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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. 1002.68
1002.68 Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program accountability.
(1)(a) Beginning with the 2022-2023 program year, each private prekindergarten provider and public school participating in the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program must participate in the coordinated screening and progress monitoring program in accordance with s. 1008.2125. The coordinated screening and progress monitoring program results shall be used by the department to identify student learning gains, index development learning outcomes upon program completion relative to the performance standards established under s. 1002.67 and representative norms, and inform a private prekindergarten provider’s and public school’s performance metric.
(b) At a minimum, the initial and final progress monitoring or screening must be administered by individuals meeting requirements adopted by the department under s. 1008.2125.
(c) Each private prekindergarten provider and public school must provide a student’s performance results from the coordinated screening and progress monitoring to the student’s parents within 7 days after the administration of such coordinated screening and progress monitoring.
(2) Beginning with the 2022-2023 program year, each private prekindergarten provider and public school in the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program must participate in a program assessment of each voluntary prekindergarten education classroom. The program assessment shall measure the quality of teacher-child interactions, including emotional support, classroom organization, and instructional support for children ages 3 to 5 years. Each private prekindergarten provider and public school in the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program shall receive from the department the results of the program assessment for each classroom within 14 days after the observation. Each early learning coalition shall be responsible for the administration of the program assessments which must be conducted by individuals qualified to conduct program assessments under s. 1002.82(2)(n).
(3)(a) For the 2020-2021 program year, the department shall calculate a kindergarten readiness rate for each private prekindergarten provider and public school participating in the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program based upon learning gains and the percentage of students assessed as ready for kindergarten. The department shall require that each school district administer the statewide kindergarten screening in use before the 2021-2022 school year to each kindergarten student in the school district within the first 30 school days of the 2021-2022 school year. Private schools may administer the statewide kindergarten screening to each kindergarten student in a private school who was enrolled in the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program. Learning gains shall be determined using a value-added measure based on growth demonstrated by the results of the preassessment and postassessment in use before the 2021-2022 program year. However, a provider may not be newly placed on probationary status under this paragraph. A provider currently on probationary status may only be removed from such status if the provider earns the minimum rate, determined pursuant to subsection (5). The methodology for calculating a provider’s readiness rate may not include students who are not administered the statewide kindergarten screening.
(b) For the 2021-2022 program year, kindergarten screening results may not be used in the calculation of readiness rates. Any private prekindergarten provider or public school participating in the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program which fails to meet the minimum kindergarten readiness rate for the 2021-2022 program year is subject to the probation requirements of subsection (5).
(4)(a) Beginning with the 2022-2023 program year, the department shall adopt a methodology for calculating each private prekindergarten provider’s and public school provider’s performance metric, which must be based on a combination of the following:
1. Program assessment composite scores under subsection (2), which must be weighted at no less than 50 percent.
2. Learning gains operationalized as change-in-ability scores from the initial and final progress monitoring results described in subsection (1).
3. Norm-referenced developmental learning outcomes described in subsection (1).
(b) The methodology for calculating a provider’s performance metric may not include students who are not administered the coordinated screening and progress monitoring program under s. 1008.2125.
(c) The program assessment composite score and performance metric must be calculated for each private prekindergarten or public school site.
(d) The methodology shall include a statistical latent profile analysis developed by the department that shall produce a limited number of performance metric profiles which summarize the profiles of all sites that must be used to inform the following designations: “unsatisfactory,” “emerging proficiency,” “proficient,” “highly proficient,” and “excellent” or comparable terminology determined by the office which may not include letter grades.
(e) Subject to an appropriation, the department shall provide for a differential payment to a private prekindergarten provider and public school based on the provider’s designation. The maximum differential payment may not exceed a total of 15 percent of the base student allocation per full-time equivalent student under s. 1002.71 attending in the consecutive program year for that program. A private prekindergarten provider or public school may not receive a differential payment if it receives a designation of “proficient” or lower. Before the adoption of the methodology, the department shall confer with the Council for Early Grade Success under s. 1008.2125 before receiving approval from the State Board of Education for the final recommendations on the designation system and differential payments.
(f) The department shall adopt procedures to annually calculate each private prekindergarten provider’s and public school’s performance metric, based on the methodology adopted in paragraphs (a) and (b), and assign a designation under paragraph (d). Beginning with the 2023-2024 program year, each private prekindergarten provider or public school shall be assigned a designation within 45 days after the conclusion of the school-year Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program delivered by all participating private prekindergarten providers or public schools and within 45 days after the conclusion of the summer Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program delivered by all participating private prekindergarten providers or public schools.
(g) A private prekindergarten provider or public school designated “proficient,” “highly proficient,” or “excellent” demonstrates the provider’s or school’s satisfactory delivery of the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program.
(h) The designations shall be displayed in the early learning provider performance profiles required under s. 1002.92(3).
(5)(a) If a public school’s or private prekindergarten provider’s program assessment composite score for its prekindergarten classrooms fails to meet the minimum program assessment composite score for contracting adopted in rule by the department, the private prekindergarten provider or public school may not participate in the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program beginning in the consecutive program year and thereafter until the public school or private prekindergarten provider meets the minimum composite score for contracting. A public school or private prekindergarten provider may request one program assessment per program year in order to requalify for participation in the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program, provided that the public school or private prekindergarten provider is not excluded from participation under ss. 1002.55(6), 1002.61(10)(b), 1002.63(9)(b), or paragraph (5)(b) of this section. If a public school or private prekindergarten provider would like an additional program assessment completed within the same program year, the public school or private prekindergarten provider shall be responsible for the cost of the program assessment.
(b) If a private prekindergarten provider’s or public school’s performance metric or designation falls below the minimum performance metric or designation, the early learning coalition shall:
1. Require the provider or school to submit for approval to the early learning coalition an improvement plan and implement the plan.
2. Place the provider or school on probation.
3. Require the provider or school to take certain corrective actions, including the use of a curriculum approved by the department under s. 1002.67(2)(c) and a staff development plan approved by the department to strengthen instructional practices in emotional support, classroom organization, instructional support, language development, phonological awareness, alphabet knowledge, and mathematical thinking.
(c) A private prekindergarten provider or public school that is placed on probation must continue the corrective actions required under paragraph (b) until the provider or school meets the minimum performance metric or designation adopted by the department. Failure to meet the requirements of subparagraphs (b)1. and 3. shall result in the termination of the provider’s or school’s contract to deliver the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program for a period of at least 2 years but no more than 5 years.
(d) If a private prekindergarten provider or public school remains on probation for 2 consecutive years and fails to meet the minimum performance metric or designation, or is not granted a good cause exemption by the department, the department shall require the early learning coalition to revoke the provider’s eligibility and the school district to revoke the school’s eligibility to deliver the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program and receive state funds for the program for a period of at least 2 years but no more than 5 years.
(6)(a) The department, upon the request of a private prekindergarten provider or public school that remains on probation for at least 2 consecutive years and subsequently fails to meet the minimum performance metric or designation, and for good cause shown, may grant to the provider or school an exemption from being determined ineligible to deliver the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program and receive state funds for the program. Such exemption is valid for 1 year and, upon the request of the private prekindergarten provider or public school and for good cause shown, may be renewed.
(b) A private prekindergarten provider’s or public school’s request for a good cause exemption, or renewal of such an exemption, must be submitted to the department in the manner and within the timeframes prescribed by the department and must include the following:
1. Data from the private prekindergarten provider or public school which documents the achievement and progress of the children served, as measured by any required screenings or assessments.
2. Data from the program assessment required under subsection (2) which demonstrates effective teaching practices as recognized by the tool developer.
3. Data from the early learning coalition or district school board, as applicable, the Department of Children and Families, the local licensing authority, or an accrediting association, as applicable, relating to the private prekindergarten provider’s or public school’s compliance with state and local health and safety standards.
(c) The department shall adopt criteria for granting good cause exemptions. Such criteria must include, but are not limited to, all of the following:
1. Child demographic data that evidences a private prekindergarten provider or public school serves a statistically significant population of children with special needs who have individual education plans and can demonstrate progress toward meeting the goals outlined in the students’ individual education plans.
2. Learning gains of children served in the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program by the private prekindergarten provider or public school on an alternative measure that has comparable validity and reliability of the coordinated screening and progress monitoring program in accordance with s. 1008.2125.
3. Program assessment data under subsection (2) which demonstrates effective teaching practices as recognized by the tool developer.
4. Verification that local and state health and safety requirements are met.
(d) A good cause exemption may not be granted to any private prekindergarten provider or public school that has any class I violations or two or more class II violations, as defined by rule of the Department of Children and Families, within the 2 years preceding the provider’s or school’s request for the exemption.
(e) A private prekindergarten provider or public school granted a good cause exemption shall continue to implement its improvement plan and continue the corrective actions required under paragraph (5)(b) until the provider or school meets the minimum performance metric.
(f) If a good cause exemption is granted to a private prekindergarten provider or public school that remains on probation for 2 consecutive years and if the provider meets all other applicable requirements of this part, the department shall notify the early learning coalition of the good cause exemption and direct that the early learning coalition not remove the provider from eligibility to deliver the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program or to receive state funds for the program.
(g) The department shall report the number of private prekindergarten providers or public schools that have received a good cause exemption and the reasons for the exemptions as part of its annual reporting requirements under s. 1002.82(7).
(7) Representatives from each school district and corresponding early learning coalitions must meet annually to develop strategies to transition students from the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program to kindergarten.
History.s. 41, ch. 2021-10.