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The Florida Statutes

The 2001 Florida Statutes

Title XVI
Education
Chapter 231
Personnel Of School System
View Entire Chapter
Section 231.2615, Florida Statutes 2001

231.2615  Education Practices Commission; authority to discipline.--

(1)  The Education Practices Commission may suspend the teaching certificate of any person as defined in s. 228.041(9) or (10) for a period of time not to exceed 3 years, thereby denying that person the right to teach for that period of time, after which the holder may return to teaching as provided in subsection (4); to revoke the teaching certificate of any person, thereby denying that person the right to teach for a period of time not to exceed 10 years, with reinstatement subject to the provisions of subsection (4); to revoke permanently the teaching certificate of any person; to suspend the teaching certificate, upon order of the court, of any person found to have a delinquent child support obligation; or to impose any other penalty provided by law, provided it can be shown that the person:

(a)  Obtained the teaching certificate by fraudulent means.

(b)  Has proved to be incompetent to teach or to perform duties as an employee of the public school system or to teach in or to operate a private school.

(c)  Has been guilty of gross immorality or an act involving moral turpitude.

(d)  Has had a teaching certificate revoked in another state.

(e)  Has been convicted of a misdemeanor, felony, or any other criminal charge, other than a minor traffic violation.

(f)  Upon investigation, has been found guilty of personal conduct which seriously reduces that person's effectiveness as an employee of the district school board.

(g)  Has breached a contract, as provided in s. 231.36(2).

(h)  Has been the subject of a court order directing the Education Practices Commission to suspend the certificate as a result of a delinquent child support obligation.

(i)  Has violated the Principles of Professional Conduct for the Education Profession prescribed by State Board of Education rules.

(j)  Has otherwise violated the provisions of law, the penalty for which is the revocation of the teaching certificate.

(k)  Has violated any order of the Education Practices Commission.

(2)  The plea of guilty in any court, the decision of guilty by any court, the forfeiture by the teaching certificateholder of a bond in any court of law, or the written acknowledgment, duly witnessed, of offenses listed in subsection (1) to the superintendent of schools or a duly appointed representative or to the district school board shall be prima facie proof of grounds for revocation of the certificate as listed in subsection (1) in the absence of proof by the certificateholder that the plea of guilty, forfeiture of bond, or admission of guilt was caused by threats, coercion, or fraudulent means.

(3)  The revocation by the Education Practices Commission of a teaching certificate of any person automatically revokes any and all Florida teaching certificates held by that person.

(4)(a)  A teaching certificate which has been suspended under this section is automatically reinstated at the end of the suspension period, provided the certificate did not expire during the period of suspension. If the certificate expired during the period of suspension, the holder of the former certificate may secure a new certificate by making application therefor and by meeting the certification requirements of the state board current at the time of the application for the new certificate. A teaching certificate suspended pursuant to a court order for a delinquent child support obligation may only be reinstated upon notice from the court that the party has complied with the terms of the court order.

(b)  A person whose teaching certificate has been revoked under this section may apply for a new certificate at the expiration of that period of ineligibility fixed by the Education Practices Commission by making application therefor and by meeting the certification requirements of the state board current at the time of the application for the new certificate.

(5)  Each superintendent of schools and the governing authority of each developmental research school, state-supported school, or nonpublic school shall report to the department the name of any person certified pursuant to this chapter or employed and qualified pursuant to s. 231.1725:

(a)  Who has been convicted of, or who has pled nolo contendere to, a misdemeanor, felony, or any other criminal charge, other than a minor traffic infraction;

(b)  Who that official has reason to believe has committed or is found to have committed any act which would be a ground for revocation or suspension under subsection (1); or

(c)  Who has been dismissed or severed from employment because of conduct involving any immoral, unnatural, or lascivious act.

(6)(a)  When an individual violates the provisions of a settlement agreement enforced by a final order of the Education Practices Commission, an order to show cause may be issued by the clerk of the commission. The order shall require the individual to appear before the commission to show cause why further penalties should not be levied against the individual's certificate pursuant to the authority provided to the Education Practices Commission in subsection (1). The Education Practices Commission may fashion further penalties under the authority of subsection (1) as deemed appropriate when the show cause order is responded to by the individual.

(b)  The Education Practices Commission shall issue a final order revoking an individual's Florida educator's certificate for a minimum of 1 year under the following circumstances:

1.  If the individual:

a.  Has been found to have violated the provisions of this section, such that the Education Practices Commission has the authority to discipline the individual's Florida educator's certificate on two separate occasions;

b.  Has twice entered into a settlement agreement enforced by a final order of the Education Practices Commission; or

c.  Has been found to have violated the provisions of this section, such that the Education Practices Commission has the authority to discipline the individual's Florida educator's certificate on one occasion and entered into a settlement agreement enforced by a final order of the Education Practices Commission on one occasion; and

2.  A third finding of probable cause and a finding that the allegations are proven or admitted to is subsequently found by the Commissioner of Education.

If, in the third instance, the individual enters into a settlement agreement with the Department of Education, that agreement shall also include a penalty revoking that individual's Florida educator's certificate for a minimum of 1 year.

History.--s. 528, ch. 19355, 1939; CGL 1940 Supp. 892(132); s. 6, ch. 29754, 1955; s. 2, ch. 59-339; s. 1, ch. 63-225; s. 1, ch. 63-248; ss. 15, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 69-300; s. 1, ch. 71-199; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; s. 13, ch. 78-95; ss. 2, 11, ch. 80-190; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 12, 28, 31, ch. 82-242; s. 2, ch. 84-44; ss. 1, 5, ch. 84-94; ss. 3, 4, 5, ch. 85-221; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 8, ch. 93-208; s. 36, ch. 94-232; s. 5, ch. 97-4; s. 16, ch. 98-281; s. 27, ch. 2000-301.

Note.--Former s. 231.28.

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