60BB-8.204: Uniform Attendance Policy for Funding the VPK Program
PURPOSE AND EFFECT: The purpose of the proposed rule development is to revise the Agency’s Rule 60BB-8.204, Florida Administrative Code, to incorporate recent legislative amendments by establishing a minimum requirement for student attendance of eighty (80) percent of the total program hours for the program type (school-year or summer) in which a student is enrolled, redefining a student’s absence for good cause, and providing for methods of payment depending upon student attendance.
SUBJECT AREA TO BE ADDRESSED: The subject areas to be addressed by the proposed rule are minimum requirements for student attendance, student absences for good cause, and methods of provider payment based upon student attendance.
SPECIFIC AUTHORITY: 1002.61(6)(d), 1002.79(2) FS.
LAW IMPLEMENTED: 1002.61(6)(d) FS.
A RULE DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOP WILL BE HELD AT THE DATE, TIME AND PLACE SHOWN BELOW:
DATE AND TIME: March 11, 2009, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
PLACE: TCC Capitol Center, 300 W. Pensacola Street, Tallahassee, FL 32312
THE PERSON TO BE CONTACTED REGARDING THE PROPOSED RULE DEVELOPMENT AND A COPY OF THE PRELIMINARY DRAFT, IF AVAILABLE, IS: Kristin R. Harden, Assistant General Counsel, Agency for Workforce Innovation, Office of General Counsel, 107 East Madison Street, MSC #110, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-4128, (850)245-7150
THE PRELIMINARY TEXT OF THE PROPOSED RULE DEVELOPMENT IS:
(Substantial rewording of Rule 60BB-8.204 follows. See Florida Administrative Code for present text.)
60BB-8.204 Uniform Attendance Policy for Funding the VPK Program.
(1) Payment for the VPK program. An early learning coalition shall pay a private provider or public school for the VPK program in accordance with this rule.
(2) Attendance. A student is considered to have attended all of the instructional hours offered by a VPK provider for a day if the student attends any portion of the day.
(3) Minimum requirement for student attendance. A student meets the minimum requirement for student attendance if the student attends 80 percent or more of the program hours for the program type (school-year or summer) in which a student is enrolled. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section, for purposes of the minimum requirement for student attendance, a student is considered to have attended all of the instructional hours offered by a VPK provider for a day if the VPK provider is out of compliance for the day. A VPK provider shall be deemed to be out of compliance if it fails to comply with the statutes or rules governing the VPK program.
(a) Up to 10 (ten) percent of the program hours for the program type in which a student is enrolled may be considered absences for good cause. Instructional days on which a student is absent for good cause shall be considered as hours attended for purposes of meeting the minimum requirement for student attendance.
(b) A student shall be considered absent for good cause if the student is absent for one of the following reasons:
1. Illness or injury of the child which requires hospitalization as documented by a doctor’s note; or
2. Compliance with a court order (e.g., visitation, subpoena) as documented by a copy of the court order.
(c) A VPK provider shall maintain documentation of a student’s absence for good cause for at least 3 years or, to the extent required, in accordance with the retention schedules and disposal process adopted under Section 119.021(2), Florida Statutes, whichever is greater. The VPK provider shall allow the Agency for Workforce Innovation or its early learning coalition to inspect the documentation during normal hours of operation, and shall submit a copy of the documentation to the Agency or the coalition upon request.
(d) An absence shall not be considered an absence for good cause prior to the student’s first day of attendance or after the student’s last day of attendance.
(5) Payment of Providers.
(a) If a student meets the minimum requirement for student attendance, a VPK provider shall be eligible to receive the student’s full-time equivalent funding.
(b) If a student does not meet the minimum requirement for student attendance, a VPK provider shall be paid on a pro-rata basis for the hours the student attends.
(c) Notwithstanding paragraphs (5)(a) and (5)(b) above, if a student is reenrolled for good cause under Section 1002.71(4)(b), Florida Statutes, a VPK provider shall be paid on a pro-rata basis:
1. For hours a student attends unless the student meets the minimum requirement for student attendance with the provider.
2. For hours a student attends plus the remainder of the student’s full-time equivalent funding after pro-rata payments are deducted from the student’s full-time equivalent funding.
(d) A VPK provider shall be ineligible to receive a student’s full-time equivalent funding if the VPK provider:
1. Fails to offer to the student all VPK program hours for the program type in which the student is enrolled, either through dismissal of the student or through closure, and shall, instead, be paid on a pro-rata basis for the hours the student attends the provider’s program.
2. Is found out of compliance with VPK rule or statute and shall instead be paid:
a. On a pro-rata basis for hours a student attends, not including hours attended while the provider is out of compliance, if the student has not met the minimum requirement for student attendance.
b. The student’s full-time equivalent funding less funding for hours during which the provider was out of compliance if the student meets the minimum requirement for student attendance.
(6) Temporary closures.
(a) A provider may readjust its calendar to offer the all program hours for the program type (school-year or summer) offered by the provider in the case of a temporary closure if the provider submits written documentation to the coalition which demonstrates that the closure is temporary and caused by circumstances beyond the provider’s control. Circumstances beyond the provider’s control are circumstances wherein the provider cannot ensure the health, safety, shelter or well-being of students that are not a result of the actions or inactions of the provider or its employees.
(b) Documentation of the circumstances causing a temporary closure is not required if the private provider’s or public school’s VPK site is located in a county in which government offices normally open to the public are closed by the county, state, or federal governments, or public schools are closed by the school district, because a state of emergency is declared to exist in the county by the county government, the Governor, or the President of the United States. Documentation is required if government offices remain open or a state of emergency is not declared to exist.
(c) If a provider is unable to offer all of the program hours as a result of temporary closure, the provider shall be paid in accordance with paragraph (5)(b) above.
Specific Authority 1002.79(2) FS. Law Implemented 1002.71(6)(d) FS. History–New 8-17-06, Amended 5-24-07,_________.