(1) TWENTY-FOUR CREDITS REQUIRED.—
(a) Beginning with students entering grade 9 in the 2013-2014 school year, receipt of a standard high school diploma requires successful completion of 24 credits, an International Baccalaureate curriculum, or an Advanced International Certificate of Education curriculum.
(b) The required credits may be earned through equivalent, applied, or integrated courses or career education courses as defined in s. 1003.01(4), including work-related internships approved by the State Board of Education and identified in the course code directory. However, any must-pass assessment requirements must be met. An equivalent course is one or more courses identified by content-area experts as being a match to the core curricular content of another course, based upon review of the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards for that subject. An applied course aligns with Next Generation Sunshine State Standards and includes real-world applications of a career and technical education standard used in business or industry. An integrated course includes content from several courses within a content area or across content areas.
(2) NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS.—The school district must notify students and parents, in writing, of the requirements for a standard high school diploma, available designations, and the eligibility requirements for state scholarship programs and postsecondary admissions. The Department of Education shall directly and through the school districts notify registered private schools of public high school course credit and assessment requirements. Each private school must make this information available to students and their parents so they are aware of public high school graduation requirements.
(3) STANDARD HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA; COURSE AND ASSESSMENT REQUIREMENTS.—
(a) Four credits in English Language Arts (ELA).—The four credits must be in ELA I, II, III, and IV. A student must pass 10th grade FCAT Reading until the state transitions to a common core 10th grade ELA assessment, after which time a student must pass the ELA assessment in order to earn a standard high school diploma.
(b) Four credits in mathematics.—A student must earn one credit in Algebra I and one credit in geometry. A student’s performance on the Algebra I end-of-course (EOC) assessment or common core assessment, as applicable, constitutes 30 percent of the student’s final course grade. A student must pass the Algebra I EOC assessment until the state transitions to a common core Algebra I assessment after which time a student must pass the common core assessment in order to earn a standard high school diploma. A student’s performance on the Geometry EOC assessment or common core assessment, as applicable, constitutes 30 percent of the student’s final course grade. When the state administers a common core Algebra II assessment, a student selecting Algebra II must take the assessment, and the student’s performance on the assessment constitutes 30 percent of the student’s final course grade. Industry certification courses that lead to college credit may substitute for up to two math credits.
(c) Three credits in science.—Two of the three required credits must have a laboratory component. A student must earn one credit in Biology I and two credits in equally rigorous courses. The Biology I EOC assessment constitutes 30 percent of the student’s final course grade. Industry certification courses that lead to college credit may substitute for up to one science credit.
(d) Three credits in social studies.—A student must earn one credit in United States History; one credit in World History; one-half credit in economics, which must include financial literacy; and one-half credit in United States Government. The United States History EOC assessment constitutes 30 percent of the student’s final course grade.
(e) One credit in fine or performing arts, speech and debate, or practical arts.—The practical arts course must incorporate artistic content and techniques of creativity, interpretation, and imagination. Eligible practical arts courses are identified in the Course Code Directory.
(f) One credit in physical education.—Physical education must include the integration of health. This requirement is subject to all of the provisions in s. 1003.428(2)(a)6.
(g) Eight credits in electives.—School districts must develop and offer coordinated electives so that a student may develop knowledge and skills in his or her area of interest, such as electives with a STEM or liberal arts focus. Such electives must include opportunities for students to earn college credit, including industry-certified career education programs or series of career-themed courses that result in industry certification or articulate into the award of college credit, or career education courses for which there is a statewide or local articulation agreement and which lead to college credit.
(4) ONLINE COURSE REQUIREMENT.—Excluding a driver education course, at least one course within the 24 credits required under this section must be completed through online learning. A school district may not require a student to take the online course outside the school day or in addition to a student’s courses for a given semester. An online course taken in grade 6, grade 7, or grade 8 fulfills this requirement. This requirement is met through an online course offered by the Florida Virtual School, a virtual education provider approved by the State Board of Education, a high school, or an online dual enrollment course. A student who is enrolled in a full-time or part-time virtual instruction program under s. 1002.45 meets this requirement. This requirement does not apply to a student who has an individual education plan under s. 1003.57 which indicates that an online course would be inappropriate or to an out-of-state transfer student who is enrolled in a Florida high school and has 1 academic year or less remaining in high school. (5) REMEDIATION FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS.—
(a) Each year a student scores Level 1 or Level 2 on 9th grade or 10th grade FCAT Reading or, when implemented, 9th grade, 10th grade, or 11th grade common core English Language Arts (ELA) assessments, the student must be enrolled in and complete an intensive remedial course the following year or be placed in a content area course that includes remediation of skills not acquired by the student.
(b) Each year a student scores Level 1 or Level 2 on the Algebra I EOC assessment, or upon transition to the common core Algebra I assessment, the student must be enrolled in and complete an intensive remedial course the following year or be placed in a content area course that includes remediation of skills not acquired by the student.
(6) GRADE FORGIVENESS POLICY.—Each district school board shall adopt policies designed to assist students in meeting graduation requirements including grade forgiveness policies. Forgiveness policies for required courses shall be limited to replacing a grade of “D” or “F” with a grade of “C” or higher earned subsequently in the same or comparable course. Forgiveness policies for elective courses shall be limited to replacing a grade of “D” or “F” with a grade of “C” or higher earned subsequently in another course. The only exception to these forgiveness policies shall be made for a student in the middle grades who takes any high school course for high school credit and earns a grade of “C,” “D,” or “F”. In such case, the district forgiveness policy must allow the replacement of the grade with a grade of “C” or higher earned subsequently in the same or comparable course. In all cases of grade forgiveness, only the new grade shall be used in the calculation of the student’s grade point average. Any course grade not replaced according to a district school board forgiveness policy shall be included in the calculation of the cumulative grade point average required for graduation.
(7) AWARD OF A STANDARD HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA.—A student who earns a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale and meets the requirements of this section shall be awarded a standard high school diploma in a form prescribed by the State Board of Education. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, all students enrolled in high school as of the 2012-2013 school year who earned a passing grade in Biology I or geometry before the 2013-2014 school year shall be awarded a credit in that course if the student passed the course. The student’s performance on the EOC assessment is not required to constitute 30 percent of the student’s final course grade. A student who fails to earn the required credits or achieve a 2.0 GPA shall be awarded a certificate of completion in a form prescribed by the State Board of Education.
(8) UNIFORM TRANSFER OF HIGH SCHOOL CREDITS.—Beginning with the 2012-2013 school year, if a student transfers to a Florida public high school from out of country, out of state, a private school, or a home education program and the student’s transcript shows a mathematics credit in a course that requires passage of a statewide, standardized assessment in order to earn a standard high school diploma, the student must pass the assessment unless the student earned a comparative score pursuant to s. 1008.22, passed a statewide assessment in that subject administered by the transferring entity, or passed the statewide assessment the transferring entity uses to satisfy the requirements of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, 20 U.S.C. s. 6301. If a student’s transcript shows a credit in high school reading or English Language Arts II or III, the student must take and pass grade 10 FCAT Reading or earn a concordant score on the SAT or ACT as specified by state board rule or, when the state transitions to common core English Language Arts assessments, earn a passing score on the English Language Arts assessment as required under this section. (9) CAREER EDUCATION COURSES THAT SATISFY HIGH SCHOOL CREDIT REQUIREMENTS.— (a) Participation in career education courses engages students in their high school education, increases academic achievement, enhances employability, and increases postsecondary success. By July 1, 2014, the department shall develop, for approval by the State Board of Education, multiple, additional career education courses or a series of courses that meet the requirements set forth in s. 1003.493(2), (4), and (5) and this subsection and allow students to earn credit in both the career education course and courses required for high school graduation under this section and ss. 1003.428 and 1003.4281.
1. The state board must determine if sufficient academic standards are covered to warrant the award of academic credit.
2. Career education courses must include workforce and digital literacy skills and the integration of required course content with practical applications and designated rigorous coursework that results in one or more industry certifications or clearly articulated credit or advanced standing in a 2-year or 4-year certificate or degree program, which may include high school junior and senior year work-related internships or apprenticeships. The department shall negotiate state licenses for material and testing for industry certifications. The instructional methodology used in these courses must be comprised of authentic projects, problems, and activities for contextually learning the academics.
(b) Each school district should take the initiative to work with local workforce boards, local business and industry leaders, and postsecondary institutions to establish partnerships for the purpose of creating career education courses or a series of courses that meet the requirements set forth in s. 1003.493(2), (4), and (5) that students can take to earn required high school course credits. Emphasis should be placed on online coursework and digital literacy. School districts must submit their recommended career education courses to the department for state board approval. School district-recommended career education courses must meet the same rigorous standards as department-developed career education courses in order to be approved by the state board. School districts participating in the development of rigorous career education courses will be able to better address local workforce needs and allow students the opportunity to acquire the knowledge and skills that are needed not only for academic advancement but also for employability purposes. (c) Regional consortium service organizations established pursuant to s. 1001.451 shall work with school districts, local workforce boards, postsecondary institutions, and local business and industry leaders to create career education courses that meet the requirements set forth in s. 1003.493(2), (4), and (5) and this subsection that students can take to earn required high school course credits. The regional consortium shall submit course recommendations to the department, on behalf of the consortium member districts, for state board approval. A strong emphasis should be placed on online coursework, digital literacy, and workforce literacy as defined in s. 1004.02(27). For purposes of providing students the opportunity to earn industry certifications, consortiums must secure the necessary site licenses and testing contracts for use by member districts.
(10) RULES.—The State Board of Education shall adopt rules to implement this section.