Published: Sep 20, 2011 4:50 PM EDT

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - The state Board of Education has approved new rules for English language learner programs and pre-kindergarten providers.
    
At its meeting Tuesday in Orlando, the board approved several rules regarding how students who speak English as a second language are assessed and classified for services.
    
The changes give parents more authority in deciding whether students should be in English language services and require a committee to annually evaluate a student's needs after three years in the program.
    
The board also set tougher standards for voluntary pre-kindergarten providers. At least 70 percent of students in each program will need to score kindergarten ready on two tests. The change is expected to significantly increase the numbers of providers considered low performing and at risk of closure.

(Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)