Florida Senate - 2017 SB 1552 By Senator Simmons 9-01644F-17 20171552__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to the Florida Best and Brightest 3 Teacher and Principal Scholar Award Program; creating 4 s. 1012.732, F.S.; creating the Florida Best and 5 Brightest Teacher and Principal Scholar Award Program 6 to be administered by the Department of Education; 7 providing the intent and purpose of the program; 8 providing eligibility requirements for classroom 9 teachers and school administrators to participate in 10 the program; providing timelines and requirements for 11 program implementation; providing funding priorities; 12 defining the term “school district”; requiring the 13 State Board of Education to adopt rules; providing an 14 effective date. 15 16 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 17 18 Section 1. Section 1012.732, Florida Statutes, is created 19 to read: 20 1012.732 The Florida Best and Brightest Teacher and 21 Principal Scholar Award Program.— 22 (1) INTENT.—The Legislature recognizes that, second only to 23 parents, teachers and principals play the most critical roles 24 within schools in preparing students to achieve a high level of 25 academic performance. The Legislature further recognizes that 26 research has linked student successes and performance outcomes 27 to the academic achievements and performance accomplishments of 28 the teachers and principals who most closely affect their 29 classroom and school learning environments. Therefore, it is the 30 intent of the Legislature to designate teachers and principals 31 who have achieved high academic standards during their own 32 education as Florida’s best and brightest teacher and principal 33 scholars. 34 (2) PURPOSE.—There is created the Florida Best and 35 Brightest Teacher and Principal Scholar Award Program, as a 36 performance-based scholarship award program, to be administered 37 by the Department of Education. The performance-based award 38 shall provide categorical funding for scholarships to be awarded 39 to full-time classroom teachers, as defined in s. 1012.01(2)(a), 40 and full-time school administrators, as defined in s. 41 1012.01(3)(c), excluding substitute teachers or substitute 42 school administrators, who have demonstrated a high level of 43 academic achievement and performance. 44 (3) ELIGIBILITY.—To be eligible for a scholarship, a full 45 time classroom teacher or full-time school administrator must be 46 employed on an annual contract or probationary contract pursuant 47 to s. 1012.335, participate in the school district’s performance 48 salary schedule pursuant to s. 1012.22, and meet at least one of 49 the achievement requirements under paragraph (a) and at least 50 one of the performance requirements under paragraph (b). 51 (a) Achievement requirements.— 52 1. For a classroom teacher, a score at or above the 90th 53 percentile on the Florida Teacher Certification Examination in a 54 subject that he or she is teaching; 55 2. For a school administrator, a score at or above the 90th 56 percentile on the Florida Educational Leadership Examination; 57 3. For a classroom teacher or school administrator, a 58 composite score at or above the 80th percentile on either the 59 SAT or the ACT based on the National Percentile Ranks in effect 60 when the classroom teacher or school administrator took the 61 assessment; or 62 4. For a classroom teacher or school administrator, a 63 composite score on the GRE, LSAT, GMAT, or MCAT at or above a 64 score adopted by the State Board of Education. 65 (b) Performance requirements.—The classroom teacher or 66 school administrator: 67 1. Must have been evaluated as highly effective pursuant to 68 s. 1012.34 in the school year immediately preceding the year in 69 which the scholarship will be awarded; 70 2. If he or she works in a low-performing school or a 71 school that was designated by the department as low-performing 72 within the previous 2 years and commits, pursuant to State Board 73 of Education rule, to working at the school for at least 3 74 years, must have been evaluated as highly effective pursuant to 75 s. 1012.34 in the school year immediately preceding the first 76 year in which the scholarship will be awarded and maintain a 77 highly effective evaluation rating in at least two of every 78 three annual performance evaluations, based on a rolling 3-year 79 period; or 80 3. Must be newly hired by the district school board, must 81 not have been evaluated pursuant to s. 1012.34, and must have 82 met at least one of the following conditions: 83 a. Be a recipient of the Florida Prepaid Tuition 84 Scholarship Program pursuant to s. 1009.984 who graduates with a 85 minimum 3.0 grade point average and commit, pursuant to State 86 Board of Education rule, to working in a Florida public school 87 for at least 3 years; 88 b. Have completed the college reach-out program pursuant to 89 s. 1007.34 and graduated with a minimum 3.0 grade point average, 90 and commit, pursuant to State Board of Education rule, to 91 working in a Florida public school for at least 3 years; or 92 c. Be a Florida college or university graduate of a Florida 93 teacher preparation program approved pursuant to s. 1004.04, 94 have graduated with a minimum 3.0 grade point average, and 95 commit, pursuant to State Board of Education rule, to working in 96 a critical teacher shortage area under s. 1012.07 at a Florida 97 public school for at least 3 years. 98 (4) IMPLEMENTATION.—In order to implement and administer 99 the program, the following timelines and requirements apply: 100 (a) To demonstrate eligibility for an award, an eligible 101 classroom teacher or school administrator, as applicable, must 102 submit to the school district, no later than November 1, an 103 official record of his or her achievement of the eligibility 104 requirements specified in paragraph (3)(a). Once a classroom 105 teacher or school administrator is deemed eligible by the school 106 district, including teachers deemed eligible for the Florida 107 Best and Brightest Teacher Scholarship Program in the 2015-2016 108 or 2016-2017 fiscal years pursuant to s. 25 of chapter 2016-62, 109 Laws of Florida, the classroom teacher or school administrator 110 remains eligible as long as he or she remains employed by the 111 school district as a full-time classroom teacher or full-time 112 school administrator at the time of the award and continues to 113 meet the conditions specified under this section. 114 (b) Annually, by December 1, each school district shall 115 submit to the department the number of eligible classroom 116 teachers and school administrators who qualify for the 117 scholarship. 118 (c) Annually, by February 1, the department shall disburse 119 scholarship funds to each school district for each eligible 120 classroom teacher and school administrator to receive a 121 scholarship as provided in the General Appropriations Act. 122 (d) Annually, by April 1, each school district shall award 123 the scholarship to each eligible classroom teacher and school 124 administrator. 125 (5) FUNDING.—A scholarship in the amount provided in the 126 General Appropriations Act shall be awarded to every eligible 127 classroom teacher and school administrator. 128 (a) If the number of eligible classroom teachers and school 129 administrators exceeds the total appropriation authorized in the 130 General Appropriations Act, the department shall prorate the 131 per-scholar scholarship award amount, except that prior to the 132 distribution of funds, the following priorities apply: 133 1. Classroom teachers and school administrators who commit, 134 pursuant to State Board of Education rule, to work in a low 135 performing school and meet the performance requirements of 136 subparagraph (3)(b)2., shall receive an award equal to a full 137 scholarship award amount. Classroom teachers and school 138 administrators who do not fulfill the commitment made pursuant 139 to subparagraph (3)(b)2. may not receive this priority; and 140 2. Newly hired classroom teachers and school administrators 141 who commit, pursuant to State Board of Education rule, to work 142 in a Florida public school and meet the performance requirements 143 under subparagraph (3)(b)3., shall receive a one-time hiring 144 bonus of up to $10,000. Classroom teachers and school 145 administrators who do not fulfill the commitment made pursuant 146 to subparagraph (3)(b)3. may not receive this priority. 147 (b) Newly hired classroom teachers and newly hired school 148 administrators who initially participate in the program pursuant 149 to subparagraph (3)(b)3. may only receive the one-time hiring 150 bonus under subparagraph (a)2. In subsequent school years, such 151 classroom teachers and school administrators may earn a 152 scholarship award pursuant to subparagraph (3)(b)1. or 153 subparagraph (3)(b)2., if they also maintain their initial 154 commitments. 155 (6) DEFINITION.—For purposes of this section, the term 156 “school district” includes the Florida School for the Deaf and 157 the Blind and charter school governing boards. 158 (7) RULES.—The State Board of Education shall expeditiously 159 adopt rules to implement this section. 160 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2017.