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The Florida Statutes

The 2021 Florida Statutes

Title XLVIII
EARLY LEARNING-20 EDUCATION CODE
Chapter 1009
EDUCATIONAL SCHOLARSHIPS, FEES, AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
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F.S. 1009.895
1009.895 Open Door Grant Program.
(1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Cost of the program” means the cost of tuition, fees, examination, books, and materials to a student enrolled in an eligible program.
(b) “Department” means the Department of Education.
(c) “Institution” means school district postsecondary technical career centers under s. 1001.44, Florida College System institutions under s. 1000.21(3), and charter technical career centers under s. 1002.34.
(d) “Program” means a noncredit industry certification preparation, clock hour career certificate programs, or for-credit short-term career and technical education programs that result in the award of credentials identified under s. 445.004(4).
(e) “Student” means a person who is a resident of this state as determined under s. 1009.21 and is unemployed, underemployed, or furloughed.
(2) The Open Door Grant Program is established for the purpose of:
(a) Creating and sustaining a demand-driven supply of credentialed workers for high-demand occupations by addressing and closing the gap between the skills needed by workers in the state and the skills of the available workforce in the state.
(b) Expanding the affordability of workforce training and credentialing.
(c) Increasing the interest of current and future workers in short-term, high-demand career and technical education credentialing and certificate programs.
(3) The department shall provide grants to institutions on a first-come, first-serve basis for students who enroll in an eligible program. The department shall prioritize funding for integrated education and training programs in which institutions establish partnerships with local workforce development boards to provide basic skills instruction, contextually and concurrently, with workforce training that results in the award of credentials under s. 445.004(4). One-quarter of the appropriated funds must be prioritized to serve students attending rural institutions. No more than one-quarter of the appropriated funds may be disbursed annually to any eligible institution.
(4) To be eligible to receive an open door grant under this section, a student must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid for each academic year in which the grant is sought.
(5) Subject to the availability of funds:
(a) A student who enrolls in an eligible program offered by an institution and who does not receive state or federal financial aid may apply for and be awarded a grant to cover two-thirds of the cost of the program, if at the time of enrollment the student pays one-third of the cost of the program and signs an agreement to either complete the program or pay an additional one-third of the cost of the program in the event of noncompletion. The department shall reimburse the institution in an amount equal to one-third of the cost of the program upon a student’s completion of the program. An additional one-third shall be provided upon attainment of a workforce credential or certificate by the student. Grant funds may be used to cover the student’s one-third of the cost of the program for students in integrated education and training programs and students who do not have a high school diploma and meet the requirements established by the department.
(b) A student receiving state or federal financial aid who enrolls in an eligible program offered by an institution may apply for and be awarded a grant to cover the unmet need of the cost of the program after the application of all eligible financial aid. Financial aid and grants received by the student shall be credited first to the student’s costs before the award of an open door grant. After a student is enrolled in an eligible program, the department shall award the grant to the institution for the amount of unmet need for the eligible student.
(6) The department may not reimburse any institution more than $3,000 per completed workforce training program by an eligible student.
(7) The department shall administer the grant and shall carry out the goals and purposes of the grant set forth in subsection (2). In administering the grant, the department shall:
(a) Require eligible institutions to provide student-specific data.
(b) Undertake periodic assessments of the overall success of the grant program and recommend modifications, interventions, and other actions based on such assessments.
(c) Establish the procedure by which eligible institutions shall notify the department when eligible students enroll in eligible programs.
(d) Require each eligible institution to submit a report with data from the previous fiscal year on program completion and credential attainment by students participating in the grant program that, at a minimum, includes:
1. A list of the programs offered.
2. The number of students who enrolled in the programs.
3. The number of students who completed the programs.
4. The number of students who attained workforce credentials, categorized by credential name and relevant occupation, after completing training programs.
5. The average cost per workforce credential attained, categorized by credential name and relevant occupation.
(8) The department shall compile the data provided under paragraph (7)(d) and annually report such data, in the aggregate and categorize such information by eligible institution, to the State Board of Education. The report shall also include information on the average wage, age, gender, race, ethnicity, veteran status, and other relevant information, of students who have completed workforce training programs categorized by credential name and relevant occupation.
(9) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules to implement this section.
History.s. 34, ch. 2021-164.