Florida Senate - 2017                                    SB 1708
       By Senator Campbell
       38-01070-17                                           20171708__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to school attendance; amending s.
    3         1002.20, F.S.; providing that compulsory school
    4         attendance laws apply to children ages 6 to 18 years;
    5         requiring parental notice of forfeiture of benefits
    6         received from a state financial assistance program
    7         upon a request for termination of school enrollment;
    8         amending s. 1003.21, F.S.; requiring students to
    9         attend school until the age of 18 years; conforming
   10         provisions to changes made by the act; amending s.
   11         1003.435, F.S.; removing discretionary authority of a
   12         district school board to allow a student to take a
   13         high school equivalency examination after reaching a
   14         specified age; amending s. 1003.51, F.S.; conforming
   15         provisions to changes made by the act; providing an
   16         effective date.
   18  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   20         Section 1. Paragraphs (a) and (b) of subsection (2) of
   21  section 1002.20, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
   22         1002.20 K-12 student and parent rights.—Parents of public
   23  school students must receive accurate and timely information
   24  regarding their child’s academic progress and must be informed
   25  of ways they can help their child to succeed in school. K-12
   26  students and their parents are afforded numerous statutory
   27  rights including, but not limited to, the following:
   28         (2) ATTENDANCE.—
   29         (a) Compulsory school attendance.—The compulsory school
   30  attendance laws apply to all children between the ages of 6 and
   31  18 16 years, as provided in s. 1003.21(1) and (2)(a), and, in
   32  accordance with the provisions of s. 1003.21(1) and (2)(a):
   33         1. A student who attains the age of 18 16 years during the
   34  school year has the right to file a formal declaration of intent
   35  to terminate school enrollment if the declaration is signed by
   36  the parent. The parent has the right to be notified by the
   37  school district of the district’s receipt of the student’s
   38  declaration of intent to terminate school enrollment.
   39         2. Students who become or have become married or who are
   40  pregnant and parenting have the right to attend school and
   41  receive the same or equivalent educational instruction as other
   42  students.
   43         (b) Regular school attendance.—Parents of students who have
   44  attained the age of 6 years by February 1 of any school year but
   45  who have not attained the age of 18 16 years must comply with
   46  the compulsory school attendance laws. Parents have the option
   47  to comply with the school attendance laws by attendance of the
   48  student in a public school; a parochial, religious, or
   49  denominational school; a private school; a home education
   50  program; or a private tutoring program, in accordance with the
   51  provisions of s. 1003.01(13). If a student’s parent requests
   52  termination of his or her child’s enrollment in school, the
   53  parent must be notified that he or she forfeits any benefit he
   54  or she is receiving for the child from any state financial
   55  assistance program effective upon such termination.
   56         Section 2. Paragraphs (a) and (c) of subsection (1) of
   57  section 1003.21, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
   58         1003.21 School attendance.—
   59         (1)
   60         (a)1. All children who have attained the age of 6 years or
   61  who will have attained the age of 6 years by February 1 of any
   62  school year or who are older than 6 years of age but who have
   63  not attained the age of 18 16 years, except as otherwise
   64  provided, are required to attend school regularly during the
   65  entire school term.
   66         2. Children who will have attained the age of 5 years on or
   67  before September 1 of the school year are eligible for admission
   68  to public kindergartens during that school year under rules
   69  adopted by the district school board.
   70         (c)1. A student who attains the age of 18 16 years during
   71  the school year is not subject to compulsory school attendance
   72  beyond the date upon which he or she attains that age if the
   73  student files a formal declaration of intent to terminate school
   74  enrollment with the district school board. Public school
   75  students who have attained the age of 18 16 years and who have
   76  not graduated are subject to compulsory school attendance until
   77  the formal declaration of intent is filed with the district
   78  school board. The declaration must acknowledge that terminating
   79  school enrollment is likely to reduce the student’s earning
   80  potential and must be signed by the student and the student’s
   81  parent. The school district shall notify the student’s parent of
   82  receipt of the student’s declaration of intent to terminate
   83  school enrollment. The student’s certified school counselor or
   84  other school personnel shall conduct an exit interview with the
   85  student to determine the reasons for the student’s decision to
   86  terminate school enrollment and actions that could be taken to
   87  keep the student in school. The student’s certified school
   88  counselor or other school personnel shall inform the student of
   89  opportunities to continue his or her education in a different
   90  environment, including, but not limited to, adult education and
   91  high school equivalency examination preparation. Additionally,
   92  the student shall complete a survey in a format prescribed by
   93  the Department of Education to provide data on student reasons
   94  for terminating enrollment and actions taken by schools to keep
   95  students enrolled.
   96         2.If a parent requests termination of his or her child’s
   97  enrollment in school, the parent shall forfeit any benefit he or
   98  she is receiving for the child from any state financial
   99  assistance program. The school district shall notify the parent
  100  that forfeiture of such benefit is effective upon the child’s
  101  termination from school.
  102         Section 3. Subsection (4) of section 1003.435, Florida
  103  Statutes, is amended to read:
  104         1003.435 High school equivalency diploma program.—
  105         (4) A candidate for a high school equivalency diploma shall
  106  be at least 18 years of age on the date of the examination,
  107  except that in extraordinary circumstances, as provided for in
  108  rules of the district school board of the district in which the
  109  candidate resides or attends school, a candidate may take the
  110  examination after reaching the age of 16.
  111         Section 4. Subsection (4) of section 1003.51, Florida
  112  Statutes, is amended to read:
  113         1003.51 Other public educational services.—
  114         (4) Each district school board shall:
  115         (a)Notify students in juvenile justice education programs
  116  who attain the age of 16 years of the law regarding compulsory
  117  school attendance and make available the option of enrolling in
  118  an education program to attain a Florida high school diploma by
  119  taking the high school equivalency examination before release
  120  from the program. The Department of Education shall assist
  121  juvenile justice education programs with becoming high school
  122  equivalency examination centers.
  123         (a)(b) Respond to requests for student education records
  124  received from another district school board or a juvenile
  125  justice education program within 5 working days after receiving
  126  the request.
  127         (b)(c) Provide access to courses offered pursuant to ss.
  128  1002.37, 1002.45, and 1003.498. School districts and providers
  129  may enter into cooperative agreements for the provision of
  130  curriculum associated with courses offered pursuant to s.
  131  1003.498 to enable providers to offer such courses.
  132         (c)(d) Complete the assessment process required by
  133  subsection (2).
  134         (d)(e) Monitor compliance with contracts for education
  135  programs for students in juvenile justice prevention, day
  136  treatment, residential, and detention programs.
  137         Section 5. This act shall take effect July 1, 2017.