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The Florida Statutes

The 2017 Florida Statutes

Title XLVIII
K-20 EDUCATION CODE
Chapter 1002
STUDENT AND PARENTAL RIGHTS AND EDUCATIONAL CHOICES
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F.S. 1002.87
1002.87 School readiness program; eligibility and enrollment.
(1) Each early learning coalition shall give priority for participation in the school readiness program as follows:
(a) Priority shall be given first to a child younger than 13 years of age from a family that includes a parent who is receiving temporary cash assistance under chapter 414 and subject to the federal work requirements.
(b) Priority shall be given next to an at-risk child younger than 9 years of age.
(c) Priority shall be given next to a child from birth to the beginning of the school year for which the child is eligible for admission to kindergarten in a public school under s. 1003.21(1)(a)2. who is from a working family that is economically disadvantaged, and may include such child’s eligible siblings, beginning with the school year in which the sibling is eligible for admission to kindergarten in a public school under s. 1003.21(1)(a)2. until the beginning of the school year in which the sibling is eligible to begin 6th grade, provided that the first priority for funding an eligible sibling is local revenues available to the coalition for funding direct services.
(d) Priority shall be given next to a child of a parent who transitions from the work program into employment as described in s. 445.032 from birth to the beginning of the school year for which the child is eligible for admission to kindergarten in a public school under s. 1003.21(1)(a)2.
(e) Priority shall be given next to an at-risk child who is at least 9 years of age but younger than 13 years of age. An at-risk child whose sibling is enrolled in the school readiness program within an eligibility priority category listed in paragraphs (a)-(c) shall be given priority over other children who are eligible under this paragraph.
(f) Priority shall be given next to a child who is younger than 13 years of age from a working family that is economically disadvantaged. A child who is eligible under this paragraph whose sibling is enrolled in the school readiness program under paragraph (c) shall be given priority over other children who are eligible under this paragraph.
(g) Priority shall be given next to a child of a parent who transitions from the work program into employment as described in s. 445.032 who is younger than 13 years of age.
(h) Priority shall be given next to a child who has special needs, has been determined eligible as a student with a disability, has a current individual education plan with a Florida school district, and is not younger than 3 years of age. A special needs child eligible under this paragraph remains eligible until the child is eligible for admission to kindergarten in a public school under s. 1003.21(1)(a)2.
(i) Notwithstanding paragraphs (a)-(d), priority shall be given last to a child who otherwise meets one of the eligibility criteria in paragraphs (a)-(d) but who is also enrolled concurrently in the federal Head Start Program and the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program.
(2) A school readiness program provider may be paid only for authorized hours of care provided for a child in the school readiness program. A child enrolled in the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program may receive care from the school readiness program if the child is eligible according to the eligibility priorities in this section.
(3) Contingent upon the availability of funds, a coalition shall enroll eligible children, including those from its waiting list, according to the eligibility priorities in this section.
(4) The parent of a child enrolled in the school readiness program must notify the coalition or its designee within 10 days after any change in employment status, income, or family size or failure to maintain attendance at a job training or educational program in accordance with program requirements.
(5) A child whose eligibility priority category requires the child to be from a working family ceases to be eligible for the school readiness program if a parent with whom the child resides does not reestablish employment or resume attendance at a job training or educational program within 90 days after becoming unemployed or ceasing to attend a job training or educational program.
(6) Eligibility for each child must be reevaluated annually. Upon reevaluation, a child may not continue to receive school readiness program services if he or she has ceased to be eligible under this section. A child who is ineligible due to a parent’s job loss or cessation of education or job training shall continue to receive school readiness program services for at least 3 months to enable the parent to obtain employment.
(7) If a coalition disenrolls children from the school readiness program, the coalition must disenroll the children in reverse order of the eligibility priorities listed in subsection (1) beginning with children from families with the highest family incomes. A notice of disenrollment must be sent to the parent and school readiness program provider at least 2 weeks before disenrollment to provide adequate time for the parent to arrange alternative care for the child. However, an at-risk child may not be disenrolled from the program without the written approval of the Child Welfare Program Office of the Department of Children and Families or the community-based lead agency.
(8) If a child is absent from the program for 5 consecutive days without parental notification to the program of such absence, the school readiness program provider shall report the absence to the early learning coalition for a determination of the need for continued care.
(9) Notwithstanding s. 39.604, a school readiness program provider, regardless of whether the provider is licensed, shall comply with the reporting requirements of the Rilya Wilson Act for each at-risk child under the age of school entry who is enrolled in the school readiness program.
History.s. 17, ch. 2013-252; s. 18, ch. 2016-238.