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       Florida Senate - 2010                             CS for SB 2016
       By the Committee on Military Affairs and Domestic Security; and
       Senator Wise
       583-03027-10                                          20102016c1
    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
   64  Program.—
   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
   78  program.
   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.
  100  program must also include physical training or applied health
  101  studies.
  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
  120  (FCAT).
  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.—
  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
  146  requirements.
  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.—
  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.

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