Florida Senate - 2015                              CS for SB 602
       By the Committee on Appropriations; and Senators Gaetz and
       576-02881-15                                           2015602c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to students with disabilities;
    3         amending s. 11.45, F.S.; revising the duties of the
    4         Auditor General to include annual audits of
    5         educational fiscal intermediaries; creating s.
    6         1002.384, F.S.; defining terms; requiring the
    7         Department of Education to issue a competitive
    8         solicitation to procure an educational fiscal
    9         intermediary; prescribing requirements and
   10         qualifications for an educational fiscal intermediary
   11         to compete for a contract; authorizing an educational
   12         fiscal intermediary to collect an administrative fee;
   13         specifying authorized and prohibited actions and
   14         requirements for an educational fiscal intermediary
   15         that is awarded a contract; establishing requirements
   16         for the department with respect to the oversight of
   17         contracted educational fiscal intermediaries;
   18         providing transitional provisions; amending s.
   19         1002.385, F.S.; revising definitions applicable to the
   20         Florida Personal Learning Scholarship Accounts
   21         Program; revising scholarship application deadlines
   22         and guidelines; revising provisions to conform to the
   23         designation of educational fiscal intermediaries;
   24         requiring authorized program funds to support the
   25         student’s educational needs; requiring the Florida
   26         Prepaid College Board to create certain procedures;
   27         authorizing part-time private tutoring services by
   28         persons meeting certain requirements; authorizing
   29         program funds to be spent for specified education
   30         programs and services; revising the conditions under
   31         which a student’s personal learning scholarship
   32         account must be closed; revising the responsibilities
   33         for school districts; revising requirements for a
   34         private school’s eligibility to participate in the
   35         program; revising responsibilities of the Department
   36         of Education and the Commissioner of Education with
   37         respect to program administration; revising
   38         responsibilities for parents and students to
   39         participate in the program; requiring a parent to
   40         affirm that program funds are used only for authorized
   41         purposes that serve the student’s educational needs;
   42         revising responsibilities of education fiscal
   43         intermediaries pertaining to the administration of
   44         personal learning scholarship accounts; revising the
   45         wait list and priority of approving renewal and new
   46         applications; revising the notice requirement of an
   47         education fiscal intermediary; authorizing accrued
   48         interest to be used for authorized expenditures;
   49         requiring accrued interest to be reverted as a part of
   50         reverted scholarship funds; revising taxable income
   51         requirements; removing obsolete audit requirements;
   52         requiring the Auditor General to provide a copy of
   53         each annual operational audit performed to the
   54         Commissioner of Education within a specified
   55         timeframe; requiring the department to provide an
   56         annual report to the Governor and the Legislature
   57         regarding the program; prescribing report
   58         requirements; providing for future repeal of
   59         provisions pertaining to an implementation schedule of
   60         notification and eligibility timelines; amending s.
   61         1009.971, F.S.; revising the powers and duties of the
   62         Florida Prepaid College Board to include specified
   63         rulemaking authority; amending ss. 1009.98 and
   64         1009.981, F.S.; authorizing a prepaid college plan or
   65         a college savings plan to be purchased, accounted for,
   66         used, and terminated under certain circumstances;
   67         specifying rulemaking requirements applicable to the
   68         department; providing an effective date.
   70  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   72         Section 1. Paragraph (k) of subsection (2) of section
   73  11.45, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
   74         11.45 Definitions; duties; authorities; reports; rules.—
   75         (2) DUTIES.—The Auditor General shall:
   76         (k) Annually conduct operational audits of the accounts and
   77  records of educational fiscal intermediaries issued a contract
   78  under s. 1002.384 and eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
   79  organizations receiving eligible contributions under s.
   80  1002.395, including any contracts for services with related
   81  entities, to determine compliance with the respective sections
   82  provisions of that section. An audit of an educational fiscal
   83  intermediary must include, but not be limited to, a
   84  determination of the educational fiscal intermediary’s
   85  compliance with s. 1002.384(3)(d). An audit of an eligible
   86  nonprofit scholarship-funding organization must Such audits
   87  shall include, but not be limited to, a determination of the
   88  eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization’s compliance
   89  with s. 1002.395(6)(j). The Auditor General shall provide its
   90  report on the results of the audits to the Governor, the
   91  President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of
   92  Representatives, the Chief Financial Officer, and the
   93  Legislative Auditing Committee, within 30 days of completion of
   94  the audit.
   96  The Auditor General shall perform his or her duties
   97  independently but under the general policies established by the
   98  Legislative Auditing Committee. This subsection does not limit
   99  the Auditor General’s discretionary authority to conduct other
  100  audits or engagements of governmental entities as authorized in
  101  subsection (3).
  102         Section 2. Section 1002.384, Florida Statutes, is created
  103  to read:
  104         1002.384 Educational fiscal intermediaries.—
  105         (1) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
  106         (a) “Educational fiscal intermediary” or “EFI” includes,
  107  but is not limited to, a school district direct-support
  108  organization; a state university; or an independent college or
  109  university that is eligible to participate in the William L.
  110  Boyd, IV, Florida Resident Access Grant Program, located and
  111  chartered in this state, is not for profit, and is accredited by
  112  the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of
  113  Colleges and Schools; or a charitable organization that is:
  114         1. Exempt from federal income tax under s. 501(c)(3) of the
  115  Internal Revenue Code;
  116         2. A Florida entity formed under chapter 607, chapter 608,
  117  or chapter 617 whose principal office is located in this state;
  118  and
  119         3. In compliance with this section and s. 1002.385.
  120         (b) “Owner or operator” means an owner, president, officer,
  121  or director of an eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
  122  organization or a person with equivalent decisionmaking
  123  authority over an EFI.
  124         (c) “Program” means the Florida Personal Learning
  125  Scholarship Accounts Program established under s. 1002.385.
  126         (2) COMPETITIVE SOLICITATION.—The department shall:
  127         (a)1. Issue a competitive solicitation to select one or
  128  more entities to serve as EFIs for a 3-year term. The department
  129  may issue the competitive solicitation by a request for
  130  proposals or an invitation to negotiate. The resulting contracts
  131  are not renewable or extendable. Before expiration of the
  132  resulting contracts, the department shall issue a new
  133  competitive solicitation and execute a new contract or contracts
  134  in accordance with this section.
  135         2. Require that an EFI’s response to a competitive
  136  solicitation include the authority and obligations of an EFI
  137  identified in this section and in s. 1002.385. Such authority
  138  and obligations must be scored in the department’s evaluation of
  139  responses to the competitive solicitation and contained in the
  140  EFI’s contract with the department.
  141         3. Include representatives of the Department of Revenue and
  142  the Chief Financial Officer to participate as evaluators, and
  143  negotiators if an invitation to negotiate is issued, in the
  144  department’s competitive selection process for the contract
  145  required under this section.
  146         (b) Consider the criteria, authorities, and obligations for
  147  an EFI under this section and s. 1002.385 when awarding
  148  contracts to one or more EFIs by the competitive solicitation.
  149  The resulting contracts must include the criteria, authorities,
  150  and obligations under this section and s. 1002.385. The
  151  following requirements must receive priority in scoring and
  152  preference in the competitive solicitation:
  153         1. Experience and personnel.The EFI must have experience
  154  providing services that are similar to, or exceed, the size and
  155  scope of the services required under this section and s.
  156  1002.385. Personnel for the EFI must be sufficient to provide
  157  all services and regulations under the scope of EFI
  158  responsibility.
  159         2. Fiscal responsibility.The EFI must have at least one
  160  previous audit accomplished to be eligible to seek a contract.
  161  The audit must have been conducted by the Auditor General or
  162  must be subsequently reviewed and certified by the Auditor
  163  General. The EFI must not have any negative financial findings
  164  in its most recent audits required under this section and ss.
  165  11.45 and 1002.385.
  166         3. Administrative fee.—The EFI may collect an
  167  administrative fee for its services. The administrative fee may
  168  not be deducted from any scholarship funds, but may be provided
  169  for in the General Appropriations Act. A preference is given to
  170  the EFI with the lowest administrative fee offered in the
  171  competitive solicitation. Scholarship funds are paid out as
  172  required under s. 1002.385 or the General Appropriations Act.
  174  EFI:
  175         (a) Shall implement this section, carry out its contract
  176  with the department, and implement and manage the Florida
  177  Personal Learning Scholarship Accounts Program established under
  178  s. 1002.385.
  179         (b) May not have an owner or operator who owns or operates
  180  an eligible private school that is participating in a
  181  scholarship program under s. 1002.385, s. 1002.39, or s.
  182  1002.395.
  183         (c) May not restrict or reserve scholarships for use at a
  184  particular private school or provide scholarships to a child of
  185  an owner or operator.
  186         (d) May use for administrative expenses a percentage, as
  187  identified in the contract, of the total individual scholarship
  188  funding received by the EFI for the state fiscal year in which
  189  such scholarships are issued. The administrative expenses must
  190  be reasonable and necessary for the EFI’s management and
  191  distribution of scholarship funds pursuant to this section and
  192  s. 1002.385. Administrative expenses may not be used for
  193  lobbying or political activity or for expenses related to
  194  lobbying or political activity. If an EFI charges an application
  195  fee for a scholarship, the application fee must be immediately
  196  refunded to the person who paid the fee if the student is placed
  197  on a wait list. The administrative fee may not be deducted from
  198  any scholarship funds, but may be provided for in the General
  199  Appropriations Act. An application fee may not be deducted from
  200  any scholarship funds.
  201         (e) Must maintain separate accounts for scholarship funds
  202  and operating funds.
  203         (f) With the prior approval of the department, may transfer
  204  funds to another EFI if the student associated with the funds
  205  transfers to another EFI.
  206         (4)OBLIGATIONS.—An EFI must:
  207         (a) Continually comply with subsections (2) and (3).
  208         (b) Provide to the department, as part of the competitive
  209  solicitation process; retain; and provide to the department upon
  210  request, the following documentation:
  211         1. A copy of the EFI’s incorporation documents and
  212  registration with the Division of Corporations of the Department
  213  of State.
  214         2. A copy of the EFI’s Internal Revenue Service
  215  determination letter as a s. 501(c)(3) not-for-profit
  216  organization, if applicable.
  217         3. A description of the EFI’s financial plan that
  218  demonstrates sufficient funds to operate throughout the school
  219  year.
  220         4. Notwithstanding the statewide or geographic contract
  221  limitations of chapter 287, a description of the geographic
  222  region that the EFI intends to serve and an analysis of the
  223  demand and unmet need for eligible students in that area.
  224         5. The EFI’s organizational chart.
  225         6. A description of the criteria and methodology that the
  226  EFI will use to evaluate scholarship eligibility.
  227         7. A description of the application process, including
  228  deadlines and any associated fees.
  229         8. A description of the deadlines for attendance
  230  verification and scholarship payments.
  231         9. A copy of the organization’s policies on conflict of
  232  interest and whistleblowers.
  233         10. A copy of a surety bond or letter of credit in an
  234  amount equal to 25 percent of the scholarship funds anticipated
  235  for each school year or $100,000, whichever is greater.
  236         (c) If the EFI is an existing EFI that seeks a new contract
  237  during a subsequent competitive solicitation, include in its
  238  proposal, in addition to the documentation required under
  239  paragraph (b), the following documentation:
  240         1. A surety bond or letter of credit equal to the amount of
  241  undisbursed donations held by the EFI based on the annual report
  242  submitted pursuant to paragraph (f). The amount of the surety
  243  bond or letter of credit must be at least $100,000, but not more
  244  than $25 million.
  245         2. The EFI’s completed Internal Revenue Service Form 990
  246  submitted no later than November 30 of the year before the
  247  school year that the organization intends to offer the
  248  scholarships, notwithstanding the September 1 application
  249  deadline. An organization that is not required by federal law to
  250  complete this form is exempt from this subparagraph.
  251         3. A copy of the statutorily required audit to the
  252  department and the Auditor General.
  253         4. An annual report that includes:
  254         a. The number of students who completed applications, by
  255  county, and by grade.
  256         b. The number of students who were approved for
  257  scholarships, by county, and by grade.
  258         c. The number of students who received funding for
  259  scholarships within each funding category, by county, and by
  260  grade.
  261         d. The amount of funds received, the amount of funds
  262  distributed in scholarships, and an accounting of the remaining
  263  funds and the obligation of those funds.
  264         e. A detailed accounting of how the organization spent the
  265  administrative funds allowable under paragraphs (2)(b) and
  266  (3)(d).
  267         (d) Comply with the antidiscrimination provisions of 42
  268  U.S.C. s. 2000d.
  269         (e) Comply with the following background check
  270  requirements:
  271         1. All owners and operators are, before employment or
  272  engagement to provide services, subject to level 2 background
  273  screening as provided under chapter 435. The fingerprints for
  274  the background screening must be electronically submitted to the
  275  Department of Law Enforcement and may be taken by an authorized
  276  law enforcement agency, by an employee of the EFI who is trained
  277  to take fingerprints, or by a private company that is trained to
  278  take fingerprints. However, the complete set of fingerprints of
  279  an owner or operator may not be taken by the owner or operator.
  280  The results of the state and national criminal history check
  281  shall be provided to the department for screening under chapter
  282  435. The cost of the background screening may be borne by the
  283  EFI or the owner or operator.
  284         2. As part of every new contract pursuant to this section,
  285  each owner or operator must meet level 2 screening standards as
  286  described in s. 435.04, at which time the EFI shall request the
  287  Department of Law Enforcement to forward the fingerprints to the
  288  Federal Bureau of Investigation for level 2 screening. If the
  289  fingerprints of an owner or operator are not retained by the
  290  Department of Law Enforcement under subparagraph 3., the owner
  291  or operator shall electronically file a complete set of
  292  fingerprints with the Department of Law Enforcement. Upon
  293  submission of fingerprints for this purpose, the EFI shall
  294  request that the Department of Law Enforcement forward the
  295  fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for level 2
  296  screening, and the fingerprints shall be retained by the
  297  Department of Law Enforcement under subparagraph 3.
  298         3. Fingerprints submitted to the Department of Law
  299  Enforcement as required under this paragraph must be retained by
  300  the Department of Law Enforcement in a manner approved by rule
  301  and must be entered in the statewide automated biometric
  302  identification system authorized under s. 943.05(2)(b). The
  303  fingerprints must thereafter be available for all purposes and
  304  uses authorized for arrest fingerprints that are entered in the
  305  statewide automated biometric identification system pursuant to
  306  s. 943.051.
  307         4. The Department of Law Enforcement shall search all
  308  arrest fingerprints received under s. 943.051 against the
  309  fingerprints retained in the statewide automated biometric
  310  identification system under subparagraph 3. An arrest record
  311  that is identified with an owner’s or operator’s fingerprints
  312  must be reported to the department. The department shall
  313  participate in this search process by paying an annual fee to
  314  the Department of Law Enforcement and by informing the
  315  Department of Law Enforcement of any change in the employment,
  316  engagement, or association status of the owners or operators
  317  whose fingerprints are retained under subparagraph 3. The
  318  Department of Law Enforcement shall adopt a rule setting the
  319  amount of the annual fee to be imposed upon the department for
  320  performing the services required under this subparagraph and
  321  subparagraph 3. and establishing the procedures for the
  322  retention of owner and operator fingerprints and the
  323  dissemination of search results. The fee may be borne by the
  324  owner or operator.
  325         5. An EFI whose owner or operator fails the level 2
  326  background screening is not eligible to provide scholarships
  327  under this section.
  328         6. An EFI whose owner or operator in the last 7 years has
  329  filed for personal bankruptcy or corporate bankruptcy in a
  330  corporation of which he or she owned more than 20 percent is not
  331  eligible to provide scholarships under this section.
  332         7. In addition to the offenses listed in s. 435.04, a
  333  person required to undergo background screening under this
  334  section may not have an arrest awaiting final disposition for;
  335  been found guilty of, or entered a plea of nolo contendere to,
  336  regardless of adjudication; been adjudicated delinquent, and the
  337  record sealed or expunged for, any of the following offenses or
  338  any similar offense in another jurisdiction:
  339         a. Any authorizing statutes, if the offense was a felony.
  340         b. This chapter, if the offense was a felony.
  341         c. Section 409.920, relating to Medicaid provider fraud.
  342         d. Section 409.9201, relating to Medicaid fraud.
  343         e. Section 741.28, relating to domestic violence.
  344         f. Section 817.034, relating to fraudulent acts through
  345  mail, wire, radio, electromagnetic, photoelectronic, or
  346  photooptical systems.
  347         g. Section 817.234, relating to false and fraudulent
  348  insurance claims.
  349         h. Section 817.505, relating to patient brokering.
  350         i. Section 817.568, relating to criminal use of personal
  351  identification information.
  352         j. Section 817.60, relating to obtaining a credit card
  353  through fraudulent means.
  354         k. Section 817.61, relating to fraudulent use of credit
  355  cards, if the offense was a felony.
  356         l. Section 831.01, relating to forgery.
  357         m. Section 831.02, relating to uttering forged instruments.
  358         n. Section 831.07, relating to forging bank bills, checks,
  359  drafts, or promissory notes.
  360         o. Section 831.09, relating to uttering forged bank bills,
  361  checks, drafts, or promissory notes.
  362         p. Section 831.30, relating to fraud in obtaining medicinal
  363  drugs.
  364         q. Section 831.31, relating to the sale, manufacture,
  365  delivery, or possession with the intent to sell, manufacture, or
  366  deliver any counterfeit controlled substance, if the offense was
  367  a felony.
  368         (f) Provide to the Auditor General and the Department of
  369  Education a report on the results of an annual financial audit
  370  of its accounts and records conducted by an independent
  371  certified public accountant in accordance with auditing
  372  standards generally accepted in the United States, government
  373  auditing standards, and rules promulgated by the Auditor
  374  General. The audit report must include a report on financial
  375  statements presented in accordance with generally accepted
  376  accounting principles. Audit reports must be provided to the
  377  Auditor General and the department within 180 days after
  378  completion of the EFI’s fiscal year. The Auditor General shall
  379  review all audit reports submitted pursuant to this paragraph.
  380  The Auditor General shall request any significant items that
  381  were omitted in violation of a rule adopted by the Auditor
  382  General. The items must be provided within 45 days after the
  383  date of the request. If the EFI does not comply with the Auditor
  384  General’s request, the Auditor General shall notify the
  385  Legislative Auditing Committee.
  386         (g) Prepare and submit annual reports to the department
  387  pursuant to s. 1002.385(9)(d). In addition, an EFI must submit
  388  in a timely manner any information requested by the department
  389  relating to the program.
  390         (h)1. Participate in the joint development of agreed-upon
  391  procedures to be performed by an independent certified public
  392  accountant as required under s. 1002.385(8)(e) if the EFI
  393  provided more than $250,000 in scholarship funds to an eligible
  394  private school under this section during the 2015-2016 state
  395  fiscal year. This requirement also applies to an EFI acting as
  396  an eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization that
  397  provided more than $250,000 in scholarship funds to an eligible
  398  private school during the 2014-2015 state fiscal year. The
  399  agreed-upon procedures must uniformly apply to all private
  400  schools and must determine, at a minimum, whether the private
  401  school has been verified as eligible by the department under s.
  402  1002.385; has an adequate accounting system, a system of
  403  financial controls, and a process for deposit and classification
  404  of scholarship funds; and has properly expended scholarship
  405  funds for education-related expenses. During the development of
  406  the procedures, the EFIs shall specify guidelines governing the
  407  materiality of exceptions that may be found during the
  408  accountant’s performance of the procedures. The procedures and
  409  guidelines shall be provided to private schools and the
  410  Commissioner of Education by August 1, 2015.
  411         2. Participate in a joint review of the agreed-upon
  412  procedures and guidelines required under subparagraph 1.
  413  biennially if the EFI provided more than $250,000 in scholarship
  414  funds to an eligible private school under this section during
  415  the state fiscal year preceding the biennial review. If the
  416  procedures and guidelines are revised, the revisions must be
  417  provided to the eligible private schools and the Commissioner of
  418  Education by March 15, 2016, and biennially thereafter.
  419         3. Monitor the compliance of a private school with ss.
  420  1002.385, 1002.42, and 1002.421 if the EFI provided the majority
  421  of the scholarship funding to the school. For each private
  422  school subject to s. 1002.385, the appropriate EFI shall notify
  423  the Commissioner of Education by October 30, 2015, and annually
  424  thereafter of:
  425         a. A private school’s failure to submit a report required
  426  under s. 1002.385; or
  427         b.Any material exceptions set forth in the report required
  428  under s. 1002.385.
  429         4. Seek input from the accrediting associations that are
  430  members of the Florida Association of Academic Nonpublic Schools
  431  when jointly developing the agreed-upon procedures and
  432  guidelines under subparagraph 1. and conducting a review of
  433  those procedures and guidelines under subparagraph 2.
  434         (i) Maintain the surety bond or letter of credit required
  435  under subparagraph (b)10. The requirements of this paragraph are
  436  waived for a state university; or an independent college or
  437  university that is eligible to participate in the William L.
  438  Boyd, IV, Florida Resident Access Grant Program, is located and
  439  chartered in this state, is not for profit, and is accredited by
  440  the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of
  441  Colleges and Schools.
  442         (j) Provide to the Auditor General any information or
  443  documentation requested in connection with an operational audit
  444  of an EFI conducted pursuant to s. 11.45.
  445         (5)DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION OBLIGATIONS.—The department
  446  shall:
  447         (a) Ensure an EFI’s compliance with the contract, this
  448  section, and s. 1002.385. In instances of noncompliance by an
  449  EFI, the department may terminate the contract or, if the
  450  noncompliance is of a nonsubstantive or minimal nature, require
  451  the EFI to take necessary action to return to compliance.
  452         (b) Annually publish on its website, by August 30 of each
  453  year, a list of eligible EFIs that are under contract with the
  454  department under this section. In addition, the department shall
  455  submit the list to the President of the Senate and the Speaker
  456  of the House of Representatives.
  457         (c) Annually verify the eligibility of EFIs that are under
  458  contract by the department pursuant to this section. The
  459  department shall annually submit a report concerning the
  460  verification, including, but not limited to, actions taken by
  461  the department related to an EFI’s noncompliance with the
  462  contract, actions taken by the parties to return the EFI to
  463  compliance, actions taken by the department to impose liquidated
  464  damages or other similar fund offsets to recover funds pursuant
  465  to s. 1002.385, and actions taken by the department to terminate
  466  any such contract. In addition, the department shall publish the
  467  report on its website.
  468         (d) Ensure that, if the contract with an EFI is terminated
  469  and a new contract is not entered into pursuant to subsection
  470  (2), the EFI must notify the affected eligible students and
  471  parents of the decision within 15 days after termination of the
  472  contract. An eligible student affected by the contract
  473  termination remains eligible under s. 1002.385 until the end of
  474  the school year in which the EFI’s contract with the department
  475  was terminated. The student must apply and be accepted by
  476  another EFI for the upcoming school year pursuant to s.
  477  1002.385. The student shall be given priority as a renewing
  478  student in accordance with s. 1002.385.
  479         (6) ELIGIBILITY.—An eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
  480  organization that participated in the Florida Personal Learning
  481  Scholarship Accounts Program pursuant to s. 1002.385 in the
  482  2014-2015 school year is eligible to participate in the program
  483  for the 2015-2016 school year, and may receive administrative
  484  funding as provided for in the General Appropriations Act, until
  485  the department executes a contract pursuant to subsection (2).
  486  The department shall expedite the competitive solicitation and
  487  the issuance of subsequent contracts required under subsection
  488  (2). This subsection is repealed June 30, 2016.
  489         Section 3. Section 1002.385, Florida Statutes, is amended
  490  to read:
  491         1002.385 Florida personal learning scholarship accounts.—
  492         (1) ESTABLISHMENT OF PROGRAM.—The Florida Personal Learning
  493  Scholarship Accounts Program is established to provide the
  494  option for a parent to better meet the individual educational
  495  needs of his or her eligible child.
  496         (2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
  497         (a) “Approved provider” means a provider approved by the
  498  Agency for Persons with Disabilities, a health care practitioner
  499  as defined in s. 456.001(4), or a provider approved by the
  500  department pursuant to s. 1002.66. The term also includes
  501  providers outside this state which are subject to similar
  502  regulation or approval requirements.
  503         (b) “Curriculum” means a complete course of study for a
  504  particular content area or grade level, including any required
  505  supplemental materials.
  506         (c) “Department” means the Department of Education.
  507         (d) “Disability” means, for a student in kindergarten to
  508  grade 12, autism spectrum disorder, as defined in the Diagnostic
  509  and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, as
  510  defined in s. 393.063(3); cerebral palsy, as defined in s.
  511  393.063(4); Down syndrome, as defined in s. 393.063(13); an
  512  intellectual disability, as defined in s. 393.063(21); Prader
  513  Willi syndrome, as defined in s. 393.063(25); or spina bifida,
  514  as defined in s. 393.063(36); for a 3- or 4-year old child or a
  515  student in kindergarten, being a high-risk child, as defined in
  516  s. 393.063(20)(a); muscular dystrophy; and Williams syndrome.
  517         (e) “Educational fiscal intermediary” or “EFI” “Eligible
  518  nonprofit scholarship-funding organization” or “organization”
  519  has the same meaning as in s. 1002.384 s. 1002.395.
  520         (f) “Eligible postsecondary educational institution” means
  521  a Florida College System institution;, a state university;, a
  522  school district technical center;, a school district adult
  523  general education center; an independent college or university
  524  that is eligible to participate in the William L. Boyd, IV,
  525  Florida Resident Access Grant Program under s. 1009.89;, or an
  526  accredited independent nonpublic postsecondary educational
  527  institution, as defined in s. 1005.02, which is licensed to
  528  operate in the state pursuant to requirements specified in part
  529  III of chapter 1005.
  530         (g) “Eligible private school” means a private school, as
  531  defined in s. 1002.01, which is located in this state, which
  532  offers an education to students in any grade from kindergarten
  533  to grade 12, and which meets the requirements of:
  534         1. Sections 1002.42 and 1002.421; and
  535         2. A scholarship program under s. 1002.39 or s. 1002.395,
  536  as applicable, if the private school participates in a
  537  scholarship program under s. 1002.39 or s. 1002.395.
  538         (h) “IEP” means individual education plan.
  539         (i) “Parent” means a resident of this state who is a
  540  parent, as defined in s. 1000.21.
  541         (j) “Program” means the Florida Personal Learning
  542  Scholarship Accounts Program established in this section.
  543         (3) PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY.—A parent of a student with a
  544  disability may request and receive from the state a Florida
  545  personal learning scholarship account for the purposes specified
  546  in subsection (5) if:
  547         (a) The student:
  548         1. Is a resident of this state;
  549         2. Is or will be 3 or 4 years old on or before September 1
  550  of the year in which the student applies for program
  551  participation, or is eligible to enroll in kindergarten through
  552  grade 12 in a public school in this state;
  553         3. Has a disability as defined in paragraph (2)(d); and
  554         4. Is the subject of an IEP written in accordance with
  555  rules of the State Board of Education or has received a
  556  diagnosis of a disability as defined in subsection (2) from a
  557  physician who is licensed under chapter 458 or chapter 459 or a
  558  psychologist who is licensed under chapter 490 in this state.
  559         (b) Beginning January 2015, and each year thereafter, the
  560  following application deadlines and guidelines are met:
  561         1. The parent of a student seeking program renewal must
  562  submit a completed application to an EFI for renewal by February
  563  1 before the school year in which the student wishes to
  564  participate.
  565         2. The parent of a student seeking initial approval to
  566  participate in the program must submit a completed application
  567  to an EFI by June 30 before the school year in which the student
  568  wishes to participate.
  569         3. The parent of a student seeking approval to participate
  570  in the program who does not comply with the requirements of
  571  subparagraph 1. or subparagraph 2. may late file a completed
  572  application by August 15 before the school year in which the
  573  student wishes to participate.
  574         4. A parent must submit final verification to the
  575  organization before the EFI opens a personal learning
  576  scholarship account for the student. The final verification must
  577  consist of only the following items that apply to the student:
  578         a. A completed withdrawal form from the school district if
  579  the student was enrolled in a public school before the
  580  determination of program eligibility;
  581         b. A letter of admission or enrollment from an eligible
  582  private school for the school year in which the student wishes
  583  to participate;
  584         c. A copy of the notice of the parent’s intent to establish
  585  and maintain a home education program required by s.
  586  1002.41(1)(a), or a copy of the district school superintendent’s
  587  review of the annual educational evaluation of the student in a
  588  home education program required by s. 1002.41(2); or
  589         d. A copy of notification from a private school that the
  590  student has withdrawn from the John M. McKay Scholarships for
  591  Students with Disabilities Program or the Florida Tax Credit
  592  Scholarship Program.
  593         5. A parent’s completed application and final verification
  594  submitted pursuant to this paragraph the parent has applied to
  595  an eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization to
  596  participate in the program by February 1 before the school year
  597  in which the student will participate or an alternative date as
  598  set by the organization for any vacant, funded slots. The
  599  request must be communicated directly to the EFI organization in
  600  a manner that creates a written or electronic record including
  601  of the request and the date of receipt of the request. The EFI
  602  organization shall notify the district and the department of the
  603  parent’s intent upon receipt of the parent’s completed
  604  application and final verification request. The completed
  605  application must include, but is not limited to, an application;
  606  required documentation and forms; an initial or revised matrix
  607  of services, if requested; and any additional information or
  608  documentation required by the EFI or by State Board of Education
  609  rule.
  610         (4) PROGRAM PROHIBITIONS.—
  611         (a) A student is not eligible for the program while he or
  612  she is:
  613         1. Enrolled in a public school, including, but not limited
  614  to, the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind; the Florida
  615  Virtual School; the College-Preparatory Boarding Academy; a
  616  developmental research school authorized under s. 1002.32; a
  617  charter school authorized under s. 1002.33, s. 1002.331, or s.
  618  1002.332; or a virtual education program authorized under s.
  619  1002.45;
  620         2. Enrolled in the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education
  621  Program authorized under part V of this chapter;
  622         3. Enrolled in a school operating for the purpose of
  623  providing educational services to youth in the Department of
  624  Juvenile Justice commitment programs;
  625         4.3. Receiving a scholarship pursuant to the Florida Tax
  626  Credit Scholarship Program under s. 1002.395 or the John M.
  627  McKay Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program under
  628  s. 1002.39; or
  629         5.4. Receiving any other educational scholarship pursuant
  630  to this chapter.
  632  For purposes of subparagraph 1., a 3- or 4-year old who receives
  633  services that are funded through the Florida Education Finance
  634  Program is considered to be a student enrolled in a public
  635  school.
  636         (b) A student is not eligible for the program if:
  637         1. The student or student’s parent has accepted any
  638  payment, refund, or rebate, in any manner, from a provider of
  639  any services received pursuant to subsection (5);
  640         2. The student’s participation in the program, or receipt
  641  or expenditure of program funds, has been denied or revoked by
  642  the commissioner of Education pursuant to subsection (10); or
  643         3. The student’s parent has forfeited participation in the
  644  program for failure to comply with requirements pursuant to
  645  subsection (11); or
  646         4. The student’s application for program eligibility has
  647  been denied by an EFI.
  648         (5) AUTHORIZED USES OF PROGRAM FUNDS.—Program funds may be
  649  spent if used to support the student’s educational needs, for
  650  the following purposes:
  651         (a) Instructional materials, including digital devices,
  652  digital periphery devices, and assistive technology devices that
  653  allow a student to access instruction or instructional content
  654  and training on the use of and maintenance agreements for these
  655  devices.
  656         (b) Curriculum as defined in paragraph (2)(b).
  657         (c) Specialized services by approved providers which have
  658  been approved by a physician licensed under chapter 458 or
  659  chapter 459 and that are selected by the parent. These
  660  specialized services may include, but are not limited to:
  661         1. Applied behavior analysis services as provided in ss.
  662  627.6686 and 641.31098.
  663         2. Services provided by speech-language pathologists as
  664  defined in s. 468.1125.
  665         3. Occupational therapy services as defined in s. 468.203.
  666         4. Services provided by physical therapists as defined in
  667  s. 486.021.
  668         5. Services provided by listening and spoken language
  669  specialists and an appropriate acoustical environment for a
  670  child who is deaf or hard of hearing and who has received an
  671  implant or assistive hearing device.
  673  Specialized services outside this state are authorized under
  674  this paragraph if the services are subject to similar regulation
  675  or approval requirements.
  676         (d) Enrollment in, or tuition or fees associated with
  677  enrollment in, an eligible private school, an eligible
  678  postsecondary educational institution or a program offered by
  679  the institution, a private tutoring program authorized under s.
  680  1002.43, a virtual program offered by a department-approved
  681  private online provider that meets the provider qualifications
  682  specified in s. 1002.45(2)(a), the Florida Virtual School as a
  683  private paying student, or an approved online course offered
  684  pursuant to s. 1003.499 or s. 1004.0961.
  685         (e) Fees for nationally standardized, norm-referenced
  686  achievement tests, Advanced Placement Examinations, industry
  687  certification examinations, assessments related to postsecondary
  688  education, or other assessments.
  689         (f) Contributions to the Stanley G. Tate Florida Prepaid
  690  College Program pursuant to s. 1009.98 or the Florida College
  691  Savings Program pursuant to s. 1009.981, for the benefit of the
  692  eligible student. The Florida Prepaid College Board shall, by
  693  the earliest date that a school may open pursuant to s.
  694  1001.42(4)(f), create procedures to allow program funds to be
  695  used in conjunction with other funds used by the parent in the
  696  purchase of a prepaid college plan or a college savings plan;
  697  require program funds to be tracked and accounted for separately
  698  from other funds contributed to a prepaid college plan or a
  699  college savings plan; require program funds and associated
  700  interest to be reverted as specified in this section; and
  701  require program funds to be used only after private payments
  702  have been used for prepaid college plan or a college savings
  703  plan expenditures. The EFI shall enter into a contract with the
  704  Florida Prepaid College Board to enable the board to establish
  705  mechanisms to implement this section, including, but not limited
  706  to, identifying the source of funds being deposited in these
  707  plans. A qualified or designated beneficiary may not be changed
  708  while these plans contain funds contributed from this section.
  709         (g) Contracted services provided by a public school or
  710  school district, including classes. A student who receives
  711  services under a contract under this paragraph is not considered
  712  enrolled in a public school for eligibility purposes as
  713  specified in subsection (4).
  714         (h) Tuition and fees for part-time tutoring services
  715  provided by a person who holds a valid Florida educator’s
  716  certificate pursuant to s. 1012.56; a person who holds an
  717  adjunct teaching certificate pursuant to s. 1012.57; or a person
  718  who has demonstrated a mastery of subject area knowledge
  719  pursuant to 1012.56(5). The term “part-time tutoring services”
  720  as used in this paragraph does not meet the definition of the
  721  term “regular school attendance” in s. 1003.01(13)(e).
  722         (i) Fees for specialized summer education programs.
  723         (j) Fees for specialized after-school education programs.
  724         (k) Transition services provided by job coaches.
  725         (l) Fees for an annual evaluation of educational progress
  726  by a state-certified teacher, if this option is chosen for a
  727  home education student pursuant to s. 1002.41(1)(c)1.
  729  A specialized service provider, eligible private school,
  730  eligible postsecondary educational institution, private tutoring
  731  program provider, online or virtual program provider, public
  732  school, school district, or other entity receiving payments
  733  pursuant to this subsection may not share, refund, or rebate any
  734  moneys from the Florida personal learning scholarship account
  735  with the parent or participating student in any manner.
  736         (6) TERM OF THE PROGRAM.—For purposes of continuity of
  737  educational choice and program integrity:,
  738         (a) The program payments made by the state to an EFI for a
  739  personal learning scholarship account under this section shall
  740  continue remain in force until the parent does not renew program
  741  eligibility; the EFI determines a student is not eligible for
  742  program renewal; the commissioner denies, suspends, or revokes
  743  program participation or use of funds; or a student enrolls in
  744  participating in the program participates in any of the
  745  prohibited activities specified in subsection (4), has funds
  746  revoked by the Commissioner of Education pursuant to subsection
  747  (10), returns to a public school or in the Voluntary
  748  Prekindergarten Education Program, graduates from high school,
  749  or attains 22 years of age, whichever occurs first. A
  750  participating student who enrolls in a public school or public
  751  school program is considered to have returned to a public school
  752  for the purpose of determining the end of the program’s term.
  753         (b) Program expenditures by the parent from the program
  754  account are authorized until a student’s personal learning
  755  scholarship account is closed pursuant to paragraph (c).
  756         (c) A student’s personal learning scholarship account shall
  757  be closed, and any remaining funds, including accrued interest
  758  or contributions made using program funds pursuant to paragraph
  759  (5)(f), shall revert to the state upon:
  760         1. The eligible student no longer being enrolled in an
  761  eligible postsecondary educational institution or a program
  762  offered by the institution;
  763         2. Denial or revocation of program eligibility by the
  764  commissioner;
  765         3. Denial of program application by an EFI; or
  766         4. After any period of 4 consecutive years after high
  767  school completion or graduation in which the student is not
  768  enrolled in an eligible postsecondary educational institution or
  769  a program offered by the institution.
  771  The commissioner must notify the parent and EFI of any reversion
  772  determination.
  774         (a)1. For a student with a disability who does not have a
  775  matrix of services under s. 1011.62(1)(e), or who wants a
  776  revised matrix of services, and for whom the parent requests a
  777  new or revised matrix of services, the school district must
  778  complete a matrix that assigns the student to one of the levels
  779  of service as they existed before the 2000-2001 school year.
  780         2.a. Within 10 calendar school days after a school district
  781  receives notification of a parent’s request for completion of a
  782  matrix of services, the school district must notify the
  783  student’s parent if the matrix of services has not been
  784  completed and inform the parent that the district is required to
  785  complete the matrix within 30 days after receiving notice of the
  786  parent’s request for the matrix of services. This notice must
  787  include the required completion date for the matrix.
  788         b. The school district shall complete the matrix of
  789  services for a student whose parent has made a request. The
  790  school district must provide the student’s parent, the EFI, and
  791  the department with the student’s matrix level within 10
  792  calendar school days after its completion.
  793         c. The department shall notify the parent and the EFI
  794  eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization of the
  795  amount of the funds awarded within 10 days after receiving the
  796  school district’s notification of the student’s matrix level.
  797         d. A school district may change a matrix of services only
  798  if the change is to correct a technical, typographical, or
  799  calculation error, except that a parent may annually request a
  800  matrix reevaluation for each student participating in the
  801  program pursuant to paragraph (12)(h).
  802         (b) For each student participating in the program who
  803  chooses to participate in statewide, standardized assessments
  804  under s. 1008.22 or the Florida Alternate Assessment, the school
  805  district in which the student resides must notify the student
  806  and his or her parent about the locations and times to take all
  807  statewide, standardized assessments.
  808         (c) For each student participating in the program, a school
  809  district shall notify the parent about the availability of a
  810  reevaluation at least every 3 years.
  812  private school may be sectarian or nonsectarian and shall:
  813         (a) Comply with all requirements for private schools
  814  participating in state school choice scholarship programs
  815  pursuant to s. 1002.421. To participate in the program, a
  816  private school must submit to the department a notification for
  817  eligibility to participate in its application for the John M.
  818  McKay Scholarships for Students with Disabilities and Florida
  819  Tax Credit Scholarship programs identified in ss. 1002.39 and
  820  1002.395.
  821         (b) Provide to the department and EFI eligible nonprofit
  822  scholarship-funding organization, upon request, all
  823  documentation required for the student’s participation,
  824  including the private school’s and student’s fee schedules.
  825         (c) Be academically accountable to the parent for meeting
  826  the educational needs of the student by:
  827         1. At a minimum, annually providing to the parent a written
  828  explanation of the student’s progress.
  829         2. Annually administering or making provision for students
  830  participating in the program in grades 3 through 10 to take one
  831  of the nationally norm-referenced tests identified by the State
  832  Board Department of Education or the statewide assessments
  833  pursuant to s. 1008.22. Students with disabilities for whom
  834  standardized testing is not appropriate are exempt from this
  835  requirement. A participating private school shall report a
  836  student’s scores to the parent.
  837         3. Cooperating with the scholarship student whose parent
  838  chooses to have the student participate in the statewide
  839  assessments pursuant to s. 1008.22 or, if a private school
  840  chooses to offer the statewide assessments, administering the
  841  assessments at the school.
  842         a. A participating private school may choose to offer and
  843  administer the statewide assessments to all students who attend
  844  the private school in grades 3 through 10.
  845         b. A participating private school shall submit a request in
  846  writing to the Department of Education by March 1 of each year
  847  in order to administer the statewide assessments in the
  848  subsequent school year.
  849         (d) Employ or contract with teachers who have regular and
  850  direct contact with each student receiving a scholarship under
  851  this section at the school’s physical location.
  852         (e) Annually contract with an independent certified public
  853  accountant to perform the agreed-upon procedures developed under
  854  s. 1002.384(4)(h) s. 1002.395(6)(n) and produce a report of the
  855  results if the private school receives more than $250,000 in
  856  funds from scholarships awarded under this section in the 2014
  857  2015 state fiscal year or a state fiscal year thereafter. A
  858  private school subject to this paragraph must submit the report
  859  by September 15, 2015, and annually thereafter to the EFI
  860  scholarship-funding organization that awarded the majority of
  861  the school’s scholarship funds. The agreed-upon procedures must
  862  be conducted in accordance with attestation standards
  863  established by the American Institute of Certified Public
  864  Accountants.
  866  The inability of a private school to meet the requirements of
  867  this subsection constitutes a basis for the ineligibility of the
  868  private school to participate in the program as determined by
  869  the commissioner department.
  870         (9) DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION OBLIGATIONS.—The department
  871  shall:
  872         (a) Maintain a list of approved providers pursuant to s.
  873  1002.66, and eligible postsecondary educational institutions,
  874  eligible private schools, and EFIs on its website. The
  875  department may identify or provide links to lists of other
  876  approved providers on its website.
  877         (b) Require each EFI eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
  878  organization to preapprove verify eligible expenditures to be
  879  before the distribution of funds for any expenditures made
  880  pursuant to paragraphs (5)(a) and (b). Review of expenditures
  881  made for services in paragraphs (5)(c)-(h) must (5)(c)-(g) may
  882  be completed after the purchase payment has been made.
  883         (c) Investigate any written complaint of a violation of
  884  this section by a parent, student, private school, public school
  885  or school district, EFI, provider, or other appropriate party in
  886  accordance with the process established by s. 1002.395(9)(f).
  887         (d) Require annually by December 1 quarterly reports by an
  888  EFI, which must include, but need not be limited to, eligible
  889  nonprofit scholarship-funding organization regarding the number
  890  of students participating in the program, demographics of
  891  program participants; disability category; matrix level of
  892  services, if known; award amount per student; total expenditures
  893  for the categories in subsection (5); and the types of providers
  894  of services to students, and other information deemed necessary
  895  by the department.
  896         (e) Compare the list of students participating in the
  897  program with the public school student enrollment lists and the
  898  list of students participating in school choice scholarship
  899  programs established pursuant to this chapter, throughout the
  900  school year, before each program payment to avoid duplicate
  901  payments and confirm program eligibility.
  903         (a) The Commissioner of Education:
  904         1. Shall deny, suspend, or revoke a student’s participation
  905  in the program if the health, safety, or welfare of the student
  906  is threatened or fraud is suspected.
  907         2. Shall deny, suspend, or revoke an authorized use of
  908  program funds if the health, safety, or welfare of the student
  909  is threatened or fraud is suspected.
  910         3. May deny, suspend, or revoke an authorized use of
  911  program funds for material failure to comply with this section
  912  and applicable State Board of Education department rules if the
  913  noncompliance is correctable within a reasonable period of time.
  914  Otherwise, the commissioner shall deny, suspend, or revoke an
  915  authorized use for failure to materially comply with the law and
  916  rules adopted under this section.
  917         4. Shall require compliance by the appropriate party by a
  918  date certain for all nonmaterial failures to comply with this
  919  section and applicable State Board of Education department
  920  rules.
  921         5. Notwithstanding the other provisions of this section,
  922  the commissioner may deny, suspend, or revoke program
  923  participation or use of program funds by the student; or
  924  participation or eligibility of an EFI, eligible private school,
  925  eligible postsecondary educational institution, approved
  926  provider, or other appropriate party for a violation of this
  927  section. The commissioner may determine the length of, and
  928  conditions for lifting, the suspension or revocation specified
  929  in this paragraph. The length of suspension or revocation may
  930  not exceed 5 years, except for instances of fraud, in which case
  931  the length of suspension or revocation may not exceed 10 years.
  932  The commissioner may employ mechanisms allowed by law to recover
  933  unexpended program funds or withhold payment of an equal amount
  934  of program funds to recover program funds that were not
  935  authorized for use under this section thereafter.
  936         6. Shall deny or terminate program participation upon a
  937  parent’s forfeiture of a personal learning scholarship account
  938  pursuant to subsection (11).
  939         (b) In determining whether to deny, suspend, or revoke, or
  940  lift a suspension or revocation, in accordance with this
  941  subsection, the commissioner may consider factors that include,
  942  but are not limited to, acts or omissions that by a
  943  participating entity which led to a previous denial, suspension,
  944  or revocation of participation in a state or federal program or
  945  an education scholarship program; failure to reimburse the EFI
  946  eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization for program
  947  funds improperly received or retained by the entity; failure to
  948  reimburse government funds improperly received or retained;
  949  imposition of a prior criminal sanction related to the person or
  950  entity or its officers or employees; imposition of a civil fine
  951  or administrative fine, license revocation or suspension, or
  952  program eligibility suspension, termination, or revocation
  953  related to a person’s or an entity’s management or operation; or
  954  other types of criminal proceedings in which the person or the
  955  entity or its officers or employees were found guilty of,
  956  regardless of adjudication, or entered a plea of nolo contendere
  957  or guilty to, any offense involving fraud, deceit, dishonesty,
  958  or moral turpitude.
  960  PARTICIPATION.—A parent who applies for program participation
  961  under this section is exercising his or her parental option to
  962  determine the appropriate placement or the services that best
  963  meet the needs of his or her child. The scholarship award for a
  964  student is based on a matrix that assigns the student to support
  965  Level III services. If a parent chooses to request and receive
  966  an IEP and a matrix of services from the school district, the
  967  amount of the payment shall be adjusted as needed, when the
  968  school district completes the matrix.
  969         (a) To satisfy or maintain program eligibility, including,
  970  but not limited to, eligibility to receive program payments and
  971  expend program payments enroll an eligible student in the
  972  program, the parent must sign an agreement with the EFI eligible
  973  nonprofit scholarship-funding organization and annually submit a
  974  notarized, sworn compliance statement to the EFI organization
  975  to:
  976         1. Affirm that the student is enrolled in a program that
  977  meets regular school attendance requirements as provided in s.
  978  1003.01(13)(b)-(d).
  979         2. Affirm that Use the program funds are used only for
  980  authorized purposes serving the student’s educational needs, as
  981  described in subsection (5).
  982         3. Affirm that the student takes all appropriate
  983  standardized assessments as specified in this section.
  984         a. If the parent enrolls the child in an eligible private
  985  school, the student must take an assessment selected by the
  986  private school pursuant to s. 1002.395(7)(e) or, if requested by
  987  the parent, the statewide, standardized assessments pursuant to
  988  s. 1002.39(8)(c)2. and (9)(e).
  989         b. If the parent enrolls the child in a home education
  990  program, the parent may choose to participate in an assessment
  991  as part of the annual evaluation provided for in s.
  992  1002.41(1)(c).
  993         4. Notify the school district that the student is
  994  participating in the program Personal Learning Scholarship
  995  Accounts if the parent chooses to enroll in a home education
  996  program as provided in s. 1002.41.
  997         5. File a completed application for initial program
  998  participation with an EFI Request participation in the program
  999  by the dates date established pursuant to this section by the
 1000  eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization.
 1001         6. Affirm that the student remains in good standing with
 1002  the entities identified in paragraph (5)(d), paragraph (5)(g),
 1003  or paragraph (5)(h) provider or school if those options are
 1004  selected by the parent.
 1005         7. Apply for admission of his or her child if the private
 1006  school option is selected by the parent.
 1007         8. Annually file a completed application to renew
 1008  participation in the program if renewal is desired by the
 1009  parent. Notwithstanding any changes to the student’s IEP, a
 1010  student who was previously eligible for participation in the
 1011  program shall remain eligible to apply for renewal as provided
 1012  in subsection (6). However, in order for a high-risk child to
 1013  continue to participate in the program in the school year after
 1014  he or she reaches 6 years of age, the child’s completed
 1015  application for renewal of program participation must contain
 1016  documentation that the child has a disability defined in
 1017  paragraph (2)(d) other than high-risk status.
 1018         9. Affirm that the parent is prohibited from transferring
 1019  and will not transfer any prepaid college plan or college
 1020  savings plan funds contributed pursuant to paragraph (5)(f) to
 1021  another beneficiary while the plan contains funds contributed
 1022  pursuant to this section.
 1023         10. Affirm that the parent will not take possession of any
 1024  funding provided by the state for the program Florida Personal
 1025  Learning Scholarship Accounts.
 1026         11. Affirm that the parent will maintain a portfolio of
 1027  records and materials which must be preserved by the parent for
 1028  2 years and be made available for inspection by the EFI, the
 1029  department, or the district school superintendent or the
 1030  superintendent’s designee upon 15 days’ written notice. This
 1031  paragraph does not require inspection of the superintendent to
 1032  inspect the portfolio. The portfolio of records and materials
 1033  must consist of:
 1034         a. A log of educational instruction and services which is
 1035  made contemporaneously with delivery of the instruction and
 1036  services and which designates by title any reading materials
 1037  used; and
 1038         b. Samples of any writings, worksheets, workbooks, or
 1039  creative materials used or developed by the student; and
 1040         c. Other records, documents, or materials required by the
 1041  EFI or specified by the department in rule, to facilitate
 1042  program implementation.
 1043         (b) The parent is responsible for procuring the services
 1044  necessary to educate the student. When the student receives a
 1045  personal learning scholarship account, the district school board
 1046  is not obligated to provide the student with a free appropriate
 1047  public education. For purposes of s. 1003.57 and the Individuals
 1048  with Disabilities in Education Act, a participating student has
 1049  only those rights that apply to all other unilaterally
 1050  parentally placed students, except that, when requested by the
 1051  parent, school district personnel must develop an individual
 1052  education plan or matrix level of services.
 1053         (c) The parent is responsible for the payment of all
 1054  eligible expenses in excess of the amount of the personal
 1055  learning scholarship account in accordance with the terms agreed
 1056  to between the parent and the providers.
 1058  A parent who fails to comply with this subsection forfeits the
 1059  personal learning scholarship account.
 1061  ACCOUNTS.—An EFI eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
 1062  organization participating in the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship
 1063  Program established under s. 1002.395 may establish personal
 1064  learning scholarship accounts for eligible students, in
 1065  accordance with the deadlines established in this section, by:
 1066         (a) Receiving completed applications and final verification
 1067  and determining student eligibility in accordance with the
 1068  requirements of this section. For initial program participation,
 1069  preference must first be provided to students retained on a wait
 1070  list created by the EFI in the order that completed applications
 1071  are approved The organization shall notify the department of the
 1072  applicants for the program by March 1 before the school year in
 1073  which the student intends to participate. When a completed an
 1074  application and final verification are is received and approved,
 1075  the EFI scholarship funding organization must provide the
 1076  department with information on the student to enable the
 1077  department to report the student for funding in an amount
 1078  determined in accordance with subsection (13).
 1079         (b) Notifying parents of their receipt of a scholarship on
 1080  a first-come, first-served basis, after approving the completed
 1081  application and confirming receipt of the parent’s final
 1082  verification, based upon the funds provided for this program in
 1083  the General Appropriations Act.
 1084         (c) Establishing a date pursuant to paragraph (3)(b) by
 1085  which a parent must confirm initial or continuing participation
 1086  in the program and confirm the establishment or continuance of a
 1087  personal learning scholarship account.
 1088         (d) Establishing a date and process pursuant to paragraph
 1089  (3)(b) by which completed applications may be approved and
 1090  students on the wait list or late-filing applicants may be
 1091  allowed to participate in the program during the school year,
 1092  within the amount of funds provided for this program in the
 1093  General Appropriations Act. The process must allow timely filed
 1094  completed applications to take precedence before late-filed
 1095  completed applications for purposes of creating a wait list for
 1096  participation in the program.
 1097         (e) Establishing and maintaining separate accounts for each
 1098  eligible student. For each account, the EFI must maintain a
 1099  record of interest accrued that is retained in the student’s
 1100  account and available only for authorized program expenditures.
 1101         (f) Verifying qualifying educational expenditures pursuant
 1102  to the requirements of subsection (5) paragraph (8)(b).
 1103         (g) Returning any remaining program unused funds pursuant
 1104  to paragraph (6)(c) to the department when the student is no
 1105  longer authorized to expend program funds. The EFI may reimburse
 1106  a parent for authorized program expenditures made during the
 1107  fiscal year before funds are deposited in the student’s eligible
 1108  for a personal scholarship learning account.
 1109         (h) Annually notifying the parent about the availability of
 1110  and the requirements associated with requesting an initial
 1111  matrix or matrix reevaluation annually for each student
 1112  participating in the program.
 1113         (13) FUNDING AND PAYMENT.—
 1114         (a)1. The maximum funding amount granted for an eligible
 1115  student with a disability, pursuant to this section subsection
 1116  (3), shall be equivalent to the base student allocation in the
 1117  Florida Education Finance Program multiplied by the appropriate
 1118  cost factor for the educational program which would have been
 1119  provided for the student in the district school to which he or
 1120  she would have been assigned, multiplied by the district cost
 1121  differential.
 1122         2. In addition, an amount equivalent to a share of the
 1123  guaranteed allocation for exceptional students in the Florida
 1124  Education Finance Program shall be determined and added to the
 1125  amount in subparagraph 1. The calculation shall be based on the
 1126  methodology and the data used to calculate the guaranteed
 1127  allocation for exceptional students for each district in chapter
 1128  2000-166, Laws of Florida. Except as provided in subparagraph
 1129  3., the calculation shall be based on the student’s grade, the
 1130  matrix level of services, and the difference between the 2000
 1131  2001 basic program and the appropriate level of services cost
 1132  factor, multiplied by the 2000-2001 base student allocation and
 1133  the 2000-2001 district cost differential for the sending
 1134  district. The calculated amount must also include an amount
 1135  equivalent to the per-student share of supplemental academic
 1136  instruction funds, instructional materials funds, technology
 1137  funds, and other categorical funds as provided in the General
 1138  Appropriations Act.
 1139         3. Except as otherwise provided, the calculation for all
 1140  students participating in the program shall be based on the
 1141  matrix that assigns the student to support Level III of
 1142  services. If a parent chooses to request and receive a matrix of
 1143  services from the school district, when the school district
 1144  completes the matrix, the amount of the payment shall be
 1145  adjusted as needed.
 1146         (b) The amount of the awarded funds shall be 90 percent of
 1147  the calculated amount. One hundred percent of the funds
 1148  appropriated for this program shall be released in the first
 1149  quarter of each fiscal year. Accrued interest is in addition to,
 1150  and not part of, the awarded funds. Program funds include both
 1151  the awarded funds and the accrued interest.
 1152         (c) Upon an eligible student’s graduation from an eligible
 1153  postsecondary educational institution or after any period of 4
 1154  consecutive years after high school graduation in which the
 1155  student is not enrolled in an eligible postsecondary educational
 1156  institution, the student’s personal learning scholarship account
 1157  shall be closed, and any remaining funds shall revert to the
 1158  state.
 1159         (c)(d) The EFI eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
 1160  organization shall develop a system for payment of benefits by
 1161  electronic funds transfer, including, but not limited to, debit
 1162  cards, electronic payment cards, or any other means of
 1163  electronic payment that the department deems to be commercially
 1164  viable or cost-effective. Commodities or services related to the
 1165  development of such a system shall be procured by competitive
 1166  solicitation unless they are purchased from a state term
 1167  contract pursuant to s. 287.056.
 1168         (d)(e) Moneys received pursuant to this section do not
 1169  constitute taxable income to the student or parent of the
 1170  qualified student.
 1172         (a) The Auditor General shall conduct an annual financial
 1173  and operational audit of accounts and records of each EFI
 1174  eligible scholarship-funding organization that participates in
 1175  the program. As part of this audit, the Auditor General shall
 1176  verify, at a minimum, the total amount of students served and
 1177  eligibility of reimbursements made by each EFI eligible
 1178  nonprofit scholarship-funding organization and transmit that
 1179  information to the department.
 1180         (b) The Auditor General shall notify the department of any
 1181  EFI eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization that
 1182  fails to comply with a request for information.
 1183         (c) The Auditor General shall provide the Commissioner of
 1184  Education with a copy of each annual operational audit performed
 1185  pursuant to this subsection within 10 days after each audit is
 1186  finalized.
 1188  Department of Health, the Agency for Persons with Disabilities,
 1189  and the Department of Education shall work with an EFI eligible
 1190  nonprofit scholarship-funding organization for easy or automated
 1191  access to lists of licensed providers of services specified in
 1192  paragraph (5)(c) to ensure efficient administration of the
 1193  program.
 1194         (16) LIABILITY.—The state is not liable for the award or
 1195  any use of awarded funds under this section.
 1196         (17) SCOPE OF AUTHORITY.—This section does not expand the
 1197  regulatory authority of this state, its officers, or any school
 1198  district to impose additional regulation on participating
 1199  private schools, independent nonpublic postsecondary educational
 1200  institutions, and private providers beyond those reasonably
 1201  necessary to enforce requirements expressly set forth in this
 1202  section.
 1203         (18) REPORTS.—The department shall, by February 1 of each
 1204  year, provide an annual report to the Governor, the President of
 1205  the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives
 1206  regarding the effectiveness of the Florida Personal Learning
 1207  Scholarship Accounts Program. The report must address the scope
 1208  and size of the program, with regard to participation and other
 1209  related data, and analyze the effectiveness of the program
 1210  pertaining to cost, education, and therapeutic services.
 1211         (19)(18) RULES.—The State Board of Education shall adopt
 1212  rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to administer this
 1213  section.
 1214         (20)(19) IMPLEMENTATION SCHEDULE FOR THE 2014-2015 SCHOOL
 1215  YEAR.—Notwithstanding the provisions of this section related to
 1216  notification and eligibility timelines, an EFI eligible
 1217  nonprofit scholarship-funding organization may enroll parents on
 1218  a rolling schedule on a first-come, first-served basis, within
 1219  the amount of funds provided in the General Appropriations Act.
 1220  This subsection is repealed July 1, 2015.
 1221         Section 4. Paragraph (z) is added to subsection (4) of
 1222  section 1009.971, Florida Statutes, to read:
 1223         1009.971 Florida Prepaid College Board.—
 1225  board shall have the powers and duties necessary or proper to
 1226  carry out the provisions of ss. 1009.97-1009.984, including, but
 1227  not limited to, the power and duty to:
 1228         (z) Adopt rules governing:
 1229         1. The purchase and use of a prepaid college plan
 1230  authorized under s. 1009.98 or a college savings plan authorized
 1231  under s. 1009.981 for the Florida Personal Learning Scholarship
 1232  Accounts Program pursuant to ss. 1002.385, 1009.98, and
 1233  1009.981.
 1234         2. The use of a prepaid college plan authorized under s.
 1235  1009.98 or a college savings plan authorized under s. 1009.981
 1236  for postsecondary education programs for students with
 1237  disabilities.
 1238         Section 5. Subsection (11) is added to section 1009.98,
 1239  Florida Statutes, to read:
 1240         1009.98 Stanley G. Tate Florida Prepaid College Program.—
 1242         (a) Notwithstanding any other provision in this section, a
 1243  prepaid college plan may be purchased, accounted for, used, and
 1244  terminated as provided in s. 1002.385. By July 1, 2015, the
 1245  board shall develop procedures, contracts, and any other
 1246  required forms or documentation necessary to fully implement
 1247  this subsection. The board shall enter into a contract with
 1248  educational fiscal intermediaries pursuant to s. 1002.385 to
 1249  enable the board to establish mechanisms to implement this
 1250  subsection, including, but not limited to, identifying the
 1251  source of funds being deposited into a prepaid college plan. A
 1252  qualified beneficiary may not be changed while a prepaid college
 1253  plan contains funds contributed from s. 1002.385.
 1254         (b) A qualified beneficiary may apply the benefits of an
 1255  advance payment contract toward the program fees of a program
 1256  designed for students with disabilities conducted by a state
 1257  postsecondary institution. A transfer authorized under this
 1258  subsection may not exceed the redemption value of the advance
 1259  payment contract at a state postsecondary institution or the
 1260  number of semester credit hours contracted on behalf of a
 1261  qualified beneficiary.
 1262         Section 6. Subsection (10) is added to section 1009.981,
 1263  Florida Statutes, to read:
 1264         1009.981 Florida College Savings Program.—
 1266         (a) Notwithstanding any other provision in this section, a
 1267  college savings plan may be purchased, accounted for, used, and
 1268  terminated as provided in s. 1002.385. By July 1, 2015, the
 1269  board shall develop procedures, contracts, and any other
 1270  required forms or documentation necessary to fully implement
 1271  this subsection. The board shall enter into a contract with
 1272  educational fiscal intermediaries pursuant to s. 1002.385 to
 1273  enable the board to establish mechanisms to implement this
 1274  subsection, including, but not limited to, identifying the
 1275  source of funds being deposited into a college savings plan. A
 1276  designated beneficiary may not be changed while a college
 1277  savings plan contains funds contributed from s. 1002.385.
 1278         (b) A designated beneficiary may apply the benefits of a
 1279  participation agreement toward the program fees of a program
 1280  designed for students with disabilities conducted by a state
 1281  postsecondary institution.
 1282         Section 7. The Department of Education shall adopt rules to
 1283  implement s. 1002.385, Florida Statutes.
 1284         (1)Such rules must be effective by July 1, 2015, and must
 1285  include, but need not be limited to:
 1286         (a)Establishing procedures concerning the student,
 1287  organization, eligible private school, eligible postsecondary
 1288  educational institution, or other appropriate party to
 1289  participate in the program, including approval, suspension, and
 1290  termination of eligibility;
 1291         (b)Establishing uniform forms for use by organizations for
 1292  parents and students;
 1293         (c)Approving providers pertaining to the Florida K-20
 1294  Education Code;
 1295         (d)Incorporating program participation in existing private
 1296  school scholarship program applications, including, but not
 1297  limited to, ensuring that the process for obtaining eligibility
 1298  under s. 1002.385, Florida Statutes, is as administratively
 1299  convenient as possible for a private school;
 1300         (e)Establishing a matrix of services calculations and
 1301  timelines, so that the initial and revised matrix is completed
 1302  by a school district in time to be included in the completed
 1303  application;
 1304         (f)Establishing a deadline for an organization to provide
 1305  annual notice of the ability for a parent to request an initial
 1306  or revised matrix of services, which must enable the initial or
 1307  revised matrix to be included in the completed application;
 1308         (g)Establishing additional records, documents, or
 1309  materials a parent must collect and retain in the student’s
 1310  portfolio;
 1311         (h)Establishing preliminary timelines and procedures that
 1312  enable a parent to submit a completed application to the
 1313  organization, and for the organization to review and approve the
 1314  completed application; and
 1315         (i)Defining terms, including, but not limited to, the
 1316  terms “participating student, new student, eligible
 1317  student, award letter, program funds, associated
 1318  interest, program payments, program expenditures, initial
 1319  program participation, program renewal, wait list,” “timely
 1320  filed application,” and “late-filed application.
 1321         (2)Such rules should maximize flexibility and ease of
 1322  program use for the parent and student.
 1323         Section 8. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.