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AAFF

The Asian American Federation of Florida (AAFF) is a 501(c)(3) coalition that aims to unity and collaboration among the various Asian Pacific American organizations and to improve the relationship of a culturally diverse Asian Pacific American community in Florida. The AAFF is a statewide organization made up of more than 70 Bangladesh, Burmese, Cambodian, Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Iranian, Korean, Laotian, Taiwanese, Thai, Turkish and Vietnamese community-based organizations, businesses and media.

THE FLORIDA SENATE


2013 SUMMARY OF LEGISLATION PASSED

Committee on Education

 

CS/CS/SB 1076 — Career and Professional Education
by Appropriations Committee; Education Committee; and Senators Legg, Stargel, Brandes, Benacquisto, Bean, and Sobel

Chapter 2013-27, L.O.F., aligns education with economic opportunity for graduates of Florida’s public schools, colleges, and universities to better prepare students for their future work. The law revises educational programs and targets funding to foster students’ development of technology skills in prekindergarten through college and to increase opportunities for students to earn industry certifications in high school and college.

 

Integration of Technology into the Classroom

 The law establishes new requirements that integrate technology skills and knowledge into K-12 classrooms. The law:

Expands software applications for students with disabilities in pre-K through grade 12; Requires the middle grades career and education planning course to be internet-based and to emphasize entrepreneurship skills; and

Requires new mechanisms for students to demonstrate digital skills and knowledge:

By December 31, 2013, the law requires the Department of Education to contract with one or more technology companies or affiliated non-profit organizations that have industry certifications on the Industry Certification Funding List or the Postsecondary Education Industry Certification Funding List to develop the new recognitions and certificate. The law requires the recognitions and the certificate to be available to all public school students in elementary schools and middle schools, respectively, at no cost to the school district or charter school.

 

High School Graduation and Assessment Requirements

 Florida Standard High School Diploma
The law redefines one rigorous standard high school diploma for students entering 9th grade in the 2013-2014 school year at 24 credits that include:   

High School Diploma Designations

The law establishes new Scholar and Merit diploma designations for current and future high school students earning a standard high school diploma:

  •    Students may earn a Scholar designation if they satisfy course and testing requirements above-and-beyond those required for a standard diploma (e.g., earn credit in Algebra II and Chemistry or Physics and an equally rigorous science course, pass the Biology I end- of-course (EOC) assessment, and pass future English Language Arts and Algebra II assessments as applicable)\
  • Students pursuing a Merit designation must attain one or more industry certifications. Rigorous industry certification courses that lead to college credit may satisfy up to two math credits and one science credit.
  • The law repeals the statute that established the 18-credit accelerated high school diploma, but retains the opportunity as an Academically Challenging Curriculum to Enhance Learning (ACCEL) option for students.  The law further repeals obsolete statutes related to the Florida Secondary School Redesign Act and high school graduation requirements that applied to students who entered grade 9 prior to 2007-2008.

Assessments
In addition to high school graduation requirements, the law further revises assessment requirements as follows:

  • The middle school Civics end-of-course assessment is changed from a “must pass” requirement to 30 percent of the final course grade.
    Middle grade students scoring Level 1 or Level 2 on FCAT Reading or Math may receive remediation through either a remediation course or a content area course.
  • The State Board of Education is required to adopt a concordant score for the 10th grade FCAT Reading assessment and a comparative score for the Algebra I end-of-course assessment.
    The State Board of Education is required to adopt a schedule to transition to English/Language Arts and Mathematics assessments.
  • The law codifies the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards to reflect subject area standards adopted by the State Board of Education. The standards are for the subject areas of English language arts, science, mathematics, and social studies. Visual and performing arts, physical education, health, and foreign language standards must include distinct grade-level expectations for the knowledge and skills a student is expected to acquire.

Performance Funding

The law establishes performance funding provisions for public schools, school district workforce education programs, Florida College System institutions, and state universities to reward education entities that align programs with economic demands.

Florida Education Finance Program Funding

The law:
   Streamlines Florida Education Finance Program (FEFP) funding for industry certifications earned in high school to establish two levels for funding:

  • A weight of 0.1 for industry certifications that do not articulate for college credit, and
  • A weight of 0.2 for industry certifications that articulate for college credit.
  • Creates a bonus program for teachers of industry certification courses; and Expands existing bonus programs for Advance Placement and International Baccalaureate teachers.

Postsecondary IndustryCertification Funding
The law requires the State Board of Education to approve a Postsecondary Industry Certification Funding List at least annually. The list will be used to determine annual performance funding distributions to school district technical centers and Florida College System institutions that provide instruction leading to rigorous industry certifications.

State University Performance Funding
The law specifies state university performance funding in three areas:  computer and information technology; high-demand programs as identified by the Board of Governors (BOG) using a gap analysis; and, cloud virtualization and related large data management.

Methodology for Allocation of Performance Funds
By October 31, 2013, the law requires the State Board of Education and the Board of Governors to recommend to the Legislature a mechanism for allocating performance funding to Florida College System institutions and state universities based on three employment outcomes: percentage of graduates employed or enrolled in further education; the average wages of employed graduates; and, the average cost per graduate.

 

College and Career Planning

 The law requires initiatives to help students focus on their future work while they are still in school and to target technical programs to industry needs.

Career Readiness Initiatives
The law:  

  • Establishes a process for developing career education courses that enable students to simultaneously earn credit in the career course and core academic credit required for high school graduation. Increases the emphasis on financial literacy by incorporating financial literacy into the required high school economics course.
  • Requires students entering adult general education programs after July 1, 2013, to complete “Action Steps to Employment” activities prior to the completion of the first term. The action steps include identifying employment opportunities, creating a personalized employment goal, conducting an inventory of one’s skills and knowledge, and upgrading skills, as necessary.
  • Authorizes a school board to create a Technical Center Governing Board to better target local employment and industry certification needs.

Talent Retention Program
The law creates a new “Talent Retention Program”, lead by the State University System Chancellor in cooperation with the Commissioner of Education, to encourage middle and high school students who indicate an interest in or aptitude for physics or mathematics to continue their postsecondary education at a state university with excellent departments in selected fields.

 

Preeminent State Research Universities

 The law creates a mechanism for designating Preeminent State Research Universities, based on institutional performance on 12 statutorily-established metrics.

Complete Florida Degree Program

 The law revises a degree completion pilot program as the Complete Florida Degree Program which will be a formal program for online bachelor degree options in state universities, coordinated through the University of West Florida in collaboration with other post-secondary institutions.

 

$10,000 Bachelor’s Degree

The law provides for a $10,000 Bachelor Degrees at Florida College System institutions by authorizing the waiver of Florida College System tuition and fees for the purpose of offering baccalaureate degrees for state residents for which the cost for the degree program does not exceed $10,000.

These provisions became law upon approval by the Governor on April 22, 2013.
Vote:Senate 33-7; House 116-0