Florida Senate - 2015                                     SB 602
       By Senator Gaetz
       1-00348A-15                                            2015602__
    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         clarifying and expanding responsibilities of the
   11         Department of Education; revising the conditions under
   12         which a student’s personal learning scholarship
   13         account must be closed; revising the responsibilities
   14         for school districts; revising private school
   15         eligibility requirements; revising responsibilities
   16         for parents and students who participate in the
   17         program; requiring a parent to affirm program funds
   18         are only used for authorized purposes that serve the
   19         student’s educational needs; revising responsibilities
   20         of eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
   21         organizations pertaining to the administration of
   22         personal learning scholarship accounts; revising the
   23         wait list and priority of approving renewal and new
   24         applications; revising the notice requirement of an
   25         organization; authorizing accrued interest to be used
   26         for authorized expenditures; requiring accrued
   27         interest to be reverted as a part of reverted
   28         scholarship funds; revising taxable income
   29         requirements; removing obsolete audit requirements;
   30         requiring the Auditor General to provide a copy of
   31         each annual operational audit performed to the
   32         Commissioner of Education within a specified
   33         timeframe; correcting cross-references; providing
   34         future repeal of provisions pertaining to an
   35         implementation schedule of notification and
   36         eligibility timelines; amending s. 1009.98, F.S.;
   37         authorizing a prepaid college plan to be purchased,
   38         accounted for, used, and terminated under certain
   39         circumstances; specifying State Board of Education
   40         rulemaking requirements; requiring the department to
   41         make rules; outlining specific rulemaking requirements
   42         of the Department of Education; providing an effective
   43         date.
   45  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   47         Section 1. Section 1002.385, Florida Statutes, is amended
   48  to read:
   49         1002.385 Florida personal learning scholarship accounts.—
   50         (1) ESTABLISHMENT OF PROGRAM.—The Florida Personal Learning
   51  Scholarship Accounts Program is established to provide the
   52  option for a parent to better meet the individual educational
   53  needs of his or her eligible child.
   54         (2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
   55         (a) “Approved provider” means a provider approved by the
   56  Agency for Persons with Disabilities, a health care practitioner
   57  as defined in s. 456.001(4), or a provider approved by the
   58  department pursuant to s. 1002.66. The term also includes
   59  providers outside this state which are subject to similar
   60  regulation or approval requirements.
   61         (b) “Curriculum” means a complete course of study for a
   62  particular content area or grade level, including any required
   63  supplemental materials.
   64         (c) “Department” means the Department of Education.
   65         (d) “Disability” means, for a student in kindergarten to
   66  grade 12, autism spectrum disorder, as defined in the Diagnostic
   67  and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, as
   68  defined in s. 393.063(3); cerebral palsy, as defined in s.
   69  393.063(4); Down syndrome, as defined in s. 393.063(13); an
   70  intellectual disability, as defined in s. 393.063(21); Prader
   71  Willi syndrome, as defined in s. 393.063(25); or spina bifida,
   72  as defined in s. 393.063(36); for a student in kindergarten,
   73  being a high-risk child, as defined in s. 393.063(20)(a); and
   74  Williams syndrome.
   75         (e) “Eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization”
   76  or “organization” means a nonprofit scholarship-funding
   77  organization that is approved by the department to participate
   78  in the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program pursuant to s.
   79  1002.395(2)(f). The organization must have a copy of its annual
   80  operational audit provided to the Commissioner of Education as
   81  required by this 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 eligible to enroll in kindergarten through grade 12
  112  in a public school in this state;
  113         3. Has a disability as defined in paragraph (2)(d); and
  114         4. Is the subject of an IEP written in accordance with
  115  rules of the State Board of Education or has received a
  116  diagnosis of a disability as defined in subsection (2) from a
  117  physician who is licensed under chapter 458 or chapter 459 or a
  118  psychologist who is licensed under chapter 490 in this state.
  119         (b) Beginning January 2015, and each year thereafter, the
  120  following application deadlines and guidelines are met:
  121         1. The parent of a student seeking program renewal must
  122  submit a completed application to an organization for renewal by
  123  February 1 before the school year in which the student wishes to
  124  participate.
  125         2. The parent of a student seeking initial approval to
  126  participate in the program must submit a completed application
  127  to an organization by June 30 before the school year in which
  128  the student wishes to participate.
  129         3. The parent of a student seeking approval to participate
  130  in the program who does not comply with the requirements of
  131  subparagraph 1. or subparagraph 2. may late-file a completed
  132  application by August 15 before the school year in which the
  133  student wishes to participate.
  134         4. A parent must submit final verification to the
  135  organization before the organization opens a personal learning
  136  scholarship account for the student. The final verification must
  137  consist of only the following items that apply to the student:
  138         a. A completed withdrawal form from the school district if
  139  the student was enrolled in a public school before the
  140  determination of program eligibility;
  141         b. A letter of admission or enrollment from an eligible
  142  private school for the school year in which the student wishes
  143  to participate;
  144         c. A copy of the notice of the parent’s intent to establish
  145  and maintain a home education program required by s.
  146  1002.41(1)(a), or a copy of the district school superintendent’s
  147  review of the annual educational evaluation of the student in a
  148  home education program required by s. 1002.41(2); or
  149         d. A copy of notification from a private school that the
  150  student has withdrawn from the John M. McKay Scholarships for
  151  Students with Disabilities Program or the Florida Tax Credit
  152  Scholarship Program.
  153         5. A parent’s completed application and final verification
  154  submitted pursuant to this paragraph the parent has applied to
  155  an eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization to
  156  participate in the program by February 1 before the school year
  157  in which the student will participate or an alternative date as
  158  set by the organization for any vacant, funded slots. The
  159  request must be communicated directly to the organization in a
  160  manner that creates a written or electronic record including of
  161  the request and the date of receipt of the request. The
  162  organization shall notify the district and the department of the
  163  parent’s intent upon receipt of the parent’s completed
  164  application and final verification request. The completed
  165  application must include, but is not limited to, an application;
  166  required documentation and forms; an initial or revised matrix
  167  of services, if requested; and any additional information or
  168  documentation required by the organization or by State Board of
  169  Education rule.
  170         (4) PROGRAM PROHIBITIONS.—
  171         (a) A student is not eligible for the program while he or
  172  she is:
  173         1. Enrolled in a public school, including, but not limited
  174  to, the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind; the Florida
  175  Virtual School; the College-Preparatory Boarding Academy; a
  176  developmental research school authorized under s. 1002.32; a
  177  charter school authorized under s. 1002.33, s. 1002.331, or s.
  178  1002.332; or a virtual education program authorized under s.
  179  1002.45;
  180         2. Enrolled in a school operating for the purpose of
  181  providing educational services to youth in the Department of
  182  Juvenile Justice commitment programs;
  183         3. Receiving a scholarship pursuant to the Florida Tax
  184  Credit Scholarship Program under s. 1002.395 or the John M.
  185  McKay Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program under
  186  s. 1002.39; or
  187         4. Receiving any other educational scholarship pursuant to
  188  this chapter.
  189         (b) A student is not eligible for the program if:
  190         1. The student or student’s parent has accepted any
  191  payment, refund, or rebate, in any manner, from a provider of
  192  any services received pursuant to subsection (5);
  193         2. The student’s participation in the program, or receipt
  194  or expenditure of program funds, has been denied or revoked by
  195  the commissioner of Education pursuant to subsection (10); or
  196         3. The student’s parent has forfeited participation in the
  197  program for failure to comply with requirements pursuant to
  198  subsection (11); or
  199         4. The student’s application for program eligibility has
  200  been denied by an organization.
  201         (5) AUTHORIZED USES OF PROGRAM FUNDS.—Program funds may be
  202  spent if used to support the student’s educational needs, for
  203  the following purposes:
  204         (a) Instructional materials, including digital devices,
  205  digital periphery devices, and assistive technology devices that
  206  allow a student to access instruction or instructional content.
  207         (b) Curriculum as defined in paragraph (2)(b).
  208         (c) Specialized services by approved providers which have
  209  been approved by a physician licensed under chapter 458 or
  210  chapter 459 and that are selected by the parent. These
  211  specialized services may include, but are not limited to:
  212         1. Applied behavior analysis services as provided in ss.
  213  627.6686 and 641.31098.
  214         2. Services provided by speech-language pathologists as
  215  defined in s. 468.1125.
  216         3. Occupational therapy services as defined in s. 468.203.
  217         4. Services provided by physical therapists as defined in
  218  s. 486.021.
  219         5. Services provided by listening and spoken language
  220  specialists and an appropriate acoustical environment for a
  221  child who is deaf or hard of hearing and who has received an
  222  implant or assistive hearing device.
  224  Specialized services outside this state are authorized under
  225  this paragraph if the services are subject to similar regulation
  226  or approval requirements.
  227         (d) Enrollment in, or tuition or fees associated with
  228  enrollment in, an eligible private school, an eligible
  229  postsecondary educational institution or a program offered by
  230  the institution, a private tutoring program authorized under s.
  231  1002.43, a virtual program offered by a department-approved
  232  private online provider that meets the provider qualifications
  233  specified in s. 1002.45(2)(a), the Florida Virtual School as a
  234  private paying student, or an approved online course offered
  235  pursuant to s. 1003.499 or s. 1004.0961.
  236         (e) Fees for nationally standardized, norm-referenced
  237  achievement tests, Advanced Placement Examinations, industry
  238  certification examinations, assessments related to postsecondary
  239  education, or other assessments.
  240         (f) Contributions to the Stanley G. Tate Florida Prepaid
  241  College Program pursuant to s. 1009.98, for the benefit of the
  242  eligible student. The Florida Prepaid College Board shall, by
  243  July 1, 2015, create procedures to allow program funds to be
  244  used in conjunction with other funds used by the parent in the
  245  purchase of a prepaid college plan; require program funds to be
  246  tracked and accounted for separately from other funds
  247  contributed to a prepaid plan; require program funds and
  248  associated interest to be reverted as specified in this section;
  249  and require program funds to be used only after private payments
  250  have been used for prepaid college plan expenditures.
  251         (g) Contracted services provided by a public school or
  252  school district, including classes. A student who receives
  253  services under a contract under this paragraph is not considered
  254  enrolled in a public school for eligibility purposes as
  255  specified in subsection (4).
  256         (h) Tuition and fees for part-time tutoring services
  257  provided by a person who holds a valid Florida educator’s
  258  certificate pursuant to s. 1012.56; a person who holds an
  259  adjunct teaching certificate pursuant to s. 1012.57; or a person
  260  who has demonstrated a mastery of subject area knowledge
  261  pursuant to 1012.56(5). The term “part-time tutoring services”
  262  as used in this paragraph does not meet the definition of the
  263  term “regular school attendance” in s. 1003.01(13)(e).
  265  A specialized service provider, eligible private school,
  266  eligible postsecondary educational institution, private tutoring
  267  program provider, online or virtual program provider, public
  268  school, school district, or other entity receiving payments
  269  pursuant to this subsection may not share, refund, or rebate any
  270  moneys from the Florida personal learning scholarship account
  271  with the parent or participating student in any manner.
  272         (6) TERM OF THE PROGRAM.—For purposes of continuity of
  273  educational choice and program integrity:,
  274         (a) The program payments made by the state to an
  275  organization for a personal learning scholarship account under
  276  this section shall continue remain in force until the parent
  277  does not renew program eligibility; the organization determines
  278  a student is not eligible for program renewal; the commissioner
  279  denies, suspends, or revokes program participation or use of
  280  funds; or a student enrolls in participating in the program
  281  participates in any of the prohibited activities specified in
  282  subsection (4), has funds revoked by the Commissioner of
  283  Education pursuant to subsection (10), returns to a public
  284  school, graduates from high school, or attains 22 years of age,
  285  whichever occurs first. A participating student who enrolls in a
  286  public school or public school program is considered to have
  287  returned to a public school for the purpose of determining the
  288  end of the program’s term.
  289         (b) Program expenditures by the parent from the program
  290  account are authorized until a student’s personal learning
  291  scholarship account is closed pursuant to paragraph (c).
  292         (c) A student’s personal learning scholarship account shall
  293  be closed, and any remaining funds, including accrued interest
  294  or contributions made using program funds pursuant to paragraph
  295  (5)(f), shall revert to the state upon:
  296         1. The eligible student no longer being enrolled in an
  297  eligible postsecondary educational institution;
  298         2. Denial or revocation of program eligibility by the
  299  commissioner;
  300         3. Denial of program application by an organization; or
  301         4. After any period of 4 consecutive years after high
  302  school completion or graduation in which the student is not
  303  enrolled in an eligible postsecondary educational institution or
  304  a program offered by the institution.
  306  The commissioner must notify the parent and organization of any
  307  reversion determination.
  309         (a)1. For a student with a disability who does not have a
  310  matrix of services under s. 1011.62(1)(e), or who wants a
  311  revised matrix of services, and for whom the parent requests a
  312  new or revised matrix of services, the school district must
  313  complete a matrix that assigns the student to one of the levels
  314  of service as they existed before the 2000-2001 school year.
  315         2.a. Within 10 calendar school days after a school district
  316  receives notification of a parent’s request for completion of a
  317  matrix of services, the school district must notify the
  318  student’s parent if the matrix of services has not been
  319  completed and inform the parent that the district is required to
  320  complete the matrix within 30 days after receiving notice of the
  321  parent’s request for the matrix of services. This notice must
  322  include the required completion date for the matrix.
  323         b. The school district shall complete the matrix of
  324  services for a student whose parent has made a request. The
  325  school district must provide the student’s parent, the
  326  organization, and the department with the student’s matrix level
  327  within 10 calendar school days after its completion.
  328         c. The department shall notify the parent and the eligible
  329  nonprofit scholarship-funding organization of the amount of the
  330  funds awarded within 10 days after receiving the school
  331  district’s notification of the student’s matrix level.
  332         d. A school district may change a matrix of services only
  333  if the change is to correct a technical, typographical, or
  334  calculation error, except that a parent may annually request a
  335  matrix reevaluation for each student participating in the
  336  program pursuant to paragraph (12)(h).
  337         (b) For each student participating in the program who
  338  chooses to participate in statewide, standardized assessments
  339  under s. 1008.22 or the Florida Alternate Assessment, the school
  340  district in which the student resides must notify the student
  341  and his or her parent about the locations and times to take all
  342  statewide, standardized assessments.
  343         (c) For each student participating in the program, a school
  344  district shall notify the parent about the availability of a
  345  reevaluation at least every 3 years.
  347  private school may be sectarian or nonsectarian and shall:
  348         (a) Comply with all requirements for private schools
  349  participating in state school choice scholarship programs
  350  pursuant to s. 1002.421. To participate in the program, a
  351  private school must submit to the department a notification for
  352  eligibility to participate in its application for the John M.
  353  McKay Scholarships for Students with Disabilities and Florida
  354  Tax Credit Scholarship programs identified in ss. 1002.39 and
  355  1002.395.
  356         (b) Provide to the department and eligible nonprofit
  357  scholarship-funding organization, upon request, all
  358  documentation required for the student’s participation,
  359  including the private school’s and student’s fee schedules.
  360         (c) Be academically accountable to the parent for meeting
  361  the educational needs of the student by:
  362         1. At a minimum, annually providing to the parent a written
  363  explanation of the student’s progress.
  364         2. Annually administering or making provision for students
  365  participating in the program in grades 3 through 10 to take one
  366  of the nationally norm-referenced tests identified by the State
  367  Board Department of Education or the statewide assessments
  368  pursuant to s. 1008.22. Students with disabilities for whom
  369  standardized testing is not appropriate are exempt from this
  370  requirement. A participating private school shall report a
  371  student’s scores to the parent.
  372         3. Cooperating with the scholarship student whose parent
  373  chooses to have the student participate in the statewide
  374  assessments pursuant to s. 1008.22 or, if a private school
  375  chooses to offer the statewide assessments, administering the
  376  assessments at the school.
  377         a. A participating private school may choose to offer and
  378  administer the statewide assessments to all students who attend
  379  the private school in grades 3 through 10.
  380         b. A participating private school shall submit a request in
  381  writing to the Department of Education by March 1 of each year
  382  in order to administer the statewide assessments in the
  383  subsequent school year.
  384         (d) Employ or contract with teachers who have regular and
  385  direct contact with each student receiving a scholarship under
  386  this section at the school’s physical location.
  387         (e) Annually contract with an independent certified public
  388  accountant to perform the agreed-upon procedures developed under
  389  s. 1002.395(6)(o) s. 1002.395(6)(n) and produce a report of the
  390  results if the private school receives more than $250,000 in
  391  funds from scholarships awarded under this section in the 2014
  392  2015 state fiscal year or a state fiscal year thereafter. A
  393  private school subject to this paragraph must submit the report
  394  by September 15, 2015, and annually thereafter to the
  395  scholarship-funding organization that awarded the majority of
  396  the school’s scholarship funds. The agreed-upon procedures must
  397  be conducted in accordance with attestation standards
  398  established by the American Institute of Certified Public
  399  Accountants.
  401  The inability of a private school to meet the requirements of
  402  this subsection constitutes a basis for the ineligibility of the
  403  private school to participate in the program as determined by
  404  the commissioner department.
  405         (9) DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION OBLIGATIONS.—The department
  406  shall:
  407         (a) Maintain a list of approved providers pursuant to s.
  408  1002.66, and eligible postsecondary educational institutions,
  409  eligible private schools, and organizations on its website. The
  410  department may identify or provide links to lists of other
  411  approved providers on its website.
  412         (b) Require each eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
  413  organization to preapprove verify eligible expenditures to be
  414  before the distribution of funds for any expenditures made
  415  pursuant to paragraphs (5)(a) and (b). Review of expenditures
  416  made for services in paragraphs (5)(c)-(h) must (5)(c)-(g) may
  417  be completed after the purchase payment has been made.
  418         (c) Investigate any written complaint of a violation of
  419  this section by a parent, student, private school, public school
  420  or school district, organization, provider, or other appropriate
  421  party in accordance with the process established by s.
  422  1002.395(9)(f).
  423         (d) Require annually by December 1 quarterly reports by an
  424  eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization, which must
  425  include, but need not be limited to, regarding the number of
  426  students participating in the program, demographics of program
  427  participants, disability category, matrix level of services,
  428  award amount per student, total expenditures for the categories
  429  in subsection (5), and the types of providers of services to
  430  students, and other information deemed necessary by the
  431  department.
  432         (e) Compare the list of students participating in the
  433  program with the public school student enrollment lists and the
  434  list of students participating in school choice scholarship
  435  programs established pursuant to this chapter, throughout the
  436  school year, before each program payment to avoid duplicate
  437  payments and confirm program eligibility.
  439         (a) The Commissioner of Education:
  440         1. Shall deny, suspend, or revoke a student’s participation
  441  in the program if the health, safety, or welfare of the student
  442  is threatened or fraud is suspected.
  443         2. Shall deny, suspend, or revoke an authorized use of
  444  program funds if the health, safety, or welfare of the student
  445  is threatened or fraud is suspected.
  446         3. May deny, suspend, or revoke an authorized use of
  447  program funds for material failure to comply with this section
  448  and applicable State Board of Education department rules if the
  449  noncompliance is correctable within a reasonable period of time.
  450  Otherwise, the commissioner shall deny, suspend, or revoke an
  451  authorized use for failure to materially comply with the law and
  452  rules adopted under this section.
  453         4. Shall require compliance by the appropriate party by a
  454  date certain for all nonmaterial failures to comply with this
  455  section and applicable State Board of Education department
  456  rules.
  457         5. Notwithstanding the other provisions of this section,
  458  the commissioner may deny, suspend, or revoke program
  459  participation or use of program funds by the student; or
  460  participation or eligibility of an organization, eligible
  461  private school, eligible postsecondary educational institution,
  462  approved provider, or other appropriate party for a violation of
  463  this section. The commissioner may determine the length of, and
  464  conditions for lifting, the suspension or revocation specified
  465  in this paragraph. The length of suspension or revocation may
  466  not exceed 5 years, except for instances of fraud, in which case
  467  the length of suspension or revocation may not exceed 10 years.
  468  The commissioner may employ mechanisms allowed by law to recover
  469  unexpended program funds or withhold payment of an equal amount
  470  of program funds to recover program funds that were not
  471  authorized for use under this section thereafter.
  472         6. Shall deny or terminate program participation upon a
  473  parent’s forfeiture of a personal learning scholarship account
  474  pursuant to subsection (11).
  475         (b) In determining whether to deny, suspend, or revoke, or
  476  lift a suspension or revocation, in accordance with this
  477  subsection, the commissioner may consider factors that include,
  478  but are not limited to, acts or omissions that by a
  479  participating entity which led to a previous denial, suspension,
  480  or revocation of participation in a state or federal program or
  481  an education scholarship program; failure to reimburse the
  482  eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization for program
  483  funds improperly received or retained by the entity; failure to
  484  reimburse government funds improperly received or retained;
  485  imposition of a prior criminal sanction related to the person or
  486  entity or its officers or employees; imposition of a civil fine
  487  or administrative fine, license revocation or suspension, or
  488  program eligibility suspension, termination, or revocation
  489  related to a person’s or an entity’s management or operation; or
  490  other types of criminal proceedings in which the person or the
  491  entity or its officers or employees were found guilty of,
  492  regardless of adjudication, or entered a plea of nolo contendere
  493  or guilty to, any offense involving fraud, deceit, dishonesty,
  494  or moral turpitude.
  496  PARTICIPATION.—A parent who applies for program participation
  497  under this section is exercising his or her parental option to
  498  determine the appropriate placement or the services that best
  499  meet the needs of his or her child. The scholarship award for a
  500  student is based on a matrix that assigns the student to support
  501  Level III services. If a parent chooses to request and receive
  502  an IEP and a matrix of services from the school district, the
  503  amount of the payment shall be adjusted as needed, when the
  504  school district completes the matrix.
  505         (a) To satisfy or maintain program eligibility, including,
  506  but not limited to, eligibility to receive program payments and
  507  expend program payments enroll an eligible student in the
  508  program, the parent must sign an agreement with the eligible
  509  nonprofit scholarship-funding organization and annually submit a
  510  notarized, sworn compliance statement to the organization to:
  511         1. Affirm that the student is enrolled in a program that
  512  meets regular school attendance requirements as provided in s.
  513  1003.01(13)(b)-(d).
  514         2. Affirm that Use the program funds are used only for
  515  authorized purposes serving the student’s educational needs, as
  516  described in subsection (5).
  517         3. Affirm that the student takes all appropriate
  518  standardized assessments as specified in this section.
  519         a. If the parent enrolls the child in an eligible private
  520  school, the student must take an assessment selected by the
  521  private school pursuant to s. 1002.39 or s. 1002.395(7)(e).
  522         b. If the parent enrolls the child in a home education
  523  program, the parent may choose to participate in an assessment
  524  as part of the annual evaluation provided for in s.
  525  1002.41(1)(c).
  526         4. Notify the school district that the student is
  527  participating in the program Personal Learning Scholarship
  528  Accounts if the parent chooses to enroll in a home education
  529  program as provided in s. 1002.41.
  530         5. File a completed application for initial program
  531  participation with an organization Request participation in the
  532  program by the dates date established pursuant to this section
  533  by the eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization.
  534         6. Affirm that the student remains in good standing with
  535  the entities identified in paragraph (5)(d), paragraph (5)(g),
  536  or paragraph (5)(h) provider or school if those options are
  537  selected by the parent.
  538         7. Apply for admission of his or her child if the private
  539  school option is selected by the parent.
  540         8. Annually file a completed application to renew
  541  participation in the program if renewal is desired by the
  542  parent. Notwithstanding any changes to the student’s IEP, a
  543  student who was previously eligible for participation in the
  544  program shall remain eligible to apply for renewal as provided
  545  in subsection (6). However, in order for a high-risk child to
  546  continue to participate in the program in the school year after
  547  he or she reaches 6 years of age, the child’s completed
  548  application for renewal of program participation must contain
  549  documentation that the child has a disability defined in
  550  paragraph (2)(d) other than high-risk status.
  551         9. Affirm that the parent will not transfer any prepaid
  552  college savings funds contributed pursuant to paragraph (5)(f)
  553  to another beneficiary.
  554         10. Affirm that the parent will not take possession of any
  555  funding provided by the state for the program Florida Personal
  556  Learning Scholarship Accounts.
  557         11. Affirm that the parent will maintain a portfolio of
  558  records and materials which must be preserved by the parent for
  559  2 years and be made available for inspection by the
  560  organization, the department, or the district school
  561  superintendent or the superintendent’s designee upon 15 days’
  562  written notice. This paragraph does not require inspection of
  563  the superintendent to inspect the portfolio. The portfolio of
  564  records and materials must consist of:
  565         a. A log of educational instruction and services which is
  566  made contemporaneously with delivery of the instruction and
  567  services and which designates by title any reading materials
  568  used; and
  569         b. Samples of any writings, worksheets, workbooks, or
  570  creative materials used or developed by the student; and
  571         c. Other records, documents, or materials required by the
  572  organization or specified by the department in rule, to
  573  facilitate program implementation.
  574         (b) The parent is responsible for procuring the services
  575  necessary to educate the student. When the student receives a
  576  personal learning scholarship account, the district school board
  577  is not obligated to provide the student with a free appropriate
  578  public education. For purposes of s. 1003.57 and the Individuals
  579  with Disabilities in Education Act, a participating student has
  580  only those rights that apply to all other unilaterally
  581  parentally placed students, except that, when requested by the
  582  parent, school district personnel must develop an individual
  583  education plan or matrix level of services.
  584         (c) The parent is responsible for the payment of all
  585  eligible expenses in excess of the amount of the personal
  586  learning scholarship account in accordance with the terms agreed
  587  to between the parent and the providers.
  589  A parent who fails to comply with this subsection forfeits the
  590  personal learning scholarship account.
  592  ACCOUNTS.—An eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization
  593  participating in the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program
  594  established under s. 1002.395 may establish personal learning
  595  scholarship accounts for eligible students, in accordance with
  596  the deadlines established in this section, by:
  597         (a) Receiving completed applications and final verification
  598  and determining student eligibility in accordance with the
  599  requirements of this section. For initial program participation,
  600  preference must first be provided to students retained on a wait
  601  list created by the organization in the order that completed
  602  applications are approved The organization shall notify the
  603  department of the applicants for the program by March 1 before
  604  the school year in which the student intends to participate.
  605  When a completed an application and final verification are is
  606  received and approved, the scholarship funding organization must
  607  provide the department with information on the student to enable
  608  the department to report the student for funding in an amount
  609  determined in accordance with subsection (13).
  610         (b) Notifying parents of their receipt of a scholarship on
  611  a first-come, first-served basis, after approving the completed
  612  application and confirming receipt of the parent’s final
  613  verification, based upon the funds provided for this program in
  614  the General Appropriations Act.
  615         (c) Establishing a date pursuant to paragraph (3)(b) by
  616  which a parent must confirm initial or continuing participation
  617  in the program and confirm the establishment or continuance of a
  618  personal learning scholarship account.
  619         (d) Establishing a date and process pursuant to paragraph
  620  (3)(b) by which completed applications may be approved and
  621  students on the wait list or late-filing applicants may be
  622  allowed to participate in the program during the school year,
  623  within the amount of funds provided for this program in the
  624  General Appropriations Act. The process must allow timely filed
  625  completed applications to take precedence before late-filed
  626  completed applications for purposes of creating a wait list for
  627  participation in the program.
  628         (e) Establishing and maintaining separate accounts for each
  629  eligible student. For each account, the organization must
  630  maintain a record of interest accrued that is retained in the
  631  student’s account and available only for authorized program
  632  expenditures.
  633         (f) Verifying qualifying educational expenditures pursuant
  634  to the requirements of subsection (5) paragraph (8)(b).
  635         (g) Returning any remaining program unused funds pursuant
  636  to paragraph (6)(c) to the department when the student is no
  637  longer authorized to expend program funds. The organization may
  638  reimburse a parent for authorized program expenditures made
  639  during the fiscal year before funds are deposited in the
  640  student’s eligible for a personal scholarship learning account.
  641         (h) Annually notifying the parent about the availability of
  642  and the requirements associated with requesting an initial
  643  matrix or matrix reevaluation annually for each student
  644  participating in the program.
  645         (13) FUNDING AND PAYMENT.—
  646         (a)1. The maximum funding amount granted for an eligible
  647  student with a disability, pursuant to this section subsection
  648  (3), shall be equivalent to the base student allocation in the
  649  Florida Education Finance Program multiplied by the appropriate
  650  cost factor for the educational program which would have been
  651  provided for the student in the district school to which he or
  652  she would have been assigned, multiplied by the district cost
  653  differential.
  654         2. In addition, an amount equivalent to a share of the
  655  guaranteed allocation for exceptional students in the Florida
  656  Education Finance Program shall be determined and added to the
  657  amount in subparagraph 1. The calculation shall be based on the
  658  methodology and the data used to calculate the guaranteed
  659  allocation for exceptional students for each district in chapter
  660  2000-166, Laws of Florida. Except as provided in subparagraph
  661  3., the calculation shall be based on the student’s grade, the
  662  matrix level of services, and the difference between the 2000
  663  2001 basic program and the appropriate level of services cost
  664  factor, multiplied by the 2000-2001 base student allocation and
  665  the 2000-2001 district cost differential for the sending
  666  district. The calculated amount must also include an amount
  667  equivalent to the per-student share of supplemental academic
  668  instruction funds, instructional materials funds, technology
  669  funds, and other categorical funds as provided in the General
  670  Appropriations Act.
  671         3. Except as otherwise provided, the calculation for all
  672  students participating in the program shall be based on the
  673  matrix that assigns the student to support Level III of
  674  services. If a parent chooses to request and receive a matrix of
  675  services from the school district, when the school district
  676  completes the matrix, the amount of the payment shall be
  677  adjusted as needed.
  678         (b) The amount of the awarded funds shall be 90 percent of
  679  the calculated amount. One hundred percent of the funds
  680  appropriated for this program shall be released in the first
  681  quarter of each fiscal year. Accrued interest is in addition to,
  682  and not part of, the awarded funds. Program funds include both
  683  the awarded funds and the accrued interest.
  684         (c) Upon an eligible student’s graduation from an eligible
  685  postsecondary educational institution or after any period of 4
  686  consecutive years after high school graduation in which the
  687  student is not enrolled in an eligible postsecondary educational
  688  institution, the student’s personal learning scholarship account
  689  shall be closed, and any remaining funds shall revert to the
  690  state.
  691         (c)(d) The eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
  692  organization shall develop a system for payment of benefits by
  693  electronic funds transfer, including, but not limited to, debit
  694  cards, electronic payment cards, or any other means of
  695  electronic payment that the department deems to be commercially
  696  viable or cost-effective. Commodities or services related to the
  697  development of such a system shall be procured by competitive
  698  solicitation unless they are purchased from a state term
  699  contract pursuant to s. 287.056.
  700         (d)(e) Moneys received pursuant to this section do not
  701  constitute taxable income to the student or parent of the
  702  qualified student.
  704         (a) The Auditor General shall conduct an annual financial
  705  and operational audit of accounts and records of each eligible
  706  scholarship-funding organization that participates in the
  707  program. As part of this audit, the Auditor General shall
  708  verify, at a minimum, the total amount of students served and
  709  eligibility of reimbursements made by each eligible nonprofit
  710  scholarship-funding organization and transmit that information
  711  to the department.
  712         (b) The Auditor General shall notify the department of any
  713  eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization that fails
  714  to comply with a request for information.
  715         (c) The Auditor General shall provide the Commissioner of
  716  Education with a copy of each annual operational audit performed
  717  pursuant to this subsection within 10 days after each audit is
  718  finalized.
  720  Department of Health, the Agency for Persons with Disabilities,
  721  and the Department of Education shall work with an eligible
  722  nonprofit scholarship-funding organization for easy or automated
  723  access to lists of licensed providers of services specified in
  724  paragraph (5)(c) to ensure efficient administration of the
  725  program.
  726         (16) LIABILITY.—The state is not liable for the award or
  727  any use of awarded funds under this section.
  728         (17) SCOPE OF AUTHORITY.—This section does not expand the
  729  regulatory authority of this state, its officers, or any school
  730  district to impose additional regulation on participating
  731  private schools, independent nonpublic postsecondary educational
  732  institutions, and private providers beyond those reasonably
  733  necessary to enforce requirements expressly set forth in this
  734  section.
  735         (18) RULES.—The State Board of Education shall adopt rules
  736  pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to administer this
  737  section.
  739  YEAR.—Notwithstanding the provisions of this section related to
  740  notification and eligibility timelines, an eligible nonprofit
  741  scholarship-funding organization may enroll parents on a rolling
  742  schedule on a first-come, first-served basis, within the amount
  743  of funds provided in the General Appropriations Act. This
  744  subsection is repealed effective July 1, 2015.
  745         Section 2. Subsection (11) is added to section 1009.98,
  746  Florida Statutes, to read:
  747         1009.98 Stanley G. Tate Florida Prepaid College Program.—
  748         (11)PROCEDURES.—Notwithstanding any other provision in
  749  this section, a prepaid college plan may be purchased, accounted
  750  for, used, and terminated as provided in s. 1002.385. The board
  751  shall, by July 1, 2015, develop procedures, contracts, and any
  752  other required forms or documentation necessary to fully
  753  implement this subsection.
  754         Section 3. The Department of Education shall promulgate
  755  rules to implement s. 1002.385, Florida Statutes.
  756         (1)Such rules must be effective by July 1, 2015, and must
  757  include, but need not be limited to:
  758         (a)Establishing procedures concerning the student,
  759  organization, eligible private school, eligible postsecondary
  760  educational institution, or other appropriate party to
  761  participate in the program, including approval, suspension, and
  762  termination of eligibility;
  763         (b)Establishing uniform forms for use by organizations for
  764  parents and students;
  765         (c)Approving providers pertaining to the Florida K-20
  766  Education Code;
  767         (d)Incorporating program participation in existing private
  768  school scholarship program applications, including, but not
  769  limited to, ensuring that the process for obtaining eligibility
  770  under s. 1002.385, Florida Statutes, is as administratively
  771  convenient as possible for a private school;
  772         (e)Establishing a matrix of services calculations and
  773  timelines, so that the initial and revised matrix is completed
  774  by a school district in time to be included in the completed
  775  application;
  776         (f)Establishing a deadline for an organization to provide
  777  annual notice of the ability for a parent to request an initial
  778  or revised matrix of services, which must enable the initial or
  779  revised matrix to be included in the completed application;
  780         (g)Establishing additional records, documents, or
  781  materials a parent must collect and retain in the student’s
  782  portfolio;
  783         (h)Establishing preliminary timelines and procedures that
  784  enable a parent to submit a completed application to the
  785  organization, and for the organization to review and approve the
  786  completed application; and
  787         (i)Defining terms, including, but not limited to, the
  788  terms “participating student, new student, eligible
  789  student, award letter, program funds, associated
  790  interest, program payments, program expenditures, initial
  791  program participation, program renewal, wait list,” “timely
  792  filed application,” and “late-filed application.
  793         (2)Such rules should maximize flexibility and ease of
  794  program use for the parent and student.
  795         Section 4. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.