Florida Senate - 2015              PROPOSED COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE
       Bill No. SB 602
       Proposed Committee Substitute by the Committee on Appropriations
       (Appropriations Subcommittee on Education)
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to students with disabilities;
    3         amending s. 1002.385, F.S.; revising definitions;
    4         revising scholarship application deadlines and
    5         guidelines; requiring authorized program funds to
    6         support the student’s educational needs; requiring the
    7         Florida Prepaid College Board to create certain
    8         procedures; authorizing part-time private tutoring
    9         services by persons meeting certain requirements;
   10         authorizing program funds to be spent for specified
   11         education programs and services; clarifying and
   12         expanding responsibilities of the Department of
   13         Education; revising the conditions under which a
   14         student’s personal learning scholarship account must
   15         be closed; revising the responsibilities for school
   16         districts; revising private school eligibility
   17         requirements; revising responsibilities for parents
   18         and students who participate in the program; requiring
   19         a parent to affirm program funds are only used for
   20         authorized purposes that serve the student’s
   21         educational needs; revising responsibilities of
   22         eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organizations
   23         pertaining to the administration of personal learning
   24         scholarship accounts; revising the wait list and
   25         priority of approving renewal and new applications;
   26         revising the notice requirement of an organization;
   27         authorizing accrued interest to be used for authorized
   28         expenditures; requiring accrued interest to be
   29         reverted as a part of reverted scholarship funds;
   30         revising taxable income requirements; removing
   31         obsolete audit requirements; requiring the Auditor
   32         General to provide a copy of each annual operational
   33         audit performed to the Commissioner of Education
   34         within a specified timeframe; correcting cross
   35         references; providing future repeal of provisions
   36         pertaining to an implementation schedule of
   37         notification and eligibility timelines; amending s.
   38         1009.98, F.S.; authorizing a prepaid college plan to
   39         be purchased, accounted for, used, and terminated
   40         under certain circumstances; specifying State Board of
   41         Education rulemaking requirements; requiring the
   42         department to make rules; outlining specific
   43         rulemaking requirements of the Department of
   44         Education; providing an effective date.
   46  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   48         Section 1. Section 1002.385, Florida Statutes, is amended
   49  to read:
   50         1002.385 Florida personal learning scholarship accounts.—
   51         (1) ESTABLISHMENT OF PROGRAM.—The Florida Personal Learning
   52  Scholarship Accounts Program is established to provide the
   53  option for a parent to better meet the individual educational
   54  needs of his or her eligible child.
   55         (2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
   56         (a) “Approved provider” means a provider approved by the
   57  Agency for Persons with Disabilities, a health care practitioner
   58  as defined in s. 456.001(4), or a provider approved by the
   59  department pursuant to s. 1002.66. The term also includes
   60  providers outside this state which are subject to similar
   61  regulation or approval requirements.
   62         (b) “Curriculum” means a complete course of study for a
   63  particular content area or grade level, including any required
   64  supplemental materials.
   65         (c) “Department” means the Department of Education.
   66         (d) “Disability” means, for a student in kindergarten to
   67  grade 12, autism spectrum disorder, as defined in the Diagnostic
   68  and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, as
   69  defined in s. 393.063(3); cerebral palsy, as defined in s.
   70  393.063(4); Down syndrome, as defined in s. 393.063(13); an
   71  intellectual disability, as defined in s. 393.063(21); Prader
   72  Willi syndrome, as defined in s. 393.063(25); or spina bifida,
   73  as defined in s. 393.063(36); for a student in kindergarten,
   74  being a high-risk child, as defined in s. 393.063(20)(a); and
   75  Williams syndrome.
   76         (e) “Eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization”
   77  or “organization” means a nonprofit scholarship-funding
   78  organization that is approved pursuant to s. 1002.395(2)(f). The
   79  organization must have a copy of its annual operational audit
   80  provided to the Commissioner of Education as required by this
   81  section has the same meaning as in s. 1002.395.
   82         (f) “Eligible postsecondary educational institution” means
   83  a Florida College System institution;, a state university;, a
   84  school district technical center;, a school district adult
   85  general education center; an independent college or university
   86  that is eligible to participate in the William L. Boyd, IV,
   87  Florida Resident Access Grant Program under s. 1009.89;, or an
   88  accredited independent nonpublic postsecondary educational
   89  institution, as defined in s. 1005.02, which is licensed to
   90  operate in the state pursuant to requirements specified in part
   91  III of chapter 1005.
   92         (g) “Eligible private school” means a private school, as
   93  defined in s. 1002.01, which is located in this state, which
   94  offers an education to students in any grade from kindergarten
   95  to grade 12, and which meets the requirements of:
   96         1. Sections 1002.42 and 1002.421; and
   97         2. A scholarship program under s. 1002.39 or s. 1002.395,
   98  as applicable, if the private school participates in a
   99  scholarship program under s. 1002.39 or s. 1002.395.
  100         (h) “IEP” means individual education plan.
  101         (i) “Parent” means a resident of this state who is a
  102  parent, as defined in s. 1000.21.
  103         (j) “Program” means the Florida Personal Learning
  104  Scholarship Accounts Program established in this section.
  105         (3) PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY.—A parent of a student with a
  106  disability may request and receive from the state a Florida
  107  personal learning scholarship account for the purposes specified
  108  in subsection (5) if:
  109         (a) The student:
  110         1. Is a resident of this state;
  111         2. Is or will be 3 or 4 years old on or before September 1
  112  of the year in which the student applies for program
  113  participation, or is eligible to enroll in kindergarten through
  114  grade 12 in a public school in this state;
  115         3. Has a disability as defined in paragraph (2)(d); and
  116         4. Is the subject of an IEP written in accordance with
  117  rules of the State Board of Education or has received a
  118  diagnosis of a disability as defined in subsection (2) from a
  119  physician who is licensed under chapter 458 or chapter 459 or a
  120  psychologist who is licensed under chapter 490 in this state.
  121         (b) Beginning January 2015, and each year thereafter, the
  122  following application deadlines and guidelines are met:
  123         1. The parent of a student seeking program renewal must
  124  submit a completed application to an organization for renewal by
  125  February 1 before the school year in which the student wishes to
  126  participate.
  127         2. The parent of a student seeking initial approval to
  128  participate in the program must submit a completed application
  129  to an organization by June 30 before the school year in which
  130  the student wishes to participate.
  131         3. The parent of a student seeking approval to participate
  132  in the program who does not comply with the requirements of
  133  subparagraph 1. or subparagraph 2. may late-file a completed
  134  application by August 15 before the school year in which the
  135  student wishes to participate.
  136         4. A parent must submit final verification to the
  137  organization before the organization opens a personal learning
  138  scholarship account for the student. The final verification must
  139  consist of only the following items that apply to the student:
  140         a. A completed withdrawal form from the school district if
  141  the student was enrolled in a public school before the
  142  determination of program eligibility;
  143         b. A letter of admission or enrollment from an eligible
  144  private school for the school year in which the student wishes
  145  to participate;
  146         c. A copy of the notice of the parent’s intent to establish
  147  and maintain a home education program required by s.
  148  1002.41(1)(a), or a copy of the district school superintendent’s
  149  review of the annual educational evaluation of the student in a
  150  home education program required by s. 1002.41(2); or
  151         d. A copy of notification from a private school that the
  152  student has withdrawn from the John M. McKay Scholarships for
  153  Students with Disabilities Program or the Florida Tax Credit
  154  Scholarship Program.
  155         5. A parent’s completed application and final verification
  156  submitted pursuant to this paragraph the parent has applied to
  157  an eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization to
  158  participate in the program by February 1 before the school year
  159  in which the student will participate or an alternative date as
  160  set by the organization for any vacant, funded slots. The
  161  request must be communicated directly to the organization in a
  162  manner that creates a written or electronic record including of
  163  the request and the date of receipt of the request. The
  164  organization shall notify the district and the department of the
  165  parent’s intent upon receipt of the parent’s completed
  166  application and final verification request. The completed
  167  application must include, but is not limited to, an application;
  168  required documentation and forms; an initial or revised matrix
  169  of services, if requested; and any additional information or
  170  documentation required by the organization or by State Board of
  171  Education rule.
  172         (4) PROGRAM PROHIBITIONS.—
  173         (a) A student is not eligible for the program while he or
  174  she is:
  175         1. Enrolled in a public school, including, but not limited
  176  to, the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind; the Florida
  177  Virtual School; the College-Preparatory Boarding Academy; a
  178  developmental research school authorized under s. 1002.32; a
  179  charter school authorized under s. 1002.33, s. 1002.331, or s.
  180  1002.332; or a virtual education program authorized under s.
  181  1002.45;
  182         2. Enrolled in a school operating for the purpose of
  183  providing educational services to youth in the Department of
  184  Juvenile Justice commitment programs;
  185         3. Receiving a scholarship pursuant to the Florida Tax
  186  Credit Scholarship Program under s. 1002.395 or the John M.
  187  McKay Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program under
  188  s. 1002.39; or
  189         4. Receiving any other educational scholarship pursuant to
  190  this chapter.
  191         (b) A student is not eligible for the program if:
  192         1. The student or student’s parent has accepted any
  193  payment, refund, or rebate, in any manner, from a provider of
  194  any services received pursuant to subsection (5);
  195         2. The student’s participation in the program, or receipt
  196  or expenditure of program funds, has been denied or revoked by
  197  the commissioner of Education pursuant to subsection (10); or
  198         3. The student’s parent has forfeited participation in the
  199  program for failure to comply with requirements pursuant to
  200  subsection (11); or
  201         4. The student’s application for program eligibility has
  202  been denied by an organization.
  203         (5) AUTHORIZED USES OF PROGRAM FUNDS.—Program funds may be
  204  spent if used to support the student’s educational needs, for
  205  the following purposes:
  206         (a) Instructional materials, including digital devices,
  207  digital periphery devices, and assistive technology devices that
  208  allow a student to access instruction or instructional content
  209  and training on the use of and maintenance agreements for these
  210  devices.
  211         (b) Curriculum as defined in paragraph (2)(b).
  212         (c) Specialized services by approved providers which have
  213  been approved by a physician licensed under chapter 458 or
  214  chapter 459 and that are selected by the parent. These
  215  specialized services may include, but are not limited to:
  216         1. Applied behavior analysis services as provided in ss.
  217  627.6686 and 641.31098.
  218         2. Services provided by speech-language pathologists as
  219  defined in s. 468.1125.
  220         3. Occupational therapy services as defined in s. 468.203.
  221         4. Services provided by physical therapists as defined in
  222  s. 486.021.
  223         5. Services provided by listening and spoken language
  224  specialists and an appropriate acoustical environment for a
  225  child who is deaf or hard of hearing and who has received an
  226  implant or assistive hearing device.
  228  Specialized services outside this state are authorized under
  229  this paragraph if the services are subject to similar regulation
  230  or approval requirements.
  231         (d) Enrollment in, or tuition or fees associated with
  232  enrollment in, an eligible private school, an eligible
  233  postsecondary educational institution or a program offered by
  234  the institution, a private tutoring program authorized under s.
  235  1002.43, a virtual program offered by a department-approved
  236  private online provider that meets the provider qualifications
  237  specified in s. 1002.45(2)(a), the Florida Virtual School as a
  238  private paying student, or an approved online course offered
  239  pursuant to s. 1003.499 or s. 1004.0961.
  240         (e) Fees for nationally standardized, norm-referenced
  241  achievement tests, Advanced Placement Examinations, industry
  242  certification examinations, assessments related to postsecondary
  243  education, or other assessments.
  244         (f) Contributions to the Stanley G. Tate Florida Prepaid
  245  College Program pursuant to s. 1009.98, for the benefit of the
  246  eligible student. The Florida Prepaid College Board shall, by
  247  July 1, 2015, create procedures to allow program funds to be
  248  used in conjunction with other funds used by the parent in the
  249  purchase of a prepaid college plan; require program funds to be
  250  tracked and accounted for separately from other funds
  251  contributed to a prepaid plan; require program funds and
  252  associated interest to be reverted as specified in this section;
  253  and require program funds to be used only after private payments
  254  have been used for prepaid college plan expenditures.
  255         (g) Contracted services provided by a public school or
  256  school district, including classes. A student who receives
  257  services under a contract under this paragraph is not considered
  258  enrolled in a public school for eligibility purposes as
  259  specified in subsection (4).
  260         (h) Tuition and fees for part-time tutoring services
  261  provided by a person who holds a valid Florida educator’s
  262  certificate pursuant to s. 1012.56; a person who holds an
  263  adjunct teaching certificate pursuant to s. 1012.57; or a person
  264  who has demonstrated a mastery of subject area knowledge
  265  pursuant to 1012.56(5). The term “part-time tutoring services”
  266  as used in this paragraph does not meet the definition of the
  267  term “regular school attendance” in s. 1003.01(13)(e).
  268         (i) Fees for specialized summer education programs.
  269         (j) Fees for specialized after-school education programs.
  270         (k) Transition services provided by job coaches.
  271         (l) Fees for an annual evaluation of educational progress
  272  by a state-certified teacher, if this option is chosen for a
  273  home education student pursuant to s. 1002.41(1)(c)1.
  275  A specialized service provider, eligible private school,
  276  eligible postsecondary educational institution, private tutoring
  277  program provider, online or virtual program provider, public
  278  school, school district, or other entity receiving payments
  279  pursuant to this subsection may not share, refund, or rebate any
  280  moneys from the Florida personal learning scholarship account
  281  with the parent or participating student in any manner.
  282         (6) TERM OF THE PROGRAM.—For purposes of continuity of
  283  educational choice and program integrity:,
  284         (a) The program payments made by the state to an
  285  organization for a personal learning scholarship account under
  286  this section shall continue remain in force until the parent
  287  does not renew program eligibility; the organization determines
  288  a student is not eligible for program renewal; the commissioner
  289  denies, suspends, or revokes program participation or use of
  290  funds; or a student enrolls in participating in the program
  291  participates in any of the prohibited activities specified in
  292  subsection (4), has funds revoked by the Commissioner of
  293  Education pursuant to subsection (10), returns to a public
  294  school, graduates from high school, or attains 22 years of age,
  295  whichever occurs first. A participating student who enrolls in a
  296  public school or public school program is considered to have
  297  returned to a public school for the purpose of determining the
  298  end of the program’s term.
  299         (b) Program expenditures by the parent from the program
  300  account are authorized until a student’s personal learning
  301  scholarship account is closed pursuant to paragraph (c).
  302         (c) A student’s personal learning scholarship account shall
  303  be closed, and any remaining funds, including accrued interest
  304  or contributions made using program funds pursuant to paragraph
  305  (5)(f), shall revert to the state upon:
  306         1. The eligible student no longer being enrolled in an
  307  eligible postsecondary educational institution;
  308         2. Denial or revocation of program eligibility by the
  309  commissioner;
  310         3. Denial of program application by an organization; or
  311         4. After any period of 4 consecutive years after high
  312  school completion or graduation in which the student is not
  313  enrolled in an eligible postsecondary educational institution or
  314  a program offered by the institution.
  316  The commissioner must notify the parent and organization of any
  317  reversion determination.
  319         (a)1. For a student with a disability who does not have a
  320  matrix of services under s. 1011.62(1)(e), or who wants a
  321  revised matrix of services, and for whom the parent requests a
  322  new or revised matrix of services, the school district must
  323  complete a matrix that assigns the student to one of the levels
  324  of service as they existed before the 2000-2001 school year.
  325         2.a. Within 10 calendar school days after a school district
  326  receives notification of a parent’s request for completion of a
  327  matrix of services, the school district must notify the
  328  student’s parent if the matrix of services has not been
  329  completed and inform the parent that the district is required to
  330  complete the matrix within 30 days after receiving notice of the
  331  parent’s request for the matrix of services. This notice must
  332  include the required completion date for the matrix.
  333         b. The school district shall complete the matrix of
  334  services for a student whose parent has made a request. The
  335  school district must provide the student’s parent, the
  336  organization, and the department with the student’s matrix level
  337  within 10 calendar school days after its completion.
  338         c. The department shall notify the parent and the eligible
  339  nonprofit scholarship-funding organization of the amount of the
  340  funds awarded within 10 days after receiving the school
  341  district’s notification of the student’s matrix level.
  342         d. A school district may change a matrix of services only
  343  if the change is to correct a technical, typographical, or
  344  calculation error, except that a parent may annually request a
  345  matrix reevaluation for each student participating in the
  346  program pursuant to paragraph (12)(h).
  347         (b) For each student participating in the program who
  348  chooses to participate in statewide, standardized assessments
  349  under s. 1008.22 or the Florida Alternate Assessment, the school
  350  district in which the student resides must notify the student
  351  and his or her parent about the locations and times to take all
  352  statewide, standardized assessments.
  353         (c) For each student participating in the program, a school
  354  district shall notify the parent about the availability of a
  355  reevaluation at least every 3 years.
  357  private school may be sectarian or nonsectarian and shall:
  358         (a) Comply with all requirements for private schools
  359  participating in state school choice scholarship programs
  360  pursuant to s. 1002.421. To participate in the program, a
  361  private school must submit to the department a notification for
  362  eligibility to participate in its application for the John M.
  363  McKay Scholarships for Students with Disabilities and Florida
  364  Tax Credit Scholarship programs identified in ss. 1002.39 and
  365  1002.395.
  366         (b) Provide to the department and eligible nonprofit
  367  scholarship-funding organization, upon request, all
  368  documentation required for the student’s participation,
  369  including the private school’s and student’s fee schedules.
  370         (c) Be academically accountable to the parent for meeting
  371  the educational needs of the student by:
  372         1. At a minimum, annually providing to the parent a written
  373  explanation of the student’s progress.
  374         2. Annually administering or making provision for students
  375  participating in the program in grades 3 through 10 to take one
  376  of the nationally norm-referenced tests identified by the State
  377  Board Department of Education or the statewide assessments
  378  pursuant to s. 1008.22. Students with disabilities for whom
  379  standardized testing is not appropriate are exempt from this
  380  requirement. A participating private school shall report a
  381  student’s scores to the parent.
  382         3. Cooperating with the scholarship student whose parent
  383  chooses to have the student participate in the statewide
  384  assessments pursuant to s. 1008.22 or, if a private school
  385  chooses to offer the statewide assessments, administering the
  386  assessments at the school.
  387         a. A participating private school may choose to offer and
  388  administer the statewide assessments to all students who attend
  389  the private school in grades 3 through 10.
  390         b. A participating private school shall submit a request in
  391  writing to the Department of Education by March 1 of each year
  392  in order to administer the statewide assessments in the
  393  subsequent school year.
  394         (d) Employ or contract with teachers who have regular and
  395  direct contact with each student receiving a scholarship under
  396  this section at the school’s physical location.
  397         (e) Annually contract with an independent certified public
  398  accountant to perform the agreed-upon procedures developed under
  399  s. 1002.395(6)(o) s. 1002.395(6)(n) and produce a report of the
  400  results if the private school receives more than $250,000 in
  401  funds from scholarships awarded under this section in the 2014
  402  2015 state fiscal year or a state fiscal year thereafter. A
  403  private school subject to this paragraph must submit the report
  404  by September 15, 2015, and annually thereafter to the
  405  scholarship-funding organization that awarded the majority of
  406  the school’s scholarship funds. The agreed-upon procedures must
  407  be conducted in accordance with attestation standards
  408  established by the American Institute of Certified Public
  409  Accountants.
  411  The inability of a private school to meet the requirements of
  412  this subsection constitutes a basis for the ineligibility of the
  413  private school to participate in the program as determined by
  414  the commissioner department.
  415         (9) DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION OBLIGATIONS.—The department
  416  shall:
  417         (a) Maintain a list of approved providers pursuant to s.
  418  1002.66, and eligible postsecondary educational institutions,
  419  eligible private schools, and organizations on its website. The
  420  department may identify or provide links to lists of other
  421  approved providers on its website.
  422         (b) Require each eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
  423  organization to preapprove verify eligible expenditures to be
  424  before the distribution of funds for any expenditures made
  425  pursuant to paragraphs (5)(a) and (b). Review of expenditures
  426  made for services in paragraphs (5)(c)-(h) must (5)(c)-(g) may
  427  be completed after the purchase payment has been made.
  428         (c) Investigate any written complaint of a violation of
  429  this section by a parent, student, private school, public school
  430  or school district, organization, provider, or other appropriate
  431  party in accordance with the process established by s.
  432  1002.395(9)(f).
  433         (d) Require annually by December 1 quarterly reports by an
  434  eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization, which must
  435  include, but need not be limited to, regarding the number of
  436  students participating in the program, demographics of program
  437  participants; disability category; matrix level of services, if
  438  known; award amount per student; total expenditures for the
  439  categories in subsection (5); and the types of providers of
  440  services to students, and other information deemed necessary by
  441  the department.
  442         (e) Compare the list of students participating in the
  443  program with the public school student enrollment lists and the
  444  list of students participating in school choice scholarship
  445  programs established pursuant to this chapter, throughout the
  446  school year, before each program payment to avoid duplicate
  447  payments and confirm program eligibility.
  449         (a) The Commissioner of Education:
  450         1. Shall deny, suspend, or revoke a student’s participation
  451  in the program if the health, safety, or welfare of the student
  452  is threatened or fraud is suspected.
  453         2. Shall deny, suspend, or revoke an authorized use of
  454  program funds if the health, safety, or welfare of the student
  455  is threatened or fraud is suspected.
  456         3. May deny, suspend, or revoke an authorized use of
  457  program funds for material failure to comply with this section
  458  and applicable State Board of Education department rules if the
  459  noncompliance is correctable within a reasonable period of time.
  460  Otherwise, the commissioner shall deny, suspend, or revoke an
  461  authorized use for failure to materially comply with the law and
  462  rules adopted under this section.
  463         4. Shall require compliance by the appropriate party by a
  464  date certain for all nonmaterial failures to comply with this
  465  section and applicable State Board of Education department
  466  rules.
  467         5. Notwithstanding the other provisions of this section,
  468  the commissioner may deny, suspend, or revoke program
  469  participation or use of program funds by the student; or
  470  participation or eligibility of an organization, eligible
  471  private school, eligible postsecondary educational institution,
  472  approved provider, or other appropriate party for a violation of
  473  this section. The commissioner may determine the length of, and
  474  conditions for lifting, the suspension or revocation specified
  475  in this paragraph. The length of suspension or revocation may
  476  not exceed 5 years, except for instances of fraud, in which case
  477  the length of suspension or revocation may not exceed 10 years.
  478  The commissioner may employ mechanisms allowed by law to recover
  479  unexpended program funds or withhold payment of an equal amount
  480  of program funds to recover program funds that were not
  481  authorized for use under this section thereafter.
  482         6. Shall deny or terminate program participation upon a
  483  parent’s forfeiture of a personal learning scholarship account
  484  pursuant to subsection (11).
  485         (b) In determining whether to deny, suspend, or revoke, or
  486  lift a suspension or revocation, in accordance with this
  487  subsection, the commissioner may consider factors that include,
  488  but are not limited to, acts or omissions that by a
  489  participating entity which led to a previous denial, suspension,
  490  or revocation of participation in a state or federal program or
  491  an education scholarship program; failure to reimburse the
  492  eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization for program
  493  funds improperly received or retained by the entity; failure to
  494  reimburse government funds improperly received or retained;
  495  imposition of a prior criminal sanction related to the person or
  496  entity or its officers or employees; imposition of a civil fine
  497  or administrative fine, license revocation or suspension, or
  498  program eligibility suspension, termination, or revocation
  499  related to a person’s or an entity’s management or operation; or
  500  other types of criminal proceedings in which the person or the
  501  entity or its officers or employees were found guilty of,
  502  regardless of adjudication, or entered a plea of nolo contendere
  503  or guilty to, any offense involving fraud, deceit, dishonesty,
  504  or moral turpitude.
  506  PARTICIPATION.—A parent who applies for program participation
  507  under this section is exercising his or her parental option to
  508  determine the appropriate placement or the services that best
  509  meet the needs of his or her child. The scholarship award for a
  510  student is based on a matrix that assigns the student to support
  511  Level III services. If a parent chooses to request and receive
  512  an IEP and a matrix of services from the school district, the
  513  amount of the payment shall be adjusted as needed, when the
  514  school district completes the matrix.
  515         (a) To satisfy or maintain program eligibility, including,
  516  but not limited to, eligibility to receive program payments and
  517  expend program payments enroll an eligible student in the
  518  program, the parent must sign an agreement with the eligible
  519  nonprofit scholarship-funding organization and annually submit a
  520  notarized, sworn compliance statement to the organization to:
  521         1. Affirm that the student is enrolled in a program that
  522  meets regular school attendance requirements as provided in s.
  523  1003.01(13)(b)-(d).
  524         2. Affirm that Use the program funds are used only for
  525  authorized purposes serving the student’s educational needs, as
  526  described in subsection (5).
  527         3. Affirm that the student takes all appropriate
  528  standardized assessments as specified in this section.
  529         a. If the parent enrolls the child in an eligible private
  530  school, the student must take an assessment selected by the
  531  private school pursuant to s. 1002.395(7)(e) or, if requested by
  532  the parent, the statewide, standardized assessments pursuant to
  533  s. 1002.39(8)(c)2. and (9)(e).
  534         b. If the parent enrolls the child in a home education
  535  program, the parent may choose to participate in an assessment
  536  as part of the annual evaluation provided for in s.
  537  1002.41(1)(c).
  538         4. Notify the school district that the student is
  539  participating in the program Personal Learning Scholarship
  540  Accounts if the parent chooses to enroll in a home education
  541  program as provided in s. 1002.41.
  542         5. File a completed application for initial program
  543  participation with an organization Request participation in the
  544  program by the dates date established pursuant to this section
  545  by the eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization.
  546         6. Affirm that the student remains in good standing with
  547  the entities identified in paragraph (5)(d), paragraph (5)(g),
  548  or paragraph (5)(h) provider or school if those options are
  549  selected by the parent.
  550         7. Apply for admission of his or her child if the private
  551  school option is selected by the parent.
  552         8. Annually file a completed application to renew
  553  participation in the program if renewal is desired by the
  554  parent. Notwithstanding any changes to the student’s IEP, a
  555  student who was previously eligible for participation in the
  556  program shall remain eligible to apply for renewal as provided
  557  in subsection (6). However, in order for a high-risk child to
  558  continue to participate in the program in the school year after
  559  he or she reaches 6 years of age, the child’s completed
  560  application for renewal of program participation must contain
  561  documentation that the child has a disability defined in
  562  paragraph (2)(d) other than high-risk status.
  563         9. Affirm that the parent will not transfer any prepaid
  564  college savings funds contributed pursuant to paragraph (5)(f)
  565  to another beneficiary.
  566         10. Affirm that the parent will not take possession of any
  567  funding provided by the state for the program Florida Personal
  568  Learning Scholarship Accounts.
  569         11. Affirm that the parent will maintain a portfolio of
  570  records and materials which must be preserved by the parent for
  571  2 years and be made available for inspection by the
  572  organization, the department, or the district school
  573  superintendent or the superintendent’s designee upon 15 days’
  574  written notice. This paragraph does not require inspection of
  575  the superintendent to inspect the portfolio. The portfolio of
  576  records and materials must consist of:
  577         a. A log of educational instruction and services which is
  578  made contemporaneously with delivery of the instruction and
  579  services and which designates by title any reading materials
  580  used; and
  581         b. Samples of any writings, worksheets, workbooks, or
  582  creative materials used or developed by the student; and
  583         c. Other records, documents, or materials required by the
  584  organization or specified by the department in rule, to
  585  facilitate program implementation.
  586         (b) The parent is responsible for procuring the services
  587  necessary to educate the student. When the student receives a
  588  personal learning scholarship account, the district school board
  589  is not obligated to provide the student with a free appropriate
  590  public education. For purposes of s. 1003.57 and the Individuals
  591  with Disabilities in Education Act, a participating student has
  592  only those rights that apply to all other unilaterally
  593  parentally placed students, except that, when requested by the
  594  parent, school district personnel must develop an individual
  595  education plan or matrix level of services.
  596         (c) The parent is responsible for the payment of all
  597  eligible expenses in excess of the amount of the personal
  598  learning scholarship account in accordance with the terms agreed
  599  to between the parent and the providers.
  601  A parent who fails to comply with this subsection forfeits the
  602  personal learning scholarship account.
  604  ACCOUNTS.—An eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization
  605  participating in the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program
  606  established under s. 1002.395 may establish personal learning
  607  scholarship accounts for eligible students, in accordance with
  608  the deadlines established in this section, by:
  609         (a) Receiving completed applications and final verification
  610  and determining student eligibility in accordance with the
  611  requirements of this section. For initial program participation,
  612  preference must first be provided to students retained on a wait
  613  list created by the organization in the order that completed
  614  applications are approved The organization shall notify the
  615  department of the applicants for the program by March 1 before
  616  the school year in which the student intends to participate.
  617  When a completed an application and final verification are is
  618  received and approved, the scholarship funding organization must
  619  provide the department with information on the student to enable
  620  the department to report the student for funding in an amount
  621  determined in accordance with subsection (13).
  622         (b) Notifying parents of their receipt of a scholarship on
  623  a first-come, first-served basis, after approving the completed
  624  application and confirming receipt of the parent’s final
  625  verification, based upon the funds provided for this program in
  626  the General Appropriations Act.
  627         (c) Establishing a date pursuant to paragraph (3)(b) by
  628  which a parent must confirm initial or continuing participation
  629  in the program and confirm the establishment or continuance of a
  630  personal learning scholarship account.
  631         (d) Establishing a date and process pursuant to paragraph
  632  (3)(b) by which completed applications may be approved and
  633  students on the wait list or late-filing applicants may be
  634  allowed to participate in the program during the school year,
  635  within the amount of funds provided for this program in the
  636  General Appropriations Act. The process must allow timely filed
  637  completed applications to take precedence before late-filed
  638  completed applications for purposes of creating a wait list for
  639  participation in the program.
  640         (e) Establishing and maintaining separate accounts for each
  641  eligible student. For each account, the organization must
  642  maintain a record of interest accrued that is retained in the
  643  student’s account and available only for authorized program
  644  expenditures.
  645         (f) Verifying qualifying educational expenditures pursuant
  646  to the requirements of subsection (5) paragraph (8)(b).
  647         (g) Returning any remaining program unused funds pursuant
  648  to paragraph (6)(c) to the department when the student is no
  649  longer authorized to expend program funds. The organization may
  650  reimburse a parent for authorized program expenditures made
  651  during the fiscal year before funds are deposited in the
  652  student’s eligible for a personal scholarship learning account.
  653         (h) Annually notifying the parent about the availability of
  654  and the requirements associated with requesting an initial
  655  matrix or matrix reevaluation annually for each student
  656  participating in the program.
  657         (13) FUNDING AND PAYMENT.—
  658         (a)1. The maximum funding amount granted for an eligible
  659  student with a disability, pursuant to this section subsection
  660  (3), shall be equivalent to the base student allocation in the
  661  Florida Education Finance Program multiplied by the appropriate
  662  cost factor for the educational program which would have been
  663  provided for the student in the district school to which he or
  664  she would have been assigned, multiplied by the district cost
  665  differential.
  666         2. In addition, an amount equivalent to a share of the
  667  guaranteed allocation for exceptional students in the Florida
  668  Education Finance Program shall be determined and added to the
  669  amount in subparagraph 1. The calculation shall be based on the
  670  methodology and the data used to calculate the guaranteed
  671  allocation for exceptional students for each district in chapter
  672  2000-166, Laws of Florida. Except as provided in subparagraph
  673  3., the calculation shall be based on the student’s grade, the
  674  matrix level of services, and the difference between the 2000
  675  2001 basic program and the appropriate level of services cost
  676  factor, multiplied by the 2000-2001 base student allocation and
  677  the 2000-2001 district cost differential for the sending
  678  district. The calculated amount must also include an amount
  679  equivalent to the per-student share of supplemental academic
  680  instruction funds, instructional materials funds, technology
  681  funds, and other categorical funds as provided in the General
  682  Appropriations Act.
  683         3. Except as otherwise provided, the calculation for all
  684  students participating in the program shall be based on the
  685  matrix that assigns the student to support Level III of
  686  services. If a parent chooses to request and receive a matrix of
  687  services from the school district, when the school district
  688  completes the matrix, the amount of the payment shall be
  689  adjusted as needed.
  690         (b) The amount of the awarded funds shall be 90 percent of
  691  the calculated amount. One hundred percent of the funds
  692  appropriated for this program shall be released in the first
  693  quarter of each fiscal year. Accrued interest is in addition to,
  694  and not part of, the awarded funds. Program funds include both
  695  the awarded funds and the accrued interest.
  696         (c) Upon an eligible student’s graduation from an eligible
  697  postsecondary educational institution or after any period of 4
  698  consecutive years after high school graduation in which the
  699  student is not enrolled in an eligible postsecondary educational
  700  institution, the student’s personal learning scholarship account
  701  shall be closed, and any remaining funds shall revert to the
  702  state.
  703         (c)(d) The eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
  704  organization shall develop a system for payment of benefits by
  705  electronic funds transfer, including, but not limited to, debit
  706  cards, electronic payment cards, or any other means of
  707  electronic payment that the department deems to be commercially
  708  viable or cost-effective. Commodities or services related to the
  709  development of such a system shall be procured by competitive
  710  solicitation unless they are purchased from a state term
  711  contract pursuant to s. 287.056.
  712         (d)(e) Moneys received pursuant to this section do not
  713  constitute taxable income to the student or parent of the
  714  qualified student.
  716         (a) The Auditor General shall conduct an annual financial
  717  and operational audit of accounts and records of each eligible
  718  scholarship-funding organization that participates in the
  719  program. As part of this audit, the Auditor General shall
  720  verify, at a minimum, the total amount of students served and
  721  eligibility of reimbursements made by each eligible nonprofit
  722  scholarship-funding organization and transmit that information
  723  to the department.
  724         (b) The Auditor General shall notify the department of any
  725  eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization that fails
  726  to comply with a request for information.
  727         (c) The Auditor General shall provide the Commissioner of
  728  Education with a copy of each annual operational audit performed
  729  pursuant to this subsection within 10 days after each audit is
  730  finalized.
  732  Department of Health, the Agency for Persons with Disabilities,
  733  and the Department of Education shall work with an eligible
  734  nonprofit scholarship-funding organization for easy or automated
  735  access to lists of licensed providers of services specified in
  736  paragraph (5)(c) to ensure efficient administration of the
  737  program.
  738         (16) LIABILITY.—The state is not liable for the award or
  739  any use of awarded funds under this section.
  740         (17) SCOPE OF AUTHORITY.—This section does not expand the
  741  regulatory authority of this state, its officers, or any school
  742  district to impose additional regulation on participating
  743  private schools, independent nonpublic postsecondary educational
  744  institutions, and private providers beyond those reasonably
  745  necessary to enforce requirements expressly set forth in this
  746  section.
  747         (18) RULES.—The State Board of Education shall adopt rules
  748  pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to administer this
  749  section.
  751  YEAR.—Notwithstanding the provisions of this section related to
  752  notification and eligibility timelines, an eligible nonprofit
  753  scholarship-funding organization may enroll parents on a rolling
  754  schedule on a first-come, first-served basis, within the amount
  755  of funds provided in the General Appropriations Act. This
  756  subsection is repealed effective July 1, 2015.
  757         Section 2. Subsection (11) is added to section 1009.98,
  758  Florida Statutes, to read:
  759         1009.98 Stanley G. Tate Florida Prepaid College Program.—
  760         (11)PROCEDURES.—Notwithstanding any other provision in
  761  this section, a prepaid college plan may be purchased, accounted
  762  for, used, and terminated as provided in s. 1002.385. The board
  763  shall, by July 1, 2015, develop procedures, contracts, and any
  764  other required forms or documentation necessary to fully
  765  implement this subsection.
  766         Section 3. The Department of Education shall promulgate
  767  rules to implement s. 1002.385, Florida Statutes.
  768         (1)Such rules must be effective by July 1, 2015, and must
  769  include, but need not be limited to:
  770         (a)Establishing procedures concerning the student,
  771  organization, eligible private school, eligible postsecondary
  772  educational institution, or other appropriate party to
  773  participate in the program, including approval, suspension, and
  774  termination of eligibility;
  775         (b)Establishing uniform forms for use by organizations for
  776  parents and students;
  777         (c)Approving providers pertaining to the Florida K-20
  778  Education Code;
  779         (d)Incorporating program participation in existing private
  780  school scholarship program applications, including, but not
  781  limited to, ensuring that the process for obtaining eligibility
  782  under s. 1002.385, Florida Statutes, is as administratively
  783  convenient as possible for a private school;
  784         (e)Establishing a matrix of services calculations and
  785  timelines, so that the initial and revised matrix is completed
  786  by a school district in time to be included in the completed
  787  application;
  788         (f)Establishing a deadline for an organization to provide
  789  annual notice of the ability for a parent to request an initial
  790  or revised matrix of services, which must enable the initial or
  791  revised matrix to be included in the completed application;
  792         (g)Establishing additional records, documents, or
  793  materials a parent must collect and retain in the student’s
  794  portfolio;
  795         (h)Establishing preliminary timelines and procedures that
  796  enable a parent to submit a completed application to the
  797  organization, and for the organization to review and approve the
  798  completed application; and
  799         (i)Defining terms, including, but not limited to, the
  800  terms “participating student, new student, eligible
  801  student, award letter, program funds, associated
  802  interest, program payments, program expenditures, initial
  803  program participation, program renewal, wait list,” “timely
  804  filed application,” and “late-filed application.
  805         (2)Such rules should maximize flexibility and ease of
  806  program use for the parent and student.
  807         Section 4. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.