Florida Senate - 2022                                     SB 892
       By Senator Burgess
       20-01034-22                                            2022892__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to charter school charters; amending
    3         s. 1002.33, F.S.; requiring a request for a
    4         consolidation of multiple charters to be approved or
    5         denied within a specified timeframe; requiring a
    6         charter school sponsor to provide to the charter
    7         school specified information relating to a denial of a
    8         request for a consolidation within a certain
    9         timeframe; revising the time period for notification
   10         of specified actions relating to a charter school
   11         charter; providing for the automatic renewal of a
   12         charter under certain circumstances; providing an
   13         effective date.
   15  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   17         Section 1. Paragraph (d) of subsection (7) and paragraph
   18  (b) of subsection (8) of section 1002.33, Florida Statutes, are
   19  amended to read:
   20         1002.33 Charter schools.—
   21         (7) CHARTER.—The terms and conditions for the operation of
   22  a charter school shall be set forth by the sponsor and the
   23  applicant in a written contractual agreement, called a charter.
   24  The sponsor and the governing board of the charter school shall
   25  use the standard charter contract pursuant to subsection (21),
   26  which shall incorporate the approved application and any addenda
   27  approved with the application. Any term or condition of a
   28  proposed charter contract that differs from the standard charter
   29  contract adopted by rule of the State Board of Education shall
   30  be presumed a limitation on charter school flexibility. The
   31  sponsor may not impose unreasonable rules or regulations that
   32  violate the intent of giving charter schools greater flexibility
   33  to meet educational goals. The charter shall be signed by the
   34  governing board of the charter school and the sponsor, following
   35  a public hearing to ensure community input.
   36         (d) A charter may be modified during its initial term or
   37  any renewal term upon the recommendation of the sponsor or the
   38  charter school’s governing board and the approval of both
   39  parties to the agreement. Changes to curriculum which are
   40  consistent with state standards shall be deemed approved unless
   41  the sponsor and the Department of Education determine in writing
   42  that the curriculum is inconsistent with state standards.
   43  Modification during any term may include, but is not limited to,
   44  consolidation of multiple charters into a single charter if the
   45  charters are operated under the same governing board, regardless
   46  of the renewal cycle. A charter school that is not subject to a
   47  school improvement plan and that closes as part of a
   48  consolidation shall be reported by the sponsor as a
   49  consolidation. A request for consolidation of multiple charters
   50  must be approved or denied within 60 days after the submission
   51  of the request. If the request is denied, the sponsor shall
   52  notify the charter school’s governing board of the denial and
   53  provide the specific reasons, in reasonable detail, for the
   54  denial of the request for consolidation within 10 days.
   56         (b) Before a vote on any proposed action to renew,
   57  terminate, or not renew the charter and at least 90 days before
   58  the end of the district school year renewing, nonrenewing, or
   59  terminating a charter, the sponsor shall notify the governing
   60  board of the school in writing of the proposed action to renew,
   61  terminate, or not renew the charter. A charter must
   62  automatically renew with the same terms and conditions if a vote
   63  on the proposed action does not occur at least 90 days before
   64  the end of the school year in writing. The notice shall state in
   65  reasonable detail the grounds for the proposed action and
   66  stipulate that the school’s governing board may, within 14
   67  calendar days after receiving the notice, request a hearing. The
   68  hearing shall be conducted by an administrative law judge
   69  assigned by the Division of Administrative Hearings. The hearing
   70  shall be conducted within 90 days after receipt of the request
   71  for a hearing and in accordance with chapter 120. The
   72  administrative law judge’s final order shall be submitted to the
   73  sponsor. The administrative law judge shall award the prevailing
   74  party reasonable attorney fees and costs incurred during the
   75  administrative proceeding and any appeals. The charter school’s
   76  governing board may, within 30 calendar days after receiving the
   77  final order, appeal the decision pursuant to s. 120.68.
   78         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2022.