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The Florida Senate

CS/CS/HB 719 — Education Personnel

by Education Appropriations Subcommittee; K-12 Subcommittee; and Rep. Spano and others (CS/CS/SB 894 by Appropriations Committee; Education Pre-K -12 Committee; and Senator Detert)

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Education Pre-K - 12 Committee (ED)

The bill (Chapter 2016-58, L.O.F.) modifies and expands several statutory provisions relating to education personnel.

Specifically, the bill:

  • Adds Department of Education (DOE) employees and agents, who investigate or prosecute educator misconduct, to the list of individuals authorized to access records relating to child abuse, abandonment, or neglect.
  • Authorizes the DOE to use information from the Central Abuse Hotline for educator certification discipline and review.
  • Authorizes the Commissioner of Education to issue a letter of guidance to an educator in lieu of finding probable cause to prosecute misconduct.
  • Modifies the membership of the Education Practices Commission.
  • Makes permanent the educator liability insurance program.
  • Prohibits postsecondary education institutions and school districts from requiring students participating in a clinical field experience to purchase liability insurance.
  • Authorizes DOE to sponsor an educator job fair.
  • Requires DOE to coordinate a best practices community to assist school districts with teacher recruitment and other human resource functions.
  • Removes State Board of Education rulemaking authority regarding school district assignment of newly hired instructional personnel.
  • Establishes in law state approval of school leader preparation programs.

These provisions were approved by the Governor and take effect July 1, 2016.

Vote: Senate 37-1; House 91-22