Florida Senate - 2023                                     SB 992
       By Senator Calatayud
       38-00926-23                                            2023992__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to compulsory school attendance;
    3         amending s. 1003.21, F.S.; revising the required age
    4         for compulsory school attendance from 16 to 18 years
    5         of age; deleting a requirement that a student’s parent
    6         sign a declaration of intent to terminate school
    7         enrollment; deleting a requirement that the school
    8         district notify a student’s parent upon receipt of
    9         such declaration; amending ss. 1002.20 and 1003.51,
   10         F.S.; conforming provisions to changes made by the
   11         act; providing an effective date.
   13  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   15         Section 1. Paragraphs (a) and (c) of subsection (1) of
   16  section 1003.21, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
   17         1003.21 School attendance.—
   18         (1)(a)1. All children who have attained the age of 6 years
   19  or who will have attained the age of 6 years by February 1 of
   20  any school year or who are older than 6 years of age but who
   21  have not attained the age of 18 16 years, except as otherwise
   22  provided, are required to attend school regularly during the
   23  entire school term.
   24         2. Children who will have attained the age of 5 years on or
   25  before September 1 of the school year are eligible for admission
   26  to public kindergartens during that school year under rules
   27  adopted by the district school board.
   28         (c) A student who attains the age of 18 16 years during the
   29  school year is not subject to compulsory school attendance
   30  beyond the date upon which he or she attains that age if the
   31  student files a formal declaration of intent to terminate school
   32  enrollment with the district school board. Public school
   33  students who have attained the age of 18 16 years and who have
   34  not graduated are subject to compulsory school attendance until
   35  the formal declaration of intent is filed with the district
   36  school board. The declaration must acknowledge that terminating
   37  school enrollment is likely to reduce the student’s earning
   38  potential and must be signed by the student and the student’s
   39  parent. The school district shall notify the student’s parent of
   40  receipt of the student’s declaration of intent to terminate
   41  school enrollment. The student’s certified school counselor or
   42  other school personnel shall conduct an exit interview with the
   43  student to determine the reasons for the student’s decision to
   44  terminate school enrollment and actions that could be taken to
   45  keep the student in school. The student’s certified school
   46  counselor or other school personnel shall inform the student of
   47  opportunities to continue his or her education in a different
   48  environment, including, but not limited to, adult education and
   49  high school equivalency examination preparation. Additionally,
   50  the student shall complete a survey in a format prescribed by
   51  the Department of Education to provide data on student reasons
   52  for terminating enrollment and actions taken by schools to keep
   53  students enrolled.
   54         Section 2. Paragraphs (a) and (b) of subsection (2) of
   55  section 1002.20, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
   56         1002.20 K-12 student and parent rights.—Parents of public
   57  school students must receive accurate and timely information
   58  regarding their child’s academic progress and must be informed
   59  of ways they can help their child to succeed in school. K-12
   60  students and their parents are afforded numerous statutory
   61  rights including, but not limited to, the following:
   62         (2) ATTENDANCE.—
   63         (a) Compulsory school attendance.—The compulsory school
   64  attendance laws apply to all children between the ages of 6 and
   65  18 16 years, as provided in s. 1003.21(1) and (2)(a), and, in
   66  accordance with the provisions of s. 1003.21(1) and (2)(a):
   67         1. A student who attains the age of 18 16 years during the
   68  school year has the right to file a formal declaration of intent
   69  to terminate school enrollment if the declaration is signed by
   70  the parent. The parent has the right to be notified by the
   71  school district of the district’s receipt of the student’s
   72  declaration of intent to terminate school enrollment.
   73         2. Students who become or have become married or who are
   74  pregnant and parenting have the right to attend school and
   75  receive the same or equivalent educational instruction as other
   76  students.
   77         (b) Regular school attendance.—Parents of students who have
   78  attained the age of 6 years by February 1 of any school year but
   79  who have not attained the age of 18 16 years must comply with
   80  the compulsory school attendance laws. Parents have the option
   81  to comply with the school attendance laws by attendance of the
   82  student in a public school; a parochial, religious, or
   83  denominational school; a private school; a home education
   84  program; or a private tutoring program, in accordance with the
   85  provisions of s. 1003.01(13).
   86         Section 3. Paragraph (a) of subsection (4) of section
   87  1003.51, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
   88         1003.51 Other public educational services.—
   89         (4) Each district school board shall:
   90         (a)Notify students in juvenile justice education programs
   91  who attain the age of 16 years of the law regarding compulsory
   92  school attendance and make available the option of enrolling in
   93  an education program to attain a Florida high school diploma by
   94  taking the high school equivalency examination before release
   95  from the program. The Department of Education shall assist
   96  juvenile justice education programs with becoming high school
   97  equivalency examination centers.
   98         Section 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2023.