Florida Senate - 2021                       CS for CS for SB 726
       By the Committees on Appropriations; and Education; and Senator
       576-04424-21                                           2021726c2
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to individual education plan
    3         requirements for students with disabilities; amending
    4         s. 1003.5716, F.S.; revising the timeline for the
    5         development and implementation of an individual
    6         education plan (IEP) for transition services for a
    7         student with disabilities to a postsecondary education
    8         and career opportunities; revising the requirements
    9         for an IEP for the transitions to a postsecondary
   10         education and career opportunities; requiring certain
   11         information to be provided at IEP meetings; revising
   12         when a certain statement of intent must be included in
   13         the IEP; providing requirements for such statement;
   14         requiring a specified party to provide a signed
   15         statement relating to the deferment of a standard high
   16         school diploma; requiring the Department of Education,
   17         in conjunction with the Project 10: Transition
   18         Education Network, to conduct a review of specified
   19         services and programs; requiring the department to
   20         establish and publish on its website uniform best
   21         practices for such services and programs by a
   22         specified date; providing an effective date.
   24  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   26         Section 1. Subsections (1) and (2) of section 1003.5716,
   27  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
   28         1003.5716 Transition to postsecondary education and career
   29  opportunities.—All students with disabilities who are 3 years of
   30  age to 21 years of age have the right to a free, appropriate
   31  public education. As used in this section, the term “IEP” means
   32  individual education plan.
   33         (1) To ensure quality planning for a successful transition
   34  of a student with a disability to postsecondary education and
   35  career opportunities, during the student’s 7th grade year or
   36  when the student attains the age of 12, whichever occurs first,
   37  an IEP team shall begin the process of, and develop an IEP for,
   38  identifying the need for transition services before the student
   39  with a disability enters high school or attains the age of 14
   40  years, whichever occurs first, in order for his or her
   41  postsecondary goals and career goals to be identified. The plan
   42  must be operational and in place to begin implementation on the
   43  first day of the student’s first year in high school when he or
   44  she attains the age of 16 years. This process must include, but
   45  is not limited to:
   46         (a) Consideration of the student’s need for instruction in
   47  the area of self-determination and self-advocacy to assist the
   48  student’s active and effective participation in an IEP meeting;
   49  and
   50         (b) Preparation for the student to graduate from high
   51  school with a standard high school diploma pursuant to s.
   52  1003.4282 with a Scholar designation unless the parent chooses a
   53  Merit designation; and
   54         (c)Provision of the information to the student and his or
   55  her parent of the school district’s high school-level transition
   56  services, career and technical education, and collegiate
   57  programs available to students with disabilities and how to
   58  access such programs. Information shall also be provided on
   59  school-based transition programs and programs and services
   60  available through the Florida’s Center for Students with Unique
   61  Abilities, the Florida Centers for Independent Living, the
   62  Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, the Agency for Persons
   63  with Disabilities, and the Division of Blind Services. Referral
   64  forms, links, and technical support contacts for these services
   65  must be provided to students and parents at IEP meetings.
   66         (2) Beginning not later than the first IEP to be in effect
   67  when the student enters high school, attains the age of 14 16,
   68  or when younger if determined appropriate by the parent and the
   69  IEP team, whichever occurs first, the IEP must include the
   70  following statements that must be updated annually:
   71         (a) A statement of intent to pursue a standard high school
   72  diploma and a Scholar or Merit designation, pursuant to s.
   73  1003.4285, as determined by the parent.
   74         1.The statement must document discussion of the process
   75  for a student with a disability who meets the requirements for a
   76  standard high school diploma to defer the receipt of such
   77  diploma pursuant to s. 1003.4282(10)(c).
   78         2.For the IEP in effect at the beginning of the school
   79  year the student is expected to graduate, the statement must
   80  include a signed statement by the parent or guardian, or the
   81  student if the student has reached the age of majority and
   82  rights have transferred to the student, that he or she
   83  understands the process for deferment and identifying if the
   84  student will defer the receipt of his or her standard high
   85  school diploma.
   86         (b) A statement of intent to receive a standard high school
   87  diploma before the student attains the age of 22 and a
   88  description of how the student will fully meet the requirements
   89  in s. 1003.4282, including, but not limited to, a portfolio
   90  pursuant to s. 1003.4282(10)(b) which meets the criteria
   91  specified in State Board of Education rule. The IEP must also
   92  specify the outcomes and additional benefits expected by the
   93  parent and the IEP team at the time of the student’s graduation.
   94         (c) A statement of appropriate measurable long-term
   95  postsecondary education and career goals based upon age
   96  appropriate transition assessments related to training,
   97  education, employment, and, if appropriate, independent living
   98  skills and the transition services, including preemployment
   99  transition services and courses of study needed to assist the
  100  student in reaching those goals.
  101         Section 2. The Department of Education, in conjunction with
  102  the Project 10: Transition Education Network, shall conduct a
  103  review of existing transition services and programs for students
  104  with disabilities to establish uniform best practices for such
  105  programs to deliver appropriate employment, preemployment, and
  106  independent living skills education to students enrolled in such
  107  transition programs. The department must establish and publish
  108  on its website such uniform best practices no later than July 1,
  109  2022.
  110         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2021.