Senate Bill 2986

Senate Bill sb2986c1

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    By the Committee on Education; and Senator Constantine





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  1                      A bill to be entitled

  2         An act relating to education personnel;

  3         amending s. 943.0585, F.S.; providing for the

  4         expunging of criminal history records of

  5         applicants for employment at certain schools;

  6         amending s. 943.059, F.S.; providing an

  7         exception to sealed records provisions for

  8         applicants for employment at certain schools;

  9         amending s. 1002.33, F.S.; requiring charter

10         school employees and governing board members to

11         undergo background screening; amending s.

12         1004.04, F.S.; revising certain criteria for

13         admission to approved teacher preparation

14         programs; requiring a certification ombudsman;

15         authorizing certain postsecondary institutions

16         to develop and implement short-term teacher

17         assistant experiences; creating s. 1004.85,

18         F.S.; providing a definition; providing for

19         postsecondary institutions to create educator

20         preparation institutes; providing purpose of

21         the institutes; authorizing institutes to offer

22         alternative educator certification programs;

23         requiring Department of Education response to a

24         request for approval; providing criteria for

25         alternative certification programs; providing

26         requirements for program participants;

27         providing for participants to receive a

28         credential signifying mastery of professional

29         preparation and education competence;

30         authorizing school districts to use an

31         alternative certification program at an

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 1         educator preparation institute to satisfy

 2         certain requirements; requiring performance

 3         evaluations; requiring certain criteria for

 4         instructors; providing rulemaking authority;

 5         amending s. 1012.05, F.S.; requiring guidelines

 6         for teacher mentors; requiring electronic

 7         access to professional resources for teachers;

 8         creating an Education Appreciation Week;

 9         requiring action by the Commissioner of

10         Education in helping teachers meet high-quality

11         teacher criteria; amending s. 1012.32, F.S.;

12         requiring background screening for contractual

13         personnel, charter school personnel, and

14         certain instructional and noninstructional

15         personnel; deleting provision for probationary

16         status for new employees pending fingerprint

17         processing; prohibiting certain persons from

18         providing services; providing for appeals;

19         providing for payment of costs; deleting a

20         refingerprinting requirement; requiring the

21         Department of Law Enforcement to retain and

22         enter fingerprints into the statewide automated

23         fingerprint identification system; requiring

24         the Department of Law Enforcement to search

25         arrest fingerprint cards against retained

26         fingerprints and to report identified arrest

27         records; providing school district

28         responsibilities and the imposition of a fee;

29         requiring refingerprinting for personnel whose

30         fingerprints are not retained; amending s.

31         1012.35, F.S.; providing employment and

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 1         training requirements for substitute teachers;

 2         amending s. 1012.39, F.S.; providing employment

 3         criteria for substitute teachers; creating s.

 4         1012.465, F.S.; requiring background screening

 5         for certain noninstructional personnel and

 6         contractors with the school district; requiring

 7         such persons to report conviction of a

 8         disqualifying offense; providing for suspension

 9         of personnel who do not meet screening

10         requirements; amending s. 1012.55, F.S.;

11         providing departmental duties relating to

12         identification of appropriate certification for

13         certain instruction; requiring background

14         screening for certain instructors; amending s.

15         1012.56, F.S.; providing for the issuance of

16         renewal instructions and temporary

17         certificates; clarifying circumstances for

18         issuance of a status of eligibility statement;

19         authorizing the filing of an affidavit with the

20         application for a certificate; requiring

21         background screening for educator

22         certification; providing background screening

23         requirements; requiring reporting of

24         disqualifying offenses; providing for

25         suspension from a position and suspension or

26         revocation of certification; creating s.

27         1012.561, F.S.; requiring certified educators

28         and applicants for certification to maintain a

29         current address with the Department of

30         Education; amending s. 1012.57, F.S.; adding a

31         cross-reference to the background screening

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 1         requirements; amending s. 1012.585, F.S.;

 2         requiring training in the teaching of reading

 3         for certified personnel who teach students who

 4         have limited English proficiency; amending s.

 5         1012.79, F.S.; reducing the membership of

 6         Education Practice Commission review panels;

 7         amending s. 1012.795, F.S.; increasing the

 8         discipline options available to the Education

 9         Practices Commission; amending s. 1012.796,

10         F.S.; revising the procedures for investigating

11         complaints against certified personnel;

12         providing the conditions of probation; amending

13         s. 1012.798, F.S.; revising procedures for

14         accessing the recovery network program;

15         providing an effective date.

16  

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

18  

19         Section 1.  Subsection (4) of section 943.0585, Florida

20  Statutes, is amended to read:

21         943.0585  Court-ordered expunction of criminal history

22  records.--The courts of this state have jurisdiction over

23  their own procedures, including the maintenance, expunction,

24  and correction of judicial records containing criminal history

25  information to the extent such procedures are not inconsistent

26  with the conditions, responsibilities, and duties established

27  by this section. Any court of competent jurisdiction may order

28  a criminal justice agency to expunge the criminal history

29  record of a minor or an adult who complies with the

30  requirements of this section. The court shall not order a

31  criminal justice agency to expunge a criminal history record

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 1  until the person seeking to expunge a criminal history record

 2  has applied for and received a certificate of eligibility for

 3  expunction pursuant to subsection (2). A criminal history

 4  record that relates to a violation of s. 787.025, chapter 794,

 5  s. 796.03, s. 800.04, s. 817.034, s. 825.1025, s. 827.071,

 6  chapter 839, s. 847.0133, s. 847.0135, s. 847.0145, s.

 7  893.135, or a violation enumerated in s. 907.041 may not be

 8  expunged, without regard to whether adjudication was withheld,

 9  if the defendant was found guilty of or pled guilty or nolo

10  contendere to the offense, or if the defendant, as a minor,

11  was found to have committed, or pled guilty or nolo contendere

12  to committing, the offense as a delinquent act. The court may

13  only order expunction of a criminal history record pertaining

14  to one arrest or one incident of alleged criminal activity,

15  except as provided in this section. The court may, at its sole

16  discretion, order the expunction of a criminal history record

17  pertaining to more than one arrest if the additional arrests

18  directly relate to the original arrest. If the court intends

19  to order the expunction of records pertaining to such

20  additional arrests, such intent must be specified in the

21  order. A criminal justice agency may not expunge any record

22  pertaining to such additional arrests if the order to expunge

23  does not articulate the intention of the court to expunge a

24  record pertaining to more than one arrest. This section does

25  not prevent the court from ordering the expunction of only a

26  portion of a criminal history record pertaining to one arrest

27  or one incident of alleged criminal activity. Notwithstanding

28  any law to the contrary, a criminal justice agency may comply

29  with laws, court orders, and official requests of other

30  jurisdictions relating to expunction, correction, or

31  confidential handling of criminal history records or

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 1  information derived therefrom. This section does not confer

 2  any right to the expunction of any criminal history record,

 3  and any request for expunction of a criminal history record

 4  may be denied at the sole discretion of the court.

 5         (4)  EFFECT OF CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD EXPUNCTION.--Any

 6  criminal history record of a minor or an adult which is

 7  ordered expunged by a court of competent jurisdiction pursuant

 8  to this section must be physically destroyed or obliterated by

 9  any criminal justice agency having custody of such record;

10  except that any criminal history record in the custody of the

11  department must be retained in all cases. A criminal history

12  record ordered expunged that is retained by the department is

13  confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1)

14  and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution and not

15  available to any person or entity except upon order of a court

16  of competent jurisdiction. A criminal justice agency may

17  retain a notation indicating compliance with an order to

18  expunge.

19         (a)  The person who is the subject of a criminal

20  history record that is expunged under this section or under

21  other provisions of law, including former s. 893.14, former s.

22  901.33, and former s. 943.058, may lawfully deny or fail to

23  acknowledge the arrests covered by the expunged record, except

24  when the subject of the record:

25         1.  Is a candidate for employment with a criminal

26  justice agency;

27         2.  Is a defendant in a criminal prosecution;

28         3.  Concurrently or subsequently petitions for relief

29  under this section or s. 943.059;

30         4.  Is a candidate for admission to The Florida Bar;

31  

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 1         5.  Is seeking to be employed or licensed by or to

 2  contract with the Department of Children and Family Services

 3  or the Department of Juvenile Justice or to be employed or

 4  used by such contractor or licensee in a sensitive position

 5  having direct contact with children, the developmentally

 6  disabled, the aged, or the elderly as provided in s.

 7  110.1127(3), s. 393.063(15), s. 394.4572(1), s. 397.451, s.

 8  402.302(3), s. 402.313(3), s. 409.175(2)(i), s. 415.102(4), s.

 9  985.407, or chapter 400; or

10         6.  Is seeking to be employed or licensed by the Office

11  of Teacher Education, Certification, Staff Development, and

12  Professional Practices of the Department of Education, any

13  district school board, any university laboratory school, any

14  charter school, any private or parochial school, or any local

15  governmental entity that licenses child care facilities.

16         (b)  Subject to the exceptions in paragraph (a), a

17  person who has been granted an expunction under this section,

18  former s. 893.14, former s. 901.33, or former s. 943.058 may

19  not be held under any provision of law of this state to commit

20  perjury or to be otherwise liable for giving a false statement

21  by reason of such person's failure to recite or acknowledge an

22  expunged criminal history record.

23         (c)  Information relating to the existence of an

24  expunged criminal history record which is provided in

25  accordance with paragraph (a) is confidential and exempt from

26  the provisions of s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the

27  State Constitution, except that the department shall disclose

28  the existence of a criminal history record ordered expunged to

29  the entities set forth in subparagraphs (a)1., 4., 5., and 6.

30  for their respective licensing and employment purposes, and to

31  criminal justice agencies for their respective criminal

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 1  justice purposes. It is unlawful for any employee of an entity

 2  set forth in subparagraph (a)1., subparagraph (a)4.,

 3  subparagraph (a)5., or subparagraph (a)6. to disclose

 4  information relating to the existence of an expunged criminal

 5  history record of a person seeking employment or licensure

 6  with such entity or contractor, except to the person to whom

 7  the criminal history record relates or to persons having

 8  direct responsibility for employment or licensure decisions.

 9  Any person who violates this paragraph commits a misdemeanor

10  of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or

11  s. 775.083.

12         Section 2.  Subsection (4) of section 943.059, Florida

13  Statutes, is amended to read:

14         943.059  Court-ordered sealing of criminal history

15  records.--The courts of this state shall continue to have

16  jurisdiction over their own procedures, including the

17  maintenance, sealing, and correction of judicial records

18  containing criminal history information to the extent such

19  procedures are not inconsistent with the conditions,

20  responsibilities, and duties established by this section. Any

21  court of competent jurisdiction may order a criminal justice

22  agency to seal the criminal history record of a minor or an

23  adult who complies with the requirements of this section. The

24  court shall not order a criminal justice agency to seal a

25  criminal history record until the person seeking to seal a

26  criminal history record has applied for and received a

27  certificate of eligibility for sealing pursuant to subsection

28  (2). A criminal history record that relates to a violation of

29  s. 787.025, chapter 794, s. 796.03, s. 800.04, s. 817.034, s.

30  825.1025, s. 827.071, chapter 839, s. 847.0133, s. 847.0135,

31  s. 847.0145, s. 893.135, or a violation enumerated in s.

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 1  907.041 may not be sealed, without regard to whether

 2  adjudication was withheld, if the defendant was found guilty

 3  of or pled guilty or nolo contendere to the offense, or if the

 4  defendant, as a minor, was found to have committed or pled

 5  guilty or nolo contendere to committing the offense as a

 6  delinquent act. The court may only order sealing of a criminal

 7  history record pertaining to one arrest or one incident of

 8  alleged criminal activity, except as provided in this section.

 9  The court may, at its sole discretion, order the sealing of a

10  criminal history record pertaining to more than one arrest if

11  the additional arrests directly relate to the original arrest.

12  If the court intends to order the sealing of records

13  pertaining to such additional arrests, such intent must be

14  specified in the order. A criminal justice agency may not seal

15  any record pertaining to such additional arrests if the order

16  to seal does not articulate the intention of the court to seal

17  records pertaining to more than one arrest. This section does

18  not prevent the court from ordering the sealing of only a

19  portion of a criminal history record pertaining to one arrest

20  or one incident of alleged criminal activity. Notwithstanding

21  any law to the contrary, a criminal justice agency may comply

22  with laws, court orders, and official requests of other

23  jurisdictions relating to sealing, correction, or confidential

24  handling of criminal history records or information derived

25  therefrom. This section does not confer any right to the

26  sealing of any criminal history record, and any request for

27  sealing a criminal history record may be denied at the sole

28  discretion of the court.

29         (4)  EFFECT OF CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD SEALING.--A

30  criminal history record of a minor or an adult which is

31  ordered sealed by a court of competent jurisdiction pursuant

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 1  to this section is confidential and exempt from the provisions

 2  of s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution

 3  and is available only to the person who is the subject of the

 4  record, to the subject's attorney, to criminal justice

 5  agencies for their respective criminal justice purposes, or to

 6  those entities set forth in subparagraphs (a)1., 4., 5., and

 7  6. for their respective licensing and employment purposes.

 8         (a)  The subject of a criminal history record sealed

 9  under this section or under other provisions of law, including

10  former s. 893.14, former s. 901.33, and former s. 943.058, may

11  lawfully deny or fail to acknowledge the arrests covered by

12  the sealed record, except when the subject of the record:

13         1.  Is a candidate for employment with a criminal

14  justice agency;

15         2.  Is a defendant in a criminal prosecution;

16         3.  Concurrently or subsequently petitions for relief

17  under this section or s. 943.0585;

18         4.  Is a candidate for admission to The Florida Bar;

19         5.  Is seeking to be employed or licensed by or to

20  contract with the Department of Children and Family Services

21  or the Department of Juvenile Justice or to be employed or

22  used by such contractor or licensee in a sensitive position

23  having direct contact with children, the developmentally

24  disabled, the aged, or the elderly as provided in s.

25  110.1127(3), s. 393.063(15), s. 394.4572(1), s. 397.451, s.

26  402.302(3), s. 402.313(3), s. 409.175(2)(i), s. 415.102(4), s.

27  415.103, s. 985.407, or chapter 400; or

28         6.  Is seeking to be employed or licensed by the Office

29  of Teacher Education, Certification, Staff Development, and

30  Professional Practices of the Department of Education, any

31  district school board, any university laboratory school, any

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 1  charter school, any private or parochial school, or any local

 2  governmental entity that which licenses child care facilities.

 3         (b)  Subject to the exceptions in paragraph (a), a

 4  person who has been granted a sealing under this section,

 5  former s. 893.14, former s. 901.33, or former s. 943.058 may

 6  not be held under any provision of law of this state to commit

 7  perjury or to be otherwise liable for giving a false statement

 8  by reason of such person's failure to recite or acknowledge a

 9  sealed criminal history record.

10         (c)  Information relating to the existence of a sealed

11  criminal record provided in accordance with the provisions of

12  paragraph (a) is confidential and exempt from the provisions

13  of s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State

14  Constitution, except that the department shall disclose the

15  sealed criminal history record to the entities set forth in

16  subparagraphs (a)1., 4., 5., and 6. for their respective

17  licensing and employment purposes. It is unlawful for any

18  employee of an entity set forth in subparagraph (a)1.,

19  subparagraph (a)4., subparagraph (a)5., or subparagraph (a)6.

20  to disclose information relating to the existence of a sealed

21  criminal history record of a person seeking employment or

22  licensure with such entity or contractor, except to the person

23  to whom the criminal history record relates or to persons

24  having direct responsibility for employment or licensure

25  decisions. Any person who violates the provisions of this

26  paragraph commits a misdemeanor of the first degree,

27  punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

28         Section 3.  Paragraph (g) of subsection (12) of section

29  1002.33, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

30         1002.33  Charter schools.--

31         (12)  EMPLOYEES OF CHARTER SCHOOLS.--

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

 2  employees who have undergone background screening been

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

 4  governing board of the charter school shall also undergo

 5  background screening be fingerprinted in a manner similar to

 6  that provided in s. 1012.32.

 7         Section 4.  Subsection (4) of section 1004.04, Florida

 8  Statutes, is amended, subsections (10), (11), and (12) are

 9  renumbered as subsections (11), (12), and (13), respectively,

10  and a new subsection (10) is added to that section, to read:

11         1004.04  Public accountability and state approval for

12  teacher preparation programs.--

13         (4)  INITIAL STATE PROGRAM APPROVAL.--

14         (a)  A program approval process based on standards

15  adopted pursuant to subsections (2) and (3) must be

16  established for postsecondary teacher preparation programs,

17  phased in according to timelines determined by the Department

18  of Education, and fully implemented for all teacher

19  preparation programs in the state. Each program shall be

20  approved by the department, consistent with the intent set

21  forth in subsection (1) and based primarily upon significant,

22  objective, and quantifiable graduate performance measures.

23         (b)  Each teacher preparation program approved by the

24  Department of Education, as provided for by this section,

25  shall require students to meet the following as prerequisites

26  for admission into the program:

27         1.  Have a grade point average of at least 2.5 on a 4.0

28  scale for the general education component of undergraduate

29  studies or have completed the requirements for a baccalaureate

30  degree with a minimum grade point average of 2.5 on a 4.0

31  scale from any college or university accredited by a regional

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 1  accrediting association as defined by State Board of Education

 2  rule or any college or university otherwise approved pursuant

 3  to State Board of Education rule.

 4         2.  Demonstrate mastery of general knowledge, including

 5  the ability to read, write, and compute, by passing the

 6  General Knowledge Test of the Florida Teacher Certification

 7  Examination, the College Level Academic Skills Test, a

 8  corresponding component of the National Teachers Examination

 9  series, or a similar test pursuant to rules of the State Board

10  of Education.

11  

12  Each teacher preparation program may waive these admissions

13  requirements for up to 10 percent of the students admitted.

14  Programs shall implement strategies to ensure that students

15  admitted under a waiver receive assistance to demonstrate

16  competencies to successfully meet requirements for

17  certification.

18         (c)  Each teacher preparation program approved by the

19  Department of Education, as provided for by this section,

20  shall provide a certification ombudsman to facilitate the

21  process and procedures required for graduates to obtain

22  educator professional or temporary certification pursuant to

23  s. 1012.56.

24         (10)  SHORT-TERM EXPERIENCES AS TEACHER

25  ASSISTANTS.--Postsecondary institutions offering teacher

26  preparation programs and community colleges, in collaboration

27  with school districts, may develop and implement a program to

28  provide short-term experiences as teacher assistants prior to

29  beginning a teacher preparation program or alternative

30  certification program. The program shall serve individuals

31  with baccalaureate degrees who are interested in the teaching

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 1  profession. This experience may be accepted for use in teacher

 2  preparation programs and competency-based alternative

 3  certification programs, where applicable.

 4         Section 5.  Section 1004.85, Florida Statutes, is

 5  created to read:

 6         1004.85  Postsecondary educator preparation

 7  institutes.--

 8         (1)  As used in this section, "educator preparation

 9  institute" means an institute created by a postsecondary

10  institution and approved by the Department of Education.

11         (2)  Postsecondary institutions that are accredited or

12  approved as described in state board rule may seek approval

13  from the Department of Education to create educator

14  preparation institutes for the purpose of providing any or all

15  of the following:

16         (a)  Professional development instruction to assist

17  teachers in improving classroom instruction and in meeting

18  certification or recertification requirements.

19         (b)  Instruction to assist potential and existing

20  substitute teachers in performing their duties.

21         (c)  Instruction to assist paraprofessionals in meeting

22  education and training requirements.

23         (d)  Instruction for baccalaureate degree holders to

24  become certified teachers as provided in this section in order

25  to increase routes to the classroom for mid-career

26  professionals who hold a baccalaureate degree and college

27  graduates who were not education majors.

28         (3)  Educator preparation institutes approved pursuant

29  to this section may offer alternative certification programs

30  specifically designed for noneducation major baccalaureate

31  degree holders to enable program participants to meet the

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 1  educator certification requirements of s. 1012.56. Such

 2  programs shall be competency-based educator certification

 3  preparation programs that prepare educators through an

 4  alternative route. An educator preparation institute choosing

 5  to offer an alternative certification program pursuant to the

 6  provisions of this section must implement a program previously

 7  approved by the Department of Education for this purpose or a

 8  program developed by the institute and approved by the

 9  department for this purpose. Approved programs shall be

10  available for use by other approved educator preparation

11  institutes.

12         (a)  Within 90 days after receipt of a request for

13  approval, the Department of Education shall approve an

14  alternative certification program or issue a statement of the

15  deficiencies in the request for approval. The department shall

16  approve an alternative certification program if the institute

17  provides sufficient evidence of the following:

18         1.  Instruction must be provided in professional

19  knowledge and subject matter content that includes

20  educator-accomplished practices and competencies specified in

21  State Board of Education rule and meets subject matter content

22  requirements, professional competency testing requirements,

23  and competencies associated with teaching scientifically based

24  reading instruction and strategies that research has shown to

25  be successful in improving reading among low-performing

26  readers.

27         2.  The program must provide field experience with

28  supervision from qualified educators.

29         3.  The program must provide a certification ombudsman

30  to facilitate the process and procedures required for

31  participants who complete the program to meet any requirements

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 1  related to the background screening pursuant to s. 1012.32 and

 2  educator professional or temporary certification pursuant to

 3  s. 1012.56.

 4         (b)  Each program participant must:

 5         1.  Meet certification requirements pursuant to s.

 6  1012.56(1) by obtaining a statement of status of eligibility

 7  and meet the requirements of s. 1012.56(2)(a)-(f).

 8         2.  Participate in field experience that is appropriate

 9  to his or her educational plan.

10         3.  Fully demonstrate his or her ability to teach the

11  subject area for which he or she is seeking certification and

12  demonstrate mastery of professional preparation and education

13  competence by achievement of a passing score on the

14  professional education competency examination required by

15  state board rule prior to completion of the program.

16         (c)  Upon completion of an alternative certification

17  program approved pursuant to this subsection, a participant

18  shall receive a credential from the sponsoring institution

19  signifying satisfaction of the requirements of s. 1012.56(5)

20  relating to mastery of professional preparation and education

21  competence. A participant shall be eligible for educator

22  certification through the Department of Education upon

23  satisfaction of all requirements for certification set forth

24  in s. 1012.56(2), including demonstration of mastery of

25  general knowledge, subject area knowledge, and professional

26  preparation and education competence, through testing or other

27  statutorily authorized means.

28         (d)  If an institution offers an alternative

29  certification program approved pursuant to this subsection,

30  such program may be used by the school district or districts

31  

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 1  served by that institution in addition to the alternative

 2  certification program as required in s. 1012.56(7).

 3         (4)  Each institute approved pursuant to this section

 4  shall submit to the Department of Education annual performance

 5  evaluations that measure the effectiveness of the programs,

 6  including the pass rates of participants on all examinations

 7  required for teacher certification, employment rates,

 8  longitudinal retention rates, and employer satisfaction

 9  surveys. The employer satisfaction surveys must be designed to

10  measure the sufficient preparation of the educator to enter

11  the classroom. These evaluations shall be used by the

12  Department of Education for purposes of continued approval of

13  an educator preparation institute's alternative certification

14  program.

15         (5)  Instructors for an alternative certification

16  program approved pursuant to this section must possess a

17  master's degree in education or a master's degree in an

18  appropriate related field and document teaching experience.

19         (6)  Educator preparation institutes approved pursuant

20  to this section and providing approved instructional programs

21  for any of the purposes in subsection (2) are eligible for

22  funding from federal and state funds, as appropriated by the

23  Legislature.

24         (7)  The State Board of Education may adopt rules

25  pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement the

26  provisions of this section.

27         Section 6.  Section 1012.05, Florida Statutes, is

28  amended to read:

29         1012.05  Teacher recruitment and retention.--

30         (1)  The Department of Education, in cooperation with

31  teacher organizations, district personnel offices, and

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 1  schools, colleges, and departments of all public and nonpublic

 2  postsecondary educational institutions, shall concentrate on

 3  the recruitment and retention of qualified teachers.

 4         (2)  The Department of Education shall:

 5         (a)  Develop and implement a system for posting

 6  teaching vacancies and establish a database of teacher

 7  applicants that is accessible within and outside the state.

 8         (b)  Advertise in major newspapers, national

 9  professional publications, and other professional publications

10  and in public and nonpublic postsecondary educational

11  institutions.

12         (c)  Utilize state and nationwide toll-free numbers.

13         (d)  Conduct periodic communications with district

14  personnel directors regarding applicants.

15         (e)  Provide district access to the applicant database

16  by computer or telephone.

17         (f)  Develop and distribute promotional materials

18  related to teaching as a career.

19         (g)  Publish and distribute information pertaining to

20  employment opportunities, application procedures, and all

21  routes toward teacher certification in Florida, and teacher

22  salaries.

23         (h)  Provide information related to certification

24  procedures.

25         (i)  Develop and sponsor the Florida Future Educator of

26  America Program throughout the state.

27         (j)  Develop, in consultation with school district

28  staff including, but not limited to, district school

29  superintendents, district school board members, and district

30  human resources personnel, a long-range plan for educator

31  recruitment and retention.

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 1         (k)  Identify best practices for retaining high-quality

 2  teachers.

 3         (l)  Develop, in consultation with Workforce Florida,

 4  Inc., and the Agency for Workforce Innovation, created

 5  pursuant to ss. 445.004 and 20.50, respectively, a plan for

 6  accessing and identifying available resources in the state's

 7  workforce system for the purpose of enhancing teacher

 8  recruitment and retention.

 9         (m)  Create guidelines and identify best practices for

10  the mentors of first-time teachers and for new teacher-support

11  programs that focus on the professional assistance needed by

12  first-time teachers throughout the first year of teaching. The

13  department shall consult with the Florida Center for Reading

14  Research and the Just Read, Florida! Office in developing the

15  guidelines.

16         (n)(m)  Develop and implement a First Response Center

17  to provide educator candidates one-stop shopping for

18  information on teaching careers in Florida and establish the

19  Teacher Lifeline Network to provide online support to

20  beginning teachers and those needing assistance.

21         (o)  Develop and implement an online Teacher Toolkit

22  that contains a menu of resources, based on the Sunshine State

23  Standards, that all teachers can use to enhance classroom

24  instruction and increase teacher effectiveness, thus resulting

25  in improved student achievement.

26         (p)  Establish a week designated as Educator

27  Appreciation Week to recognize the significant contributions

28  made by educators to their students and school communities.

29         (3)  Each school board shall adopt policies relating to

30  mentors and support for first-time teachers based upon

31  guidelines issued by the Department of Education.

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 1         (4)(3)  The Department of Education, in cooperation

 2  with district personnel offices, shall sponsor a job fair in a

 3  central part of the state to match in-state educators and

 4  potential educators and out-of-state educators and potential

 5  educators with teaching opportunities in this state.

 6         (5)(4)  Subject to proviso in the General

 7  Appropriations Act, the Commissioner of Education may use

 8  funds appropriated by the Legislature and funds from federal

 9  grants and other sources to provide incentives for teacher

10  recruitment and preparation programs. The purpose of the use

11  of such funds is to recruit and prepare individuals who do not

12  graduate from state-approved teacher preparation programs to

13  teach in a Florida public school. The commissioner may

14  contract with entities other than, and including, approved

15  teacher preparation programs to provide intensive teacher

16  training leading to passage of the required certification

17  exams for the desired subject area or coverage. The

18  commissioner shall survey school districts to evaluate the

19  effectiveness of such programs.

20         (6)  The Commissioner of Education shall take steps

21  that provide flexibility and consistency in meeting the

22  high-quality teacher criteria as defined in the No Child Left

23  Behind Act of 2001 through the high, objective, and uniform

24  state system of evaluation.

25         Section 7.  Section 1012.32, Florida Statutes, is

26  amended, to read:

27         1012.32  Qualifications of personnel.--

28         (1)  To be eligible for appointment in any position in

29  any district school system, a person shall be of good moral

30  character; shall have attained the age of 18 years, if he or

31  she is to be employed in an instructional capacity; and shall,

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 1  when required by law, hold a certificate or license issued

 2  under rules of the State Board of Education or the Department

 3  of Children and Family Services, except when employed pursuant

 4  to s. 1012.55 or under the emergency provisions of s. 1012.24.

 5  Previous residence in this state shall not be required in any

 6  school of the state as a prerequisite for any person holding a

 7  valid Florida certificate or license to serve in an

 8  instructional capacity.

 9         (2)(a)  Instructional and noninstructional personnel

10  who are hired or contracted to fill positions requiring direct

11  contact with students in any district school system or

12  university lab school shall, upon employment or engagement to

13  provide services, undergo background screening as required

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

15  a complete set of fingerprints taken by an authorized law

16  enforcement officer or an employee of the school or district

17  who is trained to take fingerprints.

18         (b)  Instructional and noninstructional personnel who

19  are hired or contracted to fill positions in any charter

20  school and members of the governing board of any charter

21  school, in compliance with s. 1002.33(12)(g), shall, upon

22  employment, engagement of services, or appointment, undergo

23  background screening as required under s. 1012.56 or s.

24  1012.465, whichever is applicable, by filing with the district

25  school board for the school district in which the charter

26  school is located a complete set of fingerprints taken by an

27  authorized law enforcement agency or an employee of the school

28  or school district who is trained to take fingerprints.

29         (c)  Instructional and noninstructional personnel who

30  are hired or contracted to fill positions requiring direct

31  contact with students in an alternative school that operates

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 1  under contract with a district school system shall, upon

 2  employment or engagement to provide services, undergo

 3  background screening as required under s. 1012.56 or s.

 4  1012.465, whichever is applicable, by filing with the district

 5  school board for the school district to which the alternative

 6  school is under contract a complete set of fingerprints taken

 7  by an authorized law enforcement agency or an employee of the

 8  school or school district who is trained to take fingerprints.

 9         (d)  Student teachers, persons participating in a

10  field  experience pursuant to s. 1004.04(6) or s. 1004.85, and

11  persons participating in a short-term experience as a teacher

12  assistant pursuant to s. 1004.04(10) in any district school

13  system, lab school, or charter school shall, upon engagement

14  to provide services, undergo background screening as required

15  under s. 1012.56.

16  

17  These Fingerprints shall be submitted to the Department of Law

18  Enforcement for state processing and to the Federal Bureau of

19  Investigation for federal processing. Persons subject to this

20  subsection The new employees shall be on probationary status

21  pending fingerprint processing and determination of compliance

22  with standards of good moral character. Employees found

23  through fingerprint processing to have been convicted of a

24  crime involving moral turpitude shall not be employed, engaged

25  to provide services, or serve in any position requiring direct

26  contact with students. Probationary persons subject to this

27  subsection employees terminated because of their criminal

28  record shall have the right to appeal such decisions. The cost

29  of the background screening fingerprint processing may be

30  borne by the district school board, the charter school, or the

31  

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 1  employee, the contractor, or a person subject to this

 2  subsection.

 3         (b) Personnel who have been fingerprinted or screened

 4  pursuant to this subsection and who have not been unemployed

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

 6  refingerprinted or rescreened in order to comply with the

 7  requirements of this subsection.

 8         (3)(a)  Beginning July 1, 2004, all fingerprints

 9  submitted to the Department of Law Enforcement as required by

10  subsection (2) shall be retained by the Department of Law

11  Enforcement in a manner provided by rule and entered in the

12  statewide automated fingerprint identification system

13  authorized by s. 943.05(2)(b). Such fingerprints shall

14  thereafter be available for all purposes and uses authorized

15  for arrest fingerprint cards entered in the statewide

16  automated fingerprint identification system pursuant to s.

17  943.051.

18         (b)  Beginning December 15, 2004, the Department of Law

19  Enforcement shall search all arrest fingerprint cards received

20  under s. 943.051 against the fingerprints retained in the

21  statewide automated fingerprint identification system under

22  paragraph (a). Any arrest record that is identified with the

23  retained fingerprints of a person subject to the background

24  screening under this section shall be reported to the

25  employing or contracting school district or the school

26  district with which the person is affiliated. Each school

27  district is required to participate in this search process by

28  payment of an annual fee to the Department of Law Enforcement

29  and by informing the Department of Law Enforcement of any

30  change in the affiliation, employment, or contractual status

31  or place of affiliation, employment, or contracting of its

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 1  instructional and noninstructional personnel whose

 2  fingerprints are retained under paragraph (a). The Department

 3  of Law Enforcement shall adopt a rule setting the amount of

 4  the annual fee to be imposed upon each school district for

 5  performing these searches and establishing the procedures for

 6  the retention of instructional and noninstructional personnel

 7  fingerprints and the dissemination of search results. The fee

 8  may be borne by the district school board, the contractor, or

 9  the person fingerprinted.

10         (c)  Personnel whose fingerprints are not retained by

11  the Department of Law Enforcement under paragraphs (a) and (b)

12  are required to be refingerprinted and must meet level 2

13  screening requirements as described in s. 435.04, upon

14  reemployment or reengagement to provide services, in order to

15  comply with the requirements of this subsection.

16         Section 8.  Section 1012.35, Florida Statutes, is

17  amended to read:

18         1012.35  Substitute teachers.--

19         (1)  Each district school board shall adopt rules

20  prescribing the compensation of, and the procedure for

21  employment of, substitute teachers.

22         (a)  The Such procedure for employment must shall

23  include, but is not limited to, the filing of a complete set

24  of fingerprints as required in s. 1012.32; documentation of a

25  minimum education level of a high school diploma or

26  equivalent; and completion of an initial orientation and

27  training program in district policies and procedures

28  addressing school safety and security procedures, educational

29  liability laws, professional responsibilities, and ethics.

30         (b)  Candidates who have no prior teaching experience,

31  as determined by the employing school district, must complete

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 1  an additional training program that includes classroom

 2  management skills and instructional strategies.

 3         (c)  The required training programs for substitute

 4  teachers may be provided by community colleges, colleges of

 5  education, district school boards, educational consortia, or

 6  commercial vendors.

 7         (d)  It is recommended that ongoing training and access

 8  to professional development offerings be made available to

 9  substitute teachers by the employing district.

10         (2)  The Department of Education shall develop

11  web-based resources to enhance district substitute orientation

12  programs.

13         (3)  Districts shall develop performance appraisal

14  measures for assessing the quality of instruction delivered by

15  substitutes who provide instruction for 30 or more days in a

16  single classroom placement.

17         Section 9.  Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section

18  1012.39, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

19         1012.39  Employment of substitute teachers, teachers of

20  adult education, nondegreed teachers of career education, and

21  career specialists; students performing clinical field

22  experience.--

23         (1)  Notwithstanding ss. 1012.32, 1012.55, 1012.56, and

24  1012.57, or any other provision of law or rule to the

25  contrary, each district school board shall establish the

26  minimal qualifications for:

27         (a)  Substitute teachers to be employed pursuant to s.

28  1012.35. The qualifications shall require the filing of a

29  complete set of fingerprints in the same manner as required by

30  s. 1012.32; documentation of a minimum education level of a

31  high school diploma or equivalent; and completion of an

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 1  initial orientation and training program in district policies

 2  and procedures addressing school safety and security

 3  procedures, educational liability laws, professional

 4  responsibilities, and ethics.

 5         Section 10.  Section 1012.465, Florida Statutes, is

 6  created to read:

 7         1012.465  Background screening requirements for certain

 8  noninstructional school district employees and contractors.--

 9         (1)  Noninstructional school district employees or

10  contractual personnel who have direct contact with students or

11  have access to or control of school funds must meet level 2

12  screening requirements as described in s. 435.04.

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

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

15  person who is so employed or under contract with the school

16  district must meet level 2 screening requirements as described

17  in s. 435.04, at which time the school district shall request

18  the Department of Law Enforcement to forward the fingerprints

19  to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the level 2

20  screening. If, for any reason following employment or entry

21  into a contract in a capacity described in subsection (1), the

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

23  with the school district are not retained by the Department of

24  Law Enforcement under s. 1012.32(3)(a) and (b), the person

25  must file a complete set of fingerprints with the district

26  school superintendent of the employing or contracting school

27  district. Upon submission of fingerprints for this purpose,

28  the school district shall request the Department of Law

29  Enforcement to forward the fingerprints to the Federal Bureau

30  of Investigation for the level 2 screening, and the

31  fingerprints shall be retained by the Department of Law

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 1  Enforcement under s. 1012.32(3)(a) and (b). The cost of the

 2  state and federal criminal history check required by level 2

 3  screening may be borne by the district school board, the

 4  contractor, or the person fingerprinted. Under penalty of

 5  perjury, each person who is employed or under contract in a

 6  capacity described in subsection (1) must agree to inform his

 7  or her employer or the party with whom he or she is under

 8  contract within 48 hours if convicted of any disqualifying

 9  offense while he or she is employed or under contract in that

10  capacity.

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

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

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

14  immediately suspended from working in that capacity and shall

15  remain suspended until final resolution of any appeals.

16         Section 11.  Subsections (1) and (4) of section

17  1012.55, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

18         1012.55  Positions for which certificates required.--

19         (1)  The State Board of Education shall classify school

20  services, designate the certification subject areas, establish

21  competencies, including the use of technology to enhance

22  student learning, and certification requirements for all

23  school-based personnel, and adopt rules in accordance with

24  which the professional, temporary, and part-time certificates

25  shall be issued by the Department of Education to applicants

26  who meet the standards prescribed by such rules for their

27  class of service. Each person employed or occupying a position

28  as school supervisor, school principal, teacher, library media

29  specialist, school counselor, athletic coach, or other

30  position in which the employee serves in an instructional

31  capacity, in any public school of any district of this state

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 1  shall hold the certificate required by law and by rules of the

 2  State Board of Education in fulfilling the requirements of the

 3  law for the type of service rendered. The Department of

 4  Education shall identify appropriate educator certification

 5  for the instruction of specified courses in an annual

 6  publication of a directory of course code numbers for all

 7  programs and courses that are funded through the Florida

 8  Education Finance Program. However, the state board shall

 9  adopt rules authorizing district school boards to employ

10  selected noncertificated personnel to provide instructional

11  services in the individuals' fields of specialty or to assist

12  instructional staff members as education paraprofessionals.

13         (4)  A commissioned or noncommissioned military officer

14  who is an instructor of junior reserve officer training shall

15  be exempt from requirements for teacher certification, except

16  for the background screening filing of fingerprints pursuant

17  to s. 1012.32, if he or she meets the following

18  qualifications:

19         (a)  Is retired from active military duty, pursuant to

20  chapter 102 of Title 10, U.S.C.

21         (b)  Satisfies criteria established by the appropriate

22  military service for certification by the service as a junior

23  reserve officer training instructor.

24         (c)  Has an exemplary military record.

25  

26  If such instructor is assigned instructional duties other than

27  junior reserve officer training, he or she shall hold the

28  certificate required by law and rules of the state board for

29  the type of service rendered.

30         Section 12.  Subsection (1) and paragraphs (b) and (d)

31  of subsection (2) of section 1012.56, Florida Statutes, are

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 1  amended, present subsections (9) through (15) of that section

 2  are renumbered as subsections (10) through (16), respectively,

 3  and a new subsection (9) is added to that section, to read:

 4         1012.56  Educator certification requirements.--

 5         (1)  APPLICATION.--Each person seeking certification

 6  pursuant to this chapter shall submit a completed application

 7  containing the applicant's social security number to the

 8  Department of Education and remit the fee required pursuant to

 9  s. 1012.59 and rules of the State Board of Education. Pursuant

10  to the federal Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity

11  Reconciliation Act of 1996, each party is required to provide

12  his or her social security number in accordance with this

13  section. Disclosure of social security numbers obtained

14  through this requirement is limited to the purpose of

15  administration of the Title IV-D program of the Social

16  Security Act for child support enforcement. Pursuant to s.

17  120.60, the department shall issue within 90 calendar days

18  after the stamped receipted date of the completed application:

19         (a)  If the applicant meets the requirements, a

20  professional certificate covering the classification, level,

21  and area for which the applicant is deemed qualified and a

22  document explaining the requirements for renewal of the

23  professional certificate; or

24         (b)  If the applicant meets the requirements and if

25  requested by an employing school district or an employing

26  private school with a professional education competence

27  demonstration program pursuant to paragraphs (5)(f) and

28  (7)(b), a temporary certificate covering the classification,

29  level, and area for which the applicant is deemed qualified

30  and an official statement of status of eligibility; or

31  

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 1         (c)(b)  If an applicant does not meet the requirements

 2  for either certificate, an official statement of status of

 3  eligibility.

 4  

 5  The statement of status of eligibility must advise the

 6  applicant of any qualifications that must be completed to

 7  qualify for certification. Each statement of status of

 8  eligibility is valid for 3 years after its date of issuance,

 9  except as provided in paragraph (2)(d).

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

11  certification, a person must:

12         (b)  File an affidavit a written statement, under oath,

13  that the applicant subscribes to and will uphold the

14  principles incorporated in the Constitution of the United

15  States and the Constitution of the State of Florida and that

16  the information provided in the application is true, accurate,

17  and complete. The affidavit shall be by original signature or

18  by electronic authentication. The affidavit shall include

19  substantially the following warning:

20  

21  WARNING: Giving false information in order to obtain or renew

22  a Florida educator's certificate is a criminal offense under

23  Florida law. Anyone giving false information on this affidavit

24  is subject to criminal prosecution as well as disciplinary

25  action by the Education Practices Commission.

26         (d)  Submit to background screening in accordance with

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

28  Enforcement and the Federal Bureau of Investigation pursuant

29  to s. 1012.32. If the background screening indicates

30  fingerprint reports indicate a criminal history or if the

31  applicant acknowledges a criminal history, the applicant's

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 1  records shall be referred to the investigative section in the

 2  Department of Education Bureau of Educator Standards for

 3  review and determination of eligibility for certification. If

 4  the applicant fails to provide the necessary documentation

 5  requested by the department Bureau of Educator Standards

 6  within 90 days after the date of the receipt of the certified

 7  mail request, the statement of eligibility and pending

 8  application shall become invalid.

 9         (9)  BACKGROUND SCREENING REQUIRED, INITIALLY AND

10  PERIODICALLY.--

11         (a)  Each person who seeks certification under this

12  chapter must meet level 2 screening requirements as described

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

14  a district school board or the Department of Education within

15  12 months before the date the person initially obtains

16  certification under this chapter, the results of which are

17  submitted to the district school board or to the Department of

18  Education.

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

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

21  results have been submitted to the Department of Education or

22  to the district school superintendent of the school district

23  that employs the person. Every 5 years after obtaining initial

24  certification, each person who is required to be certified

25  under this chapter must meet level 2 screening requirements as

26  described in s. 435.04, at which time the school district

27  shall request the Department of Law Enforcement to forward the

28  fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the

29  level 2 screening. If, for any reason after obtaining initial

30  certification, the fingerprints of a person who is required to

31  be certified under this chapter are not retained by the

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 1  Department of Law Enforcement under s. 1012.32(3)(a) and (b),

 2  the person must file a complete set of fingerprints with the

 3  district school superintendent of the employing school

 4  district. Upon submission of fingerprints for this purpose,

 5  the school district shall request the Department of Law

 6  Enforcement to forward the fingerprints to the Federal Bureau

 7  of Investigation for the level 2 screening, and the

 8  fingerprints shall be retained by the Department of Law

 9  Enforcement under s. 1012.32(3)(a) and (b). The cost of the

10  state and federal criminal history check required by level 2

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

12  employee. Under penalty of perjury, each person who is

13  certified under this chapter must agree to inform his or her

14  employer within 48 hours if convicted of any disqualifying

15  offense while he or she is employed in a position for which

16  such certification is required.

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

18  is employed in a position requiring certification under this

19  chapter does not meet the level 2 screening requirements, the

20  person's certification shall be immediately revoked or

21  suspended and he or she shall be immediately suspended from

22  the position requiring certification.

23         Section 13.  Section 1012.561, Florida Statutes, is

24  created to read:

25         1012.561  Address of record.--Each certified educator

26  or applicant for certification is solely responsible for

27  maintaining his or her current address with the Department of

28  Education and for notifying the department in writing of a

29  change of address. By January 1, 2005, each educator and

30  applicant for certification must have on file with the

31  department a current mailing address. Thereafter, a certified

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 1  educator or applicant for certification who is employed by a

 2  district school board shall notify his or her employing school

 3  district within 10 days after a change of address. At a

 4  minimum, the employing district school board shall notify the

 5  department monthly of the addresses of the certified educators

 6  or applicants for certification in the manner prescribed by

 7  the department. A certified educator or applicant for

 8  certification who is not employed by a district school board

 9  shall personally notify the department in writing within 30

10  days after a change of address. The department shall permit

11  electronic notification; however, it is the responsibility of

12  the certified educator or applicant for certification to

13  ensure that the department has received the electronic

14  notification.

15         Section 14.  Section 1012.57, Florida Statutes, is

16  amended to read:

17         1012.57  Certification of adjunct educators.--

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

19  1012.55, and 1012.56, or any other provision of law or rule to

20  the contrary, district school boards shall adopt rules to

21  allow for the issuance of an adjunct teaching certificate to

22  any applicant who fulfills the requirements of s.

23  1012.56(2)(a)-(f) and (9) and who has expertise in the subject

24  area to be taught. An applicant shall be considered to have

25  expertise in the subject area to be taught if the applicant

26  demonstrates sufficient subject area mastery through passage

27  of a subject area test. The adjunct teaching certificate shall

28  be used for part-time teaching positions. The intent of this

29  provision is to allow school districts to tap the wealth of

30  talent and expertise represented in Florida's citizens who may

31  wish to teach part-time in a Florida public school by

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 1  permitting school districts to issue adjunct certificates to

 2  qualified applicants. Adjunct certificateholders should be

 3  used as a strategy to reduce the teacher shortage; thus,

 4  adjunct certificateholders should supplement a school's

 5  instructional staff, not supplant it. Each school principal

 6  shall assign an experienced peer mentor to assist the adjunct

 7  teaching certificateholder during the certificateholder's

 8  first year of teaching, and an adjunct certificateholder may

 9  participate in a district's new teacher training program.

10  District school boards shall provide the adjunct teaching

11  certificateholder an orientation in classroom management prior

12  to assigning the certificateholder to a school. Each adjunct

13  teaching certificate is valid for 5 school years and is

14  renewable if the applicant has received satisfactory

15  performance evaluations during each year of teaching under

16  adjunct teaching certification.

17         (2)  Individuals who are certified and employed under

18  pursuant to this section shall have the same rights and

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

20  1012.56.

21         Section 15.  Paragraph (d) of subsection (3) of section

22  1012.585, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

23         1012.585  Process for renewal of professional

24  certificates.--

25         (3)  For the renewal of a professional certificate, the

26  following requirements must be met:

27         (d)  The State Board of Education shall adopt rules for

28  the expanded use of training for renewal of the professional

29  certificate for educators who are required to complete

30  training in teaching students of limited English proficiency

31  and training in the teaching of reading as follows:

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 1         1.  A teacher who holds a professional certificate may

 2  use college credits or inservice points completed in

 3  English-for-Speakers-of-Other-Languages training and training

 4  in the teaching of reading in excess of 6 semester hours

 5  during one certificate-validity period toward renewal of the

 6  professional certificate during the subsequent validity

 7  periods.

 8         2.  A teacher who holds a temporary certificate may use

 9  college credits or inservice points completed in

10  English-for-Speakers-of-Other-Languages training and training

11  in the teaching of reading toward renewal of the teacher's

12  first professional certificate. Such training must not have

13  been included within the degree program, and the teacher's

14  temporary and professional certificates must be issued for

15  consecutive school years.

16         Section 16.  Subsection (8) of section 1012.79, Florida

17  Statutes, is amended to read:

18         1012.79  Education Practices Commission;

19  organization.--

20         (8)(a)  The commission shall, from time to time,

21  designate members of the commission to serve on panels for the

22  purpose of reviewing and issuing final orders upon cases

23  presented to the commission.  A case concerning a complaint

24  against a teacher shall be reviewed and a final order thereon

25  shall be entered by a panel composed of five seven commission

26  members, three four of whom shall be teachers. A case

27  concerning a complaint against an administrator shall be

28  reviewed and a final order thereon shall be entered by a panel

29  composed of five seven commission members, three four of whom

30  shall be administrators.

31  

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 1         (b)  A majority of a quorum of a panel of the

 2  commission shall have final agency authority in all cases

 3  involving the revocation, suspension, or other disciplining of

 4  certificates of teachers and school administrators. A majority

 5  of the membership of the panel shall constitute a quorum. The

 6  district school board shall retain the authority to discipline

 7  teachers and administrators pursuant to law.

 8         Section 17.  Subsections (1) and (6) of section

 9  1012.795, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

10         1012.795  Education Practices Commission; authority to

11  discipline.--

12         (1)  The Education Practices Commission may suspend the

13  educator certificate of any person as defined in s. 1012.01(2)

14  or (3) for a period of time not to exceed 5 3 years, thereby

15  denying that person the right to teach or otherwise be

16  employed by a district school board or public school in any

17  capacity requiring direct contact with students for that

18  period of time, after which the holder may return to teaching

19  as provided in subsection (4); may revoke the educator

20  certificate of any person, thereby denying that person the

21  right to teach or otherwise be employed by a district school

22  board or public school in any capacity requiring direct

23  contact with students for a period of time not to exceed 10

24  years, with reinstatement subject to the provisions of

25  subsection (4); may revoke permanently the educator

26  certificate of any person thereby denying that person the

27  right to teach or otherwise be employed by a district school

28  board or public school in any capacity requiring direct

29  contact with students; may suspend the educator certificate,

30  upon order of the court, of any person found to have a

31  delinquent child support obligation; or may impose any other

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 1  penalty provided by law, provided it can be shown that the

 2  person:

 3         (a)  Obtained or attempted to obtain an the educator

 4  certificate by fraudulent means.

 5         (b)  Has proved to be incompetent to teach or to

 6  perform duties as an employee of the public school system or

 7  to teach in or to operate a private school.

 8         (c)  Has been guilty of gross immorality or an act

 9  involving moral turpitude.

10         (d)  Has had an educator certificate sanctioned by

11  revocation, suspension, or surrender revoked in another state.

12         (e)  Has been convicted of a misdemeanor, felony, or

13  any other criminal charge, other than a minor traffic

14  violation.

15         (f)  Upon investigation, has been found guilty of

16  personal conduct which seriously reduces that person's

17  effectiveness as an employee of the district school board.

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

19  1012.33(2).

20         (h)  Has been the subject of a court order directing

21  the Education Practices Commission to suspend the certificate

22  as a result of a delinquent child support obligation.

23         (i)  Has violated the Principles of Professional

24  Conduct for the Education Profession prescribed by State Board

25  of Education rules.

26         (j)  Has otherwise violated the provisions of law, the

27  penalty for which is the revocation of the educator

28  certificate.

29         (k)  Has violated any order of the Education Practices

30  Commission.

31  

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 1         (l)  Has been the subject of a court order or plea

 2  agreement in any jurisdiction which requires the

 3  certificateholder to surrender or otherwise relinquish his or

 4  her educator's certificate. A surrender or relinquishment

 5  shall be for permanent revocation of the certificate. A person

 6  may not surrender or otherwise relinquish his or her

 7  certificate prior to a finding of probable cause by the

 8  commissioner as provided in s. 1012.796.

 9         (6)(a)  When an individual violates any provision of

10  the provisions of a settlement agreement enforced by a final

11  order of the Education Practices Commission, the Department of

12  Education may request an order to show cause may be issued by

13  the clerk of the commission. The order shall require the

14  individual to appear before the commission to show cause why

15  further penalties should not be levied against the

16  individual's certificate pursuant to the authority provided to

17  the Education Practices Commission in subsection (1). The

18  department may dismiss an order to show cause before the

19  commission enters a final order. The Education Practices

20  Commission may fashion further penalties under the authority

21  of subsection (1) as it deems deemed appropriate when it

22  considers the show cause order is responded to by the

23  individual.

24         (b)  The Education Practices Commission shall adopt

25  rules requiring the issuance of issue a final order

26  permanently revoking an individual's Florida educator's

27  certificate if the individual has been the subject of

28  sanctions by the Education Practices Commission on two

29  previous occasions. However, an individual is not subject to

30  this provision if the only reason for sanctions on any

31  occasion was one or more administrative violations. For

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 1  purposes of this paragraph the term "administrative violation"

 2  means the failure of the individual to submit annual

 3  performance reports or the failure to pay a probation fee as

 4  required by a final order of the Education Practices

 5  Commission. Furthermore, any sanction levied by the Education

 6  Practices Commission against an applicant for certification is

 7  not subject to this provision, if the applicant was not

 8  previously sanctioned by the Education Practices Commission.

 9  for a minimum of 1 year under the following circumstances:

10         1.  If the individual:

11         a.  Has been found to have violated the provisions of

12  this section, such that the Education Practices Commission has

13  the authority to discipline the individual's Florida

14  educator's certificate on two separate occasions;

15         b.  Has twice entered into a settlement agreement

16  enforced by a final order of the Education Practices

17  Commission; or

18         c.  Has been found to have violated the provisions of

19  this section, such that the Education Practices Commission has

20  the authority to discipline the individual's Florida

21  educator's certificate on one occasion and entered into a

22  settlement agreement enforced by a final order of the

23  Education Practices Commission on one occasion; and

24         2.  A third finding of probable cause and a finding

25  that the allegations are proven or admitted to is subsequently

26  found by the Commissioner of Education.

27  

28  If, in the third instance, the individual enters into a

29  settlement agreement with the Department of Education, that

30  agreement shall also include a penalty revoking that

31  

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 1  individual's Florida educator's certificate for a minimum of 1

 2  year.

 3         Section 18.  Subsections (1), (7), and (8) of section

 4  1012.796, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

 5         1012.796  Complaints against teachers and

 6  administrators; procedure; penalties.--

 7         (1)(a)  The Department of Education shall cause to be

 8  investigated expeditiously any complaint filed before it or

 9  otherwise called to its attention which, if legally

10  sufficient, contains grounds for the revocation or suspension

11  of a certificate or any other appropriate penalty as set forth

12  in subsection (7). The complaint is legally sufficient if it

13  contains the ultimate facts which show a violation has

14  occurred as provided in s. 1012.795. The department may

15  investigate or continue to investigate and take appropriate

16  action on a complaint even though the original complainant

17  withdraws the complaint or otherwise indicates a desire not to

18  cause it to be investigated or prosecuted to completion. The

19  department may investigate or continue to investigate and take

20  action on a complaint filed against a person whose educator

21  certificate has expired if the act or acts which are the basis

22  for the complaint were allegedly committed while that person

23  possessed an educator certificate.

24         (b)  When an investigation is undertaken, the

25  department shall notify the certificateholder or applicant for

26  certification and the district school superintendent in the

27  district in which the certificateholder is employed, or the

28  university laboratory school, charter school, or private

29  school in which the certificateholder or applicant for

30  certification is employed or was employed at the time the

31  alleged offense occurred. Further, the department and shall

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 1  inform the certificateholder or applicant for certification of

 2  the substance of any complaint which has been filed against

 3  that certificateholder or applicant, unless the department

 4  determines that such notification would be detrimental to the

 5  investigation, in which case the department may withhold

 6  notification.

 7         (c)  Each school district shall file in writing with

 8  the department all legally sufficient complaints within 30

 9  days after the date on which subject matter of the complaint

10  comes to the attention of the school district. The school

11  district shall include all information relating to the

12  complaint which is known to the school district at the time of

13  filing. Each district school board shall develop policies and

14  procedures to comply with this reporting requirement. The

15  district school board policies and procedures shall include

16  appropriate penalties for all personnel of the district school

17  board for nonreporting and procedures for promptly informing

18  the district school superintendent of each legally sufficient

19  complaint. The district school superintendent is charged with

20  knowledge of these policies and procedures.  If the district

21  school superintendent has knowledge of a legally sufficient

22  complaint and does not report the complaint, or fails to

23  enforce the policies and procedures of the district school

24  board, and fails to comply with the requirements of this

25  subsection, in addition to other actions against

26  certificateholders authorized by law, the district school

27  superintendent shall be subject to penalties as specified in

28  s. 1001.51(12) s. 1001.51(13). This paragraph does not limit

29  or restrict the power and duty of the department to

30  investigate complaints as provided in paragraphs (a) and (b),

31  

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 1  regardless of the school district's untimely filing, or

 2  failure to file, complaints and followup reports.

 3         (d)  Notwithstanding any other law, all law enforcement

 4  agencies, state attorneys, social service agencies, district

 5  school boards, and the Division of Administrative Hearings

 6  shall fully cooperate with and, upon request, shall provide

 7  unredacted documents to the Department of Education to further

 8  investigations and prosecutions conducted pursuant to this

 9  section. Any document received pursuant to this paragraph may

10  not be redisclosed except as authorized by law.

11         (7)  A panel of the commission shall enter a final

12  order either dismissing the complaint or imposing one or more

13  of the following penalties:

14         (a)  Denial of an application for a teaching

15  certificate or for an administrative or supervisory

16  endorsement on a teaching certificate. The denial may provide

17  that the applicant may not reapply for certification, and that

18  the department may refuse to consider that applicant's

19  application, for a specified period of time or permanently.

20         (b)  Revocation or suspension of a certificate.

21         (c)  Imposition of an administrative fine not to exceed

22  $2,000 for each count or separate offense.

23         (d)  Placement of the teacher, administrator, or

24  supervisor on probation for a period of time and subject to

25  such conditions as the commission may specify, including

26  requiring the certified teacher, administrator, or supervisor

27  to complete additional appropriate college courses or work

28  with another certified educator, with the administrative costs

29  of monitoring the probation assessed to the educator placed on

30  probation. An educator who has been placed on probation shall,

31  at a minimum:

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 1         1.  Immediately notify the investigative office in the

 2  Department of Education upon employment or termination of

 3  employment in the state in any public or private position

 4  requiring a Florida educator's certificate.

 5         2.  Have his or her immediate supervisor submit annual

 6  performance reports to the investigative officer in the

 7  Department of Education.

 8         3.  Pay to the commission within the first 6 months of

 9  each probation year the administrative costs of monitoring

10  probation assessed to the educator.

11         4.  Violate no law and shall fully comply with all

12  district school board policies, school rules, and State Board

13  of Education rules.

14         5.  Satisfactorily perform his or her assigned duties

15  in a competent, professional manner.

16         6.  Bear all costs of complying with the terms of a

17  final order entered by the commission.

18         (e)  Restriction of the authorized scope of practice of

19  the teacher, administrator, or supervisor.

20         (f)  Reprimand of the teacher, administrator, or

21  supervisor in writing, with a copy to be placed in the

22  certification file of such person.

23         (g)  Imposition of an administrative sanction, upon a

24  person whose teaching certificate has expired, for an act or

25  acts committed while that person possessed a teaching

26  certificate or an expired certificate subject to late renewal,

27  which sanction bars that person from applying for a new

28  certificate for a period of 10 years or less, or permanently.

29         (h)  Refer the teacher, administer, or supervisor to

30  the recovery network program provided in s. 1012.798 under

31  such terms and conditions as the commission may specify.

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 1         (8)  Violations of the provisions of a final order

 2  probation shall result in an order to show cause issued by the

 3  clerk of the Education Practices Commission if requested by

 4  the Department of Education. Upon failure of the educator

 5  probationer, at the time and place stated in the order, to

 6  show cause satisfactorily to the Education Practices

 7  Commission why a penalty for violating the provisions of a

 8  final order probation should not be imposed, the Education

 9  Practices Commission shall impose whatever penalty is

10  appropriate as established in s. 1012.795(6). Any probation

11  period will be tolled when an order to show cause has been

12  issued until the issue is resolved by the Education Practices

13  Commission; however, the other terms and conditions of the

14  final order shall be in full force and effect until changed by

15  the Education Practices Commission.

16         Section 19.  Subsections (1), (3), (6), and (10) of

17  section 1012.798, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

18         1012.798  Recovery network program for educators.--

19         (1)  RECOVERY NETWORK ESTABLISHED.--There is created

20  within the Department of Education, a recovery network program

21  to assist educators who are impaired as a result of alcohol

22  abuse, drug abuse, or a mental condition to obtain treatment

23  in obtaining treatment to permit their continued contribution

24  to the education profession.  Any person who has applied for

25  or holds certification issued by the department pursuant to s.

26  1012.56 is eligible for the program assistance. The individual

27  may access the program voluntarily or be directed to

28  participate through a deferred prosecution agreement with the

29  Commissioner of Education or a final order of the Education

30  Practices Commission pursuant to s. 1012.796.

31  

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 1         (3)  PURPOSE.--The recovery network program shall

 2  assist educators in obtaining treatment and services from

 3  approved treatment providers, but each impaired educator must

 4  pay for his or her treatment under terms and conditions agreed

 5  upon by the impaired educator and the treatment provider.  A

 6  person who is admitted to the recovery network program must

 7  contract with the treatment provider and the program.  The

 8  treatment contract must prescribe the type of treatment and

 9  the responsibilities of the impaired educator and of the

10  provider and must provide that the impaired educator's

11  progress will be monitored by the recovery network program.

12         (6)  PARTICIPATION.--The recovery network program shall

13  operate independently of employee assistance programs operated

14  by local school districts, and the powers and duties of school

15  districts to make employment decisions, including disciplinary

16  decisions, is not affected except as provided in this section:

17         (a)  A person who is not subject to investigation or

18  proceedings under ss. 1012.795 and 1012.796 may voluntarily

19  seek assistance through a local school district employee

20  assistance program for which he or she is eligible and through

21  the recovery network, regardless of action taken against him

22  or her by a school district. Voluntarily seeking assistance

23  alone does not subject a person to proceedings under ss.

24  1012.795 and 1012.796.

25         (b)  A person who is subject to investigation or

26  proceedings under ss. 1012.795 and 1012.796 may be required to

27  participate in the program.  The program may approve a local

28  employee assistance program as a treatment provider or as a

29  means of securing a treatment provider.  The program and the

30  local school district shall cooperate so that the person may

31  obtain treatment without limiting the school district's

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 1  statutory powers and duties as an employer or the disciplinary

 2  procedures under ss. 1012.795 and 1012.796.

 3         (c)  A person may be enrolled in a treatment program by

 4  the recovery network program after an investigation pursuant

 5  to s. 1012.796 has commenced, if the person A person who has

 6  not previously been under investigation by the department may

 7  be enrolled in a treatment program by the recovery network

 8  after an investigation has commenced, if the person:

 9         1.  Acknowledges his or her impairment.

10         2.  Agrees to evaluation, as approved by the recovery

11  network.

12         3.  Agrees to enroll in an appropriate treatment

13  program approved by the recovery network.

14         4.  Executes releases for all medical and treatment

15  records regarding his or her impairment and participation in a

16  treatment program to the recovery network, pursuant to 42

17  U.S.C. s. 290dd-3 and the federal regulations adopted

18  thereunder.

19         5.  Enters into a deferred prosecution agreement with

20  the commissioner, which provides that no prosecution shall be

21  instituted concerning the matters enumerated in the agreement

22  if the person is properly enrolled in the treatment program

23  and successfully completes the program as certified by the

24  recovery network. The commissioner is under no obligation to

25  enter into a deferred prosecution agreement with the educator

26  but may do so if he or she determines that it is in the best

27  interest of the educational program of the state, and the

28  educator.

29         a.6.  Has not previously entered a substance abuse

30  program.

31  

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 1         b.7.  Is not being investigated for any action

 2  involving commission of a felony or violent act against

 3  another person.

 4         c.8.  Has not had multiple arrests for minor drug use,

 5  possession, or abuse of alcohol.

 6         (10)  DECLARATION OF INELIGIBILITY.--

 7         (a)  A person may be declared ineligible for further

 8  assistance from the recovery network program if he or she does

 9  not progress satisfactorily in a treatment program or leaves a

10  prescribed program or course of treatment without the approval

11  of the treatment provider.

12         (b)  The determination of ineligibility must be made by

13  the commissioner in cases referred to him or her by the

14  program administrator or designee after review of the

15  circumstances of the case. Before referring a case to the

16  commissioner, the administrator must discuss the circumstances

17  with the treatment provider.  The commissioner may direct the

18  Office of Professional Practices Services to investigate the

19  case and provide a report.

20         (c)  If treatment through a treatment contract with the

21  program is a condition of a deferred prosecution agreement,

22  and the program administrator commissioner determines that the

23  person is ineligible for further assistance, the commissioner

24  may agree to modify the terms and conditions of the deferred

25  prosecution agreement or may issue an administrative

26  complaint, pursuant to s. 1012.796, alleging the charges

27  regarding which prosecution was deferred.  The person may

28  dispute the determination as an affirmative defense to the

29  administrative complaint by including with his or her request

30  for hearing on the administrative complaint a written

31  statement setting forth the facts and circumstances that show

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 1  that the determination of ineligibility was erroneous.  If

 2  administrative proceedings regarding the administrative

 3  complaint, pursuant to ss. 120.569 and 120.57, result in a

 4  finding that the determination of ineligibility was erroneous,

 5  the person is eligible to participate in the program. If the

 6  determination of ineligibility was the only reason for setting

 7  aside the deferred prosecution agreement and issuing the

 8  administrative complaint and the administrative proceedings

 9  result in a finding that the determination was erroneous, the

10  complaint shall be dismissed and the deferred prosecution

11  agreement reinstated without prejudice to the commissioner's

12  right to reissue the administrative complaint for other

13  breaches of the agreement.

14         (d)  If treatment through a treatment contract with the

15  program is a condition of a final order of the Education

16  Practices Commission, the program administrator's

17  commissioner's determination of ineligibility constitutes a

18  finding of probable cause that the person failed to comply

19  with the final order. Pursuant to ss. 1012.795 and 1012.796,

20  upon the request of the Department of Education, the clerk of

21  the Education Practices Commission shall issue to the educator

22  an order to show cause, or the Commissioner of Education may

23  issue an administrative complaint The commissioner shall issue

24  an administrative complaint, and the case shall proceed under

25  ss. 1012.795 and 1012.796, in the same manner as for cases

26  based on a failure to comply with an order of the Education

27  Practices Commission.

28         (e)  If the person voluntarily entered into a treatment

29  contract with the program, the program administrator

30  commissioner shall issue a written notice stating the reasons

31  for the determination of ineligibility. Within 20 days after

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 1  the date of such notice, the person may contest the

 2  determination of ineligibility pursuant to ss. 120.569 and

 3  120.57.

 4         Section 20.  This act shall take effect upon becoming a

 5  law.

 6  

 7  

 8  

 9  

10  

11  

12  

13  

14  

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17  

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 1          STATEMENT OF SUBSTANTIAL CHANGES CONTAINED IN
                       COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR
 2                         Senate Bill 2986

 3                                 

 4  Requires teacher preparation programs provided by the DOE to
    provide a certification ombudsman to facilitate the
 5  certification process for students.

 6  Removes the College Graduates to Classroom Teachers
    Alternative Certification Program from the bill, but
 7  authorizes different alternative certification and instruction
    programs, created by authorized postsecondary institutions and
 8  approved by the Department of Education, that could be formed
    for:
 9  
         professional development instruction for teachers,
10  
         instruction for substitute teachers,
11  
         instruction for paraprofessionals, or
12  
         instruction that would permit college graduates who were
13       not education majors to become teachers.

14  Provides that graduates of alternative certification and
    instruction programs would be eligible for educator
15  certification if they satisfied all requirements for
    certification in s. 1012.56(2).
16  
    Requires that alternative certification and instruction
17  programs submit annual performance evaluations of the
    program's effectiveness to the Department of Education,
18  pursuant to specified criteria.

19  Provides that alternative certification and instruction
    programs would be eligible to receive federal and state
20  funding.

21  Specifies approval criteria, program requirements, and
    instructor qualifications for alternative certification and
22  instruction programs created under the bill.

23  Requires alternative certification and instruction programs to
    provide ombudsmen to facilitate certification for graduates.
24  
    Provides that alternative certification and instruction
25  programs created under the section may be used by local school
    districts.
26  
    Provides rulemaking authority for the State Board of Education
27  to implement alternative certification and instruction
    programs.
28  
    Requires the Commissioner of Education to take steps to help
29  teachers meet the high quality teacher criteria of No Child
    Left Behind.
30  
    Requires level 2 background screening, at initial hire and
31  periodically thereafter, for all personnel who are hired or
    contracted with to fill positions that require direct contact
                                  50

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.






    Florida Senate - 2004                           CS for SB 2986
    304-2459-04




 1  with students, whether instructional or non-instructional, in
    the district school system, university laboratory schools,
 2  charter schools, and alternative schools.

 3  Requires teachers to submit to level 2 background screening in
    connection with certification and specifically requires level
 4  2 background screening of governing boards of charter schools,
    adjunct instructors, and commissioned or non-commissioned
 5  military officers who are instructors of R.O.T.C.

 6  Requires the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to retain
    fingerprint records of all personnel.
 7  
    Provides procedures and fees in connection with background
 8  screening and fingerprinting requirements.

 9  Revises provisions related to the suspension and revocation of
    educator certificates and suspension of employment in
10  connection with background checks.

11  Requires employees to inform employers or persons with whom
    they are under contract within 48 hours if they are convicted
12  of any disqualifying offense.

13  Requires the Department of Education to act within 90 days of
    receipt of a teacher certification application and specifies
14  additional requirements for such action.

15  Removes from the bill provisions permitting valid certificates
    issued by alternative national education credentialing boards
16  to be used to demonstrate mastery of certain types of
    knowledge by educators.
17  

18  

19  

20  

21  

22  

23  

24  

25  

26  

27  

28  

29  

30  

31  

                                  51

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.


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