Florida Senate - 2024                                     SB 246
       By Senator Harrell
       31-00431-24                                            2024246__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to conversion charter schools;
    3         amending s. 1002.33, F.S.; revising the requirements
    4         for an application for a conversion charter school;
    5         authorizing municipalities to apply for the conversion
    6         of specified public schools to charter schools;
    7         authorizing the Charter School Review Commission to
    8         solicit and review applications for conversion charter
    9         schools; providing an effective date.
   11  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   13         Section 1. Paragraph (c) is added to subsection (3) of
   14  section 1002.33, Florida Statutes, and paragraph (b) of
   15  subsection (3) and paragraph (a) of subsection (5) of that
   16  section are amended, to read:
   17         1002.33 Charter schools.—
   19         (b) An application for a conversion charter school shall be
   20  made by a municipality, the district school board, the
   21  principal, teachers, parents, and/or the school advisory council
   22  at an existing public school that has been in operation for at
   23  least 2 years prior to the application to convert. A public
   24  school-within-a-school that is designated as a school by the
   25  district school board may also submit an application to convert
   26  to charter status. An application submitted proposing to convert
   27  an existing public school to a charter school shall demonstrate
   28  the support of at least 50 percent of the teachers employed at
   29  the school and 50 percent of the parents voting whose children
   30  are enrolled at the school, provided that a majority of the
   31  parents eligible to vote participate in the ballot process,
   32  according to rules adopted by the State Board of Education. The
   33  Charter School Review Commission or a district school board
   34  denying an application for a conversion charter school shall
   35  provide notice of denial to the applicants in writing within 10
   36  days after the meeting at which the commission or district
   37  school board denied the application. The notice must articulate
   38  in writing the specific reasons for denial and must provide
   39  documentation supporting those reasons. A private school,
   40  parochial school, or home education program shall not be
   41  eligible for charter school status.
   42         (c)A municipality may submit an application for conversion
   43  for any or all of the public schools within its jurisdictional
   44  boundary as part of a single application for approval.
   45         (5) SPONSOR; DUTIES.—
   46         (a) Sponsoring entities.—
   47         1. A district school board may sponsor a charter school in
   48  the county over which the district school board has
   49  jurisdiction.
   50         2. A state university may grant a charter to a lab school
   51  created under s. 1002.32 and shall be considered to be the
   52  school’s sponsor. Such school shall be considered a charter lab
   53  school.
   54         3. Because needs relating to educational capacity,
   55  workforce qualifications, and career education opportunities are
   56  constantly changing and extend beyond school district
   57  boundaries:
   58         a. A state university may, upon approval by the Department
   59  of Education, solicit applications and sponsor a charter school
   60  to meet regional education or workforce demands by serving
   61  students from multiple school districts.
   62         b. A Florida College System institution may, upon approval
   63  by the Department of Education, solicit applications and sponsor
   64  a charter school in any county within its service area to meet
   65  workforce demands and may offer postsecondary programs leading
   66  to industry certifications to eligible charter school students.
   67  A charter school established under subparagraph (b)4. may not be
   68  sponsored by a Florida College System institution until its
   69  existing charter with the school district expires as provided
   70  under subsection (7).
   71         c. Notwithstanding paragraph (6)(b), a state university or
   72  Florida College System institution may, at its discretion, deny
   73  an application for a charter school.
   74         d. The Charter School Review Commission, as authorized
   75  under s. 1002.3301, may solicit and review applications for
   76  conversion charter schools and charter schools overseen by
   77  district school boards and, upon the commission approving an
   78  application, the district school board that oversees the school
   79  district in which the charter school will be located shall serve
   80  as sponsor.
   81         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2024.