Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 111256
Printable PDF Format Download Adobe Reader  

File Number: 111256 File Type: Resolution Status: Failed
Version: 0 Reference: Control: County Commission
File Name: AWARD HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMAS FOR HOME EDUCATION PROGRAM STUDEN Introduced: 6/7/2011
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action:
Agenda Date: 9/20/2011 Agenda Item Number: 11A6
Notes: Title: RESOLUTION URGING THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE AND THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION TO PASS LEGISLATION AND PROMULGATE REGULATIONS, RESPECTIVELY, REQUIRING THAT PUBLIC SCHOOLS BE AUTHORIZED AND DIRECTED TO AWARD HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMAS TO STUDENTS PARTICIPATING IN A HOME EDUCATION PROGRAM (“HOME SCHOOLED STUDENTS”) MEETING CERTAIN CRITERIA SET FORTH BY THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE; AND FURTHER URGING MIAMI-DADE COUNTY SCHOOLS TO PROVIDE FOR THE AWARD OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMAS TO HOME SCHOOLED STUDENTS HAVING MET THE CRITERIA SET FORTH BY THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE
Indexes: LEGISLATURE
Sponsors: Barbara J. Jordan, Prime Sponsor
  Jose "Pepe" Diaz, Co-Sponsor
  Audrey M. Edmonson, Co-Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 9/20/2011 11A6 Amended F
REPORT: County Attorney Robert Cuevas announced that the County Attorney’s Office had recommended amendments to the foregoing proposed resolution. It was moved by Commissioner Jordan that the Board adopt the foregoing proposed resolution. This motion was seconded by Commissioner Diaz, and the floor was opened for discussion. Commissioner Sosa commented that she was unsupportive of the foregoing resolution for the following reasons: 1. the parents of home-schooled students were not asked if they wanted their children to be administered the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) in order to be awarded a regular diploma since the State of Florida’s regulations prohibited institutions from awarding that certificate unless the FCAT was taken; 2. the question as to whether the academic performance of home-schooled students would be as good as that of students attending regular classroom classes remained unanswered; 3. no information was available addressing funding related issues, the cost of the program to taxpayers, and whether the state would be asked to share the costs; 4. the costs of implementing these requirements should not be imposed on taxpayers; 5. the question regarding the precedent it would establish remained unanswered; and 6. this Board should not sponsor a mandate to another legislative body. Assistant County Attorney Cynthia Johnson-Stacks advised the proposed amendments were as follows: 1. to add Whereas clause number 3: “Whereas the legislation also provides for students in a home education setting to be evaluated once a year to demonstrate educational progress at a level equivalent to his/her abilities;” 2. to add Whereas clause number 4: “Whereas the parent/guardian selects the method of evaluation from those provided in the Florida statutes and files a copy of the evaluation annually in the Superintendent’s Office;” and 3. to add under Section 1, line 5, in the body of the item after the word legislation the following language: “to include passing of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) and require end of the year course assessments, educational benchmarks, portfolio submission, review, and approval by the local School Board designee, urging the Florida legislation to provide 50% Full-Time Enrollment (FTE), equivalent funding to local school boards per home-schooled students seeking a diploma.” Vice Chairwoman Edmonson noted she was under the impression the sponsor of the foregoing resolution had discussed this proposed legislation with the School Board’s administration prior to having the item presented before the Board of County Commissioners at the time she co-sponsored the item. Pursuant to Vice Chairwoman Edmonson’s inquiry, Ms. Iraida Mendez-Cartaya, Assistant Superintendent of Schools for the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, Grants Administration and Community Engagement, advised that the School Board had previously expressed their concerns for this legislation as originally drafted. She noted the resolution as originally proposed failed to address issues relating to equity of students, objectivity regarding whether a student had met the established skills, and other logistical funding related issues. She stated the School Board supported the legislation as amended by the sponsor since it included the requirement of FCAT, the end of course exams, and the FTE funding. Vice Chairwoman Edmonson stated she would continue to co-sponsor the foregoing proposed resolution based on Ms. Mendez-Cartaya’s testimony. Pursuant to Chairman Martinez’s inquiry relating to Ms. Mendez-Cartaya’s electronic correspondence in support of the item as presented by Commissioner Jordan, Ms. Mendez-Cartaya advised that the sponsor made amendments in addition to those proffered by the School Board to improve the legislation. Commissioner Bell withdrew her co-sponsorship from the proposed resolution, noting she supported the original version. Pursuant to Commissioner Bell’s inquiry, Ms. Mendez-Cartaya advised that she represented the position of the Office of the Superintendent on this issue; and the School Board’s legislative body had not provided an official position. Commissioner Bell noted she preferred the School Board’s legislative body be placed on record in an official position on this issue. She commented that she opposed the 50 percent FTE funding since it placed a heavier burden on the parents of home-schooled students as opposed to those students in a traditional school setting. Currently, every parent of home-schooled children registered with the County their intent to home-school their children, and tested their children yearly usually through a home-school program, she added. Commissioner Bell expressed the belief that these amendments were a back-handed way to put an end to home-schooling. Commissioner Bell expressed support for the proposed resolution, as originally presented, noting it did not impose double testing on the home-schooled students to please the Miami-Dade School Board. She expressed her discontent for imposing double testing on home-schooled students to receive a high school diploma. Commissioner Heyman expressed concern for the process, noting that the County Commission was urging the Florida Legislation to take action on a School Board related issue when the jurisdictional government body had not taken an official position. Ms. Mendez-Cartaya advised that, even though the School Board had not taken an official position, the amendments proffered established student equity and objectivity by requiring all students receiving a standard high school diploma to take and pass the FCAT, the end of course exams in certain grade levels and academic subjects, and the same required assessments. Commissioner Heyman asked that the foregoing proposed resolution be deferred to allow the School Board an opportunity to provide an official position on this matter. Commissioner Jordan explained that the proposed resolution was prepared in response to a request from the parent of a home-schooled student residing in her County Commission District asking that her child be awarded a regular high school diploma. She added that initially the School Board had no concerns, but later on the Superintendent of Schools requested to defer the item and meet with her to address issues of concern. Commissioner Jordan explained the proposed resolution gave parents a choice and did not mandate that home-schooled students receive a regular diploma; but if a student wished to be awarded a regular diploma, the same requirements applicable to students attending public schools would be applied to home-schooled students in order to certify those students met the same level of academic achievement. She noted the amendments created equity and recognized the efforts of school officials who ensured all students were at the established level of skills. Commissioner Diaz expressed his support for the proposed legislation as originally drafted in order to help those students choosing an alternative schooling system due to disabilities or for religious reasons, and he asked Commissioner Jordan to reevaluate her amendments. Commissioner Barreiro advised that he supported the item except for the FTE reimbursement requirement, and that he concurred with the testing requirements for academic achievement. In response to Commissioner Jordan’s question as to whether he wished to proffer an amendment, Commissioner Barreiro proposed to delete the FTE reimbursement requirement provision and to maintain the cost of testing. Commissioner Jordan accepted the amendments. Pursuant to Chairman Martinez’s question for clarification of the amendments, Assistant County Attorney Johnson-Stacks responded that the legislation urged the Florida Legislature to require the payment of the cost of testing. In response to Chairman Martinez’s comments as to whether the amendments imposed additional costs on the parents of home-schooled parents who already paid taxes towards the School Board, Assistant County Attorney Johnson-Stacks advised that the proposed resolution as amended required additional payment for the cost of testing. Commissioner Jordan noted she would agree to removing the FTE requirement as that amendment was suggested by the Superintendent of Schools to recognize the time school personnel spent working with students to verify all students were at the same level of academic achievement. In response to Chairman Martinez’s inquiry regarding the proposed amendments, Assistant County Attorney Johnson-Stacks stated that reference to the provisions relating to the FTE reimbursement requirement and the cost of testing were deleted from the proposed resolution. Commissioner Sosa commented she maintained her initial recommendation because it was a School Board related issue, and she recommended that the sponsor of the proposed recommendation meet with the legislative body of the School Board to ask for an official position on the foregoing resolution. Commissioner Sosa reiterated that she was unsupportive of the proposed resolution, and she suggested a protocol and process be established first. Commissioner Bell concurred with the deletion of the FTE reimbursement provision, and she recommended that the requirement for an annual evaluation be removed to eliminate redundancy if home-schooled students were already tested. She also suggested that Commissioner Jordan meet with the School Board’s legislative body, representatives of three (3) home school organizations, as well as members of this Board to address issues pertinent to their particular areas, and to make this resolution legislatively and not administratively driven. She emphasized that she agreed with accountability and testing to show the level of success attained with the students. Commissioner Bell suggested that the foregoing resolution be amended to have the annual evaluation requirement deleted. In response to Commissioner Moss’ inquiry, Ms. Mendez-Cartaya explained that the FTE reimbursement requirement was part of the funding formula for the Florida Education Finance Program (FEFP). She advised that currently neither the school districts nor parents received funding for home-schooled students; however, the proposed resolution as presented would include home-schooled students in the funding formula and would provide the School Board with a portion of the FTE funds to administer the program and to ensure the requirements of the FCAT and assessments were enforced. Commissioner Moss noted he was unsupportive of the foregoing resolution as amended by the members of the Board because the support of the Superintendent of Schools was based on the inclusion of the provisions deleted. He also expressed concern for this Board’s involvement in issues relevant to another legislative body such as the School Board without knowing their position on the item as amended. Therefore, this Board should not consider this resolution without an official position from the School Board’s legislative body, he added. Vice Chairwoman Edmonson withdrew her co-sponsorship from the foregoing proposed legislation. Chairman Martinez noted the Board of County Commissioners should not be legislating on a School Board related issue. Commissioner Jordan advised the proposed resolution was prepared in response to a request emanating from her constituents, and she noted the line was crossed by this Board frequently when considering urgings to other legislative bodies. She pointed out that each member of the County Commission represented an entire County Commission District, which included schools and the parents residing in those districts. Pursuant to Chairman Martinez’s request, Assistant County Attorney Johnson-Stacks advised the proposed amendments to the foregoing resolution were as follows: 1. to add Whereas clause number three (3): “Whereas the legislation also provides for a student in a home education setting to be evaluated once a year to demonstrate educational progress at a level equivalent to his/her abilities; 2. to add Whereas clause number four (4): “Whereas a parent/guardian selects the method of evaluation from those provided by the Florida Statutes then files a copy of the evaluation annually in the Superintendent’s Office; and 3. to add under Section 1, line 5, in the body of the item after the word legislation the following language: “to include passing of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) and require end of course assessments, educational benchmarks, portfolio submission and review, and approval by the local School Board designee. Upon concluding the foregoing discussion and hearing no other comments or concerns from the members of the Board or the administration, the Board proceeded to vote on the foregoing resolution as amended by roll call.

Board of County Commissioners 7/7/2011 11A28 Deferred P
REPORT: Commissioner Jordan advised that she received a phone call, earlier today, from Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, Miami-Dade Public Schools, requesting this item be deferred. She said she asked him to send a representative to today’s meeting to make his request on the record. Ms. Maria de Armas, Assistant Superintendent, Curriculum and Instruction, Miami-Dade Public Schools, appeared before the Commission on behalf of Mr. Carvalho. She requested this resolution be deferred so that Mr. Carvalho could work jointly with the sponsor of this legislation and reach some consensus on issues pertaining to equity and logistics. Commissioner Sosa commented that the concerned parties working together on this legislation would make the difference. Hearing no objections, the Commission deferred the foregoing proposed resolution to no date certain, as requested by Commissioner Jordan on behalf of Alberto M. Carvalho, Superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

Board of County Commissioners 6/21/2011 11A2 Deferred 7/7/2011 P
REPORT: County Attorney Robert Cuevas read the foregoing proposed resolution into the record. Commissioner Jordan noted her request for a deferral of the foregoing proposed resolution. The Board deferred the foregoing proposed resolution to the July 7, 2011, Board meeting as requested by Commissioner Jordan, the prime sponsor.

County Manager 6/20/2011 Deferrals 6/21/2011
REPORT: The Prime Sponsor has requested deferral to the July 7 BCC.

County Attorney 6/7/2011 Assigned Shannon D. Summerset

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION URGING THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE AND THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION TO PASS LEGISLATION AND PROMULGATE REGULATIONS, RESPECTIVELY, REQUIRING THAT PUBLIC SCHOOLS BE AUTHORIZED AND DIRECTED TO AWARD HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMAS TO STUDENTS PARTICIPATING IN A HOME EDUCATION PROGRAM (“HOME SCHOOLED STUDENTS”) MEETING CERTAIN CRITERIA SET FORTH BY THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE; AND FURTHER URGING MIAMI-DADE COUNTY SCHOOLS TO PROVIDE FOR THE AWARD OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMAS TO HOME SCHOOLED STUDENTS HAVING MET THE CRITERIA SET FORTH BY THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE

BODY
WHEREAS, the Florida Legislature has passed legislation in Florida which allows parents to allow their children to participate in Home Education Programs; and
WHEREAS, the legislations sets forth standards that must be met for the parents and students participating in these programs; and
WHEREAS, the legislation also provides for coordination with and review by the superintendent of the school board of the students work and progress in the county where the parents and children reside; and
WHEREAS, although the legislation sets forth standards to be met the legislation does not provide students who have met or surpassed the standards to receive a high school diploma from the school district which has monitored their progress; and
WHEREAS, a home education student currently must take and pass the General Educational Development (GED) test at an education center to be awarded a Florida GED diploma; and
WHEREAS, the award of a high school diploma would be in the best interest of those students participating in a home education program and would be a proper, fair, and fitting reward and inducement to these students,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that this Board:
Section 1. Urges the Florida Legislature and the Florida Department of Education to pass legislation and promulgate regulations respectively requiring that public schools be authorized and directed to award high school diplomas to students participating in a Home Education Program, as defined by Florida law, (‘home schooled students”), who meet certain criteria set forth by the Florida Legislature; and further urging Miami-Dade County Schools to provide for the award of Miami-Dade County School Board high school diplomas to home schooled students having met the criteria set forth by the Florida Legislature.
Section 2. Directs the Clerk of the Board to transmit a certified copy of this resolution to the Governor, Senate President, House Speaker, the Chair and Members of the Miami-Dade County State Delegation, the Florida Commissioner of Education, the Chair and Members of the Miami-Dade County School Board and the Superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools.
Section 3. Directs the County’s state lobbyists to advocate for the passage of legislation and the promulgation of rules as set forth in Section 1 above, and authorizes and directs the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs to include this item in the 2012 State Legislative Package.




Home  |   Agendas  |   Minutes  |   Legislative Search  |   Lobbyist Registration  |   Legislative Reports
2014 BCC Meeting Calendar  |   Miami-Dade County Code of Ordinances   |   ADA Notice  |  

Home  |  Using Our Site  |  About Phone Directory  |  Privacy  |  Disclaimer

E-mail your comments, questions and suggestions to Webmaster  

Web Site © 2014 Miami-Dade County.
All rights reserved.