Section 239.301, Florida Statutes 2001
1239.301 Adult general education.--
(1)(a) The intent of this section is to encourage the provision of educational services that will enable adults to acquire:
1. The basic skills necessary to attain basic and functional literacy.
2. A high school diploma or successfully complete the general educational development test.
3. An educational foundation that will enable them to become more employable, productive, and responsible citizens.
(b) It is further intended that educational opportunities be available for adults, regardless of possession of a diploma or high school equivalency diploma, whose performance on standard assessments indicates that such adults lack the basic skills necessary to function effectively in everyday situations, to enter the job market, or to enter 2certificate career education instruction.
(2) The adult education program must provide academic services to students in the following priority:
(a) Students who demonstrate skills at less than a fifth grade level, as measured by tests approved for this purpose by the State Board of Education, and who are studying to achieve basic literacy.
(b) Students who demonstrate skills at the fifth grade level or higher, but below the ninth grade level, as measured by tests approved for this purpose by the State Board of Education, and who are studying to achieve functional literacy.
(c) Students who are earning credit required for a high school diploma or who are preparing for the general educational development test.
(d) Students who have high school diplomas and require specific improvement in order to:
1. Obtain or maintain employment or benefit from 2certificate career education programs;
2. Pursue a postsecondary degree; or
3. Develop competence in the English language to qualify for employment.
(e) Students who enroll in lifelong learning courses or activities that seek to address community social and economic issues that consist of health and human relations, government, parenting, consumer economics, and senior citizens.
(f) Students who enroll in courses that relate to the recreational or leisure pursuits of the students. The cost of courses conducted pursuant to this paragraph shall be borne by the enrollees.
(3)(a) Each school board or community college board of trustees shall negotiate with the regional workforce board for basic and functional literacy skills assessments for participants in the welfare transition employment and training programs. Such assessments shall be conducted at a site mutually acceptable to the school board or community college board of trustees and the regional workforce board.
(b) State employees who are employed in local or regional offices of state agencies shall inform clients of the availability of adult basic and secondary programs in the region. The identities of clients who do not possess high school diplomas or who demonstrate skills below the level of functional literacy shall be conveyed, with their consent, to the local school district or community college, or both.
(c) To the extent funds are available, the Department of Children and Family Services shall provide for day care and transportation services to clients who enroll in adult basic education programs.
(4)(a) Adult basic and secondary education and vocational-preparatory courses shall be evaluated and funded as provided in s. 239.115.
(b) Fees may not be charged for adult basic instruction for students who demonstrate literacy skills below the eighth grade level or for adult basic or secondary education for students who have not obtained high school diplomas. Other students who have a high school diploma or a high school equivalency diploma and who enroll in adult basic or secondary instruction shall pay fees pursuant to s. 239.117 and rules of the State Board of Education.
(c) The State Board of Education shall define, by rule, the levels and courses of instruction to be funded through the college-preparatory program. The state board shall coordinate the establishment of costs for college-preparatory courses, the establishment of statewide standards that define required levels of competence, acceptable rates of student progress, and the maximum amount of time to be allowed for completion of college-preparatory instruction. College-preparatory instruction is part of an associate in arts degree program and may not be funded as a workforce development education program.
(d) Expenditures for college-preparatory and lifelong learning students shall be reported separately. Allocations for college-preparatory courses shall be based on proportional full-time equivalent enrollment. Program review results shall be included in the determination of subsequent allocations. A student shall be funded to enroll in the same college-preparatory class within a skill area only twice, after which time the student shall pay 100 percent of the full cost of instruction to support the continuous enrollment of that student in the same class; however, students who withdraw or fail a class due to extenuating circumstances may be granted an exception only once for each class, provided approval is granted according to policy established by the board of trustees. Each community college shall have the authority to review and reduce payment for increased fees due to continued enrollment in a college-preparatory class on an individual basis contingent upon the student's financial hardship, pursuant to definitions and fee levels established by the State Board of Community Colleges. College-preparatory and lifelong learning courses do not generate credit toward an associate or baccalaureate degree.
(e) A district school board or a community college board of trustees may negotiate a contract with the regional workforce board for specialized services for participants in the welfare transition program, beyond what is routinely provided for the general public, to be funded by the regional workforce board.
(5)(a) An educational program for disabled adults may be conducted within and funded through the Workforce Development Education Fund or the Community College Program Fund. Each school board or community college board of trustees that has an educational program for disabled adults shall submit a plan to the commissioner which includes, at a minimum:
1. A description of the population to be served and an estimation of the number of such students.
2. A description of the courses and programs in the program, including corresponding expected student outcomes.
3. Provision for individualized educational plans and periodic student evaluation.
4. An interagency memorandum of agreement that provides for the coordination of adult education, career education, exceptional student education, the Department of Children and Family Services, vocational rehabilitation, and other local organizations whose adult disabled clients participate in the program.
5. Provision for coordination of services, if both the community college and one or more school districts within the service area have approved programs for disabled adults.
6. Provision for a single administrator for adult courses and programs for the disabled.
(b) Each participating school board and community college board of trustees shall submit an annual plan to the commissioner on or before March 1 which reports progress toward meeting the goals stated in the plan. The report must identify the number of students served, by head count and full-time equivalent enrollments, the number and location of courses and programs, and clock-hour length of each course or program.
(c) The State Board of Education shall adopt entrance and exit criteria, curriculum frameworks, and performance standards for disabled adult programs.
(d) This subsection is not intended to discourage a school district or community college from providing educational services for disabled adults through classes in which nondisabled adults participate; however, in order to receive state funding designated especially for the program, a school district or community college must have an approved program for adult, disabled students, and each student reported for funding pursuant to this subsection must have been determined to be a disabled adult.
(6) If students who have been determined to be adults with disabilities are enrolled in workforce development programs, the funding formula must provide additional incentives for their achievement of performance outputs and outcomes.
(7) If the plan for a program for adults with disabilities pursuant to subsection (5) indicates that there are students whose expected time to completion exceeds twice that of a similar program for nondisabled students, or if there are students enrolled whose individual education plan does not include competitive employment, those students shall generate funds in addition to funds from the workforce development fund, as provided in the annual General Appropriations Act.
(8) The commissioner shall recommend the level of funding for public school and community college adult education within the legislative budget request and make other recommendations and reports considered necessary or required by rules of the state board.
(9) Upon the request of any school board or community college board of trustees, the Department of Education shall provide technical assistance in the development and maintenance of adult education programs.
(10) Buildings, land, equipment, and other property owned by a school board or community college board of trustees may be used for the conduct of the adult education program. Buildings, land, equipment, and other property owned or leased by cooperating public or private agencies, organizations, or institutions may also be used for the purposes of this section.
(11) The State Board of Education may adopt rules necessary for the implementation of this section.
History.--s. 23, ch. 92-136; s. 3, ch. 95-392; s. 62, ch. 96-175; ss. 7, 40, 45, ch. 97-246; s. 23, ch. 97-307; s. 13, ch. 98-58; s. 40, ch. 99-8; s. 1, ch. 99-150; s. 68, ch. 2000-165; s. 3(7), ch. 2000-321.
1Note.--Repealed January 7, 2003, by s. 3(7), ch. 2000-321, and shall be reviewed by the Legislature prior to that date.
2Note.--The term "certificate career education" was substituted for the term "postsecondary adult vocational" by the editors pursuant to the directive of the Legislature in s. 16, ch. 94-232.