Florida Charter School Law & Compliance
This section features extensive links and resources on the Florida charter school statutes and information on how the statutes apply to everyday charter school operations. Click on the following topics to find related documents:
State Laws Pertaining to Charter Schools1. Florida Charter School Statutes
2. Training Requirements for Governing Boards
3. Charter School Capital Outlay Program
4. Other Laws Pertaining to Charter Schools
Understanding the Laws
The first Florida charter school statutes were approved in 1996, opening the door for the creation of charter schools as part of the state’s public education system. Since that year, the statutes have been amended several times.
Section 1002.33 establishes charter schools. Under this law, private entities may enter into charters with school boards to provide educational services to district students. This law provides information on the application process and review, charter school requirements, charter, funding, exemptions from statute, etc.
Section 1013.62 F.S. establishes the eligibility requirements and acceptable use of Capital Outlay Funding by charter schools.
State Board of Education Rule 6A.6.0784 establishes state-approved training requirements for the members of charter school governing boards.
In Florida, a program called the Public Education Capital Outlay and Debt Service Trust Funds assists charter schools with facilities costs. These funds are available only to the following types of charter schools:
- Charter schools that have been in operation for three or more years
- New charter schools that were created as a “feeder” school serving students from an existing charter school
- Charter schools that are accredited by SACS CASI (Southern Association of College and Schools)
In addition, charter schools must meet other eligibility requirements such as financial stability and satisfactory student achievement. An eligible charter school receives funds based on the number of students enrolled. The rate is highest for high schools, and lowest for elementary schools.
Charter schools may use their capital outlay funds for the following purposes:
- Purchase of real property
- Construction of school facilities
- Purchase, lease-purchase, or lease of permanent or relocatable school facilities
- Purchase of vehicles to transport students to and from the charter school
- Renovation, repair, and maintenance of school facilities that the charter school owns or is purchasing through a lease-purchase or long-term lease of 5 years or longer.
- Technical Assistance Paper on the Uses of Capital Outlay Funds
Complaint Procedures: CSP Federal Grant Complaint Procedures for Applicants.
Code of Ethics - Education Profession: 6B-1.006 Principles of Professional Conduct for the Education Profession in Florida.
Exceptional Student Education (ESE) Manual
Charter schools are required to comply with all state and federal laws regarding the provision of services to students with disabilities. This manual may be useful in helping to understand the steps necessary to be in compliance with these laws.
Florida’s Government-in-the-Sunshine Law: As public institutions, charter schools must abide by the state’s Sunshine Law concerning public records and meetings.
Class Size Reduction: Link to FLDOE webpage with the latest information on compliance requirements with the Class Size Reduction Act.
Participation of charter school students in interscholastic extracurricular activities at other public schools: 1006.15 (3)(d): Defines the rights of charter school students to participate in interscholastic extracurricular activities at the public school to which they would be assigned if certain conditions are met.
Determination of financial emergency: 218.503 f.s.: Defines the conditions that constitute a “financial emergency” under which charter schools shall be subject to review and oversight by the Governor, charter school sponsor, or the Commissioner of Education.
The Florida Teachers Classroom Supply Assistance Program: 1012.71: Stipulates how funds are to be appropriated to public school teachers (including employed by charter schools) for the Florida Teachers Lead Program Stipend to purchase classroom materials and supplies used in the instruction of students in prekindergarten through grade 12.
Charter school exemption from ad valorem taxes: 196.1983: Establishes that facilities housing charter schools are exempt from ad valorem taxes.
Annual financial audit reports: 218.39: Establishes the requirements by which charter schools must perform an annual financial audit by an independent certified public accountant.
Background screening of personnel: 1012.32: Defines the procedures that charter schools must follow to conduct background screening and fingerprinting on charter school personnel
Reemployment of charter school instructional personnel after retirement: 238.184: Provides that charter schools participating in the Florida Retirement System to reemploy a retired member as a substitute or hourly teacher on a noncontractual basis, or reemploy such retired member as instructional personnel.
Cancellation of certain taxes on real property acquired by a county, school board, charter school governing board, or community college district board of trustees: 196.29
Purchase of retirement credit for in-state public service and in-state service in accredited nonpublic schools and colleges, including charter schools and charter technical career centers: 121.1122: Stipulates how a member of the Florida Retirement System may purchase up to five years of retirement credit for employment in a charter school.
Noninstructional contractors who are permitted access to school grounds when students are present; background screening requirements: 1012.467: Defines the requirements for conducting and sharing criminal background screenings on non-instructional contractors working in charter schools.
Discounted computers and Internet access for students: 1001.29: Establishes and defines a state program to offer computers and Internet access at a discounted price to students enrolled in grades 5 through 12 in public schools, including charter schools.