Florida Senate - 2016                                     SB 894
       By Senator Detert
       28-00635A-16                                           2016894__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to education personnel; amending s.
    3         39.202, F.S.; authorizing certain employees or agents
    4         of the Department of Education to have access to
    5         certain reports and records; amending s. 215.22, F.S.;
    6         providing that certain provisions do not apply to the
    7         Educational Certification and Service Trust Fund;
    8         amending s. 1012.05, F.S.; authorizing rather than
    9         requiring the Department of Education to sponsor a job
   10         fair meeting certain criteria; requiring the
   11         department to coordinate a best practice community;
   12         amending s. 1012.39, F.S.; providing requirements
   13         regarding liability insurance for students performing
   14         clinical field experience; creating s. 1012.562, F.S.;
   15         requiring the department to approve school leader
   16         preparation programs; providing for approval;
   17         providing program requirements; providing for
   18         rulemaking; amending s. 1012.75, F.S.; deleting the
   19         minimum required amount of liability coverage for
   20         specified personnel; requiring annual notification of
   21         liability insurance to specified personnel; abrogating
   22         the scheduled expiration of the educator liability
   23         insurance program; amending s. 1012.79, F.S.; revising
   24         membership of the Education Practices Commission;
   25         authorizing the Commissioner of Education to appoint
   26         emeritus members to the commission; amending s.
   27         1012.796, F.S.; authorizing the commissioner to issue
   28         a letter of guidance in response to a complaint
   29         against a certified teacher or administrator;
   30         providing an effective date.
   32  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   34         Section 1. Paragraphs (q), (r), and (s) of subsection (2)
   35  of section 39.202, Florida Statutes, are redesignated as
   36  paragraphs (r), (s), and (t), respectively, and a new paragraph
   37  (q) is added to that subsection, to read:
   38         39.202 Confidentiality of reports and records in cases of
   39  child abuse or neglect.—
   40         (2) Except as provided in subsection (4), access to such
   41  records, excluding the name of the reporter which shall be
   42  released only as provided in subsection (5), shall be granted
   43  only to the following persons, officials, and agencies:
   44         (q) An employee or agent of the Department of Education who
   45  is responsible for the investigation or prosecution of
   46  misconduct by a certified educator.
   47         Section 2. Subsection (4) of section 215.22, Florida
   48  Statutes, is amended to read:
   49         215.22 Certain income and certain trust funds exempt.—
   50         (4) Notwithstanding the exemptions granted in subsections
   51  (1), (2), and (3), this section shall not exempt income of a
   52  revenue nature or any trust fund which was subject to the
   53  service charge pursuant to s. 215.20 on January 1, 1990. This
   54  subsection does not apply to the Educational Certification and
   55  Service Trust Fund.
   56         Section 3. Subsection (4) of section 1012.05, Florida
   57  Statutes, is amended to read:
   58         1012.05 Teacher recruitment and retention.—
   59         (4) The Department of Education, in cooperation with
   60  district personnel offices, may shall sponsor a job fair in a
   61  central part of the state to match in-state educators and
   62  potential educators and out-of-state educators and potential
   63  educators with teaching opportunities in this state. The
   64  Department of Education is authorized to collect a job fair
   65  registration fee not to exceed $20 per person and a booth fee
   66  not to exceed $250 per school district or other interested
   67  participating organization. The revenue from the fees shall be
   68  used to promote and operate the job fair. Funds may be used to
   69  purchase promotional items such as mementos, awards, and
   70  plaques. The Department of Education shall also coordinate a
   71  best practice community to ensure that school district personnel
   72  responsible for teacher recruitment and other human resources
   73  functions are operating with the most up-to-date knowledge.
   74         Section 4. Subsection (3) of section 1012.39, Florida
   75  Statutes, is amended to read:
   76         1012.39 Employment of substitute teachers, teachers of
   77  adult education, nondegreed teachers of career education, and
   78  career specialists; students performing clinical field
   79  experience.—
   80         (3) A student who is enrolled in a state-approved teacher
   81  preparation program in a postsecondary educational institution
   82  that is approved by rules of the State Board of Education and
   83  who is jointly assigned by the postsecondary educational
   84  institution and a district school board to perform a clinical
   85  field experience under the direction of a regularly employed and
   86  certified educator shall, while serving such supervised clinical
   87  field experience, be accorded the same protection of law as that
   88  accorded to the certified educator except for the right to
   89  bargain collectively as an employee of the district school
   90  board. The district school board providing the clinical field
   91  experience shall notify the student electronically or in writing
   92  of the availability of educator liability insurance under s.
   93  1012.75. A postsecondary educational institution or district
   94  school board may not require a student enrolled in a state
   95  approved teacher preparation program to purchase liability
   96  insurance as a condition of participation in any clinical field
   97  experience or related activity on the premises of an elementary
   98  or secondary school.
   99         Section 5. Section 1012.562, Florida Statutes, is created
  100  to read:
  101         1012.562 Public accountability and state approval of school
  102  leader preparation programs.—The Department of Education shall
  103  establish a process for the approval of Level I and Level II
  104  school leader preparation programs that will enable aspiring
  105  school leaders to obtain their certificate in educational
  106  leadership under s. 1012.56. School leader preparation programs
  107  must be competency-based, aligned to the principal leadership
  108  standards adopted by the state board, and open to individuals
  109  employed by public schools, including charter schools and
  110  virtual schools. Level I programs may be offered by school
  111  districts or postsecondary institutions and lead to initial
  112  certification in educational leadership for the purpose of
  113  preparing individuals to serve as school administrators. Level
  114  II programs may be offered by school districts, build upon Level
  115  I training, and lead to renewal certification as a school
  116  principal.
  117         (1) PURPOSE.—The purpose of school leader preparation
  118  programs is to:
  119         (a) Increase the supply of effective school leaders in the
  120  public schools of this state.
  121         (b) Produce school leaders who are prepared to lead the
  122  state’s diverse student population in meeting high standards for
  123  academic achievement.
  124         (c) Enable school leaders to facilitate the development and
  125  retention of effective and highly effective classroom teachers.
  126         (d) Produce leaders with the competencies and skills
  127  necessary to achieve the state’s education goals.
  128         (e) Sustain the state system of school improvement and
  129  education accountability.
  130         (2) LEVEL I PROGRAMS.—
  131         (a) Initial approval of a Level I program shall be for a
  132  period of 5 years. A postsecondary institution or school
  133  district may submit to the department in a format prescribed by
  134  the department an application to establish a Level I school
  135  leader preparation program. To be approved, a Level I program
  136  must:
  137         1. Provide competency-based training aligned to the
  138  principal leadership standards adopted by the State Board of
  139  Education.
  140         2. If the program is provided by a postsecondary
  141  institution, partner with at least one school district.
  142         3. Describe the qualifications that will be used to
  143  determine program admission standards, including a candidate’s
  144  instructional expertise and leadership potential.
  145         4. Describe how the training provided through the program
  146  will be aligned to the personnel evaluation criteria under s.
  147  1012.34.
  148         (b) Renewal of a Level I program’s approval shall be for a
  149  period of 5 years and shall be based upon evidence of the
  150  program’s continued ability to meet the requirements of
  151  paragraph (a). A postsecondary institution or school district
  152  must submit an institutional program evaluation plan in a format
  153  prescribed by the department for a Level I program to be
  154  considered for renewal. The plan must include:
  155         1. The percentage of personnel who complete the program and
  156  are placed in school leadership positions in public schools
  157  within the state.
  158         2. Results from the personnel evaluations required under s.
  159  1012.34 for personnel who complete the program.
  160         3. The passage rate of personnel who complete the program
  161  on the Florida Education Leadership Examination.
  162         4. The impact personnel who complete the program have on
  163  student learning as measured by the formulas developed by the
  164  commissioner pursuant to s. 1012.34(7).
  165         5. Strategies for continuous improvement of the program.
  166         6. Strategies for involving personnel who complete the
  167  program, other school personnel, community agencies, business
  168  representatives, and other stakeholders in the program
  169  evaluation process.
  170         7. Additional data included at the discretion of the
  171  postsecondary institution or school district.
  172         (c) A Level I program must guarantee the high quality of
  173  personnel who complete the program for the first 2 years after
  174  program completion or the person’s initial certification as a
  175  school leader, whichever occurs first. If a person who completed
  176  the program is evaluated at less than highly effective or
  177  effective under s. 1012.34 and the person’s employer requests
  178  additional training, the Level I program must provide additional
  179  training at no cost to the person or his or her employer. The
  180  training must include the creation of an individualized plan
  181  agreed to by the employer that includes specific learning
  182  outcomes. The Level I program is not responsible for the
  183  person’s employment contract with his or her employer.
  184         (3) LEVEL II PROGRAMS.—Initial approval and subsequent
  185  renewal of a Level II program shall be for a period of 5 years.
  186  A school district may submit to the department in a format
  187  prescribed by the department an application to establish a Level
  188  II school leader preparation program or for program renewal. To
  189  be approved or renewed, a Level II program must:
  190         (a) Demonstrate that personnel accepted into the Level II
  191  program have:
  192         1. Obtained their certificate in educational leadership
  193  under s. 1012.56.
  194         2. Earned a highly effective or effective designation under
  195  s. 1012.34.
  196         3. Satisfactorily performed instructional leadership
  197  responsibilities as measured by the evaluation system in s.
  198  1012.34.
  199         (b) Demonstrate that the Level II program:
  200         1. Provides competency-based training aligned to the
  201  principal leadership standards adopted by the State Board of
  202  Education.
  203         2. Provides training aligned to the personnel evaluation
  204  criteria under s. 1012.34 and professional development program
  205  in s. 1012.986.
  206         3. Provides individualized instruction using a customized
  207  learning plan for each person enrolled in the program that is
  208  based on data from self-assessment, selection, and appraisal
  209  instruments.
  210         4. Conducts program evaluations and implements program
  211  improvements using input from personnel who completed the
  212  program and employers and data gathered pursuant to paragraph
  213  (2)(b).
  214         (c) Gather and monitor the data specified in paragraph
  215  (2)(b).
  216         (4) RULES.—The State Board of Education shall adopt rules
  217  to administer this section.
  218         Section 6. Subsection (3) of section 1012.75, Florida
  219  Statutes, is amended to read:
  220         1012.75 Liability of teacher or principal; excessive
  221  force.—
  222         (3) The Department of Education shall administer an
  223  educator liability insurance program, as provided in the General
  224  Appropriations Act, to protect full-time instructional personnel
  225  from liability for monetary damages and the costs of defending
  226  actions resulting from claims made against the instructional
  227  personnel arising out of occurrences in the course of activities
  228  within the instructional personnel’s professional capacity. For
  229  purposes of this subsection, the terms “full-time,” “part-time,”
  230  and “administrative personnel” shall be defined by the
  231  individual district school board. For purposes of this
  232  subsection, the term “instructional personnel” has the same
  233  meaning as provided in s. 1012.01(2).
  234         (a) Liability coverage of at least $2 million shall be
  235  provided to all full-time instructional personnel. Liability
  236  coverage may be provided to the following individuals who choose
  237  to participate in the program, at cost: part-time instructional
  238  personnel, administrative personnel, and students enrolled in a
  239  state-approved teacher preparation program pursuant to s.
  240  1012.39(3).
  241         (b) By August 1 of each year, the department shall notify
  242  the personnel specified in paragraph (a) of the pending
  243  procurement for liability coverage. By September 1 of each year,
  244  each district school board shall notify the personnel specified
  245  in paragraph (a) of the liability coverage provided pursuant to
  246  this subsection. The department shall develop the form of the
  247  notice which shall be used by each district school board. The
  248  notice must be on an 8 1/2-inch by 5 1/2-inch postcard and
  249  include the amount of coverage, a general description of the
  250  nature of the coverage, and the contact information for coverage
  251  and claims questions. The notification shall be provided
  252  separately from any other correspondence. Each district school
  253  board shall certify to the department, by September 15 of each
  254  year, that the notification required by this paragraph has been
  255  provided.
  256         (c) The department shall consult with the Department of
  257  Financial Services to select the most economically prudent and
  258  cost-effective means of implementing the program through self
  259  insurance, a risk management program, or competitive
  260  procurement.
  261         (d) This subsection expires July 1, 2016.
  262         Section 7. Subsection (1) of section 1012.79, Florida
  263  Statutes, is amended to read:
  264         1012.79 Education Practices Commission; organization.—
  265         (1) The Education Practices Commission is composed consists
  266  of the following 25 members: 10, including 8 teachers; 5
  267  administrators, at least one of whom represents shall represent
  268  a private or virtual school; 4 7 lay citizens who are, 5 of whom
  269  shall be parents of public school students and who are unrelated
  270  to public school employees; and 2 of whom shall be former
  271  charter school governing board or district school board members
  272  or former superintendents, assistant superintendents, or deputy
  273  superintendents; and 4 5 sworn law enforcement officials,
  274  appointed by the State Board of Education from nominations by
  275  the Commissioner of Education and subject to Senate
  276  confirmation. Before Prior to making nominations, the
  277  commissioner shall consult with teaching associations, parent
  278  organizations, law enforcement agencies, and other involved
  279  associations in the state. In making nominations, the
  280  commissioner shall attempt to achieve equal geographical
  281  representation, as closely as possible.
  282         (a) A teacher member, in order to be qualified for
  283  appointment:
  284         1. Must be certified to teach in the state.
  285         2. Must be a resident of the state.
  286         2.3. Must have practiced the profession in this state for
  287  at least 5 years immediately preceding the appointment.
  288         (b) A school administrator member, in order to be qualified
  289  for appointment:
  290         1. Must have an endorsement on the educator certificate in
  291  the area of school administration or supervision.
  292         2. Must be a resident of the state.
  293         2.3. Must have practiced the profession as an administrator
  294  for at least 5 years immediately preceding the appointment.
  295         (c) The lay members must be residents of the state.
  296         (c)(d) The law enforcement official members must have
  297  served in the profession for at least 5 years immediately
  298  preceding appointment and have background expertise in child
  299  safety.
  300         (d) The Commissioner of Education, upon request or
  301  recommendation from the commission, may also appoint up to five
  302  emeritus members from the commission’s prior membership to serve
  303  1-year terms. Notwithstanding any prior service on the
  304  commission, an emeritus member may serve up to five 1-year
  305  terms. An emeritus member serves as a voting member at a
  306  discipline hearing and as a consulting but nonvoting member
  307  during a business meeting.
  308         (e) All members must be residents of the state.
  309         Section 8. Subsection (3) of section 1012.796, Florida
  310  Statutes, is amended to read:
  311         1012.796 Complaints against teachers and administrators;
  312  procedure; penalties.—
  313         (3) The department staff shall advise the commissioner
  314  concerning the findings of the investigation. The department
  315  general counsel or members of that staff shall review the
  316  investigation and advise the commissioner concerning probable
  317  cause or lack thereof. The determination of probable cause shall
  318  be made by the commissioner. The commissioner shall provide an
  319  opportunity for a conference, if requested, prior to determining
  320  probable cause. The commissioner may enter into deferred
  321  prosecution agreements in lieu of finding probable cause if, in
  322  his or her judgment, such agreements are in the best interests
  323  of the department, the certificateholder, and the public. Such
  324  deferred prosecution agreements shall become effective when
  325  filed with the clerk of the Education Practices Commission.
  326  However, a deferred prosecution agreement may shall not be
  327  entered into if there is probable cause to believe that a felony
  328  or an act of moral turpitude, as defined by rule of the State
  329  Board of Education, has occurred. Upon finding no probable
  330  cause, the commissioner shall dismiss the complaint and may
  331  issue a letter of guidance to the certificateholder.
  332         Section 9. This act shall take effect July 1, 2016.