Florida Senate - 2018                        COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
       Bill No. CS for HB 7055
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              

       The Committee on Appropriations (Brandes) recommended the
    1         Senate Amendment to Amendment (240726) (with title
    2  amendment)
    4         Delete lines 609 - 756
    5  and insert:
    6         Section 12. Paragraph (d) of subsection (2), paragraphs (d)
    7  and (h) of subsection (5), subsection (8), and paragraph (a) of
    8  subsection (11) of section 1002.385, Florida Statutes, are
    9  amended, and paragraph (p) is added to subsection (5) of that
   10  section, to read:
   11         1002.385 The Gardiner Scholarship.—
   12         (2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
   13         (d) “Disability” means, for a 3- or 4-year-old child or for
   14  a student in kindergarten to grade 12, autism spectrum disorder,
   15  as defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental
   16  Disorders, Fifth Edition, published by the American Psychiatric
   17  Association; cerebral palsy, as defined in s. 393.063(6); Down
   18  syndrome, as defined in s. 393.063(15); an intellectual
   19  disability, as defined in s. 393.063(24); Phelan-McDermid
   20  syndrome, as defined in s. 393.063(28); Prader-Willi syndrome,
   21  as defined in s. 393.063(29); spina bifida, as defined in s.
   22  393.063(40); being a high-risk child, as defined in s.
   23  393.063(23)(a); muscular dystrophy; Williams syndrome; a rare
   24  disease, a disorder that affects diseases which affect patient
   25  populations of fewer than 200,000 individuals or fewer in the
   26  United States, as defined by the Orphan Drug Act of 1983, Pub.
   27  L. No. 97-414 National Organization for Rare Disorders;
   28  anaphylaxis; deaf; visually impaired; traumatic brain injured;
   29  hospital or homebound; or identification as dual sensory
   30  impaired, as defined by rules of the State Board of Education
   31  and evidenced by reports from local school districts. The term
   32  “hospital or homebound” includes a student who has a medically
   33  diagnosed physical or psychiatric condition or illness, as
   34  defined by the state board in rule, and who is confined to the
   35  home or hospital for more than 6 months.
   36         (5) AUTHORIZED USES OF PROGRAM FUNDS.—Program funds must be
   37  used to meet the individual educational needs of an eligible
   38  student and may be spent for the following purposes:
   39         (d) Enrollment in, or Tuition or fees associated with full
   40  time or part-time enrollment in, a home education program, an
   41  eligible private school, an eligible postsecondary educational
   42  institution or a program offered by the postsecondary
   43  institution, a private tutoring program authorized under s.
   44  1002.43, a virtual program offered by a department-approved
   45  private online provider that meets the provider qualifications
   46  specified in s. 1002.45(2)(a), the Florida Virtual School as a
   47  private paying student, or an approved online course offered
   48  pursuant to s. 1003.499 or s. 1004.0961.
   49         (h) Tuition and fees for part-time tutoring services
   50  provided by a person who holds a valid Florida educator’s
   51  certificate pursuant to s. 1012.56; a person who holds an
   52  adjunct teaching certificate pursuant to s. 1012.57; a person
   53  who has a bachelor’s degree or a graduate degree in the subject
   54  area in which instruction is given; or a person who has
   55  demonstrated a mastery of subject area knowledge pursuant to s.
   56  1012.56(5). As used in this paragraph, the term “part-time
   57  tutoring services” does not qualify as regular school attendance
   58  as defined in s. 1003.01(13) s. 1003.01(13)(e).
   59         (p)Tuition or fees associated with enrollment in a
   60  nationally or internationally recognized research-based training
   61  program for a child with a neurological disorder or brain
   62  damage.
   64  A provider of any services receiving payments pursuant to this
   65  subsection may not share, refund, or rebate any moneys from the
   66  Gardiner Scholarship with the parent or participating student in
   67  any manner. A parent, student, or provider of any services may
   68  not bill an insurance company, Medicaid, or any other agency for
   69  the same services that are paid for using Gardiner Scholarship
   70  funds.
   72  private school may be sectarian or nonsectarian and shall:
   73         (a) Comply with all requirements for private schools
   74  participating in state school choice scholarship programs
   75  pursuant to s. 1002.421.
   76         (b) Provide to the organization, upon request, all
   77  documentation required for the student’s participation,
   78  including the private school’s and student’s fee schedules.
   79         (c) Be academically accountable to the parent for meeting
   80  the educational needs of the student by:
   81         1. At a minimum, annually providing to the parent a written
   82  explanation of the student’s progress.
   83         2. Annually administering or making provision for students
   84  participating in the program in grades 3 through 10 to take one
   85  of the nationally norm-referenced tests identified by the
   86  Department of Education or the statewide assessments pursuant to
   87  s. 1008.22. Students with disabilities for whom standardized
   88  testing is not appropriate are exempt from this requirement. A
   89  participating private school shall report a student’s scores to
   90  the parent.
   91         3. Cooperating with the scholarship student whose parent
   92  chooses to have the student participate in the statewide
   93  assessments pursuant to s. 1008.22 or, if a private school
   94  chooses to offer the statewide assessments, administering the
   95  assessments at the school.
   96         a. A participating private school may choose to offer and
   97  administer the statewide assessments to all students who attend
   98  the private school in grades 3 through 10.
   99         b. A participating private school shall submit a request in
  100  writing to the Department of Education by March 1 of each year
  101  in order to administer the statewide assessments in the
  102  subsequent school year.
  103         (d) Employ or contract with teachers who have regular and
  104  direct contact with each student receiving a scholarship under
  105  this section at the school’s physical location.
  106         (e) Provide a report from an independent certified public
  107  accountant who performs the agreed-upon procedures developed
  108  under s. 1002.395(6)(o) if the private school receives more than
  109  $250,000 in funds from scholarships awarded under this chapter
  110  section in a state fiscal year. A private school subject to this
  111  paragraph must annually submit the report by September 15 to the
  112  organization that awarded the majority of the school’s
  113  scholarship funds. The agreed-upon procedures must be conducted
  114  in accordance with attestation standards established by the
  115  American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
  117  If a private school fails or refuses is unable to meet the
  118  requirements of this subsection or has consecutive years of
  119  material exceptions listed in the report required under
  120  paragraph (e), the commissioner may determine that the private
  121  school is ineligible to participate in the program.
  123  PARTICIPATION.—A parent who applies for program participation
  124  under this section is exercising his or her parental option to
  125  determine the appropriate placement or the services that best
  126  meet the needs of his or her child. The scholarship award for a
  127  student is based on a matrix that assigns the student to support
  128  Level III services. If a parent receives an IEP and a matrix of
  129  services from the school district pursuant to subsection (7),
  130  the amount of the payment shall be adjusted as needed, when the
  131  school district completes the matrix.
  132         (a) To satisfy or maintain program eligibility, including
  133  eligibility to receive and spend program payments, the parent
  134  must sign an agreement with the organization and annually submit
  135  a notarized, sworn compliance statement to the organization to:
  136         1. Affirm that the student is enrolled in a program that
  137  meets regular school attendance requirements as provided in s.
  138  1003.01(13)(b) or (c) s. 1003.01(13)(b)-(d).
  139         2. Affirm that the program funds are used only for
  140  authorized purposes serving the student’s educational needs, as
  141  described in subsection (5).
  142         3. Affirm that the parent is responsible for the education
  143  of his or her student by, as applicable:
  144         a. Requiring the student to take an assessment in
  145  accordance with paragraph (8)(c);
  146         b. Providing an annual evaluation in accordance with s.
  147  1002.41(1)(c); or
  148         c. Requiring the child to take any preassessments and
  149  postassessments selected by the provider if the child is 4 years
  150  of age and is enrolled in a program provided by an eligible
  151  Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program provider. A student
  152  with disabilities for whom a preassessment and postassessment is
  153  not appropriate is exempt from this requirement. A participating
  154  provider shall report a student’s scores to the parent.
  155         4. Affirm that the student remains in good standing with
  156  the provider or school if those options are selected by the
  157  parent.
  159  A parent who fails to comply with this subsection forfeits the
  160  Gardiner Scholarship.
  161         Section 13. Section 1002.411, Florida Statutes, is created
  162  to read:
  163         1002.411Reading scholarship accounts.—
  164         (1)READING SCHOLARSHIP ACCOUNTS.—Reading scholarship
  165  accounts are established to provide educational options for
  166  students.
  167         (2)ELIGIBILITY.—Contingent upon available funds, and on a
  168  first-come, first-served basis, each student in grades 3 through
  169  5 who is enrolled in a Florida public school is eligible for a
  170  reading scholarship account if the student scored below a Level
  171  3 on the grade 3 or grade 4 statewide, standardized English
  172  Language Arts (ELA) assessment in the prior school year. An
  173  eligible student who is classified as an English Learner and is
  174  enrolled in a program or receiving services that are
  175  specifically designed to meet the instructional needs of English
  176  Learner students shall receive priority.
  178         (a)For an eligible student to receive a reading
  179  scholarship account, the student’s parent must:
  180         1.Submit an application to an eligible nonprofit
  181  scholarship-funding organization by the deadline established by
  182  such organization; and
  183         2.Submit eligible expenses to the eligible nonprofit
  184  scholarship-funding organization for reimbursement of qualifying
  185  expenditures, which may include:
  186         a.Instructional materials.
  187         b.Curriculum. As used in this sub-subparagraph, the term
  188  “curriculum” means a complete course of study for a particular
  189  content area or grade level, including any required supplemental
  190  materials and associated online instruction.
  191         c.Tuition and fees for part-time tutoring services
  192  provided by a person who holds a valid Florida educator’s
  193  certificate pursuant to s. 1012.56; a person who holds a
  194  baccalaureate or graduate degree in the subject area; a person
  195  who holds an adjunct teaching certificate pursuant to s.
  196  1012.57; or a person who has demonstrated a mastery of subject
  197  area knowledge pursuant to s. 1012.56(5).
  198         d.Fees for summer education programs.
  199         e.Fees for after-school education programs.
  201  A provider of any services receiving payments pursuant to this
  202  subparagraph may not share any moneys from the reading
  203  scholarship with, or provide a refund or rebate of any moneys
  204  from such scholarship to, the parent or participating student in
  205  any manner. A parent, student, or provider of any services may
  206  not bill an insurance company, Medicaid, or any other agency for
  207  the same services that are paid for using reading scholarship
  208  funds.
  209         (b)The parent is responsible for the payment of all
  210  eligible expenses in excess of the amount in the account in
  211  accordance with the terms agreed to between the parent and any
  212  providers and may not receive any refund or rebate of any
  213  expenditures made in accordance with paragraph (a).
  214         (4)ADMINISTRATION.—An eligible nonprofit scholarship
  215  funding organization participating in the Florida Tax Credit
  216  Scholarship Program established by s. 1002.395 may establish
  217  reading scholarship accounts for eligible students in accordance
  218  with the requirements of eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
  219  organizations under this chapter.
  220         (5)DEPARTMENT OBLIGATIONS.—The department shall have the
  221  same duties imposed by this chapter upon the department
  222  regarding oversight of scholarship programs administered by an
  223  eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization.
  225  September 30, the school district shall notify the parent of
  226  each student in grades 3 through 5 who scored below a level 3 on
  227  the statewide, standardized ELA assessment in the prior school
  228  year of the process to request and receive a reading
  229  scholarship, subject to available funds.
  231         (a)For the 2018-2019 school year, the amount of the
  232  scholarship shall be $500 per eligible student. Thereafter, the
  233  maximum amount awarded an eligible student shall be provided in
  234  the General Appropriations Act.
  235         (b)One hundred percent of the funds appropriated for the
  236  reading scholarship accounts shall be released to the department
  237  at the beginning of the first quarter of each fiscal year.
  238         (c)Upon notification from the eligible nonprofit
  239  scholarship-funding organization that a student has been
  240  determined eligible for a reading scholarship, the department
  241  shall release the student’s scholarship funds to such
  242  organization to be deposited into the student’s account.
  243         (d)Accrued interest in the student’s account is in
  244  addition to, and not part of, the awarded funds. Account funds
  245  include both the awarded funds and accrued interest.
  246         (e)The eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization
  247  may develop a system for payment of scholarship funds by funds
  248  transfer, including, but not limited to, debit cards, electronic
  249  payment cards, or any other means of payment that the department
  250  deems to be commercially viable or cost-effective. A student’s
  251  scholarship award may not be reduced for debit card or
  252  electronic payment fees. Commodities or services related to the
  253  development of such a system shall be procured by competitive
  254  solicitation unless they are purchased from a state term
  255  contract pursuant to s. 287.056.
  256         (f)Payment of the scholarship shall be made by the
  257  eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization no less
  258  frequently than on a quarterly basis.
  259         (g)In addition to funds appropriated for scholarships and
  260  subject to a separate, specific legislative appropriation, an
  261  organization may receive an amount equivalent to not more than 3
  262  percent of the amount of each scholarship from state funds for
  263  administrative expenses if the organization has operated as a
  264  nonprofit entity for at least the preceding 3 fiscal years and
  265  did not have any findings of material weakness or material
  266  noncompliance in its most recent audit under s. 1002.395. Such
  267  administrative expenses must be reasonable and necessary for the
  268  organization’s management and distribution of scholarships under
  269  this section. Funds authorized under this paragraph may not be
  270  used for lobbying or political activity or expenses related to
  271  lobbying or political activity. An organization may not charge
  272  an application fee for a scholarship. Administrative expenses
  273  may not be deducted from funds appropriated for scholarships.
  274         (h)Moneys received pursuant to this section do not
  275  constitute taxable income to the qualified student or his or her
  276  parent.
  277         (i)A student’s scholarship account must be closed and any
  278  remaining funds shall revert to the state after:
  279         1.Denial or revocation of scholarship eligibility by the
  280  commissioner for fraud or abuse, including, but not limited to,
  281  the student or student’s parent accepting any payment, refund,
  282  or rebate, in any manner, from a provider of any services
  283  received pursuant to subsection (3); or
  284         2.Three consecutive fiscal years in which an account has
  285  been inactive.
  286         (8)LIABILITY.—No liability shall arise on the part of the
  287  state based on the award or use of a reading scholarship
  288  account.
  289         Section 14. Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section
  290  1003.436, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  291         1003.436 Definition of “credit.”—
  292         (1)(a) For the purposes of requirements for high school
  293  graduation, one full credit means a minimum of 135 hours of bona
  294  fide instruction in a designated course of study that contains
  295  student performance standards, except as otherwise provided
  296  through the Credit Acceleration Program (CAP) under s.
  297  1003.4295(3). One full credit means a minimum of 120 hours of
  298  bona fide instruction in a designated course of study that
  299  contains student performance standards for purposes of meeting
  300  high school graduation requirements in a district school that
  301  has been authorized to implement block scheduling by the
  302  district school board. In lieu of the 135- and 120-hour
  303  instruction requirements, district school boards participating
  304  in the Mastery-Based Education Pilot Program under s. 1003.4996,
  305  may determine and award credit based on a student’s mastery of
  306  the core content and skills, consistent with s. 1003.41, as
  307  approved by the district school board. The State Board of
  308  Education shall determine the number of postsecondary credit
  309  hours earned through dual enrollment pursuant to s. 1007.271
  310  that satisfy the requirements of a dual enrollment articulation
  311  agreement according to s. 1007.271(21) and that equal one full
  312  credit of the equivalent high school course identified pursuant
  313  to s. 1007.271(9).
  314         Section 15. Section 1003.437, Florida Statutes, is amended
  315  to read:
  316         1003.437 Middle and high school grading system.—
  317         (1) The grading system and interpretation of letter grades
  318  used to measure student success in grade 6 through grade 12
  319  courses for students in public schools shall be as follows:
  320         (a)(1) Grade “A” equals 90 percent through 100 percent, has
  321  a grade point average value of 4, and is defined as “outstanding
  322  progress.”
  323         (b)(2) Grade “B” equals 80 percent through 89 percent, has
  324  a grade point average value of 3, and is defined as “above
  325  average progress.”
  326         (c)(3) Grade “C” equals 70 percent through 79 percent, has
  327  a grade point average value of 2, and is defined as “average
  328  progress.”
  329         (d)(4) Grade “D” equals 60 percent through 69 percent, has
  330  a grade point average value of 1, and is defined as “lowest
  331  acceptable progress.”
  332         (e)(5) Grade “F” equals zero percent through 59 percent,
  333  has a grade point average value of zero, and is defined as
  334  “failure.”
  335         (f)(6) Grade “I” equals zero percent, has a grade point
  336  average value of zero, and is defined as “incomplete.”
  337         (2)District school boards participating in the Mastery
  338  Based Education Pilot Program under s. 1003.4996 may use an
  339  alternative interpretation of letter grades to measure student
  340  success in grades 6 through 12.
  342  For the purposes of class ranking, district school boards may
  343  exercise a weighted grading system pursuant to s. 1007.271.
  344         Section 16. Section 1003.4996, Florida Statutes, is amended
  345  to read:
  346         1003.4996 Mastery-Based Competency-Based Education Pilot
  347  Program.—Beginning with the 2016-2017 school year, The Mastery
  348  Based Competency-Based Education Pilot Program is created within
  349  the Department of Education to be administered for a period of 5
  350  years. The purpose of the pilot program is to provide an
  351  educational environment that allows students to advance to
  352  higher levels of learning upon the mastery of concepts and
  353  skills through statutory exemptions relating to student
  354  progression and the awarding of credits.
  355         (1) PARTICIPATION.—The P.K. Yonge Developmental Research
  356  School and public school districts, including, but not limited
  357  to, the Lake, Palm Beach, Pinellas, and Seminole County School
  358  Districts, may submit an application in a format prescribed by
  359  the department to participate in the pilot program.
  360         (2) APPLICATION.—The application to participate in the
  361  pilot program must, at a minimum, include:
  362         (a) The vision and timelines for the implementation of
  363  mastery-based competency-based education within the school
  364  district, including a list of the schools that will participate
  365  in the pilot program during the first school year and the list
  366  of schools that will be integrated into the program in
  367  subsequent school years.
  368         (b) The annual goals and performance outcomes for
  369  participating schools, including, but not limited to:
  370         1. Student performance as defined in s. 1008.34.
  371         2. Promotion and retention rates.
  372         3. Graduation rates.
  373         4. Indicators of college and career readiness.
  374         (c) A communication plan for parents and other
  375  stakeholders, including local businesses and community members.
  376         (d) The scope of and timelines for professional development
  377  for school instructional and administrative personnel.
  378         (e) A plan for student progression based on the mastery of
  379  content, including mechanisms that determine and ensure that a
  380  student has satisfied the requirements for grade-level promotion
  381  and content mastery.
  382         (f) A plan for using technology and digital and blended
  383  learning to enhance student achievement and facilitate the
  384  mastery-based competency-based education system.
  385         (g) The proposed allocation of resources for the pilot
  386  program at the school and district levels.
  387         (h) The recruitment and selection of participating schools.
  388         (i) The rules to be waived for participating schools
  389  pursuant to subsection (3) to implement the pilot program.
  390         (3) EXEMPTION FROM RULES.—In addition to the waivers
  391  authorized in s. 1001.10(3), the State Board of Education may
  392  authorize the commissioner to grant an additional waiver of
  393  rules relating to student progression and the awarding of
  394  credits.
  396         (a)Beginning with the 2018-2019 school year, participating
  397  school districts may amend their applications to include
  398  alternatives for awarding credit, as authorized under s.
  399  1003.436, and for the interpretation of middle and high school
  400  letter grades, as authorized under s. 1003.437.
  401         1.Alternatives to awarding credit must include a
  402  verification of the student’s mastery of the applicable course
  403  content using rigorous scoring rubrics to evaluate the student’s
  404  work.
  405         2.Alternatives to the interpretation of middle and high
  406  school letter grades may substitute the applicable language from
  407  the school district’s rigorous scoring rubric.
  408         (b)An application that is amended pursuant to this
  409  subsection must be approved by the district school board.
  410         (5)(4) STUDENT FUNDING.—Students enrolled in a
  411  participating school shall be reported for and generate funding
  412  pursuant to s. 1011.62.
  413         (6)(5) DEPARTMENT DUTIES.—The department shall:
  414         (a) Compile the student and staff schedules of
  415  participating schools before and after implementation of the
  416  pilot program.
  417         (b) Provide participating schools with access to statewide,
  418  standardized assessments required under s. 1008.22.
  419         (c) Annually, by June 1, provide to the Governor, the
  420  President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of
  421  Representatives a report summarizing the activities and
  422  accomplishments of the pilot program and any recommendations for
  423  statutory revisions.
  424         (6)RULES.—The State Board of Education shall adopt rules
  425  to administer this section.
  426         Section 17. Subsection (7) is added to section 1007.23,
  427  Florida Statutes, to read:
  428         1007.23 Statewide articulation agreement.—
  429         (7)The articulation agreement must ensure fair and
  430  equitable access for high school graduates with mastery-based,
  431  nontraditional diplomas and transcripts.
  432         Section 18. For the 2018-2019 fiscal year, the sum of $9.7
  433  million in recurring funds from the General Revenue Fund is
  434  appropriated to the Department of Education to fund reading
  435  scholarship accounts pursuant to s. 1002.411, Florida Statutes,
  436  and $300,000 in recurring funds from the General Revenue Fund
  437  shall be provided as an administrative fee pursuant to s.
  438  1002.411(7)(g), Florida Statutes.
  440  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
  441  And the title is amended as follows:
  442         Delete lines 3387 - 3391
  443  and insert:
  444         eligible expenditures for the program; revising
  445         requirements for private schools that participate in
  446         the program; specifying that the failure or refusal,
  447         rather than the inability of, a private school to meet
  448         certain requirements constitutes a basis for program
  449         ineligibility; conforming cross-references; creating
  450         s. 1002.411, F.S.; establishing reading scholarship
  451         accounts for specified purposes; providing for
  452         eligibility for scholarships; providing for
  453         administration; providing duties of the Department of
  454         Education; providing school district obligations;
  455         specifying options for parents; providing that maximum
  456         funding shall be specified in the General
  457         Appropriations Act; providing for payment of funds;
  458         specifying that no state liability arises from the
  459         award or use of such an account; amending s. 1003.436,
  460         F.S.; authorizing a district school board
  461         participating in the Mastery-Based Education Pilot
  462         Program to award credit based on student mastery of
  463         certain content and skills; amending s. 1003.437,
  464         F.S.; authorizing a district school board
  465         participating in the Mastery-Based Education Pilot
  466         Program to use an alternative interpretation of letter
  467         grades for certain students; amending s. 1003.4996,
  468         F.S.; renaming the Competency-Based Education Pilot
  469         Program as the Mastery-Based Education Pilot Program;
  470         authorizing public school districts to submit
  471         applications for the program; authorizing
  472         participating school districts to amend their
  473         applications to include alternatives for the award
  474         credits and interpretation of letter grades; providing
  475         requirements for such alternatives; deleting a
  476         requirement that the State Board of Education adopt
  477         rules; amending s. 1007.23, F.S.; requiring the
  478         statewide articulation agreement to ensure fair and
  479         equitable access for students with mastery-based,
  480         nontraditional diplomas and transcripts; providing an
  481         appropriation; amending