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

       The Committee on Appropriations (Passidomo) recommended the
    1         Senate Amendment to Amendment (240726) (with title
    2  amendment)
    4         Between lines 1632 and 1633
    5  insert:
    6         Section 16. Section 1002.411, Florida Statutes, is created
    7  to read:
    8         1002.411Reading scholarship accounts.—
    9         (1)READING SCHOLARSHIP ACCOUNTS.—Reading scholarship
   10  accounts are established to provide educational options for
   11  students.
   12         (2)ELIGIBILITY.—Contingent upon available funds, and on a
   13  first-come, first-served basis, each student in grades 3 through
   14  5 who is enrolled in a Florida public school is eligible for a
   15  reading scholarship account if the student scored below a Level
   16  3 on the grade 3 or grade 4 statewide, standardized English
   17  Language Arts (ELA) assessment in the prior school year.
   19         (a)For an eligible student to receive a reading
   20  scholarship account, the student’s parent must:
   21         1.Submit an application to an eligible nonprofit
   22  scholarship-funding organization by the deadline established by
   23  such organization; and
   24         2.Submit eligible expenses to the eligible nonprofit
   25  scholarship-funding organization for reimbursement of qualifying
   26  expenditures, which may include:
   27         a.Instructional materials.
   28         b.Curriculum. As used in this sub-subparagraph, the term
   29  “curriculum” means a complete course of study for a particular
   30  content area or grade level, including any required supplemental
   31  materials and associated online instruction.
   32         c.Tuition and fees for part-time tutoring services
   33  provided by a person who holds a baccalaureate or graduate
   34  degree in the subject area; a person who holds an adjunct
   35  teaching certificate pursuant to s. 1012.57; or a person who has
   36  demonstrated a mastery of subject area knowledge pursuant to s.
   37  1012.56(5).
   38         d.Fees for summer education programs.
   39         e.Fees for after-school education programs.
   40         f.Specialized services by approved providers or by a
   41  hospital in this state which are selected by the parent. These
   42  specialized services may include, but are not limited to:
   43         (I)Applied behavior analysis services as provided in ss.
   44  627.6686 and 641.31098.
   45         (II)Services provided by speech-language pathologists as
   46  defined in s. 468.1125.
   47         (III)Occupational therapy services as defined in s.
   48  468.203.
   49         (IV)Services provided by physical therapists as defined in
   50  s. 486.021.
   51         (V)Services provided by listening and spoken language
   52  specialists and an appropriate acoustical environment for a
   53  child who is deaf or hard of hearing and who has received an
   54  implant or assistive hearing device.
   56  A provider of any services receiving payments pursuant to this
   57  subparagraph may not share any moneys from the reading
   58  scholarship with, or provide a refund or rebate of any moneys
   59  from such scholarship to, the parent or participating student in
   60  any manner. A parent, student, or provider of any services may
   61  not bill an insurance company, Medicaid, or any other agency for
   62  the same services that are paid for using reading scholarship
   63  funds.
   64         (b)The parent is responsible for the payment of all
   65  eligible expenses in excess of the amount in the account in
   66  accordance with the terms agreed to between the parent and any
   67  providers and may not receive any refund or rebate of any
   68  expenditures made in accordance with paragraph (a).
   69         (4)ADMINISTRATION.—An eligible nonprofit scholarship
   70  funding organization participating in the Florida Tax Credit
   71  Scholarship Program established by s. 1002.395 may establish
   72  reading scholarship accounts for eligible students in accordance
   73  with the requirements of eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
   74  organizations under this chapter.
   75         (5)DEPARTMENT OBLIGATIONS.—The department shall have the
   76  same duties imposed by this chapter upon the department
   77  regarding oversight of scholarship programs administered by an
   78  eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization.
   80  September 30, the school district shall notify the parent of
   81  each student in grades 3 through 5 who scored below a level 3 on
   82  the statewide, standardized ELA assessment in the prior school
   83  year of the process to request and receive a reading
   84  scholarship, subject to available funds.
   86         (a)The maximum amount granted for an eligible student
   87  shall be provided in the General Appropriations Act.
   88         (b)One hundred percent of the funds appropriated for the
   89  reading scholarship accounts shall be released to the department
   90  at the beginning of the first quarter of each fiscal year.
   91         (c)Upon notification from the eligible nonprofit
   92  scholarship-funding organization that a student has been
   93  determined eligible for a reading scholarship, the department
   94  shall release the student’s scholarship funds to such
   95  organization to be deposited into the student’s account.
   96         (d)Accrued interest in the student’s account is in
   97  addition to, and not part of, the awarded funds. Account funds
   98  include both the awarded funds and accrued interest.
   99         (e)The eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization
  100  may develop a system for payment of scholarship funds by funds
  101  transfer, including, but not limited to, debit cards, electronic
  102  payment cards, or any other means of payment that the department
  103  deems to be commercially viable or cost-effective. A student’s
  104  scholarship award may not be reduced for debit card or
  105  electronic payment fees. Commodities or services related to the
  106  development of such a system shall be procured by competitive
  107  solicitation unless they are purchased from a state term
  108  contract pursuant to s. 287.056.
  109         (f)Payment of the scholarship shall be made by the
  110  eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization no less
  111  frequently than on a quarterly basis.
  112         (g)In addition to funds appropriated for scholarships and
  113  subject to a separate, specific legislative appropriation, an
  114  organization may receive an amount equivalent to not more than 3
  115  percent of the amount of each scholarship from state funds for
  116  administrative expenses if the organization has operated as a
  117  nonprofit entity for at least the preceding 3 fiscal years and
  118  did not have any findings of material weakness or material
  119  noncompliance in its most recent audit under s. 1002.395. Such
  120  administrative expenses must be reasonable and necessary for the
  121  organization’s management and distribution of scholarships under
  122  this section. Funds authorized under this paragraph may not be
  123  used for lobbying or political activity or expenses related to
  124  lobbying or political activity. An organization may not charge
  125  an application fee for a scholarship. Administrative expenses
  126  may not be deducted from funds appropriated for scholarships.
  127         (h)Moneys received pursuant to this section do not
  128  constitute taxable income to the qualified student or his or her
  129  parent.
  130         (i)A student’s scholarship account must be closed and any
  131  remaining funds shall revert to the state after:
  132         1.Denial or revocation of scholarship eligibility by the
  133  commissioner for fraud or abuse, including, but not limited to,
  134  the student or student’s parent accepting any payment, refund,
  135  or rebate, in any manner, from a provider of any services
  136  received pursuant to subsection (3); or
  137         2.Three consecutive fiscal years in which an account has
  138  been inactive.
  139         (8)LIABILITY.—No liability shall arise on the part of the
  140  state based on the award or use of a reading scholarship
  141  account.
  143  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
  144  And the title is amended as follows:
  145         Delete line 3471
  146  and insert:
  147         program; creating s. 1002.411, F.S.; establishing
  148         reading scholarship accounts for specified purposes;
  149         providing for eligibility for scholarships; providing
  150         for administration; providing duties of the Department
  151         of Education; providing school district obligations;
  152         specifying options for parents; providing that maximum
  153         funding shall be specified in the General
  154         Appropriations Act; providing for payment of funds;
  155         specifying that no state liability arises from the
  156         award or use of a reading scholarship account;
  157         amending s. 1002.421, F.S.; defining the term