(T.Center Square) — The Florida House Education Quality Subcommittee meets Wednesday in Tallahassee to help students, especially those with disabilities, make informed decisions about their continuing education after they turn 18. We discussed the bill.
House Bill 19 directs parents to the legal rights and responsibilities that school districts assign to 18-year-old students and how students can provide informed consent to allow parents to participate in educational decisions. I am requesting you to
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act provides a blueprint for state and public agencies to provide interventions, education, and related services to eligible children with disabilities ages 3 to 21.
IDEA-funded states must comply with a set of requirements, including the identification, evaluation, and placement of students with disabilities.
Florida law stipulates that an individualized educational program must be developed for each eligible student beginning at age 12 or upon reaching seventh grade.
of Specification Additionally, the school district is required to provide information and instructions to students and their parents/legal guardians regarding their legal rights, self-determination, and responsibilities upon reaching the age of majority.
The information the school district provides to students and their families must include options for maintaining parental involvement in the education of students with disabilities. These include waivers of family education rights and privacy laws, powers of attorney, parental advocacy and guardianship.
Currently, parents must apply for guardianship through the court system once a child turns 18. The bill essentially reduces both the cost and time required to obtain guardianship. The bill also places no financial burden on Florida and was introduced by State Rep. Allison Tanto, D-Tallahassee.
All members of the subcommittee voted unanimously in favor of HB 19.
The meeting also discussed library resources available to students in Florida schools.
A presentation on Library Media and Materials Training by Department of Education Chancellor Paul Burns pointed to new rules in place to protect children from being exposed to inappropriate materials in schools.
Educators in Florida should be trained on book selection in the classroom. This includes prohibiting the distribution of materials that are harmful to minors or that may indoctrinate children.
Barnes said the working group is currently developing a definition of age-appropriate teaching materials for elementary school students.
Polk County Superintendent Fred Hyde spoke about the process his school district has adopted. This district allows parents to challenge the materials available to their children. The committee also reviewed all written and recorded media to ensure that staff did not inadvertently provide restricted materials to students.
Hyde added that the majority of families are choosing to stick with the current school curriculum.
Providing prohibited material is a third-degree felony and counts as a separate fee for each prohibited resource published.