Section 1012.79, Florida Statutes 2009
1012.79 Education Practices Commission; organization.--
(1) The Education Practices Commission consists of 25 members, including 8 teachers; 5 administrators, at least one of whom shall represent a private school; 7 lay citizens, 5 of whom shall be parents of public school students and who are unrelated to public school employees and 2 of whom shall be former district school board members; and 5 sworn law enforcement officials, appointed by the State Board of Education from nominations by the Commissioner of Education and subject to Senate confirmation. Prior to making nominations, the commissioner shall consult with teaching associations, parent organizations, law enforcement agencies, and other involved associations in the state. In making nominations, the commissioner shall attempt to achieve equal geographical representation, as closely as possible.
(a) A teacher member, in order to be qualified for appointment:
1. Must be certified to teach in the state.
2. Must be a resident of the state.
3. Must have practiced the profession in this state for at least 5 years immediately preceding the appointment.
(b) A school administrator member, in order to be qualified for appointment:
1. Must have an endorsement on the educator certificate in the area of school administration or supervision.
2. Must be a resident of the state.
3. Must have practiced the profession as an administrator for at least 5 years immediately preceding the appointment.
(c) The lay members must be residents of the state.
(d) The law enforcement official members must have served in the profession for at least 5 years immediately preceding appointment and have background expertise in child safety.
(2) Members of the commission shall serve for 4-year staggered terms. No commission member may serve more than 8 years.
(3) The State Board of Education may remove any member from the commission for misconduct or malfeasance in office, incapacity, or neglect of duty.
(4) From among its members, the commission shall elect a chair who shall preside over meetings of the commission and perform other duties directed by the commission or required by its duly adopted rules or operating procedures. School districts shall be reimbursed for substitute teachers required to replace commission members, when they are carrying out their official duties, at a rate established by the school district for substitute teachers. The department may reimburse local school districts for substitutes.
(5) The commission, by a vote of three-fourths of the membership, shall employ an executive director, who shall be exempt from career service. The executive director may be dismissed by a majority vote of the membership.
(6)(a) The commission shall be assigned to the Department of Education for administrative purposes. The commission, in the performance of its powers and duties, shall not be subject to control, supervision, or direction by the Department of Education.
(b) The property, personnel, and appropriations related to the specified authority, powers, duties, and responsibilities of the commission shall be provided to the commission by the Department of Education.
(7) The duties and responsibilities of the commission are to:
(a) Interpret and apply the standards of professional practice established by the State Board of Education.
(b) Revoke or suspend a certificate or take other appropriate action as provided in ss. 1012.795 and 1012.796.
(c) Report to and meet with the State Board of Education at least once each year.
(d) Adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement provisions of law conferring duties upon it.
(8)(a) The commission shall, from time to time, designate members of the commission to serve on panels for the purpose of reviewing and issuing final orders upon cases presented to the commission. A case concerning a complaint against a teacher shall be reviewed and a final order entered by a panel composed of five commission members, at least one of whom must be a parent or a sworn law enforcement officer and at least three of whom must be teachers. A case concerning a complaint against an administrator shall be reviewed and a final order entered by a panel composed of five commission members, at least one of whom must be a parent or a sworn law enforcement officer and at least three of whom must be administrators.
(b) A majority of a quorum of a panel of the commission shall have final agency authority in all cases involving the revocation, suspension, or other disciplining of certificates of teachers and school administrators. A majority of the membership of the panel shall constitute a quorum. The district school board shall retain the authority to discipline teachers and administrators pursuant to law.
(9) The commission shall make such expenditures as may be necessary in exercising its authority and powers and carrying out its duties and responsibilities, including expenditures for personal services, general counsel or access to counsel, and rent at the seat of government and elsewhere; for books of reference, periodicals, furniture, equipment, and supplies; and for printing and binding. The expenditures of the commission shall be subject to the powers and duties of the Department of Financial Services as provided in s. 17.03.
(10) The commission shall be financed from the following: certification fees; fines, penalties, and costs collected pursuant to s. 1012.796(9); and general revenue.
History.--s. 756, ch. 2002-387; s. 1976, ch. 2003-261; s. 72, ch. 2004-41; s. 20, ch. 2004-295; s. 31, ch. 2008-108.