Florida Senate takes on juvenile justice reforms

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Lilly Rockwell of the News Service of Florida reports that some of the same accountability measures that were introduced in public K-12 schools over the last decade are coming to the state’s juvenile justice facilities.

Under a proposed law (SPB 7016) that will be considered Wednesday in a Senate education committee, school districts and the private companies involved in educating youth in the state’s detention centers, residential treatment facilities and prevention programs would be subjected to a three-tier performance rating, from “failing” to “high performance.”

If a district or company involved in educating youth at Department of Juvenile Justice facility receives two failing performance ratings in a three-year period, the department could sanction them or even prevent them educating DJJ youth.

The ratings are based on learning gains and industry certifications earned as well as how well the student does after leaving a DJJ program, such as whether a student obtains a high school diploma, earns college credits or lands a job will be factored in to the performance rating.

But the bill notes that the agency cannot hold a district or company accountable for what happens to youth after they are no longer supervised by the department

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.