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The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Chapter 1003
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F.S. 1003.5716
1003.5716 Transition to postsecondary education and career opportunities.All students with disabilities who are 3 years of age to 21 years of age have the right to a free, appropriate public education. As used in this section, the term “IEP” means individual education plan.
(1) To ensure quality planning for a successful transition of a student with a disability to postsecondary education and career opportunities, during the student’s seventh grade year or when the student attains the age of 12, whichever occurs first, an IEP team shall begin the process of, and develop an IEP for, identifying the need for transition services before the student with a disability enters high school or attains the age of 14 years, whichever occurs first, in order for his or her postsecondary goals and career goals to be identified. The plan must be operational and in place to begin implementation on the first day of the student’s first year in high school. This process must include, but is not limited to:
(a) Consideration of the student’s need for instruction in the area of self-determination and self-advocacy to assist the student’s active and effective participation in an IEP meeting;
(b) Preparation for the student to graduate from high school with a standard high school diploma pursuant to s. 1003.4282 with a Scholar designation unless the parent chooses an Industry Scholar designation;
(c) Provision of the information to the student and his or her parent of the school district’s high school-level transition services, career and technical education, and collegiate programs available to students with disabilities and how to access such programs. Information shall also be provided on school-based transition programs and programs and services available through Florida’s Center for Students with Unique Abilities, the Florida Centers for Independent Living, the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, and the Division of Blind Services. Referral forms, links, and technical support contacts for these services must be provided to students and parents at IEP meetings; and
(d) At least 1 year before the student reaches the age of majority, provision of information and instruction to the student and his or her parent on self-determination and the legal rights and responsibilities regarding the educational decisions that transfer to the student upon attaining the age of 18. The information must include the ways in which the student may provide informed consent to allow his or her parent to continue to participate in educational decisions, including:
1. Informed consent to grant permission to access confidential records protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) as provided in s. 1002.22.
2. Powers of attorney as provided in chapter 709.
3. Guardian advocacy as provided in s. 393.12.
4. Guardianship as provided in chapter 744.

The State Board of Education shall adopt rules to administer this paragraph.

(2) Beginning not later than the first IEP to be in effect when the student enters high school, attains the age of 14, or when determined appropriate by the parent and the IEP team, whichever occurs first, the IEP must include the following statements that must be updated annually:
(a) A statement of intent to pursue a standard high school diploma and a Scholar or an Industry Scholar designation, pursuant to s. 1003.4285, as determined by the parent.
1. The statement must document discussion of the process for a student with a disability who meets the requirements for a standard high school diploma to defer the receipt of such diploma pursuant to s. 1003.4282(8)(c).
2. For the IEP in effect at the beginning of the school year the student is expected to graduate, the statement must include a signed statement by the parent, the guardian, or the student, if the student has reached the age of majority and rights have transferred to the student, that he or she understands the process for deferment and identifying if the student will defer the receipt of his or her standard high school diploma.
(b) A statement of intent to receive a standard high school diploma before the student attains the age of 22 and a description of how the student will fully meet the requirements in s. 1003.4282, including, but not limited to, a portfolio pursuant to s. 1003.4282(8)(b) which meets the criteria specified in State Board of Education rule. The IEP must also specify the outcomes and additional benefits expected by the parent and the IEP team at the time of the student’s graduation.
(c) A statement of appropriate measurable long-term postsecondary education and career goals based upon age-appropriate transition assessments related to training, education, employment, and, if appropriate, independent living skills and the transition services, including preemployment transition services and courses of study needed to assist the student in reaching those goals.
(3) Any change in the IEP for the goals specified in subsection (2) must be approved by the parent and is subject to verification for appropriateness by an independent reviewer selected by the parent as provided in s. 1003.572.
(4) If a participating agency responsible for transition services, other than the school district, fails to provide the transition services described in the IEP, the school district shall reconvene the IEP team to identify alternative strategies to meet the transition objectives for the student that are specified in the IEP. However, this does not relieve any participating agency of the responsibility to provide or pay for any transition service that the agency would otherwise provide to students with disabilities who meet the eligibility criteria of that agency.
History.s. 20, ch. 2014-184; s. 112, ch. 2015-2; s. 94, ch. 2016-10; s. 9, ch. 2020-85; s. 14, ch. 2021-52; s. 1, ch. 2021-142; s. 78, ch. 2022-4; s. 24, ch. 2023-16; s. 25, ch. 2023-81; s. 1, ch. 2023-96.