Florida Senate - 2014                                     SB 902
       By Senator Detert
       28-00705B-14                                           2014902__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to the expansion of school counseling
    3         resources; establishing the Blue Ribbon Panel Task
    4         Force within the Department of Education; providing
    5         the purpose, membership, and initial meeting time of
    6         the task force; providing for the election of a chair
    7         and vice chair of the task force; providing the method
    8         for filling a vacancy in the position of chair or vice
    9         chair; providing specified duties of the task force;
   10         requiring the department to provide staff and
   11         administrative support to the task force; providing
   12         meeting times for the task force; providing a quorum;
   13         providing that members of the task force serve without
   14         compensation; providing that members are entitled to
   15         per diem and travel expenses; requiring the task force
   16         to submit a report to the Governor and the Legislature
   17         by a specified date; providing for termination of the
   18         task force; providing an effective date.
   20  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   22         Section 1. The Blue Ribbon Panel Task Force.—
   23         (1) To ensure that public school students in this state
   24  have access to high-quality, evidence-based school counseling
   25  programs and to support the funding of additional school
   26  counselor positions in the public schools where the positions
   27  are needed, the Blue Ribbon Panel Task Force is established
   28  within the Department of Education. The purpose of the task
   29  force is to study whether there is a demonstrable relationship
   30  between expanding counseling resources in public schools and
   31  early detection of mental health issues in students, improved
   32  academic performance and student attendance, higher graduation
   33  rates, and decreased behavioral disruptions on the part of
   34  students. The task force shall comply with the requirements of
   35  s. 20.052, Florida Statutes, except as otherwise provided in
   36  this section.
   37         (2) The task force is comprised of the following eight
   38  members:
   39         (a) A member from one of the regional workforce boards from
   40  Workforce Florida, Inc., appointed by the Governor.
   41         (b) A principal, or the principal’s designee, of a public
   42  school that received the Recognized-ASCA-Model-Program (RAMP)
   43  designation from the American School Counselor Association
   44  (ASCA), appointed by the Commissioner of Education.
   45         (c) A member of a parent-teacher organization or parent
   46  teacher association in this state, appointed by the Commissioner
   47  of Education.
   48         (d) The chair of the board of directors of the Florida
   49  School Counselor Association, or his or her designee.
   50         (e) The chair of the board of directors of the American
   51  School Counselor Association, or his or her designee.
   52         (f) A school administrator in this state, appointed by the
   53  Commissioner of Education.
   54         (g) A member of the Senate, appointed by the President of
   55  the Senate.
   56         (h) A member of the House of Representatives, appointed by
   57  the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
   58         (3)The appointments to the task force must be completed by
   59  August 1, 2014. The task force shall hold its initial meeting by
   60  October 1, 2014, and elect a chair and a vice chair. A vacancy
   61  in the office of chair or vice chair shall be filled by a vote
   62  of the remaining members.
   63         (4) The task force shall:
   64         (a) Study whether increasing the number of certified school
   65  counselors in the public schools is demonstrably beneficial to
   66  students and recommend a methodology for assessing the impact of
   67  such increased staffing.
   68         (b) Review and recommend updates to the Florida’s School
   69  Counseling and Guidance Framework for the enhancement of
   70  district-level leadership and support.
   71         (c) Recommend a grant process to assist in the funding of
   72  additional school counselor positions where the positions are
   73  needed.
   74         (5) The Department of Education shall provide staff and
   75  administrative support to the task force.
   76         (6) The task force shall meet quarterly and at other times
   77  at the call of the chair or as determined by a majority of task
   78  force members.
   79         (7) Five members of the task force constitute a quorum, and
   80  an affirmative vote of a majority of the members present is
   81  required for final action.
   82         (8) Members of the task force shall serve without
   83  compensation. Members are entitled to reimbursement for per diem
   84  and travel expenses as provided in s. 112.061, Florida Statutes.
   85         (9)(a)By December 15, 2016, the task force shall submit a
   86  report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the
   87  Speaker of the House of Representatives which states the task
   88  force’s:
   89         1. Findings, conclusions, and recommendations regarding the
   90  study described in paragraph (4)(a);
   91         2. Recommended updates for the Florida’s School Counseling
   92  and Guidance Framework as provided in paragraph (4)(b); and
   93         3. Recommendations for implementation of the grant process
   94  specified in paragraph (4)(c).
   95         (b) The task force terminates upon submission of the
   96  report.
   97         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2014.