Section 233.068, Florida Statutes 2001
233.068 Job-related vocational instruction.--
(1) LEGISLATIVE INTENT.--
(a) The Legislature finds that secondary school students who do not pursue an academic college-preparatory program or a vocational job-preparatory program are unlikely to realize their highest potential. It further finds that a student who pursues an academic college-preparatory program in secondary school should also be prepared for employment, and that a student who pursues a vocational job-preparatory program should also be prepared for postsecondary education.
(b) The Legislature further finds that a vocational job-preparatory program at the secondary level must provide adequate skills in communication, computation, and problem solving to allow a graduate to continue in postsecondary education and obtain employment in an occupation for which the program has prepared him or her. Vocational job-preparatory programs should use experiences obtained by practicing the occupations to teach basic academic and problem-solving skills in an intensive, focused program in which students who have differing abilities and career plans learn skills to practice several related occupations. Some of the occupations should require postsecondary education, and some should be entry-level occupations for people with high school diplomas.
(2) OPEN-ENTRY PROGRAMS IN CAREER DEVELOPMENT AND APPLIED TECHNOLOGY.--By the 1998-1999 school year, up to 30 school districts may establish programs in which students who have differing abilities and career plans may pursue an education that develops academic and vocational skills required by specified related occupations. Each program must:
(a) Be self-contained and provide sufficient courses for a student in each occupational training level to earn a high school diploma as provided in s. 232.246 and provide free transportation for students to and from their residences. A program may be called a school, but need not have a separate campus. If a program has a separate campus or is a school within a school, it may agree with another school to allow the students to participate in extracurricular activities.
(b) Be open to any student in the school district. If there are more applicants than available spaces, a selection committee may limit enrollment. To the maximum extent possible, the method of selection among applicants must result in a student body that reflects the demographic characteristics of the secondary school children in the school district.
(c) Provide coordinated academic and vocational training that focuses on a discrete set of occupations of varying skill levels in definable occupational areas, including allied health occupations, business and marketing occupations, occupations leading to or related to a regulated profession, or entrepreneurship.
(d) Include participation by local businesses that employ people in the occupations for which the program provides training, through new programs or established programs such as the Florida Compact, other business partnerships, the programs used by the Department of Education to implement the Blueprint for Career Preparation, the WAGES Program, or federal Job Training Partnership Act programs.
(e) Identify the occupations in a mission statement that includes information about the levels of career development or vocational training required for each occupation and required and elective courses for each level.
(f) Assist each student to plan a course of study, including vocational and academic requirements and electives, that will result in the appropriate level of training for the occupation he or she has chosen. For an occupation that requires postsecondary education, the plan must include courses or activities that will develop college-level academic skills and must be completed by a student within 3 months after he or she enters the program, but it may be revised at any time upon the request of the student or his or her parents.
(g) Provide instruction in communication, computation, and problem-solving skills by experience, application, or participation in an occupation for which the program provides training.
(h) Assess the progress of students regularly to assure that they are improving their academic skills and remaining in school at a rate that compares favorably with similar students outside the program. The department must provide technical assistance in developing and evaluating the results of these assessments and comparisons. The assessments must include scores on standardized tests, unexcused absences, dropouts, grade point averages, and followup studies for all students who complete the program.
(3) REPORTS REQUIRED.--
(a) At least every 2 years, during which students are educated continuously and exclusively in the program, the department must report the results of the student assessments, comparisons, and evaluations to the State Board of Education and the Legislature.
(b) One year after the first students graduate from a program, the department must initiate a longitudinal followup study to identify the progress of program graduates in employment, postsecondary education, and military service. The study shall summarize the results by students' race, sex, and status of being at risk of dropping out of school, as defined by the school district. Information that may identify a student or employer is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1). The department shall follow up on program graduates annually for at least 3 years and report their success compared to the success of students who complete other secondary career education programs to the State Board of Education and the Legislature.
History.--ss. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, ch. 70-211; s. 1, ch. 70-439; s. 70, ch. 72-221; s. 6, ch. 78-423; s. 3, ch. 85-75; s. 2, ch. 92-136; s. 1286, ch. 95-147; s. 59, ch. 96-175; s. 87, ch. 96-406; s. 38, ch. 97-190; s. 19, ch. 2001-61.