Florida Senate - 2021                                    SB 1782
       By Senator Ausley
       3-01558A-21                                           20211782__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to contracts for instructional
    3         personnel; amending s. 1001.42, F.S.; deleting a
    4         prohibition on district school boards awarding annual
    5         contracts on the basis of unauthorized contingencies
    6         or conditions; deleting a prohibition on district
    7         school boards altering or limiting their authority to
    8         award or not award an annual contract; amending s.
    9         1012.335, F.S.; defining the term “extended contract”;
   10         authorizing the district school board to award an
   11         extended contract to certain instructional personnel;
   12         providing how extended contracts may be awarded;
   13         providing a remedy for the violation of an extended
   14         contract; authorizing the suspension or dismissal of
   15         personnel on an extended contract under certain
   16         circumstances; providing an effective date.
   18  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   20         Section 1. Subsection (24) of section 1001.42, Florida
   21  Statutes, is amended to read:
   22         1001.42 Powers and duties of district school board.—The
   23  district school board, acting as a board, shall exercise all
   24  powers and perform all duties listed below:
   25         (24) EMPLOYMENT CONTRACTS.—
   26         (a) If a school district enters into a contract or
   27  employment agreement, or renewal or renegotiation of an existing
   28  contract or employment agreement, with an officer, agent,
   29  employee, or contractor which contains a provision for severance
   30  pay, the contract or employment agreement must include the
   31  provisions of s. 215.425.
   32         (b) A district school board may not award an annual
   33  contract on the basis of any contingency or condition not
   34  expressly authorized in law by the Legislature or alter or limit
   35  its authority to award or not award an annual contract as
   36  provided in s. 1012.335. This paragraph applies only to a
   37  collective bargaining agreement entered into or renewed by a
   38  district school board on or after June 15, 2017.
   39         Section 2. Subsections (1) through (4) of section 1012.335,
   40  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
   41         1012.335 Contracts with instructional personnel hired on or
   42  after July 1, 2011.—
   43         (1) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
   44         (a) “Annual contract” means an employment contract for a
   45  period of no longer than 1 school year which the district school
   46  board may choose to award or not award without cause.
   47         (b)“Extended contract” means an employment contract with
   48  the district school board for a period longer than 1 year, not
   49  to exceed 3 years.
   50         (c)(b) “Instructional personnel” means instructional
   51  personnel as defined in s. 1012.01(2)(a)-(d), excluding
   52  substitute teachers.
   53         (d)(c) “Probationary contract” means an employment contract
   54  for a period of 1 school year awarded to instructional personnel
   55  upon initial employment in a school district. Probationary
   56  contract employees may be dismissed without cause or may resign
   57  without breach of contract. A district school board may not
   58  award a probationary contract more than once to the same
   59  employee unless the employee was rehired after a break in
   60  service for which an authorized leave of absence was not
   61  granted. A probationary contract shall be awarded regardless of
   62  previous employment in another school district or state.
   63         (2) EMPLOYMENT.—
   64         (a) Beginning July 1, 2011, Each individual newly hired as
   65  instructional personnel by the district school board shall be
   66  awarded a probationary contract. Upon successful completion of
   67  the probationary contract, the district school board may award
   68  an annual contract pursuant to paragraph (c) or an extended
   69  contract pursuant to paragraph (d).
   70         (b) Beginning July 1, 2011, An annual contract may be
   71  awarded pursuant to paragraph (c) or an extended contract may be
   72  awarded pursuant to paragraph (d) for instructional personnel
   73  who have successfully completed a probationary contract with the
   74  district school board and have received one or more annual
   75  contracts from the district school board.
   76         (c) An annual contract may be awarded only if the employee:
   77         1. Holds an active professional certificate or temporary
   78  certificate issued pursuant to s. 1012.56 and rules of the State
   79  Board of Education.
   80         2. Has been recommended by the district school
   81  superintendent for the annual contract based upon the
   82  individual’s evaluation under s. 1012.34 and approved by the
   83  district school board.
   84         3. Has not received two consecutive annual performance
   85  evaluation ratings of unsatisfactory, two annual performance
   86  evaluation ratings of unsatisfactory within a 3-year period, or
   87  three consecutive annual performance evaluation ratings of needs
   88  improvement or a combination of needs improvement and
   89  unsatisfactory under s. 1012.34.
   90         (d)1.An extended contract may be awarded if the employee:
   91         a.Holds an active professional certificate issued pursuant
   92  to s. 1012.56 and the rules of the State Board of Education; and
   93         b.Has received an annual performance evaluation rating of
   94  effective or highly effective and has not received a rating of
   95  unsatisfactory within a 3-year period.
   96         2. The contract term shall be determined by the school
   97  district. A contract may exceed 1 year but may not exceed 3
   98  years.
   99         3.Contract terms determined pursuant to this paragraph are
  100  subject to approval by the district school superintendent or his
  101  or her designee.
  102         (3) VIOLATION OF ANNUAL OR EXTENDED CONTRACT.—Instructional
  103  personnel who accept a written offer from the district school
  104  board and who leave their positions without prior release from
  105  the district school board are subject to the jurisdiction of the
  106  Education Practices Commission.
  109  personnel with an annual contract or extended contract may be
  110  suspended or dismissed at any time during the term of the
  111  contract for just cause as provided in subsection (5). The
  112  district school board shall notify the employee in writing
  113  whenever charges are made and may suspend such person without
  114  pay. However, if the charges are not sustained, the employee
  115  shall be immediately reinstated and his or her back pay shall be
  116  paid. If the employee wishes to contest the charges, he or she
  117  must, within 15 days after receipt of the written notice, submit
  118  a written request for a hearing to the district school board. A
  119  direct hearing shall be conducted by the district school board
  120  or a subcommittee thereof within 60 days after receipt of the
  121  written appeal. The hearing shall be conducted in accordance
  122  with ss. 120.569 and 120.57. A majority vote of the membership
  123  of the district school board shall be required to sustain the
  124  district school superintendent’s recommendation. The district
  125  school board’s determination is final as to the sufficiency or
  126  insufficiency of the grounds for suspension without pay or
  127  dismissal. Any such decision adverse to the employee may be
  128  appealed by the employee pursuant to s. 120.68.
  129         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2021.