Prior to 1985, several Florida school districts had developed and implemented educational programs to support parenting teens. These programs were locally funded. In 1986, the Florida Legislature enacted the Dropout Prevention Act, Section 1003.53, and Florida Statutes 230.2316 to authorize and encourage school districts to establish comprehensive dropout prevention programs. This enactment led to the reporting of teenage parent programs through the Florida Education Finance Program (FEFP). As a result half of the state’s school districts developed and implemented a Teenage Parent (TAP) Program.
In 1989 a report was submitted by the Commissioner of Education’s Task Force recommending an increase in the number and the quality of TAP programs. Several laws regarding the health and education of children were amended. The most significant regarding pregnant and parenting teens was the addition of Teenage Parent programs as a state entitlement to section 1003.21 [2312.01] Florida Statutes. This entitlement set a legal standard for the educational rights of pregnant and parenting students. Other amendments included the provision of ancillary services and funding for school district’s dropout prevention programs contingent upon each district’s compliance with the state statute.
In 1994 the Legislature amended the Dropout Prevention Act once again. This time a separate law was created for Teenage Parent Programs Section 1003.54 [230.23166] Florida Statute. This statute requires all school districts to develop and implement a Teenage Parent Program for pregnant and parenting teens. Other amendments have been made by the Legislature throughout the years. Most of these amendments deal with the funding structure and have not made significant changes to TAP programs service delivery.