Florida Senate - 2024                   (PROPOSED BILL) SPB 7032
       FOR CONSIDERATION By the Committee on Education Postsecondary
       589-01972A-24                                         20247032pb
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to education; amending s. 1003.435,
    3         F.S.; requiring district school boards to notify all
    4         candidates for the high school equivalency diploma of
    5         adult secondary and postsecondary education options;
    6         creating s. 1004.933, F.S.; providing legislative
    7         intent; defining the terms “career education program”
    8         and “institution”; establishing the Graduation
    9         Alternative to Traditional Education (GATE) Program;
   10         providing the purpose of the program; providing that
   11         students enrolled in the program are exempt from
   12         payments for registration, tuition, laboratory, and
   13         examination fees; providing eligibility requirements;
   14         prohibiting an institution from imposing additional
   15         eligibility requirements; requiring the State Board of
   16         Education to adopt rules; amending s. 1008.34, F.S.;
   17         providing that high school students enrolled in the
   18         GATE Program are not included in a high school’s
   19         graduation rate; creating s. 1009.711, F.S.; creating
   20         the GATE Scholarship Program; requiring the Department
   21         of Education to administer the program; requiring the
   22         program to reimburse eligible institutions for student
   23         costs; requiring participating institutions to report
   24         to the department all students enrolled in the
   25         program; providing that reimbursements are contingent
   26         on legislative appropriations and may be prorated in
   27         the event that total reimbursements owed exceed
   28         available funds; requiring the state board to adopt
   29         rules; amending s. 1011.80, F.S.; revising the number
   30         of courses certain students may be reported for
   31         relating to funding purposes; providing that such
   32         courses do not have to be core curricula courses;
   33         deleting a requirement for the department to develop a
   34         list of courses to be designated as core curricula
   35         courses; creating s. 1011.804, F.S.; creating the GATE
   36         Program Student Success Incentive Fund; defining the
   37         term “institution”; providing that, subject to the
   38         appropriation of funds by the Legislature, each
   39         participating institution must receive specified
   40         allocations; providing for proration of funds, as
   41         necessary; providing an effective date.
   43  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   45         Section 1. Subsection (3) of section 1003.435, Florida
   46  Statutes, is amended to read:
   47         1003.435 High school equivalency diploma program.—
   48         (3) Each district school board shall:
   49         (a) Offer and administer the high school equivalency
   50  diploma examinations and the subject area examinations to all
   51  candidates pursuant to rules of the State Board of Education.
   52         (b) Notify each candidate of adult secondary and
   53  postsecondary education options available in or near the
   54  district. The candidate must also be informed of the eligibility
   55  requirements and any minimum academic requirements for each
   56  available option.
   57         Section 2. Section 1004.933, Florida Statutes, is created
   58  to read:
   59         1004.933 Graduation Alternative to Traditional Education
   60  (GATE) Program.—
   61         (1) LEGISLATIVE INTENT.—It is the intent of the Legislature
   62  that each high school student have the opportunity to earn
   63  postsecondary course credits at no cost to the student while
   64  pursuing the completion of a standard high school diploma or
   65  equivalent credential. Furthermore, to help meet this state’s
   66  workforce skill needs, it is the intent of the Legislature that
   67  high school students have access to high-quality workforce
   68  education programs that can help them build their basic
   69  education abilities and attain industry-recognized postsecondary
   70  credentials.
   71         (2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
   72         (a)“Career education program” means an applied technology
   73  diploma program as defined in s. 1004.02(7) or a career
   74  certificate program as defined in s. 1004.02(20).
   75         (b) “Institutionmeans a school district career center
   76  established under s. 1001.44, a charter technical career center
   77  established under s. 1002.34, or a Florida College System
   78  institution identified in s. 1000.21.
   79         (3) ESTABLISHMENT; PURPOSE.—The Graduation Alternative to
   80  Traditional Education (GATE) Program is created within the
   81  Department of Education for the following purposes:
   82         (a) Assisting students who may have challenges in
   83  completing the requirements for a standard high school diploma
   84  in a traditional setting.
   85         (b) Creating an alternative education pathway that supports
   86  this state’s commitment to educational accessibility for all
   87  students by providing additional opportunities for students 16
   88  to 21 years of age who have discontinued enrollment in
   89  traditional high school programs.
   90         (c) Increasing the number of students who successfully earn
   91  a high school credential in this state.
   92         (d) Increasing the interest and participation of students
   93  in career and technical education (CTE) programs.
   95         (a) Any student enrolled in the GATE Program is exempt from
   96  the payment of registration, tuition, laboratory, and
   97  examination fees to a participating institution. Instructional
   98  materials assigned for use under the GATE program must be made
   99  available to GATE Program students free of charge. An
  100  institution may not require payment by students of instructional
  101  material costs eligible for reimbursement under s. 1009.711.
  102         (b) To be eligible for participation in the GATE Program, a
  103  student may not have earned a standard high school diploma
  104  pursuant to s. 1003.4282 or a high school equivalency diploma
  105  pursuant to s. 1003.435 before enrolling in the GATE Program and
  106  must:
  107         1. Be a resident of this state as defined under s. 1009.21;
  108         2. Be concurrently enrolled in an adult secondary education
  109  program as defined in s. 1004.02(4) and a career education
  110  program at a Florida College System institution, a school
  111  district career center, or a charter technical career center;
  112         3. Be 16 to 21 years of age at the time of initial
  113  enrollment;
  114         4. Select the CTE pathway or program of his or her choice
  115  at the time of enrollment. The student may not change the
  116  requested pathway after enrollment;
  117         5. Maintain a 2.0 GPA for CTE coursework; and
  118         6. Complete the programs under subparagraph 2. within 3
  119  years after initial enrollment unless the institution determines
  120  that an extension is warranted due to extenuating circumstances.
  121         (c) An institution may not impose additional criteria to
  122  determine a student’s eligibility to receive a waiver under this
  123  section.
  124         (5) RULES.—The State Board of Education shall adopt rules
  125  to implement this section.
  126         Section 3. Paragraph (b) of subsection (3) of section
  127  1008.34, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  128         1008.34 School grading system; school report cards;
  129  district grade.—
  131         (b)1. A school’s grade shall be based on the following
  132  components, each worth 100 points:
  133         a. The percentage of eligible students passing statewide,
  134  standardized assessments in English Language Arts under s.
  135  1008.22(3).
  136         b. The percentage of eligible students passing statewide,
  137  standardized assessments in mathematics under s. 1008.22(3).
  138         c. The percentage of eligible students passing statewide,
  139  standardized assessments in science under s. 1008.22(3).
  140         d. The percentage of eligible students passing statewide,
  141  standardized assessments in social studies under s. 1008.22(3).
  142         e. The percentage of eligible students who make Learning
  143  Gains in English Language Arts as measured by statewide,
  144  standardized assessments administered under s. 1008.22(3).
  145         f. The percentage of eligible students who make Learning
  146  Gains in mathematics as measured by statewide, standardized
  147  assessments administered under s. 1008.22(3).
  148         g. The percentage of eligible students in the lowest 25
  149  percent in English Language Arts, as identified by prior year
  150  performance on statewide, standardized assessments, who make
  151  Learning Gains as measured by statewide, standardized English
  152  Language Arts assessments administered under s. 1008.22(3).
  153         h. The percentage of eligible students in the lowest 25
  154  percent in mathematics, as identified by prior year performance
  155  on statewide, standardized assessments, who make Learning Gains
  156  as measured by statewide, standardized Mathematics assessments
  157  administered under s. 1008.22(3).
  158         i. For schools comprised of middle grades 6 through 8 or
  159  grades 7 and 8, the percentage of eligible students passing high
  160  school level statewide, standardized end-of-course assessments
  161  or attaining national industry certifications identified in the
  162  CAPE Industry Certification Funding List pursuant to state board
  163  rule.
  164         j. Beginning in the 2023-2024 school year, for schools
  165  comprised of grade levels that include grade 3, the percentage
  166  of eligible students who score an achievement level 3 or higher
  167  on the grade 3 statewide, standardized English Language Arts
  168  assessment administered under s. 1008.22(3).
  170  In calculating Learning Gains for the components listed in sub
  171  subparagraphs e.-h., the State Board of Education shall require
  172  that learning growth toward achievement levels 3, 4, and 5 is
  173  demonstrated by students who scored below each of those levels
  174  in the prior year. In calculating the components in sub
  175  subparagraphs a.-d., the state board shall include the
  176  performance of English language learners only if they have been
  177  enrolled in a school in the United States for more than 2 years.
  178         2. For a school comprised of grades 9, 10, 11, and 12, or
  179  grades 10, 11, and 12, the school’s grade shall also be based on
  180  the following components, each worth 100 points:
  181         a. The 4-year high school graduation rate of the school as
  182  defined by state board rule. Students enrolled in high school
  183  who choose to enroll in the GATE Program, pursuant to s.
  184  1004.933, may not be included in the graduation rate.
  185         b. The percentage of students who were eligible to earn
  186  college and career credit through an assessment identified
  187  pursuant to s. 1007.27(2), College Board Advanced Placement
  188  examinations, International Baccalaureate examinations, dual
  189  enrollment courses, including career dual enrollment courses
  190  resulting in the completion of 300 or more clock hours during
  191  high school which are approved by the state board as meeting the
  192  requirements of s. 1007.271, or Advanced International
  193  Certificate of Education examinations; who, at any time during
  194  high school, earned national industry certification identified
  195  in the CAPE Industry Certification Funding List, pursuant to
  196  rules adopted by the state board; or who earned an Armed
  197  Services Qualification Test score that falls within Category II
  198  or higher on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery and
  199  earned a minimum of two credits in Junior Reserve Officers’
  200  Training Corps courses from the same branch of the United States
  201  Armed Forces.
  202         Section 4. Section 1009.711, Florida Statutes, is created
  203  to read:
  204         1009.711GATE Scholarship Program.—
  205         (1) The GATE Scholarship Program is created to financially
  206  support institutions in providing the GATE Program established
  207  pursuant to s. 1004.933.
  208         (2) The Department of Education shall administer the GATE
  209  Scholarship Program in accordance with rules adopted by the
  210  State Board of Education pursuant to subsection (6).
  211         (3)The program shall reimburse eligible institutions for
  212  registration, tuition, laboratory, and examination fees and
  213  related instructional materials costs for students enrolled in
  214  the GATE Program. School district career centers and Florida
  215  College System institutions must be reimbursed at the in-state
  216  resident tuition rate established in s. 1009.22(3)(c).
  217         (4) Each participating institution shall report to the
  218  department all students enrolled in the GATE Program during the
  219  fall, spring, or summer terms within 30 days after the end of
  220  regular registration. For each eligible student, the institution
  221  shall report the total reimbursable expenses by category, which
  222  the department must consider in determining an institution’s
  223  award under this section. The department shall reimburse each
  224  participating institution no later than 30 days after the
  225  institution has reported enrollment for that term.
  226         (5) Reimbursements from the GATE Scholarship Program are
  227  contingent upon an annual appropriation in the General
  228  Appropriations Act. If the statewide reimbursement amount is
  229  greater than the appropriation, the institutional reimbursement
  230  amounts specified in subsection (3) must be prorated among the
  231  institutions that have timely reported eligible students to the
  232  department.
  233         (6) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules to
  234  implement this section.
  235         Section 5. Subsection (10) of section 1011.80, Florida
  236  Statutes, is amended to read:
  237         1011.80 Funds for operation of workforce education
  238  programs.—
  239         (10) A high school student dually enrolled under s.
  240  1007.271 in a workforce education program operated by a Florida
  241  College System institution or school district career center
  242  generates the amount calculated for workforce education funding,
  243  including any payment of performance funding, and the
  244  proportional share of full-time equivalent enrollment generated
  245  through the Florida Education Finance Program for the student’s
  246  enrollment in a high school. If a high school student is dually
  247  enrolled in a Florida College System institution program,
  248  including a program conducted at a high school, the Florida
  249  College System institution earns the funds generated for
  250  workforce education funding, and the school district earns the
  251  proportional share of full-time equivalent funding from the
  252  Florida Education Finance Program. If a student is dually
  253  enrolled in a career center operated by the same district as the
  254  district in which the student attends high school, that district
  255  earns the funds generated for workforce education funding and
  256  also earns the proportional share of full-time equivalent
  257  funding from the Florida Education Finance Program. If a student
  258  is dually enrolled in a workforce education program provided by
  259  a career center operated by a different school district, the
  260  funds must be divided between the two school districts
  261  proportionally from the two funding sources. A student may not
  262  be reported for funding in a dual enrollment workforce education
  263  program unless the student has completed the basic skills
  264  assessment pursuant to s. 1004.91. A student who is coenrolled
  265  in a K-12 education program and an adult education program may
  266  be reported for purposes of funding in an adult education
  267  program. If a student is coenrolled in core curricula courses
  268  for credit recovery or dropout prevention purposes and does not
  269  have a pattern of excessive absenteeism or habitual truancy or a
  270  history of disruptive behavior in school, the student may be
  271  reported for funding for up to four two courses per year. Such a
  272  student is exempt from the payment of the block tuition for
  273  adult general education programs provided in s. 1009.22(3)(c).
  274  The Department of Education shall develop a list of courses to
  275  be designated as core curricula courses for the purposes of
  276  coenrollment.
  277         Section 6. Section 1011.804, Florida Statutes, is created
  278  to read:
  279         1011.804 GATE Program Student Success Incentive Fund.—
  280         (1) A GATE Program Student Success Incentive Fund is
  281  created to reward school districts and Florida College System
  282  institutions for the documented success of students
  283  participating in the GATE Program established under s. 1004.933.
  284         (2) As used in this section, the term institution means a
  285  school district career center established under s. 1001.44, a
  286  charter technical career center established under s. 1002.34, or
  287  a Florida College System institution identified in s. 1000.21
  288  which offers the GATE Program pursuant to s. 1004.933.
  289         (3) Subject to legislative appropriation, each
  290  participating institution must receive an allocation based on
  291  the performance of students in its GATE Program according to the
  292  following metrics:
  293         (a) The number of students obtaining a standard high school
  294  diploma or high school equivalency diploma while participating
  295  in the program.
  296         (b) The number of postsecondary industry certifications or
  297  other program completion credentials earned by students
  298  participating in the program. Eligible industry certifications
  299  must be identified on the CAPE Industry Certification Funding
  300  List approved by the State Board of Education under s. 1008.44.
  301         (c) Unless otherwise specified in the General
  302  Appropriations Act, each institution must be provided $750 per
  303  student described in paragraph (a) and $1,000 per student
  304  earning certificates or credentials as provided in paragraph
  305  (b). If funds are insufficient to fully fund the calculated
  306  total award, such funds must be prorated among the institutions.
  307         Section 7. This act shall take effect July 1, 2024.