HEF was very involved in legislation that passed during the 2012 and 2013 Legislative sessions in an effort to protect the rights of home educated and private school students to participate in the dual enrollment program. We were assured that the legislation would not affect non-public school students, but it has. Last year state colleges limited the number of classes all students were allowed to take. This year, although the Legislature removed the language that gave the State Colleges the authority to limit classes based on capacity, some colleges are still limiting courses.
Implementing Legislation is a multi-phase process
After a bill passes, the Governor has to decide whether he will sign a bill into law or not. If he does, then the new law goes to the Department which is responsible for overseeing the law. After each Session, the Department of Education either passes an Administrative Rule, which is just as binding as a statute, or issues a Memorandum and a Frequently Asked Question document to interpret the new law.
The HEF Legislative Update was sent out after the education bills that would affect our students were signed by the Governor. However, HEF has been in communication with the Division of State Colleges to express our concerns and seek clarification on the new laws. HEF was not allowed to review the draft document on dual enrollment until the DOE Memorandum and FAQ were made public. There are some answers in the FAQ document which are not favorable to private schools. Additionally, the FAQ fails to address some of the issues which need clarification.
The next phase of the process is a review of the Laws, Rules and Memorandums by each state college in order to update their individual dual enrollment policies. HEF is working with home education parents, the DOE and legislative staff to try to gain clarity on the legislative intent of the new laws. We are also trying to review the new state college policies to see if they comply with the intent of the laws.
HEF has posted the DOE Memorandum and the FAQ documents on the flhef.org website under the dual enrollment link. This document may be of help to you in negotiating a new dual enrollment articulation agreement. HEF suggests that home education leaders contact the state college in your area to get involved in the policy development stage in order to gain as much ground as possible. Home education leaders/parents need to have a separate articulation agreement which addresses our students rather than an extension of the district articulation agreement.
Many home education parents have found college textbooks through sources other than the college bookstores. Google the ISPN of the book and often the book can be found at a discount from Amazon, Alibris, Chegg or Barnes and Nobles. Some companies, like Chegg, rent books. Occasionally, books can be found online in pdf form. These resources can often save quite a bit on the cost of college textbooks.
New Dual Enrollment Document Links
Dual Enrollment FAC (Florida Administrative Code) Rule 6A-14.064