Florida Senate - 2015                          SENATOR AMENDMENT
       Bill No. CS for SB 602
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              
                Floor: 1/AD/2R         .                                
             04/01/2015 02:38 PM       .                                

       Senator Gaetz moved the following:
    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Delete everything after the enacting clause
    4  and insert:
    5         Section 1. Section 1002.385, Florida Statutes, is amended
    6  to read:
    7         1002.385 Florida personal learning scholarship accounts.—
    8         (1) ESTABLISHMENT OF PROGRAM.—The Florida Personal Learning
    9  Scholarship Accounts Program is established to provide the
   10  option for a parent to better meet the individual educational
   11  needs of his or her eligible child.
   12         (2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
   13         (a) “Approved provider” means a provider approved by the
   14  Agency for Persons with Disabilities, a health care practitioner
   15  as defined in s. 456.001(4), or a provider approved by the
   16  department pursuant to s. 1002.66. The term also includes
   17  providers outside this state which are subject to similar
   18  regulation or approval requirements.
   19         (b) “Curriculum” means a complete course of study for a
   20  particular content area or grade level, including any required
   21  supplemental materials.
   22         (c) “Department” means the Department of Education.
   23         (d) “Disability” means, for a 3- or 4-year-old child or for
   24  a student in kindergarten to grade 12, autism spectrum disorder,
   25  as defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental
   26  Disorders, Fifth Edition, as defined in s. 393.063(3); cerebral
   27  palsy, as defined in s. 393.063(4); Down syndrome, as defined in
   28  s. 393.063(13); an intellectual disability, as defined in s.
   29  393.063(21); Prader-Willi syndrome, as defined in s.
   30  393.063(25); or spina bifida, as defined in s. 393.063(36); for
   31  a student in kindergarten, being a high-risk child, as defined
   32  in s. 393.063(20)(a); muscular dystrophy; and Williams syndrome.
   33         (e) “Eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization”
   34  or “organization” means a nonprofit scholarship-funding
   35  organization that is approved pursuant to s. 1002.395(2)(f). The
   36  organization must have a copy of its annual operational audit
   37  provided to the Commissioner of Education as required by this
   38  section has the same meaning as in s. 1002.395.
   39         (f) “Eligible postsecondary educational institution” means
   40  a Florida College System institution;, a state university;, a
   41  school district technical center;, a school district adult
   42  general education center; an independent college or university
   43  that is eligible to participate in the William L. Boyd, IV,
   44  Florida Resident Access Grant Program under s. 1009.89;, or an
   45  accredited independent nonpublic postsecondary educational
   46  institution, as defined in s. 1005.02, which is licensed to
   47  operate in the state pursuant to requirements specified in part
   48  III of chapter 1005.
   49         (g) “Eligible private school” means a private school, as
   50  defined in s. 1002.01, which is located in this state, which
   51  offers an education to students in any grade from kindergarten
   52  to grade 12, and which meets the requirements of:
   53         1. Sections 1002.42 and 1002.421; and
   54         2. A scholarship program under s. 1002.39 or s. 1002.395,
   55  as applicable, if the private school participates in a
   56  scholarship program under s. 1002.39 or s. 1002.395.
   57         (h) “IEP” means individual education plan.
   58         (i) “Parent” means a resident of this state who is a
   59  parent, as defined in s. 1000.21.
   60         (j) “Program” means the Florida Personal Learning
   61  Scholarship Accounts Program established in this section.
   62         (3) PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY.—A parent of a student with a
   63  disability may request and receive from the state a Florida
   64  personal learning scholarship account for the purposes specified
   65  in subsection (5) if:
   66         (a) The student:
   67         1. Is a resident of this state;
   68         2. Is or will be 3 or 4 years old on or before September 1
   69  of the year in which the student applies for program
   70  participation, or is eligible to enroll in kindergarten through
   71  grade 12 in a public school in this state;
   72         3. Has a disability as defined in paragraph (2)(d); and
   73         4. Is the subject of an IEP written in accordance with
   74  rules of the State Board of Education or has received a
   75  diagnosis of a disability as defined in subsection (2) from a
   76  physician who is licensed under chapter 458 or chapter 459 or a
   77  psychologist who is licensed under chapter 490 in this state.
   78         (b) Beginning January 2015, and each year thereafter, the
   79  following application deadlines and guidelines are met:
   80         1. The parent of a student seeking program renewal must
   81  submit a completed application to an organization for renewal by
   82  February 1 before the school year in which the student wishes to
   83  participate.
   84         2. The parent of a student seeking initial approval to
   85  participate in the program must submit a completed application
   86  to an organization by June 30 before the school year in which
   87  the student wishes to participate.
   88         3. The parent of a student seeking approval to participate
   89  in the program who does not comply with the requirements of
   90  subparagraph 1. or subparagraph 2. may late file a completed
   91  application by August 15 before the school year in which the
   92  student wishes to participate.
   93         4. A parent must submit final verification to the
   94  organization before the organization opens a personal learning
   95  scholarship account for the student. The final verification must
   96  consist of only the following items that apply to the student:
   97         a. A completed withdrawal form from the school district if
   98  the student was enrolled in a public school before the
   99  determination of program eligibility;
  100         b. A letter of admission or enrollment from an eligible
  101  private school for the school year in which the student wishes
  102  to participate;
  103         c. A copy of the notice of the parent’s intent to establish
  104  and maintain a home education program required by s.
  105  1002.41(1)(a), or a copy of the district school superintendent’s
  106  review of the annual educational evaluation of the student in a
  107  home education program required by s. 1002.41(2); or
  108         d. A copy of notification from a private school that the
  109  student has withdrawn from the John M. McKay Scholarships for
  110  Students with Disabilities Program or the Florida Tax Credit
  111  Scholarship Program.
  112         5. A parent’s completed application and final verification
  113  submitted pursuant to this paragraph the parent has applied to
  114  an eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization to
  115  participate in the program by February 1 before the school year
  116  in which the student will participate or an alternative date as
  117  set by the organization for any vacant, funded slots. The
  118  request must be communicated directly to the organization in a
  119  manner that creates a written or electronic record including of
  120  the request and the date of receipt of the request. The
  121  organization shall notify the district and the department of the
  122  parent’s intent upon receipt of the parent’s completed
  123  application and final verification request. The completed
  124  application must include, but is not limited to, an application;
  125  required documentation and forms; an initial or revised matrix
  126  of services, if requested; and any additional information or
  127  documentation required by the organization or by State Board of
  128  Education rule.
  129         (4) PROGRAM PROHIBITIONS.—
  130         (a) A student is not eligible for the program while he or
  131  she is:
  132         1. Enrolled in a public school, including, but not limited
  133  to, the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind; the Florida
  134  Virtual School; the College-Preparatory Boarding Academy; a
  135  developmental research school authorized under s. 1002.32; a
  136  charter school authorized under s. 1002.33, s. 1002.331, or s.
  137  1002.332; or a virtual education program authorized under s.
  138  1002.45;
  139         2. Enrolled in the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education
  140  Program authorized under part V of this chapter;
  141         3. Enrolled in a school operating for the purpose of
  142  providing educational services to youth in the Department of
  143  Juvenile Justice commitment programs;
  144         4.3. Receiving a scholarship pursuant to the Florida Tax
  145  Credit Scholarship Program under s. 1002.395 or the John M.
  146  McKay Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program under
  147  s. 1002.39; or
  148         5.4. Receiving any other educational scholarship pursuant
  149  to this chapter.
  151  For purposes of subparagraph 1., a 3- or 4-year-old child who
  152  receives services that are funded through the Florida Education
  153  Finance Program is considered to be a student enrolled in a
  154  public school.
  155         (b) A student is not eligible for the program if:
  156         1. The student or student’s parent has accepted any
  157  payment, refund, or rebate, in any manner, from a provider of
  158  any services received pursuant to subsection (5);
  159         2. The student’s participation in the program, or receipt
  160  or expenditure of program funds, has been denied or revoked by
  161  the commissioner of Education pursuant to subsection (10); or
  162         3. The student’s parent has forfeited participation in the
  163  program for failure to comply with requirements pursuant to
  164  subsection (11); or
  165         4. The student’s application for program eligibility has
  166  been denied by an organization.
  167         (5) AUTHORIZED USES OF PROGRAM FUNDS.—Program funds may be
  168  spent if used to support the student’s educational needs, for
  169  the following purposes:
  170         (a) Instructional materials, including digital devices,
  171  digital periphery devices, and assistive technology devices that
  172  allow a student to access instruction or instructional content
  173  and training on the use of and maintenance agreements for these
  174  devices.
  175         (b) Curriculum as defined in paragraph (2)(b).
  176         (c) Specialized services by approved providers that are
  177  selected by the parent. These specialized services may include,
  178  but are not limited to:
  179         1. Applied behavior analysis services as provided in ss.
  180  627.6686 and 641.31098.
  181         2. Services provided by speech-language pathologists as
  182  defined in s. 468.1125.
  183         3. Occupational therapy services as defined in s. 468.203.
  184         4. Services provided by physical therapists as defined in
  185  s. 486.021.
  186         5. Services provided by listening and spoken language
  187  specialists and an appropriate acoustical environment for a
  188  child who is deaf or hard of hearing and who has received an
  189  implant or assistive hearing device.
  191  Specialized services outside this state are authorized under
  192  this paragraph if the services are subject to similar regulation
  193  or approval requirements.
  194         (d) Enrollment in, or tuition or fees associated with
  195  enrollment in, an eligible private school, an eligible
  196  postsecondary educational institution or a program offered by
  197  the institution, a private tutoring program authorized under s.
  198  1002.43, a virtual program offered by a department-approved
  199  private online provider that meets the provider qualifications
  200  specified in s. 1002.45(2)(a), the Florida Virtual School as a
  201  private paying student, or an approved online course offered
  202  pursuant to s. 1003.499 or s. 1004.0961.
  203         (e) Fees for nationally standardized, norm-referenced
  204  achievement tests, Advanced Placement Examinations, industry
  205  certification examinations, assessments related to postsecondary
  206  education, or other assessments.
  207         (f) Contributions to the Stanley G. Tate Florida Prepaid
  208  College Program pursuant to s. 1009.98 or the Florida College
  209  Savings Program pursuant to s. 1009.981, for the benefit of the
  210  eligible student. The Florida Prepaid College Board shall, by
  211  the dates specified in ss. 1009.98 and 1009.981, create and have
  212  effective procedures to allow program funds to be used in
  213  conjunction with other funds used by the parent in the purchase
  214  of a prepaid college plan or a college savings plan; require
  215  program funds to be tracked and accounted for separately from
  216  other funds contributed to a prepaid college plan or a college
  217  savings plan; require program funds and associated interest to
  218  be reverted as specified in this section; and require program
  219  funds to be used only after private payments have been used for
  220  prepaid college plan or college savings plan expenditures. The
  221  organization shall enter into a contract with the Florida
  222  Prepaid College Board to enable the board to establish
  223  mechanisms to implement this section, including, but not limited
  224  to, identifying the source of funds being deposited in these
  225  plans. A qualified or designated beneficiary may not be changed
  226  while these plans contain funds contributed from this section.
  227         (g) Contracted services provided by a public school or
  228  school district, including classes. A student who receives
  229  services under a contract under this paragraph is not considered
  230  enrolled in a public school for eligibility purposes as
  231  specified in subsection (4).
  232         (h) Tuition and fees for part-time tutoring services
  233  provided by a person who holds a valid Florida educator’s
  234  certificate pursuant to s. 1012.56; a person who holds an
  235  adjunct teaching certificate pursuant to s. 1012.57; or a person
  236  who has demonstrated a mastery of subject area knowledge
  237  pursuant to 1012.56(5). The term “part-time tutoring services”
  238  as used in this paragraph does not meet the definition of the
  239  term “regular school attendance” in s. 1003.01(13)(e).
  240         (i) Fees for specialized summer education programs.
  241         (j) Fees for specialized after-school education programs.
  242         (k) Transition services provided by job coaches.
  243         (l) Fees for an annual evaluation of educational progress
  244  by a state-certified teacher, if this option is chosen for a
  245  home education student pursuant to s. 1002.41(1)(c)1.
  247  A specialized service provider, eligible private school,
  248  eligible postsecondary educational institution, private tutoring
  249  program provider, online or virtual program provider, public
  250  school, school district, or other entity receiving payments
  251  pursuant to this subsection may not share, refund, or rebate any
  252  moneys from the Florida personal learning scholarship account
  253  with the parent or participating student in any manner.
  254         (6) TERM OF THE PROGRAM.—For purposes of continuity of
  255  educational choice and program integrity:,
  256         (a) The program payments made by the state to an
  257  organization for a personal learning scholarship account under
  258  this section shall continue remain in force until the parent
  259  does not renew program eligibility; the organization determines
  260  a student is not eligible for program renewal; the commissioner
  261  denies, suspends, or revokes program participation or use of
  262  funds; or a student enrolls in participating in the program
  263  participates in any of the prohibited activities specified in
  264  subsection (4), has funds revoked by the Commissioner of
  265  Education pursuant to subsection (10), returns to a public
  266  school or in the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program,
  267  graduates from high school, or attains 22 years of age,
  268  whichever occurs first. A participating student who enrolls in a
  269  public school or public school program is considered to have
  270  returned to a public school for the purpose of determining the
  271  end of the program’s term.
  272         (b) Program expenditures by the parent from the program
  273  account are authorized until a student’s personal learning
  274  scholarship account is closed pursuant to paragraph (c).
  275         (c) A student’s personal learning scholarship account shall
  276  be closed, and any remaining funds, including accrued interest
  277  or contributions made using program funds pursuant to paragraph
  278  (5)(f), shall revert to the state upon:
  279         1. The eligible student no longer being enrolled in an
  280  eligible postsecondary educational institution or a program
  281  offered by the institution;
  282         2. Denial or revocation of program eligibility by the
  283  commissioner;
  284         3. Denial of program application by an organization; or
  285         4. After any period of 4 consecutive years after high
  286  school completion or graduation in which the student is not
  287  enrolled in an eligible postsecondary educational institution or
  288  a program offered by the institution.
  290  The commissioner must notify the parent and organization of any
  291  reversion determination.
  293         (a)1. For a student with a disability who does not have a
  294  matrix of services under s. 1011.62(1)(e), or who wants a
  295  revised matrix of services, and for whom the parent requests a
  296  new or revised matrix of services, the school district must
  297  complete a matrix that assigns the student to one of the levels
  298  of service as they existed before the 2000-2001 school year.
  299         2.a. Within 10 calendar school days after a school district
  300  receives notification of a parent’s request for completion of a
  301  matrix of services, the school district must notify the
  302  student’s parent if the matrix of services has not been
  303  completed and inform the parent that the district is required to
  304  complete the matrix within 30 days after receiving notice of the
  305  parent’s request for the matrix of services. This notice must
  306  include the required completion date for the matrix.
  307         b. The school district shall complete the matrix of
  308  services for a student whose parent has made a request. The
  309  school district must provide the student’s parent, the
  310  organization, and the department with the student’s matrix level
  311  within 10 calendar school days after its completion.
  312         c. The department shall notify the parent and the eligible
  313  nonprofit scholarship-funding organization of the amount of the
  314  funds awarded within 10 days after receiving the school
  315  district’s notification of the student’s matrix level.
  316         d. A school district may change a matrix of services only
  317  if the change is to correct a technical, typographical, or
  318  calculation error, except that a parent may annually request a
  319  matrix reevaluation for each student participating in the
  320  program pursuant to paragraph (12)(h).
  321         (b) For each student participating in the program who
  322  chooses to participate in statewide, standardized assessments
  323  under s. 1008.22 or the Florida Alternate Assessment, the school
  324  district in which the student resides must notify the student
  325  and his or her parent about the locations and times to take all
  326  statewide, standardized assessments.
  327         (c) For each student participating in the program, a school
  328  district shall notify the parent about the availability of a
  329  reevaluation at least every 3 years.
  331  private school may be sectarian or nonsectarian and shall:
  332         (a) Comply with all requirements for private schools
  333  participating in state school choice scholarship programs
  334  pursuant to s. 1002.421. To participate in the program, a
  335  private school must submit to the department a notification for
  336  eligibility to participate in its application for the John M.
  337  McKay Scholarships for Students with Disabilities and Florida
  338  Tax Credit Scholarship programs identified in ss. 1002.39 and
  339  1002.395.
  340         (b) Provide to the department and eligible nonprofit
  341  scholarship-funding organization, upon request, all
  342  documentation required for the student’s participation,
  343  including the private school’s and student’s fee schedules.
  344         (c) Be academically accountable to the parent for meeting
  345  the educational needs of the student by:
  346         1. At a minimum, annually providing to the parent a written
  347  explanation of the student’s progress.
  348         2. Annually administering or making provision for students
  349  participating in the program in grades 3 through 10 to take one
  350  of the nationally norm-referenced tests identified by the State
  351  Board Department of Education or the statewide assessments
  352  pursuant to s. 1008.22. Students with disabilities for whom
  353  standardized testing is not appropriate are exempt from this
  354  requirement. A participating private school shall report a
  355  student’s scores to the parent.
  356         3. Cooperating with the scholarship student whose parent
  357  chooses to have the student participate in the statewide
  358  assessments pursuant to s. 1008.22 or, if a private school
  359  chooses to offer the statewide assessments, administering the
  360  assessments at the school.
  361         a. A participating private school may choose to offer and
  362  administer the statewide assessments to all students who attend
  363  the private school in grades 3 through 10.
  364         b. A participating private school shall submit a request in
  365  writing to the Department of Education by March 1 of each year
  366  in order to administer the statewide assessments in the
  367  subsequent school year.
  368         (d) Employ or contract with teachers who have regular and
  369  direct contact with each student receiving a scholarship under
  370  this section at the school’s physical location.
  371         (e) Annually contract with an independent certified public
  372  accountant to perform the agreed-upon procedures developed under
  373  s. 1002.395(6)(o) s. 1002.395(6)(n) and produce a report of the
  374  results if the private school receives more than $250,000 in
  375  funds from scholarships awarded under this section in the 2014
  376  2015 state fiscal year or a state fiscal year thereafter. A
  377  private school subject to this paragraph must submit the report
  378  by September 15, 2015, and annually thereafter to the
  379  scholarship-funding organization that awarded the majority of
  380  the school’s scholarship funds. The agreed-upon procedures must
  381  be conducted in accordance with attestation standards
  382  established by the American Institute of Certified Public
  383  Accountants.
  385  The inability of a private school to meet the requirements of
  386  this subsection constitutes a basis for the ineligibility of the
  387  private school to participate in the program as determined by
  388  the commissioner department.
  389         (9) DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION OBLIGATIONS.—The department
  390  shall:
  391         (a) Maintain a list of approved providers pursuant to s.
  392  1002.66, and eligible postsecondary educational institutions,
  393  eligible private schools, and organizations on its website. The
  394  department may identify or provide links to lists of other
  395  approved providers on its website.
  396         (b) Require each eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
  397  organization to preapprove verify eligible expenditures to be
  398  before the distribution of funds for any expenditures made
  399  pursuant to paragraphs (5)(a) and (b). Review of expenditures
  400  made for services in paragraphs (5)(c)-(h) must (5)(c)-(g) may
  401  be completed after the purchase payment has been made.
  402         (c) Investigate any written complaint of a violation of
  403  this section by a parent, student, private school, public school
  404  or school district, organization, provider, or other appropriate
  405  party in accordance with the process established by s.
  406  1002.395(9)(f).
  407         (d) Require annually by December 1 quarterly reports by an
  408  eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization, which must
  409  include, but need not be limited to, regarding the number of
  410  students participating in the program, demographics of program
  411  participants; disability category; matrix level of services, if
  412  known; award amount per student; total expenditures for the
  413  categories in subsection (5); and the types of providers of
  414  services to students, and other information deemed necessary by
  415  the department.
  416         (e) Compare the list of students participating in the
  417  program with the public school student enrollment lists and the
  418  list of students participating in school choice scholarship
  419  programs established pursuant to this chapter, throughout the
  420  school year, before each program payment to avoid duplicate
  421  payments and confirm program eligibility.
  423         (a) The Commissioner of Education:
  424         1. Shall deny, suspend, or revoke a student’s participation
  425  in the program if the health, safety, or welfare of the student
  426  is threatened or fraud is suspected.
  427         2. Shall deny, suspend, or revoke an authorized use of
  428  program funds if the health, safety, or welfare of the student
  429  is threatened or fraud is suspected.
  430         3. May deny, suspend, or revoke an authorized use of
  431  program funds for material failure to comply with this section
  432  and applicable State Board of Education department rules if the
  433  noncompliance is correctable within a reasonable period of time.
  434  Otherwise, the commissioner shall deny, suspend, or revoke an
  435  authorized use for failure to materially comply with the law and
  436  rules adopted under this section.
  437         4. Shall require compliance by the appropriate party by a
  438  date certain for all nonmaterial failures to comply with this
  439  section and applicable State Board of Education department
  440  rules.
  441         5. Notwithstanding the other provisions of this section,
  442  the commissioner may deny, suspend, or revoke program
  443  participation or use of program funds by the student; or
  444  participation or eligibility of an organization, eligible
  445  private school, eligible postsecondary educational institution,
  446  approved provider, or other appropriate party for a violation of
  447  this section. The commissioner may determine the length of, and
  448  conditions for lifting, the suspension or revocation specified
  449  in this paragraph. The length of suspension or revocation may
  450  not exceed 5 years, except for instances of fraud, in which case
  451  the length of suspension or revocation may not exceed 10 years.
  452  The commissioner may employ mechanisms allowed by law to recover
  453  unexpended program funds or withhold payment of an equal amount
  454  of program funds to recover program funds that were not
  455  authorized for use under this section thereafter.
  456         6. Shall deny or terminate program participation upon a
  457  parent’s forfeiture of a personal learning scholarship account
  458  pursuant to subsection (11).
  459         (b) In determining whether to deny, suspend, or revoke, or
  460  lift a suspension or revocation, in accordance with this
  461  subsection, the commissioner may consider factors that include,
  462  but are not limited to, acts or omissions that by a
  463  participating entity which led to a previous denial, suspension,
  464  or revocation of participation in a state or federal program or
  465  an education scholarship program; failure to reimburse the
  466  eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization for program
  467  funds improperly received or retained by the entity; failure to
  468  reimburse government funds improperly received or retained;
  469  imposition of a prior criminal sanction related to the person or
  470  entity or its officers or employees; imposition of a civil fine
  471  or administrative fine, license revocation or suspension, or
  472  program eligibility suspension, termination, or revocation
  473  related to a person’s or an entity’s management or operation; or
  474  other types of criminal proceedings in which the person or the
  475  entity or its officers or employees were found guilty of,
  476  regardless of adjudication, or entered a plea of nolo contendere
  477  or guilty to, any offense involving fraud, deceit, dishonesty,
  478  or moral turpitude.
  480  PARTICIPATION.—A parent who applies for program participation
  481  under this section is exercising his or her parental option to
  482  determine the appropriate placement or the services that best
  483  meet the needs of his or her child. The scholarship award for a
  484  student is based on a matrix that assigns the student to support
  485  Level III services. If a parent chooses to request and receive
  486  an IEP and a matrix of services from the school district, the
  487  amount of the payment shall be adjusted as needed, when the
  488  school district completes the matrix.
  489         (a) To satisfy or maintain program eligibility, including,
  490  but not limited to, eligibility to receive program payments and
  491  expend program payments enroll an eligible student in the
  492  program, the parent must sign an agreement with the eligible
  493  nonprofit scholarship-funding organization and annually submit a
  494  notarized, sworn compliance statement to the organization to:
  495         1. Affirm that the student is enrolled in a program that
  496  meets regular school attendance requirements as provided in s.
  497  1003.01(13)(b)-(d).
  498         2. Affirm that Use the program funds are used only for
  499  authorized purposes serving the student’s educational needs, as
  500  described in subsection (5).
  501         3. Affirm that the student takes all appropriate
  502  standardized assessments as specified in this section.
  503         a. If the parent enrolls the child in an eligible private
  504  school, the student must take an assessment selected by the
  505  private school pursuant to s. 1002.395(7)(e) or, if requested by
  506  the parent, the statewide, standardized assessments pursuant to
  507  s. 1002.39(8)(c)2. and (9)(e).
  508         b. If the parent enrolls the child in a home education
  509  program, the parent may choose to participate in an assessment
  510  as part of the annual evaluation provided for in s.
  511  1002.41(1)(c).
  512         4. Notify the school district that the student is
  513  participating in the program Personal Learning Scholarship
  514  Accounts if the parent chooses to enroll in a home education
  515  program as provided in s. 1002.41.
  516         5. File a completed application for initial program
  517  participation with an organization Request participation in the
  518  program by the dates date established pursuant to this section
  519  by the eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization.
  520         6. Affirm that the student remains in good standing with
  521  the entities identified in paragraph (5)(d), paragraph (5)(g),
  522  or paragraph (5)(h) provider or school if those options are
  523  selected by the parent.
  524         7. Apply for admission of his or her child if the private
  525  school option is selected by the parent.
  526         8. Annually file a completed application to renew
  527  participation in the program if renewal is desired by the
  528  parent. Notwithstanding any changes to the student’s IEP, a
  529  student who was previously eligible for participation in the
  530  program shall remain eligible to apply for renewal as provided
  531  in subsection (6). However, in order for a high-risk child to
  532  continue to participate in the program in the school year after
  533  he or she reaches 6 years of age, the child’s completed
  534  application for renewal of program participation must contain
  535  documentation that the child has a disability defined in
  536  paragraph (2)(d) other than high-risk status.
  537         9. Affirm that the parent is prohibited from transferring
  538  and will not transfer any prepaid college plan or college
  539  savings plan funds contributed pursuant to paragraph (5)(f) to
  540  another beneficiary while the plan contains funds contributed
  541  pursuant to this section.
  542         10. Affirm that the parent will not take possession of any
  543  funding provided by the state for the program Florida Personal
  544  Learning Scholarship Accounts.
  545         11. Affirm that the parent will maintain a portfolio of
  546  records and materials which must be preserved by the parent for
  547  2 years and be made available for inspection by the
  548  organization, the department, or the district school
  549  superintendent or the superintendent’s designee upon 15 days’
  550  written notice. This paragraph does not require inspection of
  551  the superintendent to inspect the portfolio. The portfolio of
  552  records and materials must consist of:
  553         a. A log of educational instruction and services which is
  554  made contemporaneously with delivery of the instruction and
  555  services and which designates by title any reading materials
  556  used; and
  557         b. Samples of any writings, worksheets, workbooks, or
  558  creative materials used or developed by the student; and
  559         c. Other records, documents, or materials required by the
  560  organization or specified by the department in rule, to
  561  facilitate program implementation.
  562         (b) The parent is responsible for procuring the services
  563  necessary to educate the student. When the student receives a
  564  personal learning scholarship account, the district school board
  565  is not obligated to provide the student with a free appropriate
  566  public education. For purposes of s. 1003.57 and the Individuals
  567  with Disabilities in Education Act, a participating student has
  568  only those rights that apply to all other unilaterally
  569  parentally placed students, except that, when requested by the
  570  parent, school district personnel must develop an individual
  571  education plan or matrix level of services.
  572         (c) The parent is responsible for the payment of all
  573  eligible expenses in excess of the amount of the personal
  574  learning scholarship account in accordance with the terms agreed
  575  to between the parent and the providers.
  577  A parent who fails to comply with this subsection forfeits the
  578  personal learning scholarship account.
  580  ACCOUNTS.—An eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization
  581  participating in the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program
  582  established under s. 1002.395 may establish personal learning
  583  scholarship accounts for eligible students, in accordance with
  584  the deadlines established in this section, by:
  585         (a) Receiving completed applications and final verification
  586  and determining student eligibility in accordance with the
  587  requirements of this section. For initial program participation,
  588  preference must first be provided to students retained on a wait
  589  list created by the organization in the order that completed
  590  applications are approved The organization shall notify the
  591  department of the applicants for the program by March 1 before
  592  the school year in which the student intends to participate.
  593  When a completed an application and final verification are is
  594  received and approved, the scholarship funding organization must
  595  provide the department with information on the student to enable
  596  the department to report the student for funding in an amount
  597  determined in accordance with subsection (13).
  598         (b) Notifying parents of their receipt of a scholarship on
  599  a first-come, first-served basis, after approving the completed
  600  application and confirming receipt of the parent’s final
  601  verification, based upon the funds provided for this program in
  602  the General Appropriations Act.
  603         (c) Establishing a date pursuant to paragraph (3)(b) by
  604  which a parent must confirm initial or continuing participation
  605  in the program and confirm the establishment or continuance of a
  606  personal learning scholarship account.
  607         (d) Establishing a date and process pursuant to paragraph
  608  (3)(b) by which completed applications may be approved and
  609  students on the wait list or late-filing applicants may be
  610  allowed to participate in the program during the school year,
  611  within the amount of funds provided for this program in the
  612  General Appropriations Act. The process must allow timely filed
  613  completed applications to take precedence before late-filed
  614  completed applications for purposes of creating a wait list for
  615  participation in the program.
  616         (e) Establishing and maintaining separate accounts for each
  617  eligible student. For each account, the organization must
  618  maintain a record of interest accrued that is retained in the
  619  student’s account and available only for authorized program
  620  expenditures.
  621         (f) Verifying qualifying educational expenditures pursuant
  622  to the requirements of subsection (5) paragraph (8)(b).
  623         (g) Returning any remaining program unused funds pursuant
  624  to paragraph (6)(c) to the department when the student is no
  625  longer authorized to expend program funds. The organization may
  626  reimburse a parent for authorized program expenditures made
  627  during the fiscal year before funds are deposited in the
  628  student’s eligible for a personal scholarship learning account.
  629         (h) Annually notifying the parent about the availability of
  630  and the requirements associated with requesting an initial
  631  matrix or matrix reevaluation annually for each student
  632  participating in the program.
  633         (13) FUNDING AND PAYMENT.—
  634         (a)1. The maximum funding amount granted for an eligible
  635  student with a disability, pursuant to this section subsection
  636  (3), shall be equivalent to the base student allocation in the
  637  Florida Education Finance Program multiplied by the appropriate
  638  cost factor for the educational program which would have been
  639  provided for the student in the district school to which he or
  640  she would have been assigned, multiplied by the district cost
  641  differential.
  642         2. In addition, an amount equivalent to a share of the
  643  guaranteed allocation for exceptional students in the Florida
  644  Education Finance Program shall be determined and added to the
  645  amount in subparagraph 1. The calculation shall be based on the
  646  methodology and the data used to calculate the guaranteed
  647  allocation for exceptional students for each district in chapter
  648  2000-166, Laws of Florida. Except as provided in subparagraph
  649  3., the calculation shall be based on the student’s grade, the
  650  matrix level of services, and the difference between the 2000
  651  2001 basic program and the appropriate level of services cost
  652  factor, multiplied by the 2000-2001 base student allocation and
  653  the 2000-2001 district cost differential for the sending
  654  district. The calculated amount must also include an amount
  655  equivalent to the per-student share of supplemental academic
  656  instruction funds, instructional materials funds, technology
  657  funds, and other categorical funds as provided in the General
  658  Appropriations Act.
  659         3. Except as otherwise provided, the calculation for all
  660  students participating in the program shall be based on the
  661  matrix that assigns the student to support Level III of
  662  services. If a parent chooses to request and receive a matrix of
  663  services from the school district, when the school district
  664  completes the matrix, the amount of the payment shall be
  665  adjusted as needed.
  666         (b) The amount of the awarded funds shall be 90 percent of
  667  the calculated amount. One hundred percent of the funds
  668  appropriated for this program shall be released in the first
  669  quarter of each fiscal year. Accrued interest is in addition to,
  670  and not part of, the awarded funds. Program funds include both
  671  the awarded funds and the accrued interest.
  672         (c) Upon an eligible student’s graduation from an eligible
  673  postsecondary educational institution or after any period of 4
  674  consecutive years after high school graduation in which the
  675  student is not enrolled in an eligible postsecondary educational
  676  institution, the student’s personal learning scholarship account
  677  shall be closed, and any remaining funds shall revert to the
  678  state.
  679         (c)(d) The eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
  680  organization shall develop a system for payment of benefits by
  681  electronic funds transfer, including, but not limited to, debit
  682  cards, electronic payment cards, or any other means of
  683  electronic payment that the department deems to be commercially
  684  viable or cost-effective. Commodities or services related to the
  685  development of such a system shall be procured by competitive
  686  solicitation unless they are purchased from a state term
  687  contract pursuant to s. 287.056.
  688         (d) An eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization
  689  may use up to 3 percent of the total amount of payments received
  690  during the state fiscal year for administrative expenses if the
  691  organization has operated as an nonprofit scholarship-funding
  692  organization for at least 3 fiscal years and did not have any
  693  findings of material weakness or material noncompliance in its
  694  most recent audit under s. 1002.395(6)(m). Such administrative
  695  expenses must be reasonable and necessary for the organization’s
  696  management and distribution of scholarships under this section.
  697  Funds authorized under this paragraph may not be used for
  698  lobbying or political activity or expenses related to lobbying
  699  or political activity. If an eligible nonprofit scholarship
  700  funding organization charges an application fee for a
  701  scholarship, the application fee must be immediately refunded to
  702  the person who paid the fee if the student is determined
  703  ineligible for the program or placed on a wait list. The
  704  administrative fee may not be deducted from any scholarship
  705  funds, but may be provided for in the General Appropriations
  706  Act. An application fee may not be deducted from any scholarship
  707  funds.
  708         (e) Moneys received pursuant to this section do not
  709  constitute taxable income to the student or parent of the
  710  qualified student.
  712         (a) The Auditor General shall conduct an annual financial
  713  and operational audit of accounts and records of each eligible
  714  scholarship-funding organization that participates in the
  715  program. As part of this audit, the Auditor General shall
  716  verify, at a minimum, the total amount of students served and
  717  eligibility of reimbursements made by each eligible nonprofit
  718  scholarship-funding organization and transmit that information
  719  to the department.
  720         (b) The Auditor General shall notify the department of any
  721  eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization that fails
  722  to comply with a request for information.
  723         (c) The Auditor General shall provide the Commissioner of
  724  Education with a copy of each annual operational audit performed
  725  pursuant to this subsection within 10 days after each audit is
  726  finalized.
  728  Department of Health, the Agency for Persons with Disabilities,
  729  and the Department of Education shall work with an eligible
  730  nonprofit scholarship-funding organization for easy or automated
  731  access to lists of licensed providers of services specified in
  732  paragraph (5)(c) to ensure efficient administration of the
  733  program.
  734         (16) LIABILITY.—The state is not liable for the award or
  735  any use of awarded funds under this section.
  736         (17) SCOPE OF AUTHORITY.—This section does not expand the
  737  regulatory authority of this state, its officers, or any school
  738  district to impose additional regulation on participating
  739  private schools, independent nonpublic postsecondary educational
  740  institutions, and private providers beyond those reasonably
  741  necessary to enforce requirements expressly set forth in this
  742  section.
  743         (18) REPORTS.—The department shall, by February 1 of each
  744  year, provide an annual report to the Governor, the President of
  745  the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives
  746  regarding the effectiveness of the Florida Personal Learning
  747  Scholarship Accounts Program. The report must address the scope
  748  and size of the program, with regard to participation and other
  749  related data, and analyze the effectiveness of the program
  750  pertaining to cost, education, and therapeutic services.
  751         (19)(18) RULES.—The State Board of Education shall adopt
  752  rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to administer this
  753  section.
  754         (20)(19) IMPLEMENTATION SCHEDULE FOR THE 2014-2015 SCHOOL
  755  YEAR.—Notwithstanding the provisions of this section related to
  756  notification and eligibility timelines, an eligible nonprofit
  757  scholarship-funding organization may enroll parents on a rolling
  758  schedule on a first-come, first-served basis, within the amount
  759  of funds provided in the General Appropriations Act. This
  760  subsection is repealed July 1, 2015.
  761         Section 2. Paragraphs (a) and (b) of subsection (16) of
  762  section 1002.395, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  763         1002.395 Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program.—
  765  APPLICATION.—In order to participate in the scholarship program
  766  created under this section, a charitable organization that seeks
  767  to be a nonprofit scholarship-funding organization must submit
  768  an application for initial approval or renewal to the Office of
  769  Independent Education and Parental Choice no later than
  770  September 1 of each year before the school year for which the
  771  organization intends to offer scholarships.
  772         (a) An application for initial approval must include:
  773         1. A copy of the organization’s incorporation documents and
  774  registration with the Division of Corporations of the Department
  775  of State.
  776         2. A copy of the organization’s Internal Revenue Service
  777  determination letter as a s. 501(c)(3) not-for-profit
  778  organization.
  779         3. A description of the organization’s financial plan that
  780  demonstrates sufficient funds to operate throughout the school
  781  year.
  782         4. A description of the geographic region that the
  783  organization intends to serve and an analysis of the demand and
  784  unmet need for eligible students in that area.
  785         5. The organization’s organizational chart.
  786         6. A description of the criteria and methodology that the
  787  organization will use to evaluate scholarship eligibility.
  788         7. A description of the application process, including
  789  deadlines and any associated fees.
  790         8. A description of the deadlines for attendance
  791  verification and scholarship payments.
  792         9. A copy of the organization’s policies on conflict of
  793  interest and whistleblowers.
  794         10. A copy of a surety bond or letter of credit in an
  795  amount equal to 25 percent of the scholarship funds anticipated
  796  for each school year or $100,000, whichever is greater,
  797  specifying that any claim against the bond or letter of credit
  798  may be made only by an eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
  799  organization to provide scholarships to and on behalf of
  800  students who would have had scholarships funded but for the
  801  diversion of funds giving rise to the claim against the bond or
  802  letter of credit.
  803         (b) In addition to the information required by
  804  subparagraphs (a)1.-9., an application for renewal must include:
  805         1. A surety bond or letter of credit equal to the amount of
  806  undisbursed donations held by the organization based on the
  807  annual report submitted pursuant to paragraph (6)(m). The amount
  808  of the surety bond or letter of credit must be at least
  809  $100,000, but not more than $25 million, specifying that any
  810  claim against the bond or letter of credit may be made only by
  811  an eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization to
  812  provide scholarships to and on behalf of students who would have
  813  had scholarships funded but for the diversion of funds giving
  814  rise to the claim against the bond or letter of credit.
  815         2. The organization’s completed Internal Revenue Service
  816  Form 990 submitted no later than November 30 of the year before
  817  the school year that the organization intends to offer the
  818  scholarships, notwithstanding the September 1 application
  819  deadline.
  820         3. A copy of the statutorily required audit to the
  821  Department of Education and Auditor General.
  822         4. An annual report that includes:
  823         a. The number of students who completed applications, by
  824  county and by grade.
  825         b. The number of students who were approved for
  826  scholarships, by county and by grade.
  827         c. The number of students who received funding for
  828  scholarships within each funding category, by county and by
  829  grade.
  830         d. The amount of funds received, the amount of funds
  831  distributed in scholarships, and an accounting of remaining
  832  funds and the obligation of those funds.
  833         e. A detailed accounting of how the organization spent the
  834  administrative funds allowable under paragraph (6)(j).
  835         Section 3. Paragraph (z) is added to subsection (4) of
  836  section 1009.971, Florida Statutes, to read:
  837         1009.971 Florida Prepaid College Board.—
  839  board shall have the powers and duties necessary or proper to
  840  carry out the provisions of ss. 1009.97-1009.984, including, but
  841  not limited to, the power and duty to:
  842         (z) Adopt rules governing:
  843         1. The purchase and use of a prepaid college plan
  844  authorized under s. 1009.98 or a college savings plan authorized
  845  under s. 1009.981 for the Florida Personal Learning Scholarship
  846  Accounts Program pursuant to ss. 1002.385, 1009.98, and
  847  1009.981.
  848         2. The use of a prepaid college plan authorized under s.
  849  1009.98 or a college savings plan authorized under s. 1009.981
  850  for postsecondary education programs for students with
  851  disabilities.
  852         Section 4. Subsection (11) is added to section 1009.98,
  853  Florida Statutes, to read:
  854         1009.98 Stanley G. Tate Florida Prepaid College Program.—
  856         (a) Notwithstanding any other provision in this section, a
  857  prepaid college plan may be purchased, accounted for, used, and
  858  terminated as provided in s. 1002.385. By September 1, 2015, the
  859  board shall develop procedures, contracts, and any other
  860  required forms or documentation necessary to fully implement
  861  this subsection. The board shall enter into a contract with an
  862  organization pursuant to s. 1002.385 to enable the board to
  863  establish mechanisms to implement this subsection, including,
  864  but not limited to, identifying the source of funds being
  865  deposited into a prepaid college plan. A qualified beneficiary
  866  may not be changed while a prepaid college plan contains funds
  867  contributed from s. 1002.385.
  868         (b) A qualified beneficiary may apply the benefits of an
  869  advance payment contract toward the program fees of a program
  870  designed for students with disabilities conducted by a state
  871  postsecondary institution. A transfer authorized under this
  872  subsection may not exceed the redemption value of the advance
  873  payment contract at a state postsecondary institution or the
  874  number of semester credit hours contracted on behalf of a
  875  qualified beneficiary.
  876         Section 5. Subsection (10) is added to section 1009.981,
  877  Florida Statutes, to read:
  878         1009.981 Florida College Savings Program.—
  880         (a) Notwithstanding any other provision in this section, a
  881  college savings plan may be purchased, accounted for, used, and
  882  terminated as provided in s. 1002.385. By September 1, 2015, the
  883  board shall develop procedures, contracts, and any other
  884  required forms or documentation necessary to fully implement
  885  this subsection. The board shall enter into a contract with an
  886  organization pursuant to s. 1002.385 to enable the board to
  887  establish mechanisms to implement this subsection, including,
  888  but not limited to, identifying the source of funds being
  889  deposited into a college savings plan. A designated beneficiary
  890  may not be changed while a college savings plan contains funds
  891  contributed from s. 1002.385.
  892         (b) A designated beneficiary may apply the benefits of a
  893  participation agreement toward the program fees of a program
  894  designed for students with disabilities conducted by a state
  895  postsecondary institution.
  896         Section 6. The Department of Education shall adopt rules to
  897  implement s. 1002.385, Florida Statutes.
  898         (1)Such rules must be effective by August 1, 2015, and
  899  must include, but need not be limited to:
  900         (a)Establishing procedures concerning the student,
  901  organization, eligible private school, eligible postsecondary
  902  educational institution, or other appropriate party to
  903  participate in the program, including approval, suspension, and
  904  termination of eligibility;
  905         (b)Establishing uniform forms for use by organizations for
  906  parents and students;
  907         (c)Approving providers pertaining to the Florida K-20
  908  Education Code;
  909         (d)Incorporating program participation in existing private
  910  school scholarship program applications, including, but not
  911  limited to, ensuring that the process for obtaining eligibility
  912  under s. 1002.385, Florida Statutes, is as administratively
  913  convenient as possible for a private school;
  914         (e)Establishing a matrix of services calculations and
  915  timelines, so that the initial and revised matrix is completed
  916  by a school district in time to be included in the completed
  917  application;
  918         (f)Establishing a deadline for an organization to provide
  919  annual notice of the ability for a parent to request an initial
  920  or revised matrix of services, which must enable the initial or
  921  revised matrix to be included in the completed application;
  922         (g)Establishing additional records, documents, or
  923  materials a parent must collect and retain in the student’s
  924  portfolio;
  925         (h)Establishing preliminary timelines and procedures that
  926  enable a parent to submit a completed application to the
  927  organization, and for the organization to review and approve the
  928  completed application; and
  929         (i)Defining terms, including, but not limited to, the
  930  terms “participating student, new student, eligible
  931  student, award letter, program funds, associated
  932  interest, program payments, program expenditures, initial
  933  program participation, program renewal, wait list,” “timely
  934  filed application,” and “late-filed application.
  935         (2)Such rules should maximize flexibility and ease of
  936  program use for the parent and student.
  937         Section 7. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.
  939  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
  940  And the title is amended as follows:
  941         Delete everything before the enacting clause
  942  and insert:
  943                        A bill to be entitled                      
  944         An act relating to students with disabilities;
  945         amending s. 1002.385, F.S.; revising definitions
  946         applicable to the Florida Personal Learning
  947         Scholarship Accounts Program; revising scholarship
  948         application deadlines and guidelines; revising
  949         provisions to conform to the designation of eligible
  950         nonprofit scholarship-funding organizations; requiring
  951         authorized program funds to support the student’s
  952         educational needs; requiring the Florida Prepaid
  953         College Board to create certain procedures;
  954         authorizing part-time private tutoring services by
  955         persons meeting certain requirements; authorizing
  956         program funds to be spent for specified education
  957         programs and services; revising the conditions under
  958         which a student’s personal learning scholarship
  959         account must be closed; revising the responsibilities
  960         for school districts; revising requirements for a
  961         private school’s eligibility to participate in the
  962         program; revising responsibilities of the Department
  963         of Education and the Commissioner of Education with
  964         respect to program administration; revising
  965         responsibilities for parents and students to
  966         participate in the program; requiring a parent to
  967         affirm that program funds are used only for authorized
  968         purposes that serve the student’s educational needs;
  969         revising responsibilities of an organization
  970         pertaining to the administration of personal learning
  971         scholarship accounts; revising the wait list and
  972         priority of approving renewal and new applications;
  973         revising the notice requirement of an organization;
  974         authorizing accrued interest to be used for authorized
  975         expenditures; requiring accrued interest to be
  976         reverted as a part of reverted scholarship funds;
  977         revising taxable income requirements; removing
  978         obsolete audit requirements; requiring the Auditor
  979         General to provide a copy of each annual operational
  980         audit performed to the Commissioner of Education
  981         within a specified timeframe; requiring the department
  982         to provide an annual report to the Governor and the
  983         Legislature regarding the program; prescribing report
  984         requirements; providing for future repeal of
  985         provisions pertaining to an implementation schedule of
  986         notification and eligibility timelines; amending s.
  987         1002.395, F.S.; revising the surety bond requirements
  988         for nonprofit scholarship-funding organizations
  989         submitting initial and renewal scholarship program
  990         participation applications; amending s. 1009.971,
  991         F.S.; revising the powers and duties of the Florida
  992         Prepaid College Board to include specified rulemaking
  993         authority; amending ss. 1009.98 and 1009.981, F.S.;
  994         authorizing a prepaid college plan or a college
  995         savings plan to be purchased, accounted for, used, and
  996         terminated under certain circumstances; specifying
  997         rulemaking requirements applicable to the department;
  998         providing an effective date.