Florida Senate - 2018                        COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
       Bill No. PCS (478690) for CS for SB 732
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              

       The Committee on Appropriations (Brandes) recommended the
    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Delete lines 535 - 592
    4  and insert:
    5         Section 8. Paragraph (d) of subsection (2), paragraphs (d),
    6  (h), (i), (j), and (l) of subsection (5), subsection (8), and
    7  paragraph (a) of subsection (11) of section 1002.385, Florida
    8  Statutes, are amended, and paragraphs (p) and (q) are added to
    9  subsection (5) of that section, to read:
   10         1002.385 The Gardiner Scholarship.—
   11         (2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
   12         (d) “Disability” means, for a 3- or 4-year-old child or for
   13  a student in kindergarten to grade 12, autism spectrum disorder,
   14  as defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental
   15  Disorders, Fifth Edition, published by the American Psychiatric
   16  Association; cerebral palsy, as defined in s. 393.063(6); Down
   17  syndrome, as defined in s. 393.063(15); an intellectual
   18  disability, as defined in s. 393.063(24); Phelan-McDermid
   19  syndrome, as defined in s. 393.063(28); Prader-Willi syndrome,
   20  as defined in s. 393.063(29); spina bifida, as defined in s.
   21  393.063(40); being a high-risk child, as defined in s.
   22  393.063(23)(a); muscular dystrophy; Williams syndrome; a rare
   23  disease, a disorder that affects diseases which affect patient
   24  populations of fewer than 200,000 individuals or fewer in the
   25  United States, as defined by the Orphan Drug Act of 1983, Pub.
   26  L. No. 97-414 National Organization for Rare Disorders;
   27  anaphylaxis; deaf; visually impaired; traumatic brain injured;
   28  hospital or homebound; or identification as dual sensory
   29  impaired, as defined by rules of the State Board of Education
   30  and evidenced by reports from local school districts. The term
   31  “hospital or homebound” includes a student who has a medically
   32  diagnosed physical or psychiatric condition or illness, as
   33  defined by the state board in rule, and who is confined to the
   34  home or hospital for more than 6 months.
   35         (5) AUTHORIZED USES OF PROGRAM FUNDS.—Program funds must be
   36  used to meet the individual educational needs of an eligible
   37  student and may be spent for the following purposes:
   38         (d) Enrollment in, or Tuition or fees associated with full
   39  time or part-time enrollment in, a home education program, an
   40  eligible private school, an eligible postsecondary educational
   41  institution or a program offered by the postsecondary
   42  institution, a private tutoring program authorized under s.
   43  1002.43, a virtual program offered by a department-approved
   44  private online provider that meets the provider qualifications
   45  specified in s. 1002.45(2)(a), the Florida Virtual School as a
   46  private paying student, or an approved online course offered
   47  pursuant to s. 1003.499 or s. 1004.0961.
   48         (h) Tuition and fees for part-time tutoring services
   49  provided by a person who holds a valid Florida educator’s
   50  certificate pursuant to s. 1012.56; a person who holds a valid
   51  professional standard teaching certificate issued by another
   52  state; a person who holds an adjunct teaching certificate
   53  pursuant to s. 1012.57; a person who has a bachelor’s degree or
   54  a graduate degree in the subject area in which instruction is
   55  given; or a person who has demonstrated a mastery of subject
   56  area knowledge pursuant to s. 1012.56(5). As used in this
   57  paragraph, the term “part-time tutoring services” does not
   58  qualify as regular school attendance as defined in s.
   59  1003.01(13) s. 1003.01(13)(e).
   60         (i) Fees for specialized summer education programs.
   61         (j) Fees for specialized after-school education programs.
   62         (l) Fees for an annual evaluation of educational progress
   63  by a state-certified teacher under s. 1002.41(1)(f) s.
   64  1002.41(1)(c), if this option is chosen for a home education
   65  student.
   66         (p) Fees for art, music, or sports lessons.
   67         (q)Tuition or fees associated with enrollment in a
   68  nationally or internationally recognized research-based training
   69  program for a child with a neurological disorder or brain
   70  damage.
   72  A provider of any services receiving payments pursuant to this
   73  subsection may not share, refund, or rebate any moneys from the
   74  Gardiner Scholarship with the parent or participating student in
   75  any manner. A parent, student, or provider of any services may
   76  not bill an insurance company, Medicaid, or any other agency for
   77  the same services that are paid for using Gardiner Scholarship
   78  funds.
   80  private school may be sectarian or nonsectarian and shall:
   81         (a) Comply with all requirements for private schools
   82  participating in state school choice scholarship programs
   83  pursuant to s. 1002.421.
   84         (b) Provide to the organization, upon request, all
   85  documentation required for the student’s participation,
   86  including the private school’s and student’s fee schedules.
   87         (c) Be academically accountable to the parent for meeting
   88  the educational needs of the student by:
   89         1. At a minimum, annually providing to the parent a written
   90  explanation of the student’s progress.
   91         2. Annually administering or making provision for students
   92  participating in the program in grades 3 through 10 to take one
   93  of the nationally norm-referenced tests identified by the
   94  Department of Education or the statewide assessments pursuant to
   95  s. 1008.22. Students with disabilities for whom standardized
   96  testing is not appropriate are exempt from this requirement. A
   97  participating private school shall report a student’s scores to
   98  the parent.
   99         3. Cooperating with the scholarship student whose parent
  100  chooses to have the student participate in the statewide
  101  assessments pursuant to s. 1008.22 or, if a private school
  102  chooses to offer the statewide assessments, administering the
  103  assessments at the school.
  104         a. A participating private school may choose to offer and
  105  administer the statewide assessments to all students who attend
  106  the private school in grades 3 through 10.
  107         b. A participating private school shall submit a request in
  108  writing to the Department of Education by March 1 of each year
  109  in order to administer the statewide assessments in the
  110  subsequent school year.
  111         (d) Employ or contract with teachers who have regular and
  112  direct contact with each student receiving a scholarship under
  113  this section at the school’s physical location.
  114         (e) Provide a report from an independent certified public
  115  accountant who performs the agreed-upon procedures developed
  116  under s. 1002.395(6)(o) if the private school receives more than
  117  $250,000 in funds from scholarships awarded under this chapter
  118  section in a state fiscal year. A private school subject to this
  119  paragraph must annually submit the report by September 15 to the
  120  organization that awarded the majority of the school’s
  121  scholarship funds. The agreed-upon procedures must be conducted
  122  in accordance with attestation standards established by the
  123  American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
  125  If a private school fails or refuses is unable to meet the
  126  requirements of this subsection or has consecutive years of
  127  material exceptions listed in the report required under
  128  paragraph (e), the commissioner may determine that the private
  129  school is ineligible to participate in the program.
  131  PARTICIPATION.—A parent who applies for program participation
  132  under this section is exercising his or her parental option to
  133  determine the appropriate placement or the services that best
  134  meet the needs of his or her child. The scholarship award for a
  135  student is based on a matrix that assigns the student to support
  136  Level III services. If a parent receives an IEP and a matrix of
  137  services from the school district pursuant to subsection (7),
  138  the amount of the payment shall be adjusted as needed, when the
  139  school district completes the matrix.
  140         (a) To satisfy or maintain program eligibility, including
  141  eligibility to receive and spend program payments, the parent
  142  must sign an agreement with the organization and annually submit
  143  a notarized, sworn compliance statement to the organization to:
  144         1. Affirm that the student is enrolled in a program that
  145  meets regular school attendance requirements as provided in s.
  146  1003.01(13)(b) or (c) s. 1003.01(13)(b)-(d).
  147         2. Affirm that the program funds are used only for
  148  authorized purposes serving the student’s educational needs, as
  149  described in subsection (5).
  150         3. Affirm that the parent is responsible for the education
  151  of his or her student by, as applicable:
  152         a. Requiring the student to take an assessment in
  153  accordance with paragraph (8)(c);
  154         b. Providing an annual evaluation in accordance with s.
  155  1002.41(1)(f) s. 1002.41(1)(c); or
  156         c. Requiring the child to take any preassessments and
  157  postassessments selected by the provider if the child is 4 years
  158  of age and is enrolled in a program provided by an eligible
  159  Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program provider. A student
  160  with disabilities for whom a preassessment and postassessment is
  161  not appropriate is exempt from this requirement. A participating
  162  provider shall report a student’s scores to the parent.
  163         4. Affirm that the student remains in good standing with
  164  the provider or school if those options are selected by the
  165  parent.
  167  A parent who fails to comply with this subsection forfeits the
  168  Gardiner Scholarship.
  169         Section 9. Section 1002.411, Florida Statutes, is created
  170  to read:
  171         1002.411Reading scholarship accounts.—
  172         (1)READING SCHOLARSHIP ACCOUNTS.—Reading scholarship
  173  accounts are established to provide educational options for
  174  students.
  175         (2)ELIGIBILITY.—Contingent upon available funds, and on a
  176  first-come, first-served basis, each student in grades 3 through
  177  5 who is enrolled in a Florida public school is eligible for a
  178  reading scholarship account if the student scored below a Level
  179  3 on the grade 3 or grade 4 statewide, standardized English
  180  Language Arts (ELA) assessment in the prior school year. An
  181  eligible student who is classified as an English Learner and is
  182  enrolled in a program or receiving services that are
  183  specifically designed to meet the instructional needs of English
  184  Learner students shall receive priority.
  186         (a)For an eligible student to receive a reading
  187  scholarship account, the student’s parent must:
  188         1.Submit an application to an eligible nonprofit
  189  scholarship-funding organization by the deadline established by
  190  such organization; and
  191         2.Submit eligible expenses to the eligible nonprofit
  192  scholarship-funding organization for reimbursement of qualifying
  193  expenditures, which may include:
  194         a.Instructional materials.
  195         b.Curriculum. As used in this sub-subparagraph, the term
  196  “curriculum” means a complete course of study for a particular
  197  content area or grade level, including any required supplemental
  198  materials and associated online instruction.
  199         c.Tuition and fees for part-time tutoring services
  200  provided by a person who holds a valid Florida educator’s
  201  certificate pursuant to s. 1012.56; a person who holds a
  202  baccalaureate or graduate degree in the subject area; a person
  203  who holds an adjunct teaching certificate pursuant to s.
  204  1012.57; or a person who has demonstrated a mastery of subject
  205  area knowledge pursuant to s. 1012.56(5).
  206         d.Fees for summer education programs.
  207         e.Fees for after-school education programs.
  209  A provider of any services receiving payments pursuant to this
  210  subparagraph may not share any moneys from the reading
  211  scholarship with, or provide a refund or rebate of any moneys
  212  from such scholarship to, the parent or participating student in
  213  any manner. A parent, student, or provider of any services may
  214  not bill an insurance company, Medicaid, or any other agency for
  215  the same services that are paid for using reading scholarship
  216  funds.
  217         (b)The parent is responsible for the payment of all
  218  eligible expenses in excess of the amount in the account in
  219  accordance with the terms agreed to between the parent and any
  220  providers and may not receive any refund or rebate of any
  221  expenditures made in accordance with paragraph (a).
  222         (4)ADMINISTRATION.—An eligible nonprofit scholarship
  223  funding organization participating in the Florida Tax Credit
  224  Scholarship Program established by s. 1002.395 may establish
  225  reading scholarship accounts for eligible students in accordance
  226  with the requirements of eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
  227  organizations under this chapter.
  228         (5)DEPARTMENT OBLIGATIONS.—The department shall have the
  229  same duties imposed by this chapter upon the department
  230  regarding oversight of scholarship programs administered by an
  231  eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization.
  233  September 30, the school district shall notify the parent of
  234  each student in grades 3 through 5 who scored below a level 3 on
  235  the statewide, standardized ELA assessment in the prior school
  236  year of the process to request and receive a reading
  237  scholarship, subject to available funds.
  239         (a)For the 2018-2019 school year, the amount of the
  240  scholarship shall be $500 per eligible student. Thereafter, the
  241  maximum amount awarded an eligible student shall be provided in
  242  the General Appropriations Act.
  243         (b)One hundred percent of the funds appropriated for the
  244  reading scholarship accounts shall be released to the department
  245  at the beginning of the first quarter of each fiscal year.
  246         (c)Upon notification from the eligible nonprofit
  247  scholarship-funding organization that a student has been
  248  determined eligible for a reading scholarship, the department
  249  shall release the student’s scholarship funds to such
  250  organization to be deposited into the student’s account.
  251         (d)Accrued interest in the student’s account is in
  252  addition to, and not part of, the awarded funds. Account funds
  253  include both the awarded funds and accrued interest.
  254         (e)The eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization
  255  may develop a system for payment of scholarship funds by funds
  256  transfer, including, but not limited to, debit cards, electronic
  257  payment cards, or any other means of payment that the department
  258  deems to be commercially viable or cost-effective. A student’s
  259  scholarship award may not be reduced for debit card or
  260  electronic payment fees. Commodities or services related to the
  261  development of such a system shall be procured by competitive
  262  solicitation unless they are purchased from a state term
  263  contract pursuant to s. 287.056.
  264         (f)Payment of the scholarship shall be made by the
  265  eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization no less
  266  frequently than on a quarterly basis.
  267         (g)In addition to funds appropriated for scholarships and
  268  subject to a separate, specific legislative appropriation, an
  269  organization may receive an amount equivalent to not more than 3
  270  percent of the amount of each scholarship from state funds for
  271  administrative expenses if the organization has operated as a
  272  nonprofit entity for at least the preceding 3 fiscal years and
  273  did not have any findings of material weakness or material
  274  noncompliance in its most recent audit under s. 1002.395. Such
  275  administrative expenses must be reasonable and necessary for the
  276  organization’s management and distribution of scholarships under
  277  this section. Funds authorized under this paragraph may not be
  278  used for lobbying or political activity or expenses related to
  279  lobbying or political activity. An organization may not charge
  280  an application fee for a scholarship. Administrative expenses
  281  may not be deducted from funds appropriated for scholarships.
  282         (h)Moneys received pursuant to this section do not
  283  constitute taxable income to the qualified student or his or her
  284  parent.
  285         (i)A student’s scholarship account must be closed and any
  286  remaining funds shall revert to the state after:
  287         1.Denial or revocation of scholarship eligibility by the
  288  commissioner for fraud or abuse, including, but not limited to,
  289  the student or student’s parent accepting any payment, refund,
  290  or rebate, in any manner, from a provider of any services
  291  received pursuant to subsection (3); or
  292         2.Three consecutive fiscal years in which an account has
  293  been inactive.
  294         (8)LIABILITY.—No liability shall arise on the part of the
  295  state based on the award or use of a reading scholarship
  296  account.
  297         Section 10. Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section
  298  1003.436, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  299         1003.436 Definition of “credit.”—
  300         (1)(a) For the purposes of requirements for high school
  301  graduation, one full credit means a minimum of 135 hours of bona
  302  fide instruction in a designated course of study that contains
  303  student performance standards, except as otherwise provided
  304  through the Credit Acceleration Program (CAP) under s.
  305  1003.4295(3). One full credit means a minimum of 120 hours of
  306  bona fide instruction in a designated course of study that
  307  contains student performance standards for purposes of meeting
  308  high school graduation requirements in a district school that
  309  has been authorized to implement block scheduling by the
  310  district school board. In lieu of the 135- and 120-hour
  311  instruction requirements, district school boards participating
  312  in the Mastery-Based Education Pilot Program under s. 1003.4996,
  313  may determine and award credit based on a student’s mastery of
  314  the core content and skills, consistent with s. 1003.41, as
  315  approved by the district school board. The State Board of
  316  Education shall determine the number of postsecondary credit
  317  hours earned through dual enrollment pursuant to s. 1007.271
  318  that satisfy the requirements of a dual enrollment articulation
  319  agreement according to s. 1007.271(21) and that equal one full
  320  credit of the equivalent high school course identified pursuant
  321  to s. 1007.271(9).
  322         Section 11. Section 1003.437, Florida Statutes, is amended
  323  to read:
  324         1003.437 Middle and high school grading system.—
  325         (1) The grading system and interpretation of letter grades
  326  used to measure student success in grade 6 through grade 12
  327  courses for students in public schools shall be as follows:
  328         (a)(1) Grade “A” equals 90 percent through 100 percent, has
  329  a grade point average value of 4, and is defined as “outstanding
  330  progress.”
  331         (b)(2) Grade “B” equals 80 percent through 89 percent, has
  332  a grade point average value of 3, and is defined as “above
  333  average progress.”
  334         (c)(3) Grade “C” equals 70 percent through 79 percent, has
  335  a grade point average value of 2, and is defined as “average
  336  progress.”
  337         (d)(4) Grade “D” equals 60 percent through 69 percent, has
  338  a grade point average value of 1, and is defined as “lowest
  339  acceptable progress.”
  340         (e)(5) Grade “F” equals zero percent through 59 percent,
  341  has a grade point average value of zero, and is defined as
  342  “failure.”
  343         (f)(6) Grade “I” equals zero percent, has a grade point
  344  average value of zero, and is defined as “incomplete.”
  345         (2)District school boards participating in the Mastery
  346  Based Education Pilot Program under s. 1003.4996 may use an
  347  alternative interpretation of letter grades to measure student
  348  success in grades 6 through 12.
  350  For the purposes of class ranking, district school boards may
  351  exercise a weighted grading system pursuant to s. 1007.271.
  352         Section 12. Section 1003.4996, Florida Statutes, is amended
  353  to read:
  354         1003.4996 Mastery-Based Competency-Based Education Pilot
  355  Program.—Beginning with the 2016-2017 school year, The Mastery
  356  Based Competency-Based Education Pilot Program is created within
  357  the Department of Education to be administered for a period of 5
  358  years. The purpose of the pilot program is to provide an
  359  educational environment that allows students to advance to
  360  higher levels of learning upon the mastery of concepts and
  361  skills through statutory exemptions relating to student
  362  progression and the awarding of credits.
  363         (1) PARTICIPATION.—The P.K. Yonge Developmental Research
  364  School and public school districts, including, but not limited
  365  to, the Lake, Palm Beach, Pinellas, and Seminole County School
  366  Districts, may submit an application in a format prescribed by
  367  the department to participate in the pilot program.
  368         (2) APPLICATION.—The application to participate in the
  369  pilot program must, at a minimum, include:
  370         (a) The vision and timelines for the implementation of
  371  mastery-based competency-based education within the school
  372  district, including a list of the schools that will participate
  373  in the pilot program during the first school year and the list
  374  of schools that will be integrated into the program in
  375  subsequent school years.
  376         (b) The annual goals and performance outcomes for
  377  participating schools, including, but not limited to:
  378         1. Student performance as defined in s. 1008.34.
  379         2. Promotion and retention rates.
  380         3. Graduation rates.
  381         4. Indicators of college and career readiness.
  382         (c) A communication plan for parents and other
  383  stakeholders, including local businesses and community members.
  384         (d) The scope of and timelines for professional development
  385  for school instructional and administrative personnel.
  386         (e) A plan for student progression based on the mastery of
  387  content, including mechanisms that determine and ensure that a
  388  student has satisfied the requirements for grade-level promotion
  389  and content mastery.
  390         (f) A plan for using technology and digital and blended
  391  learning to enhance student achievement and facilitate the
  392  mastery-based competency-based education system.
  393         (g) The proposed allocation of resources for the pilot
  394  program at the school and district levels.
  395         (h) The recruitment and selection of participating schools.
  396         (i) The rules to be waived for participating schools
  397  pursuant to subsection (3) to implement the pilot program.
  398         (3) EXEMPTION FROM RULES.—In addition to the waivers
  399  authorized in s. 1001.10(3), the State Board of Education may
  400  authorize the commissioner to grant an additional waiver of
  401  rules relating to student progression and the awarding of
  402  credits.
  404         (a)Beginning with the 2018-2019 school year, participating
  405  school districts may amend their applications to include
  406  alternatives for awarding credit, as authorized under s.
  407  1003.436, and for the interpretation of middle and high school
  408  letter grades, as authorized under s. 1003.437.
  409         1.Alternatives to awarding credit must include a
  410  verification of the student’s mastery of the applicable course
  411  content using rigorous scoring rubrics to evaluate the student’s
  412  work.
  413         2.Alternatives to the interpretation of middle and high
  414  school letter grades may substitute the applicable language from
  415  the school district’s rigorous scoring rubric.
  416         (b)An application that is amended pursuant to this
  417  subsection must be approved by the district school board.
  418         (5)(4) STUDENT FUNDING.—Students enrolled in a
  419  participating school shall be reported for and generate funding
  420  pursuant to s. 1011.62.
  421         (6)(5) DEPARTMENT DUTIES.—The department shall:
  422         (a) Compile the student and staff schedules of
  423  participating schools before and after implementation of the
  424  pilot program.
  425         (b) Provide participating schools with access to statewide,
  426  standardized assessments required under s. 1008.22.
  427         (c) Annually, by June 1, provide to the Governor, the
  428  President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of
  429  Representatives a report summarizing the activities and
  430  accomplishments of the pilot program and any recommendations for
  431  statutory revisions.
  432         (6)RULES.—The State Board of Education shall adopt rules
  433  to administer this section.
  434         Section 13. Subsection (7) is added to section 1007.23,
  435  Florida Statutes, to read:
  436         1007.23 Statewide articulation agreement.—
  437         (7)The articulation agreement must ensure fair and
  438  equitable access for high school graduates with mastery-based,
  439  nontraditional diplomas and transcripts.
  440         Section 14. For the 2018-2019 fiscal year, the sum of $9.7
  441  million in recurring funds from the General Revenue Fund is
  442  appropriated to the Department of Education to fund reading
  443  scholarship accounts pursuant to s. 1002.411, Florida Statutes,
  444  and $300,000 in recurring funds from the General Revenue Fund
  445  shall be provided as an administrative fee pursuant to s.
  446  1002.411(7)(g), Florida Statutes.
  448  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
  449  And the title is amended as follows:
  450         Delete line 51
  451  and insert:
  452         F.S.; revising the meaning of a rare disease within
  453         the definition of the term “disability” for purposes
  454         of the Gardiner Scholarship Program; revising eligible
  455         expenditures for the program; revising requirements
  456         for private schools that participate in the program;
  457         specifying that the failure or refusal, rather than
  458         the inability of, a private school to meet certain
  459         requirements constitutes a basis for program
  460         ineligibility; conforming cross-references; creating
  461         s. 1002.411, F.S.; establishing reading scholarship
  462         accounts for specified purposes; providing for
  463         eligibility for scholarships; providing for
  464         administration; providing duties of the Department of
  465         Education; providing school district obligations;
  466         specifying options for parents; providing that maximum
  467         funding shall be specified in the General
  468         Appropriations Act; providing for payment of funds;
  469         specifying that no state liability arises from the
  470         award or use of such an account; amending s. 1003.436,
  471         F.S.; authorizing a district school board
  472         participating in the Mastery-Based Education Pilot
  473         Program to award credit based on student mastery of
  474         certain content and skills; amending s. 1003.437,
  475         F.S.; authorizing a district school board
  476         participating in the Mastery-Based Education Pilot
  477         Program to use an alternative interpretation of letter
  478         grades for certain students; amending s. 1003.4996,
  479         F.S.; renaming the Competency-Based Education Pilot
  480         Program as the Mastery-Based Education Pilot Program;
  481         authorizing public school districts to submit
  482         applications for the program; authorizing
  483         participating school districts to amend their
  484         applications to include alternatives for the award
  485         credits and interpretation of letter grades; providing
  486         requirements for such alternatives; deleting a
  487         requirement that the State Board of Education adopt
  488         rules; amending s. 1007.23, F.S.; requiring the
  489         statewide articulation agreement to ensure fair and
  490         equitable access for students with mastery-based,
  491         nontraditional diplomas and transcripts; providing an