Florida Senate - 2014                        COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
       Bill No. SB 1512
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              
                  Comm: RCS            .                                
                  03/18/2014           .                                

    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Delete everything after the enacting clause
    4  and insert:
    5         Section 1. Section 1002.385, Florida Statutes, is created
    6  to read:
    7         1002.385 Florida Personalized Accounts for Learning.—
    8         (1) ESTABLISHMENT OF PROGRAM.—The Florida Personalized
    9  Accounts for Learning is established to provide the option for a
   10  parent to better meet the individual educational needs of his or
   11  her eligible child.
   12         (2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
   13         (a) “Approved provider” means a provider approved by the
   14  Agency for Persons with Disabilities and a provider approved by
   15  the department pursuant to s. 1002.66.
   16         (b) “Authorized financial institution” means the
   17  institution that is designated in writing by the parent to
   18  receive payment of program funds into the parent’s personalized
   19  account for learning at such institution.
   20         (c) “Chief Financial Officer” means the chief fiscal
   21  officer of this state, as defined in s. 17.001.
   22         (d) “Curriculum” means a complete course of study for a
   23  particular content area or grade level, including any required
   24  supplemental materials.
   25         (e) “Department” means the Department of Education.
   26         (f) “Disability” means, for a student in kindergarten to
   27  grade 12, autism, as defined in s. 393.063(3); cerebral palsy,
   28  as defined in s. 393.063(4); Down syndrome, as defined in s.
   29  393.063(13); an intellectual disability, as defined in s.
   30  393.063(21); Prader-Willi syndrome, as defined in s.
   31  393.063(25); or Spina bifida, as defined in s. 393.063(36); for
   32  a student in kindergarten, being a high-risk child, as defined
   33  in s. 393.063(20)(a); and Williams syndrome.
   34         (g) “Eligible postsecondary educational institution” means
   35  a Florida College System institution, a state university, a
   36  school district technical center, a school district adult
   37  general education center, or an accredited nonpublic
   38  postsecondary educational institution, as defined in s. 1005.02,
   39  which is licensed to operate in the state pursuant to
   40  requirements specified in part III of chapter 1005.
   41         (h) “Eligible private school” means a private school, as
   42  defined in s. 1002.01, which is located in this state, which
   43  offers an education to students in any grade from kindergarten
   44  to grade 12, and which meets requirements of ss. 1002.42 and
   45  1002.421.
   46         (i) “IEP” means individual education plan.
   47         (j) “Parent” means a resident of this state who is a
   48  parent, as defined in s. 1000.21.
   49         (k) “Program” means the Florida Personalized Accounts for
   50  Learning established in this section.
   51         (3) PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY.—A parent of a student with a
   52  disability may request and receive from the state a Florida
   53  personalized account for learning for the purposes specified in
   54  subsection (5) if:
   55         (a) The student:
   56         1. Is a resident of this state;
   57         2. Is eligible to enroll in kindergarten through grade 12
   58  in a public school in this state;
   59         3. Has a disability as defined in paragraph (2)(e) and is
   60  eligible for Level 3 to Level 5 services; and
   61         4. Is the subject of an IEP written in accordance with
   62  rules of the State Board of Education; and
   63         (b)The parent has requested from the department a
   64  participation in the program at least 60 days before the date of
   65  the first payment. The request must be communicated directly to
   66  the department in a manner that creates a written or electronic
   67  record of the request and the date of receipt of the request.
   68  The department must notify the district of the parent’s intent
   69  upon receipt of the parent’s request.
   70         (4) PROGRAM PROHIBITIONS.—
   71         (a) A student is not eligible for the program while he or
   72  she is:
   73         1.Enrolled in a public school, including, but not limited
   74  to, the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind, the Florida
   75  Virtual School, the College-Preparatory Boarding Academy, a
   76  developmental research school authorized under s. 1002.32, a
   77  charter school authorized under s. 1002.33, s. 1002.331, or s.
   78  1002.332, or a virtual education program authorized under s.
   79  1002.45;
   80         2.Enrolled in a school operating for the purpose of
   81  providing educational services to youth in the Department of
   82  Juvenile Justice commitment programs;
   83         3.Receiving a scholarship pursuant to the Florida Tax
   84  Credit Scholarship Program under s. 1002.395 or the John M.
   85  McKay Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program under
   86  s. 1002.39; or
   87         4.Receiving an educational scholarship pursuant to this
   88  chapter.
   89         (b) A student is not eligible for the program if:
   90         1.The student or student’s parent has accepted any
   91  payment, refund, or rebate, in any manner, from a provider of
   92  any services received pursuant to subsection (5);
   93         2.The student’s participation in the program has been
   94  denied or revoked by the Commissioner of Education pursuant to
   95  subsection (9); or
   96         3.The student’s parent has forfeited participation in the
   97  program for failure to comply with requirements pursuant to
   98  subsection (10).
   99         (5) AUTHORIZED USES OF PROGRAM FUNDS.—Program funds may be
  100  spent for the following purposes, as specified in the student’s
  101  IEP or the portion of the IEP regarding the transition of the
  102  student to postsecondary education and career opportunities
  103  pursuant to s. 1003.5716:
  104         (a) Instructional materials, including digital devices,
  105  digital periphery devices, and assistive technology devices that
  106  allow a student to access instruction or instructional content.
  107         (b) Curriculum as defined in paragraph (2)(c).
  108         (c) Specialized services by approved providers that are
  109  selected by the parent and specified in the student’s IEP. These
  110  specialized services may include, but are not limited to:
  111         1. Applied behavior analysis services as provided in ss.
  112  627.6686 and 641.31098.
  113         2. Services provided by speech-language pathologists as
  114  defined in s. 468.1125.
  115         3. Occupational therapy services as defined in s. 468.203.
  116         4. Services provided by physical therapists as defined in
  117  s. 486.021.
  118         5. Services provided by listening and spoken language
  119  specialists and an appropriate acoustical environment for a
  120  child who is deaf or hard of hearing and who has received an
  121  implant or assistive hearing device.
  122         (d) Enrollment in, or tuition or fees associated with
  123  enrollment in, an eligible private school, an eligible
  124  postsecondary educational institution, a private tutoring
  125  program authorized under s. 1002.43, a virtual program offered
  126  by a department-approved private online provider that meets the
  127  provider qualifications specified in s. 1002.45(2)(a), or an
  128  approved online course offered pursuant to ss. 1003.499 or
  129  1004.0961.
  130         (e) Fees for nationally standardized, norm-referenced
  131  achievement tests, Advanced Placement Examinations, industry
  132  certification examinations, assessments related to postsecondary
  133  education, or other assessments specified in the student’s IEP.
  134         (f) Contributions to a Coverdell education savings account
  135  established pursuant to 26 U.S.C. s. 530 of the Internal Revenue
  136  Code for the benefit of the eligible student.
  137         (g) Contracted services provided by a public school or
  138  school district, including classes and extracurricular programs
  139  for the services specified in the IEP or additional services. A
  140  student who receives services under a contract under this
  141  paragraph shall not be considered to be enrolled in a public
  142  school for eligibility purposes as specified in subsection (4).
  144  A specialized service provider, eligible private school,
  145  eligible postsecondary educational institution, private tutoring
  146  program provider, online or virtual program provider, public
  147  school, school district, or other entity receiving payments
  148  pursuant to this subsection may not share, refund, or rebate any
  149  moneys from the Florida Personalized Account for Learning with
  150  the parent or participating student in any manner.
  151         (6) TERM OF THE PROGRAM.—For purposes of continuity of
  152  educational choice, the program payments made under this section
  153  shall remain in force until a student participating in the
  154  program participates in any of the prohibited activities
  155  specified in subsection (4), has funds revoked by the
  156  Commissioner of Education pursuant to subsection (9), or returns
  157  to a public school, graduates from high school, or reaches 22
  158  years of age, whichever occurs first. A participating student
  159  who enrolls in a public school or public school program is
  160  considered to have returned to a public school for the purpose
  161  of determining the end of the program’s term.
  163         (a) By April 1 of each year and within 10 days after an IEP
  164  meeting, a school district shall notify the parent of the
  165  student who meets eligibility requirements under subsection (3)
  166  of the option to participate in the program.
  167         (b)1. For a student with a disability who does not have a
  168  matrix of services under s. 1011.62(1)(e), the school district
  169  shall complete a matrix that assigns the student to one of the
  170  levels of service as they existed before the 2000-2001 school
  171  year.
  172         2.a. Within 10 school days after a school district receives
  173  notification of a parent’s request for participation in the
  174  program under this section, the school district shall notify the
  175  student’s parent if the matrix of services has not been
  176  completed and inform the parent that the district is required to
  177  complete the matrix within 30 days after receiving notice of the
  178  parent’s request for participation. This notice must include the
  179  required completion date for the matrix.
  180         b. The school district shall complete the matrix of
  181  services for a student who is participating in the program and
  182  shall notify the department of the student’s matrix level within
  183  30 days after receiving notification of a request to participate
  184  in the program. The school district must provide the student’s
  185  parent with the student’s matrix level within 10 school days
  186  after its completion.
  187         c. The department shall notify the parent of the amount of
  188  the funds awarded within 10 days after receiving the school
  189  district’s notification of the student’s matrix level.
  190         d. A school district may change a matrix of services only
  191  if the change is to correct a technical, typographical, or
  192  calculation error.
  193         (c) For each student participating in the program who takes
  194  statewide, standardized assessments under s. 1008.22, the school
  195  district in which the student resides must notify the student
  196  and his or her parent about the locations and times to take all
  197  statewide, standardized assessments.
  198         (d) For each student participating in the program, a school
  199  district shall notify the parent about the availability of a
  200  reevaluation at least every 3 years.
  201         (8) DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION OBLIGATIONS.—The department
  202  shall:
  203         (a) Establish an annual enrollment period and a process in
  204  which a parent may apply to enroll his or her student in the
  205  program. The enrollment period shall begin on July 1 and end on
  206  May 1 of each year for applications for the following state
  207  fiscal year. All applications must be approved by June 1 of each
  208  year for program participation for the following fiscal year.
  209         (b) Conduct or contract for annual audits of the program to
  210  ensure compliance with this section.
  211         (c) Notify the authorized financial institution of students
  212  who are approved to participate in the program. The notice must
  213  be made annually by June 1, after the department processes all
  214  applications to participate in the program.
  215         (d) Establish a process by which a person may notify the
  216  department of any violation of laws or rules relating to
  217  participation in the program. The department shall conduct an
  218  inquiry of all signed, written, and legally sufficient
  219  complaints that allege a violation of this section or make a
  220  referral to the appropriate agency for an investigation. A
  221  complaint is legally sufficient if it contains ultimate facts
  222  showing that a violation of this section or a violation of a
  223  rule adopted under this section has occurred. In order to
  224  determine legal sufficiency, the department may require
  225  supporting information or documentation from the complainant. A
  226  department inquiry is not subject to the requirements of chapter
  227  120.
  228         (e) Compare the list of students participating in the
  229  program with the public school enrollment lists before each
  230  program payment to avoid duplicate payments.
  231         (f) Select an independent research organization, which may
  232  be a public or private entity or university, to which
  233  participating entities must report the scores of students
  234  participating in the program on the standardized assessments
  235  administered by the schools as specified in the IEP.
  236         1. The independent research organization shall annually
  237  issue a report to the department which includes:
  238         a. The year-to-year learning gains of students
  239  participating in the program.
  240         b. To the extent possible, a comparison of the learning
  241  gains of students in the program to the statewide learning gains
  242  of public school students having backgrounds similar to those of
  243  the students in the program. In order to minimize the costs and
  244  time that the independent research organization requires for
  245  analysis and evaluation, the department shall conduct analyses
  246  of assessment data from matched students in public schools and
  247  shall calculate the learning gains of control groups using a
  248  methodology outlined in the contract with the independent
  249  research organization.
  250         c. The aggregate year-to-year learning gains of students in
  251  the program in each participating entity in which there are at
  252  least 30 participating students that have scores for tests for 2
  253  consecutive years at that entity.
  254         2. The sharing and reporting of the learning gains of
  255  students pursuant to this paragraph must be in accordance with
  256  the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. s.
  257  1232g, and shall be for the sole purpose of creating the annual
  258  report required under subparagraph 1. All parties shall preserve
  259  the confidentiality of such information as required by law. The
  260  independent research organization may not disaggregate data in
  261  its annual report to a level that identifies individual
  262  participating entities, except as required under sub
  263  subparagraph 1.c., or disclose the academic level of individual
  264  students.
  265         3. The department shall publish on its website the annual
  266  report required by subparagraph 1.
  267         (g)Coordinate with state-funded or federally funded
  268  benefits programs to advise a parent about the possible effect
  269  his or her child’s participation in the program under this
  270  section may have on the child’s eligibility for participating in
  271  those state-funded or federally funded benefits programs.
  272         (h) Issue a report by December 15, 2014, and annually
  273  thereafter to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the
  274  Speaker of the House of Representatives describing the
  275  implementation of accountability mechanisms for the program,
  276  identifying any substantial allegations and violations of a law
  277  or rule governing the program, and describing the corrective
  278  actions taken by the department relating to violations of a law
  279  or rule governing the program.
  281         (a) The Commissioner of Education:
  282         1. Shall deny, suspend, or revoke a student’s participation
  283  in the program if the health, safety, or welfare of the student
  284  is threatened or fraud is suspected.
  285         2. Shall deny, suspend, or revoke an authorized use of
  286  program funds if the health, safety, or welfare of the student
  287  is threatened or fraud is suspected.
  288         3. May deny, suspend, or revoke an authorized use of
  289  program funds for material failure to comply with this section
  290  and applicable department rules if the noncompliance is
  291  correctable within a reasonable period of time. Otherwise, the
  292  commissioner shall deny, suspend, or revoke an authorized use
  293  for failure to materially comply with the law and rules adopted
  294  under this section.
  295         4. Shall require compliance by the appropriate party by a
  296  date certain for all nonmaterial failures to comply with this
  297  section and applicable department rules. The commissioner may
  298  deny, suspend, or revoke program participation under this
  299  section thereafter.
  300         (b) In determining whether to deny, suspend, or revoke in
  301  accordance with this subsection, the commissioner may consider
  302  factors that include, but are not limited to, acts or omissions
  303  by a participating entity which led to a previous denial or
  304  revocation of participation in an education scholarship program;
  305  failure to reimburse the department for program funds improperly
  306  received or retained by the entity; imposition of a prior
  307  criminal sanction related to the entity or its officers or
  308  employees; imposition of a civil fine or administrative fine,
  309  license revocation or suspension, or program eligibility
  310  suspension, termination, or revocation related to an entity’s
  311  management or operation; or other types of criminal proceedings
  312  in which the entity or its officers or employees were found
  313  guilty of, regardless of adjudication, or entered a plea of nolo
  314  contendere or guilty to, any offense involving fraud, deceit,
  315  dishonesty, or moral turpitude.
  317  PARTICIPATION.—A parent who applies for program participation
  318  under this section is exercising his or her parental option to
  319  determine the appropriate placement or services that best meet
  320  the needs of his or her student. To enroll an eligible student
  321  in the program, the parent must sign an agreement with the
  322  department and annually submit a notarized, sworn compliance
  323  statement to the department to:
  324         (a) Affirm that the student meets minimum student
  325  attendance requirements as provided in s. 1003.21.
  326         (b) Use the program funds only for authorized purposes, as
  327  described in subsection (5).
  328         (c) Affirm that the student takes all appropriate
  329  standardized assessments as specified in the student’s IEP. The
  330  parent is responsible for transporting the student to the
  331  assessment site designated by the school district.
  332         (d) Request participation in the program at least 60 days
  333  before the date of the first program payment.
  334         (e) Affirm that the student remains in good standing with
  335  the provider or school if those options are selected by the
  336  parent.
  337         (f) Apply for admission of his or her child if the private
  338  school option is selected by the parent.
  339         (g) Annually renew participation in the program.
  340  Notwithstanding any changes to the student’s IEP, a student who
  341  was previously eligible for participation in the program shall
  342  remain eligible to apply for renewal as provided in subsection
  343  (6).
  344         (h) Designate in writing the authorized financial
  345  institution to receive payment of program funds and maintain a
  346  separate personalized account for learning at that institution.
  347         (i) Affirm that the parent will not transfer any college
  348  savings funds to another beneficiary.
  349         (j)Affirm that the parent will not take possession of any
  350  funding contributed by the state.
  351         (k) Maintain a portfolio of records and materials which
  352  must be preserved by the parent for 2 years and be made
  353  available for inspection by the district school superintendent
  354  or the superintendent’s designee upon 15 days’ written notice.
  355  This paragraph does not require the superintendent to inspect
  356  the portfolio. The portfolio of records and materials consists
  357  of:
  358         1. A log of educational instruction and services which is
  359  made contemporaneously with delivery of the instruction and
  360  services and which designates by title any reading materials
  361  used; and
  362         2. Samples of any writings, worksheets, workbooks, or
  363  creative materials used or developed by the student.
  365  A parent who fails to comply with this subsection forfeits the
  366  personalized account for learning.
  367         (11) FUNDING AND PAYMENT.—
  368         (a)1. The maximum funding amount granted for an eligible
  369  student with a disability, pursuant to subsection (3), shall be
  370  equivalent to the base student allocation in the Florida
  371  Education Finance Program multiplied by the appropriate cost
  372  factor for the educational program which would have been
  373  provided for the student in the district school to which he or
  374  she would have been assigned, multiplied by the district cost
  375  differential.
  376         2. In addition, an amount equivalent to a share of the
  377  guaranteed allocation for exceptional students in the Florida
  378  Education Finance Program shall be determined and added to the
  379  amount in subparagraph 1. The calculation shall be based on the
  380  methodology and the data used to calculate the guaranteed
  381  allocation for exceptional students for each district in chapter
  382  2000-166, Laws of Florida. Except as provided in subparagraph
  383  3., the calculation shall be based on the student’s grade, the
  384  matrix level of services, and the difference between the 2000
  385  2001 basic program and the appropriate level of services cost
  386  factor, multiplied by the 2000-2001 base student allocation and
  387  the 2000-2001 district cost differential for the sending
  388  district. The calculated amount must also include an amount
  389  equivalent to the per-student share of supplemental academic
  390  instruction funds, instructional materials funds, technology
  391  funds, and other categorical funds as provided in the General
  392  Appropriations Act.
  393         3. Until the school district completes the matrix required
  394  under paragraph (7)(b), the calculation shall be based on the
  395  matrix that assigns the student to support level 3 of services.
  396  When the school district completes the matrix, the amount of the
  397  payment shall be adjusted as needed.
  398         (b) The amount of the awarded funds shall be 90 percent of
  399  the calculated amount.
  400         (c) The school district shall report all students who are
  401  participating in the program. The participating students who
  402  have previously been included in the Florida Education Finance
  403  Program and are included in public school enrollment counts
  404  shall be reported separately from other students reported for
  405  purposes of the Florida Education Finance Program. Participating
  406  students who have been enrolled in nonpublic schools shall also
  407  be reported separately.
  408         (d) Following notification on July 1, September 1, December
  409  1, or February 1 of the number of program participants:
  410         1. For students who have been enrolled in public schools
  411  and are included in public school enrollment counts, the
  412  department shall transfer, from General Revenue funds only, the
  413  amount of the awarded program funds calculated pursuant to
  414  paragraph (b) from the school district’s total funding
  415  entitlement under the Florida Education Finance Program and from
  416  authorized categorical accounts to a separate account for the
  417  program for quarterly disbursement to the personalized account
  418  for learning at an authorized financial institution on behalf of
  419  the parent and student; and
  420         2. For students who have been and will continue to be
  421  enrolled in nonpublic schools, the department shall also
  422  transfer from an appropriation for the program the amount
  423  calculated under paragraph (b) to a separate account for the
  424  program for quarterly disbursement to the personalized account
  425  for learning at an authorized financial institution on behalf of
  426  the parent and student. Nonpublic school students shall be
  427  provided awarded funds on a first-come, first-served basis.
  428         (e) When a student enters the program, the department must
  429  receive, at least 30 days before the first quarterly program
  430  payment is made to the personalized account for learning for the
  431  student, all documentation required for the student’s
  432  participation in the program.
  433         (f) Upon notification by the department that it has
  434  received the documentation required under paragraph (d), the
  435  department shall make payments in four equal amounts no later
  436  than September 1, November 1, February 1, and April 1 of each
  437  academic year in which the awarded funds are in force. The
  438  initial payment shall be made after department verification of
  439  the establishment of the personalized account for learning at an
  440  authorized financial institution, and subsequent payments shall
  441  be made upon verification of parental obligations under
  442  subsection (10). Payment must be by individual warrant made
  443  payable to the personalized account for learning on behalf of
  444  the parent and student. The authorized financial institution
  445  shall mail or electronically process payments as directed by the
  446  parent for authorized uses.
  447         (g) Subsequent to each payment, the department shall
  448  request from the Department of Financial Services a sample of
  449  payments from the authorized financial institution for
  450  authorized uses to endorsed warrants to review and confirm
  451  compliance with this section.
  452         (h) Upon an eligible student’s graduation from an eligible
  453  postsecondary educational institution or after any period of 4
  454  consecutive years after high school graduation in which the
  455  student is not enrolled in an eligible postsecondary educational
  456  institution, the student’s personalized account for learning
  457  shall be closed, and any remaining funds shall revert to the
  458  state.
  459         (i) The department shall make payments to fund personalized
  460  accounts for learning at the authorized financial institution
  461  pursuant to this section.
  462         (j) The department shall develop a system for payment of
  463  benefits by electronic funds transfer, including, but not
  464  limited to, debit cards, electronic payment cards, or any other
  465  means of electronic payment that the department deems to be
  466  commercially viable or cost-effective. Commodities or services
  467  related to the development of such a system shall be procured by
  468  competitive solicitation unless they are purchased from a state
  469  term contract pursuant to s. 287.056. The State Board of
  470  Education shall adopt rules to administer this paragraph.
  471         (k) The department shall require audits of the authorized
  472  financial institution’s personalized accounts for learning
  473  pursuant to this section. The Chief Financial Officer shall
  474  conduct audits pursuant to this section.
  475         (12) LIABILITY.—The state is not liable for the award or
  476  any use of awarded funds under this section.
  477         (13) SCOPE OF AUTHORITY.—This section does not expand the
  478  regulatory authority of this state, its officers, or any school
  479  district to impose additional regulation on participating
  480  private schools, nonpublic postsecondary educational
  481  institutions, and private providers beyond those reasonably
  482  necessary to enforce requirements expressly set forth in this
  483  section.
  484         (14) RULES.—The State Board of Education shall adopt rules
  485  pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to administer this
  486  section. The rules must identify the appropriate school district
  487  personnel who must complete the matrix of services.
  488         Section 2. Present subsection (10) of section 1003.4282,
  489  Florida Statutes, is renumbered as subsection (11), and a new
  490  subsection (10) is added to that section, to read:
  491         1003.4282 Requirements for a standard high school diploma.—
  492         (10) STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES.—Beginning with students
  493  entering grade 9 in the 2014-2015 school year, this subsection
  494  applies to a student with an intellectual or cognitive
  495  disability for whom the IEP team has determined that the Florida
  496  Alternate Assessment is the most appropriate measure of the
  497  student’s skills.
  498         (a) A parent of the student with a disability shall, in
  499  collaboration with the individual education plan team pursuant
  500  to s. 1003.5716, declare an intent for the student to graduate
  501  from high school with either a standard high school diploma or a
  502  certificate of completion. A student with a disability who does
  503  not satisfy the standard high school diploma requirements
  504  pursuant to this section shall be awarded a certificate of
  505  completion.
  506         (b) The following options, in addition to the other options
  507  specified in this section, may be used to satisfy the standard
  508  high school diploma requirements, as specified in the student’s
  509  individual education plan:
  510         1.A combination of course substitutions, assessments,
  511  industry certifications, and other acceleration options
  512  appropriate to the student’s unique skills and abilities that
  513  meet the criteria established by State Board of Education rule.
  514         2.A portfolio of quantifiable evidence that documents a
  515  student’s mastery of academic standards through rigorous metrics
  516  established by State Board of Education rule. A portfolio may
  517  include, but is not limited to, documentation of work
  518  experience, internships, community service, and postsecondary
  519  credit.
  520         (c)A student with a disability who meets the standard high
  521  school diploma requirements in this section may defer the
  522  receipt of a standard high school diploma if the student:
  523         1.Has an individual education plan that prescribes special
  524  education, transition planning, transition services, or related
  525  services through age 21; and
  526         2.Is enrolled in accelerated college credit instruction
  527  pursuant to s. 1007.27, industry certification courses that lead
  528  to college credit, a collegiate high school program, courses
  529  necessary to satisfy the Scholar designation requirements, or a
  530  structured work-study, internship, or pre-apprenticeship
  531  program.
  532         (d)A student with a disability who receives a certificate
  533  of completion and has an individual education plan that
  534  prescribes special education, transition planning, transition
  535  services, or related services through 21 years of age may
  536  continue to receive the specified instruction and services.
  537         (e)Any waiver of the statewide, standardized assessment
  538  requirements by the individual education plan team, pursuant to
  539  s. 1008.22(3)(c), must be approved by the parent and is subject
  540  to verification for appropriateness by an independent reviewer
  541  selected by the parent as provided for in s. 1003.572.
  542         Section 3. Effective July 1, 2015, section 1003.438,
  543  Florida Statutes, is repealed.
  544         Section 4. Section 1003.5716, Florida Statutes, is created
  545  to read:
  546         1003.5716 Transition to postsecondary education and career
  547  opportunities.—All students with disabilities who are 3 years of
  548  age to 21 years of age have the right to a free, appropriate
  549  public education. As used in this section, the term “IEP” means
  550  individual education plan.
  551         (1)To ensure quality planning for a successful transition
  552  of a student with a disability to postsecondary education and
  553  career opportunities, an IEP team shall begin the process of,
  554  and develop an IEP for, identifying the need for transition
  555  services before the student with a disability attains the age of
  556  14 years in order for his or her postsecondary goals and career
  557  goals to be identified and in place when he or she attains the
  558  age of 16 years. This process must include, but is not limited
  559  to:
  560         (a) Consideration of the student’s need for instruction in
  561  the area of self-determination and self-advocacy to assist the
  562  student’s active and effective participation in an IEP meeting;
  563  and
  564         (b) Preparation for the student to graduate from high
  565  school with a standard high school diploma pursuant to s.
  566  1003.4282 with a Scholar designation unless the parent chooses a
  567  Merit designation.
  568         (2)Beginning not later than the first IEP to be in effect
  569  when the student turns 16, or younger, if determined appropriate
  570  by the parent and the IEP team, the IEP must include the
  571  following statements that must be updated annually:
  572         (a) A statement of intent to pursue a standard high school
  573  diploma and a Scholar or Merit designation, pursuant to s.
  574  1003.4285, as determined by the parent.
  575         (b) A statement of intent to receive a standard high school
  576  diploma before the student reaches the age of 22 and a
  577  description of how the student will fully meet the requirements
  578  in s. 1003.428 or s. 1003.4282, as applicable, including, but
  579  not limited to, a portfolio pursuant to s. 1003.4282(10)(b) that
  580  meets the criteria specified in State Board of Education rule.
  581  The IEP must also specify the outcomes and additional benefits
  582  expected by the parent and the IEP team at the time of the
  583  student’s graduation.
  584         (c)A statement of appropriate measurable long-term
  585  postsecondary education and career goals based upon age
  586  appropriate transition assessments related to training,
  587  education, employment, and, if appropriate, independent living
  588  skills and the transition services, including courses of study
  589  needed to assist the student in reaching those goals.
  590         (3) Any change in the IEP for the goals specified in
  591  subsection (2) must be approved by the parent and is subject to
  592  verification for appropriateness by an independent reviewer
  593  selected by the parent as provided in s. 1003.572.
  594         (4)If a participating agency responsible for transition
  595  services, other than the school district, fails to provide the
  596  transition services described in the IEP, the school district
  597  shall reconvene the IEP team to identify alternative strategies
  598  to meet the transition objectives for the student that are
  599  specified in the IEP. However, this does not relieve any
  600  participating agency of the responsibility to provide or pay for
  601  any transition service that the agency would otherwise provide
  602  to students with disabilities who meet the eligibility criteria
  603  of that agency.
  604         Section 5. Subsection (3) of section 1003.572, Florida
  605  Statutes, is amended to read:
  606         1003.572 Collaboration of public and private instructional
  607  personnel.—
  608         (3) Private instructional personnel who are hired or
  609  contracted by parents to collaborate with public instructional
  610  personnel must be permitted to observe the student in the
  611  educational setting, collaborate with instructional personnel in
  612  the educational setting, and provide services in the educational
  613  setting according to the following requirements:
  614         (a) The student’s public instructional personnel and
  615  principal consent to the time and place.
  616         (b) The private instructional personnel satisfy the
  617  requirements of s. 1012.32 or s. 1012.321.
  619  For the purpose of implementing this subsection, a school
  620  district may not impose any requirements beyond those
  621  requirements specified in this subsection or charge any fees.
  622         Section 6. Section 1008.2121, Florida Statutes, is created
  623  to read:
  624         1008.2121 Students with severe cognitive or physical
  625  disabilities; permanent exemption.—Based on information that a
  626  reasonably prudent person would rely upon, including, but not
  627  limited to, facts contained within an individual education plan
  628  under s. 1008.212, documentation from an appropriate health care
  629  provider, or certification from the district school board
  630  superintendent, the Commissioner of Education shall
  631  perfunctorily grant a permanent exemption to a student who
  632  suffers from such a severe cognitive disability or physical
  633  disability that the student permanently lacks the capacity to
  634  take statewide, standardized assessments. The State Board of
  635  Education shall adopt rules to administer this section,
  636  including, but not limited to, expediting the exemption process
  637  to demonstrate the utmost compassion and consideration for
  638  meeting the parent’s and student’s needs.
  639         Section 7. Paragraph (c) of subsection (5) and paragraph
  640  (b) of subsection (6) of section 1008.25, Florida Statutes, are
  641  amended to read:
  642         1008.25 Public school student progression; remedial
  643  instruction; reporting requirements.—
  645         (c) The parent of any student who exhibits a substantial
  646  deficiency in reading, as described in paragraph (a), must be
  647  notified in writing of the following:
  648         1. That his or her child has been identified as having a
  649  substantial deficiency in reading.
  650         2. A description of the current services that are provided
  651  to the child.
  652         3. A description of the proposed supplemental instructional
  653  services and supports that will be provided to the child that
  654  are designed to remediate the identified area of reading
  655  deficiency.
  656         4. That if the child’s reading deficiency is not remediated
  657  by the end of grade 3, the child must be retained unless he or
  658  she is exempt from mandatory retention for good cause.
  659         5. Strategies for parents to use in helping their child
  660  succeed in reading proficiency.
  661         6. That the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) is
  662  not the sole determiner of promotion and that additional
  663  evaluations, portfolio reviews, and assessments are available to
  664  the child to assist parents and the school district in knowing
  665  when a child is reading at or above grade level and ready for
  666  grade promotion.
  667         7. The district’s specific criteria and policies for a
  668  portfolio as provided in subparagraph (6)(b)4. and the evidence
  669  required for a student to demonstrate mastery of Florida’s
  670  academic standards for English Language Arts. A parent of a
  671  student in grade 3 who is identified anytime during the year as
  672  being at risk of retention may request that the school
  673  immediately begin collecting evidence for a portfolio.
  674         8.7. The district’s specific criteria and policies for
  675  midyear promotion. Midyear promotion means promotion of a
  676  retained student at any time during the year of retention once
  677  the student has demonstrated ability to read at grade level.
  679         (b) The district school board may only exempt students from
  680  mandatory retention, as provided in paragraph (5)(b), for good
  681  cause. A student who is promoted to grade 4 with a good cause
  682  exemption shall be provided intensive reading instruction and
  683  intervention that include specialized diagnostic information and
  684  specific reading strategies to meet the needs of each student so
  685  promoted. The school district shall assist schools and teachers
  686  with the implementation of reading strategies for students
  687  promoted with a good cause exemption which research has shown to
  688  be successful in improving reading among students that have
  689  reading difficulties. Good cause exemptions shall be limited to
  690  the following:
  691         1. Limited English proficient students who have had less
  692  than 2 years of instruction in an English for Speakers of Other
  693  Languages program.
  694         2. Students with disabilities whose individual education
  695  plan indicates that participation in the statewide assessment
  696  program is not appropriate, consistent with the requirements of
  697  State Board of Education rule.
  698         3. Students who demonstrate an acceptable level of
  699  performance on an alternative standardized reading or English
  700  Language Arts assessment approved by the State Board of
  701  Education.
  702         4. A student who demonstrates through a student portfolio
  703  that he or she is performing at least at Level 2 on FCAT Reading
  704  or the common core English Language Arts assessment, as
  705  applicable under s. 1008.22.
  706         5. Students with disabilities who participate in FCAT
  707  Reading or the common core English Language Arts assessment, as
  708  applicable under s. 1008.22, and who have an individual
  709  education plan or a Section 504 plan that reflects that the
  710  student has received intensive remediation in reading and
  711  English Language Arts for more than 2 years but still
  712  demonstrates a deficiency and was previously retained in
  713  kindergarten, grade 1, grade 2, or grade 3.
  714         6. Students who have received intensive reading
  715  intervention for 2 or more years but still demonstrate a
  716  deficiency in reading and who were previously retained in
  717  kindergarten, grade 1, grade 2, or grade 3 for a total of 2
  718  years. A student may not be retained more than once in grade 3.
  719         7.6. Students who have received intensive remediation in
  720  reading and English Language Arts, as applicable under s.
  721  1008.22, for 2 or more years but still demonstrate a deficiency
  722  and who were previously retained in kindergarten, grade 1, grade
  723  2, or grade 3 for a total of 2 years. Intensive instruction for
  724  students so promoted must include an altered instructional day
  725  that includes specialized diagnostic information and specific
  726  reading strategies for each student. The district school board
  727  shall assist schools and teachers to implement reading
  728  strategies that research has shown to be successful in improving
  729  reading among low-performing readers.
  730         Section 8. Effective July 1, 2015, paragraph (c) of
  731  subsection (1) of section 120.81, Florida Statutes, is amended
  732  to read:
  733         120.81 Exceptions and special requirements; general areas.—
  734         (1) EDUCATIONAL UNITS.—
  735         (c) Notwithstanding s. 120.52(16), any tests, test scoring
  736  criteria, or testing procedures relating to student assessment
  737  which are developed or administered by the Department of
  738  Education pursuant to s. 1003.428, s. 1003.429, s. 1003.438, s.
  739  1008.22, or s. 1008.25, or any other statewide educational tests
  740  required by law, are not rules.
  741         Section 9. Effective July 1, 2015, subsection (2) of
  742  section 409.1451, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  743         409.1451 The Road-to-Independence Program.—
  745         (a) A young adult is eligible for services and support
  746  under this subsection if he or she:
  747         1. Was living in licensed care on his or her 18th birthday
  748  or is currently living in licensed care; or was at least 16
  749  years of age and was adopted from foster care or placed with a
  750  court-approved dependency guardian after spending at least 6
  751  months in licensed care within the 12 months immediately
  752  preceding such placement or adoption;
  753         2. Spent at least 6 months in licensed care before reaching
  754  his or her 18th birthday;
  755         3. Earned a standard high school diploma or its equivalent
  756  pursuant to s. 1003.428, s. 1003.4281, s. 1003.429, or s.
  757  1003.435, or s. 1003.438;
  758         4. Has been admitted for enrollment as a full-time student
  759  or its equivalent in an eligible postsecondary educational
  760  institution as provided in s. 1009.533. For purposes of this
  761  section, the term “full-time” means 9 credit hours or the
  762  vocational school equivalent. A student may enroll part-time if
  763  he or she has a recognized disability or is faced with another
  764  challenge or circumstance that would prevent full-time
  765  attendance. A student needing to enroll part-time for any reason
  766  other than having a recognized disability must get approval from
  767  his or her academic advisor;
  768         5. Has reached 18 years of age but is not yet 23 years of
  769  age;
  770         6. Has applied, with assistance from the young adult’s
  771  caregiver and the community-based lead agency, for any other
  772  grants and scholarships for which he or she may qualify;
  773         7. Submitted a Free Application for Federal Student Aid
  774  which is complete and error free; and
  775         8. Signed an agreement to allow the department and the
  776  community-based care lead agency access to school records.
  777         Section 10. Effective July 1, 2015, subsection (4) of
  778  section 1007.263, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  779         1007.263 Florida College System institutions; admissions of
  780  students.—Each Florida College System institution board of
  781  trustees is authorized to adopt rules governing admissions of
  782  students subject to this section and rules of the State Board of
  783  Education. These rules shall include the following:
  784         (4) A student who has been awarded a special diploma as
  785  defined in s. 1003.438 or a certificate of completion as defined
  786  in s. 1003.428(7)(b) is eligible to enroll in certificate career
  787  education programs.
  789  Each board of trustees shall establish policies that notify
  790  students about developmental education options for improving
  791  their communication or computation skills that are essential to
  792  performing college-level work, including tutoring, extended time
  793  in gateway courses, free online courses, adult basic education,
  794  adult secondary education, or private provider instruction.
  795         Section 11. Except as otherwise expressly provided in this
  796  act, this act shall take effect July 1, 2014.
  798  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
  799  And the title is amended as follows:
  800         Delete everything before the enacting clause
  801  and insert:
  802                        A bill to be entitled                      
  803         An act relating to students with disabilities;
  804         creating s. 1002.385, F.S.; establishing the Florida
  805         Personalized Accounts for Learning; defining terms;
  806         specifying criteria for students who are eligible to
  807         participate in the program; identifying certain
  808         students who are not eligible to participate in the
  809         program; authorizing the use of awarded funds for
  810         specific purposes; prohibiting specific providers,
  811         schools, institutions, school districts, and other
  812         entities from sharing, refunding, or rebating program
  813         funds; specifying the terms of the program; requiring
  814         a school district to notify the parent regarding the
  815         option to participate in the program; specifying the
  816         school district’s responsibilities for completing a
  817         matrix of services and notifying the Department of
  818         Education of the completion of the matrix; requiring
  819         the department to notify the parent regarding the
  820         amount of the awarded funds; authorizing the school
  821         district to change the matrix under certain
  822         circumstances; requiring the school district in which
  823         a student resides to provide locations and times to
  824         take all statewide assessments; requiring the school
  825         district to notify parents of the availability of a
  826         reevaluation; specifying the duties of the Department
  827         of Education relating to the program; requiring the
  828         Commissioner of Education to deny, suspend, or revoke
  829         participation in the program or use of program funds
  830         under certain circumstances; providing additional
  831         factors under which the commissioner may deny,
  832         suspend, or revoke a participation in the program or
  833         program funds; requiring a parent to sign an agreement
  834         with the Department of Education to enroll his or her
  835         child in the program which specifies the
  836         responsibilities of a parent or student for using
  837         funds in an account and for submitting a compliance
  838         statement to the department; providing that a parent
  839         who fails to comply with the responsibilities of the
  840         agreement forfeits the personalized account for
  841         learning; providing for funding and payments;
  842         requiring the department to request from the
  843         Department of Financial Services a sample of payments
  844         from the authorized financial institution for
  845         specified purposes; providing for the closing of a
  846         student’s account and reversion of funds to the state;
  847         requiring the department to make payments to the
  848         personalized accounts for learning at the authorized
  849         financial institution, select an authorized financial
  850         institution through a competitive bidding process to
  851         administer the personalized accounts for learning, and
  852         require audits of the authorized financial
  853         institution’s personalized accounts for learning;
  854         requiring the Chief Financial Officer to conduct
  855         audits; providing that the state is not liable for the
  856         award or use of awarded funds; providing for the scope
  857         of authority of the act; requiring the State Board of
  858         Education to adopt rules to administer the program;
  859         requiring the Chief Financial Officer to conduct
  860         audits; amending s. 1003.4282, F.S.; providing
  861         standard high school diploma requirements for certain
  862         students with an intellectual disability or cognitive
  863         disability; authorizing certain students with
  864         disabilities to continue to receive certain
  865         instructions and services; requiring an independent
  866         review and a parent’s approval to waive statewide,
  867         standardized assessment requirements by the IEP team;
  868         repealing s. 1003.438, F.S., relating to special high
  869         school graduation requirements for certain exceptional
  870         students; creating s. 1003.5716, F.S.; providing that
  871         certain students with disabilities have a right to
  872         free, appropriate public education; requiring an
  873         individual education plan (IEP) team to begin the
  874         process of, and to develop an IEP for, identifying
  875         transition services needs for a student with a
  876         disability before the student attains a specified age;
  877         providing requirements for the process; requiring
  878         certain statements to be included and annually updated
  879         in the IEP; providing that changes in the goals
  880         specified in an IEP are subject to independent review
  881         and parental approval; requiring the school district
  882         to reconvene the IEP team to identify alternative
  883         strategies to meet transition objectives if a
  884         participating agency fails to provide transition
  885         services specified in the IEP; providing that the
  886         agency’s failure does not relieve the agency of the
  887         responsibility to provide or pay for the transition
  888         services that the agency otherwise would have
  889         provided; amending s. 1003.572, F.S.; prohibiting a
  890         school district from charging fees or imposing
  891         additional requirements on private instructional
  892         personnel; creating s. 1008.2121, F.S.; requiring the
  893         Commissioner of Education to permanently exempt
  894         certain students with disabilities from taking
  895         statewide, standardized assessments; requiring the
  896         State Board of Education to adopt rules; amending s.
  897         1008.25, F.S.; requiring written notification relating
  898         to portfolios to a parent of a student with a
  899         substantial reading deficiency; requiring a student
  900         promoted to a certain grade with a good cause
  901         exemption to receive intensive reading instruction and
  902         intervention; requiring a school district to assist
  903         schools and teachers with the implementation of
  904         reading strategies; revising good cause exemptions;
  905         amending ss. 120.81, 409.1451, and 1007.263, F.S.;
  906         conforming cross-references; providing effective
  907         dates.