1003.621 Academically high-performing school districts.—It is the intent of the Legislature to recognize and reward school districts that demonstrate the ability to consistently maintain or improve their high-performing status. The purpose of this section is to provide high-performing school districts with flexibility in meeting the specific requirements in statute and rules of the State Board of Education.
(1) ACADEMICALLY HIGH-PERFORMING SCHOOL DISTRICT.—
(a) A school district is an academically high-performing school district if it meets the following criteria:
1.a. Earns a grade of “A” under s. 1008.34 for 2 consecutive years; and
b. Has no district-operated school that earns a grade of “F” under s. 1008.34;
2. Complies with all class size requirements in s. 1, Art. IX of the State Constitution and s. 1003.03; and
3. Has no material weaknesses or instances of material noncompliance noted in the annual financial audit conducted pursuant to s. 11.45 or s. 218.39.
(b) Each school district that satisfies the eligibility criteria in this subsection shall be designated by the State Board of Education as an academically high-performing school district. With the exception of the statutes listed in subsection (2), upon designation as an academically high-performing school district, each such district is exempt from the provisions in chapters 1000-1013 which pertain to school districts and rules of the State Board of Education which implement these exempt provisions. This exemption remains in effect during the time of the designation if the district continues to meet all eligibility criteria.
(c) The academically high-performing school district shall retain the designation as a high-performing school district for 3 years, at the end of which time the district may renew the designation if the district meets the requirements in this section. A school district that fails to meet the requirements in this section shall provide written notification to the State Board of Education that the district is no longer eligible to be designated as an academically high-performing school district.
(d) In order to maintain the designation as an academically high-performing school district pursuant to this section, a school district must meet the following requirements:
1. Comply with the provisions of subparagraphs (a)2. and 3.; and
2. Earn a grade of “A” under s. 1008.34 for 2 years within a 3-year period.
However, a district in which a district-operated school earns a grade of “F” under s. 1008.34 during the 3-year period may not continue to be designated as an academically high-performing school district during the remainder of that 3-year period. The district must meet the criteria in paragraph (a) in order to be redesignated as an academically high-performing school district.
(2) COMPLIANCE WITH STATUTES AND RULES.—Each academically high-performing school district shall comply with all of the provisions in chapters 1000-1013, and rules of the State Board of Education which implement these provisions, pertaining to the following:
(a) Those statutes pertaining to the provision of services to students with disabilities.
(b) Those statutes pertaining to civil rights, including s. 1000.05, relating to discrimination.
(c) Those statutes pertaining to student health, safety, and welfare.
(d) Those statutes governing the election or compensation of district school board members.
(e) Those statutes pertaining to the student assessment program and the school grading system, including chapter 1008.
(f) Those statutes pertaining to financial matters, including chapter 1010, except that s. 1010.20(3)(a)1., 2., and 3., relating to the required program expenditure levels, are eligible for exemption.
(g) Those statutes pertaining to planning and budgeting, including chapter 1011, except s. 1011.62(9)(d), relating to the requirement for a comprehensive reading plan. A district that is exempt from submitting this plan shall be deemed approved to receive the research-based reading instruction allocation.
1(h) Sections 1012.22(1)(c) and 1012.27(2), relating to public school personnel compensation and salary schedules; s. 1012.34, relating to personnel evaluation procedures and criteria; and ss. 1012.33 and 1012.335, relating to contracts with instructional personnel, staff, supervisors, and school administrators.
(i) Those statutes pertaining to educational facilities, including chapter 1013, except that s. 1013.20, relating to covered walkways for portables, and s. 1013.21, relating to the use of relocatable facilities that exceed 20 years of age, are eligible for exemption.
(j) Those statutes relating to instructional materials, except that s. 1006.37, relating to the requisition of state-adopted materials from the depository under contract with the publisher, and s. 1006.40(3)(a), relating to the use of 50 percent of the instructional materials allocation, shall be eligible for exemption.
(k) Section 1001.42(4)(f), relating to the uniform opening date of public schools.
(l) This section.
(3) GOVERNING BOARD.—The governing board of the academically high-performing school district shall be the duly elected district school board. The district school board shall supervise the academically high-performing school district.
(4) REPORTS.—The academically high-performing school district shall submit to the State Board of Education and the Legislature an annual report on December 1 which delineates the performance of the school district relative to the academic performance of students at each grade level in reading, writing, mathematics, science, and any other subject that is included as a part of the statewide assessment program in s. 1008.22. The annual report shall be submitted in a format prescribed by the Department of Education and shall include:
(a) Longitudinal performance of students on statewide, standardized assessments taken under s. 1008.22;
(b) Longitudinal performance of students by grade level and subgroup on statewide, standardized assessments taken under s. 1008.22;
(c) Longitudinal performance regarding efforts to close the achievement gap;
(d)1. Number and percentage of students who take an Advanced Placement Examination; and
2. Longitudinal performance regarding students who take an Advanced Placement Examination by demographic group, specifically by age, gender, race, and Hispanic origin, and by participation in the National School Lunch Program;
(e) Evidence of compliance with subsection (1); and
(f) A description of each waiver and the status of each waiver.
History.—s. 1, ch. 2007-194; s. 7, ch. 2011-1; s. 30, ch. 2013-27; s. 4, ch. 2014-23; s. 48, ch. 2014-39; s. 6, ch. 2015-6.
1Note.—Section 17, ch. 2011-1, provides that “[c]hapter 2010-279, Laws of Florida, does not apply to any rulemaking required to administer this act.”