Florida Senate - 2018                                    SB 1172
       By Senator Galvano
       21-01164-18                                           20181172__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to the Hope Scholarship Program;
    3         creating s. 1002.40, F.S.; establishing the Hope
    4         Scholarship Program; providing the purpose of the
    5         program; providing definitions; providing eligibility
    6         requirements; prohibiting the payment of a scholarship
    7         under certain circumstances; requiring a school
    8         principal to investigate a report of physical violence
    9         or emotional abuse; requiring a school district to
   10         notify an eligible student’s parent of the program;
   11         requiring a school district to provide certain
   12         information relating to the statewide assessment
   13         program; providing requirements and obligations for
   14         eligible private schools; providing Department of
   15         Education obligations relating to participating
   16         students and private schools and program requirements;
   17         providing Commissioner of Education obligations;
   18         requiring the commissioner to deny, suspend, or revoke
   19         a private school’s participation in the program or the
   20         payment of scholarship funds under certain
   21         circumstances; defining the term “owner or operator”;
   22         providing a process for review of a decision from the
   23         commissioner under certain circumstances; providing
   24         for the release of personally identifiable student
   25         information under certain circumstances; providing
   26         parent and student responsibilities for initial and
   27         continued participation in the program; providing
   28         nonprofit scholarship-funding organization
   29         obligations; providing for the calculation of the
   30         scholarship amount; providing the scholarship amount
   31         for students transferred to certain public schools;
   32         requiring verification of specified information before
   33         a scholarship may be disbursed; providing requirements
   34         for the scholarship payments; providing funds for
   35         administrative expenses for certain nonprofit
   36         scholarship-funding organizations; providing
   37         requirements for administrative expenses; prohibiting
   38         a nonprofit scholarship-funding organization from
   39         charging an application fee; providing Auditor General
   40         obligations; providing requirements for taxpayer
   41         elections to contribute to the program; requiring the
   42         Department of Revenue to adopt forms to administer the
   43         program; providing reporting requirements for
   44         nonprofit scholarship-funding organizations relating
   45         to taxpayer contributions; providing requirements for
   46         certain agents of the Department of Revenue and motor
   47         vehicle dealers; providing penalties; providing for
   48         the restitution of specified funds under certain
   49         circumstances; providing the state is not liable for
   50         the award or use of program funds; prohibiting
   51         additional regulations for private schools
   52         participating in the program beyond those necessary to
   53         enforce program requirements; requiring the State
   54         Board of Education to adopt rules to administer the
   55         program; creating s. 212.1832, F.S.; authorizing
   56         certain persons to elect to direct certain state sales
   57         and use tax revenue to be transferred to a nonprofit
   58         scholarship-funding organization for the Hope
   59         Scholarship Program; authorizing the Department of
   60         Revenue to adopt emergency rules for specified
   61         purposes; providing an effective date.
   63  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   65         Section 1. Section 1002.40, Florida Statutes, is created to
   66  read:
   67         1002.40The Hope Scholarship Program.—
   68         (1)PURPOSE.—The Hope Scholarship Program is established to
   69  provide the parent of a public school student who was subjected
   70  to an incident listed in subsection (3) an opportunity to
   71  transfer the student to another public school or to request and
   72  receive from the state a scholarship for the student to enroll
   73  in and attend an eligible private school.
   74         (2)DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
   75         (a)“Department” means the Department of Education.
   76         (b)“Eligible contribution” or “contribution” means a
   77  monetary contribution from a person required to pay sales and
   78  use tax on the purchase or acquisition of a motor vehicle,
   79  subject to the restrictions provided in this section, to an
   80  eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization. The
   81  taxpayer making the contribution may not designate a specific
   82  student as the beneficiary of the contribution.
   83         (c)“Eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization”
   84  or “organization” has the same meaning as provided in s.
   85  1002.395(2)(f).
   86         (d)“Eligible private school” has the same meaning as
   87  provided in s. 1002.395(2)(g).
   88         (e)“Motor vehicle” has the same meaning as provided in s.
   89  320.01(1)(a), but does not include heavy trucks, truck tractors,
   90  trailers, and motorcycles.
   91         (f)“Parent” means a resident of this state who is a
   92  parent, as defined in s. 1000.21, and whose student was
   93  subjected to an incident listed in subsection (3).
   94         (g)“Program” means the Hope Scholarship Program.
   95         (h)“School” includes any educational program or activity
   96  conducted by a public K-12 educational institution, any school
   97  related or school-sponsored program or activity, and riding on a
   98  school bus, as defined in s. 1006.25(1), including waiting at a
   99  school bus stop.
  100         (i)“Unweighted FTE funding amount” means the statewide
  101  average total funds per unweighted full-time equivalent funding
  102  amount that is incorporated by reference in the General
  103  Appropriations Act, or by a subsequent special appropriations
  104  act, for the applicable state fiscal year.
  105         (3)PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY.—Beginning with the 2018-2019
  106  school year, contingent upon available funds, and on a first
  107  come, first-served basis, a student enrolled in a Florida public
  108  school in kindergarten through grade 12 is eligible for a
  109  scholarship under this program if the student has been subjected
  110  to an incident of battery; harassment; hazing; bullying;
  111  kidnapping; physical attack; robbery; sexual offenses,
  112  harassment, assault, or battery; threat or intimidation; or
  113  fighting at school.
  114         (4)PROGRAM PROHIBITIONS.—Payment of a scholarship may not
  115  be made if a student is:
  116         (a)Enrolled in a public school, including, but not limited
  117  to, the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind; the College
  118  Preparatory Boarding Academy; a developmental research school
  119  authorized under s. 1002.32; or a charter school authorized
  120  under s. 1002.33, s. 1002.331, or s. 1002.332;
  121         (b)Enrolled in a school operating for the purpose of
  122  providing educational services to youth in the Department of
  123  Juvenile Justice commitment programs;
  124         (c)Participating in a virtual school, correspondence
  125  school, or distance learning program that receives state funding
  126  pursuant to the student’s participation unless the participation
  127  is limited to no more than two courses per school year; or
  128         (d)Receiving any other educational scholarship pursuant to
  129  this chapter.
  131         (a)Upon receipt of a report of an incident listed in
  132  subsection (3), the school principal shall provide a copy of the
  133  report to the parent and investigate the incident to determine
  134  if the incident must be reported as required by s. 1006.09(6).
  135  Upon conclusion of the investigation or within 15 days after the
  136  incident was reported, whichever occurs first, the school
  137  district shall notify the parent of the program and offer that
  138  parent an opportunity to enroll his or her student in another
  139  public school or to request and receive a scholarship to attend
  140  an eligible private school, subject to available funding. A
  141  parent who chooses to enroll his or her student in a Florida
  142  public school located outside the district in which the student
  143  resides pursuant to s. 1002.31 shall be eligible for a
  144  scholarship to transport the student as provided in paragraph
  145  (11)(b).
  146         (b)For each student participating in the program in a
  147  private school who chooses to participate in the statewide
  148  assessments under s. 1008.22 or the Florida Alternate
  149  Assessment, the school district in which the student resides
  150  must notify the student and his or her parent about the
  151  locations and times to take all statewide assessments.
  153  private school may be sectarian or nonsectarian and shall:
  154         (a)Comply with all requirements for private schools
  155  participating in state school choice scholarship programs
  156  pursuant to this section and s. 1002.421.
  157         (b)Provide to the organization, upon request, all
  158  documentation required for the student’s participation,
  159  including the private school’s and the student’s fee schedules.
  160         (c)Be academically accountable to the parent for meeting
  161  the educational needs of the student by:
  162         1.At a minimum, annually providing to the parent a written
  163  explanation of the student’s progress.
  164         2.Annually administering or making provision for students
  165  participating in the program in grades 3 through 10 to take one
  166  of the nationally norm-referenced tests identified by the
  167  department or the statewide assessments pursuant to s. 1008.22.
  168  Students with disabilities for whom standardized testing is not
  169  appropriate are exempt from this requirement. A participating
  170  private school shall report a student’s scores to his or her
  171  parent.
  172         3.Cooperating with the student whose parent chooses to
  173  have the student participate in the statewide assessments
  174  pursuant to s. 1008.22 or, if a private school chooses to offer
  175  the statewide assessments, administering the assessments at the
  176  school.
  177         a.A participating private school may choose to offer and
  178  administer the statewide assessments to all students who attend
  179  the private school in grades 3 through 10.
  180         b.A participating private school shall submit a request in
  181  writing to the department by March 1 of each year in order to
  182  administer the statewide assessments in the subsequent school
  183  year.
  184         (d)Employ or contract with teachers who have regular and
  185  direct contact with each student receiving a scholarship under
  186  this section at the school’s physical location.
  187         (e)Maintain in this state a physical location where a
  188  scholarship student regularly attends classes.
  189         (f)Provide a report from an independent certified public
  190  accountant who performs the agreed-upon procedures developed
  191  under s. 1002.395(6)(o) if the private school receives more than
  192  $250,000 in funds from scholarships awarded under this section
  193  in a state fiscal year. A private school subject to this
  194  paragraph must annually submit the report by September 15 to the
  195  organization that awarded the majority of the school’s
  196  scholarship funds. The agreed-upon procedures must be conducted
  197  in accordance with attestation standards established by the
  198  American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
  200  If a private school is unable to meet the requirements of this
  201  subsection, the commissioner may determine that the private
  202  school is ineligible to participate in the program.
  203         (7)DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION OBLIGATIONS.—The department
  204  shall:
  205         (a)Establish a toll-free hotline that provides parents and
  206  private schools with information on participation in the
  207  program.
  208         (b)Annually verify the eligibility of private schools that
  209  meet the requirements of subsection (6).
  210         (c)Require an annual notarized and sworn compliance
  211  statement by participating private schools certifying compliance
  212  with state laws and retain such records.
  213         (d)Cross-check the list of participating students with the
  214  public school enrollment lists and participation lists in other
  215  scholarship programs established under this chapter before each
  216  scholarship payment to avoid duplication.
  217         (e)Maintain a list of nationally norm-referenced tests
  218  identified for purposes of satisfying the testing requirement in
  219  paragraph (9)(f). The tests must meet industry standards of
  220  quality in accordance with State Board of Education rule.
  221         (f)Require quarterly reports by an eligible nonprofit
  222  scholarship-funding organization regarding the number of
  223  students participating in the scholarship program, the private
  224  schools in which the students are enrolled, and other
  225  information deemed necessary by the department.
  226         (g)Contract with an independent entity to provide an
  227  annual evaluation of the program by:
  228         1.Reviewing the school climate and code of student conduct
  229  of each public school at which 10 or more reported incidents
  230  occurred to determine areas in the school or school district
  231  procedures involving reporting, investigating, and communicating
  232  a parent’s and student’s rights that are in need of improvement.
  233  At a minimum, the review must include:
  234         a.An assessment of the investigation time and quality of
  235  the response of the school and the school district.
  236         b.An assessment of the effectiveness of communication
  237  procedures with the students involved in an incident, the
  238  students’ parents, and the school and school district personnel;
  239         c.An analysis of school incident and discipline data;
  240         d.The challenges and obstacles relating to implementing
  241  recommendations from this review.
  242         2.Reviewing the school climate and code of student conduct
  243  of each public school a student transferred to if the student
  244  was from a school identified in subparagraph 1. in order to
  245  identify best practices and make recommendations to a public
  246  school at which the incidents occurred.
  247         3.Reviewing the performance of participating students
  248  enrolled in a private school in which at least 51 percent of the
  249  total enrolled students in the prior school year participated in
  250  the program and in which there are at least 10 participating
  251  students who have scores for tests administered.
  252         4. Surveying the parents of participating students to
  253  determine academic, safety, and school climate satisfaction and
  254  to identify any challenges or obstacles in addressing the
  255  incident or relating to the use of the scholarship.
  256         (h)Upon the request of a participating private school,
  257  provide at no cost to the school the statewide assessments
  258  administered under s. 1008.22 and any related materials for
  259  administering the assessments. Students at a private school may
  260  be assessed using the statewide assessments if the addition of
  261  those students and the school does not cause the state to exceed
  262  its contractual caps for the number of students tested and the
  263  number of testing sites. The state shall provide the same
  264  materials and support to a private school that it provides to a
  265  public school. A private school that chooses to administer
  266  statewide assessments under s. 1008.22 shall follow the
  267  requirements set forth in ss. 1008.22 and 1008.24, rules adopted
  268  by the State Board of Education to implement those sections, and
  269  district-level testing policies established by the district
  270  school board.
  271         (i)Establish a process by which individuals may notify the
  272  department of any violation by a parent, private school, or
  273  school district of state laws relating to program participation.
  274  The department shall conduct an inquiry or make a referral to
  275  the appropriate agency for an investigation of any written
  276  complaint of a violation of this section if the complaint is
  277  signed by the complainant and is legally sufficient. A complaint
  278  is legally sufficient if such complaint contains ultimate facts
  279  that show that a violation of this section or any rule adopted
  280  by the State Board of Education pursuant to this section has
  281  occurred. In order to determine legal sufficiency, the
  282  department may require supporting information or documentation
  283  from the complainant. A department inquiry is not subject to the
  284  requirements of chapter 120.
  285         (j)1.Conduct site visits to participating private schools.
  286  The purpose of the site visits is solely to verify the
  287  information reported by the schools concerning the enrollment
  288  and attendance of students, the credentials of teachers,
  289  background screening of teachers, and teachers’ fingerprinting
  290  results. The department may not make more than seven site visits
  291  each year; however, the department may make additional site
  292  visits at any time to a school that has received a notice of
  293  noncompliance or a notice of proposed action within the previous
  294  2 years.
  295         2.Annually, by December 15, report to the Governor, the
  296  President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of
  297  Representatives the department’s actions with respect to
  298  implementing accountability in the program under this section
  299  and s. 1002.421, any substantiated allegations or violations of
  300  law or rule by an eligible private school under this program and
  301  the corrective action taken by the department.
  303         (a)The Commissioner of Education:
  304         1.Shall deny, suspend, or revoke a private school’s
  305  participation in the program if it is determined that the
  306  private school has failed to comply with the provisions of this
  307  section. However, if the noncompliance is correctable within a
  308  reasonable amount of time and if the health, safety, or welfare
  309  of the students is not threatened, the commissioner may issue a
  310  notice of noncompliance which provides the private school with a
  311  timeframe within which to provide evidence of compliance before
  312  taking action to suspend or revoke the private school’s
  313  participation in the program.
  314         2.May deny, suspend, or revoke a private school’s
  315  participation in the program if the commissioner determines that
  316  an owner or operator of the private school is operating or has
  317  operated an educational institution in this state or in another
  318  state or jurisdiction in a manner contrary to the health,
  319  safety, or welfare of the public.
  320         a.In making such a determination, the commissioner may
  321  consider factors that include, but are not limited to, acts or
  322  omissions by an owner or operator which led to a previous denial
  323  or revocation of participation in an education scholarship
  324  program; an owner’s or operator’s failure to reimburse the
  325  department for scholarship funds improperly received or retained
  326  by a school; imposition of a prior criminal sanction related to
  327  an owner’s or operator’s management or operation of an
  328  educational institution; imposition of a civil fine or
  329  administrative fine, license revocation or suspension, or
  330  program eligibility suspension, termination, or revocation
  331  related to an owner’s or operator’s management or operation of
  332  an educational institution; or other types of criminal
  333  proceedings in which an owner or operator was found guilty of,
  334  regardless of adjudication, or entered a plea of nolo contendere
  335  or guilty to, any offense involving fraud, deceit, dishonesty,
  336  or moral turpitude.
  337         b.For purposes of this subparagraph, the term “owner or
  338  operator” includes an owner, operator, superintendent, or
  339  principal of, or a person who has equivalent decisionmaking
  340  authority over, a private school participating in the
  341  scholarship program.
  342         (b)The commissioner’s determination is subject to the
  343  following:
  344         1.If the commissioner intends to deny, suspend, or revoke
  345  a private school’s participation in the program, the department
  346  shall notify the private school of such proposed action in
  347  writing by certified mail and regular mail to the private
  348  school’s address of record with the department. The notification
  349  shall include the reasons for the proposed action and notice of
  350  the timelines and procedures set forth in this paragraph.
  351         2.The private school that is adversely affected by the
  352  proposed action shall have 15 days after receipt of the notice
  353  of proposed action to file with the department’s agency clerk a
  354  request for a proceeding pursuant to ss. 120.569 and 120.57. If
  355  the private school is entitled to a hearing under s. 120.57(1),
  356  the department shall refer the request to the Division of
  357  Administrative Hearings.
  358         3.Upon receipt of a request referred pursuant to this
  359  paragraph, the director of the Division of Administrative
  360  Hearings shall expedite the hearing and assign an administrative
  361  law judge who shall commence a hearing within 30 days after the
  362  receipt of the formal written request by the division and enter
  363  a recommended order within 30 days after the hearing or within
  364  30 days after receipt of the hearing transcript, whichever is
  365  later. Each party shall be allowed 10 days in which to submit
  366  written exceptions to the recommended order. A final order shall
  367  be entered by the agency within 30 days after the entry of a
  368  recommended order. The provisions of this subparagraph may be
  369  waived upon stipulation by all parties.
  370         (c)The commissioner may immediately suspend payment of
  371  scholarship funds if it is determined that there is probable
  372  cause to believe that there is:
  373         1.An imminent threat to the health, safety, or welfare of
  374  the students; or
  375         2.Fraudulent activity on the part of the private school.
  376  Notwithstanding s. 1002.22, in incidents of alleged fraudulent
  377  activity pursuant to this section, the department’s Office of
  378  Inspector General is authorized to release personally
  379  identifiable records or reports of students to the following
  380  persons or organizations:
  381         a.A court of competent jurisdiction in compliance with an
  382  order of that court or the attorney of record in accordance with
  383  a lawfully issued subpoena, consistent with the Family
  384  Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. s. 1232g.
  385         b.A person or entity authorized by a court of competent
  386  jurisdiction in compliance with an order of that court or the
  387  attorney of record pursuant to a lawfully issued subpoena,
  388  consistent with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act,
  389  20 U.S.C. s. 1232g.
  390         c.Any person, entity, or authority issuing a subpoena for
  391  law enforcement purposes when the court or other issuing agency
  392  has ordered that the existence or the contents of the subpoena
  393  or the information furnished in response to the subpoena not be
  394  disclosed, consistent with the Family Educational Rights and
  395  Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. s. 1232g, and 34 C.F.R. s. 99.31.
  397  The commissioner’s suspension of payment pursuant to this
  398  paragraph may be appealed pursuant to the same procedures and
  399  timelines as the notice of proposed action set forth in
  400  paragraph (b).
  402  PARTICIPATION.—A parent who applies for a Hope Scholarship is
  403  exercising his or her parental option to place his or her
  404  student in an eligible private school.
  405         (a)The parent must select an eligible private school and
  406  apply for the admission of his or her student.
  407         (b)The parent must inform the student’s school district
  408  when the parent withdraws his or her student to attend an
  409  eligible private school.
  410         (c)Any student participating in the program must remain in
  411  attendance throughout the school year unless excused by the
  412  school for illness or other good cause.
  413         (d)Each parent and each student has an obligation to the
  414  private school to comply with the private school’s published
  415  policies.
  416         (e)Upon reasonable notice to the department and the school
  417  district, the parent may remove the student from the private
  418  school and place the student in a public school in accordance
  419  with this section.
  420         (f)The parent must ensure that the student participating
  421  in the program takes the norm-referenced assessment offered by
  422  the private school. The parent may also choose to have the
  423  student participate in the statewide assessments pursuant to s.
  424  1008.22. If the parent requests that the student participating
  425  in the program take the statewide assessments pursuant to s.
  426  1008.22 and the private school has not chosen to offer and
  427  administer the statewide assessments, the parent is responsible
  428  for transporting the student to the assessment site designated
  429  by the school district.
  430         (g)Upon receipt of a scholarship warrant, the parent to
  431  whom the warrant is made must restrictively endorse the warrant
  432  to the private school for deposit into the account of the
  433  private school. The parent may not designate any entity or
  434  individual associated with the participating private school as
  435  the parent’s attorney in fact to endorse a scholarship warrant.
  436  A parent who fails to comply with this paragraph forfeits the
  437  scholarship.
  439  ORGANIZATIONS.—An organization may establish scholarships for
  440  eligible students by:
  441         (a)Receiving applications and determining student
  442  eligibility in accordance with the requirements of this section.
  443         (b)Notifying parents of their receipt of a scholarship on
  444  a first-come, first-served basis, based upon available funds.
  445         (c)Preparing and submitting quarterly and annual reports
  446  to the department pursuant to paragraphs (7)(f) and (g). In
  447  addition, an eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization
  448  must submit in a timely manner any information requested by the
  449  department relating to the scholarship program.
  450         (d)Notifying the department of any violation of this
  451  section.
  452         (11)FUNDING AND PAYMENT.—
  453         (a)The maximum amount awarded to a student enrolled in an
  454  eligible private school shall be determined as a percentage of
  455  the unweighted FTE funding amount for that state fiscal year and
  456  thereafter as follows:
  457         1.Eighty-eight percent for a student enrolled in
  458  kindergarten through grade 5.
  459         2.Ninety-two percent for a student enrolled in grade 6
  460  through grade 8.
  461         3.Ninety-six percent for a student enrolled in grade 9
  462  through grade 12.
  463         (b)The maximum amount awarded to a student enrolled in a
  464  Florida public school located outside of the district in which
  465  the student resides shall be $750.
  466         (c)When a student enters the program, the organization
  467  must receive all documentation required for the student’s
  468  participation, including a copy of the report of the incident
  469  received pursuant to subsection (5) and the private school’s and
  470  the student’s fee schedules. The initial payment shall be made
  471  after verification of admission acceptance, and subsequent
  472  payments shall be made upon verification of continued enrollment
  473  and attendance at the private school.
  474         (d)Payment of the scholarship by the eligible nonprofit
  475  scholarship-funding organization shall be by individual warrant
  476  made payable to the student’s parent. If the parent chooses that
  477  his or her student attend an eligible private school, the
  478  warrant must be delivered by the eligible nonprofit scholarship
  479  funding organization to the private school of the parent’s
  480  choice, and the parent shall restrictively endorse the warrant
  481  to the private school.
  482         (e)An eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization
  483  shall obtain verification from the private school of a student’s
  484  continued attendance at the school for each period covered by a
  485  scholarship payment.
  486         (f)Payment of the scholarship shall be made by the
  487  eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization no less
  488  frequently than on a quarterly basis.
  489         (g)An organization may use up to 3 percent of eligible
  490  contributions received during the state fiscal year in which
  491  such contributions are collected for administrative expenses if
  492  the organization has operated as an eligible nonprofit
  493  scholarship-funding organization for at least the preceding 3
  494  fiscal years and did not have any findings of material weakness
  495  or material noncompliance in its most recent audit under s.
  496  1002.395(6)(m). Such administrative expenses must be reasonable
  497  and necessary for the organization’s management and distribution
  498  of eligible contributions under this section. No funds
  499  authorized under this paragraph shall be used for lobbying or
  500  political activity or expenses related to lobbying or political
  501  activity. Up to one-third of the funds authorized for
  502  administrative expenses under this paragraph may be used for
  503  expenses related to the recruitment of contributions from
  504  taxpayers. An eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
  505  organization may not charge an application fee.
  506         (h)Moneys received pursuant to this section do not
  507  constitute taxable income to the qualified student or his or her
  508  parent.
  510         (a)The Auditor General shall conduct an annual operational
  511  audit of accounts and records of each organization that
  512  participates in the program. As part of this audit, the Auditor
  513  General shall verify, at a minimum, the total number of students
  514  served and transmit that information to the department. The
  515  Auditor General shall provide the commissioner with a copy of
  516  each annual operational audit performed pursuant to this
  517  subsection within 10 days after the audit is finalized.
  518         (b)The Auditor General shall notify the department of any
  519  organization that fails to comply with a request for
  520  information.
  522         (a)A tax credit is available under s. 212.1832 for use by
  523  a taxpayer that makes an eligible contribution to the program.
  524  Each eligible contribution is limited to a single payment of $20
  525  at the time of purchase of a motor vehicle or a single payment
  526  of $20 at the time of registration of a motor vehicle that was
  527  not purchased from a dealer. An eligible contribution shall be
  528  accompanied by an election to contribute to the program and
  529  shall be made by the purchaser at the time of purchase or at the
  530  time of registration on a form provided by the Department of
  531  Revenue. Payments of contributions shall be made to a dealer, as
  532  defined in chapter 212, at the time of purchase of a motor
  533  vehicle or to an agent of the Department of Revenue, as
  534  designated by s. 212.06(10), at the time of registration of a
  535  motor vehicle that was not purchased from a dealer.
  536         (b)A tax collector or any person or firm authorized to
  537  sell or issue a motor vehicle license who is designated as an
  538  agent of the Department of Revenue pursuant to s. 212.06(10) or
  539  who is a dealer shall:
  540         1.Provide the purchaser the contribution election form, as
  541  prescribed by the Department of Revenue, at the time of purchase
  542  of a motor vehicle or at the time of registration of a motor
  543  vehicle that was not purchased from a dealer.
  544         2.Collect eligible contributions.
  545         3.Using a form provided by the Department of Revenue,
  546  which shall include the dealer’s or agent’s federal employer
  547  identification number, remit to an organization on or before the
  548  20th day of each month the total amount of contributions made to
  549  that organization and collected during the preceding calendar
  550  month.
  551         4.Report on each return filed with the Department of
  552  Revenue the total amount of credits allowed under s. 212.1832
  553  during the preceding calendar month.
  554         (c)An organization shall report to the Department of
  555  Revenue, on or before the 20th day of each month, the total
  556  amount of contributions received pursuant to paragraph (b) in
  557  the preceding calendar month on a form provided by the
  558  Department of Revenue. Such report shall include the federal
  559  employer identification number of each tax collector, authorized
  560  agent of the Department of Revenue, or dealer who remitted
  561  contributions to the organization during that reporting period.
  562         (d)A person who, with intent to unlawfully deprive or
  563  defraud the program of its moneys or the use or benefit thereof,
  564  fails to remit a contribution collected under this section is
  565  guilty of theft of charitable funds, punishable as follows:
  566         1.If the total amount stolen is less than $300, the
  567  offense is a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as
  568  provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. Upon a second conviction,
  569  the offender is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree,
  570  punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. Upon a third
  571  or subsequent conviction, the offender is guilty of a felony of
  572  the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s.
  573  775.083, or s. 775.084.
  574         2.If the total amount stolen is $300 or more, but less
  575  than $20,000, the offense is a felony of the third degree,
  576  punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
  577         3.If the total amount stolen is $20,000 or more, but less
  578  than $100,000, the offense is a felony of the second degree,
  579  punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
  580         4.If the total amount stolen is $100,000 or more, the
  581  offense is a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided
  582  in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
  583         (e)A person convicted of an offense under paragraph (d)
  584  shall be ordered by the sentencing judge to make restitution to
  585  the organization in the amount that was stolen from the program.
  586         (14)LIABILITY.—The state is not liable for the award or
  587  any use of awarded funds under this section.
  588         (15)SCOPE OF AUTHORITY.—This section does not expand the
  589  regulatory authority of this state, its officers, or any school
  590  district to impose additional regulation on participating
  591  private schools beyond those reasonably necessary to enforce
  592  requirements expressly set forth in this section.
  593         (16)RULES.—The State Board of Education shall adopt rules
  594  to administer this section.
  595         Section 2. Section 212.1832, Florida Statutes, is created
  596  to read:
  597         212.1832Credit for contributions to the Hope Scholarship
  598  Program.—
  599         (1)There is allowed a credit of 100 percent of an eligible
  600  contribution made to an eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
  601  organization under s. 1002.40 against any tax imposed by the
  602  state and due under this chapter as a result of the purchase or
  603  acquisition of a motor vehicle. The credit may not exceed the
  604  tax otherwise owed.
  605         (2)For purposes of the distributions of tax revenue under
  606  s. 212.20, the department shall disregard any tax credits
  607  allowed under this section to ensure that any reduction in tax
  608  revenue received that is attributable to the tax credits results
  609  only in a reduction in distributions to the General Revenue
  610  Fund. The provisions of s. 1002.40 apply to the credit
  611  authorized by this section.
  612         Section 3. The Department of Revenue may, and all
  613  conditions are deemed met to, adopt emergency rules pursuant to
  614  ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54, Florida Statutes, to administer this
  615  act.
  616         Section 4. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.