August 04, 2020
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       Florida Senate - 2010                                    SB 2730
       By Senator Dean
       3-00599-10                                            20102730__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to the Florida Vocational College;
    3         establishing the Florida Vocational College in Weston,
    4         Florida, as a public residential postsecondary school
    5         for certain students with developmental disabilities;
    6         providing that the school shall be funded through the
    7         Department of Education; requiring the school to
    8         comply with laws and rules applicable to state
    9         agencies unless otherwise provided by law; providing
   10         responsibility for educational programs and services;
   11         requiring audits of accounts and records; creating a
   12         board of trustees, providing membership and terms, and
   13         specifying powers and duties; requiring the submission
   14         of legislative budget requests for operations and
   15         fixed capital outlay; providing for the content and
   16         custody of student and employee personnel records;
   17         authorizing the provision of legal services and
   18         reimbursement of expenses for officers and employees
   19         of the board of trustees; requiring notice and a
   20         public meeting; requiring personnel screening and
   21         security background investigation; providing a penalty
   22         for failure to disclose certain material facts and for
   23         use of confidential information for certain purposes;
   24         authorizing the employment of campus police and
   25         providing powers, duties, and qualifications;
   26         requiring reporting of on-campus crime statistics;
   27         amending s. 1000.04, F.S.; providing that the Florida
   28         Vocational College is a component of the delivery of
   29         public education within Florida’s K-20 education
   30         system; amending s. 1001.20, F.S.; authorizing
   31         investigations by the Department of Education’s Office
   32         of Inspector General; providing an effective date.
   34  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   36         Section 1. Florida Vocational College.—
   37         (1) RESPONSIBILITIES.—The Florida Vocational College is
   38  established in Weston, Florida, as a state-supported residential
   39  school that provides students with developmental disabilities
   40  who are 18 to 26 years of age and who have graduated from high
   41  school the opportunity to obtain postsecondary education on a
   42  college campus setting. The school is a component of the
   43  delivery of public education within Florida’s K-20 education
   44  system and shall be funded through the Department of Education.
   45  The school shall provide educational programs and support
   46  services appropriate to meet the education and related
   47  evaluation and counseling needs of students in this state with
   48  developmental disabilities who meet enrollment criteria. Unless
   49  otherwise provided by law, the school shall comply with all laws
   50  and rules applicable to state agencies. Education services may
   51  be provided on an outreach basis for students with developmental
   52  disabilities who are 18 to 26 years of age and to district
   53  school boards upon request.
   54         (2) MISSION.—The mission of the Florida Vocational College
   55  is to utilize all available talent, energy, and resources to
   56  provide appropriate public education for eligible Florida
   57  students with developmental disabilities. As a school with
   58  vocational, life, social, and independent living skills
   59  programming, the school shall strive to provide students an
   60  opportunity to access skills fostering their independence in a
   61  caring, safe, and unique learning environment, to prepare them
   62  to be an integral part of the community, and to allow them to be
   63  significantly less dependent on government funding. The school
   64  shall provide outreach services that include collaboration with
   65  employers, district school boards, and community organizations
   66  and shall encourage input from students, staff, parents, and the
   67  community. As a diverse organization, the school shall foster
   68  respect and understanding for each individual.
   69         (3) AUDITS.—The Auditor General shall conduct annual audits
   70  of the accounts and records of the Florida Vocational College.
   71  The Department of Education’s Inspector General may conduct
   72  investigations at the school as provided in s. 1001.20(4)(e),
   73  Florida Statutes.
   74         (4) BOARD OF TRUSTEES.—
   75         (a) There is created a Board of Trustees for the Florida
   76  Vocational College, which shall consist of seven members
   77  appointed by the Governor with the confirmation of the Senate.
   78  Of these seven members, two shall be persons with developmental
   79  disabilities. Each member must have been a resident of the state
   80  for at least 10 years prior to appointment. The term of office
   81  of each member shall be 4 years. The Governor may remove any
   82  member for cause and shall fill all vacancies that occur.
   83         (b) The board of trustees shall elect a chair annually. The
   84  trustees shall be reimbursed for travel expenses as provided in
   85  s. 112.061, Florida Statutes, the accounts of which shall be
   86  paid by the Chief Financial Officer upon itemized vouchers duly
   87  approved by the chair.
   88         (c) The board of trustees may adopt rules pursuant to ss.
   89  120.536(1) and 120.54, Florida Statutes, to implement provisions
   90  of law relating to operation of the Florida Vocational College.
   91  Such rules shall be submitted to the State Board of Education
   92  for approval or disapproval. After a rule is approved by the
   93  State Board of Education, the rule shall be filed immediately
   94  with the Department of State. The board of trustees shall act at
   95  all times in conjunction with the rules of the State Board of
   96  Education.
   97         (d) The board of trustees is a body corporate and shall
   98  have a corporate seal. Unless otherwise provided by law, all
   99  actions of the board of trustees shall be consistent with all
  100  laws and rules applicable to state agencies. Title to any gift,
  101  donation, or bequest received by the board of trustees pursuant
  102  to subparagraph (e)11. shall vest in the board of trustees.
  103  Title to all other property and other assets of the Florida
  104  Vocational College shall vest in the State Board of Education,
  105  but the board of trustees shall have complete jurisdiction over
  106  the management of the school.
  107         (e) The board of trustees is invested with full power and
  108  authority to:
  109         1. Appoint a president, faculty, teachers, and other
  110  employees, to remove the same as in its judgment may be best,
  111  and to fix their compensation.
  112         2. Procure professional services, including, but not
  113  limited to, medical, mental health, architectural, and
  114  engineering services.
  115         3. Procure legal services without the prior written
  116  approval of the Attorney General.
  117         4. Determine eligibility of students and the procedure for
  118  admission.
  119         5. Provide students with necessary bedding, clothing, food,
  120  and medical attendance and such other things as may be proper
  121  for the health and comfort of the students without cost to their
  122  parents, except that the board of trustees may set tuition and
  123  other fees for nonresidents.
  124         6. Provide for the proper keeping of accounts and records
  125  and for budgeting of funds.
  126         7. Enter into contracts.
  127         8. Sue and be sued.
  128         9. Secure public liability insurance.
  129         10. Do and perform every other matter or thing requisite to
  130  the proper management, maintenance, support, and control of the
  131  school at the highest efficiency economically possible, taking
  132  into consideration the purposes of the establishment.
  133         11. Receive gifts, donations, and bequests of money or
  134  property, real or personal, tangible or intangible, from any
  135  person, firm, corporation, or other legal entity. However, the
  136  board of trustees may not obligate the state to any expenditure
  137  or policy that is not specifically authorized by law. If a bill
  138  of sale, will, trust indenture, deed, or other legal conveyance
  139  specifies terms and conditions concerning the use of such money
  140  or property, the board of trustees shall observe such terms and
  141  conditions.
  142         12. Deposit outside the State Treasury such moneys as are
  143  received as gifts, donations, or bequests and may disburse and
  144  expend such moneys, upon its own warrant, for the use and
  145  benefit of the Florida Vocational College and its students as
  146  the board of trustees deems to be in the best interest of the
  147  school and its students. Such money or property shall not
  148  constitute or be considered a part of any legislative
  149  appropriation.
  150         13. Sell or convey by bill of sale, deed, or other legal
  151  instrument any property, real or personal, received as a gift,
  152  donation, or bequest, upon such terms and conditions as the
  153  board of trustees deems to be in the best interest of the school
  154  and its students.
  155         14. Invest such moneys in securities enumerated under s.
  156  215.47(1), (2)(c), (3), (4), and (10), Florida Statutes, and in
  157  The Common Fund, an Investment Management Fund exclusively for
  158  nonprofit educational institutions.
  159         (f) The board of trustees shall:
  160         1. Prepare and submit legislative budget requests for
  161  operations and fixed capital outlay, in accordance with chapter
  162  216, Florida Statutes, to the Department of Education for review
  163  and approval. The department shall analyze the amount requested
  164  for fixed capital outlay to determine whether the request is
  165  consistent with the school’s campus master plan, educational
  166  plant survey, and facilities master plan. Projections of
  167  facility space needs may exceed the norm space and occupant
  168  design criteria established in the State Requirements for
  169  Educational Facilities.
  170         2. Approve and administer an annual operating budget.
  171         3. Require all funds received, other than gifts, donations,
  172  bequests, funds raised by or belonging to student clubs or
  173  student organizations, and funds held for specific students or
  174  in accounts for individual students, to be deposited in the
  175  State Treasury and expended as authorized in the General
  176  Appropriations Act.
  177         4. Require all purchases to be in accordance with chapter
  178  287, Florida Statutes, except for purchases made with funds
  179  received as gifts, donations, or bequests; funds raised by or
  180  belonging to student clubs or student organizations; and funds
  181  held for specific students or in accounts for individual
  182  students.
  183         5. Administer and maintain personnel programs for all
  184  employees of the board of trustees and the Florida Vocational
  185  College. Such employees shall be state employees, except that
  186  the classification and pay plan for academic personnel and
  187  academic administrative personnel of the school shall be set by
  188  the board of trustees, subject only to the approval of the State
  189  Board of Education. Such employees shall be subject to the
  190  provisions of chapter 110, Florida Statutes, and the provisions
  191  of law that grant authority to the Department of Management
  192  Services over such programs for state employees.
  193         6. Give preference in appointment and retention in
  194  positions of employment as provided in s. 295.07(1), Florida
  195  Statutes.
  196         7. Ensure that the Florida Vocational College coordinates
  197  planning with local governing bodies for educational facility
  198  construction.
  199         8. Ensure that the Florida Vocational College complies with
  200  s. 112.061, Florida Statutes, concerning per diem and travel
  201  expenses of public officers, employees, and authorized persons
  202  with respect to all funds other than funds received as gifts,
  203  donations, or bequests; funds raised by or belonging to student
  204  clubs or student organizations; and funds held for specific
  205  students or in accounts for individual students.
  206         9. Adopt a master plan that specifies the mission and
  207  objectives of the Florida Vocational College. The plan shall
  208  include, but not be limited to, procedures for systematically
  209  measuring the school’s progress toward meeting its objectives,
  210  analyzing changes in the student population, and modifying
  211  school programs and services to respond to such changes. The
  212  plan shall be implemented for a period of 5 years and shall be
  213  reviewed for needed modifications every 2 years. The board of
  214  trustees shall submit the initial plan and subsequent
  215  modifications to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of
  216  the House of Representatives.
  218  Trustees for the Florida Vocational College shall provide for
  219  the content and custody of student and employee personnel
  220  records. Student records shall be subject to s. 1006.52, Florida
  221  Statutes. Employee personnel records shall be subject to part IV
  222  of chapter 1012, Florida Statutes.
  223         (6) LEGAL SERVICES.—The Board of Trustees for the Florida
  224  Vocational College may provide legal services for officers and
  225  employees of the board of trustees who are charged with civil or
  226  criminal actions arising out of and in the course of the
  227  performance of assigned duties and responsibilities. The board
  228  of trustees may provide for reimbursement of reasonable expenses
  229  for legal services for officers and employees of the board of
  230  trustees who are charged with civil or criminal actions arising
  231  out of and in the course of the performance of assigned duties
  232  and responsibilities upon successful defense of the officer or
  233  employee. However, in any case in which the officer or employee
  234  pleads guilty or nolo contendere to or is found guilty of any
  235  such action, the officer or employee shall reimburse the board
  236  of trustees for any legal services that the board of trustees
  237  may have supplied pursuant to this section. The board of
  238  trustees may also reimburse an officer or employee for any
  239  judgment that may be entered against him or her in a civil
  240  action arising out of and in the course of the performance of
  241  his or her assigned duties and responsibilities. Each
  242  expenditure by the board of trustees for legal defense of an
  243  officer or employee, or for reimbursement pursuant to this
  244  section, shall be made at a public meeting with notice pursuant
  245  to s. 120.525(1), Florida Statutes. The provision of such legal
  246  services or reimbursement under the conditions described in this
  247  subsection is declared to be a school purpose for which school
  248  funds may be expended.
  249         (7) PERSONNEL SCREENING.—
  250         (a) The Board of Trustees of the Florida Vocational College
  251  shall, because of the special trust or responsibility of
  252  employees of the school, require all employees and applicants
  253  for employment to undergo personnel screening and security
  254  background investigations as provided in chapter 435, Florida
  255  Statutes, using the level 2 standards for screening set forth in
  256  that chapter, as a condition of employment and continued
  257  employment. The cost of a personnel screening and security
  258  background investigation for an employee of the school shall be
  259  paid by the school. The cost of such a screening and
  260  investigation for an applicant for employment may be paid by the
  261  school.
  262         (b) As a prerequisite for initial and continuing employment
  263  at the Florida Vocational College:
  264         1. The applicant or employee shall submit to the Florida
  265  Vocational College a complete set of fingerprints taken by an
  266  authorized law enforcement agency or an employee of the Florida
  267  Vocational College who is trained to take fingerprints. The
  268  Florida Vocational College shall submit the fingerprints to the
  269  Department of Law Enforcement for state processing and the
  270  Federal Bureau of Investigation for federal processing.
  271         2.a. The applicant or employee shall, under penalty of
  272  perjury, attest to the minimum standards for good moral
  273  character as provided in chapter 435, Florida Statutes, using
  274  the level 2 standards set forth in that chapter.
  275         b. New personnel shall be on probationary status pending a
  276  determination of compliance with such minimum standards for good
  277  moral character. This sub-subparagraph is in addition to any
  278  probationary status provided for by state law or by Florida
  279  Vocational College rules or collective bargaining contracts.
  280         (c) The Florida Vocational College shall review the record
  281  of the applicant or employee with respect to the crimes
  282  described in s. 435.04, Florida Statutes, and shall notify the
  283  applicant or employee of its findings. When disposition
  284  information is missing on a criminal record, it shall be the
  285  responsibility of the applicant or employee, upon request of the
  286  Florida Vocational College, to obtain the missing disposition
  287  information and supply such information within 30 days to the
  288  Florida Vocational College. Failure to supply missing
  289  information within 30 days or to show reasonable efforts to
  290  obtain such information shall result in automatic
  291  disqualification of an applicant and automatic termination of an
  292  employee.
  293         (d) After an initial personnel screening and security
  294  background investigation, written notification shall be given to
  295  the affected employee within a reasonable time prior to any
  296  subsequent screening and investigation.
  297         (e) The Florida Vocational College may grant exemptions
  298  from disqualification as provided in s. 435.07, Florida
  299  Statutes.
  300         (f) The Florida Vocational College may not use the criminal
  301  records, private investigator findings, or information from
  302  reference checks obtained by the school pursuant to this section
  303  for any purpose other than determining whether a person meets
  304  the minimum standards for good moral character for personnel
  305  employed by the school.
  306         (g) It is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as
  307  provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, Florida Statutes, for any
  308  person willfully, knowingly, or intentionally to:
  309         1. Fail, by false statement, misrepresentation,
  310  impersonation, or other fraudulent means, to disclose in any
  311  application for voluntary or paid employment a material fact
  312  used in making a determination as to such person’s
  313  qualifications for a position of special trust.
  314         2. Use the criminal records, private investigator findings,
  315  or information from reference checks obtained under this section
  316  or information obtained from such records or findings, or to
  317  release such information or records to any person, for purposes
  318  other than screening for employment.
  319         (8) CAMPUS POLICE.—
  320         (a) The Board of Trustees for the Florida Vocational
  321  College is permitted and empowered to employ police officers for
  322  the school. Such officers must be designated Florida Vocational
  323  College campus police.
  324         (b) Each Florida Vocational College campus police officer
  325  is a law enforcement officer of the state and a conservator of
  326  the peace who has the authority to arrest, in accordance with
  327  the laws of this state, any person for a violation of state law
  328  or any applicable county or municipal ordinance if that
  329  violation occurs on or in any property or facility of the
  330  school. A campus police officer may also arrest a person off
  331  campus for a violation committed on campus after a hot pursuit
  332  of that person that began on campus. A campus police officer
  333  shall have full authority to bear arms in the performance of the
  334  officer’s duties and carry out a search pursuant to a search
  335  warrant on the campus. The Florida Vocational College campus
  336  police, upon request of the sheriff or local police authority,
  337  may serve subpoenas or other legal process and may make arrests
  338  of persons against whom arrest warrants have been issued or
  339  against whom charges have been made for violations of federal or
  340  state laws or county or municipal ordinances. Campus police
  341  officers may enforce traffic laws within the boundaries of the
  342  campus in accordance with chapter 316, Florida Statutes.
  343         (c) The campus police shall promptly deliver any person
  344  arrested and charged with a felony to the sheriff of the county
  345  in which the school is located and any person arrested and
  346  charged with a misdemeanor to the applicable authority as
  347  provided by law or to the sheriff of the county in which the
  348  school is located.
  349         (d) The campus police must meet the minimum standards
  350  established by the Criminal Justice Standards and Training
  351  Commission of the Department of Law Enforcement and chapter 943,
  352  Florida Statutes, for law enforcement officers. Each campus
  353  police officer must, before entering into the performance of the
  354  officer’s duties, take the oath of office established by the
  355  board of trustees. The board of trustees must provide a uniform
  356  set of identifying credentials to each campus police officer it
  357  employs.
  358         (e) In performance of any of the powers, duties, or
  359  functions authorized by law, campus police have the same rights,
  360  protections, and immunities afforded other law enforcement
  361  officers.
  362         (f) The board of trustees shall adopt rules, including,
  363  without limitation, rules for the appointment, employment, and
  364  removal of campus police in accordance with the State Career
  365  Service System and shall establish in writing a policy manual
  366  that includes, without limitation, procedures for managing
  367  routine law enforcement situations and emergency law enforcement
  368  situations. The board of trustees shall furnish a copy of the
  369  policy manual to each campus police officer it employs. A campus
  370  police officer employed by the board of trustees must have
  371  completed the training required by the school in the special
  372  needs of and proper procedures for dealing with students served
  373  by the school.
  375         (a) The school shall prepare an annual report of statistics
  376  of crimes committed on its campus and shall submit the report to
  377  the board of trustees and the Commissioner of Education. The
  378  data for the report may be taken from the annual report of the
  379  Department of Law Enforcement. The board of trustees shall
  380  prescribe the form for submission of the report.
  381         (b) The school shall prepare an annual report of statistics
  382  of crimes committed on its campus for the preceding 3 years. The
  383  school shall give students and prospective students notice that
  384  this report is available upon request.
  385         Section 2. Subsection (5) is added to section 1000.04,
  386  Florida Statutes, to read:
  387         1000.04 Components for the delivery of public education
  388  within the Florida K-20 education system.—Florida’s K-20
  389  education system provides for the delivery of public education
  390  through publicly supported and controlled K-12 schools,
  391  community colleges, state universities and other postsecondary
  392  educational institutions, other educational institutions, and
  393  other educational services as provided or authorized by the
  394  Constitution and laws of the state.
  395         (5) FLORIDA VOCATIONAL COLLEGE.—The Florida Vocational
  396  College is a component of the delivery of public education
  397  within Florida’s K-20 education system.
  398         Section 3. Paragraph (e) of subsection (4) of section
  399  1001.20, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  400         1001.20 Department under direction of state board.—
  401         (4) The Department of Education shall establish the
  402  following offices within the Office of the Commissioner of
  403  Education which shall coordinate their activities with all other
  404  divisions and offices:
  405         (e) Office of Inspector General.—Organized using existing
  406  resources and funds and responsible for promoting
  407  accountability, efficiency, and effectiveness and detecting
  408  fraud and abuse within school districts, the Florida School for
  409  the Deaf and the Blind, the Florida Vocational College, and
  410  community colleges in Florida. If the Commissioner of Education
  411  determines that a district school board, the Board of Trustees
  412  for the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind, the Board of
  413  Trustees for the Florida Vocational College, or a community
  414  college board of trustees is unwilling or unable to address
  415  substantiated allegations made by any person relating to waste,
  416  fraud, or financial mismanagement within the school district,
  417  the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind, the Florida
  418  Vocational College, or the community college, the office shall
  419  conduct, coordinate, or request investigations into such
  420  substantiated allegations. The office shall have access to all
  421  information and personnel necessary to perform its duties and
  422  shall have all of its current powers, duties, and
  423  responsibilities authorized in s. 20.055.
  424         Section 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2010.

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