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2015 Florida Statutes

SECTION 335
Contracts with instructional personnel hired on or after July 1, 2011.
F.S. 1012.335
1012.335 Contracts with instructional personnel hired on or after July 1, 2011.
(1) DEFINITIONS.As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Annual contract” means an employment contract for a period of no longer than 1 school year which the district school board may choose to award or not award without cause.
(b) “Instructional personnel” means instructional personnel as defined in s. 1012.01(2)(a)-(d), excluding substitute teachers.
(c) “Probationary contract” means an employment contract for a period of 1 school year awarded to instructional personnel upon initial employment in a school district. Probationary contract employees may be dismissed without cause or may resign without breach of contract. A district school board may not award a probationary contract more than once to the same employee unless the employee was rehired after a break in service for which an authorized leave of absence was not granted. A probationary contract shall be awarded regardless of previous employment in another school district or state.
(2) EMPLOYMENT.
(a) Beginning July 1, 2011, each individual newly hired as instructional personnel by the district school board shall be awarded a probationary contract. Upon successful completion of the probationary contract, the district school board may award an annual contract pursuant to paragraph (c).
(b) Beginning July 1, 2011, an annual contract may be awarded pursuant to paragraph (c) for instructional personnel who have successfully completed a probationary contract with the district school board and have received one or more annual contracts from the district school board.
(c) An annual contract may be awarded only if the employee:
11. Holds an active professional certificate or temporary certificate issued pursuant to s. 1012.56 and rules of the State Board of Education.
2. Has been recommended by the district school superintendent for the annual contract based upon the individual’s evaluation under s. 1012.34 and approved by the district school board.
3. Has not received two consecutive annual performance evaluation ratings of unsatisfactory, two annual performance evaluation ratings of unsatisfactory within a 3-year period, or three consecutive annual performance evaluation ratings of needs improvement or a combination of needs improvement and unsatisfactory under s. 1012.34.
(3) VIOLATION OF ANNUAL CONTRACT.Instructional personnel who accept a written offer from the district school board and who leave their positions without prior release from the district school board are subject to the jurisdiction of the Education Practices Commission.
(4) SUSPENSION OR DISMISSAL OF INSTRUCTIONAL PERSONNEL ON ANNUAL CONTRACT.Any instructional personnel with an annual contract may be suspended or dismissed at any time during the term of the contract for just cause as provided in subsection (5). The district school board shall notify the employee in writing whenever charges are made and may suspend such person without pay. However, if the charges are not sustained, the employee shall be immediately reinstated and his or her back pay shall be paid. If the employee wishes to contest the charges, he or she must, within 15 days after receipt of the written notice, submit a written request for a hearing to the district school board. A direct hearing shall be conducted by the district school board or a subcommittee thereof within 60 days after receipt of the written appeal. The hearing shall be conducted in accordance with ss. 120.569 and 120.57. A majority vote of the membership of the district school board shall be required to sustain the district school superintendent’s recommendation. The district school board’s determination is final as to the sufficiency or insufficiency of the grounds for suspension without pay or dismissal. Any such decision adverse to the employee may be appealed by the employee pursuant to s. 120.68.
1(5) JUST CAUSE.The State Board of Education shall adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to define the term “just cause.” Just cause includes, but is not limited to:
(a) Immorality.
(b) Misconduct in office.
(c) Incompetency.
(d) Gross insubordination.
(e) Willful neglect of duty.
(f) Being convicted or found guilty of, or entering a plea of guilty to, regardless of adjudication of guilt, any crime involving moral turpitude.
(6) LIMITATION.An individual newly hired as instructional personnel by a school district in this state under this section is ineligible for any contract issued under s. 1012.33.
History.s. 5, ch. 2011-1.
1Note.Section 17, ch. 2011-1, provides that “[c]hapter 2010-279, Laws of Florida, does not apply to any rulemaking required to administer this act.”