Florida Senate - 2016                          SENATOR AMENDMENT
       Bill No. CS for HB 7043
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              

       Senator Stargel moved the following:
    1         Senate Amendment to Amendment (420294) (with title
    2  amendment)
    4         Delete lines 1448 - 1525
    5  and insert:
    6         Section 20. Paragraph (b) of subsection (6), paragraph (p)
    7  of subsection (9), paragraphs (a) and (d) of subsection (10),
    8  subsection (13), paragraph (b) of subsection (17), paragraph (a)
    9  of subsection (18), and paragraph (a) of subsection (20) of
   10  section 1002.33, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
   11         1002.33 Charter schools.—
   12         (6) APPLICATION PROCESS AND REVIEW.—Charter school
   13  applications are subject to the following requirements:
   14         (b) A sponsor shall receive and review all applications for
   15  a charter school using the an evaluation instrument developed by
   16  the Department of Education. A sponsor shall receive and
   17  consider charter school applications received on or before
   18  August 1 of each calendar year for charter schools to be opened
   19  at the beginning of the school district’s next school year, or
   20  to be opened at a time agreed to by the applicant and the
   21  sponsor. A sponsor may not refuse to receive a charter school
   22  application submitted before August 1 and may receive an
   23  application submitted later than August 1 if it chooses. In
   24  order to facilitate greater collaboration in the application
   25  process, an applicant may submit a draft charter school
   26  application on or before May 1 with an application fee of $500.
   27  If a draft application is timely submitted, the sponsor shall
   28  review and provide feedback as to material deficiencies in the
   29  application by July 1. The applicant shall then have until
   30  August 1 to resubmit a revised and final application. The
   31  sponsor may approve the draft application. A sponsor may not
   32  charge an applicant for a charter any fee for the processing or
   33  consideration of an application, and a sponsor may not base its
   34  consideration or approval of a final application upon the
   35  promise of future payment of any kind. Before approving or
   36  denying any final application, the sponsor shall allow the
   37  applicant, upon receipt of written notification, at least 7
   38  calendar days to make technical or nonsubstantive corrections
   39  and clarifications, including, but not limited to, corrections
   40  of grammatical, typographical, and like errors or missing
   41  signatures, if such errors are identified by the sponsor as
   42  cause to deny the final application.
   43         1. In order to facilitate an accurate budget projection
   44  process, a sponsor shall be held harmless for FTE students who
   45  are not included in the FTE projection due to approval of
   46  charter school applications after the FTE projection deadline.
   47  In a further effort to facilitate an accurate budget projection,
   48  within 15 calendar days after receipt of a charter school
   49  application, a sponsor shall report to the Department of
   50  Education the name of the applicant entity, the proposed charter
   51  school location, and its projected FTE.
   52         2. In order to ensure fiscal responsibility, an application
   53  for a charter school shall include a full accounting of expected
   54  assets, a projection of expected sources and amounts of income,
   55  including income derived from projected student enrollments and
   56  from community support, and an expense projection that includes
   57  full accounting of the costs of operation, including start-up
   58  costs.
   59         3.a. A sponsor shall by a majority vote approve or deny an
   60  application no later than 60 calendar days after the application
   61  is received, unless the sponsor and the applicant mutually agree
   62  in writing to temporarily postpone the vote to a specific date,
   63  at which time the sponsor shall by a majority vote approve or
   64  deny the application. If the sponsor fails to act on the
   65  application, an applicant may appeal to the State Board of
   66  Education as provided in paragraph (c). If an application is
   67  denied, the sponsor shall, within 10 calendar days after such
   68  denial, articulate in writing the specific reasons, based upon
   69  good cause, supporting its denial of the charter application and
   70  shall provide the letter of denial and supporting documentation
   71  to the applicant and to the Department of Education.
   72         b. An application submitted by a high-performing charter
   73  school identified pursuant to s. 1002.331 may be denied by the
   74  sponsor only if the sponsor demonstrates by clear and convincing
   75  evidence that:
   76         (I) The application does not materially comply with the
   77  requirements in paragraph (a);
   78         (II) The charter school proposed in the application does
   79  not materially comply with the requirements in paragraphs
   80  (9)(a)-(f);
   81         (III) The proposed charter school’s educational program
   82  does not substantially replicate that of the applicant or one of
   83  the applicant’s high-performing charter schools;
   84         (IV) The applicant has made a material misrepresentation or
   85  false statement or concealed an essential or material fact
   86  during the application process; or
   87         (V) The proposed charter school’s educational program and
   88  financial management practices do not materially comply with the
   89  requirements of this section.
   91  Material noncompliance is a failure to follow requirements or a
   92  violation of prohibitions applicable to charter school
   93  applications, which failure is quantitatively or qualitatively
   94  significant either individually or when aggregated with other
   95  noncompliance. An applicant is considered to be replicating a
   96  high-performing charter school if the proposed school is
   97  substantially similar to at least one of the applicant’s high
   98  performing charter schools and the organization or individuals
   99  involved in the establishment and operation of the proposed
  100  school are significantly involved in the operation of replicated
  101  schools.
  102         c. If the sponsor denies an application submitted by a
  103  high-performing charter school, the sponsor must, within 10
  104  calendar days after such denial, state in writing the specific
  105  reasons, based upon the criteria in sub-subparagraph b.,
  106  supporting its denial of the application and must provide the
  107  letter of denial and supporting documentation to the applicant
  108  and to the Department of Education. The applicant may appeal the
  109  sponsor’s denial of the application directly to the State Board
  110  of Education pursuant to sub-subparagraph (c)3.b.
  111         4. For budget projection purposes, the sponsor shall report
  112  to the Department of Education the approval or denial of an a
  113  charter application within 10 calendar days after such approval
  114  or denial. In the event of approval, the report to the
  115  Department of Education shall include the final projected FTE
  116  for the approved charter school.
  117         5. Upon approval of an a charter application, the initial
  118  startup shall commence with the beginning of the public school
  119  calendar for the district in which the charter is granted. A
  120  charter school may defer the opening of the school’s operations
  121  for up to 2 years to provide time for adequate facility
  122  planning. The charter school must provide written notice of such
  123  intent to the sponsor and the parents of enrolled students at
  124  least 30 calendar days before the first day of school unless the
  125  sponsor allows a waiver of this subparagraph for good cause.
  127         (p)1. Each charter school shall maintain a website that
  128  enables the public to obtain information regarding the school;
  129  the school’s academic performance; the names of the governing
  130  board members; the programs at the school; any management
  131  companies, service providers, or education management
  132  corporations associated with the school; the school’s annual
  133  budget and its annual independent fiscal audit; the school’s
  134  grade pursuant to s. 1008.34; and, on a quarterly basis, the
  135  minutes of governing board meetings.
  136         2.Each charter school’s governing board must appoint a
  137  representative to facilitate parental involvement, provide
  138  access to information, assist parents and others with questions
  139  and concerns, and resolve disputes. The representative must
  140  reside in the school district in which the charter school is
  141  located and may be a governing board member, a charter school
  142  employee, or an individual contracted to represent the governing
  143  board. If the governing board oversees multiple charter schools
  144  in the same school district, the governing board must appoint a
  145  separate representative for each charter school in the district.
  146  The representative’s contact information must be provided
  147  annually in writing to parents and posted prominently on the
  148  charter school’s website. The sponsor may not require governing
  149  board members to reside in the school district in which the
  150  charter school is located if the charter school complies with
  151  this subparagraph.
  152         3.Each charter school’s governing board must hold at least
  153  two public meetings per school year in the school district where
  154  the charter school is located. The meetings must be noticed,
  155  open, and accessible to the public, and attendees must be
  156  provided an opportunity to receive information and provide input
  157  regarding the charter school’s operations. The appointed
  158  representative and charter school principal or director, or his
  159  or her designee, must be physically present at each meeting.
  160  Members of the governing board may attend in person or by means
  161  of communications media technology used in accordance with rules
  162  adopted by the Administration Commission under s. 120.54(5).
  163         (10) ELIGIBLE STUDENTS.—
  164         (a) A charter school shall be open to any student covered
  165  in an interdistrict agreement or residing in the school district
  166  in which the charter school is located; however, in the case of
  167  a charter lab school, the charter lab school shall be open to
  168  any student eligible to attend the lab school as provided in s.
  169  1002.32 or who resides in the school district in which the
  170  charter lab school is located. Any eligible student shall be
  171  allowed interdistrict transfer to attend a charter school when
  172  based on good cause. Good cause shall include, but is not
  173  limited to, geographic proximity to a charter school in a
  174  neighboring school district. A charter school that has not
  175  reached capacity, as determined by the charter school’s
  176  governing board, may be open for enrollment to any student in
  177  the state.
  178         (d) A charter school may give enrollment preference to the
  179  following student populations:
  180         1. Students who are siblings of a student enrolled in the
  181  charter school.
  182         2. Students who are the children of a member of the
  183  governing board of the charter school.
  184         3. Students who are the children of an employee of the
  185  charter school.
  186         4. Students who are the children of:
  187         a. An employee of the business partner of a charter school
  188  in-the-workplace established under paragraph (15)(b) or a
  189  resident of the municipality in which such charter school is
  190  located; or
  191         b. A resident or employee of a municipality that operates a
  192  charter school-in-a-municipality pursuant to paragraph (15)(c)
  193  or allows a charter school to use a school facility or portion
  194  of land owned by the municipality for the operation of the
  195  charter school.
  196         5. Students who have successfully completed a voluntary
  197  prekindergarten education program under ss. 1002.51-1002.79
  198  provided by the charter school or the charter school’s governing
  199  board during the previous year.
  200         6. Students who are the children of an active duty member
  201  of any branch of the United States Armed Forces.
  202         (13) CHARTER SCHOOL COOPERATIVES.—Charter schools may enter
  203  into cooperative agreements to form charter school cooperative
  204  organizations that may provide the following services to further
  205  educational, operational, and administrative initiatives in
  206  which the participating charter schools share common interests:
  207  charter school planning and development, direct instructional
  208  services, and contracts with charter school governing boards to
  209  provide personnel administrative services, payroll services,
  210  human resource management, evaluation and assessment services,
  211  teacher preparation, and professional development.
  212         (17) FUNDING.—Students enrolled in a charter school,
  213  regardless of the sponsorship, shall be funded as if they are in
  214  a basic program or a special program, the same as students
  215  enrolled in other public schools in the school district. Funding
  216  for a charter lab school shall be as provided in s. 1002.32.
  217         (b) The basis for the agreement for funding students
  218  enrolled in a charter school shall be the sum of the school
  219  district’s operating funds from the Florida Education Finance
  220  Program as provided in s. 1011.62 and the General Appropriations
  221  Act, including gross state and local funds, discretionary
  222  lottery funds, and funds from the school district’s current
  223  operating discretionary millage levy; divided by total funded
  224  weighted full-time equivalent students in the school district;
  225  multiplied by the weighted full-time equivalent students for the
  226  charter school. Charter schools whose students or programs meet
  227  the eligibility criteria in law are entitled to their
  228  proportionate share of categorical program funds included in the
  229  total funds available in the Florida Education Finance Program
  230  by the Legislature, including transportation, the research-based
  231  reading allocation, and the Florida digital classrooms
  232  allocation. Total funding for each charter school shall be
  233  recalculated during the year to reflect the revised calculations
  234  under the Florida Education Finance Program by the state and the
  235  actual weighted full-time equivalent students reported by the
  236  charter school during the full-time equivalent student survey
  237  periods designated by the Commissioner of Education. Any
  238  unrestricted surplus or unrestricted net assets identified in
  239  the charter school’s annual audit may be used for K-12
  240  educational purposes for charter schools within the district
  241  operated by the not-for-profit or municipal entity operating the
  242  charter school with the surplus. Surplus operating funds shall
  243  be used in accordance with s. 1011.62, and surplus capital
  244  outlay funds shall be used in accordance with s. 1013.62(2).
  245         (18) FACILITIES.—
  246         (a) A startup charter school shall utilize facilities which
  247  comply with the Florida Building Code pursuant to chapter 553
  248  except for the State Requirements for Educational Facilities.
  249  Conversion charter schools shall utilize facilities that comply
  250  with the State Requirements for Educational Facilities provided
  251  that the school district and the charter school have entered
  252  into a mutual management plan for the reasonable maintenance of
  253  such facilities. The mutual management plan shall contain a
  254  provision by which the district school board agrees to maintain
  255  charter school facilities in the same manner as its other public
  256  schools within the district. Charter schools, with the exception
  257  of conversion charter schools, are not required to comply, but
  258  may choose to comply, with the State Requirements for
  259  Educational Facilities of the Florida Building Code adopted
  260  pursuant to s. 1013.37. The local governing authority shall not
  261  adopt or impose any local building requirements or site
  262  development restrictions, such as parking and site-size
  263  criteria, that are addressed by and more stringent than those
  264  found in the State Requirements for Educational Facilities of
  265  the Florida Building Code. Beginning July 1, 2011, A local
  266  governing authority must treat charter schools equitably in
  267  comparison to similar requirements, restrictions, and site
  268  planning processes imposed upon public schools that are not
  269  charter schools. The agency having jurisdiction for inspection
  270  of a facility and issuance of a certificate of occupancy or use
  271  shall be the local municipality or, if in an unincorporated
  272  area, the county governing authority. If an official or employee
  273  of the local governing authority refuses to comply with this
  274  paragraph, the aggrieved school or entity has an immediate right
  275  to bring an action in circuit court to enforce its rights by
  276  injunction. An aggrieved party that receives injunctive relief
  277  may be awarded attorney fees and court costs.
  278         (20) SERVICES.—
  279         (a)1. A sponsor shall provide certain administrative and
  280  educational services to charter schools. These services shall
  281  include contract management services; full-time equivalent and
  282  data reporting services; exceptional student education
  283  administration services; services related to eligibility and
  284  reporting duties required to ensure that school lunch services
  285  under the federal lunch program, consistent with the needs of
  286  the charter school, are provided by the school district at the
  287  request of the charter school, that any funds due to the charter
  288  school under the federal lunch program be paid to the charter
  289  school as soon as the charter school begins serving food under
  290  the federal lunch program, and that the charter school is paid
  291  at the same time and in the same manner under the federal lunch
  292  program as other public schools serviced by the sponsor or the
  293  school district; test administration services, including payment
  294  of the costs of state-required or district-required student
  295  assessments; processing of teacher certificate data services;
  296  and information services, including equal access to student
  297  information systems that are used by public schools in the
  298  district in which the charter school is located. Student
  299  performance data for each student in a charter school,
  300  including, but not limited to, FCAT scores, standardized test
  301  scores, previous public school student report cards, and student
  302  performance measures, shall be provided by the sponsor to a
  303  charter school in the same manner provided to other public
  304  schools in the district.
  305         2. A total administrative fee for the provision of such
  306  services shall be calculated based upon up to 5 percent of the
  307  available funds defined in paragraph (17)(b) for all students,
  308  except that when 75 percent or more of the students enrolled in
  309  the charter school are exceptional students as defined in s.
  310  1003.01(3), the 5 percent of those available funds shall be
  311  calculated based on unweighted full-time equivalent students.
  312  However, a sponsor may only withhold up to a 5-percent
  313  administrative fee for enrollment for up to and including 250
  314  students. For charter schools with a population of 251 or more
  315  students, the difference between the total administrative fee
  316  calculation and the amount of the administrative fee withheld
  317  may only be used for capital outlay purposes specified in s.
  318  1013.62(3) s. 1013.62(2).
  319         3. For high-performing charter schools, as defined in ch.
  320  2011-232, a sponsor may withhold a total administrative fee of
  321  up to 2 percent for enrollment up to and including 250 students
  322  per school.
  323         4. In addition, a sponsor may withhold only up to a 5
  324  percent administrative fee for enrollment for up to and
  325  including 500 students within a system of charter schools which
  326  meets all of the following:
  327         a. Includes both conversion charter schools and
  328  nonconversion charter schools;
  329         b. Has all schools located in the same county;
  330         c. Has a total enrollment exceeding the total enrollment of
  331  at least one school district in the state;
  332         d. Has the same governing board; and
  333         e. Does not contract with a for-profit service provider for
  334  management of school operations.
  335         5. The difference between the total administrative fee
  336  calculation and the amount of the administrative fee withheld
  337  pursuant to subparagraph 4. may be used for instructional and
  338  administrative purposes as well as for capital outlay purposes
  339  specified in s. 1013.62(3) s. 1013.62(2).
  340         6. For a high-performing charter school system that also
  341  meets the requirements in subparagraph 4., a sponsor may
  342  withhold a 2-percent administrative fee for enrollments up to
  343  and including 500 students per system.
  344         7. Sponsors shall not charge charter schools any additional
  345  fees or surcharges for administrative and educational services
  346  in addition to the maximum 5-percent administrative fee withheld
  347  pursuant to this paragraph.
  348         8. The sponsor of a virtual charter school may withhold a
  349  fee of up to 5 percent. The funds shall be used to cover the
  350  cost of services provided under subparagraph 1. and
  351  implementation of the school district’s digital classrooms plan
  352  pursuant to s. 1011.62.
  353         Section 21. Paragraphs (c) and (d) of subsection (8) of
  354  section 1002.45, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  355         1002.45 Virtual instruction programs.—
  357         (c) An approved provider that receives a school grade of
  358  “D” or “F” under s. 1008.34 or a school improvement rating of
  359  “Unsatisfactory” “Declining” under s. 1008.341 must file a
  360  school improvement plan with the department for consultation to
  361  determine the causes for low performance and to develop a plan
  362  for correction and improvement.
  363         (d) An approved provider’s contract is automatically must
  364  be terminated if the provider earns two consecutive school
  365  grades of receives a school grade of “D” or “F” under s. 1008.34
  366  after all school grade appeals are final, receives two
  367  consecutive or a school improvement ratings rating of
  368  “unsatisfactory” “Declining” under s. 1008.341, for 2 years
  369  during any consecutive 4-year period or has violated any
  370  qualification requirement pursuant to subsection (2). A provider
  371  that has a contract terminated under this paragraph may not be
  372  an approved provider for a period of at least 1 year after the
  373  date upon which the contract was terminated and until the
  374  department determines that the provider is in compliance with
  375  subsection (2) and has corrected each cause of the provider’s
  376  low performance.
  377         Section 22. Subsection (1) of section 1003.498, Florida
  378  Statutes, is amended to read:
  379         1003.498 School district virtual course offerings.—
  380         (1) School districts may deliver courses in the traditional
  381  school setting by personnel certified pursuant to s. 1012.55 who
  382  provide direct instruction through virtual instruction or
  383  through blended learning courses consisting of both traditional
  384  classroom and online instructional techniques. Students in a
  385  blended learning course must be full-time students of the school
  386  pursuant to s. 1011.61(1)(a)1. and receive the online
  387  instruction in a classroom setting at the school. The funding,
  388  performance, and accountability requirements for blended
  389  learning courses are the same as those for traditional courses.
  390  To facilitate the delivery and coding of blended learning
  391  courses, the department shall provide identifiers for existing
  392  courses to designate that they are being used for blended
  393  learning courses for the purpose of ensuring the efficient
  394  reporting of such courses. A district may report full-time
  395  equivalent student membership for credit earned by a student who
  396  is enrolled in a virtual education course provided by the
  397  district which is completed after the end of the regular school
  398  year if the FTE is reported no later than the deadline for
  399  amending the final student membership report for that year.
  401  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
  402  And the title is amended as follows:
  403         Delete line 1694
  404  and insert:
  405         F.S.; authorizing a charter school to defer the
  406         opening of its operations for up to a specified time;
  407         requiring the charter school to provide written notice
  408         to certain entities within a specified timeframe;
  409         requiring each charter school governing board to
  410         appoint certain representatives; requiring each
  411         governing board to hold a certain number of public
  412         meetings; authorizing the use of communications media
  413         technology at such meetings; revising charter school
  414         student eligibility requirements; revising
  415         requirements for payments to charter schools; allowing
  416         for the use of certain surpluses and assets by
  417         specific entities for certain educational purposes;
  418         providing for an injunction under certain
  419         circumstances; conforming cross-references; amending
  420         s. 1002.45, F.S.; revising conditions for termination
  421         of a virtual instruction provider’s contract; amending
  422         s. 1003.498, F.S.; deleting a requirement that
  423         students in a blended learning course must receive
  424         certain instruction in a classroom setting; providing
  425         an