December 03, 2020
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HB 879

1
A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to early learning; providing a short
3title; amending s. 411.01, F.S.; revising provisions
4relating to membership of early learning coalitions;
5authorizing use of telecommunication methods in conducting
6early learning coalition board meetings; amending and
7renumbering s. 402.27, F.S.; transferring requirements for
8the establishment of a statewide child care resource and
9referral network by the Department of Children and Family
10Services to the Agency for Workforce Innovation; providing
11for use of early learning coalitions as child care
12resource and referral agencies; requiring rulemaking;
13amending and renumbering s. 409.178, F.S.; transferring
14duties of the Department of Children and Family Services
15with respect to the Child Care Executive Partnership
16Program to the Agency for Workforce Innovation and early
17learning coalitions; requiring rulemaking; amending ss.
181002.55, 1002.61, and 1002.63, F.S., relating to the
19Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program; providing
20additional accreditation standards for private
21prekindergarten providers; providing requirements for
22assignment of substitute instructors; requiring
23rulemaking; conforming cross-references; providing an
24effective date.
25
26Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
27
28     Section 1.  This act may be cited as the "Success in Early
29Learning Act."
30     Section 2.  Paragraph (a) of subsection (5) of section
31411.01, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
32     411.01  School readiness programs; early learning
33coalitions.--
34     (5)  CREATION OF EARLY LEARNING COALITIONS.--
35     (a)  Early learning coalitions.--
36     1.  The Agency for Workforce Innovation shall establish the
37minimum number of children to be served by each early learning
38coalition through the coalition's school readiness program. The
39Agency for Workforce Innovation may only approve school
40readiness plans in accordance with this minimum number. The
41minimum number must be uniform for every early learning
42coalition and must:
43     a.  Permit 30 or fewer coalitions to be established; and
44     b.  Require each coalition to serve at least 2,000 children
45based upon the average number of all children served per month
46through the coalition's school readiness program during the
47previous 12 months.
48
49The Agency for Workforce Innovation shall adopt procedures for
50merging early learning coalitions, including procedures for the
51consolidation of merging coalitions, and for the early
52termination of the terms of coalition members which are
53necessary to accomplish the mergers. Each early learning
54coalition must comply with the merger procedures and shall be
55organized in accordance with this subparagraph by April 1, 2005.
56By June 30, 2005, each coalition must complete the transfer of
57powers, duties, functions, rules, records, personnel, property,
58and unexpended balances of appropriations, allocations, and
59other funds to the successor coalition, if applicable.
60     2.  If an early learning coalition would serve fewer
61children than the minimum number established under subparagraph
621., the coalition must merge with another county to form a
63multicounty coalition. However, the Agency for Workforce
64Innovation may authorize an early learning coalition to serve
65fewer children than the minimum number established under
66subparagraph 1., if:
67     a.  The coalition demonstrates to the Agency for Workforce
68Innovation that merging with another county or multicounty
69region contiguous to the coalition would cause an extreme
70hardship on the coalition;
71     b.  The Agency for Workforce Innovation has determined
72during the most recent annual review of the coalition's school
73readiness plan, or through monitoring and performance
74evaluations conducted under paragraph (4)(l), that the coalition
75has substantially implemented its plan and substantially met the
76performance standards and outcome measures adopted by the
77agency; and
78     c.  The coalition demonstrates to the Agency for Workforce
79Innovation the coalition's ability to effectively and
80efficiently implement the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education
81Program.
82
83If an early learning coalition fails or refuses to merge as
84required by this subparagraph, the Agency for Workforce
85Innovation may dissolve the coalition and temporarily contract
86with a qualified entity to continue school readiness and
87prekindergarten services in the coalition's county or
88multicounty region until the coalition is reestablished through
89resubmission of a school readiness plan and approval by the
90agency.
91     3.  Notwithstanding the provisions of subparagraphs 1. and
922., the early learning coalitions in Sarasota, Osceola, and
93Santa Rosa Counties which were in operation on January 1, 2005,
94are established and authorized to continue operation as
95independent coalitions, and shall not be counted within the
96limit of 30 coalitions established in subparagraph 1.
97     4.  Each early learning coalition shall be composed of at
98least 18 members but not more than 35 members. The Agency for
99Workforce Innovation shall adopt standards establishing within
100this range the minimum and maximum number of members that may be
101appointed to an early learning coalition. These standards must
102include variations for a coalition serving a multicounty region.
103Each early learning coalition must comply with these standards.
104     5.  The Governor shall appoint the chair and two other
105members of each early learning coalition, who must each meet the
106same qualifications as private sector business members appointed
107by the coalition under subparagraph 7.
108     6.  Each early learning coalition must include the
109following members:
110     a.  A Department of Children and Family Services district
111administrator or his or her designee who is authorized to make
112decisions on behalf of the department.
113     b.  A district superintendent of schools or his or her
114designee who is authorized to make decisions on behalf of the
115district, who shall be a nonvoting member.
116     c.  A regional workforce board executive director or his or
117her designee.
118     d.  A county health department director or his or her
119designee.
120     e.  A children's services council or juvenile welfare board
121chair or executive director, if applicable, who shall be a
122nonvoting member if the council or board is the fiscal agent of
123the coalition or if the council or board contracts with and
124receives funds from the coalition for any purpose other than
125rent.
126     f.  An agency head of a local licensing agency as defined
127in s. 402.302, where applicable.
128     g.  A president of a community college or his or her
129designee.
130     h.  One member appointed by a board of county
131commissioners.
132     i.  A central agency administrator, where applicable, who
133shall be a nonvoting member.
134     j.  A Head Start director, who shall be a nonvoting member.
135     k.  A representative of private child care providers,
136including family day care homes, who shall be a nonvoting
137member.
138     l.  A representative of faith-based child care providers,
139who shall be a nonvoting member.
140     m.  A representative of programs for children with
141disabilities under the federal Individuals with Disabilities
142Education Act, who shall be a nonvoting member.
143     7.  Including the members appointed by the Governor under
144subparagraph 5., more than one-third of the members of each
145early learning coalition must be private sector business members
146who do not have, and none of whose relatives as defined in s.
147112.3143 has, a substantial financial interest in the design or
148delivery of the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program
149created under part V of chapter 1002 or the coalition's school
150readiness program. To meet this requirement an early learning
151coalition must appoint additional members from a list of
152nominees submitted to the coalition by a chamber of commerce or
153economic development council within the geographic region served
154by the coalition. The Agency for Workforce Innovation shall
155establish criteria for appointing private sector business
156members. These criteria must include standards for determining
157whether a member or relative has a substantial financial
158interest in the design or delivery of the Voluntary
159Prekindergarten Education Program or the coalition's school
160readiness program.
161     8.  A majority of the voting membership of an early
162learning coalition constitutes a quorum required to conduct the
163business of the coalition. An early learning coalition board may
164use any method of telecommunications to conduct meetings,
165including establishing a quorum through telecommunications,
166provided that the public is given proper notice of a
167telecommunications meeting and reasonable access to observe and,
168when appropriate, participate.
169     9.  A voting member of an early learning coalition may not
170appoint a designee to act in his or her place, except as
171otherwise provided in this paragraph. A voting member may send a
172representative to coalition meetings, but that representative
173does not have voting privileges. When a district administrator
174for the Department of Children and Family Services appoints a
175designee to an early learning coalition, the designee is the
176voting member of the coalition, and any individual attending in
177the designee's place, including the district administrator, does
178not have voting privileges.
179     10.  Each member of an early learning coalition is subject
180to ss. 112.313, 112.3135, and 112.3143. For purposes of s.
181112.3143(3)(a), each voting member is a local public officer who
182must abstain from voting when a voting conflict exists.
183     11.  For purposes of tort liability, each member or
184employee of an early learning coalition shall be governed by s.
185768.28.
186     12.  An early learning coalition serving a multicounty
187region must include representation from each county.
188     13.  Each early learning coalition shall establish terms
189for all appointed members of the coalition. The terms must be
190staggered and must be a uniform length that does not exceed 4
191years per term. Appointed members may serve a maximum of two
192consecutive terms. When a vacancy occurs in an appointed
193position, the coalition must advertise the vacancy.
194     Section 3.  Section 402.27, Florida Statutes, is renumbered
195as section 411.0101, Florida Statutes, and amended to read:
196     411.0101 402.27  Child care and early childhood resource
197and referral.--The Agency for Workforce Innovation Department of
198Children and Family Services shall establish a statewide child
199care resource and referral network. Preference shall be given to
200using the already established early learning coalitions central
201agencies for subsidized child care as the child care resource
202and referral agency. If an early learning coalition the agency
203cannot comply with the requirements to offer the resource
204information component or does not want to offer that service,
205the early learning coalition Department of Children and Family
206Services shall select the resource information agency based upon
207a request for proposal pursuant to s. 411.01(5)(e)1. At least
208one child care resource and referral agency must be established
209in each early learning coalition's county or multicounty region
210district of the department, but no more than one may be
211established in any county. Child care resource and referral
212agencies shall provide the following services:
213     (1)  Identification of existing public and private child
214care and early childhood education services, including child
215care services by public and private employers, and the
216development of a resource file of those services. These services
217may include family day care, public and private child care
218programs, head start, prekindergarten early intervention
219programs, special education programs for prekindergarten
220handicapped children, services for children with developmental
221disabilities, full-time and part-time programs, before-school
222and after-school programs, vacation care programs, parent
223education, the WAGES Program, and related family support
224services. The resource file shall include, but not be limited
225to:
226     (a)  Type of program.
227     (b)  Hours of service.
228     (c)  Ages of children served.
229     (d)  Number of children served.
230     (e)  Significant program information.
231     (f)  Fees and eligibility for services.
232     (g)  Availability of transportation.
233     (2)  The establishment of a referral process which responds
234to parental need for information and which is provided with full
235recognition of the confidentiality rights of parents. Resource
236and referral programs shall make referrals to licensed child
237care facilities. Referrals shall be made to an unlicensed child
238care facility or arrangement only if there is no requirement
239that the facility or arrangement be licensed.
240     (3)  Maintenance of ongoing documentation of requests for
241service tabulated through the internal referral process. The
242following documentation of requests for service shall be
243maintained by all child care resource and referral agencies:
244     (a)  Number of calls and contacts to the child care
245information and referral agency component by type of service
246requested.
247     (b)  Ages of children for whom service was requested.
248     (c)  Time category of child care requests for each child.
249     (d)  Special time category, such as nights, weekends, and
250swing shift.
251     (e)  Reason that the child care is needed.
252     (f)  Name of the employer and primary focus of the
253business.
254     (4)  Provision of technical assistance to existing and
255potential providers of child care services. This assistance may
256include:
257     (a)  Information on initiating new child care services,
258zoning, and program and budget development and assistance in
259finding such information from other sources.
260     (b)  Information and resources which help existing child
261care services providers to maximize their ability to serve
262children and parents in their community.
263     (c)  Information and incentives which could help existing
264or planned child care services offered by public or private
265employers seeking to maximize their ability to serve the
266children of their working parent employees in their community,
267through contractual or other funding arrangements with
268businesses.
269     (5)  Assistance to families and employers in applying for
270various sources of subsidy including, but not limited to,
271subsidized child care, head start, prekindergarten early
272intervention programs, Project Independence, private
273scholarships, and the federal dependent care tax credit.
274     (6)  Assistance to state agencies in determining the market
275rate for child care.
276     (7)  Assistance in negotiating discounts or other special
277arrangements with child care providers.
278     (8)  Information and assistance to local interagency
279councils coordinating services for prekindergarten handicapped
280children.
281     (9)  Assistance to families in identifying summer
282recreation camp and summer day camp programs and in evaluating
283the health and safety qualities of summer recreation camp and
284summer day camp programs and in evaluating the health and safety
285qualities of summer camp programs. Contingent upon specific
286appropriation, a checklist of important health and safety
287qualities that parents can use to choose their summer camp
288programs shall be developed and distributed in a manner that
289will reach parents interested in such programs for their
290children.
291     (10)  A child care facility licensed under s. 402.305 and
292licensed and registered family day care homes must provide the
293statewide child care and resource and referral agencies with the
294following information annually:
295     (a)  Type of program.
296     (b)  Hours of service.
297     (c)  Ages of children served.
298     (d)  Fees and eligibility for services.
299     (11)  The Agency for Workforce Innovation shall adopt any
300rules necessary for the implementation and administration of
301this section.
302     Section 4.  Section 409.178, Florida Statutes, is
303renumbered as section 411.0102, Florida Statutes, and subsection
304(4), paragraphs (b), (c), and (d) of subsection (5), and
305subsection (6) of that section are amended to read:
306     411.0102 409.178  Child Care Executive Partnership Act;
307findings and intent; grant; limitation; rules.--
308     (4)  The Child Care Executive Partnership, staffed by the
309Agency for Workforce Innovation department, shall consist of a
310representative of the Executive Office of the Governor and nine
311members of the corporate or child care community, appointed by
312the Governor.
313     (a)  Members shall serve for a period of 4 years, except
314that the representative of the Executive Office of the Governor
315shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor.
316     (b)  The Child Care Executive Partnership shall be chaired
317by a member chosen by a majority vote and shall meet at least
318quarterly and at other times upon the call of the chair.
319     (c)  Members shall serve without compensation, but may be
320reimbursed for per diem and travel expenses in accordance with
321s. 112.061.
322     (d)  The Child Care Executive Partnership shall have all
323the powers and authority, not explicitly prohibited by statute,
324necessary to carry out and effectuate the purposes of this
325section, as well as the functions, duties, and responsibilities
326of the partnership, including, but not limited to, the
327following:
328     1.  Assisting in the formulation and coordination of the
329state's child care policy.
330     2.  Adopting an official seal.
331     3.  Soliciting, accepting, receiving, investing, and
332expending funds from public or private sources.
333     4.  Contracting with public or private entities as
334necessary.
335     5.  Approving an annual budget.
336     6.  Carrying forward any unexpended state appropriations
337into succeeding fiscal years.
338     7.  Providing a report to the Governor, the Speaker of the
339House of Representatives, and the President of the Senate, on or
340before December 1 of each year.
341     (5)
342     (b)  To ensure a seamless service delivery and ease of
343access for families, an early learning coalition the community
344coordinated child care agencies or the state resource and
345referral Agency for Workforce Innovation shall administer the
346child care purchasing pool funds.
347     (c)  The Agency for Workforce Innovation department, in
348conjunction with the Child Care Executive Partnership, shall
349develop procedures for disbursement of funds through the child
350care purchasing pools. In order to be considered for funding, an
351early learning coalition the community coordinated child care
352agency or the statewide resource and referral Agency for
353Workforce Innovation must commit to:
354     1.  Matching the state purchasing pool funds on a dollar-
355for-dollar basis; and
356     2.  Expending only those public funds which are matched by
357employers, local government, and other matching contributors who
358contribute to the purchasing pool. Parents shall also pay a fee,
359which shall be not less than the amount identified in the early
360learning coalition's department's subsidized child care sliding
361fee scale.
362     (d)  Each early learning coalition community coordinated
363child care agency shall be required to establish a community
364child care task force for each child care purchasing pool. The
365task force must be composed of employers, parents, private child
366care providers, and one representative from the local children's
367services council, if one exists in the area of the purchasing
368pool. The early learning coalition community coordinated child
369care agency is expected to recruit the task force members from
370existing child care councils, commissions, or task forces
371already operating in the area of a purchasing pool. A majority
372of the task force shall consist of employers. Each task force
373shall develop a plan for the use of child care purchasing pool
374funds. The plan must show how many children will be served by
375the purchasing pool, how many will be new to receiving child
376care services, and how the early learning coalition community
377coordinated child care agency intends to attract new employers
378and their employees to the program.
379     (6)  The Agency for Workforce Innovation Department of
380Children and Family Services shall adopt any rules necessary for
381the implementation and administration of this section.
382     Section 5.  Subsection (3) of section 1002.55, Florida
383Statutes, is amended to read:
384     1002.55  School-year prekindergarten program delivered by
385private prekindergarten providers.--
386     (3)  To be eligible to deliver the prekindergarten program,
387a private prekindergarten provider must meet each of the
388following requirements:
389     (a)  The private prekindergarten provider must be a child
390care facility licensed under s. 402.305, family day care home
391licensed under s. 402.313, large family child care home licensed
392under s. 402.3131, nonpublic school exempt from licensure under
393s. 402.3025(2), or faith-based child care provider exempt from
394licensure under s. 402.316.
395     (b)  The private prekindergarten provider must:
396     1.  Be accredited by an accrediting association that is a
397member of the National Council for Private School Accreditation,
398the Commission on International and Trans-Regional
399Accreditation, or the Florida Association of Academic Nonpublic
400Schools and have written accreditation standards that meet or
401exceed the state's licensing requirements under s. 402.305, s.
402402.313, or s. 402.3131 and require at least one on-site visit
403to the provider or school before accreditation is granted;
404     2.  Hold a current Gold Seal Quality Care designation under
405s. 402.281; or
406     3.  Be licensed under s. 402.305, s. 402.313, or s.
407402.3131 and demonstrate, before delivering the Voluntary
408Prekindergarten Education Program, as verified by the early
409learning coalition, that the provider meets each of the
410requirements of the program under this part, including, but not
411limited to, the requirements for credentials and background
412screenings of prekindergarten instructors under paragraphs (c)
413and (d), minimum and maximum class sizes under paragraph (f)(e),
414prekindergarten director credentials under paragraph (g)(f), and
415a developmentally appropriate curriculum under s. 1002.67(2)(b).
416     (c)  The private prekindergarten provider must have, for
417each prekindergarten class, at least one prekindergarten
418instructor who meets each of the following requirements:
419     1.  The prekindergarten instructor must hold, at a minimum,
420one of the following credentials:
421     a.  A child development associate credential issued by the
422National Credentialing Program of the Council for Professional
423Recognition; or
424     b.  A credential approved by the Department of Children and
425Family Services as being equivalent to or greater than the
426credential described in sub-subparagraph a.
427
428The Department of Children and Family Services may adopt rules
429under ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 which provide criteria and
430procedures for approving equivalent credentials under sub-
431subparagraph b.
432     2.  The prekindergarten instructor must successfully
433complete an emergent literacy training course approved by the
434department as meeting or exceeding the minimum standards adopted
435under s. 1002.59. This subparagraph does not apply to a
436prekindergarten instructor who successfully completes approved
437training in early literacy and language development under s.
438402.305(2)(d)5., s. 402.313(6), or s. 402.3131(5) before the
439establishment of one or more emergent literacy training courses
440under s. 1002.59 or April 1, 2005, whichever occurs later.
441     (d)  Each prekindergarten instructor employed by the
442private prekindergarten provider must be of good moral
443character, must be screened using the level 2 screening
444standards in s. 435.04 before employment and rescreened at least
445once every 5 years, must be denied employment or terminated if
446required under s. 435.06, and must not be ineligible to teach in
447a public school because his or her educator certificate is
448suspended or revoked.
449     (e)  A private prekindergarten provider may assign a
450substitute instructor to temporarily replace a credentialed
451instructor if the credentialed instructor assigned to a
452prekindergarten class is absent, as long as the substitute
453instructor is of good moral character and has been screened in
454accordance with level 2 background screening requirements in
455chapter 435. The Agency for Workforce Innovation shall adopt
456rules to implement this paragraph which shall include required
457qualifications of substitute instructors and the circumstances
458and time limits for which a private prekindergarten provider may
459assign a substitute instructor.
460     (f)(e)  Each of the private prekindergarten provider's
461prekindergarten classes must be composed of at least 4 students
462but may not exceed 18 students. In order to protect the health
463and safety of students, each private prekindergarten provider
464must also provide appropriate adult supervision for students at
465all times and, for each prekindergarten class composed of 11 or
466more students, must have, in addition to a prekindergarten
467instructor who meets the requirements of paragraph (c), at least
468one adult prekindergarten instructor who is not required to meet
469those requirements but who must meet each requirement of
470paragraph (d). This paragraph does not supersede any requirement
471imposed on a provider under ss. 402.301-402.319.
472     (g)(f)  Before the beginning of the 2006-2007 school year,
473the private prekindergarten provider must have a prekindergarten
474director who has a prekindergarten director credential that is
475approved by the department as meeting or exceeding the minimum
476standards adopted under s. 1002.57. Successful completion of a
477child care facility director credential under s. 402.305(2)(f)
478before the establishment of the prekindergarten director
479credential under s. 1002.57 or July 1, 2006, whichever occurs
480later, satisfies the requirement for a prekindergarten director
481credential under this paragraph.
482     (h)(g)  The private prekindergarten provider must register
483with the early learning coalition on forms prescribed by the
484Agency for Workforce Innovation.
485     (i)(h)  The private prekindergarten provider must deliver
486the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program in accordance
487with this part.
488     Section 6.  Section 1002.61, Florida Statutes, is amended
489to read:
490     1002.61  Summer prekindergarten program delivered by public
491schools and private prekindergarten providers.--
492     (1)(a)  Each school district shall administer the Voluntary
493Prekindergarten Education Program at the district level for
494students enrolled under s. 1002.53(3)(b) in a summer
495prekindergarten program delivered by a public school.
496     (b)  Each early learning coalition shall administer the
497Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program at the county or
498regional level for students enrolled under s. 1002.53(3)(b) in a
499summer prekindergarten program delivered by a private
500prekindergarten provider.
501     (2)  Each summer prekindergarten program delivered by a
502public school or private prekindergarten provider must:
503     (a)  Comprise at least 300 instructional hours;
504     (b)  Not begin earlier than May 1 of the school year; and
505     (c)  Not deliver the program for a child earlier than the
506summer immediately before the school year for which the child is
507eligible for admission to kindergarten in a public school under
508s. 1003.21(1)(a)2.
509     (3)(a)  Each district school board shall determine which
510public schools in the school district are eligible to deliver
511the summer prekindergarten program. The school district shall
512use educational facilities available in the public schools
513during the summer term for the summer prekindergarten program.
514     (b)  Except as provided in this section, to be eligible to
515deliver the summer prekindergarten program, a private
516prekindergarten provider must meet each requirement in s.
5171002.55.
518     (4)  Notwithstanding ss. 1002.55(3)(c)1. and 1002.63(5),
519each public school and private prekindergarten provider must
520have, for each prekindergarten class, at least one
521prekindergarten instructor who:
522     (a)  Is a certified teacher; or
523     (b)  Holds one of the educational credentials specified in
524s. 1002.55(4)(a) or (b).
525
526As used in this subsection, the term "certified teacher" means a
527teacher holding a valid Florida educator certificate under s.
5281012.56 who has the qualifications required by the district
529school board to instruct students in the summer prekindergarten
530program. In selecting instructional staff for the summer
531prekindergarten program, each school district shall give
532priority to teachers who have experience or coursework in early
533childhood education.
534     (5)  Each prekindergarten instructor employed by a public
535school or private prekindergarten provider delivering the summer
536prekindergarten program must be of good moral character, must be
537screened using the level 2 screening standards in s. 435.04
538before employment and rescreened at least once every 5 years,
539must be denied employment or terminated if required under s.
540435.06, and must not be ineligible to teach in a public school
541because his or her educator certificate is suspended or revoked.
542This subsection does not supersede employment requirements for
543instructional personnel in public schools which are more
544stringent than the requirements of this subsection.
545     (6)  A public school or private prekindergarten provider
546may assign a substitute instructor to temporarily replace a
547credentialed instructor if the credentialed instructor assigned
548to a prekindergarten class is absent, as long as the substitute
549instructor is of good moral character and has been screened in
550accordance with level 2 background screening requirements in
551chapter 435. This subsection does not supersede employment
552requirements for instructional personnel in public schools which
553are more stringent than the requirements of this subsection. The
554Agency for Workforce Innovation shall adopt rules to implement
555this subsection which shall include required qualifications of
556substitute instructors and the circumstances and time limits for
557which a public school or private prekindergarten provider may
558assign a substitute instructor.
559     (7)(6)  Notwithstanding ss. 1002.55(3)(f)(e) and
5601002.63(8)(7), each prekindergarten class in the summer
561prekindergarten program, regardless of whether the class is a
562public school's or private prekindergarten provider's class,
563must be composed of at least 4 students but may not exceed 10
564students. In order to protect the health and safety of students,
565each public school or private prekindergarten provider must also
566provide appropriate adult supervision for students at all times.
567This subsection does not supersede any requirement imposed on a
568provider under ss. 402.301-402.319.
569     (8)(7)  Each public school delivering the summer
570prekindergarten program must also:
571     (a)  Register with the early learning coalition on forms
572prescribed by the Agency for Workforce Innovation; and
573     (b)  Deliver the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education
574Program in accordance with this part.
575     Section 7.  Section 1002.63, Florida Statutes, is amended
576to read:
577     1002.63  School-year prekindergarten program delivered by
578public schools.--
579     (1)  Each school district eligible under subsection (4) may
580administer the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program at
581the district level for students enrolled under s. 1002.53(3)(c)
582in a school-year prekindergarten program delivered by a public
583school.
584     (2)  Each school-year prekindergarten program delivered by
585a public school must comprise at least 540 instructional hours.
586     (3)  The district school board of each school district
587eligible under subsection (4) shall determine which public
588schools in the district are eligible to deliver the
589prekindergarten program during the school year.
590     (4)  To be eligible to deliver the prekindergarten program
591during the school year, each school district must meet both of
592the following requirements:
593     (a)  The district school board must certify to the State
594Board of Education that the school district:
595     1.  Has reduced the average class size in each classroom in
596accordance with s. 1003.03 and the schedule in s. 1(a), Art. IX
597of the State Constitution; and
598     2.  Has sufficient satisfactory educational facilities and
599capital outlay funds to continue reducing the average class size
600in each classroom in the district's elementary schools for each
601year in accordance with the schedule for class size reduction
602and to achieve full compliance with the maximum class sizes in
603s. 1(a), Art. IX of the State Constitution by the beginning of
604the 2010-2011 school year.
605     (b)  The Commissioner of Education must certify to the
606State Board of Education that the department has reviewed the
607school district's educational facilities, capital outlay funds,
608and projected student enrollment and concurs with the district
609school board's certification under paragraph (a).
610     (5)  Each public school must have, for each prekindergarten
611class, at least one prekindergarten instructor who meets each
612requirement in s. 1002.55(3)(c) for a prekindergarten instructor
613of a private prekindergarten provider.
614     (6)  Each prekindergarten instructor employed by a public
615school delivering the school-year prekindergarten program must
616be of good moral character, must be screened using the level 2
617screening standards in s. 435.04 before employment and
618rescreened at least once every 5 years, must be denied
619employment or terminated if required under s. 435.06, and must
620not be ineligible to teach in a public school because his or her
621educator certificate is suspended or revoked. This subsection
622does not supersede employment requirements for instructional
623personnel in public schools which are more stringent than the
624requirements of this subsection.
625     (7)  A public school prekindergarten provider may assign a
626substitute instructor to temporarily replace a credentialed
627instructor if the credentialed instructor assigned to a
628prekindergarten class is absent, as long as the substitute
629instructor is of good moral character and has been screened in
630accordance with level 2 background screening requirements in
631chapter 435. This subsection does not supersede employment
632requirements for instructional personnel in public schools which
633are more stringent than the requirements of this subsection. The
634Agency for Workforce Innovation shall adopt rules to implement
635this subsection which shall include required qualifications of
636substitute instructors and the circumstances and time limits for
637which a public school prekindergarten provider may assign a
638substitute instructor.
639     (8)(7)  Each prekindergarten class in a public school
640delivering the school-year prekindergarten program must be
641composed of at least 4 students but may not exceed 18 students.
642In order to protect the health and safety of students, each
643school must also provide appropriate adult supervision for
644students at all times and, for each prekindergarten class
645composed of 11 or more students, must have, in addition to a
646prekindergarten instructor who meets the requirements of s.
6471002.55(3)(c), at least one adult prekindergarten instructor who
648is not required to meet those requirements but who must meet
649each requirement of subsection (6).
650     (9)(8)  Each public school delivering the school-year
651prekindergarten program must:
652     (a)  Register with the early learning coalition on forms
653prescribed by the Agency for Workforce Innovation; and
654     (b)  Deliver the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education
655Program in accordance with this part.
656     Section 8.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2008.


CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.
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