(1) As used in this section: (a) “Educational support employee” means any person employed by a district school system who is employed as a teacher assistant, an education paraprofessional, a member of the transportation department, a member of the operations department, a member of the maintenance department, a member of food service, a secretary, or a clerical employee, or any other person who by virtue of his or her position of employment is not required to be certified by the Department of Education or district school board pursuant to s. 1012.39. This section does not apply to persons employed in confidential or management positions. This section applies to all employees who are not temporary or casual and whose duties require 20 or more hours in each normal working week.
(b) “Employee” means any person employed as an educational support employee.
(2)(a) Each educational support employee shall be employed on probationary status for a period to be determined through the appropriate collective bargaining agreement or by district school board rule in cases where a collective bargaining agreement does not exist.
(b) Upon successful completion of the probationary period by the employee, the employee’s status shall continue from year to year unless the district school superintendent terminates the employee for reasons stated in the collective bargaining agreement, or in district school board rule in cases where a collective bargaining agreement does not exist, or reduces the number of employees on a districtwide basis for financial reasons.
(c) In the event a district school superintendent seeks termination of an employee, the district school board may suspend the employee with or without pay. The employee shall receive written notice and shall have the opportunity to formally appeal the termination. The appeals process shall be determined by the appropriate collective bargaining process or by district school board rule in the event there is no collective bargaining agreement.