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Florida Senate - 2008 SB 1670

By Senator Gaetz

4-03068A-08 20081670__

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A bill to be entitled

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An act relating to early learning; providing a short

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title; amending s. 411.01, F.S.; authorizing use of

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telecommunication methods in conducting early learning

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coalition board meetings; amending and renumbering s.

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402.27, F.S.; transferring requirements for the

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establishment of a statewide child care resource and

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referral network by the Department of Children and Family

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Services to the Agency for Workforce Innovation; providing

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for use of early learning coalitions as child care

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resource and referral agencies; requiring rulemaking;

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amending and renumbering s. 409.178, F.S.; transferring

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duties of the Department of Children and Family Services

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with respect to the Child Care Executive Partnership

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Program to the Agency for Workforce Innovation and early

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learning coalitions; requiring rulemaking; amending ss.

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1002.55, 1002.61, and 1002.63, F.S., relating to the

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Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program; providing

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additional accreditation standards for private

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prekindergarten providers; revising background screening

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requirements for prekindergarten instructors; providing

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requirements for assignment of substitute instructors;

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requiring rulemaking; conforming cross-references;

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providing an effective date.

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Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:

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     Section 1. This act may be cited as the "Success in Early

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Learning Act."

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     Section 2.  Paragraph (a) of subsection (5) of section

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411.01, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

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     411.01  School readiness programs; early learning

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coalitions.--

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     (5)  CREATION OF EARLY LEARNING COALITIONS.--

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     (a)  Early learning coalitions.--

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     1.  The Agency for Workforce Innovation shall establish the

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minimum number of children to be served by each early learning

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coalition through the coalition's school readiness program. The

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Agency for Workforce Innovation may only approve school readiness

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plans in accordance with this minimum number. The minimum number

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must be uniform for every early learning coalition and must:

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     a.  Permit 30 or fewer coalitions to be established; and

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     b.  Require each coalition to serve at least 2,000 children

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based upon the average number of all children served per month

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through the coalition's school readiness program during the

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previous 12 months.

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The Agency for Workforce Innovation shall adopt procedures for

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merging early learning coalitions, including procedures for the

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consolidation of merging coalitions, and for the early

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termination of the terms of coalition members which are necessary

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to accomplish the mergers. Each early learning coalition must

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comply with the merger procedures and shall be organized in

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accordance with this subparagraph by April 1, 2005. By June 30,

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2005, each coalition must complete the transfer of powers,

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duties, functions, rules, records, personnel, property, and

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unexpended balances of appropriations, allocations, and other

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funds to the successor coalition, if applicable.

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     2.  If an early learning coalition would serve fewer

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children than the minimum number established under subparagraph

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1., the coalition must merge with another county to form a

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multicounty coalition. However, the Agency for Workforce

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Innovation may authorize an early learning coalition to serve

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fewer children than the minimum number established under

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subparagraph 1., if:

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     a.  The coalition demonstrates to the Agency for Workforce

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Innovation that merging with another county or multicounty region

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contiguous to the coalition would cause an extreme hardship on

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the coalition;

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     b.  The Agency for Workforce Innovation has determined

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during the most recent annual review of the coalition's school

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readiness plan, or through monitoring and performance evaluations

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conducted under paragraph (4)(l), that the coalition has

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substantially implemented its plan and substantially met the

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performance standards and outcome measures adopted by the agency;

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and

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     c.  The coalition demonstrates to the Agency for Workforce

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Innovation the coalition's ability to effectively and efficiently

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implement the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program.

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If an early learning coalition fails or refuses to merge as

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required by this subparagraph, the Agency for Workforce

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Innovation may dissolve the coalition and temporarily contract

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with a qualified entity to continue school readiness and

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prekindergarten services in the coalition's county or multicounty

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region until the coalition is reestablished through resubmission

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of a school readiness plan and approval by the agency.

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     3.  Notwithstanding the provisions of subparagraphs 1. and

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2., the early learning coalitions in Sarasota, Osceola, and Santa

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Rosa Counties which were in operation on January 1, 2005, are

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established and authorized to continue operation as independent

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coalitions, and shall not be counted within the limit of 30

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coalitions established in subparagraph 1.

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     4.  Each early learning coalition shall be composed of at

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least 18 members but not more than 35 members. The Agency for

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Workforce Innovation shall adopt standards establishing within

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this range the minimum and maximum number of members that may be

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appointed to an early learning coalition. These standards must

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include variations for a coalition serving a multicounty region.

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Each early learning coalition must comply with these standards.

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     5.  The Governor shall appoint the chair and two other

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members of each early learning coalition, who must each meet the

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same qualifications as private sector business members appointed

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by the coalition under subparagraph 7.

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     6.  Each early learning coalition must include the following

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members:

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     a.  A Department of Children and Family Services district

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administrator or his or her designee who is authorized to make

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decisions on behalf of the department.

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     b.  A district superintendent of schools or his or her

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designee who is authorized to make decisions on behalf of the

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district, who shall be a nonvoting member.

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     c.  A regional workforce board executive director or his or

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her designee.

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     d.  A county health department director or his or her

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designee.

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     e.  A children's services council or juvenile welfare board

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chair or executive director, if applicable, who shall be a

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nonvoting member if the council or board is the fiscal agent of

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the coalition or if the council or board contracts with and

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receives funds from the coalition.

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     f.  An agency head of a local licensing agency as defined in

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s. 402.302, where applicable.

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     g.  A president of a community college or his or her

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designee.

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     h.  One member appointed by a board of county commissioners.

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     i.  A central agency administrator, where applicable, who

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shall be a nonvoting member.

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     j.  A Head Start director, who shall be a nonvoting member.

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     k.  A representative of private child care providers,

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including family day care homes, who shall be a nonvoting member.

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     l.  A representative of faith-based child care providers,

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who shall be a nonvoting member.

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     m.  A representative of programs for children with

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disabilities under the federal Individuals with Disabilities

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Education Act, who shall be a nonvoting member.

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     7.  Including the members appointed by the Governor under

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subparagraph 5., more than one-third of the members of each early

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learning coalition must be private sector business members who do

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not have, and none of whose relatives as defined in s. 112.3143

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has, a substantial financial interest in the design or delivery

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of the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program created under

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part V of chapter 1002 or the coalition's school readiness

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program. To meet this requirement an early learning coalition

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must appoint additional members from a list of nominees submitted

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to the coalition by a chamber of commerce or economic development

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council within the geographic region served by the coalition. The

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Agency for Workforce Innovation shall establish criteria for

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appointing private sector business members. These criteria must

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include standards for determining whether a member or relative

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has a substantial financial interest in the design or delivery of

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the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program or the

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coalition's school readiness program.

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     8.  A majority of the voting membership of an early learning

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coalition constitutes a quorum required to conduct the business

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of the coalition. An early learning coalition board may use any

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method of telecommunications to conduct meetings, including

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establishing a quorum through telecommunications, provided that

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the public is given proper notice of a telecommunications meeting

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and reasonable access to observe and, when appropriate,

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participate.

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     9.  A voting member of an early learning coalition may not

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appoint a designee to act in his or her place, except as

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otherwise provided in this paragraph. A voting member may send a

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representative to coalition meetings, but that representative

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does not have voting privileges. When a district administrator

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for the Department of Children and Family Services appoints a

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designee to an early learning coalition, the designee is the

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voting member of the coalition, and any individual attending in

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the designee's place, including the district administrator, does

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not have voting privileges.

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     10.  Each member of an early learning coalition is subject

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to ss. 112.313, 112.3135, and 112.3143. For purposes of s.

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112.3143(3)(a), each voting member is a local public officer who

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must abstain from voting when a voting conflict exists.

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     11.  For purposes of tort liability, each member or employee

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of an early learning coalition shall be governed by s. 768.28.

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     12.  An early learning coalition serving a multicounty

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region must include representation from each county.

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     13.  Each early learning coalition shall establish terms for

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all appointed members of the coalition. The terms must be

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staggered and must be a uniform length that does not exceed 4

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years per term. Appointed members may serve a maximum of two

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consecutive terms. When a vacancy occurs in an appointed

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position, the coalition must advertise the vacancy.

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     Section 3.  Section 402.27, Florida Statutes, is renumbered

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as section 411.0101, Florida Statutes, and amended to read:

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     411.0101 402.27 Child care and early childhood resource and

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referral.--The Agency for Workforce Innovation Department of

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Children and Family Services shall establish a statewide child

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care resource and referral network. Preference shall be given to

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using the already established early learning coalitions central

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agencies for subsidized child care as the child care resource and

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referral agency. If an early learning coalition the agency cannot

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comply with the requirements to offer the resource information

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component or does not want to offer that service, the early

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learning coalition Department of Children and Family Services

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shall select the resource information agency based upon a request

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for proposal pursuant to s. 411.01(5)(e)1. At least one child

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care resource and referral agency must be established in each

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early learning coalition's county or multicounty region district

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of the department, but no more than one may be established in any

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county. Child care resource and referral agencies shall provide

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the following services:

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     (1)  Identification of existing public and private child

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care and early childhood education services, including child care

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services by public and private employers, and the development of

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a resource file of those services. These services may include

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family day care, public and private child care programs, head

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start, prekindergarten early intervention programs, special

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education programs for prekindergarten handicapped children,

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services for children with developmental disabilities, full-time

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and part-time programs, before-school and after-school programs,

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vacation care programs, parent education, the WAGES Program, and

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related family support services. The resource file shall include,

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but not be limited to:

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     (a)  Type of program.

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     (b)  Hours of service.

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     (c)  Ages of children served.

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     (d)  Number of children served.

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     (e)  Significant program information.

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     (f)  Fees and eligibility for services.

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     (g)  Availability of transportation.

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     (2)  The establishment of a referral process which responds

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to parental need for information and which is provided with full

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recognition of the confidentiality rights of parents. Resource

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and referral programs shall make referrals to licensed child care

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facilities. Referrals shall be made to an unlicensed child care

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facility or arrangement only if there is no requirement that the

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facility or arrangement be licensed.

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     (3)  Maintenance of ongoing documentation of requests for

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service tabulated through the internal referral process. The

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following documentation of requests for service shall be

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maintained by all child care resource and referral agencies:

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     (a)  Number of calls and contacts to the child care

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information and referral agency component by type of service

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requested.

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     (b)  Ages of children for whom service was requested.

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     (c)  Time category of child care requests for each child.

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     (d)  Special time category, such as nights, weekends, and

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swing shift.

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     (e)  Reason that the child care is needed.

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     (f)  Name of the employer and primary focus of the business.

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     (4)  Provision of technical assistance to existing and

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potential providers of child care services. This assistance may

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include:

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     (a)  Information on initiating new child care services,

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zoning, and program and budget development and assistance in

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finding such information from other sources.

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     (b)  Information and resources which help existing child

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care services providers to maximize their ability to serve

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children and parents in their community.

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     (c)  Information and incentives which could help existing or

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planned child care services offered by public or private

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employers seeking to maximize their ability to serve the children

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of their working parent employees in their community, through

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contractual or other funding arrangements with businesses.

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     (5)  Assistance to families and employers in applying for

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various sources of subsidy including, but not limited to,

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subsidized child care, head start, prekindergarten early

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intervention programs, Project Independence, private

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scholarships, and the federal dependent care tax credit.

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     (6)  Assistance to state agencies in determining the market

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rate for child care.

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     (7)  Assistance in negotiating discounts or other special

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arrangements with child care providers.

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     (8)  Information and assistance to local interagency

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councils coordinating services for prekindergarten handicapped

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children.

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     (9)  Assistance to families in identifying summer recreation

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camp and summer day camp programs and in evaluating the health

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and safety qualities of summer recreation camp and summer day

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camp programs and in evaluating the health and safety qualities

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of summer camp programs. Contingent upon specific appropriation,

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a checklist of important health and safety qualities that parents

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can use to choose their summer camp programs shall be developed

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and distributed in a manner that will reach parents interested in

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such programs for their children.

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     (10)  A child care facility licensed under s. 402.305 and

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licensed and registered family day care homes must provide the

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statewide child care and resource and referral agencies with the

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following information annually:

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     (a)  Type of program.

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     (b)  Hours of service.

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     (c)  Ages of children served.

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     (d)  Fees and eligibility for services.

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     (11) The Agency for Workforce Innovation shall adopt any

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rules necessary for the implementation and administration of this

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section.

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     Section 4.  Section 409.178, Florida Statutes, is renumbered

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as section 411.0102, Florida Statutes, and subsection (4),

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paragraphs (b), (c), and (d) of subsection (5), and subsection

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(6) of that section are amended to read:

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     411.0102 409.178 Child Care Executive Partnership Act;

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findings and intent; grant; limitation; rules.--

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     (4)  The Child Care Executive Partnership, staffed by the

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Agency for Workforce Innovation department, shall consist of a

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representative of the Executive Office of the Governor and nine

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members of the corporate or child care community, appointed by

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the Governor.

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     (a)  Members shall serve for a period of 4 years, except

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that the representative of the Executive Office of the Governor

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shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor.

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     (b)  The Child Care Executive Partnership shall be chaired

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by a member chosen by a majority vote and shall meet at least

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quarterly and at other times upon the call of the chair.

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     (c)  Members shall serve without compensation, but may be

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reimbursed for per diem and travel expenses in accordance with s.

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     (d)  The Child Care Executive Partnership shall have all the

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powers and authority, not explicitly prohibited by statute,

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necessary to carry out and effectuate the purposes of this

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section, as well as the functions, duties, and responsibilities

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of the partnership, including, but not limited to, the following:

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     1.  Assisting in the formulation and coordination of the

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state's child care policy.

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     2.  Adopting an official seal.

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     3.  Soliciting, accepting, receiving, investing, and

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expending funds from public or private sources.

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     4.  Contracting with public or private entities as

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necessary.

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     5.  Approving an annual budget.

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     6.  Carrying forward any unexpended state appropriations

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into succeeding fiscal years.

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     7.  Providing a report to the Governor, the Speaker of the

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House of Representatives, and the President of the Senate, on or

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before December 1 of each year.

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     (5)

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     (b)  To ensure a seamless service delivery and ease of

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access for families, an early learning coalition the community

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coordinated child care agencies or the state resource and

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referral Agency for Workforce Innovation shall administer the

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child care purchasing pool funds.

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     (c) The Agency for Workforce Innovation department, in

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conjunction with the Child Care Executive Partnership, shall

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develop procedures for disbursement of funds through the child

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care purchasing pools. In order to be considered for funding, an

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early learning coalition the community coordinated child care

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agency or the statewide resource and referral Agency for

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Workforce Innovation must commit to:

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     1.  Matching the state purchasing pool funds on a dollar-

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for-dollar basis; and

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     2.  Expending only those public funds which are matched by

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employers, local government, and other matching contributors who

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contribute to the purchasing pool. Parents shall also pay a fee,

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which shall be not less than the amount identified in the early

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learning coalition's department's subsidized child care sliding

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fee scale.

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     (d) Each early learning coalition community coordinated

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child care agency shall be required to establish a community

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child care task force for each child care purchasing pool. The

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task force must be composed of employers, parents, private child

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care providers, and one representative from the local children's

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services council, if one exists in the area of the purchasing

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pool. The early learning coalition community coordinated child

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care agency is expected to recruit the task force members from

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existing child care councils, commissions, or task forces already

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operating in the area of a purchasing pool. A majority of the

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task force shall consist of employers. Each task force shall

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develop a plan for the use of child care purchasing pool funds.

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The plan must show how many children will be served by the

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purchasing pool, how many will be new to receiving child care

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services, and how the early learning coalition community

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coordinated child care agency intends to attract new employers

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and their employees to the program.

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     (6) The Agency for Workforce Innovation Department of

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Children and Family Services shall adopt any rules necessary for

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the implementation and administration of this section.

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     Section 5.  Subsection (3) of section 1002.55, Florida

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Statutes, is amended to read:

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     1002.55  School-year prekindergarten program delivered by

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private prekindergarten providers.--

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     (3)  To be eligible to deliver the prekindergarten program,

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a private prekindergarten provider must meet each of the

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following requirements:

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     (a)  The private prekindergarten provider must be a child

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care facility licensed under s. 402.305, family day care home

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licensed under s. 402.313, large family child care home licensed

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under s. 402.3131, nonpublic school exempt from licensure under

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s. 402.3025(2), or faith-based child care provider exempt from

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licensure under s. 402.316.

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     (b)  The private prekindergarten provider must:

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     1.  Be accredited by an accrediting association that is a

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member of the National Council for Private School Accreditation,

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the Commission on International and Trans-Regional Accreditation,

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or the Florida Association of Academic Nonpublic Schools and have

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written accreditation standards that meet or exceed the state's

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licensing requirements under s. 402.305, s. 402.313, or s.

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402.3131 and require at least one on-site visit to the provider

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or school before accreditation is granted;

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     2.  Hold a current Gold Seal Quality Care designation under

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s. 402.281; or

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     3.  Be licensed under s. 402.305, s. 402.313, or s. 402.3131

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and demonstrate, before delivering the Voluntary Prekindergarten

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Education Program, as verified by the early learning coalition,

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that the provider meets each of the requirements of the program

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under this part, including, but not limited to, the requirements

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for credentials and background screenings of prekindergarten

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instructors under paragraphs (c) and (d), minimum and maximum

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class sizes under paragraph (f)(e), prekindergarten director

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credentials under paragraph (g)(f), and a developmentally

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appropriate curriculum under s. 1002.67(2)(b).

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     (c)  The private prekindergarten provider must have, for

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each prekindergarten class, at least one prekindergarten

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instructor who meets each of the following requirements:

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     1.  The prekindergarten instructor must hold, at a minimum,

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one of the following credentials:

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     a.  A child development associate credential issued by the

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National Credentialing Program of the Council for Professional

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Recognition; or

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     b.  A credential approved by the Department of Children and

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Family Services as being equivalent to or greater than the

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credential described in sub-subparagraph a.

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The Department of Children and Family Services may adopt rules

416

under ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 which provide criteria and

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procedures for approving equivalent credentials under sub-

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subparagraph b.

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     2.  The prekindergarten instructor must successfully

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complete an emergent literacy training course approved by the

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department as meeting or exceeding the minimum standards adopted

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under s. 1002.59. This subparagraph does not apply to a

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prekindergarten instructor who successfully completes approved

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training in early literacy and language development under s.

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402.305(2)(d)5., s. 402.313(6), or s. 402.3131(5) before the

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establishment of one or more emergent literacy training courses

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under s. 1002.59 or April 1, 2005, whichever occurs later.

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     (d)  Each prekindergarten instructor employed by the private

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prekindergarten provider must be of good moral character, shall

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be subject to must be screened using the level 2 background

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screening requirements in chapter 435, and must be standards in

432

s. 435.04 before employment and rescreened at least once every 5

433

years. The 5-year rescreening shall not require refingerprinting

434

unless the instructor has experienced a break in covered

435

employment of more than 90 days. A prekindergarten instructor,

436

must be denied employment or terminated if required under s.

437

435.06, and must not be ineligible to teach in a public school

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because his or her educator certificate is suspended or revoked.

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     (e) A private prekindergarten provider may assign a

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substitute instructor to temporarily replace a credentialed

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instructor if the credentialed instructor assigned to a

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prekindergarten class is absent, as long as the substitute

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instructor is of good moral character and has been screened in

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accordance with level 2 background screening requirements in

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chapter 435. The Agency for Workforce Innovation shall adopt

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rules to implement this paragraph which shall include required

447

qualifications of substitute instructors and the circumstances

448

and time limits for which a private prekindergarten provider may

449

assign a substitute instructor.

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     (f)(e) Each of the private prekindergarten provider's

451

prekindergarten classes must be composed of at least 4 students

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but may not exceed 18 students. In order to protect the health

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and safety of students, each private prekindergarten provider

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must also provide appropriate adult supervision for students at

455

all times and, for each prekindergarten class composed of 11 or

456

more students, must have, in addition to a prekindergarten

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instructor who meets the requirements of paragraph (c), at least

458

one adult prekindergarten instructor who is not required to meet

459

those requirements but who must meet each requirement of

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paragraph (d). This paragraph does not supersede any requirement

461

imposed on a provider under ss. 402.301-402.319.

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     (g)(f) Before the beginning of the 2006-2007 school year,

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the private prekindergarten provider must have a prekindergarten

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director who has a prekindergarten director credential that is

465

approved by the department as meeting or exceeding the minimum

466

standards adopted under s. 1002.57. Successful completion of a

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child care facility director credential under s. 402.305(2)(f)

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before the establishment of the prekindergarten director

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credential under s. 1002.57 or July 1, 2006, whichever occurs

470

later, satisfies the requirement for a prekindergarten director

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credential under this paragraph.

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     (h)(g) The private prekindergarten provider must register

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with the early learning coalition on forms prescribed by the

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Agency for Workforce Innovation.

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     (i)(h) The private prekindergarten provider must deliver

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the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program in accordance

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with this part.

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     Section 6.  Section 1002.61, Florida Statutes, is amended to

479

read:

480

     1002.61  Summer prekindergarten program delivered by public

481

schools and private prekindergarten providers.--

482

     (1)(a)  Each school district shall administer the Voluntary

483

Prekindergarten Education Program at the district level for

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students enrolled under s. 1002.53(3)(b) in a summer

485

prekindergarten program delivered by a public school.

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     (b)  Each early learning coalition shall administer the

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Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program at the county or

488

regional level for students enrolled under s. 1002.53(3)(b) in a

489

summer prekindergarten program delivered by a private

490

prekindergarten provider.

491

     (2)  Each summer prekindergarten program delivered by a

492

public school or private prekindergarten provider must:

493

     (a)  Comprise at least 300 instructional hours;

494

     (b)  Not begin earlier than May 1 of the school year; and

495

     (c)  Not deliver the program for a child earlier than the

496

summer immediately before the school year for which the child is

497

eligible for admission to kindergarten in a public school under

498

s. 1003.21(1)(a)2.

499

     (3)(a)  Each district school board shall determine which

500

public schools in the school district are eligible to deliver the

501

summer prekindergarten program. The school district shall use

502

educational facilities available in the public schools during the

503

summer term for the summer prekindergarten program.

504

     (b)  Except as provided in this section, to be eligible to

505

deliver the summer prekindergarten program, a private

506

prekindergarten provider must meet each requirement in s.

508

     (4)  Notwithstanding ss. 1002.55(3)(c)1. and 1002.63(5),

509

each public school and private prekindergarten provider must

510

have, for each prekindergarten class, at least one

511

prekindergarten instructor who:

512

     (a)  Is a certified teacher; or

513

     (b)  Holds one of the educational credentials specified in

514

s. 1002.55(4)(a) or (b).

515

516

As used in this subsection, the term "certified teacher" means a

517

teacher holding a valid Florida educator certificate under s.

518

1012.56 who has the qualifications required by the district

519

school board to instruct students in the summer prekindergarten

520

program. In selecting instructional staff for the summer

521

prekindergarten program, each school district shall give priority

522

to teachers who have experience or coursework in early childhood

523

education.

524

     (5)  Each prekindergarten instructor employed by a public

525

school or private prekindergarten provider delivering the summer

526

prekindergarten program must be of good moral character, shall be

527

subject to must be screened using the level 2 background

528

screening requirements in chapter 435, and must be standards in

529

s. 435.04 before employment and rescreened at least once every 5

530

years. The 5-year rescreening shall not require refingerprinting

531

unless the instructor has experienced a break in covered

532

employment of more than 90 days. A prekindergarten instructor,

533

must be denied employment or terminated if required under s.

534

435.06, and must not be ineligible to teach in a public school

535

because his or her educator certificate is suspended or revoked.

536

This subsection does not supersede employment requirements for

537

instructional personnel in public schools which are more

538

stringent than the requirements of this subsection.

539

     (6) A public school or private prekindergarten provider may

540

assign a substitute instructor to temporarily replace a

541

credentialed instructor if the credentialed instructor assigned

542

to a prekindergarten class is absent, as long as the substitute

543

instructor is of good moral character and has been screened in

544

accordance with level 2 background screening requirements in

545

chapter 435. The Agency for Workforce Innovation shall adopt

546

rules to implement this subsection which shall include required

547

qualifications of substitute instructors and the circumstances

548

and time limits for which a public school or private

549

prekindergarten provider may assign a substitute instructor.

550

     (7)(6) Notwithstanding ss. 1002.55(3)(f)(e) and

551

1002.63(8)(7), each prekindergarten class in the summer

552

prekindergarten program, regardless of whether the class is a

553

public school's or private prekindergarten provider's class, must

554

be composed of at least 4 students but may not exceed 10

555

students. In order to protect the health and safety of students,

556

each public school or private prekindergarten provider must also

557

provide appropriate adult supervision for students at all times.

558

This subsection does not supersede any requirement imposed on a

559

provider under ss. 402.301-402.319.

560

     (8)(7) Each public school delivering the summer

561

prekindergarten program must also:

562

     (a)  Register with the early learning coalition on forms

563

prescribed by the Agency for Workforce Innovation; and

564

     (b)  Deliver the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program

565

in accordance with this part.

566

     Section 7.  Section 1002.63, Florida Statutes, is amended to

567

read:

568

     1002.63  School-year prekindergarten program delivered by

569

public schools.--

570

     (1)  Each school district eligible under subsection (4) may

571

administer the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program at the

572

district level for students enrolled under s. 1002.53(3)(c) in a

573

school-year prekindergarten program delivered by a public school.

574

     (2)  Each school-year prekindergarten program delivered by a

575

public school must comprise at least 540 instructional hours.

576

     (3)  The district school board of each school district

577

eligible under subsection (4) shall determine which public

578

schools in the district are eligible to deliver the

579

prekindergarten program during the school year.

580

     (4)  To be eligible to deliver the prekindergarten program

581

during the school year, each school district must meet both of

582

the following requirements:

583

     (a)  The district school board must certify to the State

584

Board of Education that the school district:

585

     1.  Has reduced the average class size in each classroom in

586

accordance with s. 1003.03 and the schedule in s. 1(a), Art. IX

587

of the State Constitution; and

588

     2.  Has sufficient satisfactory educational facilities and

589

capital outlay funds to continue reducing the average class size

590

in each classroom in the district's elementary schools for each

591

year in accordance with the schedule for class size reduction and

592

to achieve full compliance with the maximum class sizes in s.

593

1(a), Art. IX of the State Constitution by the beginning of the

594

2010-2011 school year.

595

     (b)  The Commissioner of Education must certify to the State

596

Board of Education that the department has reviewed the school

597

district's educational facilities, capital outlay funds, and

598

projected student enrollment and concurs with the district school

599

board's certification under paragraph (a).

600

     (5)  Each public school must have, for each prekindergarten

601

class, at least one prekindergarten instructor who meets each

602

requirement in s. 1002.55(3)(c) for a prekindergarten instructor

603

of a private prekindergarten provider.

604

     (6)  Each prekindergarten instructor employed by a public

605

school delivering the school-year prekindergarten program must be

606

of good moral character, shall be subject to must be screened

607

using the level 2 background screening requirements in chapter

608

435, and must be standards in s. 435.04 before employment and

609

rescreened at least once every 5 years. The 5-year rescreening

610

shall not require refingerprinting unless the instructor has

611

experienced a break in covered employment of more than 90 days. A

612

prekindergarten instructor, must be denied employment or

613

terminated if required under s. 435.06, and must not be

614

ineligible to teach in a public school because his or her

615

educator certificate is suspended or revoked. This subsection

616

does not supersede employment requirements for instructional

617

personnel in public schools which are more stringent than the

618

requirements of this subsection.

619

     (7) A public school prekindergarten provider may assign a

620

substitute instructor to temporarily replace a credentialed

621

instructor if the credentialed instructor assigned to a

622

prekindergarten class is absent, as long as the substitute

623

instructor is of good moral character and has been screened in

624

accordance with level 2 background screening requirements in

625

chapter 435. The Agency for Workforce Innovation shall adopt

626

rules to implement this subsection which shall include required

627

qualifications of substitute instructors and the circumstances

628

and time limits for which a public school prekindergarten

629

provider may assign a substitute instructor.

630

     (8)(7) Each prekindergarten class in a public school

631

delivering the school-year prekindergarten program must be

632

composed of at least 4 students but may not exceed 18 students.

633

In order to protect the health and safety of students, each

634

school must also provide appropriate adult supervision for

635

students at all times and, for each prekindergarten class

636

composed of 11 or more students, must have, in addition to a

637

prekindergarten instructor who meets the requirements of s.

638

1002.55(3)(c), at least one adult prekindergarten instructor who

639

is not required to meet those requirements but who must meet each

640

requirement of subsection (6).

641

     (9)(8) Each public school delivering the school-year

642

prekindergarten program must:

643

     (a)  Register with the early learning coalition on forms

644

prescribed by the Agency for Workforce Innovation; and

645

     (b)  Deliver the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program

646

in accordance with this part.

647

     Section 8.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2008.

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

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