(1) The Legislature finds that education is the single most important factor in the rehabilitation of adjudicated delinquent youth in the custody of Department of Juvenile Justice programs. It is the goal of the Legislature that youth in the juvenile justice system continue to be allowed the opportunity to obtain a high quality education. The Department of Education shall serve as the lead agency for juvenile justice education programs, curriculum, support services, and resources. To this end, the Department of Education and the Department of Juvenile Justice shall each designate a Coordinator for Juvenile Justice Education Programs to serve as the point of contact for resolving issues not addressed by district school boards and to provide each department’s participation in the following activities:
(a) Training, collaborating, and coordinating with the Department of Juvenile Justice, district school boards, educational contract providers, and juvenile justice providers, whether state operated or contracted.
(b) Collecting information on the academic performance of students in juvenile justice programs and reporting on the results.
(c) Developing academic and career protocols that provide guidance to district school boards and providers in all aspects of education programming, including records transfer and transition.
(d) Prescribing the roles of program personnel and interdepartmental district school board or provider collaboration strategies.
Annually, a cooperative agreement and plan for juvenile justice education service enhancement shall be developed between the Department of Juvenile Justice and the Department of Education and submitted to the Secretary of Juvenile Justice and the Commissioner of Education by June 30.
(2) Students participating in Department of Juvenile Justice programs pursuant to chapter 985 which are sponsored by a community-based agency or are operated or contracted for by the Department of Juvenile Justice shall receive educational programs according to rules of the State Board of Education. These students shall be eligible for services afforded to students enrolled in programs pursuant to s. 1003.53 and all corresponding State Board of Education rules. (3) The district school board of the county in which the residential or nonresidential care facility or juvenile assessment facility is located shall provide appropriate educational assessments and an appropriate program of instruction and special education services.
(a) The district school board shall make provisions for each student to participate in basic, career education, and exceptional student programs as appropriate. Students served in Department of Juvenile Justice programs shall have access to the appropriate courses and instruction to prepare them for the GED test. Students participating in GED preparation programs shall be funded at the basic program cost factor for Department of Juvenile Justice programs in the Florida Education Finance Program. Each program shall be conducted according to applicable law providing for the operation of public schools and rules of the State Board of Education. School districts shall provide the GED exit option for all juvenile justice programs.
(b) By October 1, 2004, the Department of Education, with the assistance of the school districts, shall select a common student assessment instrument and protocol for measuring student learning gains and student progression while a student is in a juvenile justice education program. The assessment instrument and protocol must be implemented in all juvenile justice education programs in this state by January 1, 2005.
(4) Educational services shall be provided at times of the day most appropriate for the juvenile justice program. School programming in juvenile justice detention, commitment, and rehabilitation programs shall be made available by the local school district during the juvenile justice school year, as defined in s. 1003.01(11). In addition, students in juvenile justice education programs shall have access to Florida Virtual School courses. The Department of Education and the school districts shall adopt policies necessary to ensure such access.
(5) The educational program shall consist of appropriate basic academic, career, or exceptional curricula and related services which support the treatment goals and reentry and which may lead to completion of the requirements for receipt of a high school diploma or its equivalent. If the duration of a program is less than 40 days, the educational component may be limited to tutorial activities and career employability skills.
(6) Participation in the program by students of compulsory school-attendance age as provided for in s. 1003.21 shall be mandatory. All students of noncompulsory school-attendance age who have not received a high school diploma or its equivalent shall participate in the educational program, unless the student files a formal declaration of his or her intent to terminate school enrollment as described in s. 1003.21 and is afforded the opportunity to take the general educational development test and attain a Florida high school diploma prior to release from a facility. A youth who has received a high school diploma or its equivalent and is not employed shall participate in workforce development or other career or technical education or 1community college or university courses while in the program, subject to available funding. (7) A progress monitoring plan shall be developed for students who score below the level specified in district school board policy in reading, writing, and mathematics or below the level specified by the Commissioner of Education on statewide assessments as required by s. 1008.25. These plans shall address academic, literacy, and life skills and shall include provisions for intensive remedial instruction in the areas of weakness. (8) Each district school board shall maintain an academic record for each student enrolled in a juvenile justice facility as prescribed by s. 1003.51. Such record shall delineate each course completed by the student according to procedures in the State Course Code Directory. The district school board shall include a copy of a student’s academic record in the discharge packet when the student exits the facility.
(9) The Department of Education shall ensure that all district school boards make provisions for high school level youth to earn credits toward high school graduation while in residential and nonresidential juvenile justice facilities. Provisions must be made for the transfer of credits and partial credits earned.
(10) The district school board shall recruit and train teachers who are interested, qualified, or experienced in educating students in juvenile justice programs. Students in juvenile justice programs shall be provided a wide range of educational programs and opportunities including textbooks, technology, instructional support, and other resources available to students in public schools. Teachers assigned to educational programs in juvenile justice settings in which the district school board operates the educational program shall be selected by the district school board in consultation with the director of the juvenile justice facility. Educational programs in juvenile justice facilities shall have access to the substitute teacher pool utilized by the district school board. Full-time teachers working in juvenile justice schools, whether employed by a district school board or a provider, shall be eligible for the critical teacher shortage tuition reimbursement program as defined by s. 1009.58 and other teacher recruitment and retention programs.
(11) District school boards may contract with a private provider for the provision of educational programs to youths placed with the Department of Juvenile Justice and shall generate local, state, and federal funding, including funding through the Florida Education Finance Program for such students. The district school board’s planning and budgeting process shall include the needs of Department of Juvenile Justice programs in the district school board’s plan for expenditures for state categorical and federal funds.
(12) The district school board shall fund the educational program in a Department of Juvenile Justice facility at the same or higher level of funding for equivalent students in the district school system based on the funds generated by state funding through the Florida Education Finance Program for such students. It is the intent of the Legislature that the school district maximize its available local, state, and federal funding to a juvenile justice program. (a) Juvenile justice educational programs shall be funded in the appropriate FEFP program based on the educational services needed by the student for Department of Juvenile Justice programs in accordance with s. 1011.62.
(b) Juvenile justice educational programs to receive the appropriate FEFP funding for Department of Juvenile Justice programs shall include those operated through a contract with the Department of Juvenile Justice and which are under purview of the Department of Juvenile Justice quality assurance standards for education.
(c) Consistent with the rules of the State Board of Education, district school boards are required to request an alternative FTE survey for Department of Juvenile Justice programs experiencing fluctuations in student enrollment.
(d) FTE count periods shall be prescribed in rules of the State Board of Education and shall be the same for programs of the Department of Juvenile Justice as for other public school programs. The summer school period for students in Department of Juvenile Justice programs shall begin on the day immediately following the end of the regular school year and end on the day immediately preceding the subsequent regular school year. Students shall be funded for no more than 25 hours per week of direct instruction.
(e) Each juvenile justice education program must receive all federal funds for which the program is eligible.
(13) Each district school board shall negotiate a cooperative agreement with the Department of Juvenile Justice on the delivery of educational services to youths under the jurisdiction of the Department of Juvenile Justice. Such agreement must include, but is not limited to:
(a) Roles and responsibilities of each agency, including the roles and responsibilities of contract providers.
(b) Administrative issues including procedures for sharing information.
(c) Allocation of resources including maximization of local, state, and federal funding.
(d) Procedures for educational evaluation for educational exceptionalities and special needs.
(e) Curriculum and delivery of instruction.
(f) Classroom management procedures and attendance policies.
(g) Procedures for provision of qualified instructional personnel, whether supplied by the district school board or provided under contract by the provider, and for performance of duties while in a juvenile justice setting.
(h) Provisions for improving skills in teaching and working with juvenile delinquents.
(i) Transition plans for students moving into and out of juvenile facilities.
(j) Procedures and timelines for the timely documentation of credits earned and transfer of student records.
(k) Methods and procedures for dispute resolution.
(l) Provisions for ensuring the safety of education personnel and support for the agreed-upon education program.
(m) Strategies for correcting any deficiencies found through the quality assurance process.
(14) Nothing in this section or in a cooperative agreement shall be construed to require the district school board to provide more services than can be supported by the funds generated by students in the juvenile justice programs.
(15)(a) The Department of Education in consultation with the Department of Juvenile Justice, district school boards, and providers shall establish objective and measurable quality assurance standards for the educational component of residential and nonresidential juvenile justice facilities. These standards shall rate the district school board’s performance both as a provider and contractor. The quality assurance rating for the educational component shall be disaggregated from the overall quality assurance score and reported separately.
(b) The Department of Education shall develop a comprehensive quality assurance review process and schedule for the evaluation of the educational component in juvenile justice programs. The Department of Juvenile Justice quality assurance site visit and the education quality assurance site visit shall be conducted during the same visit.
(c) The Department of Education, in consultation with district school boards and providers, shall establish minimum thresholds for the standards and key indicators for educational programs in juvenile justice facilities. If a district school board fails to meet the established minimum standards, it will be given 6 months to achieve compliance with the standards. If after 6 months, the district school board’s performance is still below minimum standards, the Department of Education shall exercise sanctions as prescribed by rules adopted by the State Board of Education. If a provider, under contract with the district school board, fails to meet minimum standards, such failure shall cause the district school board to cancel the provider’s contract unless the provider achieves compliance within 6 months or unless there are documented extenuating circumstances.
(d) The requirements in paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) shall be implemented to the extent that funds are available.
(16) The district school board shall not be charged any rent, maintenance, utilities, or overhead on such facilities. Maintenance, repairs, and remodeling of existing facilities shall be provided by the Department of Juvenile Justice.
(17) When additional facilities are required, the district school board and the Department of Juvenile Justice shall agree on the appropriate site based on the instructional needs of the students. When the most appropriate site for instruction is on district school board property, a special capital outlay request shall be made by the commissioner in accordance with s. 1013.60. When the most appropriate site is on state property, state capital outlay funds shall be requested by the Department of Juvenile Justice provided by s. 216.043 and shall be submitted as specified by s. 216.023. Any instructional facility to be built on state property shall have educational specifications jointly developed by the district school board and the Department of Juvenile Justice and approved by the Department of Education. The size of space and occupant design capacity criteria as provided by State Board of Education rules shall be used for remodeling or new construction whether facilities are provided on state property or district school board property.
(18) The parent of an exceptional student shall have the due process rights provided for in this chapter.
(19) The Department of Education and the Department of Juvenile Justice, after consultation with and assistance from local providers and district school boards, shall report annually to the Legislature by February 1 on the progress toward developing effective educational programs for juvenile delinquents, including the amount of funding provided by district school boards to juvenile justice programs, the amount retained for administration including documenting the purposes for such expenses, the status of the development of cooperative agreements, the results of the quality assurance reviews including recommendations for system improvement, and information on the identification of, and services provided to, exceptional students in juvenile justice commitment facilities to determine whether these students are properly reported for funding and are appropriately served.
(20) The educational programs at the Arthur Dozier School for Boys in Jackson County and the Florida School for Boys in Okeechobee shall be operated by the Department of Education, either directly or through grants or contractual agreements with other public or duly accredited education agencies approved by the Department of Education.
(21) The State Board of Education may adopt any rules necessary to implement the provisions of this section, including uniform curriculum, funding, and second chance schools. Such rules must require the minimum amount of paperwork and reporting.
(22) The Department of Juvenile Justice and the Department of Education, in consultation with Workforce Florida, Inc., the statewide Workforce Development Youth Council, district school boards, 1community colleges, providers, and others, shall jointly develop a multiagency plan for career education which describes the funding, curriculum, transfer of credits, goals, and outcome measures for career education programming in juvenile commitment facilities, pursuant to s. 985.622. The plan must be reviewed annually.