Florida Senate - 2019 SB 506 By Senator Rouson 19-01012A-19 2019506__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to the high school equivalency diploma 3 program; amending s. 1003.435, F.S.; providing 4 additional qualifications for the award of a high 5 school equivalency diploma to students who meet 6 specified criteria relating to high school graduation 7 requirements; conforming provisions to changes made by 8 the act; providing an effective date. 9 10 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 11 12 Section 1. Section 1003.435, Florida Statutes, is amended 13 to read: 14 1003.435 High school equivalency diploma program.— 15 (1) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules that 16 prescribe performance standards and provide for comprehensive 17 examinations to be administered to candidates for high school 18 equivalency diplomas. Such rules shall include, but are not 19 limited to, provisions for fees, frequency of examinations, and 20 procedures for retaking an examination upon unsatisfactory 21 performance. 22 (2) The department may award high school equivalency 23 diplomas to candidates who meet the performance standards 24 prescribed by the State Board of Education by passing the high 25 school equivalency diploma examinations and the subject area 26 examinations or, for those candidates who failed to pass the 27 assessments required under s. 1008.22(3), by: 28 (a) Earning the 24 credits required under s. 1003.4282, or 29 the 18 credits required under s. 1002.3105(5), for a standard 30 high school diploma, and achieving a 2.5 grade point average 31 while enrolled in high school; or 32 (b) Earning the 24 credits required under s. 1003.4282, or 33 the 18 credits required under s. 1002.3105(5), for a standard 34 high school diploma, achieving a 2.0 grade point average, and 35 earning an industry certification while enrolled in high school. 36 (3) Each district school board shall offer and administer 37 the high school equivalency diploma examinations and the subject 38 area examinations to all candidates pursuant to rules of the 39 State Board of Education. 40 (4) A candidate for a high school equivalency diploma shall 41 be at least 18 years of age on the date of the examination or, 42 for those candidates seeking a diploma under paragraph (2)(a) or 43 paragraph (2)(b), 17 years of age, except that in extraordinary 44 circumstances, as provided for in rules of the district school 45 board of the district in which the candidate resides or attends 46 school, a candidate may take the examination after reaching the 47 age of 16. 48 (5) Each district school board shall develop, in 49 cooperation with the area Florida College System institution 50 board of trustees, a plan for the provision of advanced 51 instruction for those students who meet the requirements of 52 paragraph (2)(a) or paragraph (2)(b), who attain satisfactory 53 performance on the high school equivalency examination or the 54 subject area examinations, or who demonstrate through other 55 means a readiness to engage in postsecondary-level academic 56 work. The plan shall include provisions for the equitable 57 distribution of generated funds to cover personnel, maintenance, 58 and other costs of offering the advanced instruction. Priority 59 shall be given to programs of advanced instruction offered in 60 high school facilities. 61 (6) All high school equivalency diplomas issued under the 62 provisions of this section shall have equal status with other 63 high school diplomas for all state purposes, including admission 64 to any state university or Florida College System institution. 65 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2019.