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The Florida Statutes

The 2021 Florida Statutes

Title XLVIII
EARLY LEARNING-20 EDUCATION CODE
Chapter 1002
STUDENT AND PARENTAL RIGHTS AND EDUCATIONAL CHOICES
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F.S. 1002.61
1002.61 Summer prekindergarten program delivered by public schools and private prekindergarten providers.
(1)(a) Each school district shall administer the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program at the district level for students enrolled under s. 1002.53(3)(b) in a summer prekindergarten program delivered by a public school.
(b) Each early learning coalition shall administer the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program at the county or regional level for students enrolled under s. 1002.53(3)(b) in a summer prekindergarten program delivered by a private prekindergarten provider. A child development program that is accredited by a national accrediting body and operates on a military installation that is certified by the United States Department of Defense may administer the summer prekindergarten program as a private prekindergarten provider.
(2) Each summer prekindergarten program delivered by a public school or private prekindergarten provider must:
(a) Comprise at least 300 instructional hours;
(b) Not begin earlier than May 1 of the school year; and
(c) Not deliver the program for a child earlier than the summer immediately before the school year for which the child is eligible for admission to kindergarten in a public school under s. 1003.21(1)(a)2.
(3)(a) Each district school board shall determine which public schools in the school district are eligible to deliver the summer prekindergarten program. The school district shall use educational facilities available in the public schools during the summer term for the summer prekindergarten program.
(b) Each public school delivering the summer prekindergarten program must execute the statewide provider contract prescribed under s. 1002.73, except that the school district may execute a single agreement with the early learning coalition on behalf of all district schools.
(c) Except as provided in this section, to be eligible to deliver the summer prekindergarten program, a private prekindergarten provider must meet each requirement in s. 1002.55.
(4) Notwithstanding ss. 1002.55(3)(c)1. and 1002.63(4), each public school and private prekindergarten provider must have, for each prekindergarten class, at least one prekindergarten instructor who is a certified teacher or holds one of the educational credentials specified in s. 1002.55(4)(a) or (b). As used in this subsection, the term “certified teacher” means a teacher holding a valid Florida educator certificate under s. 1012.56 who has the qualifications required by the district school board to instruct students in the summer prekindergarten program. In selecting instructional staff for the summer prekindergarten program, each school district shall give priority to teachers who have experience or coursework in early childhood education and have completed emergent literacy and performance standards courses, as provided for in s. 1002.55(3)(c)2.
(5) Each prekindergarten instructor employed by a public school or private prekindergarten provider delivering the summer prekindergarten program must be of good moral character, must be screened using the level 2 screening standards in s. 435.04 before employment and rescreened at least once every 5 years, must be denied employment or terminated if required under s. 435.06, and must not be ineligible to teach in a public school because his or her educator certificate is suspended or revoked. This subsection does not supersede employment requirements for instructional personnel in public schools which are more stringent than the requirements of this subsection.
(6) A child development program that is accredited by a national accrediting body and operates on a military installation that is certified by the United States Department of Defense shall comply with the requirements of a private prekindergarten provider in this section.
(7) A public school or private prekindergarten provider may assign a substitute instructor to temporarily replace a credentialed instructor if the credentialed instructor assigned to a prekindergarten class is absent, as long as the substitute instructor is of good moral character and has been screened before employment in accordance with level 2 background screening requirements in chapter 435. This subsection does not supersede employment requirements for instructional personnel in public schools which are more stringent than the requirements of this subsection. The department shall adopt rules to implement this subsection which shall include required qualifications of substitute instructors and the circumstances and time limits for which a public school or private prekindergarten provider may assign a substitute instructor.
(8) Notwithstanding ss. 1002.55(3)(f) and 1002.63(7), each prekindergarten class in the summer prekindergarten program, regardless of whether the class is a public school’s or private prekindergarten provider’s class, must be composed of at least 4 students but may not exceed 12 students. In order to protect the health and safety of students, each public school or private prekindergarten provider must also provide appropriate adult supervision for students at all times. This subsection does not supersede any requirement imposed on a provider under ss. 402.301-402.319.
(9) Each public school delivering the summer prekindergarten program must also register with the early learning coalition on forms prescribed by the department and deliver the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program in accordance with this part.
(10)(a) Each early learning coalition shall verify that each private prekindergarten provider and public school delivering the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program within the coalition’s county or multicounty region complies with this part.
(b) If a private prekindergarten provider or public school fails or refuses to comply with this part or engages in misconduct, the department shall require the early learning coalition to remove the provider and require the school district to remove the school from eligibility to deliver the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program and receive state funds under this part for a period of at least 2 years but no more than 5 years.
History.s. 1, ch. 2004-484; s. 6, ch. 2008-196; s. 5, ch. 2009-3; s. 451, ch. 2011-142; s. 7, ch. 2013-252; s. 101, ch. 2018-110; s. 38, ch. 2021-10.