2023 Florida Statutes< Back to Statute Search
Title XLVIII EARLY LEARNING-20 EDUCATION CODE
Chapter 1008 ASSESSMENT AND ACCOUNTABILITY
SECTION 365Reading Achievement Initiative for Scholastic Excellence Act.
1008.365 Reading Achievement Initiative for Scholastic Excellence Act.—
(1) This section may be cited as the “Reading Achievement Initiative for Scholastic Excellence Act.”
(2) The Reading Achievement Initiative for Scholastic Excellence (RAISE) Program is established within the Department of Education to provide instructional supports to school districts, school administrators, and instructional personnel in implementing:
(a) Evidence-based reading instruction proven to accelerate progress of students exhibiting a reading deficiency.
(b) Differentiated instruction based on screening, diagnostic, progress monitoring, or student assessment data to meet students’ specific reading needs.
(c) Explicit and systematic reading strategies to develop phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension with more extensive opportunities for guided practice, error correction, and feedback.
(3) The department shall establish at least 20 literacy support regions and regional support teams, at the direction of a regional literacy support director appointed by the Commissioner of Education, to assist schools with improving low reading scores as provided in this section.
(a) A regional literacy support director must successfully demonstrate competence on the evidence-based strategies identified pursuant to s. 1001.215(7) and have the experience and credentials necessary, as determined by the department, to:
1. Effectively monitor student reading growth and achievement data;
2. Oversee districtwide and schoolwide professional development and planning to establish evidence-based practices grounded in the science of reading among school administrators and instructional personnel;
3. Evaluate implementation of evidence-based practices grounded in the science of reading; and
4. Manage a regional support team.
(b) A regional support team shall report to its regional literacy support director and must consist of individuals who:
1. Successfully demonstrate competence on the evidence-based strategies identified pursuant to s. 1001.215(7);
2. Have substantial experience in literacy coaching and monitoring student progress data in reading; and
3. Have received training necessary to assist with the delivery of professional development and site-based supports, including modeling evidence-based practices grounded in the science of reading and providing feedback to instructional personnel.
(4) The department may establish criteria to identify schools that must receive supports from a regional support team. However, regardless of its school grade designated pursuant to s. 1008.34, a school serving students in kindergarten through grade 5 must be identified for supports if 50 percent of its students who take the statewide, standardized English Language Arts assessment score below a Level 3 for any grade level, or, for students in kindergarten through grade 3, progress monitoring data collected pursuant to s. 1008.25(9) shows that 50 percent or more of the students are not on track to pass the statewide, standardized grade 3 English Language Arts assessment. A school identified for supports under this section must implement a school improvement plan pursuant to s. 1001.42(18), or, if the school is already implementing a school improvement plan, the plan must be amended to explicitly address strategies for improving reading performance consistent with this section.
(5) The department shall provide progress monitoring data to regional support teams regarding the implementation of supports. Such supports must include:
(a) Professional development, aligned to evidence-based strategies identified pursuant to s. 1001.215(7), for appropriate instructional personnel and school administrators identified by the regional support team.
(b) Assistance with implementing:
1. Data-informed instructional decisionmaking using progress monitoring and other appropriate data.
2. Selection and consistent, coordinated use of scientifically researched and evidence-based supplemental materials as identified by the Just Read, Florida! Office pursuant to s. 1001.215(8).
3. Reading instruction in other core subject area curricula, with an emphasis on civic literacy.
4. A multitiered system of supports in order to provide students effective interventions and identify students who may require an evaluation for special educational services, including identifying characteristics of conditions that affect phonological processing, such as dyslexia.
(c) Evaluating a school’s improvement plan for alignment with the school district’s K-12 reading instruction plan under s. 1003.4201 and the school district’s allocation of resources as required by s. 1008.25(3)(a). If the regional support team determines that the school district’s reading instruction plan does not address the school’s need to improve student outcomes, the regional literacy support director, the district school superintendent, or his or her designee, and the director of the Just Read, Florida! Office shall convene a meeting to rectify the deficiencies of the reading instruction plan.
(6) Identification of a school for supports pursuant to this section does not, on its own, require a school to implement a turnaround option or take other corrective actions under s. 1008.33. However, a regional support team may be used to assist with providing the differentiated matrix of intervention and support strategies under s. 1008.33, if applicable. The department may direct a regional support team to make other forms of assistance available to school districts and schools.
(7) Once a school’s data shows that it no longer meets the criteria under subsection (4), the school, for purposes of complying with this section, may discontinue receiving supports and implementing a school improvement plan at the conclusion of the school year. Such supports may continue subject to available resources.
(8) As part of the RAISE Program, the department shall establish a tutoring program and develop training in effective reading tutoring practices and content, based on evidence-based practices grounded in the science of reading and aligned to the English Language Arts standards under s. 1003.41, which prepares eligible high school students to tutor students in kindergarten through grade 3 in schools identified under this section, instilling in those students a love of reading and improving their literacy skills.
(a) To be eligible to participate in the tutoring program, a high school student must be a rising junior or senior who has a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher, has no history of out-of-school suspensions or expulsions, is on track to complete all core course requirements to graduate, and has written recommendations from at least two of his or her present or former high school teachers of record or extracurricular activity sponsors.
(b) School districts that wish to participate in the tutoring program must recruit, train, and deploy eligible high school students using the materials developed under this section. Tutoring must occur during the school day on school district property in the presence and under the supervision of instructional personnel who are school district employees. A parent must give written permission for his or her child to receive tutoring through the program.
(c) Tutoring may be part of a service-learning course adopted pursuant to s. 1003.497. Students may earn up to three elective credits for high school graduation based on the verified number of hours the student spends tutoring under the program. The hours of volunteer service must be documented in writing, and the document must be signed by the student, the student’s parent or guardian, and an administrator or designee of the school in which the tutoring occurred. The hours that a high school student devotes to tutoring may be counted toward meeting community service requirements for high school graduation and community service requirements for participation in the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program as provided in s. 1003.497(3)(b). The department shall designate a high school student who provides at least 75 verified hours of tutoring under the program as a New Worlds Scholar and award the student with a pin indicating such designation.
(9) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules to administer this section.
History.—s. 17, ch. 2021-9; s. 85, ch. 2022-4; s. 16, ch. 2023-108; s. 36, ch. 2023-245.