402.22 Education program for students who reside in residential care facilities operated by the Department of Children and Family Services or the Agency for Persons with Disabilities.—
(1)(a) The Legislature recognizes that the Department of Children and Family Services and the Agency for Persons with Disabilities have under their residential care students with critical problems of physical impairment, emotional disturbance, mental impairment, and learning impairment.
(b) The Legislature recognizes the vital role of education in the rehabilitation of such students. It is the intent of the Legislature that all such students benefit from educational services and receive such services.
(c) It is the intent of the Legislature that educational services be coordinated with appropriate and existing diagnostic and evaluative, social, followup, and other therapeutic services of the department and agency so that the effect of the total rehabilitation process is maximized.
(d) It is the intent of the Legislature that, as educational programs for students in residential care facilities are implemented by the district school board, educational personnel in the residential care facilities who meet the qualifications for employees of the district school board be employed by the district school board.
(2) District school boards shall establish educational programs for all students ages 5 through 18 under the residential care of the Department of Children and Family Services and the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, and may provide for students below age 3 as provided for in s. 1003.21(1)(e). Funding of such programs shall be pursuant to s. 1011.62.
(3) Notwithstanding any provisions of chapters 39, 393, 394, and 397 to the contrary, the services of the Department of Children and Family Services and the Agency for Persons with Disabilities and those of the Department of Education and district school boards shall be mutually supportive and complementary of each other. The education programs provided by the district school board shall meet the standards prescribed by the State Board of Education and the district school board. Decisions regarding the design and delivery of department or agency treatment or habilitative services shall be made by interdisciplinary teams of professional and paraprofessional staff of which appropriate district school system administrative and instructional personnel shall be invited to be participating members. The requirements for maintenance of confidentiality as prescribed in chapters 39, 393, 394, and 397 shall be applied to information used by such interdisciplinary teams, and such information shall be exempt from the provisions of ss. 119.07(1) and 286.011.
(4) Students age 18 and under who are under the residential care of the Department of Children and Family Services or the Agency for Persons with Disabilities and who receive an education program shall be calculated as full-time equivalent student membership in the appropriate cost factor as provided for in s. 1011.62(1)(c). Residential care facilities shall include, but not be limited to, developmental disabilities centers and state mental health facilities. All students shall receive their education program from the district school system, and funding shall be allocated through the Florida Education Finance Program for the district school system.
(5) Instructional and special educational services that are provided to clients with mental illness or developmental disabilities of the department’s or agency’s residential care facilities by local school districts shall not be less than 180 days or 900 hours; however, the 900 hours may be distributed over a 12-month period, unless otherwise stated in rules developed by the State Board of Education, with the concurrence of the department or agency and adopted pursuant to subsection (6).
(6) The State Board of Education, the Department of Children and Family Services, and the Agency for Persons with Disabilities may adopt rules to assist in the orderly transfer of the instruction of students from department or agency residential care facilities to the district school system or to the public education agency and which shall assist in implementing the specific intent as stated in this act.
(7) Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 1001.42(4)(n), the educational program at the Marianna Sunland Center in Jackson County shall be operated by the Department of Education, either directly or through grants or contractual agreements with other public educational agencies. The annual state allocation to any such agency shall be computed pursuant to s. 1011.62(1), (2), and (6) and allocated in the amount that would have been provided the local school district in which the residential facility is located.
History.—ss. 1, 2, ch. 71-350; s. 4, ch. 79-184; s. 1, ch. 80-143; s. 4, ch. 80-240; ss. 1, 2, ch. 81-272; s. 2, ch. 82-153; s. 57, ch. 83-218; s. 16, ch. 85-109; s. 24, ch. 89-308; s. 1, ch. 90-7; ss. 7, 9, ch. 90-208; s. 26, ch. 93-39; s. 78, ch. 95-143; s. 238, ch. 96-406; s. 66, ch. 97-190; s. 5, ch. 98-186; s. 988, ch. 2002-387; s. 11, ch. 2006-27; s. 49, ch. 2006-227; s. 14, ch. 2008-244.