August 12, 2020
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       Florida Senate - 2010                                     SB 848
       
       
       
       By Senator Rich
       
       
       
       
       34-00611A-10                                           2010848__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to the Voluntary Prekindergarten
    3         Education Program; amending ss. 1002.55 and 1002.63,
    4         F.S.; providing that prekindergarten instructors in
    5         school-year prekindergarten programs delivered by
    6         private providers and public schools must meet new
    7         professional credentialing requirements beginning July
    8         1, 2013; deleting provisions relating to alternate
    9         educational credentials, to conform; amending ss.
   10         1002.61 and 1007.23, F.S.; conforming cross-references
   11         to changes made by the act; repealing s. 1002.65,
   12         F.S., relating to aspirational goals for the
   13         professional credentials of prekindergarten
   14         instructors; providing an effective date.
   15  
   16         WHEREAS, the Legislature finds that there is a strong
   17  correlation between the state’s fiscal and economic well-being,
   18  the state’s workforce development, the skills and preparation of
   19  the state’s prekindergarten instructors, and the educational
   20  outcomes of students in the state’s Voluntary Prekindergarten
   21  Education Program, and
   22         WHEREAS, national studies have shown that the only
   23  prekindergarten education programs that demonstrate large long
   24  term economic gains and improve educational outcomes for
   25  prekindergarten education students are programs taught by
   26  teachers who hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, and
   27         WHEREAS, children who are enrolled in prekindergarten
   28  education programs taught by teachers who hold a bachelor’s
   29  degree or higher save taxpayer dollars by reducing costs
   30  associated with K-12 student remediation, student dropouts,
   31  juvenile and criminal justice, law enforcement, and other public
   32  safety and assistance programs, and
   33         WHEREAS, for the 2008-2009 school year, the rate of
   34  Florida’s third grade students who were not promoted to fourth
   35  grade was 6.64 percent, and
   36         WHEREAS, the number of prekindergarten through third grade
   37  students who are not promoted to the next grade costs Florida’s
   38  taxpayers in excess of $330 million annually, and
   39         WHEREAS, investment in high-quality prekindergarten
   40  education programs is a cost-effective way to create a highly
   41  skilled future workforce and is an effective public policy
   42  strategy for generating wealth and achieving social and economic
   43  development, and
   44         WHEREAS, Florida can meet Voluntary Prekindergarten
   45  Education Program teacher capacity, based on graduation rates of
   46  students receiving bachelor’s degrees in early childhood
   47  education, by offering full reciprocity for teacher
   48  certificateholders from other states; by employing teachers who
   49  are currently being terminated due to the declining trends in K
   50  12 student growth; and by continuing to support a bachelor’s
   51  degree career ladder for existing nondegreed teachers, NOW,
   52  THEREFORE,
   53  
   54  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   55  
   56         Section 1. Section 1002.55, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   57  read:
   58         1002.55 School-year prekindergarten program delivered by
   59  private prekindergarten providers.—
   60         (1) Each early learning coalition shall administer the
   61  Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program at the county or
   62  regional level for students enrolled under s. 1002.53(3)(a) in a
   63  school-year prekindergarten program delivered by a private
   64  prekindergarten provider.
   65         (2) Each school-year prekindergarten program delivered by a
   66  private prekindergarten provider must comprise at least 540
   67  instructional hours.
   68         (3) To be eligible to deliver the prekindergarten program,
   69  a private prekindergarten provider must meet each of the
   70  following requirements:
   71         (a) The private prekindergarten provider must be a child
   72  care facility licensed under s. 402.305, family day care home
   73  licensed under s. 402.313, large family child care home licensed
   74  under s. 402.3131, nonpublic school exempt from licensure under
   75  s. 402.3025(2), or faith-based child care provider exempt from
   76  licensure under s. 402.316.
   77         (b) The private prekindergarten provider must:
   78         1. Be accredited by an accrediting association that is a
   79  member of the National Council for Private School Accreditation,
   80  the Commission on International and Trans-Regional
   81  Accreditation, or the Florida Association of Academic Nonpublic
   82  Schools and have written accreditation standards that meet or
   83  exceed the state’s licensing requirements under s. 402.305, s.
   84  402.313, or s. 402.3131 and require at least one onsite visit to
   85  the provider or school before accreditation is granted;
   86         2. Hold a current Gold Seal Quality Care designation under
   87  s. 402.281; or
   88         3. Be licensed under s. 402.305, s. 402.313, or s. 402.3131
   89  and demonstrate, before delivering the Voluntary Prekindergarten
   90  Education Program, as verified by the early learning coalition,
   91  that the provider meets each of the requirements of the program
   92  under this part, including, but not limited to, the requirements
   93  for credentials and background screenings of prekindergarten
   94  instructors under paragraphs (c) and (d), minimum and maximum
   95  class sizes under paragraph (f), prekindergarten director
   96  credentials under paragraph (g), and a developmentally
   97  appropriate curriculum under s. 1002.67(2)(b).
   98         (c)1. The private prekindergarten provider must have, for
   99  each prekindergarten class composed of fewer than 11 students,
  100  at least one prekindergarten instructor who holds:
  101         a. A bachelor’s or higher degree in early childhood
  102  education, prekindergarten or primary education, preschool
  103  education, or family and consumer science; or
  104         b. A bachelor’s or higher degree in elementary education,
  105  if the prekindergarten instructor has been certified to teach
  106  children any age from birth through grade 6, regardless of
  107  whether the instructor’s educator certificate is current, and if
  108  the instructor is not ineligible to teach in a public school
  109  because his or her educator certificate is suspended or revoked.
  110         2. The private prekindergarten provider must have, for each
  111  prekindergarten class composed of 11 or more students:
  112         a. One prekindergarten instructor who meets the
  113  requirements of subparagraph 1.; and
  114         b. One prekindergarten instructor who meets the following
  115  requirements:
  116         (I) Holds, at a minimum, a child development associate
  117  credential issued by the National Credentialing Program of the
  118  Council for Professional Recognition or a credential approved by
  119  the Department of Children and Family Services as being
  120  equivalent to or greater than the child development associate
  121  credential.
  122         (II) Successfully completes an emergent literacy training
  123  course approved by the Department of Education as meeting or
  124  exceeding the minimum standards adopted under s. 1002.59.
  125         (c) The private prekindergarten provider must have, for
  126  each prekindergarten class, at least one prekindergarten
  127  instructor who meets each of the following requirements:
  128         1. The prekindergarten instructor must hold, at a minimum,
  129  one of the following credentials:
  130         a. A child development associate credential issued by the
  131  National Credentialing Program of the Council for Professional
  132  Recognition; or
  133         b. A credential approved by the Department of Children and
  134  Family Services as being equivalent to or greater than the
  135  credential described in sub-subparagraph a.
  136  
  137  The Department of Children and Family Services may adopt rules
  138  under ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 which provide criteria and
  139  procedures for approving equivalent credentials under sub
  140  subparagraph b.
  141         2. The prekindergarten instructor must successfully
  142  complete an emergent literacy training course approved by the
  143  department as meeting or exceeding the minimum standards adopted
  144  under s. 1002.59. This subparagraph does not apply to a
  145  prekindergarten instructor who successfully completes approved
  146  training in early literacy and language development under s.
  147  402.305(2)(d)5., s. 402.313(6), or s. 402.3131(5) before the
  148  establishment of one or more emergent literacy training courses
  149  under s. 1002.59 or April 1, 2005, whichever occurs later.
  150         (d) Each prekindergarten instructor employed by the private
  151  prekindergarten provider must be of good moral character, must
  152  be screened using the level 2 screening standards in s. 435.04
  153  before employment and rescreened at least once every 5 years,
  154  must be denied employment or terminated if required under s.
  155  435.06, and must not be ineligible to teach in a public school
  156  because his or her educator certificate is suspended or revoked.
  157         (e) A private prekindergarten provider may assign a
  158  substitute instructor to temporarily replace a credentialed
  159  instructor if the credentialed instructor assigned to a
  160  prekindergarten class is absent, as long as the substitute
  161  instructor is of good moral character and has been screened
  162  before employment in accordance with level 2 background
  163  screening requirements in chapter 435. The Agency for Workforce
  164  Innovation shall adopt rules to implement this paragraph which
  165  shall include required qualifications of substitute instructors
  166  and the circumstances and time limits for which a private
  167  prekindergarten provider may assign a substitute instructor.
  168         (f) Each of the private prekindergarten provider’s
  169  prekindergarten classes must be composed of at least 4 students
  170  but may not exceed 18 students. In order to protect the health
  171  and safety of students, each private prekindergarten provider
  172  must also provide appropriate adult supervision for students at
  173  all times and, for Each prekindergarten class composed of 11 or
  174  more students must meet the requirements in subparagraph (c)2.
  175  for prekindergarten instructors, must have, in addition to a
  176  prekindergarten instructor who meets the requirements of
  177  paragraph (c), at least one adult prekindergarten instructor who
  178  is not required to meet those requirements but who must meet
  179  each requirement of paragraph (d). This paragraph does not
  180  supersede any requirement imposed on a provider under ss.
  181  402.301-402.319.
  182         (g) Before the beginning of the 2006-2007 school year, the
  183  private prekindergarten provider must have a prekindergarten
  184  director who has a prekindergarten director credential that is
  185  approved by the department as meeting or exceeding the minimum
  186  standards adopted under s. 1002.57. Successful completion of a
  187  child care facility director credential under s. 402.305(2)(f)
  188  before the establishment of the prekindergarten director
  189  credential under s. 1002.57 or July 1, 2006, whichever occurs
  190  later, satisfies the requirement for a prekindergarten director
  191  credential under this paragraph.
  192         (h) The private prekindergarten provider must register with
  193  the early learning coalition on forms prescribed by the Agency
  194  for Workforce Innovation.
  195         (i) The private prekindergarten provider must deliver the
  196  Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program in accordance with
  197  this part.
  198         (4) A prekindergarten instructor, in lieu of the minimum
  199  credentials and courses required under paragraph (3)(c), may
  200  hold one of the following educational credentials:
  201         (a) A bachelor’s or higher degree in early childhood
  202  education, prekindergarten or primary education, preschool
  203  education, or family and consumer science;
  204         (b) A bachelor’s or higher degree in elementary education,
  205  if the prekindergarten instructor has been certified to teach
  206  children any age from birth through 6th grade, regardless of
  207  whether the instructor’s educator certificate is current, and if
  208  the instructor is not ineligible to teach in a public school
  209  because his or her educator certificate is suspended or revoked;
  210         (c) An associate’s or higher degree in child development;
  211         (d) An associate’s or higher degree in an unrelated field,
  212  at least 6 credit hours in early childhood education or child
  213  development, and at least 480 hours of experience in teaching or
  214  providing child care services for children any age from birth
  215  through 8 years of age; or
  216         (e) An educational credential approved by the department as
  217  being equivalent to or greater than an educational credential
  218  described in this subsection. The department may adopt criteria
  219  and procedures for approving equivalent educational credentials
  220  under this paragraph.
  221         Section 2. Subsection (4) of section 1002.61, Florida
  222  Statutes, is amended to read:
  223         1002.61 Summer prekindergarten program delivered by public
  224  schools and private prekindergarten providers.—
  225         (4) Notwithstanding ss. 1002.55(3)(c)1. and 1002.63(4),
  226  each public school and private prekindergarten provider must
  227  have, for each prekindergarten class, at least one
  228  prekindergarten instructor who:
  229         (a) Is a certified teacher; or
  230         (b) Holds one of the educational credentials specified in
  231  s. 1002.55(3)(c)1.(4)(a) or (b).
  232  
  233  As used in this subsection, the term “certified teacher” means a
  234  teacher holding a valid Florida educator certificate under s.
  235  1012.56 who has the qualifications required by the district
  236  school board to instruct students in the summer prekindergarten
  237  program. In selecting instructional staff for the summer
  238  prekindergarten program, each school district shall give
  239  priority to teachers who have experience or coursework in early
  240  childhood education.
  241         Section 3. Subsections (4) and (7) of section 1002.63,
  242  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  243         1002.63 School-year prekindergarten program delivered by
  244  public schools.—
  245         (4) Each prekindergarten class in a public school
  246  delivering the school-year prekindergarten program must meet the
  247  requirements in s. 1002.55(3)(c) for prekindergarten
  248  instructors. Each public school must have, for each
  249  prekindergarten class, at least one prekindergarten instructor
  250  who meets each requirement in s. 1002.55(3)(c) for a
  251  prekindergarten instructor of a private prekindergarten
  252  provider.
  253         (7) Each prekindergarten class in a public school
  254  delivering the school-year prekindergarten program must be
  255  composed of at least 4 students but may not exceed 18 students.
  256  In order to protect the health and safety of students, each
  257  school must also provide appropriate adult supervision for
  258  students at all times and, for Each prekindergarten class
  259  composed of 11 or more students must meet the requirements in s.
  260  1002.55(3)(c)2. for prekindergarten instructors, must have, in
  261  addition to a prekindergarten instructor who meets the
  262  requirements of s. 1002.55(3)(c), at least one adult
  263  prekindergarten instructor who is not required to meet those
  264  requirements but who must meet each requirement of subsection
  265  (5).
  266         Section 4. Subsection (5) of section 1007.23, Florida
  267  Statutes, is amended to read:
  268         1007.23 Statewide articulation agreement.—
  269         (5) The articulation agreement must guarantee the
  270  articulation of 9 credit hours toward a postsecondary degree in
  271  early childhood education for programs approved by the State
  272  Board of Education and the Board of Governors which:
  273         (a) Award a child development associate credential issued
  274  by the National Credentialing Program of the Council for
  275  Professional Recognition or award a credential approved under s.
  276  1002.55(3)(c)2.1.b. or s. 402.305(3)(c) as being equivalent to
  277  the child development associate credential; and
  278         (b) Include training in emergent literacy which meets or
  279  exceeds the minimum standards for training courses for
  280  prekindergarten instructors of the Voluntary Prekindergarten
  281  Education Program in s. 1002.59.
  282         Section 5. Section 1002.65, Florida Statutes, is repealed.
  283         Section 6. This act shall take effect July 1, 2010.

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