October 25, 2020
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HB 1763

A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to quality of school personnel; amending
3s. 1004.04, F.S.; revising criteria for admission to
4teacher preparation programs; requiring a certification
5ombudsman; authorizing certain postsecondary institutions
6to develop and implement short-term teaching experiences;
7creating s. 1004.85, F.S.; providing a definition;
8providing for postsecondary institutions to create
9educator preparation institutes; providing purpose of the
10institutes; authorizing institutes to offer alternative
11educator certification programs; requiring Department of
12Education response to a request for approval; providing
13criteria for alternative certification programs; providing
14requirements for program participants; providing for
15participants to receive a credential signifying mastery of
16professional preparation and education competence;
17authorizing school districts to use an alternative
18certification program at an educator preparation institute
19to satisfy certain requirements; requiring performance
20evaluations; requiring certain criteria for instructors;
21providing rulemaking authority; amending s. 1012.05, F.S.;
22requiring the department to concentrate on retention of
23teachers; requiring the department to provide certain
24resources for teachers and to establish an Educator
25Appreciation Week; requiring district school boards to
26adopt policies for mentors and support for first-time
27teachers; amending s. 1012.231, F.S.; authorizing a salary
28career ladder for certain classifications of instructional
29personnel; providing criteria for certain lead teachers;
30amending s. 1012.32, F.S.; requiring background screening
31for contractual personnel, charter school personnel, and
32certain instructional and noninstructional personnel;
33deleting provision for probationary status for new
34employees pending fingerprint processing; prohibiting
35certain persons from providing services; providing for
36appeals; providing for payment of costs; deleting a
37refingerprinting requirement; requiring the Department of
38Law Enforcement to retain and enter fingerprints into the
39statewide automated fingerprint identification system;
40requiring the Department of Law Enforcement to search
41arrest fingerprint cards against retained fingerprints and
42to report identified arrest records; providing school
43district responsibilities and the imposition of a fee;
44requiring refingerprinting for personnel whose
45fingerprints are not retained; amending s. 1012.33, F.S.;
46revising provisions relating to acceptance of teaching
47service; amending s. 1012.35, F.S.; requiring background
48screening and additional requirements for substitute
49teachers; requiring the department to develop certain
50resources and school districts to develop performance
51appraisal measures; amending s. 1012.39, F.S.; requiring
52background screening and qualifications for substitute
53teachers; requiring background screening for teachers in
54adult education programs and nondegreed teachers of career
55and technical programs; creating s. 1012.465, F.S.;
56requiring background screening for certain
57noninstructional personnel and contractors with the school
58district; requiring such persons to report conviction of a
59disqualifying offense; providing for suspension of
60personnel who do not meet screening requirements; amending
61s. 1012.55, F.S.; providing department duties relating to
62identification of appropriate certification for certain
63instruction; requiring background screening for certain
64instructors; amending s. 1012.56, F.S.; clarifying
65required response of the department to applicants for
66certification; revising eligibility criteria for
67certification applicants; requiring an affidavit for
68educator certification; requiring background screening for
69educator certification; revising means of demonstrating
70mastery of general knowledge, subject area knowledge, and
71professional preparation and education competence;
72providing background screening requirements; requiring
73persons to report conviction of a disqualifying offense;
74providing for suspension from position and revocation or
75suspension of certification; creating s. 1012.561, F.S.;
76providing requirements relating to notification of the
77address of record of a certified educator or applicant for
78certification; amending s. 1012.57, F.S.; requiring
79background screening for adjunct educators; amending s.
801012.585, F.S.; revising means of renewal of a
81professional certificate; revising means of earning
82inservice points; providing requirements for training in
83the teaching of reading for renewal of a professional
84certificate; amending s. 1002.33, F.S.; requiring
85background screening for employees and members of the
86governing boards of charter schools; providing an
87effective date.
89Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
91     Section 1.  Subsection (4) of section 1004.04, Florida
92Statutes, is amended, subsections (10), (11), and (12) are
93renumbered as subsections (11), (12), and (13), respectively,
94and a new subsection (10) is added to said section, to read:
95     1004.04  Public accountability and state approval for
96teacher preparation programs.--
98     (a)  A program approval process based on standards adopted
99pursuant to subsections (2) and (3) must be established for
100postsecondary teacher preparation programs, phased in according
101to timelines determined by the Department of Education, and
102fully implemented for all teacher preparation programs in the
103state. Each program shall be approved by the department,
104consistent with the intent set forth in subsection (1) and based
105primarily upon significant, objective, and quantifiable graduate
106performance measures.
107     (b)  Each teacher preparation program approved by the
108Department of Education, as provided for by this section, shall
109require students to meet the following as prerequisites for
110admission into the program:
111     1.  Have a grade point average of at least 2.5 on a 4.0
112scale for the general education component of undergraduate
113studies or have completed the requirements for a baccalaureate
114degree with a minimum grade point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale
115from any college or university accredited by a regional
116accrediting association as defined by State Board of Education
117rule or any college or university otherwise approved pursuant to
118State Board of Education rule.
119     2.  Demonstrate mastery of general knowledge, including the
120ability to read, write, and compute, by passing the General
121Knowledge Test of the Florida Teacher Certification Examination,
122the College Level Academic Skills Test, a corresponding
123component of the National Teachers Examination series, or a
124similar test pursuant to rules of the State Board of Education.
126Each teacher preparation program may waive these admissions
127requirements for up to 10 percent of the students admitted.
128Programs shall implement strategies to ensure that students
129admitted under a waiver receive assistance to demonstrate
130competencies to successfully meet requirements for
132     (c)  Each teacher preparation program approved by the
133Department of Education, as provided for by this section, shall
134provide a certification ombudsman to facilitate the process and
135procedures required for graduates to obtain educator
136professional or temporary certification pursuant to s. 1012.56.
138Postsecondary institutions offering teacher preparation programs
139and community colleges, in collaboration with school districts,
140may develop and implement a program to provide short-term
141experiences as teacher assistants prior to beginning a teacher
142preparation program or alternative certification program. The
143program shall serve individuals with baccalaureate degrees who
144are interested in the teaching profession. This experience may
145be accepted for use in teacher preparation programs and
146competency-based alternative certification programs, where
148     Section 2.  Section 1004.85, Florida Statutes, is created
149to read:
150     1004.85  Postsecondary educator preparation institutes.--
151     (1)  As used in this section, "educator preparation
152institute" means an institute created by a postsecondary
153institution and approved by the Department of Education.
154     (2)  Postsecondary institutions may seek approval from the
155Department of Education to create educator preparation
156institutes for the purpose of providing any or all of the
158     (a)  Professional development instruction to assist
159teachers in improving classroom instruction and in meeting
160certification or recertification requirements.
161     (b)  Instruction to assist potential and existing
162substitute teachers in performing their duties.
163     (c)  Instruction to assist paraprofessionals in meeting
164education and training requirements.
165     (d)  Instruction for baccalaureate degree holders to become
166certified teachers as provided in this section in order to
167increase routes to the classroom for mid-career professionals
168who hold a baccalaureate degree and college graduates who were
169not education majors.
170     (3)  Educator preparation institutes approved pursuant to
171this section may offer alternative certification programs
172specifically designed for noneducation major baccalaureate
173degree holders to enable program participants to meet the
174educator certification requirements of s. 1012.56. Such programs
175shall be competency-based educator certification preparation
176programs that prepare educators through an alternative route. An
177educator preparation institute choosing to offer an alternative
178certification program pursuant to the provisions of this section
179must implement a program previously approved by the Department
180of Education for this purpose or a program developed by the
181institute and approved by the department for this purpose.
182Approved programs shall be available for use by other approved
183educator preparation institutes.
184     (a)  Within 90 days after receipt of a request for
185approval, the Department of Education shall approve an
186alternative certification program or issue a statement of the
187deficiencies in the request for approval. The department shall
188approve an alternative certification program if the institute
189provides sufficient evidence of the following:
190     1.  Instruction must be provided in professional knowledge
191and subject matter content that includes educator-accomplished
192practices and competencies specified in State Board of Education
193rule and meets subject matter content requirements, professional
194competency testing requirements, and competencies associated
195with teaching scientifically based reading instruction and
196strategies that research has shown to be successful in improving
197reading among low-performing readers.
198     2.  The program must provide field experience with
199supervision from qualified educators.
200     3.  The program must provide a certification ombudsman to
201facilitate the process and procedures required for participants
202who complete the program to meet any requirements related to the
203background screening pursuant to s. 1012.32 and educator
204professional or temporary certification pursuant to s. 1012.56.
205     (b)  Each program participant must:
206     1.  Meet certification requirements pursuant to s.
2071012.56(1) by obtaining a statement of status of eligibility and
208meet the requirements of s. 1012.56(2)(a)-(f).
209     2.  Participate in field experience that is appropriate to
210his or her educational plan.
211     3.  Fully demonstrate his or her ability to teach the
212subject area for which he or she is seeking certification prior
213to completion of the program.
214     (c)  Upon completion of an alternative certification
215program approved pursuant to this subsection, a participant
216shall receive a credential from the sponsoring institution
217signifying satisfaction of the requirements of s. 1012.56(5)
218relating to mastery of professional preparation and education
219competence. A participant shall be eligible for educator
220certification through the Department of Education upon
221satisfaction of all requirements for certification set forth in
222s. 1012.56(2), including demonstration of mastery of general
223knowledge, subject area knowledge, and professional preparation
224and education competence, through testing or other statutorily
225authorized means.
226     (d)  If an institution offers an alternative certification
227program approved pursuant to this subsection, such program may
228be used by the school district or districts served by that
229institution to fully satisfy the requirements for the provision
230of a competency-based professional preparation alternative
231certification program as required in s. 1012.56(7).
232     (4)  Each institute approved pursuant to this section shall
233submit to the Department of Education annual performance
234evaluations that measure the effectiveness of the programs,
235including the pass rates of participants on all examinations
236required for teacher certification, employment rates,
237longitudinal retention rates, and employer satisfaction surveys.
238The employer satisfaction surveys must be designed to measure
239the sufficient preparation of the educator to enter the
241     (5)  Instructors for an alternative certification program
242approved pursuant to this section must possess a master's degree
243in education or a master's degree in an appropriate related
244field and document teaching experience.
245     (6)  Educator preparation institutes approved pursuant to
246this section and providing approved instructional programs for
247any of the purposes in subsection (2) are eligible for funding
248from federal and state funds, as appropriated by the
249Legislature.      (7)  The State Board of Education may adopt rules
250pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement the
251provisions of this section.
252     Section 3.  Section 1012.05, Florida Statutes, is amended
253to read:
254     1012.05  Teacher recruitment and retention.--
255     (1)  The Department of Education, in cooperation with
256teacher organizations, district personnel offices, and schools,
257colleges, and departments of all public and nonpublic
258postsecondary educational institutions, shall concentrate on the
259recruitment and retention of qualified teachers.
260     (2)  The Department of Education shall:
261     (a)  Develop and implement a system for posting teaching
262vacancies and establish a database of teacher applicants that is
263accessible within and outside the state.
264     (b)  Advertise in major newspapers, national professional
265publications, and other professional publications and in public
266and nonpublic postsecondary educational institutions.
267     (c)  Utilize state and nationwide toll-free numbers.
268     (d)  Conduct periodic communications with district
269personnel directors regarding applicants.
270     (e)  Provide district access to the applicant database by
271computer or telephone.
272     (f)  Develop and distribute promotional materials related
273to the teaching profession as a career.
274     (g)  Publish and distribute information pertaining to
275employment opportunities, application procedures, and all routes
276toward teacher certification in Florida, and teacher salaries.
277     (h)  Provide information related to certification
279     (i)  Develop and sponsor the Florida Future Educator of
280America Program throughout the state.
281     (j)  Develop, in consultation with school district staff
282including, but not limited to, district school superintendents,
283district school board members, and district human resources
284personnel, a long-range plan for educator recruitment and
286     (k)  Identify best practices for retaining high-quality
288     (l)  Develop, in consultation with Workforce Florida, Inc.,
289and the Agency for Workforce Innovation, created pursuant to ss.
290445.004 and 20.50, respectively, a plan for accessing and
291identifying available resources in the state's workforce system
292and tourism offices for the purpose of enhancing teacher
293recruitment and retention.
294     (m)  In consultation with school districts, create
295guidelines and identify best practices for mentors of first-time
296teachers and for new teacher support programs that focus on the
297professional assistance needed by first-time teachers throughout
298the first year of teaching.
299     (n)(m)  Develop and implement a First Response Center to
300provide educator candidates one-stop shopping for information on
301teaching careers in Florida and establish the Teacher Lifeline
302Network to provide online support to beginning teachers and
303those needing assistance.
304     (o)  Develop and implement an online teacher tool kit that
305contains a menu of resources, based on the Sunshine State
306Standards, which all teachers can use to enhance classroom
307instruction and increase teacher effectiveness to improve
308student achievement.
309     (p)  Establish an Educator Appreciation Week to recognize
310the significant contributions made by educators to their
311students and school communities.
312     (3)  Each district school board shall adopt policies
313relating to mentors and support for first-time teachers based
314upon guidelines issued by the Department of Education.
315     (4)(3)  The Department of Education, in cooperation with
316district personnel offices, shall sponsor a job fair in a
317central part of the state to match in-state educators and
318potential educators and out-of-state educators and potential
319educators with teaching opportunities in this state.
320     (5)(4)  Subject to proviso in the General Appropriations
321Act, the Commissioner of Education may use funds appropriated by
322the Legislature and funds from federal grants and other sources
323to provide incentives for teacher recruitment and preparation
324programs. The purpose of the use of such funds is to recruit and
325prepare individuals who do not graduate from state-approved
326teacher preparation programs to teach in a Florida public
327school. The commissioner may contract with entities other than,
328and including, approved teacher preparation programs to provide
329intensive teacher training leading to passage of the required
330certification exams for the desired subject area or coverage.
331The commissioner shall survey school districts to evaluate the
332effectiveness of such programs.
333     (6)  The Commissioner of Education is directed to take
334steps that provide flexibility and consistency in meeting the
335high-quality teacher criteria defined in the No Child Left
336Behind Act through a high, objective, uniform state system of
338     Section 4.  Subsections (2) and (3) of section 1012.231,
339Florida Statutes, are renumbered as subsections (3) and (4),
340respectively, and a new subsection (2) is added to said section
341to read:
342     1012.231  BEST Florida Teaching salary career ladder
343program; assignment of teachers.--
345INSTRUCTIONAL PERSONNEL.--Each school district may incorporate
346one or more individuals into the district career ladder program
347as lead teachers pursuant to paragraph (1)(c) for the following
349     (a)  Student personnel services as defined in s.
351     (b)  Librarians/media specialists as defined in s.
353     (c)  Other instructional staff as defined in s.
355     (d)  Teachers of English for Speakers of Other Languages
356pursuant to s. 1003.56.
358If a school district chooses to incorporate individuals
359identified in this subsection into the district career ladder
360program, a lead teacher designated pursuant to this subsection
361shall serve as a team leader, intern coordinator, or
362professional development coordinator; shall participate in
363direct instruction of students throughout the school year; and
364shall serve as faculty for professional development activities
365as determined by the State Board of Education. To be eligible
366for designation as a lead teacher, an educator must demonstrate
367outstanding performance pursuant to s. 1012.34(3)(a).
368     Section 5.  Section 1012.32, Florida Statutes, is amended,
369to read:
370     1012.32  Qualifications of personnel.--
371     (1)  To be eligible for appointment in any position in any
372district school system, a person shall be of good moral
373character; shall have attained the age of 18 years, if he or she
374is to be employed in an instructional capacity; and shall, when
375required by law, hold a certificate or license issued under
376rules of the State Board of Education or the Department of
377Children and Family Services, except when employed pursuant to
378s. 1012.55 or under the emergency provisions of s. 1012.24.
379Previous residence in this state shall not be required in any
380school of the state as a prerequisite for any person holding a
381valid Florida certificate or license to serve in an
382instructional capacity.
383     (2)(a)  Instructional and noninstructional personnel who
384are hired or contracted to fill positions requiring direct
385contact with students in any district school system or
386university lab school shall, upon employment or engagement to
387provide services, undergo background screening as required under
388s. 1012.56 or s. 1012.465, whichever is applicable, file a
389complete set of fingerprints taken by an authorized law
390enforcement officer or an employee of the school or district who
391is trained to take fingerprints.
392     (b)  Instructional and noninstructional personnel who are
393hired or contracted to fill positions in any charter school and
394members of the governing board of any charter school, in
395compliance with s. 1002.33(12)(g), shall, upon employment,
396engagement of services, or appointment, undergo background
397screening as required under s. 1012.56 or s. 1012.465, whichever
398is applicable, by filing with the district school board for the
399school district in which the charter school is located a
400complete set of fingerprints taken by an authorized law
401enforcement agency or an employee of the school or school
402district who is trained to take fingerprints.
403     (c)  Instructional and noninstructional personnel who are
404hired or contracted to fill positions requiring direct contact
405with students in an alternative school that operates under
406contract with a district school system shall, upon employment or
407engagement to provide services, undergo background screening as
408required under s. 1012.56 or s. 1012.465, whichever is
409applicable, by filing with the district school board for the
410school district to which the alternative school is under
411contract a complete set of fingerprints taken by an authorized
412law enforcement agency or an employee of the school or school
413district who is trained to take fingerprints.
414     (d)  Student teachers, persons participating in a field
415experience pursuant to s. 1004.04(6) or s. 1004.85, and persons
416participating in a short-term experience as a teacher assistant
417pursuant to s. 1004.04(10) in any district school system, lab
418school, or charter school shall, upon engagement to provide
419services, undergo background screening as required under s.
422These Fingerprints shall be submitted to the Department of Law
423Enforcement for state processing and to the Federal Bureau of
424Investigation for federal processing. Persons subject to this
425subsection The new employees shall be on probationary status
426pending fingerprint processing and determination of compliance
427with standards of good moral character. Employees found through
428fingerprint processing to have been convicted of a crime
429involving moral turpitude shall not be employed, engaged to
430provide services, or serve in any position requiring direct
431contact with students. Probationary persons subject to this
432subsection employees terminated because of their criminal record
433shall have the right to appeal such decisions. The cost of the
434background screening fingerprint processing may be borne by the
435district school board, the charter school, or the employee, the
436contractor, or a person subject to this subsection.
437     (b) Personnel who have been fingerprinted or screened
438pursuant to this subsection and who have not been unemployed for
439more than 90 days shall not be required to be refingerprinted or
440rescreened in order to comply with the requirements of this
442     (3)(a)  Beginning July 1, 2004, all fingerprints submitted
443to the Department of Law Enforcement as required by subsection
444(2) shall be retained by the Department of Law Enforcement in a
445manner provided by rule and entered in the statewide automated
446fingerprint identification system authorized by s. 943.05(2)(b).
447Such fingerprints shall thereafter be available for all purposes
448and uses authorized for arrest fingerprint cards entered in the
449statewide automated fingerprint identification system pursuant
450to s. 943.051.
451     (b)  Beginning December 15, 2004, the Department of Law
452Enforcement shall search all arrest fingerprint cards received
453under s. 943.051 against the fingerprints retained in the
454statewide automated fingerprint identification system under
455paragraph (a). Any arrest record that is identified with the
456retained fingerprints of a person subject to the background
457screening under this section shall be reported to the employing
458or contracting school district or the school district with which
459the person is affiliated. Each school district is required to
460participate in this search process by payment of an annual fee
461to the Department of Law Enforcement and by informing the
462Department of Law Enforcement of any change in the affiliation,
463employment, or contractual status or place of affiliation,
464employment, or contracting of its instructional and
465noninstructional personnel whose fingerprints are retained under
466paragraph (a). The Department of Law Enforcement shall adopt a
467rule setting the amount of the annual fee to be imposed upon
468each school district for performing these searches and
469establishing the procedures for the retention of instructional
470and noninstructional personnel fingerprints and the
471dissemination of search results. The fee may be borne by the
472district school board, the contractor, or the person
474     (c)  Personnel whose fingerprints are not retained by the
475Department of Law Enforcement under paragraphs (a) and (b) are
476required to be refingerprinted and must meet level 2 screening
477requirements as described in s. 435.04, upon reemployment or
478reengagement to provide services, in order to comply with the
479requirements of this subsection.
480     Section 6.  Paragraph (g) of subsection (3) of section
4811012.33, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
482     1012.33  Contracts with instructional staff, supervisors,
483and school principals.--
484     (3)
485     (g)  Beginning July 1, 2001, For each employee who enters
486into a written contract, pursuant to this section, in a school
487district in which the employee was not employed as of June 30,
4882001, for purposes of pay, a district school board must
489recognize and accept each year of full-time public school
490teaching service earned in the State of Florida or outside the
491state and for which the employee received a satisfactory
492performance evaluation. Instructional personnel employed
493pursuant to s. 121.091(9)(b)3. are exempt from the provisions of
494this paragraph.
495     Section 7.  Section 1012.35, Florida Statutes, is amended
496to read:
497     1012.35  Substitute teachers.--
498     (1)(a)  Each district school board shall adopt rules
499prescribing the compensation of, and the procedure for
500employment of, substitute teachers. Such procedure for
501employment shall include, but is not limited to, the background
502screening filing of a complete set of fingerprints as required
503in s. 1012.32; documentation of a minimum education level of a
504high school diploma or its equivalent as described in s.
5051003.429, s. 1003.43, or s. 1003.435; and completion of an
506initial orientation/training program in school district policies
507and procedures addressing school safety and security procedures,
508educational liability laws, professional responsibilities, and
510     (b)  Candidates without prior teaching experience, as
511determined by the employing school district, must complete an
512additional training program that includes classroom management
513skills and instructional strategies prior to employment.
514     (c)  The required training programs for substitute teachers
515may be provided by educator preparation institutes established
516pursuant to s. 1004.85, community colleges, colleges of
517education, district school boards, educational consortia, or
518commercial vendors.
519     (d)  It is recommended that ongoing training and access to
520professional development offerings be made available to
521substitute teachers by the employing school district.
522     (2)  The Department of Education shall develop web-based
523resources to enhance school district substitute teacher
524orientation programs and provide web-based training resources to
525meet the required training pursuant to paragraph (1)(b).
526     (3)  School districts shall develop performance appraisal
527measures for assessing the quality of instruction delivered by
528substitute teachers who provide instruction for 30 or more days
529in a single classroom placement.
530     Section 8.  Subsection (1) of section 1012.39, Florida
531Statutes, is amended to read:
532     1012.39  Employment of substitute teachers, teachers of
533adult education, nondegreed teachers of career education, and
534career specialists; students performing clinical field
536     (1)  Notwithstanding ss. 1012.32, 1012.55, 1012.56, and
5371012.57, or any other provision of law or rule to the contrary,
538each district school board shall establish the minimal
539qualifications for:
540     (a)  Substitute teachers to be employed pursuant to s.
5411012.35. The qualifications shall require the filing of a
542background screening complete set of fingerprints in the same
543manner as required by s. 1012.32; documentation of a minimum
544education level of a high school diploma or its equivalent as
545described in s. 1003.429, s. 1003.43, or s. 1003.435; and
546completion of an initial orientation/training program in school
547district policies and procedures addressing school safety and
548security procedures, educational liability laws, professional
549responsibilities, and ethics.
550     (b)  Part-time and full-time teachers in adult education
551programs. The qualifications shall require the filing of a
552background screening complete set of fingerprints in the same
553manner as required by s. 1012.32. Faculty employed solely to
554conduct postsecondary instruction may be exempted from this
556     (c)  Part-time and full-time nondegreed teachers of career
557and technical programs. Qualifications shall be established for
558agriculture, business, health occupations, family and consumer
559sciences, industrial, marketing, career specialist, and public
560service education teachers, based primarily on successful
561occupational experience rather than academic training. The
562qualifications for such teachers shall require:
563     1.  The filing of a background screening complete set of
564fingerprints in the same manner as required by s. 1012.32.
565Faculty employed solely to conduct postsecondary instruction may
566be exempted from this requirement.
567     2.  Documentation of education and successful occupational
568experience including documentation of:
569     a.  A high school diploma or the equivalent.
570     b.  Completion of 6 years of full-time successful
571occupational experience or the equivalent of part-time
572experience in the teaching specialization area. Alternate means
573of determining successful occupational experience may be
574established by the district school board.
575     c.  Completion of career education training conducted
576through the local school district inservice master plan.
577     d.  For full-time teachers, completion of professional
578education training in teaching methods, course construction,
579lesson planning and evaluation, and teaching special needs
580students. This training may be completed through coursework from
581an accredited or approved institution or an approved district
582teacher education program.
583     e.  Demonstration of successful teaching performance.
584     Section 9.  Section 1012.465, Florida Statutes, is created
585to read:
586     1012.465  Background screening requirements for certain
587noninstructional school district employees and contractors.--
588     (1)  Noninstructional school district employees or
589contractual personnel who have direct contact with students or
590have access to or control of school funds must meet level 2
591screening requirements as described in s. 435.04.
592     (2)  Every 5 years following employment or entry into a
593contract in a capacity described in subsection (1), each person
594who is so employed or under contract with the school district
595must meet level 2 screening requirements as described in s.
596435.04, at which time the school district shall request the
597Department of Law Enforcement to forward the fingerprints to the
598Federal Bureau of Investigation for the level 2 screening. If,
599for any reason following employment or entry into a contract in
600a capacity described in subsection (1), the fingerprints of a
601person who is so employed or under contract with the school
602district are not retained by the Department of Law Enforcement
603under s. 1012.32(3)(a) and (b), the person must file a complete
604set of fingerprints with the district school superintendent of
605the employing or contracting school district. Upon submission of
606fingerprints for this purpose, the school district shall request
607the Department of Law Enforcement to forward the fingerprints to
608the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the level 2 screening,
609and the fingerprints shall be retained by the Department of Law
610Enforcement under s. 1012.32(3)(a) and (b). The cost of the
611state and federal criminal history check required by level 2
612screening may be borne by the district school board, the
613contractor, or the person fingerprinted. Under penalty of
614perjury, each person who is employed or under contract in a
615capacity described in subsection (1) must agree to inform his or
616her employer or the party with whom he or she is under contract
617within 48 hours if convicted of any disqualifying offense while
618he or she is employed or under contract in that capacity.
619     (3)  If it is found that a person who is employed or under
620contract in a capacity described in subsection (1) does not meet
621the level 2 requirements, the person shall be immediately
622suspended from working in that capacity and shall remain
623suspended until final resolution of any appeals.
624     Section 10.  Subsections (1) and (4) of section 1012.55,
625Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
626     1012.55  Positions for which certificates required.--
627     (1)  The State Board of Education shall classify school
628services, designate the certification subject areas, establish
629competencies, including the use of technology to enhance student
630learning, and certification requirements for all school-based
631personnel, and adopt rules in accordance with which the
632professional, temporary, and part-time certificates shall be
633issued by the Department of Education to applicants who meet the
634standards prescribed by such rules for their class of service.
635Each person employed or occupying a position as school
636supervisor, school principal, teacher, library media specialist,
637school counselor, athletic coach, or other position in which the
638employee serves in an instructional capacity, in any public
639school of any district of this state shall hold the certificate
640required by law and by rules of the State Board of Education in
641fulfilling the requirements of the law for the type of service
642rendered. The Department of Education shall identify appropriate
643educator certification for the instruction of specified courses
644in an annual publication of a directory of course code numbers
645for all programs and courses that are funded through the Florida
646Education Finance Program. However, the state board shall adopt
647rules authorizing district school boards to employ selected
648noncertificated personnel to provide instructional services in
649the individuals' fields of specialty or to assist instructional
650staff members as education paraprofessionals.
651     (4)  A commissioned or noncommissioned military officer who
652is an instructor of junior reserve officer training shall be
653exempt from requirements for teacher certification, except for
654the background screening filing of fingerprints pursuant to s.
6551012.32, if he or she meets the following qualifications:
656     (a)  Is retired from active military duty, pursuant to
657chapter 102 of Title 10, U.S.C.
658     (b)  Satisfies criteria established by the appropriate
659military service for certification by the service as a junior
660reserve officer training instructor.
661     (c)  Has an exemplary military record.
663If such instructor is assigned instructional duties other than
664junior reserve officer training, he or she shall hold the
665certificate required by law and rules of the state board for the
666type of service rendered.
667     Section 11.  Subsection (1), paragraphs (b) and (d) of
668subsection (2), and subsections (3), (4), and (5) of section
6691012.56, Florida Statutes, are amended, subsections (9) through
670(15) are renumbered as subsections (10) through (16),
671respectively, and a new subsection (9) is added to said section,
672to read:
673     1012.56  Educator certification requirements.--
674     (1)  APPLICATION.--Each person seeking certification
675pursuant to this chapter shall submit a completed application
676containing the applicant's social security number to the
677Department of Education and remit the fee required pursuant to
678s. 1012.59 and rules of the State Board of Education. Pursuant
679to the federal Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity
680Reconciliation Act of 1996, each party is required to provide
681his or her social security number in accordance with this
682section. Disclosure of social security numbers obtained through
683this requirement is limited to the purpose of administration of
684the Title IV-D program of the Social Security Act for child
685support enforcement. Pursuant to s. 120.60, the department shall
686issue within 90 calendar days after the stamped receipted date
687of the completed application:
688     (a)  If the applicant meets the requirements, a
689professional certificate covering the classification, level, and
690area for which the applicant is deemed qualified and a document
691explaining the requirements for renewal of the professional
692certificate; or
693     (b)  If the applicant meets the requirements and if
694requested by an employing school district or an employing
695private school with a professional education competence
696demonstration program pursuant to paragraphs (5)(f) and (7)(b),
697a temporary certificate covering the classification, level, and
698area for which the applicant is deemed qualified and an official
699statement of status of eligibility; or
700     (c)(b)  If an applicant does not meet the requirements for
701either certificate, an official statement of status of
704The statement of status of eligibility must advise the applicant
705of any qualifications that must be completed to qualify for
706certification. Each statement of status of eligibility is valid
707for 3 years after its date of issuance, except as provided in
708paragraph (2)(d).
709     (2)  ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA.--To be eligible to seek
710certification, a person must:
711     (b)  File an affidavit a written statement, under oath,
712that the applicant subscribes to and will uphold the principles
713incorporated in the Constitution of the United States and the
714Constitution of the State of Florida and that the information
715provided in the application is true, accurate, and complete. The
716affidavit shall be by original signature or by electronic
717authentication. The affidavit shall include substantially the
718following warning:
720WARNING: Giving false information in order to obtain or renew a
721Florida educator's certificate is a criminal offense under
722Florida law. Anyone giving false information on this affidavit
723is subject to criminal prosecution as well as disciplinary
724action by the Education Practices Commission.
726     (d)  Submit to background screening in accordance with
727subsection (9) a fingerprint check from the Department of Law
728Enforcement and the Federal Bureau of Investigation pursuant to
729s. 1012.32. If the background screening indicates fingerprint
730reports indicate a criminal history or if the applicant
731acknowledges a criminal history, the applicant's records shall
732be referred to the investigative section in the Department of
733Education Bureau of Educator Standards for review and
734determination of eligibility for certification. If the applicant
735fails to provide the necessary documentation requested by the
736department Bureau of Educator Standards within 90 days after the
737date of the receipt of the certified mail request, the statement
738of eligibility and pending application shall become invalid.
739     (3)  MASTERY OF GENERAL KNOWLEDGE.--Acceptable means of
740demonstrating mastery of general knowledge are:
741     (a)  Achievement of passing scores on basic skills
742examination required by state board rule;
743     (b)  Achievement of passing scores on the College Level
744Academic Skills Test earned prior to July 1, 2002;
745     (c)  A valid professional standard teaching certificate
746issued by another state;
747     (d)  A valid certificate issued by the National Board for
748Professional Teaching Standards or a national educator
749credentialing board approved by the State Board of Education; or
750     (e)  Documentation of two semesters of successful teaching
751in a community college, state university, or private college or
752university that awards an associate or higher degree and is an
753accredited institution or an institution of higher education
754identified by the Department of Education as having a quality
756     (4)  MASTERY OF SUBJECT AREA KNOWLEDGE.--Acceptable means
757of demonstrating mastery of subject area knowledge are:
758     (a)  Achievement of passing scores on subject area
759examinations required by state board rule;
760     (b)  Completion of the subject area specialization
761requirements specified in state board rule and verification of
762the attainment of the essential subject matter competencies by
763the district school superintendent of the employing school
764district or chief administrative officer of the employing state-
765supported or private school for a subject area for which a
766subject area examination has not been developed and required by
767state board rule;
768     (c)  Completion of the subject area specialization
769requirements specified in state board rule for a subject
770coverage requiring a master's or higher degree and achievement
771of a passing score on the subject area examination specified in
772state board rule;
773     (d)  A valid professional standard teaching certificate
774issued by another state; or
775     (e)  A valid certificate issued by the National Board for
776Professional Teaching Standards or a national educator
777credentialing board approved by the State Board of Education.
779COMPETENCE.--Acceptable means of demonstrating mastery of
780professional preparation and education competence are:
781     (a)  Completion of an approved teacher preparation program
782at a postsecondary educational institution within this state and
783achievement of a passing score on the professional education
784competency examination required by state board rule;
785     (b)  Completion of a teacher preparation program at a
786postsecondary educational institution outside Florida and
787achievement of a passing score on the professional education
788competency examination required by state board rule;
789     (c)  A valid professional standard teaching certificate
790issued by another state;
791     (d)  A valid certificate issued by the National Board for
792Professional Teaching Standards or a national educator
793credentialing board approved by the State Board of Education;
794     (e)  Documentation of two semesters of successful teaching
795in a community college, state university, or private college or
796university that awards an associate or higher degree and is an
797accredited institution or an institution of higher education
798identified by the Department of Education as having a quality
800     (f)  Completion of professional preparation courses as
801specified in state board rule, successful completion of a
802professional education competence demonstration program pursuant
803to paragraph (7)(b), and achievement of a passing score on the
804professional education competency examination required by state
805board rule; or
806     (g)  Successful completion of a professional preparation
807alternative certification and education competency program,
808outlined in paragraph (7)(a); or
809     (h)  Successful completion of an alternative certification
810program pursuant to s. 1004.85 and achievement of a passing
811score on the professional education competency examination
812required by state board rule.
815     (a)  Each person who seeks certification under this chapter
816must meet level 2 screening requirements as described in s.
817435.04 unless a level 2 screening has been conducted by a
818district school board or the Department of Education within 12
819months before the date the person initially obtains
820certification under this chapter, the results of which are
821submitted to the district school board or to the Department of
823     (b)  A person may not receive a certificate under this
824chapter until the level 2 screening has been completed and the
825results have been submitted to the Department of Education or to
826the district school superintendent of the school district that
827employs the person. Every 5 years after obtaining initial
828certification, each person who is required to be certified under
829this chapter must meet level 2 screening requirements as
830described in s. 435.04, at which time the school district shall
831request the Department of Law Enforcement to forward the
832fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the
833level 2 screening. If, for any reason after obtaining initial
834certification, the fingerprints of a person who is required to
835be certified under this chapter are not retained by the
836Department of Law Enforcement under s. 1012.32(3)(a) and (b),
837the person must file a complete set of fingerprints with the
838district school superintendent of the employing school district.
839Upon submission of fingerprints for this purpose, the school
840district shall request the Department of Law Enforcement to
841forward the fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation
842for the level 2 screening, and the fingerprints shall be
843retained by the Department of Law Enforcement under s.
8441012.32(3)(a) and (b). The cost of the state and federal
845criminal history check required by level 2 screening may be
846borne by the district school board or the employee. Under
847penalty of perjury, each person who is certified under this
848chapter must agree to inform his or her employer within 48 hours
849if convicted of any disqualifying offense while he or she is
850employed in a position for which such certification is required.
851     (c)  If it is found under s. 1012.796 that a person who is
852employed in a position requiring certification under this
853chapter does not meet the level 2 screening requirements, the
854person's certification shall be immediately revoked or suspended
855and he or she shall be immediately suspended from the position
856requiring certification.
857     Section 12.  Section 1012.561, Florida Statutes, is created
858to read:
859     1012.561  Address of record.--Each certified educator or
860applicant for certification is responsible for maintaining his
861or her current address with the Department of Education and for
862notifying the department in writing of a change of address. By
863January 1, 2005, each educator and applicant for certification
864must have on file with the department a current mailing address.
865Thereafter, a certified educator or applicant for certification
866who is employed by a district school board shall notify his or
867her employing school district in writing within 10 days after a
868change of address. At a minimum, the employing district school
869board shall notify the department quarterly of the addresses of
870certified educators or applicants for certification in the
871manner prescribed by the department. A certified educator or
872applicant for certification not employed by a district school
873board shall personally notify the department in writing within
87430 days after a change of address. Electronic notification shall
875be permitted by the department; however, it shall be the
876responsibility of the certified educator or applicant for
877certification to ascertain that the electronic notification was
878received by the department.
879     Section 13.  Section 1012.57, Florida Statutes, is amended
880to read:
881     1012.57  Certification of adjunct educators.--
882     (1)  Notwithstanding the provisions of ss. 1012.32,
8831012.55, and 1012.56, or any other provision of law or rule to
884the contrary, district school boards shall adopt rules to allow
885for the issuance of an adjunct teaching certificate to any
886applicant who fulfills the requirements of s. 1012.56(2)(a)-(f)
887and (9) and who has expertise in the subject area to be taught.
888An applicant shall be considered to have expertise in the
889subject area to be taught if the applicant demonstrates
890sufficient subject area mastery through passage of a subject
891area test. The adjunct teaching certificate shall be used for
892part-time teaching positions. The intent of this provision is to
893allow school districts to tap the wealth of talent and expertise
894represented in Florida's citizens who may wish to teach part-
895time in a Florida public school by permitting school districts
896to issue adjunct certificates to qualified applicants. Adjunct
897certificateholders should be used as a strategy to reduce the
898teacher shortage; thus, adjunct certificateholders should
899supplement a school's instructional staff, not supplant it. Each
900school principal shall assign an experienced peer mentor to
901assist the adjunct teaching certificateholder during the
902certificateholder's first year of teaching, and an adjunct
903certificateholder may participate in a district's new teacher
904training program. District school boards shall provide the
905adjunct teaching certificateholder an orientation in classroom
906management prior to assigning the certificateholder to a school.
907Each adjunct teaching certificate is valid for 5 school years
908and is renewable if the applicant has received satisfactory
909performance evaluations during each year of teaching under
910adjunct teaching certification.
911     (2)  Individuals who are certified and employed under
912pursuant to this section shall have the same rights and
913protection of laws as teachers certified under pursuant to s.
915     Section 14.  Paragraph (b) of subsection (2) and paragraphs
916(a) and (d) of subsection (3) of section 1012.585, Florida
917Statutes, are amended to read:
918     1012.585  Process for renewal of professional
920     (2)
921     (b)  A teacher with national certification from the
922National Board for Professional Teaching Standards or a national
923educator credentialing board approved by the State Board of
924Education is deemed to meet state renewal requirements for the
925life of the teacher's national certificate in the subject shown
926on the national certificate. A complete renewal application and
927fee shall be submitted. The Commissioner of Education shall
928notify teachers of the renewal application and fee requirements.
929     (3)  For the renewal of a professional certificate, the
930following requirements must be met:
931     (a)  The applicant must earn a minimum of 6 college credits
932or 120 inservice points or a combination thereof. For each area
933of specialization to be retained on a certificate, the applicant
934must earn at least 3 of the required credit hours or equivalent
935inservice points in the specialization area. Education in
936"clinical educator" training pursuant to s. 1004.04(6)(b) and
937credits or points that provide training in the area of
938scientifically researched, knowledge-based reading literacy and
939computational skills acquisition, exceptional student education,
940normal child development, and the disorders of development may
941be applied toward any specialization area. Credits or points
942that provide training in the areas of drug abuse, child abuse
943and neglect, strategies in teaching students having limited
944proficiency in English, or dropout prevention, or training in
945areas identified in the educational goals and performance
946standards adopted pursuant to ss. 1000.03(5) and 1001.23 may be
947applied toward any specialization area. Credits or points earned
948through approved summer institutes may be applied toward the
949fulfillment of these requirements. Inservice points may also be
950earned by participation in professional growth components
951approved by the State Board of Education and specified pursuant
952to s. 1012.98 in the district's approved master plan for
953inservice educational training, including, but not limited to,
954serving as a trainer in an approved teacher training activity,
955serving as a reading coach, serving on an instructional
956materials committee or a state board or commission that deals
957with educational issues, or serving on an advisory council
958created pursuant to s. 1001.452.
959     (d)  The State Board of Education shall adopt rules for the
960expanded use of training for renewal of the professional
961certificate for educators who are required to complete training
962in teaching students of limited English proficiency and training
963in the teaching of reading as follows:
964     1.  A teacher who holds a professional certificate may use
965college credits or inservice points completed in English-for-
966Speakers-of-Other-Languages training and training in the
967teaching of reading in excess of 6 semester hours during one
968certificate-validity period toward renewal of the professional
969certificate during the subsequent validity periods.
970     2.  A teacher who holds a temporary certificate may use
971college credits or inservice points completed in English-for-
972Speakers-of-Other-Languages training and training in the
973teaching of reading toward renewal of the teacher's first
974professional certificate. Such training must not have been
975included within the degree program, and the teacher's temporary
976and professional certificates must be issued for consecutive
977school years.
978     Section 15.  Paragraph (g) of subsection (12) of section
9791002.33, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
980     1002.33  Charter schools.--
982     (g)  A charter school shall employ or contract with
983employees who have undergone background screening been
984fingerprinted as provided in s. 1012.32. Members of the
985governing board of the charter school shall also undergo
986background screening be fingerprinted in a manner similar to
987that provided in s. 1012.32.
988     Section 16.  This act shall take effect upon becoming a

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