June 01, 2020
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Senate Bill 0154

Senate Bill sb0154c2

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    Florida Senate - 2004                     CS for CS for SB 154

    By the Committees on Criminal Justice; Education; and Senators
    Saunders and Fasano




    307-1999-04

  1                      A bill to be entitled

  2         An act relating to school district employees

  3         and contractors; amending ss. 1002.33, 1012.32,

  4         1012.56, 1012.57, F.S.; requiring background

  5         screening, initially and periodically, of

  6         charter school employees, contractors, and

  7         members of the governing board; requiring

  8         background screening, initially and

  9         periodically, of persons certified under ch.

10         1012, F.S.; requiring background screening,

11         initially and periodically, of adjunct

12         educators; requiring both instructional and

13         noninstructional personnel of charter schools

14         to undergo background screening by filing

15         fingerprints with the school board of the

16         district within which the charter school is

17         located; providing that contractors have the

18         same probationary status as employees;

19         providing duties of the Department of Law

20         Enforcement with respect to retention of

21         fingerprint records submitted on behalf of

22         school employees and contractors; requiring the

23         Department of Law Enforcement to search all

24         fingerprint records for arrest records;

25         directing the department to report the arrest

26         record to the school district employing the

27         person; directing the school district to

28         participate in the search; requiring the

29         department to set a fee to be imposed on the

30         school district; creating s. 1012.465, F.S.;

31         requiring background screening, initially and

                                  1

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    Florida Senate - 2004                     CS for CS for SB 154
    307-1999-04




 1         periodically, of certain noninstructional

 2         personnel and contractors with the school

 3         district; requiring any such person to report

 4         his or her conviction of a disqualifying

 5         offense; providing that noninstructional

 6         personnel may perform certain services before

 7         the results of the screening have been

 8         reported, with limitations; providing for

 9         suspending any such personnel who do not meet

10         the screening requirements and revoking or

11         suspending the certification of any such

12         certified person; providing for appeal;

13         providing that the school district or the

14         employee may pay for the screening; providing

15         an effective date.

16  

17  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:

18  

19         Section 1.  Paragraph (g) of subsection (12) of section

20  1002.33, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

21         1002.33  Charter schools.--

22         (12)  EMPLOYEES OF CHARTER SCHOOLS.--

23         (g)  A charter school shall employ or contract with

24  employees who have undergone background screening been

25  fingerprinted as provided in s. 1012.32. Members of the

26  governing board of the charter school shall also undergo

27  background screening be fingerprinted in a manner similar to

28  that provided in s. 1012.32.

29         Section 2.  Subsection (2) of section 1012.32, Florida

30  Statutes, is amended to read:

31         1012.32  Qualifications of personnel.--

                                  2

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    Florida Senate - 2004                     CS for CS for SB 154
    307-1999-04




 1         (2)(a)  Instructional and noninstructional personnel

 2  who are hired or contracted to fill positions requiring direct

 3  contact with students in any district school system or

 4  university lab school shall, upon employment or engagement to

 5  provide services, undergo background screening as required

 6  under s. 1012.56 or s. 1012.465, whichever is applicable file

 7  a complete set of fingerprints taken by an authorized law

 8  enforcement agency or an employee of the school or district

 9  who is trained to take fingerprints. Instructional and

10  noninstructional personnel who are hired or contracted to fill

11  positions in any charter school and members of the governing

12  board of any charter school, in compliance with s.

13  1002.33(12)(g), shall, upon employment, engagement of

14  services, or appointment, undergo background screening as

15  required under s. 1012.56 or s. 1012.465, whichever is

16  applicable, by filing with the district school board for the

17  district in which the charter school is located a complete set

18  of fingerprints taken by an authorized law enforcement agency

19  or an employee of the school or district who is trained to

20  take fingerprints. These fingerprints shall be submitted to

21  the Department of Law Enforcement for state processing and to

22  the Federal Bureau of Investigation for federal processing.

23  The new employees shall be on probationary status pending

24  fingerprint processing and determination of compliance with

25  standards of good moral character. Employees or contractors

26  found through fingerprint processing to have been convicted of

27  a crime involving moral turpitude may shall not be employed or

28  engaged to provide services in any position requiring direct

29  contact with students. Probationary employees or contractors

30  terminated because of their criminal record shall have the

31  right to appeal such decisions. The cost of the background

                                  3

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    Florida Senate - 2004                     CS for CS for SB 154
    307-1999-04




 1  screening fingerprint processing may be borne by the district

 2  school board, the charter school, or the employee, or the

 3  contractor.

 4         (b)  Personnel whose fingerprints are not retained by

 5  the Department of Law Enforcement under paragraphs (c) and (d)

 6  are required to be refingerprinted and must meet level 2

 7  screening requirements as described in s. 435.04, upon

 8  reemployment or reengagement to provide services, in order to

 9  comply with the requirements of this subsection.

10         (b)  Personnel who have been fingerprinted or screened

11  pursuant to this subsection and who have not been unemployed

12  for more than 90 days shall not be required to be

13  refingerprinted or rescreened in order to comply with the

14  requirements of this subsection.

15         (c)  Beginning July 1, 2004, all fingerprints submitted

16  to the Department of Law Enforcement as required by paragraph

17  (a), shall be retained by the Department of Law Enforcement in

18  a manner provided by rule and entered in the statewide

19  automated fingerprint identification system authorized by s.

20  943.05(2)(b). Such fingerprints shall thereafter be available

21  for all purposes and uses authorized for arrest fingerprint

22  cards entered in the statewide automated fingerprint

23  identification system pursuant to s. 943.051.

24         (d)  Beginning December 15, 2004, the Department of Law

25  Enforcement shall search all arrest fingerprint cards received

26  under s. 943.051 against the fingerprints retained in the

27  statewide automated fingerprint identification system under

28  paragraph(c). Any arrest record that is identified with the

29  retained employee or contractual personnel fingerprints will

30  be reported to the employing or contracting school district.

31  Each school district is required to participate in this search

                                  4

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    Florida Senate - 2004                     CS for CS for SB 154
    307-1999-04




 1  process by payment of an annual fee to the Department of Law

 2  Enforcement and by informing the Department of Law Enforcement

 3  of any change in the employment or contractual status or place

 4  of employment or contracting of its instructional and

 5  noninstructional personnel whose fingerprints are retained

 6  under paragraph (c). The Department of Law Enforcement shall

 7  adopt a rule setting the amount of the annual fee to be

 8  imposed upon each school district for performing these

 9  searches, and establishing the procedures for the retention of

10  employee or contractual personnel fingerprints and the

11  dissemination of search results. The fee may be borne by the

12  district school board or by the employee or contracted person.

13         Section 3.  Paragraph (d) of subsection (2) of section

14  1012.56, Florida Statutes, is amended, present subsections

15  (9), (10), (11), (12), (13), (14), and (15) of that section

16  are redesignated as subsections (10), (11), (12), (13), (14),

17  (15), and (16), respectively, and a new subsection (9) is

18  added to that section, to read:

19         1012.56  Educator certification requirements.--

20         (2)  ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA.--To be eligible to seek

21  certification pursuant to this chapter, a person must:

22         (d)  Submit to background screening in accordance with

23  subsection (9) a fingerprint check from the Department of Law

24  Enforcement and the Federal Bureau of Investigation pursuant

25  to s. 1012.32. If the background screening indicates

26  fingerprint reports indicate a criminal history or if the

27  applicant acknowledges a criminal history, the applicant's

28  records shall be referred to the Bureau of Educator Standards

29  for review and determination of eligibility for certification.

30  If the applicant fails to provide the necessary documentation

31  requested by the Bureau of Educator Standards within 90 days

                                  5

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    Florida Senate - 2004                     CS for CS for SB 154
    307-1999-04




 1  after the date of the receipt of the certified mail request,

 2  the statement of eligibility and pending application shall

 3  become invalid.

 4         (9)  BACKGROUND SCREENING REQUIRED, INITIALLY AND

 5  PERIODICALLY.--

 6         (a)  Each person who seeks certification under this

 7  chapter must meet level 2 screening requirements as described

 8  in s. 435.04 unless a level 2 screening has been conducted by

 9  a district school board within 12 months before the date the

10  person initially obtains certification under this chapter, the

11  results of which are submitted to the department by the

12  district school board.

13         (b)  A person may not receive a certificate under this

14  chapter until the level 2 screening has been completed and the

15  results have been submitted to the district school

16  superintendent of the school district that employs him or her.

17  Every 5 years after obtaining initial certification, each

18  person who is required to be certified under this chapter must

19  meet level 2 screening requirements as described in s. 435.04,

20  at which time the school district shall request the Department

21  of Law Enforcement to forward the fingerprints to the Federal

22  Bureau of Investigation for the level 2 screening. If, for any

23  reason after obtaining initial certification, the fingerprints

24  of a person who is required to be certified under this chapter

25  are not retained by the Department of Law Enforcement under s.

26  1012.32(2)(c) and (d), the person must file a complete set of

27  fingerprints with the district school superintendent of the

28  school district that employs him or her. Upon submission of

29  fingerprints for this purpose, the school district shall

30  request the Department of Law Enforcement to forward the

31  fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the

                                  6

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    Florida Senate - 2004                     CS for CS for SB 154
    307-1999-04




 1  level 2 screening, and the fingerprints shall be retained by

 2  the Department of Law Enforcement under s. 1012.32(2)(c) and

 3  (d). The cost of the state and federal criminal history check

 4  required by level 2 screening may be borne by the district

 5  school board or the employee. Under penalty of perjury, each

 6  person who is certified under this chapter must agree to

 7  inform his or her employer immediately if convicted of any

 8  disqualifying offense while he or she is employed in a

 9  position for which such certification is required.

10         (c)  If it is found under s. 1012.796 that a person who

11  is employed in a position requiring certification under this

12  chapter does not meet the level 2 requirements, the person's

13  certification shall be immediately revoked or suspended, and

14  he or she shall be immediately suspended from the position

15  requiring certification.

16         Section 4.  Section 1012.57, Florida Statutes, is

17  amended to read:

18         1012.57  Certification of adjunct educators.--

19         (1)  Notwithstanding the provisions of ss. 1012.32,

20  1012.55, and 1012.56, or any other provision of law or rule to

21  the contrary, district school boards may issue an adjunct

22  teaching certificate to any applicant who fulfills the

23  requirements of s. 1012.56(2)(a)-(f) and (9) and who has

24  expertise in the subject area to be taught. An applicant shall

25  be considered to have expertise in the subject area to be

26  taught if the applicant has at least a minor in the subject

27  area or demonstrates sufficient subject area mastery as

28  determined by district school board policy. The adjunct

29  teaching certificate shall be used for part-time teaching

30  positions. The intent of this provision is to allow school

31  districts to tap the wealth of talent and expertise

                                  7

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    Florida Senate - 2004                     CS for CS for SB 154
    307-1999-04




 1  represented in Florida's citizens who may wish to teach

 2  part-time in a Florida public school by permitting school

 3  districts to issue adjunct certificates. Adjunct

 4  certificateholders should be used as a strategy to reduce the

 5  teacher shortage; thus, adjunct certificateholders should

 6  supplement a school's instructional staff, not supplant it.

 7  Each school principal shall assign an experienced peer mentor

 8  to assist the adjunct teaching certificateholder during the

 9  certificateholder's first year of teaching, and an adjunct

10  certificateholder may participate in a district's new teacher

11  training program. District school boards shall provide the

12  adjunct teaching certificateholder an orientation in classroom

13  management prior to assigning the certificateholder to a

14  school. Each adjunct teaching certificate is valid for 5

15  school years and is renewable if:

16         (a)  The applicant completes a minimum of 60 inservice

17  points or 3 semester hours of college credit. The earned

18  credits must include instruction in classroom management,

19  district school board procedures, school culture, and other

20  activities that enhance the professional teaching skills of

21  the certificateholder.

22         (b)  The applicant has received satisfactory

23  performance evaluations during each year of teaching under

24  adjunct teaching certification.

25         (2)  Individuals who are certified and employed under

26  pursuant to this section shall have the same rights and

27  protection of laws as teachers certified under pursuant to s.

28  1012.56.

29         Section 5.  Section 1012.465, Florida Statutes, is

30  created to read:

31  

                                  8

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    Florida Senate - 2004                     CS for CS for SB 154
    307-1999-04




 1         1012.465  Background screening requirements for certain

 2  noninstructional school district employees and contractors.--

 3         (1)  Noninstructional school district employees or

 4  contractual personnel who have direct contact with minors or

 5  access to or control of school funds must meet level 2

 6  screening requirements as described in s. 435.04.

 7         (2)  Every 5 years following employment or entry into a

 8  contract in a capacity described in subsection (1), each

 9  person who is so employed or under contract with the district

10  must meet level 2 screening requirements as described in s.

11  435.04, at which time the school district shall request the

12  Department of Law Enforcement to forward the fingerprints to

13  the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the level 2 screening.

14  If, for any reason following employment or entry into a

15  contract in a capacity described in subsection (1), the

16  fingerprints of a person who is so employed or under contract

17  with the district are not retained by the Department of Law

18  Enforcement under s. 1012.32(2)(c) and (d), the person must

19  file a complete set of fingerprints with the district school

20  superintendent of the school district that employs or

21  contracts with him or her. Upon submission of fingerprints for

22  this purpose, the school district shall request the Department

23  of Law Enforcement to forward the fingerprints to the Federal

24  Bureau of Investigation for the level 2 screening, and the

25  fingerprints shall be retained by the Department of Law

26  Enforcement under s. 1012.32(2)(c) and (d). The cost of the

27  state and federal criminal history check required by level 2

28  screening may be borne by the district school board or by the

29  employee or contractor. Under penalty of perjury, each person

30  who is employed or under contract in a capacity described in

31  subsection (1) must agree to inform his or her employer or the

                                  9

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    Florida Senate - 2004                     CS for CS for SB 154
    307-1999-04




 1  party with whom he or she is under contract immediately if

 2  convicted of any disqualifying offense while he or she is

 3  employed or under contract in that capacity.

 4         (3)  If it is found that a person who is employed or

 5  under contract in a capacity described in subsection (1) does

 6  not meet the level 2 requirements, the person shall be

 7  immediately suspended from working in that capacity and shall

 8  remain suspended until final resolution of any appeals.

 9         Section 6.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2004.

10  

11          STATEMENT OF SUBSTANTIAL CHANGES CONTAINED IN
                       COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR
12                            CS/SB 154

13                                 

14  -    Authorizes FDLE to compare incoming arrest fingerprints
         against retained fingerprints and to notify the
15       appropriate school district immediately if an employee or
         contractor is arrested.
16  
    -    Requires any employee or contractor who is subject to
17       mandatory screening of state and national records for
         employment, contract status, or certification, whose
18       fingerprints are not retained by FDLE for any reason, to
         be re-fingerprinted for retention and to satisfy Level 2
19       screening requirements at the time they come up for
         re-employment or re-screening.
20  
    -    Authorizes FDLE to use retained fingerprints for all
21       authorized criminal justice purposes.

22  -    Requires FDLE to adopt a rule setting the amount of the
         annual fee to be imposed on each school district for
23       performing the criminal background searches and
         establishing procedures for the retention of fingerprints
24       and the dissemination of search results.

25  -    Provides that the annual fee will be paid by the district
         school board or by the employee or contracted person.
26  

27  

28  

29  

30  

31  

                                  10

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