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Florida Senate - 2008 COMMITTEE AMENDMENT

Bill No. SB 1670

214282

CHAMBER ACTION

Senate

Comm: RCS

3/19/2008

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House



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The Committee on Education Pre-K - 12 (Gaetz) recommended the

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following amendment:

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     Senate Amendment (with title amendment)

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     Delete lines 369-477 and insert:

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     Section 5. Present subsections (2), (3), and (4) of section

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1002.55, Florida Statutes, are renumbered as subsections (3),

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(4), and (5), respectively, a new subsection (2) is added to that

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section, and present subsection (3) of that section is amended,

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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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     (2) A private provider participating in the Voluntary

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Prekindergarten Education Program under this section must comply

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with the following:

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     (a) The provider must complete ethics training that has

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been developed jointly by the Department of Children and Family

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Services, the Department of Education, and the Agency for

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Workforce Innovation. Such training shall include strategies on

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how to adopt and communicate policies, responsibilities, and

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procedures for reporting suspected or actual misconduct by a

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prekindergarten instructor or administrator which affects the

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health, safety, or welfare of a student, and an explanation of

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liability protections provided to students, parents, and

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employees under ss. 39.201, 39.202, and 768.095. Successful

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completion of training shall be documented on the child care

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personnel training transcript of the Department of Children and

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Family Services.

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     (b) The provider must disqualify from employment any

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prekindergarten instructor or administrator who has been

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convicted of a disqualifying offense identified under s. 435.04.

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     (c) Before appointing a candidate as a prekindergarten

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instructor or administrator, the provider must contact the

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candidate's previous employer pursuant to ss. 402.302(13) and

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435.10 to assess the candidate's ability to meet ethical

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standards for professional educators, screen the candidate

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through the use of the educator screening tools described in s.

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1001.10(5) and the Department of Children and Families'

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electronic database, and document the findings.

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     (d) The provider may not enter into a confidentiality

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agreement regarding a terminated or dismissed employee or an

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employee who resigns in lieu of termination based in whole or in

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part on unethical conduct that affects the health, safety, or

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welfare of a student and may not provide the employee with a

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favorable recommendation for employment in another educational

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setting. A portion of an agreement or contract that has the

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purpose or effect of concealing the unethical conduct of a

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prekindergarten instructor or administrator as described under s.

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1012.795 is void, is contrary to public policy, and may not be

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enforced.

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     (e) The Agency for Workforce Innovation shall prohibit a

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private provider that fails to comply with this subsection from

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accepting funds under the Voluntary Prekindergarten Program for a

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period of 1 calendar year and until the provider complies with

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this subsection.

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     (4)(3) To be eligible to deliver the prekindergarten

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program, 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

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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, must be

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screened using the level 2 screening standards in s. 435.04

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before employment and rescreened at least once every 5 years,

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must be denied employment or terminated if required under s.

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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 s.

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435.04, and meets the screening standards in that section. The

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Agency for Workforce Innovation shall adopt rules to implement

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this paragraph which shall include required qualifications of

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substitute instructors and the circumstances and time limits for

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which a private prekindergarten provider may assign a substitute

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instructor.

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

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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

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

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more students, must have, in addition to a prekindergarten

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

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one adult prekindergarten instructor who is not required to meet

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those requirements but who must meet each requirement of

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

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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

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approved by the department as meeting or exceeding the minimum

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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

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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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================ T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================

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And the title is amended as follows:

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     Between lines 22 and 23 insert:

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...

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requiring owners of certain private schools and private

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prekindergarten providers to adopt ethical standards for all

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employees; prohibiting confidentiality agreements regarding

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terminated or dismissed employees which have the effect of

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concealing certain conduct; requiring such owners and providers

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to contact the previous employer of each instructional or

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administrative candidate for employment and notify the Department

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of Education of dates of employment of an educator;

3/18/2008  11:25:00 AM     ED.ED.05178

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

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