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House Bill 0269

House Bill hb0269e2

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                                    CS/CS/HB 269, Second Engrossed



  1                      A bill to be entitled

  2         An act relating to school district best

  3         financial management practices reviews;

  4         creating the "Sharpening the Pencil Act";

  5         amending s. 230.23025, F.S.; providing

  6         legislative intent; providing OPPAGA with

  7         primary responsibility for the completion of

  8         best financial practices reviews; revising

  9         areas in which best financial management

10         practices are to be developed and adopted;

11         revising and clarifying the best financial

12         management practices adoption and revision

13         process; clarifying that OPPAGA shall contract

14         with a private firm to perform reviews,

15         provided the review team has certain expertise;

16         authorizing OPPAGA to complete reviews under

17         certain circumstances; authorizing the

18         inclusion of review items in addition to the

19         adopted best financial management practices,

20         after consultation with the school district;

21         requiring consultation with the Commissioner of

22         Education throughout the best-practices-review

23         process; establishing a continuing 5-year

24         review cycle; authorizing the Joint Legislative

25         Auditing Committee to adjust the schedule under

26         certain circumstances; authorizing the review

27         of additional school districts under certain

28         circumstances; specifying that reviews shall be

29         conducted to the extent funded by the

30         Legislature; specifying the use of such funds;

31         providing for district self-assessments;


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                                    CS/CS/HB 269, Second Engrossed



  1         requiring public forums to review final

  2         reports; requiring copies of the final report

  3         issued by OPPAGA to be provided to additional

  4         entities; providing for electronic access to

  5         reports; requiring public meetings; revising

  6         provisions relating to eligibility for the

  7         "Seal of Best Financial Management";

  8         establishing requirements relating to status

  9         reports; requiring OPPAGA to review a

10         district's status reports, assess

11         implementation of the action plan, and assess

12         progress toward implementing the best financial

13         management practices and to issue a report;

14         providing for appearance of school officials

15         before the Legislature upon failure to

16         implement an adopted action plan; clarifying

17         provisions relating to the award of the "Seal

18         of Best Financial Management"; providing for

19         waiver of subsequent reviews under certain

20         circumstances; requiring school districts that

21         are reviewed to maintain certain records;

22         specifying use of cost savings; repealing s.

23         11.515, F.S., relating to school district

24         performance reviews; repealing s. 230.2302,

25         F.S., relating to performance reviews;

26         repealing s. 230.23026, F.S., relating to the

27         Florida School District Review Trust Fund;

28         amending s. 11.51, F.S., revising duties of the

29         Office of Program Policy Analysis and

30         Government Accountability; amending s.

31         230.23027, F.S., relating to the Small School


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                                    CS/CS/HB 269, Second Engrossed



  1         District Stabilization Program; conforming

  2         provisions to changes made by the act; amending

  3         s. 233.43, F.S., relating to duties of

  4         superintendent relating to instructional

  5         materials; conforming a cross-reference;

  6         amending s. 235.2197, F.S., relating to the

  7         Florida Frugal Schools Program; conforming

  8         cross-references; creating the Land Acquisition

  9         and Facilities Advisory Board; providing for

10         appointment of members; providing a review

11         process; providing for board dissolution;

12         amending s. 159.27, F.S.; redefining the term

13         "educational facility" for purposes of part II

14         of ch. 159, F.S., the Florida Industrial

15         Development Financing Act, to include charter

16         schools and developmental research schools;

17         amending s. 228.056, F.S.; providing

18         requirements for conversion to charter schools;

19         establishing new purposes for charter schools;

20         prohibiting a sponsor from charging an

21         application fee; removing a school board's

22         ability to refuse to follow the recommendation

23         of the State Board of Education for good cause

24         in cases of charter-school appeals; permitting

25         a charter school to admit students on the basis

26         of artistic, academic, or other standards;

27         revising requirements regarding the capacity of

28         the charter school; granting a charter school's

29         governing board the right to appeal a school

30         board's decision to terminate a charter school;

31         changing the procedure for granting a charter


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                                    CS/CS/HB 269, Second Engrossed



  1         school an exemption from statutory provisions;

  2         revising the requirements for the staff of a

  3         charter school; revising procedures relating to

  4         the administrative fee charged by a school

  5         district; revising requirements for a charter

  6         school in the workplace; amending s. 228.0561,

  7         F.S.; revising procedures relating to funding

  8         for charter-school facilities; amending s.

  9         232.425, F.S.; authorizing charter school

10         students to participate at the public school to

11         which the student would be assigned in any

12         interscholastic extracurricular activity of

13         that school; providing an effective date.

14  

15  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:

16  

17         Section 1.  Short title.--This act may be cited as the

18  "Sharpening the Pencil Act."

19         Section 2.  Section 230.23025, Florida Statutes, as

20  amended by chapters 97-384, 98-225, 2000-235, and 2000-291,

21  Laws of Florida, is amended to read:

22         230.23025  Best financial management practices;

23  standards; reviews; designation of districts.--

24         (1)  The purpose of best financial management practices

25  reviews is to improve Florida school district management and

26  use of resources and to identify cost savings. The Office of

27  Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability (OPPAGA)

28  and the Office of the Auditor General are directed to develop

29  a system for reviewing the financial management practices of

30  school districts. In this system, OPPAGA and the Auditor

31  General shall assist OPPAGA in examining jointly examine


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                                    CS/CS/HB 269, Second Engrossed



  1  district operations to determine whether they meet "best

  2  financial management practices."

  3         (2)  The best financial management practices adopted by

  4  the Commissioner of Education may be updated periodically

  5  after consultation with the Legislature, the Governor, the

  6  SMART Schools Clearinghouse, the Department of Education,

  7  school districts, OPPAGA, and the Auditor General, OPPAGA

  8  shall submit to the Commissioner of Education for review and

  9  adoption proposed revisions to the best financial management

10  practices adopted by the commissioner. The best financial

11  management practices, at a minimum, must instill public

12  confidence by addressing the school district's use of

13  resources; identifying ways that the district could save

14  funds; and improving districts' performance accountability

15  systems, including public accountability. To achieve these

16  objectives, best practices shall be developed for, but need

17  not be limited to, the following areas:

18         (a)  Management structures.

19         (b)  Performance accountability.

20         (c)  Efficient delivery of educational services,

21  including instructional materials.

22         (d)  Administrative and instructional technology.

23         (e)  Personnel systems and benefits management.

24         (f)  Facilities construction.

25         (g)  Facilities maintenance.

26         (h)  Student transportation.

27         (i)  Food service operations.

28         (j)  Cost control systems, including asset management,

29  risk management, financial management, purchasing, internal

30  auditing, and financial auditing.

31  


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                                    CS/CS/HB 269, Second Engrossed



  1  In areas for which the commissioner has not adopted best

  2  practices, OPPAGA may develop additional best financial

  3  management practices, with input from a broad range of

  4  stakeholders. OPPAGA shall present any additional best

  5  practices to the commissioner for review and adoption. Revised

  6  best financial management practices adopted by the

  7  commissioner must be used in the next year's scheduled school

  8  district reviews conducted according to this section.

  9         (a)  Efficient use of resources, use of lottery

10  proceeds, student transportation and food service operations,

11  management structures, and personnel systems and benefits,

12  instructional materials, and administrative and instructional

13  technology.

14         (b)  Compliance with generally accepted accounting

15  principles and state and federal laws relating to financial

16  management.

17         (c)  Performance accountability systems, including

18  performance measurement reports to the public, internal

19  auditing, financial auditing, and information made available

20  to support decisionmaking.

21         (d)  Cost control systems, including asset, risk, and

22  financial management, purchasing, and information system

23  controls.

24         (e)  Safety and security practices at the district and

25  school levels.

26         (2)  School districts may, by a unanimous vote of the

27  membership of the school board, apply to OPPAGA for a complete

28  best financial management practice review or a review of

29  components of the best financial management practices,

30  including management, personnel, transportation, and food and

31  nutrition services. OPPAGA shall prioritize districts for


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                                    CS/CS/HB 269, Second Engrossed



  1  review based on their growth rates and demonstrated need for

  2  review. The director of OPPAGA may, at his or her discretion,

  3  contract with private consultants to perform part or all of

  4  the review of any district. Districts applying for a complete

  5  review shall contribute 50 percent of review costs, unless

  6  funding for the entire cost of the review is specifically

  7  provided by the Legislature. Districts applying for a review

  8  of a component shall contribute 75 percent of the review cost.

  9  All moneys contributed by any school district under this

10  section toward the cost of a complete or component best

11  financial management practices review of the district shall be

12  deposited into the Florida School District Review Trust Fund

13  administered by OPPAGA.

14         (3)  OPPAGA shall contract with a private firm selected

15  through a formal request for proposal process to perform the

16  review, to the extent that funds are provided for this purpose

17  in the General Appropriations Act each year. When sufficient

18  funds are not provided to contract for all the scheduled best

19  financial management practices reviews, OPPAGA shall conduct

20  the remaining reviews scheduled for that year, except as

21  otherwise provided in this act. At least one member of the

22  private firm review team shall have expertise in school

23  district finance. The scope of the review shall focus on the

24  best practices adopted by the Commissioner of Education,

25  pursuant to subsection (2). OPPAGA may include additional

26  items in the scope of the review after seeking input from the

27  school district and the Department of Education.

28         (4)  OPPAGA shall consult with the Commissioner of

29  Education throughout the best practices review process to

30  ensure that the technical expertise of the Department of

31  


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                                    CS/CS/HB 269, Second Engrossed



  1  Education benefits the review process and supports the school

  2  districts before, during, and after the review.

  3         (5)  It is the intent of the Legislature that each

  4  school district shall be subject to a best financial

  5  management practices review. The Legislature also intends that

  6  all school districts shall be reviewed on a continuing 5-year

  7  cycle, as follows, unless specified otherwise in the General

  8  Appropriations Act, or as provided in this act:

  9         (a)  Year 1: Hillsborough, Sarasota, Collier, Okaloosa,

10  Alachua, St. Lucie, Santa Rosa, Hernando, Indian River,

11  Monroe, Osceola, and Bradford.

12         (b)  Year 2: Miami-Dade, Duval, Volusia, Bay, Columbia,

13  Suwannee, Wakulla, Baker, Union, Hamilton, Jefferson, Gadsden,

14  and Franklin.

15         (c)  Year 3: Palm Beach, Orange, Seminole, Lee,

16  Escambia, Leon, Levy, Taylor, Madison, Gilchrist, Gulf, Dixie,

17  Liberty, and Lafayette.

18         (d)  Year 4: Pinellas, Pasco, Marion, Manatee, Clay,

19  Charlotte, Citrus, Highlands, Nassau, Hendry, Okeechobee,

20  Hardee, DeSoto, and Glades.

21         (e)  Year 5: Broward, Polk, Brevard, Lake, St. Johns,

22  Martin, Putnam, Jackson, Flagler, Walton, Sumter, Holmes,

23  Washington, and Calhoun.

24         (6)(a)  The Joint Legislative Auditing Committee may

25  adjust the schedule of districts to be reviewed when

26  unforeseen circumstances prevent initiation of reviews

27  scheduled in a given year.

28         (b)  Once the 5-year cycle has been completed, reviews

29  shall continue, beginning again with those districts included

30  in year one of the cycle unless a district has requested and

31  received a waiver as provided in subsection (17).


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                                    CS/CS/HB 269, Second Engrossed



  1         (7)  At the direction of the Joint Legislative Auditing

  2  Committee or the President of the Senate and the Speaker of

  3  the House of Representatives, and subject to funding by the

  4  Legislature, OPPAGA may conduct, or contract with a private

  5  firm to conduct, up to two additional best financial

  6  management practices reviews in districts not scheduled for

  7  review during that year if such review is necessary to address

  8  adverse financial conditions.

  9         (8)  Reviews shall be conducted by OPPAGA and the

10  consultant to the extent specifically funded by the

11  Legislature in the General Appropriations Act for this

12  purpose. Such funds may be used for the cost of reviews by

13  OPPAGA and private consultants contracted by the director of

14  OPPAGA. Costs may include professional services, travel

15  expenses of OPPAGA and staff of the Auditor General, and any

16  other necessary expenses incurred as part of a best financial

17  management practices review.

18         (9)  Districts scheduled for review must complete a

19  self-assessment instrument provided by OPPAGA which indicates

20  the school district's evaluation of its performance on each

21  best practice. The district must begin the self-assessment not

22  later than 60 days prior to the commencement of the review.

23  The completed self-assessment instrument and supporting

24  documentation must be submitted to OPPAGA not later than the

25  date of commencement of the review as notified by OPPAGA. The

26  best practice review team will use this self-assessment

27  information during their review of the district.

28         (10)  During the review, OPPAGA and the consultant

29  conducting the review, if any, shall hold at least one

30  advertised public forum as part of the review in order to

31  explain the best financial management practices review process


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                                    CS/CS/HB 269, Second Engrossed



  1  and obtain input from students, parents, the business

  2  community, and other district residents regarding their

  3  concerns about the operations and management of the school

  4  district.

  5         (11)(3)  District reviews conducted under this section

  6  must be completed within 6 months after commencement. OPPAGA

  7  shall issue a final report to the President of the Senate, the

  8  Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the district

  9  regarding the district's use of best its financial management

10  practices and cost savings recommendations within 60 days

11  after completing the reviews. Copies of the final report shall

12  be provided to the Governor, the Commissioner of Education,

13  and to the chairs of school advisory councils and district

14  advisory councils established pursuant to s. 229.58(1)(a) and

15  (b).  The school district shall notify all members of the

16  school advisory councils and district advisory council by mail

17  that the final report has been delivered to the school

18  district and to the council chairs. The notification shall

19  also inform members of the OPPAGA web site address at which an

20  electronic copy of the report is available.

21         (12)  After receipt of the final report and before the

22  school board votes whether to adopt the action plan, or if no

23  action plan was required because the district was found to be

24  using the best practices, the school district shall hold an

25  advertised public forum to accept public input and review the

26  findings and recommendations of the report. The district shall

27  advertise and promote this forum in a manner appropriate to

28  inform school and district advisory councils, parents, school

29  district employees, the business community, and other district

30  residents of the opportunity to attend this meeting. OPPAGA

31  


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                                    CS/CS/HB 269, Second Engrossed



  1  and the consultant, if any, shall also be represented at this

  2  forum.

  3         (13)(a)  If the district is found not to conform to

  4  best financial management practices, the report must contain

  5  an a plan of action plan detailing how the district could meet

  6  the best practices within 2 years. The school board must

  7  decide, by a majority plus one vote within 90 days after

  8  receipt of the final report, whether or not to implement the

  9  action plan and pursue a "Seal of Best Financial Management"

10  awarded by the State Board of Education to qualified school

11  districts. If a district fails to vote on the action plan

12  within 90 days, school board members may be required to appear

13  and present testimony before a legislative committee, pursuant

14  to s. 11.143.

15         (b)  The school board may vote to reverse a decision

16  not to implement an action plan, provided that the action plan

17  is implemented and there is still sufficient time, as

18  determined by the district school board, to meet the best

19  practices within 2 years after issuance of the final report.

20         (c)  Within 90 days after the receipt of the final

21  report, the school board must notify OPPAGA and the

22  Commissioner of Education in writing of the date and outcome

23  of the school board vote on whether to adopt the action plan.

24  If the school board fails to vote on whether to adopt the

25  action plan, the superintendent must notify OPPAGA and the

26  Commissioner of Education. The Department of Education may

27  contact the school district, assess the situation, urge the

28  school board to vote, and offer technical assistance, if

29  needed.

30         (14)(4)  If a school board votes to implement the

31  action plan:


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                                    CS/CS/HB 269, Second Engrossed



  1         (a)  No later than 1 year after receipt of the final

  2  report, the school district must District school boards that

  3  agree by a majority plus one vote to institute the action plan

  4  shall submit an initial status annual report to the President

  5  of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives

  6  Legislature, the Governor, the SMART Schools Clearinghouse,

  7  OPPAGA, the Auditor General, the State Board of Education, and

  8  the Commissioner of Education on progress made towards

  9  implementing the action plan and whether changes have occurred

10  in other areas of operation that which would affect compliance

11  with the best practices.

12         (b)  A second status report must be submitted by the

13  school district to the President of the Senate, the Speaker of

14  the House of Representatives, the Governor, OPPAGA, the

15  Auditor General, the Commissioner of Education, and the State

16  Board of Education no later than 1 year after submission of

17  the initial report.

18  

19  Status reports are not required once OPPAGA concludes that the

20  district is using best practices. Such districts shall be

21  reviewed annually by OPPAGA, in addition to the annual

22  financial audit required under s. 11.45, to determine whether

23  they have attained compliance with the best financial

24  management practices in the areas covered by the plan.

25         (15)  After receipt of each of a district's two status

26  reports required by subsection (14), OPPAGA shall assess the

27  district's implementation of the action plan and progress

28  toward implementing the best financial management practices in

29  areas covered by the plan. Following each assessment, OPPAGA

30  shall issue a report to the President of the Senate, the

31  Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the district


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                                    CS/CS/HB 269, Second Engrossed



  1  indicating whether the district has successfully implemented

  2  the best financial management practices. Copies of the report

  3  must be provided to the Governor, the Auditor General, the

  4  Commissioner of Education, and the State Board of Education.

  5  If a district has failed to implement an action plan adopted

  6  pursuant to subsection (13), school board members and the

  7  school superintendent may be required to appear before a

  8  legislative committee, pursuant to s. 11.143, to present

  9  testimony regarding the district's failure to implement such

10  action plan.

11         (16)  School districts that successfully implement the

12  best financial management practices within 2 years, or are

13  determined in the review to be using the best practices, are

14  eligible to receive a "Seal of Best Financial Management."

15  Upon notification to the Commissioner of Education and the

16  State Board of Education by OPPAGA that a district has been

17  districts that are found to be using comply with the best

18  financial management practices, the State Board of Education

19  shall award that district shall receive a "Seal of Best

20  Financial Management" by the State Board of Education

21  certifying that the district is adhering to the state's best

22  financial management practices. The State Board of Education

23  This designation shall be effective for 5 years from the

24  certification date or until the next review is completed,

25  whichever is later a 5-year period, after which the district

26  school board may reapply for the designation to be granted

27  after another financial management practice review. During the

28  designation period, the district school board shall annually,

29  not later than the anniversary date of the certification,

30  notify the SMART Schools Clearinghouse, OPPAGA, the Auditor

31  General, the Commissioner of Education, and the State Board of


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                                    CS/CS/HB 269, Second Engrossed



  1  Education of any changes in policies or operations or any

  2  other situations that would not conform to the state's best

  3  financial management practices. The State Board of Education

  4  may revoke the designation of a district at any time if it

  5  determines that a district is no longer complying with the

  6  state's best financial management practices. If no such

  7  changes have occurred and the school board determines that the

  8  school district continues to conform to the best financial

  9  management practices, the school board shall annually report

10  that information to the State Board of Education, with copies

11  to OPPAGA, the Auditor General, and the Commissioner of

12  Education.

13         (17)(a)  The school board of a district that has been

14  awarded a "Seal of Best Financial Management" by the State

15  Board of Education and has annually reported to the State

16  Board of Education that the district is still conforming to

17  the best financial management practices may request a waiver

18  from undergoing its next scheduled Best Financial Management

19  Practices review.

20         (b)  To apply for such waiver, not later than September

21  1 of the fiscal year prior to the fiscal year in which the

22  district is next scheduled for review, the school board shall

23  certify to OPPAGA and the Department of Education the school

24  board's determination that the school district is still

25  conforming to the best financial management practices.

26         (c)  After consultation with the Department of

27  Education and review of the school board's determination,

28  OPPAGA may recommend to the Legislative Budget Commission that

29  the district be granted a waiver for the next scheduled Best

30  Financial Management Practices review. If approved for waiver,

31  OPPAGA shall notify the school district and the Department of


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                                    CS/CS/HB 269, Second Engrossed



  1  Education that no review of that district will be conducted

  2  during the next scheduled review cycle. In that event, the

  3  school district must continue annual reporting to the State

  4  Board of Education as required in subsection (16). Districts

  5  granted a waiver for one review cycle are not eligible for

  6  waiver of the next scheduled review cycle.

  7         (18)  School districts that receive a best financial

  8  management practices review must maintain records that will

  9  enable independent verification of the implementation of the

10  action plan and any related fiscal impacts.

11         (19)  Unrestricted cost savings resulting from

12  implementation of the best financial management practices must

13  be spent at the school and classroom levels for teacher

14  salaries, teacher training, improved classroom facilities,

15  student supplies, textbooks, classroom technology, and other

16  direct student instruction activities.  Cost savings

17  identified for a program that has restrictive expenditure

18  requirements shall be used for the enhancement of the specific

19  program.

20         (5)  Any audit or performance review of one or more of

21  the designated components conducted or supervised by OPPAGA or

22  the Department of Management Services, and completed within 2

23  years before the date of application to OPPAGA for a best

24  financial practices review, may serve as all or part of the

25  audit or review required as the examination of district

26  operations necessary for a determination of whether a district

27  meets the "best financial management practices" designation.

28  The cost contribution requirements of subsection (2) do not

29  apply to any such audit or performance review.

30         Section 3.  Section 11.515, Florida Statutes, is

31  repealed.


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                                    CS/CS/HB 269, Second Engrossed



  1         Section 4.  Section 230.2302, Florida Statutes, is

  2  repealed.

  3         Section 5.  Section 230.23026, Florida Statutes, is

  4  repealed.

  5         Section 6.  Subsection (1) of section 11.51, Florida

  6  Statutes, is amended to read:

  7         11.51  Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government

  8  Accountability.--

  9         (1)  There is hereby created the Office of Program

10  Policy Analysis and Government Accountability as a unit of the

11  Office of the Auditor General appointed pursuant to s. 11.42.

12  The Such office shall perform independent examinations,

13  program reviews, and other projects as provided by general

14  law, as provided by concurrent resolution, or as directed by

15  the Legislative Auditing Committee, and shall provide

16  recommendations, training, or other services to assist the

17  Legislature program evaluation and justification reviews as

18  required by s. 11.513 and performance audits as defined in s.

19  11.45 and shall contract for performance reviews of school

20  districts pursuant to ss. 11.515 and 230.2302.

21         Section 7.  Subsection (4) of section 230.23027,

22  Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

23         230.23027  Small School District Stabilization

24  Program.--

25         (4)  Effective July 1, 2000, and thereafter, when the

26  Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development authorizes

27  a school district to participate in the program, the

28  Legislature may give priority to that district for a best

29  financial management practices review in the school district,

30  subject to approval pursuant to s. 230.23025(7) as authorized

31  in s. 11.515, to the extent that funding is provided annually


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                                    CS/CS/HB 269, Second Engrossed



  1  for such purpose in the General Appropriations Act. The scope

  2  of the review shall be as set forth in s. 230.23025 s. 11.515.

  3         Section 8.  Subsection (1) of section 233.43, Florida

  4  Statutes, is amended to read:

  5         233.43  Duties of superintendent relating to

  6  instructional materials.--

  7         (1)  The duties and responsibilities of each

  8  superintendent of schools for the requisition, purchase,

  9  receipt, storage, distribution, use, conservation, records,

10  and reports of, and management practices and property

11  accountability concerning, instructional materials shall be

12  prescribed by policies of the district school board. Such

13  policies shall also provide for an evaluation of any

14  instructional materials to be requisitioned that have not been

15  used previously in the schools of the district. The duties and

16  responsibilities include keeping adequate records and accounts

17  for all financial transactions for funds collected pursuant to

18  s. 233.46(4). Such records and accounts shall be a component

19  of the educational service delivery scope in a school district

20  best financial management practices review under s. ss. 11.515

21  and 230.23025.

22         Section 9.  Paragraph (a) of subsection (2) of section

23  235.2197, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

24         235.2197  Florida Frugal Schools Program.--

25         (2)  The "Florida Frugal Schools Program" is created to

26  recognize publicly each district school board that agrees to

27  build frugal yet functional educational facilities and that

28  implements "best financial management practices" when

29  planning, constructing, and operating educational facilities.

30  The State Board of Education shall recognize a district school

31  board as having a Florida Frugal Schools Program if the


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                                    CS/CS/HB 269, Second Engrossed



  1  district requests recognition and satisfies two or more of the

  2  following criteria:

  3         (a)  The district receives a "Seal of Best Financial

  4  Management" as provided in s. 230.23025 or implements best

  5  financial management practices applicable to in the area of

  6  educational facilities as evidenced by a partial review under

  7  s. 230.23025 s. 230.2302.

  8         Section 10.  Land Acquisition and Facilities Advisory

  9  Board.--

10         (1)  The Legislature recognizes that effective land

11  acquisition and facilities operations are essential components

12  of Florida district school boards' ability to provide

13  facilities to accommodate the growing student population in

14  the state. To support and assist the school districts, it is

15  appropriate for the Legislature to make advisory resources

16  available to aid districts in meeting those needs.

17         (2)  If the director of the Office of Program Policy

18  Analysis and Government Accountability (OPPAGA) or the Auditor

19  General determines in a review or examination that significant

20  deficiencies exist in a school district's land acquisition and

21  facilities operational processes, he or she shall certify to

22  the President of Senate, the Speaker of the House of

23  Representatives, the Legislative Budget Commission, and the

24  Governor that the deficiency exists. The Legislative Budget

25  Commission shall determine whether funds for the school

26  district will be placed in reserve until the deficiencies are

27  corrected.

28         (3)  After receipt of that certification, the President

29  of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives,

30  and the Governor shall name a Land Acquisition and Facilities

31  Advisory Board to provide expert advice and assist in


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                                    CS/CS/HB 269, Second Engrossed



  1  improving the district's land acquisition and facilities

  2  operational processes. Each Land Acquisition and Facilities

  3  Advisory Board shall consist of seven members and shall

  4  possess specific expertise needed to assist the school

  5  district in improving its deficient processes. The President

  6  of the Senate and the Speaker of the House shall each appoint

  7  two members, and the Governor shall appoint three members of

  8  the advisory board. Membership of each advisory board may be

  9  different for each district. Members shall serve without

10  compensation but may be reimbursed for travel and per diem

11  expenses in accordance with section 112.061, Florida Statutes.

12         (4)  Within 30 days of its formation, the Land

13  Acquisition and Facilities Advisory Board shall convene in the

14  district and make all reasonable efforts to help the district

15  correct deficiencies noted in the examination or audit of the

16  district. The district must cooperate with the advisory board

17  and provide information as requested.

18         (5)  Within 60 days of convening, the Land Acquisition

19  and Facilities Advisory Board shall assess the district's

20  progress and corrective actions and report to the Commissioner

21  of Education. The advisory board's report must address the

22  release of any funds placed in reserve by the Executive Office

23  of the Governor. Any recommendation from the advisory board

24  for the release of funds shall include a certification that

25  policies established, procedures followed, and expenditures

26  made by the school board related to site acquisition and

27  facilities planning and construction are consistent with

28  recommendations of the Land Acquisition and Facilities

29  Advisory Board and will accomplish corrective action and

30  address recommendations made by the Office of Program Policy

31  Analysis and Government Accountability and the Auditor


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                                    CS/CS/HB 269, Second Engrossed



  1  General. If the advisory board does not recommend release of

  2  the funds held in reserve they shall provide additional

  3  assistance and submit a subsequent report 60 days after the

  4  previous report.

  5         (6)  Upon certification by the advisory board that

  6  corrective action has been taken, each Land Acquisition and

  7  Facilities Advisory Board shall be disbanded.

  8         Section 11.  Paragraph (b) of subsection (22) of

  9  section 159.27, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

10         159.27  Definitions.--The following words and terms,

11  unless the context clearly indicates a different meaning,

12  shall have the following meanings:

13         (22)  "Educational facility" means:

14         (b)  Property that comprises the buildings and

15  equipment, structures, and special education use areas that

16  are built, installed, or established to serve primarily the

17  educational purposes of operating any nonprofit private

18  preschool, kindergarten, elementary school, middle school, or

19  high school that is established under chapter 617 or chapter

20  623, or that is owned or operated by an organization described

21  in s. 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code, or

22  operating any preschool, kindergarten, elementary school,

23  middle school, or high school that is owned or operated as

24  part of the state's system of public education, including, but

25  not limited to, a charter school or a developmental research

26  school operated under chapter 228. The requirements of this

27  part for the financing of projects through local agencies

28  shall also apply to such schools. Bonds issued under the

29  provisions of this part for such schools shall not be deemed

30  to constitute a debt, liability, or obligation of the state or

31  any political subdivision thereof, or a pledge of the faith


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                                    CS/CS/HB 269, Second Engrossed



  1  and credit of the state or of any such political subdivision,

  2  but shall be payable solely from the revenues provided

  3  therefor.

  4         Section 12.  Section 228.056, Florida Statutes, is

  5  amended to read:

  6         228.056  Charter schools.--

  7         (1)  AUTHORIZATION.--The creation of charter schools is

  8  hereby authorized.  Charter schools shall be part of the

  9  state's program of public education. All charter schools in

10  Florida are fully recognized as public schools. A charter

11  school may be formed by creating a new school or converting an

12  existing public school to charter status. A public school may

13  not use the term charter in its name unless it has been

14  approved under this section.

15         (2)  PURPOSE.--The purpose of charter schools shall be

16  to:

17         (a)  Improve student learning.

18         (b)  Increase learning opportunities for all students,

19  with special emphasis on expanded learning experiences for

20  students who are identified as academically low achieving.

21         (c)  Encourage the use of different and innovative

22  learning methods.

23         (d)  Increase choice of learning opportunities for

24  students.

25         (e)  Establish a new form of accountability for

26  schools.

27         (f)  Require the measurement of learning outcomes and

28  create innovative measurement tools.

29         (g)  Make the school the unit for improvement.

30  

31  


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                                    CS/CS/HB 269, Second Engrossed



  1         (h)  Create new professional opportunities for

  2  teachers, including the opportunity to own the learning

  3  program at the school site.

  4         (i)  Provide rigorous competition within the public

  5  school district to stimulate continual improvement in all

  6  public schools.

  7         (j)  Provide additional academic choices for parents

  8  and students.

  9         (k)  Expand the capacity of the public school system.

10         (3)  APPLICATION; UNLAWFUL REPRISAL.--

11         (a)1.  An application for a new charter school may be

12  made by an individual, teachers, parents, a group of

13  individuals, a municipality, or a legal entity organized under

14  the laws of this state.

15         2.  The district school board or the principal,

16  teachers, parents, and/or the school advisory council at an

17  existing public school that has been in operation for at least

18  2 years prior to the application to convert, including a

19  public school-within-a-school that is designated as a school

20  by the district school board, shall submit any application for

21  converting the school to a charter school. An application

22  submitted proposing to convert an existing public school to a

23  charter school shall demonstrate the support of at least 50

24  percent of the teachers employed at the school and 50 percent

25  of the parents voting whose children are enrolled at the

26  school, provided that a majority of the parents eligible to

27  vote participate in the ballot process, according to

28  procedures established by rules of the state board. A district

29  school board denying an application for a conversion charter

30  school shall provide notice of denial to the applicants in

31  writing within 30 days after the meeting at which the school


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                                    CS/CS/HB 269, Second Engrossed



  1  board denied the application. The notice must specify the

  2  exact reasons for denial and must provide documentation

  3  supporting those reasons. A private school, parochial school,

  4  or home education program shall not be eligible for charter

  5  school status.

  6         (b)  No district school board, or district school board

  7  employee who has control over personnel actions, shall take

  8  unlawful reprisal against another district school board

  9  employee because that employee is either directly or

10  indirectly involved with an application to establish a charter

11  school.  As used in this subsection, the term "unlawful

12  reprisal" means an action taken by a district school board or

13  a school system employee against an employee who is directly

14  or indirectly involved in a lawful application to establish a

15  charter school, which occurs as a direct result of that

16  involvement, and which results in one or more of the

17  following: disciplinary or corrective action; adverse transfer

18  or reassignment, whether temporary or permanent; suspension,

19  demotion, or dismissal; an unfavorable performance evaluation;

20  a reduction in pay, benefits, or rewards; elimination of the

21  employee's position absent of a reduction in force as a result

22  of lack of moneys or work; or other adverse significant

23  changes in duties or responsibilities that are inconsistent

24  with the employee's salary or employment classification. The

25  following procedures shall apply to an alleged unlawful

26  reprisal which occurs as a consequence of an employee's direct

27  or indirect involvement with an application to establish a

28  charter school:

29         1.  Within 60 days after a reprisal prohibited by this

30  subsection, an employee may file a complaint with the

31  Department of Education.


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                                    CS/CS/HB 269, Second Engrossed



  1         2.  Within 3 working days after receiving a complaint

  2  under this section, the department shall acknowledge receipt

  3  of the complaint and provide copies of the complaint and any

  4  other relevant preliminary information available to each of

  5  the other parties named in the complaint, which parties shall

  6  each acknowledge receipt of such copies to the complainant.

  7         3.  If the department determines that the complaint

  8  demonstrates reasonable cause to suspect that an unlawful

  9  reprisal has occurred, the department shall conduct an

10  investigation to produce a fact-finding report.

11         4.  Within 90 days after receiving the complaint, the

12  department shall provide the superintendent of schools of the

13  complainant's district and the complainant with a fact-finding

14  report that may include recommendations to the parties or

15  proposed resolution of the complaint. The fact-finding report

16  shall be presumed admissible in any subsequent or related

17  administrative or judicial review.

18         5.  If the department determines that reasonable

19  grounds exist to believe that an unlawful reprisal has

20  occurred, is occurring, or is to be taken, and is unable to

21  conciliate a complaint within 60 days after receipt of the

22  fact-finding report, the department shall terminate the

23  investigation. Upon termination of any investigation, the

24  department shall notify the complainant and the superintendent

25  of schools of the termination of the investigation, providing

26  a summary of relevant facts found during the investigation and

27  the reasons for terminating the investigation. A written

28  statement under this paragraph is presumed admissible as

29  evidence in any judicial or administrative proceeding.

30         6.  The department shall either contract with the

31  Division of Administrative Hearings under s. 120.65, or


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                                    CS/CS/HB 269, Second Engrossed



  1  otherwise provide for a complaint for which the department

  2  determines reasonable grounds exist to believe that an

  3  unlawful reprisal has occurred, is occurring, or is to be

  4  taken, and is unable to conciliate, to be heard by a panel of

  5  impartial persons. Upon hearing the complaint, the panel must

  6  make findings of fact and conclusions of law for a final

  7  decision by the department.

  8  

  9  It shall be an affirmative defense to any action brought

10  pursuant to this section that the adverse action was

11  predicated upon grounds other than, and would have been taken

12  absent, the employee's exercise of rights protected by this

13  section.

14         (c)  In any action brought under this section for which

15  it is determined reasonable grounds exist to believe that an

16  unlawful reprisal has occurred, is occurring, or is to be

17  taken, the relief must include the following:

18         1.  Reinstatement of the employee to the same position

19  held before the unlawful reprisal was commenced, or to an

20  equivalent position, or payment of reasonable front pay as

21  alternative relief.

22         2.  Reinstatement of the employee's full fringe

23  benefits and seniority rights, as appropriate.

24         3.  Compensation, if appropriate, for lost wages,

25  benefits, or other lost remuneration caused by the unlawful

26  reprisal.

27         4.  Payment of reasonable costs, including attorney's

28  fees, to a substantially prevailing employee, or to the

29  prevailing employer if the employee filed a frivolous action

30  in bad faith.

31  


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                                    CS/CS/HB 269, Second Engrossed



  1         5.  Issuance of an injunction, if appropriate, by a

  2  court of competent jurisdiction.

  3         6.  Temporary reinstatement to the employee's former

  4  position or to an equivalent position, pending the final

  5  outcome on the complaint, if it is determined that the action

  6  was not made in bad faith or for a wrongful purpose, and did

  7  not occur after a district school board's initiation of a

  8  personnel action against the employee which includes

  9  documentation of the employee's violation of a disciplinary

10  standard or performance deficiency.

11         (4)  SPONSOR.--A district school board may sponsor a

12  charter school in the county over which the board has

13  jurisdiction.

14         (a)  A district school board shall receive and review

15  all applications for a charter school. A district school board

16  shall receive and consider charter school applications

17  received on or before October 1 of each calendar year for

18  charter schools to be opened at the beginning of the school

19  district's next school year, or to be opened at a time agreed

20  to by the applicant and the district school board.  A district

21  school board may receive applications later than this date if

22  it chooses. A sponsor may not charge an applicant for a

23  charter any fee for the processing or consideration of an

24  application, and a sponsor may not base its consideration or

25  approval of an application upon the promise of future payment

26  of any kind.

27         1.  In order to facilitate an accurate budget

28  projection process, a district school board shall be held

29  harmless for FTE students which are not included in the FTE

30  projection due to approval of charter school applications

31  after the FTE projection deadline. In a further effort to


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                                    CS/CS/HB 269, Second Engrossed



  1  facilitate an accurate budget projection, within 15 calendar

  2  days after receipt of a charter school application, a district

  3  school board or other sponsor shall report to the Department

  4  of Education the name of the applicant entity, the proposed

  5  charter school location, and its projected FTE.

  6         2.  A district school board must by a majority vote

  7  approve or deny an application no later than 60 calendar days

  8  after the application is received, unless the district school

  9  board and the applicant mutually agree to temporarily postpone

10  the vote to a specific date, at which time the district school

11  board must by a majority vote approve or deny the application.

12  If the district school board fails to act on the application,

13  an applicant may appeal to the State Board of Education as

14  provided in paragraph (b). If an application is denied, the

15  district school board must, within 10 calendar days,

16  articulate in writing the specific reasons based upon good

17  cause supporting its denial of the charter application.

18         3.  For budget projection purposes, the district school

19  board or other sponsor shall report to the department the

20  approval or denial of a charter application within 10 calendar

21  days after such approval or denial. In the event of approval,

22  the report to the department must include the final projected

23  FTE for the approved charter school.

24         4.  Upon approval of a charter application, the initial

25  startup must commence be consistent with the beginning of the

26  public school calendar for the district in which the charter

27  is granted unless the district school board allows a waiver of

28  this provision for good cause.

29         (b)  An applicant may appeal any denial of that

30  applicant's application or failure to act on an application to

31  the State Board of Education no later than 30 calendar days


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                                    CS/CS/HB 269, Second Engrossed



  1  after receipt of the district school board's decision or

  2  failure to act and shall notify the district school board of

  3  its appeal.  Any response of the school board shall be

  4  submitted to the state board within 30 calendar days after

  5  notification of the appeal. The state board must by majority

  6  vote accept or reject the decision of the district school

  7  board no later than 60 calendar days after an appeal is filed

  8  in accordance with state board rule.  The state board may

  9  reject an appeal submission for failure to comply with

10  procedural rules governing the appeals process.  The rejection

11  shall describe the submission errors.  The appellant may have

12  up to 15 calendar days from notice of rejection to resubmit an

13  appeal that meets requirements of rule.  An application for

14  appeal submitted subsequent to such rejection shall be

15  considered timely if the original appeal was filed within 30

16  calendar days after receipt of notice of the specific reasons

17  for the school board's denial of the charter application the

18  school board denial. The state board shall remand the

19  application to the district school board with its written

20  recommendation that the district board approve or deny the

21  application consistent with the state board's decision. The

22  decision of the State Board of Education is not subject to the

23  provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act, chapter 120.

24         (c)  The district school board must act upon the

25  recommendation of the State Board of Education within 30

26  calendar days after it is received. The district board may

27  fail to act in accordance with the recommendation of the state

28  board only for good cause. Good cause for failing to act in

29  accordance with the state board's recommendation arises only

30  if the district school board determines by competent

31  substantial evidence that approving the state board's


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                                    CS/CS/HB 269, Second Engrossed



  1  recommendation would be contrary to law or contrary to the

  2  best interests of the pupils or the community. The district

  3  school board must articulate in written findings the specific

  4  reasons based upon good cause supporting its failure to act in

  5  accordance with the state board's recommendation. The district

  6  board's action on the state board's recommendation is a final

  7  action subject to judicial review.

  8         (d)  The Department of Education may provide technical

  9  assistance to an applicant upon written request.

10         (e)  Paragraph (a) notwithstanding, a state university

11  may grant a charter to a developmental research school created

12  under s. 228.053.  In considering such charter, the state

13  university must consult with the district school board of the

14  county in which the developmental research school is located.

15  The decision of a state university may be appealed pursuant to

16  the procedure established in this subsection.

17         (f)  The terms and conditions for the operation of a

18  charter school shall be set forth by the sponsor and the

19  applicant in a written contractual agreement, called a

20  charter. The sponsor shall not impose unreasonable rules or

21  regulations that violate the intent of giving charter schools

22  greater flexibility to meet educational goals. The applicant

23  and sponsor shall have 6 months in which to mutually agree to

24  the provisions of the charter.  The Department of Education

25  shall provide mediation services for any dispute regarding

26  this section subsequent to the approval of a charter

27  application and for any dispute relating to the approved

28  charter, except disputes regarding charter school application

29  denials.  If the Commissioner of Education determines that the

30  dispute cannot be settled through mediation, the dispute may

31  be appealed to an administrative law judge appointed by the


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                                    CS/CS/HB 269, Second Engrossed



  1  Division of Administrative Hearings.  The administrative law

  2  judge may rule on issues of equitable treatment of the charter

  3  school as a public school, whether proposed provisions of the

  4  charter violate the intended flexibility granted charter

  5  schools by statute, or on any other matter regarding this

  6  section except a charter school application denial, and shall

  7  award the prevailing party reasonable attorney's fees and

  8  costs incurred to be paid by the losing party.  The costs of

  9  the administrative hearing shall be paid by the party whom the

10  administrative law judge rules against.

11         (g)  The sponsor shall monitor and review the charter

12  school in its progress towards the goals established in the

13  charter.

14         (h)  The sponsor shall monitor the revenues and

15  expenditures of the charter school.

16         (i)  A charter school shall be exempt from the

17  sponsor's policies.

18         (5)  CHARTER SCHOOL COOPERATIVES.--Charter schools may

19  enter into cooperative agreements to form charter school

20  cooperative organizations that may provide the following

21  services: charter school planning and development, direct

22  instructional services, contracts with charter school

23  governing boards to provide personnel administrative services,

24  payroll services, human resource management, evaluation and

25  assessment services, teacher preparation, and professional

26  development.

27         (6)(5)  NUMBER OF SCHOOLS.--

28         (a)  The number of newly created charter schools is

29  limited to no more than 28 in each school district that has

30  100,000 or more students, no more than 20 in each school

31  


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                                    CS/CS/HB 269, Second Engrossed



  1  district that has 50,000 to 99,999 students, and no more than

  2  12 in each school district with fewer than 50,000 students.

  3         (b)  An existing public school which converts to a

  4  charter school shall not be counted towards the limit

  5  established by paragraph (a).

  6  

  7  Notwithstanding any limit established by this subsection, a

  8  district school board or a charter school applicant shall have

  9  the right to request an increase of the limit on the number of

10  charter schools authorized to be established within the

11  district from the State Board of Education.

12         (7)(6)  ELIGIBLE STUDENTS.--

13         (a)  A charter school shall be open to any student

14  covered in an interdistrict agreement or residing in the

15  school district in which the charter school is located;

16  however, in the case of a developmental research school

17  created under s. 228.053 to which a charter has been issued

18  under paragraph (4)(e), the charter school shall be open to

19  any student eligible to attend the developmental research

20  school as provided in s. 228.053 or who resides in the school

21  district in which the charter school is located. Any eligible

22  student shall be allowed interdistrict transfer to attend a

23  charter school when based on good cause. When a public school

24  converts to charter status, enrollment preference shall be

25  given to students who would have otherwise attended that

26  public school. A charter school may give enrollment preference

27  to a sibling of a student enrolled in the charter school, to

28  the child of a member of the governing board of the charter

29  school, or to the child of an employee of the charter school.

30         (b)  The charter school shall enroll an eligible

31  student who submits a timely application, unless the number of


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                                    CS/CS/HB 269, Second Engrossed



  1  applications exceeds the capacity of a program, class, grade

  2  level, or building. In such case, all applicants shall have an

  3  equal chance of being admitted through a random selection

  4  process.

  5         (c)  A charter school may limit the enrollment process

  6  only to target the following student populations:

  7         1.  Students within specific age groups or grade

  8  levels.

  9         2.  Students considered at risk of dropping out of

10  school or academic failure. Such students shall include

11  exceptional education students.

12         3.  Students enrolling in a charter

13  school-in-the-workplace or charter school-in-a-municipality

14  established pursuant to subsection (22).

15         4.  Students residing within a reasonable distance of

16  the charter school, as described in paragraph (13)(c). Such

17  students shall be subject to a random lottery and to the

18  racial/ethnic balance provisions described in subparagraph

19  (9)(a)8. or any federal provisions which require a school to

20  achieve a racial/ethnic balance reflective of the community it

21  serves or within the racial/ethnic range of other public

22  schools in the same school district.

23         5.  Students who meet reasonable academic, artistic, or

24  other eligibility standards established by the charter school

25  and included in the charter school application and charter or,

26  in the case of existing charter schools, standards that are

27  consistent with the school's mission and purpose. Such

28  standards must be in accordance with current state law and

29  practice in public schools and may not discriminate against

30  otherwise qualified individuals.

31  


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                                    CS/CS/HB 269, Second Engrossed



  1         6.  Students articulating from one charter school to

  2  another pursuant to an articulation agreement between the

  3  charter schools which has been approved by the sponsor.

  4         (d)  A student may withdraw from a charter school at

  5  any time and enroll in another public school as determined by

  6  school board policy.

  7         (e)  Students with handicapping conditions and students

  8  served in English for Speakers of Other Languages programs

  9  shall have an equal opportunity of being selected for

10  enrollment in a charter school.

11         (f)  The capacity of the charter school shall be

12  determined annually by the governing board, in conjunction

13  with the sponsor, of the charter school in consideration of

14  the factors identified in this subsection.

15         (8)(7)  LEGAL ENTITY.--A charter school shall organize

16  as, or be operated by, a nonprofit organization. A charter

17  school may be operated by a municipality or other public

18  entity as provided for by law. As such, the charter school may

19  be either a private or a public employer.  As a public

20  employer, a charter school may participate in the Florida

21  Retirement System upon application and approval as a "covered

22  group" under s. 121.021(34). If a charter school participates

23  in the Florida Retirement System, the charter school employees

24  shall be compulsory members of the Florida Retirement System.

25  As either a private or a public employer, a charter school may

26  contract for services with an individual or group of

27  individuals who are organized as a partnership or a

28  cooperative. Individuals or groups of individuals who contract

29  their services to the charter school are not public employees.

30         (9)(8)  REQUIREMENTS.--

31  


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                                    CS/CS/HB 269, Second Engrossed



  1         (a)  A charter school shall be nonsectarian in its

  2  programs, admission policies, employment practices, and

  3  operations.

  4         (b)  A charter school shall admit students as provided

  5  in subsection (6).

  6         (c)  A charter school shall be accountable to its

  7  sponsor for performance as provided in subsection (9).

  8         (d)  A charter school shall not charge tuition or fees,

  9  except those fees normally charged by other public schools.

10  However, a developmental research school to which a charter

11  has been issued pursuant to paragraph (4)(e) may charge a

12  student activity and service fee as authorized by s.

13  228.053(5).

14         (e)  A charter school shall meet all applicable state

15  and local health, safety, and civil rights requirements.

16         (f)  A charter school shall not violate the

17  antidiscrimination provisions of s. 228.2001.

18         (g)  A charter school shall be subject to an annual

19  financial audit in a manner similar to that of a school

20  district.

21         (h)  No organization shall hold more than 15 charters

22  statewide.

23         (i)  In order to provide financial information that is

24  comparable to that reported for other public schools, charter

25  schools are to maintain all financial records which constitute

26  their accounting system:

27         1.  In accordance with the accounts and codes

28  prescribed in the most recent issuance of the publication

29  titled "Financial and Program Cost Accounting and Reporting

30  for Florida Schools"; or.

31  


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  1         2.  At the discretion of the charter school governing

  2  board, a charter school may elect to follow generally accepted

  3  accounting standards for not-for-profit organizations, but

  4  must reformat this information for reporting according to this

  5  paragraph.

  6  

  7  Charter schools are to provide annual financial report and

  8  program cost report information in the state-required formats

  9  for inclusion in district reporting in compliance with s.

10  236.02(1). Charter schools which are operated by a

11  municipality or are a component unit of a parent nonprofit

12  organization may use the accounting system of the municipality

13  or the parent, but must reformat this information for

14  reporting according to this paragraph.

15         (j)  The governing board of the charter school shall

16  annually adopt and maintain an operating budget.

17         (10)(9)  CHARTER.--The major issues involving the

18  operation of a charter school shall be considered in advance

19  and written into the charter. The charter shall be signed by

20  the governing body of the charter school and the sponsor,

21  following a public hearing to ensure community input.

22         (a)  The charter shall address, and criteria for

23  approval of the charter shall be based on:

24         1.  The school's mission, the students to be served,

25  and the ages and grades to be included.

26         2.  The focus of the curriculum, the instructional

27  methods to be used, and any distinctive instructional

28  techniques to be employed, and identification and acquisition

29  of appropriate technologies needed to improve educational and

30  administrative performance. This must include a means for

31  


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                                    CS/CS/HB 269, Second Engrossed



  1  promoting safe, ethical, and appropriate uses of technology

  2  which comply with legal and professional standards.

  3         3.  The current incoming baseline standard of student

  4  academic achievement, the outcomes to be achieved, and the

  5  method of measurement that will be used. This section shall

  6  include a detailed description for each of the following:

  7         a.  How the baseline student academic achievement

  8  levels and prior rates of academic progress will be

  9  established.

10         b.  How these baseline rates will be compared to rates

11  of academic progress achieved by these same students while

12  attending the charter school.

13         c.  To the extent possible, how these rates of progress

14  will be evaluated and compared with rates of progress of other

15  closely comparable student populations.

16         d.  The district school board is required to provide

17  academic student performance data to charter schools for each

18  of their students coming from the district school system, as

19  well as rates of academic progress of comparable student

20  populations in the district school system.

21         4.  The methods used to identify the educational

22  strengths and needs of students and how well educational goals

23  and performance standards are met by students attending the

24  charter school. Included in the methods is a means for

25  ensuring accountability to its constituents by analyzing

26  student performance data and by evaluating the effectiveness

27  and efficiency of its major educational programs.  Students in

28  charter schools shall, at a minimum, participate in the

29  statewide assessment program.

30  

31  


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                                    CS/CS/HB 269, Second Engrossed



  1         5.  In secondary charter schools, a method for

  2  determining that a student has satisfied the requirements for

  3  graduation in s. 232.246.

  4         6.  A method for resolving conflicts between the

  5  governing body of the charter school and the sponsor.

  6         7.  The admissions procedures and dismissal procedures,

  7  including the school's code of student conduct.

  8         8.  The ways by which the school will achieve a

  9  racial/ethnic balance reflective of the community it serves or

10  within the racial/ethnic range of other public schools in the

11  same school district.

12         9.  The financial and administrative management of the

13  school, including a reasonable demonstration of the

14  professional experience or competence of those individuals or

15  organizations applying to operate the charter school or those

16  hired or retained to perform such professional services and

17  the description of clearly delineated responsibilities and the

18  policies and practices needed to effectively manage the

19  charter school. A description of internal audit procedures and

20  establishment of controls to ensure that financial resources

21  are properly managed must be included. Both public sector and

22  private sector professional experience shall be equally valid

23  in such a consideration.

24         10.  A description of procedures that identify various

25  risks and provide for a comprehensive approach to reduce the

26  impact of losses; plans to ensure the safety and security of

27  students and staff; plans to identify, minimize, and protect

28  others from violent or disruptive student behavior; and the

29  manner in which the school will be insured, including whether

30  or not the school will be required to have liability

31  


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                                    CS/CS/HB 269, Second Engrossed



  1  insurance, and, if so, the terms and conditions thereof and

  2  the amounts of coverage.

  3         11.  The term of the charter which shall provide for

  4  cancellation of the charter if insufficient progress has been

  5  made in attaining the student achievement objectives of the

  6  charter and if it is not likely that such objectives can be

  7  achieved before expiration of the charter. The initial term of

  8  a charter shall be for 3, 4, or 5 years. In order to

  9  facilitate access to long-term financial resources for charter

10  school construction, charter schools that are operated by a

11  municipality or other public entity as provided by law are

12  eligible for up to a 15-year charter, subject to approval by

13  the local school board. A developmental research school is

14  eligible for a charter for a term of up to 15 years issued by

15  a state university pursuant to paragraph (4)(e). In addition,

16  to facilitate access to long-term financial resources for

17  charter school construction, charter schools that are operated

18  by a private, not-for-profit, s. 501(c)(3) status corporation

19  are eligible for up to a 10-year charter, subject to approval

20  by the local school board. Such long-term charters remain

21  subject to annual review and may be terminated during the term

22  of the charter, but only for specific good cause according to

23  the provisions set forth in subsection (10).

24         12.  The facilities to be used and their location.

25         13.  The qualifications to be required of the teachers

26  and the potential strategies used to recruit, hire, train, and

27  retain qualified staff to achieve best value.

28         14.  The governance structure of the school, including

29  the status of the charter school as a public or private

30  employer as required in subsection (7).

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  1         15.  A timetable for implementing the charter which

  2  addresses the implementation of each element thereof and the

  3  date by which the charter shall be awarded in order to meet

  4  this timetable.

  5         16.  In the case of an existing public school being

  6  converted to charter status, alternative arrangements for

  7  current students who choose not to attend the charter school

  8  and for current teachers who choose not to teach in the

  9  charter school after conversion in accordance with the

10  existing collective bargaining agreement or school board

11  policy in the absence of a collective bargaining agreement.

12  However, alternative arrangements shall not be required for

13  current teachers who choose not to teach in a developmental

14  research school to which a charter has been issued pursuant to

15  paragraph (4)(e), except as authorized by the employment

16  policies of the state university which grants the charter to

17  the developmental research school.

18         (b)  A charter may be renewed every 5 school years,

19  provided that a program review demonstrates that the criteria

20  in paragraph (a) have been successfully accomplished and that

21  none of the grounds for nonrenewal established by paragraph

22  (10)(a) have been documented. In order to facilitate long-term

23  financing for charter school construction, charter schools

24  operating for a minimum of 2 years and demonstrating exemplary

25  academic programming and fiscal management are eligible for a

26  15-year charter renewal. Such long-term charter is subject to

27  annual review and may be terminated during the term of the

28  charter.

29         (c)  A charter may be modified during its initial term

30  or any renewal term upon the recommendation of the sponsor or

31  


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                                    CS/CS/HB 269, Second Engrossed



  1  the charter school governing board and the approval of both

  2  parties to the agreement.

  3         (d)  The governing body of the charter school shall

  4  exercise continuing oversight over charter school operations

  5  and make annual progress reports to its sponsor, which upon

  6  verification shall be forwarded to the Commissioner of

  7  Education at the same time as other annual school

  8  accountability reports.  The report shall contain at least the

  9  following information:

10         1.  The charter school's progress towards achieving the

11  goals outlined in its charter.

12         2.  The information required in the annual school

13  report pursuant to s. 229.592.

14         3.  Financial records of the charter school, including

15  revenues and expenditures.

16         4.  Salary and benefit levels of charter school

17  employees.

18         (e)  A sponsor shall ensure that the charter is

19  innovative and consistent with the state education goals

20  established by s. 229.591.

21         (f)  Upon receipt of the annual report required by

22  paragraph (d), the Department of Education shall provide to

23  the State Board of Education, the Commissioner of Education,

24  the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of

25  Representatives an analysis and comparison of the overall

26  performance of charter school students, to include all

27  students whose scores are counted as part of the state

28  assessment program, versus comparable public school students

29  in the district as determined by the state assessment program

30  currently administered in the school district, and, as

31  appropriate, the Florida Writes Assessment Test, the High


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  1  School Competency Test, and other assessments administered

  2  pursuant to s. 229.57(3).

  3         (g)  Whenever a municipality has submitted charter

  4  applications for the establishment of a charter school feeder

  5  pattern (elementary, middle, and senior high schools), and

  6  upon approval of each individual charter application by the

  7  district school board, such applications will then be

  8  designated as one charter for all purposes listed pursuant to

  9  this section.

10         (11)(10)  CAUSES FOR NONRENEWAL OR TERMINATION.--

11         (a)  At the end of the term of a charter, the sponsor

12  may choose not to renew the charter for any of the following

13  grounds:

14         1.  Failure to meet the requirements for student

15  performance stated in the charter.

16         2.  Failure to meet generally accepted standards of

17  fiscal management.

18         3.  Violation of law.

19         4.  Other good cause shown.

20         (b)  During the term of a charter, the sponsor may

21  terminate the charter for any of the grounds listed in

22  paragraph (a).

23         (c)  At least 90 days prior to renewing or terminating

24  a charter, the sponsor shall notify the governing body of the

25  school of the proposed action in writing.  The notice shall

26  state in reasonable detail the grounds for the proposed action

27  and stipulate that the school's governing body may, within 14

28  calendar days after receiving the notice, request an informal

29  hearing before the sponsor. The sponsor shall conduct the

30  informal hearing within 30 calendar days after receiving a

31  written request. The charter school's governing body may,


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                                    CS/CS/HB 269, Second Engrossed



  1  within 14 calendar days after receiving the sponsor's decision

  2  to terminate or refuse to renew the charter, appeal the

  3  decision pursuant to the procedure established in subsection

  4  (4).

  5         (d)  A charter may be terminated immediately if the

  6  sponsor determines that good cause has been shown or if the

  7  health, safety, or welfare of the students is threatened. The

  8  school district in which the charter school is located shall

  9  assume operation of the school under these circumstances. The

10  charter school's governing board may, within 14 days after

11  receiving the sponsor's decision to terminate the charter,

12  appeal the decision pursuant to the procedure established in

13  subsection (4).

14         (e)  When a charter is not renewed or is terminated,

15  the school shall be dissolved under the provisions of law

16  under which the school was organized, and any unencumbered

17  public funds from the charter school shall revert to the

18  district school board.  In the event a charter school is

19  dissolved or is otherwise terminated, all district school

20  board property and improvements, furnishings, and equipment

21  purchased with public funds shall automatically revert to full

22  ownership by the district school board, subject to complete

23  satisfaction of any lawful liens or encumbrances.

24         (f)  If a charter is not renewed or is terminated, the

25  charter school governing body of the school is responsible for

26  all debts of the charter school. The district may not assume

27  the debt from any contract for services made between the

28  governing body of the school and a third party, except for a

29  debt that is previously detailed and agreed upon in writing by

30  both the district and the governing body of the school and

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                                    CS/CS/HB 269, Second Engrossed



  1  that may not reasonably be assumed to have been satisfied by

  2  the district.

  3         (g)  If a charter is not renewed or is terminated, a

  4  student who attended the school may apply to, and shall be

  5  enrolled in, another public school. Normal application

  6  deadlines shall be disregarded under such circumstances.

  7         (12)(11)  EXEMPTION FROM STATUTES.--A charter school

  8  shall operate in accordance with its charter and shall be

  9  exempt from all statutes of the Florida School Code, except

10  those specifically applying to charter schools; those

11  pertaining to the provision of services to students with

12  disabilities; those pertaining to civil rights, including s.

13  228.2001, relating to discrimination; and those pertaining to

14  student health, safety, and welfare; or as otherwise required

15  by this section. A charter school shall not be exempt from the

16  following statutes:  chapter 119, relating to public records,

17  and s. 286.011, relating to public meetings and records,

18  public inspection, and penalties. The charter school's

19  governing board sponsor, upon request of a charter school, may

20  apply to the Commissioner of Education for a waiver of

21  provisions of chapters 230-239 which are applicable to charter

22  schools under this section, except that the provisions of

23  chapter 236 or chapter 237 shall not be eligible for waiver if

24  the waiver would affect funding allocations or create inequity

25  in public school funding. The Commissioner of Education must

26  confirm receipt of a waiver request from a charter school by

27  providing a copy of the request to the sponsor. The

28  commissioner may grant the waiver if necessary to implement

29  the school program and shall provide notice of the final

30  dispensation of the waiver request to the charter school

31  governing board and the charter school's sponsor.


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                                    CS/CS/HB 269, Second Engrossed



  1         (13)(12)  EMPLOYEES OF CHARTER SCHOOLS.--

  2         (a)  A charter school shall select its own employees. A

  3  charter school may contract with its sponsor for the services

  4  of personnel employed by the sponsor.

  5         (b)  Charter school employees shall have the option to

  6  bargain collectively.  Employees may collectively bargain as a

  7  separate unit or as part of the existing district collective

  8  bargaining unit as determined by the structure of the charter

  9  school.

10         (c)  The employees of a conversion charter school shall

11  remain public employees for all purposes, unless such

12  employees choose not to do so.

13         (d)  The teachers at a charter school may choose to be

14  part of a professional group that subcontracts with the

15  charter school to operate the instructional program under the

16  auspices of a partnership or cooperative that they

17  collectively own. Under this arrangement, the teachers would

18  not be public employees.

19         (e)  Employees of a school district may take leave to

20  accept employment in a charter school upon the approval of the

21  district school board. While employed by the charter school

22  and on leave that is approved by the school board, the

23  employee may retain seniority accrued in that school district

24  and may continue to be covered by the benefit programs of that

25  school district, if the charter school and the district school

26  board agree to this arrangement and its financing. School

27  districts shall not require resignations of teachers desiring

28  to teach in a charter school. This paragraph shall not

29  prohibit a school board from approving alternative leave

30  arrangements consistent with chapter 231.

31  


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                                    CS/CS/HB 269, Second Engrossed



  1         (f)  Teachers employed by or under contract to a

  2  charter school shall be certified as required by chapter 231.

  3  A charter school governing board may employ or contract with

  4  skilled selected noncertified personnel to provide

  5  instructional services or to assist instructional staff

  6  members as education paraprofessionals in the same manner as

  7  defined in chapter 231, and as provided by State Board of

  8  Education rule for charter school governing boards. A charter

  9  school may not knowingly employ an individual to provide

10  instructional services or to serve as an education

11  paraprofessional if the individual's certification or

12  licensure as an educator is suspended or revoked by this or

13  any other state. A charter school may not knowingly employ an

14  individual who has resigned from a school district in lieu of

15  disciplinary action with respect to child welfare or safety,

16  or who has been dismissed for just cause by any school

17  district with respect to child welfare or safety. The

18  qualifications of teachers shall be disclosed to parents.

19         (g)  A charter school shall employ or contract with

20  employees who have been fingerprinted as provided in s.

21  231.02. Members of the governing board of the charter school

22  shall also be fingerprinted in a manner similar to that

23  provided in s. 231.02.

24         (14)(13)  REVENUE.--Students enrolled in a charter

25  school, regardless of the sponsorship, shall be funded as if

26  they are in a basic program or a special program, the same as

27  students enrolled in other public schools in the school

28  district. Funding for a chartered developmental research

29  school shall be as provided in s. 228.053(9).

30         (a)  Each charter school shall report its student

31  enrollment to the district school board as required in s.


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                                    CS/CS/HB 269, Second Engrossed



  1  236.081, and in accordance with the definitions in s. 236.013.

  2  The district school board shall include each charter school's

  3  enrollment in the district's report of student enrollment. All

  4  charter schools submitting student record information required

  5  by the Department of Education shall comply with the

  6  department's guidelines for electronic data formats for such

  7  data, and all districts shall accept electronic data that

  8  complies with the department's electronic format.

  9         (b)  The basis for the agreement for funding students

10  enrolled in a charter school shall be the sum of the school

11  district's operating funds from the Florida Education Finance

12  Program as provided in s. 236.081 and the General

13  Appropriations Act, including gross state and local funds,

14  discretionary lottery funds, and funds from the school

15  district's current operating discretionary millage levy;

16  divided by total funded weighted full-time equivalent students

17  in the school district; multiplied by the weighted full-time

18  equivalent students for the charter school.  Charter schools

19  whose students or programs meet the eligibility criteria in

20  law shall be entitled to their proportionate share of

21  categorical program funds included in the total funds

22  available in the Florida Education Finance Program by the

23  Legislature, including transportation.  Total funding for each

24  charter school will be recalculated during the year to reflect

25  the revised calculations under the Florida Education Finance

26  Program by the state and the actual weighted full-time

27  equivalent students reported by the charter school during the

28  full-time equivalent student survey periods designated by the

29  Commissioner of Education.

30         (c)  Transportation of charter school students shall be

31  provided by the charter school consistent with the


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                                    CS/CS/HB 269, Second Engrossed



  1  requirements of chapter 234. The governing body of the charter

  2  school may provide transportation through an agreement or

  3  contract with the district school board, a private provider,

  4  or parents. The charter school and the sponsor shall cooperate

  5  in making arrangements that ensure that transportation is not

  6  a barrier to equal access for all students residing within a

  7  reasonable distance of the charter school as determined in its

  8  charter.

  9         (d)  If the district school board is providing programs

10  or services to students funded by federal funds, any eligible

11  students enrolled in charter schools in the school district

12  shall be provided federal funds for the same level of service

13  provided students in the schools operated by the district

14  school board. Pursuant to provisions of 20 U.S.C. 8061 s.

15  10306, all charter schools shall receive all federal funding

16  for which the school is otherwise eligible, including Title I

17  funding, not later than 5 months after the charter school

18  first opens and within 5 months after any subsequent expansion

19  of enrollment.

20         (e)  Any administrative fee charged by the school

21  district relating to a charter school shall be limited to 5

22  percent of the available funds as defined in paragraph (b) not

23  including capital outlay funds, federal and state grants, or

24  any other funds unless explicitly provided by law. The sponsor

25  shall provide certain administrative and educational services

26  to charter schools at no additional fee. These services shall

27  include contract management services, FTE and data reporting,

28  exceptional student education administration, test

29  administration, processing of teacher certificate data, and

30  information services.

31  


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  1         (f)  School boards shall make every effort to ensure

  2  that charter schools receive timely and efficient

  3  reimbursement, including processing paperwork required to

  4  access special state and federal funding for which they may be

  5  eligible. The district school board may distribute funds to a

  6  charter school for up to 3 months based on the projected

  7  full-time equivalent student membership of the charter school.

  8  Thereafter, the results of full-time equivalent student

  9  membership surveys must be used in adjusting the amount of

10  funds distributed monthly to the charter school for the

11  remainder of the fiscal year. The payment shall be issued no

12  later than 10 working days after the district school board

13  receives a distribution of state or federal funds. If a

14  warrant for payment is not issued within 30 working days after

15  receipt of funding by the district school board, the school

16  district shall pay to the charter school, in addition to the

17  amount of the scheduled disbursement, interest at a rate of 1

18  percent per month calculated on a daily basis on the unpaid

19  balance from the expiration of the 30-day period until such

20  time as the warrant is issued.

21         (g)  If a district school board facility or property is

22  available because it is surplus, marked for disposal, or

23  otherwise unused, it shall be provided for a charter school's

24  use on the same basis as it is made available to other public

25  schools in the district.  A charter school receiving property

26  from the school district may not sell or dispose of such

27  property without written permission of the school district.

28  Similarly, for an existing public school converting to charter

29  status, no rental or leasing fee for the existing facility or

30  for the property normally inventoried to the conversion school

31  may be charged by the district school board to the parents and


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                                    CS/CS/HB 269, Second Engrossed



  1  teachers organizing the charter school.  The charter

  2  organizers shall agree to reasonable maintenance provisions in

  3  order to maintain the facility in a manner similar to district

  4  school board standards. The Public Education Capital Outlay

  5  maintenance funds or any other maintenance funds generated by

  6  the facility operated as a conversion school shall remain with

  7  the conversion school.

  8         (h)  If other goods and services are made available to

  9  the charter school through the contract with the school

10  district, they shall be provided to the charter school at a

11  rate no greater than the district's actual cost. To maximize

12  the use of state funds, school districts shall allow charter

13  schools to participate in the sponsor's bulk purchasing

14  program if applicable.

15         (15)(14)  IMMUNITY.--For the purposes of tort

16  liability, the governing body and employees of a charter

17  school shall be governed by s. 768.28.

18         (16)(15)  LENGTH OF SCHOOL YEAR.--A charter school

19  shall provide instruction for at least the number of days

20  required by law for other public schools, and may provide

21  instruction for additional days.

22         (17)(16)  FACILITIES.--

23         (a)  A charter school shall utilize facilities which

24  comply with the State Uniform Building Code for Public

25  Educational Facilities Construction adopted pursuant to s.

26  235.26 or with applicable state minimum building codes

27  pursuant to chapter 553 and state minimum fire protection

28  codes pursuant to s. 633.025, as adopted by the authority in

29  whose jurisdiction the facility is located.

30         (b)  Any facility, or portion thereof, used to house a

31  charter school whose charter has been approved by the sponsor


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                                    CS/CS/HB 269, Second Engrossed



  1  and the governing board, pursuant to subsection (9), shall be

  2  exempt from ad valorem taxes pursuant to s. 196.1983.

  3         (c)  After January 1, 2001, charter school facilities

  4  shall utilize facilities which comply with the Florida

  5  Building Code, pursuant to chapter 553, and the Florida Fire

  6  Prevention Code, pursuant to chapter 633.

  7         (18)(17)  INITIAL COSTS.--A sponsor may approve a

  8  charter for a charter school before the applicant has secured

  9  space, equipment, or personnel, if the applicant indicates

10  approval is necessary for it to raise working capital.

11         (19)(18)  INFORMATION.--The Department of Education

12  shall provide information to the public, directly and through

13  sponsors, both on how to form and operate a charter school and

14  on how to enroll in charter schools once they are created.

15  This information shall include a standard application format

16  which shall include the information specified in subsection

17  (9). This application format may be used by chartering

18  entities.

19         (20)(19)  GENERAL AUTHORITY.--A charter school shall

20  not levy taxes or issue bonds secured by tax revenues.

21         (21)(20)  REVIEW.--

22         (a)  The Department of Education shall regularly

23  convene a Charter School Review Panel in order to review

24  issues, practices, and policies regarding charter schools. The

25  composition of the review panel shall include individuals with

26  experience in finance, administration, law, education, and

27  school governance, and individuals familiar with charter

28  school construction and operation. The panel shall include two

29  appointees each from the Commissioner of Education, the

30  President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of

31  Representatives. The Governor shall appoint three members of


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  1  the panel and shall designate the chair. Each member of the

  2  panel shall serve a 1-year term, unless renewed by the office

  3  making the appointment. The panel shall make recommendations

  4  to the Legislature, to the Department of Education, to charter

  5  schools, and to school districts for improving charter school

  6  operations and oversight and for ensuring best business

  7  practices at and fair business relationships with charter

  8  schools.

  9         (b)  The Legislature shall review the operation of

10  charter schools during the 2005 Regular Session of the

11  Legislature.

12         (22)(21)  RULEMAKING.--The Department of Education,

13  after consultation with school districts and charter school

14  directors, shall recommend that the State Board of Education

15  adopt rules to implement specific subsections of this section.

16  Such rules shall require minimum paperwork and shall not limit

17  charter school flexibility authorized by statute.

18         (23)(22)  CHARTER SCHOOLS-IN-THE-WORKPLACE, CHARTER

19  SCHOOLS-IN-A-DEVELOPMENT, AND CHARTER SCHOOLS

20  IN-A-MUNICIPALITY.--

21         (a)  In order to increase business partnerships in

22  education, to reduce school and classroom overcrowding

23  throughout the state, to encourage developers of residential

24  and other projects to provide school infrastructure concurrent

25  with school impacts, to promote and encourage local

26  communities to participate in and advance the cause of

27  neighborhood schools, and to offset the high costs for

28  educational facilities construction, the Legislature intends

29  to encourage the formation of business partnership schools or

30  satellite learning centers through charter school status.

31  


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  1         (b)  A charter school-in-the-workplace may be

  2  established when a business partner provides the school

  3  facility to be used; enrolls students based upon a random

  4  lottery which involves all of the children of employees of

  5  that business or corporation who are seeking enrollment, as

  6  provided for in subsection (6); and enrolls students according

  7  to the racial/ethnic balance provisions described in

  8  subparagraph (9)(a)8. Any portion of a facility used for a

  9  public charter school shall be exempt from ad valorem taxes,

10  as provided for in s. 235.198, for the duration of its use as

11  a public school.

12         (c)  A charter school-in-a-municipality designation may

13  be granted to a municipality that possesses a charter; enrolls

14  students based upon a random lottery that involves all of the

15  children of the residents of that municipality who are seeking

16  enrollment, as provided for in subsection (6); and enrolls

17  students according to the racial/ethnic balance provisions

18  described in subparagraph (9)(a)8. Any portion of the land and

19  facility used for a public charter school shall be exempt from

20  ad valorem taxes, as provided for in s. 235.198, for the

21  duration of its use as a public school.

22         (d)  As used in this subsection, the terms "business

23  partner," "employer," "developer," or "municipality" may

24  include more than one business, employer, developer, or

25  municipality to form a charter school-in-the-workplace,

26  charter school-in-a-development, or charter

27  school-in-a-municipality.

28         Section 13.  Subsection (1) of section 228.0561,

29  Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

30         228.0561  Charter schools capital outlay funding.--

31  


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                                    CS/CS/HB 269, Second Engrossed



  1         (1)  In each year in which funds are appropriated for

  2  charter school capital outlay purposes, the Commissioner of

  3  Education shall allocate the funds among eligible charter

  4  schools.  To be eligible for a funding allocation, a charter

  5  school must meet the provisions of subsection (6), must have

  6  received final approval from its sponsor pursuant to s.

  7  228.056 for operation during that fiscal year, and must serve

  8  students in facilities that are not provided by the charter

  9  school's sponsor.  Prior to the release of capital outlay

10  funds to a school district on behalf of the charter school,

11  the Department of Education shall ensure that the district

12  school board and the charter school governing board enter into

13  a written agreement that includes provisions for the reversion

14  of any unencumbered funds and all equipment and property

15  purchased with public education funds to the ownership of the

16  district school board, as provided for in subsection (3), in

17  the event that the school terminates operations.  Any funds

18  recovered by the state shall be deposited in the General

19  Revenue Fund.  A charter school is not eligible for a funding

20  allocation if it was created by the conversion of a public

21  school and operates in facilities provided by the charter

22  school's sponsor for a nominal fee or at no charge or if it is

23  directly or indirectly operated by the school district. Unless

24  otherwise provided in the General Appropriations Act, the

25  funding allocation for each eligible charter school shall be

26  determined by multiplying the school's projected student

27  enrollment by one-fifteenth of the cost-per-student station

28  specified in s. 235.435(6)(b) for an elementary, middle, or

29  high school, as appropriate.  If the funds appropriated are

30  not sufficient, the commissioner shall prorate the available

31  funds among eligible charter schools. Funds shall be


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                                    CS/CS/HB 269, Second Engrossed



  1  distributed on the basis of the capital outlay full-time

  2  equivalent membership by grade level, which shall be

  3  calculated by averaging the results of the second and third

  4  enrollment surveys. The Department of Education shall

  5  distribute capital outlay funds monthly, beginning in the

  6  first quarter of the fiscal year, based on one-twelfth of the

  7  amount the department reasonably expects the charter school to

  8  receive during that fiscal year. The commissioner shall adjust

  9  subsequent distributions as necessary to reflect each charter

10  school's actual student enrollment as reflected in the second

11  and third enrollment surveys. Sixty percent of the funds shall

12  be distributed after the second enrollment survey, and the

13  balance shall be distributed after the third enrollment

14  survey. The commissioner shall adjust subsequent distributions

15  as necessary to reflect each charter school's actual student

16  enrollment. The commissioner shall establish the intervals and

17  procedures for determining the projected and actual student

18  enrollment of eligible charter schools.

19         Section 14.  Paragraph (d) is added to subsection (3)

20  of section 232.425, Florida Statutes, to read:

21         232.425  Student standards for participation in

22  interscholastic extracurricular student activities;

23  regulation.--

24         (3)

25         (d)  An individual charter school student pursuant to

26  s. 228.056 is eligible to participate at the public school to

27  which the student would be assigned according to district

28  school attendance area policies or which the student could

29  choose to attend, pursuant to district or interdistrict

30  controlled open-enrollment provisions, in any interscholastic

31  extracurricular activity of that school, unless such activity


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  1  is provided by the student's charter school, if the following

  2  conditions are met:

  3         1.  The charter school student must meet the

  4  requirements of the charter school education program as

  5  determined by the charter school governing board.

  6         2.  During the period of participation at a school, the

  7  charter school student must demonstrate educational progress

  8  as required in paragraph (b).

  9         3.  The charter school student must meet the same

10  residency requirements as other students in the school at

11  which he or she participates.

12         4.  The charter school student must meet the same

13  standards of acceptance, behavior, and performance that are

14  required of other students in extracurricular activities.

15         5.  The charter school student must register with the

16  school his or her intent to participate in interscholastic

17  extracurricular activities as a representative of the school

18  before the beginning date of the season for the activity in

19  which he or she wishes to participate. A charter school

20  student must be able to participate in curricular activities

21  if that is a requirement for an extracurricular activity.

22         6.  A student who transfers from a charter school

23  program to a traditional public school before or during the

24  first grading period of the school year is academically

25  eligible to participate in interscholastic extracurricular

26  activities during the first grading period if the student has

27  a successful evaluation from the previous school year,

28  pursuant to subparagraph 2.

29         7.  Any public school or nonpublic school student who

30  has been unable to maintain academic eligibility for

31  participation in interscholastic extracurricular activities is


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                                    CS/CS/HB 269, Second Engrossed



  1  ineligible to participate in such activities as a charter

  2  school student until the student has successfully completed

  3  one grading period in a charter school pursuant to

  4  subparagraph 2. to become eligible to participate as a charter

  5  school student.

  6         Section 15.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2001.

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