Florida Senate - 2018                        COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
       Bill No. CS for HB 7055
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              
                   Comm: WD            .                                
                  02/28/2018           .                                

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