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The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Title XLVIII
EARLY LEARNING-20 EDUCATION CODE
Chapter 1002
STUDENT AND PARENTAL RIGHTS AND EDUCATIONAL CHOICES
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F.S. 1002.351
1002.351 The Florida School for Competitive Academics.
(1) ESTABLISHMENT.There is established the Florida School for Competitive Academics. The school shall be located in Alachua County and is a state-supported public school for Florida residents in grades 6-12. The primary purpose of the school is to provide a rigorous academic curriculum, and the secondary purpose is to prepare students for regional, state, and national academic competitions in all areas of study, including, but not limited to, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The school may admit students in grades 6-12 beginning in the 2024-2025 school year.
(2) MISSION.
(a) The mission of the Florida School for Competitive Academics is to provide students who meet selective admissions requirements an environment that will foster high academic engagement and advanced understanding of subject areas, develop productive work habits, build resiliency, connect students with industry leaders, and promote civic leadership.
(b) To assist in the recruitment of students, the Florida School for Competitive Academics must be included in the school choice online portal established under s. 1001.10(10). The portal must include information about the opportunity for parents to submit their child’s educational records to the Florida School for Competitive Academics for consideration for admission.
(3) BOARD OF TRUSTEES.
(a)1. The Florida School for Competitive Academics shall be governed by a board of trustees composed of seven members appointed by the Governor to 4-year terms and confirmed by the Senate. For purposes of staggering terms, four members, including the chair as designated by the Governor, shall be appointed to 4-year terms beginning July 1, 2023, and three members shall be appointed to 2-year terms beginning July 1, 2023. After the initial 4-year term, the chair shall be elected by the board.
2. No more than one employee of the school may serve on the board of trustees as a member or as chair.
(b) Members of the board of trustees shall serve without compensation, but may be reimbursed for per diem and travel expenses pursuant to s. 112.061.
(c) The board of trustees is a public agency entitled to sovereign immunity pursuant to s. 768.28, and board members are public officers who bear fiduciary responsibility for the Florida School for Competitive Academics.
(d) The board of trustees is a body corporate with all the powers of a body corporate and with such authority as is needed for the proper operation and improvement of the Florida School for Competitive Academics. Title to any gift, donation, or bequest received by the board of trustees must vest in the board of trustees. Title to all other property and other assets of the Florida School for Competitive Academics must vest in the State Board of Education, but the board of trustees has complete jurisdiction over the management of the school.
(e) The board of trustees has the full power and authority to:
1. Adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement provisions of law relating to operation of the Florida School for Competitive Academics. Such rules must be submitted to the State Board of Education for approval or disapproval. After a rule is approved by the State Board of Education, the rule must be filed immediately with the Department of State. The board of trustees shall act at all times in conjunction with the rules of the State Board of Education.
2. Appoint a principal, administrators, teachers, and other employees.
3. Remove principals, administrators, teachers, and other employees at the board’s discretion.
4. Determine eligibility of students and procedures for admission.
5. Provide for the proper keeping of accounts and records and for budgeting of funds.
6. Receive gifts, donations, and bequests of money or property, real or personal, tangible or intangible, from any person, firm, corporation, or other legal entity for the use and benefit of the school.
7. Recommend to the Legislature for the school to become a residential public school.
8. Do and perform every other matter or thing requisite to the proper management, maintenance, support, and control of the school at the highest efficiency economically possible.
(f) The board of trustees shall:
1. Prepare and submit legislative budget requests for operations and fixed capital outlay, in accordance with chapter 216 and ss. 1011.56 and 1013.60, to the Department of Education for review and approval. The department must analyze the amount requested for fixed capital outlay to determine if the request is consistent with the school’s campus master plan, educational plant survey, and facilities master plan.
2. Approve and administer an annual operating budget in accordance with ss. 1011.56 and 1011.57.
3. Require all purchases to be in accordance with chapter 287 except for purchases made with funds received as gifts, donations, or bequests or funds raised by or belonging to student clubs or student organizations.
4. Administer and maintain personnel programs for all employees of the board of trustees and the Florida School for Competitive Academics, who shall be school employees, including the personnel.
5. Ensure that the Florida School for Competitive Academics complies with s. 1013.351 concerning the coordination of planning between the Florida School for Competitive Academics and local governing bodies.
6. Ensure that the Florida School for Competitive Academics complies with s. 112.061 concerning per diem and travel expenses.
7. Adopt a master plan that specifies the objectives of the Florida School for Competitive Academics. The plan must be for a period of 5 years and must be reviewed for needed modifications every 2 years. The board of trustees shall submit the initial plan and subsequent modifications to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
(4) STUDENT AND EMPLOYEE RECORDS.The board of trustees shall provide for the content and custody of student and employee personnel records. Student records are subject to s. 1002.22. Employee records are subject to s. 1012.31.
(5) PERSONNEL.
(a) The Florida School for Competitive Academics Board of Trustees shall require all employees and applicants for employment to undergo background screening as provided in s. 1012.32 as a condition of employment and continued employment. Members of the board of trustees must also undergo background screening in accordance with the relevant provisions of s. 1012.32. An individual may not be employed as an employee or contract personnel of the school or serve as a member of the board of trustees if the individual is on the disqualification list maintained by the department pursuant to s. 1001.10(4)(b).
(b) In accordance with law and rules of the State Board of Education, the board of trustees shall administer and maintain personnel programs for all employees of the board of trustees and the Florida School for Competitive Academics. The board of trustees may adopt rules, policies, and procedures related to the appointment, employment, and removal of personnel.
1. The board of trustees shall determine the compensation, including salaries and fringe benefits, and other conditions of employment for such personnel.
2. Classroom teachers employed by the school must be certified pursuant to chapter 1012.
3. Each person employed by the board of trustees in an academic, administrative, or instructional capacity with the Florida School for Competitive Academics is entitled to a contract as provided by rules of the board of trustees.
4. All employees, except temporary, seasonal, and student employees, may be provided Florida Retirement System benefits from the school through operational costs.
(6) FUNDING.
(a) The Florida School for Competitive Academics shall receive state funds for operating purposes as provided in the General Appropriations Act.
(b) In addition to the funds provided in the General Appropriations Act, the Florida School for Competitive Academics may receive other funds from grants and donations.
(7) AUDITS AND INVESTIGATIONS.The Auditor General shall conduct audits of the accounts and records of the Florida School for Competitive Academics as provided in s. 11.45. The Department of Education’s Inspector General is authorized to conduct investigations at the school as provided in s. 1001.20(4)(e).
(8) EXEMPTION FROM STATUTES.
(a) The Florida School for Competitive Academics is exempt from all statutes in chapters 1000-1013. However, the Florida School for Competitive Academics shall be in compliance with the following statutes in chapters 1000-1013:
1. This section.
2. Those statutes pertaining to the student assessment program and school grading system.
3. Those statutes pertaining to the provision of services to students with disabilities.
4. Those statutes pertaining to civil rights, including, but not limited to, s. 1000.05, relating to discrimination.
5. Those statutes pertaining to student health, safety, and welfare.
(b) Additionally, the Florida School for Competitive Academics shall be in compliance with the following statutes:
1. Section 286.011, relating to public meetings and records, public inspection, and criminal and civil penalties.
2. Chapter 119, relating to public records.
3. Section 1006.12, relating to safe-school officers.
4. Section 1006.07(7), relating to threat 1management teams.
5. Section 1006.07(9), relating to school environmental safety incident reporting.
6. Section 1006.07(10), relating to reporting of involuntary examinations.
7. Section 1006.1493, relating to the Florida Safe Schools Assessment Tool.
8. Section 1006.07(6)(d), relating to adopting active assailant response plans.
9. Section 943.082(4)(b), relating to the mobile suspicious activity reporting tool.
10. Section 1012.584, relating to youth mental health awareness and assistance training.
11. Section 1003.4282, relating to requirements for a standard high school diploma.
12. Section 1003.03(1), relating to class size maximums.
13.a. Section 1011.61, relating to instructional hours requirements.
b. Notwithstanding sub-subparagraph a., the school may provide instruction that exceeds the minimum time requirements for the purposes of offering a summer program.
(c) For purposes of this subsection:
1. The duties assigned to a district school superintendent apply to the director of the Florida School for Competitive Academics.
2. The duties assigned to a district school board apply to the board of trustees.
History.s. 14, ch. 2023-245.
1Note.The word “management” was substituted for the word “assessment” by the editors to conform to s. 23, ch. 2023-18, which amended s. 1006.07(7) to change the term “threat assessment team” to the term “threat management team.”