2017 Florida Statutes
Principal Autonomy Pilot Program Initiative.
Principal Autonomy Pilot Program Initiative.
1011.6202 Principal Autonomy Pilot Program Initiative.—The Principal Autonomy Pilot Program Initiative is created within the Department of Education. The purpose of the pilot program is to provide the highly effective principal of a participating school with increased autonomy and authority to operate his or her school in a way that produces significant improvements in student achievement and school management while complying with constitutional requirements. The State Board of Education may, upon approval of a principal autonomy proposal, enter into a performance contract with up to seven district school boards for participation in the pilot program.
(1) PARTICIPATING SCHOOL DISTRICTS.—The district school boards in Broward, Duval, Jefferson, Madison, Palm Beach, Pinellas, and Seminole Counties may submit to the state board for approval a principal autonomy proposal that exchanges statutory and rule exemptions for an agreement to meet performance goals established in the proposal. If approved by the state board, each of these school districts shall be eligible to participate in the pilot program for 3 years. At the end of the 3 years, the performance of all participating schools in the school district shall be evaluated.
(2) PRINCIPAL AUTONOMY PROPOSAL.—
(a) To participate in the pilot program, a school district must:
1. Identify three schools that received at least two school grades of “D” or “F” pursuant to s. 1008.34 during the previous 3 school years.
2. Identify three principals who have earned a highly effective rating on the prior year’s performance evaluation pursuant to s. 1012.34, one of whom shall be assigned to each of the participating schools.
3. Describe the current financial and administrative management of each participating school; identify the areas in which each school principal will have increased fiscal and administrative autonomy, including the authority and responsibilities provided in s. 1012.28(8); and identify the areas in which each participating school will continue to follow district school board fiscal and administrative policies.
4. Explain the methods used to identify the educational strengths and needs of the participating school’s students and identify how student achievement can be improved.
5. Establish performance goals for student achievement, as defined in s. 1008.34(1), and explain how the increased autonomy of principals will help participating schools improve student achievement and school management.
6. Provide each participating school’s mission and a description of its student population.
(b) The state board shall establish criteria, which must include the criteria listed in paragraph (a), for the approval of a principal autonomy proposal.
(c) A district school board must submit its principal autonomy proposal to the state board for approval by December 1 in order to begin participation in the subsequent school year. By February 28 of the school year in which the proposal is submitted, the state board shall notify the district school board in writing whether the proposal is approved.
(3) EXEMPTION FROM LAWS.—
(a) With the exception of those laws listed in paragraph (b), a participating school is exempt from the provisions of chapters 1000-1013 and rules of the state board that implement those exempt provisions.
(b) A participating school shall comply with the provisions of chapters 1000-1013, and rules of the state board that implement those provisions, pertaining to the following:
1. Those laws relating to the election and compensation of district school board members, the election or appointment and compensation of district school superintendents, public meetings and public records requirements, financial disclosure, and conflicts of interest.
2. Those laws relating to the student assessment program and school grading system, including chapter 1008.
3. Those laws relating to the provision of services to students with disabilities.
4. Those laws relating to civil rights, including s. 1000.05, relating to discrimination.
5. Those laws relating to student health, safety, and welfare.
6. Section 1001.42(4)(f), relating to the uniform opening date for public schools.
7. Section 1003.03, governing maximum class size, except that the calculation for compliance pursuant to s. 1003.03 is the average at the school level for a participating school.
9. Section 1012.33(5), relating to workforce reductions for annual contracts for instructional personnel. This subparagraph does not apply to at-will employees.
10. Section 1012.335, relating to annual contracts for instructional personnel hired on or after July 1, 2011. This subparagraph does not apply to at-will employees.
11. Section 1012.34, relating to personnel evaluation procedures and criteria.
12. Those laws pertaining to educational facilities, including chapter 1013, except that s. 1013.20, relating to covered walkways for relocatables, and s. 1013.21, relating to the use of relocatable facilities exceeding 20 years of age, are eligible for exemption.
(4) PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT.—Each participating school district shall require that the principal of each participating school, a three-member leadership team from each participating school, and district personnel working with each participating school complete a nationally recognized school turnaround program which focuses on improving leadership, instructional infrastructure, talent management, and differentiated support and accountability. The required personnel must enroll in the nationally recognized school turnaround program upon acceptance into the pilot program. Each participating school district shall receive $100,000 from the department for participation in the nationally recognized school turnaround program.
(5) TERM OF PARTICIPATION.—The state board shall authorize a school district to participate in the pilot program for a period of 3 years commencing with approval of the principal autonomy proposal. Authorization to participate in the pilot program may be renewed upon action of the state board. The state board may revoke authorization to participate in the pilot program if the school district fails to meet the requirements of this section during the 3-year period.
(6) REPORTING.—Each participating school district shall submit an annual report to the state board. The state board shall annually report on the implementation of the Principal Autonomy Pilot Program Initiative. Upon completion of the pilot program’s first 3-year term, the Commissioner of Education shall submit to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives by December 1 a full evaluation of the effectiveness of the pilot program.
(7) FUNDING.—The Legislature shall provide an appropriation to the department for the costs of the pilot program, including administrative costs and enrollment costs for the nationally recognized school turnaround program, and an additional amount of $10,000 for each participating principal in each participating district as an annual salary supplement, a fund for the principal’s school to be used at the principal’s discretion, or both, as determined by the district. To be eligible for a salary supplement under this subsection, a participating principal must:
(a) Be rated “highly effective” as determined by the principal’s performance evaluation under s. 1012.34;
(b) Be transferred to a school that earned a grade of “F” or three consecutive grades of “D” pursuant to s. 1008.34 and provided additional authority and responsibilities pursuant to s. 1012.28(8); and
(c) Have implemented a turnaround option under s. 1008.33(4) at a school as the school’s principal. The turnaround option must have resulted in the school improving by at least one letter grade while he or she was serving as the school’s principal.
(8) RULEMAKING.—The State Board of Education shall adopt rules to administer this section.
History.—s. 1, ch. 2016-223.