Florida Senate - 2010 CS for SB 2016
By the Committee on Military Affairs and Domestic Security; and
1 A bill to be entitled
2 An act relating to high school graduation; creating s.
3 1003.452, F.S.; establishing the Florida National
4 Guard Youth Challenge Program for the purpose of
5 training and mentoring certain high school dropouts;
6 requiring that the Clay County School District, the
7 Department of Juvenile Justice, the Department of
8 Children and Family Services, and the Florida National
9 Guard jointly administer the program; providing for
10 the program to be located at Camp Blanding Military
11 Reservation; requiring that certain core academic
12 courses be taught; requiring that the program include
13 occupational or technical studies and physical
14 training or applied health studies; requiring that
15 students be prepared to assume leadership roles and
16 demonstrate the principles of followership; requiring
17 that each student volunteer to benefit his or her
18 community and work as an unpaid intern or paid
19 employee in order to successfully complete the
20 program; providing for a residential and
21 postresidential component of the program; providing
22 for mentorship; requiring that students pass all
23 sections of the General Education Development test and
24 both parts of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment
25 Test; providing for funding the program; creating s.
26 1003.4282, F.S.; establishing the general education
27 development exit option for the purpose of providing
28 an alternative route to receiving a standard high
29 school diploma for students who are enrolled in the
30 Florida National Guard Youth Challenge Program or
31 programs offered by or under contract with the
32 Department of Juvenile Justice and approved by the
33 Department of Education; specifying eligibility
34 requirements for student participation; providing
35 certain exemptions and requirements for successful
36 completion of the GED exit option; requiring that a
37 student’s transcript identify certain information
38 regarding the program; requiring that the Department
39 of Education include the program in its calculation of
40 the high school graduation rate; amending s. 1003.435,
41 F.S.; revising provisions relating to the high school
42 equivalency diploma program; providing for the
43 Department of Education to authorize a district school
44 board to award high school equivalency diplomas;
45 authorizing a district school board to participate in
46 a program for students who are currently enrolled in
47 K-12 public schools to be awarded high school
48 equivalency diplomas; authorizing the State Board of
49 Education to adopt rules establishing conditions for
50 taking an examination to receive a high school
51 equivalency diploma; amending s. 1008.34, F.S.,
52 relating to the student assessment data used in
53 determining school grades; providing that a school may
54 earn additional points toward its grade if a
55 significant percentage of the school’s students are
56 earning high school equivalency diplomas in lieu of
57 standard diplomas; providing an effective date.
59 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
61 Section 1. Section 1003.452, Florida Statutes, is created
62 to read:
63 1003.452 The Florida National Guard Youth Challenge
65 (1) PURPOSE.—The Florida National Guard Youth Challenge
66 Program is created as a community-based program for the purpose
67 of leading, training, and mentoring at-risk youths to become
68 productive citizens in the future.
69 (2) ADMINISTRATION.—The program shall be jointly
70 administered on a statewide basis by the Clay County School
71 District, the Department of Juvenile Justice, the Department of
72 Children and Family Services, and the Florida National Guard.
73 The program facilities shall be located at Camp Blanding
74 Military Reservation.
75 (3) ELIGIBILITY.—High school dropouts who are between the
76 ages of 16 years and 19 years, who have not been convicted of a
77 felony, and who are drug free are eligible to participate in the
79 (4) PROGRAM DURATION.—
80 (a) The program shall consist of at least a 22-week
81 residential component during which each student must raise his
82 or her mathematics, science, and reading scores.
83 (b) After the residential component of the program, each
84 student shall be assigned a case manager and a highly trained
85 mentor for a period of at least 12 months.
86 (5) CORE ACADEMICS.—Each core academic course shall be
87 taught in a traditional classroom setting by computer-assisted
88 instructors or shall be taught virtually. The core academic
89 courses must include, at a minimum:
90 (a) Mathematics;
91 (b) Communications;
92 (c) Science;
93 (d) Social studies; and
94 (e) Literature.
95 (6) OCCUPATIONAL OR TECHNICAL STUDIES.—The program must
96 also include occupational or technical studies taught in
97 cooperation with a technical training center or college that
98 awards occupational or technical certificates.
99 (7) PHYSICAL TRAINING OR APPLIED HEALTH STUDIES.—The
100 program must also include physical training or applied health
102 (8) LEADERSHIP ROLES.—Students shall be prepared to assume
103 leadership roles and demonstrate the principles of good
104 followership and the value of collaborative effort.
105 (9) VOLUNTEERISM.—In addition to the program’s academic
106 requirements, each student shall be required to volunteer his or
107 her service for the benefit of the student’s community.
108 (10) INTERNSHIPS OR EMPLOYMENT.—Each student must also
109 successfully work as an unpaid intern or paid worker during the
110 12-month, postresidential component of the program in order to
111 successfully complete the program.
112 (11) MENTORSHIP.—Each student must be paired with an
113 individual who, through his or her accomplishments, rank, or
114 social posture, serves as a positive role model and mentor who
115 will help guide the student on a successful path to productivity
116 and social assimilation.
117 (12) TESTING REQUIREMENTS.—Students must also pass all five
118 sections of the General Education Development (GED) test and
119 pass both parts of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test
121 (13) FUNDING.—The Department of Defense, through a
122 cooperative agreement with the National Guard Bureau and the
123 Florida National Guard, and in conjunction with the Department
124 of Juvenile Justice and the Department of Children and Family
125 Services, shall provide for the costs associated with the
126 program, including student housing, food, and clothing. The Clay
127 County School District shall fund the instructional component of
128 the program through funds provided in the Florida Education
129 Finance Program.
130 Section 2. Section 1003.4282, Florida statutes, is created
131 to read:
132 1003.4282 General education development exit option.—
133 (1) GENERAL EDUCATION DEVELOPMENT EXIT OPTION.—The general
134 education development (GED) exit option is a graduation strategy
135 for students who are enrolled in the Florida National Guard
136 Youth Challenge Program created in s. 1003.452 or programs
137 offered by or under contract with the Department of Juvenile
138 Justice and approved by the Department of Education.
139 (a) Eligibility.—To be eligible to participate in the GED
140 exit option, a student must be enrolled in the Florida National
141 Guard Youth Challenge Program or a selected program offered by
142 or under contract with the Department of Juvenile Justice and
143 approved by the Department of Education and must meet the
144 following criteria:
145 1. Be enrolled in courses that meet high school graduation
147 2. Have been a drop-out student or currently be in the
148 custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice.
149 3. Have earned acceptable scores on the official GED
150 practice test administered under the student-testing conditions
151 approved by the school district.
152 4. Have a student cumulative record that indicates that the
153 GED exit option is the most appropriate educational program for
154 the student.
155 (b) Exemption and requirements.—
156 1. A student who participates in the GED exit option shall
157 be exempt from the minimum graduation requirements prescribed
158 for the standard high school diploma, including the grade point
159 average and credit requirements. For exceptional education
160 students, this exemption shall be included in the individual
161 education plan.
162 2. Upon entering the GED exit option, a student who has not
163 previously met the requirements for promotion to grade 10 shall
164 be promoted to grade 10 to enable the student to take the grade
165 10 FCAT.
166 3. A student who does not meet the requirements for high
167 school graduation in grade 12 and who chooses to return for a
168 13th year of school in order to participate in the GED exit
169 option is not required to continue classes upon meeting the GED
170 exit option requirements for graduation. After completing the
171 requirements of the GED exit option, a student shall be
172 considered a high school graduate. If the school district or
173 school to which the student returns for a 13th year has
174 implemented a program that requires a vocational component for
175 graduation, the student may be required to complete this
176 requirement in addition to the GED exit option requirements in
177 order to be considered a high school graduate.
178 (c) Successful completion.—
179 1. To successfully complete the GED exit option and receive
180 a standard high school diploma, a student must pass the GED test
181 and all sections of the grade 10 FCAT. A student must also
182 complete any vocational components included in an approved
183 school program.
184 2. A student who participates in the GED exit option may
185 not graduate before his or her cohort group.
186 (d) Transcripts.—The transcript shall identify only the
187 actual credits earned, the successful completion of the FCAT
188 requirements, and the date on which the diploma is awarded.
189 (2) HIGH SCHOOL GRADES.—A student who successfully
190 completes the GED exit option and receives a standard high
191 school diploma shall be included in the high school grade
192 calculated by the Department of Education pursuant to s. 1008.34
193 as if the student had completed the requirements for high school
194 graduation prescribed in s. 1003.43.
195 Section 3. Subsections (1), (2), (3), (4), and (6) of
196 section 1003.435, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
197 1003.435 High school equivalency diploma program.—
198 (1) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules that
199 prescribe performance standards and provide for comprehensive
200 examinations to be administered to candidates for high school
201 equivalency diplomas. Such rules shall include, but are not
202 limited to, eligibility requirements, provisions for fees,
203 frequency of examinations, and procedures for retaking an
204 examination upon unsatisfactory performance.
205 (2) The department may award, or may authorize a district
206 school board to award, high school equivalency diplomas to
207 candidates who meet the performance standards prescribed by the
208 State Board of Education.
209 (3)(a) Each district school board shall offer and
210 administer the high school equivalency diploma examinations and
211 the subject area examinations to all candidates pursuant to
212 rules of the State Board of Education.
213 (b) A district school board may participate in a program
214 leading to the award of a high school equivalency diploma to
215 students who are currently enrolled in K-12 public schools,
216 pursuant to rules adopted by the State Board of Education.
217 (4) A candidate for a high school equivalency diploma shall
218 be at least 18 years of age on the date of the examination,
219 except that in extraordinary circumstances, as provided for in
220 rules of the district school board of the district in which the
221 candidate resides or attends school, a candidate may take the
222 examination after reaching the age of 16. The State Board of
223 Education may adopt rules establishing conditions under which a
224 student who is enrolled in a K-12 public school may take the
225 examination before the student reaches 18 years of age if the
226 student is participating in a program leading to the award of a
227 high school equivalency diploma.
228 (6)(a) Except as otherwise provided in s. 1008.34, all high
229 school equivalency diplomas issued under the provisions of this
230 section shall have equal status with other high school diplomas
231 for all state purposes, including admission to any state
232 university or community college.
233 (b) The State Board of Education may
shall adopt rules
234 providing for the award of a standard high school diploma to
235 holders of high school equivalency diplomas who are assessed as
236 meeting designated criteria, and the commissioner shall
237 establish procedures for administering the assessment.
238 Section 4. Paragraph (d) is added to subsection (3) of
239 section 1008.34, Florida Statutes, to read:
240 1008.34 School grading system; school report cards;
241 district grade.—
242 (3) DESIGNATION OF SCHOOL GRADES.—
243 (d) Beginning in 2010-2011, schools may earn additional
244 points towards their school grade if a significant percentage of
245 students not earning a standard diploma pursuant to s. 1003.43
246 earn a high school equivalency diploma pursuant to s. 1003.435.
247 The state Board of Education may elect to afford greater weight
248 to diplomas awarded pursuant to s. 1003.435(3)(b) than is
249 granted to other equivalency diplomas.
250 Section 5. This act shall take effect July 1, 2010.