Florida Senate - 2019                                     SB 506
       By Senator Rouson
       19-01012A-19                                           2019506__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to the high school equivalency diploma
    3         program; amending s. 1003.435, F.S.; providing
    4         additional qualifications for the award of a high
    5         school equivalency diploma to students who meet
    6         specified criteria relating to high school graduation
    7         requirements; conforming provisions to changes made by
    8         the act; providing an effective date.
   10  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   12         Section 1. Section 1003.435, Florida Statutes, is amended
   13  to read:
   14         1003.435 High school equivalency diploma program.—
   15         (1) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules that
   16  prescribe performance standards and provide for comprehensive
   17  examinations to be administered to candidates for high school
   18  equivalency diplomas. Such rules shall include, but are not
   19  limited to, provisions for fees, frequency of examinations, and
   20  procedures for retaking an examination upon unsatisfactory
   21  performance.
   22         (2) The department may award high school equivalency
   23  diplomas to candidates who meet the performance standards
   24  prescribed by the State Board of Education by passing the high
   25  school equivalency diploma examinations and the subject area
   26  examinations or, for those candidates who failed to pass the
   27  assessments required under s. 1008.22(3), by:
   28         (a)Earning the 24 credits required under s. 1003.4282, or
   29  the 18 credits required under s. 1002.3105(5), for a standard
   30  high school diploma, and achieving a 2.5 grade point average
   31  while enrolled in high school; or
   32         (b)Earning the 24 credits required under s. 1003.4282, or
   33  the 18 credits required under s. 1002.3105(5), for a standard
   34  high school diploma, achieving a 2.0 grade point average, and
   35  earning an industry certification while enrolled in high school.
   36         (3) Each district school board shall offer and administer
   37  the high school equivalency diploma examinations and the subject
   38  area examinations to all candidates pursuant to rules of the
   39  State Board of Education.
   40         (4) A candidate for a high school equivalency diploma shall
   41  be at least 18 years of age on the date of the examination or,
   42  for those candidates seeking a diploma under paragraph (2)(a) or
   43  paragraph (2)(b), 17 years of age, except that in extraordinary
   44  circumstances, as provided for in rules of the district school
   45  board of the district in which the candidate resides or attends
   46  school, a candidate may take the examination after reaching the
   47  age of 16.
   48         (5) Each district school board shall develop, in
   49  cooperation with the area Florida College System institution
   50  board of trustees, a plan for the provision of advanced
   51  instruction for those students who meet the requirements of
   52  paragraph (2)(a) or paragraph (2)(b), who attain satisfactory
   53  performance on the high school equivalency examination or the
   54  subject area examinations, or who demonstrate through other
   55  means a readiness to engage in postsecondary-level academic
   56  work. The plan shall include provisions for the equitable
   57  distribution of generated funds to cover personnel, maintenance,
   58  and other costs of offering the advanced instruction. Priority
   59  shall be given to programs of advanced instruction offered in
   60  high school facilities.
   61         (6) All high school equivalency diplomas issued under the
   62  provisions of this section shall have equal status with other
   63  high school diplomas for all state purposes, including admission
   64  to any state university or Florida College System institution.
   65         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2019.