2020 Florida Statutes
Florida Career and Professional Education Act.
Florida Career and Professional Education Act.
1003.491 Florida Career and Professional Education Act.—The Florida Career and Professional Education Act is created to provide a statewide planning partnership between the business and education communities in order to attract, expand, and retain targeted, high-value industry and to sustain a strong, knowledge-based economy.
(1) The primary purpose of the Florida Career and Professional Education Act is to:
(a) Improve middle and high school academic performance by providing rigorous and relevant curriculum opportunities;
(b) Provide rigorous and relevant career-themed courses that articulate to postsecondary-level coursework and lead to industry certification;
(c) Support local and regional economic development;
(d) Respond to Florida’s critical workforce needs; and
(e) Provide state residents with access to high-wage and high-demand careers.
(2) Each district school board shall develop, in collaboration with local workforce development boards, economic development agencies, and postsecondary institutions approved to operate in the state, a strategic 3-year plan to address and meet local and regional workforce demands. If involvement of a local workforce development board or an economic development agency in the strategic plan development is not feasible, the local school board, with the approval of the Department of Economic Opportunity, shall collaborate with the most appropriate regional business leadership board. Two or more school districts may collaborate in the development of the strategic plan and offer career-themed courses, as defined in s. 1003.493(1)(b), or a career and professional academy as a joint venture. The strategic plan must describe in detail provisions for the efficient transportation of students, the maximum use of shared resources, access to courses aligned to state curriculum standards through virtual education providers legislatively authorized to provide part-time instruction to middle school students, and an objective review of proposed career and professional academy courses and other career-themed courses to determine if the courses will lead to the attainment of industry certifications included on the Industry Certified Funding List pursuant to rules adopted by the State Board of Education. Each strategic plan shall be reviewed, updated, and jointly approved every 3 years by the local school district, local workforce development boards, economic development agencies, and state-approved postsecondary institutions.
(3) The strategic 3-year plan developed jointly by the local school district, local workforce development boards, economic development agencies, and state-approved postsecondary institutions shall be constructed and based on:
(a) Research conducted to objectively determine local and regional workforce needs for the ensuing 3 years, using labor projections of the United States Department of Labor and the Department of Economic Opportunity;
(b) Strategies to develop and implement career academies or career-themed courses based on those careers determined to be high-wage, high-skill, and high-demand;
(c) Strategies to provide shared, maximum use of private sector facilities and personnel;
(d) Strategies that ensure instruction by industry-certified faculty and standards and strategies to maintain current industry credentials and for recruiting and retaining faculty to meet those standards;
(e) Strategies to provide personalized student advisement, including a parent-participation component, and coordination with middle grades to promote and support career-themed courses and education planning;
(f) Alignment of requirements for middle school career planning, middle and high school career and professional academies or career-themed courses leading to industry certification or postsecondary credit, and high school graduation requirements;
(g) Provisions to ensure that career-themed courses and courses offered through career and professional academies are academically rigorous, meet or exceed appropriate state-adopted subject area standards, result in attainment of industry certification, and, when appropriate, result in postsecondary credit;
(h) Plans to sustain and improve career-themed courses and career and professional academies;
(i) Strategies to improve the passage rate for industry certification examinations if the rate falls below 50 percent;
(j) Strategies to recruit students into career-themed courses and career and professional academies which include opportunities for students who have been unsuccessful in traditional classrooms but who are interested in enrolling in career-themed courses or a career and professional academy. School boards shall provide opportunities for students who may be deemed as potential dropouts or whose cumulative grade point average drops below a 2.0 to enroll in career-themed courses or participate in career and professional academies. Such students must be provided in-person academic advising that includes information on career education programs by a certified school counselor or the school principal or his or her designee during any semester the students are at risk of dropping out or have a cumulative grade point average below a 2.0;
(k) Strategies to provide sufficient space within academies to meet workforce needs and to provide access to all interested and qualified students;
(l) Strategies to implement career-themed courses or career and professional academy training that lead to industry certification in juvenile justice education programs;
(m) Opportunities for high school students to earn weighted or dual enrollment credit for higher-level career and technical courses;
(n) Promotion of the benefits of the Gold Seal Bright Futures Scholarship;
(o) Strategies to ensure the review of district pupil-progression plans and to amend such plans to include career-themed courses and career and professional academy courses and to include courses that may qualify as substitute courses for core graduation requirements and those that may be counted as elective courses;
(p) Strategies to provide professional development for secondary certified school counselors on the benefits of career and professional academies and career-themed courses that lead to industry certification; and
(q) Strategies to redirect appropriated career funding in secondary and postsecondary institutions to support career academies and career-themed courses that lead to industry certification.
(4) The State Board of Education shall establish a process for the continual and uninterrupted review of newly proposed core secondary courses and existing courses requested to be considered as core courses to ensure that sufficient rigor and relevance is provided for workforce skills and postsecondary education and aligned to state curriculum standards.
(a) The review of newly proposed core secondary courses shall be the responsibility of a curriculum review committee whose membership is approved by CareerSource Florida, Inc. The membership of the committee shall include:
1. Three certified high school counselors recommended by the Florida Association of Student Services Administrators.
2. Three assistant superintendents for curriculum and instruction, recommended by the Florida Association of District School Superintendents, who serve in districts that operate successful career and professional academies pursuant to s. 1003.492 or a successful series of courses that lead to industry certification. Committee members in this category shall employ the expertise of appropriate subject area specialists in the review of proposed courses.
3. Three workforce representatives recommended by the Department of Economic Opportunity.
4. Three admissions directors of postsecondary institutions accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, representing both public and private institutions.
5. The Commissioner of Education, or his or her designee, who is responsible for K-12 curriculum and instruction and shall employ the expertise of appropriate subject area specialists in the review of proposed courses.
(b) The curriculum review committee shall review newly proposed core courses electronically. Each proposed core course shall be approved or denied within 30 days after submission by a district school board or local workforce development board. All courses approved as core courses for purposes of middle school promotion and high school graduation shall be immediately added to the Course Code Directory. Approved core courses shall also be reviewed and considered for approval for dual enrollment credit. The Board of Governors and the Commissioner of Education shall jointly recommend an annual deadline for approval of new core courses to be included for purposes of postsecondary admissions and dual enrollment credit the following academic year. The State Board of Education shall establish an appeals process in the event that a proposed course is denied which shall require a consensus ruling by the Department of Economic Opportunity and the Commissioner of Education within 15 days.
(5)(a) The Commissioner of Education shall conduct an annual review of K-12 and postsecondary career and technical education offerings, in consultation with the Department of Economic Opportunity, CareerSource Florida, Inc., leaders of business and industry, the Board of Governors, the Florida College System, school districts, and other education stakeholders, to determine the alignment of existing offerings with employer demand, postsecondary degree or certificate programs, and professional industry certifications. The review shall identify career and technical education offerings that are linked to occupations that are in high demand by employers, require high-level skills, and provide middle-level and high-level wages.
(b) Using the findings from the annual review required in paragraph (a), the commissioner shall phase out career and technical education offerings that are not aligned with the needs of employers or do not provide program completers with a middle-wage or high-wage occupation and encourage school districts and Florida College System institutions to offer programs that are not offered currently.
History.—s. 143, ch. 2002-387; s. 3, ch. 2004-357; s. 26, ch. 2006-74; s. 1, ch. 2007-216; s. 460, ch. 2011-142; s. 20, ch. 2011-175; s. 13, ch. 2012-191; s. 27, ch. 2013-27; s. 6, ch. 2013-89; s. 52, ch. 2015-98; s. 47, ch. 2016-216; s. 103, ch. 2018-110; s. 16, ch. 2019-119.