This Session (2019) there are two bills, House Bill 189 and Senate Bill 1342 both have dual enrollment language to specifically say a state college cannot charge private school students or their private school for dual enrollment tuition. The House Bill 189 passed Monday, April 1, out of Higher Education Appropriations Committee. Now it has to go to Full Appropriations, Rules and make it onto the Special Order Calendar. SB 1342 passed out of the Senate Education Committee Tuesday, April 2, but there were a lot of questions by the Democrats on the committee about how those classes are going to be paid for. Sen. Stargel, the bill sponsor, who is the committee chair of Sen. Education Appropriation where SB 1342 goes next, said that they need to collect information on how many students will participate so that they can fund it in the future. She also said there are other bills that provide performance funding and incentive funding to state colleges for students that complete their AA degrees.
It appears there is a will in both chambers for this bill to pass this Session. However, it is not guaranteed until the Governor signs one of the bills. You can watch the Senate Committee at http://www.flsenate.gov/media/VideoPlayer?EventID=2443575804_2019041026 (and the SB 1342 presentation starts at 50:00 minutes).
Hopefully, this bill will become law on July 1, but if it does not, here are some options that are available to parents if they want their children to earn college credit while still in high school.
The student could be withdrawn from the private school and enrolled in a home education program under the school district. Current law states that home education students cannot be charged tuition. In addition, last year the Legislature allocated money to pay for home education students instructional materials for dual enrollment.
The student could be in a private school and enroll in AP courses, where they may earn college credit, through the Florida Virtual School (FLVS). The law states that home education and private school students can take FLVS courses free of charge since FLVS is a public school. AP courses are more rigorous than other high school courses because they are designed to be equivalent to the same college course.However, the big drawback to AP courses is that the student may pass the course with an A grade, but if the student does not pass the national AP exam with a 3, 4 or 5, they will not receive college credit.While the AP grade is almost always accepted by a college or university for college credit, not all will accept the same score on the AP exam.It is important to check this out with the college that your student may attend.Also, it is important to check with any out-of-state colleges or universities your student may plan to attend to determine if the institution will accept dual enrollment courses taken in Florida for credit.If you decide this route is a good one for your student, it is helpful to know that, FLVS students, based on the May 2018 AP Exams, outperformed state overall averages by 11.3 percent in comparing the 15 AP courses offered by FLVS, and they performed above the national overall average by 4.1 percent in comparing the 15 AP courses offered by FLVS.
The student could be enrolled in FLVS Full-Time 9-12. The student would then become a public school student but could do dual enrollment courses and earn a diploma.The drawback for this option would be that the student would have to take the Algebra I EOC and the English Language Arts FSA which is required to earn a standard high school diploma issued by the state of Florida.However, private school students could satisfy this requirement by scoring a concordant score on the SAT or ACT.See the Department of Education FAQ for more details. http://www.fldoe.org/core/fileparse.php/5663/urlt/Rule6A109422Ann-FAQ.pdf Florida Virtual School would use the Transfer of Credit Rule to grant credit for courses taken in a private school and students would get a high school transcript from FLVS.FLVS Full-Time 9-12 has articulation agreements for dual enrollment with Polk State College and Seminole State College. There is also a pilot program with the University of Florida. Students who participate in the UF dual enrollment program would be hand-picked by FLVS-Full Time based on certain criteria and would have to be enrolled in FLVS Full-Time the semester prior to signing up for dual enrollment due to the college registration calendar. The application for FLVS Full-Time is open twice per year, and is currently open for Fall 2019.
HEF is very dismayed that private school students have been denied access to free dual enrollment. Brenda Dickinson has expended a great deal of time and energy trying to correct this problem. Hopefully, we can get it over the finish line this year. HEF is not giving up!