Whole Lot of Choosin’ Going On Jean Miller, Deputy Executive Director Independent Education & Parental Choice (IEPC)Administrators’ Management MeetingSeptember 12-16, 2011
Florida’s School Choice Programs • Charter Schools • Florida Tax Credit Scholarships • Opportunity Scholarships • Virtual Education • Home Education • John M. McKay Scholarships for Students with Disabilities
Charter Schools Section 1002.33, Florida Statutes
Charter Schools Enrollment in charter schools continues to increase
Charter Schools Districts are responsible for providing or ensuring that ESE services are provided to students with disabilities (SWD) attending charter schools. • SWD in charter schools are eligible for the same ESE services as those in traditional public schools. • SWD in charter schools receive weighted funding for 254 and 255 or a portion of the ESE Guaranteed Allocation for 111, 112, and 113. • State complaints and due process hearing requests are filed against LEAs (districts), not schools.
Charter Schools EXCEPTION -SB 1546 authorized LEA status solely for the purpose of receiving federal funds for charter school systems if: • the charter school system’s governing board has adopted and filed a resolution with its sponsoring district school board and the DOE, and • accepts full responsibility for all local educational agency requirements.
Charter Schools The charter school system must also meet the following requirements: • It includes both conversion charter schools and nonconversion charter schools • It has all schools located in the same county • It has a total enrollment exceeding the total enrollment of at least one school district in the state
Charter Schools requirements, cont: • It has the same governing board • It does not contract with a for-profit service provider for management of school operations The school district is NOT responsible for Child Find, conducting Individual Education Service (IEP) meetings, writing IEPs, or for providing ESE services to students within the charter school system described above.
Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program FTC Scholarship Student Enrollments
Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program Section 1002.395, Florida Statutes • Students may attend private schools that are for-profit or not-for-profit. • If SWDs, these students are considered parentally placed private school students (PPPSS); all PPPSS district obligations apply. The school district shall:
Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program • Funding • Individual scholarship amount for 2011-12 is $4011 • Tax credit amount for 2011-12 is $175 million • Tax credit amount for 2012-13 will be $218,750,000* • * Section 1002.395(5), Florida Statutes allows an increase of 25% in the tax credit cap when the annual tax credit amount for the prior fiscal year is equal to or greater than 90% of the tax credit cap applicable that year.
Opportunity Scholarship Program Section 1002.38, Florida Statutes Who is eligible? NEW – HB 1331 redefines a “failing school” • Students who attended a public school the year in which the school received a “D” or “F” AND is in either of the two lowest-performing categories of Differentiated Accountability, or • Students who were in attendance elsewhere in the Florida public school system during the previous year and are assigned to the failing school for the next school year.
Opportunity Scholarship Program Other changes • The Opportunity Scholarship shall remain in force until the student graduates from high school. • The parent may choose to enroll the student in and transport the student to a higher-performing public school that has available space in any other district in the state.
Opportunity Scholarship Program The school district must: • Notify parents of students who attended or will be attending a failing public school of the opportunity to transfer to another higher performing public school. • Notify those same parents/students of the opportunity to transfer to a higher performing public school. • The school district in which the student enrolls must provide ESE services in accordance with all state and federal regulations relevant to public school students.
Virtual Education • Florida offers 6 different virtual options: • Florida Virtual School (FLVS) “classic” - s. 1002.37 • Florida Virtual School full time - s. 1002.455* • District Franchise of FLVS - s. 1002.37 • District Virtual Instruction Program – s. 1002.45 • District Virtual Course Offerings - s. 1003.498* • Virtual Charter School – s. 1002.33* • * New http://www.fldoe.org/Schools/virtual-schools/default.asp
District Level Virtual Programs • District Responsibilities with Regard to ESE Services for Students Participating in District VIP • District must provide for an appropriate program of special instruction, facilities, and services for ESE students enrolled in the school district. • For some students, the IEP or EP team may determine a need for additional services beyond the district VIP, and depending upon the extent and nature of those services, students may receive ESE services from the district or the virtual provider as outlined in the contract.
District Level Virtual Programs • District Responsibilities, cont. • Districts cannot limit participation in the VIP if the student meets the requirements of s. 1002.45(5). • The district should implement an IEP, EP or 504 plan for these students similarly to other students with disabilities or special needsin the school district, which means the school day for such students may include more than the basic courses.
District Level Virtual Programs • District Responsibilities, cont. • Some accommodations and supplemental services can be provided in conjunction with the district VIP. • Special instructional methods or modifications to the virtual curriculum are not available.
Home Education • Sections 1002.01 and 1002.41, Florida Statutes • District Responsibilities with Regard to ESE Services for Home Education Students • The child find obligation to identify, locate, and evaluate all children with disabilities residing within the district applies to home education students. • The school district must complete the initial evaluation within 60 school days after the school district’s receipt of parental consent.
Home Education • District Responsibilities, cont. • The school district is not obligated to provide services to students in home education programs. If the student enrolls full time in a public school, the district must ensure that a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) is made available to the child. • The district may choose to enroll the child on a part-time basis for services provided through the public school and report the student for state funding through the Florida Education Funding Program (FEFP).
McKay ScholarshipsHB 1329 • HB 1329 expanded eligibility for a McKay • Scholarship to students with a 504 Plan if: • They meet the prior year FTE requirements according to law, and • The 504 accommodation plan is issued under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and • The 504 plan issued is valid for more than 6 months.
McKay ScholarshipsHB 1329 • Requires school districts to notify parents of students with 504 plans about the McKay Scholarship by April 1 of each year and/or within 10 days of a 504 plan being issued. • States that the scholarship amount for a 504 Plan student will be based upon the current student program cost factor generated by the student.
McKay Scholarships HB 1255 HB 1255 . . . . . . expanded the number of days a student can be in DJJ detention from 15 to 21, without losing the scholarship. DOE will need to amend State Board Rule 6A-6.071, FAC. to align with the new requirement.
School District Responsibilities Section 1002.39, Florida Statutes School districts must: • Notify parents of disabled students about the McKay Scholarship Program by April 1 of each school year and within 10 days of an Individual Education Plan (IEP) or 504 Plan meeting. • Inform parents of the availability of the Information Hotline and School Choice website address.
School District Responsibilities For students applying for a McKay Scholarship, a school district must: • Submit a matrix level within 30 days of the parent’s filed intent date, or • Determine if the student is eligible by ensuring a 504 Plan is effective for more than 6 months, and • Offer parents an opportunity to enroll their child in another public school within their district if the parent requests the McKay public school option.
School District Responsibilities Child Find Obligation - PPPSS • Unless/until dismissed from ESE, McKay participants are PPPSS. • District where the private school is located is responsible for evaluation and provision of services (as applicable) through a services plan (SP) to students attending not-for-profit private schools. • District where the student resides is responsible for evaluation of students attending for-profit private schools; no SP.
District ResponsibilitiesEligible PreK For a Pre-K student applying for the McKay Scholarship entering kindergarten: • School districts should develop a proposed IEP or 504 Plan that identifies the services the student would receive upon transitioning to a public kindergarten program. • A matrix of services or 504 funding level must then be completed to reflect the services on the proposed IEP or 504 Plan. This will be used to determine the student’s scholarship amount for the McKay Scholarship.
CONTACT Jean Miller Deputy Executive Director IEPC • Main Line: 850 245-0502 • School Choice Hotline: • 1-800- 447-1636 • Fax: 850 245-0875 www.floridaschoolchoice.org