Florida Senate - 2022                                    SB 2524
       By the Committee on Appropriations
       576-02896-22                                          20222524__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to education; amending s. 1002.394,
    3         F.S.; revising the maximum number of students for whom
    4         scholarships are established under the Family
    5         Empowerment Scholarship Program, beginning in
    6         specified school years; repealing s. 1002.411, F.S.,
    7         relating to reading scholarship accounts; amending s.
    8         1002.995, F.S.; requiring the Department of Education
    9         to provide incentives to school readiness personnel
   10         and prekindergarten instructors who meet specified
   11         requirements, subject to the appropriation of funds
   12         for that purpose; amending s. 1007.271, F.S.; revising
   13         requirements for materials assigned for use within
   14         dual enrollment courses; deleting a requirement that
   15         certain students be responsible for their own
   16         instructional materials as a prerequisite to
   17         participation in the dual enrollment program;
   18         requiring that private school articulation agreements
   19         entered into by public postsecondary institutions
   20         eligible to participate in the dual enrollment program
   21         include a provision specifying the private school’s
   22         payment obligation for certain dual enrollment
   23         courses; creating s. 1007.36, F.S.; creating the
   24         Inclusive Transition and Employment Management
   25         Program; providing the purpose of the program;
   26         creating s. 1008.3651, F.S.; providing a legislative
   27         finding; creating the Seal of Excellence in Advancing
   28         Literacy; providing the purpose of the seal; requiring
   29         the State Board of Education to adopt rules by a
   30         specified date; establishing the criteria for earning
   31         the seal; specifying requirements for such criteria;
   32         requiring that schools that meet the criteria receive
   33         financial awards, subject to the availability of
   34         funds; specifying how awards must be distributed;
   35         specifying allowable uses of awards; providing that
   36         awards are not subject to collective bargaining;
   37         amending s. 1009.30, F.S.; revising the criteria for
   38         reimbursement of eligible postsecondary institutions
   39         for tuition and related instructional materials costs
   40         for dual enrollment courses; revising participating
   41         institution reporting requirements under the program;
   42         requiring the department to reimburse each
   43         participating institution within a specified
   44         timeframe; amending s. 1011.48, F.S.; revising the
   45         manner in which certain fees charged by educational
   46         research centers for child development are determined;
   47         amending s. 1011.62, F.S.; revising full-time
   48         equivalent student membership amounts for purposes
   49         related to the sparsity supplement under the Florida
   50         Education Finance Program; revising the requirements
   51         of the evidence-based reading instruction allocation
   52         under the Florida Education Finance Program; defining
   53         the term “supervision”; conforming provisions to
   54         changes made by the act; creating s. 1012.5861, F.S.;
   55         providing a legislative finding; requiring the
   56         department to create a statewide early literacy micro
   57         credential focused on certain readers; authorizing
   58         district school boards and lab school boards of
   59         trustees to use certain programs; providing for
   60         reciprocity for micro-credentials; requiring that
   61         charter schools are provided access to all approved
   62         micro-credentials; requiring the department to make
   63         the micro-credential available to certain persons by a
   64         specified date; specifying the requirements for the
   65         micro-credential; requiring the state board to adopt
   66         rules; amending s. 1003.621, F.S.; conforming a cross
   67         reference; providing an effective date.
   69  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   71         Section 1. Paragraph (b) of subsection (12) of section
   72  1002.394, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
   73         1002.394 The Family Empowerment Scholarship Program.—
   75         (b)1. Scholarships for students determined eligible
   76  pursuant to paragraph (3)(b) are established for up to 26,500
   77  20,000 students annually beginning in the 2022-2023 2021-2022
   78  school year. Beginning in the 2023-2024 2022-2023 school year,
   79  the maximum number of students participating in the scholarship
   80  program under this section shall annually increase by 1.0
   81  percent of the state’s total exceptional student education full
   82  time equivalent student enrollment, not including gifted
   83  students. An eligible student who meets any of the following
   84  requirements shall be excluded from the maximum number of
   85  students if the student:
   86         a. Received specialized instructional services under the
   87  Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program pursuant to s.
   88  1002.66 during the previous school year and the student has a
   89  current IEP developed by the local school board in accordance
   90  with rules of the State Board of Education;
   91         b. Is a dependent child of a member of the United States
   92  Armed Forces, a foster child, or an adopted child;
   93         c. Spent the prior school year in attendance at a Florida
   94  public school or the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind.
   95  For purposes of this subparagraph, the term “prior school year
   96  in attendance” means that the student was enrolled and reported
   97  by:
   98         (I) A school district for funding during either the
   99  preceding October or February Florida Education Finance Program
  100  surveys in kindergarten through grade 12, which includes time
  101  spent in a Department of Juvenile Justice commitment program if
  102  funded under the Florida Education Finance Program;
  103         (II) The Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind during
  104  the preceding October or February student membership surveys in
  105  kindergarten through grade 12;
  106         (III) A school district for funding during the preceding
  107  October or February Florida Education Finance Program surveys,
  108  was at least 4 years of age when enrolled and reported, and was
  109  eligible for services under s. 1003.21(1)(e); or
  110         (IV) Received a John M. McKay Scholarship for Students with
  111  Disabilities in the 2021-2022 school year.
  112         2. For a student who has a Level I to Level III matrix of
  113  services or a diagnosis by a physician or psychologist, the
  114  calculated scholarship amount for a student participating in the
  115  program must be based upon the grade level and school district
  116  in which the student would have been enrolled as the total funds
  117  per unweighted full-time equivalent in the Florida Education
  118  Finance Program for a student in the basic exceptional student
  119  education program pursuant to s. 1011.62(1)(c)1. and (e)1.c.,
  120  plus a per full-time equivalent share of funds for all
  121  categorical programs, as funded in the General Appropriations
  122  Act, except that for the exceptional student education
  123  guaranteed allocation as provided in s. 1011.62(1)(e)1.c. and
  124  2., the funds must be allocated based on the school district’s
  125  average exceptional student education guaranteed allocation
  126  funds per exceptional student education full-time equivalent
  127  student.
  128         3. For a student with a Level IV or Level V matrix of
  129  services, the calculated scholarship amount must be based upon
  130  the school district to which the student would have been
  131  assigned as the total funds per full-time equivalent for the
  132  Level IV or Level V exceptional student education program
  133  pursuant to s. 1011.62(1)(c)2.a. or b., plus a per-full time
  134  equivalent share of funds for all categorical programs, as
  135  funded in the General Appropriations Act.
  136         4. For a student who received a Gardiner Scholarship
  137  pursuant to s. 1002.385 in the 2020-2021 school year, the amount
  138  shall be the greater of the amount calculated pursuant to
  139  subparagraph 2. or the amount the student received for the 2020
  140  2021 school year.
  141         5. For a student who received a John M. McKay Scholarship
  142  pursuant to s. 1002.39 in the 2020-2021 school year, the amount
  143  shall be the greater of the amount calculated pursuant to
  144  subparagraph 2. or the amount the student received for the 2020
  145  2021 school year.
  146         6. Upon notification from an organization on July 1,
  147  September 1, December 1, and February 1 that an application has
  148  been approved for the program, the department shall verify that
  149  the student is not prohibited from receiving a scholarship
  150  pursuant to subsection (6). The organization must provide the
  151  department with the documentation necessary to verify the
  152  student’s participation.
  153         7. Upon verification, the department shall release, from
  154  state funds only, the student’s scholarship funds to the
  155  organization, to be deposited into the student’s account in four
  156  equal amounts no later than September 1, November 1, February 1,
  157  and April 1 of each school year in which the scholarship is in
  158  force.
  159         8. Accrued interest in the student’s account is in addition
  160  to, and not part of, the awarded funds. Program funds include
  161  both the awarded funds and accrued interest.
  162         9. The organization may develop a system for payment of
  163  benefits by funds transfer, including, but not limited to, debit
  164  cards, electronic payment cards, or any other means of payment
  165  which the department deems to be commercially viable or cost
  166  effective. A student’s scholarship award may not be reduced for
  167  debit card or electronic payment fees. Commodities or services
  168  related to the development of such a system must be procured by
  169  competitive solicitation unless they are purchased from a state
  170  term contract pursuant to s. 287.056.
  171         10. Moneys received pursuant to this section do not
  172  constitute taxable income to the qualified student or the parent
  173  of the qualified student.
  174         Section 2. Section 1002.411, Florida Statutes, is repealed.
  175         Section 3. Paragraph (c) is added to subsection (1) of
  176  section 1002.995, Florida Statutes, to read:
  177         1002.995 Early learning professional development standards
  178  and career pathways.—
  179         (1) The department shall:
  180         (c) Subject to the appropriation of funds by the
  181  Legislature, provide incentives to school readiness personnel
  182  who meet the requirements of s. 1002.88(1)(e) and
  183  prekindergarten instructors who meet the requirements specified
  184  in s. 1002.55, s. 1002.61, or s. 1002.63 and who possess a
  185  reading certification or endorsement or an early literacy micro
  186  credential as specified in s. 1012.5861 and teach students in
  187  the school readiness program or the voluntary prekindergarten
  188  education program.
  189         Section 4. Subsections (17) and (24) of section 1007.271,
  190  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  191         1007.271 Dual enrollment programs.—
  192         (17) Instructional materials assigned for use within dual
  193  enrollment courses shall be made available to dual enrollment
  194  students from Florida public high schools free of charge. A
  195  postsecondary institution may not require payment for
  196  instructional materials costs eligible for reimbursement under
  197  s. 1009.30 This subsection does not prohibit a Florida College
  198  System institution from providing instructional materials at no
  199  cost to a home education student or student from a private
  200  school. Instructional materials purchased by a district school
  201  board or Florida College System institution board of trustees on
  202  behalf of dual enrollment students shall be the property of the
  203  board against which the purchase is charged.
  204         (24)(a) The dual enrollment program for a private school
  205  student consists of the enrollment of an eligible private school
  206  student in a postsecondary course creditable toward an associate
  207  degree, a career certificate, or a baccalaureate degree. In
  208  addition, a private school in which a student, including, but
  209  not limited to, students with disabilities, is enrolled must
  210  award credit toward high school completion for the postsecondary
  211  course under the dual enrollment program. To participate in the
  212  dual enrollment program, an eligible private school student
  213  must:
  214         1. Provide proof of enrollment in a private school pursuant
  215  to subsection (2).
  216         2. Be responsible for his or her own instructional
  217  materials and transportation unless provided for in the
  218  articulation agreement.
  219         3. Sign a private school articulation agreement pursuant to
  220  paragraph (b).
  221         (b) Each public postsecondary institution eligible to
  222  participate in the dual enrollment program pursuant to s.
  223  1011.62(1)(i) must enter into a private school articulation
  224  agreement with each eligible private school in its geographic
  225  service area seeking to offer dual enrollment courses to its
  226  students, including, but not limited to, students with
  227  disabilities. By August 1 of each year, the eligible
  228  postsecondary institution shall complete and submit the private
  229  school articulation agreement to the Department of Education.
  230  The private school articulation agreement must include, at a
  231  minimum:
  232         1. A delineation of courses and programs available to the
  233  private school student. The postsecondary institution may add,
  234  revise, or delete courses and programs at any time.
  235         2. The initial and continued eligibility requirements for
  236  private school student participation, not to exceed those
  237  required of other dual enrollment students.
  238         3. The student’s responsibilities for providing his or her
  239  own instructional materials and transportation.
  240         4. A provision clarifying that the private school will
  241  award appropriate credit toward high school completion for the
  242  postsecondary course under the dual enrollment program.
  243         5. A provision relating to payment for dual enrollment
  244  courses, which must specify that:
  245         a.The private school shall pay an amount specified by the
  246  postsecondary institution for dual enrollment courses taken
  247  during the scheduled school hours of the private school. The
  248  amount charged per credit hour may not exceed the postsecondary
  249  institution standard tuition rate per credit hour; and
  250         b. The private school is not required to pay for dual
  251  enrollment courses taken by its students outside of the
  252  scheduled school hours of the private school, or during the
  253  summer term.
  254         6. A provision expressing that costs associated with
  255  tuition and fees, including registration, and laboratory fees,
  256  will not be passed along to the student.
  257         Section 5. Section 1007.36, Florida Statutes, is created to
  258  read:
  259         1007.36 Inclusive Transition and Employment Management
  260  Program.—As authorized by and consistent with funding
  261  appropriated in the General Appropriations Act, the Inclusive
  262  Transition and Employment Management Program is created for the
  263  purpose of providing young adults with disabilities who are
  264  between the ages of 16 years and 28 years with transitional
  265  skills, education, and on-the-job experience to allow them to
  266  acquire and retain permanent employment.
  267         Section 6. Section 1008.3651, Florida Statutes, is created
  268  to read:
  269         1008.3651 The Seal of Excellence in Advancing Literacy.—
  270         (1) The Legislature finds that there is a need for a
  271  performance incentive program for outstanding faculty and staff
  272  in schools that demonstrate growth in early literacy attainment.
  273         (2) The Seal of Excellence in Advancing Literacy is created
  274  to provide financial awards to public schools, including charter
  275  schools, which demonstrate growth in early literacy. By October
  276  1, 2022, the State Board of Education shall adopt rules
  277  establishing the criteria for earning the seal. The criteria
  278  must include metrics for schools to earn the seal by
  279  demonstrating exemplary performance with respect to reading
  280  instruction for students enrolled in kindergarten through grade
  281  2. The criteria must:
  282         (a) Prioritize advancing the abilities of the lowest
  283  performing students at least one grade level in each grade; and
  284         (b) Allow schools to earn the seal by advancing the
  285  abilities of students at least one grade level in each grade.
  286         (3) All schools that meet the criteria established under
  287  subsection (2) shall receive financial awards depending on the
  288  availability of funds as appropriated in the General
  289  Appropriations Act. Funds must be distributed to the school’s
  290  fiscal agent and placed in the school’s account and must be used
  291  for the purposes specified in subsection (4), as determined
  292  jointly by the school’s staff and the school advisory council.
  293  If the school staff and the school advisory council cannot reach
  294  agreement regarding the use of the funds by February 1 of the
  295  school year for which they are allocated, the awards must be
  296  distributed equally to all instructional personnel, as defined
  297  in s. 1012.01(2), teaching in the school at that time. If a
  298  school that earned a seal is no longer in existence at the time
  299  the award is paid, the district school superintendent must
  300  distribute the funds in the form of a bonus to instructional
  301  personnel who taught at the school in the previous year.
  302         (4) Awards must be used for one or more of the following:
  303         (a) Nonrecurring financial incentives to instructional
  304  personnel and staff.
  305         (b) Nonrecurring expenditures for educational equipment or
  306  materials to assist in maintaining and improving student
  307  performance.
  308         (c) Other personnel for the school to assist in maintaining
  309  and improving student performance.
  311  Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary,
  312  incentive awards are not subject to collective bargaining.
  313         Section 7. Subsection (2), paragraph (a) of subsection (3),
  314  and subsections (5), (7), (8), and (9) of section 1009.30,
  315  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  316         1009.30 Dual Enrollment Scholarship Program.—
  317         (2) The Department of Education shall administer the Dual
  318  Enrollment Scholarship Program in accordance with rules adopted
  319  by the State Board of Education pursuant to subsection (8) (9).
  320         (3)(a) Beginning in the 2021 fall term, The program shall
  321  reimburse eligible postsecondary institutions for tuition and
  322  related instructional materials costs for dual enrollment
  323  courses taken during the fall or spring terms by eligible
  324  students, consisting of:
  325         1. Private school students who take dual enrollment courses
  326  pursuant to s. 1007.271(24)(b)5.b.; or
  327         2. Home education program secondary students during the
  328  fall or spring terms.
  329         (5) Annually, by March 15, Each participating institution
  330  must report to the department any eligible secondary students
  331  from private schools or home education programs who were
  332  enrolled during the previous fall or spring terms within 30 days
  333  after the end of regular registration. Annually, by July 15,
  334  Each participating institution must report to the department any
  335  eligible public school, private school, or home education
  336  program students who were enrolled during the summer term within
  337  30 days after the end of regular registration. For each dual
  338  enrollment course in which the student is enrolled, the report
  339  must include a unique student identifier, the postsecondary
  340  institution name, the postsecondary course number, and the
  341  postsecondary course name. The department shall reimburse each
  342  participating institution no later than 30 days after the
  343  institution has reported enrollment for that term.
  344         (7) For dual enrollment courses taken during the fall and
  345  spring terms, the department must reimburse institutions by
  346  April 15 of the same year. For dual enrollment courses taken
  347  during the summer term, the department must reimburse
  348  institutions by August 15 of the same year, before the beginning
  349  of the next academic year.
  350         (8) Reimbursement for dual enrollment courses is contingent
  351  upon an appropriation in the General Appropriations Act each
  352  year. If the statewide reimbursement amount is greater than the
  353  appropriation, the institutional reimbursement amounts specified
  354  in subsection (6) shall be prorated among the institutions that
  355  have reported eligible students to the department by the
  356  deadlines specified in subsection (5).
  357         (8)(9) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules to
  358  implement this section.
  359         Section 8. Subsection (3) of section 1011.48, Florida
  360  Statutes, is amended to read:
  361         1011.48 Establishment of educational research centers for
  362  child development.—
  363         (3) Each center is authorized to charge fees for the care
  364  and services it provides, subject to the fees authorized by s.
  365  1009.24(14). Such fees must be approved by the Board of
  366  Governors and may be imposed on a sliding scale based on ability
  367  to pay or any other factors deemed relevant by the board.
  368         Section 9. Paragraph (d) of subsection (6), paragraphs (a)
  369  and (b) of subsection (7), and subsection (8) of section
  370  1011.62, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  371         1011.62 Funds for operation of schools.—If the annual
  372  allocation from the Florida Education Finance Program to each
  373  district for operation of schools is not determined in the
  374  annual appropriations act or the substantive bill implementing
  375  the annual appropriations act, it shall be determined as
  376  follows:
  377         (6) CATEGORICAL FUNDS.—
  378         (d) If a district school board transfers funds from its
  379  evidence-based reading instruction allocation, the board must
  380  also submit to the Department of Education an amendment
  381  describing the changes that the district is making to its
  382  reading plan approved pursuant to paragraph (8)(e) (8)(d).
  384         (a) Annually, in an amount to be determined by the
  385  Legislature through the General Appropriations Act, there shall
  386  be added to the basic amount for current operation of the FEFP
  387  qualified districts a sparsity supplement which shall be
  388  computed as follows:
  390  Sparsity Factor =     1101.8918     – 0.1101                          
  391                 2700 + districtsparsityindex
  392  except that districts with a sparsity index of 1,000 or less
  393  shall be computed as having a sparsity index of 1,000, and
  394  districts having a sparsity index of 7,308 and above shall be
  395  computed as having a sparsity factor of zero. A qualified
  396  district’s full-time equivalent student membership shall equal
  397  or be less than that prescribed annually by the Legislature in
  398  the appropriations act. The amount prescribed annually by the
  399  Legislature shall be no less than 17,000, but no more than
  400  30,000 24,000.
  401         (b) The district sparsity index shall be computed by
  402  dividing the total number of full-time equivalent students in
  403  all programs in the district by the number of senior high school
  404  centers in the district, not in excess of three, which centers
  405  are approved as permanent centers by a survey made by the
  406  Department of Education. For districts with a full-time
  407  equivalent student membership of at least 20,000, but no more
  408  than 30,000 24,000, the index shall be computed by dividing the
  409  total number of full-time equivalent students in all programs by
  410  the number of permanent senior high school centers in the
  411  district, not in excess of four.
  413         (a) The evidence-based reading instruction allocation is
  414  created to provide comprehensive reading instruction to students
  415  in prekindergarten kindergarten through grade 12, with priority
  416  given to students including certain students who have completed
  417  the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program and who are at
  418  risk of being identified as having a substantial deficiency in
  419  early literacy skills under s. 1008.25(8)(c). Each school
  420  district that has one or more of the 300 lowest-performing
  421  elementary schools based on a 3-year average of the state
  422  reading assessment data must use the school’s portion of the
  423  allocation to provide an additional hour per day of intensive
  424  reading instruction for the students in each school. The
  425  additional hour may be provided within the school day. Students
  426  enrolled in these schools who earned a level 4 or level 5 score
  427  on the statewide, standardized English Language Arts assessment
  428  for the previous school year may participate in the additional
  429  hour of instruction. Exceptional student education centers may
  430  not be included in the 300 schools. The
  431         (b) Intensive reading instruction for students who have
  432  reading deficiencies must delivered in this additional hour
  433  shall include: evidence-based reading instruction that has been
  434  proven to accelerate progress of students exhibiting a reading
  435  deficiency; differentiated instruction based on screening,
  436  diagnostic, progress monitoring, or student assessment data to
  437  meet students’ specific reading needs; explicit and systematic
  438  reading strategies to develop phonemic awareness, phonics,
  439  fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension, with more extensive
  440  opportunities for guided practice, error correction, and
  441  feedback; and the coordinated integration of civic literacy,
  442  science, and mathematics-text reading, text discussion, and
  443  writing in response to reading.
  444         (c)(b) Funds for comprehensive, evidence-based reading
  445  instruction shall be allocated annually to each school district
  446  in the amount provided in the General Appropriations Act. Each
  447  eligible school district shall receive the same minimum amount
  448  as specified in the General Appropriations Act, and any
  449  remaining funds shall be distributed to eligible school
  450  districts based on each school district’s proportionate share of
  451  K-12 base funding.
  452         (d)(c) Funds allocated under this subsection must be used
  453  to provide a system of comprehensive reading instruction to
  454  students enrolled in the K-12 programs and certain students who
  455  exhibit a substantial deficiency in early literacy and completed
  456  the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program pursuant to s.
  457  1008.25(5)(b), which may include the following:
  458         1. Additional time An additional hour per day of evidence
  459  based intensive reading instruction to students, which may be
  460  delivered during or outside of the regular school day in the 300
  461  lowest-performing elementary schools by teachers and reading
  462  specialists who have demonstrated effectiveness in teaching
  463  reading as required in paragraph (a).
  464         2. Kindergarten through grade 12 5 evidence-based intensive
  465  reading interventions provided by reading intervention teachers
  466  during the school day and in the required extra hour for
  467  students identified as having a substantial reading deficiency.
  468         3. Highly qualified reading coaches, who must be certified
  469  or endorsed in reading, to specifically support teachers in
  470  making instructional decisions based on student data, and
  471  improve teacher delivery of effective reading instruction,
  472  intervention, and reading in the content areas based on student
  473  need.
  474         4. Professional development for school district teachers in
  475  scientifically researched and evidence-based reading
  476  instruction, including strategies to teach reading in content
  477  areas and with an emphasis on technical and informational text,
  478  to help instructional personnel and certified prekindergarten
  479  teachers funded in the Florida Education Finance Program school
  480  district teachers earn a certification, a credential, or an
  481  endorsement, or an advanced degree in scientifically researched
  482  and evidence-based reading instruction.
  483         5. Summer reading camps, using only teachers or other
  484  district personnel who possess an early literacy micro
  485  credential as specified in s. 1012.5861 or are certified or
  486  endorsed in reading consistent with s. 1008.25(7)(b)3., for all
  487  students in kindergarten through grade 5 2 who demonstrate a
  488  reading deficiency as determined by district and state
  489  assessments, students in grades 3 through 5 who score at Level 1
  490  on the statewide, standardized English Language Arts assessment,
  491  and certain students who exhibit a substantial deficiency in
  492  early literacy and completed the Voluntary Prekindergarten
  493  Education Program under s. 1008.25(5)(b).
  494         6. Scientifically researched and evidence-based
  495  supplemental instructional materials as identified by the Just
  496  Read, Florida! Office pursuant to s. 1001.215(8).
  497         7. Incentives for instructional personnel and certified
  498  prekindergarten teachers funded in the Florida Education Finance
  499  Program who possess a reading certification or endorsement or an
  500  early literacy micro-credential as specified in s. 1012.5861 and
  501  provide educational support to improve student literacy
  502  Evidence-based intensive reading interventions for students in
  503  kindergarten through grade 12 who have been identified as having
  504  a substantial reading deficiency or who are reading below grade
  505  level as determined by the statewide, standardized English
  506  Language Arts assessment or for certain students who exhibit a
  507  substantial deficiency in early literacy and completed the
  508  Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program under s.
  509  1008.25(5)(b).
  510         8. Tutoring in reading.
  511         (e)1.(d)1. Annually, by a date determined by the Department
  512  of Education but before May 1, school districts shall submit a
  513  comprehensive reading plan, approved by the applicable district
  514  school board, charter school governing board, or lab school
  515  board of trustees, for the specific use of the evidence-based
  516  reading instruction allocation in the format prescribed by the
  517  department for review and approval by the Just Read, Florida!
  518  Office created pursuant to s. 1001.215. The plan format shall be
  519  developed with input from school district personnel, including
  520  teachers and principals, and shall provide for intensive reading
  521  interventions identified through a root-cause analysis of
  522  student performance data and reflection tool developed by the
  523  department to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions
  524  implemented in the prior year.
  525         2. Intensive reading interventions must be delivered by
  526  instructional personnel who possess the early literacy
  527  intervention micro-credential as provided in s. 1012.5861 or are
  528  certified or endorsed in reading and must incorporate evidence
  529  based strategies identified by the Just Read, Florida! Office
  530  pursuant to s. 1001.215(8). Instructional personnel who possess
  531  an early literacy micro-credential as specified in s. 1012.5861
  532  and are delivering intensive reading interventions must be
  533  supervised by an individual certified or endorsed in reading.
  534  For the purposes of this subsection, the term supervision”
  535  means the ability to communicate by way of telecommunication
  536  with or physical presence of the certified or endorsed personnel
  537  for consultation and direction of the actions of the personnel
  538  with the micro-credential.
  539         3.2. By July 1 of each year, the department shall release
  540  to each school district with an approved plan its allocation of
  541  appropriated funds. If a school district and the Just Read,
  542  Florida! Office cannot reach agreement on the contents of the
  543  plan, the school district may appeal to the State Board of
  544  Education for resolution. School districts shall be allowed
  545  reasonable flexibility in designing their plans and shall be
  546  encouraged to offer reading intervention through innovative
  547  methods, including career academies. The department shall
  548  withhold funds upon a determination that reading instruction
  549  allocation funds are not being used to implement the approved
  550  plan. The department shall evaluate the implementation of each
  551  district plan, including conducting site visits and collecting
  552  specific data on expenditures and reading improvement results.
  553  By February 1 of each year, the department shall report its
  554  findings to the Legislature and the State Board of Education,
  555  including any recommendations for improving implementation of
  556  evidence-based reading and intervention strategies in
  557  classrooms.
  558         3. Each school district that has a school designated as one
  559  of the 300 lowest-performing elementary schools as specified in
  560  paragraph (a) shall specifically delineate in the comprehensive
  561  reading plan, or in an addendum to the comprehensive reading
  562  plan, the implementation design and reading intervention
  563  strategies that will be used for the required additional hour of
  564  reading instruction. The term “reading intervention” includes
  565  evidence-based strategies frequently used to remediate reading
  566  deficiencies and also includes individual instruction, tutoring,
  567  mentoring, or the use of technology that targets specific
  568  reading skills and abilities.
  570  For purposes of this subsection, the term “evidence-based” means
  571  demonstrating a statistically significant effect on improving
  572  student outcomes or other relevant outcomes as provided in 20
  573  U.S.C. s. 8101(21)(A)(i).
  574         Section 10. Section 1012.5861, Florida Statutes, is created
  575  to read:
  576         1012.5861 Early Literacy Micro-Credential.—
  577         (1) The Legislature finds that providing academically
  578  rigorous early literacy instruction that prepares all students
  579  to be analytical readers, skillful writers, and effective
  580  communicators is paramount for student success. Therefore,
  581  district school boards and lab school boards of trustees may
  582  establish an early literacy micro-credential as an instructional
  583  model that emphasizes strong core instruction and a tiered model
  584  of reading interventions for struggling prekindergarten through
  585  grade 3 readers.
  586         (2) The Department of Education shall create a statewide
  587  early literacy micro-credential focused on prekindergarten
  588  through grade 3 readers. District school boards and lab school
  589  boards of trustees may use their own micro-credential or the
  590  micro-credential created by another district school board, lab
  591  school board of trustees, or the department. Reciprocity for
  592  micro-credentials created by district school boards, lab school
  593  boards, and the department is required across all 67 districts.
  594  Charter schools must be provided access to all approved micro
  595  credentials. By December 31, 2022, the department shall make the
  596  micro-credential available, at no cost, to instructional
  597  personnel as defined in s. 1012.01(2); prekindergarten
  598  instructors as specified in ss. 1002.55, 1002.61, and 1002.63;
  599  and child care personnel as defined in ss. 1002.88(1)(e) and
  600  402.302(3).
  601         (a)The micro-credential must include components on
  602  content, student learning, pedagogy, and professional
  603  development and must build on a strong foundation of
  604  scientifically researched and evidence-based reading
  605  instructional and intervention programs that incorporate
  606  explicit, systematic, and sequential approaches to teaching
  607  phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and text
  608  comprehension and incorporate decodable or phonetic text
  609  instructional strategies, as identified by the Just Read,
  610  Florida! Office, pursuant to s. 1001.215(8).
  611         (b) The micro-credential curriculum must be designed
  612  specifically for instructional personnel in prekindergarten
  613  through grade 3 and must be transferable through all grades from
  614  prekindergarten through grade 3.
  615         (c) The micro-credential must require teachers to
  616  demonstrate competency to:
  617         1.Diagnose reading difficulties and determine the
  618  appropriate range of reading interventions;
  619         2.Use evidence-based instructional and intervention
  620  practices, including strategies identified by the Just Read,
  621  Florida! Office pursuant to s. 1001.215(8); and
  622         3.Effectively use progress monitoring and intervention
  623  materials.
  624         (d)The credentialing process must employ a professional
  625  development model that requires participants to engage in a job
  626  embedded credentialing process, which must include:
  627         1.A combination of virtual and face-to-face sessions
  628  focused on building content knowledge, instructional pedagogy,
  629  data analysis, and reflective practice.
  630         2.Professional learning modules implemented over multiple
  631  cycles, during which participants will engage in planning and
  632  implementing instruction based on course content, followed by a
  633  period of data collection, data analysis, and reflection.
  634         (e)The micro-credential must be designed for eligible
  635  instructional personnel to complete the credentialing process
  636  through a maximum of 40 hours in an online format. The
  637  department may also provide for the micro-credential to be
  638  delivered in an in-person format.
  639         (f)The department must collaborate with, at a minimum,
  640  school district reading experts and the early learning
  641  coalitions in the development of the micro-credential. The
  642  Lastinger Center at the University of Florida and the Florida
  643  Center for Reading Research created under s. 1004.645 shall
  644  provide technical assistance to the department and district
  645  school boards in developing micro-credentials.
  646         (g) Each district school board, lab school board of
  647  trustees, charter school, school readiness provider, and
  648  voluntary prekindergarten education program provider must
  649  annually complete and submit to the department a notarized
  650  compliance statement certifying that the micro-credential in use
  651  in the district or lab school meets the requirements of this
  652  section and specifying the agency that developed and approved
  653  the micro-credential.
  654         (3) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules to
  655  implement this section.
  656         Section 11. Paragraph (g) of subsection (2) of section
  657  1003.621, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  658         1003.621 Academically high-performing school districts.—It
  659  is the intent of the Legislature to recognize and reward school
  660  districts that demonstrate the ability to consistently maintain
  661  or improve their high-performing status. The purpose of this
  662  section is to provide high-performing school districts with
  663  flexibility in meeting the specific requirements in statute and
  664  rules of the State Board of Education.
  665         (2) COMPLIANCE WITH STATUTES AND RULES.—Each academically
  666  high-performing school district shall comply with all of the
  667  provisions in chapters 1000-1013, and rules of the State Board
  668  of Education which implement these provisions, pertaining to the
  669  following:
  670         (g) Those statutes pertaining to planning and budgeting,
  671  including chapter 1011, except s. 1011.62(8)(e) s.
  672  1011.62(8)(d), relating to the requirement for a comprehensive
  673  reading plan. A district that is exempt from submitting a
  674  comprehensive reading plan shall be deemed approved to receive
  675  the evidence-based reading instruction allocation. Each
  676  academically high-performing school district may provide up to 2
  677  days of virtual instruction as part of the required 180 actual
  678  teaching days or the equivalent on an hourly basis each school
  679  year, as specified by rules of the State Board of Education.
  680  Virtual instruction that is conducted in accordance with the
  681  plan approved by the department, is teacher-developed, and is
  682  aligned with the standards for enrolled courses complies with s.
  683  1011.60(2). The day or days must be indicated on the calendar
  684  approved by the school board. The district shall submit a plan
  685  for each day of virtual instruction to the department for
  686  approval, in a format prescribed by the department, with
  687  assurances of alignment to statewide student standards as
  688  described in s. 1003.41 before the start of each school year.
  689         Section 12. This act shall take effect July 1, 2022.