2011 Legislature                           SB 404, 1st Engrossed
    2         An act relating to transition-to-adulthood services;
    3         amending s. 985.03, F.S.; defining the term
    4         “transition-to-adulthood services”; creating s.
    5         985.461, F.S.; providing legislative intent concerning
    6         transition-to-adulthood services for youth in the
    7         custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice;
    8         providing for eligibility for services for youth
    9         served by the department who are legally in the
   10         custody of the Department of Children and Family
   11         Services; providing that an adjudication of
   12         delinquency does not disqualify a youth in foster care
   13         from certain services from the Department of Children
   14         and Family Services; providing powers and duties of
   15         the Department of Juvenile Justice for transition
   16         services; providing for assessments; requiring that
   17         services be part of a plan leading to independence;
   18         amending s. 985.0301, F.S.; providing for retention of
   19         court jurisdiction over a child for a specified period
   20         following the child’s 19th birthday if the child is
   21         participating in transition-to-adulthood services;
   22         providing that certain services require voluntary
   23         participation by affected youth and do not create an
   24         involuntary court-sanctioned residential commitment;
   25         creating the College-Preparatory Boarding Academy
   26         Pilot Program for dependent or at-risk students;
   27         providing a program purpose; requiring that the State
   28         Board of Education implement the program; providing
   29         definitions; requiring the state board to select a
   30         private nonprofit corporation that meets certain
   31         qualifications to operate the program; requiring the
   32         state board to issue a request for proposals;
   33         providing requirements for the proposals; requiring
   34         that the state board enter into a contract with the
   35         operator of the selected academy; requiring that the
   36         contract contain specified requirements; requiring
   37         that the operator of the academy adopt bylaws, subject
   38         to approval by the state board; requiring that the
   39         operator adopt an outreach program with the local
   40         education agency or school district and community;
   41         providing program funding requirements; requiring the
   42         school to be a public school; requiring the State
   43         Board of Education and certain state agencies to
   44         develop a plan relating to funding for the academy;
   45         requiring that enrolled students remain under case
   46         management services and the supervision of the lead
   47         agency; authorizing the operator to appropriately bill
   48         Medicaid for services rendered to eligible students or
   49         earn federal or local funding for services provided;
   50         providing for eligible students to be admitted by
   51         lottery if the number of applicants exceeds the
   52         allowed capacity; authorizing the operator to board
   53         dependent, at-risk students; requiring that the state
   54         board issue an annual report; providing an effective
   55         date.
   57  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   59         Section 1. Present subsections (57) and (58) of section
   60  985.03, Florida Statutes, are renumbered as subsections (58) and
   61  (59), respectively, and a new subsection (57) is added to that
   62  section to read:
   63         985.03 Definitions.—As used in this chapter, the term:
   64         (57) “Transition-to-adulthood services” means services that
   65  are provided for youth in the custody of the department or under
   66  the supervision of the department and that have the objective of
   67  instilling the knowledge, skills, and aptitudes essential to a
   68  socially integrated, self-supporting adult life. The services
   69  may include, but are not limited to:
   70         (a) Assessment of the youth’s ability and readiness for
   71  adult life.
   72         (b) A plan for the youth to acquire the knowledge,
   73  information, and counseling necessary to make a successful
   74  transition to adulthood.
   75         (c) Services that have proven effective toward achieving
   76  the transition to adulthood.
   77         Section 2. Section 985.461, Florida Statutes, is created to
   78  read:
   79         985.461 Transition to adulthood.—
   80         (1) The Legislature finds that older youth are faced with
   81  the need to learn how to support themselves within legal means
   82  and overcome the stigma of being delinquent. In most cases,
   83  parents expedite this transition. It is the intent of the
   84  Legislature that the department provide older youth in its
   85  custody or under its supervision with opportunities for
   86  participating in transition-to-adulthood services while in the
   87  department’s commitment programs or in probation or conditional
   88  release programs in the community. These services should be
   89  reasonable and appropriate for the youths’ respective ages or
   90  special needs and provide activities that build life skills and
   91  increase the ability to live independently and become self
   92  sufficient.
   93         (2) Youth served by the department who are in the custody
   94  of the Department of Children and Family Services and who
   95  entered juvenile justice placement from a foster care placement,
   96  if otherwise eligible, may receive independent living transition
   97  services pursuant to s. 409.1451. Court-ordered commitment or
   98  probation with the department is not a barrier to eligibility
   99  for the array of services available to a youth who is in the
  100  dependency foster care system only.
  101         (3) For a dependent child in the foster care system,
  102  adjudication for delinquency does not, by itself, disqualify
  103  such child for eligibility in the Department of Children and
  104  Family Services independent living program.
  105         (4) To support participation in transition-to-adulthood
  106  services and subject to appropriation, the department may:
  107         (a) Assess the child’s skills and abilities to live
  108  independently and become self-sufficient. The specific services
  109  to be provided shall be determined using an assessment of his or
  110  her readiness for adult life.
  111         (b) Develop a list of age-appropriate activities and
  112  responsibilities to be incorporated in the child’s written case
  113  plan for any youth 17 years of age or older who is under the
  114  custody or supervision of the department. Activities may
  115  include, but are not limited to, life skills training, including
  116  training to develop banking and budgeting skills, interviewing
  117  and career planning skills, parenting skills, personal health
  118  management, and time management or organizational skills;
  119  educational support; employment training; and counseling.
  120         (c) Provide information related to social security
  121  insurance benefits and public assistance.
  122         (d) Request parental or guardian permission for the youth
  123  to participate in transition-to-adulthood services. Upon such
  124  consent, age-appropriate activities shall be incorporated into
  125  the youth’s written case plan. This plan may include specific
  126  goals and objectives and shall be reviewed and updated at least
  127  quarterly. If the parent or guardian is cooperative, the plan
  128  may not interfere with the parent’s or guardian’s rights to
  129  nurture and train his or her child in ways that are otherwise in
  130  compliance with the law and court order.
  131         (e) Contract for transition-to-adulthood services that
  132  include residential services and assistance and allow the child
  133  to live independently of the daily care and supervision of an
  134  adult in a setting that is not licensed under s. 409.175. A
  135  child under the care or supervision of the department who has
  136  reached 17 years of age but is not yet 19 years of age is
  137  eligible for such services if he or she does not pose a danger
  138  to the public and is able to demonstrate minimally sufficient
  139  skills and aptitude for living under decreased adult
  140  supervision, as determined by the department, using established
  141  procedures and assessments.
  142         (5) For a child who is 17 years of age or older, under the
  143  department’s care or supervision, and without benefit of parents
  144  or legal guardians capable of assisting the child in the
  145  transition to adult life, the department may provide an
  146  assessment to determine the child’s skills and abilities to live
  147  independently and become self-sufficient. Based on the
  148  assessment and within existing resources, services and training
  149  may be provided in order to develop the necessary skills and
  150  abilities before the child’s 18th birthday.
  151         (6) The provision of transition-to-adulthood services must
  152  be part of an overall plan leading to the total independence of
  153  the child from department supervision. The plan must include,
  154  but need not be limited to:
  155         (a) A description of the child’s skills and a plan for
  156  learning additional identified skills;
  157         (b) The behavior that the child has exhibited which
  158  indicates an ability to be responsible and a plan for developing
  159  additional responsibilities, as appropriate;
  160         (c) A plan for the provision of future educational,
  161  vocational, and training skills;
  162         (d) Present financial and budgeting capabilities and a plan
  163  for improving resources and abilities;
  164         (e) A description of the proposed residence;
  165         (f) Documentation that the child understands the specific
  166  consequences of his or her conduct in such a program;
  167         (g) Documentation of proposed services to be provided by
  168  the department and other agencies, including the type of
  169  services and the nature and frequency of contact; and
  170         (h) A plan for maintaining or developing relationships with
  171  family, other adults, friends, and the community, as
  172  appropriate.
  173         Section 3. Paragraph (a) of subsection (5) of section
  174  985.0301, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  175         985.0301 Jurisdiction.—
  176         (5)(a) Notwithstanding ss. 743.07, 985.43, 985.433,
  177  985.435, 985.439, and 985.441, and except as provided in ss.
  178  985.461, 985.465, and 985.47 and paragraph (f), when the
  179  jurisdiction of any child who is alleged to have committed a
  180  delinquent act or violation of law is obtained, the court shall
  181  retain jurisdiction, unless relinquished by its order, until the
  182  child reaches 19 years of age, with the same power over the
  183  child which that the court had before prior to the child became
  184  becoming an adult. For the purposes of s. 985.461, the court may
  185  retain jurisdiction for an additional 365 days following the
  186  child’s 19th birthday if the child is participating in
  187  transition-to-adulthood services. The additional services do not
  188  extend involuntary court-sanctioned residential commitment and
  189  therefore require voluntary participation by the affected youth.
  190         Section 4. College-Preparatory Boarding Academy Pilot
  191  Program for at-risk students.—
  192         (1) PROGRAM CREATION.—The College-Preparatory Boarding
  193  Academy Pilot Program is created for the purpose of providing
  194  unique educational opportunities to dependent or at-risk
  195  children who are academic underperformers but who have the
  196  potential to progress from at-risk to college-bound. The State
  197  Board of Education shall implement this program.
  198         (2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
  199         (a) “Board” means the board of trustees of a college
  200  preparatory boarding academy for at-risk students.
  201         (b) “Eligible student” means a student who is a resident of
  202  the state and entitled to attend school in a participating
  203  school district, is at risk of academic failure, is currently
  204  enrolled in grade 5 or 6, is from a family whose income is below
  205  200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines, and who meets at
  206  least one of the following additional risk factors:
  207         1. The child is in foster care or has been declared an
  208  adjudicated dependent by a court.
  209         2. The student’s head of household is not the student’s
  210  custodial parent.
  211         3. The student resides in a household that receives a
  212  housing voucher or has been determined eligible for public
  213  housing assistance.
  214         4. A member of the student’s immediate family has been
  215  incarcerated.
  216         (c) “Operator” means a private, nonprofit corporation that
  217  is selected by the state under subsection (3) to operate the
  218  program.
  219         (d) “Program” means a college-preparatory boarding academy
  220  for at-risk students which includes:
  221         1. A remedial curriculum for middle school grades;
  222         2. The college-preparatory curriculum for high school
  223  grades;
  224         3. Extracurricular activities, including athletics and
  225  cultural events;
  226         4. College admissions counseling;
  227         5. Health and mental health services;
  228         6. Tutoring;
  229         7. Community service and service learning opportunities;
  230         8. A residential student life program;
  231         9. Extended school days and supplemental programs; and
  232         10. Professional services focused on the language arts and
  233  reading standards, mathematics standards, science standards,
  234  technology standards, and developmental or life skill standards
  235  using innovative and best practices for all students.
  236         (e) “Sponsor” means a public school district that acts as a
  237  sponsor pursuant to s. 1002.33, Florida Statutes.
  238         (3) PROPOSALS.—
  239         (a) The State Board of Education shall select a private,
  240  nonprofit corporation to operate the program which must meet all
  241  of the following qualifications:
  242         1. The nonprofit corporation has, or will receive as a
  243  condition of the contract, a public charter school authorized
  244  under s. 1002.33, Florida Statutes, to offer grades 6 through
  245  12, or has a partnership with a sponsor to operate a school.
  246         2. The nonprofit corporation has experience operating a
  247  school or program similar to the program authorized under this
  248  section.
  249         3. The nonprofit corporation has demonstrated success with
  250  a school or program similar to the program authorized under this
  251  section.
  252         4. The nonprofit corporation has the capacity to finance
  253  and secure private funds for the development of a campus for the
  254  program.
  255         (b) Within 60 days after July 1, 2011, the State Board of
  256  Education shall issue a request for proposals from private,
  257  nonprofit corporations interested in operating the program. The
  258  state board shall select operators from among the qualified
  259  responders within 120 days after the issuance of the requests
  260  for proposal.
  261         (c) Each proposal must contain the following information:
  262         1. The proposed location of the college-preparatory
  263  boarding academy;
  264         2. A plan for offering grade 6 in the program’s initial
  265  year of operation and a plan for expanding the grade levels
  266  offered by the school in subsequent years; and
  267         3. Any other information about the proposed educational
  268  program, facilities, or operations of the school determined
  269  necessary by the state board.
  270         (4) CONTRACT.—The State Board of Education shall contract
  271  with the operator of a college-preparatory boarding academy. The
  272  contract must stipulate that:
  273         (a) The academy operates only if, and to the extent that,
  274  it holds a valid charter authorized under s. 1002.33, Florida
  275  Statutes, or is authorized by a local school district defined as
  276  a sponsor pursuant to s. 1002.33, Florida Statutes.
  277         (b) The operator finances and oversees the acquisition of a
  278  facility for the academy.
  279         (c) The operator operates the academy in accordance with
  280  the terms of the proposal accepted by the state board.
  281         (d) The operator complies with this section.
  282         (e) The operator complies with any other provisions of law
  283  specified in the contract, the charter granted by the local
  284  school district or the operating agreement with the sponsor, and
  285  the rules adopted by the state board for schools operating in
  286  this state.
  287         (f) The operator complies with the bylaws adopted pursuant
  288  to subsection (5).
  289         (g) The operator complies with the standards for admission
  290  of students to the academy and for dismissal of students from
  291  the academy which are included in the contract and may be
  292  reevaluated and revised by mutual agreement between the operator
  293  and the state board.
  294         (h) The operator meets the academic goals and other
  295  performance standards established by the contract.
  296         (i) The state board or the operator may terminate the
  297  contract in accordance with the procedures specified in the
  298  contract, which must at least require that the party seeking
  299  termination give prior written notice of the intent to terminate
  300  and that the party receiving the termination notice is granted
  301  an opportunity to redress any grievances cited therein.
  302         (j) If the school closes for any reason, the academy’s
  303  board of trustees execute the closing in a manner specified in
  304  the contract.
  305         (5) OPERATOR BYLAWS.—The operator of the program shall
  306  adopt bylaws for the oversight and operation of the academy
  307  which are in accordance with this section, state law, and the
  308  contract between the operator and the State Board of Education.
  309  The bylaws must include procedures for the appointment of board
  310  members to the academy’s board of trustees, which may not exceed
  311  25 members, 5 members of whom shall be appointed by the Governor
  312  with the advice and consent of the Senate. The bylaws are
  313  subject to approval of the state board.
  314         (6) OUTREACH.—The program operator shall adopt an outreach
  315  program with the local education agency or school district and
  316  community. The outreach program must give special attention to
  317  the recruitment of eligible children in the state who are
  318  academic underperformers and who, if given the unique
  319  educational opportunity provided in the program, have the
  320  potential to progress from at-risk children to college-bound
  321  children.
  322         (7) FUNDING.—The college-preparatory boarding academy must
  323  be a public school and part of the state’s program of education.
  324  If the program receives state funding from noneducation sources,
  325  the State Board of Education shall coordinate, streamline, and
  326  simplify any requirements to eliminate duplicate, redundant, or
  327  conflicting requirements and oversight by various governmental
  328  programs or agencies. Funding for the operation of the boarding
  329  academy is contingent on the development of a plan by the
  330  Department of Education, the Department of Juvenile Justice and
  331  the Department of Children and Family Services which details how
  332  educational and noneducational funds that would otherwise be
  333  committed to the students in the school and their families can
  334  be repurposed to provide for the operation of the school and
  335  related services. Such plans must be based on federal and state
  336  funding streams for children and families meeting the
  337  eligibility criteria for eligible students as specified in
  338  paragraph (2)(b) and include recommendations for modifications
  339  to the criteria for eligible students which furthers the
  340  program’s goals or improves the feasibility of using existing
  341  funding sources. The plan shall be submitted, together with
  342  relevant budget requests, through the legislative budget request
  343  process under s. 216.023, Florida Statutes, or through requests
  344  for budget amendments to the Legislative Budget Commission in
  345  accordance with s. 216.181, Florida Statutes.
  346         (8) STUDENT SERVICES.—Students enrolled in the program who
  347  have been adjudicated dependent must remain under the case
  348  management services and supervision of the lead agency and its
  349  respective providers. The operator may contract with its own
  350  providers as necessary to provide services to children in the
  351  program and to ensure continuity of the full range of services
  352  required by children in foster care who attend the academy. The
  353  decision of a foster parent to withdraw a child from the program
  354  who is in foster care and has been admitted to the program is
  355  subject to the review and approval of the state agency.
  356         (9) MEDICAID BILLING.—This section does not prohibit an
  357  operator from appropriately billing Medicaid for services
  358  rendered to eligible students through the program or from
  359  earning federal or local funding for services provided.
  360         (10) ADMISSION.—An eligible student may apply for admission
  361  to the program. If more eligible students apply for admission
  362  than the number of students permitted by the capacity
  363  established by the board of trustees, admission shall be
  364  determined by lottery.
  365         (11) STUDENT HOUSING.—Notwithstanding ss. 409.1677(3)(d)
  366  and 409.176, Florida Statutes, or any other provision of law, an
  367  operator may house and educate dependent, at-risk youth in its
  368  residential school for the purpose of facilitating the mission
  369  of the program and encouraging innovative practices.
  370         (12) ANNUAL REPORT.—
  371         (a) The State Board of Education shall issue an annual
  372  report for each college-preparatory boarding academy which
  373  includes all information applicable to schools.
  374         (b) The college-preparatory boarding academy shall report
  375  to the Department of Education, in the form and manner
  376  prescribed in the contract, all information applicable to public
  377  schools and any additional information as specified by the
  378  contract.
  379         (c) The operator shall comply with all provisions
  380  applicable to public schools. The operator shall provide the
  381  student’s legal guardians with sufficient information on whether
  382  the student is reading at grade level and whether the student
  383  gains at least a year’s worth of learning for every year spent
  384  in the program.
  385         Section 5. This act shall take effect July 1, 2011.