Section 1002.53, Florida Statutes 2009
1002.53 Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program; eligibility and enrollment.--
(1) There is created the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program. The program shall take effect in each county at the beginning of the 2005-2006 school year and shall be organized, designed, and delivered in accordance with s. 1(b) and (c), Art. IX of the State Constitution.
(2) Each child who resides in this state who will have attained the age of 4 years on or before September 1 of the school year is eligible for the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program during that school year. The child remains eligible until the beginning of the school year for which the child is eligible for admission to kindergarten in a public school under s. 1003.21(1)(a)2. or until the child is admitted to kindergarten, whichever occurs first.
(3) The parent of each child eligible under subsection (2) may enroll the child in one of the following programs:
(a) A school-year prekindergarten program delivered by a private prekindergarten provider under s. 1002.55;
(b) A summer prekindergarten program delivered by a public school or private prekindergarten provider under s. 1002.61; or
(c) A school-year prekindergarten program delivered by a public school.
Except as provided in s. 1002.71(4), a child may not enroll in more than one of these programs.
(4)(a) Each parent enrolling a child in the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program must complete and submit an application to the early learning coalition through the single point of entry established under s. 411.01.
(b) The application must be submitted on forms prescribed by the Agency for Workforce Innovation and must be accompanied by a certified copy of the child's birth certificate. The forms must include a certification, in substantially the form provided in s. 1002.71(6)(b)2., that the parent chooses the private prekindergarten provider or public school in accordance with this section and directs that payments for the program be made to the provider or school. The Agency for Workforce Innovation may authorize alternative methods for submitting proof of the child's age in lieu of a certified copy of the child's birth certificate.
(c) Each early learning coalition shall coordinate with each of the school districts within the coalition's county or multicounty region in the development of procedures for enrolling children in prekindergarten programs delivered by public schools.
(5) The early learning coalition shall provide each parent enrolling a child in the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program with a profile of every private prekindergarten provider and public school delivering the program within the coalition's county or multicounty region. The profiles shall be provided to parents in a format prescribed by the Agency for Workforce Innovation. The profiles must include, at a minimum, the following information about each provider and school:
(a) The provider's or school's services, curriculum, instructor credentials, and instructor-to-student ratio; and
(b) The provider's or school's kindergarten readiness rate calculated in accordance with s. 1002.69, based upon the most recent available results of the statewide kindergarten screening.
(6)(a) A parent may enroll his or her child with any private prekindergarten provider that is eligible to deliver the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program under this part; however, the provider may determine whether to admit any child. An early learning coalition may not limit the number of students admitted by any private prekindergarten provider for enrollment in the program. However, this paragraph does not authorize an early learning coalition to allow a provider to exceed any staff-to-children ratio, square footage per child, or other requirement imposed under ss. 402.301-402.319 as a result of admissions in the prekindergarten program.
(b) A parent may enroll his or her child with any public school within the school district which is eligible to deliver the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program under this part, subject to available space. Each school district may limit the number of students admitted by any public school for enrollment in the program; however, the school district must provide for the admission of every eligible child within the district whose parent enrolls the child in a summer prekindergarten program delivered by a public school under s. 1002.61.
(c) Each private prekindergarten provider and public school must comply with the antidiscrimination requirements of 42 U.S.C. s. 2000d, regardless of whether the provider or school receives federal financial assistance. A private prekindergarten provider or public school may not discriminate against a parent or child, including the refusal to admit a child for enrollment in the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program, in violation of these antidiscrimination requirements.
History.--s. 1, ch. 2004-484; s. 4, ch. 2009-3.