic balance reflective of the community it serves or
  267  within the racial/ethnic range of other public schools in the
  268  same school district.
  269         9. The financial and administrative management of the
  270  school, including a reasonable demonstration of the professional
  271  experience or competence of those individuals or organizations
  272  applying to operate the charter school or those hired or
  273  retained to perform such professional services and the
  274  description of clearly delineated responsibilities and the
  275  policies and practices needed to effectively manage the charter
  276  school. A description of internal audit procedures and
  277  establishment of controls to ensure that financial resources are
  278  properly managed must be included. Both public sector and
  279  private sector professional experience shall be equally valid in
  280  such a consideration.
  281         10. The asset and liability projections required in the
  282  application which are incorporated into the charter and shall be
  283  compared with information provided in the annual report of the
  284  charter school.
  285         11. A description of procedures that identify various risks
  286  and provide for a comprehensive approach to reduce the impact of
  287  losses; plans to ensure the safety and security of students and
  288  staff; plans to identify, minimize, and protect others from
  289  violent or disruptive student behavior; and the manner in which
  290  the school will be insured, including whether or not the school
  291  will be required to have liability insurance, and, if so, the
  292  terms and conditions thereof and the amounts of coverage.
  293         12. The term of the charter which shall provide for
  294  cancellation of the charter if insufficient progress has been
  295  made in attaining the student achievement objectives of the
  296  charter and if it is not likely that such objectives can be
  297  achieved before expiration of the charter. The initial term of a
  298  charter shall be for 4 or 5 years. In order to facilitate access
  299  to long-term financial resources for charter school
  300  construction, charter schools that are operated by a
  301  municipality or other public entity as provided by law are
  302  eligible for up to a 15-year charter, subject to approval by the
  303  district school board. A charter lab school is eligible for a
  304  charter for a term of up to 15 years. In addition, to facilitate
  305  access to long-term financial resources for charter school
  306  construction, charter schools that are operated by a private,
  307  not-for-profit, s. 501(c)(3) status corporation are eligible for
  308  up to a 15-year charter, subject to approval by the district
  309  school board. Such long-term charters remain subject to annual
  310  review and may be terminated during the term of the charter, but
  311  only according to the provisions set forth in subsection (8).
  312         13. The facilities to be used and their location. The
  313  sponsor may not require a charter school to have a temporary
  314  certificate of occupancy or certificate of occupancy for such a
  315  facility earlier than the first day of school.
  316         14. The qualifications to be required of the teachers and
  317  the potential strategies used to recruit, hire, train, and
  318  retain qualified staff to achieve best value.
  319         15. The governance structure of the school, including the
  320  status of the charter school as a public or private employer as
  321  required in paragraph (12)(i).
  322         16. A timetable for implementing the charter which
  323  addresses the implementation of each element thereof and the
  324  date by which the charter shall be awarded in order to meet this
  325  timetable.
  326         17. In the case of an existing public school that is being
  327  converted to charter status, alternative arrangements for
  328  current students who choose not to attend the charter school and
  329  for current teachers who choose not to teach in the charter
  330  school after conversion in accordance with the existing
  331  collective bargaining agreement or district school board rule in
  332  the absence of a collective bargaining agreement. However,
  333  alternative arrangements shall not be required for current
  334  teachers who choose not to teach in a charter lab school, except
  335  as authorized by the employment policies of the state university
  336  which grants the charter to the lab school.
  337         18. Full disclosure of the identity of all relatives
  338  employed by the charter school who are related to the charter
  339  school owner, president, chairperson of the governing board of
  340  directors, superintendent, governing board member, principal,
  341  assistant principal, or any other person employed by the charter
  342  school who has equivalent decisionmaking authority. For the
  343  purpose of this subparagraph, the term “relative” means father,
  344  mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, first
  345  cousin, nephew, niece, husband, wife, father-in-law, mother-in
  346  law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law,
  347  stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother,
  348  stepsister, half brother, or half sister.
  349         19. Implementation of the activities authorized under s.
  350  1002.331 by the charter school when it satisfies the eligibility
  351  requirements for a high-performing charter school. A high
  352  performing charter school shall notify its sponsor in writing by
  353  March 1 if it intends to increase enrollment or expand grade
  354  levels the following school year. The written notice shall
  355  specify the amount of the enrollment increase and the grade
  356  levels that will be added, as applicable.
  358         (a) The sponsor shall make student academic achievement for
  359  all students the most important factor when determining whether
  360  to renew or terminate the charter. The sponsor may also choose
  361  not to renew or may terminate the charter for any of the
  362  following grounds:
  363         1. Failure to participate in the state’s education
  364  accountability system created in s. 1008.31, as required in this
  365  section, or failure to meet the requirements for student
  366  performance stated in the charter.
  367         2. Failure to meet generally accepted standards of fiscal
  368  management.
  369         3. Violation of law.
  370         4. Other good cause shown.
  372         (g)1. In order to provide financial information that is
  373  comparable to that reported for other public schools, charter
  374  schools are to maintain all financial records that constitute
  375  their accounting system:
  376         a.1. In accordance with the accounts and codes prescribed
  377  in the most recent issuance of the publication titled “Financial
  378  and Program Cost Accounting and Reporting for Florida Schools”;
  379  or
  380         b.2. At the discretion of the charter school’s governing
  381  board, a charter school may elect to follow generally accepted
  382  accounting standards for not-for-profit organizations, but must
  383  reformat this information for reporting according to this
  384  paragraph.
  385         2. Charter schools shall provide annual financial report
  386  and program cost report information in the state-required
  387  formats for inclusion in district reporting in compliance with
  388  s. 1011.60(1). Charter schools that are operated by a
  389  municipality or are a component unit of a parent nonprofit
  390  organization may use the accounting system of the municipality
  391  or the parent but must reformat this information for reporting
  392  according to this paragraph.
  393         3.A charter school shall provide the sponsor with a
  394  concise, uniform, monthly financial statement summary sheet that
  395  contains a balance sheet and a statement of revenue,
  396  expenditures, and changes in fund balance. The balance sheet and
  397  the statement of revenue, expenditures, and changes in fund
  398  balance shall be in the governmental funds format prescribed by
  399  the Governmental Accounting Standards Board. A charter school
  400  shall provide a monthly financial statement to the sponsor
  401  unless the charter school is designated as A high-performing
  402  charter school pursuant to s. 1002.331, in which case the high
  403  performing charter school may provide a quarterly financial
  404  statement in the same format and requirements as the uniform
  405  monthly financial statement summary sheet. The financial
  406  statement required under this paragraph shall be in a form
  407  prescribed by the Department of Education.
  408         4. A charter school shall maintain and provide financial
  409  information as required in this paragraph. The information
  410  required in this paragraph must be in a form prescribed by the
  411  Department of Education.
  412         (o)1.Upon notification of nonrenewal or termination of its
  413  charter, a charter school may not expend more than $35,000
  414  without prior written approval from the sponsor, unless such
  415  expenditure was included within the annual budget submitted to
  416  the sponsor pursuant to the charter contract or is for
  417  reasonable attorney fees and costs during the pendency of an
  418  appeal.
  419         2. The charter agreement must immediately terminate when
  420  the charter school closes.
  421         3. Charter school contracts with employees, service
  422  providers, management companies, and other types of service
  423  contracts may not extend beyond the term of the charter
  424  agreement. Payments may be made only for services provided
  425  before the closure, nonrenewal, termination, or immediate
  426  termination of the charter school.
  427         4. If the charter school closes or if the charter agreement
  428  is terminated before the term of the charter agreement expires,
  429  the remainder of the contract is void. This subparagraph applies
  430  to new contracts and to amendments to existing contracts that
  431  are executed after July 1, 2013.
  432         (p) Each charter school shall maintain a website that
  433  enables the public to obtain information regarding the school;
  434  the school’s academic performance; the names of the governing
  435  board members; the programs at the school; any management
  436  companies, service providers, or education management
  437  corporations associated with the school; the school’s annual
  438  budget and its annual independent fiscal audit; the school’s
  439  grade pursuant to s. 1008.34; and, on a quarterly basis, the
  440  minutes of governing board meetings.
  441         (16) EXEMPTION FROM STATUTES.—
  442         (b) Additionally, a charter school shall be in compliance
  443  with the following statutes:
  444         1. Section 286.011, relating to public meetings and
  445  records, public inspection, and criminal and civil penalties.
  446         2. Chapter 119, relating to public records.
  447         3. Section 1003.03, relating to the maximum class size,
  448  except that the calculation for compliance pursuant to s.
  449  1003.03 shall be the average at the school level.
  450         4. Section 1012.22(1)(c), relating to compensation and
  451  salary schedules.
  452         5. Section 1012.33(5), relating to workforce reductions,
  453  for charter school annual contracts to instructional personnel.
  454  This subparagraph does not apply to charter school instructional
  455  personnel who are at-will employees.
  456         6. Section 1012.335, relating to contracts with
  457  instructional personnel hired on or after July 1, 2011, for
  458  charter school annual contracts to instructional personnel. This
  459  subparagraph does not apply to charter school instructional
  460  personnel who are at-will employees.
  461         7. Section 1012.34(2), (3), and (7) 1012.34, relating to
  462  the substantive requirements for performance evaluations for
  463  instructional personnel and school administrators. For purposes
  464  of compliance with this subparagraph, the duties assigned to a
  465  district school superintendent apply to a charter school
  466  administrative personnel or equivalent as specified by the
  467  governing board, and the duties assigned to a district school
  468  board apply to a charter school’s governing board.
  469         (17) FUNDING.—Students enrolled in a charter school,
  470  regardless of the sponsorship, shall be funded as if they are in
  471  a basic program or a special program, the same as students
  472  enrolled in other public schools in the school district. Funding
  473  for a charter lab school shall be as provided in s. 1002.32.
  474         (e) Unless otherwise mutually agreed to by the charter
  475  school and its sponsor, and consistent with state and federal
  476  rules and regulations governing the use and disbursement of
  477  federal funds, the sponsor shall reimburse the charter school on
  478  a monthly basis for all invoices submitted by the charter school
  479  for federal funds available to the sponsor for the benefit of
  480  the charter school, the charter school’s students, and the
  481  charter school’s students as public school students in the
  482  school district. Such federal funds include, but are not limited
  483  to, Title I, Title II, and Individuals with Disabilities
  484  Education Act (IDEA) funds.
  486         (a) The Department of Education shall provide information
  487  to the public, directly and through sponsors, on how to form and
  488  operate a charter school and how to enroll in a charter school
  489  once it is created. This information shall include a model
  490  standard application form format, standard charter contract
  491  format, standard evaluation instrument, and standard charter
  492  renewal contract format, which shall include the information
  493  specified in subsection (7) and shall be developed by consulting
  494  and negotiating with both school districts and charter schools
  495  before implementation. The charter and charter renewal contracts
  496  formats shall be used by charter school sponsors.
  498         (c) An employee of the charter school, or his or her
  499  spouse, or an employee of a charter management organization, or
  500  his or her spouse, may not be a member of the governing board of
  501  the charter school.
  502         (27) RULEMAKING.—The Department of Education, after
  503  consultation with school districts and charter school directors,
  504  shall recommend that the State Board of Education adopt rules to
  505  implement specific subsections of this section. Such rules must
  506  shall require minimum paperwork and may shall not limit charter
  507  school flexibility authorized by statute. The State Board of
  508  Education shall adopt rules, pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and
  509  120.54, to implement a charter model application form, standard
  510  evaluation instrument, and standard charter and charter renewal
  511  contracts formats in accordance with this section. The standard
  512  charter and charter renewal contracts must be implemented by
  513  September 1, 2014.
  514         Section 2. Subsection (2) of section 1002.331, Florida
  515  Statutes, is amended to read:
  516         1002.331 High-performing charter schools.—
  517         (2) A high-performing charter school is authorized to:
  518         (a) Increase its student enrollment once per school year by
  519  up to 15 percent more than the capacity identified in the
  520  charter, but student enrollment may not exceed the current
  521  facility capacity.
  522         (b) Expand grade levels within kindergarten through grade
  523  12 to add grade levels not already served if any annual
  524  enrollment increase resulting from grade level expansion is
  525  within the limit established in paragraph (a).
  526         (c) Submit a quarterly, rather than a monthly, financial
  527  statement to the sponsor pursuant to s. 1002.33(9)(g).
  528         (d) Consolidate under a single charter the charters of
  529  multiple high-performing charter schools operated in the same
  530  school district by the charter schools’ governing board
  531  regardless of the renewal cycle.
  532         (e) Receive a modification of its charter to a term of 15
  533  years or a 15-year charter renewal. The charter may be modified
  534  or renewed for a shorter term at the option of the high
  535  performing charter school. The charter must be consistent with
  536  s. 1002.33(7)(a)19. and (10)(h) and (i), is subject to annual
  537  review by the sponsor, and may be terminated during its term
  538  pursuant to s. 1002.33(8).
  540  A high-performing charter school shall notify its sponsor in
  541  writing by March 1 if it intends to increase enrollment or
  542  expand grade levels the following school year. The written
  543  notice shall specify the amount of the enrollment increase and
  544  the grade levels that will be added, as applicable. If a charter
  545  school notifies the sponsor of its intent to expand, the sponsor
  546  shall modify the charter within 90 days to include the new
  547  enrollment maximum. The sponsor may deny a request to increase
  548  the enrollment of a high-performing charter school if, after
  549  requesting to expand, the charter school no longer qualifies as
  550  a high-performing charter school under subsection (1). If a
  551  high-performing charter school requests to consolidate multiple
  552  charters, the sponsor shall have 40 days after receipt of that
  553  request to provide an initial draft charter to the charter
  554  school. The sponsor and charter school shall have 50 days
  555  thereafter to negotiate and notice the charter contract for
  556  final approval by the sponsor.
  557         Section 3. Full implementation of online assessments for
  558  Next Generation Sunshine State Standards in English/language
  559  arts and mathematics adopted under s. 1003.41 for all
  560  kindergarten through grade 12 public school students shall occur
  561  only after the technology infrastructure, connectivity, and
  562  capacity of all public schools and school districts have been
  563  load tested and independently verified as ready for successful
  564  deployment and implementation.
  565         Section 4. The technology infrastructure, connectivity, and
  566  capacity of all public schools and school districts that
  567  administer statewide standardized assessments pursuant to s.
  568  1008.22, Florida Statutes, including online assessments, shall
  569  be load tested and independently verified as appropriate,
  570  adequate, efficient, and sustainable.
  571         Section 5. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.