February 26, 2020
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Senate Bill 2986

Senate Bill sb2986e1

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    CS for SB 2986                                 First Engrossed



  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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    CS for SB 2986                                 First Engrossed



 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. 1012.01, F.S.; specifying that the

 6         term "instructional personnel" includes K-12

 7         personnel only; amending s. 1012.05, F.S.;

 8         requiring guidelines for teacher mentors;

 9         requiring electronic access to professional

10         resources for teachers; creating an Educator

11         Appreciation Week; requiring the Department of

12         Education to notify teachers of legislation and

13         rules that affect teachers; requiring school

14         districts to submit e-mail addresses of school

15         personnel to the Department of Education;

16         requiring action by the Commissioner of

17         Education in helping teachers meet highly

18         qualified teacher criteria; amending s.

19         1012.231, F.S.; requiring the BEST teacher

20         program to begin in 2005-2006; amending s.

21         1012.32, F.S.; requiring background screening

22         for contractual personnel, charter school

23         personnel, and certain instructional and

24         noninstructional personnel; deleting provision

25         for probationary status for new employees

26         pending fingerprint processing; prohibiting

27         certain persons from providing services;

28         providing for appeals; providing for payment of

29         costs; deleting a refingerprinting requirement;

30         requiring the Department of Law Enforcement to

31         retain and enter fingerprints into the


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    CS for SB 2986                                 First Engrossed



 1         statewide automated fingerprint identification

 2         system; requiring the Department of Law

 3         Enforcement to search arrest fingerprint cards

 4         against retained fingerprints and to report

 5         identified arrest records; providing school

 6         district responsibilities and the imposition of

 7         a fee; requiring refingerprinting for personnel

 8         whose fingerprints are not retained; amending

 9         s. 1012.33, F.S.; requiring district school

10         boards to recognize years of service of certain

11         employees; amending s. 1012.34, F.S.; providing

12         additional reference to assessment criteria for

13         instructional personnel and school

14         administrators; amending s. 1012.35, F.S.;

15         providing employment and training requirements

16         for substitute teachers; amending s. 1012.39,

17         F.S.; providing employment criteria for

18         substitute teachers; creating s. 1012.465,

19         F.S.; requiring background screening for

20         certain noninstructional personnel and

21         contractors with the school district; requiring

22         such persons to report conviction of a

23         disqualifying offense; providing for suspension

24         of personnel who do not meet screening

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

26         providing departmental duties relating to

27         identification of appropriate certification for

28         certain instruction; requiring background

29         screening for certain instructors; amending s.

30         1012.56, F.S.; providing for the issuance of

31         renewal instructions and temporary


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 1         certificates; clarifying circumstances for

 2         issuance of a status of eligibility statement;

 3         authorizing the filing of an affidavit with the

 4         application for a certificate; authorizing use

 5         of alternative certificates for demonstrating

 6         mastery of general knowledge, subject area

 7         knowledge, and professional preparation and

 8         education competence; authorizing an

 9         alternative route for demonstrating mastery of

10         professional preparation and education

11         competence; requiring background screening for

12         educator certification; providing background

13         screening requirements; requiring reporting of

14         disqualifying offenses; providing for

15         suspension from a position and suspension or

16         revocation of certification; creating s.

17         1012.561, F.S.; requiring certified educators

18         and applicants for certification to maintain a

19         current address with the Department of

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

21         cross-reference to the background screening

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

23         requiring training in the teaching of reading

24         for certified personnel who teach students who

25         have limited English proficiency; amending s.

26         1012.79, F.S.; reducing the membership of

27         Education Practice Commission review panels;

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

29         discipline options available to the Education

30         Practices Commission; amending s. 1012.796,

31         F.S.; revising the notice requirements and


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 1         other procedures concerning the investigation

 2         of complaints against certified personnel and

 3         applicants for certification; requiring other

 4         state entities to provide information in

 5         connection with investigations; providing the

 6         conditions of probation; amending s. 1012.798,

 7         F.S.; revising procedures for accessing the

 8         recovery network program; reenacting ss.

 9         112.1915(1)(b), 121.091(9)(b) and (13)(a),

10         1011.685(2)(b), and 1012.74(2)(a) and (b),

11         F.S., relating to death benefits, retirement

12         benefits, the operating categorical fund for

13         class size reduction, and educators

14         professional liability insurance protection, to

15         incorporate the amendment to s. 1012.01, F.S.,

16         in references thereto; providing an effective

17         date.

18  

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

20  

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

22  Statutes, is amended to read:

23         943.0585  Court-ordered expunction of criminal history

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

25  their own procedures, including the maintenance, expunction,

26  and correction of judicial records containing criminal history

27  information to the extent such procedures are not inconsistent

28  with the conditions, responsibilities, and duties established

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

30  a criminal justice agency to expunge the criminal history

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


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    CS for SB 2986                                 First Engrossed



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

 2  criminal justice agency to expunge a criminal history record

 3  until the person seeking to expunge a criminal history record

 4  has applied for and received a certificate of eligibility for

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

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

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

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

 9  893.135, or a violation enumerated in s. 907.041 may not be

10  expunged, without regard to whether adjudication was withheld,

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

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

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

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

15  only order expunction of a criminal history record pertaining

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

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

18  discretion, order the expunction of a criminal history record

19  pertaining to more than one arrest if the additional arrests

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

21  to order the expunction of records pertaining to such

22  additional arrests, such intent must be specified in the

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

24  pertaining to such additional arrests if the order to expunge

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

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

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

28  portion of a criminal history record pertaining to one arrest

29  or one incident of alleged criminal activity. Notwithstanding

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

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


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 1  jurisdictions relating to expunction, correction, or

 2  confidential handling of criminal history records or

 3  information derived therefrom. This section does not confer

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

 5  and any request for expunction of a criminal history record

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

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

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

 9  ordered expunged by a court of competent jurisdiction pursuant

10  to this section must be physically destroyed or obliterated by

11  any criminal justice agency having custody of such record;

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

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

14  record ordered expunged that is retained by the department is

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

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

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

18  of competent jurisdiction. A criminal justice agency may

19  retain a notation indicating compliance with an order to

20  expunge.

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

22  history record that is expunged under this section or under

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

24  901.33, and former s. 943.058, may lawfully deny or fail to

25  acknowledge the arrests covered by the expunged record, except

26  when the subject of the record:

27         1.  Is a candidate for employment with a criminal

28  justice agency;

29         2.  Is a defendant in a criminal prosecution;

30         3.  Concurrently or subsequently petitions for relief

31  under this section or s. 943.059;


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

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

 3  contract with the Department of Children and Family Services

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

 5  used by such contractor or licensee in a sensitive position

 6  having direct contact with children, the developmentally

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

 8  110.1127(3), s. 393.063(15), s. 394.4572(1), s. 397.451, s.

 9  402.302(3), s. 402.313(3), s. 409.175(2)(i), s. 415.102(4), s.

10  985.407, or chapter 400; or

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

12  of Teacher Education, Certification, Staff Development, and

13  Professional Practices of the Department of Education, any

14  district school board, any university laboratory school, any

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

16  governmental entity that licenses child care facilities.

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

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

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

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

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

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

23  expunged criminal history record.

24         (c)  Information relating to the existence of an

25  expunged criminal history record which is provided in

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

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

28  State Constitution, except that the department shall disclose

29  the existence of a criminal history record ordered expunged to

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

31  for their respective licensing and employment purposes, and to


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 1  criminal justice agencies for their respective criminal

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

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

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

 5  information relating to the existence of an expunged criminal

 6  history record of a person seeking employment or licensure

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

 8  the criminal history record relates or to persons having

 9  direct responsibility for employment or licensure decisions.

10  Any person who violates this paragraph commits a misdemeanor

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

12  s. 775.083.

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

14  Statutes, is amended to read:

15         943.059  Court-ordered sealing of criminal history

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

17  jurisdiction over their own procedures, including the

18  maintenance, sealing, and correction of judicial records

19  containing criminal history information to the extent such

20  procedures are not inconsistent with the conditions,

21  responsibilities, and duties established by this section. Any

22  court of competent jurisdiction may order a criminal justice

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

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

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

26  criminal history record until the person seeking to seal a

27  criminal history record has applied for and received a

28  certificate of eligibility for sealing pursuant to subsection

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

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

31  825.1025, s. 827.071, chapter 839, s. 847.0133, s. 847.0135,


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    CS for SB 2986                                 First Engrossed



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

 2  907.041 may not be sealed, without regard to whether

 3  adjudication was withheld, if the defendant was found guilty

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

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

 6  guilty or nolo contendere to committing the offense as a

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

 8  history record pertaining to one arrest or one incident of

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

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

11  criminal history record pertaining to more than one arrest if

12  the additional arrests directly relate to the original arrest.

13  If the court intends to order the sealing of records

14  pertaining to such additional arrests, such intent must be

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

16  any record pertaining to such additional arrests if the order

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

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

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

20  portion of a criminal history record pertaining to one arrest

21  or one incident of alleged criminal activity. Notwithstanding

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

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

24  jurisdictions relating to sealing, correction, or confidential

25  handling of criminal history records or information derived

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

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

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

29  discretion of the court.

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

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


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 1  ordered sealed by a court of competent jurisdiction pursuant

 2  to this section is confidential and exempt from the provisions

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

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

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

 6  agencies for their respective criminal justice purposes, or to

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

 8  6. for their respective licensing and employment purposes.

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

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

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

12  lawfully deny or fail to acknowledge the arrests covered by

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

14         1.  Is a candidate for employment with a criminal

15  justice agency;

16         2.  Is a defendant in a criminal prosecution;

17         3.  Concurrently or subsequently petitions for relief

18  under this section or s. 943.0585;

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

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

21  contract with the Department of Children and Family Services

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

23  used by such contractor or licensee in a sensitive position

24  having direct contact with children, the developmentally

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

26  110.1127(3), s. 393.063(15), s. 394.4572(1), s. 397.451, s.

27  402.302(3), s. 402.313(3), s. 409.175(2)(i), s. 415.102(4), s.

28  415.103, s. 985.407, or chapter 400; or

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

30  of Teacher Education, Certification, Staff Development, and

31  Professional Practices of the Department of Education, any


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 1  district school board, any university laboratory school, any

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

 3  governmental entity that which licenses child care facilities.

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

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

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

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

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

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

10  sealed criminal history record.

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

12  criminal record provided in accordance with the provisions of

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

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

15  Constitution, except that the department shall disclose the

16  sealed criminal history record to the entities set forth in

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

18  licensing and employment purposes. It is unlawful for any

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

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

21  to disclose information relating to the existence of a sealed

22  criminal history record of a person seeking employment or

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

24  to whom the criminal history record relates or to persons

25  having direct responsibility for employment or licensure

26  decisions. Any person who violates the provisions of this

27  paragraph commits a misdemeanor of the first degree,

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

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

30  1002.33, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

31         1002.33  Charter schools.--


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 1         (12)  EMPLOYEES OF CHARTER SCHOOLS.--

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

 3  employees who have undergone background screening been

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

 5  governing board of the charter school shall also undergo

 6  background screening be fingerprinted in a manner similar to

 7  that provided in s. 1012.32.

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

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

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

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

12         1004.04  Public accountability and state approval for

13  teacher preparation programs.--

14         (4)  INITIAL STATE PROGRAM APPROVAL.--

15         (a)  A program approval process based on standards

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

17  established for postsecondary teacher preparation programs,

18  phased in according to timelines determined by the Department

19  of Education, and fully implemented for all teacher

20  preparation programs in the state. Each program shall be

21  approved by the department, consistent with the intent set

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

23  objective, and quantifiable graduate performance measures.

24         (b)  Each teacher preparation program approved by the

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

26  shall require students to meet the following as prerequisites

27  for admission into the program:

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

29  scale for the general education component of undergraduate

30  studies or have completed the requirements for a baccalaureate

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


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 1  scale from any college or university accredited by a regional

 2  accrediting association as defined by State Board of Education

 3  rule or any college or university otherwise approved pursuant

 4  to State Board of Education rule.

 5         2.  Demonstrate mastery of general knowledge, including

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

 7  General Knowledge Test of the Florida Teacher Certification

 8  Examination, the College Level Academic Skills Test, a

 9  corresponding component of the National Teachers Examination

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

11  of Education.

12  

13  Each teacher preparation program may waive these admissions

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

15  Programs shall implement strategies to ensure that students

16  admitted under a waiver receive assistance to demonstrate

17  competencies to successfully meet requirements for

18  certification.

19         (c)  Each teacher preparation program approved by the

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

21  shall provide a certification ombudsman to facilitate the

22  process and procedures required for graduates to obtain

23  educator professional or temporary certification pursuant to

24  s. 1012.56.

25         (10)  SHORT-TERM EXPERIENCES AS TEACHER

26  ASSISTANTS.--Postsecondary institutions offering teacher

27  preparation programs and community colleges, in collaboration

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

29  provide short-term experiences as teacher assistants prior to

30  beginning a teacher preparation program or alternative

31  certification program. The program shall serve individuals


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 1  with baccalaureate degrees who are interested in the teaching

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

 3  preparation programs and competency-based alternative

 4  certification programs, where applicable.

 5         Section 5.  Section 1004.85, Florida Statutes, is

 6  created to read:

 7         1004.85  Postsecondary educator preparation

 8  institutes.--

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

10  institute" means an institute created by a postsecondary

11  institution and approved by the Department of Education.

12         (2)  Postsecondary institutions that are accredited or

13  approved as described in state board rule may seek approval

14  from the Department of Education to create educator

15  preparation institutes for the purpose of providing any or all

16  of the following:

17         (a)  Professional development instruction to assist

18  teachers in improving classroom instruction and in meeting

19  certification or recertification requirements.

20         (b)  Instruction to assist potential and existing

21  substitute teachers in performing their duties.

22         (c)  Instruction to assist paraprofessionals in meeting

23  education and training requirements.

24         (d)  Instruction for baccalaureate degree holders to

25  become certified teachers as provided in this section in order

26  to increase routes to the classroom for mid-career

27  professionals who hold a baccalaureate degree and college

28  graduates who were not education majors.

29         (3)  Educator preparation institutes approved pursuant

30  to this section may offer alternative certification programs

31  specifically designed for noneducation major baccalaureate


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 1  degree holders to enable program participants to meet the

 2  educator certification requirements of s. 1012.56. Such

 3  programs shall be competency-based educator certification

 4  preparation programs that prepare educators through an

 5  alternative route. An educator preparation institute choosing

 6  to offer an alternative certification program pursuant to the

 7  provisions of this section must implement a program previously

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

 9  program developed by the institute and approved by the

10  department for this purpose. Approved programs shall be

11  available for use by other approved educator preparation

12  institutes.

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

14  approval, the Department of Education shall approve an

15  alternative certification program or issue a statement of the

16  deficiencies in the request for approval. The department shall

17  approve an alternative certification program if the institute

18  provides sufficient evidence of the following:

19         1.  Instruction must be provided in professional

20  knowledge and subject matter content that includes

21  educator-accomplished practices and competencies specified in

22  State Board of Education rule and meets subject matter content

23  requirements, professional competency testing requirements,

24  and competencies associated with teaching scientifically based

25  reading instruction and strategies that research has shown to

26  be successful in improving reading among low-performing

27  readers.

28         2.  The program must provide field experience with

29  supervision from qualified educators.

30         3.  The program must provide a certification ombudsman

31  to facilitate the process and procedures required for


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 1  participants who complete the program to meet any requirements

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

 3  educator professional or temporary certification pursuant to

 4  s. 1012.56.

 5         (b)  Each program participant must:

 6         1.  Meet certification requirements pursuant to s.

 7  1012.56(1) by obtaining a statement of status of eligibility

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

 9         2.  Participate in field experience that is appropriate

10  to his or her educational plan.

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

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

13  demonstrate mastery of professional preparation and education

14  competence by achievement of a passing score on the

15  professional education competency examination required by

16  state board rule prior to completion of the program.

17         (c)  Upon completion of an alternative certification

18  program approved pursuant to this subsection, a participant

19  shall receive a credential from the sponsoring institution

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

21  relating to mastery of professional preparation and education

22  competence. A participant shall be eligible for educator

23  certification through the Department of Education upon

24  satisfaction of all requirements for certification set forth

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

26  general knowledge, subject area knowledge, and professional

27  preparation and education competence, through testing or other

28  statutorily authorized means.

29         (d)  If an institution offers an alternative

30  certification program approved pursuant to this subsection,

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


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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.  Subsection (2) of section 1012.01, Florida

28  Statutes, is amended to read:

29         1012.01  Definitions.--Specific definitions shall be as

30  follows, and wherever such defined words or terms are used in

31  


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 1  the Florida K-20 Education Code, they shall be used as

 2  follows:

 3         (2)  INSTRUCTIONAL PERSONNEL.--"Instructional

 4  personnel" means any K-12 staff member whose function includes

 5  the provision of direct instructional services to students.

 6  Instructional personnel also includes K-12 personnel whose

 7  functions provide direct support in the learning process of

 8  students. Included in the classification of instructional

 9  personnel are the following K-12 personnel:

10         (a)  Classroom teachers.--Classroom teachers are staff

11  members assigned the professional activity of instructing

12  students in courses in classroom situations, including basic

13  instruction, exceptional student education, career and

14  technical education, and adult education, including substitute

15  teachers.

16         (b)  Student personnel services.--Student personnel

17  services include staff members responsible for: advising

18  students with regard to their abilities and aptitudes,

19  educational and occupational opportunities, and personal and

20  social adjustments; providing placement services; performing

21  educational evaluations; and similar functions. Included in

22  this classification are guidance counselors, social workers,

23  occupational/placement specialists, and school psychologists.

24         (c)  Librarians/media specialists.--Librarians/media

25  specialists are staff members responsible for providing school

26  library media services. These employees are responsible for

27  evaluating, selecting, organizing, and managing media and

28  technology resources, equipment, and related systems;

29  facilitating access to information resources beyond the

30  school; working with teachers to make resources available in

31  the instructional programs; assisting teachers and students in


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 1  media productions; and instructing students in the location

 2  and use of information resources.

 3         (d)  Other instructional staff.--Other instructional

 4  staff are staff members who are part of the instructional

 5  staff but are not classified in one of the categories

 6  specified in paragraphs (a)-(c). Included in this

 7  classification are primary specialists, learning resource

 8  specialists, instructional trainers, adjunct educators

 9  certified pursuant to s. 1012.57, and similar positions.

10         (e)  Education paraprofessionals.--Education

11  paraprofessionals are individuals who are under the direct

12  supervision of an instructional staff member, aiding the

13  instructional process. Included in this classification are

14  classroom paraprofessionals in regular instruction,

15  exceptional education paraprofessionals, career education

16  paraprofessionals, adult education paraprofessionals, library

17  paraprofessionals, physical education and playground

18  paraprofessionals, and other school-level paraprofessionals.

19         Section 7.  Section 1012.05, Florida Statutes, is

20  amended to read:

21         1012.05  Teacher recruitment and retention.--

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

23  teacher organizations, district personnel offices, and

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

25  postsecondary educational institutions, shall concentrate on

26  the recruitment and retention of qualified teachers.

27         (2)  The Department of Education shall:

28         (a)  Develop and implement a system for posting

29  teaching vacancies and establish a database of teacher

30  applicants that is accessible within and outside the state.

31  


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 1         (b)  Advertise in major newspapers, national

 2  professional publications, and other professional publications

 3  and in public and nonpublic postsecondary educational

 4  institutions.

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

 6         (d)  Conduct periodic communications with district

 7  personnel directors regarding applicants.

 8         (e)  Provide district access to the applicant database

 9  by computer or telephone.

10         (f)  Develop and distribute promotional materials

11  related to teaching as a career.

12         (g)  Publish and distribute information pertaining to

13  employment opportunities, application procedures, and all

14  routes toward teacher certification in Florida, and teacher

15  salaries.

16         (h)  Provide information related to certification

17  procedures.

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

19  America Program throughout the state.

20         (j)  Develop, in consultation with school district

21  staff including, but not limited to, district school

22  superintendents, district school board members, and district

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

24  recruitment and retention.

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

26  teachers.

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

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

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

30  accessing and identifying available resources in the state's

31  


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 1  workforce system for the purpose of enhancing teacher

 2  recruitment and retention.

 3         (m)  Create guidelines and identify best practices for

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

 5  programs that focus on the professional assistance needed by

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

 7  department shall consult with the Florida Center for Reading

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

 9  guidelines.

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

11  to provide educator candidates one-stop shopping for

12  information on teaching careers in Florida and establish the

13  Teacher Lifeline Network to provide online support to

14  beginning teachers and those needing assistance.

15         (o)  Develop and implement an online Teacher Toolkit

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

17  Standards, that all teachers can use to enhance classroom

18  instruction and increase teacher effectiveness, thus resulting

19  in improved student achievement.

20         (p)  Establish a week designated as Educator

21  Appreciation Week to recognize the significant contributions

22  made by educators to their students and school communities.

23         (q)  The Department of Education shall notify each

24  teacher, via e-mail, of each item in the General

25  Appropriations Act and legislation that affects teachers,

26  including, but not limited to, the Excellent Teaching Program,

27  the Teachers Lead Program, liability insurance protection for

28  teachers, death benefits for teachers, substantive

29  legislation, rules of the State Board of Education, and issues

30  concerning student achievement.

31  


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 1         (3)(a)  Each school board shall adopt policies relating

 2  to mentors and support for first-time teachers based upon

 3  guidelines issued by the Department of Education.

 4         (b)  By September 15 and February 15 each school year,

 5  each school district shall electronically submit accurate

 6  public school e-mail addresses for all instructional and

 7  administrative personnel, as identified in s. 1012.01(2) and

 8  (3), to the Department of Education.

 9         (4)(3)  The Department of Education, in cooperation

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

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

12  potential educators and out-of-state educators and potential

13  educators with teaching opportunities in this state.

14         (5)(4)  Subject to proviso in the General

15  Appropriations Act, the Commissioner of Education may use

16  funds appropriated by the Legislature and funds from federal

17  grants and other sources to provide incentives for teacher

18  recruitment and preparation programs. The purpose of the use

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

20  graduate from state-approved teacher preparation programs to

21  teach in a Florida public school. The commissioner may

22  contract with entities other than, and including, approved

23  teacher preparation programs to provide intensive teacher

24  training leading to passage of the required certification

25  exams for the desired subject area or coverage. The

26  commissioner shall survey school districts to evaluate the

27  effectiveness of such programs.

28         (6)  The Commissioner of Education shall take steps

29  that provide flexibility and consistency in meeting the highly

30  qualified teacher criteria as defined in the No Child Left

31  


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 1  Behind Act of 2001 through a High, Objective, Uniform State

 2  Standard of Evaluation (HOUSSE).

 3         Section 8.  Subsections (1) and (3) of section

 4  1012.231, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

 5         1012.231  BEST Florida Teaching salary career ladder

 6  program; assignment of teachers.--

 7         (1)  SALARY CAREER LADDER FOR CLASSROOM

 8  TEACHERS.--Beginning with the 2005-2006 2004-2005 academic

 9  year, each district school board shall implement a salary

10  career ladder for classroom teachers as defined in s.

11  1012.01(2)(a). Performance shall be defined as designated in

12  s. 1012.34(3)(a)1.-7. District school boards shall designate

13  categories of classroom teachers reflecting these salary

14  career ladder levels as follows:

15         (a)  Associate teacher.--Classroom teachers in the

16  school district who have not yet received a professional

17  certificate or those with a professional certificate who are

18  evaluated as low-performing teachers.

19         (b)  Professional teacher.--Classroom teachers in the

20  school district who have received a professional certificate.

21         (c)  Lead teacher.--Classroom teachers in the school

22  district who are responsible for leading others in the school

23  as department chair, lead teacher, grade-level leader, intern

24  coordinator, or professional development coordinator. Lead

25  teachers must participate on a regular basis in the direct

26  instruction of students and serve as faculty for professional

27  development activities as determined by the State Board of

28  Education. To be eligible for designation as a lead teacher, a

29  teacher must demonstrate outstanding performance pursuant to

30  s. 1012.34(3)(a)1.-7. and must have been a "professional

31  teacher" pursuant to paragraph (b) for at least 1 year.


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 1         (d)  Mentor teacher.--Classroom teachers in the school

 2  district who serve as regular mentors to other teachers who

 3  are either not performing satisfactorily or who strive to

 4  become more proficient. Mentor teachers must serve as

 5  faculty-based professional development coordinators and

 6  regularly demonstrate and share their expertise with other

 7  teachers in order to remain mentor teachers. Mentor teachers

 8  must also participate on a regular basis in the direct

 9  instruction of low-performing students. To be eligible for

10  designation as a mentor teacher, a teacher must demonstrate

11  outstanding performance pursuant to s. 1012.34(3)(a)1.-7. and

12  must have been a "lead teacher" pursuant to paragraph (c) for

13  at least 2 two years.

14  

15  Promotion of a teacher to a higher level on the salary career

16  ladder shall be based upon prescribed performance criteria and

17  not based upon length of service.

18         (3)  STATE BOARD AND SCHOOL DISTRICT PLANS.--The State

19  Board of Education shall develop a long-range plan to

20  implement a differentiated pay model for teachers beginning in

21  the 2005-2006 2004-2005 academic year, based upon the

22  differentiated classroom teacher categories in subsection (1).

23  No later than December 1, 2003, the State Board of Education

24  shall approve guidelines and criteria for the district plans.

25  District school boards shall develop plans to implement the

26  salary career ladder prescribed in this section and submit

27  these plans to the State Board of Education by March 1, 2004.

28         Section 9.  Section 1012.32, Florida Statutes, is

29  amended, to read:

30         1012.32  Qualifications of personnel.--

31  


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    CS for SB 2986                                 First Engrossed



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

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

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

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

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

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

 7  of Children and Family Services, except when employed pursuant

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

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

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

11  valid Florida certificate or license to serve in an

12  instructional capacity.

13         (2)(a)  Instructional and noninstructional personnel

14  who are hired or contracted to fill positions requiring direct

15  contact with students in any district school system or

16  university lab school shall, upon employment or engagement to

17  provide services, undergo background screening as required

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

19  a complete set of fingerprints taken by an authorized law

20  enforcement officer or an employee of the school or district

21  who is trained to take fingerprints.

22         (b)  Instructional and noninstructional personnel who

23  are hired or contracted to fill positions in any charter

24  school and members of the governing board of any charter

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

26  employment, engagement of services, or appointment, undergo

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

28  1012.465, whichever is applicable, by filing with the district

29  school board for the school district in which the charter

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

31  


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    CS for SB 2986                                 First Engrossed



 1  authorized law enforcement agency or an employee of the school

 2  or school district who is trained to take fingerprints.

 3         (c)  Instructional and noninstructional personnel who

 4  are hired or contracted to fill positions requiring direct

 5  contact with students in an alternative school that operates

 6  under contract with a district school system shall, upon

 7  employment or engagement to provide services, undergo

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

 9  1012.465, whichever is applicable, by filing with the district

10  school board for the school district to which the alternative

11  school is under contract a complete set of fingerprints taken

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

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

14         (d)  Student teachers, persons participating in a

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

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

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

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

19  to provide services, undergo background screening as required

20  under s. 1012.56.

21  

22  These Fingerprints shall be submitted to the Department of Law

23  Enforcement for state processing and to the Federal Bureau of

24  Investigation for federal processing. Persons subject to this

25  subsection The new employees shall be on probationary status

26  pending fingerprint processing and determination of compliance

27  with standards of good moral character. Employees found

28  through fingerprint processing to have been convicted of a

29  crime involving moral turpitude shall not be employed, engaged

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

31  contact with students. Probationary persons subject to this


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    CS for SB 2986                                 First Engrossed



 1  subsection employees terminated because of their criminal

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

 3  of the background screening fingerprint processing may be

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

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

 6  subsection.

 7         (b) Personnel who have been fingerprinted or screened

 8  pursuant to this subsection and who have not been unemployed

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

10  refingerprinted or rescreened in order to comply with the

11  requirements of this subsection.

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

13  submitted to the Department of Law Enforcement as required by

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

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

16  statewide automated fingerprint identification system

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

18  thereafter be available for all purposes and uses authorized

19  for arrest fingerprint cards entered in the statewide

20  automated fingerprint identification system pursuant to s.

21  943.051.

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

23  Enforcement shall search all arrest fingerprint cards received

24  under s. 943.051 against the fingerprints retained in the

25  statewide automated fingerprint identification system under

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

27  retained fingerprints of a person subject to the background

28  screening under this section shall be reported to the

29  employing or contracting school district or the school

30  district with which the person is affiliated. Each school

31  district is required to participate in this search process by


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    CS for SB 2986                                 First Engrossed



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

 2  and by informing the Department of Law Enforcement of any

 3  change in the affiliation, employment, or contractual status

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

 5  instructional and noninstructional personnel whose

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

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

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

 9  performing these searches and establishing the procedures for

10  the retention of instructional and noninstructional personnel

11  fingerprints and the dissemination of search results. The fee

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

13  the person fingerprinted.

14         (c)  Personnel whose fingerprints are not retained by

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

16  are required to be refingerprinted and must meet level 2

17  screening requirements as described in this section upon

18  reemployment or reengagement to provide services in order to

19  comply with the requirements of this subsection.

20         Section 10.  Paragraph (g) of subsection (3) of section

21  1012.33, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

22         1012.33  Contracts with instructional staff,

23  supervisors, and school principals.--

24         (3)

25         (g)  Beginning July 1, 2001, for each employee who

26  enters into a written contract, pursuant to this section, in a

27  school district in which the employee was not employed as of

28  June 30, 2001, or was employed as of June 30, 2001, but has

29  since broken employment with that district for 1 school year

30  or more, for purposes of pay, a district school board must

31  recognize and accept each year of full-time public school


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    CS for SB 2986                                 First Engrossed



 1  teaching service earned in the State of Florida or outside the

 2  state and for which the employee received a satisfactory

 3  performance evaluation. Instructional personnel employed

 4  pursuant to s. 121.091(9)(b)3. are exempt from the provisions

 5  of this paragraph.

 6         Section 11.  Subsection (3) of section 1012.34, Florida

 7  Statutes, is amended to read:

 8         1012.34  Assessment procedures and criteria.--

 9         (3)  The assessment procedure for instructional

10  personnel and school administrators must be primarily based on

11  the performance of students assigned to their classrooms or

12  schools, as appropriate. Pursuant to this section, a school

13  district's performance assessment is not limited to basing

14  unsatisfactory performance of instructional personnel and

15  school administrators upon student performance, but may

16  include other criteria approved to assess instructional

17  personnel and school administrators' performance, or any

18  combination of student performance and other approved

19  criteria. The procedures must comply with, but are not limited

20  to, the following requirements:

21         (a)  An assessment must be conducted for each employee

22  at least once a year. The assessment must be based upon sound

23  educational principles and contemporary research in effective

24  educational practices. The assessment must primarily use data

25  and indicators of improvement in student performance assessed

26  annually as specified in s. 1008.22 and may consider results

27  of peer reviews in evaluating the employee's performance.

28  Student performance must be measured by state assessments

29  required under s. 1008.22 and by local assessments for

30  subjects and grade levels not measured by the state assessment

31  


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    CS for SB 2986                                 First Engrossed



 1  program. The assessment criteria must include, but are not

 2  limited to, indicators that relate to the following:

 3         1.  Performance of students.

 4         2.  Ability to maintain appropriate discipline.

 5         3.  Knowledge of subject matter. The district school

 6  board shall make special provisions for evaluating teachers

 7  who are assigned to teach out-of-field.

 8         4.  Ability to plan and deliver instruction, including

 9  the use of technology in the classroom.

10         5.  Ability to evaluate instructional needs.

11         6.  Ability to establish and maintain a positive

12  collaborative relationship with students' families to increase

13  student achievement.

14         7.  Other professional competencies, responsibilities,

15  and requirements as established by rules of the State Board of

16  Education and policies of the district school board.

17         (b)  All personnel must be fully informed of the

18  criteria and procedures associated with the assessment process

19  before the assessment takes place.

20         (c)  The individual responsible for supervising the

21  employee must assess the employee's performance. The evaluator

22  must submit a written report of the assessment to the district

23  school superintendent for the purpose of reviewing the

24  employee's contract. The evaluator must submit the written

25  report to the employee no later than 10 days after the

26  assessment takes place. The evaluator must discuss the written

27  report of assessment with the employee. The employee shall

28  have the right to initiate a written response to the

29  assessment, and the response shall become a permanent

30  attachment to his or her personnel file.

31  


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 1         (d)  If an employee is not performing his or her duties

 2  in a satisfactory manner, the evaluator shall notify the

 3  employee in writing of such determination. The notice must

 4  describe such unsatisfactory performance and include notice of

 5  the following procedural requirements:

 6         1.  Upon delivery of a notice of unsatisfactory

 7  performance, the evaluator must confer with the employee, make

 8  recommendations with respect to specific areas of

 9  unsatisfactory performance, and provide assistance in helping

10  to correct deficiencies within a prescribed period of time.

11         2.a.  If the employee holds a professional service

12  contract as provided in s. 1012.33, the employee shall be

13  placed on performance probation and governed by the provisions

14  of this section for 90 calendar days following the receipt of

15  the notice of unsatisfactory performance to demonstrate

16  corrective action. School holidays and school vacation periods

17  are not counted when calculating the 90-calendar-day period.

18  During the 90 calendar days, the employee who holds a

19  professional service contract must be evaluated periodically

20  and apprised of progress achieved and must be provided

21  assistance and inservice training opportunities to help

22  correct the noted performance deficiencies. At any time during

23  the 90 calendar days, the employee who holds a professional

24  service contract may request a transfer to another appropriate

25  position with a different supervising administrator; however,

26  a transfer does not extend the period for correcting

27  performance deficiencies.

28         b.  Within 14 days after the close of the 90 calendar

29  days, the evaluator must assess whether the performance

30  deficiencies have been corrected and forward a recommendation

31  to the district school superintendent. Within 14 days after


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    CS for SB 2986                                 First Engrossed



 1  receiving the evaluator's recommendation, the district school

 2  superintendent must notify the employee who holds a

 3  professional service contract in writing whether the

 4  performance deficiencies have been satisfactorily corrected

 5  and whether the district school superintendent will recommend

 6  that the district school board continue or terminate his or

 7  her employment contract. If the employee wishes to contest the

 8  district school superintendent's recommendation, the employee

 9  must, within 15 days after receipt of the district school

10  superintendent's recommendation, submit a written request for

11  a hearing. The hearing shall be conducted at the district

12  school board's election in accordance with one of the

13  following procedures:

14         (I)  A direct hearing conducted by the district school

15  board within 60 days after receipt of the written appeal. The

16  hearing shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions

17  of ss. 120.569 and 120.57. A majority vote of the membership

18  of the district school board shall be required to sustain the

19  district school superintendent's recommendation. The

20  determination of the district school board shall be final as

21  to the sufficiency or insufficiency of the grounds for

22  termination of employment; or

23         (II)  A hearing conducted by an administrative law

24  judge assigned by the Division of Administrative Hearings of

25  the Department of Management Services. The hearing shall be

26  conducted within 60 days after receipt of the written appeal

27  in accordance with chapter 120. The recommendation of the

28  administrative law judge shall be made to the district school

29  board. A majority vote of the membership of the district

30  school board shall be required to sustain or change the

31  administrative law judge's recommendation. The determination


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    CS for SB 2986                                 First Engrossed



 1  of the district school board shall be final as to the

 2  sufficiency or insufficiency of the grounds for termination of

 3  employment.

 4         Section 12.  Section 1012.35, Florida Statutes, is

 5  amended to read:

 6         1012.35  Substitute teachers.--

 7         (1)  Each district school board shall adopt rules

 8  prescribing the compensation of, and the procedure for

 9  employment of, substitute teachers.

10         (a)  The Such procedure for employment must shall

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

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

13  minimum education level of a high school diploma or

14  equivalent; and completion of an initial orientation and

15  training program in district policies and procedures

16  addressing school safety and security procedures, educational

17  liability laws, professional responsibilities, and ethics.

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

19  as determined by the employing school district, must complete

20  an additional training program that includes classroom

21  management skills and instructional strategies.

22         (c)  The required training programs for substitute

23  teachers may be provided by community colleges, colleges of

24  education, district school boards, educational consortia, or

25  commercial vendors.

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

27  to professional development offerings be made available to

28  substitute teachers by the employing district.

29         (2)  The Department of Education shall develop

30  web-based resources to enhance district substitute orientation

31  programs.


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    CS for SB 2986                                 First Engrossed



 1         (3)  Districts shall develop performance appraisal

 2  measures for assessing the quality of instruction delivered by

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

 4  single classroom placement.

 5         Section 13.  Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section

 6  1012.39, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

 7         1012.39  Employment of substitute teachers, teachers of

 8  adult education, nondegreed teachers of career education, and

 9  career specialists; students performing clinical field

10  experience.--

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

12  1012.57, or any other provision of law or rule to the

13  contrary, each district school board shall establish the

14  minimal qualifications for:

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

16  1012.35. The qualifications shall require the filing of a

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

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

19  high school diploma or equivalent; and completion of an

20  initial orientation and training program in district policies

21  and procedures addressing school safety and security

22  procedures, educational liability laws, professional

23  responsibilities, and ethics.

24         Section 14.  Section 1012.465, Florida Statutes, is

25  created to read:

26         1012.465  Background screening requirements for certain

27  noninstructional school district employees and contractors.--

28         (1)  Noninstructional school district employees or

29  contractual personnel who have direct contact with students or

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

31  screening requirements as described in s. 1012.32.


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    CS for SB 2986                                 First Engrossed



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

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

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

 4  district must meet level 2 screening requirements as described

 5  in s. 1012.32, at which time the school district shall request

 6  the Department of Law Enforcement to forward the fingerprints

 7  to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the level 2

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

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

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

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

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

13  must file a complete set of fingerprints with the district

14  school superintendent of the employing or contracting school

15  district. Upon submission of fingerprints for this purpose,

16  the school district shall request the Department of Law

17  Enforcement to forward the fingerprints to the Federal Bureau

18  of Investigation for the level 2 screening, and the

19  fingerprints shall be retained by the Department of Law

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

21  state and federal criminal history check required by level 2

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

23  contractor, or the person fingerprinted. Under penalty of

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

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

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

27  contract within 48 hours if convicted of any disqualifying

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

29  capacity.

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

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


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    CS for SB 2986                                 First Engrossed



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

 2  immediately suspended from working in that capacity and shall

 3  remain suspended until final resolution of any appeals.

 4         Section 15.  Subsections (1) and (4) of section

 5  1012.55, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

 6         1012.55  Positions for which certificates required.--

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

 8  services, designate the certification subject areas, establish

 9  competencies, including the use of technology to enhance

10  student learning, and certification requirements for all

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

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

13  shall be issued by the Department of Education to applicants

14  who meet the standards prescribed by such rules for their

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

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

17  specialist, school counselor, athletic coach, or other

18  position in which the employee serves in an instructional

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

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

21  State Board of Education in fulfilling the requirements of the

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

23  Education shall identify appropriate educator certification

24  for the instruction of specified courses in an annual

25  publication of a directory of course code numbers for all

26  programs and courses that are funded through the Florida

27  Education Finance Program. However, the state board shall

28  adopt rules authorizing district school boards to employ

29  selected noncertificated personnel to provide instructional

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

31  instructional staff members as education paraprofessionals.


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    CS for SB 2986                                 First Engrossed



 1         (4)  A commissioned or noncommissioned military officer

 2  who is an instructor of junior reserve officer training shall

 3  be exempt from requirements for teacher certification, except

 4  for the background screening filing of fingerprints pursuant

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

 6  qualifications:

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

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

 9         (b)  Satisfies criteria established by the appropriate

10  military service for certification by the service as a junior

11  reserve officer training instructor.

12         (c)  Has an exemplary military record.

13  

14  If such instructor is assigned instructional duties other than

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

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

17  the type of service rendered.

18         Section 16.  Subsection (1), paragraphs (b) and (d) of

19  subsection (2), and subsections (3), (4), and (5) of section

20  1012.56, Florida Statutes, are amended, present subsections

21  (9) through (15) of that section are renumbered as subsections

22  (10) through (16), respectively, and a new subsection (9) is

23  added to that section, to read:

24         1012.56  Educator certification requirements.--

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

26  pursuant to this chapter shall submit a completed application

27  containing the applicant's social security number to the

28  Department of Education and remit the fee required pursuant to

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

30  to the federal Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity

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


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    CS for SB 2986                                 First Engrossed



 1  his or her social security number in accordance with this

 2  section. Disclosure of social security numbers obtained

 3  through this requirement is limited to the purpose of

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

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

 6  120.60, the department shall issue within 90 calendar days

 7  after the stamped receipted date of the completed application:

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

 9  professional certificate covering the classification, level,

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

11  document explaining the requirements for renewal of the

12  professional certificate; or

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

14  requested by an employing school district or an employing

15  private school with a professional education competence

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

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

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

19  and an official statement of status of eligibility; or

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

21  for either certificate, an official statement of status of

22  eligibility.

23  

24  The statement of status of eligibility must advise the

25  applicant of any qualifications that must be completed to

26  qualify for certification. Each statement of status of

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

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

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

30  certification, a person must:

31  


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    CS for SB 2986                                 First Engrossed



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

 2  that the applicant subscribes to and will uphold the

 3  principles incorporated in the Constitution of the United

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

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

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

 7  by electronic authentication. The affidavit shall include

 8  substantially the following warning:

 9  

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

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

12  Florida law. Anyone giving false information on this affidavit

13  is subject to criminal prosecution as well as disciplinary

14  action by the Education Practices Commission.

15         (d)  Submit to background screening in accordance with

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

17  Enforcement and the Federal Bureau of Investigation pursuant

18  to s. 1012.32. If the background screening indicates

19  fingerprint reports indicate a criminal history or if the

20  applicant acknowledges a criminal history, the applicant's

21  records shall be referred to the investigative section in the

22  Department of Education Bureau of Educator Standards for

23  review and determination of eligibility for certification. If

24  the applicant fails to provide the necessary documentation

25  requested by the department Bureau of Educator Standards

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

27  mail request, the statement of eligibility and pending

28  application shall become invalid.

29         (3)  MASTERY OF GENERAL KNOWLEDGE.--Acceptable means of

30  demonstrating mastery of general knowledge are:

31  


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    CS for SB 2986                                 First Engrossed



 1         (a)  Achievement of passing scores on basic skills

 2  examination required by state board rule;

 3         (b)  Achievement of passing scores on the College Level

 4  Academic Skills Test earned prior to July 1, 2002;

 5         (c)  A valid professional standard teaching certificate

 6  issued by another state;

 7         (d)  A valid certificate issued by the National Board

 8  for Professional Teaching Standards or a national educator

 9  credentialing board approved by the State Board of Education;

10  or

11         (e)  Documentation of two semesters of successful

12  teaching in a community college, state university, or private

13  college or university that awards an associate or higher

14  degree and is an accredited institution or an institution of

15  higher education identified by the Department of Education as

16  having a quality program.

17         (4)  MASTERY OF SUBJECT AREA KNOWLEDGE.--Acceptable

18  means of demonstrating mastery of subject area knowledge are:

19         (a)  Achievement of passing scores on subject area

20  examinations required by state board rule;

21         (b)  Completion of the subject area specialization

22  requirements specified in state board rule and verification of

23  the attainment of the essential subject matter competencies by

24  the district school superintendent of the employing school

25  district or chief administrative officer of the employing

26  state-supported or private school for a subject area for which

27  a subject area examination has not been developed and required

28  by state board rule;

29         (c)  Completion of the subject area specialization

30  requirements specified in state board rule for a subject

31  coverage requiring a master's or higher degree and achievement


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    CS for SB 2986                                 First Engrossed



 1  of a passing score on the subject area examination specified

 2  in state board rule;

 3         (d)  A valid professional standard teaching certificate

 4  issued by another state; or

 5         (e)  A valid certificate issued by the National Board

 6  for Professional Teaching Standards or a national educator

 7  credentialing board approved by the State Board of Education.

 8         (5)  MASTERY OF PROFESSIONAL PREPARATION AND EDUCATION

 9  COMPETENCE.--Acceptable means of demonstrating mastery of

10  professional preparation and education competence are:

11         (a)  Completion of an approved teacher preparation

12  program at a postsecondary educational institution within this

13  state and achievement of a passing score on the professional

14  education competency examination required by state board rule;

15         (b)  Completion of a teacher preparation program at a

16  postsecondary educational institution outside Florida and

17  achievement of a passing score on the professional education

18  competency examination required by state board rule;

19         (c)  A valid professional standard teaching certificate

20  issued by another state;

21         (d)  A valid certificate issued by the National Board

22  for Professional Teaching Standards or a national educator

23  credentialing board approved by the State Board of Education;

24         (e)  Documentation of two semesters of successful

25  teaching in a community college, state university, or private

26  college or university that awards an associate or higher

27  degree and is an accredited institution or an institution of

28  higher education identified by the Department of Education as

29  having a quality program;

30         (f)  Completion of professional preparation courses as

31  specified in state board rule, successful completion of a


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    CS for SB 2986                                 First Engrossed



 1  professional education competence demonstration program

 2  pursuant to paragraph (7)(b), and achievement of a passing

 3  score on the professional education competency examination

 4  required by state board rule; or

 5         (g)  Successful completion of a professional

 6  preparation alternative certification and education competency

 7  program, outlined in paragraph (7)(a); or.

 8         (h)  Successful completion of an alternative

 9  certification program pursuant to s. 1004.85 and achievement

10  of a passing score on the professional education competency

11  examination required by rule of the State Board of Education.

12         (9)  BACKGROUND SCREENING REQUIRED, INITIALLY AND

13  PERIODICALLY.--

14         (a)  Each person who seeks certification under this

15  chapter must meet level 2 screening requirements as described

16  in s. 1012.32 unless a level 2 screening has been conducted by

17  a district school board or the Department of Education within

18  12 months before the date the person initially obtains

19  certification under this chapter, the results of which are

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

21  Education.

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

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

24  results have been submitted to the Department of Education or

25  to the district school superintendent of the school district

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

27  certification, each person who is required to be certified

28  under this chapter must meet level 2 screening requirements as

29  described in s. 1012.32, at which time the school district

30  shall request the Department of Law Enforcement to forward the

31  fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the


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    CS for SB 2986                                 First Engrossed



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

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

 3  be certified under this chapter are not retained by the

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

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

 6  district school superintendent of the employing school

 7  district. Upon submission of fingerprints for this purpose,

 8  the school district shall request the Department of Law

 9  Enforcement to forward the fingerprints to the Federal Bureau

10  of Investigation for the level 2 screening, and the

11  fingerprints shall be retained by the Department of Law

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

13  state and federal criminal history check required by level 2

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

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

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

17  employer within 48 hours if convicted of any disqualifying

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

19  such certification is required.

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

21  is employed in a position requiring certification under this

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

23  person's certification shall be immediately revoked or

24  suspended and he or she shall be immediately suspended from

25  the position requiring certification.

26         Section 17.  Section 1012.561, Florida Statutes, is

27  created to read:

28         1012.561  Address of record.--Each certified educator

29  or applicant for certification is solely responsible for

30  maintaining his or her current address with the Department of

31  Education and for notifying the department in writing of a


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    CS for SB 2986                                 First Engrossed



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

 2  applicant for certification must have on file with the

 3  department a current mailing address. Thereafter, a certified

 4  educator or applicant for certification who is employed by a

 5  district school board shall notify his or her employing school

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

 7  minimum, the employing district school board shall notify the

 8  department monthly of the addresses of the certified educators

 9  or applicants for certification in the manner prescribed by

10  the department. A certified educator or applicant for

11  certification who is not employed by a district school board

12  shall personally notify the department in writing within 30

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

14  electronic notification; however, it is the responsibility of

15  the certified educator or applicant for certification to

16  ensure that the department has received the electronic

17  notification.

18         Section 18.  Section 1012.57, Florida Statutes, is

19  amended to read:

20         1012.57  Certification of adjunct educators.--

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

22  1012.55, and 1012.56, or any other provision of law or rule to

23  the contrary, district school boards shall adopt rules to

24  allow for the issuance of an adjunct teaching certificate to

25  any applicant who fulfills the requirements of s.

26  1012.56(2)(a)-(f) and (9) and who has expertise in the subject

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

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

29  demonstrates sufficient subject area mastery through passage

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

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


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    CS for SB 2986                                 First Engrossed



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

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

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

 4  permitting school districts to issue adjunct certificates to

 5  qualified applicants. Adjunct certificateholders should be

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

 7  adjunct certificateholders should supplement a school's

 8  instructional staff, not supplant it. Each school principal

 9  shall assign an experienced peer mentor to assist the adjunct

10  teaching certificateholder during the certificateholder's

11  first year of teaching, and an adjunct certificateholder may

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

13  District school boards shall provide the adjunct teaching

14  certificateholder an orientation in classroom management prior

15  to assigning the certificateholder to a school. Each adjunct

16  teaching certificate is valid for 5 school years and is

17  renewable if the applicant has received satisfactory

18  performance evaluations during each year of teaching under

19  adjunct teaching certification.

20         (2)  Individuals who are certified and employed under

21  pursuant to this section shall have the same rights and

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

23  1012.56.

24         Section 19.  Paragraph (d) of subsection (3) of section

25  1012.585, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

26         1012.585  Process for renewal of professional

27  certificates.--

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

29  following requirements must be met:

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

31  the expanded use of training for renewal of the professional


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    CS for SB 2986                                 First Engrossed



 1  certificate for educators who are required to complete

 2  training in teaching students of limited English proficiency

 3  and training in the teaching of reading as follows:

 4         1.  A teacher who holds a professional certificate may

 5  use college credits or inservice points completed in

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

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

 8  during one certificate-validity period toward renewal of the

 9  professional certificate during the subsequent validity

10  periods.

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

12  college credits or inservice points completed in

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

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

15  first professional certificate. Such training must not have

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

17  temporary and professional certificates must be issued for

18  consecutive school years.

19         Section 20.  Subsection (8) of section 1012.79, Florida

20  Statutes, is amended to read:

21         1012.79  Education Practices Commission;

22  organization.--

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

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

25  purpose of reviewing and issuing final orders upon cases

26  presented to the commission.  A case concerning a complaint

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

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

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

30  concerning a complaint against an administrator shall be

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


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    CS for SB 2986                                 First Engrossed



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

 2  shall be administrators.

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

 4  commission shall have final agency authority in all cases

 5  involving the revocation, suspension, or other disciplining of

 6  certificates of teachers and school administrators. A majority

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

 8  district school board shall retain the authority to discipline

 9  teachers and administrators pursuant to law.

10         Section 21.  Subsections (1) and (6) of section

11  1012.795, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

12         1012.795  Education Practices Commission; authority to

13  discipline.--

14         (1)  The Education Practices Commission may suspend the

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

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

17  denying that person the right to teach or otherwise be

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

19  capacity requiring direct contact with students for that

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

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

22  certificate of any person, thereby denying that person the

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

24  board or public school in any capacity requiring direct

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

26  years, with reinstatement subject to the provisions of

27  subsection (4); may revoke permanently the educator

28  certificate of any person thereby denying that person the

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

30  board or public school in any capacity requiring direct

31  contact with students; may suspend the educator certificate,


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    CS for SB 2986                                 First Engrossed



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

 2  delinquent child support obligation; or may impose any other

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

 4  person:

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

 6  certificate by fraudulent means.

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

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

 9  to teach in or to operate a private school.

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

11  involving moral turpitude.

12         (d)  Has had an educator certificate sanctioned by

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

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

15  any other criminal charge, other than a minor traffic

16  violation.

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

18  personal conduct which seriously reduces that person's

19  effectiveness as an employee of the district school board.

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

21  1012.33(2).

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

23  the Education Practices Commission to suspend the certificate

24  as a result of a delinquent child support obligation.

25         (i)  Has violated the Principles of Professional

26  Conduct for the Education Profession prescribed by State Board

27  of Education rules.

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

29  penalty for which is the revocation of the educator

30  certificate.

31  


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    CS for SB 2986                                 First Engrossed



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

 2  Commission.

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

 4  agreement in any jurisdiction which requires the

 5  certificateholder to surrender or otherwise relinquish his or

 6  her educator's certificate. A surrender or relinquishment

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

 8  may not surrender or otherwise relinquish his or her

 9  certificate prior to a finding of probable cause by the

10  commissioner as provided in s. 1012.796.

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

12  the provisions of a settlement agreement enforced by a final

13  order of the Education Practices Commission, the Department of

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

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

16  individual to appear before the commission to show cause why

17  further penalties should not be levied against the

18  individual's certificate pursuant to the authority provided to

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

20  department may dismiss an order to show cause before the

21  commission enters a final order. The Education Practices

22  Commission may fashion further penalties under the authority

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

24  considers the show cause order is responded to by the

25  individual.

26         (b)  The Education Practices Commission shall adopt

27  rules requiring the issuance of issue a final order

28  permanently revoking an individual's Florida educator's

29  certificate if the individual has been the subject of

30  sanctions by the Education Practices Commission on two

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


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    CS for SB 2986                                 First Engrossed



 1  this provision if the only reason for sanctions on any

 2  occasion was one or more administrative violations. For

 3  purposes of this paragraph the term "administrative violation"

 4  means the failure of the individual to submit annual

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

 6  required by a final order of the Education Practices

 7  Commission. Furthermore, any sanction levied by the Education

 8  Practices Commission against an applicant for certification is

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

10  previously sanctioned by the Education Practices Commission.

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

12         1.  If the individual:

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

14  this section, such that the Education Practices Commission has

15  the authority to discipline the individual's Florida

16  educator's certificate on two separate occasions;

17         b.  Has twice entered into a settlement agreement

18  enforced by a final order of the Education Practices

19  Commission; or

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

21  this section, such that the Education Practices Commission has

22  the authority to discipline the individual's Florida

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

24  settlement agreement enforced by a final order of the

25  Education Practices Commission on one occasion; and

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

27  that the allegations are proven or admitted to is subsequently

28  found by the Commissioner of Education.

29  

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

31  settlement agreement with the Department of Education, that


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    CS for SB 2986                                 First Engrossed



 1  agreement shall also include a penalty revoking that

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

 3  year.

 4         Section 22.  Subsections (1), (7), and (8) of section

 5  1012.796, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

 6         1012.796  Complaints against teachers and

 7  administrators; procedure; penalties.--

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

 9  investigated expeditiously any complaint filed before it or

10  otherwise called to its attention which, if legally

11  sufficient, contains grounds for the revocation or suspension

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

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

14  contains the ultimate facts which show a violation has

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

16  investigate or continue to investigate and take appropriate

17  action on a complaint even though the original complainant

18  withdraws the complaint or otherwise indicates a desire not to

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

20  department may investigate or continue to investigate and take

21  action on a complaint filed against a person whose educator

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

23  for the complaint were allegedly committed while that person

24  possessed an educator certificate.

25         (b)  When an investigation is undertaken, the

26  department shall notify the certificateholder or applicant for

27  certification and the district school superintendent 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. In addition, the department in the


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    CS for SB 2986                                 First Engrossed



 1  district in which the certificateholder is employed and shall

 2  inform the certificateholder or applicant for certification of

 3  the substance of any complaint which has been filed against

 4  that certificateholder or applicant, unless the department

 5  determines that such notification would be detrimental to the

 6  investigation, in which case the department may withhold

 7  notification.

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

 9  the department all legally sufficient complaints within 30

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

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

12  district shall include all information relating to the

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

14  filing. Each district school board shall develop policies and

15  procedures to comply with this reporting requirement. The

16  district school board policies and procedures shall include

17  appropriate penalties for all personnel of the district school

18  board for nonreporting and procedures for promptly informing

19  the district school superintendent of each legally sufficient

20  complaint. The district school superintendent is charged with

21  knowledge of these policies and procedures.  If the district

22  school superintendent has knowledge of a legally sufficient

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

24  enforce the policies and procedures of the district school

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

26  subsection, in addition to other actions against

27  certificateholders authorized by law, the district school

28  superintendent shall be subject to penalties as specified in

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

30  or restrict the power and duty of the department to

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


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    CS for SB 2986                                 First Engrossed



 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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    CS for SB 2986                                 First Engrossed



 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 office 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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    CS for SB 2986                                 First Engrossed



 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). The Department

11  of Education shall prosecute the individual ordered to show

12  cause before the Education Practices Commission. The

13  Department of Education and the individual may enter into a

14  settlement agreement, which shall be presented to the

15  Education Practices Commission for consideration. Any

16  probation period will be tolled when an order to show cause

17  has been issued until the issue is resolved by the Education

18  Practices Commission; however, the other terms and conditions

19  of the final order shall be in full force and effect until

20  changed by the Education Practices Commission.

21         Section 23.  Subsections (1), (3), (6), and (10) of

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

23         1012.798  Recovery network program for educators.--

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

25  within the Department of Education, a recovery network program

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

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

28  in obtaining treatment to permit their continued contribution

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

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

31  1012.56 is eligible for the program assistance. The individual


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    CS for SB 2986                                 First Engrossed



 1  may access the program voluntarily or be directed to

 2  participate through a deferred prosecution agreement with the

 3  Commissioner of Education or a final order of the Education

 4  Practices Commission pursuant to s. 1012.796.

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

 6  assist educators in obtaining treatment and services from

 7  approved treatment providers, but each impaired educator must

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

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

10  person who is admitted to the recovery network program must

11  contract with the treatment provider and the program.  The

12  treatment contract must prescribe the type of treatment and

13  the responsibilities of the impaired educator and of the

14  provider and must provide that the impaired educator's

15  progress will be monitored by the recovery network program.

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

17  operate independently of employee assistance programs operated

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

19  districts to make employment decisions, including disciplinary

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

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

22  proceedings under ss. 1012.795 and 1012.796 may voluntarily

23  seek assistance through a local school district employee

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

25  the recovery network, regardless of action taken against him

26  or her by a school district. Voluntarily seeking assistance

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

28  1012.795 and 1012.796.

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

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

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


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    CS for SB 2986                                 First Engrossed



 1  employee assistance program as a treatment provider or as a

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

 3  local school district shall cooperate so that the person may

 4  obtain treatment without limiting the school district's

 5  statutory powers and duties as an employer or the disciplinary

 6  procedures under ss. 1012.795 and 1012.796.

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

 8  the recovery network program after an investigation pursuant

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

10  not previously been under investigation by the department may

11  be enrolled in a treatment program by the recovery network

12  after an investigation has commenced, if the person:

13         1.  Acknowledges his or her impairment.

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

15  network.

16         3.  Agrees to enroll in an appropriate treatment

17  program approved by the recovery network.

18         4.  Executes releases for all medical and treatment

19  records regarding his or her impairment and participation in a

20  treatment program to the recovery network, pursuant to 42

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

22  thereunder.

23         5.  Enters into a deferred prosecution agreement with

24  the commissioner, which provides that no prosecution shall be

25  instituted concerning the matters enumerated in the agreement

26  if the person is properly enrolled in the treatment program

27  and successfully completes the program as certified by the

28  recovery network. The commissioner is under no obligation to

29  enter into a deferred prosecution agreement with the educator

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

31  


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    CS for SB 2986                                 First Engrossed



 1  interest of the educational program of the state and the

 2  educator.

 3         6.  Has not previously entered a substance abuse

 4  program.

 5         7.  Is not being investigated for any action involving

 6  commission of a felony or violent act against another person.

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

 8  possession, or abuse of alcohol.

 9         (10)  DECLARATION OF INELIGIBILITY.--

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

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

12  not progress satisfactorily in a treatment program or leaves a

13  prescribed program or course of treatment without the approval

14  of the treatment provider.

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

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

17  program administrator or designee after review of the

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

19  commissioner, the administrator must discuss the circumstances

20  with the treatment provider.  The commissioner may direct the

21  Office of Professional Practices Services to investigate the

22  case and provide a report.

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

24  program is a condition of a deferred prosecution agreement,

25  and the program administrator commissioner determines that the

26  person is ineligible for further assistance, the commissioner

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

28  prosecution agreement or may issue an administrative

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

30  regarding which prosecution was deferred.  The person may

31  dispute the determination as an affirmative defense to the


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    CS for SB 2986                                 First Engrossed



 1  administrative complaint by including with his or her request

 2  for hearing on the administrative complaint a written

 3  statement setting forth the facts and circumstances that show

 4  that the determination of ineligibility was erroneous.  If

 5  administrative proceedings regarding the administrative

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

 7  finding that the determination of ineligibility was erroneous,

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

 9  determination of ineligibility was the only reason for setting

10  aside the deferred prosecution agreement and issuing the

11  administrative complaint and the administrative proceedings

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

13  complaint shall be dismissed and the deferred prosecution

14  agreement reinstated without prejudice to the commissioner's

15  right to reissue the administrative complaint for other

16  breaches of the agreement.

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

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

19  Practices Commission, the program administrator's

20  commissioner's determination of ineligibility constitutes a

21  finding of probable cause that the person failed to comply

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

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

24  the Education Practices Commission shall issue to the educator

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

26  issue an administrative complaint The commissioner shall issue

27  an administrative complaint, and the case shall proceed under

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

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

30  Practices Commission.

31  


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    CS for SB 2986                                 First Engrossed



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

 2  contract with the program, the program administrator

 3  commissioner shall issue a written notice stating the reasons

 4  for the determination of ineligibility. Within 20 days after

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

 6  determination of ineligibility pursuant to ss. 120.569 and

 7  120.57.

 8         Section 24.  For the purpose of incorporating the

 9  amendment made by this act to section 1012.01, Florida

10  Statutes, in a reference thereto, paragraph (b) of subsection

11  (1) of section 112.1915, Florida Statutes, is reenacted to

12  read:

13         112.1915  Teachers and school administrators; death

14  benefits.--Any other provision of law to the contrary

15  notwithstanding:

16         (1)  As used in this section, the term:

17         (b)  "Teacher" means any instructional staff personnel

18  as described in s. 1012.01(2).

19         Section 25.  For the purpose of incorporating the

20  amendment made by this act to section 1012.01, Florida

21  Statutes, in a reference thereto, paragraph (b) of subsection

22  (9) and paragraph (a) of subsection (13) of section 121.091,

23  Florida Statutes, are reenacted to read:

24         121.091  Benefits payable under the system.--Benefits

25  may not be paid under this section unless the member has

26  terminated employment as provided in s. 121.021(39)(a) or

27  begun participation in the Deferred Retirement Option Program

28  as provided in subsection (13), and a proper application has

29  been filed in the manner prescribed by the department. The

30  department may cancel an application for retirement benefits

31  when the member or beneficiary fails to timely provide the


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    CS for SB 2986                                 First Engrossed



 1  information and documents required by this chapter and the

 2  department's rules. The department shall adopt rules

 3  establishing procedures for application for retirement

 4  benefits and for the cancellation of such application when the

 5  required information or documents are not received.

 6         (9)  EMPLOYMENT AFTER RETIREMENT; LIMITATION.--

 7         (b)1.  Any person who is retired under this chapter,

 8  except under the disability retirement provisions of

 9  subsection (4), may be reemployed by any private or public

10  employer after retirement and receive retirement benefits and

11  compensation from his or her employer without any limitations,

12  except that a person may not receive both a salary from

13  reemployment with any agency participating in the Florida

14  Retirement System and retirement benefits under this chapter

15  for a period of 12 months immediately subsequent to the date

16  of retirement. However, a DROP participant shall continue

17  employment and receive a salary during the period of

18  participation in the Deferred Retirement Option Program, as

19  provided in subsection (13).

20         2.  Any person to whom the limitation in subparagraph

21  1. applies who violates such reemployment limitation and who

22  is reemployed with any agency participating in the Florida

23  Retirement System before completion of the 12-month limitation

24  period shall give timely notice of this fact in writing to the

25  employer and to the division and shall have his or her

26  retirement benefits suspended for the balance of the 12-month

27  limitation period.  Any person employed in violation of this

28  paragraph and any employing agency which knowingly employs or

29  appoints such person without notifying the Division of

30  Retirement to suspend retirement benefits shall be jointly and

31  severally liable for reimbursement to the retirement trust


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    CS for SB 2986                                 First Engrossed



 1  fund of any benefits paid during the reemployment limitation

 2  period.  To avoid liability, such employing agency shall have

 3  a written statement from the retiree that he or she is not

 4  retired from a state-administered retirement system.  Any

 5  retirement benefits received while reemployed during this

 6  reemployment limitation period shall be repaid to the

 7  retirement trust fund, and retirement benefits shall remain

 8  suspended until such repayment has been made.  Benefits

 9  suspended beyond the reemployment limitation shall apply

10  toward repayment of benefits received in violation of the

11  reemployment limitation.

12         3.  A district school board may reemploy a retired

13  member as a substitute or hourly teacher, education

14  paraprofessional, transportation assistant, bus driver, or

15  food service worker on a noncontractual basis after he or she

16  has been retired for 1 calendar month, in accordance with s.

17  121.021(39). A district school board may reemploy a retired

18  member as instructional personnel, as defined in s.

19  1012.01(2)(a), on an annual contractual basis after he or she

20  has been retired for 1 calendar month, in accordance with s.

21  121.021(39). Any other retired member who is reemployed within

22  1 calendar month after retirement shall void his or her

23  application for retirement benefits. District school boards

24  reemploying such teachers, education paraprofessionals,

25  transportation assistants, bus drivers, or food service

26  workers are subject to the retirement contribution required by

27  subparagraph 7.

28         4.  A community college board of trustees may reemploy

29  a retired member as an adjunct instructor, that is, an

30  instructor who is noncontractual and part-time, or as a

31  participant in a phased retirement program within the Florida


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    CS for SB 2986                                 First Engrossed



 1  Community College System, after he or she has been retired for

 2  1 calendar month, in accordance with s. 121.021(39).  Any

 3  retired member who is reemployed within 1 calendar month after

 4  retirement shall void his or her application for retirement

 5  benefits.  Boards of trustees reemploying such instructors are

 6  subject to the retirement contribution required in

 7  subparagraph 7.  A retired member may be reemployed as an

 8  adjunct instructor for no more than 780 hours during the first

 9  12 months of retirement.  Any retired member reemployed for

10  more than 780 hours during the first 12 months of retirement

11  shall give timely notice in writing to the employer and to the

12  division of the date he or she will exceed the limitation.

13  The division shall suspend his or her retirement benefits for

14  the remainder of the first 12 months of retirement.  Any

15  person employed in violation of this subparagraph and any

16  employing agency which knowingly employs or appoints such

17  person without notifying the Division of Retirement to suspend

18  retirement benefits shall be jointly and severally liable for

19  reimbursement to the retirement trust fund of any benefits

20  paid during the reemployment limitation period.  To avoid

21  liability, such employing agency shall have a written

22  statement from the retiree that he or she is not retired from

23  a state-administered retirement system. Any retirement

24  benefits received by a retired member while reemployed in

25  excess of 780 hours during the first 12 months of retirement

26  shall be repaid to the Retirement System Trust Fund, and

27  retirement benefits shall remain suspended until repayment is

28  made.  Benefits suspended beyond the end of the retired

29  member's first 12 months of retirement shall apply toward

30  repayment of benefits received in violation of the 780-hour

31  reemployment limitation.


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    CS for SB 2986                                 First Engrossed



 1         5.  The State University System may reemploy a retired

 2  member as an adjunct faculty member or as a participant in a

 3  phased retirement program within the State University System

 4  after the retired member has been retired for 1 calendar

 5  month, in accordance with s. 121.021(39).  Any retired member

 6  who is reemployed within 1 calendar month after retirement

 7  shall void his or her application for retirement benefits.

 8  The State University System is subject to the retired

 9  contribution required in subparagraph 7., as appropriate. A

10  retired member may be reemployed as an adjunct faculty member

11  or a participant in a phased retirement program for no more

12  than 780 hours during the first 12 months of his or her

13  retirement.  Any retired member reemployed for more than 780

14  hours during the first 12 months of retirement shall give

15  timely notice in writing to the employer and to the division

16  of the date he or she will exceed the limitation.  The

17  division shall suspend his or her retirement benefits for the

18  remainder of the first 12 months of retirement. Any person

19  employed in violation of this subparagraph and any employing

20  agency which knowingly employs or appoints such person without

21  notifying the Division of Retirement to suspend retirement

22  benefits shall be jointly and severally liable for

23  reimbursement to the retirement trust fund of any benefits

24  paid during the reemployment limitation period.  To avoid

25  liability, such employing agency shall have a written

26  statement from the retiree that he or she is not retired from

27  a state-administered retirement system. Any retirement

28  benefits received by a retired member while reemployed in

29  excess of 780 hours during the first 12 months of retirement

30  shall be repaid to the Retirement System Trust Fund, and

31  retirement benefits shall remain suspended until repayment is


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    CS for SB 2986                                 First Engrossed



 1  made.  Benefits suspended beyond the end of the retired

 2  member's first 12 months of retirement shall apply toward

 3  repayment of benefits received in violation of the 780-hour

 4  reemployment limitation.

 5         6.  The Board of Trustees of the Florida School for the

 6  Deaf and the Blind may reemploy a retired member as a

 7  substitute teacher, substitute residential instructor, or

 8  substitute nurse on a noncontractual basis after he or she has

 9  been retired for 1 calendar month, in accordance with s.

10  121.021(39).  Any retired member who is reemployed within 1

11  calendar month after retirement shall void his or her

12  application for retirement benefits. The Board of Trustees of

13  the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind reemploying such

14  teachers, residential instructors, or nurses is subject to the

15  retirement contribution required by subparagraph 7.

16  Reemployment of a retired member as a substitute teacher,

17  substitute residential instructor, or substitute nurse is

18  limited to 780 hours during the first 12 months of his or her

19  retirement. Any retired member reemployed for more than 780

20  hours during the first 12 months of retirement shall give

21  timely notice in writing to the employer and to the division

22  of the date he or she will exceed the limitation. The division

23  shall suspend his or her retirement benefits for the remainder

24  of the first 12 months of retirement. Any person employed in

25  violation of this subparagraph and any employing agency which

26  knowingly employs or appoints such person without notifying

27  the Division of Retirement to suspend retirement benefits

28  shall be jointly and severally liable for reimbursement to the

29  retirement trust fund of any benefits paid during the

30  reemployment limitation period. To avoid liability, such

31  employing agency shall have a written statement from the


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    CS for SB 2986                                 First Engrossed



 1  retiree that he or she is not retired from a

 2  state-administered retirement system. Any retirement benefits

 3  received by a retired member while reemployed in excess of 780

 4  hours during the first 12 months of retirement shall be repaid

 5  to the Retirement System Trust Fund, and his or her retirement

 6  benefits shall remain suspended until payment is made.

 7  Benefits suspended beyond the end of the retired member's

 8  first 12 months of retirement shall apply toward repayment of

 9  benefits received in violation of the 780-hour reemployment

10  limitation.

11         7.  The employment by an employer of any retiree or

12  DROP participant of any state-administered retirement system

13  shall have no effect on the average final compensation or

14  years of creditable service of the retiree or DROP

15  participant.  Prior to July 1, 1991, upon employment of any

16  person, other than an elected officer as provided in s.

17  121.053, who has been retired under any state-administered

18  retirement program, the employer shall pay retirement

19  contributions in an amount equal to the unfunded actuarial

20  liability portion of the employer contribution which would be

21  required for regular members of the Florida Retirement System.

22  Effective July 1, 1991, contributions shall be made as

23  provided in s. 121.122 for retirees with renewed membership or

24  subsection (13) with respect to DROP participants.

25         8.  Any person who has previously retired and who is

26  holding an elective public office or an appointment to an

27  elective public office eligible for the Elected Officers'

28  Class on or after July 1, 1990, shall be enrolled in the

29  Florida Retirement System as provided in s. 121.053(1)(b) or,

30  if holding an elective public office that does not qualify for

31  the Elected Officers' Class on or after July 1, 1991, shall be


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    CS for SB 2986                                 First Engrossed



 1  enrolled in the Florida Retirement System as provided in s.

 2  121.122, and shall continue to receive retirement benefits as

 3  well as compensation for the elected officer's service for as

 4  long as he or she remains in elective office. However, any

 5  retired member who served in an elective office prior to July

 6  1, 1990, suspended his or her retirement benefit, and had his

 7  or her Florida Retirement System membership reinstated shall,

 8  upon retirement from such office, have his or her retirement

 9  benefit recalculated to include the additional service and

10  compensation earned.

11         9.  Any person who is holding an elective public office

12  which is covered by the Florida Retirement System and who is

13  concurrently employed in nonelected covered employment may

14  elect to retire while continuing employment in the elective

15  public office, provided that he or she shall be required to

16  terminate his or her nonelected covered employment.  Any

17  person who exercises this election shall receive his or her

18  retirement benefits in addition to the compensation of the

19  elective office without regard to the time limitations

20  otherwise provided in this subsection.  No person who seeks to

21  exercise the provisions of this subparagraph, as the same

22  existed prior to May 3, 1984, shall be deemed to be retired

23  under those provisions, unless such person is eligible to

24  retire under the provisions of this subparagraph, as amended

25  by chapter 84-11, Laws of Florida.

26         10.  The limitations of this paragraph apply to

27  reemployment in any capacity with an "employer" as defined in

28  s. 121.021(10), irrespective of the category of funds from

29  which the person is compensated.

30         11.  An employing agency may reemploy a retired member

31  as a firefighter or paramedic after the retired member has


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    CS for SB 2986                                 First Engrossed



 1  been retired for 1 calendar month, in accordance with s.

 2  121.021(39). Any retired member who is reemployed within 1

 3  calendar month after retirement shall void his or her

 4  application for retirement benefits. The employing agency

 5  reemploying such firefighter or paramedic is subject to the

 6  retired contribution required in subparagraph 8. Reemployment

 7  of a retired firefighter or paramedic is limited to no more

 8  than 780 hours during the first 12 months of his or her

 9  retirement. Any retired member reemployed for more than 780

10  hours during the first 12 months of retirement shall give

11  timely notice in writing to the employer and to the division

12  of the date he or she will exceed the limitation. The division

13  shall suspend his or her retirement benefits for the remainder

14  of the first 12 months of retirement. Any person employed in

15  violation of this subparagraph and any employing agency which

16  knowingly employs or appoints such person without notifying

17  the Division of Retirement to suspend retirement benefits

18  shall be jointly and severally liable for reimbursement to the

19  Retirement System Trust Fund of any benefits paid during the

20  reemployment limitation period. To avoid liability, such

21  employing agency shall have a written statement from the

22  retiree that he or she is not retired from a

23  state-administered retirement system. Any retirement benefits

24  received by a retired member while reemployed in excess of 780

25  hours during the first 12 months of retirement shall be repaid

26  to the Retirement System Trust Fund, and retirement benefits

27  shall remain suspended until repayment is made. Benefits

28  suspended beyond the end of the retired member's first 12

29  months of retirement shall apply toward repayment of benefits

30  received in violation of the 780-hour reemployment limitation.

31  


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    CS for SB 2986                                 First Engrossed



 1         (13)  DEFERRED RETIREMENT OPTION PROGRAM.--In general,

 2  and subject to the provisions of this section, the Deferred

 3  Retirement Option Program, hereinafter referred to as the

 4  DROP, is a program under which an eligible member of the

 5  Florida  Retirement System may elect to participate, deferring

 6  receipt of retirement benefits while continuing employment

 7  with his or her Florida Retirement System employer. The

 8  deferred monthly benefits shall accrue in the System Trust

 9  Fund on behalf of the participant, plus interest compounded

10  monthly, for the specified period of the DROP participation,

11  as provided in paragraph (c). Upon termination of employment,

12  the participant shall receive the total DROP benefits and

13  begin to receive the previously determined normal retirement

14  benefits. Participation in the DROP does not guarantee

15  employment for the specified period of DROP. Participation in

16  the DROP by an eligible member beyond the initial 60-month

17  period as authorized in this subsection shall be on an annual

18  contractual basis for all participants.

19         (a)  Eligibility of member to participate in the

20  DROP.--All active Florida Retirement System members in a

21  regularly established position, and all active members of

22  either the Teachers' Retirement System established in chapter

23  238 or the State and County Officers' and Employees'

24  Retirement System established in chapter 122 which systems are

25  consolidated within the Florida Retirement System under s.

26  121.011, are eligible to elect participation in the DROP

27  provided that:

28         1.  The member is not a renewed member of the Florida

29  Retirement System under s. 121.122, or a member of the State

30  Community College System Optional Retirement Program under s.

31  121.051, the Senior Management Service Optional Annuity


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    CS for SB 2986                                 First Engrossed



 1  Program under s. 121.055, or the optional retirement program

 2  for the State University System under s. 121.35.

 3         2.  Except as provided in subparagraph 6., election to

 4  participate is made within 12 months immediately following the

 5  date on which the member first reaches normal retirement date,

 6  or, for a member who reaches normal retirement date based on

 7  service before he or she reaches age 62, or age 55 for Special

 8  Risk Class members, election to participate may be deferred to

 9  the 12 months immediately following the date the member

10  attains 57, or age 52 for Special Risk Class members. For a

11  member who first reached normal retirement date or the

12  deferred eligibility date described above prior to the

13  effective date of this section, election to participate shall

14  be made within 12 months after the effective date of this

15  section. A member who fails to make an election within such

16  12-month limitation period shall forfeit all rights to

17  participate in the DROP. The member shall advise his or her

18  employer and the division in writing of the date on which the

19  DROP shall begin. Such beginning date may be subsequent to the

20  12-month election period, but must be within the 60-month or,

21  with respect to members who are instructional personnel

22  employed by the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind and

23  who have received authorization by the Board of Trustees of

24  the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind to participate

25  in the DROP beyond 60 months, or who are instructional

26  personnel as defined in s. 1012.01(2)(a)-(d) in grades K-12

27  and who have received authorization by the district school

28  superintendent to participate in the DROP beyond 60 months,

29  the 96-month limitation period as provided in subparagraph

30  (b)1. When establishing eligibility of the member to

31  participate in the DROP for the 60-month or, with respect to


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    CS for SB 2986                                 First Engrossed



 1  members who are instructional personnel employed by the

 2  Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind and who have

 3  received authorization by the Board of Trustees of the Florida

 4  School for the Deaf and the Blind to participate in the DROP

 5  beyond 60 months, or who are instructional personnel as

 6  defined in s. 1012.01(2)(a)-(d) in grades K-12 and who have

 7  received authorization by the district school superintendent

 8  to participate in the DROP beyond 60 months, the 96-month

 9  maximum participation period, the member may elect to include

10  or exclude any optional service credit purchased by the member

11  from the total service used to establish the normal retirement

12  date. A member with dual normal retirement dates shall be

13  eligible to elect to participate in DROP within 12 months

14  after attaining normal retirement date in either class.

15         3.  The employer of a member electing to participate in

16  the DROP, or employers if dually employed, shall acknowledge

17  in writing to the division the date the member's participation

18  in the DROP begins and the date the member's employment and

19  DROP participation will terminate.

20         4.  Simultaneous employment of a participant by

21  additional Florida Retirement System employers subsequent to

22  the commencement of participation in the DROP shall be

23  permissible provided such employers acknowledge in writing a

24  DROP termination date no later than the participant's existing

25  termination date or the 60-month limitation period as provided

26  in subparagraph (b)1.

27         5.  A DROP participant may change employers while

28  participating in the DROP, subject to the following:

29         a.  A change of employment must take place without a

30  break in service so that the member receives salary for each

31  month of continuous DROP participation.  If a member receives


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    CS for SB 2986                                 First Engrossed



 1  no salary during a month, DROP participation shall cease

 2  unless the employer verifies a continuation of the employment

 3  relationship for such participant pursuant to s.

 4  121.021(39)(b).

 5         b.  Such participant and new employer shall notify the

 6  division on forms required by the division as to the identity

 7  of the new employer.

 8         c.  The new employer shall acknowledge, in writing, the

 9  participant's DROP termination date, which may be extended but

10  not beyond the original 60-month or, with respect to members

11  who are instructional personnel employed by the Florida School

12  for the Deaf and the Blind and who have received authorization

13  by the Board of Trustees of the Florida School for the Deaf

14  and the Blind to participate in the DROP beyond 60 months, or

15  who are instructional personnel as defined in s.

16  1012.01(2)(a)-(d) in grades K-12 and who have received

17  authorization by the district school superintendent to

18  participate in the DROP beyond 60 months, the 96-month period

19  provided in subparagraph (b)1., shall acknowledge liability

20  for any additional retirement contributions and interest

21  required if the participant fails to timely terminate

22  employment, and shall be subject to the adjustment required in

23  sub-subparagraph (c)5.d.

24         6.  Effective July 1, 2001, for instructional personnel

25  as defined in s. 1012.01(2), election to participate in the

26  DROP shall be made at any time following the date on which the

27  member first reaches normal retirement date. The member shall

28  advise his or her employer and the division in writing of the

29  date on which the Deferred Retirement Option Program shall

30  begin. When establishing eligibility of the member to

31  participate in the DROP for the 60-month or, with respect to


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    CS for SB 2986                                 First Engrossed



 1  members who are instructional personnel employed by the

 2  Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind and who have

 3  received authorization by the Board of Trustees of the Florida

 4  School for the Deaf and the Blind to participate in the DROP

 5  beyond 60 months, or who are instructional personnel as

 6  defined in s. 1012.01(2)(a)-(d) in grades K-12 and who have

 7  received authorization by the district school superintendent

 8  to participate in the DROP beyond 60 months, the 96-month

 9  maximum participation period, as provided in subparagraph

10  (b)1., the member may elect to include or exclude any optional

11  service credit purchased by the member from the total service

12  used to establish the normal retirement date. A member with

13  dual normal retirement dates shall be eligible to elect to

14  participate in either class.

15         Section 26.  For the purpose of incorporating the

16  amendment made by this act to section 1012.01, Florida

17  Statutes, in a reference thereto, paragraph (b) of subsection

18  (2) of section 1011.685, Florida Statutes, is reenacted to

19  read:

20         1011.685  Class size reduction; operating categorical

21  fund.--

22         (2)  Class size reduction operating categorical funds

23  shall be used by school districts for the following:

24         (b)  For any lawful operating expenditure, if the

25  district has met the constitutional maximums identified in s.

26  1003.03(1) or the reduction of two students per year required

27  by s. 1003.03(2); however, priority shall be given to increase

28  salaries of classroom teachers as defined in s. 1012.01(2)(a)

29  and to implement the salary career ladder defined in s.

30  1012.231.

31  


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    CS for SB 2986                                 First Engrossed



 1         Section 27.  For the purpose of incorporating the

 2  amendment made by this act to section 1012.01, Florida

 3  Statutes, in a reference thereto, paragraphs (a) and (b) of

 4  subsection (2) of section 1012.74, Florida Statutes, are

 5  reenacted to read:

 6         1012.74  Florida educators professional liability

 7  insurance protection.--

 8         (2)(a)  Educator professional liability coverage for

 9  all instructional personnel, as defined by s. 1012.01(2), who

10  are full-time personnel, as defined by the district school

11  board policy, shall be provided by specific appropriations

12  under the General Appropriations Act.

13         (b)  Educator professional liability coverage shall be

14  extended at cost to all instructional personnel, as defined by

15  s. 1012.01(2), who are part-time personnel, as defined by the

16  district school board policy, and choose to participate in the

17  state-provided program.

18         Section 28.  This act shall take effect upon becoming a

19  law.

20  

21  

22  

23  

24  

25  

26  

27  

28  

29  

30  

31  


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