January 27, 2021
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HB 1073

A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to the education of children with
3disabilities; providing a short title; amending s.
4402.305, F.S.; requiring minimum training for child care
5personnel to include the identification and care of
6children with developmental disabilities; amending s.
71002.39, F.S.; revising requirements for student
8eligibility to participate in the John M. McKay
9Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program;
10amending s. 1004.55, F.S.; requiring regional autism
11centers to provide certain support for serving children
12with developmental disabilities; creating s. 1012.582,
13F.S.; requiring the Department of Education to incorporate
14course curricula relating to developmental disabilities
15into existing requirements for the continuing education or
16inservice training of instructional personnel; requiring
17the Commissioner of Education to make recommendations to
18the department relating to developmental disabilities
19awareness instruction and methods for teaching students
20with developmental disabilities; authorizing the State
21Board of Education to adopt rules; providing an effective
24Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
26     Section 1.  This act may be cited as the "Disabilities in
27Education Act."
28     Section 2.  Paragraph (d) of subsection (2) of section
29402.305, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
30     402.305  Licensing standards; child care facilities.-
31     (2)  PERSONNEL.-Minimum standards for child care personnel
32shall include minimum requirements as to:
33     (d)  Minimum training requirements for child care
35     1.  Such minimum standards for training shall ensure that
36all child care personnel take an approved 40-clock-hour
37introductory course in child care, which course covers at least
38the following topic areas:
39     a.  State and local rules and regulations which govern
40child care.
41     b.  Health, safety, and nutrition.
42     c.  Identifying and reporting child abuse and neglect.
43     d.  Child development, including typical and atypical
44language, cognitive, motor, social, and self-help skills
46     e.  Observation of developmental behaviors, including using
47a checklist or other similar observation tools and techniques to
48determine the child's developmental age level.
49     f.  Specialized areas, including computer technology for
50professional and classroom use and early literacy and language
51development of children from birth to 5 years of age, as
52determined by the department, for owner-operators and child care
53personnel of a child care facility.
54     g.  Developmental disabilities, including autism spectrum
55disorder, and early identification, use of available state and
56local resources, classroom integration, and positive behavioral
57supports for children with developmental disabilities.
59Within 90 days after employment, child care personnel shall
60begin training to meet the training requirements. Child care
61personnel shall successfully complete such training within 1
62year after the date on which the training began, as evidenced by
63passage of a competency examination. Successful completion of
64the 40-clock-hour introductory course shall articulate into
65community college credit in early childhood education, pursuant
66to ss. 1007.24 and 1007.25. Exemption from all or a portion of
67the required training shall be granted to child care personnel
68based upon educational credentials or passage of competency
69examinations. Child care personnel possessing a 2-year degree or
70higher that includes 6 college credit hours in early childhood
71development or child growth and development, or a child
72development associate credential or an equivalent state-approved
73child development associate credential, or a child development
74associate waiver certificate shall be automatically exempted
75from the training requirements in sub-subparagraphs b., d., and
77     2.  The introductory course in child care shall stress, to
78the extent possible, an interdisciplinary approach to the study
79of children.
80     3.  The introductory course shall cover recognition and
81prevention of shaken baby syndrome, prevention of sudden infant
82death syndrome, recognition and care of infants and toddlers
83with developmental disabilities, including autism spectrum
84disorder, and early childhood brain development within the topic
85areas identified in this paragraph.
86     4.  On an annual basis in order to further their child care
87skills and, if appropriate, administrative skills, child care
88personnel who have fulfilled the requirements for the child care
89training shall be required to take an additional 1 continuing
90education unit of approved inservice training, or 10 clock hours
91of equivalent training, as determined by the department.
92     5.  Child care personnel shall be required to complete 0.5
93continuing education unit of approved training or 5 clock hours
94of equivalent training, as determined by the department, in
95early literacy and language development of children from birth
96to 5 years of age one time. The year that this training is
97completed, it shall fulfill the 0.5 continuing education unit or
985 clock hours of the annual training required in subparagraph 4.
99     6.  Procedures for ensuring the training of qualified child
100care professionals to provide training of child care personnel,
101including onsite training, shall be included in the minimum
102standards. It is recommended that the state community child care
103coordination agencies (central agencies) be contracted by the
104department to coordinate such training when possible. Other
105district educational resources, such as community colleges and
106career programs, can be designated in such areas where central
107agencies may not exist or are determined not to have the
108capability to meet the coordination requirements set forth by
109the department.
110     7.  Training requirements shall not apply to certain
111occasional or part-time support staff, including, but not
112limited to, swimming instructors, piano teachers, dance
113instructors, and gymnastics instructors.
114     8.  The department shall evaluate or contract for an
115evaluation for the general purpose of determining the status of
116and means to improve staff training requirements and testing
117procedures. The evaluation shall be conducted every 2 years. The
118evaluation shall include, but not be limited to, determining the
119availability, quality, scope, and sources of current staff
120training; determining the need for specialty training; and
121determining ways to increase inservice training and ways to
122increase the accessibility, quality, and cost-effectiveness of
123current and proposed staff training. The evaluation methodology
124shall include a reliable and valid survey of child care
126     9.  The child care operator shall be required to take basic
127training in serving children with disabilities within 5 years
128after employment, either as a part of the introductory training
129or the annual 8 hours of inservice training.
130     Section 3.  Paragraph (a) of subsection (2) of section
1311002.39, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
132     1002.39  The John M. McKay Scholarships for Students with
133Disabilities Program.-There is established a program that is
134separate and distinct from the Opportunity Scholarship Program
135and is named the John M. McKay Scholarships for Students with
136Disabilities Program.
137     (2)  JOHN M. MCKAY SCHOLARSHIP ELIGIBILITY.-The parent of a
138public school student with a disability who is dissatisfied with
139the student's progress may request and receive from the state a
140John M. McKay Scholarship for the child to enroll in and attend
141a private school in accordance with this section if:
142     (a)  The student has spent 6 months or more during the
143prior school year in attendance at a Florida public school or
144the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. Prior school year
145in attendance means that the student was:
146     1.  Enrolled and reported by a school district for funding
147in the during the preceding October and February Florida
148Education Finance Program surveys in kindergarten through grade
14912, which shall include time spent in a Department of Juvenile
150Justice commitment program if funded under the Florida Education
151Finance Program;
152     2.  Enrolled and reported by the Florida School for the
153Deaf and the Blind in the during the preceding October and
154February student membership surveys in kindergarten through
155grade 12; or
156     3.  Enrolled and reported by a school district for funding
157in the during the preceding October and February Florida
158Education Finance Program surveys, was at least 4 years old when
159so enrolled and reported, and was eligible for services under s.
162However, a dependent child of a member of the United States
163Armed Forces who transfers to a school in this state from out of
164state or from a foreign country pursuant to a parent's permanent
165change of station orders is exempt from this paragraph but must
166meet all other eligibility requirements to participate in the
168     Section 4.  Paragraphs (f) and (g) are added to subsection
169(4) of section 1004.55, Florida Statutes, to read:
170     1004.55  Regional autism centers.-
171     (4)  Each center shall provide:
172     (f)  Coordination and dissemination of local and regional
173information regarding available resources for services for
174children with the developmental disabilities described in
175subsection (1).
176     (g)  Support to state agencies in the development of
177training for early child care providers and educators with
178respect to the developmental disabilities described in
179subsection (1).
180     Section 5.  Section 1012.582, Florida Statutes, is created
181to read:
182     1012.582  Continuing education and inservice training for
183teaching students with developmental disabilities.-
184     (1)  Beginning with the 2010-2011 school year, the
185Department of Education shall incorporate the course curricula
186recommended by the Commissioner of Education, pursuant to
187subsection (2), into existing requirements for the continuing
188education or inservice training of instructional personnel. The
189requirements of this section may not add to the total hours
190required for continuing education or inservice training as
191currently established by the Department of Education.
192     (2)  The Commissioner of Education shall develop
193recommendations to incorporate autism spectrum disorder and
194other developmental disabilities awareness instruction into
195continuing education or inservice training requirements for
196instructional personnel. The commissioner shall recommend
197methods for teaching students who have autism spectrum disorder
198or developmental disabilities to be incorporated into continuing
199education and inservice and other training programs for
200instructional personnel, where appropriate. In developing the
201recommendations, the commissioner shall consult with the State
202Surgeon General, the Director of the Agency for Persons with
203Disabilities, representatives from the education community in
204the state, and representatives from entities that promote
205awareness about autism spectrum disorder and other developmental
206disabilities and provide programs and services to persons with
207developmental disabilities, including, but not limited to,
208regional autism centers pursuant to s. 1004.55. The
209recommendations shall address, but not be limited to addressing:
210     (a)  Early identification of, and intervention for,
211students who have autism spectrum disorder or other
212developmental disabilities.
213     (b)  Curriculum planning and curricular and instructional
214modifications, adaptations, and specialized strategies and
216     (c)  Assistive technology.
217     (d)  Inclusive classroom educational practices, including
218use of collaborative partnerships.
219     (e)  The use of available state and local resources.
220     (f)  The use of positive behavioral supports.
221     (3)  The State Board of Education shall adopt rules
222pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 as necessary to implement
223this section.
224     Section 6.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2010.

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