Charter School Choice
Does the state have charter schools?
Are for-profit charter schools or management companies allowed?
1002.33(12)(i): "A charter school shall organize as, or be operated by, a nonprofit organization. "
1002.332(1)(a): For the purposes of this section regarding high-performing charter school systems, an entity is defined as a "municipality or other public entity that is authorized by law to operate a charter school; a private, nonprofit corporation with tax-exempt status under s. 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; or a private, for-profit education management corporation."
Is there a cap on the number of charter schools?
We did not find information about caps on charter schools in Florida statutes. However, Education Commission of the States states that Florida does not have caps on charters.
Are charters required to provide transportation for any students?
"Transportation of charter school students shall be provided by the charter school consistent with the requirements of subpart I.E. of chapter 1006 and s. 1012.45."
This is coded as Unclear because in 2015, an Administrative Judge ruled that the school board cannot require charter schools to provide regular school busing to all students.
Can charter schools employ uncertified teachers?
Teachers employed or under contract shall be certified but charters can employ/contract noncertified personnel to provide instructional services or to assist instructional staff members as education paraprofessionals.
Additionally, a School of Hope operator, "may employ school administrators and instructional personnel who do not meet the requirements of s. 1012.56 if the school administrators and instructional personnel are not ineligible for such employment under s. 1012.315."
Virtual School Choice
Do state statutes allow for full-time virtual schools?
Florida statutes allow for virtual schools, virtual charters, and the Florida Virtual School.
Are virtual schools required to track attendance?
Do virtual schools have to comply with state teacher certification requirements?
Private School Choice
Does the state have voucher programs?
Florida statutes allow for two voucher programs: The Family Empowerment Scholarship (1002.394) and The John M. McKay Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program (1002.39).
Does the state have educational expense tuition tax credits or deductions?
No educational expense tax credits or deductions found.
Can students use vouchers to attend religious schools?
Florida law states that "A private school may be a parochial, religious, denominational, for-profit, or nonprofit school." Private schools participating in state school choice scholarship programs must abide by the laws outlined in 1002.421: State school choice scholarship program accountability and oversight. This law does not state that school choice scholarship schools must be nonsectarian.
Is there a cap on the number of students or private schools participating in voucher programs?
Are voucher students in private schools required to take any standardized tests?
Family Empowerment Scholarship: A private school must "annually administer or make provision for students participating in the program in grades 3 through 10 to take one of the nationally norm-referenced tests identified by the department or to take the statewide assessments pursuant to s. 1008.22. Students with disabilities for whom standardized testing is not appropriate are exempt from this requirement."
John M. McKay Scholarship: No - if a parent wishes to have their student take standardized statewide tests, the parent is responsible for transporting their student to a testing location.
Can private schools be removed from voucher programs based on performance?
Family Empowerment Scholarship: "If a private school fails to meet the requirements of this subsection or s. 1002.421, the commissioner may determine that the private school is ineligible to participate in the scholarship program."
Are private schools in voucher programs required to provide transportation?
Interdistrict School Choice
Does the state have interdistrict choice programs?
"Each district school board or charter school shall allow a parent from any school district in the state whose child is not subject to a current expulsion or suspension to enroll his or her child in and transport his or her child to any public school, including charter schools..."
Are receiving schools or districts required to provide transportation to any students?
"A school district or charter school may provide transportation to students described under this section."