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Dual Enrollment Book Update

Updated: Jun 7, 2023

The Legislature ended in March (2018) and as reported before several important changes for home education students were passed into law.  However, it generally takes several weeks for the Department of Education (DOE) to notify or provide legal interpretation of those laws for the districts.  If the language in the law is not specific enough, then the DOE will tell those affected by the laws how to implement them.

HEF has been waiting for that Technical Assistance Paper to be issued regarding how the $550,000 set aside for paying for home education students dual enrollment books is to be distributed.  A document http://www.fldoe.org/core/fileparse.php/7749/urlt/DFC-2018-02.pdf was issued on May 25, 2018, but without specifics on how students are to get their books.  It states that the colleges will be reimbursed for a portion of the cost of dual enrollment books for home education students, but it does not say how those books will be provided.  HEF kept waiting for additional guidance, hoping that there would be a more uniform policy across the 28 state colleges.  There is no mention of state universities in the document.  All the funding went to the DOE so one would assume that the Legislature did not consider paying for dual enrollment books for home education students taking classes at state universities since DOE does not oversee state universities.

So, after July 1, when the law actually took affect and no further guidance was issued, Brenda called the DOE Division of State Colleges to see if there was going to be any further information coming out.  I was told that the DOE is leaving how books are to be provided up to the discretion of each state college.  Therefore, home education students will have to check with the Dual Enrollment coordinator at their state college to find out how they are going to get their books.

This is what happens when the laws are not specific.  There is too much left up to interpretation.  The funds for the dual enrollment books was not in a policy bill.  HEF tried to get the legislators to put the specifics in the home education bill but they decided just to remove the language in the dual enrollment section of law requiring home education students to provide their own instructional materials.  Separately, the Legislature decided to allocate the funds to cover dual enrollment books for home education students in the budget but without any proviso language to direct the spending of those funds.

The good news is that the funds are recurring which means that they will automatically be calculated into the budget in the future if no effort is made to remove that category of funds.  But, as you know, nothing is permanent in statute or budgets. It can be changed each time the Legislature meets.  That is why home educators must have a lobbyist in the Capitol in Tallahassee at all times during the Session to protect the right and freedoms of home educators in Florida.  HEF is your Voice at the Florida Capitol to protect your rights.

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