6A-6.03315. Private School Scholarship Compliance  


Effective on Tuesday, August 21, 2018
  • 1Form IEPC SCF-1, Scholarship Program Compliance Form for Private School Participants in State Scholarship Programs (17http://www.flrules.org/Gateway/reference.asp?No=Ref-0962119), hereinafter Scholarship Compliance Form, is hereby incorporated by reference to become a part of this rule effective August 2018.

    39(1) Definitions related to this rule and the Scholarship Compliance Form:

    50(a) Scholarship Programs: State school choice scholarship programs authorized in chapter 1002, F.S.

    63(b) Renewing school – A school that had scholarship students during the current or previous school year.

    80(c) New school – A school that did not have scholarship students during the current or previous school year. A school removed from the program pursuant to a Notice of Proposed Action from the Commissioner may not reapply during the same school year it was removed from the program. In addition, a school that had scholarship students during the current or previous school year but is opening an additional location may apply as a new school for that location only.

    160(d) Regular and direct contact – A program of instruction that provides for a minimum of one hundred seventy (170) actual school instruction days with the required instructional hours (determined by grade level per state board rule 1976A-1.09512, 198F.A.C.) under the direct instruction of the private school teacher at the school’s approved physical location. This may include occasional off-site activities including the McKay Scholarship Program transition-to-work plan under the supervision of the private school teacher.

    235(e) School’s physical location – The location where regular and direct contact with the private school teacher occurs which has met applicable state and local health, safety, and welfare laws, codes, and rules.

    268(2) Renewing schools must comply with the following process to renew eligbility for the upcoming school year.

    285(a) Complete and submit a signed and notarized annual survey, pursuant to section 2981002.42, F.S., 300by May 1.

    303(b) Annually complete and submit a signed and notarized Scholarship Compliance Form. The signed, notarized Scholarship Compliance Form must be postmarked by March 1 of each year for participation in the subsequent school year. Following the timely submission of the Scholarship Compliance Form, any outstanding compliance issues must be resolved by the private school on or before May 1 of each year or within forty-five (45) days of initial notification from the Department of any noncompliance issue, whichever is later, for the school to remain eligible to participate in the scholarship programs. This does not limit the Department’s ability to request compliance related documentation at other times.

    410(c) Ensure physical location has a current satisfactory health inspection and current satisfactory fire inspection and submit the inspections to the Department.

    432(d) Every third consecutive year of participation, a renewing private school must also submit the following:

    4481. Documentation from the Florida Division of Corporations establishing ownership of the private school.

    4622. Documentation demonstrating the school has a satisfactory Radon inspection, if applicable.

    4743. School policies establishing standards of ethical conduct from instructional personnel and school administrators.

    4884. Surety bond or letter of credit, if required by section 4991002.421, F.S.

    5015. Copy of the results of state and national criminal history check for each owner or operator of the school, as defined by section 5251002.421, F.S.

    527(3) New schools.

    530(a) New schools, as defined in this rule, must submit the following documentation to the Department to establish eligbility for particpation in the scholarship programs.

    5551. Current notarized annual survey, pursuant to section 5631002.42, F.S.

    5652. Signed and notarized Scholarship Compliance Form.

    5723. Copy of the results of state and national criminal history check for each owner or operator of the school, as defined by section 5961002.421, F.S.

    5984. Documentation from the Florida Division of Corporations establishing ownership of the private school.

    6125. Current satisfactory health inspection report.

    6186. Current satisfactory fire inspection report.

    6247. Documentation demonstrating the school has a satisfactory Radon inspection, if applicable.

    6368. Surety bond or letter of credit, if required by section 6471002.421, F.S.

    6499. School policies establishing standards of ethical conduct for instructional personnel and school administrators.

    66310. School fee schedule, if applicable.

    669(b) Upon review and approval of the documentation indentified in paragraph (3)(a) of this rule, the Department will schedule and conduct a site visit at the school’s physical location. Beginning in the 2019-2020 school year, a private school is ineligible to receive scholarship payments until a satisfactory site visit has been conducted by the Department.

    724(c) The following deadlines are established for schools entering a scholarship program in the 2019-2020 school year and each year thereafter. To be eligible to participate in a scholarship program a school must submit a signed and notarized Scholarship Compliance Form no later than October 1 and all outstanding compliance issues pertaining to documentation identified in paragraph (3)(a) of this rule, are to be resolved by December 1. A school that fails to meet either of these deadlines may not participate in the scholarship program until the subsequent school year.

    814(4) The Department may administratively close an application for participation in the state scholarship programs if a school fails to submit all the required documentation within sixty (60) days of submission of the Scholarship Compliance Form.

    850(5) Copies of the Scholarship Compliance Form may be obtained from the Office of Independent Education and Parental Choice, Department of Education, 325 West Gaines Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399.

    879(6) Complaint process. The following process is established to allow individuals to notify the Department of any alleged violation by a parent, a student, a private school, a public school or a school district, an organization, a provider, or another appropriate party of state laws or rules related to scholarship program participation.

    931(a) Persons interested in filing a complaint should contact the Department through the toll-free hotline, (800)447-1636, established pursuant to section 9511002.421, F.S., 953or through the Department’s website, www.floridaschoolchoice.org, to receive a copy of the Complainant Statement form, Form IEPC-CS1. Form IEPC-CS1 (973http://www.flrules.org/Gateway/reference.asp?No=Ref-09622975) is hereby incorporated by reference, effective August 2018.

    984(b) The complainant must complete the Complainant Statement form, sign it and submit to the Department.

    1000(c) Upon receipt of a completed and signed Complainant Statement form, the Department shall review to determine if reasonable cause exists to believe that a violation of law or rule has occurred.

    1032(d) If the Department determines that reasonable cause exists, it shall conduct an inquiry, as described in subsection (7) of this rule, or refer the matter to the appropriate agency for investigation. If the Department determines that the information provided by the complainant does not establish reasonable cause, the Department may close the complaint.

    1086(7) Inquiry process.

    1089(a) A letter of inquiry will be delivered using regular and certified mail to provide notification to the individual or entity that an inquiry has been opened and provide the opportunity to respond. The letter of inquiry shall detail alleged violations of program rules or law, the response required, any documentation requested, and the deadline for responding to the Department.

    1149(b) Failure to respond to a letter of inquiry in a timely manner may result in the Department initiating any of the actions as authorized by sections 11761002.421(3), 1177or 1002.385(10), F.S, as applicable.

    1182(c) Upon review of the documentation requested pursuant to paragraph (7)(a) of this rule, the Department may take one of the following actions:

    12051. If the Department cannot establish that a violation of laws or rules related to scholarship program participation occurred, the Department shall notify the parent, student, private school, public school or school district, organization, provider, or other party and complainant that the inquiry will be closed.

    12512. If more information is needed, the Department may request additional information related to the inquiry from the complainant, parent, student, private school, public school or school district, organization, provider, or other party, or conduct a site visit as appropriate.

    12913. If the Department establishes that a violation of laws or rules related to scholarship program participation has occurred, the Department may initiate any of the actions permitted by sections 13211002.421(3), 1322or 1002.385(10), F.S., as applicable.

    1327(d) The Department may at any point in the process set forth in this rule, refer an inquiry to the Department’s Office of Inspector General or another appropriate agency for full investigation.

    1359(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of this rule, the Commissioner may at any point before or during the inquiry process exercise the authority given under sections 13851002.421(3), 13861002.385(10), F.S., and this rule.

    1391Rulemaking Authority 13931001.02, 13941002.385, 13951002.39, 13961002.395, 13971002.40, 1002.411, 13991002.42, 14001002.421 FS. 1402Law Implemented 1002.385, 14051002.39, 14061002.395, 14071002.40, 14081002.421, 14091002.42, 14101002.421, 14111003.22, 14121003.23 FS. 1414History–New 10-13-04, Amended 9-20-05, 1-18-07, 1-5-09, 10-25-10, 2-9-16, 8-21-18.

     

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