Section 239.505, Florida Statutes 2001
1239.505 Florida constructive youth programs.--
(1) TITLE.--This section may be cited as the "Florida Constructive Youth Act."
(2) PURPOSE.--The purpose of the Florida Constructive Youth Act is:
(a) To enable economically disadvantaged youths or youths who have dropped out of school to obtain the education, employment, and leadership skills necessary to achieve economic self-sufficiency while providing assistance to their communities.
(b) To provide communities the opportunity to establish or rebuild neighborhood stability in economically depressed and low-income areas, as well as historic areas requiring restoration or preservation, while providing economically disadvantaged youths or retrieved school dropouts an opportunity for a meaningful return to society.
(c) To allow communities to expand the supply of affordable housing for homeless and other low-income individuals by using the energies and talents of economically disadvantaged youths or retrieved school dropouts.
(3) PROGRAM CRITERIA AND YOUTH ELIGIBILITY.--Each district school board, consortium of district school boards, or community college board of trustees is authorized and encouraged to coordinate a constructive youth program through its community education or 2career education departments. A consortium may include non-school-district-related public or private agencies, provided the school district or districts or community college maintains authority and control over the activities and operations of the consortium. All programs funded pursuant to this section shall provide for strong youth and community involvement. In addition, funding provided under this section shall be used by each constructive youth program to provide, at minimum, the following:
(a) Services and activities designed to meet the educational needs of participants, including, but not limited to, basic skills instruction and remedial education, secondary education services and activities that lead to the attainment of a high school diploma or its equivalent, and classroom training in construction terminology and concepts.
(b) Appropriate services including, but not limited to, training to develop job skills and to assist participants in obtaining and retaining future employment, coordination and integration with apprenticeship programs, placement in unsubsidized employment, and followup counseling and services for participants placed in unsubsidized employment.
(c) Establishment of a youth council, or coordination with an existing council or other suitable entity, including, but not limited to, a children's services council, a juvenile welfare board, a private industry council, or a community development group, in which participants are afforded leadership opportunities to develop such skills as decisionmaking, public speaking, negotiating, and management and policymaking authority over specific aspects of the program. Each program must encourage participants' membership in vocational student organizations within the community.
(d) Counseling services designed to assist participants to positively participate in society, which may include, but are not limited to: outreach, assessment, and orientation; individual and peer counseling; life skills training; drug and alcohol abuse education and prevention; and referral to appropriate drug rehabilitation, medical, mental health, legal, housing, and other services and resources in the community.
(e) Employment opportunities in the projects described in subsection (10), such employment to be integrated with appropriate skills training and coordinated with appropriate vocational and apprenticeship programs with advanced placement status upon completion, to the extent feasible. Employment positions must afford participants an opportunity to use the knowledge and skills obtained pursuant to the requirements of paragraph (a).
(f) Eligibility for participation, for a period not exceeding 24 months, in a constructive youth program that receives assistance under this section if the individual is:
1. Sixteen to 24 years of age, inclusive.
2. A school dropout or an economically disadvantaged youth.
(g) Determination by each district and community college as to when a participant has obtained the appropriate educational, employment, and leadership skills to complete the program and awarding of a certificate of achievement to the participant. This certificate is in addition to any high school diploma or high school equivalency diploma received by the participant.
(4) FUNDING.--Each district school board or community college board of trustees wishing to implement a constructive youth program must submit a comprehensive plan to the Department of Education no later than October 1 of the preceding school year, which plan must include a list of all funding sources, including, but not limited to:
(a) Funds available for programs authorized under the Dropout Prevention and Academic Intervention Act, as provided in s. 230.2316.
(b) The Vocational Improvement Program, as provided in s. 239.225.
(c) Florida private sector and education partnerships, as provided in s. 229.602.
(d) The Job Training Partnership Act, as provided in Pub. L. No. 97-300, as it may be amended.
(e) The Housing Predevelopment Fund, as provided in s. 420.525.
(f) Local government contributions.
(g) Appropriations, donations, gifts, and grants from private individuals or corporations.
(h) Grants provided by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.
(i) Grants provided by the United States Department of Agriculture - Rural Development.
(j) Any grant or other financial assistance from the Federal Government for or in aid of any dropout prevention or retrieval, adult education, community education, career education, housing, neighborhood renewal or revitalization, or historic restoration or preservation project or program.
(k) Any grant or other financial assistance from the state for or in aid of any dropout prevention or retrieval, adult education, community education, career education, housing, neighborhood renewal or revitalization, or historic restoration or preservation project or program.
(5) FUNDING AUTHORIZATION.--The Legislature hereby authorizes all state and local government agencies to award funds on a priority basis to constructive youth programs operating pursuant to the provisions of this section, which funds are derived from sources described in subsection (4).
(6) WAGES.--Any youth employed in activities assisted under this section shall be paid wages or a stipend in an amount not less than the minimum wage under s. 6(a)(1) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. s. 206(a)(1)).
(7) EDUCATIONAL STANDARDS.--Any educational program or activity supported with funds provided under this section must be consistent with applicable state and local educational standards. Standards and procedures with respect to the awarding of academic credit and certifying educational attainment in such programs must be consistent with applicable state and local educational standards.
(8) LABOR STANDARDS.--Any program supported with funds provided under this section must be consistent with applicable federal, state, and local labor laws and standards, including all laws relating to child labor, equal employment, citizenship, and nondiscrimination.
(9) PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY.--Each school board or community college board of trustees requesting funding for a constructive youth program shall submit an application to the Department of Education, which is authorized to approve, continue, or terminate constructive youth programs, pursuant to the rules established by the State Board of Education. In addition to other criteria required by this section, each program shall submit continuing data to the department which must include, at a minimum, the following:
(a) Planning data to:
1. Describe the education, training activities and services, and work opportunities that will be provided to participants.
2. Describe the proposed construction or rehabilitation activities to be undertaken and the anticipated schedule for carrying out such activities.
3. Describe the educational services, job training, supportive services, and other services and activities that will be provided to participants.
4. Describe the manner in which participants will be recruited and selected, including a description of arrangements and agreements that will be made with community-based organizations, state and local educational agencies, federal agencies, public assistance agencies, juvenile courts, foster care agencies, and other applicable public and private agencies or organizations.
5. Describe the special outreach efforts that will be undertaken to recruit eligible young women, including women with dependent children.
6. Describe the special outreach efforts that will be undertaken to recruit eligible young farmworkers or migrant workers.
7. Describe how the proposed program will be coordinated with federal, state, and local programs, including vocational and adult education programs, teenage parent programs, job training programs provided with funds available under the Job Training Partnership Act, housing and economic development projects, and activities or projects that receive assistance under federal and state housing and community development statutes.
8. Provide a tentative budget.
9. Provide assurances that there will be a sufficient number of educational support employees, instructional personnel certified by the state pursuant to s. 231.17, and supervisory personnel in each program, and that these supervisory personnel are adequately trained in the skills needed to carry out the program.
10. Describe all activities that will be undertaken to develop the leadership skills of participants.
11. Set forth such other assurances, arrangements, and conditions as the department considers appropriate to carry out the purposes of this section.
(b) Implementation data to:
1. Describe the method of implementing and conducting the program and identify all services that will be made available to participants pursuant to the contents of planning materials submitted pursuant to paragraph (a).
2. Provide a detailed budget.
3. Describe the strategy utilized for interagency coordination in order to maximize existing human and fiscal resources.
4. Provide copies of all contracts and arrangements entered into between the constructive youth program and other agencies or entities.
5. Set forth such other assurances, arrangements, and conditions as the department considers appropriate to carry out the purposes of this program.
(c) Continuation data to:
1. Provide information on evaluation procedures used to measure performance of participants.
2. Provide information on the number of participants who achieve a high school diploma or a high school equivalency diploma prior to completion, upon completion, or within 6 months after completion of the constructive youth program.
3. Provide information on the level of education obtained by participants who do not obtain a high school or high school equivalency diploma.
4. Provide information on the effectiveness of the program, including cost-effectiveness.
5. Provide a detailed anticipated budget for continuation of the program and list all sources of funding requested, both public and private.
6. Describe procedures used for early identification of youths at risk of dropping out of the program and methods for retrieval of these youths.
7. Describe the degree to which the program's objectives and activities are consistent with the goals of this section.
8. Set forth such other assurances, arrangements, and conditions as the department considers appropriate to carry out the purposes of this section.
(d) Dissemination data to:
1. Develop a manual that includes a presentation of the intent and goals of the program, the degree to which the program's objectives have been met, examples of successful practices, identification of resources available to supplement the program's budget, and other information that will assist in the successful implementation of the program by another school district or community college.
2. Provide detailed information on the various programs and activities available to participants and the successful or unsuccessful utilization of the various programs and activities by participants.
3. Provide, in detail, any changes in the basic format of the constructive youth program or its implementation and administration.
(10) ELIGIBLE PROJECTS.--Assistance shall be used by each constructive youth program to support the construction, maintenance and repair, renovation, or rehabilitation of real property as described in this subsection:
(a) Residential rental housing projects for homeless and other low-income individuals and families.
(b) Residential rental housing projects for teenage parents who are participating or have participated in a constructive youth program.
(c) Transitional or emergency housing for the homeless.
(d) Housing for the disabled.
(e) Residential rental housing projects that meet the following requirements:
1. At least 50 percent of the units must be occupied by, or be available for occupancy by, lower income families having incomes less than 60 percent of the area median income as determined by the United States Bureau of the Census, adjusted for family size.
2. The remaining units must be occupied by, or be available for occupancy by, lower income families having incomes less than 80 percent of the area median income as determined by the United States Bureau of the Census, adjusted for family size.
(f) Senior citizen centers in economically depressed and low-income areas.
(g) Community centers in economically depressed and low-income areas.
(h) Parks and recreation areas in economically depressed and low-income areas and such areas used primarily by the disabled.
(i) Historic buildings as determined by the Department of State or the National Register of Historic Places.
(j) Educational facilities, educational plants, and ancillary plants.
(11) INTERAGENCY COOPERATION.--Constructive youth programs must be coordinated with education, social service, law enforcement, prosecutorial, juvenile justice, housing, labor, and community development agencies and private industry councils in the school district.
(12) RULES.--The State Board of Education may amend existing rules and adopt new rules necessary to implement the provisions of this section.
History.--s. 28, ch. 92-136; s. 52, ch. 93-120; s. 2, ch. 95-143; s. 31, ch. 95-376; s. 3, ch. 96-221; s. 90, ch. 96-406; s. 8, ch. 97-79; s. 42, ch. 97-167; s. 8, ch. 99-5; s. 73, ch. 99-398; 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 "career education" was substituted for the term "vocational education" by the editors pursuant to the directive of the Legislature in s. 16, ch. 94-232.