Search Policy Manual:
|0110||Identification||Advertised on: Dec 5th, 2018|
|1700||Research Requests||Advertised on: Dec 5th, 2018|
|2510||Use of State Instructional Materials Allocation for the Selection, Adoption, and Purchase of Instructional Materials||Advertised on: Dec 5th, 2018|
|2800||Advertised on: Dec 5th, 2018|
|3310||Freedom of Speech
||Advertised on: Dec 5th, 2018|
|4310||Freedom of Speech Outside of the Workplace||Advertised on: Dec 5th, 2018|
|6144||Investment and Cash Management||Advertised on: Dec 5th, 2018|
|6147||Debt Management||Advertised on: Dec 5th, 2018|
|6320||Procurement||Advertised on: Dec 5th, 2018|
|6320.02||Supplier Diversity||Advertised on: Dec 5th, 2018|
|6330||Acquisition of Professional Architecture, Engineering, Construction Management, Landscape Architectural, or Land Surveying Services||Advertised on: Dec 5th, 2018|
|6331||Construction Contracting||Advertised on: Dec 5th, 2018|
|6345||Change Orders||Advertised on: Dec 5th, 2018|
|6550||Travel and Per Diem||Advertised on: Dec 5th, 2018|
|7250||Commemoration of School Facilities||Advertised on: Dec 5th, 2018|
|8800||Religious/Patriotic Ceremonies and Observations||Advertised on: Dec 5th, 2018|
|8820||Religious Expression in Public Schools||Advertised on: Dec 5th, 2018|
|9211||Parent Organizations, Booster Clubs, and Other Fund-Raising Activities||Advertised on: Dec 5th, 2018|
|9800||Charter Schools||Advertised on: Dec 5th, 2018|
The Board will be known officially as The School Board of Hillsborough County, Florida. The public school system shall be designated as The School District of Hillsborough County, Florida, and may also be known as Hillsborough County Public Schools.
F.S. 1001.30, 1001.40
Revised (Date of Board Approval)
The School District is comprised of all the area within the boundaries of Hillsborough County, Florida.
The official address of the School Board is 901 East Kennedy Boulevard, Tampa, Florida 33602.
The School Board adopts an official seal for the District.
The Board is the corporate body authorized by statute to implement policies, contract, purchase, sue, be sued, and take other actions as required by law.
Purpose of the Board
The Board provides the strategic framework that guides policy implementation. This strategy includes building community support for a shared educational vision and mission that offers a road map to student success.
As trustees of public education, the Board is responsible for governance, accountability, and advocacy grounded in the values embraced by the Board and reflected in the culture of the District.
The Board is the voice of education in Hillsborough County and, as such, must collaborate with citizens and District staff to attain the Board's strategic goals. The Board must ensure that is policies and systems reflect that it's philosophy and align with its mission, vision, and values.
Philosophy of the Board
Preparing Students for Life.
To provide an education and the supports that enable each student to excel as a successful and responsible citizen.
The Board declares its intent to operate with:
Civility toward others
Respect for diversity
Respect for individuality
A collaborative style of governance
A balanced approach to respecting and caring for every student while addressing the needs of all students
Commitment to instill in all of our stakeholders a sense of ownership of our shared responsibilities
Clear, complete, and concise communication to all stakeholders
Clearly articulated expectations
Accountability and responsibility for our actions
Transparency and openness
Regard and respect for our employees
Vigilant fiscal oversight
The Board supports education research and program evaluation studies that apply rigorous and systematic procedures to obtain valid data relevant to the implementation and effect of education programs and thereby to advance public education for district stakeholders. The Board further recognizes that individuals and agencies may ask for permission to conduct research in the school system. However, the Board acknowledges its responsibility to ensure that research conducted in the school system is of high quality, safeguards the privacy of individuals, furthers the goals of the Hillsborough County School District (District), and minimizes interruptions to the instructional program. The Superintendent is directed to develop and maintain research review procedures to ensure they comply with the policy.
This policy applies to individuals and entities who would like to conduct research and/or evaluation activities in the District, or who would like to receive and use District student data and/or staff data for research or evaluation purposes.
All research and program evaluation studies must be approved by the Superintendent or his designee.
Fla. Stat. §§1101.32;1101.41;1101.42;20 U.S.C. §1232g (Family Rights and Privacy Act of 1974); 20 U.S.C. §1232h (Protection of Pupil Rights Act); 45 CFR 46 Subpart D (Additional Protections for Children Involved as Subjects in Research); Public Law 104-191; 45 CFR Parts 160 and 164 (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996)
Fla. Stat. §§119.071(5)(a) 2, 3 & 6; 1002.22; 1002.221; 1008.345; 20 U.S.C. §1232g (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974); 20 U.S.C. §1232h (Protection of Pupil Rights Act); 45 CFR 46 Subpart D (Additional Protections for Children Involved as Subjects in Research); Public Law 104-191; 45 CFR Parts 160 and 164 (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996)
Adopted (Date of Board Approval)
The Board shall provide instructional materials to implement the district's educational goals and objectives to meet students' needs. The primary objective of such instructional materials shall be to enrich, support, and implement the educational program of the school.
The Superintendent shall be responsible for the selection and recommendation of materials for Board consideration. The district’s process for Instructional Materials Selection Committees is followed as per the Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association contract. At a regular Board meeting and upon the recommendation of the Superintendent, the Board shall approve the instructional materials to be used in the schools of this District.
The district will provide 20 calendar days for the public to review instructional materials recommended for adoption. Access will be made for the public to review recommended materials in print or online format. Following the 20-day public review, the district will conduct a public hearing. At a Board Meeting, following the public hearing, the Superintendent may make a final recommendation to adopt the instructional materials reviewed by the public.
Upon district approval of the adoption, the district will provide 30 calendar days for a parent of a HCPS student or a resident of the county to contest the adoption. The parent or resident must file a petition within these 30 days via a district form available on the district’s website. Within the next 30 days following, the district will conduct a public hearing before a hearing officer on all petitions timely received. At least seven days before the hearing, parents will be notified in writing the date and time of the hearing. All materials contested will be made accessible in print and/or online to the public at least 7 days before the hearing. The school board’s decision after convening a hearing is final and not subject to further petition or review. School Board Policy 2240 and 9130 provide additional guidance regarding controversial issues and parental concerns about program content or the use of particular materials.
Pursuant to State law, the Board shall purchase current instructional materials so that each student has a textbook, or other instructional material, as a major tool of instruction in core courses of the appropriate subject areas of mathematics, language arts, science, social studies, reading, and literature for grades K-12.
Such purchases shall be for instructional materials included on the State-adopted list, except as otherwise provided in State law, and shall be made within the first three years of the adoption cycle.
Pursuant to State law, the portion of the annual allocation from which instructional materials not on the adopted list may be purchased shall not be used for the purchase of electronic or computer hardware or for equipment or supplies.
The Board requires the maximum use of instructional materials for district students.
Furthermore, it is the legal responsibility of the Board to provide the duly adopted, required textbooks free of charge to students who are enrolled in the District. Textbooks may be in a printed and bound or electronic format. An electronic textbook is defined as computer software, interactive videodisc, magnetic media, CD-ROM, computer courseware, on-line service, electronic medium, or other means of conveying information to the student or otherwise contributing to the learning process through electronic means.
A copy of the duly-adopted textbook, regardless of format, is available for student or parent purchase for the District's purchase price plus ten percent.
The staff should continually research new sources and types of supplementary flex instructional materials and explore their innovative use for all types and levels of learners per the Florida Department of Education's definition of instructional materials.
The Superintendent shall develop and update as needed administrative procedures to implement this policy.
F.S. 1006.28, 1006.283, 1006.40
Revised - (date of Board Approval)
The Board and Superintendent are committed to ensuring all students have equal equitable access to a high-quality education. Certain schools face unique struggles in ensuring students receive a quality education. To ensure that all students are prepared for life, certain schools will be identified as "Elevate Schools.” The schools identified as Elevate Schools will receive additional support and resources.
Achievement Schools is a researched-based, district approach for interrupting systemic barriers to equity in order to achieve equal outcomes for students. It is an intentional focused system of support that will allow the district to remove barriers to success or failure of individual schools and students based on any aspect of one’s circumstances. It is an equity-focused strategy for distributing resources that will support the unique challenges faced by the schools.
A school may be designated an Elevate Achievement School by the Superintendent. if any four of the following criteria have been met:
1. The school has received 2 consecutive grades of D or F;
2. The school is a Title I school;
3. The school’s percentage of students ready for Kindergarten is below 30%;
4. The school’s Level 3 and Grade 3 Elementary Language Arts (ELA) is below 30%;
5. Less than 80% of the students have a 90% attendance rate;
6. Less than 80% of the students have zero suspension; or
7. Reading and math gains of the bottom quartiles are less than 40%.
Elementary and Middle Schools
Schools that meet any or all of the following criteria will receive the strategic supports put in place for membership in the Achievement Schools.
Schools that meet all of the following criteria will receive the strategic supports put in place for membership in the Achievement Schools.
Each school will be placed in Tier 1, Tier 2 or Tier 3 (most intensive) based on data. Basic factors for consideration are:
An Achievement School will continue to receive tiered support until the school shows three years of sustained success of a grade "C” or higher.
Strategic support priority will be given to Achievement Schools around culture, human capital, instruction, leadership and operations. The district will redirect existing dollars using an equitable distribution to support Achievement School initiatives.
Elevate Achievement Schools is paramount to ensuring
ElevateAchievement Schools shall be exempt from hiring
freezes. The Superintendent shall ensure core
instructional units are fully staffed with effective or highly-effective staff.
Achievement Schools will also be fully staffed with effective or highly-effective
instructional coaches and student services staff and allocations will be based
on need not formula.
Elevate Schools shall be staffed at a 100% level at the
start of every school year. When appointing an Achievement School
principal, the Superintendent shall place the highest priority on ensuring that
the principal has a successful record and the qualifications to support the
student population being served. Staff at ElevateAchievement Schools shall be given priority for planning
and professional development and receive incentive pay based on tier.
A principal at an Elevate School must have at least two years
of experience as a principal. The
Superintendent, in collaboration with the staff of an Elevate School, will
identify the unique and local barriers that triggered the Elevate School
The physical environment of Elevate Achievement Schools is important. The Superintendent shall identify resources to ensure Elevate Achievement Schools are properly equipped and maintained.
Elevate Achievement Schools shall be monitored on a regular basis to ensure success.
ElevateAchievement Schools will be reviewed to assess
the progress being made on improving the identified benchmarks.
A school will no longer be considered an Elevate School after
the criteria that led to the school’s selection have been brought above the
The Superintendent will direct staff to promulgate procedures related to this policy.
F.S. 1001.41,1002.333, 1008.33, 1012.2315
F.A.C. 6A - 1.099811
Adopted March 7, 2017
Revised (Date of Board Approval)
The Board acknowledges the right of its instructional staff members district employees, as citizens in a democratic society, to speak out on issues of public concern. When those issues are related to the District, however, the instructional staff member's expression must be balanced against the interests of this District.
The following procedures are adopted by the Board to help clarify and, therefore, avoid situations in which the instructional staff member's expression could conflict with the District's interests. In such situations, she/he should
|A.||state clearly that his/her expression represents personal views and not necessarily those of the School District;
|B.||refrain from expressions that would disrupt harmony among co-workers district employees or interfere with the maintenance of discipline by school officials;
|C.||not make threats or abusive or personally defamatory comments about students, co-workers, administrators,district employees, or officials of the District; and
|D.||refrain from making public expressions which she/he knows to be false or are made without regard for truth or accuracy.
|E.||refrain from making derogatory comments or expressions regarding another’s color, religion, sex, age, national or ethnic origin, political beliefs, marital status, handicapping condition, military status, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, or social and family background.
First Amendment, U. S. Constitution
Fla. Constitution, Article I, Section 4
Revised (Date of Board Approval)
The Board acknowledges the right of district employees, as citizens in a democratic society, to speak out on issues of public concern. When those issues are related to the District, however, the support staff member’s expression must be balanced against the interests of the District.
The following procedures are adopted by the Board to help clarify and, therefore, avoid situations in which the support staff member’s expression could conflict with the District’s interests. In such situations, she/he should
A. state clearly that his/her expression represents personal views and not necessarily those of the School District.;
B. refrain from expressions that would disrupt harmony among district employees or interfere with the maintenance of discipline by school officials;
C. not make threats or abusive or personally defamatory comments about students, district employees, administrators, or officials of the District; and
D. refrain from making public expressions which she/he knows to be false or are made without regard for truth or accuracy.
E. refrain from making derogatory comments or expressions regarding another’s race, color, religion, sex, age, national or ethnic origin, political beliefs, marital status, handicapping condition, military status, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, or social and family background.
First Amendment, U.S. Constitution
Fla. Constitution, Article I, Section 4
Adopted (Date of Board Approval)
The purpose of this policy is to set forth the investment objectives and parameters for the management of public funds of the Board. These policies are designed to ensure the prudent management of public funds, the availability of operating and capital funds when needed, and an investment return competitive with comparable funds and financial market indices.
In accordance with F.S. 218.415, this investment policy applies to all cash and investments held or controlled by the district with the exception of pension monies, trust funds, and monies related to the issuance of debt where there are other existing policies, resolutions or indentures in effect governing the investment of such monies. Monies held by State agencies (e.g. Department of Education) are not subject to the provisions of this policy.
The investment policy shall apply to all funds held or controlled by the Board.
Investment Oversight Committee
The Superintendent shall establish an investment oversight committee whose members shall be comprised of a minimum of six individuals, three of whom shall be Board personnel and three non-Board personnel with relevant financial expertise. The Manager, Cash & Investments shall serve as an ex-officio resource to the investment oversight committee. The committee will meet bi-annually to formulate and review the control procedures and investment performance criteria as set forth in this policy.
The Superintendent or designee is authorized to make transfers from financial institution to financial institution or within a financial institution for the purpose of investing or divesting Board funds. For the purposes of this policy, the term "financial institution" has the same definition of F.S. 280.02(13).
The Manager, Cash & Investments, under the supervision of the Chief Business Officer, is appointed as designee of the Superintendent and is authorized and empowered for and on behalf of the Board to a) conduct investment transactions in accounts at financial institutions as provided under Authorized Investment Institutions and Dealers and b) conduct other banking/financial transactions in financial institutions designated as Qualified Public Depositories under F.S. 280.02(26). Accounts at said institutions shall be established by the two signatures of the Chief Business Officer and the Manager, Cash & Investments. The district may employ an investment advisor to assist in managing the district’s cash and investments. Any such investment advisor must be registered under the Investment Advisors Act of 1940. Any such advisor shall serve as a fiduciary.
The Manager, Cash & Investments, under the supervision of the Chief Business Officer, shall have the authority, under the conditions set forth herein, to make individual investment decisions and to direct the third party custodian to act on said decisions, consistent with this policy.
The Manager, Cash & Investments, under the supervision of the Chief Business Officer, shall have the authority, under the conditions set forth herein, to establish services and execute transactions to, from, and between established Board accounts that are consistent with this policy.
The Manager, Cash & Investments, under the supervision of the Chief Business Officer, shall be designated, under the conditions set forth herein, as the custodian of the facsimile signatures of the Superintendent and Chairman of the Board. As custodian, the Manager, Cash & Investments will oversee the creation of any device or mechanism to apply said facsimile signatures to warrants drawn on Board accounts.
Appropriate fidelity bonding will be maintained by the Board to cover the Manager, Cash & Investments, the Chief Business Officer, and other designated staff members who are in any way involved in the movement of Board funds from one financial institution account to another.
The investment objectives of the Board are safety of capital, liquidity of funds, and investment income, in that order.
A. The foremost objective of this investment program is the safety of the principal of those monies within the portfolios. The investments should be structured to provide for the safety of principal and allow the Board to meet its obligations in timely manner.
B. The portfolios shall be managed in such a manner that monies are available to meet reasonably anticipated cash flow requirements in an orderly manner. Periodical cash flow analyses will be completed in order to ensure that the portfolios are positioned to provide sufficient liquidity.
C. The district shall diversify investments whenever possible without negatively affecting the safety of principal and liquidity characteristics. Investment transactions shall seek to keep capital losses at a minimum, whether they are from securities defaults or erosion of market value. To attain this objective, diversification is required in order that potential losses on individual securities do not exceed the income generated from the remainder of the portfolio.
D. Investment portfolios shall be designed with the objective of attaining a market rate of return throughout budgetary and economic cycles, taking into account investment risk constraints and liquidity needs. Return on investment is of least importance compared to the safety and liquidity objectives described above. The core of investments is limited to relatively low risk securities in anticipation of earning a fair return relative to the risk being assumed.
Prudent and Ethical Standards
The Manager, Cash & Investments, under the supervision of the Chief Business Officer, shall adopt and be guided by the "Prudent Person Rule" which states that, "Investments should be made with judgment and care, under circumstances then prevailing, which persons of prudence, discretion, and intelligence exercise in the management of their own affairs, not for speculation, but for investment, considering the probable safety of their capital as well as the probable income to be derived from the investment." The "Prudent Person Rule" shall be applied in the context of managing Board funds.
While the standard of prudence to be used by District employees in the management of Board funds, is the "Prudent Person" standard, any person or firm hired or retained to invest, monitor, or advise concerning these assets shall be held to the higher standard of "Prudent Expert." This standard shall be that in investing and reinvesting moneys and in acquiring, retaining, managing, and disposing of investments of these funds, the contractor shall exercise: the judgment, care, skill, prudence, and diligence under the circumstances then prevailing, which persons of prudence, discretion, and intelligence, acting in a like capacity and familiar with such matters would use in the conduct of an enterprise of like character and with like aims by diversifying the investments of the funds, so as to minimize the risk, considering the probable income as well as the probable safety of their capital.
Ethics and Conflicts of Interest
Employees involved in the investment process shall refrain from personal business activity that could conflict with proper execution of the investment program or which could impair their ability to make impartial investment decisions. Also, employees involved in the investment process shall disclose to the Board any material financial interests in financial institutions that conduct business with the Board, and they shall further disclose any material personal financial/investment positions that could be related to the performance of the Board's investment program.
Maturity and Liquidity Requirements
Investment of Board funds shall be made 1) so as to provide sufficient liquidity to meet the obligations of the Board as they come due and 2) in accordance with the investment objectives listed under Investment Objectives above. The Manager, Cash & Investments will comply with the "Prudent Person Rule" as outlined in Prudent and Ethical Standards above when evaluating investments for addition to the managed investment portfolio, particularly with regard to maturity, liquidity, risk, diversification, security type, and issuer.
For the investment of Operating Funds, and of the extent possible, an attempt will be made to match investment maturities with known cash needs and anticipated cash flow requirements. Investments of current short-term funds shall have maturities of no longer than eighteen (18) months.
Investment of Core Funds, including bond reserves, construction monies, and other non-operating funds, shall have a term appropriate to the need for monies and in accordance with debt covenants, but in no event shall exceed five (5) years.
In the case of monies which are construction proceeds of tax-exempt debt issues, such investments shall be invested in accordance with the requirements of the financing documents and shall not exceed three (3) years.
Competitive Bid Requirement
When appropriate, feasible and practicable, the purchase and sale of investment securities shall be competitively bid. Documentation will be retained for all bids, with the winning bid clearly identified. The competitive bid requirement does not apply to investments authorized under "Authorized Investments" below, or to the purchase of specific investment securities held by a limited number of dealers, or in situations where a competitive bid will not result in a lower price to the District.
Sale of Securities
When the Board invested funds are needed in whole or part for the purposes originally intended or for more optimal investments, the Manager, Cash & Investments may sell such investments at the then prevailing market prices and place the proceeds into the proper Board account or fund.
Authorized Investment Institutions and Dealers
A. Authorized District staff and investment advisors shall only purchase securities (does not apply to investments authorized under "Authorized Investments" above from financial institutions including institutions qualified as public depositories by the Treasurer of the State of Florida, institutions designated as "Primary Securities Dealers" by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, or such other financial institutions approved by the Superintendent with appropriate subsequent notification to the Board.
B. Authorized District staff and investment advisors shall only enter into repurchase agreements with financial institutions that are State qualified public depositories and primary securities dealers as designated by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
All investments shall be made subject to the District’s cash flow needs, such cash flows are subject to revisions as market conditions, and the District's needs change. However, when the invested monies are needed in whole or in part for the purpose originally intended or for more optimal investments, the Superintendent may sell the investment at the then-prevailing market price and place the proceeds into the proper account at the District's custodian.
The Manager, Cash & Investments, under the supervision of the Chief Business Officer shall maintain bank accounts for all funds not otherwise invested. All such bank accounts shall be in banks organized under the laws of Florida and/or in national banks organized under the laws of the United States and doing business in, and situated in, the state of Florida. All such deposits must be in banks designated "Qualified Public Depositories", and must be secured by the Florida Security for Public Deposits Act, Chapter 280 F.S. This policy does not limit the amount of District funds that may be placed in demand deposits with Qualified Public Depositories.
The following are eligible investments and overall allocation and maturity limits for the District, from which the Superintendent shall establish specific allocation limits on security types, issuers, and maturities. The Superintendent shall review such limits periodically and shall have the option to further restrict investment percentages from time to time based on market conditions, risk, and diversification investment strategies. The percentage allocations requirements for investment types and issuers shall be calculated based on the original cost of each investment and the amount of investable funds available at the time investments are entered into. Investments not listed in this policy are prohibited without prior approval by the Board.
A. The Florida State Board of Administration’s; Local Government Surplus Funds Trust Fund ("Florida Prime") or other intergovernmental investment pool authorized pursuant to the Florida Interlocal Cooperation Act as provided in section 163.01 F.S. Eligible Pools shall be rated "AAAm" or "AAA" by Standard & Poor's, or the equivalent by another Rating Agency.
Not more that 50% may be invested in any single pool (including Florida Prime), and not more that 50% in all such pools.
B. United States Government Securities: Negotiable direct obligations, or obligations the principal and interest of which are unconditionally guaranteed by the United States Government; including but not limited to Notes, Bills, Bonds, Strips, and State & Local Government Series securities (SLGS).
There shall be no limit on the amount of such investments. The final maturity of such investments shall be no longer than five (5) years from the date of purchase.
C. United States Government Agency Securities: bonds, debentures, notes or callables issued or guaranteed by the United States Governments agencies, provided such obligations are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Government. Such securities will include, but not be limited to the following:
Third Party Custodial Agreements
Securities purchased or otherwise acquired by the Board shall be properly designated as an asset of the Board and held in safe-keeping by a third-party custodian. Said custodian shall issue trust receipts for all purchases and sales of securities in the Board’s custody account. Securities held in safekeeping shall not be withdrawn, in whole or in part, except by the Manager, Cash & Investments, under the supervision of the Chief Business Officer.
The Board shall execute a third party custodial agreement with a bank or other depository institution for the purpose of:
|A.||Establishing a securities custody account in which securities are deposited and held by the custodian|
|B.||Establishing the custodian as agent for the Board when settling purchases and sales of securities using the delivery versus payment method|
|C.||Empowering the custodian to inspect all securities delivered to the account and to verify the description, negotiability and good delivery form prior to payment|
|D.||Collecting and crediting interest and dividend payments to the Board’s security account due on securities held in the account as of the payable date|
|E.||Acting on the Board’s behalf in the redemption of all matured and called securities and crediting such proceeds in the custody account as received|
|F.||Establishing a mechanism for the wire transfers of temporarily idle funds held in the security account to Board accounts at other financial institutions|
|G.||Establishing a mechanism of transmitting and receiving instructions via the custodian, securities broker, and the Board|
|H.||Establishing the use of trust receipts as documentation for all securities transactions through the Depository Trust Company's Institutional Delivery System, the financial institution's Federal Reserve Account or a designated financial institution which has a correspondent relationship to the Board’s third party custodian|
|I.||Providing the Board a detailed transaction statement indicating all cash entries to the security account, beginning and ending principal balances, and beginning and ending income balances for the period|
|J.||Providing the Board (monthly and upon request) an asset statement indicating description, par value, book and market value of all securities held in the account|
Master Purchase Agreement
The Manager, Cash & Investments, under the supervision of the Chief Business Officer, shall be required to have a fully executed master repurchase agreement from all approved banking institutions and securities dealers' transacting repurchase agreements. All repurchase agreement transactions shall adhere to the requirements of the master repurchase agreement.
The following internal controls shall be implemented to prevent loss of funds from fraud, employee error, and misrepresentation by third parties, or imprudent actions by Board employees.
|A.||Board accounts at financial institutions can only be opened and closed on the signatures of the Chief Business Officer and of the Director, Accounting. The Manager, Cash & Investments is prohibited from opening or closing Board accounts.|
|B.||Transactions in, from and between Board accounts can only be executed by the Manager, Cash & Investments, or designated backup.|
|C.||The Board shall receive two copies of all transaction confirmations and investment account statements. One copy will be sent to the Manager, Cash & Investments and retained in the Cash Management Department files. The second copy will be sent under separate cover to the Chief Business Officer. The Chief Business Officer will review the confirmations and statements, initial them and return them to the Manager, Cash & Investments for retention in the Cash Management Department files.|
|D.||When the Manager, Cash & Investments completes a trade with a broker, the broker will immediately send the trade details to the Manager, Cash & Investments and the Board custodian.|
|E.||On a monthly basis, the staff accountant will reconcile all Board money market accounts and the custodial account, the Manager, Cash & Investments will review the reconciliations and the Chief Business Officer will review and approve them. All three individuals will sign the cover page and the document will be placed in the Cash Management Department files.|
The investment portfolio will be audited annually by the school district’s outside auditor, and by the Florida Auditor General’s office every third year.
The Manager, Cash & Investments shall complete eight hours annually of continuing education classes in subjects or courses of study related to cash management and/or investment practices and products.
In order to assist in the evaluation of the portfolio's performance, the District will use performance benchmarks for short-term and long-term portfolios. The use of benchmarks will allow the District to measure its returns against other investors in the same markets.
The Treasury Indices, SBA LGIP, and Money Fund Index or the weighted average performance of the ten (10) largest prime funds, or other money fund indices (such as government fund indices) as appropriate, will be used as benchmarks as compared to the portfolios' net book value rate of return for current short-term funds.
Investment performance of Funds that have a longer-term investment horizon will be compared to an index comprised of U.S. Treasury, government securities, or corporate securities as appropriate. The appropriate index will have a duration and asset mix that approximates the portfolios and will be utilized as a benchmark to be compared to the portfolios total rate of return.
The investment portfolio's performance shall be reported on a quarterly basis through a set of reports, the contents of which are described below. Said reports shall be presented to the Board at a regularly scheduled Board meeting. Reports shall include the following:
|A.||Asset value and income statement for the current quarter, fiscal year-to-date, and prior fiscal year|
|B.||Notes to value and income statement|
|C.||Period ending portfolio statement inclusive of security type and description, book value, market value, book value versus market value comparison, prepaid and accrued interest to date, and the total value of each security as well as the total value of all securities|
|D.||Management investment program income and rate of return statement for the current quarter, fiscal year-to-date, and prior fiscal year|
|E.||Pro forma income and rate of return statement for the alternative State Board of Administration investment for the current quarter, fiscal year-to-date, and prior fiscal year|
|F.||Any other reports the Board deems necessary, as well as those required by regulatory agencies
Electronic Transfer of Funds
Board funds may be moved into, out of, and between any Board account by electronic means, including Fedwire, ACH, or any other method as may be developed and put into practice by financial institutions for the purposes of transferring money between accounts or between financial institutions. Movement of Board funds by electronic means shall comply with F.S. Chapter 668.
Board funds shall only be electronically transferred for the following reasons:
|A.||Payment of legitimate obligations incurred in the course of Board business|
|B.||Receipt of Board revenue from local, State, and Federal sources|
|C.||Settlement of investment transactions, e.g. purchases, sales, or principal and interest distributions|
|D.||Transfers between Board accounts as needed for legitimate funds management activities|
The Manager, Cash & Investments, or designated backup, will execute electronic transfers of funds through qualified financial institutions as defined in Authority above. The Manager, Cash & Investments shall properly account for such transactions in the Board’s general ledger system.
|1.||Federal wire transfers (Fedwires) between Board accounts can be initiated and approved by the Manager, Cash & Investments.|
|2.||Repetitive templates of Fedwire instructions to non-Board accounts shall be established by a Board employee who is not a member of the Cash Management Department, using software provided by the Board’s financial institution. The Manager, Cash & Investments shall be prohibited from altering such repetitive templates.|
|3.||Fedwires to non-Board accounts can be initiated and approved by the Manager, Cash & Investments, provided repetitive templates, as established in paragraph 2 above are used.|
|1.||Authorized Board vendors will be paid only via ACH Credit transactions. An ACH Credit transaction is where money is sent from a Board account to the Board vendor's appropriate bank account.|
|2.||ACH Debit transactions are prohibited unless the counterparty to the transaction is another governmental entity. An ACH Debit transaction is where money is retrieved from a Board account by the counterparty’s financial institution.|
|3.||Authorized Board vendors to be paid via ACH will be set up to receive such payments in the Board’s vendor system by procurement department personnel.|
|4.||Payment of employee wages via direct deposit will comply with procedures established by the payroll department.|
|C.||Other Electronic Funds Transfer Transaction Types
|Other electronic funds transfer transactions, through either an established method or any method that may be developed in the future are permitted so long as such transactions are structured so that Board funds may not be transferred to non-Board accounts at the sole discretion of the Manager, Cash & Investments. Instructions to transfer funds electronically to non-Board accounts shall be established by a Board employee who is not a member of the Cash Management department. Said instructions can then be used by the Manager, Cash & Investments to execute an electronic transfer of funds.|
GLOSSARY OF CASH AND INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT TERMS
Accrued Interest: Interest earned but which has not yet been paid or received.
Agency: See "Federal Agency Securities."
Ask Price: Price at which a broker/dealer offers to sell a security to an investor. Also known as "offered price."
Asset-Backed Securities (ABS): A fixed-income security backed by notes or receivables against assets other than real estate. Generally, issued by special purpose companies that "own” the assets and issue the ABS. Examples include securities back by auto loans, credit card receivables, home equity loans, manufactured housing loans, farm equipment loans, and aircraft leases.
Average Life: The average length of time that an issue of serial bonds and/or term bonds with a mandatory sinking fund feature is expected to be outstanding.
Bankers’ Acceptance (BA’s): A draft or bill of exchange drawn and accepted by a bank. Frequently used to finance shipping of international goods. Used as a short-term credit instrument, bankers’ acceptances are traded at a discount from face value as a money market instrument in the secondary market on the basis of the credit quality of the guaranteeing bank.
Basis Point: One hundredth of one percent (0.01). Thus one percent equals 100 basis points.
Bearer Security: A security whose ownership is determined by the holder of the physical security. Typically, there is no registration on the issuer’s books. Title to bearer securities is transferred by delivery of the physical security or certificate. Also known as "physical securities."
Benchmark Bills: In November 1999 Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA) introduced its Benchmark Bills program, a short-term debt securities issuance program to supplement its existing discount note program. The program includes a schedule of larger, weekly issued in three- and six-month maturities and biweekly issues in the one year for Benchmark Bills. Each issue is brought to market via a Dutch (single price) auction. FNMA conducts a weekly auction for each Benchmark Bill maturity and accepts both competitive and non-competitive bids through a web-based auction system. This program is in addition to the variety of other discount note maturities, with rates posted on a daily basis, which FNMA offers. FNMA’s Benchmark Bills are unsecured general obligations that are issued in book-entry form through the Federal Reserve banks. There are no periodic payments of interest on Benchmark Bills, which are sold at a discount from the principal amount and payable at par at maturity. Issues under the Benchmark program constitute the same credit standing as other FNMA discount notes; they simply add organization and liquidity to the short-term agency discount note market.
Benchmark Notes/Bonds: Benchmark Notes and Bonds are a series of FNMA "bullet" maturities (non-callable issued according to a pre-announced calendar. Under its Benchmark Notes/Bonds program two-, three-, five-, ten-, and thirty-year new issues having a minimum size of $1 billion, with re-openings based on investor demand to building a yield curve in Benchmark Notes and Bonds in maturities ranging from two to thirty years. The liquidity emanating from these large size issues has facilitated favorable financing opportunities through the development of a liquid overnight and term repo market. Issues under the Benchmark program constitute the same credit standing as other FNMA issues; they simply add organization and liquidity to the intermediate- and long-term agency.
Benchmark: A market index used as a comparative basis for measuring the performance of an investment portfolio. A performance benchmark should represent a close correlation to investment guidelines, risk tolerance, and duration of the actual portfolio’s investments.
Bid Price: Price at which a broker/dealer offers to purchase a security from an investor.
Bond Market Association (BMA): The bond market trade association represents the largest securities markets in the world. In addition to publishing a Master Repurchase Agreement, widely accepted as the industry standard document for Repurchase Agreements, the BMA also recommends bond market closures and early closes due to holidays.
Bond: Financial obligation for which the issuer promises to pay the bondholder (the purchaser or owner of the bond) a specified stream of future cash flows, including periodic interest payments, and a principal repayment.
Book Entry Securities: Securities that are recorded in a customer’s account electronically through one of the financial markets electronic delivery and custody systems, such as the Fed Securities wire, DTC, and PTC 9as opposed to bearer or physical securities). The trend is toward a certificate-free society in order to cut down on paperwork and to diminish investors. Concerns about the certificates themselves. The vast majority of securities are now book entry securities.
Book Value: The value at which a debt security is reflected on the holder’s records at any point in time. Book value is also called "amortized cost" as it represents the original cost of an investment adjusted for amortization of premium or accretion of discount. Also called "carrying value." Book value can vary over time as an investment approaches maturity and differs from "market value” in that it is not affected by changes in market interest rates.
Broker/Dealer: A person or firm transacting securities business with customers. A "broker" acts as an agent between buyers and sellers, and receives a commission for these services. A "dealer” buys and sells financial assets from its own portfolio. A dealer takes risk by owning inventory of securities, whereas a broker merely matches up buyers and sellers. See also "Primary Dealer."
Bullet Notes/Bonds: Notes or bonds that have a single maturity date and are non-callable.
Call Date: Date at which a call option may be or is exercised.
Call Option: The right, but not the obligation, of an issuer of a security to redeem a security at a specified value and at a specified date or dates prior to its stated maturity date. Most fix-income balls are a par, but can be at any previously established price. Securities issued with a call provision typically carry a higher yield than similar securities issued without a call feature. There are three primary types of calls options:
Derivative Security: Financial instrument created from, or whose value depends upon one or more underlying assets or indexes of asset values.
Designated Bond: FFCBs regularly issued, liquid, non-callable securities that generally have a two or three year original maturity. New issues of Designated Bonds are $1 billion or larger. Re-openings of existing Designated Bond issues are generally a minimum of $100 million. Designated Bonds are offered through a syndicate of two to six dealers. Twice each month the funding corporation announces its intention to issue a new Designated Bond, reopen an existing issue, or to not issue or reopen a Designated Bond. Issues under the Designated Bond program constitute the same credit standing as other FFCB issues; they simply add organization and liquidity to the intermediate – and long-term agency market.
The Federal Reserve System is made up of 12 Federal Reserve district banks, their branches, and many national and state banks throughout the nation. It is headed by the seven member board of governors known as the "Federal Reserve Board” and headed by its chairman.
Fiduciary: A fiduciary is responsible for managing the assets of another person, or of a group of people. Asset managers, bankers, accountants, executors, board members, and corporate officers can all be considered fiduciaries when entrusted in good faith with the responsibility of managing another party’s assets. Essentially, a fiduciary is a person or organization that owes to another the duties of good faith and trust.
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA): a private corporation that acts as a self-regulatory organization (SRO). FINRA is the successor to the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. (NASD). Though sometimes mistaken for a government agency, it is a non-governmental organization that performs financial regulation of member brokerage firms and exchange markets. The government also has a regulatory arm for investments, the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Fiscal Agent/Paying Agent: A bank or trust company that acts, under a trust agreement with a corporation or municipality, in the capacity of general treasurer. The agent performs such duties as making coupon payments, paying rents, redeeming bonds, and handling taxes relating to the issuance of bonds.
1. The cost of a control should not exceed, the benefits likely to be derived, and
2. The valuation of costs and benefits requires estimates and judgments by management. Internal controls should address the following points:
a. Control of collusion – Collusion is a situation where two or more employees are working in conjunction to defraud their employer.
b. Separation of transaction authority from accounting and recordkeeping – By separating the person who authorizes or performs the transaction for the people who record or otherwise account for the transaction, a separation of duties is achieved
c. Custodial safekeeping – Securities purchased from any bank or dealer including appropriated collateral (as defined by State law) shall be placed with an independent third party for custodial safekeeping.
d. Avoidance of physical delivery securities – Book-entry securities are much easier to transfer and account for since actual delivery of a document never takes place. Delivered securities must be properly safeguarded against loss or destruction. The potential for fraud and low increases with physically delivered securities.
e. Clear delegation of authority to subordinate staff members – Subordinate staff members must have a clear understanding of their authority and responsibilities to avoid improper actions. Clear delegation of authority also preserves the internal control structure that is contingent on the various staff positions and their respective responsibilities.
f. Written confirmation of transactions for investments and wire transfers – due to the potential for error and improprieties arising from telephone and electronic transactions, all transactions should be supported ty written communications and approved by the appropriate pers. Written communications may be via fax if on letterhead if the safekeeping institution has a list of authorized signatures.
g. Development of a wire transfer agreement with the lead bank and third-party custodian – The designated official should ensure that an agreement will be entered into and will address the following points: controls, security provisions, and responsibilities of each party making and receiving wire transfers
Qualified Public Depository: Per F.S. 280, means any bank, savings bank, or savings association that:
Sinking Fund: A separate accumulation of cash or investments (including earnings on investments) in a fund in accordance with the terms of a trust agreement or indenture, funded by periodic deposits by the issuer (or other entity responsible for debt service), for the purpose of assuring timely availability of moneys for payment of debt service. Usually used in connection with term bonds.
Spread: The difference between the price of a security and similar maturity U. S. Treasury Investments, expressed in percentage terms or basis points. A spread can also be the absolute difference in yield between two securities. The securities can be in different markets or within the same securities market between difference credits, sectors, or other relevant factors.
Standard & Poor’s: One of several NRSROs that provide credit ratings on corporate and municipal debt issues.
STRIPS (Separate Trading of Registered Interest and Principal of Securities): Acronym applied to U. S. Treasury securities that have had their coupons and principal repayments separated into individual zero-coupon Treasury securities. The same technique and "strips” description can be applied to non-Treasury securities (e.g. FNMA strips).
Structured Notes: Notes that have imbedded into their structure options such as step-up coupons or derivative-based returns.
Swap: Trading one asset for another.
TAP Notes: Federal Agency notes issued under the FHLB TAP program. Launched in 6/99 as a refinement to the FHLB bullet bond auction process. In a break from the FHLB’s traditional practice of bringing numerous small issues to market with similar maturities, the TAP Issue Program uses the four most common maturities and reopens them up regularly through a competitive auction. These maturities (two, three, five, and ten-year) will remain open for the calendar quarter, after which they will be closed and a new series of TAP issues will be opened to replace them. This reduces the number of separate bullet bonds issued, but generates enhanced awareness and liquidity in the marketplace through increased issue size and secondary market volume.
Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA): One of the large Federal agencies. A wholly owned corporation of the United States government that was established in 1933 to develop the resources of the Tennessee Valley region in order to strengthen the regional and national economy and the national defense. Power operations are separated from non-power operations. TVA securities represent obligations of TVA, payable solely from TVA’s net power proceeds, and are neither obligations or nor guaranteed by the United States. TVA is currently authorized to issue debt up to $30 billion. Under this authorization, TVA may also obtain advances from the U.S. Treasury of up to $150 million. Frequent issuer of discount notes, agency notes, and callable agency securities.
F.S. 1001.42, 1001.43, 1011.18
- December 5, 2017 (Date of Board Approval)
The Cone of Silence prohibits any communication regarding an active competitive solicitation between any District employee or Board member and any third party, representative, or lobbyist of that party, unless permitted in this section.
Any Board member, the Superintendent, Evaluation Committee Member, or any District employee is prohibited from having any communications concerning a solicitation for an active competitive procurement during the Cone of Silence period.
Any party, representative, or lobbyist of that party, is prohibited from having any communications concerning an active solicitation for a competitive procurement with any School Board member, the Superintendent, any Evaluation Committee Member, or any other District employee concerning a solicitation for a competitive procurement during the Cone of Silence period. Communication by any party, representative, or lobbyist of that party, regarding an active solicitation found to be in violation of this section may result in the rejection of their proposal and may include further sanctions.
Any communications, including but not limited to, matters of process, procedure, or protest must be submitted in writing and directed to the assigned procurement officer.
The Cone of Silence period shall go into effect and shall remain in effect from the time of release of the competitive solicitation until the contract is awarded by the Board. At the time of issuance of the solicitation, the Superintendent or designee shall provide public notice of the Cone of Silence and shall include any such notice in advertisement or public solicitation for commodities and contractual services in a statement disclosing the requirements of this section.
Unless specifically provided otherwise in the applicable solicitation document, the Cone of Silence does not apply to:
The School Board is committed to doing business with contractors, vendors, and other suppliers who reflect the great diversity of our community. It is the policy of the Board to promote and attain that diversity through the Small Business Encouragement (SBE) Program that encourages and facilitates the participation of small businesses, including those that are woman and minority owned, in every aspect of the Board's procurement activities.
The SBE Program is gender/race neutral and is open to any small, certified business that meets the eligibility requirements set forth in this policy.
District staff, vendors, contractors, consultants, and bidders are encouraged to utilize businesses registered with the Office of Supplier Diversity (OSD). The OSD shall maintain a searchable vendor directory designed to inform interested parties of registered firms/vendors.
Only companies that are small, certified, and meet the District’s Encouragement Program criteria are eligible for participation and/or recognition in the District’s SBE/WBE Encouragement Program.
Application Registration Procedure
To apply to participate in the SBE Program, businesses shall do the following:
|A.||Register through the District’s Procurement Department’s Vendor Bid On-line Application, available at www.vendorbid.net/hillsborough, indicating an interest in participating in the SBE Program.|
|B.||Meet the following eligibility standards:|
|1.||be an independent business that has an office in the Tampa Bay area, which, for purposes of this policy, includes Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, and Sarasota.|
|2.||have been in an active business in the Tampa Bay area for one year prior to application.|
|3.||have a staff of 100 or less.|
|4.||have an average net income of $2,000,000.00 or less, and a net worth of $3,000,000.00 or less.|
|5.||be a certified small business, including those that are women or minority owned. (See information below about certifying agencies.)|
The OSD database is updated on a weekly basis and all vendors can verify information by visiting the following website: www.sdhc.k12.us/osd/VendorDirectory/index.asp.
Each company that is approved for participation in the SBE Program is required to renew its registration at the expiration of the approved certification period, which is either annually or every two years. Expired certificates are not accepted. Failure to qualify for the SBE program does not affect vendor registration or capacity to do business with the District.
The Board does not certify businesses as small and/or women and/or minority-owned. The Board will accept certifications issued by any of the following agencies:
|601 East Kennedy Boulevard, 13th Floor
|Phone: (813) 272-5979, Fax: (813)276-2638
|B.||City of Tampa
|306 Jackson Street, 7th Floor
|Phone: (813) 274-5522, Fax: (813) 274-5544
|C.||Florida Statewide and Inter-local Certification
|4050 Esplanade Way, Suite 360
|Phone: (850) 487-0915, Fax: (850) 922-6852
|D.||Florida Minority Supplier Development Council
|6880 Lake Eleanor Drive, Suite 104A
|Phone: (407) 245-6062, Fax: (407) 857-8647
Note: There is a small cost associated with the certification process with the Florida Minority Supplier Development Council.
All business opportunities are announced via email to vendors based on commodity codes in vendor bid records and identified by the department that will issue the contract.
Registration in vendor bid is no guarantee of work or contract.
Notifications are sent in accordance with commodity codes selected by the vendors.
Addenda to existing bids are placed in vendor bid.
Awards, notice of intent, and tabulation sheets are posted in vendor bid.
Supplier Diversity Sub-Contractors
Construction Managers that are awarded contracts for construction projects involving expenditures of $10,000-$300,000 for Hillsborough County Public School shall invite at least two vendors where applicable who are on the list of the Office of Supplier Diversity to submit bid packages as sub-contractors.
Revised (Date of Board Approval)Revised 4/1/14
© Hillsborough 2014
Announcement and Qualification
The acquisition of professional architectural, engineering, landscape architectural, land surveying, or construction management services shall be accomplished in accordance with Florida statutes to accomplish the selection of the most highly qualified firms.
All announcements soliciting professional services will be published in a uniform and consistent manner as required by Florida statutes.
Professional Services Selection Committee
There shall be a professional services selection committee. This committee will evaluate and rank prospective providers of professional services. The committee shall have seven voting members: the Chief Operating Officer Deputy Superintendent for Operations (or designee); the Chief Diversity Officer or representative, one member of the Hillsborough County Council PTA/PTSA; County Council, or one representative member from the Citizens Advisory Committee,; one representative from the Administrative Division,;, one representative from the Office of Teaching and Learning,;, one representative from the Planning and Construction Department,;, and one representative from the Maintenance Department.
The committee shall consider each firm's small business status or demonstrated commitment to the small business goals of the Board in addition to consideration of the qualification criteria identified in Florida statutes.
The committee shall interview no fewer than three firms prior to establishing an order of preference of the firms deemed most qualified. When evaluating firms concurrently for multiple projects, the committee shall interview no fewer than the number of firms equal to the number of projects under consideration plus two. When the number of qualified firms is less than the number determined above, all qualified firms shall be interviewed. Interviews shall not be required when selecting firms for continuing service agreements.
The Superintendent shall negotiate with the firm ranked number one by the professional services selection committee for each project. If negotiations are successful, a recommendation to contract shall be submitted to the Board for its consideration. If negotiations are unsuccessful, the Superintendent shall terminate negotiations with the higher ranked firm and commence negotiations with the next highest ranked firm. If negotiations are terminated with a firm, and commenced with the next highest firm, the Superintendent will not negotiate with the original firm without first re-advertising for proposals.
When selecting firms for continuing services agreements, the Superintendent shall negotiate with firms in the order of their ranking by the selection committee until negotiations are successfully concluded with the number of firms required.
Selection of Prototypes for Reuse
In accordance with Florida statutes, the Superintendent shall recommend reuse of existing construction documents or design criteria packages when such reuse is feasible and practical, as an alternative to the acquisition of design services prescribed herein.
The Superintendent shall convene a review committee for the purpose of evaluating alternative plans for reuse. The review committee shall be comprised of representatives of the District's maintenance and construction departments, the Chief Operating Officer Deputy Superintendent for Operations, and the area superintendent for the facility to be built.
At a minimum, the committee shall consider the maintainability, functionality, energy efficiency, construction cost, and congruence of the design with the proposed site and surrounding environment. The committee shall collect input from the principals and maintenance supervisors at each of the existing facilities for which reuse of the plans is being considered, and shall receive a presentation from each respective architect on the potential adaptation of his/her design to the site, prior to formulating a recommendation for reuse. The committee shall rank the plans under consideration.
The Superintendent shall negotiate with the firm responsible for the highest ranked design. If negotiations are unsuccessful, the Superintendent shall negotiate with other firms providing suitable designs, in order of the review committee's ranking of their design. Should the Superintendent be unable to complete successful negotiations for the reuse of a suitable design, the Superintendent shall advertise for professional services for a new design in accordance with this policy.
At the conclusion of successful contract negotiations and at the time of determining the Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP), the Superintendent shall recommend a full award of a contract for the Board's consideration and approval.
The Board delegates to the Superintendent the authority to execute contracts pursuant to Board award. Standard contract documents for use in the acquisition of all professional services shall be developed and maintained. Contracts for construction management services shall include provisions for bonds and payments similar to those required for construction contracts pursuant to bids.
The Board delegates to the Superintendent the authority to acquire additional architectural and engineering services from selected firms for the project for which they were selected.
Protests related to the acquisition of services provided for herein shall be governed by the provisions for bid protests found in Policy 6331, Construction Contracting.
F.S. 287.055, 1001.43, 1013.45
Revised June 18, 2018 (Date of Board Approval)
The validity of payments for job-related expenses shall be determined by the Chief Business Officer. Pre-approval for estimated travel expenses by a deputy superintendent is required.
Authorized travel for officers and employees of the School Board shall be reimbursed as follows:
|A.||In-County or Contiguous County Travel
|Travel on official business performed within Hillsborough County or contiguous counties (Pinellas, Pasco, Polk, and Manatee) by Board members, Superintendent, District employees, and authorized persons shall be reimbursed at the Board established rate. No reimbursement shall be made for travel between an employee's home and the first assignment of the day. Unless previously approved by the Deputy Superintendent, or designee, reimbursement for or payment of overnight meals and lodging is prohibited for travel in Hillsborough or the contiguous counties; registration and mileage expenses are allowed for such travel.|
Any travel outside the district by a Board member that exceeds $500 requires prior approval by the Board to confirm that such travel is for official business of the school district and complies with rules of the State Board of Education. Any request for travel outside the state must include an itemized list detailing all anticipated travel expenses, including, but not limited to, the anticipated costs of all means of travel, lodging, and subsistence. Immediately preceding a request, the public must have an opportunity to speak on the specific travel agenda item.
When approved in advance, reimbursements for out-of-county travel for employees and authorized representatives of the District shall be paid at the Board approved rate. To access District funds for travel, the traveler must use a District-approved method for payment.
This policy is effective August 1, 2018.
F.S. 112.061, 1001.39
Revised May 15, 2018 (Date of Board Approval)
It is the policy of Hillsborough County Public Schools that the district will not discriminate against a student, parent or school personnel on the basis of a religious viewpoint or religious expression.
Student Expression of Religious Viewpoints
Religious Clothing, Jewelry, and Accessories
A student may wear clothing, accessories, and jewelry that display a religious message or symbol in the same manner and to the same extent that secular types of clothing, accessories, and jewelry that display messages or symbols are permitted to be worn.
Students Engaging in Religious Activities and Expression at School
Employees Engaging in Religious Activities and Expression at School
Equal Access to School Facilities
Limited Public Forum Required for Student Speakers
Hillsborough School District is required to establish a limited public forum for student speakers at any school event where a student is to speak publicly. Where student speakers are permitted, the district:
Adopted (Date of Board Approval)
F.S. 1002.33 gives the School Board the authority to sponsor a charter school within the county over which it has jurisdiction. The Board designates the Superintendent to receive and review all charter applications. The Superintendent shall recommend to the Board the approval or denial of each charter application and contract. The Board shall have final authority, by majority vote, to approve or deny any application and charter contract.
Approved charter schools are public schools and shall receive goods and services from the Board as required by law and/or specified through a separate contract with the Board.
If approved, the initial charter shall be for terms as set forth in state law. The Board may renew charters under the conditions and for terms as set forth in State law.
In addition, a charter school that satisfied the requirements set forth in State law for designation as a high-performing charter school may receive a modification of its term to 15 years or a 15 year charter renewal. The charter may be modified or renewed for a shorter term at the option of the high-performing charter school. However, a high performing charter school must continue to meet the eligibility criteria in law to maintain its high performing status. If a high performing charter school receives a school grade or an audit that results in the school no longer meeting the eligibility criteria, the Commissioner of Education will remove the high performing designation and provides written notice to the school and sponsor.
The Board and charter school operator shall enter into a charter that is based upon the Model Charter School Contract as adopted by the State Board.
The Board, as sponsor, shall perform the duties provided in F.S. 1002.345. The sponsor may choose not to renew or may terminate the charter for any of the following grounds:
A. failure to participate in the Florida’s education accountability system created in s. 1008.31 or failure to meet the requirements for student performance as specified in the charter;
B. received two consecutive grades of "F”. The termination of a charter contract under the "double F” provision is automatic once school grade appeals are final. The sponsor is not required to do a 90 day notice of termination;
B. C. failure to meet generally accepted standards of fiscal management;
C. D. material violation of law;
D. E. material breaches of the charter, as described in State law; and/or
E. F. other good cause shown.
A charter may be terminated immediately if the sponsor sets forth in writing the particular facts and circumstances indicating that an immediate and serious danger to determines that good cause has been shown orthe health, safety, or welfare of the students is threatened. The sponsor shall notify in writing the charter school's governing body, the charter school principal, and the Department of Education if a charter is immediately terminated. The sponsor shall clearly identify the specific issues that resulted in immediate termination and provide evidence of prior notification of issues resulting in the immediate termination when appropriate.
Upon initial notification of nonrenewal, closure, or termination of its charter, a charter school may not expend more than $10,000 per expenditure without prior written approval from the sponsor unless such expenditure was included within the annual budget submitted to the sponsor pursuant to the charter contract, is for reasonable attorney fees and costs during the pendency of any appeal, or is for reasonable fees and costs to conduct an independent audit.
An independent audit shall be completed within 30 days after notice of nonrenewal, closure, or termination to account for all public funds and assets.
A provision in a charter contract that contains an acceleration clause requiring the expenditure of funds based upon closure or upon notification of nonrenewal or termination is void and unenforceable.
A violation of this paragraph triggers a reversion or clawback power by the sponsor allowing for collection of an amount equal to or less than the accelerated amount that exceeds normal expenditures. The reversion or clawback plus legal fees and costs shall be levied against the person or entity receiving the accelerated amount.
Potential applicants should send letters notifying the Board of their intent to submit an application to sponsor open a public charter school not later than January 2nd July 1st. Such correspondence should be directed to the Charter School office.
Failing to send the letter of intent will in no way negatively impact a potential sponsor’s application.
Applications for a public charter school will be accepted during regular business hours with a one week prior to the submission deadline of February 1st August 1st, by 4:45 4:30 p.m. unless otherwise agreed to by both parties. If the submission deadline falls on a non-business day, the deadline shall be postponed to 4:45 4:30 p.m. on the next business day. Applications may be mailed or hand delivered but receipt by the Board must be on or before the deadline.
The following pertains to the submission of an application:
A. An individual, teachers, parents, a group of individuals, a municipality, or a legal entity organized under the laws of this State anticipating submission of an application are urged to contact the Charter School Office for assistance prior to completion of their applications.
B. Charter school applicants must participate in training provided by the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) after approval of an application, but at least 30 days before the first day of classes at the charter school.
C. The Board and/or any of its designees shall not take unlawful reprisal against another Board employee because that employee is either directly or indirectly involved with a charter school application.
D. Applicants must submit an application on FLDOE’s Model Florida Charter School Application template and forms.
E. The Board shall not charge any fees for processing or consideration of a charter school application. The Board's approval of a charter shall not be predicated on the promise of any future pay of any kind.
F. The applicant and Board may mutually agree, in writing, to extend the statutory timeline to consider the charter application. Such agreement shall detail the extension date or timeframe.
G. Charter schools shall not use or bear the name of an existing traditional public, charter, or private/parochial school in Hillsborough County.
Applications shall be submitted to:
Hillsborough County Public Schools
Raymond O. Shelton Administrative Center
Charter School Office
901 E. Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33602
The District shall review all applications using an evaluation instrument developed by the FLDOE.
A. State Application Form
Applications must be submitted using the Model Charter School Application form developed and distributed by the FLDOE.
B. Statement of Assurances
Applicants are required to sign under the penalties of perjury the Statement of Assurances form contained within the Model Charter School Application developed and distributed by the FLDOE, thereby attesting to the following:
1. The charter school will be nonsectarian in its programs, admission policies, employment practices and operations.
2. The charter school will enroll any eligible student who submits a timely application, unless the school receives a greater number of applications than there are spaces for students, in which case students will be admitted through a random selection process.
3. The charter school will not base admission or dismissal decisions on a student’s academic performance.
4. 3.The charter school will adhere to the antidiscrimination provisions of F.S. 1000.05.
5. 4.The charter school will adhere to all applicable provision of State and Federal law relating to the education of students with disabilities, including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1974; and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
6. 5.The charter school will adhere to all applicable provisions of Federal law relating to students who are limited English proficient, including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974.
7. 6.The charter school will participate in the Statewide assessment program created under F.S. 1008.22.
8. 7.The charter school will comply with Florida statutes relating to public records and public meetings, including F.S. Chapter 119 and 286.011 which are applicable to applicants even prior to being granted a charter.
9. 8.The charter school will obtain and keep current all necessary permits, licenses and certifications related to fire, health and safety within the building and on school property.
10. 9.The charter school will provide for an annual financial audit in accordance with F.S. 218.39.
C. Proposed Contracts for Services
Applicants anticipating a request for school food service or other services from the District must include a proposed contract for that service.
Application Evaluation Process
A. The District shall receive and review all applications using an evaluation instrument developed by the FLDOE.
B. The Board shall evaluate all timely applications as submitted. During the evaluation process, 1) applications cannot be amended and 2) missing documentation and unsolicited information will not be accepted or considered. However, as required by law, the Board shall allow the applicant, upon receipt of written notification, seven calendar days to make technical or nonsubstantive corrections and clarifications, including, but not limited to corrections of grammatical, typographical, and like errors or to add missing signatures, if such errors are identified as cause to deny the application.
C. The Board shall deny any application that does not comply with the statutory requirements and/or Board's instructions for charter school applications.
D. Additional Information
1. The Board may solicit information regarding 1) history and background of individual applicants and/or founding/governing boards and its individual members including, but not limited to, a demonstration of the professional experience or competence of those individuals or organizations applying to operate the charter school or those hired or retained to perform professional services; and 2) the description of clearly delineated responsibilities and the policies and practices needed to effectively manage the charter school. A description of internal audit procedures and establishment of controls to ensure that the financial resources are properly managed must be included. This information may be used to evaluate the applicant's ability to operate a charter school.
2. The Board may solicit additional information during the review and evaluation of the charter school application such as whether the applicant currently operates charter schools in Florida and if the proposed school will be a replication of an existing school design. This information may be used to evaluate the applicant's ability to operate a charter school.
3. The applicant may provide evidence of prior experience in establishing and operating public charter schools. Evidence of prior experience and success in establishing and operating charter schools shall be weighed in making a determination to recommend approval or denial of an application.
E. Application Review Committee (ARC)
The purpose of this committee is to identify deficiencies in the written application and/or areas that require clarification to fully evaluate the quality of the application or the capacity of the group to properly implement the proposed plan.
The ARC shall be comprised of District staff and other appropriate personnel.
Applicants are given an opportunity to make a presentation to the ARC no more than 30 minutes in length.
Applicants shall be notified and requested to attend an interview. The applicant shall have the governing board members present.
The ARC shall make a recommendation to the Superintendent to approve or deny each application.
All applications will be submitted to the Board by the Superintendent with a recommendation for approval or denial no later than 60 calendar days after the application is received, unless the applicant and the District mutually agree, in writing, to postpone the vote to a specific date, at which time the Board shall approve or deny the application.
An application submitted by a high-performing charter school that has satisfied the requirements set forth in State law for such designation may be denied by the Board only if the Superintendent demonstrates by clear and convincing evidence that the application failed to meet one (1) or more of the criteria set forth in F.S. 1002.3321002.33(6)(b)(3)(b):
1. The application does not materially comply with the requirements set forth in F.S. 1002.332(2)(b)1002.33(3)(a).
2. The charter school proposed in the application does not materially comply with the requirements in paragraphs (9)(a)-(f)F.S. 1002.33(9).
3. The proposed charter school’s educational program does not substantially replicate that of the applicant’s high-performing charter school.
4. The applicant has made a material misrepresentation or false statement or concealed an essential or material fact during the application process.
5. The proposed charter school’s educational program and financial management practices do not materially comply with the requirements of F.S. 1002.33.
If the Board denies an application submitted by a high-performing charter school, the specific reasons, based upon the criteria set forth in F.S. 1002.33(3)(b), for the denial shall be provided in writing to the applicant and the Department of Education within ten calendar days after such denial.
Appeal of a Decision to Deny an Application
Pursuant to State law, an applicant may, no later than 30 calendar days after receiving the Board’s final order denying an application or upon the Board’s failure to act on an application, appeal the Board’s decision to the State Board of Education. The applicant shall notify the Board of the appeal.
Such appeals shall be conducted in accordance with F.S. 1002.33(6), and applicable State Board rules.
In accordance with State Board rule, the State Board of Education shall by majority vote accept or reject the decision of the Board no later than 90 calendar days after the appeal is filed. The State Board of Education shall remand the application to the sponsor with its written decision that the sponsor approve or deny the application. The sponsor shall implement the decision of the State Board of Education. The decision of the State Board of Education is not subject to the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act.
If the Board denies an application submitted by a high-performing charter school, the Board shall, within ten calendar days after such denial, state in writing the specific reasons, based upon the criteria in F.S. 1002.33 supporting its denial of the application and must provide the letter of denial and supporting documentation to the applicant and to the department. The applicant may appeal the Board’s denial of the application directly to the State Board of Education pursuant to F.S. 1002.33.
Appeal of a Proposed Termination or Nonrenewal of a Charter
At least 90 days beforerenewing, nonrenewing, or terminating a charter, the sponsor shall notify the governing board of the school of the proposed action in writing. The notice shall state in reasonable detail the grounds for the proposed action and stipulate that the school’s governing board may, within 14 calendar days after receiving the notice, request a hearing. The hearing shall be conducted by an administrative law judge assigned by the Division of Administrative Hearings. The hearing shall be conducted within 90 days after receipt of the request for a hearing and in accordance with chapter 120. The administrative law judge’s final order shall be submitted to the sponsor. The administrative law judge shall award the prevailing party reasonable attorney fees and costs incurred during the administrative proceeding and any appeals. prior to renewing or terminating a charter, the Board shall notify the charter school’s governing board in writing of its proposed action. The notice shall state in reasonable detail the grounds for the proposed action and stipulate that the charter school's governing board may, within 14 calendar days after receiving the notice, request a hearing. The hearing shall be conducted at the sponsor’s election by the Board within 90 60 days after the receipt of the request for a hearing. The hearing shall be conducted in accordance with F.S. 120.569 and 120.57. The Board shall decide the matter by majority vote. The outcome of the Board's vote shall be issued as a final order, and recorded as such.
The final order shall state the specific reasons for the Board's action and shall be provided to the charter school's governing board and the Department of Education no later than ten calendar days after it is issued. The charter school’s governing board may, within 30 calendar days after receiving the Board’s final order, appeal the decision pursuant to F.S. 120.68.
A charter may be terminated immediately if the Board sets forth in writing the particular facts and circumstances indicating that an immediate and serious danger to the health, safety, or welfare of the charter school’s students exists. The Board’s determination is subject to the procedures set forth in F.S. 1002.33 (8)(b) and(c), except that the hearing may take place after the charter has been terminated. The Board shall notify in writing the charter school’s governing board, the charter school principal, and FLDOE if a charter is terminated immediately. The Board shall clearly identify the specific issues that resulted in the immediate termination and provide evidence of prior notification of issues resulting in the immediate termination when appropriate. Upon receiving written notice from the Board, the charter school’s governing board has ten (10) calendar days to request a hearing. A requested hearing must be expedited and the final order must be issued within 60 days after the date of request. The Board shall assume operation of the charter school throughout the pendency of the hearing unless the continued operation of the charter school would materially threaten the health, safety, or welfare of the students.
Charter Contract and Contract Negotiation Process
A standard charter contract shall be consistent with this policy and approved by the Superintendent to be used as the basis for all charters approved under this policy. All contracts and contract amendments, as approved by the Superintendent, must be presented to the Board for approval. The charter contract must contain all information set forth in the Florida Model Charter Contract Format (Form IEPC-M3) prescribed by the FLDOE.
A. Initial Charter Contract
1. Initial contract shall be for a term of four or five years unless a longer term is specifically required by law.
2. Before a recommendation regarding whether or not the Board should approve an initial contract, evidence of the following shall be provided:
a. Evidence of a proper legal structure (e.g., articles of incorporation, bylaws, municipal charter). The applicant shall be a not for profit organized pursuant to F.S. Chapter 617.
b. Except for virtual charter schools, actual location and evidence that a facility has been secured for the term of the charter, or a deadline for submitting evidence that a facility has been secured for the term of the charter is included in the charter. Evidence should include, but is not limited to:
1) letter of intent from the landlord or mortgagee indicating property usage and term of occupancy,
2) executed lease or certificate of occupancy, and/or
3) use or occupational license indicating proper use.
All facilities must meet the requirements set forth in F.S. 1002.33.
B. Charter Contract Negotiations
1. The Board shall have 30 days to provide an initial proposed charter contract to the charter school. The applicant and the Board shall have 40 days thereafter to negotiate and notice the charter contract for final approval by the Board unless both parties agree to an extension. The proposed charter contract shall be provided to the charter school at least seven calendar days prior to the date of the meeting at which the charter is scheduled to be voted upon by the Board. The Department of Education shall provide mediation services for any dispute regarding this section subsequent to the approval of a charter application and for any dispute relating to the approved charter, except disputes regarding charter school application denials. If the Commissioner of Education determines that the dispute cannot be settled through mediation, the dispute may be appealed to an administrative law judge appointed by the Division of Administrative Hearings. The administrative law judge has final order authority to rule on issues of equitable treatment of the charter school as a public school, whether proposed provisions of the charter violate the intended flexibility granted charter schools by statute, or on any other matter regarding this section except a charter school application denial, a charter termination, or a charter nonrenewal and shall award the prevailing party reasonable attorney’s fees and costs incurred to be paid by the losing party. The party whom the administrative law judge rules against shall pay the costs of the administrative hearing.
2. The Charter Schools Office shall negotiate any charter contract or amendment that significantly deviates from the Florida Model Charter Contract Format (Form IEPC-M3) prescribed by the FLDOE.
C. Request to Extend Negotiations/School Opening
1. The applicant and Board may mutually agree to extend the statutory timeline to negotiate and consider approval of the charter contract for a period not to exceed one year from the approved opening date in the charter school application. Requests shall be submitted to Charter School Operations, in writing, by an authorized agent of the charter school, detailing the reason for the requested extension.
2. In the event that the statutory timeline to negotiate and enter into a charter contract is extended, the applicant shall update its charter school application prior to resuming negotiations with regard to: (1) updated budget; and (2) applicable application revisions necessitated by the delay.
3. The application shall be automatically rescinded, without further action by the Board, if the applicant does not enter into contract negotiations or open the school within: (1) the timeframe specified by law, or (2) the date of extension which has been mutually agreed upon in writing by both parties.
4. Unless extended pursuant to this policy, an approved applicant shall open its charter school at the beginning of the Board’s next school year as defined in statute.following the approval of the charter school application. At the written request of the applicant and at the Board’s sole discretion, the Board may shall allow an applicant with an approved charter school application to defer the opening of its charter school for one up to 3 years school years following the opening date specified in the approved approval of its charter school application. In the event that the opening of the approved applicant’s charter school is deferred, the applicant shall update its charter school application prior to the opening of the charter school with regard to: (1) updated budget; and (2) applicable application revisions.
5. An approved contract shall be automatically revoked, without further action by the Board, if the applicant does not open the school within:
a. on the first day of school of the initial school year indicated in the contract, or
b. the first day of the school year indicated in the approved deferral.
D. Charter Contract Amendments/Modifications
1. A charter may be modified during its initial term or any renewal term upon the recommendation of the Board or the charter school’s governing board and the approval of both parties to the agreement. All modifications must be mutual and in writing. Unilateral modification made by the charter school is grounds for termination or non-renewal.
2. Modifications may be considered by the Board for a number of reasons, which may include, but is not limited to, protect the health, safety, or welfare of the students.
3. All contract amendment requests shall be submitted in writing to the Charter School Office by an authorized agent of the charter school. Additional information or documentation may be requested for consideration of any amendment requests.
4. The charter school shall provide evidence of governing board approval for all proposed amendments (e.g., governing board resolution, governing board meeting minutes).
5. Requirements for Amendment Requests
a. Education Program Amendments
Significant changes in the curriculum or changes in grade levels constitute a change in the educational program and shall require an amendment that is mutually acceptable and approved by both parties. Requests for such amendments shall include the following information and supporting documentation:
1) justification for change
2) effective date of the change
3) evidence that financial implications, feasibility, and student access issues have been addressed, including provisions for all required resources, staff, and materials
4) evidence of parental support
A high-performing charter school that has met the requirements set forth in State law for such designation shall notify the sponsor of any increase in enrollment by March 1st of the school year preceding the increase. The written notice shall specify the grade levels that will be added.
b. Location Amendments
1) Changes in locations or addition of location (i.e., relocation, secondary campus, satellite locations) shall include the following information and supporting documentation:
a) description of location, including identification as permanent or temporary
If the relocation will be temporary, the request shall include the period of time during which the school will be at the temporary location.
b) effective date of the relocation
c) evidence that financial implications, feasibility, and student access issues have been addressed
d) evidence of parental support for the new facility
e) evidence of the school's property interest in the facility (owner or lessee)
f) a disclosure affidavit in accordance with F.S. 286.23, if the school leases the facility
2) Nothing in this policy or State law obligates the Board to agree to an increase in the number of facilities, campuses, and/or locations associated with a charter school’s operations.
3) The charter school shall not change or add facilities or locations at any time during the term of this charter contract without prior approval of the Board through the contract amendment process. Violation of this provision constitutes a unilateral amendment or modification of this contract and good cause for termination.
4) If the request for a location amendment involves a facility in which other schools are operating, the names of the school(s), the grade levels, number of classrooms, number of students in each class, and the number of students enrolled in each school shall be included in the request, in addition to the information and documentation described in paragraphs a and b above.
5) No later than 30 days prior to the opening of schools or the initial use of the facility by the school, the school shall have an approved contract and evidence of all necessary permits, licenses, zoning, use approval, facility certification and other approvals required for use of the facility by the local government.
c. Enrollment Capacity Amendments
Changes to enrollment capacity after the established date for enrollment projections shall include the following information and supporting documentation:
1) justification for change
2) effective date of the change
3) evidence of proper facility approvals and/or allowable facility capacity
4) evidence that financial implications, feasibility, and student access issues have been addressed
5) evidence of parental support
A high-performing charter school that has met the requirements set forth in State law for such designation shall be required to notify the Board in writing by March 1st of its intent to increase enrollment the following school year. The written notice shall specify the amount of the enrollment increase.
6. When a contract is amended or renewed, it shall be updated to comply with this policy and the current standard charter contract.
No later than 15 days prior to the initial use of the facility by the school, the school shall have an approved contract and provide evidence of all necessary permits, licensing, zoning, use approval, facility certification and other approvals required for use of the facility by the local government. Failure to comply shall result in automatic rescission of the contract, with no further action by the Board.
A. Charter schools shall organize or be operated by a non-profit organized pursuant to F.S. Chapter 617, a municipality, or another public entity, as provided by law.
B. Charter School’s Governing Board Requirements
1. The charter school’s governing board shall be solely responsible for the operation of the charter school which includes, but is not limited to, school operational policies; academic accountability; and financial accountability.
As required by State law, each charter school’s governing board must appoint a representative to facilitate parental involvement, provide access to information, assist parents and others with questions and concerns, and resolve disputes. The representative must successfully fulfill a background check by the Board upon appointment. Furthermore, this representative must reside in the District in which the charter school is located. The individual serving as the parental involvement representative may be a governing board member, charter school employee, or an individual with whom the charter school contracts to represent the governing board in this capacity. If the governing board oversees more than one charter school in the District, a representative to facilitate parental involvement shall be appointed for each school. The name and contact information for the representative must be provided in writing to parents of children enrolled in the charter school at least annually and must also be prominently posted on the charter school’s website.
The charter school’s governing board shall hold at least two public meetings per school year in the District. The meetings must be noticed, open, and accessible to the public and attendees must be provided an opportunity to receive information and provide input regarding the charter school’s operations. The appointed representative to facilitate parental involvement and the principal or director or his/her equivalent must be physically present at each meeting.
2. Governing board members must:
a. notify the Board of changes in membership within 72 hours of change;
b. successfully fulfill a background check by the Board, as specified by law upon appointment to the governing board.
3. Governing board members must develop and approve by-laws that govern the operations of the governing board and the charter school prior to execution of the charter contract and annually consult with charter school staff to refine overall policy decision-making of the charter school as it regarding curriculum, financial management, and internal controls.
4. Governing board members must not be an employee of the charter school or receive compensation, directly or indirectly, from the charter school’s operations, including but not limited to: grant funds; lease/mortgage payments; or contracted service fees.
5. An employee of the charter school, or his/her spouse, or an employee of a charter management organization, or his/her spouse, may not be a member of the governing board of the charter school.
6. Governing board members must participate in the FLDOE sponsored charter school governance training to ensure that each governing board member is aware of his/her duties and responsibilities, pursuant to State Board Rule F.A.C. 6A-6.0784:
a. Each governing board member must complete a minimum of four hours of instruction focusing on Government in the Sunshine, conflicts of interest, ethics, and financial responsibility as specified in F.S. 1002.33(9)(k). After the initial four hour training, each member is required, within the subsequent three years and for each three year period after that to complete a two hour refresher training on the four topics above in order to retain his/her position on the charter school board. Any member who fails to obtain the two-hour refresher training within any three-year period must take the four hours of instruction again in order to remain eligible as a charter school board member.
b. New members joining a charter school board must complete the four-hour training with 90 days of appointment to the governing board.
7. Dispute Procedures (Board versus Charter School Governing Board)
Application, nonrenewal and termination decisions are not subject to this dispute resolution process and must follow the procedures in F.S. 1002.33, Board policy, and the charter contract. Nothing contained herein shall operate to limit a charter school’s rights to utilize the dispute resolution procedures set forth in F.S. 1002.33.
a. The Board and the charter school agree that the existence and the details of a dispute notwithstanding, both parties shall continue without delay their performance under the charter contract, except for any performance, which may be directly affected by such dispute.
b. Either party shall notify the other party that a dispute exists between them. The notification shall be in writing and shall identify the article and section of the contract that is in dispute and the grounds for the position that such article and section is in dispute. The matter shall be immediately submitted to the Board and the charter school’s director for further consideration and discussion to attempt to resolve the dispute.
c. Should the representatives named in paragraph b above be unable to resolve the dispute within ten days of receipt of written notification by one to the other of the existence of such dispute, then the matter may be submitted by either party to the Superintendent and to the school’s governing board chair for further consideration and discussion to attempt to resolve the dispute.
d. Should the parties still be unable to resolve their dispute within 30 days of the date of receipt of written notification by one to the other of the existence of such dispute, then either party may proceed with utilizing the dispute resolution procedures set forth in F.S. 1002.33.
8. Conflict Resolution (Charter School versus Parents/Legal Guardians, Employees, and Vendors)
a. All conflicts between the charter school and the parents/legal guardians of the students enrolled at the charter school shall be handled by the charter school or its governing board.
b. Evidence of each parent’s acknowledgement of the charter school’s Parent Conflict Resolution Process shall be available for review upon request by the Board.
c. All conflicts between the charter school and the employees of the charter school shall be handled by the charter school or its governing board.
d. All conflicts between the charter school and vendors of the charter school shall be handled by the charter school or its governing board.
e. The Board shall be provided with the name and contact information of the parties involved in the charter school’s conflict resolution process. The Board shall be notified immediately of any change in the contact information.
C. Management Companies
1. If a management company or a combination of contracted professionals will be managing the charter school, the contract(s) between the charter school and company(ies) shall be submitted to the Board for review prior to the approval of the charter school’s contract. If a decision to hire any of these entities occurs subsequent to the execution of the charter contract or amendment, the contract(s) between the charter school and company(ies) shall be submitted to the Board at least ten days before any payment is made to any of the entities.
2. Any proposed amendments to the contract with the management company shall be submitted to the Board for approval prior to execution of that amended contract with the management company by the charter school. A copy of all executed contracts must be provided to the Board within the timeframe provided by the charter contract.
3. All management company contracts with the charter school must make it clear that the charter governing body shall retain and exercise continuing oversight over all charter school operations and must contain provisions specifying the ability for the charter school to terminate the contract and must comply with terms as stated in the charter contract between the charter school and the Board. Any default or breach of the terms of the charter contract by the management company(ies) shall constitute a default or breach of the charter contract by the charter school.
4. Neither employees of the management company nor "relatives" of the management company’s employees as defined in F.S. 1002.33 shall serve on the charter school’s governing board or serve as officers of the corporation.
Employees of Charter Schools
A charter school shall employ or contract with employees who have undergone background screening as provided in F.S. 1012.32. Members of the governing board of the charter school shall also undergo background screening in a manner similar to that provided in F.S. 1012.32. A charter school may not enter into a contract with an employee that exceeds the term of the school's charter contract with its sponsor.
A charter school shall disqualify instructional personnel and school administrators, as defined in F.S. 1012.01, from employment in any position that requires direct contact with students if the personnel or administrators are ineligible for such employment under F.S. 1012.315.
Charter school personnel may not appoint, employ, promote, or advance any relative, or advocate for appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement of any relative to a position in the charter school in which the personnel are serving or over which the personnel exercises jurisdiction or control. An individual may not be appointed, employed, promoted, or advanced in or to a position in a charter school if such appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement has been advocated by charter school personnel who serve in or exercise jurisdiction or control over the charter school and who is a relative of the individual or if such appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement is made by the governing board of which a relative of the individual is a member. For purposes of this policy, the definition of relative shall be as it is defined in F.S. 1002.33(24)(a)(2).
Full disclosure of the identity of all relatives employed by the charter school shall be in accordance with F.S. 1002.33.
The governing board of a charter school shall adopt policies establishing standards of ethical conduct for instructional personnel and school administrators.
The policies must require all instructional personnel and school administrators, as defined in F.S. 1012.01, to complete training on the standards; establish the duty of instructional personnel and school administrators to report, and procedures for reporting, alleged misconduct by other instructional personnel and school administrators which affects the health, safety, or welfare of a student; and include an explanation of the liability protections provided under F.S. 39.203 and 768.095.
A charter school, or any of its employees, may not enter into a confidentiality agreement regarding terminated or dismissed instructional personnel or school administrators, or personnel or administrators who resign in lieu of termination, based in whole or in part on misconduct that affects the health, safety, or welfare of a student, and may not provide instructional personnel or school administrators with employment references or discuss the personnel's or administrators' performance with prospective employers in another educational setting, without disclosing the personnel's or administrators' misconduct. Any part of an agreement or contract that has the purpose of effect of concealing misconduct by instructional personnel or school administrators which affects the health, safety, or welfare of a student is void, is contrary to public policy, and may not be enforced.
Before employing instructional personnel or school administrators in any position that requires direct contact with students, a charter school shall conduct employment history checks of each of the personnel's or administrators' previous employer(s), screen the instructional personnel or school administrators through use of the educator screening tools described in F.S. 1001.10(5) and document the findings. If unable to contact a previous employer, the charter school must document efforts to contact the employer.
The sponsor of a charter school that knowingly fails to comply with this paragraph shall terminate the charter under subsection (8) (F.S. 1002.33(g)).
A. The Board shall not impose any policies or practices to limit charter school enrollment except as may be permitted in accordance with State law.
B. The Board may document, in writing, any discrepancies or deficiencies--whether fiscal, educational, or related to school climate--and the steps and timelines for correction and additional monitoring. At a minimum, copies will be provided to the charter school’s governing board chair, charter school principal and appropriate Board staff.
C. The charter school shall obtain the appropriate facility capacity approvals from the jurisdictional authority where the facility is located (i.e., county, municipality, or both). The Board, at its discretion, may accept a letter from the architect of record specifying the capacity if the capacity is not provided by the facility’s jurisdictional authority. The Board may withhold monthly payments for FTE that exceed capacity specified by the charter contract or approved facility capacity.
D. The charter school’s calendar will be consistent with the beginning of the Board’s calendar for the first school year and must provide instruction for the minimum number of days and minutes required by law for other public schools. Should the charter school elect to provide a summer program or year-round school, the charter school shall notify the Board, in writing, each year in April to ensure appropriate record keeping.
E. Student Code of Conduct, Student Handbooks, and Parent Contracts
1. Only the Board may expel a student or change a student’s placement.
2. The charter school may follow the Board’s Student Code of Conduct or an alternate code of conduct approved by the Board. The Board shall be provided a copy of an approved alternate student code of conduct annually. Evidence of governing board approval is required for amendments.
3. Any student/parent handbooks and parent contracts shall also be submitted to the Board after approval by the governing board.
4. The charter school may be required to provide proof of parent/guardian’s receipt of student code of conduct, handbook, or parent contract.
F. Charter School Student Transfers
The process for student transfers can be found in Policy 5130 5131.
G. Food Service and Transportation
Transportation and food services are the responsibility of the charter school. These services must be provided according to District, State, and Federal laws, rules, and regulations.
H. Facility Leases
1. If a charter school will be leasing or subleasing a facility, the contract(s) between the charter school and landlord or sub-lessor shall be submitted to the Board for review.
2. Any amendments to the lease shall be submitted to the Board for review prior to execution, by the charter school.
3. A copy of all executed contracts must be provided to the Board within the timeframe provided by the charter contract.
4. Any default or breach of the terms of the lease by the lessor/sub-lessor may constitute a default or breach of the charter contract by the charter school.
I. Academic Accountability
1. The Superintendent or designee shall have ongoing responsibility for monitoring all approved charter schools with regard to the charter school’s progress towards achieving the goals established in the charter. The Superintendent shall have access to the charter school at all times.
2. The Board shall monitor adherence to the educational and related programs as specified in the approved application, charter, curriculum, instructional methods, any distinctive instructional techniques to be used, reading programs and specialized instruction for students who are reading below grade level, compliance with State standards, assessment accountability, and achievement of long- and short-term goals. An analysis comparing the charter school's standardized test scores to those of similar student populations attending other public schools in the District will also be conducted.
3. The charter school shall make annual progress reports to the Board.
a. In the event a charter school earns a grade of "D" or "F" the Director and a representative of the governing board of the charter school shall appear before the Board to present information concerning each contract component having noted deficiencies and shall prepare and submit to the Board for approval a proposed School Improvement Plan to raise student achievement. The proposed School Improvement Plan must meet the requirements set forth in State law. The charter school shall implement the proposed School Improvement Plan once approved by the Board.
b. If a charter school earns three consecutive grades below a "C” of "D," two consecutive grades of "D" followed by a grade of "F," or two nonconsecutive grades of "F" within a three year period, the charter school governing board shall take corrective action as set forth in F.S. 1002.33. The corrective action must be implemented in the school year following receipt of a third consecutive grade below a "C” of "D," a grade of "F" following two consecutive grades of "D," or a second nonconsecutive grade of "F" within a three year period. If the charter school does not improve to by at least a "C” or higher one letter grade after two full school years of implementing the corrective action, the charter school must select and implement a different corrective action in accordance with F.S. 1002.33. If the charter school does improves to a "C” or higher, by at least one letter grade,it is no longer required to implement the corrective action; however, the charter school must continue to implement strategies identified in the School Improvement Plan.
c. Upon publication by the FLDOE or Board of the list of charter schools that meet the criteria set forth in paragraphs I.3.a. and b. above, the Board shall notify, in writing, each charter school in the District that appears on the list that it is required to submit a School Improvement Plan and to appear before the Board. Pursuant to State Board rule, such notification may be delivered electronically, provided there is proof of receipt.
The notification shall include the following:
1) The date, time, and location of the publicly noticed meeting at which the director and a representative of the charter school governing board shall appear before the Board. For purposes of this requirement, "director" shall mean charter school director, principal, chief executive officer or other management personnel with similar authority. The appearance shall be no earlier than 30 calendar days and no later than 90 calendar days after the Board’s notification is received by the charter school.
2) The date by which the charter school must submit its proposed School Improvement Plan to the Board for review by staff, which shall be no earlier than 30 calendar days after notification from the Board is received by the charter school.
3) Whether the charter school is required to select a corrective action.
d. The Board shall notify the charter school, in writing, within ten calendar days of its decision to approve or deny the School Improvement Plan.
1) The Board may deny a School Improvement Plan if it does not meet the requirements of State law. If denied, the Board shall provide the charter school, in writing, the specific reasons for denial and the timeline for its resubmission.
2) Either the charter school or the Board may request mediation pursuant to State law if the parties cannot agree on a School Improvement Plan.
e. As required by State law, the Board will review the School Improvement Plan annually to monitor the charter school’s continued improvement.
1) The Director and a representative of the governing board of the charter school shall appear before the Board at least once per year to present information regarding the progress of intervention and support strategies implemented by the charter school pursuant to the School Improvement Plan and, if applicable, to review the corrective actions taken pursuant to I.2.c below.
2) At the meeting, the Board will identify the services that the District will provide to the charter school to assist the charter school in addressing its deficiencies, and following the meeting, these services will be communicated, in writing, to the director.
3) A charter school that improves their letter grade to a "C” or higher, at least one letter grade is not required to submit a new School Improvement Plan but must continue to implement the strategies identified in the approved School Improvement Plan and be monitored by the Board continue to report annually to the Board. The Board shall notify, in writing, each charter school implementing a School Improvement Plan of the requirement to appear before the Board to present information regarding the progress of the approved School Improvement Plan. The notification shall include the date, time, and location of the publicly noticed meeting at which the director and a representative of the charter school shall appear.
f. The Board shall terminate the charter if the charter school earns two consecutive grades of "F," unless one of the exceptions set forth in State law is applicable.
g. The laws applicable to School Improvement Plans and corrective actions do not limit the Board’s authority to terminate the charter at any time in accordance with State law.
4. Exceptional Student Education (ESE)
a. The Board is the Local Educational Agency (LEA) for all charter schools.
ESE students will be educated in the least restrictive environment. The charter school shall ensure that ESE students are provided with programs and services implemented in accordance with Federal, State, and local policies and procedures and specifically, the IDEA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and other related statutes and State Board of Education rules. If an IEP team determines that the charter school cannot meet the needs of an ESE student, the charter school and the Board agree to provide the ESE student with the appropriate placement as determined by the IEP team in accordance with State and Federal law.
b. The Board shall provide ESE administration services to charter schools which shall be set forth in more detail in the charter.
c. With respect to the provision of special education and related services:
1) The Board shall be responsible for conducting initial evaluations of students referred for potential special education and gifted placement in accordance with Federal and State statutes.
2) The charter school shall deliver all educational and related services indicated on a student’s IEP, Section 504 Plan, or EP. The Board may provide related services through a separate contract between the charter school and the Board.
3) The Board shall appoint an "ESE Staffing Specialist" who may, at the Board’s discretion, attend all IEP meetings and meetings related to the provision of special education and related services to charter school students. The charter school must provide notice to the ESE Staffing Specialist of all such meetings. The ESE Staffing Specialist shall serve as the LEA representative at all meetings.
4) The charter shall further set forth the specific roles and responsibilities of the charter school and the Board with respect to exceptional student education.
5. English Language Learners (ELL) -- Students who are of limited proficiency in English will be served by ESOL certified personnel. The charter school shall demonstrate an understanding of State and Federal requirements regarding the education of English language learners, be committed to serving the full range of needs of ELL students, create and implement sound plans for educating ELL students that reflect the full range of programs and services required to provide all students with a high quality education, and demonstrate capacity to meet the school’s obligations under State and Federal law regarding the education of ELL students.
6. The Board may, in accordance with State law, require all charter schools to submit to the Board a school improvement plan to ensure a plan to maintain or raise student academic achievement within the timelines specified by the Board and the FLDOE.
J. Financial Accountability
1. In order to provide comparable financial information to that reported for other public schools, charter schools shall maintain all financial records in accordance with the accounts and codes prescribed in the most recent issuance of the publication titled, Financial and Program Cost Accounting and Reporting for Florida Schools. Charter school governing boards shall also annually adopt and maintain an operating budget as required by F.S. 1002.33(9)(h). Charter schools shall provide annual financial reports and program cost report information by the deadlines specified in the charter contract, in the State-required formats for inclusion in the Board’s reporting in compliance with F.S. 1011.60(1) and 1002.33(9)(g). The financial statements are to be prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles using governmental accounting, regardless of corporate structure. F.S. 1002.33(9)(g). The annual financial audit must be in the State-required format.
At the discretion of the charter school’s governing board, a charter school may elect to follow generally accepted accounting standards for not-for-profit organizations, but must reformat this information for reporting according to the requirement set forth in the paragraph above.
High-performing charter schools are required to submit financial statements in accordance with and within the timeframes stated in F.S. 1002.33.
2. First year charter schools may be required to provide the Board any of the following, which may be in addition to information otherwise required by law:
a. A sensitivity analysis and financial plan based on enrollment of 50%, 75%, and 100% of projected capacity.
b. Cash flow projections for the first year, displayed by month, and a plan to fund any cash flow shortfalls, updated monthly.
c. Contingency plans to replace any loss of State funds for both operation and capital expenditures.
d. Within 45 days of month end, reconciliations of all bank accounts, which must include a copy of the entire bank statement of each account, must be attached to the bank reconciliation.
3. Title I: A charter school that is eligible to receive Title I funds shall submit an approved Title I School-wide Plan within three months of becoming a designated Title I school, and shall not receive Title I funds until an approved plan has been submitted.
4. Financial Policies: The charter school shall establish and implement accounting and reporting policies, procedures, and practices for maintaining complete records of all receipts and expenditures. The charter school shall provide a copy of these policies to the Board annually.
5. Payments to charter schools by Board
a. The Board shall make timely and efficient payment and reimbursement to charter schools, including processing paperwork required to access special State and Federal funding for which they may be eligible. The Board may distribute funds to a charter school for up to three months based on the projected full-time equivalent student membership of the charter school. Thereafter, the results of full-time equivalent student membership surveys shall be used in adjusting the amount of funds distributed monthly to the charter school for the remainder of the fiscal year. During a charter school’s first two years of operation, the initial FEFP payments from July through October must be based upon the school’s projected FTE enrollment only if the school’s actual enrollment, as reported in the district’s student information system on the first day of the month, is at least 75 percent of the projected enrollment. If the actual enrollment is less than 75 percent of projected enrollment, the FEFP payments must be based on the actual enrollment as reported in the district’s student information system. The payment shall be issued no later than ten working days after the Board receives a distribution of State or Federal funds.
b. Capital Outlay Payments – The Board shall make payments to the school upon Department of Education verification of eligibility as referenced in s. 1013.62. receipt of all required supporting documentation as referenced in the section 8.h – Capital Outlay Payment Process.
c. Miscellaneous Payments – The Board shall make timely miscellaneous payments to the charter school upon receipt of funding from the FLDOE for various programs including Title I. The Board’s payment is subject to the charter school’s fulfillment of its responsibilities under the applicable State and Federal laws.
6. Financial Reports: As required by State law, the charter school shall provide to the Board all required financial statements monthly,once the charter contract is approved by the Sponsor, including a Balance Sheet and a Statement of Revenues, Expenditures and Changes in Fund Balances. These reports must be prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles using governmental accounting. A high-performing charter school that has satisfied the requirements set forth in State law for such designation may provide quarterly financial statements.
7. Annual Financial Statements
a. Unaudited June 30th year-end financial statements shall be submitted to the Board within the timelines specified by the charter contract. These financial statements must be prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles using governmental accounting.
b. Annual Financial Audit - The charter school agrees to submit to and pay for an annual financial audit, in compliance with Federal, State and Board regulations, showing all revenue received, from all sources, and all expenditures for services rendered. The audit shall be conducted by an independent certified public accountant or auditor selected by the governing board of the charter school, and shall be delivered to the Board in compliance with the charter contract. If the charter school’s audit reveals a deficit financial position, the auditors are required to notify the charter school’s governing board, the Board and the Florida Department of Education in the manner defined in the charter contract. No later than May 1st of each year, the charter school must formally notify the Board of the name, address, and phone number of the auditor engaged to perform the year-end audit.
1) Selection Procedures -- Charter schools shall use auditor selection procedures when selecting an auditor to conduct the annual financial audit pursuant to the processes described in F.S. 218.39 and 218.391, which includes, but is not limited to: the establishment of an audit committee and request for proposal (RFP) for audit services, public advertisement of RFP, and development of evaluation and selection criteria.
2) Requirements -- Pursuant to F.S. 218.391, the procurement of audit services shall be evidenced by a written contract embodying all provisions and conditions of the procurement of such services. An engagement letter signed by the governing board chair and executed by both parties shall constitute a written contract. The written contract shall, at a minimum, include the following:
a) a provision specifying the services to be provided and fees or other compensation for such services
b) a provision requiring that invoices for fees or other compensation be submitted in sufficient detail to demonstrate compliance with the terms of the contract
c) a provision specifying the contract period, including renewals, and conditions under which the contract may be terminated or renewed.
c. Failure to comply with the timely submission of all financial statements in the required format specified by the Board, shall constitute a material breach of the charter contract.
8. Capital Outlay Funding
Pursuant to F.S. 1013.62(4), the application for, approval of, and process for documenting expenditures from charter school capital outlay funds shall be in accordance with the procedures specified by the Commissioner of Education.
Before receiving capital outlay funds the charter school governing board must enter into a written agreement with the Board. Such agreement must provide for the reversion of any unencumbered funds and all equipment and property purchased with public education funds to the ownership of the Board, as provided for in F.S. 1013.62(3), if the charter school terminates operations. Any funds recovered by the state shall be deposited in the State’s General Revenue Fund.
As required by State law, the Board shall remit capital outlay funds to a charter school within ten business days of the receipt of said funds.
9. Review and Audit
a. The Board has the right at any time to review and audit all financial records of the charter school to ensure fiscal accountability and sound financial management pursuant to F.S. 1002.33. The charter school shall provide the Board with a copy of the management letter from any audits as well as any responses to the auditor's findings with a corrective plan that shall be prepared and submitted within 30 days from the date of the management letter.
b. Deteriorating Financial Condition and Financial Emergencies (F.S. 1002.345)
1) Deteriorating Financial Condition – "Deteriorating financial condition" means a circumstance that significantly impairs the ability of a charter school or a charter technical career center to generate enough revenues to meet its expenditures without causing the occurrence of a condition described in F.S. 218.503(1).
a) A charter school shall be subject to an expedited review by the Board upon the occurrence of any of the conditions specified in F.S. 1002.345(1)(a)(1)-(4).
b) The Board shall notify the governing board within seven business days after one or more of the conditions set forth in F.S. 1002.345(1)(a)(1)-(4) are identified or occur.
c) The governing board and the Board shall develop a corrective action plan and file the plan with the Commissioner of Education within 30 business days after notification is received as provided in paragraph (9)(b)(1)(b) herein. If the governing board and the Board are unable to agree on a corrective action plan, the Commissioner of Education shall determine the components of the plan. The governing board shall implement such plan.
d) Failure to implement the corrective action plan within one year shall result in additional action prescribed by the State Board of Education, including the appearance of the chair of the governing board before the State Board of Education.
2) Financial Emergency – If a financial audit conducted by a CPA in accordance with F.S. 218.39 reveals that one or more of the conditions in F.S. 218.503(1) have occurred or will occur if action is not taken to assist the charter school, the auditor shall notify the governing board of the charter school, as appropriate, the Board, and the Commissioner of Education within seven business days after the finding is made. If the charter school is found to be in a state of financial emergency pursuant to F.S. 218.503(4), the charter school shall file a financial recovery plan pursuant to F.S. 218.503 with the Board and the Commissioner of Education within 30 days after being notified by the Commissioner of Education that a financial recovery plan is needed.
3) Annual progress of the corrective action plans and/or financial recovery plans shall be included in an annual progress report to the Board.
4) The Board may require periodic appearances of governing board members and charter school representative.
a. If the Board is required to be the fiscal agent for a grant, the charter school shall comply with the Board’s grant procedures.
b. The Board shall receive written approval from the charter school to include the charter school in a District-wide grant. The appropriate pro-rata share of grants will be allocated to the charter school, as defined by the grant awarded.
c. The charter school is required to maintain adequate records to support grant-funded programs for the minimum years prescribed by the law. The Board may review these records, upon reasonable notice.
11. Health, Safety and Welfare of Staff and Students
Charter schools shall comply with Policy 7440.01 Protection of Personnel and Property.
If a court or agency of competent jurisdiction invalidates any provision of this policy or finds a specific provision to be in conflict with the Florida Constitution, Florida Statutes, the Florida Administrative Code, or any rule or policy prescribed by the Florida Department of Education, then all of the remaining provisions of this policy shall continue unabated and in full force and effect.
In the event that an existing charter school contract provision is found to be inconsistent with this policy, the contract provision prevails. Any charter approved after the adoption of this policy is required to be fully consistent with this policy.
F.S. Chapter 120
F.S. 39.203, 218.39, 218.391, 218.503, 286.23, 768.095, 1001.10(5), 1001.41,
F.S. 1002.33, 1002.33(g), 1002.345, 1008.31, 1011.60, 1012.01, 1012.315
F.S. 1012.32, 1013.12
Chapter 96-186(1) Laws of Florida
F.A.C. 6A-1.0081; 6A-2.0020; 6A-6.0781 through 6A-6.0788
FL DOE Forms: IEPC-M1, IEPC-M2, IEPC-M3
Revised 4/1/14 Revised 8/2018 Revised 9/4/18
© Neola 2012