December 05, 2016
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The Florida Statutes

The 2001 Florida Statutes

Title XVI
Education
Chapter 229
Functions Of State Educational Agencies
View Entire Chapter
Section 229.592, Florida Statutes 2001

1229.592  Implementation of state system of school improvement and education accountability.--

(1)  DEVELOPMENT.--It is the intent of the Legislature that every public school in the state, including schools operating for the purpose of providing educational services to youth in Department of Juvenile Justice programs, shall have a school improvement plan, as required by s. 230.23(16). Vocational standards considered pursuant to s. 239.229 shall be incorporated into the school improvement plan for each area technical center operated by a school board, and area technical centers shall prepare school report cards incorporating such standards, pursuant to s. 230.23(16). In order to accomplish this, the Commissioner of Education and the school districts and schools shall carry out the duties assigned to them by s. 230.23(16).

(2)  COMMISSIONER.--The commissioner shall be responsible for implementing and maintaining a system of intensive school improvement and stringent education accountability, which shall include policies and programs to implement the following:

(a)  A system of data collection and analysis that will improve information about the educational success of individual students and schools, including schools operating for the purpose of providing educational services to youth in Department of Juvenile Justice programs. The information and analyses must be capable of identifying educational programs or activities in need of improvement, and reports prepared pursuant to this paragraph shall be distributed to the appropriate school boards prior to distribution to the general public. This provision shall not preclude access to public records as provided in chapter 119.

(b)  A program of school improvement that will analyze information to identify schools, including schools operating for the purpose of providing educational services to youth in Department of Juvenile Justice programs, educational programs, or educational activities in need of improvement.

(c)  A method of delivering services to assist school districts and schools to improve, including schools operating for the purpose of providing educational services to youth in Department of Juvenile Justice programs.

(d)  A method of coordinating with the state educational goals and school improvement plans any other state program that creates incentives for school improvement.

(3)  The commissioner shall be held responsible for the implementation and maintenance of the system of school improvement and education accountability outlined in this section. There shall be an annual determination of whether adequate progress is being made toward implementing and maintaining a system of school improvement and education accountability.

(4)  The annual feedback report shall be developed by the Department of Education.

(5)  The commissioner shall review each school board's feedback report and submit findings to the State Board of Education. If adequate progress is not being made toward implementing and maintaining a system of school improvement and education accountability, the State Board of Education shall direct the commissioner to prepare and implement a corrective action plan. The commissioner and State Board of Education shall monitor the development and implementation of the corrective action plan.

(6)  The commissioner shall report to the Legislature and recommend changes in state policy necessary to foster school improvement and education accountability. Included in the report shall be a list of the schools, including schools operating for the purpose of providing educational services to youth in Department of Juvenile Justice programs, for which school boards have developed assistance and intervention plans and an analysis of the various strategies used by the school boards. School reports shall be distributed pursuant to this subsection and s. 230.23(16)(e) according to guidelines adopted by the State Board of Education.

(7)  DEPARTMENT.--

(a)  The Department of Education shall implement a training program to develop among state and district educators a cadre of facilitators of school improvement. These facilitators shall assist schools and districts to conduct needs assessments and develop and implement school improvement plans to meet state goals.

(b)  Upon request, the department shall provide technical assistance and training to any school, including any school operating for the purpose of providing educational services to youth in Department of Juvenile Justice programs, school advisory council, district, or school board for conducting needs assessments, developing and implementing school improvement plans, developing and implementing assistance and intervention plans, or implementing other components of school improvement and accountability. Priority for these services shall be given to schools designated as performance grade category "D" or "F" and school districts in rural and sparsely populated areas of the state.

(c)  Pursuant to s. 24.121(5)(d), the department shall not release funds from the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund to any district in which a school, including schools operating for the purpose of providing educational services to youth in Department of Juvenile Justice programs, does not have an approved school improvement plan, pursuant to s. 230.23(16), after 1 full school year of planning and development, or does not comply with school advisory council membership composition requirements pursuant to s. 229.58(1). The department shall send a technical assistance team to each school without an approved plan to develop such school improvement plan or to each school without appropriate school advisory council membership composition to develop a strategy for corrective action. The department shall release the funds upon approval of the plan or upon establishment of a plan of corrective action. Notice shall be given to the public of the department's intervention and shall identify each school without a plan or without appropriate school advisory council membership composition.

(d)  The department shall assign a community assessment team to each school district with a school designated as performance grade category "D" or "F" to review the school performance data and determine causes for the low performance. The team shall make recommendations to the school board, to the department, and to the State Board of Education for implementing an assistance and intervention plan that will address the causes of the school's low performance. The assessment team shall include, but not be limited to, a department representative, parents, business representatives, educators, and community activists, and shall represent the demographics of the community from which they are appointed.

(8)  STATE BOARD.--The State Board of Education shall adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement a state system of school improvement and education accountability and shall specify required annual reports by schools and school districts.

(9)  EXCEPTIONS TO LAW.--To facilitate innovative practices and to allow local selection of educational methods, the commissioner may waive, upon the request of a school board, requirements of chapters 230-239 of the Florida School Code that relate to instruction and school operations, except those pertaining to civil rights, and student health, safety, and welfare. The Commissioner of Education is not authorized to grant waivers for any provisions of law pertaining to the allocation and appropriation of state and local funds for public education; the election, compensation, and organization of school board members and superintendents; graduation and state accountability standards; financial reporting requirements; reporting of out-of-field teaching assignments under s. 231.095; public meetings; public records; or due process hearings governed by chapter 120. Prior to approval, the commissioner shall report pending waiver requests to the state board on a monthly basis, and shall, upon request of any state board member, bring a waiver request to the state board for consideration. If, within 2 weeks of receiving the report, no member requests that a waiver be considered by the state board, the commissioner may act on the original waiver request. No later than January 1 of each year, the commissioner shall report to the President and Minority Leader of the Senate and the Speaker and Minority Leader of the House of Representatives all approved waiver requests in the preceding year.

(a)  Graduation requirements in s. 232.246 must be met by demonstrating performance of intended outcomes for any course in the Course Code Directory unless a waiver is approved by the commissioner. In developing procedures for awarding credits based on performance outcomes, districts may request waivers from State Board of Education rules relating to curriculum frameworks and credits for courses and programs in the Course Code Directory. Credit awarded for a course or program beyond that allowed by the Course Code Directory counts as credit for electives. Upon request by any school district, the commissioner shall evaluate and establish procedures for variations in academic credits awarded toward graduation by a high school offering six periods per day compared to those awarded by high schools operating on other schedules.

1.  A school board may originate a request for waiver and submit the request to the commissioner if such a waiver is required to implement districtwide improvements.

2.  A school board may submit a request to the commissioner for a waiver if such request is presented to the school board by a school advisory council established pursuant to s. 229.58 and if such a waiver is required to implement a school improvement plan required by s. 230.23(16). The school board shall report annually to the Commissioner of Education, in conjunction with the feedback report required pursuant to this section, the number of waivers requested by school advisory councils, the number of such waiver requests approved and submitted to the commissioner, and the number of such waiver requests not approved and not submitted to the commissioner. For each waiver request not approved, the school board shall report the statute or rule for which the waiver was requested, the rationale for the school advisory council request, and the reason the request was not approved.

3.  When approved by the commissioner, a waiver requested under this paragraph is effective for a 5-year period.

(b)  Notwithstanding the provisions of chapter 120 and for the purpose of implementing this subsection, the commissioner may waive State Board of Education rules if the school board has submitted a written request to the commissioner for approval pursuant to this subsection.

(c)  The written request for waiver of statute or rule must indicate at least how granting the waiver will assist schools in improving student outcomes related to the student performance standards adopted by the state board, and how student improvement will be evaluated and reported. The commissioner shall not grant any waiver that would impair the protection of the health, safety, welfare, or civil rights of the students or the protection of the public interest.

(d)  Upon denying a request for a waiver, the commissioner must state with particularity the grounds or basis for the denial. The commissioner shall report the specific statutes and rules for which waivers are requested and the number and disposition of such requests to the Legislature and the State Board of Education for use in determining which statutes and rules stand in the way of school improvement.

(e)1.  Schools designated in performance grade category "A," making excellent progress, shall, if requested by the school, be given deregulated status as specified in s. 228.0565(5), (7), (8), (9), and (10).

2.  Schools that have improved at least two performance grade categories and that meet the criteria of the Florida School Recognition Program pursuant to s. 231.2905 may be given deregulated status as specified in s. 228.0565(5), (7), (8), (9), and (10).

History.--s. 65, ch. 90-288; s. 3, ch. 91-283; s. 1, ch. 92-64; s. 34, ch. 92-136; s. 2, ch. 93-198; s. 129, ch. 94-209; s. 56, ch. 94-232; s. 1523, ch. 95-147; s. 2, ch. 96-369; ss. 50, 94, ch. 97-190; s. 3, ch. 98-271; s. 46, ch. 99-284; s. 10, ch. 99-398; s. 3(7), ch. 2000-321.

1Note.--Repealed January 7, 2003, by s. 3(7), ch. 2000-321, and shall be reviewed by the Legislature prior to that date.

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